Saturday, April 30, 2011

Five Years

Yesterday marked five years since my wedding day. 

Yes, it's true, we share an anniversary with the Royal Couple.  I won't lie, I'm a little excited about that.

I haven't really thought through what I am going to say to commemorate this anniversary.  I mean, it's been a crazy week, right?!!  And my mind is a bit heavy with all that has gone on.  Mainly I am feeling thankful for my home and the safety of my family.  And I feel a bit shocked by the results of Wednesday's weather.  I am even wrestling with some things in my mind, since I fully understand that God is in control of the weather--complete control.  And I KNOW that he is sovereign and good.  But it still makes me wrestle. 

And at the same time as this enormous tragedy, God is also saying no to a lot of our personal, family prayers.  Things so small compared to what happened on Wednesday, but things that I know he could change in the blink of an eye, and He chooses not to.  I am wrestling with that as well. 

Intellectually, I know that God is good and that much that God chooses to do is beyond the realm of my understanding.  He is God, after all.  He is infinite in wisdom and understanding--and I am not. 

So what does this have to do with celebrating five years of marriage? 

Well, I am sure that ya'll have all heard Andrew Peterson's song, Dancing in the Minefield.  It's so great, right?  You know what I love about it?  That hard times in marriage are the norm.  If they weren't the norm, he couldn't write a successful song about marriage being hard.  Literature of any kind, or art of any kind, is based on universal truths.  This must mean that marriage being hard is a universal truth.  Are you following me?  And I know that this makes it sound like my marriage is so hard, and in fact, it's not.  As far as marriages go, Scott and I have a fairly easy one.  Our relationship has always been fairly easy.  But it's daily.  It is so daily.  And it is reality, and it can get pretty ugly at times.  So, I love these words especially...

Cause we bear the light of the son of man
So there's nothing left to fear
So I'll walk with you in the shadow lands
Till the shadows disappear
Cause he promised not to leave us
And his promises are true
So in the face of all this chaos baby
I can dance with you

This is what I know is true.  These past five years haven't been, well, smooth sailing.  They just haven't.  And Scott has seen some ugly parts of me.  But we are still going strong.  And we are just beginning, you know?  God only knows what the years have in store for us.  So, how do I know that our marriage will stand the test of time--"because HE promised not to leave us, and HIS promises are true"--and I am married to a man who takes me back to this truth.  God's grace is absolutely sufficient.  It is even sufficient for times of wrestling with what I know to be true.  And God has given me such a gift in Scott. 
Scott is kind to me and patient.  Always kind and patient.  It's why I loved him in the first place, and it's why I am so thankful for him now.  He is the absolute right match for me.  He is.  And there is much about our life circumstances that I wish I could change, but how gracious God is to give me this man to lead me through it. 
So, Scott, I echo Andrew Peterson, and say this to you,
So lets go dancing in the minefields
Lets go sailing in the storms
Oh lets go dancing in the minefields
And kicking down the doors
Oh lets go dancing in the minefields
And sailing in the storms
Oh this is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for
That's what the promise is for

five years ago at our rehearsal dinner, not really having one clue what we were getting into;)

And this one I love so much more than the rehearsal dinner picture because it's real life.  One of those defining marriage moments--finally bringing John home from the hospital. 

Happy five years, Scott.  I am praying for many, many more.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Pictures

So many pictures.  I apologize in advance.

Following a wonderful sermon, preached by Steven, all of my family (minus Sarah and Kate--missed you both so much!!) had lunch out at the clubhouse in Ann and Steve's neighborhood.  That was a good call by mom and Ann (or whomever made the call)!!  There was plenty of open space for the kids to run around, and the walls are all windows, so it was very easy for the older ones to run around outside and us still be able to see them. 

The food was wonderful, the weather was wonderful, and it was a great way to CELEBRATE our risen savior.  I just love Easter.  The colors, the spring weather, the baskets, the little girls' dresses and bows and sandals.  Everything about the holiday points to hope and celebration and peace, do you agree? 

Anyway...on to the pictures.

 I hope that I am not totally stealing Ann's thunder, but I have to brag on her and tell you that she made!!! Ellie's easter dress!!!

And after lunch, my family traveled home, and life is back to reality.  Which these days, for us, involves lots of doctors' visits.

Tomorrow we head to the pediatric optometrist for John's eye consultation.  I assume that he will need a very minor surgery to unclog his tear duct. 

