We’re Stronger Together

You know that old adage. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” Yeah, well, that’s kind of how I feel about 2016.

I completely understand that this whole calendar thing is man-made, and I know it means nothing in terms of reflecting the inner-workings of God and His ultimate time-table.

I totally get that.

Still, this year, these past 12 months, have been a doozy. Both personally and as a family.

Once trusted friends have walked away, and amazing opportunities have been missed.

I let so many people down and made countless egregious mistakes.

I sobbed with loved ones as tears of unthinkable hurt and pain poured from their eyes.

I cringed and cried over and over and over again, as I read one disturbing headline after another.

I questioned so much about the world we live in, and felt invisible at times, even to God.

I wasn’t patient enough with my children or loving enough toward my husband.

I allowed fear to get in my way.

Financial challenges led to stress and strain, and, most crushing of all, the devastating loss of my sister-in-love absolutely broke our hearts.

There’s been a lot of loss and grief and mourning this year. There’s been a lot of questions without answers and wounds that have yet to heal. 

Yet, in the midst of the pain I refuse to become blinded to all the good that is so evident in my life.

There were a great deal of opportunities I didn’t miss, and adventures I was blessed to take.

There were incredible accomplishments and firsts and lots of celebrations!

There were new friendships forged, and old ones deepened.

Even when I felt alone, I knew deep down that I wasn’t.

There was so much love.

The greatest love I know is from the Father, and in His goodness He’s blessed me to know this kind of love within the hearts of my family.

Everything I mentioned, the good and the bad, was experienced with the love of my husband and our two beautiful girls.

We went through it all together. We had each others back. We picked each other up.

When one of us fell apart, the other reassembled the pieces. We strived with one another. We wiped each others tears. We gave out many kisses. We apologized a ton. We held each other close.

We learned a great deal about ourselves and worked through the hard, the bitter and the ugly to get to the beautiful.

We discovered so much about living this life as a unit, a team. We invested in each other and never gave up.

In all of this I still feel as though we’ve barely scratched the surface. We still have years of learning, years of growing, years of facing whatever challenges are headed our way.

But if there’s one thing I’ve gained from this difficult year, it’s knowing that no matter what, we are, and always will be, stronger together. My family. Our bond and our love.

And there’s nothing more special than that.






A HUGE thank you to Jessica Whaley Photography for this session. Jessica did a beautiful job and I truly appreciate her professionalism and incredible skills while capturing our family.




43 thoughts on “We’re Stronger Together

  1. I am a HUGE believer in finding the silver lining even in (especially in) the face of adversity and negativity. My take away this year is I learned much as a person, I grew as an individual, and I never lost hope even when it would have been easier to do so. I’m so glad to see there are like-minded people who are ready to go into 2017 with their hope and faith intact.
    Bless you and your lovely family into the new year!

    1. Yes, Allison! Yes to all of this!! Thanks for your insight and I pray your 2017 gets off to a great start!


  2. Beautiful! Your love, commitment, and resilience definitely shined through your words. Two are better than one, and I too could not imagine my life without my husband. Through all our ups and downs, I have learned that married life is the best life. I pray God continues to bless you and your beautiful family.
    (Great pictures by the way 😉 )

  3. I love this so much. This is so true and I am glad you are seeking the love that bound your family together. You are indeed stronger together.

    PS You know I LOVE these pictures!

  4. This is beautiful. And you are so right, nothing compares to the love of the Father, and we can get through anything with Him! You have a beautiful family. I pray you have a great 2017!

  5. You said this so eloquently. The Father is always there showing us his love even when life throws difficult things our way. Your family looks gorgeous and I love your pictures!!! Be encouraged in 2017!

  6. You have a bra family and a beautiful heart. Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly. I hope that you continue to grow deeper in your love for each other and for God in this new year!

  7. What a beautiful family! Love this so much and you are so right about how special it is to have gotten through it all together, because so many cant say the same thing. Looking forward to seeing all that God has in store for you and your family this upcoming year <3

  8. Th8s is SO beautiful..Hugs and love to you and your family. I feel honoured to have read this post. There is so much at work around us that we don’t understand in the resent…keep faith. With an open heart and good soul, things do come full circle…eventually.

    1. Absolutely Yvette. Thank you for such thoughtful and kind words. Blessings to you in the New Year!!


  9. You have such a beautiful family! I couldn’t agree more with summing up this year. It’s been a doozy! The saying “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all” was a favorite of my moms and now is mine. I felt like 2016 was filled with me biting my tongue and trying to keep the peace; both very exhausting tasks. It was also filled with joy; welcoming Ella to the Family and making new friends and growing closer to old friends. As always, I’m so thankful to have you as a friend! I really cherish our connection. Here’s to 2017! May it be filled with more ups than downs, more light than darkness, and more grand adventures and opportunities.

  10. I hear you. This year has definitely been a doozy & a half! But thank God for His faithfulness in bringing us thru! I pray he’ll bless our families to grow closer to Him & to each other in 2017 and beyond!

  11. Beautiful words. Patricia you just have a way to speak to your readers with grace and wisdom. I love you friend. So glad 2016 brought me to “meet” you and your blog. Thank you

  12. This year was tough for us too, I’m ready to ring in 2017! These pics are beautiful, your family is so gorgeous and you can really see the love between you guys

  13. Patty I just love how you share your heart and I am so glad you found joy amidst the hardships. Love is the greatest thing my friend. Love these pics of all of you too. Your girls make me smile everytime I see them!

    xo, Nicole

  14. Dear Patty…As always, I love how you find your way in the darkness to celebrate the light, sharing it with all of us 🙂 I truly hope you and your family will celebrate a happy and rewarding New Year! Sending much love,

  15. You have such an incredibly beautiful way of narrating your way through life and showing us your heart. Such gorgeous sweet pictures of your family! ❤️

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