Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Too Legit To Quit

I didn't realize what a big part of our lives music was until recently.  One of Max's first tricks was dancing-- I'd sing a little diddy that I made up and he'd start grooving- now he's advanced and he's too cool for my song, so he'll just look at me like I'm a nerd when I sing it. But when any other song comes on (it doesn't matter what genre) he'll start bouncing along with the beat.  How a 10 month old can pick up the beat to any song is beyond me, but it's adorable if I do say so myself!

That brings me to Gabe.  He's a dancing fool!  He's had a love for music as long as I've known him (4 years) but his love for dancing has increased since he started going to school and meeting people in his class with new moves.  Then when Michael Jackson passed away, Gabe became very aware of him and his dancing abilities, and has since acquired some new "skills".  When we were at the beach a couple weeks ago, and someone turned on the radio, Gabe went crazy!  He informed us that his favorite song is "Get Low" and he even dropped it like it's hot on his brother.... check it out:

I hope you enjoyed those moves as much as we have-- we keep watching that video over and over- completely shocked, yet tickled every single time.  But let me assure you that me and his father have never danced in front him- especially like that- and the media is to be blamed for it.  That leads me on a totally different tanget- knowing that it is our responsibility to protect his purity as long as he lives under our roof, but I'm not sure my heart can handle that discussion today... so we'll stick with the light-hearted post and come back to that later when the Holy Spirit finished prodding at my heart.

The point of this post is to tell a funny Chad story that I never want to forget-- but in order to do that, you had to know the back story-- which is Gabe and his dancing video.

So last weekend, when we were at Carlton and Trisha Estes' (OMG!) wedding, the DJ busted out some great tunes after dinner.  Me and the rest of the Porton Posse (PP) were on the dance floor immediately!  Now I would never claim to be a "good" dancer, but I love dancing nonetheless, and spent the rest of the party on the dance floor.  Chad isn't normally the dancing type- not as in the wallflower type of person, but more of the meeting new people and taking funny pictures of people who are dancing tyoe of person.  That being said, I dance with my girlfriends, and then grab Chad for the slow songs.  It works well for us.

Before I go any further, I want to point out that although Chad had his wild party days before meeting our sweet Jesus, he has since put those ways aside for good.  I know drinking and christianity is a controversial issue.  With that being said, we have decided that a drink or two, in moderation, is ok, as long as it doesn't compromise our relationship with Christ, or someone else's relationship with Christ (Romans 14:13-18). So on this occasion, Chad had one beer-- and at the time this story took place- I'm not even sure he had finished it.

So back to the dancing... I was on the floor with the PP, doing our thing, when all of a sudden, Chad appeared out of nowhere.  He was doing moves I had never seen and slowly everyone began making a circle around him, watching as he shook what his mother gave him.  It was a mix between the Roger Rabbit, 70's disco, Michael Jackson, some of my old cheerleading dance moves, 80's hip hop, the cupid shuffle, line dancing and the hokey pokey. It was unbelievably awesome and a sight to be seen.  I wish I had captured it for the world, but I'll have to settle for my mind's picture that I replay... and replay... and replay.  It lasted for quite some time- and once everyone had finished laughing, we were all joining him and trying to move like he moved.  I couldn't quite get over the awesomeness of the moment, so I just stood in awe, in the center of the floor, while he bounced and grooved all around me.  He looked at me and said, "I'm channeling Gabe right now."  At this moment I started laughing hysterically- unable to control myself.

Our good friend Jonathan Spiva pointed to Chad and looked me and said "I love this guy" and all I could say was "He's ALL mine!"

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Dollar Theatre

Every now and then, I get wild and crazy.  And Friday night, I did just that.  I called my friend Anna and suggested that we go to a 9:40 PM movie. That's right-- go to a movie that starts at my bed time!  We are both moms, so we could get the kiddies to bed and hit up a chick flick- what a plan!

There is a dollar theatre close to our houses and so we picked a time to meet, Anna asked me to get some cash from my Hubby, and we decided to meet at a Kroger where our two roads intersect, a couple miles away from the theatre.  That way, we'd be in only one car so that we weren't both driving them same route, wasting gas, and missing out on girl time, etc...

The plan went off without a hitch and we got to the theatre just in time for the movie to start... but walking up to the counter I realized that I had left my cash in the car parked back at the Kroger.  Oh well, they'll take a credit card- and we'll just charge a dollar- not ideal, but whatever, we're wild and crazy!

"Two for the 9:40  movie, please"

"What, you don't take credit cards?  Cash only?  Umm.... ok, we'll be right back."

Neither of us carry cash-- and the cash I took from Chad is several miles away. So I start scanning for a nearby store where I can buy something (that I don't need) and get  cash back.  Anna starts scanning for someone she knows- certainly they'll let us borrow a couples bucks.

But to no avail.

Our plan is ruined.

