Saturday, June 19, 2010


Dear Claire and Tate,
Happy Father's Day to two of the luckiest kids on may not realize this, but, like me, you are blessed to have been given one of the best dads ever. Here are a few pix from the years passed...
with love,
the luckiest wife (and mommy) in the world.
happy Father's day to my sweet husband and my amazing dad! I love you both so much. Thank you, Dad, for being the wonderful father that you are to Me, to Dan, and to Matt! you have taught me so much in life and by truly are an amazing man. Thank you, Matt, for being the fabulous daddy and husband that you are! you have had to pull my weight SO much this year, you have had to be both daddy and mommy some days...I hope you get a break from your "motherly duties" (wink wink! lol) today. I love you so much. And, lastly, happy father's day to the father of my amazing husband...he is such a wonderful, kind, loving, and giving person. you would be SO proud of the man that Matt is.
Matt, we all love you so much! hope you enjoy your day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Nanny McPhee Returns | In Theaters August 20th

Nanny McPhee Returns In Theaters August 20th
we had the opportunity to view the new Nanny McPhee movie (coming out mid August) tonight, and, I must say, it was the cutest kid's movie that I've seen in a long time (now, keep in mind I had to miss out on Alice in Wonderland when our babysitter landed in the, I am comparing Nanny to all of the other quality films that we've seen...such as "old dogs" or that Jackie Chan one where he was the next door neighbor...does "spy next door" sound right?!)
I think I may have liked Nanny McPhee returns better than the original...Matt's not so sure, so, I would imagine that we will have to dust off the old Nanny McPhee in our movie cupboard and give it a viewing tomorrow night for family date night.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I think the beach is our family's favorite place to, not that the word "vacation" is used much in our vocabulary unless attached to "summer" or "Christmas" and meaning "a break from school" (haha...and in this case, it is only a vacation for the kids...not for me...wink wink...just kidding, Claire and Tate...I absolutely LOVE it when you are home and miss you oodles when you are gone!! xoxo)...
beach trips are a coveted rarity for our family and have only occurred when Matt's company paid to fly us away from the stadium to give us a break from the reality that was our life at the time, when we moved (for less than two weeks) to an island, AND...when my beautiful cousin invited us to VACATION with her at her friend's beach house! I just read an email from her...the beach is only an hour from her house she is able to frequent it alot more often than we are so it's more home-like for her than for us...however, she did say that this past wknd felt very "vacation-ish" and I must agree that it certainly did!!

A few things we learned while "vacation-ishing" with Daphne and Marika: everyone must try an outdoor shower at least once in their lives, the little bubbles on the shore are clams!!, hermit crabs are the only beings able to find perfect shells...unless they die in our buckets...then, sadly, their loss is our gain, clams are amazing little critters...they look like marsh grass around 3am if you create a habitat for them, beach umbrellas are relatively easy to set up...until the wind flips them inside out, yummy chicken salad is easy to make, pop chips are the best thing ever, a whole roll of paper towels DOES kill big bugs, salt-water air leaves a huge film on everything, cars peeling out on sandy roads sound like rabid dogs, I do talk (scream) in my sleep, whoopie pies are amazing, sunscreen helps in the prevention of sunburn, clouds are deceiving, vinegar helps sunburns, olive oil tastes way better than vegetable oil when frying flour tortillas, AND we must make our visits with Daphne and Marika a regular thing...because they really are the best gals to vacation-ish with...

Gavin had some really great gals here on earth...and, I am sure, if he had a window from heaven he was laughing at us and was so proud of you Daph, on your first time packing/loading!!! he was probably nodding his head about the WWII facts, proud to hear that you now listen to political radio shows lol, smiling at the patient and loving way you parent your beautiful daughter, whispering sea-shell names to us, and was probably busy helping God to prepare that lavender beach house for us to visit you two in when we all join him in Heaven!! what a brave, strong, and amazing woman you are, Daphne...and such a great are an inspiration to me. Thank you for the best weekend was SO much fun and SO worth the drive. We miss you already.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

hooray hooray hooray!! i found a new way to upload my pix from that camera of mine...screen is still cracked so I can't use the "touch screen" to delete the pictures that I've uploaded...but, here are a few from the past couple of months!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

the squabble I maybe shouldn't have

so, my camera doesn't seem to be uploading pix...dropping it doesn't exactly help my cause...otherwise I'd totally post a photo of my kiddos b/c I have so many recent pix! I've had to resort to digging through old files to find photos to add to the blog :o( this one's cute though...C & T were squabbling and had to hold weren't ready yet. They were 4 and 5 in this picture.

