Wednesday, December 25, 2013

God gives God

Christmas time is such a beautiful melody of memories and excitement for what's to come.
For many it's a nostalgic season that is sparked by the smells of baking, sights of colored, twinkling lights and the sounds of long ago carols wafting through the night. 
It's family and friends gathered together.  Reminiscing of Christmases past and making new memories laughing over the children's squeals. Just writing this brings a smile to my face thinking of the squeals we've heard just this year.
 It's the kids off of school enjoying their childhoods and the adults taking time from their usually busy schedules to enjoy the season.  Shopping in crowded stores for the perfect gifts, sipping hot chocolate from crammed backseats as you awe over the miles of Christmas lights and cuddled up in your living room reciting each line of you favorite holiday movie.
It's the anticipation for what's to come in the new year.  Fresh starts as clean as the white snow we all wish for this season.  Past regrets gone, hopes for the dreams of tomorrow start now.  It's an exhilarating time.  It's magical and dreamy.

Though I can't help but have my mind clouded with something else the last week.  This season can be extremely hard and rough on people.  There is heartache, devastated families and illness that loom over the magic of Christmas.  I have several friends that are struggling. Whether it be spending the first Christmas alone after a break up/divorce, depression, financial stresses or a family member's illness.  It can all seem too much, I'm sure.  

That's why we must realize our greatest gift of the season isn't one under the tree. 

Like a child, I wish I could run in Christmas morning to peek under the tree to find no more pain, freedom from fear or sin and especially no more death.

Though it's not under a tree where we find those things.... we can have them.
Maybe not just like we want.  We can't keep our loved one from having terminal cancer.  This gift won't pay off the debt that is overwhelming you. It won't even immediately clear up the crippling depression you are dealing with. 

But it does give us HOPE for a future home where there is no more pain, freedom from fear/sin and no more death. It also gives us peace like a warm blanket on a cold night to battle this hard life. It can give us a clean future and grace from our struggles.  Give us purpose and a compass to help us navigate our way while we are waiting for that new home.
Please over all the other expensive gifts and precious moments of this Christmas, take time to 
consider this gift. It's unlike any you'll ever have. 

This quote says it best,

“God gives God. That is the gift God always ultimately gives. Because nothing is greater and we have no greater need, God gives God. God gives God, and we only need to slow long enough to unwrap the greatest Gift with our time: time in His Word, time in His presence, time at His feet.”  
~ Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift

Merry Christmas, friends!
My heart and prayers are with the many families and friends who are hurting tonight.
May Christ be ever so near to us all.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Things that make me want to cuss

Let me go ahead and put a disclaimer up here...I love my children and would do anything for them gladly.  With that said, there are things that happen daily that make me want to cuss....

1.  After a long morning at church, out running errands or sitting for a while at preschool pick up line....there is nothing more frustrating than your one year old falling asleep on the way home.  You know that means there will be no nap time or shortened nap time.  No matter how loudly you sing It's Bitsy Spider, play peek-a-boo in the mirror or reach back to pull on their feet....those heavy eyes eventually give in.  Ugghh!

2. There is nothing like being up at 2 am for a feeding and deciding you'll die if you don't go downstairs to get a drink, to only step on a small toy.  Legos, barbie shoes and the thousands of tiny figurines/action figures can create more pain than childbirth.

3. You've managed your time well and gotten up early to get out the door a certain time.  Laid out clothes the night before, packed all the bags and even took a shower before bed....all to get delayed as you are walking out the door by a up the back explosion by the baby and a mega fit over what shoes to wear by your 4 year old.

4. Taking 4 children out to eat at a nice restaurant. Enough said.

5. The "witching hours" between 4-6 where you try to make dinner with crying in the background, a toddler tugging at your leg and trying to finish up homework with your 1st grader.  It's least impossible to complete with a good attitude. Everyone is hungry. Everyone is grumpy.

Anyways, just a few things that really grate my nerves.  Would do them all everyday if it means I get to have these four little loves.  I would love to hear from y'all what really makes your eye to start twitching as a mom.  : )

Friday, December 6, 2013

What will they remember?

