Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year, New Look

Happy 2016!  While I still don't see flying cars racing in the sky above my house, I DO use a video phone on a daily basis, do most of my shopping via the internet, see where my husband is on my very own little "Marauder's Map," and can ask my computer just about any question (using voice commands) and get an instant answer.  Pretty cool, 2016!  We're not yet the Jetsons, but we're getting there.

2015 was a lean blogging year. I only posted 5 times!  I will tell you, I have at least that many more in my drafts, but it just never got finished.

For the first time in a few years, I'm truly excited about the upcoming year.  The past two-and-a-half years have been rough.  We've had much to be grateful for, but I'm not going to lie, much of time, we were barely treading water.  The past 6 months have been a breath of fresh air and a chance for renewed hope.  It's a season we can look back on, anchoring our hope in God and His plan for us, even when the waves are crashing, pushing us under again.  Because the waves will come again.

The Brownies have some exciting stuff we will be chronicling this year.  We have a few fun announcements to share here and there. (No, we are not expecting more children nor are we moving out of Austin.) These announcements will come in time, I promise!

In 2016, our oldest will start driving, my middle kid will start high school, and my oldest boy will become an official teenager! We will be embarking on some long-awaited, highly-anticipated travels (I'm even developing a new blog site for that), we adults have some career adventures coming up, and, of course, what many of you are here for, the little boys will be growing and learning faster than we can keep up!  I've had so many people request more language updates and videos of the boys, so I'm going to give it my best. (You could follow me on Snapchat if you want to see the boys a lot.  I post mostly for my immediate family, but Snapchat is where I'm most active.  You'll see a lot of the boys.  And my other kids.  And my dog. [Ken makes rare cameos.] And weird, random stuff around Austin. My username is brown7sr.  If Snapchat isn't your thing, I also post several times weekly on Instagram. sarahrbrown)

This month, be looking for posts about my recent conversation with Tian about birth moms. (He's decided he has two.)  I'll also be sharing Travis' language developments, how our teens are doing, and how we have managed to stay debt-free, even over the last three tight years we've had.

For now, I'll leave you with this photo and my list of thanks for 2015.

Us on Christmas Eve @ The Austin Stone South. How I love my people!

We started 2015 with a trip to the hospital because my oldest didn't want to live. We ended the year with her writing a song about being loved and holding on. She's my sister in Christ. What more would I need to be thankful for this year?  Thank you, God, for pursuing her, like you do me, even when we're running the other way.
My sister took us out for cupcake decorating. It was TOO fun!
The boys have good chums at school. 
Our amazing missional community (MC). Their worth is immeasurable! They helped us move!
My superhero husband.
The Samaritan Center
Plumeria Counselor, Kim
This awesome city of Austin. The hiking trails, the swimming holes, the funky uniqueness
Finding a different house
The opportunity to go with Ken and girls to Empowered to Connect Conference
My job. I can't believe I get to do what I adore!
My new-to-me SUV, even with all it's weird issues
Austin Stone Church, south campus
Kathryn, Jon, and the others who serve by teaching my little boys at church
Nana and Pappy, for countless meals, visits, and meeting halfway to take my kids for a few days
Scan Mailboxes being nominated for several Armadillo awards
Family trip to Jellystone
Our Chickfila calendar cards
Hill Country Academy, for giving the kids a GREAT year and a desire for more schooling
The many good deals we found on Craigslist and Goodwill this year that allowed us to furnish our dining room, offices, and do some other fun things.
Fun memories with my sister and Mal
Beachcamp blessed my kids and brought them closer to God
Fun evening on Lake Travis with the youth group
Super-special day trip to Stephenville to see one of my BFFs, Nan and her boys!
We finally sold the loft beds!
My dog survived being locked in the car for nearly 4 hours in July.
Our older teens making for-life and in-Christ friends! I love those kids! They are an answer to years of prayer!
Finally got to visit the Perot Museum! Even better with my parents!
Laura discovered Snow Monster!
My kids. I can't even begin to describe the blessing.
The girls got to play a gig at a local restaurant.
Skybridge Academy
Austin Deaf Club and community
Celebrating with friends (bdays, crawfish boils, work parties and reunion dinners.)
The teens' fall retreat and all the amazing teachers who spoke wisdom into their lives.
Dan and Danielle
Tito and Taylor
A fun evening boat cruise on Ladybird Lake with my favorite guy
Seeing Nyle and him winning ANTM!!
An afternoon seeing dear friends (Jacobsons) after over 8 years!
Six Flags! All the family fun that will continue to last into 2016

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