Friday, November 29, 2019

reflecting

Last night was my favorite night of the whole year.  It's been this way for about the past five years.  It's when we come home from a wonderful meal and time of fellowship from my mom's house, and we decorate the house for Christmas.  We used to do this on the day after Thanksgiving, but one year Todd went in to work with the sheriff's department, and all the boys were young and had no plans, and I thought to myself, why not? 

I didn't tell Todd, either, he was surprised when he got home to discover this, and he loved that it already done without him having to be the one to do all the heavy lifting.  So, over the years, we've kept this tradition up, though it's changed and evolved from year to year. 

These days, I know that realistically, I can ask the boys to help me for one solid hour.  We all run around like crazy elves and the whole house is a giant mess, with glitter flying all over the place, but in that time they've pulled it all out from the attic, brought all the boxes downstairs, set the tree into place and fluffed the branches, and it's fully decorated.  While they're doing the tree, I run around and put all my favorite things into place.  All in all, it's probably two hours worth of work, but the house looks beautiful to me, and to a few other people, and that is all that matters. 

My goal is not perfection, and I love changing things up every year.  Jonah keeps me grounded and reminds me not to overdo things.  He likes things simple, and if stresses me out AT ALL, then what is the point?  The good Lord knew I needed a Jonah in my life. 

I also make sure to tell them how thankful I am to them for their help, and I reassure them they're my favorites.  (Poor Graham, he wasn't home to be told that, but give him a few days, and he'll be my favorite.)  I don't expect them to want to hang around much afterward, I always tell them if they give me an hour, I'll give them the rest of the night to do whatever.  ;)  They love going to all the stores on Thanksgiving night with their friends, and I think they hit up a bunch of them last night.

As they get older, my expectations change.  What used to take four hours now only takes two.  My house won't win any awards for decorating, but I love how festive it is, and how there is a touch of Christmas in every single room (almost), and it makes me happy.  I want my home to look beautiful, of course, but more than that, I want it to be radiant with the love of Jesus.  I want people to tangibly feel His presence when they walk through our front door, and I want them to know this is a haven for them.  I also want it feel warm and welcoming, and cozy enough for someone to curl up on the couch with a blanket.


That is always my prayer.  And I pray and ask God to help me to always be content.  I love Instagram, and I follow some crazy talented decorators on there, but I have to be careful that I don't scroll too much.  I had to pray that just last night, because I could feel a little discontent creeping in.  I asked God to take it away and to make me satisfied in Him, not with all the stuff and junk of this season.  I always have to ask for the right mindset and perspective, and He is always faithful to answer.

This is just one picture that I took last night, I'll share the rest with you next week, but I need to run.  I'm meeting my mom and sisters for a little shopping and lunch date.  Thanks for reading, friends.  Love to all. 


(Left to right: Lisa, Mom, Trish, me.  This is my favorite picture from yesterday.)

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

my life right now


I'm still around.  I've not been doing much to catch you up on, so I thought I would share what I've been doing.  It's nothing too exciting, and it's not even like what I'm doing makes a room beautiful.  I've been painting.  I started on the downstairs Saturday, and blessed Jonah came down and helped me with all the cutting in.  We have a system: he cuts in, I roll.  He is slightly more messy than me, but I forgive him, because he's helping.  We are painting all the halls in our house.  It's a great color and all, but it's not that noticeable and just needed to be done.  Who knew how many fingerprints and marks on a wall four boys could make?  It already looks so much better.

I was downstairs on Saturday, doing on portion of the hall down here, then I moved to the upstairs yesterday and I'll stay there today.  There were walls with mud on them from when we had our pipes redone, and my goal was to concentrate on just those walls so I wouldn't see white any longer.  That was why I only did a portion of the downstairs on Saturday and a portion of the upstairs yesterday.  Today we're moving onto the rest of the upstairs hallway.  That will leave only the stairwell portion, which is going to be a bugger to paint because of how tall it is, and then a short downstairs hallway and the area by the front door. 

Sometimes it's not always fun and games, it's more like just get it done because it needs to get done.

