hi, friends!First of all, for those of you who are new around here, could I just say a HUGE thank you for your love and support?! Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for engaging in my instagram. I read every single comment and I'm just so grateful for you guys every single day.When I started this Style Blogging journey this time last year, I had no idea it would become such an incredible source of support and encouragement. But it came at just the right time. God is just sweet like that.Before we dive into pictures, I wanted to share a quick health update on Matt!When we were in high school, Matt was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, which is an auto immune disease (also called IBS). This disease is actually pretty common and for a lot of people can be managed with medication and some changes in diet. Unfortunately for Matt, he found out pretty quickly that his disease was not going to be easy to manage.As an 18 year old, he pretty much saw his health (and what felt like his whole life) fade into doctors visits, medicine bottles, and unmanageable pain. The next twelve years held seasons of remission and seasons of severe struggle but you'd never know any of that if you met Matt. He's the most positive and uplifting person I've ever known. He's gone through more struggle in the past 12 years than most people face in their entire lives, yet he continues to press on and look on the bright side. He's an inspiration to everyone who knows him.When you have a chronic illness, you just never know when it's going to rear it's ugly head. In January of 2016, Matt was experiencing such sever pain that he couldn't walk or sit. He felt like everything was falling apart so by a total miracle, he was able to get in right away to see a specialist. It turns out, he had a laundry list of issues that had been wreaking havoc and had to be addressed right away. Some of the doctors suggested taking out MULTIPLE organs, others said we could try a few medications. All of them agreed that a few surgeries were necessary to at least try to begin the healing process.After being in the hospital for over three weeks, he was finally released. They gave him a few temporary fixes but even now (over a year later) we are still just having to wait to see what our next steps are.Matt is getting an infusion treatment every six weeks but he has to be admitted to the hospital for observation each time. He has other procedures to check his progress and a multitude of at home care he has to do every day. He's such a trooper!We are hoping and praying that his body will continue to heal with the help of treatments plus all the homeopathic measures we take. But it's just such a process so we are also just praying for patience as we ride this out.The reason we want to be open about our journey is because it's so easy to assume when you look at pretty pictures on instagram that no one else is struggling. But the truth is that in one way or another, we are ALL struggling. If being honest and authentic about what we are struggling thru helps just one other person to know they are not alone, then it's worth sharing.We also share because we want people to learn (as we are) that just because life is hard doesn't mean it can't be good. Our circumstances CAN steal our joy IF we give them permission. It's our goal to focus on the sweet side of our life and even in the midst of the struggle to still find the bright spots.When I look at our family, I don't see a brokenness. I see us as we are in these pictures. Laughing. Glowing. Playing. Enjoying every second we have to be together.I refuse to believe that our best days are behind us.We can't say enough how much we appreciate your prayers and your sweet words of encouragement. You are all such a light to us during some dark days. Thank you for loving us well!Now here are some fun family pictures taken by my AMAZING friend Megan Wallach!Side notes: Our outfit info is at the bottom of the post. I made the flower crowns. Y'all lemme know if you want a tutorial. My dress is fully stocked, under $50, and linked here!The girls dresses are under $18 and are linked here. Their shoes (that they wear non-stop!) are linked here.