Friday, January 30, 2009

My Husband Rocks!

3x5 – A little snapshot of Chris
3 categories
5 things for each category
A glimpse of how wonderful Chris really is

5 ways he rocked this week:
  1. Gave me a foot massage
  2. Washed the dishes several times.
  3. Put Willow Grace to bed.
  4. Helped me get everything together each morning to get out the door with Willow Grace
  5. How he appreciated things I did like cooking or doing the laundry
5 things he does so much better than I do:
  1. Making sweet tea
  2. Building fires
  3. Fixing things around the house
  4. Working on computers
  5. Listening
5 things I love about him:
  1. The way he looks – his hair, his smile, his eyes….
  2. How wonderfully silly he can be
  3. The sound of his voice – either talking or singing
  4. His creativity and storytelling
  5. His intelligence and his logical way of looking at things
(looking dapper the day we wed)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

100 Things I've Done

I found this over at Katy Lin’s blog, and thought I'd play along. Everything that is in BOLD I've done. Let me know if you decide to play along as well.

1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland.
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo.
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you're not sick.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a marathon.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagra Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to truly be satisfied.
38. Seen the leaning tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo's David.
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served in a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Gotten flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp.
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the changing of the guards in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book.
81. Been to the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the paper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had Chicken pox.
89. Saved someone's life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a lawsuit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.
100. Read an entire book in one day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Willow Grace Wednesday

18 months ago yesterday our sweet little angel came into our lives. Here's her first profesional photo:
I really can't believe it was that long ago!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Need This Today

Lamentations 3:22-23
“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Husband Rocks!

“To love all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one…. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglement; lock it in a safe casket or coffin of selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable…. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all dangers of love is – –Hell.” (C.S. Lewis)

Marriage is not easy. It’s not for the faint of heart. It takes real work and determination. There is no autopilot. On those days when I lose sight of the bliss, of the blessing, that God has given me in my marriage, I’m tempted to abandon myself to the business of life, to stop trusting (both in my husband and God), and to carefully lock my heart away – just like C.S. Lewis talked about in the above quote. Yes, I am tempted, but I refuse to give in or to give up.

I am committed to being vulnerable and submitting my heart to be broken. Love is worth it. My marriage is worth it. My rockin’ husband is worth it.

This week Katy Lin over at the great adventure gave us the prompt, “Tell us about a time that your spouse went out of his way to serve you and love you sacrificially.”

Really, I could literally recount hundreds of times that Chris has put his own interests aside and scrounged up the energy or the will to do something for me. It’s in the little things that he does for me every day – cleaning the kitchen, putting the baby to bed, building me a fire, warming up my car on chilly mornings, getting up early to help me get out the door with the baby, always asking me what he can do to help me…. The list could go on and on. The cool thing is that I know it’s not just because he’s a nice guy. Really, I wouldn’t characterize him as a “nice guy;” nice guys don’t seem very strong to me. Chris IS strong. I guess I would say he’s a big tough guy with a tender heart. Really, the truest motivation behind those acts of kindness is because he really does love our daughter and me. That kind of love means that he really does rock!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Willow Grace Wednesday

Yeah, so I'm late on posting again! I meant to do it last night, but Chris came home with a raging headache, and I just spent my time taking care of him and Willow Grace.

Here's a few pics from our time in Gatlinburg this last weekend.

We lounged on the bed each night while we read our books. I love reading to her every night, and she loves books!
Just so you know, she's not all smiles all the time ... just most of the time. I can't help it; I think she's cute even when she's sad.
She just needed a little Daddy attention!

I wish you could see the snow falling. Just before we left it started to snow. Since it was just the three of us, Chris took this picture himself of our little happy family.

I have a cute little story from last night. Chris went upstairs to rest, and I stayed down playing with Willow Grace, cleaning up the kitchen, and tending to a few other chores. I also had American Idol on. During the commercials I was busy in the kitchen, and Willow Grace wanted to be right with me. As soon I heard the intro music after each commercial, I would say, "It's back on," and head back to the living room. Willow Grace would stop whatever she was doing, yell "Back on!" and chase after me. We sat on the couch together watching, and she was completely enraptured. Such a cutie!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Weekend Getaway

Chris, Willow Grace, and I spent a restful weekend in Gatlinburg. Since most of the pics we took were of Willow Grace, I'm going to post them tomorrow.

One of the best things about the weekend was the lack of agenda. We didn't really want to do anything but relax and spend time together. We only left our villa a couple times and not for very long. For most of our time there we kept the fire lit and spent our time hanging out in the living room. We viewed about a half dozen movies, played with Willow Grace, took an indulgently long and restful afternoon nap on Sunday, fiddled around on the computer, and just hung out. We only ate out once, taking breakfast Sunday morning at the Log Cabin Pancake House across the street from the resort; the rest of our meals were cooked in our villa. All in all, it was a nice weekend, and I'm sorry that we had to leave so soon. I'm looking forward to the day that we can spend a whole week there.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Husband Rocks! Friday

This week's prompt from Katy Lin at the great adventure is a two parter.

