Saturday, February 26, 2011

5 Years with My Man.

Yesterday we celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary!  Oh my goodness, it doesn't feel like five years!!  It has flown by so quickly and I am thankful for every minute of our time together!  

We sent Collier to stay the night with my parents. We got dressed up,  had a nice dinner, a delicious bottle of wine and a great evening celebrating our day.  We had the entire evening to enjoy and relax.  We went to bed late and we woke up late and I couldn't have asked for a better night to laugh and talk {uninterrupted} with the love of my life.

Thanks Justin for being the husband to me that you are and for your love!  I couldn't dream of anything better than having these past 5 years with you as my husband...and I can't wait to see what lies ahead for us! I love you!

I also have to give props to Justin...this week he shot his first ever HOLE-IN-ONE!  He was so excited and I am so proud of him.  Not many people can say that they've done that.  I think that is so cool and something that he will remember the rest of his life.  The bad part is that no one took a picture...I realize that guys don't carry around camera's but at least a cell phone picture to capture him on the hole!  anyway, I am super proud of him!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Take the Hint

when God is trying to get a message across and I am being quite stubborn and self consumed and trying to drive this boat in the direction that I think is best..its funny how He hits me like a ton of bricks.  Couldn't I have just listened the first time?  My lesson....'love your neighbor as yourself'.  In my situation this is a literal lesson.  A few weeks ago when Collier and I got home from bible study my neighbor drove up at the same time and she had a few choice words to scream say to me.  Words that I didn't want to hear and certainly didn't want my baby to hear.  The topic was a large limb that had fallen from one of our trees into her back yard.  It was one of those things that I didn't know about it for a while and then one day she mentioned it to me and well it has been there since the fall and Justin kept saying and meaning to get it out.  We don't have a chain saw and Justin tried to borrow a friends, but his was broken.  The bottom line is that the limb was there longer than I would have liked, but there is also a tactful way of asking your neighbor kindly to remove it.  I will be honest that I don't know this girl at all, probably only spoken to her twice and the extent has been a hi or hello and in one case for her to mention we had a tree down in her back yard.  The words that came out of her mouth made it clear to me that she has a lot of anger...just a few weeks ago I was reminded that what comes out of our mouth is just an overflow of our heart.  It made me sad for her, that she is that angry.
At church this week, my pastor shared about freedom.  Freedom requires forgiveness.  Not only God's forgiveness of us but also our forgiveness of other...including our neighbor.  Justin and I talked about it on Sunday that we need to forgive her and love her.  I even questioned if I should go and apologize (Justin didn't think that would be a good idea out of retaliation on her part).  Sunday I did pray that I would have a forgiving heart and that I would STOP being negative about her.  Monday night at bible study our lesson covered walking in the light and darkness and forgiveness.  In lecture, Kelly actually challenged us that if there is anyone in our life that we hate (dislike, don't trust, frustrated with, make us angry or hurt us) that we ask God to make our love overflow and abound for that person.  YIKES, I am not sure if I want to love her but I know that I am called to do so.  I have no idea how this is going to work but I am praying and I am praying hard.
I will be honest that since this happened I have been fearful.  I have been afraid to be at home at all alone and certainly any time that I saw or heard her drive up I would be sure that I wasn't outside.  I have been praying that Justin wouldn't have to be out of town over night {thankfully he hasn't}. I have imagined her trying to harm and/or hurt me.  I have been afraid.   I was walking in the darkness and I was allowing the darkness to come into my life and home.  It is a horrible feeling.  But last night when Kelly said to pray that my love would overflow for her it changed everything. Almost instantly I felt the peace of God fill me.  Freedom.   I still am praying for Him to help me forgive completely and even forget the situation.  I don't know what might have happened to her that day.  I don't know the circumstances of her life and I will do my best to love her.  I feel like right now I only want to love her from a distance but I am listening to God to see where and how He would have me love her according to His Will.. NOT MINE!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Few Boo Boo's

With this beautiful weather we have brought out the shorts...and the shorts have brought a few boo boo's.  Collier love to run and love to throw any kind of ball.  Last week two days in a row I was welcomed with a few boo boo's to kick off the beginning of spring!  Knee's are officially scrapped up and we also got a scrapped nose and a busted lip.

swollen upper lip and scraped up nose

Even a few scrapes can't keep this little monkey from smiling...even if it is a crooked smile!
Thankfully when he fell face down on the sidewalk, somehow he didn't hit his teeth at all.  I can handle a swollen lip over busted teeth!  All of his boo boo's are healing up quite nicely.  Now, if we can just get the hair cut we should be good as new! :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