ANYHOW, here's a funny story for you today:

The kids have reached an age where they help out around the house...which is fabulous, lol...however, today I wasn't exactly paying attention to my kindergartner who has been begging to do laundry for quite some time...I thought, "what could it hurt?" and asked him to throw the wets into the dryer and put all of the whites that I had already sorted into the wash...

the washing machine seemed REALLY full...but, I didn't think much of it as I turned the water on and added CLOROX...until I discovered a ton of darks at the bottom of the load of whites when I went to throw them in the dryer! lol. I thought I heard Claire telling Tate he wasn't finished with his job...and I am pretty sure he shouted back "you aren't the mother," but, I figured they worked that little squabble did I know.

becoming a stone thrower

I heard the coolest idea in a sermon the other day (is coolest even a word?)...the pastor who was speaking went on a trip with a girl whose Bible study had agreed to do this "activity," and she lugged her rocks onto an airplane!! He had us all laughing as he was describing his frustration at the weight she added to her suitcase. Anyhow, he shared this idea with us and I thought that I'd share it all with you for our activity of the day:

today, if you live near the mtns or someplace that has beautiful (and fairly large) rocks, I'd like you to go out and hunt for the largest and prettiest ones you can find (I promise...this activity is so worth it)...if you live nowhere near pretty (and free) rocks...head over to the landscaping department of your local home depot, hardware store, or even walmart. You may need lots so try to get as many as you can for this fun activity. ALSO, after finding/collecting your rocks you are going to need a very sturdy bag with super-strength handles to carry them in...i find that a HUGE suitcase with the pop-up handles and wheels is extremely handy.

( a little side note story: I could probably complete this activity with my own "rock collection," if the rocks were large...but, they are, every school that Tate has ever attended from preschool on, he takes one or two rocks/pebbles from the playground and brings them home as presents to me...I have an antique jewelry box and he places them in there...three years down the road and the boy is still bringing me home rocks for my present of the day!! haha, when he attended a school that had wood chips rather than pebbles, he brought me home a wood chip and apologized that his new school did not landscape with rocks).

Once you have your rock collection home, find a quiet spot and set them all out in front of you...and begin filling your sturdy you fill it...think about unforgiveness...think about times that you have been hurt by someone (be it physically/verbally/emotionally etc etc) and think about how it affected you...ask yourself if you are harboring unforgiveness toward this person for their offense? for each offense, place a rock in your bag and NOW carry this bag around with you EVERYWHERE!!! if you go to bed, take it with you! when you wake...carry it to the bathroom, to the kitchen, to work, as you travel, as you go for a bike ride, as you go swimming (that activity might be a little difficult to attempt and as a suggestion, I might avoid swimming while carrying a suitcase loaded with landscaping rocks), to church, to the grocery get my point.

Think about it...these rocks are SO heavy!! our past hurts are SO heavy...but, if we have unforgiveness in our hearts from these hurts, we are the only one carrying these rocks around...not our offenders!! If you are married and you are both carrying around a giant bag of rocks, how can you hold each other's hands AND onto your children? the heavier the bag gets, the more challenging it is to enjoy life...or even go about simple tasks b/c the weight makes it difficult to bear any other burden.

I think of an abusive mother that I is so sad because she really hurt her children and several of her grown children are bitter and, for lack of better word, dramatic, it seems that a couple of them work hard to be people-pleasers and even to please her still...they are hurting and b/c they are hurting they hurt others in the way that they overreact and hold grudges. If I think about all of the hurts that their mother caused physically and emotionally as rocks that they carry around daily, I cannot imagine how they deal with anything else. While their mother may never say sorry for the pains she caused...while she may never recognize her own sins, and while their father, in his grave, can never apologize for never defending them...for allowing his wife to beat the crap out of their children...they can cause their own closure...they can throw those stones out into the ocean...they can say "I release the weight of this burden you are causing me! You hurt me, you stole my childhood, but, I forgive you!"

Forgiveness is a difficult feels like by forgiving someone you are giving them permission to treat you poorly...this isn't the case...I mean, it doesn't guarantee that they will change...but, I can guarantee that you will! By forgiving, you also aren't taking a "doormat" position and allowing your offender to hurt you again, you are simply releasing the hold that they have on's a heart matter. Forgiveness frees you to live in joy, it releases you of those pounds and pounds of stones that you are carrying around on your back. Sometimes we may not even know that we need to forgive someone, it might just feel like a need for closure from a hurt that you buried deep down inside twenty years ago. You know the girl I mentioned earlier...well, the pastor said that she did carry those heavy rocks on the plane and as the trip went on, she began to realize the hold that her unforgiveness had on her and she released each of those stones...she threw them into the ocean. Become a stone-thrower you lighten your own load, you just might change the lives of your offenders as well...forgiveness is not something ANY of us deserve.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