And my foot and hand "drama" still continues, as the skin biopsy came back with no clear answers.  At this point, I am supposed to call the dermatologist next week, and if things aren't cleared up by then, the nurse said that they would refer me to the University here.  I am not even sure what that means.  Anyone else know?  Obviously, I will ask her to clarify if that becomes necessary:)  It is a mystery, ya'll, which is a bit unsettling.  But hopefully someone will figure this thing out and get it cleared up.  My mom and I are beginning to suspect that my skin is just a symptom of something else since the dermatologist can't figure it out.  It seems that the problem must lie elsewhere, but what do I know? 

Anyway...that is an update on us. 

I am loving seeing everyone else's Easter pictures, so keep posting!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

O Father, who spared not thine only Son that thou
mightest spare me,
All this transfer thy love designed and accomplished;
Help me to adore thee by lips and life.
O that my every breath might be ecstatic praise,
my every step buoyant with delight, as I see my 
enemies crushed,
Satan baffled, defeated, destroyed,
sin buried in the ocean of reconciling blood,
hell's gates closed, heaven's portal open.
Go forth, O conquering God, and show me
the cross, mighty to subdue, comfort and save.

(taken from "Love Lustre At Calvary," from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mae Mae and Pop, and a quick little "rant" at the end:)

We "scooted" over to Guntersville today for a quick picnic lunch with Mae Mae and Pop.  It was perfect weather for an afternoon spent outside with a view of beautiful Lake Guntersville!!  John was able to toddle around, and Ada loved climbing and sliding and swinging the afternoon away.

Ada's attitude and disobedience joined us on our little afternoon out.  I am about to pull my hair out.  I spent some time talking to my mom about it tonight, trying to get a more experienced--walked the road before me--perspective.  I just feel discouraged by her behavior.  It's never an encouraging thing as a mom when your child is blatantly disobedient and disrespectful and argumentative and need I keep listing?  

A nice reminder of my own sinful nature and the very reason why Christ hung on the cross, right?  I was saying to Ada tonight, as we read in her Jesus Storybook Bible, it is your disobedience and bad attitude and my disobedience and bad attitude that made the cross necessary (I doubt I used the word necessary in the conversation, but you know what I mean...)  I don't know if she got it.  She asked lots and lots of questions, including--pointing to a picture of the three crosses--"is this on the moon?"  No, Ada, Jesus didn't die on a cross on the moon(?!!!)  I just pray that somehow in her three year old heart she can understand that all she has to do is ask Jesus to give her a new clean heart and he will.  HE WILL!!!  

I am so thankful that when God looks at me he sees Christ.  What relief.  What absolute relief that I don't even have to fear death itself.  God conquered that.  He conquered that!!!  All we have to do is understand that there is no good in us.  We are guilty at our very core.  It is who we are by nature.  But God, he sent his very own son...His SON!!! to hang on that cross, being punished in our place, so that we can get to God.  So that we can know Him.  He is so Holy, so Perfect and without stain or blemish, that we can't, apart from Christ, approach Him.  But Christ, because of the Cross, can make us clean, and then, and only then, can we know God.  It's not something we did.  It's Christ, all Christ!!!!!  

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned--every one--to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:4-6.

Friday, April 22, 2011

More Pictures

We are still here in Alabama.

I have been back to Huntsville today to have a skin biopsy done.  Hopefully, hopefully, this will provide some definite answers.  The dermatologist that I am seeing in Huntsville is WONDERFUL, and I am so thankful to be in such capable hands.  I am weary of this thing that is taking over my feet and hands.  The doctor actually thinks that things are already clearing up, so the biopsy is sort of a "just-to-make-sure" kind of thing.  That way, as I make my way back to ATL, she can deal with any results over the phone.

Mom, the kids, and I decided to make an afternoon of it, and after lunch at Panera (and a couple of other stops), John fell asleep in his car seat.  Wanting him to stay asleep, and having a half an hour to kill before my appointment, mom drove Ada and me to Gigi's cupcakes.  While mom sat in the car with a sleeping John, Ada and I feasted on these.

Ada only ate icing, by the way.  My cupcake was called "wedding cake," and it was divine.  The icing is a bit overwhelming, though.  Goodness gracious it's a lot of sugar.

As for the last few days, well my two kiddos have been overflowing with rascal.  Ada has been in trouble constantly because of disobedience and a bad attitude.  And John, well who knows what he will be like at 3 1/2 because he wakes up on the wrong side of the bed 50% of the time.  This morning was one of those "wrong side of the bed" kind of days.  Here are a few images of John and his temper.  In the below pictures, John, in his baby language, was begging to go outside.  He didn't respond well when we said no.

