Wednesday, September 29, 2010

i don't really know where to start
i can't really come up with a good title
this morning i am just heart broken

i'm sorry if you're new to my blog
i don't always talk about such heavy things

but this is life right now

last tuesday evening i received the call that my precious friend's daughter
had been killed in an accident
i was just about to head downstairs to watch glee for the first time
with my own teenagers
mindless tv that i virtually never watch
but wanted to hang out & enjoy what my girls enjoyed

i stood at the window
cell phone in hand talking to a lifelong bff
a mother herself, who had buried her own child years ago
while we discussed virginia's death
viriginia & my savannah...born only months apart
as i looked out the window, savannah was pulling in the driveway
just another reminder that life continues...that life doesn't stop for all when it stops for one

that fact always blows me away

that very same day
another young girl lost her battle with cancer
14 year old daniela went to be with lord
she was one of my daughter , madison's best friends

i went to a funeral on wednesday
my daughter went to a funeral on saturday

monday morning i headed over to visit my precious friend sandra
sandra & i have been friends for over 20 years
my hubby taught her daughter in elementary school
that very daughter, now 27, stood before me monday & took my breath away
she could be ms america. seriously.

sandra's husband mike was upstairs
battling cancer
diagnosed only 10 weeks ago

sandra was there for me when gregg died
sitting in her gloriously decorated home monday
i feared the tables were turning
that she would soon be where i was 15 years ago

we talked about how our big strong healthy men
mike & gregg
battled such a horrific disease
the injustice of it all

she remembered moments in gregg's last days that i had actually forgotten
your mind compartmentalizes sadness that's beyond understanding
in ways we can't comprehend

i prayed that she would remember the health & vigor of her sweet mike
not the mike whose body was ridden with cancer
we talked about fear
we talked about telling our daughters that their daddies were dying

both sandra & her daughter lauren look like Ms Universe
gorgeous women
strong women
their home should be in a magazine
as i pulled out of the driveway on a gorgeous fall day
i realized that a passerby would never imagine the grief inside that georgian home

this morning
at 3 am
mike passed on from this life......

while we know
that all these precious loved ones
are healthy & whole today in heaven
their bodies perfect
no broken bones or cancer
the "they're in a better place" is obvious
& while knowing that does bring peace
life goes on today
the birds are still chirping outside my window
there is traffic on all the highways in atlanta
koda & kathy lee are still going to be chatting on the today show...for crying out loud

but the immeasurable heartache of those left behind
will not soon end
sometimes having nothing to say
is ok
just holding that person & telling them they are loved is all you can do
that's where i am today

wanting to encourage so many
remind them that they have a god who sees every tear
& who heard every prayer
every single prayer
& that there is hope
hope in knowing we were not meant for this world
hope in knowing that they will see their loved ones

i've mumbled & rambled
i apologize for the lack of eloquence
but i want to share the following song
i realize i shared it months ago
but as i ran yesterday & tried to process all the pain of my friends
i listened to this song of hope
i lose it every time at the bridge around min 2.47

i go to two churches
one is lead in worship by chris tomlin
here he is, probably being filmed at our church

there's a day that's drawing near
when this darkness breaks to light
& the shadows disappear
& my faith shall my eyes

Jesus has overcome
& the grave is overwhelmed
the victory is won
he is risen from the dead
& i will rise when he calls my name
no more sorrow
no more pain
i will rise

Monday, September 27, 2010

her senior homecoming

what a super fun weekend!

savannah & bailey have been besties for several years

bailey is precious to me
i have considered it an honor to watch her grow into a beautiful young woman
who's love for the Lord continues to bloom
i am so proud of her
( & she's just been accepted to Ole Miss!!)

i have files of photos of these two from various occasions
but saturday i captured what are certainly my most favorite pictures of them

we had a little bit of time before the boys arrived
to get some gorgeous shots

i've said it hundreds of times
but i'm so proud of this child of mine

 the obligatory "we're so mad ya'll are late shot"...ha!