I'm making dinner tonight for my people at home to eat, and then I'm going to the church to help deck the halls there for Christmas.  This always falls to the worship pastor, so he enlists the help of all the choir and orchestra to help.  It's always a fun night.  My Noah comes home tonight!  He lands around midnight, and it's supposed to be storming, so please pray for a safe flight and landing.  Also, my Denver family came in late last night, around that same time, because of the snowstorm going through Denver.  I'm so glad they all made it here safely, and that they came early.  And then tomorrow morning I'm going to sing at a Christmas party event nearby with a small group from the frontline singers at church.  It's early early, but it'll be fun.  I may paint more tomorrow when I get back home, so it'll all be done.  That would be a Christmas miracle!  Thursday will be here before I can blink, and I cannot wait to come back home that night to put all our Christmas decorations up.  I love this time of year!

I know so many who have suffered tremendous loss this year, and I can't write that without stopping to pray for all of them.  I try to be sensitive to that when I know of their struggle, and I ask the Lord to remind me to pray for them often.

Well, I need to put dinner in the crock pot, and then it's off to fold clothes, make my bed, and change back into my painting clothes.  Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 


Friday, November 22, 2019

Friday Favorites


Happy Friday, friends!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals, and her friends Erika and Narci, for this blog post. 

It's been a really great week!  It went by with lightning speed as usual, but I'm okay with it, because next week is Thanksgiving!  I can't wait to see my family that I haven't seen in over a year.  And, I cannot wait to decorate for Christmas!  Speaking of my favorite time of year, that leads me to my first favorite from the week.


This was us on Saturday, the Christmas lights crew, out at Dad's house.  It was just us this year, and it took the majority of the day, but we got it done.  (Two of my sons were out of town, one was sick, and the other got a free pass because he would have been the only one here, and he needed a day off from school and work related anything.)

I listened to Christmas music while I hung lights, and Dad and I cracked up laughing as we both tried not to fall on wet pine needles.  We have a system~he supervises, we do the work.  He drove the riding mower back and forth to get me more lights and anything else I needed.

I headed home after this, and picked up dinner for Todd and me on the way. 

The rest of our weekend was quiet, because Jonah and Noah were out of town, and the other two are always doing their own thing.  Todd was home most of the weekend, because he and Graham had been sick that week, and he was recovering still. 

On Monday, Todd came home early and he came home with flowers for me.  That is always my favorite thing, even if the cat does try to eat them all.  They're still so beautiful!

Also on Monday, I stayed home for the day, and played catch up with laundry and all the things I never seem to be able to get done. 

On Tuesday, Mom and I went out for the day and did all kinds of fun things, eating at a new place for lunch, even.  Any day out like that with Mom are always a favorite thing of mine.

That night, some of the ladies from my small group from the Galatians bible study and I all met for dinner at McAlister's and showered sweet Kristin with some baby gifts. 


I love these ladies!  I'm so grateful for the way we've all gotten to know each other through Bible study, and for nights like these.  This is the first time we've had a get together, and because so many of them were not able to make it, we will definitely be doing this again.  It was a really fun night.

I stayed home on Wednesday again, and on that day and on Monday, I had such great quality time with the Lord.  I love times like that, when I have nowhere to be, and I'm not in a hurry.  I got lots of reading done, and I wrote so much in my journal.  Both of those things are my favorites, the journal because I like to look back and remember.




(This journal is my current and favorite ever, from Hobby Lobby by Brother & Sister.)

That night, I covered a shift in the church preschool area, since Bible study is on break for a few weeks, working in the kindergarten class.  I actually had a great time doing that, and it surprises me that I'm able to say that, but I really mean that.  It was fun getting to know some of my friends' kids that I've always heard about, and a few of them seemed to worm their way right into my heart. 

On Thursday, I went to my church to work for a couple of hours, and the time I spend there with those ladies in the usher room each Thursday is always a favorite.  We laugh while we get things done, we talk and get to know each other, and the time flies.