When the back door wasn't working, he moved on to a front window.  "Maybe I can get out there this way," he ponders...

What else have we been up to this week?  Well we attempted to dye Easter eggs, which we did do, but Ada's whiny attitude was right there with us.  You can see it written all over her face, can't you?
She ended up "losing candy" yesterday, which just meant she could have no candy the rest of the day.  (I  know that sounds as if Ada just eats candy all day long, but she really doesn't.  She has a little stash right now from this past Sunday's Easter egg hunt).  Losing the candy privilege seemed to work better than anything else I have tried, though her bad attitude still tried to rear it's head a time or two.  She is trying my patience, indeed.

A few times, at the end of the day, mom came to my rescue by scooping the kids up and taking them outside.  Fresh air is always a good way to diffuse a tense situation!!!  And Ada loves a chance to dig in the dirt.

Scott will be here tomorrow (woo-hoo!!!), and we will spend a large portion of the day visiting with his parents.  Ada is super excited to see Mae-Mae and Pop!!

And currently, I am at home with John while the rest of the family--including Ada--is at a Seder meal in anticipation of the Easter Holiday. (I tried to find a good link to explain the Seder Meal, but I didn't know what link accurately described it).  I planned to go, but stinker-pie John hardly napped at all today, so he is in bed already, at the early hour of 6:30.  I am actually basking in the quiet right now.  (Like I said, Ada, whom I love dearly, has drained me a bit this week).

I hope to be back before Sunday with a few thoughts on anticipating Easter, but I sort of doubt that I will get around to it.  Sadly, my time with mom's mac computer and nice camera is coming to an end;)  If I don't get back...Happy Easter, everyone!!!  He has conquered death--Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I am back to post a few photos of the week so far.

I don't want to post too many from the birthday celebration in case Ann wants to do that, but I am including one or two.

John has done well this trip, making it the first time he has really been happy here, away from home.  He's growing up, I tell you;)  As I type this John is asleep in his bed.  He is worn out from a breath-holding spell.  I wouldn't let him climb my mom's hardwood stairs, and he threw himself into a fit, which ended with his passing out and being so worn out that he went down for a very early morning nap.  What if that's how we responded every time something didn't go our way?  I guess sometimes I practically do respond that way;)  

Ada loves being here because she has built in playmates in her cousins.  And, in fact, she and Andrew are playing really well together this trip, so she has added a companion to the list.  I know that I will blink and John will be in on the "cousin fun."  

My mom has a backyard that begs these kiddos to come out and play.  John is no exception.  He continually walks up to the back door, points, and uses his "syllables" to indicate that he wants to go outside!!  He has made a game of going up and down the ramp and stairs to the back porch.  In the second picture he is sitting on the steps to my mom's art studio.

Here are a few shots from the birthday celebration.  Ann, Ellie, Luke, Ada, and I ate lunch at Nothing but Noodles (Ellie's choice) and then "built" bears at Build-a-Bear.  Build-a-Bear has mastered the art of taking your money, haven't they?  Oh my word.  Ada wanted every little accessory that she saw.  Instead, she was able to choose a basic bear and one outfit.  She chose the ballerina outfit, complete with "toe" shoes.  It was a fun experience for her. 

And then, while Ellie picked an outfit at Gymboree, Ada and Luke played in this play area.  They loved it.  They were playing all kinds of astronaut games.  (Did you know that my absolute nightmare of all nightmares is to go into space?  It makes me nearly hyperventilate just thinking about it).
And in the midst of all this fun, I am still dealing with the foot issue, which has turned into a hand issue as well.  We ended up in Huntsville yesterday afternoon to see a doctor.  (The third doctor I have seen about this).  I am on some new medication, and hopefully, hopefully, this will work.  If not, I have a follow-up appointment on Friday afternoon (which truthfully, I don't really think the new medicine will work, and I think I will have to go back on Friday).  We have a family-friend pediatrician who actually saw me yesterday afternoon and immediately referred me to a wonderful dermatologist, who saw me after hours.  I was thanking everyone I laid eyes on because I was so grateful.  I feel relieved to finally be seen by people I know and trust, so hopefully things will get worked out soon.

There is the week so far.  We are having fun, and, in fact, Ada is out at Ann's house right now, and John and I are headed that way as soon as he wakes up.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thankful. #s 51-60.

This past weekend I read The Hiding Place for the first time.