this is savannah's other "best friend"
trevor is such a great guy

one of the things i've tried to encourage my girls to do
is hold off on the 'boyfriend' thing
to not find themselves in a committed relationship at such a young age
blah blah blah

anyway...i couldn't be prouder of savannah's choice
she held off on the boyfriend gig until a few months ago
& he's a winner

they had a fantastic evening
making memories
they will never forget


i want to share just a tiny bit about trevor's family~

this weekend in atlanta the weather was glorious
a far cry from a year ago

trevor's home was devestated in the floods that ravaged atlanta almost a year ago to date
at one point, their home was under 15--FIFTEEN--feet of water

this family is amazing
actually....that word doesn't even begin to touch the character of his parents

trevor is one of two biological children in a home that also has 8 children adopted from russia

his mom is one of the world's top researchers
on the relationship of HIV/aids and a host of issues facing orphans

after the devastating loss of their young son years ago
the hillis family began their adoption process

honestly, i've never known a family like trevor's

while they are still battling insurance issues on their home
they currently are in a rental home in our area

if you have a few minutes
i'd love for you to see their application
to extreme home make over

i think you'll be inspired by this precious amazing family

Hillis Family - Flood Video from Matt Gibson on Vimeo.

Friday, September 24, 2010

me.... on a wednesday

this past wednesday i was mentally exhausted from all the emotions
surrounding virginia's funeral
i was tired of sitting in a car all day
& listening to my thoughts knock around inside my head

but i knew that evening there was only one place i wanted to be

our church has an AMAZING program for the middle schoolers
it stands for living under grace

the purpose is to teach our kids about the amazing love
our heavenly father has for them
make sure they have nailed down in their hearts
at such a pivotal age
that we have a holy god
who is full of grace
& is wildly crazy about each of them

somewhere between 800 and 1000 kids meet up every wednesday night
eight hundred to one thousand

hilarious skits
amazing teaching
worship music that would blow your mind
& sweet sweet small group time

during group time the highschoolers teach the middle schoolers
pouring back into the next generation what they've been taught
i am privileged to be the adult facilitator for the group savannah leads

most weeks i sit and listen to them
i usually get all choked up
i'm so proud of these girls

wednesday night they spontaneously began encouraging each other
every one of them
picked out a character quality about another that meant something to them
over a dozen 13 year old girls loving on each other

when we come back together
all 800-1000 of us
we worship
talk about worship
these kids love the lord unashamedly & with a pure devotion

part of me felt guilty that night
sitting with my daughter
while my friend had buried hers just hours before
but during worship that night
while all 800 to 1000 of us worshiped
i knew viriginia

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


the call came late last night~
one of my girlfriends from years ago
had lost her daughter  in a car accident saturday night

she was on her way home from the auburn clemson game
they say she died instantly

virginia was only17 years old

or gengah as her mama would pronounce
and i met at the same church 20something years ago
the very place where i met both dan & gregg

she was a confident strawberry blonde auburn alum
who loved the Lord with all her heart
she inspired me to be a better person

we both fell in love with our fellas and got married around the same time
she moved back to montgomery
i stayed here in atlanta
her baby girl virginia was born only a few months after savannah

for 17 years i have eagerly awaited each christmas card
i've loved watching that beautiful baby girl
grow into one of the most gorgeous young women i've ever seen

virginia.... took your breath away

this morning i drove to alabama

part of me wondered if this was all a mistake
surely this was not reality

as i drove i began to think of my precious friend ginger
how had she found out?
what had the last 48 hours been like for her?
my friend was going to bury her baby girl today....
i couldn't wrap my mind around this
i just couldn't

i walked into the church
which overflowed capacity
i stood in the line to greet "the family"
the line was so long
i knew there wasn't going to be time to see my friend
to let her know i loved her
to let her know i was so so very sorry

i texted my hubby
& told him i was about to break an unwritten funeral rule
i was going to cut in line
yes ma'am
i got out of my place & began walking across the room
as soon as i saw ginger
my heart realized it was true....her baby girl was gone
it was no mistake

she was speaking to some younger girls
she looked up & we made eye contact
she began to cry
i fell apart
so much for a support
she mumbled things like i'm so sorry i didn't call personally, i can't believe you drove, can you join us for lunch
i was speechless
i tried to tell her i loved her

virginia had a precious relationship with Jesus
she encouraged her friends
she spent time in the word
she loved others with a christ-like heart

a young woman who lived intentionally
oh how i hope the same may be said of me

on the drive home i spent some time on the phone with one of my best life long friends
jami gave birth to a baby boy named levi the week gregg died

levi was diagnosed with a brain tumor the week i gave birth to caroline
levi was diagnosed on the very hospital ward i had worked for years

my life long dear friend
buried her baby boy only a few years after i buried my husband

ginger, jami & i
we know where they are
& we know we will see them again one day

but for today & for quite some time
my heart hurts for my friend, ginger

In Christ, there are no goodbyes
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again