I came home afterward and picked up Noah, and we went to the store to stack up on sample sizes of things.  We came home again and then left at four to go to my in-love's house to pull all the Christmas decorations out of their attic.  They put the tree together, and Phyllis and I decorated it.  I love these times.  I also came across a bunch of old pictures, like this one.


Look at my babies!  How ironic that Drew was the only one smiling.  She had a bunch more, and I loved looking through them all. 

After this, we came back home, because Noah needed to get to his friend's house to spend the night.  As I write this, he is flying somewhere over Oklahoma or New Mexico, on his way to Los Angeles!  His friend Jacob invited him on this trip months ago, and they're with Jacob's mom and aunt.  They'll be gone until Tuesday around midnight, when they'll land back in Memphis.  They're doing all kinds of fun things like touring the studios at Warner Brothers and Paramount, they're visiting the Santa Monica pier, and the Griffith observatory, the OUE skyspace (Google it), and Knott's Berry Farm.  It's the trip of his life!  I am so excited for him.

This was us last night, right before I prayed over him and we said our goodbyes.


Man, I love this kid.  He looms over me now, he's so tall, and I had to try way too hard to make him do this for my picture. 

I've been up since five texting him, and tracking him on his flight that departed before schedule, at 5:56 a.m. 

I am very thankful that I can track his flight....it's soothing my anxious heart. 

Well, I'm going to get on with this morning, so I'll stop with this last one.  I hope your day and weekend are wonderful!  Thanks for reading.  Love to all!


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Wednesday Words



(Thank you, Google, for your image!)

I'm reading along with Courtney from Women Living Well, and the founder of Good Morning Girls (you can find one or the other on Instagram), in a Bible reading plan she came up with for the month of November.  I've participated in it for years now, until the last two or three, but this year I joined in again.  The point is to read wherever it says to in the plan for that day, and use the SOAK method: Scripture, Observation, Application, Kneel in prayer.  The first week was on gratitude, the next week was on meditation, and this third week is on prayer.  She encourages you to pray for the peace in your home, and for the ones who live under your roof.

Yesterday I was catching up from last week (story of my life), and I read in Joshua 1:1-9.  To know the full story, I encourage you to read it on your own, but I'll help you a little in case you can't do that right now.  Moses, the leader of the Israelites, had died, and never got to enter into Jericho, which was the land God had promised to the people of Israel.  (They had spent years of slavery in Egypt, and when they were finally able to escape, God led them and provided for their every need.)  Moses' knew he wouldn't get to enter into that land, but that his young successor would be the one to lead the Israelites there.  After Moses died, Joshua became their next leader, and when you open up to the first chapter in the book of Joshua, God Himself was encouraging Joshua.  He was saying to him to be strong and courageous. 

The verse I read that jumped out to me yesterday, though, was verse five.

"No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live.  I will be with you, just as I was with Moses.  I will not leave you or abandon you."

That was something I needed to hear right at the moment I read the verse.  I know that God is always with me, and that if He is for me, no one can stand against me (Romans 8:31).  God speaks through His word, and He knew at that very moment, that I needed this reminder.  I was having some tense moments with someone I'm close to, and when I go through something like that, the enemy runs rampant.  I was doubting our relationship, and I was going through all these worse case scenarios in my mind. 

I know those are blatant attacks from the enemy himself, and he is good at his job.  I never like to give him too much credit, but I think the majority of us walk around life not giving him enough credit, and that is scary.  He is real.  He is not some little guy in a red suit with horns.  He is sneaky, winsome (probably), and the Bible says in 1 Peter 5:8 that he prowls around like a lion, seeking someone to devour.  God is good, and only good comes from Him.  Anything opposite of that is straight from the enemy.  The enemy hates godly relationships and will do anything in his power to tear them apart.  I believe most of his success begins with our minds.  He cannot cause us to think things, but when we have certain thoughts, he can run with them and torment us.  The longer the time goes on with something like this, the easier his job gets.

So, what's the solution?

It's so easy, but it's prayer.  In 2 Corinthians 10:5 Paul writes to the believers in Corinth (and us today) to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.  What that means to me, is that I stop right where I am and I pray out loud.  I tell the Lord that I am taking those crazy thoughts captive and that the enemy has no place in my life.  I ask God to help me think on things that are good and TRUE (Philippians 4:8) and to take over in my mind and to calm it down. 

