Behind the Scenes: Counting Gifts

It’s November, and I looooooove November.


It’s like that perfect, crunchy-leaf, apple-spicy-smelling, permission-to-drink-coffee-like-crazy, time of year.

Plus, I like pie almost as much as cake, and Thanksgiving=pie, but we’ll talk about that another week. 😉

Mostly I just like all that the season holds…time to be extra-intentional about giving thanks, the anticipation of celebrating the birth of our Savior, watching the wonder of Christmas through the eyes of my sweet girl, snowman-building, Christmas music and church services, sweaters and scarves, cookies…

So much to love and look forward to. :)

Honestly, this has been a challenging season. Not a bad one. It just looks…different. Much different than I’d pictured a year ago. I thought our family would look different by now. I thought we’d feel more settled into life and ready to embrace the next chapter and possibly the next family member, too.

But that’s not where we are right now. 

And that’s ok, most of the time. We’re (still) learning how to settle. :) (Maybe I’ll write more on that later.) We’re enjoying the blessings of now, and there are so many.

But I do have those moments, and once in awhile, I catch myself being less than thankful…especially on nights when I know there’s no little one growing in me and that there probably won’t be anytime soon.

And, yet, it doesn’t take much, really. Much to be thankful by just looking around me.

And by looking at this girl.


She was my candy-lovin’ Belle on Halloween, but every day, she’s my sweetie. (And, good golly, she looks about TEN here. Oy…) She is joy and sunshine and a gift all wrapped up in something more beautiful than I ever could have even dreamed. And I know I share that often here, but sometimes…

Well, sometimes it’s just good to give thanks for those gifts who dance with me every day…those that bless me so much more than I can ever really express in words.

Mae’s been sick this week…a little fever, a lot of runny nose and coughing, and yesterday all she wanted was snuggles. And as I cuddled up to her for some story-reading, she leaned her head in close to my heart and whispered, I love you, Mommy. We are best girls.

Oh, bless. I melted all over the couch, I’m sure.

I look at her and I think back over the almost-three-and-a-half years we’ve had with this girl, and that’s just about all I need to whisper thanks and praise about 10,000 times. Or more.

Friends, He is so Good.

And I’m so thankful…for so, so many things.

I’m counting my gifts today. And every day…join me? :)


Happy Tuesday, friends! Today is the day when I join some sweet friends at Crystal’s space for Behind the Scenes. We’re sharing the silly and sweet and sometimes-tear-jerking moments that happen behind the camera lens…I hope you’ll take some time and pop over to read some great stories.

Social media and online relationships can make us feel like everyone else has it all together. We’re edited, proof-read, Pinterest-perfect versions of ourselves (or so some might think!) when – in reality? There is an unfinished pile of laundry around the corner. That cute toddler smiling for the camera just had a massive meltdown seconds ago. That yummy breakfast-for-dinner you just showed us on Instagram? It’s because the cat licked the chicken that was supposed to be for dinner.

“Behind the Scenes” is a fun link up where we show those photos – but tell the real story behind them. The sneak peek behind the scenes, a look past the edges of the photo to the real life behind it.



  1. She is so adorable and I am praying that if it is God’s will that you have another little one that it will happen in the most unexpected, blessing sort of way. Love you!!

  2. OH MY !!! She does look so much older I had to double take to make sure it was her. Those little snuggle moments get fewer so do take the time to enjoy each one. I pray Mae is feeling better and you are begin to feel more settled as a new year approaches.

    • Thank you, friend! I hope she’s feeling a little better…this crud seems to hang on forever, but I’m praying she’ll get over it faster than I did. :) Blessings and happy week to you!

  3. I’ve come to love you as a blogger. You are so real and honest about things. Thank you for that :) And as always, the pictures are super cute!

  4. Thankful for my two as well so much lately. It’s amazing how much they can pierce your heart and inspire such love. No things aren’t quite like we perhaps hope they will be, but I am finding that when we are heart grateful for little it’s usually the expansion for us to be able to hold the more on the way. Love to you sweet friend. You bless me so much with your presence.

    • Oh, you are a blessing I’m so thankful for, sweet friend! One thing God continually reminds me of is that when my heart is focused on giving thanks, I don’t think so much about the difficult, the struggles. I’m praying He will truly give me a heart of gratitude and help it to stay that way. Love and hugs to you! :)

  5. I just love this story. You taking the time to reflect, with joy, all that He has given. And the truth you weave here – to be in the now and not wishing for the future or that things were different is such a blessing. I just love you heart friend.

    • Your words are such a blessing today, sweet friend. Thank you! Sending (((hugs))) across the miles and looking forward to the next time our paths cross! (I hope it’s SOON!!!) :)

  6. Hi Mel. I’ve been where you are and know how difficult the waiting and wanting can be. If allowed, it can rob you of the joy that right now holds. I’m so glad you are fighting against discontent and soaking up the joy of that beautiful girl God gave you. She was designed specifically for you. What a faithful God we serve! Happy Tuesday, friend!

    • Oh, you are such a sweet blessing, Jennifer. Thank you. :) I love the knowledge that she was designed for me…He knew exactly how she should be and that she would fit perfectly into our family. So many reasons to give thanks, for sure…He’s SO Good. :) Blessings to you…have a wonderful week!

  7. Super sweet, Mel. I know how you feel – about waiting on a baby, and about not being where you thought you would be. I try to adjust every day too, but the blessings do outweigh the disappointments, so we rest in that. :)

    (PS – You have to come over for coffee sometime. I want to hear about your trip and stuff.)

    • Coffee sounds great. Let’s talk soon. :) And, yeah…I knew you’d understand. So much to be thankful for when I just stop and focus on the blessings. Looking forward to catching up soon!

  8. When all the elements in the Universe line up to create the right conditions, what we desire can manifest. I believe that in Christianity this would be called divine timing? Perhaps it’s just taking a little while for those right conditions to align. My cousin Lisa spent years and thousands on IVF for her first child. They told her she wouldn’t have any more. She made peace that Ruby was all the child she was going to ever have. She relaxed into being a mom and two years later, the woman who was told she will never conceive again, was pregnant – naturally – with her son, Jesse. When we let go of our attachment to the outcome or the desire, we free the universe – or God, perhaps – to get on with the job without our interference.

    • I love stories like that…and the reminder that it’s in His hands and always has been. Never mine. Thanks, friend…hope you are doing well! Blessings! :)

  9. Wait, wait, wait, you are NOT allowed to mention the S word (snow) in a blog about November!
    But seriously, I do believe happiness comes from appreciating what we have, even if it is not everything we desire at the time. I am grateful to have a friend who practices this regularly! “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

    • Oops…sorry about that, especially considering tomorrow’s forecast. Ahem. 😉 Hugs, friend…missed connecting with you today. I played handbells at 8:00 and Mae is sick, so we didn’t do 10:45. Coffee soon? :)

  10. Mel,
    i hope that God richly blesses you with the desire of your heart. I believe that God rightly plants that within us, even He desired the fellowship of children and associated much worth to His time with children. You are right to desire more sweet ones to love. May God give you that to hold and joy in the now… that will never be just the same again. your little one sounds so sweet.

  11. Oh yes, life doesn’t always ‘happen’ as we dream, but we have the choice every day to see blessings, to notice beauty, to experience joy — even when life isn’t all we had imagined. (Oh there are seasons and times to grieve and wonder too!) I love the way you approach life and live a life in Him!

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