Friday, November 30, 2007

My Elves

This has to be one of my favorite things. Click HERE.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Remembering Will

Many of you know that many years ago I worked with children who were in the hospital. I was a Child Life Specialist & during my internship my supervisor asked us to come up with an "elevator answer" to the question "What exactly is a Child Life Specialist?" And to this day I still think about what that answer might is a job that is too much to explain on an elevator - unless that elevator is stopped for a long period of time. We basically were able to be with children/teens & their families through medical experiences - helping them learn to understand & cope based primarily on an understanding of development - but a lot just on who & where that family was. It was an AMAZINg time in my life. My dad & others often asked how I could handle this job - why would I want to do it. It's true that many of the children I grew to love are not alive today, but what a privaledge it was to walk along side such brave young people. I learned a lot. More than many people learn in a lifetime.....
I was sorting through some old emails & I found this one from a girl I used to work with in Baltimore. Many of us knew this boy named Will. He was something. He died after I left & our friend wrote this about him.....I had to share it. Will had many things to teach & we should all pay attention & learn from a wise little boy.

What Will Taught Me
June, 2002
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: 8pm, Wednesdays
Beware of certain Chinese restaurants in the neighborhood
Matchbox cars can make a boy very happy
There’s no excuse for smelling bad
It’s okay to say you’re scared
It’s okay to cry when your feelings get hurt
Talking can be recreational
Listening can be the most important thing there is
Sometimes children know their bodies better than doctors
Love exceeds professional boundaries
Just because you’re waking up from anesthesia’s no reason to be rude
Bad things happen to good people and it’s nobody’s fault
Bad things can bring out the best in people
Love is always worth it
Compliments go a long way
Angels sing when they talk to God
It's fun to remember Will. The world was better when he was in it. But it makes me smile to think of him whole & happy & free in heaven. Singing his heart out....cause the boy can sing :)
Hope you enjoyed it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

THE Show

If you are reading this & it's Saturday Dec 8th - follow the link below & COME TO THE SHOW :)
See you there!
Click HERE for more information

Monday, November 26, 2007

they're heeeeeeeeere. finally.

We've been waiting for months! And they finally made their appearance. Two adorable little teeth. And so without further Bo's new teeth.

Friday, November 23, 2007

not the Christmas card

So I had big plans for yesterday. We would certainly get the Christmas card picture taken. Easy. We will have all showered & there will be plenty of people available to just snap the picture. Well, I'm not sure if we got it or not - but I think it's funny to look at the pictures that will surely NOT be the Christmas card.....and thought "why not share those pictures with the faithful blog readers"? So here goes....the gallery of photos that will definitely NOT go on the Christmas card.....but certainly a more honest snapshot of life as it really is.

So, here's to finding the perfect picture.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Well, i'm up late making a few things for Thanksgiving & I am just thinking about how grateful i am & how I don't want to take anything for granted. And i know I do & it stinks to know that. How could I ever be ungrateful? Not only for what I do have but for the things that I am not even aware that I may have been spared from...or the things i wasn't spared from that all play a role in a bigger picture. Gratefulness. I have been wondering how to instill a heart of gratitude in the hearts of my children & I am becoming so aware that it must start with me. A wonderful teacher posed the question to me as to whether or not I am allowing opportunities for my children to be grateful....or am I hindering that by providing all of their needs before they even know they need it? Do they even know how incredible it is that there is a hot meal on the table of a heated home with family always around? Do they know that we should be grateful for this? Do I? I do. I really do - but I forget to say thank you. So i can list all of the things I am grateful for & it would go on i'll spare you & start writing it in my journal. But on this Thanksgiving I hope I will remember that all I have is simply a gift that I did not get for myself. And I hope to never forget that I have more than enough - so much that maybe another would be grateful if I would share. All of these important lessons that I am going to teach my children - will apparently have to first penetrate my own heart again & again. So, Lord make me grateful...may I never forget that every good & perfect gift is surely from up above.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I got an email from a fellow mom about a good activity for small kids.....or really any kid. The idea is to grab a piece of tupperware, put some oatmeal in it with some measuring cups or a little sandbox. Well, the little man woke up earlier than I had hoped & I was up to my elbows in dinner. So I put him on the floor with the oatmeal sand box. He loved it. It was great! And then it was all over the floor. To which I thought, "No big deal. I have a vacuum cleaner."
But I apparently don't have a vacuum cleaner that works. It actually sucks things up & shoots it out the back, making a much bigger mess than what you started with. So now there's not just oatmeal all over the place, there are tiny shredded pieces of oatmeal all over the place. I'm not sure I"ll ever get it all up. Soooooooooooooooo I would say - make sure you have a reliable vacuum before you enter into the oatmeal sandbox.

But well worth the smile - wouldn't you say?

