Sunday, May 29, 2011

May Daze

Well, May hasn't disappointed in the amount of activity this household has seen.  Sigh.  I love my family I love my friends.  I love everything we do.  And yes, don't get me wrong, I understand that I am the biggest factor that contributes to the busyness of my life, may be my old age, but I'm starting to think that living on a farm in the middle of nowhere is becoming a more and more appealing idea on a daily basis=)  Ha!

That being said, I have enjoyed every second of our May craziness.  It started on May 1st with my sister-in-love's baby shower for my side of the family.  Couldn't have been a more sweet day to have all the ladies together.  Little Hartley's due date was the 26th, so we are praying that any day now her sweetness will arrive.
(Meema & all her daughters & granddaughters...special times.)
All 3 Preggers in front, with me & April hanging out in the back=)
Next on the agenda was a visit from Joey's parents in Texas.  The kids always love seeing their CeCi and Pop Pop.
 Then Mother's Day!  I actually got a half way decent picture this year...Yay!  Had to throw the other one in for good measure though--in tribute to past years=)  We spent Mother's Day picnicking after church then picking strawberries as a family.  Enjoyed every second.

Next up was our 10 year anniversary celebrated with a dinner to Ruth Chris Steakhouse and the completion of the Warrior Dash together=)  Yeah, I know...not terribly romantic, but we have plans for a trip in 2012.  Plus, what better way to represent and celebrate the reality of 10 years of marriage than to hurdle cars and fire, climb walls of rope and wood, and crawl through tunnels all the while getting ridiculously slathered in mud and dirt?  Sounds like a marriage to me!  =)  And the best part?  We did it together.  Even when Joey could have totally outpaced me once more, he chose to do it with me.  That's what marriage is all about.  Love you babe!
The next weekend was Savannah's first debut as a flower girl in Megan Well's and Tyson Hill's wedding.  She performed perfectly, and I was so proud of our little girl.  She looked beautiful and enjoyed every minute, but with no nap and by the end of the day, she was on a fast downhill slide into meaningless tears and clingyness.  Joey said he didn't even get out of the parking lot from the reception site before she was asleep in the car, and that NEVER happens to her.  What a trooper=)
***A perfect performer at the rehearsal dinner***

Daddy is always there to help his little girl...
Lovin' the chocolate fondue!  You can start to see the glaze over in her eyes though... very tired.
So as Joey headed home to get the kids settled back in the house, I headed on to Augusta to celebrate a significant milestone in my oldest, youngest brother's life.  I've missed every other significant milestone in Matthew's life it seems, all for reasons out my control, so it was important for me to be there when my little brother donned a white coat and took an oath to be the best doctor of physical therapy he can be.  If only you all knew how far he's come.--tears--I am so proud of him.  Two years until graduation, Matthew.  Hang in there, and know that your family is so very proud of you.  Not just for the dedication you've shown and ways you and Emily have sacrificed to make this happen, but for how you've grown in the Lord and followed Him through to this point in your life.  You're going to make a terrific DPT one day and bless so many people's lives, but more importantly, any day now, you're going to graduate into the life of a father, and to me that's even more impressive because you're going to be great at it.  I know it's hard, but you're setting a good example of what it means and looks like to grow up, take the Lord's hand, and shoulder the responsibilities of a real man of God.  You will earn more than just my respect in the many years to come.  Love you bro.

My cousin Amber's graduation was next, this past weekend along with a family birthday party, and that brings us up to speed to today...whew! In the meantime, school has let out for the year, and it's just me and the kids.  Home.  Trying to enjoy each other.  (And that's another blog post for another day all in itself.)  But I am glad to have new friends from many arenas of life to share the summer with.  Should be fun=)  Loving life.  Loving the Lord, and loving as many other people as cross our path in the process.  Blessing to you all!

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Monday, May 16, 2011

A Tribute to 10 Years!

So, today, 10 years ago, I said "I Do" to my best friend at the tender age of 21.  We had no idea what we were getting into, but I don't have a single regret.  I wouldn't have waited until I graduated from college to marry him.  I couldn't imagine an adventure I could have taken alone that would outshine the adventures we've lived together here in the good ole' South.  I'm daily and forever grateful that God provided for me a real man.