There is no way we can get to the cash in my car and get back in time to see the movie.  I was so upset.  My big wild and crazy plan was slashed.  I was about to pitch a fit, throw myself on the parking lot and kick and scream to get my way-- my son seems to think that the best way to get what you want is to start hooping and hollering and screaming.  I was just about to try it when Anna suggested trying to round up enough change.  She dumped out her wallet and found 50 cents.  So we started digging through the car, and my purse, certainly there was more change in there!

(Side note:  For some reason that I don't know, the cost of a movie at the dollar theatre is $1.25, so we needed $2.50, total)

Eventually we found a dollar in quarters, a dollar in dimes, and fifty cents in nickels... without any leftovers!  It was meant to be!  We walked over to the counter and proudly handed the man our big handful of change in exchange for two tickets for the late night chick flick that had already started.  We were so proud of ourselves and thinking this was quite possibly the funniest thing that has happened in ages-- maybe even this decade.  We couldn't stop giggling but the man, he didn't even give us a smile.  Lame.

We walked into the theatre and hunkered down to watch The Back-up Plan.

All in all, it was a very successful out of the ordinary adventure.  Here's why:

1. We stayed up past our bedtime

2. We had a good girls night

3. We saw a cute movie

4. We laughed at JLo being pregnant

5. We got a really good laugh at our broke-ness

6. We proved ourselves resourceful in spite of #5

7. We stayed awake for the whole movie

8. We "participated" in a birth (albeit, fake) that didn't take any work from either of us

9. We saw that there is such a thing as cute maternity clothes

10. I (not we, even though I tried to convince her of it) found my new on-screen crush-- way better than Brad, Matthew, and Tom all mushed together.  Meet Stan, aka Alex O'Loughlin:

Hey yo!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Our 2nd Anniversary

On Saturday, me and my love celebrated our 2nd Anniversary.

Chad's mom is super thoughtful and remembers everything.  And she's a card person- which makes me really happy because I AM a card person!!  She picks really sweet cards with just the right words.  So right on time, we got her card wishing us a Happy Anniversary.  She had a hand written note in their saying something about our first Anniversary and it made me us laugh.  Chad called to tease her (because really it's our second anniversary) and she just started laughing.  Once she stopped giggling, she told Chad that they have even discussed it beforehand and decided that it was indeed our first.

But let's be honest, it's been a whirlwind in our house for the past couple years.  On June 26, 2008, we tied the knot (on my parent's 26th Anniversary).  Then last summer we had a baby.  I guess that makes this summer kind of boring!

SO anyway, back to our anniversary. Chad and I LOVE roller coasters, like really really love them.  So we decided we would go to Six Flags for the day, without kids, to celebrate.  We braved the heat and got there early.  It was a lot of fun because we rode every roller coaster before noon.  As soon as we got off one, we'd walk really fast to the next-- and the people just hadn't arrived yet, so we never waited more the 5-10 minutes-- even though we rode in the front of the cart each time.  Some of them we even rode twice, back to back-- we got off the front of the cart, and walked to the back of the cart and climbed back on.

But then something happened... after the back to back rides pulled back in to drop us off, neither of us said anything.  It took us a couple extra seconds to get off-- we were off balance and our heads were swirling.  We walked a little slower to the next ride, but proceeded to ride every coaster, with child-like abandon!  Lastly, we climbed on the scream machine-- it was a childhood favorite for me-- you know the old wooden roller coaster with a big huge hill at the beginning and then several consecutive smaller hills afterwards.  I insisted that we ride in the back, because it faster and better that way, just like in my childhood.

BIG mistake.  I didn't realize how old and feeble we were-- and that ride shook us around like rag dolls the entire time-- knocking the breath out of us repeatedly, snapping and popping things that shouldn't be snapped and popped.  We had to laugh to keep from crying.  It was straight TORTURE. When we climbed off, we looked around for our chiropractor-- we have never needed her more!

When we woke up Sunday, we were really sore.  How embarrassing!  I guess we can't gallivant around like youngsters anymore.  I looked at Chad and asked why I aged so quickly.... he said he's rubbing off on me!

While we were gone for the day, Uncle Eli came to play with Max.  Both of my brothers love that baby, and Eli is really great with kids-- he has been since he was a kid himself.  Actually, all 3 of us are baby people-- I think my mom did that to us because she loves them too!  Anyway, Eli has come to watch Max a couple times before, so Max was dancing with excitement when he came.  They had "boys day"....

Aren't they precious together?? It's crazy that Eli was my baby-- I just loved him as soon as he was born and helped my mom take care of him.  I was only 4 when he was born, but I would change his diapers and hold him like I was an adult.  My mom says that I took it upon myself to be his second mom.  Poor kid had two women fussing over him his whole life.  Anyway, he's grown and mature and funny and very trusted with my baby and handsome and smart and making something of himself.  I'm so darn proud!

Now if he would just get a girlfriend that could turn into his wife so I can have some more females in the family..............