Thursday, November 15, 2007


My sister & her family have been living out in Colorado for a while. They lived there once & then they moved to Georgia & then they moved back to Colorado & now they are back! Sort of. They are in Tennessee. Which is definitely closer. They have a little girl - so adorable & lots of fun. Kids are funny - i wondered if they would really remember each other & I'm not sure if they did or not, but they just played like they did. So here's to being glad that you're closer to home!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

washing clothes

Today has been a fun day. And I must admit, I wasn't expecting it to be. This past week has been especially exhausting & I am seeing the effects of it all around me. Literally. The kitchen needs cleaning, the fridge needs replenishing, the clothes have GOT to be washed, the kids....well, they are actually pulling me through today. I had declared today THE DAY WE WILL ALL HAVE CLEAN CLOTHES AGAIN day. So I got to work early, got the washer going, then the dryer, then the washer & the dryer, etc... During one of these loading & reloading sessions, I put B in the exersaucer in the playroom with L & I checked in on them. This is what I found...
She loves him more than I ever dreamed. & she's a gift giver. Kind of like a golden retriever. We had a golden when I lived in Jackson - actually, I think it was the neighbor's dog - anyway, he would bring us anything when we walked up....empty cans of tuna fish, my socks, my dad's socks, you get the picture. L is similar with her brother, as you can see from the picture of him sucking on an Elmo slipper that she brought him.

So, things seemed to be going well - I went back to the laundry & returned to check on them. And these are the faces that greeted me this time.

How 'bout them pink bunny ears. Look-in' snazzy there kiddo. And you can thank your sister when I pull this out for your rehearsal dinner.

Monday, November 12, 2007

my southern girl

I'm originally from Mississippi. I lived in a couple different parts of that state & have a real affection for it. I moved to Baltimore after college & became aware that I had an accent. My roommate, also from Mississippi, shared this accent & we were singled out on a regular basis because of this "twang" we shared. Because we lived together, it was easy to hold on to it. But Cappe moved back home before I did & I have been told since that I don't have much of a Mississippi accent. Which is fine, I don't care one way or another. But here's the thing. Somehow, my daughter has a very thick southern Mississippi accent. Much more than I EVER had. So how in the world? Are there accents in our genes? Is this something that should be researched? From the day that I heard the words "Rat thar" come out of her mouth, I have been a little shocked. It's cute, don't get me wrong....but where is it coming from?

"Where are your shoes?"

"Rat thar"

O - K?

"What color is your shirt?"


Excuse me?

Now, as far as I am aware, I have never spoken like this. Maybe I do, & this entire post will be filled with comments of people explaining to me that my accent is simply a blind spot & that she is talking just like her Momma. That's fine, I'm from Mississippi, I'll claim it.

I feel like she is moving away from it a bit - another little sign that she is getting bigger which tears my heart again & again. But it's good. It's a season & we're growing & that's good.

And then yesterday, we were leaving for Target & I asked L to grab her shoes so we could go.

"Where did you put your shoes, L?"

"Oh, Thar 'em are"


I'll call Jeff Foxworthy.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Team Steckler

Note: I wrote this post a few days ago & was waiting to put a picture with it. Since then, the person that this post is written about is no longer suffering, but is with the Lord. Please keep her family in your prayers. If you had known her, you would know what a void there is right now in their lives. But Heaven no doubt welcomed her with open arms & what a joy to know that she is whole & at peace.
I have a dear friend from college - her name is Jennifer Steckler. She has always been a little famous in her own rite. There is just something about her that people have always been drawn to - a genuine joy, a true concern for others & a desire to have a good time. I remember just sitting around one evening in college & the idea to go & tie cans to the back of a friend's car just came to her mind then the words came out of her mouth & because she is Steckler - I followed. We did it, then we asked the friend to run an errand - we sat on the side of the road in Starkville, MS & watched that car drive by. It really is one of my favorite memories from college. Kool Aid in the shower heads of the Kappa Sig house was also her brilliant idea.....and I followed. I wonder how many stories there are that start with, "& then Steckler suggested we....."
Steckler is fun & kind & generous & caring & beautiful & all the things you would ever want to be.
And she is sick. Steckler has lukemia. I was at church a few weeks ago & Louie Giglio preached a sermon on HOPE in the midst of trouble. He ended the message by telling us that when trouble comes, & it will come, you are handed a megaphone. Your message, whatever it is, will be broadcast when trouble comes your way. This is true for all of us & it is true for Jennifer. Trouble has come her way & she has praised God & prayed for us through all of it. She has had her moments of "why"? But, her life has built my faith stronger. The light of Christ shining through her makes me stronger. And as a kids get a glimpse of that light. You see, it's just not hard to stand tall when life is going well & people aren't too impressed with the standing tall in the midst of all-is-going-great. But when someone stands firm when things are falling apart......that's a faith I pay attention to. That's a life I want to live. LuLu prays for Steckler, & the "life" that Steckler lives will live on in my daughter's life & will live on in my son's life. A legacy that Jennifer never expected, I would guess. Jennifer Steckler's life has been broadcast across the WORLD! It's true - her caringbridge site (type jennifersteckler) proves that & God is speaking loud & clear through her. I'm not sure that right now, in this life, that I can say that it has been "worth it" for her to be sick for this to happen. But I believe with my whole heart, that so many more hearts have met the Lord by knowing her. And many of those only know her because she got sick.
I know this - she has set an example that I could never totally get through to my kids with just words. Lessons about the importance of giving, and being grateful, and being honest & true - even in the midst of a major struggle. I whine about not getting my way - from time to time :) - but the silliness of that is brought into the light because I know this girl. This special amazing girl who has been dealt a hand that totally stinks & even in the questions & the "shaking her fists" in wonder, she stands firm. I want to be like her. Which makes me want to be like Him, like Jesus. I want to be more like Christ because of Jennifer Steckler & the light that shines through her. And so we wear these shirts as a reminder that we are a part of "Team Steckler." A special team, that has learned from the example of a girl who fought the good fight & followed the Lord all the way home. The world would be a better place if we all were a little more like Steckler.