And every time, it works.  It's not so much what you say, exactly, it's just pouring out your heart to the Lord. 

This was all taking place within me on Monday.  I read so many different passages that day, and even that was a God thing.  My late friend Kari used to call such moments kisses from the King.  God knew I would be reading to catch up on this plan I've been reading along with, and He knew He would use those days of catch up to speak into my heart through His word.  It was no coincidence, which I don't even believe in, by the way.  It was perfectly planned on His part, and I couldn't be more thankful.  While I was reading, I was praying, and before the day was half over, He completely resolved the situation, and all was well again.  Literally, He moved upon the hearts of both the person and myself. That should never surprise me, that He works like that, but I never want to get over the gratitude of Him intervening like He did for me.

Of course I know that no one will be able to stand against me as long as I live, because I have the power of the living God, His Holy Spirit, dwelling in me.  I am His temple, and He dwells within me.  He will take care of me, He hears me, and in His perfect timing, He will provide an answer to every trial I ever go through. 

I pray you're encouraged today.  I pray that God uses these verses I've written to speak into your heart, just like He did to me on Monday.  In order to hear from Him, though, first you have to read His word.  Don't miss that step, it is of utmost importance.  To hear from Him, you must read the Bible.  Don't wait a second!  Pick yours up and jump back in today.

Love to all. 


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Simply Tuesday


I love this week day.  It's simple, most often mundane, and defined by moments that are ordinary to anyone but me.  Just this morning, when I came into the kitchen to read my bible, I was praying before I got started.  I said to the Lord, "Thank You for yesterday, it was wonderful; but help me not to keep depending on those moments from yesterday.  Give me new insights and treasures from Your word today, because it's a new day." 

I also love the verses in Lamentations 3 that talk about His mercies that are new every morning.  Great is His faithfulness! 

I've tried to get back into the habit of thanking God the minute I wake up in the mornings.  I might say, "Good morning, Lord.  Thank You for this new day!  I love You."  I know it may sound silly to some,  but I need for God to be the first person I speak to every morning.  And of course, I thank Him for my day, because He gave me another day here on earth with people I love.  I love the verses in Colossians 1:16-17 that talk about this.

"For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been create through him and for him.  He is before all things, and by him all things hold together."

I feel like I gave you a glimpse to the inside of my heart in sharing those two things, but this is something important to me, this life I live with Jesus, and I have to share about Him.  He has been faithful to me, to my family, and these are ways I pray before I get started each day.  Another way I pray everyday is that the Lord would help my husband and sons (and me) to love Him with their hearts, souls, minds, and strength, and to love others as they love themselves.  I'm always asking Him to draw us all closer to Him, as well, and to draw us all to read His word. 

There are other ways I pray, but everything else is hinged on this one prayer: loving God with everything in us, and loving others.  I ask Him to help us be faithful to Him, as He has been faithful to us.


I shared this on social media yesterday, but do you have a bible reading plan?  The reason I ask is because I thought I would share mine.  Just yesterday, I started in 1 John 1.  I'm reading the new testament along with my church family, and we read one chapter a day, five days a week.  We use the HEAR method: Highlight a verse that stands out, explain it in context, apply it to your life, and respond in prayer. 

It's my opinion that everyone needs a bible reading plan.  In my own life, if I don't have a plan to adhere to, I'll not be consistent in my reading.  There are so many other options, and the YouVersion app is free and a great resource to use, if you're looking for something else.

Anytime I read in the bible, I write in my journal.  I write the date and where I'm reading.  As I read, if a verse stands out to me, I will underline it in my bible and write it out in my journal, and I might say why it stood out to me.  This makes me fly through journals, but is that really a bad thing?  I also write out prayers to the Lord sometimes, because writing is so much easier to me than speaking.  If it's a situation I'm going through in life, I will always update it as the Lord answers.  I was able to do this yesterday.  I'd written about a trial I was going through yesterday, and I prayed about it, then I was able to give an update because the Lord answered how I prayed, which was to move on someone's heart.  (He doesn't always answer fast, friends, but we can trust in His perfect timing.)

