Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dear Birmingham....

(make sure you scroll down and pause my playlist before you hit play)....

As promised, here's the next installment in a2's series entitled, "Dear Birmingham"

Click here to watch the 1st video in the series, and click here to listen to the messages that go along with the videos. Pretty powerful stuff for us Birmingham folks.....or anyone who has a heart for their city. Shouldn't we all have a heart for our city?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wordful Wednesday....Greer's Appetite!

From the moment she started eating solid foods, Greer has been serious about her food. I can honestly say that she will eat anything! And, she wants to do it herself! She has gotten great with utensils and usually cleans her plate. I've made sure not to deprive her palate of any toppings or exotic foods just because her older siblings never liked them.....

The difference between the first child and the third child, I guess.

She will eat a cheeseburger with everything on it. Mustard, pickles, onions, tomato, name it. And don't even think about breaking it into pieces. Two fisted feasting for my sweet baby girl!

Burritos filled with rice and beans, cheese dip and salsa, salad with balsamic vinaigrette, boiled shrimp and cocktail sauce, vegetable soup, chicken salad, tuna salad, hummus, scrambled eggs, green bean casserole, fried green tomatoes....

But I forgot about olives, she doesn't like olives.

One of her most favorite foods is hard boiled eggs. The other day I was cleaning out the fridge and I found an egg that I couldn't remember boiling. I made the decision to throw the questionable egg away (it couldn't have been more than a few days old) and went about my morning.

A half hour or so later, I was shocked to find that Greer had rescued the egg from the garbage can, and by the time I realized it, she had eaten half of and ALL!

3 days later, and she is no worse for the wear. Guess it wasn't spoiled....and she sure thought it tasted pretty good. Did I mention that she'll eat anything???

Head over to Angie's blog for more fun Wordful Wednesday posts!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ready to Rock!?

Backyard Bible Club
Our House
This Week!
Monday-Thursday, 6 - 8 pm

Know where I live???
You're invited.....

....and bring a friend!

a ministry of a2 Church

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Year Ahead, Part 1

It's hard to believe that our "summer" will come to an end in just 3 short weeks. Where has the time gone....and whatever happened to heading back to school after Labor Day? I don't know why I ask these same questions every year, but I do. No matter, school days are quickly approaching, and I am starting to face the music! It seems that the lazy days of Summer are gone before we know it and we wonder what we did with all our free time.

Oh yeah, I remember!

We ate countless frozen treats from the icecream truck that visits our neighborhood every day after lunchtime....

We swam and swam and swam some more. I am blessed to have such little fish, and I love that they seem to have a passion for swimming like I have always had. You could say it's in our blood....

And he finally mastered the fine art of skimboarding. I am in awe of my big kid and all he can do.....and for what this year will bring for each of them!

We've stayed up late, cooked out burgers with friends, and stayed in our pajamas through lunchtime. We've had no schedule or rules (well, maybe a few) or homework. We've truly filled ourselves back up, and prepared our selves for what is to come....

And in less than 3 weeks, we'll be back in the swing of the school-year routine. One in second grade, one in kindergarten, and one in Mother's Day Out. After-school activities, fieldtrips, and projects. Fights over outfits, earlier bedtimes, and kisses at the bus-stop. Hectic mornings, busy afternoons, and homework! Sure, a little part of me is excited to have a routine back (and a few hours of "me" time each week), but there is a big part of me that will miss the carefree safety net that comes with summer vacation. That reminds me!

I have to share this story with you....

Chris' job requires him to get up with the chickens, and I think the kids sense when he has climbed out of bed. 9 times out of 10, I wake up with a little person lying next to me. Yesterday, I was surprised to find myself flanked by both Reeves and Lucy when I woke up. I have no idea how I could have missed that, but there I was.....

Surrounded by the heavy breathing of two precious little souls.

I found myself with the overwhelming need to pray for them. I prayed for their safety, for their spirits and for their happiness. I had an overwhelming sense that I needed to pray about this upcoming school year. I prayed a prayer for the teachers they would have. I prayed that they would bring out the best in my babies.