Monday, November 5, 2007

meet Lucy

As soon as the little girl was born I made a conscious effort to make sure that when she became attached to a favorite toy, blanket or stuffed animal - that it would be replaceable. So I was strategic. I only put certain things in her crib. I actually hid the ones that i knew were irreplaceable with the thought that we would bring them out when she was older. And it all worked out well....for a while.
One day, I was going through some baskets & boxes & Lu was with me. She pulled a lamb that the Shannon Low & family gave to her out of the basket. It was love at first sight. She hasn't gone many moments without "Lucy." Lee & I get a sick feeling in the pits of our stomach every time we have to "give Lucy a bath." The fear that one day she will simply come out in shreds.
I have looked for replacements, just to have a back up, & all that I have found is a photo of a "lucy" on ebay by a user looking for the same thing I am.....a backup. Some insurance. This is just a heartbreak I know I will never be ready for her to go through. I do have a soft heart.
So Lucy goes with us everywhere & it's become kind of humorous to me as I look through pictures to see all of the places she has been with us. Many times by accident. And I have begun to take some on purpose.
Because Lucy is such an important part of our family, i felt it necessary to introduce you all to her. So without further's Lucy.

Lucy has really been there through it all & she is grateful that you took the time to "meet" her :).

I've picked the paintbrush back up!

This painting thing has really taken on a life of its own.....I started full force, then L was born & I stopped. Life felt more settled so I started painting again & then a renovation, pregnancy & morning sickness called for another halt. And now I'm learning that I will most likely always paint at some time or now!
I've picked 'em back up! It's been so much fun. L is at an age where she will actually sit with me & paint. How great is that?? So calming - & cherished time together. I actually, after almost 3 years, painted a board for her.

Quite an accomplishment I must add. Not that I have hung it on the wall. We do pray for her each night, that she would grow into her name & be "righteous" & not really in the 80s sense of the word :). Im sure you all got that, but for whatever reason felt it necessary to clear that up. Nevertheless, we should hang it as she is getting older, it will be nice to have that visual. And as for B.......well, we'll get there eventually :). Those 2nd children.

If you want to check out other things I have been working on - I have set up a blog for the boards.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Our halloween festivities were pretty simple this year. Lu is so unaware of it all that we just kind of let it be that way this year. Trying to simplify things & also figure out how to "do" halloween in our family is another reason to put it off one more year. When this time of year comes around, we see so many gruesome things that tend to make light of death or human life, in general & I know I can over-dramatize just about anything, but I have this strong desire to just hold on to their innocence for as long as I can. So we took the year off, probably more for ourselves. We so look forward to the excitement of both of these kids dressing up in their costumes & walking around with their friends in the neighborhood to greet other neighbors with the "trick or treat!" & then the sleepless night after too much sugar, of course. No halloween is complete without THAT, right?

Anyway. Next year.

But we had a great time. Lu & her dad carved a pumpkin ... & did a great job I would say. She was so excited she literally didn't know what to do about it. She kept running inside & outside & chattering the whole time. She helped me clean out the seeds & we roasted them & it was all very fun.
Lu went to a mother's morning out & they ate way too much of a lot of I don't even really want to know, but she had a blast & it made me smile. When I picked her up she had bright orange frosting all in her hair. No party is complete without it.

Then that afternoon we walked over to our friends' (Grace, Heath & Ashton) house & she sort of trick or treated for a piece of candy corn :). Without the costume, a little illegal, i know. But she had a pumpkin on her shirt & pink cowboy boots - which has got to count for something!
Last night, she helped me make a pizza for dinner & then she greeted the trick or treaters & gave them candy. All of this will help the excitement for next year.
One funny thing that happened last night - we live on a hill, so Lee was on the porch beckoning people to "Come on up! We have candy!" & they would make the grueling trek up the hill for a snicker bar. Lu walked down the steps & helped hand out the candy to one of her friends who was dressed up like a pumpkin. I noticed she just gave a "here you go" & turned to walk back up the stairs. So I said, "That's Luke, honey" & she stopped dead in her tracks, whipped her head around & just looked shocked - a look like "no mom, that's a pumpkin!" "How could it be Luke AND a pumpkin?!" She hurried back down the steps to just make sure. What I would give to climb inside her head just for a moment.

I hope you all had an enjoyable night as well.