Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

No Santa Clause

We love Christmas music.  And by love, I mean, we start listening to it on November 1st.  Fortunately for us, there are lots of good sources for free Christmas music out there.  We recently downloaded Fiction Family's Holiday EP from Noisetrade, an incredible site for discovering music (and frequently getting it for free).  All this to say, I can really relate to the first song.  The gist is "I don't need no Santa Clause, I just want my baby here with me!  C'mon Eva, we're ready to meet you babe!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

The Image

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or rulers or dominions or authorities-all things were created through him and for him.

Colossians 1:15 & 16

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

On Lists

We are in the season of lists here.  Listing blessings, food to buy, food to prepare, gifts to give, tasks to accomplish before Eva arrives.  I have this little yellow legal notebook that I've been carrying around with me for just that purpose, because, let's just be honest here, if it isn't written down, it doesn't happen.  There are just too many thoughts elbowing one another for room in my head.  So, this got me thinking, since I seem to just pop by here every so often, I would list some highlights of life so that the "to blog" thought can have a seat and be quiet for a while.

B sent in his "where we want to go next list" to his monitor this week.  It makes me all excited and nervous at the same time.  I've already had nightmares about one duty station in particular.  We are really looking forward to getting back into a Marine Corps community again.

That said, we are REALLY enjoying all of the down time that being in school around the holidays affords him.  We realize that we live in a fantasy world right now.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I really don't know how I would have swung this pregnancy without all he's done around here since July.

Fall has finally come to Macon.  We've actually had some downright cold days.  It seems as if we did not move to one of the outer layers of the sun after all.

One of the only things that I can say that I truly love about being 36 and a half weeks pregnant is that I can consider walking exercise.  I'm trying to walk every day.  Although, I look forward to the day that I'm running again, I want to relish this lazy (to me) time also.

Muh will be two years old in less than a week.  When did that happen?  He is still the sweetest little boy that God put on the planet, however, we have been getting a good taste of the "twos" from him for about a month now.  (aka-Mealtimes are NO FUN at our house.)  Also, he is in love with football.  The child won't watch cartoons for more than two seconds, but he will sit mesmerized by the TV if a football game is playing.  Crazy.

Indelible Grace has a new album out and I cannot even begin to explain to you how good it is.  "Joy Beyond the Sorrow" is it's name.  All I can say is get it, listen, repeat.

Els is a "real princess" all the time these days.  A real one, Mommy.

That's about all I can think of for now.  I am incredibly thankful for the life we are living.  It is ever changing, but we know He who holds the future and that is enough.
Also, our BFFs came to visit from Beaufort last week!  It was so good for our souls, even if not for our sleeping!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dyed Wool

We live in Middle Georgia.  Fairs are big here, and when I say big, I mean BIG.  The granddaddy of them all is the yearly Georgia National Fair in Perry.  (Don't ask me how it can be both a state and national fair, I don't pretend to understand.  There are just some things about this place you have to accept and move on without much thought.)  There are rides, games, exhibits, farm animals, exotic animals, pig races, tractors, and plenty of fried food for everyone.

B could not believe that I had never been to a state fair before, so two weekends ago, we went to the national (state) fair and it did not disappoint.  The kids rode ponies, held baby chicks, drank complementary chocolate milk, and lunched on corn dogs.  By far the favorite part of the day for all of us was the animals.  Cows, pigs, chickens, a tortoise, ring-tailed lemurs, sea lions, etc, etc.  And sheep.

One of our favorite movies is Babe.  It's amazing.  I don't mind at all when Els' chooses it to watch.  If you've never had the privilege of seeing it, it's pretty much about a pig who wants to be a sheep dog.  There is a scene where Babe the pig helps round up all of the sheep for shearing.  Last time we watched the movie, Els was very inquisitive about what was happening during this part.  I tried the best I could to explain to her about sheep haircuts and wool and how we use it to make sweaters and socks. So, imagine our delight when the sheep farmers had a display of wool, how it's spun, and even several examples of colored wool.  Els looked at the different colors and said, "Mommy, I've never seen a pink sheep before.  That's silly."  I then went on to explain to her that we use dye to make the whitish brown wool different colors.  End of discussion.