I have, as most of you out there, been hustling and bustling trying to squeeze as much holiday traditions into the few days of December. I'm always excitedly running about making plans or trying out a new idea to celebrate with the kids. Tonight as I watched my kids dancing around to the music resonating from the old Christmas record we put on, my mind wondered.  After a day full of all the good stuff childhoods are made of.... snow day off of school, sledding, hot cocoa drinking and taking in holiday movies, I wondered just what would they remember about Christmas?

I often stop and think of my own childhood. The many traditions unfolding in my memories through the years of joy and wonder.  I loved snow days and the chance to play all day without any borders on our time of fun.  It's amazing how many lines I can still quote from the movie White Christmas and other favorites. There's so much good stuff between plays at school, going to look at lights in our maroon old mini van, decorating our little tree for our room, shopping with Daddy for Moma's presents, the many holiday parties, Christmas Eve services at my Nanny's church and of course the excitement of Christmas morning.

All those memories don't contain my Mom yelling at us for not wanting to participate in the photo for our family card or her getting frustrated at the 4 year old for turning too many days over in the advent calendar. Or her being so busy making plans for us to "celebrate" together that she forgot to relax so we could just enjoy what we were doing. Now maybe my mother did do some of those things, but I don't remember them.  I think that is because even though she isn't perfect, that wasn't the tone of our holidays.  All I remember is how much she loved Christmas and the joy that she brought to us.  I can see her now standing at the kitchen sink working and singing...

O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.

That is what I remember about her and about Christmas.  Joy over a Savior.  A peaceful home on quiet snowy evenings.  The thrill of the magic that filled most everyday of the month of December.  I think I remember it this way because of her.  Not because her hot cider was just perfect (though it was) or she got us all the right gifts.  I don't remember if we made it to every local holiday event.  There was no pinterest and list of crafts that we had to rush through.  I think I have such fond memories of Christmas because she enjoyed it...with us.

We often forget as mother's that we set the tone for homes.  Especially so during the holiday season.  If we are frazzled and frantic with all the to do's, then our children might catch on to our moods. My heart is always in the right place. I want them to enjoy this season and I want to share with them the treasure of Jesus.  Even if it seems like I'm cramming it every nook and cranny of our time. Over all the greatest of memories my mother gave me, the best was that of seeing Jesus every year.  Isn't that what I want... for them...for me.  Going back to the Christmas carol my mother used to sing and we all know, O Little Town of Bethleham's lyrics....

Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.

I'm going to try to relax and stop making soo many lists.  I will sit a little longer with my toddler and the plastic nativity scene. Peace will be in my heart and I will speak love through the different stressful events/busy moments over the next few weeks. When my children ask me to sing "Angels We Have Heard On High" for the hundredth time, I'll do it with a smile on my face.  Because I want their memories to be how their Mommy was full of joy as she would sing about how the heavens broke loose with praise over the newborn Messiah.

snow day...25 or so years ago.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

1 year from FOREVER

I cannot believe it's already been a year since we adopted our babies. 
I feel like it's a special gift that our adoption date was during National Adoption Month (November).  I hope we and our children always raise awareness how God blessed our family through adoption.  

It's funny.  It took what seemed like forever for them to be officially ours.  We had them for 2 1/2 years before I could call them mine with assurance.  I will never forget his round little toddler face with mischievous grin.  Or her dark, serious eyes and how tiny she was.  

or how proud he was with any job we gave him
or how happy she was with our attention and praises focused on her
he was just a little boy who wanted to be loved
she was just a baby that wanted someone to take care of her....

You couldn't tie me up and keep me away from these two after the first day I met them.
I was in love.
And no matter how many people tried to protect me and convince me, I knew the truth.
They were mine. 

Happy ADOPTION day, Leland and Evy.

I'm so grateful to the Lord for you both and how He brought you into our family.

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."
John 14:18

Saturday, November 2, 2013

He's HERE!!!

I'm hoping to post more about his birth story and our life as a family of 6 soon!

Monday, October 28, 2013

What I'm missing the most...

There has been a lot of things I've missed while being on bed rest...

Like today I made Evy a tent (it took like 3 minutes), but I couldn't get under and really play with her.  I hate that.

I missed Leland's fall festival, parent/teacher conf. and his field trip to the zoo. I hate that.

Livingston used to beg me to "get up" and pull on me when she wanted something. Now she knows to holler for someone else. I hate that.

I try not to use the word hate because it's such strong/permanent language....but I hate not being Mama to my kids.  

But what I really have missed the most is enjoying fall outdoors with my family.

