March 20, 2012

Okay, so its been awhile...

I've missed my little blog. I've neglected it for almost a year now which makes me sad. Truly I've had zero emotional or physical energy to maintain my little piece of the web. I have this blog for several reasons I guess - 1. To have a journal of sorts to document my children and our family and 2. To have a place to write about what is happening in my heart/life. I have done neither of these things - not that life hasn't been happening but I feel its happening at mock-speed and I'm barely able to come up for air. My last post sums up our last year and since that post we've been in survival mode. For Todd running two new businesses has been so hard and very time consuming. For me running our household, keeping up with children, and working as much as possible = TIRED!!

I'm ready for summer - I'm ready for the beach - and I crave with everything in me to at some point find some quiet among the craziness. I need quiet in my life - it is the only time I feel like I can connect the dots in this life of mine. I need that time to reflect on God - quieting my soul is very different than just quieting sound around me. Here's a little secret... sometimes I dream about being a monk. Does that sound fun to you? I would love to sit and read and focus my heart on a day to day basis. That sounds fun to me. I would like to serve others in quiet - to do as Brother Lawerence (Practice in the presence of God) did and wash dishes with the thoughts of the Lord on my mind. Today I do dishes with only the thoughts of what I need to do next or mad because I'm doing dishes for the 100th time and I wanted Todd to do them this time but I caved because the dishes were pilling up and I just couldn't ignore them anymore so I caved!!! Truth:)

So I do dream about being a monk but in reality I also desire community in this life of mine. Just so you know community takes effort and energy. I have neither of those things so many times I sit in longing and regret not reaching out to those whom my heart connects with. So if that is you - know that I love you and long for more time with you but my phalgmatic laziness overwhelms me in life sometimes.

So since my year long absentence on this blog is very clear now I think I'll start back by trying to give a snapshot of our year through pictures. I like pictures - many times pictures say things much louder than words. Love to you all - if you are still checking this blog:)

My two year old GAP model who is wearing a 4t/5t - I have tall children...I wonder why?

Sydney Kate in the Christmas musical at church.

Heading to church one morning...

Thanksgiving 2011

Halloween 2011

Went camping in a popup - here's SK and Eli playing underneath the bed section of the camper.

First day of Mother's Day Out - two year old class.

First day of First Grade!!!

Family beach trip in August 2011

August 7, 2011


It has been eight months since I've posted anything here - I've posted a lot in my mind - meaning I've written several posts in my mind but they never made it to the keyboard. This Sunday afternoon I have left my house and secluded myself in the corner of Starbucks for one purpose - to update this blog (and drink a Carmel Latte). I kind of think this last eight months deserves a "theme" and really there is only one theme that has resonated with me over this year - "Faithfulness". Sounds simple right? It might even seem spiritual. What does faithful look like? I can tell you this theme is not based on my actions or beliefs over the last year - if it were based on me I should have titled this "Fearful".

So last January it was made clear to me that life as we had become accustomed to was ending - not such a bad thing really but not a pleasant transition. As many in this wonderful economy Todd's business had started to decline over the last year - and in January the end was very near. Todd received his last paycheck from his business last January - Ah so now you see a bit of the struggle. So from January until June we had very little income actually entering our bank account. January I walked into my boss's office (at the time I worked about 20 hours a month) and before I could get out the words I need more hours she said before we talk about your clients I have to ask you is there anyway you can work more hours?? Faithful provider. So after that I worked 32 plus hours a week - Todd stayed at home with the children three days a week and I worked three days and two nights. Social workers aren't known for making big money - but what was provided paid our house payment and most bills. Over the years we have maintained a decent savings account - but also over the last year of our business we poured our own money into the business to keep it going - so we did have some savings left but not nearly enough to provide for us for a long stretch of time. In fact when Todd received his first paycheck in June (so 6 months later) we had only a few hundred dollars left in savings. Again I say Faithful Provider. I didn't know we would be taken to our very end but it is very clear to me God knew.

