By: Jennifer Murray

On Your Due Date…

Our Sweet Baby 5,

Today was the day we marked on our calendar as the day you were due to be born – the end of the summer and what we thought would be the start of a an entirely new blessing.

That wasn’t God’s plan for your life, and we’ve wrestled and submitted to His plan for you. However, a day hasn’t went by that we haven’t thought of you, and longed for the day when we will finally meet.

The pain that we’ve walked through is an outpouring of our love for you. It’s a outcry to show that you were life, and you mattered.

Each time I see a swollen belly of a baby due around your due date, I want to both cry and rejoice with the mother who is carrying that life. What a joy it must be to still have a beating heart inside of you!

Just because your life wasn’t made for this earth, doesn’t mean it was insignificant.  You have impacted our lives in a deep way.  You were a surprise to us that we didn’t even think was possible. You were a gift.

Until Heaven,

Mommy, Daddy, and Your Four Brothers



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By: Jennifer Murray

Freezing Summer


Can we just stop the calender right here? July 23rd.

Freeze, Summer, right there. We have you surrounded.

We can all save a small fortune on school supplies and clothes, skip the back to school aisles, and just let this summer simmer a little longer. What do you say? My teacher friends are back in their classrooms preparing for students in just over a week, and I’m in total denial. Thankfully, we have a little longer on our homeschool schedule, but STILL. I ran into Michael’s the other day to grab some jars for my Lavender Bath Salts, and it was painted in Halloween and I could have cried.


We have been living it up with lazy summer mornings, outdoor adventures, cookouts, late nights, fresh veggies from our little garden, and hitting every swimming hole we can find.

I just know we’ll never have this 7 year-old-summer back again, and it’s been grand.

Today we’re taking a day trip up to Lake Michigan with our neighbors. I can’t wait to have my toes in the sand, the sunshine on my back, and kids laughing as they run down the sandy dunes as my soundtrack. I’m savoring every little bit of juice this summer’s got left in it. Anyone else?

If you’re with me, please pass the sweet corn and ice cream.


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By: Jennifer Murray

Trips Are Not Always As They Appear on Facebook…


So if I shared you the following pictures on my Facebook page, you might think, “Wow. What a fun camping trip. Look at those boys always getting along. That’s just lovely.”

what-to-do-camping-family camping-with-boys-camper  lake-hueston-woods-state-park-ohio hueston-woods-state-park-fishing

And that’s how it was {MOST} of the time.  There were hotdogs around the fire, fun games of ladder ball, fishing, and playing in the sand. But what didn’t I take pictures of?

My meltdown after not sleeping, feeling dirty, tired of peeing with scary bugs and used feminine products, and just wanting my own bed. 

The boys having a rough night staying in the camper for bedtime and not being able to comply. 

A most likely rash decision to pack up when we were frustrated with camping at 10:30 at night in the dark. 

Boys both crying and cheering that we were going home.

A broken wheel well that we didn’t realize until we went to move the camper.

Brad pulling off the tire in the middle of the camp sight driveway at 11:30, and all of us praying in the van that he would be able to fix it.

Rolling in at 1:30 in the morning and crawling into our beds exhausted and wondering if we’re really cut out for camping. 


Oh Friends, vacations, trips, and lives are not always as it appears on your Facebook feed for any of us. Trust me, you didn’t want to see pictures of the bathhouse on your screens. We often don’t see the mess and the meltdowns, only the highlights. Let’s not forget that there’s a behind the scenes that we arenotl intimately involved in day in and day out. We all struggle, we forget, we clean up messes, we fall down, we get hurt, we mess up – and then we get up and do it all over again. Hopefully at the end of the day the good outweighs the bad and we wake up with amnesia of yesterday’s imperfections.

The problem lies when we start comparing our low-light reels to everyone else’s highlight reels. 

Let’s embrace the goodness of this life we’ve been given and how 4tunate we truly are today.  Let’s be good with our highlights and be able to chuckle at some of unphotoshopped moments. There are gifts to be found even in the not so picturesque moments – don’t let comparison steal the joys of what you’ve been entrusted. 

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