Ice, Ice Baby

This week has been full of lots of fun!!  But don’t take my word for it…let the pictures tell the story.

I know this picture is blurry, but I wanted to show you Kinsley’s favorite part about being a big sister (and having a little sister and not a little brother).  She gets to dress her up like a princess!!

 Painting for her first time with a paint set she received for Christmas.  She loved it!  She “painted” Cinderella’s castle (funny thing, we could kind of see it).  Then, we went to the Children’s Museum on MLK day.  Good idea, because it was nice to see Kinsley loving it since she is older and more aware than the first time we went.  And courtesy of Ed’s parents, she got a membership for Christmas.  Bad idea, because every kid in Raleigh was there since there was no school in session that day.

The weather is crazy!  I know it probably is wherever you are reading this from, too.  Just last week we had warm, play outside, short-sleeve kind of weather and then this week, we get an ice storm.  Yea, just ice other than a few flakes of snow.  So, when Kinsley saw those first few flakes of snow and then lots of ice, she said “I need to go outside” and proceeded to get her winter clothes on (don’t worry, this isn’t what we would actually dress her in to go outside).  She was very proud of herself.  But regardless, we are enjoying the white, even if it is just ice.  Here is a few pics so you can enjoy it too!















The other big thing this week, little miss Emerson is 3 months old!  Seriously, where has time gone?  It feels like she should only be a month old or something.  She loves to be talked to and to talk back, giving out big smiles, laying flat and kicking up a storm, eating (she is way bigger than Kinsley at this age), getting a bath and splashing everyone that’s around her, and being swaddled.  She is sleeping about 7-9 hours straight most nights (last night was not like that so I am sipping coffee as I write 🙂 ).  She is so sweet and such a blessing from God!  We love her and can’t get enough.


I am tired.  Maybe because it is the end of a very long day.  Maybe its because I stayed up too late last night reading a really good book and am paying for it today (my child didn’t get the memo to sleep later because mom stayed up too late).  But maybe because there are lots of things weighing on my heart and mind tonight.  If you were to ask me why I am tired, here is what I would say:

I am tired of finding out that people we love are struggling with cancer, depression, illnesses, etc.  I am tired of always having to clean something, fix something, do something.  I am tired of talking with friends who are heartbroken because their expectations were not met.  I am tired of dealing with the unknowns of what will happen with Ed’s knee injury (doctor appointment tomorrow).  I am tired of churches, ministries, christian groups trying to compete with each other – if we are doing and going after the same thing, lets do it together and stop all this competition mess – enough worrying about whose name may be getting the praise.  I am tired of living in a free country but being told I can’t share my faith openly on college campuses.  I am tired of disciplining my child day in and day out for the disobedience – I know this is what the Lord has for parents but come on, just listen already!  I am tired of being tired.

I just wanna curl on the couch for days and read a few good fiction novels and watch a few good romantic movies.  But that’s sin.  Because I am turning to those things to give me rest and help me “check out” from the world, when Christ calls me to come to him for rest.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matt 11:28-30

So I will take my burdens to Christ in prayer.  I will keep thanking him for all the things that He has done, that He has made, and that He has promised.  I will thank him for all the blessings in my life, because they are numerous even when my feelings tell me otherwise.  I will keep on keeping on.  And I will continue to pray “Come quickly Jesus, Come.”

I wanna brag for a minute..

I wanna brag for a minute on my Granny.  I love her dearly.  She is the rock of our family – faithfully praying for each of us, encouraging us, loving us, leading us spiritually toward the Lord, and constantly busy doing something – either making fourteen layer chocolate and caramel cakes which she sells, doing things online (yes, this rockin’ granny is online), or crafting it up.  And all this at a not so young age (not sure how old she is..whoops)!

When we moved to NC last year, we bought the girls a new shower curtain, rug, towel set to go in their bathroom with cute frogs and monkeys.  Then, I wanted something to go on the wall right above the toilet.  I looked, and I looked, and I looked literally everywhere and I could not find anything I like.  Then I searched Etsy and found someone with the same set and because they too couldn’t find anything they liked, they painted canvases and are now selling them.  And the price?  Um..ridiculously expensive.  So what did I do?  Call my granny.  She had painted me some canvases for Kinsley’s nursery when I found something I liked on another women’s blog but she wasn’t selling them.  I bought the paints and canvases and then turned it over to her.  And here was the result.















Did I mention that she is talented?  Um, yeah.  And here is the picture of Kinsley’s nursery canvases that she did.

And here is something she gave us for Christmas this year to put soap/whatever in.











Yes, this lady could literally paint a rock.  Oh, wait, she did.

So proud of my granny for so many different things and in so many different ways.  So proud the Lord blessed me with her as my granny.