And lastly, congrats to my parents who also celebrated their anniversary on Saturday- 28 wonderful years!  And to my CRB, thanks for being my one and only-- I only have eyes for you.  If I love you like I do now, after only 2 years, I can't imagine what it will be like when we hit 10, then 20, then 30, then 100!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Snuggle

Do you have something you sleep with?  Or maybe you slept with when you were a kid? I wasn't ever one of those kids- I'm not sure why- but I just slept.  Now that I'm a grown-up (kinda) and I get to sleep with a boy every night, he is my snuggle.  Now for clarification reasons, just note that this boy is my husband.  And as mentioned before, I am not really the snuggling, cuddling, hugging type so really it's just more of a sleep prop, but without him, I do not sleep well.

I try to explain this to people who are yet to be married, but close, and I'm not sure it goes over real well, but I'm going to give it a try, publicly:  my most absolute favorite thing about being married is that mine and Chad's start and stop places are the same: our home. Regardless of all the crazy goings on in our lives, we start together and end together.  And although I may have been home for hours before he gets home for the evening, it isn't until he walks in the door that I really hunker down and settle in.  When we are all home for the night, there is peace.  And when we all wake up in the  morning and are getting ready for our day, there is comfort.  And when it's all over and we come back home again... peace.  We never have to have the "when am I going to see you next?" conversation or the "will you come over to my place tonight?" conversation or the "what are you doing tonight, well can I come?" conversation-- because we are one, and we're together, even when we're not together.  And not in the we're "together", a substitute word for "dating" together-- no no no, we are like together together. For LIFE.  And in that, in there, everything in the world is right.

It's even more intense when it comes to sleeping- which leads us back to The Snuggle.  And yes, I am literally talking about sleeping.  When Chad is away, I don't sleep well.  And it's not because I need him touching me-- I need my sleep space.  And it's not because I need to have conversations in the middle of the night-- please don't make me converse in the middle of the night.  But it's because he is my snuggle, my one and only someone, my constant- and in order to sleep well, he needs to be sleeping beside me.

Well my Max has a snuggle.  It's blue and soft and he sleeps with it every night.  We leave it in his bed and don't take it with us unless we're going on car trips- he might object to this later- but for now, this keeps it clean-ish.  When it's time to go to bed for the night or for a nap, I take Max into his room, give him his passy, then put the snuggle over my shoulder.  He dives into it, rubbing his face on it, grinning, closing his eyes, and ahhhh, the peace comes on him.  His body relaxes and I start singing our song... then I lay him in his bed, he flops over to his side and cuddles up to his snuggle, and that's the end.

When I check on him, he usually has his booty in the air, his arms and legs curled under him, and his snuggle intertwined in his limbs.  It's precious.  Take your breath away precious.  Remind me that I have to keep breathing precious.

I've tried to give him other snuggles so that I can wash his true love- by he is a one-snuggle kind of guy and there are NO substitutes.  He will literally throw them, the fakes, on the floor.  My friend Erin, who has been my friend forever and ever and ever, gave me the blue snuggle as soon as we found out that "it" was a boy.  Erin is one of those people who NEVER stops thinking about others, she is a gift giver- like really thoughtful gifts- she is so So SO darn loyal, and when she loves, man oh man, she loves.  And let me just say, I am one of those people she loves-- and it is good!!

Well in March of 2009, right after our sonogram, Erin picked out The Snuggle for my Max.  She had it wrapped all pretty, and as always, had a sweet card to go with it.  I brought the snuggle home and put it in his nursery, all ready for him.  But I had no idea-- none... zip... zilch... how important this would be for Max.  Sometimes Max chews on his snuggle, sometimes Max wipes his nose on his snuggle, and sometimes he plays with his snuggle, sometimes Max hides under his snuggle-- but every time, Max sleeps with his snuggle.

Someday there is going to be a lady in his life-- and I pray he loves her like he does his snuggle.  And I pray he snuggles with her too. I pray that he loves only her and saves his body, mind, and heart for only her-- in his one snuggle guy kind of way.  It makes my chest tight to think that he's going to grow up and fall in love and then find out it's the wrong girl and get his heart broken.  But it makes my chest every tighter and my insides shudder to think that one day, he's going to fall in love and it's going to be the right girl-- and she'll be his lady for life.  He's going to have a wedding ring on his hand and he'll be the leader of a marriage and a woman, and a family.

So for the next 25 (ish) years I'm going to pray for him, and his future wife. And me and his Dad are going to work really hard to set an awesome example through our own marriage and we're going to work to be transparent when we mess up.

I'm a country music kind of girl and I LOVE the song "Love Like Crazy" by Lee Brice-- his lyrics say it best:

Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy

Always treat your woman like a lady
Never get too old to call her baby
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy

But for right now, I am his lady, and he only has eyes for me... and that makes me very happy!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Family of 4 Needs Help

Yesterday, Max and I went to Wal-mart to get toothpaste. We weren't at the about to run out stage. We were at the had run out and if we didn't get some more, wouldn't be brushing our teeth again until we did stage. It was dyer.

