Saturday, April 21, 2018


Today is Sarah's birthday!
Sarah was our 6th child and 4th daughter.
She's an important part of this core family,
this large, extended family,
and, of course, this beautiful family.
 I wrote about Sarah for her birthday last year in this post and going there will show you links to all her previous posts.  Those posts tell a lot about her and how she's changed through the years so I'll just include a few pictures here.

And talk about what's been going on in Sarah's life for the past year.
First of all, shortly after her birthday, she ran the Derby Festival Mini Marathon in Louisville
And then in May she went on a two day field trip with Mary to Chicago (where they took this picture that I vowed I would never look at again).
And shortly after, Mary graduated from elementary school
and in the fall, Sarah suddenly had two kids in middle school!
Last Spring, she was an assistant volleyball coach which she really enjoyed and in the fall she was the head coach for the 2nd grade cross country team which she really, really enjoyed.
After a busy summer, which included three trips to Indiana, Sarah started studying for her Real Estate license and in November she took the test and was licensed!
She also spent the holidays in Gulf Shores with her large, extended family and the next sequence will show her finding out that her niece who was to arrive in February would be her namesake.

I still can't look at that sequence without tearing up.  Sarah and Mike named their daughter after me and it's always meant so much to me so I know how much this meant to her!
Also, last fall, Sarah started a Facebook group called Gorgeous, Glossy, Gettable Hair by Sarah Shawhan and began an association with Monat, an amazing hair care line and she's even posted some online videos and done very well with them.
And this year she's continued her weekly bible study sessions with a group of women she adores.
She's also continued working for Blanton Real Estate - first as office administrator and now also as a realtor in her own right.
She still adores this special guy in her life (most of the time).
and she's managed to stay busy with laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping, working, and kids sports and school activities!  It's obvious she really is a good manager!
And she's a lot more than a good manager.  She's a good person.  Sarah looks at life with love in her eyes and joy in her heart.  She appreciates her family and her friends and all the little things that happen on a daily basis.  She's loving, kind, helpful, and hard working!
She's the first to step up if someone needs a hand, she has a wonderful sense of humor, and she's sensitive to the feelings of everyone around her.  We're so proud of Sarah - the kind of person she is and all that she does and we're wishing her the best birthday ever and a year that surpasses all others but is only half as great as the many more to come!

Friday, April 20, 2018


Wednesday was Dave's birthday and, once again, he was away from home on his special day but he was stateside and that's all that really matters sometimes.
Dave is our 4th child and 2nd son.  Our first child and first son came about 10 minutes earlier.
Dave is an important part of this core family,
this large, extended family,
and, of course, this beautiful family.
I wrote about Dave for his birthday last year in this post and clicking on that link will take you to links to all his previous posts with lots of pictures and stories that tell how he's changed through the years so I'll just include a few pictures here.

and talk about what's been going on in his life during the past year.  He's been very involved in scouting - attending Raven Knob with his oldest two in June
and working with Webelo Zachary as he works his way through the ranks of scouting and builds his own District Champion Pinewood Derby car with just a little guidance from Dad.
Dave also spent a lot of time on his house this year.  There was the new roof,
new siding,

and most exciting of all, new 3 season room which they love!
And the new 3 season room required re-working the sprinkler system in the back yard and while he was at it, he installed a new smart sprinkler system that senses exactly what his grass needs!  But the three projects that took up most of his time were Harvey, Irma, and Maria.  It was a record-setting year for the Corps of Engineers as far as hurricanes go and Dave was heavily involved with each one.  At one point he worked 64 days in a row until he was ordered to take a day off.  Responsibility for recovery fell heavily on the Corps of Engineers.  They were assigned responsibility for temporary emergency power installations, temporary roofing, debris removal, and infrastructure assessment including completely restoring Puerto Rico's entire power grid; and everyone in the Corps was directly involved and worked tirelessly to help affected lives return to normal as quickly as possible.
But despite such a demanding schedule and so much going on about the house, Dave didn't lose sight of prioritizing what was most important to him and that's his family.  They attended their first pro football game in December,
spent a few weekends in Pennsylvania where his oldest son plays varsity volleyball, and attended as many of Matthew's football and basketball games and Zachary's baseball and basketball games as possible.  In addition, the family spent a week in Gulf Shores with Dave's extended family over the holidays.
So it's been a busy and exciting year for Dave but there's lots more to say about him than just what he's been doing.  He's kind, just, honest, and straightforward which makes him a natural leader.  He's an exceptional speaker and conscientious with his facts.  And he's a hard worker, and like his brother, I don't think there's anything he couldn't do.
He has a great sense of humor and is an awesome father, husband, and son.
He's a wonderful person who's done amazing things and we could not be more proud of him.  For these reasons and so many others, we're wishing him the happiest birthday ever (which he'll celebrate when he gets home this next week) and a year that surpasses all others but is only half as great as the many more to come!