Friday, October 31, 2008


So, one of my all time favorite things to do is carve a pumpkin. I don't know why. I mean, it really is a messy, gooey, sticky process, but I love every minute of creating this glowing work of art. Maybe it's because I have such fond memories of carving so many pumpkins growing up. It's also one of the few things I really associate doing with my dad. Halloween is one of his favorite holidays, simply because I think he loves kids so much, and Halloween was always so much fun for us growing up as kids.

So, I think every time I carve a pumpkin it reminds me of my daddy and the time we spent designing and redesigning the perfect faces on newspaper before ever taking a knife to the pumpkin. I remember the funny faces and noises he use to make when pulling the "brains" out of the insides, and I remember the excitement and anticipation of taking the masterpiece into the laundry room (because that was the darkest room in the house), turning the lights out, and ooing and awing at the glowing face we had created together. Simply put, I think I feel closer to my dad everytime I carve a pumpkin, and my hope is one day Savannah and, Lord-willing any other kids to come, will feel the same way too. Enjoy! And Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Where I Am

So, this is my life. I've been a Christian since I was four years old. I've lived the life a good, southern baptist girl lives growing up in the South. I obeyed my parents, read my Bible, sang in the choir, attended church, and so forth and so on, and so be it. All of this about my life I love, and I am NOT complaining. Was I perfect along the way these 28 years? Absolutely not! Did I have some MAJOR screw ups in relationships, decisions, etc.? Absolutely. So what then?

Well, somewhere along the way, maybe even in the past 3-4 years, God has really been revealing to me who He really is and what a relationship with Him actually looks like--how it's lived, what you expect, etc. So where does that leave me? Back at square one every time--learning something new about a perfect God who loves me unconditionally, and reminding me ever so lovingly that no matter how long I've been a Christian, He can still amaze me. How so?

Well, for me, lately, I've been a little depressed, or shall we say, my rose colored glasses for life have beem replaced by sunglasses. (There are those who really know me that will argue I have never owned a pair of rose colored glasses,) but that's besides the point...things have just been not so bright and cheery for me lately--on the inside, not the out. Mostly because I think when you've been living a fulfilling Christian life every day your entire life (not perfectly, mind you) the glory of what you live can fade when you become complacent, ungrateful, and in some respects bored.

As a stay at home mom, there are days when I know boredom, and even though I'm terribly, extremely, off the wall blessed and grateful that I get the opportunity to invest in my child's life...satan still finds his way into the recesses of your thoughts, and those little whispers can wear away at the bedrock of your soul over time. 'Useless, worthless, of no account, who cares, why should you, you think God is really using you, how, why, in what way, for what purpose...useless.' And so goes the whispering arrows that pierce away at my self-confidence and identity in Christ.

So what happened? Well, maybe nothing much to the rest of this world of bloggers who are waiting for a big finale, but very rarely in life do we get a clear message from God. I'm talking as clear as He was sitting in the car next to me when I heard Him say, "If I live in you, you are never useless." Now there are so many other circumstances surrounding this conversation (or sentence) that God had with me, but the bottom line is I matter, you matter, everything matters. This life I live for Him is not for nothing, be it ever so small of an influence I may have in my lifetime. God cares about the small things, and it's the small things that have to be in place before the big things can come along. So, I guess I'm writing to officially announce that I'm okay (for now, at this moment in my life) at being a small thing. I will have days when I want to be more, and days when I beg God to use me again, I'm sure...because hey, this life is all about struggle against our flesh, and every day is a new death to something of some sort, but for now, I'm okay with my identity being useful simply, and only because, He lives in me. Useful to no one for nothing, other than Him simply because of that.

There, I said it. I put my writing talents to work, and I now have sufficiently publicly put out there private thoughts that eat away at me that I think won't matter to anyone or worse, might make people make fun of me (which I'm sure my family will have some smart-mouth remark about being like someone who shall remain unnamed for the sake of the whole world to see), but for the first time, I don't care. I love to write. I love to share how God works in my life, and if this is a good outlet, then here it is. Enjoy. Be bored. Role your eyes and think, 'Oh my gosh, she's so emotional', or deep, or whatever half compliment-half insult you can think. Just know that I wouldn't share if it didn't matter, but isn't that the point of today? I matter, you matter, everything matters. So be encouraged!!! Maybe you'll have a sentence with God today too=)

2 Chronicles 16:9 "For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Simple Joys

So, autumn in the south is my absolute favorite time of the year. There's nothing to compare to it. The air stays in the cool mid 60's during the day--just cool enough to put on your favorite pair of blue jeans, a comfy t-shirt, and your most snugly jacket. But this fall has been particularly lovely because we've had plenty of sunshine, blue skies, and warm afternoons. You just step outside, sit in the grass, take a deep breath, and inhale the very Spirit and presence of our great God. To think He made all this simply for our enjoyment...WOW!

