Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Return to Blogging

Yep, you've read the title correctly!

I know that it has been forever, but I'm so excited to announce that I'm returning to blogging!  

Before I just right back in, I thought I should clarify a couple of things.  I'm not doing this because our life has gotten so much better than it used to be so I want to brag about my successes every chance I get.  Anyone that knows me also knows that I'm not doing this because I all of the sudden have a ridiculous amount of extra time on my hands that I feel could be spent sitting in front of my computer.  And trust me, I'm also not doing this because I've made the decision to protest and stop using Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram because let's be honest...that's just crazy talk!!!  

Unfortunately, none of the above is true.  Instead I've decided to make this return for 3 simple reasons.  

I've decided to come back to blogging for my family, for my friends, and for my faith.  

I know what you're, friends, and faith...that doesn't even make sense!  However, I assure you that it does.

First, for my family.  

We have a handful of family members that are not living here in Durham with us.  I often feel that so much happens here that I forget to tell them or share with them just out of pure craziness and I'm hoping that the blog will keep them up-to-date and will give them an opportunity to see our kids, read our stories, and live life with us as much as possible over the miles.  We hate living away from anyone in our family but we hope that the blog will make things a little more bearable.

Next, for my friends.

We have some amazing friends here in Durham, but honestly some of the people that we cherish the most in our lives can be found in Winston Salem, Plymouth, Greensboro, High Point, Climax, Central Asia, and S. Africa.  Having people that we love spread out in so many different areas makes it hard to see everyone and keep them updated on our lives.  Sure, social media has helped us with this problem but we don't think our sporadic status updates, mobile uploads, or 140 character or less tweets are quite doing the job.   My hope is that our friends will be able to feel as close to us during this season of our lives as they were when they actually lived in the same apartment, town, or state!

Finally, and most importantly, for my faith.

After much thought and prayer about whether or not to return to blogging, I felt like I had complete clarity about what I should do.  Without a doubt I was convicted that getting back on the computer and sharing "my story" with others was the right thing to do.  HOWEVER, I felt an overwhelming concern about this responsibility. Mostly, I don't ever want my blog to be a platform for bragging.  I don't want to share all of my successes being careful to hide all of my baggage away so that others cant see it and judge me.  At the same time, I didn't want the blog to be a way for me to whine, complain, or dwell on my numerous failures. So, instead, my hope and prayer is that my blog will be similar to my prayer journal.  That it will be a way that I can document what is happening in my life, but more specifically how God is moving in my life!  I have found through years of keeping a prayer journal that I can often see God's hand in every aspect of my life, even if it's in unanswered prayers, by looking back over my documentation.  I am hoping that my blog will do just that for me!  I want it to be a testimony (of sorts) for all to experience with me.  

So, it is with those three things in mind that I embark on this new (but yet old) journey of blogging!

And, let's face's about time because A LOT has changed since my last post (in 2011) but don't worry, that's for another day and time...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We are 8 years blessed and so thankful!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Happy 4th....sorry so late!

Don't worry, we're not totally confused and our calendar is definitely accurate...I'm just VERY delayed in posting all of our fun from July.

Our family enjoyed a fabulous 4th of July!
It was filled with all of our favorite things...

...Italian Ice...

...Fun at the pool....


....cookout with friends and of course, fireworks!!!!!

We feel so blessed to spend special weekends like this with each other doing the things that we love to do! We hope that all of you enjoyed a happy 4th too!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy 3rd Bryleigh!

Just typing the title of this blog made me tear up some!
It is a weird feeling to say that my "baby" is 3 years old!
Holy cow!

Just like all milestones, this celebration is very bittersweet!
Bitter because it's hard to see her growing up and becoming more independent. Sweet because I'm so thankful for the girl that she is and for the role that she plays in our family!
I am still so in-love with her and feel so blessed that God gave her to me!

We had her birthday party this weekend (don't worry I'll post those pictures soon) and after it was over I felt very bummed. I wasn't quite sure why I felt this way...the party was great, lots of her friends were able to make it, most of our family was there, and it seemed like everyone had a good there seemed to be no good reason for the feelings! Then, it hit me...I'm bummed because this is my baby! My heart is so full of love and appreciation for her but at the same time there is a slight ache knowing that she is my "baby" no more!