Turning the corner... In June we became part of new company - we are partial owners in conjunction with a company located in Paris, France. New opportunities - New Fears - New Challenges - and more opportunities for God to show up in our lives. In July we opened up another company with old friends - this time with more wisdom - more knowledge - and lots of humbleness. This is new ground. It is exciting and really scary. We make little to no money - but its working?? We have been blessed over these months by having others provide for us... Checks from family members at just the right time (they never knew their timing was perfect)....a box of clothes for Eli - so no need to buy spring/summer clothes... More hours at work.... A paycheck we didn't expect. So that's why this post is titled - FAITHFULNESS. There were many nights I would be rocking Eli to sleep wondering why things turned out this way - doubting - questioning - and beating myself down for things I did or did not do. And then I would be reminded through song and I would sing to my boy as we rocked... hoping I would remember this tomorrow and hoping he would remember this for life:
"Great is Thy faithfulness!" "Great is Thy faithfulness!"
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
"Great is Thy faithfulness," Lord, unto me!

December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas was great this year - we rested. I'm quite sure that is the theme for our Christmas 2010. Our family has been sick pretty much 6 weeks straight - not all at once but at least one child which almost always past to an adult. So once the Christmas season rolled around this mommy thought she was going crazy. I was so tired of seeing the four walls of this house - tired of only having conversations with little people - tired of being tired. You get the picture. But finally as Christmas week rolled around we were mostly all feeling good. We had no where to be and no entertaining to do - maybe that's depressing for some people but it was like a breath of fresh air for this family. To top everything off we woke up Christmas morning to snow falling - that just doesn't happen in Alabama!! I guess snow isn't the best to have when your daughter gets a bike for Christmas but my daughter didn't let a little snow get in her way of riding her new bike! Eli was very unaware of what was going on but as Todd said he seemed really excited to wake up and find that his living room was suddenly a toy store. Sydney Kate was totally into Christmas this year - we did the "Elf on the Shelf" thing... as a side note I'm not 100% sold on this new elf watching you thing. I didn't take it too seriously but my daughter sure did - at least she cleaned her room a lot more because the elf was watching. I could go into an Elf theological debate post but I'll save it for a much later (and probably never) post. So Christmas was great - I loved our family time - we enjoyed being together. I always leave this season with a sense of thankfulness - thankful for my children/husband - thankful for the many blessings that we have - and thankful I'm entering another year and hopeful this coming year will be much better than the last.

Family Pics....

Finally we had family pictures made - and finally I'm updating the blog. Enjoy the pictures and check back soon - I feel like I'm coming out of the "fog" and hoping to return to posting more soon.

November 5, 2010

Thoughts I think about....

“ I remained, lost in oblivion; My face I reclined on the Beloved. All ceased and I abandoned myself, Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.” – Saint John of the Cross

I often revisit this quote in my journal – most days my soul longs to join the lilies – to be embraced, sun beaming on my face – loved, rested, secure, no struggle, and beloved daughter. Not that my days are horrible but they are busy. I wrestle with laziness and being a taskmaster (two very different roles). I long to mark off the list of things I need to do but most days I barely make it past item one. I don’t mind much that I’m a procrastinator – things get done when they need to get done its just not with much speed. I really think sometimes I would have been an amazing monk – to sit all day and ponder the things of God, to read, to sit in silence, and at times work odd jobs. Why does that sound fun to me?? Okay it would probably be fun for a short period then I would need to connect with someone else - there is a strong desire for community in my world of introspection. Not sure I meet many mothers who have the time for the type of reclining time with the Lord I long for – I see lots of running errands and mundane lists checked off (which I’m often envious of those moms) but more and more I’m still drawn to the other side of leaving the lists for tomorrow. The side of being in the moment and if that moment calls for me to sit with a giant cup of coffee and a bagel at Panera Bread and focus on what God is doing among my craziness then that is where I’ll be. I long to be lost in oblivion – my face reclined on the Beloved – abandon my control – leave behind the stresses of life and breath in the fragrance of the lilies.

November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010...

The most beautiful Princess Ballerina I've ever met and the most handsome little Pumpkin that I love to squeeze!! I'm pretty sure Halloween was a success based on the amount of candy brought into my house last night. I've got to come up with a really good excuse for getting rid of candy - there is no way this stuff is staying longer than a week! I think I might hide it and save it for Christmas stocking stuffers - then I can hide it after Christmas for Easter baskets - and then after that it might be so old no one would be willing to eat it. It is worth a try and a small attempt at being thrifty.

