Thursday, September 30, 2010

God's Never Failing Care

THANKFUL THURSDAY - it seems so long since I posted a "thankful Thursday" and there is so much to publicly give thanks for....but, as it seems lately, I am short on time; however, I have to thank the Lord for caring for my Em while we were away. Apparently, no matter how old they grow or how "independent" they become, our children are simply a part of us - our hearts - and we never stop worrying:)

Like I mentioned in my previous post, my daughter does not really like to be included in my blog.....but I have to mention that she was in a car accident while we were in Europe - a rather serious accident. It breaks my heart even now to think that we were not here and not with her when she really needed us (truly makes me cry). However, she was never - for a moment - out of God's care. Not only did He protect her during the accident...she was not seriously hurt and is absolutely fine now.....but He comforted her and loved her even when I could not be here. I am so grateful that we are never away from His love and care - and He cares for my children even more than I am able. Just as He protected Em, He sees and cares for my son in Afghanistan.

I simply want to praise and thank Him this morning.

(Now, hopefully...I can get some work done on organizing my pictures:).....)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Our "Little Bit"

It was wonderful to get around to many of your blogs, to catch up a bit and to hear from some of you! And I do hope to start posting some of the cruise pictures soon but, today, I had to take a break from those memories to look back 22 years....

Yep, that's me - 22 years ago today!! I was on my way to a "routine" doctor's visit....but, little did I know, I was hours away from becoming a mommy!!

I had been on bedrest for weeks with pre-term labor and was thrilled to simply be up, dressed and out of the house. I think that is probably the reason for the picture. Apparently, all that up and off the couch started the labor....again. This time there was no stopping her!

Miss Emily was on her way....and September 28th - I became a mommy for the first time! I've spent this morning remembering that moment and even now there really is no way to describe how you feel!

She was five weeks early and just a tiny little thing - weighed in at 5 pounds 2ounces - but she was healthy and strong..never really needed much more than the warming. This picture was taken the next morning and was the first time I was able to hold her. Yes, I was melting with mama's pride!!

Our precious Miss Em!

Here she is that morning with her daddy......already working that magic that little girls seem to have with their dads!
So hard to believe that little girl is 22 today! I don't post often about her - she does not like to be included in my blog (what??!) - but I had to take today to wish her the happiest birthday wishes ever!! We love you with all our hearts.....and no matter how old you are, you will always be our baby girl - our Sweet Miss Em!!
One last picture - one of my favorite snapshots of my life! This was taken the day we brought her home from the hospital. She had to stay in the hospital for five days. I left after two and coming home without her was so sad for me. Finally getting her home....and settling in - all was perfect with my world! That's how I felt here. Life was beyond perfect and I was beyond blessed and amazed (and exhausated!)

Happy Birthday, Em!

Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm Home Again - Hooray:)

HOORAY!! That is my word for this many things to praise the Lord for today and...just for fun, to shout - HOORAY!

Hooray - for a wonderful trip! So many wonderful memories made and great stories to share. I also have lots of pictures but, honestly, have not even loaded them to the computer yet. I hope to share lots from our trip in the days ahead....if you can stand it!

Hooray - for HOME! As wondeful as the trip was...I love to come home! Two weeks is an awful long time to be gone - and to be so completely "out of touch"! My heart truly longs to be at home:)

Hooray for my church family! Goodness, did I miss church while we were gone and it was great to be back yesterday. I love my friends...and my church family and it was wonderful to see everyone again yesterday. And we started a new Sunday school lesson that I was "just in time for" about the fruits of the spirit - yesterday was just the introduction but it is going to be another great series.

Praising the Lord for His protection not only on us while we were gone but also on my family here at home. There were some challenges but God's protection and goodness were evident and I am so thankful.

So much to say - and I am anxious to get around to everyone's blog to catch up a bit and say hello:) Still have quite a bit to do today to get things back "to normal"....I did make it to the grocery store and restock the fridge (just in case you were wondering about my priorities!) and today I need to finish laundry. (My suitcase just arrived yesterday...two days after me. Apparently, it needed a few extra days in Paris!) So, enough for this Monday morning. Hello to all my blogging friends...and

HOORAY for Monday:)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Married for Life

THANKFUL THURSDAY...thinking about my upcoming anniversary and about beautiful marriages, I always go back to my parents! When my dad passed away, my folks had been married thirty-six years. Like most of us, those years included many wonderful days but there was also more than their share of real trials and difficult days, deep disappointments, sorrows and gut-wrenching heartache; however, Mom and Dad travelled life's roads together - partners in a very real way.