I get so jealous seeing pictures online of friends and their families enjoying all the seasonal festivities. 

It's my favorite season. 
I love it all.
Hikes through the jeweled toned woods.
Roasting marsh mellows and hot dogs around a hot fire.
Picking out pumpkins with the kids.
Playing in the leaves and watching them collect their favorites.
Visiting Reid's Orchard for apple picking and an apple slushie.
Decorating the house and planning costumes. 
Bundled up under blankets while watching football games.
Baking yummy treats to share with others. 
Enjoying afternoons of just cool weather and making family memories.

Here are some memories to tide me over until next week...

fall 2010
fall 2011
fall 2012

Monday, October 21, 2013


35 weeks.

25th day of bed rest.

I haven't wanted to post about all of this because to be's been quite an emotional roller coaster. First, I'm on bed rest because during my blood pressure hates me : ).   I had preeclampsia with our last daughter at 37 weeks, but she was born healthy with no problems.  This time I had my first high reading at 18 weeks.  Way too early and very scary since if meds don't control it...there is little they can do besides deliver the baby.  Thankfully and Praise to Jesus we made it to 3.5 weeks without another incident.  The medicine they put me on had everything under control until that day at my doc appt.  I was admitted to the hospital that day and was so concerned we'd have to deliever.  Well, 25 days of bed rest, mega increased meds, 2 hospital visits, a few hours on magnesium later and we've made it 3.5 more weeks.  I'm 35 weeks.  All glory to God.  Even if I have to have him tomorrow....he is in a much better place than those 3.5 weeks ago. We are all hoping to at least make it to 37 weeks.

The hardest part of this has to be the fact I have no control over making this issue better.  A lot of health problems, you can do things that produces positive results.  What I've learned over the past several weeks is that there is no rhyme or reason what makes my blood pressure raise.  I do the  same thing all day  Lay down, sleep, lay back in a recliner, sometimes I lay on a couch. The most I'm up is to visit the bathroom, take a shower and maybe 10- 15 min. more a day of just random things.  It's been hard to not complain because there have been days where I've been really down.  I've missed a lot with my other children and just normal life events I normally look forward too.  My 18 mo. old grabs my pants or hand to pull me up saying "Get up, Mama!"  And oh, how I long to do just that.  Get up and run around outside with them. I feel so useless.  I've never wanted to do laundry, make dinner or clean so badly.  I can't stand putting soo much pressure on my husband and our families.  They've all taken on every job I normally do. It's hard to let them and not want to step in. I'm a very social person, and I miss people!  I miss conversations and getting out.  I've dreamed several times about just getting up, getting dressed to head to Hobby Lobby or Target to pick up some random item I've wanted.  I hate watching my kids worry about me, see their lives turned upside down and just every little moment to be determined by if I'm in the hospital that week or not. But I just felt to guilty to complain.  If all I could do to keep my baby healthy was relax, then what right did I have to whine about it.  The first few weeks, I lived in fear.  Worried every little thing I did would put my BP over the edge and make me have him early.  Through prayer and thankfully as the weeks have made birth a little less scary, I'm not plagued by fear. I do want him to stay as long as possible though, but I'm just trusting better in God's timing for when that is supposed to be.

Just to paint the other side of this trying time for our family...bed rest does have it's benefits.

I never felt this good near the end of my last pregnancy.  I feel amazing.

I'm forced to sit with my kids.  There are no distractions when they want to play in bed beside me, ask me to read to them or when Leland sits with me in bed to work on homework.

I sleep a lot. I don't really want to, it just happens.  But I figure, I won't get a chance to do this again for many years. : )

I've had some amazing quality time with my parents and family.  We live 30 min. from them, but as we are staying here during the week so they can help...we're getting a lot of great time with them.  I love love love seeing my Moma and Daddy with my kiddos.  Then there is the nap times and night time that I get to just be around them...talking, enjoying meals together and making lots of memories. I'm so thankful for them and this sacrifice they give over daily to help us.

Be reminded of how strong my husband is. I'm so grateful I have him to rely on.  He's taken on a lot and is doing a great job.  I know he's tired and sometimes overwhelmed, but he should feel so proud of how he's handled the last month.  I love him.

Not only my husband, parents..but our other family members, church family and friends have overwhelmed me with their love. I feel so supported and cared for.  I'm thankful for all the help and prayers. We are so blessed.