I kissed them and hugged them and vowed that over the next few weeks I would continue to pray like mad that this year would be one of the best years of their life. Oh how quickly the time is passing.....and oh what a privilege it is to pray for my children!

There's another big piece to this story....but I'm saving it for another day. For now, I encourage you to pray for your children's teachers in the weeks before they head back to school.....I can't tell you how much peace it has brought to my soul!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dear Birmingham....

(make sure you scroll down and pause my playlist before you hit play)....

Wow, right? I can't wait to see where this sermon series takes our church and our city....or should I say, where GOD takes our church and our city. I'll be sure to post the videos as they come.....

Wanna read more about what's going on in the life of a2 Church? Check out Chris Goins' blog and the church website. Or ask me....I'll be more than happy to share.

P.S. Click here to listen to the message from week one (oh, and you can download it for free on iTunes. Just search a2 Church)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Not My Child!

Did you almost die of embarrassment when your child walked in on you and your husband doing you-know-what? Want to scream bloody murder when your toddler colored on your floor with a Sharpie? Feel like a terrible mother when your kid used a swear word in front of your in-laws? Well don't! Mothers aren't perfect and neither are children, so today I thought we'd switch things up a little and do a Not my child! Monday!

That's what MckMama wants us to do today, and well, if you come here often (or follow me on twitter) then you know that my children do NOT provide plenty of material for this fun bloggy carnival.....

For me, the hard part was narrowing it down to the top 3 or 4....I could write a BOOK, y'all!

Here are a few of the best from this week!

Lucy has NOT become fascinated with breasts lately. She has not been asking me all sorts of questions about how they work, what they're for, and when she'll be getting some ("Hopefully not for a while, sweet girl, you're only 5")! So I was NOT completely surprised when my mother-in-law told me that she had some questions for her, too. What did surprise me? She told her, "When I get boobies, you'll be dead!" I sure hope not! Lucy is NOT into brutal honesty lately!

Late Saturday night, Reeves did NOT open my bedroom door and poke his little messy haired head in the small crack just so he could announce "MOM, I Pooted"! He did not quickly close the door and then crack it back open (just far enough to fit his marker stained fist through) with a big "Thumbs Up" gesture. It did NOT make me laugh out loud! Gotta love little boys!

And Greer, my immensely joyful child, who rarely cries much less throws a tantrum did NOT decide to have the most massive 18 month old meltdown today right smack dab in the middle of her check up. She did NOT attempt to shove our pediatrician off the rolling stool and when she couldn't make her budge, she did NOT melt into the floor in a puddle of kicking and screaming. I did NOT know what to do but laugh which is probably NOT the kind of reaction my pediatrician was expecting.....I just couldn't help myself. It was just so NOT like my sweet baby G!

But as all of you Mommies out there know, a little dum-dum does NOT save the day in situations like these. Dear old inventor of the dum-dum, you sir or madam, are NOT a Saint! Whatcha wanna bet it was a madam?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Who says..... can't grow plants actual PRODUCE! and children at the same time?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Our brown blue eyed girl.....

(make sure to go down and pause my music at the very bottom of the page before you click on play.....)

We had a big night partying at the pool. Live band, lots of food, friends, fun....Greer even mastered dancing while swimming. She's a girl after my own heart! I am so proud of my little fish! Couldn't you just eat her up?

Yep, she is pretty much that yummy all the time! How did I get so lucky blessed?

Pray for Alan and Jen

***Update #2***
Alan is being treated for TIA, and they are hoping that it was an isolated event. He should go home tomorrow, and is doing well tonight. Check their caring bridge site for more updates, and thanks SO MUCH for all the prayers.

I spoke with Jen a little while ago, and Alan has been admitted to the hospital for testing. They do believe that he has probably had a stroke, but he is stable and is not as confused as he was earlier. Jen sounded strong and was thankful for all the prayers.....keep 'em comin'! Thanks!!!