My mom was very young when they got married - yes, that beauty there is my mom four months before she turned sixteen..and the age when my granddaddy said he would allow her to marry. (Their wedding day was four days after her 16th birthday.) Mom had a very difficult childhood and had her share of - shall I say - "baggage." My dad loved her in spite of all that.....and she loved him return.

They were committed to one another - and it is that real picture of faithfulness and commitment for which I am thankful today on this Thankful Thursday!

It often seems that our society today is almost anything! Nothing is to last forever and when things are difficult - whether it is a job, a mortgage, a friendship, a promise or a hundred other things - often the easiest answer is to walk away and "cut your losses." But God expects something different - something more - from His children. I want to be my commitments, to my family and friends, and to my marriage. And, I'm so glad to have an example of that in the marriage of my mom and dad.

I love you, Mom and Dad

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Who Would Have Imagined

The cruise - our trip of a lifetime - is a celebration of our 25th anniversary! Twenty-five years....really, it is hard for me to believe!

For obvious reasons, I will not be posting next the 14th rolls around, so I thought I would share some photos of a very young (and much thinner) me:) along with the two greatest men in my life - my dad and my sweetie!

We were married outside in a garden on the estate of a historical plantation not far from my parent's home. The day was gorgeous.

As I walked on my proud daddy's arm down that garden path created by crushed shells...there is simply no way I could have imagined twenty five years - 25 years of life with the man I affectionately call, Hubbie.

I could not have imagined.....

*together we could create three of the cutest little bundle of joys ever!
*the joy that comes from raising those three miracles and building a home together
*that one of our three would leave for Heaven before us
*the laughter, the tears, the heartaches and the joys!!

Nor could I have imagined - us, in Paris! to celebrate these past twenty-five years together! Sweet Hubbie, I can't wait to get there, to share this trip with you and to steal a kiss on the Eiffel Tower!!:)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Beyond Exicted

My Simple Woman's Daybook Entry for September 7, 2010

Outside my window....beautiful sunshine, no humidity and perfect temperatures! I feel so energized - and excited! - when I step outside on mornings like these! Even the dog has a sassy strut during his "start of the day business" walk:)

I am thinking....about my big trip which starts this weekend - and all the little details I need to take care of before Saturday gets here. The little bits of post-it notes with all my reminders are beginning to add up and overlap one another. Soon, I will need notes to remember where the previous notes are?? Just a note to self here: Walgreens and Wachovia are not the same thing! Not that I would ever go to the bank to pick up a prescription....but those type of things can happen when your brain is on overload:)

I am thankful for....the opportunity to be able to go on this trip. It truly is a trip of a lifetime and Hubbie and I feel extremely blessed to even imagine ourselves doing this!

I am wearing....what??? on this trip - now that is the question! I have one suitcase...and my personal items (read that make-up), hair gear, SHOES:), a few books and my devotional things - and then I have to get to my clothes (enough clothes for 14 days)! I envision it being something like "how many different outfits can you create from six pieces of clothing???" I love a good challenge:)

I am go get that prescription (for the patch!) that was not at the bank!!

I am going...on a cruise!! OK - there you have it! I could not drag out the suspense - or contain my excitment - any longer! Hubbie and I leave on Saturday for a 14 day cruise that begins in Copenhagen, Denmark and take us to seven different ports throughout Europe. We will be in Brussels... Amsterdam... Split, Croatia....Malta...two different ports in Spain...oh, and Paris!!

I am trying to figure out what the weather will be like! Do I need to pack sweaters (or even jackets) too??

I am hoping...all goes well here at home while we are gone. Oh my.

On my mind....well, that is a bit obvious:)

From the kitchen...well, I received an email from Jordan the other day. I had asked him to let me know if he needed anything. He replied: please send a protein shake blender (um...ok), a pencil sharpener (check), and homemade cookies! So, what do you think is coming from my kitchen this week?? :) Add bake, pack and ship cookies to Afghanistan to a new post-it note!

Around the house....lots of post-it notes:)

Plans for the week.....packing! I once heard this advice: pack for your trip...and then take out half of everything! No kidding. I will probably need to take out two-thirds!

One of my favorite things....Paris for your anniversary!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Look Back at Summer 2010

Welcome to Friday with Friends!! The other day, Hubbie and I were thinking about vacations and how it was unusual that we have not taken one (yet!) this year and I made the comment that this summer was a bit lame...or some such. Sad, but true. I was simply thinking - vacations! This summer has had its fair share of trying times, disappointments and challenges - along with the anticipation of Jordan's deployment. But, when we began to look back over the summer, there really were some good times - even some "probably won't ever happen again" type times!

