One of my sisters and her husband spent a week with us in January! They were escaping the cold of the north, and happened upon a beautiful warm week in the south!

It was a wonderful time with them. Of course, with living far away from my family, it is always so special to be able to spend some time with them! We dream of the day of living near each other!

lovely ervina

One of those days was exceptionally warm, even for us in the south, and so we could not pass up a chance to go to the ocean together, in January of all times! It was a lovely day, and while not exactly toasty, it was very comfortable and the kiddos didn’t even seem to mind the frigidly cold water. Why do children never seem to mind icy water, I wonder?

My children are so blessed with their aunties and uncles. The are so involved in our children’s lives, and intentional about relationships even with these little people. It’s no wonder my children adore them!

best auntie ever

As my daughters grow, it is so special to see a sister-bond develop between them too.
Having a sister is such a precious gift!

little sisters


And my very own sister, one of three treasured gifts.



The day at the ocean was also to celebrate 100 days of school for the girls – Kindergarten and 2nd grade. That day always feels like a milestone, and very throwing a party about! :)

This is a beach we have gone to very often, but never before have we seen sand dollars like we did this day. There were literally hundreds of them, buried just below the surface of the sand. The little guys had so much fun finding them from the tell-tale little air holes in the sand, and collected quite a pile! They were all living, so we did make sure we returned them to the ocean before we left. :)

finding sand dollars
“Wook, mommy! It’s a BABY one!” Hudson was so delighted.

baby sand dollars

100 days of school

Hudson took along his little stick horse – why,  I don’t know. But a lot of energy was burned galloping along the seashore.

Ocean day in January 003

And Zoe, little bookworm, brought along a book. Long-gone are the days when I am able to read a book at the beach (3 kids?!), but I remember how I used to love it, and I love to watch her.

book worm beach girl


As you can see, Ervina is expecting a precious little baby! Two of my sisters (Claudia and Ervina) are expecting new babies this spring, and we are just over the moon excited for them! We come from a long line of baby lovers, and we absolutely cannot wait for these precious children to join our family!!
And of course, we had to take a few pictures… The evening was a glowing, golden sunset, and it was so fun to be able to capture this precious time of pregnancy!

beautiful pregnancy

ocean maternity pictures ocean pregnancy pictures maternity picture at the ocean ocean maternity picture

maternity ocean pictures

beautiful pregnancy 20 weeks maternity 20 weeks 20 weeks maternity at the ocean

beautiful maternity

Isn’t she beautiful, and radiant? I love to just watch her, her peace and joy.

Those qualities are fascinating to observe. It’s something intriguing, curious;
making you wonder what is going on within to produce the outward character.

If you have followed my blog for some time, you will remember that a little over a year ago I did a maternity shoot for her, and then that her sweet little boy awoke to see the face of Jesus, rather than the faces of his mommy and daddy.

This past year has been one of incredible sadness and sorrow, of walking depths of pain no parents should ever walk. No parent should ever lose their child, not as a baby, not as a young man.

And more recently, there have been some months of such joy as a new baby is being formed with her, and she feels his/or her kicks and hiccups.  There is no way possible that this baby can ever replace little Kenneth, or take away the loss of their firstborn baby. This is a baby all his own, with his own place to fill, his own joy to give, his own life to live. This little baby is so loved already!

It is truly remarkable what the heart can endure. How it can feel such depth of grief and yet new joy, at the very same moment. I have been in awe of the spirit of Jesus that’s been in my sister and her husband, in the darkest hours of their lives. I cannot even pretend to know what it’s like to lose a child, except I can imagine it must be one of the most agonizing experiences ever to walk through. To see two people I love go through such pain was one of the hardest things I’ve ever faced.

I think of the quote by Corrie ten Boom, and it reminds me of what I’ve seen in them this past year:

“There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.”

It is true. The depth of God’s mercy and grace can never be exhausted.  That doesn’t mean life doesn’t hurt, that the pain isn’t real, that the loss isn’t felt. But it means that God’s grace is there, and HE is there. He has proved His faithfulness to us over and over again, in spite of our own lack of faith, and our times of weakness and despair. We have no boasting of our own to talk about this past year; we’ve been a mess of tears and pain sometimes. But we can tell you about Jesus, and about how He has gently carried us. About His goodness, and how He is a kind Father. We have an amazing God!

