{Love+Learning+Together} Part 3 (Dec.-Jan.)

Christmas and New Year came and went fast! It didn't disappoint though. It was a wonderful "first" Christmas married (I know, I'm big on "first"). Our Christmas celebration started the Sunday before Christmas. We all (immediate family) went to mom's house. We exchanged gifts, and each couple also made a ginger house together. We played games and of course took a family picture :) (I'm a little shamed to admit that my camera was setting on our mom's trash can because I forgot my tripod--GUILTY).

Have you ever seen such an awesome family??!
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On Christmas Eve we always go to Grandma's house! It was going to be the last year there (sadness). Christmas Eve has been at Grandma's ever since I can remember. We'd go about noon and spend all day and most the night there. A few years back when Grandpa passed away it was never the same. It's still special + fun + exciting, but not the same. My grandparents were married for over 60 years. When he passed away it took a huge part of Grandma's heart with him. Their lives together was such a demonstration of what God intended for married/love to be.

My Grandma was in the hospital when Reed and I got married so she couldn't attend the wedding. Made me very sad, but what can ya do? Once I received my wedding video from our fabulous videographers I gave a copy to her so she could see it all and know that we missed you SO much. Since we didn't get a picture with her at our wedding we wanted to make sure we got at least one at some point in time.
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Lol. Our traditional picture on grandma's couch. You should see this room when we have all the grand kids huddled around grandma for a picture every year. It's pretty awesome!
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Speaking of marriages-- have I mentioned how much I admire my parents. I have never appreciated their love and marriage as much as I do now that I'm married and know how much work it takes. They've taught me consistency! You can't just give up when you have a fight or you don't "feel" in love anymore. They've taught me to "trust in the Lord with all thine heart: and lean not onto thine own understanding...". When they got married they said they weren't going to prevent themselves from having kids--that the Lord would give them as many kids as He wanted them to have. If that is not faith/trust demonstrated I don't know what is.
They took a leap of faith to home-school, back when that was a "no no". The list could go on and on. I'll come back to this conversation later my blog...

Aren't they perfect!
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Christmas Day we spent running back and forth to families houses. It was so much fun! Being married and giving gifts labeled "From Reed & Lydia Campbell". We ended it with going to a movie with a few of my siblings.

(All the grand kids on Reed's side of the family.)
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We took a trip last minute trip to Chicago, just because. Reed had never been and I wanted him to see a real city. We spent two days and a night there. I showed him all the cool spots. He loved it! We ate at a pizza place and had Chicago pizza and learned that taxes make a killing :p We went to the Chicago Art Museum--wasn't really Reed's thing, but I really enjoyed it. We discovered I'm a better driver in the city (lol)and he's a better highway driver...long story lol.

It was freezing cold, but so worth it. Oh and the pool on top of the hotel was pretty cool too.
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New Year's Eve we spent at Church. We always have a New Years Eve service and gift exchange. We were at church until 3-4am playing "Things" with some friends (awesome game BTW).
(Photo: Courtesy of my iPhone)
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The past few months we've been looking to buy a house. We found one we liked a lot, but by the time we were ready to pursue it it was taken. Strike one. No biggie, God obviously has something better in place for us. So we kept looking...and looking. We found another house. It was a fixer-upper, but we were in love with it. It was built in 1843. So much character along with five acres. We thought "this is it, this is our house". It had just been posted and was listed for a very low price, so we knew it was going to go fast if it sat long. We went home and prayed about it. We had a peace about it. We signed the contract and when our Realtor went to submit it he found out that on THAT DAY they accepted a different contract. We were bummed! Strike two! But when we prayed about it we prayed that God would close the door if it wasn't his will, and he closed the door. Well, back to square one. Looking for another house! The next week, on Sunday afternoon we went looking at a few houses I saw listed online. None of them were us..none of them were right. A few days later I discovered one house online that peaked my interest. Tim, our Realtor, showed us the house, Mom and I. Reed had to work. We looked at the house and were pleasantly surprised--it was beautiful inside, but yet was listed for a very low price. Actually, it was listed for the exact same price as the other house we wanted. Once we left that house I quick texted Reed and told him all about it, sending pictures along with it. Right after work he met me at the house to look at it. Tim met us there with a contract because I knew Reed was going to love it. Well we signed a contract again, in high hopes. We submitted it last Tues.  and heard back on Weds. with a counter offer. The next day we sent in our counter offer and then no news on Friday...and then it was the weekend. Of course, we had to wait Saturday and Sunday...then Monday (today) is a holiday. God is really working our patience, which I know I need. Thank you Lord for the trials you give us, I know it's making us stronger.

Anyway, tomorrow we will hear (hopefully) on whether or not they accepted our contract. I was discouraged the whole weekend, thinking that it was going to be just like the other two houses--someone else was going to get it first, then my mom sent me this text "I know it's hard to wait, but I know from experience that the Lord wants you to have that house it will be yours. God doesn't deal in fate or luck. If it goes to someone else he has one even better for you than that one." Man, my mom has SO much wisdom and always has the right words to say. It made me realize this is such a small thing compared to God. He can do ANYTHING he wants, and he knows the desires of my heart better then I do. Also, my sister posted this verse on Facebook this morning that was exactly what I needed. Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's." Psalms 103:1-5.

God can do all things!

I wouldn't mind if you said a little prayer for us though... :)