Jen has asked me to keep everyone posted and to ask for prayers today. Please click here to read the update and catch up on their story. The more prayer warriors, the better.

Thank you for taking the time to pray.....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Votes are IN!

I just wanted to give all of you a huge thank you for all your support over the past few weeks. I know it sounds cliche, but it truly was an honor just to be nominated. I have no idea where I stand (they quit showing the standings a week ago), but I do know one thing..... I have met so many really awesome people because of the bloggy-blog world. People who have prayed for me and my family. People who have challenged me in my faith. People who have made me laugh and made me cry. What a wonderful community there is to be found out here in the internets!

I am growing and learning more about myself, my children, my friends, my God, and all of you. If you are new here, I would love to know who you are....

what do you enjoy reading about? who are your favorite bloggers? how can we pray for you? what can I do to make my little piece of the internet better?

Feel free to leave a comment (even if it is an anonymous one)....let me know what you get out of the internets that is good!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday....

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Big Scare!

This is me...

I'm a blessed southern girl, living a life of faith and thanksgiving. I hope that in reading, you may hear my heart. I'm raising my sweet (sometimes sassy, messy, and crazy) children with my incredibly patient and loving husband. I tend to see life through rose colored glasses, and I've been known to be a clutz. My family would tell you that I am a bit of a control freak, but I like to think of myself as a "work in progress". God's not finished with me yet!

So, this really shouldn't come as any real surprise to you.....

I am a clutz, and this clutz had a rough day yesterday! Here's how it went down pun intended:

Here in the south, we have some wicked thunderstorms. The kind of storms that pop up out of nowhere and put a stop to your day. Yesterday was one of those stormy mornings. The lightening and thunder started while I was putting on my makeup, followed by the torrential downpour. The kind of rain that can sweep cars away and flood basements.....

I made a quick call to my babysitter to tell her to take her time and get here safely. I told her I would open up the garage door so she could pull in out of the storm. When I went down to do that, I found that my garage was filled with water....water up to my ankles. At this point, I totally went into damage control mode. I rolled up my scrub pants, threw off my socks and shoes, and went to work getting precious/damageable things out of harms way....but I was moving too quickly.

Before I knew it, both feet flew out from under me and I hit the solid concrete floor.....with the back of my head (I swear it felt like it caught the total brunt of the fall)! The water filled my ears and when I opened my eyes all I saw was black....

it was only a few seconds, but it all seemed to happen in slow motion. I was soaked to the bone as I crawled into Chris' basement office. I tried to focus and seemed to have my vision back. Instinctively, I reached up to feel the back of my head. There was no blood, but there was already a golfball sized knot....that eventually grew to a softball sized one.

My heart was racing, and I went into "what if" mode. What if I started to lose consciousness, what if they couldn't find me. My babies are all alone in their beds....

My cellphone was in my pocket, so I quickly dialed Chris. No answer. Again. No answer. I knew I needed to go to the hospital. I knew it needed to be checked out. I called work, crying and tell them I wouldn't be in. One more call, and Chris finally answered....he was on his way.

I prayed, I prayed, and I prayed some more. I wanted to live out the last line of my profile description.....I wasn't ready for God to be finished with me here on Earth....

Long story short, we made it to the hospital safely, the CT scan showed a large soft tissue hematoma but no brain bleed or skull fracture. The ER doctor joked, "The good Lord knew to make the front and backs of our heads the strongest so that we could endure these kind of falls..." He was a very wise man....and I am a very blessed girl!

I have a mild concussion and I am feeling VERY sore still, but I am so thankful to be OK. My family, friends and God are taking good care of me and making me take it easy. Counting my blessings is the understatement of the century. Thanks be to God, for He is good!

Be careful today, and know that I will be doing the same!

"Not Me" Monday......finally!

Wow! It's been a while y'all! I was such an avid "Not ME" participant, and I totally fell off the wagon....

I sure hope you'll forgive me!