Pulling into the parking lot, there was a back-up-- I couldn't see what was holding us up and I almost started honking, but something stopped me. Once I got to the stop sign, leading into the parking lot, there was a woman at the corner holding a sign that said "Family of 4 needs help". A car had stopped to ask questions, which caused the back up. So instead of asking the lady what she needed, I decided to try to find the driver of the car who had already asked. It was my half cop out.

But I have a child in a car seat, so once I got him out, I couldn't find the driver of the car that caused the back up.

So Max and I got our toothpaste and left the store. I drove back past the lady with her sign, and headed home.

I kept thinking about the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25
34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Was this someone God wanted me to help?

But I kept driving.

Then I got to the exit, closest to the main road and there was a man with the same sign.

But I drove past him too.

'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me' ran through my mind again.

And again.

If I went back, would I be putting my baby in danger? Would I be putting myself in danger? This parking lot is busy, it is light outside, it's a busy intersection, I'd be fine, right? Not to mention that there wasn't anything in that passage about helping only in optimal conditions.

So I turned around and parked in front of the man. When I rolled my window down, he came up to the car and I said, "What do you all need?"

He replied, "a car".

Um, ok.... Then he explained that someone gave them a place to stay in Cartersville (North of the Wal-mart we're at) and he has a job in Kennesaw (South of the Wal-mart we're at) and he really wants to keep his job but his car died and really, they just need a car.

Well I don't have an extra car, and I didn't know what to say.

Me: Ok, well let me talk with my husband.... Um, are you all around here often?

Man: No, not really.

Me: Is that lady down at the other corner your wife?

Man: Yes, her name is Lori. (BIG smile on his face... I think he's in love with her :) )

Me: Um... ok.... well.....

Man: Will you pray for us?

Me: Absolutely!

Man: We're Ken and Lori. God Bless.

And that was it.

As I pulled away, I started analyzing- well if he had a job, why wasn't he at it? (It was about 5:15pm). And if they are a family of 4, and I only saw 2, where are the other 2? And how did they get to Woodstock?

And God shushed me. It wasn't mine to question or doubt- if people need help, they need help. And they asked for a car and prayer.

I didn't give him a car, and I'm not sure I'll ever see him/ them again, but if I do then I'll know God is really up to something. But in the meantime, will you say a little prayer for them? Because what's better than one prayer? Lots of prayers!

Follow up: He is Enough!

If you didn't read "He is Enough"- then click here first.

A couple hours after posting yesterday, I got an email from a friend.  Because her email is of a private matter, I'm not going to go into many details, but she pointed out something REALLY cool, in light of jealousy, and I wanted to share it with you.  Here is what she had to say:
I read your blog this afternoon at work and wanted to share some thoughts I learned recently. It's no secret that I've been to Arizona and back over Eating Disorder issues, so I was blessed enough to get treatment at one of the top places...and I'm only telling you that bc one of the huge things they worked on with us was body image and comparing and similar things to what you mentioned (not to say you have an eating disorder OF COURSE...I think most women struggle w/comparing jealousy). Anyways, the body image therapist changed my life. One of the things she told me that I say over and over again in my head to myself...several times a that comparison and jealousy will lead to one of two things.....Shame or Pride...and God doesn't want us to feel either of those.

Wow- that really offers some perspective!  Shame and pride are two words that I absolutely want nothing to do with-- either one of those things is enough for Satan to get a foothold in our lives, our minds, and our relationships.  Next time you deal with jealousy or comparison, even if it's not body issues or an eating disorder, I hope that little nugget of truth resonates with you.

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

He is Enough!

Jealousy has been on my mind a lot lately.  It's kind of a funny thing-- our God is jealous because He is THE creator of the universe and maker of everything in it and wants us to only worship Him.  Being that he is God, that makes sense.  Who/ what else is there to worship besides God?  But in our earthly bodies and lives, jealousy seems to take on a whole new form!

I remember when Chad and I were dating, I wanted him to at least be a little jealous over things-- like some guy having a crush on me or some guy hitting on me at a restaurant- but he was very secure and really just didn't even fall for it for one second.  Now that I am his, and he is mine, and he tries to play "jealous"- it just makes me laugh.  The other night I was going out with my girl friends and we got all dressed up, and he acted jealous that he wasn't the one going with me.  Let's be honest- if he wanted me dressed up, he would take me somewhere fancy- but our nights on the town usually consist of jeans- and we like it that way!

There is always the life stage jealousy-- I know it's worse for us women-- but when you're single, you are jealous of those getting married, then when you're newly weds, you want the baby, and then when you have it all, we talk to the youngsters with a "you're living the life" attitude.  I guess it's a good case of the grass is always greener!

Right now I'm struggling with skinny girls.  I am that girl who STARES at other girls with the great figures-- I'm sizing up my own kind-- what is my problem?  Others want the house their friend has, or the job, or the wardrobe.  I know there isn't just one kind of jealousy-- but it does seem to be pretty rampant.  Why does our flesh want what others have or what we think will make us happy?  And where did it come from?

