Monday, February 13, 2012

15 years & counting

I'm only 33, how is it possible that I'm celebrating a 15 year wedding anniversary tomorrow?---that was the way the conversation started with my Dad this morning. He didn't have an answer for me, except to say "that's what happens when you get married at 18" yep, leave it to my Dad to keep it real.

15 years!! WOW. How did we make it 15yrs when most people (including us) didn't honestly think we'd make it the first 5 (and we almost didn't). The truth....we are both stubborn people. We'd rather stay and fight for what we want than to throw in the towel and give up. I'd love to make it all romantic and hollywoodish, but it isn't. It's life, we don't have a script or a great hollywood director to tell us what to do next. That isn't to say that we don't love each other a great deal because we do. We know each other in ways no one else ever will. We share three children, three amazing, beautiful children I might add.

A friend asked me the other day, "After 15 years what would be your advice to a couple just getting married"~~ people write books for that kind of crap, so my answer was "go to the book store"....I say that jokingly because rarely do books help. I've had 2 books that I can say honestly changed my life (but I've read hundreds) The truth is what works is different for every one and every couple. For us, we had to learn to have fun & laugh together. Raising three kids, work, bills, family drama, car is just hard sometimes and more than anything it took us learning how to be friends again to learn how to fall back in love again. and again, and again....

To any women friends reading this......listen.....we make relationships with men way to hard. They are simple creatures. It doesn't take a lot to keep them happy. First~~if you don't have your own set of friends, make some and quick. Girlfriends are the key. Your husband is not your everything... stop asking him to be. Second~~if he doesn't like the outfit your wearing...who gives a shit. really? Don't pick outfits based on what you think he might like, wear what you want. Be yourself. There is nothing on this earth more sexy than a confident woman, who knows who she is, cares about herself and really doesn't give a damn what other people think (that includes her husband). Third (and maybe most important)~~men want good food and great sex. Its really that simple. You don't have to be Rachel Ray in the kitchen or even act like Madonna in the bedroom....but show some basic skills (or learn some new kick ass skills) and trust me he will be a happy man.

So Happy Anniversary Bradley!!! In 5 years it will be 20 :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ode to my Erin

I talked to my best friend on the phone for an hour this morning. An hour is nothing for us, seriously we could talk (fast, and in circles) for hours, and never run out of things to share.

I think back to my life before we meet and it must have been such a lonely place. I mean I had friends, people I could count on, but I can honestly say I've never had a friend like her. We often think of soul mates as the one we will always be in love with, we romanticize them like in a Hollywood film. Those kinds of soul mates are real, I'm not saying otherwise. However, I honestly believe with all my heart that Erin is my soul sister. She is like family to me, we have raised our kids together. Baylee and Elijah can't remember a time when they haven't known each other. We've been pregnant at the same time, done ministry together, been hung over together, vacationed together, and so many other "things" that make memories of our friendship so great. If I'm to be honest though, it's none of that which makes her so special to me. You can create memories with anyone. What makes her so close in my heart is the journey we have taken together as women. A journey we are still on I might add. The road has tons of twists and turns, high cliffs to climb, steep edges we have to stand on the edge of, caverns that are sometimes dark and scary, jagged rocks that often hurt like hell. Through it all we have been at each others side. Sometimes cheering the other on, sometimes shaking our head going "what are you thinking", sometimes crying, drinking, always laughing.

Our friendship is unique because it is rare. With so many people who walk in and out of our lives its rare to find one with whom you journey with, one who loves you no matter how crazy you get or life gets. We often talk about what we'll do when we grow old. Our goal: to live in Africa and rock sick babies to sleep -or- live in the States and take care of crack babies! I mean seriously what are the odds of finding someone on this earth (and there are over 6 billion of us) who want to end their life that way? I love you Erin. You rock, sister!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Baylee's birthday

My daughter just turned 9. Where in the world does the time go? Seems like yesterday she was born & I wrapped her up in her little pink blankie and brought her home. She has been independent from day one. It was kinda like she said (in her sweetest baby voice) "thanks for the ride Mom, I got it from here"! She is so full of life and love. She teaches me so much about creativity, being silly, and being yourself. She is her own person for sure. I have no doubt she will blaze a trail no matter where she goes in life or what she does.