I also write out any lists I need to remember, like my daily list of things to do.  I use one journal for everything until I finish it, and then I buy a new one.  I've tried spirals, I've tried notebook paper, but my go-to is a journal that is pretty and that I can stick in my purse. 


Here's my current journal, the one I bought from Hobby Lobby to use for all of November and December.  My store didn't have anymore, but you can look online.  It's made by Brother Sister Design Studio in Oklahoma City.  They also make my favorite wrapping paper that Hobby Lobby sells.  

Well, this wasn't at all what I intended to write about today, but it took a turn, and I'm trusting the Lord with it, because I always ask Him to use whatever I write in any way He sees fit.  I pray this encourages you in your quiet time today.  Love to all.  


Monday, November 18, 2019

a day in the life, and #onedayhh

On Friday, I participated in a day in the life challenge on Instagram called #onedayhh (one day hour by hour) hosted by Laura Tremaine.  I have to stop here and say that I follow a lot of people on Instagram, and I can't remember exactly how I came across them.  I think this one may have been mentioned by one of the bloggers I follow on Instagram, but I'm not sure.  Anyway, this is someone who is my age, or around my age, and she lives in LA with her husband and two kids.  Her husband is a Netflix Original movie producer, so their life is totally opposite from mine, yet one I find fascinating. 

I just thought I'd give you the back story on this person, but she is the one who came up with this hashtag and day on social media.  I have a few friends who participate in this as well, and it's always fun to see their day.  I love blog posts that are "day in the life" type posts, so I thought I'd share my day for anyone who didn't see mine on Instagram. 

Here is what my Friday looked like. 

I don't have a picture of this first part, but at five a.m., I sat straight up in bed, thinking Drew had overslept and was going to be late for his last day of clinicals.  I ran into his room and saw that he had not overslept and was already gone.  Needless to say, I just went downstairs at that point, because my blood was pumping too hard to lay back down.  But I came and sat down in my recliner with the news on, and I fell asleep until seven.  I got up from my chair, let the dogs out and fed them, made myself a cup of coffee and sat back down to drink it.


I like to watch The Today Show, but I think on this day the presidential impeachment hearing started, and I turned off the television.  I finished my coffee and browsed social media on my phone, then got up to make lunch and to-go coffee for my husband.  Graham stayed home again on this day, because he was sick.  (He had stayed home on Thursday as well.)

When my coffee was finished, I made my second cup of the day, then took it to the kitchen table for my quiet time. 


The sun pores into the windows behind me and warms me up, so I love to open the window, and when I do that, Twinkles jumps onto the sill.  She loves looking outside and letting the breeze blow on her.  I sat here for a solid hour and a half.  I prayed, and read the final chapter in 2 Peter, I wrote in my journal, and then I got on the computer and finished writing an article for Tirzah Magazine, then did some things on my blog and shared my weekly Friday Favorites post.


My coffee had been finished, and I had moved onto water.  I made a list of things to do before my dad came over for the day, and then I got up and started doing them all.  I dusted the downstairs, vacuumed the floors, cleaned all the kitchen counters, and cleaned the downstairs bathroom.  I took laundry upstairs to fold, then made my bed and brushed my teeth, and then folded all the clothes on my freshly made bed.  I cleaned in my bedroom, took all the laundry to the appropriate rooms, then went into my bathroom to get dressed for my day.  While I had been doing all of this, I had been listening to choir music for Sunday.  I subbed for a girl on praise team this weekend, and needed to be familiar with the music we were singing in church on that Sunday, and the Christmas music we would rehearse while the orchestra was playing behind us.  I took a screenshot of my music, but I forgot to upload it to this post.  I kept on listening to that while I finished getting dressed, and when I was done, I cleaned up after myself and came back downstairs to let the dogs out.


