Monday, October 17, 2011

A month of lessons

Things I've learned in the past month:

1. Pacifiers can be necessary
2. Sleep is a gift
3. There is more than one way to hold an eating baby
4. Birthdays are no longer just about me
5. I am more interested in baby toys than a newborn is
6. My husband is amazing (and really smart)
7. Newborn smiles may be unintended, but they are awesome
8. Girl=Pink (there's no way out of it)
9. I will eat sugar for breakfast if I'm not careful
10. What goes in must come out and out and out...
11. Go to the bathroom before you start feeding
12. The Itzbeen timer is awesome!
13. I love fluffy things
14. I now know what a small load of laundry actually looks like
15. The sun is a happy thing
16. Alice in Wonderland is a random book, ends abruptly and makes no sense
17. It is possible to feel as though you have completely disappeared
18. Everything must be scheduled, including showers and meals
19. Getting somewhere at a certain time is dependent upon staying conscious after a certain feeding, rather than going back to bed
20. There are times I'd rather stay up all night on purpose than be woken up after a mere 60 minutes of sleep

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

with wings

To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:25-31

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A new day will dawn

My baby will be ten days old today. On one hand I can hardly believe it; on the other hand it has been a long ten days. As predicted I had no way of perceiving what lay ahead of Paul and me. A baby changes everything, but I couldn't really know how until I had one. Even with her here, each day is unique unto itself and the nights unique to themselves, and as she grows, everything will continue to change.

So much for "typical daily life."

I have learned a lot about myself the past ten days. Granted my hormones haven't quite settled yet and because of that I do weep over simple things and even joyful or silly things. I am a busy person. When my baby sleeps - a time I am supposed to sleep - I find I am showering, eating or reading or watching TV. Granted the last two could be stopped. Someday she will be more alert and to watch as much TV as we have been will be neglectful because we should be paying attention to her!

One thing that has been true of me that I have re-learned is how much I love the sun. Not just sitting in it or the reality of it, but the LIGHT it gives makes me feel more capable of facing any new adventure. I think that is why I count nights on vacation and why with V I count down the hours and the potential feedings until dawn.

I need to remember that Christ is all the light I need - the world can seem dark even in the daytime, but Christ is an ever-present source of Light and hope. He gives me the strength to face each day, each new adventure, every sleepless night. His is with us and will be with us through all the twists and turns of raising a child up in the Truth.

As each new day dawns and every night approaches, these truths remain: I serve a loving, faithful, just God whom I can trust. He knows me; He knows Paul; He knows V. He will guide us every step of the way in His path, to His purposes, for His glory alone.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Getting Ready

There seem to be a hundred things that need doing. I think I have the time, but I feel like I can't handle it all. I have to remind myself to take everything one at a time. The most important thing is that there will be a baby. Paul and I are excited, but at the same time there is this inevitable question of what life will really be like. Fact is, God knows. Nothing of this is a surprise to Him. He knows our baby, He knows us, He knows what is happening, what will happen, and He is ever watchful. I only hope and pray that we honor Him and keep His glory first in our family.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

No Eternal Significance

I get annoyed. A lot. Usually about little insignificant things. At some point this summer I had a realization: "This has no eternal significance." All those little seemingly huge things that get my blood boiling...they are insignificant. Truly. I try to remind myself of this when I get riled up. I think I need to be calmer in life in general, less stressed, less dramatic, especially about those things that hold no eternal significance.

But then I realize something else...if this thing has no eternal significance, then what does? In other words, what should I be getting "worked up" over. What should I care about?

What does my life communicate to others concerning what truly matters?

Friday, June 17, 2011


**Just found this post about our Honeymoon I wrote over a year ago.... Not sure why all these posts are drafts. Figure it's about time to get them up!**

The morning after the wedding Paul and I got up quite early and caught a flight to Dallas/Ft. Worth and then on to Jamaica. The flights, connections, getting our luggage and the drive to our Sandals resort, all went very smoothly.

Our first night in Jamaica we had dinner on the beach and saw some fun performers. We learned how to dance reggae style.
This man balanced all sorts of things on his forehead. There was another man who did the limbo under a board of fire, some reggae bands, and lots of tasty food!!!