I look at my little 9 yr old girl with such a thankful heart that God allowed me to be her mother. He took this 24 yr old, scared to death, immature, young woman and gave her a daughter to love. I was so scared to have a girl. How do I protect her, how do I show her how to be a woman when my own mother walked out, how do I teach her about fashion when I'm such a tomboy myself? God took all those fears and walked me through a long, sometimes dark, always twisted, road of faith. Faith in myself that I had within me what it takes to raise a young girl and guide her into womanhood. Faith in him, that he loves her, cares for her, smiles at her personality, laughs at her charm, marvels at her wisdom. Watching God love her has taught me that he loved me that way too. When I was just a little girl, scared and alone, sometimes lost, sometimes hiding, always fearful....he loved me. He laughed when I would climb trees and hide from the world. He marveled at my ability to have compassion on other people, even though my own world was falling apart.

Listening to God direct Baylee, love her, guide her... has taught me so much about who he is and how he loves all of us. More than anything, it has helped heal my heart. Opening my heart to allow that kind of love inside removes so much scar tissue left over from all those times in my own little girl childhood when I had to hide & be afraid. That kind of love shines light into some very dark places in my past. It reminds me of this David Crowder song "oh how he loves us". Its so true. How can I regret anything in my past, present, future....when I understand and invite light and love into my heart.

So Happy Birthday to my daughter, Baylee Marie. Next year we start double digits...and even though the fashion war has already started, I have a feeling it only gets worse from here :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

sighs of relief

sometimes I just have to write and get it all out, today is one of those days!!!

Its been less than two years since we found Brad's biological father, and 2 sisters he knew nothing about. We officially meet face to face in Jackson, TN for Thanksgiving dinner 2009. My how a few months can change your life! (I will not cry, I will not cry....damn it, I'm crying) Words can't really capture the ways in which finding the rest of our family has shaped us, changed us, made us shake our heads, made us pinch ourselves just to see if all this is real or not.

A few days ago we sat in an ICU family waiting area to see how Tom was progressing in open heart surgery. We sat with anxious, afraid, hopeful, joyous hearts. I'm telling you Brad and I were a mixed bag of emotions. On the one hand, how sweet of the Lord to allow us a few months with Tom if indeed it was his time to go home, but how sad it would be if we lost him. How joyful we were to know that if the Lord called him home, he would forever be in the presence of Christ and reunited with his loved ones who have passed, namely his wife Jackie and his parents. BUT the biggest, most overwhelming emotion came when after 12 hours of being at the hospital we got a call from the Dr. saying all was well, he came through with flying colors: RELIEF, I tell you, relief :) Brad and I both looked at each other, smiled, cried and began the rounds of phone calls we had to make. Tom comes home today, in just a few short hours he'll be sitting in his chair, telling us jokes, and snoring so loud the house will shake....good times!!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

mothers, be good to your daughters-John Mayer

I know a girl
She puts the color inside of my world
But she's just like a maze
Where all of the walls all continually change
And I've done all I can
To stand on her steps with my heart in my hands
Now I'm starting to see
Maybe it's got nothing to do with me

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Oh, you see that skin?
It's the same she's been standing in
Since the day she saw him walking away
Now she's left
Cleaning up the mess he made

So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Boys, you can break
You'll find out how much they can take
Boys will be strong
And boys soldier on
But boys would be gone without the warmth from
A womans good, good heart

On behalf of every man
Looking out for every girl
You are the god and the weight of her world

So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ashamed to be Baptist

War. Rape. Murder. Poverty. Equal rights for gays. Guess which one the Southern Baptist Convention is protesting? ~The Value of Families

I will never, as long as I live, understand the fight by the church to limit gay rights. If we as a denomination spent half as much energy working on other social issues, such as child abuse, bullying, caring for our elderly, etc....we'd get a lot more accomplished in our world. It is so frustrating!!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

being reminded

Seeing this picture of my daughter standing here in a flower girl dress, only reminds me of her future and that one day she'll be the bride!

I pray for her future husband. I pray that he'll be strong for her and love her as he should. Which in turn, causes me to pray for my own marriage because I know that Brad and I are the first picture of love that she will see. I pray that we are strong and that we love each other as we should. always.....