"There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech." Charles Spurgeon I talked some about why I stopped blogging and here's the honest truth: the me that's coming back to it now is not the same person who blogged before. Life has changed me and so much of who I am in the past year and a half. Looking back on old posts I realize I probably will never be that same person again. From here on out life is going to be real. Not that it wasn't before, but I guess I hadn't been touched, personally and through friendship, by some of life's deepest challenges to know that not everything on the outside may be what it seems. The reality is, from when I started this blog our lives were easy in so many ways. Too many ways to be honest. The things that were trials to us then seem like small beans to us now. There were many comforts in life that I could have leaned on and I never felt what it was to be without so many of those things until recently. God has taken many things away, but what he's given us in place of that is better. Far better. I would never have imagined what we would have walked through as a family of four, as a church, and in our relationships. I know so much more of what it means to just be sad, to be raw before The Lord, and to not understand his ways. It changes you and you can't help it. And really, in many ways, we still feel like we're in the thick of it. There are days when it's hard to see the light. But it's good to dwell in the here and now, the "real life" as I've taken to calling it. Because here's the best part, there's still good in it and God hasn't left us or stopped working, even if it feels like He has. It's hard to know what to say sometimes and how to say it while not coming across as a "woe is me", "my life is so hard", complainer while not sacrificing the honesty that is so lacking in the world of social media. I'm still working on that and I hope that if you read any of this and take anything away it's that life as a Mom and a wife is a wonderful gift, that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world, but we're all human and its hard some days. But life is simpler now. A joy for me is going to the grocery store. Alone. And just walking up and down every aisle. Just because I can. It's in rocking my baby before she goes to bed and having her curl up on my shoulder and sigh and start to drift off to sleep. It's the late nights with my best guy, just sitting on the couch next to each other, not even necessarily talking, just being together. It's the spontaneous hug from my three year old telling me she "loves me so much." It's the countless texts from my Mom and other Mommys that make me laugh and remind me I'm not doing this alone. It's the friends, married and single, who have offered to babysit for us, dropped off spontaneous meals, and blessed us in countless other ways. These are great things. Good things and tangible evidence of a Heavenly Father who loves us and hasn't stopped loving us. I'm not sure what this blog will look like going forward. I look at it and its somewhat of a mystery to me. If I post a recipe it's not because I'm an amazing cook, but probably because it was one we enjoyed and its good to share. If I post something about how I decorated or threw a party chances are its because its something I loved investing myself in and was glad to actually accomplish something. Not because I'm the pinnacle of success and I want everyone to do things like me. For example, I'd love to do a post about Edys nursery, its one of the most special rooms in our house to me. Heres the real life challenge: it's not done, and I still have a dark sheet pinned over the window in place of a curtain I bought all the supplies for but still need to make. She's 10 months and I'm starting to wonder if I'm ever going to get to it. In some ways it's good to be back to all this. To sort of pick up where I left off and to move forward. So if you're still reading thanks, and really, for all the sweet comments and words of encouragement double thanks. It'll be fun to see where this goes.