This Memory Thing

I am now on my fourth memory verse and it is a funny thing at how God can work when you depend on Him.  I have been very hesitant about memorizing anything to long. In that hesitation I was discounting God's ability to provide and really give me what it takes to memorize and really know these verses.  My  third memory verse started after a wonderful lecture at CBS where the Jeremiah 15:19-20 verse came up at two different times in class.  A friend in my group asked if I wanted to join her in memorizing those verses and I said yes and in the back of my head was terrified because it was so long.  I just didn't know if I could do it and I really wanted to ONLY do verse 19 because I knew I could do that but all of verses 19 and 20....  But I committed and started and prayed hard that God would give me the ability to remember and learn and capture these verses to my heart of hearts.  God answered in a BIG way....i had the whole thing memorized in the first week.  I was amazed myself but each day I took bits and pieces of it and had it down pat.  I then was able to spend the remaining week on meditating on what it means to me. Here it is, by the grace of God:

Jeremiah 15:19-20 NLT
This is how the LORD responds:
'If you return to me I will restore you so you can continue to serve me.  If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman.  You must influence them, do not let them influence you.  They will fight against you like an attacking army, but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall of bronze.  They will not conquer you, for I am with you to protect and rescue you.  I the LORD have spoken.'

My favorite part of this entire verse is 'I will make you as secure as a fortified wall of bronze'.  I think that it so cool that when we feel like we are being defeated that he will give us what we need to stand firm.  STAND FIRM.  And stand firm is just what I need to do.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


To think that last week we had snow is almost unbelievable.  Today was in the mid-60's with beautiful sunny skies! Indeed it did snow on Wednesday evening and over night.  It started just after dark and I kept running to look out of the windows whenever I could to see how hard it was snowing.  There were times that it was really hard and it was just so pretty.  Even if it was dark outside...which apparently my snow loving husband isn't as excited about snow when it is dark outside.  Me, on the other hand, I am excited about snow day or night!!! With snow brings a roaring fire to my fireplace courtesy of Justin and the combination of those two thing plus my two sweet men...this girl is just in heaven.  When we woke up on Thursday the ground was covered and everything glistened in the beauty of the snow.

tiny footprints in the snow!

peeking out to see the snow...and also saying 'coolld'
I still had to go to work on Thursday, no threat of ice on the roads.  The snow was so soft and light...different than I have ever felt before.  It was like powder.  I just loved it and wish that we could have some more.  Although, the weather today does give me a slight itch for spring.  The problem is that our spring is normally a few weeks and then the heat sets in and then all of the people that are complaining about the cold and snow will wish for just a small break in the heat that the summer brings!  I will do my best to be content and satisfied with what God serves us up for the day and season!  Lots to look forward to...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Love

Its Valentines day the weather is just beautiful {drive with your windows down kind of day} which makes it difficult to share with you the snow pictures from last week.  So, I'm going to wait to share those.  I always have the best intentions of updating and posting on Fridays and I never seem to do it!

I have very mixed emotions about Valentines day.  Who doesn't love a day of love?  But then again, why do we need to wait for a specific day to share that love?  I do get a little excited about the possibility of romance with some time with my hubby, but I also feel that this is sort of a Hallmark holiday!  Either way, I hope that your day is filled with love and hugs and kisses from the ones that you love!

Speaking of love, I know I have shared my story of Justin a few times.  But this weekend we went to Dothan for Justin to play in a fun Alumni Baseball game.  A group of guys that played baseball in high school all got together for a reunion game!  They played it at the high school baseball field.  Justin was a little nervous about getting hurt - after all it has been 16 years since he was in his prime on that baseball field.  It was funny driving up to the high school - I haven't actually been back since I graduated -  after all of these years and I was still taken back to when we were there.  I was so smitten with Justin and thought the world of him and just loved when he was around.  He always made me laugh and I just adored him.  Funny thing is that when I think back to that time and those feelings, they are still so fresh in me today.  He still makes me laugh, I still adore him, I love being with him {really don't like it when he is out of town} and I am still smitten with him!  I love that I get to call him my husband!

Then there is a little mini-Justin (or mini-me depending on who you talk to) that has stolen my heart as well!  He is adorable, loving and mine! He also makes me laugh and I can't seem to get enough of him!  Collier had more fun at the ballgame than I would have expected...dirt, rocks, balls and more dirt..what more could a little boy ask for?  By the time we left I had one tired and dirty little boy to take home!  We left Daddy playing in their 2nd game and headed home for a long nap!

I am happy to report that none of the guys were hurt.  They played two games...won one and lost one!  Not bad for a bunch of old guys!   I'll be back to share some snow pictures with you!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The topic of conversation around our house is...will it snow, will it snow, will it snow!  We certainly hope so.  It is well documented that Justin and I love the snow and don't mind all of the cold weather.  It usually brings amazing fires and lots of snuggling around our house.  No complaints from me.  According to the two weather notices that I've received via TXT from FoxNews states that the snow could begin tomorrow afternoon and go through the evening.  Yahoo!  Who knows what will ACTUALLY happen because it can go either way around here. 