I had wanted to share a little story with our friends and family at Bry's party, but didn't have the nerve to...yes, I'm a teacher but I HATE speaking in public/crowds! So, I thought that I would share "her" story quickly here! I know that most of you know this already, but I love to tell it because it is a reminder to me every year of how blessed we are! it goes!

Bryleigh was due to arrive and join our family on August 21, 2008. Everything was going great with the expected considering my history with Brenden. I was feeling good surviving the summer heat, and looking forward to starting another school year at work. Little did we know that "our plans" did not match God's plan for our life! On July 24th I went to the doctor because I was feeling "weird" and wondered if my water was leaking. After examining me they decided that my water was in fact leaking and that I needed to go ahead and head to the hospital. This sent me straight to panic mode. None of this matched my plans...personally or professionally. I was worried sick about Bryleigh's health, about how pitiful her nursery looked, and about abandoning my students and co-workers.

We prayed and prayed about this news and then headed over to the hospital. Bobby was such a breath of fresh air and the calm Godly voice that I needed to hear at that time. We rushed over to the hospital only to sit and wait the day away. I found myself getting more and more eager to greet her and less and less fearful of the "what ifs". Finally, shortly after midnight they completely broke my water which sent me straight into full-blown labor. A few pushes (and a lot of pain) later and she was here....our blessing!!!

We were amazed to see her! She looked so healthy! So alive! So perfect!

I still cannot believe how blessed we were to have Bryleigh join our family 4 weeks prior to her due date and in such a healthy state!! There were absolutely NO complications from her early delivery and we were able to hold her, feed her, and take her home just as we had hoped and prayed! She was actually probably healthier than Brenden was being born only a week early!

Still to this day we are amazed by this girl! We are in awe of the blessings that she brings to our family! We are so thankful for the gift that God gave us by giving us her! We are so proud to be her parents!

Here are some pictures of her each year of her life. I love to look at how much she has changed in such a short period of time!!! :) We hope that you enjoy them and thank you for reading the wordy story about our "Tinkerbell"!

(Above: At birth...ready to head home)

(Above: 1 year old)

(Above: 2 years old)

(Above: 3 years old)

Monday, July 4, 2011

"Just the Two of Us" - Again

The other weekend Bobby and I went to Concord for our 2nd annual summer getaway.
(Click here to see our getaway from last year.)

If you ask me, I think the getaway this year was
just as good as last year, if not better!

Bobby took some extra time off work which helped us get some extra time together. We left on a Friday morning and came back on a Monday afternoon...super nice!! While in Concord we enjoyed some of the same things that we loved about our trip last, time with my brother, great food, and most importantly...a little 1:1 time with each other. We also added something new this year...CAROWINDS!!!

Below are some pictures from our weekend...sorry there aren't more but I didn't carry the camera with me everywhere like I normally do! ;)

(Above: Bobby enjoying one of our daily treats....Starbucks!)

(Above: Bobby with some of our shopping "loot"!)

(Above: We enjoyed a day at Carowinds on was amazing how much we could accomplish there without the kids! In the pics above we're standing in front of our favorite rides.)
(Above: Just the 2 of us at dinner...yep, Olive Garden!!!)

It was a great weekend and I find myself looking
forward to next year already! Sad, but true!

(I want to be sure to mention that I'm so thankful for an amazing MIL
that keeps our kids each year so that we can enjoy this weekend!
She is such a blessing to me, to my kids, and to
my marriage! I'm a very lucky girl!)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. "
Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

We just received news that our Granddaddy has passed away.
This is news that we have been trying to prepare ourselves for over the past few months...
However, now when we're faced with the news our hearts are breaking,
our tears are flowing, and our questions have already started forming.

We had big plans to visit Granddaddy this weekend.
We had wanted to see him, a belated Father's Day visit.
We were so eager for the weekend to arrive and now we're left feeling like a precious moment has been ripped away from us before we were ready.