I guess it is good to look back over events - because, if you are like quickly we forget! So, the idea for today's Friday was born:) And this is my look back over the past few months of summer for 2010.

Summer began with the end of school - and Morgan, and the rest of Tyler's class, graduating from high school! And, now, they are all off to college and those next phases of life! Just the other day, Hubbie and I were wondering..and dreaming..where Tyler might have decided to go to college. With God's grace, we can actually have some of these conversations with smiles and sweet memories - and even some playful imagining......and not simply tears.

In June of this year.....this cute little bugaboo somehow turned TWO! Where did that time go?

and I was able to be in Florida for her big birthday celebration at Build-a-Bear! You remember, ten two-year olds, a couple infants and one interesting (and inexperienced) party host at a Build-a-Bear workshop!! It really was cute.

and Miss Roo was the sweetest birthday girl ever! How many times in one week can one sing the birthday song? Apparently, she was going for a record!

And then in July, I found myself here - learning more than I ever thought I would know about hitching a car to a 24 ft. truck and the best way to strap tight all of one's earthly treasures so that you can haul them all the way across the country. And that we did! Just my brother and I:)
We spent ALOT of time doing this (and a lot of money!)....and I never thought I would come to appreciate (make that even ENJOY).....

places like these!! Love's became our best of friend. Seriously, I rarely use a public restroom but drive a few hundred miles..while chugging your bottled water to try and stay on your new diet.....and it won't take long to change your convictions! :)

Honestly, I think this trip was the highlight of my summer. I was constantly awed by the always changing landscapes and sights as we crossed the different sections of our country. We did not do a whole lot of stopping and most of pictures were taken from the front seat of the truck cab (and usually after a quick "you gotta get a shot of that" as we are driving by...) but we did take a few obligatory tourist....or, weary traveler shots! I love these.

I have about ten such shots of my brother - standing in front of a great view. You can thank me now that I did not share them all with you! Scott so wanted to stop and climb all the different mountains we saw - really?? Keep driving, son.
I did get a few favorite shots..........

Yes, this is out the window - but I think Flagstaff was by far my favorite! I would so love to go back there for a visit!

Honestly, I have never seen SO many fields of crops as there were growing in California - as far as the eye could see!

And - we made it! To beautiful Carmel/Monterey!! I was not able to stay terribly long after we arrived but I had the best time spending those travelling days with my brother. I think he and his family are settling in and seem to be enjoying life on the West Coast.

And then, of course, August we FINALLY saw Jordan come home!! The Air Force had been holding him hostage - or so it seemed to this mama but he was here for almost ten days at the beginning of the month! Here are my two men:)

And the two kiddos that my heart happy!! Oh, and lunch at Carrabbas - makes us all happy:)

Yep - my airman!! He makes us proud and we were so happy for those days he was home before leaving. He is in Afghanistan until February. We do miss him but he is very happy and we are grateful. Yes, I would say it was a rather great summer after all.
I hope that you have some great memories from your summer as well - and that you will share them with us. Thanks for all the sweet compliments on my new 'do:) You guys are the best of bloggin' buds!! Enjoy a wonderful Labor Day weekend - always the official start of fall for us! So, get out those fall things and cuten up the house:)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Haircut....with pictures even!

Well, you now have proof positive that I really love my bloggy one else could have convinced me to post pictures of my own face. Still not sure what has come over me.....

But - TA DA!
My new haircut - fresh from the salon. Yes! That is me...sitting at a traffic light..taking pictures of myself on my cell phone. Can you say dork?? Don't know if you can see just how fun and flippy it is.....

So, here let me take another one. (Really now. I think there might be a traffic law about this type of thing. But it was simply for all my bloggy friends!)

No - this one I did NOT take myself:) But I really like the back and it will, undoubtedly, never look like this again once I do it myself....but she got all this curl and flip simply by blow drying - and her hands. No brush. And no kidding. She assured me, "It is SOOO easy" but I have so heard that one before.
Well - that was really a new type of post for me. But, what do you think? (like what are you really going to say??) I'm really likin' it:) Now, don't forget about Friday with Friends tomorrow....a recap of the summer! I'm lookin' forward to hearing about your best moments.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

She Melts My Heart

Thanks so much for all your kind comments regarding my blog look:) I rather like it myself and especially now that I was able to get the cute polka dots to show - such an easy fix...IF you know what you are doing!! I do like the dots:)

I really am not that much for taking pictures of myself - much less posting them! - but if the new do is noteworthy, I will let you know. In the mean time...a picture worth posting!! My new favorite of Miss Roo! Totally rockin' her shades:) I love that girly!!

And never leaves home without her camera:) So her mother's daughter!! Happy Wednesday!!