October 13, 2010

What kind of mood are you in?

Some days I feel like this.....

But most days are like this - especially since we can play outside now without sweating to death ...

September 3, 2010

Beach pictures...

Went to the beach a month ago and finally posting a few pictures. I would like to blame it on the fact that my wireless router died but I guess I could have plugged straight into a connection - but honestly I was being lazy! Enjoy...

August 13, 2010

First day of Kindergarten...

I'll just say it - I totally cried when Sydney Kate got out of the car yesterday to walk into her first day of Kindergarten. I was so nervous for her - worried that someone would not take care of her needs like mom - not sure I was ready to admit that my baby girl was old enough to attend "real" school. Back in the day I would have laughed at seeing some mom cry when she dropped off her child - not anymore - these emotions are real and in some weird way it changes things forever. We are on day two of school and I'm still wandering around my house like a lost puppy. I would have thought I would be celebrating my new found freedom - instead I find myself hating the silence. No Disney music dancing in my head all day - no playing babies all morning - and no one asking me constantly what we're doing next. I miss it - I really do - and I'm sad because I know it doesn't go backwards they just keep growing up. So while me and little Eli wander our house in search of sissy... she is loving life! SK got in the car yesterday with a ton of things to tell me about - she loves her teacher - she made all these new friends - she's the tallest one in her class - she didn't even get in trouble (her words not mine) - she carried her own lunch tray and didn't drop it - she ran really fast in her new fast running tennis shoes - she wrote her name with a perfect "K" in Kate - she was the cutest one because she had on pink (her words not mine).... I could go on but I won't for the sake of the size of this blog. My little girl loves Kindergarten but the best part to hear about yesterday was - "Mom I had fun but I really missed you today - I don't want to watch t.v. because I want to spend time with my family". She will always have my heart even when I move her into college.... I'm pretty sure Kindergarten might have been the easiest transition yet... in that case maybe I should start praying now for my emotional overload in 12 years (high school graduation) - heck maybe I should just start praying about dropping her off for first grade - only one milestone at a time is all I can possibly handle!

July 29, 2010

The month of July...

This month I watched my little ones grow up a little more. Sydney Kate turned 5 years old and my baby boy is now one year old. I sit back and wonder where in the world this year has gone... it seems like a blur! I guess everyone says "time flys" but you don't realize how fast it goes until you blink and your infant turns one and your little girl starts school. Crazy! In some deep place I'm excited for the next stage of life - a little more freedom. Not as tied down to my house as you are typically with a baby. Although I'm quite sure I motivate with my children more than most. They go and do with mom as much as possible - Sydney Kate is a pro at interviewing the homeless ladies at my job and Eli has been the most go with the flow baby I've ever met.

But there are things I will miss from the past year. I will miss my little girl always being at my side - always with something to say and always asking "why" things are the way things are. Sydney Kate starts school is two weeks and although she has attended Mother's Day Out since she was one years old this is very different for me. In two weeks she will be gone all day long - she will spend more time with her teacher than she will with her mom. I will miss the ballet dancing after rest time - I will miss my hugs/kisses - I will miss my buddy who always suggest we go to the mall to shop (not because she likes to shop but she knows if she gets me to the mall then she can ride the carousel - Smart Girl!). The nonconformist in me hates the fact that our family will now revolve around a school schedule - no more sleeping in and no more taking vacations when we please. I think Sydney Kate will do so good in school but I'm really worried about her parents.

Eli has been a calming spirit in our house this year. He is such a peaceful sweet baby. I am grieving my baby boy growing up - maybe it is because I believe he is my last. My little one was never really "little" in everyones eyes but he was to his mamma! No matter how big he gets I'm quite sure I'll still try to pick him up and make him kiss me 20 times a day. Eli hasn't started walking yet - he crawls really really fast and cruises around the furniture (which makes him laugh). There is nothing better than walking in his room in the morning and seeing my big blue eyed boy smiling - waiting patiently while sucking his puppy paci. I will forever be in love with his blonde curls, blue eyes, and fat rolls on his legs!!!!