New to this? "Not Me" Monday is a little blog carnival sponsored by my friend Jennifer (aka MckMama) over at The Basics: Post all your glowing Mommy moments under the guise of.....gasp......"Nope, NOT me!!! I couldn't possibly have done that!!!"

Wanna hear my besties from this week month.....

I did NOT let my children eat gobs of donuts and burger king and pop-tarts and fluffer-nutter sandwiches and Mr. Pibb for the better part of the past 7 days. I did NOT let them stay up till midnight and go without brushing their teeth or hair or let them watch endless episodes of Spongebob and Zach and Cody while on vacation with 2 of my best girlfriends! Nope, not me!

I did NOT feel like a clown yesterday when I finally put on a little makeup for the first time in almost 2 weeks....

I did NOT wear nothing but pajamas and bathing suits for 9 days straight. I did NOT bring home a closet full of unworn clothes. a bag full of unworn jewelry. a bag full of unworn makeup. When will I NOT learn to pack lighter????

I do NOT feel a little bit guilty that my sweet hubby was home working and painting our house while I enjoyed not wearing makeup, real clothes, cooking, cleaning an awesome vacation with friends and kiddos.

I do NOT love, love, L.O.V.E. the paint job he did ...... it is NOT absolutely, perfectly gorgeous! (BTW, "Cork" by Benjamin Moore, is NOT an awesomely warm color in case you are in the market....just NOT sayin')!!!!

I did NOT make a phone call to my babysitter for tomorrow to make sure she knew that we had had another child since she last babysat for us! I was NOT embarrassed to make that call, even though I had an inkling that she reads my blog and indeed knows that Greer exists.....

She did NOT laugh and reassure me that yes she feels like she knows sweet Greer from reading my blog. How far have we come, y'all???? Fah-reaky!

What about YOU....what have YOU NOT done this week????

Please share...and make me feel better about my fah-reakiness! (and, if I'm being totally honest....a few things happened this week that I am too NOT embarrassed to share!)....

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Life Changing....

....that's the best way to describe these past few weeks. I am in a place of freedom like I have never known, and I'm so excited about what God has in store for me and my family.

Chris Goins, our pastor at a2, wrapped up a series today that has been nothing short of incredible. The messages he has shared have spoken to my heart, driven me to deep evaluation, and challenged me to change. I have been poured out, broken to pieces, and filled back up to the brim (to overflowing actually).

There is a peace in my soul and I feel covered in grace.....especially after today's message.

And I would love to share with you the messages he has shared. I pray that each and every one of my readers has a home church that fills them up, and I am not in any way trying to steal you from your church (or denomination or whatever). This post is meant to only strengthen your faith and to give you extra fuel to fan the flames of your faith journey. I know that I get great insight from messages from pastors and teachers all over the world, and I feel a actual call..... to share a link to these messages I have heard this great summer.

That said....

if you are in search of a loving church home. A life changing, real, powerful, spirit filled church home in Birmingham....I would love to see you at a2 this Sunday. We're starting a new series that is sure to strike a chord ('specially if you live here in Birmingham). I've gotten a little inside scoop, and's going to be amazing.

If you're not quite ready to make that jump, or if you live a million miles away....well, you're in luck (that is, if I believed in luck). All of a2's messages are available on iTunes for free!

Download, listen, absorb. Open yourself to freedom, and vulnerability, and the joy that comes from Jesus.

And, if you feel like it.....let me know what you think. I just couldn't not share it with you. The entire series is a message worth hearing, from a pastor who brings it and a God who is greater than anything imaginable!

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Real "Them"

I plucked these individual shots out of all the photos I have taken this summer, and in them I see a million things. Things that only a mother can see. It's like they speak to me and tell a story. You probably don't hear what I hear, but I'd be willing to bet you have pictures of your own children that read like a novel (or at least like a clever short story....some of my most favorite pieces of literature are short stories)....

