What an absolute whirl wind of a month it has been! I feel like today has been the first day I have been able to sit down and reflect a bit. I haven’t blogged in nearly a month, which is the first time I have gone that long without a blog post in a couple years I believe. Between finishing school, starting a move, Christmas, New Years, getting sick, traveling out of the country, welcoming a new baby nephew, and simply wanting to be with family, I needed a little time away to live life presently and enjoy everyone and everything around me. Also a hacked debit card lead to my blog not being renewed this past month, so I needed a little time to get things up and running again! But I am so happy to be back and to share some snapshots from this past month with y’all. Honestly there were some high highs and low lows, but in all I am so happy with how this past month has been and am really excited about this new year. So here are some points to touch on:
December 20, 2018
I just have to mention this plant. For your sake and my sake. We have the dearest, most precious and inspiring neighbors in Virginia. They are an older couple and are believers and taught and coached at Liberty. They have helped run a Christian summer camp in Hawaii, so have traveled back and forth to there for years. We went to their house the day before we left Virginia to come home for Christmas to drop off a card and some cookies and they sent us back to our house with these chocolate-covered macadamia nuts and this tree. They gave it to us and the husband said, “Do NOT let it die.” They grew it from a SEED and its 3 years old (!!!) and they entrusted it with US. We dot NOT have a good track record with plants. We travel so much and go back and forth from VA to LA that we have trouble keeping them alive. We nervously laughed the whole walk home. So this was us taking it back to Louisiana with us in the video below. HAHA just wanted to share.
December 21, 2018
We made it to Louisiana just in time for the little cousin Christmas party! My mother-in-law invited I think 13 of the little cousins and family friends over for cookie decorating and fun and games. It was a wild but so fun 4 hours!
December 23, 2018
We are so blessed that our families live only an hour away from each other. During Christmas-time we are on the road a lot driving to everyone’s houses, but it is so worth it getting to spend time with everyone. This was brunch at John Luke’s great grandmother’s house after church with my parents.
December 24, 2018
Then Christmas Eve lunch was with my dad’s side of the family. Teagon loves all his cousins. On my mom’s side and dad’s side, all my cousins are older and its so fun with all of them having kids! Every holiday it seems like we get to meet a new baby!
December 25, 2018
We made it back to my parents’ house just in time for Christmas with my mom’s side of the family! My grandparents stay Christmas Eve night and we all have so much fun watching Teagon open his gifts. Christmas morning involved lots of Super Smash Bros! Haha, anyone else?! I made my parents a little print of our hometown for Christmas. I’m excited to be able to do more art since I am out of school now!
December 26-29, 2018
The day after Christmas we left for Missouri and stayed at Big Cedar Lodge with JL’s side of the fam. It was SO. MUCH. FUN. I had never been there before but that place was like a small amusement park. A highlight of the trip was the go-carts and the arcade. Guys, I haven’t been in an arcade in a while and I’ve never been in that nice of one haha. We were all running around like 12 years olds playing all the games and competing against each other haha. Table Rock Lake is just beautiful too! And we drove an hour to Springfield to go to Bass Pro Shop. Honestly I’ve never been super into Bass Pro Shop because I am not a big hunter, but that place was so fun! Totally recommend going if you’re ever in the area. They’ve got a really cool museum and aquarium!
December 31, 2018
We rung in the new year with a scrabble tournament. Neither John Luke or myself won haha. Play as Bananagrams and maybe we’ll beat you, but we’ve got a lot of Scrabble professionals in our family haha.
January 1-4, 2019
We spent the first several days of 2019 resting a little, John Luke working at camp, catching up with friends, and getting ready for our trip to Guatemala. It was cold and rainy and we had some fun outings to Books-a-million and the poke bowl place in town.
January 5-12, 2019
We spent 8 days in Guatemala with Influence Trips and made lots of new friends. This trip was incredible and the people who came along with us were so amazing. I’ll write a whole post on this trip in the next couple days. This first picture is so funny to me. My dad is so sweet and was helping block the glare off of the airline woman’s screen! While we were in Guatemala, John Luke’s sister, Rebecca, had baby Zane! I shared this on Instagram, but in short, we were at a hotel in the jungle when we found out Rebecca went into labor. The wifi went out and we woke up the next morning to the wifi still out. We were in Tikal and did a sunrise hike up one of the Mayan temples and at the top finally got service! A flood of text came in with pictures of the new baby. It was such a cool moment! Zane Israel Loflin is one of the most beautiful babies ever! And so sweet. John Luke and I are so pumped to have a little nephew.
January 6- now.
We started moving into our new house! We will leave for Virginia soon to go and pack up our house there, but we went ahead and started moving in some of our things we had with us. We are really excited to be back in Louisiana. The dogs are still trying to get used to a new place haha.
It really has been a sweet past month. It feels so surreal being done with school. This is the first week it is starting to hit me. My sister and friends started classes this week. We’re moving into a new chapter of life and there is a lot of change right now. The change is exciting, but at the same time can be a little bittersweet. I feel so grateful though right now for the opportunities we’ve been given. I hope to be on here blogging more. I plan on it. I am excited about this new year and want to say thank you for following along so far. I hope you’ll journey into the new year with me as well 🙂
So sweet! Thanks for sharing, MK, and for taking all the fun photos because I love looking at those. Looking forward to more blog posts and Instagram too – your photos are so pretty!
Mary Kate, I’m so excited that you’re back! I missed getting to read your posts :). I’ve been really inspired by you, and hoped you weren’t stopping your blog!
BTW, I got a Canon Rebel T6 lately and I’m getting the hang of it. Thanks for being such an inspiration! I prayed several times throughout January for your Guatemala trip. Love ya, sister!
I love your blog so much, Mary Kate! I read it as often as I can! Your relationship with Jesus and your amazing relationship with your family (plus all of their relationships with Jesus) is just really sweet to see. Your readers are blessed to see a small part of your life on the Internet 🙂
Also, my best friend (who also loves Jesus) had Lyme disease for two years when she was in college, which was nearly 10 years ago. Now she’s worried that it’s flared up again because she’s been exhibiting all the same symptoms she had when she had Lyme. I told her to read your blog post about dealing with Lyme and processing all of that with Jesus, and it really encouraged her 🙂
Thanks so much for doing what you do! It’s blessing people you don’t even know! I’m excited to keep reading in 2019 🙂
So glad you’ve been blessed with a happy healthy nephew for the new year! Can’t wait to hear about the trip!!!
So happy to see a new blog post! Your optimism is so encouraging! I love to see how you and JL are transitioning into this new phase in your life, keeping Christ at the center. It is very relatable. Sending so much love!