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  • Welcome!…

    to “A Step Inside”… our personal family blog, documenting the craziness of our every day life.. Sit back, enjoy, laugh, and share in the road we travel..

    I'm Bridget.. A SAHM (stay at home mom), mother of 3, and a follower of Christ. I'm also a photographer, and passionate about life.. I hope to share that w/ you too! Life isn't always perfect, but it's perfectly created in His plan. I'm beyond thankful for God's grace and His many blessings!

Christmas in Minier – 2013

This was our Christmas in Minier, IL this year… I was definitely missing grandma fofo 🙁  So thankful to have so many memories w/ her though.  My kids LOVE spending time w/ their cousins.. It’s crazy, loud, and full of energy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way…My mom & Kaylor; All the crazy cousins together..This is my cousin’s family who lost their home in the Washington, IL tornado… We’re so thankful they were all safe & unharmed.  They just recently purchased a new house & sold their lot from the destroyed home.. God is good!And my aunt & uncle w/ the crazies;We also got to spend time w/ Erik’s family in Springfield.. Two cousins were  home from California.  Good food, some fun games.. Lots of laughs!This is Grams… She is Erik’s 99 year old grandmother.  One tough ole’ gal, she is! My mil w/ one of her sisters;

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Christmas 2013…

Our Christmas this year started out just like most years… Many grocery store trips, checking gift lists, lots of wrapping, making plans w/ our families.. all the usual!

Before we headed to our church for Christmas Eve service, I snapped a couple pictures of the kids..

I love how cozy having the house decorated for Christmas feels.. 

I was so excited to purchase a nativity set this year!..  I noticed, however after a couple of days of it on display, a shepherd, two donkies, and a wiseman disappeared.. I asked each of the kiddos, and Ashlyn told me, “Welllllll….. they may have been wrapped and put under the tree for you to open”.. Ha!  Well, I gotta give her credit for such a thoughtful gift 😉  She changed her mind though, and they reappeared back to their shelf.  We came home from church to have dinner, and the pure excitement from the kids. They were SO stinking excited, and bouncing off the walls!  Having Christmas jammies to open & stockings from Mamaw sure worked in getting them to eat their meal!

Our family of five… and then there were six, counting Payton.  Kaylor insisted that Miss Kitty (the outdoor cat who has adopted us) be included.. Erik only agreed because it was Christmas 😉

Nope, we don’t take ourselves too seriously… 

Obviously my mother doesn’t take herself too seriously either! 🙂

Uncle BroBro helping put together Rowen’s racetrack.. He “says” he’s building their toys, but I think he really just wants to play!

Cooking for Christmas breakfast w/ my mama; 

Leaving treats out for Stanta;

I wrote a letter to Santa, while Ashlyn told me what to write.
“Write a message, Santa, please.  Make sure the reindeer eat the popcorn.  Please leave LaLa Loopsies, a puppy, and a candy cane for Ashlyn.  Please leave presents for all of our family, Mamaw, Steve, Brobro, and Carissa.  Love, Ashlyn”

Santa even wrote her back!

Christmas eve we continued to enjoyed movies, a few games of Skip-Bo, cooking, and hanging out.. We all headed to bed, and just before 6am, our home security alarm went off.  I initially thought it was my mom, forgetting to disarm it before opening a door.  After opening the app on my phone to disarm the system, I could see that it was the motion sensor in our basement that had been activated.  I was already dialing 911 and checked each of the bedrooms to make sure everyone was still upstairs.  Everyone was sound asleep until I woke them.  The police arrived, after mistakenly scaring the begeezus out of our neighbors, as they were shining lights into the wrong home’s basement.. lol   All of our entrances were secure, and we’re still not certain if someone or an animal was at the exterior door for our basement walk-out that activated the interior motion alarm.  We’re thankful to have security though, that’s for sure!  Definitely wasn’t the way we had expected to wake up on Christmas morning.. Ashlyn is convinced it was Santa!

Most of us stayed up since we were bright-eyed and alert after that… We had to hold off on starting gifts, since Rowen slept through all of the commotion.  Payton even had gifts to open too!


This was after round one;

Then my in-laws & family came for some Christmas fun too..

 There was wrapping paper, and toys everywhere!..

 Cutie pie nephew, Shay;

Ashlyn was in Lala Loopsy heaven from grandma & grandpa Barnlund;  It takes a little while for Rowen to understand that cousin Shay isn’t gonna take his toys home w/ him and that it’s okay to play w/ them.. lol

Grandpa Gare-bear stayed nearby to observe.. I think he was in ham-coma recovery from lunch 😛

Then we headed to my grandparents for my dad’s family.  My aunt, uncle & cousins were visiting from Texas, and Rowen couldn’t pronounce Aunt Cheryl, so he called her Aunt Darryl instead.. lol

The kiddos w/ their great-grandparents;

Another wonderful Christmas… Memories made, laughter & love shared all around.  Merry Christmas and many blessings to you all too! 🙂

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Ashlyn’s Christmas Program | 2013

Such a difference between watching the 3 year olds’ program and now the 4 year olds.. They are “the big kids” as their teachers like to say.  What a cute program it was.. they were all so proud!

She was excited to have both of her grandmas there too!

This little guy & Ashlyn have been buddies since preschool last year.. They are gonna be missing each other like crazy come next fall;

And w/ her preschool teachers;

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