Saturday, August 29, 2009


Today I enter my thirties.
I'm excited about it.
Excited to think about what the next decade of my life will hold.
About how I will grow.
What I will learn.
How my family will grow.
Excited to think about all that I want to accomplish during these years. Because if there's anything I learned from my twenties, it's that the time will go by fast.

There are things that I know will happen during the next ten having no children in diapers, teaching all three children how to read, celebrating 10 (and 15) years of marriage, Brent reaching retirement with the Air Force (wow!). But there are so many things that will come as a many blessings...probably some heartache...lots of moments for true growth in God's grace to occur.

So, I welcome thirty with open arms.

(And about that cake. Stefanie's Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory. Perfectly delicious. And just for the record, I did blow out ALL thirty candles!)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Perfect Peace

"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock." Isaiah 26:3-4

This verse has been on my mind and in my heart since last Friday.

This past Tuesday, Brent's dad had open-heart surgery. It had originally been scheduled for late September, but was moved up after he experienced chest pain last weekend. Thankfully, Brent was already there with his parents. My Mom was here with me. We felt blessed to see God's providence in our lives. Blessed to see the outpouring of support of friends and family and church to Brent and his parents in the days leading up to, during, and after the surgery.

I have been so blessed by this verse. To see and to feel and to grasp the reality of its truth. Brent's parents...Brent and his parents...extended family...when I've talked with them or read their emails, there has just been such a peace about them. And I know that it is there because their minds are stayed on Christ. On our Lord and Savior. The Great Physician. We know that He is Sovereign. That His plan is always good. And because we look to Him, we stay our minds and our gaze on Him, we have peace. And a peace that is not of our understanding...

Peace throughout a surgery that seemed to go very well. Then peace through a very difficult night. Peace through a second surgery. Peace through waiting. Peace through improvements and then setbacks. Peace through each day. Peace through each night. Peace through the beginning of a long road to recovery.

Perfect peace. An everlasting rock. May my mind always be stayed on you, Lord.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gone in the blink of an eye...

It's easy to see how quickly my girls are growing up. I can compare them more easily...when I look at Madeleine, I think of how much "older" she seems than Hadleigh was at that age. She looks younger than Hadleigh but acts much older. I guess it's that third child thing, huh? And my baby who's not yet two seems almost five.

But then I look at Hadleigh and remember what it was like to have her at almost only baby at that time. I see Hadleigh's old clothes on her little sister and the memories come flooding back. And suddenly, five-almost-six seems SO grown up again.

Hadleigh came out of her room this weekend dressed to "go to a party". In an outfit I had a tough time getting her to wear this past winter...looks like it may be wearable this year! Five going on fifteen???

Did you notice the high heeled dress up shoes? I wish she would have posed with the purse on her shoulder like she did when she came out of her room. A little bit sassy :) but cute. She's all about filling her purse with "her stuff" and taking it everywhere.

And then, this one. She thinks she's three. (That's what she'll tell you.) Oh yes, she has lots to tell you. But that's another blog post...or maybe a novel. She acts like she's five. Doesn't want to have anything to do with anything age-appropriate. Baby dolls and dress up (but no feathers, please.) Cinderella. No duplo blocks, teeny- tiny legos preferred.

Oh, how my heart hurts. Look at those precious baby feet in big sister's shoes. She gets SO frustrated when they fall off. But she won't wear the dress-up shoes that fit...they have feathers, you see.

And not to leave out my little guy, doesn't he look so grown-up in the water? (My Project 12 July page for Nathanael.) He really loved to be in the water this summer, despite not wanting to cooperate with swimming lessons. But that just reminded me that Hadleigh didn't like it either at that age.

I'm so glad that I've been able to record so much of the past few years here...but I really want to try to journal more regularly this year...and record moments of these little lives that are growing so rapidly.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

In our dining room...

Do you know what this is???

Maybe a slightly different perspective would help:

When we passed along our dining table earlier this summer to Katy and Alex (my sister and new bro-in-law), our dining room apparently became an excellent indoor camping site, hence the creative "campfire" and tent. We had two permanent sleeping bags under the stars too.

I remember being six and having an empty formal dining area while my parents hunted for their table and chairs. We loved it. I used the room as my gymnastics and ballet studio, my brothers practiced being the Karate Kid, and we all loved to use the empty room as a playspace. When my parents found their table (the same table we just passed along to Katy and Alex, actually!), I'm sure I was a little disappointed that I no longer had room to turn cartwheels.

And so, I love seeing how my children use this space. :) But the grown up in me (and the person who'd like to have a seat for extra dinner guests) is anxious to find a table of our own.

