Sunday, January 3, 2016

Announcing a New Blog Home!

With the beginning of this new year of 2016, I am happy to announce a new home for my blog Abide With Me. I began this journey of recording and sharing my life in 2008 with my blog Blue House Blessings and continuing on for five years here with Abide With Me.

For some time now, I felt like I needed a change. A face-lift. An update.  

Making this change hasn't come easy. Change is difficult for me. Even in my excitement for something new and fresh, I feel a bit of melancholy. In a sense, I guess it's kind of like moving to a new house, a new neighborhood, or a new town. Treading unfamiliar territory, new things to learn, hoping to maintain ties with old, familiar friends...

I debated back and forth to entirely alter the name of the blog, but in the end, I decided to keep the original name in hopes of not wanting to lose a lot of my readers in the change. I'm very happy to have found a new home where I can consolidate and bring together not only my blog, but create a platform to house my photography and art "galleries" to easily share with my readers. (A wonderful perk to have everything in one place for me, as well!). The website also highlights and links to my massage therapy practice for those interested. Everything Emily in one place! Hurrah!

I really hope that you'll mosey on over to my new home for a visit:  (note that the address is still inmyhomeabide with instead of

Lastly, and from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for taking time out of your life to include these snapshots of mine. One of the highlights and joys of my life has been making meaningful connections with many of you. Kindred spirits all over the world who have now become cherished friends. Hoping that you'll enjoy my beautiful new home, and that you will come back frequently, too. xoxo

In joy,

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

a year seen through eyes of gratitude


This year,
these months,
these days,

the moments in my life,
in our lives

so precious
so fleeting

a year of thanksgiving
of abundance
of goodness
of joy

my heart is full

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Our Christmas was a happy one. Truly happy...

:: Spending a cozy Christmas Eve here at our home last night. Placing little candles all around. My mom and dad, my brother Andrew, and the kids all joining us for dinner. 

:: The fun of opening the package Sam sent from his little border town in New Mexico. Trying the spicy snacks he included. Gary reading aloud his sweet card.

:: Seeing the joy on my children's faces as they exchanged gifts with each other. 

:: Waking up this morning to almost a foot of snow. A Christmas winter wonderland surprise!

:: The sound of Eliza plucking her new banjo. I've always loved the sound and what a treat this will be. Love...

:: So many smiles, so much laughter, so much love.

:: Even after Keith made a dent in the snow, how kind of Eldon to come over later this morning with his snow blower. (What good neighbors we have.) Sending him off with a plate of warm cinnamon rolls.

:: The biggest joy of the day (his over-the-moon mom jumping up and down, clapping her hands) seeing our missionary son Sam's smiling face, hearing the sound of his voice after all this time. Him happier than he's ever been.

:: Taking a (mostly) cooking breather today after many marathon days in the kitchen. Leftovers, snacks, and sweets a plenty for folks to graze on throughout the day.

:: Time to work on some creative projects.

:: Late afternoon zonk-out nap sessions for a few of us.

:: A  fun round of Scrabble on the kitchen table.

:: The wonderful, happy sound of these two brothers collaborating with the new Lego set. 

:: Isaac asking me to cuddle and read to him before bed Pearl Buck's classic, Christmas Day in the Morning-- my all-time favorite-- that still brings tears every single time.

:: Gathering with the children at the end of the day to read Luke 2. Hearing Keith's sweet prayer of gratitude for this day, for the many beautiful moments we shared, for the gifts given throughout the season, for the Gift that is the reason. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

making merry: our gingerbread houses and a happy family wedding day


Bread's rising and soup is simmering slow on the stove. The sun is shining now after a whopper of a storm came through this morning. It looks like we got at least 6 inches and right as I readied myself to head out to shovel, I look out the window, surprised and touched to see our neighbor Andy B. and his daughter Isabella out shoveling our driveway and walk. (I think he deserves a loaf of bread delivered, don't you?) The kids have declared today a pajama day and I think that sounds like a perfect plan. 

I wanted to pop in for a moment and share a little bit of holiday merriment with you. 

Our gingerbread (we cheat and use graham crackers) house making night was a grand success! Most years I'm busy on the sidelines cranking out batches of royal icing, too pooped to sit down and make my own own, but this year I decided to have some fun with the family. And we did have fun eating pizza, listening to the Nat King Cole Holiday station on Pandora, laughing together, encouraging and cheering each other on. I was just so pleased and delighted (even did a little happy jig around the kitchen with Isaac to celebrate.) with the way everyone's creations turned out.

Eliza's village storefront shops... darling

Emily's little Alpine ski chalet ...

Keith stayed up late after we all went to bed, finishing the  construction (and ever-so-careful attention to detail that he is known for) of this awesome multi-level masterpiece.

Isaac's charming "log cabin in the woods"...

We all gathered yesterday to celebrate the wedding of Clarissa (daughter of my sister Felicia) and Lucas. Even with the snowy winter weather, it was such a beautiful, memorable day. 

Spending that happy time with my family-- witnessing the tender smiles and tears during the marriage ceremony, a wet and fun photo session on the Salt Lake Temple steps, stopping for cinnamon rolls to tide us over until the luncheon (and me getting a little sketching session in while I waited), taking in the holiday spirit of downtown, lending a hand at the reception later that evening-- all of these moments have brought me extra Christmas joy this year. 

And I'm so thankful.