Monday, December 27, 2010

The Unexpected

Well, the last few days didn’t exactly turn out the way we had imagined. With our parents flying in from Wisconsin, we decided it would be best to rent a beach house in Sandbridge for the week to accommodate 9 adults and 3 kiddos. We all moved in on Tuesday and had

a wonderful and relaxing time. We enjoyed our normal Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

celebrations. They could not have been better. Saturday night we

heard snow could be coming, but we went to bed

with rain coming down, and I thought it

would be like most snow storms around here. An inch or two...maybe we would miss church, but all would be well. When we woke up Sunday morning, I could hardly believe my eyes as I looked outside to see an actually snow storm. A storm that I have not seen since moving here five and a half years ago. Well, okay, we can just get cozy and hang out. No problem. Uh uh. At about 9:00 am, the power went out at the beach house. We all gathered in the living room, brought every blanket we could find, and found ways to amuse ourselves. We kept calling the rental company, and

they would say the power was supposed to be back on in a few hours. Well that kept being pushed back until we realized, we had to get out of there. The temp in the house was down to 59 degrees and even if the adults could make it through the night, we didn’t want the kids to freeze. We found out we could not head home because of road conditions and tunnel closures, about 5:00 pm we ate take out pizza (we were happy to find a place out on the corner still open!!). Then (by flashlight) we packed up whatever we absolutely needed and made the trek to the Davey’s house. My brother is engaged to Marla Davey and her family was sweet enough to put all of us up. We arrived - almost all of us unshowered - and crashed for the night. We were so thankful for their hospitality. It was a pretty incredible spectacle to wake up and see all the mounded snow the next morning. I don’t know for sure, but someone said that it’s the most snow this area has seen for 30 years. Crazy. Well, as I write this, we are at my sister’s house and on our way to getting back to routine. I know we have some serious shoveling to do before we make it into our place, but it will get done. Chalk it up to another eventful family vacation!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


My sweet Cade
My Brynnie, almost 18 months
We are hanging out at a beach house in Sandbridge with our family,
and Brynne's favorite find so far has been a barrel of monkeys.
Nothing beats playing with Nana and Papa
Our newest addition - Mr. Bryce is the sweetest boy ever!
Every year one of my students gives me an amaryllis. It is so beautiful!
We had some very uncharacteristic snow for around here.
Brynne thought it was "icky" so we had to encourage her otherwise.

Best buds

We wish you all a merry Christmas! I am so thankful that God has
given us so many wonderful gifts to enjoy. He is so good.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A lovely visit

This last weekend we enjoyed another fantastic trip to Charlottesville for our Thanksgiving celebration. We always have lots of food and relaxation, but this trip also included a visit to a petting farm. Brynne was in her glory. I'm so thankful for sweet family to celebrate with. I also loved (as always) the beautiful scenery.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wishing you were here...

Have you ever had the experience of missing someone you never met? It might sound odd. But ever since I met Rob and began to fall in love with him, there is someone I miss. That person is his dad. Tomorrow as we celebrate a sweet holiday, we will also be remembering his dad who went to be with Jesus ten years ago. Even though I named this post "wishing you were here", in a sense I don't. He has been enjoying something for ten years that I can only imagine.

I think one of the reasons I look forward to meeting Rob's dad, Andy, is that I have experienced him through his wife and three boys in a very special way. I have heard wonderful stories from my mother-in-law. I have watched JA and Phil interacting with their family and those around them. I have experienced the most incredible love and care from Rob as my husband. I have watched Rob raise our daughter for almost 17 months. I know these actions are not just taught, but learned through experience. I have been thinking lately about the way children imitate their parents. It is so natural. Kids just want to be like the people they spend so much time with. I can tell that Andy was a very special person because of the legacy he has left in his boys.

So, as I think of thankfulness, a great part of my thankfulness this year is for a man I never knew. A man whose life has touched mine in a way he will never know until I meet him in heaven. Ultimately, I thank God for His sovereignty in the circumstances of our lives. He is always weaving together the most beautiful story. I'm so thankful that I have the opportunity to be a part of that story.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Do you have a little Christmas shopping to do?