Happy Birthday to my two beautiful children!! I have come to understand over the years that motherhood is not for the faint at heart. It is hard - sometimes more than you think you can handle but somehow you push through. Somehow God intervenes when you know you screwed up everything and yet your children still hug you and love you. It makes it worth it all - in fact it comes close to giving us a picture of how God loves us. We screw up and He loves us - he hugs us - he redeems us - he gives us another chance to be better. My children do that for me on a daily basis... what a love we are given as parents... we get chance after chance and they still come to us to keep loving them.

June 25, 2010

Sydney Kate's Dream...

My precious daughter is a very vivid dreamer. Many nights I find her sneaking up beside my bed to announce "Mommy I've had a bad "dweam". So there are a few "dweams" I feel it is important to write down - there are not many things that make you laugh at 3am but this particular dream was priceless.

Here's our conversation at 3am:
Mommy I had a bad dweam (complete with tears and all) - and I need to sleep with you. Sydney Kate tell me about your dream. I dreamed I was a waffle and Ashley Aimes (a friend from school) put me in the toaster.

Maybe it was bad to laugh out loud in front of my crying 4 year old but I couldn't help myself - one thing about my Sydney Kate she will be forever giving me things to write about - she has a very special way with words.

June 7, 2010

A few new pics...

Okay I've been terrible about updating the blog - so much going on and little time to update the blog. So eventually I'll get around to posting about Sydney Kate's K-4 graduation, Sk first missing tooth, Eli is crawling, beach time, etc. But for tonight I hope these pics will give you an update of my cute little people. My friend Shanda took these when she was in town a few weeks ago. Enjoy and I promise I'll get back to blogging in the very near future!!!

April 4, 2010

Our family on Easter...

My 8 month old...

My precious boy - he is truly one of the happiest babies I've ever been around. He smiles at everyone - he goes with the flow no matter his mommy's crazy schedule. Eli's newest trick is to flash a big smile at those who pass to show off his first two teeth and then wave at them. He's so big everyone thinks he's so much older- who wouldn't at a whopping 24lbs. - more to squeeze! I love him so much and he brings so much joy to our family. Here's a few recent photos to show off our 8 month old enjoying this great Spring weather.

March 31, 2010

Theology reminders from a 4 year old....

During an afternoon shopping trip to TJ Maxx Sydney Kate found a small prize in the toy section that she really wanted. When she asked if she could get it I told her I would make that decision at the end of our shopping trip - if she was well behaved I might buy it. During our time of shopping she was the perfect child - Yes Ma'am mommy - I love you Mommy - You are the best Mommy in the world - I love your new hair cut - Am I being a good helper.... the list of "good" things goes on. So towards the end of our shopping trip I said to Sydney Kate... "You have been such a good girl today - I wish you were this good everyday even when you don't want a toy." Sydney Kate replied, "Mom, I'm not Jesus! He was good all the time but I'm not him."

Theology 101 from my four year old! My response: You're right we will never be perfect - I'm not Jesus either!

March 3, 2010

Marguerite Harvey Tucker February 29, 1924 - February 13, 2010

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound…

We sang this song at her funeral – it represents a life of a woman who imitated this hymn to those who were blessed to know her. She was not the type to go around “sharing her faith” as we might typically think about evangelizing – she shared her faith with love and action –she shared it by living out her life loving others as Christ loved her. As a child I remember going to Charleston to spend a few weeks with my Nanny every summer. I would play outside all day long with my cousin Kelly – but we always made it back to Nanny’s porch for some love and food. She would be there waiting for us on the big porch swing – we would lay our head in her lap and we would all swing –not many words were exchanged we would just listen to the birds singing – hear the swing’s old chains creak – and she would tickle our faces with her perfectly manicured nails (that she did herself I should add). We would lie there for hours – or it felt like hours when I was 9 years old – she loved us well. We would then run off and play until dark and return at dinner time to an amazing home cooked meal. Only Nanny could make any vegetable taste like dessert and you haven’t had dessert until you had her melt in your mouth pound cake. Memories there are many…

On those summer visits we always went to the local church on Sunday – New Hope United Methodist Church. For some reason as I child I thought that was such a big church – tall ceilings, lots of adults I didn’t know, and I would stand really close to my grandmother. As I entered this same church a week ago for her funeral I realized how small that church actually is – how in my mind as a child things seemed so grand and big. The reality is the church is quite simple and still very familiar – even 30 years later. I was in this church 10 years ago with my grandmother… she was dressed as a bride. Yes a beautiful bride in her 70s! I remember how excited I was for her – finding love once again in her life – living life to its full potential! That set a standard… love can find you no matter your age. My Nanny loved well. She loved her boys – they were her heart. She again set the standard – love your children – love them well.

