Christmas Vacation 2014

The night before we left for New England, my parents came to our house to give August his Christmas presents. We ordered curry and sesame chicken, opened presents and visited into the night. August sleepily played with his new truck ("truck-ah") and mega blocks. They picked us up early the next morning so we could catch our flight to New England.


August, Papi and Grandma are ready for the Christmas Eve service and party. We decorated the water with mint, cranberry and orange slices for both Christmas dinner and the Christmas Eve party. (It is delicious! Try it.) August was intrigued by all of Grandma's decorations and walked through the house requesting the all the "light" be turned on. 


August was quiet and observant as we opened present Christmas morning. He took hours to open his gifts because we let him open one then play until he was ready for the next. The slow pace was very nice though it did set us back a bit on our Christmas dinner preparations. This year he got lots of trucks and puzzles, a record player and books.


Grandma makes delicious honey rolls for Christmas morning that August called "cookies." We found him sneaking them off the table when we weren't watching.


We were able to stay in Boston for ten days so we had lots of play time with the cousins (not pictured) and were even able to get outside a few days as the highs hit the 50s. Brandon and I snuck off for a date night to the Elm Draft House. We perused Ikea where August tried to take every Sneezy (panda bear) he spotted in everyone else's carts. I especially enjoyed watching the victorious Clemson bowl game with everyone while we ate Pizzeria Regina with Draft House popcorn.


2015: A Word and A Verse

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I've been mulling over this year's One Little Word and a corresponding verse for a month or so. I've asked the Lord to reveal my heart-need for this year so that I could pray a scripture over the unfolding days. Once again, I find myself surprised (and, honestly, a bit disappointed) in my word. But the truth is that I participate in this yearly exercise to focus my wandering attentions and attitudes on solid ground.

2015's Word: today

I am currently pregnant, tired and overwhelmed with renovations, daunted by taming my almost-2-year-old and in desperate need of patience, peace, rest and quiet. I am excited to hold my baby and no longer be swollen with pregnancy but I long to savor the last days of being a family of 3. Rather than wishing away the days of late pregnancy, the endless nights of the newborn haze, the long afternoons of "terrible twos," I am going to praise the Lord for today. I will be grateful for each and every day of 2015 (all 365!).

2015's Verse: This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118: 24

This is simple and needs little narration. The Lord has given me these days; He has created them just for me. I will live them in honor of Him; I will rejoice; I will be glad.


This year I will be documenting my progress with posts here as well as on Instagram using the hashtag #theLoystoday2015. You can read more about last year's Word and Verse as well as my recap of the 2014.


4 / 52

"A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015."

August: exploring his miniature kingdom of marsh, mud and sticks ("stick-ah")


Eventually, you will find more content here than portraits of my son. Hang in there; it is coming. 

Find out more about Jodi's inspiring 52 Project here.


3 / 52

"A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015."

August: Saturday morning's chocolate croissant was a delicious surprise


Find out more about Jodi's inspiring 52 Project here.


The State of the Blog 2015

latte art by Tandem Creperie and Coffeehouse in TR

The Islands || the Sea
In which I address the weight of both pain and blessings in the world around. My intent is to create space for the heavy issues without having to compose an essay about an entire topic, to graciously honor the good (there is so much good) and to tangibly tie in the title and purpose of this blog with increased regularity.

Watch. Listen. Read.
In which I summarize a few of the shows and movies, articles and books, songs and playlists I am currently enjoying. I tried to post monthly in 2014 which was wonderful to review at the end of the year since I too often forget the books I've read. I will continue periodically sharing my media consumption here.

A Letter to...
In which I compose public letters to loved ones. This series was born out of my 30 for 30 birthday project that challenged me to write each of my siblings a letter over the span of a year. I will continue this goal until completion.

Narrative Series
In which I reflect a memory too rich for a photograph. Although I only wrote two last year, writing these memoir posts refreshed me in ways I cannot describe and reminded me why I started this blog.
A few of my motherhood observations could fit in this series but I've kept them separate thus far.

for your consideration
In which I share the wisdom of another; because some quotes are too good not to share.

Along with these, I post random DIY projects, Loy family adventure recaps and motherhood observations. In 2015, you can anticipate a few memory keeping posts, too many Little Loy #2 (nn Huckleberry) pictures, before/after Treetops renovation posts and weekly pictures of August (& Huckleberry, eventually) as I tackle the 52 Project.

Happy New Year, friends. Let's boogie.


2 / 52

"A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015."

August: looking a bit German with his blond fringe on a cold, rainy day at Grammie's house

[This week's portrait by Ranne Hammes, taken with iPhone 5S.]

Find out more about Jodi's inspiring 52 Project here.


My #together2014 Reflection

"Love Grows" pillow by Allison Reeves

This week I have created space to sit and ponder all that 2014 meant to our family. Since Summer 2013, Brandon and I had felt the Lord stirring our heart towards change. We knew God was nudging us to make conscious decisions to build the life He visioned for our family. In true God-time and fashion, this soul-changing process took much longer than we anticipated. By January 2014, I was praying Psalm 32 over our lives: "Lord, make us wise. Show us where to go. Guide us, watch over us!" We hunkered down, planned weekend events for the three of us, went on short trips and generally spend time together. We waited and we prayed and we talked to friends and family for discernment. With the news of our second pregnancy and many God-opened doors, we decided to rent our house and move back to James Island.

Our reasons for the move are various including being closer to church community, spending more time with my Grammie, preparing space for our transition to a family of four and freeing up some budget money to live generous lives. Our heart has been to welcome others into our home for meals and fellowship, to give and provide for others as so many have done for us. A constant prayer of mine is that August (and our subsequent children) would know that they are not the center of anything but a valuable part of the Kingdom. We want to structure our family life in a way that allows us to show our children the importance of generosity (of time, resources, passions, finances). 

In order to do this, we have downsized our home significantly. We live in the garage apartment behind my grandmother's house. Currently, this is a one-bedroom apartment but we are renovating the garage into living space. Brandon has been working every night and weekend to ensure that August will not be in our closet much longer. This move is unconventional and strange to some (downsizing space while growing a family, huh?), but it is certainly a calling from the Lord. We are equally excited and overwhelmed most of the time.

And so, my One Little Word for 2014, together, resulted in a year of wonderful Loy family adventures and culminated in a move to a one-bedroom residence back on our beloved James Island. The Lord has certainly shown us where to go and now I continue to ask that He "watch over us." 

I am still praying for my word and verse for 2015. I hope to share that soon as well. Thanks for listening and following us on this journey.