Well, here are a few ideas for you! I received this box in the mail last weekend and was so excited to pull out each item. I ordered a bunch of these incredibly cute hand towels. I felt like they were such a unique gift for Christmas? Then I also received these adorable cones, an H, and a sweet little book for Brynnie. Where can you find all these treasures???? Right here at etsy. My good friend Sarah Branine recently opened an etsy shop called Cranny. If you have never been on etsy, it is worth your time to stop by. I believe it is all hand-crafted items. Check it out!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holding On

I don't know about you, but I always feel like I'm holding my breath to see how long the leaves will last. The beauty always puts me in awe and brings me such joy. I often think at this time of year that it is so sweet that God can bring beauty out of death. Truly, the leaves are dying and going to be composted into the ground. And yet, God chose to make this process of dying bring something so beautiful. Sometimes I feel like we get sucked into believing that death is always a bad thing, but when we remember the cross, we realize that God can bring about wonderful blessings through death. Satan thought he had the victory, but really God was bringing about the greatest victory ever known: the eternal victory over death that we can now enjoy as well. Maybe the leaves are just another reminder.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

finally...a few pictures

A festive little cart from one of our favorite Olde Towne stops - The Kitchen Koop
Nothing so fun as finding little acorns on the ground and clutching as many as possible
Brynnie loves to kiss - usually cousin Bryce and Daddy and Mommy...
but sometimes her bear, the computer, the door, an article of clothing, the newspaper, dogs and who knows what will be next!

We love Mondays...Rob's day off! This day we enjoyed a walk in Olde Towne.
Nothing like shoe soup...yes she is obsessed with shoes already!
I thought our trick-or-treating would be such a joke, however once this little one figured out everyone was putting little treasures in her bucket, she was all about it. She trudged right down the sidewalk from house to house. It was a blast!
Daddy's little ladybug
Sporting a sweater made by a sweet lady in our church.
We were experimenting here with the new camera - so far, we love it!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Well here is the new member of our family...if you have seen my last few posts you know our last camera recently went to camera heaven. I had to share about God's gift to us in a new camera. Not long after I posted, I had someone very special (you know who you are) who contacted me and said they wanted to get us a new camera. What a blessing! Rob and I had decided to wait on this one a little bit, and instead God plopped exactly what we wanted right in our laps. I am reminded again that God cares about the big things and little things and the things that are simply wants and the things that are needs. He remembers them all and loves to give His children good gifts (sometimes routed through people!). Anyways, we went online and found a special little spot where you can plug in all the things you want in a camera and it gives you the best options out there. This was what we came up with. I hope to be posting lots of wonderful pics very soon (once Rob figures out how to use it and then gives me the low-down).

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I am resolved

Hmmmm, sounds like a song or something. Anyhoo, I have resolved to journal in the evenings right before bed to record the blessings of the day. This idea mostly came to me when I was thinking of how best to preserve the sweet memories that are formed each day with our Brynnie. Since it is growing more and more difficult to pull the scrapbook out, I had to come up with a more simple way to keep up. It seems like every day she does something so sweet, or something so funny, or something so naughty, or something so crazy, and I just don't want to forget. I hope that years into the future I can pull out these journals for laughs and maybe cries. I was also thinking that maybe this will be a good reminder on some of the hard days...days when you just feel like you can't say "no" one more time, days when you think you'll go crazy if you have to say "do not whine" one more time, days when you feel like you can never ever ever again finish your "to do" list, that these days are short and fleeting. I want to see my journal and remember to enjoy each moment to the fullest. And not enjoy it unto myself, but unto God who is giving me the opportunity to live life to the fullest. I spoke to a sweet older lady the other day who shared the heartbreak of having lost her daughter at age 4 and she said that she has never gotten over it. It was a striking reminder to cherish every day. I wish I could post a little picture of my sweetie, but as I'm still working on the camera thing...I will just overload the pics later on!
How are you resolved to enjoy and appreciate each day?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Am I too visual?