A real man who's not afraid to openly seek the Lord's counsel, who admits his mistakes (eventually) then even actually works at trying to change them.  A real man who's not afraid to break before the Lord and ask for His help when the weight of this world bears down hard on his shoulders, who truly loves his wife like Christ loves the church.  I know God's love tangibly because of how Joey treats me.  A real man who respects his wife and adores his children, who's not afraid to shoulder the responsibility that comes with life, a family, and work.  I real man who takes the licks life gives sometimes, but trusts the Lord and keeps on going.  A real man who understands a woman's work is never done, so he's not afraid to vacuum or do the dishes or change the diapers--without being asked and without expecting any gratitude.

A real man who I can respect and who I ultimately have no struggles in submitting to his authority over our family because--he. seeks. God.  Bottom line.  He will answer before our Father one day for me and this family and the way he has led, so what kind of wife would I be to get in his way? to degrade him? to try and take the lead? to make him feel lesser?  Shame on me for all the times I probably have.

Because in a world where a good man, a REAL good man, is getting harder and harder to find, I have one.  Praise the Lord, God gave me you, Joey Durham!!  I am twice blessed because I could not choose a better role model for our daughter for how a man should treat a woman.  I could not choose a better role model for how a man becomes and lives as a real man of God for my son.  My dear children, your daddy is flawed, but he's not too proud to admit it, and he's not too scared to change, and he's not too strong to know when to lean on our Heavenly Father.

To the man who won my heart 10 years ago, and continues to keep it captivated to this day, I wanted to take some space in time to honor you the way all good men should be honored, but who rarely are until their own eulogy.  I respect you.  I love you, and I can't wait to live the rest of my life with you.

Happy 10 Year Anniversary Honey!!  I really wanted to include pictures down memory lane, but 10 years worth of pictures?  Who am I kidding.  I'd be sitting at my scanner for hours.  So here's to us, Joey Durham, and 90 more if I had my say=)
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

April Flowers

My husband, my children, my family are the flowers in my life.  Today, I write in front of a screen in a quiet house, so physically sick (like the life has been drained out of me literally), yet so very grateful for the life God has given me.  My God, the Good Gardener did not have to plant my life so full of flowers, but He created me, so He knew exactly how much I'd love them=)

Enjoy my flowers because isn't that what a garden is for?  For the whole world to enjoy?

Let's see...this month I tried to introduce smoothies to the kids in a desperate effort to get them to eat more vegetables...not sure it's going so well=)

We also took a quick weekend trip to Augusta to move Matthew and Emily and soon-to-be Baby Hartley into their new little home.  LOVE. IT.

And of course, no Easter tradition would be complete without the dyeing of eggs.  This year Weston was 100% in on the action--all hands in! 

 He took great pleasure in actually chucking the eggs into the dye, hence the beautiful creation that followed....

Savannah was very prim and proper this year, actually attempting to use the little metal thing-a-ma-bob that comes with the kit for lifting the eggs in and out of the dye.

And what Easter tradition would be complete without an egg hunt?  Of course we did the millenial version where it should be renamed an egg scramble.  I love the pure joy of motion on Savannah's face in this picture=)  And in the next one, I love that she's retrieving the candy, not the egg--always much more interested in the pay off than the activity. 

Weston on the other hand, well a more serious or methodical egg scrambler might not be found. Scramble he most definitely did not. 

But hey, most egg scrambles come with giant blow up slides, and who can resist that?

Of course the egg scramble must always be followed by a more traditional, TRUE egg hunt.  You know, lots of chocolate filled eggs, some with money, and the hard-boiled dyed eggs of course--these are the best for smashing on trees.  So much fun with all the cousins. 

However, I'm pretty sure the giant, inflatible "ball-o-fun" stole the show this year.  I even gave it a whirl=)  Can't wait to use this baby at the beach!

 Look at these smiles!

Love this picture of Savannah and Granddaddy.  Boys never really do grow up at heart, I'm convinced=)  Nor do I think they should.  Every girl loves a boy that will play with her, even if she thinks she's all grown up.

My boy=)

And let the after church Easter pictures begin!

Above, Grandmacon and Granddaddy.
The proud great-grandparents and two antsy kids.
Below, Mimi and Granddaddy.

And no month in my life would be quite complete without some beautiful Sugar Snap Photography=)  Wasn't this little set to die for?!??!?!  Oh, my gosh!  I wanted to get some spring family photos, but allergies kept my two boys indoors for most of April, so me and Savannah went out and had some dress up fun.  LOVE how these turned out=)

And those were my April flowers.  Good memories and beautiful days.  Thank you Lord for all the ways you bless our family.
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