There is one particular thing that sparked my analysis of jealousy:  Last week, we had two different visitors.  On Thursday, sweet baby Reed came over so his parents could go celebrate their anniversary.  I thoroughly enjoyed the little guy.  Once I put Max to bed for the night, I sat on the couch and held him, while he slept.  And we just sat there, happy and cuddled up.  But it was before Max's bedtime that caused the problem...

Max was on the floor playing and I was holding Reed-- problem!!  Max was not happy.  So I laid Reed on a blanket on the floor and began to play with him... below is the play by play of what happened:

That's right, Max SAT on his friend because he didn't want to share his mommy!

The next morning, little Haven came over.  Haven is ALL smiles.  Life is good, all the time, for Haven-- he just has the best disposition.  When Haven arrived, Max was sleeping, so Gabe decided to entertain:

When Max got up, he would cry anytime I was holding Haven, so I just had to leave them playing on their own.

As long as I left them on their own, they were fine.  They crawled all over each other, dumped toys out, passed toys back and forth and were fine and dandy.  THEN Gabe's friend came over and they started to play in the living room as well, and the little boys just had to have what the big boys had: Uno cards!

And the big boys absolutely did not want to share.  We eventually worked things out- but wheeeeewweee!

So who taught my baby to be jealous?  What makes him think he needs to vie for my attention? Why does he want to hold all the toys- especially the things being held by someone else? I know that we are all fallen people and that we are sinners- but I hate seeing it play out in my son.  I wish he could stay innocent a little longer- I wish he didn't act on those feelings-- and really, I wish he didn't even have those feelings!  Does this mean he's already insecure?  Yuck!

Hopefully, I am able to teach Max about God, who loves Max so much that He sent his only Son to the cross so that Max may live with Him forever, in Heaven, even though Max sins.  Hopefully Max knows and basks in the unconditional love of our Perfect Father in Heaven.  Hopefully, Max learns at an early age that the love of Christ is more than enough.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Meet the PP

I've been a major blog slacker... which means I have a lot to catch up on!

Let me start by introducing an important group in my life, The Porton Posse.  We, the PP, gather once a month for mexican food and discussions about life.  It is a major highlight to our month and we all look forward to it.  There are 5 of us total. And here is how we happened:

In the Spring of 2004, prior to my internship at Buckhead Church with the middle school ministry, I went to their spring retreat to "get a feel" for the kiddos.  My girlfriend's husband was (and is) the middle school pastor, so she hooked me up with a trial run.  I helped with a 6th grade small group of girls that weekend and my co-leader was an awesome gal named Wendy.  We clicked right away and "became" friends that weekend. Wendy has a younger sister, Trisha-- and so I got the introduction from one sister to the next.

Then I met Ruth in the summer of 2004 when we were both interns that were too cool for school.  She was from the Dirty Jers and was down for the summer, working with Kidstuf at Buckhead Church.  I met her, we locked eyes, and have been friends since.  She is my bffa- pronouced "buh-fah" as in a word, not the letters. But there was no meshing of circles at this time.

After the summer, Ruth and I went back to college. I came into Atlanta most weekends for church and continued my friendship with Wendy and Trisha.  Ruth and I had phone dates throughout the school year and we continued our friendship as well.

Finally, after Ruth graduated, she moved to Georgia, to be with the rest of us crazies.  At that point, the friendships all meshed- Me, Ruth, Wendy and Trisha.  And we began our Mexican habit, but without any formality.

Meanwhile, I was working at a different church, North Metro, and met Jill because her hubby was my co-worker.  After a couple years of knowing Jill and simultaneously knowing and loving Ruth, Wendy and Trisha, I decided we would all probably be a match and invited Jill to mexican one night.  She immediately clicked, and we got a schedule and a restaurant (El Porton) that is our go-to and knows us by name, and we have been the Porton Posse ever since.

Since our start, Ruth has gotten engaged and gotten hitched. (We were all in attendance).  Trisha got engaged and got hitched this past weekend (hence this post). And Wendy got engaged about 2 weeks ago and will be getting hitched in October, with the PP there to celebrate as well.

Side note #1.  Please say a prayer for Jim Foster who just married off his daughter (Trisha) on Saturday and will do it all again for his other daughter in October.  Poor man :(

Side note #2.  The PP was all at my wedding too, but we just weren't the PP yet.

Sidenote #3. Jill came with to us with her boo. So even though we weren't in on the process, we don't complain, because he fits.

Side note #4.  The PP's hubbys/ fiances all share a sport: golf and are all jokesters and get along great-- just like we planned :)

SO now for the wedding this past weekend:

Trisha and Carlton tied the knot and it was in gorgeous Murphy, North Carolina, on a beautiful farm, with absolutely delicious food and Waffle House Chocolate pie for dessert, as requested by the bride. (Love her!)  Trisha, who we obviously love, hence her coveted place in the PP, married this incredible man who loves the Lord and loves Trisha.  He is funny and personable and caring and laid back and just plain great.