It was right at eleven twenty by this point, and ten minutes later, my dad walked through the back door.  I sent Chip upstairs to Graham for him to watch him, and then Dad and I left to eat lunch at O'Saka.  We ate chicken fried rice for lunch and brought home a good bit for one of sons to eat later on.  (Drew.)  We came back home after that and I made us cups of coffee, and we settled down in the living room to talk and solve all the world's problems.


I set that heater up for the two of us to share, and I fought the urge to close my eyes for a nap.  I get so sleepy everyday after I eat lunch.  I don't know what it is, but it never fails. 

We have this exact routine every single week, mind you, so this day was no different.  Sandy brings him over each week, and I take him home.  Drew had my car this day, so I waited until he got home, and then I took him home.  It was four when Drew got here.  I love the drive to Dad's house.  It's in the country, and fifteen minutes down the road, and on this day, horses were there at his property edge to greet us.


I made sure he was safely inside, then I left.  I called my mom and asked where she and my sister Trish were, because I'd made plans to meet them for dinner and to hang out.  Bill, Jonah and Noah were away, in Oklahoma City for the weekend, and since we weren't doing anything, I joined them.  We went to dinner at Longhorn, then Trish had to run somewhere, so Mom and I left in my car to head back to her house.  I ran some leftovers home, went to Kroger for gas, then finally headed to Mom's house. 

I took pj's to change into, then we settled down to watch a movie on Hallmark.


LOOK at Mom's cute mantle!  They've decorated for Christmas, and I'm slightly jealous.  I really want to put mine up, but I'm trying to wait. 

And that was about all I did that day.  I drank a cup of coffee at Mom's, we sat and talked about who we follow on Instagram, then around eight thirty, I left and came back home.  When I got here, Todd was actually asleep already and in bed, because he had been sick that week.  Graham and Drew had gone to get dinner and were just hanging out.  I went to bed around nine something.  Such an exciting life, right?  ;) 

Love to all. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

Friday Favorites


Happy Friday, friends!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals, and her friends Erika and Narci, for this blog post. 

I have written two other blog posts this week, but they never shared to social media, and I didn't bother to do it myself.  If you're interested in reading them, feel free to scroll down, or just keep reading this post.  I will start with last weekend. 

Road trips are my favorite, especially of the family variety.  I love my people!  It's so rare that we're all together these days.


Our dear friend Marissa got married last weekend, and we made the quick trip to Long Beach, MS to see it all happen.  I love these guys so much.  It's crazy to think of how big and old they all are these days!  Those years flew by. 

My favorite event at church happened this week, Tablescapes. 



It was different, being on the working side of it this year, but it was still a really fun night, and my mom and sister attended it with me. 

Jonny Diaz was our guest artist this year, and he is the sweetest guy ever.  I helped out at his merchandise table. 


I voluntold Missy to help me, and she is my favorite.  I would not make it through life without this lady!  I tell her all the time that she's stuck with me forever.



I've spent the week in 1 and 2 Peter, in my bible reading plan, and these are some of my favorite verses.  I know, I know.  I always say that. 


My stepdad is also my favorite, because he made this for us this week!  He enlisted the help of Jonah and Noah all week, and I caught Noah goofing off.  This happened on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then this morning, the three of them left for a long weekend in Oklahoma City.  Trey, my stepbrother, lives there with his little boy, and they went to see him and do lots of fun things.  It's the ultimate guys' trip, and I know those are a favorite for my two younger ones. 

I took the opportunity to neaten up their room for them, since they left so early.  I put away their folded laundry and made their beds, and cleaned off their chest of drawers.  I know they'll appreciate this when they get home Sunday night.


There is not much that's better than a bowl of M&M's and a Diet Coke.  These are two of my favorite things. 

Today my dad comes over, and I'm so excited to introduce him to Disney Plus!  We just subscribed tonight, and I plan on watching ALL THE MOVIES this weekend.  I'm starting tomorrow with either The Parent Trap (the original one) or The Sound of Music.  Dad will be thrilled with this, I'm sure. 

Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Tablescapes 2019

This was my first Tablescapes to work, as a helper and friend to Amy, the director of women's ministry at our church, and I never knew what all went into this event.  It is SO MUCH MORE than I ever imagined.  All I can say is, I am glad it's over for a year and I thank God for my mom, who took over the table I signed up to host.