Part 1: List at least one thing your husband did or said in the past week that reminded you why you love him.

I can't just pick one thing! He tells me multiple times every day that he loves me. He's always willing to help me out. Just last night he happily (and without being asked) did the bedtime routine with Willow Grace and cleaned up downstairs while I busied myself with getting the packing started for our little weekend getaway. This morning it was 2 degrees outside! He went out to warm the car up for Willow Grace and me and drove it around a bit to make sure that it was nice and cozy for us!

The three of us are going away to Gatlinburg for the weekend, and I just can't wait. We're not doing anything touristy -- just hanging out in our villa, watching movies, cooking food, playing with Willow Grace, and sleeping. It'll just be so nice to get away. I love traveling with my Sweetheart!

Part 2: Share a "Generous Wife Tip" (based on The Generous Wife)

One thing I do for my husband is to make his lunch every morning. He's a simple sandwich and chips kind of guy, but I try to add a special piece of candy or homemade cookies when I can. Every once in a while I'll add a little love note. He always tells me how much he loves my notes. One of the great things about making his lunches for him is that it not only shows him how much I love him but also saves us lots of cash which is another way I help to take care of our family and show him I love him.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Willow Grace Wednesday

Yeah, I'm a day late on this, but better late than....
This week I thought I'd feature Willow Grace having fun with others.

Of course, she always has fun with her mommy!

We had a play date with Kassidy and Addy. Their mom Ralanna was gently spinning the three girls around in her office chair, and they loved it! Such cuties! (See the bottom of Willow Grace's shoes? Yep, that's duct tape! Tip: Duct tape gives slippery shoes traction!)

This is Willow Grace's Wednesday morning buddy, Sylvie. Every Wednesday morning I bring Willow Grace to work with me where Donitta, my mother-in-law, picks her up. I'm not sure who has more fun, Sylvie or Willow Grace!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Brief Glimpse of Home Life

Yesterday neither Chris nor I felt very well. I had been up most of the night, only getting about 2-3 hours of sleep. So, we played hooky from church and just lounged around all day in our pj’s in front of the TV and a lovely fire Chris built for us. Finally, as evening drew near and our feelings of ill health declined, we decided (and by we I mean me ) that we had to do a few things to get the house in order before the work week started. I busied myself with vacuuming, making dinner, and tending to the laundry. Chris straightened the living room and cleaned up the kitchen after dinner. After dinner, I was folding and putting away Willow Grace’s clothes when I heard her distinct hysterical giggles coming from the living room downstairs. To my surprise I also heard the classic Wham song “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” Apparently Willow Grace LOVED the song and danced her little heart out with her daddy! I’m sorry I missed seeing it, but I have to tell you that listening to them was priceless!

Friday, January 09, 2009

My Husband Rocks! Friday

This week I’m using the prompt from Katy Lin’s blog the great adventure to brag on my fabulous husband. It’s a questionnaire about our husbands. Katy Lin is the genius that started My Husband Rocks Friday! Check out her blog!

Link1. Where did you meet?
He was my neighbor. He lived downstairs in my apartment building.

2. How long did you date b/f you were married?
We dated for a year and a seven months before we were married. We were engaged for six of those months.

3. What does he do that surprises you?
Sometimes he brings me flowers “just because.” He’s also walks very quietly and often, without meaning to, sneaks up on me and just about makes me jump out of my skin!

4. What is your favorite quality of his?
He is so generous, always willing to help anyone out.

5. What is your favorite feature of his?
I absolutely love his eyes; it’s amazing how much he communicates through them. He also has really nice hair. ☺

6. Does he have a nickname for you?
He calls me “Kay-Kay” just like the rest of my family, but my favorite endearing nickname that he uses for me is “Angel.” I absolutely love it when he calls me that!

7. What is his favorite food?
He loves Chinese and has told me that he would eat it every day if I let him.

8. What is his favorite sport?
He’s not really a sports fanatic, but he does enjoy watching the Titans games with me.

9. When and where was your first kiss?
I don’t remember the exact date. Can you believe that? However, I do remember that we were sitting on the couch in his apartment.

10. What do you like to do together?
Everything! We love taking drives and walks together, listening to audio books, watching movies, and just hanging out. I really did marry my best friend!

11. Do you have any children?
He have one sweet little girl, Willow Grace.

12. Does he have a hidden talent?
He can sing. I love when he sings and wish that he did it more. I also wish that he’d play his guitar more. He’s also a talented writer. I fell in love with him because when we were still just friends he would tell me amazing stories.

13. Who said "I love you" first?
He did; I would never say it first. We were on one of our many drives on the Natchez Trace.