The last positive note is that I've really got to spend time enjoying my littlest one while he still grows in my womb.  He's such an active little's really hard to forget about him.  Always moving, kicking and reminding me he's right here with me.  I pray over him often, talk to him and the kids are constantly kissing him.  Evy probably the most...she talks to him all day long.  It's been such a rough pregnancy, I think it could be easy to just wish away the days and forget that this is a season God has given me.  Something, a few years ago, I would have given my left arm for.  A baby. Growing inside of me.  So this bed rest has forced me to enjoy this time.  To savor it.  This will be our last pregnancy and it makes every little kick that more sweet.

To end this long (probably boring) post with a little excitement... here are a few pictures.  My sweet sister took these at my parents.  I was only up for 15 min....I promise.  I hated to not document this season of our family and how God has blessed it to grow.

So please pray for 37 weeks....Operation Chubby Cheeks!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

So I can remember...

Leland, 6 years old

Started 1st grade at a new school and loves it.
Still in love with anything sports related. 
School has us really learning to read and do math. It hasn't come easy to him, but he doesn't give up. He even asks to do extra problems or read one more book. I wish I could multiply Scott and I so we could read or work problems with him for hours!
He is getting ready for a baby brother and got new bunk beds to share with him. 
Lately, he wants to play bingo with his sister, work on a world map game he has and play with the yoyo he won at school.
He is so very social, telling me about all the kids at school and asking if several can come to our house.
He holds my hand during big church, helps me carry stuff all the time and does the funniest dances.
Oh, how I love him.

Evy, 4 years old

Started preschool several weeks ago and can't get enough of it.
She is constantly wanting to swing outside or play puzzles inside.
Just recently she came home reciting a days of the week song and the Pledge of Allegiance. She is so proud of herself and we are too!  We still mix up the colors red and yellow all the time, but she loves to learn.
Lately, she is has been teaching her little sister how to take care of the babies and is always wanting to put the music on so they can dance.  Her favorite is Lion King songs!
She likes to sit in my lap anytime we are sitting near each other, is constantly asking if she can help me with daily tasks and is always making me smile by her goofy faces.
I'm amazed by how much joy she brings me.

Livingston, 18 months

Since everyone has started off to school in the past month or so, it's just us two.
I'm trying to relish this as it is a fleeting season because little brother will be here soon.
She is very into books and makes us read them to her over and over. 
So our few hours alone are spent doing that, watching Elmo (her biggest NEW LOVE) and running errands. 
We can't get over how much she has grown in the last several months and how independent she has gotten. 
She goes off by herself sometimes just to feed or rock her babies.  
We've also noticed how fierce she is...daring to go through the BIG play sets and climb just about everything. 
She's been learning different animals, saying family members names and likes to point out where her ears, nose at etc. are.
My favorite thing is to look back at her driving and she gives me this scrunching nose grin.
She thinks it's funny to tell me she is Daddy's baby,  gives me big kisses all day long and loves for me to sing her songs. 
She still gives me butterflies. 

My children drive me crazy and there are certainly days that I want nothing more than to run off to Hawaii.  But when I stop for a moment to think of all the good and joy they bring me, I always find myself shocked that I've been given such amazing gifts. 

Now I think I'll go squeeze their cheeks! : )

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Keep on Trying

The last few days have been full and tiring.  My girls have been sick with allergies and cranky as all get out.  I'm also having congestion issues so I cannot breath and therefore cannot get a good nights sleep.  Because I've had so much going on this week, I have not been able to nap while they nap.  When we got home from picking Evy up from preschool yesterday...they were eating lunch and watching a little show.  I went into the boys room and sat down in the rocking arm chair.  It was quiet and dark in there.  I remember just breathing and feeling some release of all that had felt infringing on me.  I was looking at the baby's bed and thinking of all I need to do before he gets here.  Oh my.  

I have been dealing with lots of parenting issues lately and honestly have been a little discouraged.  I feel like I just do not have the energy or emotional strength to constantly be fighting these battles.  And these aren't even HUGE or life-altering problems...I can't imagine how discouraged I'd feel if it was something like that.  These are enough to leave me tired and disheartened.  