These are the ones I love right now:

The one above I found at Layla Grace...but it's made by Redford House. I love it in the white, but we're looking for a dark finish for our dining room--thankfully it comes in many finishes! (The one above is my favorite, but Brent says the pedastals don't allow for enough stretch room. Hmmmmm.)

We both like this one from Pottery Barn. And it's transitional enough to work in a dining room or eat-in kitchen, if in the future we only have one dining space. And we like the chairs below (also from Pottery Barn) with both the dark stained finish. (Though I love the blue and red finishes too!)

And while it will mean the end of an empty room, I also remember countless afternoons spent under blankets covering the table...a fort full of play food and stuffed animals. I have no doubt that my children will also find plenty to use a new table for. I just LOVE seeing their imaginations at work!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunshine and rain

Our day today:
and then:

Hmmm...had I known that my hydrangeas would be drenched this afternoon, I would have neglected to water them for three hours this morning. Oops.

(Yes, I sometimes forget to turn off the fabulously engineered watering system Brent designed to keep my hydrangeas alive. Each plant has a little hose extension with its own tiny little sprinkler at the base. My excuse this morning was swimming lessons. Which begs the question, how did I forget about the water since I applied the spray sunscreen on the back porch before leaving. Hmmm.)

No news to any of you, but I just adore the rain. :)

But, alas, this little cutie and her older siblings will be ready for more sunshine soon.

Friday, August 07, 2009

It took some searching

but I finally found a reusable grocery bag that I liked while we were in Asheville on vacation.

I didn't want the bright green ones...and I didn't really want the red ones from Target. But I still wanted to find the 99-cent ones from a grocery store. Harris Teeter came through for me!

I love the darker green with the light green contrast...and these are bigger than the standard size, so even when I fill up my cart to the top, I generally use only 6 bags. And I love how the handles are long enough to carry over my shoulder very comfortably.

So far, I've been pretty good about remembering to bring them with me when I go "big shopping"...but I can be forgetful when I run to Braums for milk or just run in for a couple items. I don't mind getting a few plastic bags here and there because we definitely reuse them here at home (Brent's huge lunches for work, lining bathroom trashcans, etc.), but I am glad to not have the enormous amounts of plastic bags that we used to.

I think we're set for now with our reusable bags! How about you? Do you use them? And if they're cute, show me a picture!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

a new favorite place

Whenever we go to OKC, I always request to go to at least one of my three favorite places: Full Circle Books, Paper Crown, or my new favorite, Cuppies & Joe. This past Saturday, we went to the latter two, and I was a happy girl :)

First of all, I just think their logo is the cutest ever.

They have yummy cupcakes...with lots of different flavors...I like the "Mint for each other"--chocolate with mint buttercream and crushed andes mints on top--but I will branch out next time and try something new. I got the kiddos a "Mary Poppins" to split...strawberry with strawberry cream cheese. It's good too!

I love their display case...wish I could have gotten a better picture, but it was crowded and I only had my 50mm lens. Oh well. Each flavor of cupcake has its own unique display piece--exactly what I would do if I owned a cupcake bakery...I love pretty display dishes!

The atmosphere is cozy but clean...with whimsical photography on the walls...lots of different rooms with an assortment of cozy chairs and painted tables and chairs. If I'm remembering right, there might be a fireplace...but I could also be imagining that!

The people who work there are very friendly and helpful (especially if you're indecisive like me!) I always get milk to go with my cupcake, but Brent says their coffee is good. I'm looking forward to a date night in OKC so that we can just relax and enjoy the atmosphere...instead of getting the cuppies to go!
And oh yeah, they also make these Oreo sugar cookies (called Cami-o's) that are delicious. Maybe better than a cupcake. Maybe. I plan on creating my own version of these and when I get it right, I'll share the recipe.

In the meantime, visit Cuppies & Joe next time you're in OKC!

Monday, August 03, 2009


my favorite flowers tend to be freshly picked and delivered by sweet, little (often chubby) hands.

They aren't flown in from all over the globe, but they are instead picked thoughtfully in the fields, lots, and cracks in the sidewalk that surround our home.

They usually fit perfectly in this sweet little vase, given to me by Brent's mom after I had my wisdom teeth removed, a few months before we were engaged. They sit on the windowsill and make me smile each time I come into the kitchen.

Instead of being accompanied by a little card, their sentiment is revealed in a huge smile and such excitement as I hear how they were picked " 'pecially for you, Mommy!"

Sometimes the stems don't quite make the cut...but even the blooms can be floated in a bowl of water.

These special bouquets make this Mommy feel loved.

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