14. What is his favorite type of music?
He mostly listens to country and jazz, but he enjoys most types of music.

15. What do you admire most about him?
I think this is closely related to the “favorite quality” question, but I’ll pick another quality. He is really devoted to his family, not just me and Willow Grace but his entire family. He really would do anything for them.

16. Do you think he will read this?
Of course, he always reads my blog.☺

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Today, as I sat at my reception desk in the middle school lobby, I heard a student coming in the front door, a distinct rattle issuing from her hand. It was the sound of a brown bag lunch. I love that sound. I love the beginning of each semester when stores have isles dedicated to school supplies. I always want to stock up on folder, pencils, and notebook paper.

I hated middle and high school.

Sure, I had good moments, but, for the most part, it was, for me, a mighty struggle. I attended a private, college-prep school, and most of the kids there came from upper middle class to high-class families. I always felt somewhat like Molly Ringwold from Pretty in Pink. I was the poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and I just didn’t fit. I didn’t travel to Aspen for Christmas or go on vacations to Europe in the summer. I didn’t receive a brand new car when I turned 16. I didn’t go for weekend shopping trips to Atlanta or Chicago; in fact, I almost never shopped at the mall or nice department stores. I didn’t attend parties every Friday and Saturday night. I certainly endured a fair share of ridicule. However, it was determined not to let it beat me, and I emerged from it all with a solid education, a thicker skin, and a stronger character.

It’s interesting to me that I actually like school so much. Perhaps it’s because my own education was book-ended so well. I loved both elementary school and college. From the time that I was a young girl, I wanted to be a teacher. I loved being a teacher. I still want to teach; after teaching for 10 years, I miss it, just about everything about it, but mostly the relational side of it. I always hoped to make the school experience better for the students than it was for me. It bothers me just a bit telling people that I’m not currently teaching, but it’s not what I’m supposed to be doing right now. I know that. God has a different purpose for me to fulfill right now, and I really am content to be in the middle of His plan, right where I’m supposed to be. The experience has been quite rewarding already. Of course, it’s also been quite nice to leave my work at work and have my home life be just about my family right now. But, more importantly, I have felt God using me in other’s lives. What more could I ask for?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Willow Grace Wednesday

We sent New Year's card instead of Christmas ones. I just couldn't decide between these two pics, so I used both.

Monday, January 05, 2009

101 Things and A Movie Review

Today begins my 1001 days for my 101 Things To Do in 1001 Days. You can find my list in the side bar or here. I’m really excited about this for two main reasons. 1. I’ve been feeling a lack of purpose and couldn’t figure out how to remedy this. 2. The structure of this plan gives me 2 ¾ years in order to accomplish these goals. Totally doable.

It almost feels like I’m embarking on an adventure. In many ways, I think I am.

Yesterday, Chris and I celebrated the anniversary of our first date by going to the movies. We took in an afternoon showing of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. What a phenonminal film! We went to see it because I’d heard a reviewer urge people to see it on the big screen due to the fact that the cinematography was brilliantly done. I must say that he was quite right. This is certainly a movie worthy of the price of the ticket. The film can also boast an engaging plot and superb acting. I’ve often felt that Brad Pitt’s personal life tends to overshadow his career, which is quite sad. Whatever one might say about whatever else is reported about him, I do believe him to be quite a gifted actor. And, of course, Kate Blanchett was as engaging as ever. In truth, I felt, on the whole, the entire film was beautifully acted. I sincerely hope that the Oscars did this film it’s just reward(s).

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 02, 2009

My Husband Rocks! Friday

This Sunday will be the fifth anniversary of our first date. I remember exactly what I was wearing; I know I blushed when he told me how pretty he thought I looked. There was a chill in the night air, and so even though the lobby was packed tight we wedged ourselves into a corner to wait for a table at PF Changs. He held my hand, and I could feel the tension in his stance, like he was clearly declaring to others that I was off limits. After dinner, we thoroughly enjoyed browsing around the Borders bookstore next door and reveling in our mutual love of books.

We had been friends for three years and seemed to just stumble into falling for one another. It was later that we started to see God's hand in all of it.

This is us just four months after we started dating. We were out for one of our many leisurely drives on the Natchez Trace. We had NO idea what we were in for, but the ride certainly has been worth it. I'm so proud to call myself Chris's wife. I am so blessed to raise a child with him. And I'm looking forward to the next five (and the next fifty) years with him.

I love you, my Chris!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

101 Things in 1001 Days.

A lot of people are looking at making resolutions differently, and I love the idea. Check out the mission and the directions below. My list is below, but I'm also going to post it in my side bar in order to keep it on my mind.

101 Things in 1001 days - Check out Maci's blog and Katy Lin's blog if you want more ideas for your own 101 things.

The Mission:Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:Tasks must be specific (i.e. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (i.e. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Some common goal setting tips:
1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.
2. Stay Focused. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.
3. Welcome Failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.
4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.
5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.