And then there's my little girl right in the middle of all of this beauty and freshness. She's one year old, and even when she's sick, she's so full of joy--I mean it just beams out of her eyes in everything she does! I can't tell you how happy I am that she loves being outdoors as much as I do. If I'm working in the yard, all I have to do is set her down with a spade of her own, and she's happy to beat away at the monkey grass while I do some gardening. She really enjoys playing with my dogs these days as well. Samson and Lila aren't too sure about her sometimes, but Samson is always up for a good romp in the sun with a ball or a squeaky toy. I have a video clip that will not upload for some reason...probably because I need more RAM or an updated video card...I'm open to suggestions, so I guess you'll just have to settle for some cute pics until I figure that out!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Savannah's First Birthday Party

(The cakes I made for the party...Yes, I made them:)
So, throwing parties is not my favorite pasttime. I love how they usually turn out. I enjoy the creative processes like making the cake, decorating with little touches here and there, but overall, at the end of the day, I leave with a sense that I just wasn't able to take it all in. Yet, celebrations in life are important, especially birthdays, so I do them whole-heartedly with a smile on my face and in my heart, praying that at the end of the day, enough photos were taken for me to remember what all happened=)

And Savannah's party was no exception! I loved every moment of planning her cake, ordering her ladybug costume and making the perfect antennea, making all the invitations, and even the thank you notes. It's baking the food, cleaning the house, and making sure everyone has what they need while the party is going on that stresses me out. But despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed watching my little girl love every moment of her 1st Birthday Costume Party.

It was so special to have such a good turn out for the party! A special thanks and shout out to my awesome sister-in-love, Emily (pictured at left with my little ladybug), who drove all the way from Fayetteville, NC to celebrate with us. You have no idea how much that meant to me...really you don't. Thank you=)

And of course, to all my awesome friends from! You blew me away by showing up and having a good time. You have to understand, I've never been one who considered myself as having a lot of friends, so it's stressful for me to send out invitations, since I have a tendency to think no one really wants to come to my party anyway (I know...whatever...that's just how my brain works...a little insight to a few of my insecurities there...). So, it thrilled me that so many of you came and had a great time at the party with all your kids! Wow! I hope someone got a good shot of all the kids there...I think they equaled or outnumbered the adults...too much fun=) Thank you for ministering to me jut by taking the time to show up.

And how could I forget my most wonderful family! I have been so blessed by the Lord to have an incredible family on ALL sides, even the sides I married into. Thank you to all of you for your help (with the party and in life), support, love, and gift of your time. Savannah is blessed to have so many people personally invested in her life through prayer and quality time.

So, nothing terribly exciting to report, except much fun was had by all! A lot of fellowship, a bunch of cool new toys, which we needed desperately, and hopefully more pictures to follow via Facebook and Snapfish. (Once everyone emails them to me=) Again, if I didn't get a chance to really talk to you at the party, please forgive me...I truly, deeply appreciated your presence.

Remember When?

So, February of 2007, many of my extended family took a trip to the Grand Canyon where we then decided to hike the canyon (something like 13.5 miles) in one day (something like 8 hours total). Anyway, after the entire life altering experience was done and over, all the aches had been Adviled, and the feeble bodies fed nutrients, and everyone was back home in their respective states, we began playing the "Remember When" game via text, reliving all the inside jokes and humorous events that had taken place along the trail that day.

So, today I was watching a Wrangler commercial, and I had to smile at my "Remember When" moment, like I do everytime I see a Wrangler commercial. So, do any of you remember when we were at some event for Roswell Street in high school, probably a Disciple Now or maybe just a game night with the whole gang, when the topic came up of, 'If you were an advertisment slogan what would you be?' A good friend of mine, Chris Adams, was one of the first to pipe up and say, "Wrangler, 'cause I'm real comfortable." Now this may not strike you as funny now, but the fact that such a small memory can be triggered everytime that commercial comes on, makes me smile.

This in turn, triggered a conversation between Joey and me. "What would you be, honey?" Well, since I had thought about this often before (because everytime I see the commercial, I think about it), I quickly answered "Maybelline," with a smirk. At which Joey laughed and said, "Oh, maybe she's born with it." And we both smiled at each other and had a good giggle. I in turn, asked him what he would be. "I don't know, I'll have to think about it...maybe built Ford tough or something like, like a rock, Chevy all the way." Again, this makes us both smile, and I figure what the heck, it's my blog, and it's the conversations like this that make for good reading when you're bored. So I leave you with this thought: If you were an advertisement slogan, what would you be?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Getting started...

So, we were out visiting my cousin April (here she is holding my little one at the famous Sprinkles cupcake shop) in AZ this past weekend, and if you know her, you know she is more than a techie, she's a tech junkie, but her passion for all things digital, computerized, etc., is so contagious that I now have a gmail account where I share a calendar with Joey (the selling point for switching to gmail), and now with google reader it's so easy to keep up with everyone's blogs that I felt left out not having one of our own.

So, thank you April, my bestest cousin ever, for bringing this stay-at-home mom into the 21st century...or at least motivating me to stay there=) And what better way to start than on the day of my beloved only child's birthday!

Wow! What a year it has been! I can't believe Savannah is 1 year old. I do not miss the baby days, but my heart does ache at how quickly she has grown and continues to grow...every day learning new things. It is so true, that it won't be long before ____________ (you fill in the blank!) Anything and everything is what she does these days, constantly surprising me with what she understands and how she tries to communicate. How blessed am I to watch God's greatest miracle form right in front of me!

Here she is playing in her first fountain in AZ...I wish you could have seen her face when the water shot up in it...pure surprise and joy--no tears=)

...And here she is on her first swing, and lovin' on her daddy...

I could post a thousand more pictures, but I'll end with my new favorite of me an her. I love that you can see her spunky spirit shining in her eyes at all times whether happy or sad, those beautiful blues tell it all. Happy Birthday baby girl! Your Mama & Daddy love you very much!!!