Lately, I've really been taking note of my children's differences. Last Summer, I read a book by Kevin Leman (phenomenal book, btw) that pretty much said you don't fully see your kid's personality until they are closer to the age of 5. I soooo understand what he means. I can NOT believe how much my Lucy (especially) has come into her own this year (for better or for worse). I am finding that she is my "challenge" at the good and bad ways.

She hates when I take her picture, but she will gladly pose for others. She has a MILLION questions....tonight she asked me what heaven looks like. She wants her hair to be long, but she won't let me brush it. She's an early bird and a sugar addict and a charmer. She wants to be a big girl and she will strike up a conversation with anyone.

She loves ferociously. She loves Praise and Worship. She loves, loves, loves to read. She is stunning.....her honey brown eyes will melt you.

Well, I know she's funny. That much is for sure. She loves to put her head in the sand and feel it on her toes. She is cautious at first, but when she knows she is safe....well, she's fearless. She sleeps, a lot. She eats, a lot. She is amazing. She is a blessing and our lover. She is delicious.

Wonder what I'll say about her when she is 5???

Tender, cautious, passionate.

Skinny, dirty, careless, loving.

Determined, striking, gentle, kind.

Tough, boundless, oblivious. Amazingly sensitive. Wild.

I love my punks.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fear not!

For the past few weeks, I've been hurting.....there is a physical hurt, but there is mostly an emotional nagging that I haven't been able to free myself from. I've done everything I know to do to stop the pain, and it's still there....dull, annoying, gripping.

But this week (even with all the fun and the wild children and the lounging by the ocean), I've been praying through it. And reading scripture. And listening. And talking to friends. And listening some more. I've reflected on the messages I have been hearing at church and replaying the songs we've sung over and over and over.

For the last few days, my prayer has been.....

"Take it, God. Take it."

That's all. That's all I know to say.

The best part is.....

that's all He wants me to say. Well, that and keep praying. Keep working through it. Keep trusting him.

I woke up this morning, and there is no pain. I feel light and free and at peace. And I opened my computer and saw this tweet from Max Lucado....

"Fear is not a sin, but it can lead to sin." Agree? DIsagree? Why?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fluffernutter Sandwiches and Mr. Pig

Thanks to my sweet friend, Krista, Lucy has been introduced to some fun new treats this week! Krista came down from Alabama armed with plenty of Mr. Pibb (which Lucy affectionately calls Mr. Pig), marshmallow fluff, and peanut butter. Well, you can imagine that Lucy my child with the insatiable sweet tooth was immediately taken with these sugary delights!

But what's even sweeter? Watching them together. Krista is so amazingly gifted when it comes to engaging with children (and thankfully she uses this passion working as a first grade teacher and in children's ministry at church). I am so blessed to have her as my friend....

Even if she does enjoy raising my child's blood sugar on a regular basis! Thank you, friend!

Click on that cute little button up there to head over to Angie's blog.
Sometimes a picture tells such a story....that's what Wordful Wednesday
is all about. I'd love to see what you have to say!
Have a great day, y'all!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

If I had to pick just one picture..... describe each of my children, I would pick these. Each one tells a story about their personality and spirit.

Before I tell you what I see in them, I'd love for you to tell me what you see in them?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Breakfast on the Porch

Powdered Donuts
P.S.....I'm adding more pictures to this post soon!

The atmosphere has shifted here in Destin. The weather is gloomy at the moment, but our spirits are filled. Chris had to go home to work, but my dear friends Kay and Krista drove in last night with their sweet boys. We are having so much fun. Our kids play so well together, and we girls are catching up on our lives. What a wonderful week it will be!

No worries about not being who we are. Sharing our struggles and cheering on our victories. We can lay around in our pjs, stay up till midnight, and keep each others kids in line. We talk about our faith, and we are there for each other. Being with them is like being with family.....

Sweet Krista has had a hard summer, with the loss of her precious Daddy....but her spirit is strong and the light is shining in her. Kay is our "triathlete in training" who puts us all to shame. I envy how strong she so many ways. I have a little one to chase around, and Krista has a daughter off to high school this year, and we are really praying for Savannah this week. She is down the road at BigStuf and we are praying for a life-changing experience for our girl and all the youth we know from a2 and Discovery.