These James lessons continue to really speak to me so much.  James will seriously make you check yourself when it comes to what kind of life you are living.   The lesson and topic of selfishness has surfaced in my life in so many ways.  It is so difficult to first realize {and admit} how selfish that I really am.  In that realization, it is hard to actually say the words out loud and confess and repent of being self consumed.  Part of true repentance is turning away completely and going in the opposite direction.  There is an internal struggle of HOW I become less selfish and walk more closely on that path so that I can truly receive the abundant life that God so desires for us.  This world we live in screams selfishness and that we must do what is best for me and live how I want to live and I should get what I want.  The reality is that God's will is not that....matter of fact according to James if we love the world we are an enemy of God.  He continues to say (v.7)"submit yourselves" and that is the answer to my how do I be a less selfish person.  James also tells us that if we (v.8)"come near to God He will come near to you."  People there it is...we don't have to go all the way.  God is there to meet us and walk beside us, carry us, protect and rescue us.  Isn't that just amazingly peaceful.  So, I struggle daily with surrendering to Him my selfish ways and the more that I think about it and realize what my thoughts are and certainly what comes out of my mouth...It is quite humbling to see just how often I have to surrender and confess of my selfishness.  I really feel God moving and speaking to me in a great way right now in my life.  So much to still learn and I can't wait to see who He continues to mold me into, all for His glory.  So that He can be the source of my joy!

Masterpiece....created on my floor
Total change of subject - Collier enjoys coloring.  This afternoon I caught him coloring our FLOOR.  Yes, right on the hardwood floor.  Apparently he prefers black floor rather than brown.  Yikes.  We'll continue to work on crayon's are ONLY for paper.  I'll have to share soon all of his new words.  I love hearing him say words on his own, is simply melts my heart!

Hope that you are somewhere that you will see some snow flurries.  Stay tuned and I'll let you know for sure what happens here.  I hope that you are staying warm weather you have snow or no snow!  And praying that God can be the source of your joy!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Seventh Annual Butt-Off

This is a serious annual event for us every year.  Justin and Poe started it as a little competition among friends on who could cook the best Boston Butt...but it has evolved into a huge party/event for who can win the much coveted trophy.  This year Poe took it away AGAIN.  I think it is three or four in a row for him and it was a total run away this year!  I will say that the competition was tough because all of them were delicious so  picking a favorite was hard to do.  In addition to the trophy and bragging rights for the best Butt we also award the worst Butt.  It was also sadly a run away...thankfully NOT awarded to my husband. Justin was crushed that he didn't get more votes than he did and I think will result in some tweaking to his recipe through the year this year!  We shall see.  It was a fun day filled with yummy food, amazing friends and lots of laughter...Oh yeah and and a Super Bowl.
Meet Bertha - Justin's cooker

It's so official we have t-shirt and they are always the coolest ever!!

Meet the 2011 Cooks

These were the 'runners' so that no know knew who's butt is who's....
They were kind enough to give their best camera presentation faces!  Aren't they such great sports.

Awaiting Judgement


Reading of the ballots


Yes, the worst is award the toilet seat trophy.  There is pride in holding this 'throne'! 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Brain Dump

Serious Bed Head
Gosh to be in Alabama and have so much ice, snow and freezing rain is simply amazing.  Thursday we had another sweep of ice problems.  I don't think that anyone was prepared for it this time.   The temperatures didn't quite get as high as predicted, actually never got above freezing.  I over heard people complaining about it and how in Alabama we aren't supposed to have so many issues!  Geesh, people enjoy the change!!! I certainly do! After all, we don't have half of what the mid-west is dealing with so I'll just enjoy what we have.  Yesterday morning we had tiny little flurries but of course nothing substantial.   Although we have had lots of cloudy days so the sun shining today is quite a relief.  There is a small chance that we might get some snow this week...we'll just have to wait and see.  Justin and I are both hopefully for as many flurries as we can possibly get.

Mom kept Collier at our house on Thursday.  When I got home she had folded all of my laundry.  Vacuumed the floors and did quite a bit of straightening.   Gosh how wonderful is that?  Not only did she keep my little munchkin but also was a huge help with my house chores!  Nothing is more helpful and certainly greatly appreciated!  Thanks Mom!  You have no idea how nice it was to have your help!

Friday, Collier and I got to go and visit with some sweet friends that we don't see often enough.  It was good and fun to catch up and visit with them.  Having friends who share their love with you no matter your situation is so satisfying.  No matter if you have on the latest trends or old clothes because you couldn't figure out what else to wear.  Or the friends that can come into your house when you haven't cleaned and not think anything less of you!  It sure is nice to have those friends.  Lindsey and Hunter came over last night for dinner and I tell her this all the time....the only reason that I don't mind them coming to my house is because I know that they love me for me and not because of how clean {or messy} my house is. 