[caption id="attachment_615" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Ruth and I read scripture in the ceremony, this is us just before the wedding"][/caption]

It was really great to celebrate with them this weekend.  And now that you know the PP, be prepared to hear about our antics.... and Wendy's upcoming nuptials.

[caption id="attachment_616" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Me and my HOTT date"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_617" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Me and my GORGEOUS bffa"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_618" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The PP: (L to R: Wendy, Jill, Ruth, Trisha, and Lauren)"][/caption]

Monday, June 21, 2010

10 Months Strong... and Growing!

This past weekend, Max went to my parents for 4 days.  As in, he went to Indiana withOUT me.  The longest I have ever been away from him, prior to this weekend, was for 19 hours when I went to writer's retreat and he stayed home with Chad.  So this was EYE OPENING and really really REALLY (times a million) hard!

For some moms, they leave their babies long before the 10 months mark.  For some moms, they wouldn't dream of leaving their baby this early.  But for us, this was good timing.  Max is really flexible and my parents just adore him, and we had a wedding to go to this weekend, so it all worked.  Honestly, my parents have been preparing for this event since they found out I was pregnant with the little guy.  They have a crib, and his detergent, and his bath soap, and a high chair, and they have contemplated stealing him from us.

During his stay, Max turned 10 months old!  (Saturday, June 19th, 2010.) Not much is different in the realm of his size, his clothes, or his food, but one thing has changed:

His MOBILITY! And mix that with his newfound curiosity.

Now, he likes to check out anything and everything VERY thoroughly.

And let's just say, this little man is keeping us on our toes... and helping me reorganize :)

Dear Max,

You are still more wonderful than I ever imagined- you continue to grow each day and my love for you does too.  I can think of no better job than being your mom.  I thank God for you continuously and me and your Dad just plain like every darn thing about you.  Thanks for being our son and thanks for smiling at us everyday.  You're the best!


Your very PROUD Mommy

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Bounty of "Great" Ideas

It took a lot of effort but I did get to read a book while at the beach.  The book I read is called "Rattled" by Christine Coppa- as in Cop + pa, not like Copacabana, the song.  She made a point of making that clear in the book :)  Anyway, it was her real story about getting pregnant before she was married, her boyfriend bails, and she decides to keep the baby.  It was really good- and I enjoyed it- especially because I was pregnant semi-recently and thought some of her explanations of "the phenomenal things" that happen to the pregnant body were really funny.  And I like her because she's tough, and she's a fighter, and she took responsibility for her actions.

But have you ever noticed how books can be a bad influence on you?  I use the word "bad" loosely.

After reading this book, I had a streak of "I am Woman, Hear me Roar".  It was our last day at the beach, and Chad had gone to play golf.  It was also National Donut Day- which considering my LOVE/ ADORATION/ OBSESSION with donuts, this day make the top 3 on my list of holidays-- only after Christmas and my Birthday.  I celebrate my birthday all month long- I have a birth month- and I eat donuts as often as necessary throughout my month.  And Christmas is the celebration of the birth of my Savior-- and donuts just really can't compare to that.  So, it's my 3rd favorite holiday.

So back to National Donut Day... with Chad gone, and I was "roaring", I got Gabe dressed, loaded Max in his stroller, put on a long, cotton maxi-dress, and we began walking to Dandee Donuts to celebrate.

The problem: it was 1.9 miles away- one way- including a walk over the inter-coastal waterway, in the direct sun, with temps already reaching 90 degrees.  We got about a 4th of the way there and Gabe's legs started hurting... it was "no fair" that Max got to ride in the stroller... sweat beads started dripped from my leg pits, and all of a sudden, my floor length BLACK dress, although sleeveless, didn't seem like a great idea.  I tried to talk Gabe into McDonald's instead, but I've trained him well and he would NOT settle for anything but donuts.  So I kept being "Woman" and roaring (and sweating)... and dragging my poor innocent sons with me, and we made it- eventually.  Unfortunately, we had to traipse back, after breakfast.  That was really awful!  I had to bribe Gabe with an after breakfast popsicle if he made it to our Condo.  All because of a book?!

And this is NOT the first time this has happened!  I've mentioned my broken engagement a couple times and one particularly good example of a book being a bad influence surrounds that story.... a couple months after calling it quits, I remember stumbling upon a book, "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldredge, that we had been reading for marriage counseling. "He" had read it first then passed it to me- I hadn't even started when we called it quits, so it just found a home on my bookshelves.  I eventually started to pick it up again, late one night, and found scribbles down the sides, from him, of all the deficits I had as a woman, and that my Dad had instilled in me.

My blood started boiling as I remembered conversations with "him" trying to turn me against my Dad, and now I was holding his ammo in my hands.  What a creep!  SO I skimmed through the rest of the book, finding all of his snide comments and it was obvious what I needed to do.  I had a battle to fight (if you're read the book, then you know what I'm talking about) and I needed to make it right.  I pulled on some clothes, and hopped in my car.