I thought I'd share a few pictures of the night.


Look how cute those plates are!  I love them so much.  I also always love a buffalo plaid print.


This was my friend Kelly's table, and I loved it!  There may or may not have been a crash at this table right before dinner was served, though...but nobody was hurt.


This was my friend DeeDee's table.  I love this one! 


And this is ours, Mom did all of it, and I am so thankful for her!  I never anticipated all the work I would be doing on this night.  We gave them all their trees as little gifts to take home.  I loved so many more, but I forgot to capture them. 


Jeremy, our tech ministry director, and Tom who does the sound did such an incredible job on the stage. 


Trish, Mom, and me. 

Trish and Mom completely decorated and took down the table...I was helping sell merchandise afterward and left them high and dry.


Jonny Diaz was our guest entertainer this year, and he was so good!  It was a fun night.  Look at all those women!  Four hundred and something.


My best friend!  I could volunteer her for anything, and she'd do it.  I'm so thankful for her friendship!  She was a tremendous help to me last night, and afterward we celebrated with peppermint milkshakes.  Well, mine was peppermint, hers was cookies and cream.  I love this lady. 

Love to all. 

wedding weekend, Long Beach, MS

Remember when I thought I'd post about the weekend on Monday?  Yeah.  This blog was about the furthest thing ever from my mind.  I was crazy busy all day Monday and Tuesday, and am writing this on Wednesday night.  I skipped church to stay home and recover.  My feet may never be the same! 

Anyway, last Friday we left for Long Beach, Ms.  Our friend Marissa got married on Saturday night, and our family is so close to her.  Also helping was the fact that she doesn't live too far away.  We tried to leave at nine, but got away around nine thirty.  I was happy with that.  We made it all the way to Jackson before we stopped for a restroom break and lunch.  We ate at Moe's and then got back on the road.  We got there around four fifteen, and I promptly went and looked around.


We were right on the beach.  It was so, so cold when I took this.  I got some coffee and went upstairs to change, then we left for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. 


We were SO COLD!  Turns out that ocean wind is strong, even thirty minutes from the beach.  The wedding was taking place outside, so they'd been out in that, and I had gotten cold and couldn't warm back up.

We didn't stay very late and then left for the hotel. 

I was asleep really fast, if you can believe that.  The next morning we ate breakfast, and then I went to drive around and look at cute beach houses.  Nobody wanted to go with me!




I went back to the hotel and we went to lunch at a seafood place.


They all ate po'boy sandwiches, but I had this huge bowl of gumbo.  I ate every last drop, it was so good!


This was right near the restaurant, and had it not been too warm, I would have gotten some coffee here, but I was hot.

We went to the hotel to change for the wedding, and then left again.  The venue was 40 minutes away, so we spent a lot of time going back and forth.  Graham was an usher in the wedding.

The wedding was beautiful!  Todd watched the Alabama game through most of it, and went to the car after the ceremony to finish watching, then he came back in and ate dinner.  We ran into some friends at the wedding!  And we ate and laughed, and had a grand time, despite the score of the game.




We gave them a fake send off for pictures, then their photographer offered to take my family's picture.


A Christmas miracle occurred, and in the first picture she took, we all managed to look like we had it together.  I love this picture of us!

We said our goodbyes right after this, and left.



Why stop with just one?  I couldn't resist a picture with just me and the boys.

We left around ten thirty the next morning, went to Marissa's parent's house for lunch, then started the drive back home.  Todd had a terrible headache and I drove for an hour, then Graham drove us the rest of the way home.  It is always so good to be home!  It was a great weekend, and I had really high expectations of how I thought it would all turn out.  My expectations were met.  I am so glad we went for Marissa, and that the six of us could all be together for a whole weekend.  These moments are rare and very few and far between these days. 

I'll take any amount of time I can get with them. 

Love to all. 

weekending- my favorite moments

  Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend—mine was really good. Here are some of my top moments from the weekend. I read. A lot. I fini...