Wednesday, November 30, 2011

daughters, friends, siblings & cousins

 i miss her being in our home on a daily basis
listening to the squeeking of her antique bed
& having her come and go at all hours
with her besties whom i adore.

but i love the young adult she's becoming
& i love the world that she calls hers.
all the newness, the fun cute new friends
the ballgames, the classes
her relationship with the Lord that is her own~growing and becoming so dynamic.
i love to hear her convictions and struggles.
to hear how she's overcome issues
& the dreams and desires she has for her future.

yesterday i received an email from the mom of one of her friends.
she wanted me to know what a blessing savannah had been in the life of her own daughter.
i pondered the words she said.
thankful tears filled my eyes.
so much to be proud of in this child of mine.

having her home for a week was a balm to my heart.
some heavy thoughts and fears are banging around in my mind
& being with her was a wonderful distraction and encouragement.

she went with me on several photo sessions.
not to hold the reflector or anything businesslike,
but just to spend time with me.
our week, while busy, was peaceful and not a frenzy.
my decorations are up, a couple weeks later than usual
but the quality time we spent together is a priceless treasure.

while she's usually the social butterfly, she spent much intentional
involved and engaged time with us.
before she left i asked her opinion on something.
the mom leaning on & needing the child.
she laughed and calmed my fears, hugged me and hopped in the car with her sweetie
driving back to her "current home" in athens,
which, while only an hour away, sometimes feels like much more.

one of the sessions from last week
was of a couple my very best friends.
 mother & daughters whom i love dearly
and their cousins.
we captured some senior photos, sibling shots
& a photo of all the grandchildren for their grandparents.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

my favorite place to be

 caroline presented dan & i with a very special letter on thanksgiving day.
she read it out loud to us with a tender heart as dan and i smiled back and forth to each other over & over.
her letter listed several reasons why she was thankful we were her parents,
yet i think she was maybe unaware of the power behind one of the passages.
she wrote how thankful she was that she knew we'd never leave each other or divorce.
how loved that made her feel & the safety that gave her.

today is dan's birthday.
& caroline nailed it.
she nailed the two strongest character traits of her daddy.
his selfless love for us and his loyalty.

i have never known a more selfless person.

dan lays down his life for our family every day.
he lays down his desires, choices or preferences
and continually, joyfully, allows the other person,
who ever it may be,
to figuratively have the right of way.
whether it's his daughters
someone in traffic
people that i don't even like
constantly giving to the other person.

his loyalty to me
& to our children
has created a safe haven
whether it's within his strong yet gentle hugs
or within the structure of our home.
a loyalty that fills my heart
& i know he'll never leave or long to be elsewhere.

the last couple of months we have been a continual financial issues.
we needed to do some major landscaping after the power company cut down all our trees.
very expensive.
all four cars have needed work & yesterday he paid all the emissions on each of them.
we've had extra medical bills & vet bills
the water heater was replaced yesterday
and the heater and garage door went out on the same day.
the window in my car is stuck
sorority dues, dance recital fees and cheerleading payments.
& i resigned from my "real job"
& just life.
it's been a tight month.
yet he never complains or lashes out on us.

he is my constant encourager
he makes me feel like i'm miss america whether i'm in what i affectionately refer to as
my fatty stage or i'm training for a half marathon.
he calls me "beautiful"
and never makes fun of my cooking.
he acts like he truly enjoys living in a house full of white
 never leaves dirty clothes on the floor.
& the toilet seat has only been left up a handful of times in our marriage.
he knows eating out is my love language
& gives nightly back rubs.
he is perpetually kind.
to give you an example,
i had ran by the home of owner of the dog that attacked brinkley the other day.
she had agreed to pay the vet bill.
dan had to make a few visits there before they ever connected.
one time i asked him to swing by there but he didn't want to interupt their thanksgiving weekend.
last night he wanted to wait until "after dinner hours" to 'bother' them.
always thinking of the other person.
that same gentle kind spirit is how he always answers me and the girls 
anytime we "ask" him for money or tell him about a need.
always a kind response.

after we were married he adopted savannah, madison & emily.
he treats them & caroline equally
& loves on them like Jesus.
he truly shows them what the love of our Heavenly Father
is like.

happy birthday sweet man
right beside you is my favorite place to be.

Monday, November 28, 2011

before the decorations, around a thankful home

usually by the second week of November
i'm pretty antsy and begin to pull out all the storage boxes of Christmas decorations.
i love to have all my decorations up by the weekend after thanksgiving.

i peek into each box & decide what i will and won't use.
i love to change things up each year
& honestly find myself using less and less.
(much to my children's dismay!)

now don't feel sorry for them
or think they live with scrooge & i'm all bah hum bug.
they each have a tree in their room that they decorate themselves.
see, i don't have to be in full control. ha!

this year my November schedule has been thankfully full of photo sessions
so i didn't begin until we returned home from enjoying a wonderful
thanksgiving meal at my parent's home
with my brother and sister in law.

the tree was finished last night before we sent Savannah back to school
& i will soon start wrapping packages
( one of my favorite things).
but for today, a few glimpse around our home
before the decorations.
nothing fancy, no gorgeous table like edie's, but just real life
around our home.
i apologize there are no pictures of a giant turkey & all my family sitting around the table.
i was a little tired of taking pictures by that time & honestly, i think my girls enjoyed a break from the paparazzi!

ps, Brinkley is doing much better.
his wounds are healing nicely and he's almost walking without his limp, almost.
thank you for all your kind words!

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
   and his courts with praise;
   give thanks to him and praise his name.
 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
   his faithfulness continues through all generations.
psalm 100.4-5