My plan?  Well I still had a key to his house, so I could drive over, walk in his apartment, walk in his room, and get in at least 2 good punches to his face before he woke up enough to defend himself.  I was certain that it would work flawlessly.  And by all means, make me feel better.  (I had never been the violent type, but this seemed like the ideal time to become one.) Praise the Lord for his Spirit that lives inside of me and reminded me that it probably wasn't a good idea for me, a staff person at our Church, working with students, to end up in jail for beating up an ex.  And now, several years later, I realize I wouldn't really want to explain that to my kids on day either.  But I was one heck of a warrior in my head!

After reading Karen Kingsbury books, I'm always super emotional and SO in love.  After reading girlie love books, I look for extra "romance" from Chad.  If you know Chad, then you know this is funny, because he doesn't do romance and somehow manages to make every potential romantic situation into a comedy.  He can actually make any situation into a comedy- but that's neither here nor there. The list goes on, but my point is that books- most of which aren't even real, give me these "great ideas"- like throwing a HUGE party, bashing someone's face in, being romantic, accomplishing some great un-accomplishable task, being mother of the year, etc....

Does this ever happen to you?  Am I the only psychopathic freakazoid out there? (self-diagnosed)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Living For A Cause

My heart hurts for this couple, yet it rejoices because of how BIG God is in their lives-- they've had a lot to deal with- death of a parent, cancer survivor, miscarriage, and then death of their 3 months old baby.  So what did they decide to do with all of this? Move to Haiti to help people, and make God known.  Why? Because they understand the hurt the people in Haiti, who suddenly lost loved ones, are experiencing.

The couple is Adam and Kara Cole.  I have never met them.  But I just want to get involved in what God is doing in their lives.

You must check out this story!

The story on Kara's blog:

Here is a video of them explaining why they are going to Haiti:>

And also their website and blog: and they are moving July 1st!

Aren't you humbled to hear such an incredible story of trust in God despite the circumstances?  So, will you pray?  Will you support them?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Super Sleuth and The Case of The Beep Beep

On Monday night, Max was in his bed, Chad and I were in our bed, eating cookies and cream ice cream, and watching Wheel of Fortune by 7pm.  Why?  Because Max wasn't feeling good, of course!  Within the 30 minute show, we were also You-tubing Wheel of Fortune videos to see if anyone had ever won the millions dollars.  (And yes, one lady has).  I wish this was a joke, but no, we are just that cool.

Beginning at 8:15, Max started waking up every hour- screaming.  He had a low grade fever, and severe tightness in his chest, but no congestion in his nose or anything, and he didn't act like anything was hurting.  I think he kept waking up because he was having such a hard time breathing.  (This would make me scream, too!) We were all still so exhausted from vacation that I figured that had something to do with it as well.  Chad decided he would stay home with Max on Tuesday, so he tried to get up with him every hour to get him back to sleep, so that I could sleep. But Max wanted his mama-- so I got up every hour as well.  As much as I wanted to sleep, I love taking care of my boy, too.

As the sleeping pattern continued, my level of tiredness drastically increased... to the point that I would stumble into Max's room, bumping into walls with my eyes closed, scoop up my baby, calm him down, and crawl back in my bed before ever waking up completely.

But when I was crawling into bed at 3:47 a.m. I heard this noise.... beep...beep beep...........beep beep.....beep beep beep.  I sat straight up in the bed and nudged Chad, asking,  "Do you hear that?"

Chad slowly came to the surfaced and heard it himself:  beep beep....... beep.....beep beep beep...beep.

(I know what you're thinking- our smoke alarm battery was dying.... but that is not the case.  It had no pattern and it wasn't high pitched.)

We both jumped out of bed, and crept downstairs in the dark.  I was peering over Chad's shoulder, pretending to be engaged in the situation, but really, I was hiding.  I went to turn on the light, but my very own Super Sleuth slapped my head down.  Apparently, when you're a stellar detective such as Chad, you don't use lights.  I got brave and decided to open the garage door- it was my car!  Someone was locking and unlocking my car over and over.  (If you have a Toyota, then you know the "beep" I'm talking about. But there was NO pattern.)

Again, I wanted to flick on all the lights and see what was happening, but the Super Sleuth told me to leave the lights off and get my keys.  I was hoping that they were under something that was pushing the lock button over and over again, but they were on the kitchen table with nothing around them.  In between the ghost locking the doors, I had to click "unlock" on my set of keys while Chad opened the door to the car, before the ghost re-clicked "lock" again.  But there was nothing in the car.

We went back in the house and had a pow wow in the living room.  The problem is that we had lost the extra key and clicker about 3 weeks prior.  The Super Sleuth then decided that someone had found the keys- probably in our yard or in the street- and was riding up and down the road clicking the lock button to try to find which car was locking and lighting up.  Super Sleuth then went into all the rooms, in the dark, and began peeking out of the blinds to see if anyone was in the yard or driving by.  I scrambled to turn on the house alarm, and crawled back into bed, certain that someone was about to break in.  Eventually Super Sleuth came back to bed as well, and without an answer, fell back asleep in a couple minutes.