This month of March, on the 22nd,  will be one year since Kenny & Ervina’s little son was born, and went on before them. Would you be so kind as to remember them in prayer especially this month? Dates are difficult, and the one year anniversary especially so. I would be so grateful if you did…

Happy weekend, friends!



14 thoughts on “An Ocean Day in January

  1. Veronica

    Oh Clarita. I’ve seen so much of Jesus in your family, especially your sister, this past year. And I just want tto say thank you for that, because most people would have grown bitter or something, and you all’s response is just so refreshing and encouraging. Please know that I am holding you all up to the Father. Keep trusting Him because I know He’s going to keep carrying y’all.

    And your day at the ocean? It looks wonderful. I sure wouldn’t mind a bit of that about now. :)

  2. Camille Morris

    You beautiful words nearly bring me to tears. So happy your dear sister is pregnant. Blessings to you all.

  3. Andrea Hershberger

    Clarita- I don’t personally know Ervia but Carla told me about her soon after my own son was born (his birthday is March 6th) and I’ve thought of her so often since and prayed! I think it really made an impact on me because I had to have an emergency c-section with our son and so the thought of losing him was very real, so I could imagine some of what she was going through and what she was missing and my heart ached! Thanks for sharing this post and I will continue to pray for them as she comes to mind!

  4. Cheryl Miller Martin

    Such a precious post….your beautiful sister inside and out…and your beautiful kiddos and their sweetness! Ervina and Kenny are truly walking a difficult journey, and their trust in Jesus is a true testimony of their walk with Him. Bless you for sharing.

  5. Kim

    When I read last March, that the tiny, precious baby boy, Kenny, had been called Home………………… heart just broke for his mommy and daddy, and all of you. This searing pain of the heart……………..I hardly imagine how one goes on from there. And, yet, I have seen such a display of trust in the Father! This response of your family has had a huge impact upon my life. I thank God that all of you have honored Him and pray that we may follow your example when hard times come into our lives. I have prayed throughout this past year for Ervina and Kenny and will continue to, especially as the anniversary approaches. How I pray that joy, great, immeasurable joy is just around the corner.

  6. Aurelia

    Having just come through the one year anniversary of my own daughter’s birth and death while expecting our next daughter, I know a little of the joy and grief that mingles together. I don’t pretend to know exactly what your sister and husband are going through–everyone grieves and processes differently, but the road is never easy. I am so glad for God’s grace that carries us through those hard times. Praying for them as March 22 approaches and also for a safe delivery.

  7. Breana

    CONGRATULATIONS to Ervina and Claudia!!!!! I am soooo very happy for them both!! *BIG smile*
    New life….it gives such a deep appreciation for the Author of it! My prayers for blessings for both Mamas and Babies!

  8. Alicia Lapp

    Those sunset + maternity photos are darling! I love the natural sunlight and it gives Ervina an even beautifull-er glow than she already has. :) Yay for babies!

  9. Ervina

    Oh my goodness, tears. And yes to this: “We have no boasting of our own to talk about this past year; we’ve been a mess of tears and pain sometimes. But we can tell you about Jesus, and about how He has gently carried us.” I couldn’t have said it more perfectly. And thank you for so beautifully documenting my precious babies. xoxoxo

  10. Claude

    this post. So good. you describe the last year really really really really well.
    Jesus. Only Jesus….

  11. peaceatthelake

    I am so happy to see your sister is expecting again. She is proof of God’s grace. She is a brave and beautiful woman. I am praying for her this month and as the time of delivery gets closer as well.

  12. Gretchen

    I will certainly pray for your precious sister at this time. What a joy to see her glowing in this gift of a new baby….and yet I know to a degree how hard these anniversaries can be, and the number of fears which can haunt one’s heart.
    Thanks for your lovely blog. :)

  13. amber

    So precious! Your sister holds a sweet spot in my heart- I’ve prayed for her and so happy the new little life God’s given.

    Also, can I just say how much I love that adorable Hudson!!! I want to pick him up and squeeze him. :)))

    Happy weekend, dear girl. xx

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