Until when, a few days later, out of the blue, she says to B in a matter-of-fact tone, "You know, Daddy, when sheep die they just fall over and turn pink or purple."

Die.  Dye.  Literal going on 4-year-olds.

Petting farm animals is the best!

Muh riding Lil' Bit

30 or maybe 31 weeks pregnant.  I fit right in, walking around, corn dog in hand.

Els and I rode the "Agri-Lift," or Ride in the Sky as she called it.

Miller loves tractors, 4 wheelers, pretty much anything on wheels.
Here are a few pictures from the day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this bless'd assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate and has shed his own blood for my soul."

From "It is Well With My Soul" by Horatio Spafford

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

New Favorite

I really can't get enough of Matthew Perryman Jones' album "Land of the Living".  The first track is one of the best songs I've heard in a long time.


"And you stand in the water with your arms crossed groaning Hallelujah."

Thursday, August 16, 2012


While we who live in states where the thermometer is still topping 90 daily won't kid ourselves and call this time "fall," school officially starts for everyone except for me on Monday, so technically, we're wrapping up summertime.  Brian starts the school year at Mercer Law, Els begins 3-K, and Muh will be going to the same place one day a week for MMO.  I have gotten so behind in my posting of pictures pretty much everywhere (except instagram), so I decided to deluge the blog with highlights from this summer.  

BFFs on the pier at Lady's Island
This boy LOVES the ocean                                    
The old house, all packed up 
Outside the new house
"Helping" with the move-in 
B excited and optimistic before we missed not one, but three flights to Europe

The awesome treehouse at the Dogfish Head Brewery.  They actually have staff meetings in there!

Rehoboth Beach.  We decided we like the southern end of the Atlantic shore much more than the Northern.  But there were huge waves.

At the Roanoke Star.  That's the city behind us.  

Together again!  I can't believe it's been 11 years since we were roomies.  (And, yes, I may have worn that dress a lot during our trip.)

Home again, home again, eating watermelon on the front porch.

Fun at the most ghetto children's museum in the world.  

Muh with his first ice cream cone.  Needless to say, he was excited.  

Eliana with her favorite celebrity.  She kept hugging him.  

They are obsessed with taking "silly face" pictures.
So, here's to (hopefully) cooler weather, new friends, new schools, (new everything), lots and lots of birthdays, and savoring our last season as a family of four!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Think Pink

We read a lot of Pinkalicious these days.  It's inescapable.  While Els numbers fire ants and roly-polys as her friends, chose a stuffed rat as her toy from IKEA recently, and likes to climb the lower branches of a tree in our back yard to "howl at the moon," she also loves pink.  She can't help it.  What 3 and a half year old girl can?  So, her resin-encased bug collection rests beside her dress-up dresses and her stuffed rat listens to endless repetitions of Pinkalicious.  

That said, she was entirely convinced that baby #3, or baby Rainbow, was a girl.  "But what if baby Rainbow is a boy baby?" I asked her the day before the big ultrasound.  "No mommy, I only want one brother in our house," she insisted.  There was no room in her mind for another boy, another brother.  And, what do you know, she was right.  Baby Rainbow, baby trois, is a girl.  I personally would have been thrilled either way, but Els was not even surprised.  She knew the whole time.  Now her mission is to convince us to actually name baby girl Rainbow.  She "really, REALLY, wants her real name to be Rainbow."  I told her that we're not hippies, but that she can call her sister Rainbow as a nickname.

We're going to call her Eva.

Princess Els with Branches the Rat

She actually really does love her brother

In her "howling tree"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Do You Remember That Time?

Last Tuesday B and I celebrated 8 years of marriage, and almost 10 years together.  We've basically grown up together at this point.  We survived our 20's together.  Some of it's been painful, like losing his mom, moving how many times now?, and my almost crippling depression last year.  Most of it, though, we like to look at as an adventure.  Moving to different states (although painful at points), having 2 children within the span of 20 months (and now 3 within 4 years), joining the Marines Corps AFTER we were married, the list goes on.  Before we were even married, we started calling ourselves a team, and that is what we are.  A team that, by the infinite grace of God, keeps growing into something we could not have imagined 10 or even 8 years ago.