Different stages, different places, but a friendship that is deep and true. I love these girls. Friendship is one of the sweetest blessings in life, and I am blessed beyond measure.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Our Perfect Fourth of July

....and a not so perfect picture. It's humid here in Destin, Florida (in case you didn't know). As soon as you walk outside, the lens fogs up and you get pictures that look something like this. Reeves took this picture tonight as we played on the lawn near our condo watching fireworks out over the ocean. We were pretty busy having lots of untechnical fun today, so I sure hope you'll forgive us. It was a blissful day....

Even with the humidity (which is amazingly more bearable than the stagnant sweltering we have been experiencing in dear ole Alabama....thank the good LORD for a precious sea breeze). We have had an amazing Fourth of July.

In fact, we finally broke in one of our wedding gifts.

Yes, you heard me right.....a wedding gift. From our wedding that happened about 9 and a half years ago. Who says that old saying is true?......

Maybe you should hang on to those things that you haven't used in a decade year! Food for thought....

And for the first time in almost 10 years.....we made homemade icecream. With a perfectly good icecream maker that had never seen the light of day. She had been content to wait on a shelf in our little ole garage for the past 9 and a half years just living for this day....

This amazing 4th of July in the year 2009. This day filled with sweet donuts, sandy beaches, skim boarding, peach eating, nap taking, sun soaking, pool floating, rib grilling, porch swinging, firework gazing, watermelon devouring fun....

Yep, it was well worth the wait. Thank you, sweet icecream maker, for being so patient....and for being part of this perfect day!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


One of the primary reasons I started this blog was to chronicle/document/share Greer's journey with her "beauty mark". She was born with what is called a Port Wine Stain, and it will forever be a part of her....

and we made the decision very early in her life to begin laser treatment as early as was safe for a baby. Thanks be to God, research came out not too long before she was born recommending that laser treatment was much more effective when started early in the life of a child. We prayed and prayed and pah-rayeed! about what to do (it was not an easy decision.....the treatments hurt like "you know what"). How could we possibly do THIS....

to our sweet, precious Greer? How could we listen to her scream as they held her down and zapped her over and over (thank heavens, it only takes about 5 minutes for her treatments)? How could we put her through the swelling, the itching, the smearing on of vaseline and aquafor....the stares and scolding of cruel strangers? How could we decide to electively put her to sleep for the procedures once she was 6 months old (old enough to receive anesthesia for an "elective" procedure.....we don't technically consider them elective, but I digress)? How could we???

This is how....

At 18 months of age (and after 7 laser treatments), Greer has had about 80% fading of her PWS (and we continue to see fading with each treatment). She has a future ahead of her that may not even be affected by the fact that she was born with a birthmark. No one notices it anymore (except after treatments), and it doesn't come up in conversations with strangers (but my close friends make sure to ask me how it's going). I no longer feel like we have to explain ourselves.....

"No, I didn't let her get too much sun."

"No, she doesn't have a rash."

"NOOOO! I didn't hurt my baby......for HEAVENS sake!!!"

And it seems someone else is interested in what it's like to live with a Port Wine Stain. Oprah has put a request out for viewers living with a PWS. And, on a whim, I decided to share our story. In hopes of bringing hope to new parents faced with the same decisions we were faced with almost 18 months ago. Who knows.....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wordful Wednesday.....

....better late than never! In fact, that's a great caption for this picture of our boys!!! There are 4 little girls in between these little cousins (Caroline, Lucy, Olivia, and Greer), and after 6.5 years, Reeves finally has a boy to share all of his adventures with.....

Meet Henry again! My 3 month old nephew and our Reeves' new pride and joy. You were a long time coming little man, and we love you to pieces!!!

Can't keep your mouth shut about your pictures either? Head over to Angie's blog for more Wordful Wednesday posts. Just click on her button below and enjoy!