Oh my word.  I couldn't put the book down.  The entire story just blew me away (and left me with a heavy heart when I finally got to the end and the reality of what the concentration camp was like).  There was one part in particular that gave me chill bumps and caused a few tears to come to my eyes.

At the last concentration camp where Corrie Ten Boom and her sister Betsy were before Betsy died and Corrie was released, Corrie and Betsy were in a room (with so many other prisoners, stacked floor to ceiling when they slept at night) that was absolutely infested with fleas.  On the night that they arrived at the concentration camp, and they realized the room was covered in fleas, Corrie asked Betsy, "how can we live like this?"  And Betsy, always looking to Heaven and to the work of Christ in everything, said that they would turn to the word (which was a miracle in itself that they were able to smuggle in a tiny bible).  And they turned to Thessalonians, where we are instructed to give thanks for EVERYTHING.  So, Betsy proceeded to thank the Lord for the fleas, and Corrie just couldn't join in.  She didn't understand how they could be thankful for the fleas.  (can you imagine?!!!!)  Over the weeks, Corrie and Betsy noticed that the guards, who covered every inch of that concentration camp, never actually came into the bunk room.  As a result, they were able to lead a nightly bible study with the smuggled-in bible.  A few weeks went by, and Betsy was questioning another prisoner about why the guards never came near the bunk room, and the prisoner said, "don't you know?  They won't come near the fleas."  God was working for their good by infesting their sleeping quarters with fleas!!!!  The book is filled with one story after another of how God works for good in the midst of horrific circumstances.  Circumstances so nightmarish that they are beyond the realm of my understanding.  But, I walked away from the story with the reality that God is absolutely sovereign and good in our lives.  HE IS.

And so, I thank Him.

51.  My mother's backyard and back porch--home.
52.  Watching Ada have a fun-filled day with her cousins.
53.  A night out with my husband.
54.  A quick, safe trip to Alabama, despite threats of storms
55.  You Tube, and the ability to listen to John Piper right here on this Tuesday morning.  Amazing what technology allows.
56.  Books.  Books, books, books.
57.  Sunday morning, listening to Steve preach.
58.  Ada's continued disobedience and bad reactions--always humbling me and reminding me that I am helpless apart from Christ (I am to thank him for everything, right?).
59.  John sleeping well the past two nights.  No endless crying in the middle of the night.
60.  Yo-toddler yogurt with fruit puree.  One more way to sneak in the fruits and veggies.

Everyday, grace upon grace upon grace upon grace.  HE IS ENOUGH.  ALWAYS.  (One of the many things Steve preached about this past Sunday)

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I am blogging from Alabama.

We (Ada, John, and I) are here for the week, and Scott will be joining us this coming weekend.  I have not been home since Christmas, so it is good to be here.  It is just getting harder and harder to travel with the two kiddos and with life so established in Georgia.  But, with a shift in my tutoring schedule, it was a good time to get away for the week.  Plus life has been crazy lately, and home always seems a good remedy for that.

Scott drove us here on Friday, and we were even able to go on an early 5th anniversary date in Huntsville last night.  Thanks, mom and dad!!!  We didn't do much--walked around Bridge Street and had a very yummy dinner at Cantina Laredo.   We ended the night at Madison Square Mall (and I felt like I was 16 again--who else spent all of their high school weekends at Madison Square Mall?  I know some of you did).  Why were we there, you ask?  Because I need a charger for my cell phone, and the GPS led us there.  Seriously, it made me laugh that I was celebrating my 5th anniversary at this place that marked so many significant teenage moments.  Okay, so the celebrating was done more at Bridge Street, but you know what I mean.

But, after five years, I can honestly say that, though it's nice to go to dinner with just Scott (such a rare treat), I don't mind spending our evenings at home.  I love Friday and Saturday nights, when the kids are in bed, and we crash onto the couch to watch a movie or catch up on HULU (we don't have cable, so we catch up on shows online).

Anyway, our anniversary isn't until the 29th, so I will talk more about that later.

Really, we are here to celebrate cousins--Ellie's birthday tomorrow (six!!) and Luke's T-ball game tomorrow night and dying Easter eggs later in the week--much cousin time is in the plans.

We also hope to see Mae-Mae and Pop at some point before we head back to GA.

Lots to do, lots to do.

I hope to be back with pictures through out the week, since I have access to mom's wonderful camera while I am at home.   And that is what we are up to this week.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Cuddle Bug

Life has been chaotic lately, but John-John doesn't care.  He says, "as long as I can sit in mom's lap, hold my blankie, and chew on my thumb, then life is grand..."

He is my precious little cuddle bug.