I am sort of embarrassed to admit this, but I just took down my Christmas village this weekend.   As Justin was making our fire on Friday night he made clear that he would be perfectly happy if I left it up all year long.  Needless to say I decided to take it down and reclaim my mantel as it should be.  As I put it away Justin also felt the need to remind me that it would only be 9 months before I was putting it back out!  I will admit that I do love Christmas village and I have enjoyed it and intentionally left it up this long because I did want us to enjoy it longer than just the month of  December.   Collier enjoyed plugging it in every morning and seeing the lights in the village.   But I also decided that having Valentines decorations out at the same time as Christmas village that maybe, just maybe, it was time to take down the village.  Now trying to remember what all goes on the mantel! 

Collier is also starting to use his imagination.  Oh it is so neat to watch them learn and discover.  Friday night he was playing with his blocks.  His blocks have pictures of various things on them and on each side is either a number or letter and on other sides it is something related to the number or letter.  On this one block it had 8 stars and he pretended that he was picking one off and giving it to me, and then to Justin!  It was the first time that I saw him actually pretend.  He is saying and doing so much.  Just this morning he has colored, played under the dining room table and is now playing with a flash light.  He is also throwing the 'bawl' with Brink Brink.  He tells her to 'pop' {drop} the bawl as he stomps his foot at her,  and then grabs it and throws it again. Last night ABC Family played both Toy Stories and so I recorded them and we're {I am}watching them as we {Collier} are playing.  I just love Toy Story...can you tell?

Ok, I've got to go and vacuum and shower before Collier's nap time.  I know that most people would wait until their child goes down for nap time.  But I just mentioned that I was going to vacuum and he started jumping up and down squealing in delight.   Today is the Annual Butt-Off.  So stay tuned for pictures of our day and the results of who cooked the best butt!  Justin has had 'Bertha' smok'n since about 7am this morning.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


We are studying James this semester in CBS.  This weeks lesson was on our tongue and the power that our words have.  According to James 3, our words are evil and cause destruction and will corrupt our entire body.  Kelly (She is our CBS leader and is the greatest bible teacher that I know, she is amazing and teaches in a way that always seems to speak to me) had a few very good points last night that really caught my attention {with some of my added understanding}:
  • Once we speak a harsh or unkind word, it is out and we can never take it back.  Thankfully we have a merciful God who will forgive if we can identify and confess our sins.  But think of the hurt that you may cause another.  There are times that we must turn our thoughts toward Godly things instead of our own situation.  If we are allowing God to be in control, including our words, then we can know that we will reflect Him - pure, peace-loving and gentle - instead of our own wicked ways. 
  • It is not just words that we speak, but also our thoughts...they are just as bad even if we don't say it out loud - We must 'take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ' 2Cor.10:5b.  Sometime I think an ugly thought and quickly question myself of why I would even think such a thing, I must immediately ask God for forgiveness and allow Him to fill my thoughts and especially my heart!
  • What we speak is just an overflow of the heart.  Kelly likes to remind us that we often time use cover words such as 'hurt feelings', 'upset', 'frustrated' that if we get to the bottom of we will see that it is anger.  Anger is a sin that will fester and grow inside of us - it is strictly from Satan.  When something happens and the anger rises in us it just spills right out of our mouth.  We must identify the anger, repent of it and surrender to God that we want His thoughts to be our thoughts.   One thing that jumped out at me was she said that no one can make us angry, it is what is already in our heart!!! YIKES. 
The funny thing is that we covered this same lesson just a few months ago in 1 Peter!  Don't you love when God wants to drive home a point to you?  :)  

I am personally trying to improve with the words that I speak and even more how I speak the words that I do say.  I work with some people who are not believers and I think of my reaction to certain situations and know that if God were fully in control I would have a different/better response.  I want to be different and sometimes I just react and follow in the ways that others are.  I also am paying close attention to my words and actions as a wife and mom.  To be less selfish and more aware of the needs of my men.   God gives us forgiveness, mercy, love, peace, comfort and the list goes on and on....the very least that I can do is to turn around and give all of this to others...but especially my family. 

Father God, please forgive me for the unkind and evil thoughts that are in my heart and mind.  Fill me with your ways so that I am a better reflection of You.  I yearn to be completely inside of Your will, keeping my eyes straight on Your path; guide me Father.   I want to live a life that is pleasing to You so that I may be a light in the darkness of this world and I can only do this with Your help.  I fall short every day, but take comfort that You are my source.  Thank you God for being the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Even when I am not faithful You are, praise be to You.  In Christ Jesus.  Amen.