So, how did we celebrate this momentous occasion?  Glad you asked.  Brian surprised me back in April by telling me that he was taking me to Europe for this anniversary.  Germany, Austria, and The Czech Republic to be exact.  The real adventure part was that we were going to fly Space A.  Space A is a really cool program for service members and their dependents where we can fly on certain military and military chartered aircraft for free.  The catch?  You have to wait for a while, and it's basically like flying standby.  I like to call it "travel roulette."  Very long story short, we waited for over 10 hours at one airport last Tuesday, were given the LAST TWO seats on a plane, got boarding passes, and went through security all jittery and excited, before getting bumped by a guy on orders who showed up as the flight was boarding.  Aiyiyi!  No big deal, we were in Baltimore and knew that not one, but two flights to Germany were flying out of the Air Force Base in Dover in the middle of that night.  We collected our thoughts and bags and made the drive over the Bay Bridge only to find out that they had been filled to capacity with gear and were not accepting any Space A-ers.

As we accepted our fate and drove back over the bridge to Annapolis to begin our "contingency plan" we recounted other such events in our life.

Like the time where we showed up at the hotel we had booked nearly six months in advance on our wedding night to find it "overbooked."  Or the time we drove six hours through the snow and ice without chains on our tires to the pass to Yosemite National Park to find it closed.  (In our defense, the website said that it was open.  Also, being from the south we didn't know about snow chains before this day.)

In the end, we had a wonderful trip that we would have never taken otherwise.  We toured Annapolis and the Naval Academy, we went to the Dogfish Head Brewery (B's own person Disney world), went to some of our favorite places in D.C., and visited some dear friends in Roanoke, Va.  And, by the way, Roanoke is amazing.  It's like a hidden gem of a place that we fell in love with.

The quote that kept going through my mind was from the "Lord of the Rings" triology,

"The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say."

Monday, June 04, 2012

Rock of Ages, when the day seems long,
From this labor and this heartache I have come.
The skies will wear out but you remain the same,
Rock of Ages, I praise your name.

From "Rock of Ages (When the Day Seems Long)" by Sandra McCracken

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Favorite Things, Again

One of my favorite singers of all time is Patty Griffin, and it would be difficult for me to choose a favorite song of hers, but if I had to, "When It Don't Come Easy" would be in the running for top billing.  Not that anyone cares.  But, one of my favorite lines from said song is, "I don't know nothin' except change will come, year after year what we do is undone.  Time gets movin' from a crawl to a run..."  This line is especially appropriate for this season of our life.  The winds of change are blowing and this time we can't hold on, this time we must pick up and go where God is taking us.

That said, there are far too many "things" to write about, so I'm going to do it in bullet-point form.  Bullet points of favorites.  So, here goes.

1.  I've been in love with Punch Brothers' "Who's Feeling Young Now" album since I got it in the mail in February.  It's the kind of album I listen to over and over for a while and then any time after that when I can't think of anything else to listen to.  It never disappoints.  It's amazing.  Every.  Single.  Time.  They are some of my favorites even if they never come anywhere remotely near South Carolina or Georgia.

2.  Beaufort.  Beaufort.  Oh, need I say more?  I know I've been back and forth over the past three and a half years with my feelings about this place, but in the past year I've become hopelessly attached to this place.  The sheer beauty.  The people.  But, God (and specifically the U. S. Marine Corps) is moving us to Macon, Georgia at the end of the month.  B has an amazing opportunity to get a one year degree in his very specific area of interest there.  We've always said that we can live anywhere for a year and I'm keeping my mind and heart open for surprises.