1. Memorize a verse a week from the Bible.
2. Read the Bible every day.
3. Read through the entire Bible once a year.
4. Begin and end each day with prayer.
5. Pray with Chris before bed each night.
6. Listen to at least two teaching series each year.
7. Read at least three non-fiction Christian books each year.
8. Be consistent with my grateful journal. At least 3 times a week, write down 3 things that I can be grateful for.
9. Increase our tithe/offerings.
10. Choose at least one new ministry to support with prayer and financially.
Mind Matters
11. Finish writing at least one novel.
12. Send that novel to a publisher.
13. Read all of the books on my Shelfari “Plan to Read” list.
14. One day of each week, leave the TV off. Instead, read or play games.
15. Memorize all the presidents in order.
16. Memorize all fifty states and their capitals.
17. Reread The Chronicles of Narnia.
18. Reread at least 3 classic novels a year.
19. Read at least 3 classic novels I’ve never read each year.
20. Read 101 books.
21. Write at least two children’s books.
22. Find an illustrator for my children’s books.
23. Send those books to a publisher.

Family /Marriage
24. Get Chris to teach me to drive stick shift.
25. Go on at least one date a month with Chris.
26. Have another baby.
27. Go to the Nashville Zoo with Chris and Willow Grace.
28. Create a living will.
29. Go on at least one vacation a year with Chris.
30. Go hiking with Chris.
31. Go camping.
32. Send birthday cards to every member of my family.
33. Do something fun with my sister once a month.
34. Do something fun with my mom at least once a month.
35. Go on a girls-only weekend with my mom and sister.
36. Invite friends or relatives over for dinner at least once a month.
37. Watch one new movie a week with Chris after Willow Grace has gone to bed.
38. Plan a dinner with my parents once a month.
39. Plan a dinner with Chris’s parents once a month.
40. Complete the Love Dare.

41. Reach my goal weight.
42. Maintain my goal weight for 6 months (unless I get pregnant, of course)
43. Drink a gallon of water a day.
44. Eliminate colas during the week.
45. Designate sweets for one weekday and weekends only.
46. Follow the 3-Hour Diet by Gorges Cruise.
47. Keep a food journal.
48. Workout 3-5 times a week every week.
49. Walk up/down the stairs at work several times each day.
50. Add more fruits, vegetables and salads to our meals.
51. Take my vitamins every morning.
52. Add Vitamin D to my vitamins.
53. Add Cod Liver Oil to my vitamins.
54. Take fiber.

55. Use my crock pot at least once a month.
56. Have the carpets cleaned.
57. Install wood flooring downstairs.
58. Touch up all the marks on our walls.
59. Cook at least one new meal a month.
60. Plan all of our dinners at least a month in advance.
61. Have a 16x20 made of our wedding photo, frame it, and hang it above the mantle.
62. Frame the 10x13 3, 6, 9, & 12 month shots of Willow Grace and hang them in the stairway.
63. Drag out all my scrapbooking materials and start scrapping again.
64. Fill all of the scrapbook albums I own by the end of 1001 days.
65. Finish creating my own marinara sauce.
66. Use my bread maker at least four times a year.
67. Find a place for everything we own and maintain order in the house for two weeks straight.
68. Learn to make homemade biscuits and gravy.

69. Eliminate all credit card debt.
70. Eliminate all debt not connected to our home.
71. Build our savings to at least 4x what it is now.
72. Create a college fund for Willow Grace.

73. Plan and have at least 2 women’s appreciation teas.
74. Buy 10 gifts for others “just because.”
75. Get and use a recycling bin for cardboard, plastics, and glass.
76. Walk for a cure.
77. Participate in the Angel Tree every Christmas.
78. Invite our neighbors over for dinner.
79. Volunteer to feed the homeless at Woodcock with Dad.
80. Always volunteer when the opportunity arises to prepare a meal for someone in need.

81. Finish 5 paintings
82. Change my blog’s appearance to something fun.
83. Get recertified in CPR/First Aid.
84. Buy some roller skates and use them often.
85. Go ice skating at least twice a year.
86. Watch the sunrise at least twice a year.
87. Watch the sunset at least twice a year.
88. Get Eva Joy to teach me how to crochet.
89. Complete a crochet project.
90. Complete at least three cross stitch projects.
91. Learn to sew.
92. Sew an outfit for my daughter.
93. Learn to write in calligraphy.
94. Take a gun safety class.
95. Get my license to carry a gun.
96. Go to a drive-in movie at least once a year.
97. Take guitar lessons.
98. Go to a Titans game.
99. Go to a Sounds game.
100. Each Christmas, be sure to set aside one night to go and look at lights.
101. Write for my blog at least three times a week.