Monday, September 20, 2010

a fresh mindset

 i want to share something with you

something i'm a little iffy on whether i should or shouldn't
i don't want to be misunderstood
i don't want to come off the exact opposite of where my heart is

my prayer isn't that i'm heard as preachy & certainly not braggy
but i want to share how the lord has taken me to a new place
not only a place i never thought i'd be
but a place i didn't necessarily even want to be
a fresh mindset if you will

let me roll it out for you

i am terrible with money
i can't even utter the word budget without rolling my eyes
i'm an accountant's worst nightmare
i have poor impulse control

cocktail for financial disaster right?

for years i did just that
i bought , for the most part , whatever i liked
who cares if i didn't have a place for it
i'd find one

my home was a manic cluttered crowded space
the clutter & all the 'must have it now' items ruled my life
these things must
after their "place" is found
be dusted
and of course
dusted again

things everywhere
& the things are what started to make me nervous

i fell into the credit card trap
which snowballs in a heartbeat
 what's another 100bucks at tjmaxx when my balance is a few thousand

i know

thank the lord my hubby is NOT anything like me
in more ways than just financially :)

while credit card debt didn't bother me
i mean we all have it
its just part of life
it bothered him

about a year ago
we began to  make some changes
some choices, plans , decisions for not only our future
but the future of our children

i'm not going into details
what's my conviction surely doesn't need to be yours
what's a sacrifice & big deal for me
has no reason to be a biggie for you

but i realized i , just me, not him
i was teaching my girls
buy what you want
pay for it later
a terrible destructive mindset
the legacy of debt is really not what i want them to inherit
yet my lifestyle proved otherwise

several months ago
we became
for the first time in my adult life

except for our mortgage
we owe
no one

zero zip zilcho

i don't tell you that to give myself or dan any praise
the lord took a pathetic excuse poor spender
and helped me renew my mind
as much as i'd love to...i quit killing time at target and anthro
i don't carry a credit card with me
actually i memyselfandi do not even have a credit card

i try to only purchase something
that i know already where it will go
or if i even have room for it
if i wait to think
come back & its gone
honestly, that's just fine

dont' get me wrong
money burns a hole in my pocket
i can spend some cold hard cash in anthro or restoration hardware with the best of 'em
& what's a target run without dropping a hundred bucks anyway?

there have been times in my life
where debt
was the only way to survive
i've been a widow, jobless and broke
i understand

so please dont see me as a financial wizard
trust credit score & my sweet man will give you a resounding bwahaha on that one

but the freedom
at night of knowing
that my sweet man isn't stressed over a visa or pottery barn bill
is priceless
who knew?

i would love to showcase a home with hardwoods on the main
concrete countertops
& nickel hardware
tolix chairs around a weathered farm table
(red OR silver if you must know)

its a hard line for me to walk
that of contentment
sometimes a painful walk if i'm honest

i love nothing more
i mean
nothing more
than spending time in my home
its not my dream home
but its my home
& my desire
is to cultivate a grateful spirit
while enjoying what i have, being a good steward  & having white furniture
surely this can be done harmoniously , right?

& maybe oneday
my contented debtfree self
score a deal on 6 tolix chairs while at it....

Friday, September 17, 2010

fall etsy faves

while its still hitting 90+ degrees here in the south
our morning temps are teasing us that fall is indeed just around the corner

this morning i have the windows open & a little crisp breeze is blowing 
 i've had fun perusing etsy
finding some fall-like treasures

this little lion hat is so stinking cute
almost makes me wish i had a little one to wear this on halloween!
can you stand it!!!

gigantic cinderella pumpkins
oh how i can't wait to bring a few of you home

love the colors in this image
& her funky fun skirt and tights too

felted acorns....sweetness

my current jewelry crush = leather cuffs
love these handstamped with scripture
very cool

everything in her shop looks fabulous
my personal faves are these

all my girlies are currently smitten with headbands
silk rosettes = perfection

her shop is filled with items that all sound heavenly
lovely images too

in all honesty
i would love every piece in this charming shop
(located in vermont, which i'm certain looks like heaven right now!)
persimmon earrings....charming indeed

super cute melamine plates

gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous
would love for this to be the view from my front door!

 i hope your weekend is beautiful
& filled with all the wonders
of autumn
even if only in the early morning hours