Monday, October 31, 2011

Favorite New Worship Song

Christ is Risen, Matt Maher

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
But fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us, freely You've bled for us

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but heaven's will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer's crown
No burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign, forever let Your church proclaim

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

O death, where is your sting?
O grave, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night

O death, where is your sting?
O grave, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead, He's alive, He's alive

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Friday, October 28, 2011

Another House Update

I forgot to post the before pictures on my last house update.

Here was the sun room:


entry way:

kitchen before:


kitchen after:
Papaw did these built-ins. He did a fabulous job! It added so much storage and it looks great. Mom made the cushion.

Another Craigslist purchase. This hutch holds all our everyday dishes and our coffee bar.

Mom spray-painted the stools and the dog food can. Don't they look good? I ordered a plantation shutter for the window but it hasn't come in yet.

It is small but it works. Someday, far far away, we would like to gut the kitchen and start over.

Papaw put in this shelf over the fridge. This is my baking corner. The piece of marble is for my baking as tile counters don't do very well with dough. ;)

office before:

office after:
Bookshelves are from a local store that sells only real wood furniture, no veneers or particleboard. LOVE them. Piano was purchased off Craigslist. We loved the upright at our old house, but it went out of tune very quickly and it was so heavy to move.

My secretary is from a local flea market. The Gent's desk was purchased on Craigslist for $140!! Mom recovered the chairs. The rug was in our guest room at the old house.

Love the light fixture:

family room before:

family room after:

New tv! Now we just need to find time to watch it. The cabinet was $100 on Craigslist. It holds games, movies, etc.

The sofa is from Pottery Barn and was my only furniture splurge. The cushions are down and they are so comfortable. The fabric is super easy to clean. I love this piece and it was definitely worth it. Mom recovered the chair - it used to be a red stripe and was in our family room at the old house. It looks amazing now! The round end table is on loan from Mom and Dad. The ottomans are from Target and hold blankets and Annie's toys. Eventually we plan to build bookcases to go on either side of the passage into the dining room.

The house is looking so good! We installed white wood blinds on all the windows and the new interior paint colors are perfect. A few more little projects left in the play room, guest room, and hall bath, and then that will be the last of the house tour pictures! The outside is being repainted next week, we are going to install a new hot water heater (ours doesn't even have enough hot water for one person to shower. it is starting to get cold outside and cold showers are no fun!), and the Gent and my uncle are going to rewire the electricity. Other than that, we are just about finished for now. Or, out of money. :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Annie: Eight Months

She was in a great mood for pictures this morning so I have lots of cute ones for you!

This month Annie has become very sturdy sitting up and is getting closer and closer to crawling. She gets on her hands and knees but hasn't figured out what to do next. She loves to laugh and squeal and make silly noises. I think she likes making her Daddy and me laugh with her. She likes reading books and playing with her stacking rings. She loves to eat everything except rice cereal. Her favorites are any kind of fruit and sweet potato. She has gotten the hang of the sippy cup and we practice with a regular cup now and then.

Our days go something like this: wake up at 6am to nurse, go back to sleep till 8, nurse, playtime on the floor, get dressed, eat breakfast (oatmeal and fruit), take the dogs for a walk, nurse, take a nap from about 10 to noon, nurse, more playtime, eat lunch (fruit, veggie, and a half serving of oatmeal), run errands or go someplace fun or help Mama around the house, take a nap from about 2:30-4:30, nurse, playtime, help Mama make dinner, welcome Daddy home, have dinner as a family (for Annie another fruit, veggie, and a half serving of oatmeal), play with Daddy and take a bath, nurse and rock and sing with Mama, bedtime at 8pm.

We are having so much fun! Annie is getting ready to try finger foods and branch out into more grains and a little bit of dairy. She is going to be on the move for real soon . . . watch out!









She weighs about 15 pounds and is wearing size 6-9 month clothes and size 2 diapers.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend Photos

We went to visit the Gent's side of the family this weekend. Annie had lots of fun showing off her new sitting and almost-crawling skills.

Watching football with Papa Rick


Daddy time


Giving Bebe kisses


Dinner at Granny's house


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Love and Butterflies

Anyone else out there a Need to Breathe fan? The Gent and I love their Outsiders album. One song in particular has a haunting melody; it's called "Stones Under Rushing Water."

Why don't we dance anymore?
I'm not okay with that
Why don't we laugh anymore?
I'm not okay with that

The years go by like stones under rushing water
We only know, we only know when it's gone
Yeah, the years go by like stones under rushing water
We only know, we only know when it's gone

Why don't we smile anymore?
I'm not okay with that
Why don't we dance slowly?
I'm not okay with that

'Cause the years go by like stones under rushing water
We only know, we only know when it's gone
Yeah, the years go by like stones under rushing water
We only know, we only know when it's gone

Why don't we dance anymore?

Such a sad, sad song. The Gent and I have been married four and a half years, and are about to celebrate the eighth anniversary of our first date (wow!). We sense already how quickly time passes and we consciously make an effort to make sure we spend time alone together, where we can focus for an hour or two on just each other. We love date nights out or just drinking a cup of tea and watching football/baseball/whatever sport is in season and cuddling on the couch. All in all, our marriage is a really great thing. We love being married. There is something awesome in the mundane ins and outs of life when you share it with the person you love.

People told us marriage would be hard and there would be lots of adjustments. But you know what, adjustments are part of life. People are always growing and changing. We'd been dating for three and a half years. The butterflies were gone a long time before we even got engaged. Now don't get me wrong, I loved the butterfly season! But that's just a season, it's not forever. And when you think about it, you really don't want it to be.

"Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feeling come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called "being in love' usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending "They lived happily ever after' is taken to mean 'They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married', then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friend-ships? But, of course, ceasing to be 'in love' need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense - love as distinct from "being in love' - is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be 'in love' with someone else. 'Being in love' first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it." C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

So somewhere towards the end of our first year in our dating relationship, it was bye-bye butterflies and hello love. Though we didn't say that out loud for many, many, many more moons. :) Those butterflies left us with some fabulous memories and we loved that season of life. But we love where we are now so much more. We wouldn't go back. We're too excited to keep walking forward in this grand adventure called marriage.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ode to Fall/Annie Pictures

Mmmmmm fall. I love fall. Okay, I love all seasons. Except winter . . . I only love Christmas. I survive the rest of it thanks to my flannel sheets. But I digress, enough time to complain about winter later, for now I will love the autumn that is here.

Fall is family dinners, puppies who love the frisky weather and want to play all the time, crock pot meals, pumpkin spice coffee (thanks for bringing me some, handsome husband/coffee hero), Francine Rivers books (I have favorite fiction for all seasons, do you? Jane Austen is for spring, favorite novels I read as a child are for re-reading in summer, Francine is for fall, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy and Rosamunde Pilcher are for winter), cozy sweatshirts and blankets tossed on the backs of chairs and sofas. Fall is for pumpkin carving and pansy-planting, neither of which I have done yet, but they're on the list. :)

Now a few random photos of the cuteness that is Annie:

Making faces with Poppa


Huck the babysitter

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Finding Home

We have been married four years and lived in four different cities. In each city we have been members of a church we loved and made friends we still hold dear. We've had jobs we liked and jobs we weren't so fond of, apartments we liked and apartments we weren't so fond of. We've searched for vets and obs and dentists. We've tried out all the libraries and figured out where to vote and where to get a license plate. We've learned our way around town and learned how to avoid rush hour traffic. We've found favorite restaurants and grocery stores and dog parks. We've seen the sights and visited the museums and tried to make ourselves at home in each place we've lived. Each one has a special place in our hearts, where we've held on to the good memories and tried to forget the bad ones.

In the past month, we've had the chance to return to each city. We've reunited with old friends (the internet is such a great way to stay connected, but there's nothing like being together) and gone back to the favorite cupcake place/campus sights/cute little downtown. We drove by the places we lived and called home.

Even better than being with old friends in the old favorite places is returning to our church family. We are so blessed to have been a part of three awesome churches, where people are loved and the name of Jesus is proclaimed, where the Word of God is preached and where the Savior is worshiped.

Each church is different and we love each one. We love our college church, the beautiful traditional Baptist building and the amazing preaching. We love our law school church, with heartfelt worship and strong Biblical teaching and the best young marrieds Sunday School class ever. We love our clerkship year church, with the best sense of community and inspired worship and sermons that challenge and encourage.

We are so thankful for each church the Lord placed us in. Those cities would never have been home without our church family. In a way, each is still home. It was like coming home when we visited each over the past month.

And all of that makes it difficult to find a church here. It is always hard to make that transition, there's always part of you that wants to go back. But when we were visiting our college church a few weeks ago, part of the sermon really stood out to me. The pastor was talking about when he received a call to our college church, he and his family really did not want to leave their current church. They loved it dearly and had so many good experiences. But they realized that the reason it was so wonderful was because they had been there in the center of God's will. And when the Lord was telling them it was time to go, it really was time to leave. It wouldn't be wonderful any longer if they stayed when God told them to go. His blessings come when we stay in the center of His will, wherever that may take us.

So as much as we'd love to go back to one of our old churches, we know that's not what the Lord has planned for us right now. He wants us to move forward.

Hello, new city. Hello, new church . . . as soon as He makes it clear to us which one He wants it to be!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The First Step

Today we are taking the first step on our foster parenting and adoption journey. Our application is filled out and waiting on my desk. I'll drop it in the mail as soon as the social worker calls me back and tells me where to send it. This is something the Gent and I have been praying about and wanting to do for years and we are so excited that the time is finally right to move forward! We can't wait to see what God has in store for our family. At this time we intend to foster with the goal of reconciling families (This is going to be hard, hard, hard. But either we trust the Lord or we don't. And we trust Him.), but I'm sure we will adopt at some point in time. Please be praying with us.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Be Still, My Heart

Borrowed the title phrase from my Jenn-girl (who seriously needs to update her blog soon). These pictures are just random snapshots (some from my phone) of the past week and they melt my heart when I look at them.

Aren't these two just perfect? We took lunch to the Gent at work last week and he and Annie had a great time playing in the floor.

Daddy's office is fun!

Ohhh sitting up is fun, too!!

I'm not always a happy kid, don't let all these smiling pictures fool you.

I love playing with Annie in the morning time when she's still in her jammies.

That's all, nothing serious today. Just some sweet pictures of my favorite baby.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Zeke!

On Monday Zeke turned seven. He has lived with us four years now, and we love our sassy Sheltie. :) Happy birthday, Zeke-puppy!





Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Annie's First Visit to the Zoo!

Our realtor gave us a membership to the zoo, and this weekend we finally used it! It was a beautiful fall day and our little family had a great time checking out the zoo.

We started at the petting zoo:

Staring down the goat:

Isn't he cute?

She didn't want to pet the sheep, though:

Chilling in her stroller, she loves those fingers!


The rhinos didn't seem to care that we came to see them.

Our sweet baby girl:

Yay for the zoo! We'll have to go back soon.