As I sit rocking quietly by myself pondering all my children and their needs, I thought back to a moment in college.  It was my freshmen year, I was struggling.  Dealing with loneliness, overwhelming tasks and a lot of my own sin.  I was definitely at a breaking point of ordering a large pizza and locking myself in my dorm room for a month.  But my sweet sister sent me a little package to encourage me.  One of the items was a cassette tape (gasp...what even is that antique item) with a song from one of my fav movies from the time...Hope Floats. The song is Smile and it's lyrics are below.   

Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it's breaking
Though there are clouds in the sky, you get by
If you smile through your fears and sorrows
Smile and maybe tomorrow, you'll see the sun come shining through
If you just light up your face with gladness, hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever, ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find life is worthwhile
If you'll just smile, come on and smile, if you just smile

Read more: Lyle Lovett - Smile (from Hope Floats) Lyrics | MetroLyrics

I don't think life is as easy as this song, though.  Sometimes, smiling our way through problems...especially ones as tender to our hearts as those with our children isn't that easy. We need something bigger, more steady to hang onto.  Faking it until we make it, just doesn't always work.  Thankfully, we don't parent alone in this world...even if you are a single mom.  We have a God that is very real and cares very deeply for even the smallest battles we face daily.  That is why we can't leave our relationships with God to just Sunday mornings or those few miraculous moments where we find some free time to dive into His Word.  We have to be connecting with Him daily...however that needs to look for you.  Keeping His Word near us on post it notes or making time to visit the Bible app while the kiddos are playing at your feet. We can pray often and I find the car rides to/from errands a great time to get in sync with the Lord. 

The point is...we can't do this parenting thing alone.  We also can't quit.  I think my favorite line from that song is "That's the time you must keep on trying".  I can remember feeling that surge of determination and hope as I listened to that line all those years ago.  Crying alone in my dorm, knowing tomorrow was going to be different because I wasn't going to give up.  I was going to keep trying.  So lately, I just keep telling aren't failing as long as you aren't giving up.   

and how could I give up on these cute little faces?

So fear not friends and don't let the struggles of this life get you down. 
Remember, God is a parent too and think of how our struggles hurt his heart. 
He does not give up on us and He has overcome the world. 
We have hope!

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Blessed Inheritance

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children,
but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous. Proverbs 13:22, ESV

I cannot imagine our lives without our parents and grandparents.  They give us support, help and joy!  Our kids are forever blessed by the love that is lavished on them by all their grandparents. It is true what Proverbs says...that "a good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children".   I'm so grateful for the many good things our children are inheriting from our parents and Scott's grandparents.  

Happy Grandparent's Day to
Papa & Key, Grandaddy Herman & Granny, Papaw & Nana, and Grandaddy Jeff!

We love you!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Striving and Exhausted?

Are you striving for holiness and good things yet to find yourself feeling exhausted?

Let me first congratulate are striving!!! I think the easiest thing to do in this life is to just conform to what is around you.  To take the easy way out.

Most of us seek out God's Word by attending church, studies or just reading it.  We learn these truths that lead to life.  Our pastors instruct us with useful habits and biblical ways of growing our faith. Friends will suggest helpful tips to raise our children.  Magazines articles, pinterest and blog posts will overload our brain with ideas of everything from how to be a more financial savvy cook to time management skills for the 834 jobs in your life.  It's completely overwhelming, right?!?!

My intentions of being the most Godly wife, mom and woman I can be can lead me actually farther from Christ.  It's when I become so concerned with self-involved that I stop seeking Christ.

God's word says apart from Him we can do nothing.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:5

So in actuality when we worry ourselves so severely with doing all of the right things, it is leading us away from the BEST thing.  And it is making those right things impossible for us to grasp.  We cannot reach our goals and create these character traits we so badly long to have without seeking Christ above all.  I know this.  It's something I've been taught for a long time. But to keep myself on that path is tricky.  Life gets busy and I  get anxious because I'm not meeting up to the expectations I've put on myself.  I was feeling this way the other day.  Stressed with the many to dos, the failings of the week piling up as well as my dirty laundry.  I so badly want to glorify God and be the best for those around me.  I  felt like I was striving to reach the impossible at that moment in the car.  With my baby crying and my head swirling, I felt so exhausted.  Then I heard a line in Matt Maher's song, "Lord, I need you" that brought me back to the truth I know.

It goes...