Speaking of food, here is one of our favorite treats while in Jamaica, Cajun style fries. YUM! I make them all the time now. So tasty tasty.

We spent a lot of time on the beach. Above is a picture of our friend Duckie, the fiddler crab. All the food was marvelous in our Italian-themed resort (see below).

Our favorite memory of the trip is the day we got off the resort. We took a jeep tour that took us to Dunns River Falls, where we climbed up the falls (with hundreds of others), and then the tour took us inland.

We went through a number of villages. We learned about coffee harvesting (Blue Mountain Coffee is their famous brew - Paul loved it!). It is a very long and involved process!!

We stopped and had a snack of fresh fruits on top of one of the peaks which overlooked quite a bit of the mountain range.

We went to the highest point in the region and could have seen Cuba had the day not been so hazy.

After a wonderfully relaxing week, we headed back home. We got to the airport quite early due to lack of shuttles around our needed time.

Jamaica is a beautiful and poor nation. I was humbled by the rows of shacks lined up next to acres of resort. Without tourism the island's situation would be even more desperate. Everyone we met were very nice and hospitable. We often heard "No problem man" and "Ya man" and found out that "man" is a term of respect. The most important thing to remember is this: in Jamaica you may have a situation, but never a problem. A situation, you see, can be fixed, but not a problem, so there is "No problem!"

Lake Powell

**I just found this post I wrote over a year ago about our trip to Lake Powell. Thought it should be posted!**

What a trip! In September/October of 2009 Paul and I joined two other couples on a camping adventure to Lake Powell! Our first stop was eventually christened "The Mars Site" because of all the red sand and HEAT. We stayed only one night before heading south.
We had to cross the lake (see picture above) to get to the road we needed to take. It was aday-long trip, but so very worth it when we found a Safeway (with affordable food), and a wonderful camping spot on the beach!
This is a view from our drive (above). This road was crazy!Sunrise from the tent I shared with Clinton and Pahtyana at our beach campsite. Twelve hours later the winds came. And they never went away. We spent another night (getting buffetted by wind and sand even in our sleep), but the next morning, when all seemed to be calming down, they got worse. Below is a picture of our site during the windstorm. We found out later that there were gusts of up to 60 mph. We packed in record time, found a hotel room (well, two, actually, one for the boys and one for the girls), and got breakfast. The great thing was, we were all still smiling and laughing.The next morning (after the guys emptied our stuff of sand and the girls reorganized all our food and miscellaneous stuff), we picked up our boat (below) and headed out onto the lake for the next three days and two nights.We did some exploring the first day and then found a campsite. We ate on the boat that night,which was good and bad. Good because it turned out we couldn't get a fire going once we got onto the land, and bad because by the time we tried to get to land it was dark and we couldn't pull in any closer to shore with no light. The guys ended up walking us to shore with us standing on their shoulders!The next day we explored the lake. Drove in and out of canyons, swam some, enjoyed good company, beautiful weather, and even found our windy beach site from the water!!! The boys treated us to dinner at a restaurant that evening (see above), and we had a sunset dinnercruise!! It was such a treat!We started talking about all the places we wanted to go. The six of us travel so well together, we should find more trips to take! So we "proposed" different options and enjoyed a delicious meal. Then Paul announced he had one last proposal before we headed back to camp.Carey Britton Cecil, will you marry me? Between me and Pahtyana, apparently all the oxygen in the area was used up. I said yes (of course!) and we beat feeted it (is that a word?) backto camp (in the dark), found it (praise Jesus), and had a campfire (bought firewood)! It was a wonderful day.Our last day we played some water sports. I even went tubing - behind a speedboat! Not without Paul, though :o) and I left my diamond with Pahtyana (see above, my best friend). Itwas really scary - well, jumping into the really deep water was (even with a life jacket), but I got there...eventually :o) Praise the Lord that my Love is patient with me!!!
It was truly an adventure! Culminated in a long overnight drive back (we had a one-year-old with us, did I mention that?), cleaning up really quick, and going to church to share our exciting news! Set the date for January 30th, a mere 4 months after we got engaged!