Meanwhile, I kept creeping into Max's room every 20 minutes to make sure he was still in his crib- the person who was trying to find our car probably wanted our baby too.  As I laid in bed, over tired, but completely awake, I noticed that the beeping had stopped.  And I figured out the mystery:  Whoever had our keys had discovered that they went to my car and had stopped clicking them.  In the morning, they were going to tail me to work, and take my car while I was inside.  I began thinking through everything that was in my car-- was their anything that would give away my identity or our bank accounts?  What about my stroller and car seat- should I take them out before I headed to work in the morning?  And now that these creeps knew where our house was, would they keep coming by to take more of our stuff?  I decided we would have to get our insurance settlement for the stolen stuff and move into another zip code, leaving no trace that we ever existed on Timberland Street.  That is obviously the only way we could escape.

Eventually I feel asleep for about 2 hours before my alarm when off for work.  I got dressed and was putting on my jewelry when my car started beeping again.  PTL... that means they didn't know where my car was yet and pretty soon I would drive off and they'd never find me.

I woke Chad up and made him re-think his steps last night while I re-thought mine-- what was the one thing we did differently or put in a different spot?  That is where the keys were going to be.  I went around lifting up couch cushions, checking under the empty diaper box, moving my pile of magazines.... nothing.  Then the Super Sleuth mentioned that he had put his work clothes from the past two weeks in the laundry-- UM ding ding ding!  The lost key was in his pocket.  But he shot that down by telling me he had checked all his pockets.  I asked him to go check the washer anyway as I finished getting ready.  In less than a minute he came back up stairs holding the spare key and clicker.

Exasperated, I fell on the floor in disbelief.  When Super Sleuth asked "What would you do without me?"  I answered, "Sleep!"

So mystery solved!  Chad had thrown his work clothes in the washer before we went to bed at 7pm.  The keys were in the pocket of his pants and somehow when checking the pockets, he didn't find the keys. They were washed thoroughly and it wasn't until the clicker dried out a little (Around 3:47 a.m.) that it started malfunctioning to the point that it was locking and unlocking the car, repeatedly, in no pattern.

On this side of the mystery, it's funny to think about what the neighbors were seeing- our completely dark house with a garage the glowed momentarily every few seconds. They probably thought we were aliens about to take off in our spaceship.  Chad dried the clicker with my hair dryer, and alas, the beeping stopped.

The End.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Beach Stats and Pictures

Max loved the beach, the sand, the pool, the ocean, and anything else he could get his hands on.  He was also quite adept at knocking the umbrella down and was very proud of himself for accomplishing such tasks.

The beach is a great place to be a Dad of 2 boys, as you can throw people into the pool, you work way better than a raft, you're fun and you don't mind the sand in your shorts.

The beach we were at had a beach front library... not even kidding.  But why would you need a beach front library?  Well if you're walking down the to pier and a big huge lightening storm pops up and scares you half to death, you and the family can duck into safety for a nice afternoon story time, of course!

Gabe met new "pals" (his word not mine) almost everyday and once particular "pal" gave him this wisdom: the buoy in the ocean is the line for sharks- they are not allowed to go past it.  But if you swim out to the buoy (aka the sand bar) the sharks will bite you.  My cousin then asked Gabe where the sharks are and he said "World wide".  I decided to let him believe that the buoy did indeed make a barrier for the sharks.

Chad got to play golf twice and go fishing twice.  This is more exciting than Christmas morning for him!

Max liked to eat sand, watermelon, sand mixed with watermelon... among other things.  He would play very hard, and kick and splash... and then crash :)  His first beach experience was just delightful.  And somehow he managed to get a better tan than the rest of use, despite the 55 SPF! He has spent the past 48 hours trying to catch up on sleep- vacation just wore him out!

Gabe got to fish as well, and just soaks up the sun.  I kept drenching him in sunscreen, so much so that he looked white, then would watch it all roll down his back when he got out of the water.  This happened even when we put in on inside the room and waited for it to dry.  It's like his skin LOVES the sun and doesn't want anything to do with SPF.  He also wore googles the whole time he was even near water, so his under eyes got so red.  And he just worked the camera all week:

There was lots of brotherly love going on... Gabe never gets frustrated with having a baby brother- instead he just revels in it and enjoys it all.  He's such a good helper too- he can entertain in the back seat, give a bottle, play in the pool, etc!  Before you have a baby, you should pick up a Gabe :)

I tried to hide from the camera, but I was there as well.

Friday was National Donuts Day and me and the boys celebrated appropriately.  I even let Max have a little piece... so much for no sugar?!  But I am such a donut lover, as in this holiday was created for me and they are my most favorite food in all the world, hands down, so how could I deprive my child of such loveliness?

Group pic!  (My cousin Holly, her husband Michael and their son, Caden, were all there with our family)