"where you are, Lord I'm free, holiness is Christ in me"

"holiness is Christ in me".  That is it.  I can only achieve holiness because of the life and work Christ did on the cross.  It is His work in my heart that changes me.  I can strive and strive, with only being left disappointed in my progress.  Meeting with Him and heavily depending on Him daily is how we build ourselves into more holy people.  Just like the verse in John 15, we can be striving in many ways, but if we are leaving Him out of the equation, the striving is in vain.

Don't let yourself fall into this rut.  Seek Christ through His word, pray throughout your day and trust in Him for your holiness.  Don't give up or keep striving for all those good things, just make sure you are doing it through HIM.  I keep repeating this to myself...

holiness is Christ in me
holiness is Christ in me
holiness is Christ in me

Praise God I do not have to do it all alone.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Real Life Love Story

July/August is a big time for our's how it all began really.  Our anniversary is August 2nd, then our first children came home in July and one of our daughters has a birthday in July.  CRAZY months...and crazy blessed.

Love stories can be so magical and make you all fluttery.  I should know, I'm an expert of love stories.  Since a young girl, I've watched every fairytale/romantic comedy, poured over pages of Jane Austin novels and memorized every line of the most famous love songs.  It's something most girls do as they grow up.  It's in our DNA, right?!?!?  Longing for the one to come in and sweep you off your feet. But the reality of these love stories is just that...reality.  After the sweet song fades over the dreamy couple kissing in the park...real life happens.

It's where the bills add up, arguments over dirty laundry and long days leave us feeling less than magical when we come home to our significant others.

That's where real love stories prevail. It's where the butterfly feelings that create that first magic develop roots into something that can last the fiercest storms.  Don't get me wrong. I still love the romance and my husband still takes my breath away.  But underneath that there is now more.

It's grown by the bearing together, talking through the hard moments and living life together through the seasons.  When I think hard on what makes me love Scott, I see a very different reel of moments playing than I ever thought.

I see the long flight and bus ride to our resort on our honeymoon.  Me terribly sick with a sinus headache, feeling much less like the blushing bride I was going for.  He was patient, caring as he found me (crack laced) Mexican cold medicine and nursed me back to health.  We spent our first night at our gorgeous resort not canoodling in the moonlight, but me passed out from the medicine and him watching tv as he rubbed my head.

Through tear stains, I see the image of late night talks where we worked through disappointed expectations and hurt feelings.  I can see him holding me close...accepting me even though I made mistakes.  Forgiving me when I said hurtful things.  Though, these don't seem like moments you want to remember, the end results of resolution and knowing he will stick with you through it all is the best romantic high of all.

I can see him in the faint light of 3 in the morning changing a diaper of a newborn who doesn't want to let me sleep.  This after he's worked all day, helped with the older children and still has to get up in a few hours. He sacrifices all the time to make my life a little easier. This dying to self to serve me is grander than the most expensive bouquets of roses.

The best moments in my highlight reel weren't as pretty or magical as the ones I pictured years ago. We are not gussied up in most of them (to be honest...I'm probably dirtied haired  and in spit up covered pajamas).  They aren't images of fancy dates or long walks on the beach.  They are made up of late night laughter after children are sleeping, stolen kisses on last minute planned date nights and moments of sheer clarity where I know God has made this man to walk alongside me during this life.

I'm grateful for the wistful, romantic moments we've had, just as I am for the hard, real life grit that makes our relationship what it is. I'm blessed to have shared FIVE years with this amazing man and I would not write our love story any differently.  It might not look like a Meg Ryan movie or be as dramatic as Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice, but it's glorious.  It's life-giving.  It's passionate.  And it's fun.

Happiest Anniversary to my love, best friend and partner in crime.
I love you.

This is my favorite recent love song...

Story of Love by Mandi Mapes

I see your smile
And it’s so much sweeter 
After all that I’ve been through
And when we laugh
I get a glimpse of forever
And I praise God that I found you

And anytime someone asks me
How it all unfolded I’ll tell them
Such incredible chances
Make for marvelous love.

Just like the sun lights up the moon
This love is a reflection
Of more than just me and you
Our lives were less than ordinary
And while I couldn’t see past tomorrow
God was making history

Oh my, what a beautiful story of love.  

Unexpected mercy
Is the greatest thing to find
When you’ve been broken many times
My soul found joy
And for the first time in a while
I felt singing

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