Friday, June 10, 2011


Every time I hear this song on the radio it gets my heart pumping, my spirits lifting, and reminds me of why I breathe. I heard this on the way to my Calc 3 final and again later that day and it was just the theme of the day. Nothing else matters when what we know is true is True.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Disney World!

Vacation this year was a Christian family trip to Walt Disney World. All but Stephen were able to make it. It was hot, humid, and absolutely fabulous. Here are a few pictures.

The United Kingdom at Epcot

China at Epcot

I'm not going to lie, I got really, really happy when we got to the Magic Kingdom.

Our last day Paul was gracious enough to allow me to pick where we went and... we went back to the Magic Kingdom :o)

100 Days

June. How did it get here so fast? In the past two months I finished Calc 3, saw a few plays, watched another graduating class leave our high school ministry and yet another join it. I've gone on vacation and longed for another (already). I've watched my belly double in size and wondered what kind of a mother I will make.

I am learning how to take deeper breaths, say no to the things I can't handle, and not allow stress to rule my behavior and life. Yes, still learning. I've figured out how to get to work on time, though. I'm reading a lot and wish I slept more :o)

In approximately 100 days (give or take a dozen), Paul and I will become parents. Not that we aren't already, technically, but in the sense that there will be a breathing, crying, pooping life form in our home that we must be responsible for and take care of. This summer is going to fly by and if I'm not careful I'm going to miss it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Torn in Two

How does one heart hold so much joy and hope alongside so much frustration and stress? I want to sing for joy and cry myself to sleep, dance and mope, kick up my heels and banish myself from all society. So much in my life builds me up and makes me feel like I can do anything. Then there are things that pull me back into the mire and make me weep for my sinfulness and selfish desires. I want to live in the joy and knowledge that "though sorrow may come in the night, the joy comes with the morning!" But my heart is heavy with the knowledge of my own sinfulness. It is true we need a Savior. I am thankful for the gift.

"You are stronger, You are stronger, sin is broken, You have saved me. It is written, Christ is risen. Jesus, You are Lord of all."

What a terrific promise this is. I can repent of my pride and selfishness and live in the joy that comes with humility of spirit and a compassionate heart. He is stronger and greater than any of my struggles. Hallelujah for Truth.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

January 30, 2010

I made this collage with just a few of my favorite images from our wedding day. There is one from our engagement pictures and even one from our honeymoon in there, too :o) I will upload a few more the next time I have a minute, because there are definitely a handful missing. Including a great one of my husband with his brothers!

Our wedding day truly was a blast. If I tried to describe it I'd be here all day. It was a day full of laughter, smiles, dancing, eating, promises, prayers, friends and family. Not everyone could make it, but we knew we were loved by each and every one of the people who came and who couldn't come. The sun was out, it wasn't too cold, and we went home with tired feet and full hearts.

Thank you to everyone who made January 30, 2010 a day to remember.

Monday, January 3, 2011

One at a time

Writing allows me the opportunity to know myself better. And I love it. I sit and hatch an idea or I process through life with the written word. Unfortunately I seem to find other things to take its place. In early November I found myself promising to blog each week. I have failed at that, a simple 30 minute exercise. I have begun to write my family more. That was interrupted by the holidays, but I fully expect to pick it up again. By now I was supposed to have my book fully drafted. I barely worked on it the past four months.

The fact of the matter is we assign things a certain importance. When something is important enough we find the time to do it. I have discovered a simple fact, though. Some of the things that I need most I find difficult to schedule into my "busy" life. It's like I'm being tricked. It has been made unmistakingly clear to me that I need to finish my book. Even if I never publish it, God has given me something to share and I must share it. Blogging allows me a simple and quick method of writing, something I find soothing and cleansing to the soul. My Bible reading is pathetic and my soul shrivels from lack of time spent in the oasis of prayer.

I am a writer. Therefore I must write. I am a child of God. Therefore I must spend time with Him. He has charged me with encouraging and lifting up His people. Therefore I must pray and read His word and be with His people. I have been tricked by the sense of being overwhelmed. Where do I possibly begin? At the beginning.

One day at a time. One choice at a time. One word at a time, be it spoken, read, or written. Just one at a time.