I think I am. I haven't blogged in ages because I can't post pictures. I can't post pictures because I dropped our camera and it finally gave up the ghost. I'm sad to say that I am hopelessly clumsy. We actually had to start buying more plates, cups, bowls...etc because I have broken so many. Anyways, that's not the point. We have had a ton going on, but I feel like I shouldn't post without pictures. Well just this once, I guess I'll have to...
Life has been super exciting lately. Our sweet nephew Bryce arrived October 4th. He is the best baby ever and it has been so fun to enjoy a new little one in the family. My sister is doing really well with two and it's been fun to see Cade and Brynne love on their new friend. They both call him "Byce".
My mom was able to sneak a little trip in even though it's the middle of a crazy semester for her at Northland. That was wonderful, and she loved hanging with her grandkids.
I recently read Because He Loves Me by Elyse Fitzpatrick. I haven't done a full review yet because I'm actually sharing my findings in a Sunday School maybe later. However, I will say that it is incredible. God has really used it to teach me how to apply the gospel to my everyday life. I'm so thankful my friend Lorie recommended it to me!
Brynnie Brynne almost 16 months!!! I love her so much. She has been walking in bits and pieces for a little while, but has finally decided she really likes it and has taken off. I'm afraid I will never get her to sit still again. However, I'm so thankful we have gotten around to it and can be done with the frustrations of "butt scooting". She says so many words now, which I love. Communication is so fun! Our biggest battle right now is whining, which is a constant struggle. I'm learning patience in new ways! Lately, one of my favorite things is to pray with her at night and then see her smile and say "amen"...although it sounds like "a" (short a sound) - "men". Sometimes during a prayer she starts saying it - maybe it just gets a little too long :) Anyways, I am constantly grateful for the gift of our sweetie.
We are continuing to look at Tacoma WA. We have been asking the Lord for clarity in this decision, and I believe He is making His plan for us evident. We are excited, but nervous. We will keep you posted.
Wow - if you stuck with me, good for you! Hopefully, next time I will have some fun visual stimulation, but until then....happy reading!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thoughts on Pain

(Picture from Barlow's Blog:
I know this sounds like a strange name for a post, but I cannot get away from this topic. I feel like lately I have been confronted over and over with pain in the lives of those around me. "I lost my sweet baby"..."my child is going into surgery"..."I lost a friend to cancer"..."part of my leg is being amputated"..."my father will pass away at any time"...and I know this list could go on. We all deal with pain in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. I have been challenged with how I will think about and dwell on the pain in my life and those I interact with.

Lately, in every area of life, God has been taking me back to the cross. He has been reminding me of the goodness and love of Christ as He hung there to pay for my sins and those of all His children. I am learning that everything good is from Him and if He died for me, He will also freely give me all things. I desire to meditate on the sweetness of these truths at all times - good and bad. So how do these reminders affect my interaction with the pain I so often see?

I realize that the greatest pain was faced at the cross, when Christ was separated from the Father - not for His own sins, but for those of the sins of the world. He was forsaken for people that are His enemies...people who shake their fist in His face and disregard His work on their behalf. I remember that what I truly deserve is death for offending a holy God. And yet He not only offers me life, He gives me eternal life in relationship to Him. He gives me true purpose in life. So really, anything I have that is over and above that is an amazing "extra". To breath every day, to walk, to see, to smell, to taste, to enjoy creation, to have an incredible husband, to take care of my sweet daughter, to live in a house, to wear clothing and so much more are all the wonderful "extras". And if I lose these things and more, I should still be able to worship God because I remember what I really deserve. I remember that life is a vapor - here for a moment and gone. It cannot be compared to the glory that will follow. We are simply in the cocoon waiting to escape into eternity and become the beautiful butterfly we were made to be in the first place. So when days feel long and when I hear another person describe the agony they face, I remember there is a greater purpose and the pain will soon be a faint memory as I bask in the glory of God. I do not know exactly what that will be like, but I can see glimpses on a daily basis of this precious reality. The greatest reality. I'm not trying to minimize what people go through. I know we are human and there is some pain that is so very deep. I do not take that lightly. I just find myself realizing that when we want to run so many places for help, the answer is actually in Christ. May we find Him our refuge and not go elsewhere.

I'm sure there is more. I also know more intelligent people have written on this topic. I kind of felt like I had to get some of it even understand what I was thinking.

"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen." I Peter 5:10-11

Thursday, September 09, 2010

a little random

I love this pic - we were hanging out at a free concert last week, and I caught Shiloh and Jordan with big old smiles at the same time. I know what Shiloh is happy about, but Jordan???
Can anyone explain how it is possible that I never had a cell phone until my 20's and my daughter already knows how to play with one at 14 months?
Brynne loves these little chairs that Jennie found. I had to laugh when I noticed that she had both feet up relaxin' - my kinda girl!
I sure do love this girl - even when her pants are saggy!