I think of my grandmother’s legacy as she left this world… a legacy of love, strength, simplicity, and grace. May I never forget the love she poured abundantly on her family – she lived out the message of “love one another as our Heavenly Father loves us.” To me that verse was my precious Nanny - I will miss her.

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wrench like me…I once was lost but now I’m found…was blind but now I see.

February 12, 2010

Snow in Alabama....

What a great day - snow on the ground, staying warm inside with a cup of coffee and chocolate and two happy children. Don't call DHR but I took Eli outside to take a few pictures - yes I realize he doesn't have a jacket on but he didn't mind! Sydney Kate had her friend Abby over this morning and they played in the snow and played barbies all morning - so Mommy got some alone time to just be quiet - much needed! Enjoy the pics.

January 31, 2010

Mid 30's here I come....

It's official - I'm pretty sure 34 years old = Mid 30 range. No more saying I just turned 30 (like you just left the 20's) - No more saying I'm in my early 30's. Nope I'm in the middle...and in another year or so I'll be crossing over the land into late 30's. I've noticed lately that I've been thinking of things that have never crossed my mind before - for example - I've found myself in the drugstore perusing the wrinkle cream section. One day I looked in the mirror and noticed lines on the side of my eyes! It could have been a sleepless night with an infant that caused these little lines or the more likely cause is I'm getting older!

I'm not sure I believe the hype of the old saying "You get wiser as you get older" - many days it just seems I'm slipping farther into the abyss of conformity... its easy - it doesn't take much brain power to do it - no one will think I'm weird - I'm tired. All the many excuses to remain in the comfort of what I know and too afraid to risk because failure looms on the other side. This has been in my thoughts all year and I do believe God keeps bringing it up in my life for a reason. Anytime I'm alone and all is silent (which is a rare event in my life these days) - God begins to show me how truly fearful I have been to step out of my warm comfy place. I was reading today in my new Brennan Manning Book (Souvenirs of Solitude) about this very idea of failure. Brennan writes, " Each of us pays a heavy price for our fear of falling flat on our faces. It assures the progressive narrowing of our personalities and prevents exploration and experimentation. As we get older, we do only the things we do well. There is no growth in Christ Jesus without some difficulty and fumbling. If we are going to keep on growing, we must keep on risking failure throughout our lives."

Wow - I'm so challenged by those words and I feel like a scared little child when I think about "risking failure". My mind immediately goes please Lord don't let me be a failure as a mother, please don't let me fail as a wife, and please don't let hardship interfere with me looking good to the outside world. Those thoughts are so absurd - so lifeless - so empty and if the truth be known I fail at these things hourly - the difference might be NO ONE really Knows! Ha! Not unless you are secretly hiding in my house somewhere.

So here's to year 34 - may you be dependent enough on Jesus to live fully -to do away with laziness, looking good, feeling good, and snuggling up to a boring existence where you don't risk - experiment - and love fully.

Here's a prayer written by Nikos Kazantzakis:
I am a bow in your hands, Lord.
Draw me, lest I rot.
Do not overdraw me, Lord. I shall break.
Overdraw me, Lord, and who cares if I break?

December 30, 2009

Cruising in my 5.0 Pink Mustang...

I have yet to upload my photos from Christmas but here are two that I took with my phone. As you see our little girl is now driving a pink Mustang - she speeds around here like she's been driving for years. I don't have time to write a post - packing for a night away (first night away from our boy). Heading to Atlanta tomorrow to cheer on the Tennessee Vols in the Chick-fil-a Bowl. We'll be bringing in the New Year at the Georgia Dome. Note to all readers - I am only a Tennessee fan when they are not playing the University of Alabama. It makes my husband happy to see me wearing orange so I concede for his benefit. Anyway, when we return I'll try to do a better Christmas post. Love to all!