3.  This necklace that my sister gave me for being in her wedding.  I've worn it every day since.  Well, I guess it's similar to what she's wearing at the top of the page on the link.  There's a charm for Els, a charm for Muh, and a December birth charm for...oh, wait.  Too soon?  Yes, in about 26 to 28 weeks, God willing, we will have another precious little person to love and care for.  (I've become very suspicious of precise due dates.)  Els calls {her} Baby Rainbow.  (And, no, we don't know the sex yet, but Els ALWAYS refers to the baby as her and she, so it's stuck in my head.)  I have to say, now that the pure shock has worn off a little, I think I may be more excited about this baby than ever before because I'm realizing how fleeting and fragile babyhood is.

4.  My Ray-Bans.  They're polarized.  It's awesome. I made upwards of $500 at a friend's gold party recently and treated myself to these beauts.

5.  These crazies.  They're always favorite.

6.  And this guy.  I would be totally remiss to not mention him.  Almost 8 years after we said "I do" and  ten years since we met, he's still my favorite person to laugh with.  Hence all the moving around for and having babies with him.  

[Takes a deep breath.]  I think that's about all for now.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Catching Up, IPhone Style

We went fishing at a family reunion

B and I took a kayak tour for my big birthday

Nana, Pop, Grace, and Micah came to visit for Easter and we went to the beach 

My loves.

Muh, the future cowboy!

We picked flowers at Meme's house

We picked strawberries with dear friends

My little pig pen after the strawberry patch

Els, the butterfly huntress

Haircut number two for the little man

We pick (and eat) the wild blackberries in our yard almost daily

One of Els' treasures

Guacamole made at our table at a local restaurant.  Everyone loved it!
Ever since I got an iPhone for Christmas, I take tons of pictures.  It's wonderful because I never have been much of one to remember to bring my camera, pull it out, and actually use it.  Especially in very busy times, like right now.  We have been going here, there, and everywhere in preparation for my little sister's wedding next weekend and just because life is busy busy with a 3 year old and a 17 month old.  Here is a little bit of what we've been up to.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

O what wondrous love is this, though I raised my clenched fist,
He opened up my hand to receive His gift.
And what wondrous love is here that God Immortal has drawn near,
And shed His blood to close the rift.

From "What Wondrous Love is This"

Friday, April 06, 2012

Among the Scoffers

Behold the man upon the cross, my sin upon his shoulder,
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers,
It was my sin that held him there until it was accomplished,
His dying breath has brought me life, I know that it is finished.

From "How Deep the Father's Love for Us" by Stuart Townsend

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

This Past {long} Weekend

It was a doozy.  In a good way.  Now that I look at all of the pictures I really can't believe we did all that we fit this all into four days, but we did.  Here's a glimpse
First we hunted Easter eggs at Els' school.

Fun was had by all!

Then, after frantically looking for (and finding-thanks a billion Jen) a babysitter, I experienced my first Mess Night.  Sadly, this is the only picture I got.  (That's B top right, raising the roof.)

Next, our good friends came to visit.  These guys are only 3 weeks apart in age and they had a great time together.

We visited Els' "beautiful place", aka the marsh front around the corner from our house, where she attempted to climb a tree.  This girl is fearless.

The weekend was capped off by a trip to the beach with good friends.  

My men.  This was before Muh got into the water and let the waves literally crash over him while howling with laughter the whole time.  I don't have pictures of this because I was frantically trying to keep him from washing out to sea!

Needless to say, we were (and are still) tired.  

And hungry, but a great time was had by all!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Farther Along

There is so much hurt going on all around us right now.  It drives me to my knees and leaves me only further convinced that Christ himself is my only hope.  I love this song and this whole album for that matter.  You can find it here.

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.  So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you." -2 Corinthians 4:8-12

Thursday, March 01, 2012

3 Years

This was taken on her birthday.  She didn't have a nap, was full of sugar, and was quite excited about ice cream at Chikalay.
This morning I am thanking the Lord for three years with our precious little bundle of life, Eliana.  She is joy and drama, entertaining and challenging, and always the absolute most beautiful girl I've ever known of.  Oh, and funny.  The child does not forget anything, so she simultaneously keeps us on our toes and keeps us in stitches.  This particular birthday has been so much fun because it's the first one she's really been aware of and excited about.