We have spent every night since May praying for Granddaddy as a family.
In May we attended a doctors visit with him where they shared some results.
The words still haunt was definitely cancer and it had spread through the blood to his bones. We will never forget that moment with Granddaddy.
His hope was that if he received treatment for his cancer then maybe, just maybe, he could be with all of us a bit longer.
The treatments have been hard...making him weak, tired, and very sick.
Our prayer has been for healing for our Granddaddy.
"Dear God, Please help Granddaddy not be sick" was often the prayer Brenden would pray.

It is with tears that we say God has heard our prayers!

He has truly healed Granddaddy and has welcomed him home today.
Granddaddy had amazing faith and we have no doubt in our minds about the welcome that he received at heaven when he arrived.

We ask now that each of you pray for us and our family.
Granddaddy has been the only grandfather that I have known and has been one of the most influential men in Bobby's life.
I am so thankful for how he has loved me since I've joined their family.
I am so blessed that my kids got to know him over these years.
I'm so appreciative of all that he has done in molding my husband into the man he is today.

However, I'm so sad to say goodbye.

Please pray that even though our grief is strong during this time of sorrow, that we will find comfort in the memories that we have made with him that will carry us into each tomorrow!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Daddy's Day!

Happy Daddy's Day, Bobby!
I am so blessed to have you as my hubby and I couldn't have hand-picked a better Daddy for our kids! Your constant love, support, encouragement, help, forgiveness, and faith always amaze me and I hope you feel extra loved this Father's day! Thank you for being you and for also being the Best Daddy Ever! :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Brenden's Preschool Graduation

Can you believe it?!
I know, it is amazing but it's true...
Brenden is now a preschool graduate!!!
His graduation was on Thursday, May 26th.
He was super excited about his special day and we all had a blast celebrating it with him!
His preschool had a very nice morning for all of the graduates and their families.
We had a ceremony first thing where the kids sang songs, did a little skit, and then received certificates. After that we had a mini photo shoot before heading over to the reception that they had for everyone....Brenden and Bryleigh loved that part since they both got cake with icing! :)
Below are the pictures of our morning and of our big boy. Enjoy!

He was grinning like this all day! :)

He woke up bouncing out of bed and ready to go!

Walking in for the ceremony.

Opening Prayer

Receiving his certificate

Shaking hands with his teacher, Mrs. Jill.

Proud Nana and Papa

Mommy and Daddy were also super proud of this boy!

Still grinning from ear to ear!

Posing with some of his preschool buddies

His buddy since birth, Avery.

Best of Friends...all of us!

Brenden, we are so happy for you and so proud of all that you've accomplished at Aldersgate!
As you approach Kindergarten and the years ahead of you our prayer for you is that you always remember that we love you and that we will always be your biggest fans!

You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." ~ Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fun at the Museum

About a month ago (April 15th to be exact) The Hicks girls invited us to join them for an afternoon at the Museum of Life and Science. We had an absolute blast and it was such a great time out with the cousins!
I won't add a lot of words, just a lot of pictures of our fun!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Easter 2011

Our family really had an amazing Easter!
The older my kids get (and the older I get) I feel like I grow more and more convicted of how it's the simple things that make these days so special for us all.
The more I do the more it complicates the day and distracts me from the things that are most important to me.

We woke up early so we could show the kids their Easter "baskets" before church.
The kids couldn't wait to check them out.They were definitely VERY excited to see all of their loot...
especially Brenden...Ha!
He actually asked me to take a picture of him with that face! ;)
However, I think their all-time favorite gift were their jump ropes!
They both absolutely LOVED this!
After Easter baskets we ate our breakfast and headed to church.
We had a great time hanging out with our friends there.
After church we headed outside for some pics and then lunch at Bo's.
(Brenden's request).

The rest of the day was just perfect.
We spent all afternoon/evening outside.
We hunted for eggs, played baseball, and cooked out.
The weather was perfect, the kids had a blast, and it was the best way to spend the rest of the day!

We feel so blessed and love that we have these special memories to cherish on life's journey.
We have found that nothing satisfies us more than time with the Lord, company of friends, love of our family, sunshine on our face, and laughter all around us!

We hope the same for each of you!