opportunities for growth

This has, maybe, been the hardest year of my life...and possibly of our marriage. It's difficult to actually say that out loud, or to see it written out on paper...making that statement real. Mostly b/c it's a hard thing to admit...and it's difficult to actually allow myself to believe something like that, when, in reality, I have such an amazing life. I sit here on the 2nd floor of my three-story town home. I have a pool. I have a balcony right outside of my bed that faces a busy street and looks down upon tons of trees that are filled with birds who awake me each morning at 5am w/their songs. I live in a free country. I live in a first-world country where clean water and medical care are my rights. I get to stay at home with my beautiful children, witnessing their lives and playing a part in their classrooms. I have a car. Matt has a car. My children each have their own rooms. We have food on the table at each meal. Matt has a job when so many in his industry do not. We are ever so blessed, which is why it is so difficult for me to say out loud that this has been the most difficult year of my life or our marriage. We've had tons of ups and downs! lol. Heck, when you have babies in your twenties and are both still in college that can pose some financial always joked that everything was downhill from there after the colicky/poopy diaper/college finals years! I remember times when we awoke and both cars wouldn't start...when Matt was travelling for work and I had two babies preschool and younger and had to push the car that eventually never started around the block by memory cracks me up. I can remember awaking to our car being broken into (three times!)...not knowing how we might pay certain the season when I had to go to Sally Jobe...and I know that this season that we are going through right now will soon be fondly added to that list. I know that in all things God works for the good of those that love Him.

I never talk about this season of our life on my blog b/c, really, we've been surviving it...we've been hiking up that mountain trail, holding hands the whole way...sometimes taking turns carrying each other...and it never occurs to me that we are "surviving." For those of you who know me, you know that I've been sick since August. If you know me, you also know that I never sleep...I am always so busy creating art, or doing some sort of project that I go-go-go. Matt laughs at my description of my body lately: my heart loves to party, but, sadly, my body doesn't anymore. Some of my symptoms started to occur a year or two before that...but, this curled up in a ball on my bed taking zofran to make it to school for pick-up didn't really begin until August. I am blessed that this is episodic and that my sweet children are as old as they are, that Matt isn't travelling like he was four years ago, and that we have health insurance ;o) I have basically felt drunk for weeks at a time...the world around me is spinning and I have lost weight, been dehydrated, and unable to function. Don't get me wrong, I do not enjoy being sick at all...I feel horrible when I am unable to do anything for my sweet family...when Matt and the kids have to "fend for themselves," BUT, i have learned SO much in this season. I have been stretched and am growing tremendously and I cannot say that I would be the person I am today had we been able to stay in our house on the island while I attended SCAD. It has been a sad season...but, it has been a season of letting go of things that I cannot control and clinging wholeheartedly to my Lord and Father for comfort, provision, answers...and growth...tremendous growth. I can't imagine, if I were a tulip bulb, that it would feel so good to push up through frozen ground to bloom...Tulips are so delicate and beautiful...but, if you think about'd have to also have a tremendous amount of strength to actually get up above ground to bloom.

I look at my precious husband with such adoration...what an amazing example of a servant's heart. This fella has held up my end of our family so often and so willingly...and with such love. I am so blessed by God to have this amazing man as a part of my life. I know God is in the mix here, I know He is growing us SO much. I was just reading in 1 Peter...about persevering...and about how He develops us through our trials.

OK, back to my point...b/c I didn't write this particular blog for a pity party...whatever it is you are going through right now, God may not have caused it, but He can use it...the more difficult the trial the bigger the opportunity for God to make something beautiful out of it. There are some of you out there who may feel like your world is falling apart all around you, you may feel alone, crushed, hurting, so broken that you don't even know where to turn. Allow God, in this season of winter, to grow you...remember that after winter always comes spring. And, remember that whatever you are going through, God is there...He promises two-fold for all that has been taken from us. I heard a story of a cafe that had a horrible stain near a table. Diners never ate at that table b/c the stain was so disgusting...until one day an artist came into the diner and took that stain, using it as his base, and created the most beautiful painting out of it. God can do the same for each of us. Don't ever blame him for your pain. He awaits with open arms, wanting to take the stains in your life and turn them into beautiful paintings that might not have ever been there had we not had the stains in the first place. He can create a beautiful redemptive story in each of our lives. So, while I say this may be the most difficult year of my life and of my marriage...I just mean it could very well be the most difficult stretch of trail that we've hiked so legs are burning and the pack on my back feels heavier with each step...yet muscles are building and I am approaching the top getting ready to see an amazing view that I've never seen before...I'll be ready and prepared for my next hike...and who knows maybe it'll be even more treacherous...but, God will make sure I come prepared with the right tools. you will too. keep hiking. move forward...b/c every trail reaches an end...every trail has a view. sometimes the trail is so steep that when you reach the top and turn around you will be shocked that you made it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dan, the crayon

I had to zoom in on Dan, the crayon. That's my little brother dressed as a crayon for mom dressed as a purple crayon that year. How funny that my artist brother was a crayon...I wonder if he asked to be one??