Although I don’t feel I am nearly as crafty as her (in some ways I am but not in the painting department), I have made it part of my goals for this year to do one new project each month.  That could be a recipe, a sewing project, a DIY project, or just a crafty project.  Pinterest and are going to be my inspiration for a lot of things.

January’s project is/was homemade hair detangler (need this like crazy as my hair grows out) and slow cooker barbeque chicken drumsticks (in the crock pot as I write this).  The results of my hair detangler are:  it works great!!!  So easy to make and so easy to use.  Win Win!  Some people complained of it getting hard to spray after a few times so we will see.  Yes, in case you read the bottle, I didn’t have an empty spray bottle or hair spray bottle but I did have this empty bottle of “Love Spell” by Victoria Secret.  One thing is for sure, it will make my hair smell extra good :).






The Power of Prayer

Prayer works.  I know this may be like “no duh” to you, but it is so fun when you see that firsthand.  What am I talking about?  Well, we had two answered prayers this past week.

1 – Our dear friends, Rich and Becky Duffield, who also happened to be our team leaders back in Kentucky are pregnant (well she is)!!  This is a huge deal.  After walking with them through years and years of trying, then seeing them adopt a crazy little boy named Sawyer in record time (really neat story that was totally the Lord), the Lord has blessed them with another child.  If you know her story in depth and why they were told they probably wouldn’t be able to have children, you would know that it was a one in a million chance for this to happen – good thing we serve a mighty God!

2 – I started getting sick around Christmas time and when we got to Encounter, I knew I had a cold but I pushed on because I knew that I had to do my job there – besides, mommies don’t get breaks.  Then, Kinsley started having a runny nose and complaining of her throat hurting, but no fever.  I thought she had gotten my little cold and it was no big deal.  I wasn’t concerned about Emerson because, as I had heard time and time again, babies hardly ever get sick when they are nursing. In the meantime, my throat kept hurting, and I started coughing like crazy.

Then, a few days after being home from Encounter, Kinsley started coughing.  Then, Emerson started coughing.  Except Emerson’s cough was really, really nasty sounding.  On top of that, we started noticing congestion and that she was overly fussy.  Still no fever for either of them.  We took Emerson to the doctor (she had to get 2 month shots on top of all of this!) and the doctors and nurses noticed right away that her cough sounded like RSV, that she was congested, and that she was pulling in around her ribs/stomach struggling to breathe some.  They also diagnosed her with a double ear infection (who knew they could get them that young??).  We ended up going back to the doctor the next day because she was running a fever and not wanting to eat much at all.  They tested her, confirmed it was RSV, that she was struggling, and that it would probably get worse in the coming days because it usually peaks on day 4-5 (this was day 3).  Since there is not treatment, they told us what to watch out for and sent us home with strict instructions to call them immediately if we noticed any breathing problems.

Talk about a concerned mama.  I watched her like a hawk (literally stared her down all the time) and didn’t leave her side for a long time.  When your child is struggling to breathe, and you hear the doctors say it will probably get worse and because she officially has RSV, it kicks everything up a notch and makes it way more serious, therefore, they are concerned, anxiousness can kick into high gear.  Ed and I knew the only thing we could do was pray for her and watch her.  We sent out emails to our ministry partners, family, friends, and posted it on Facebook so everyone would pray in hopes that she would get better and we would not have to be admitted to the hospital.

Fast-forward to Monday – although she still wasn’t eating better and was still coughing and congested, her breathing was better and her ear infection was clearing up (only in time for Kinsley to get sicker and them to confirm that she too has RSV).  I seriously cannot begin to tell you what a miracle this is.  We know two other babies – one is 6 months old and one is 1 month old – who got RSV, and both ended up in the hospital.  The fact that Emerson didn’t, nor did she get sicker when they said she would, is a miracle and an answered prayer.  RSV congestion and cough lasts forever (really only like 3 weeks but being cooped up inside that long makes it feel way that way!!), but they say to keep them away from people like a week or so.

This semester, my prayer has been that God would show up in big ways and do things that we can look at and say “Only God could do that”.  Though having 2 really sick kids (and a sick mama) isn’t the way we wanted to start 2013, the Lord has already answered that prayer!  Thank you for praying, caring, and encouraging us through this!!

“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” – Matthew 18:19




Christmas (Round 2) and New Years

We pray you all had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!!  We sure did.  Christmas is such fun with two sweet, sassy little girls!  The pictures say it so much better than I do, so I will start there:

One of my favorite things about Christmas is getting to see family.  Kristin (my sister-in-law) came and had lunch with us and my aunt and cousin (whom I only get to see a few times a year) came down from Columbia, SC  – they all got to see Emerson for the first time and visit.  Loved it!  Then, that same day, we had Christmas with my dad’s side of the family.  Such good food, lots of laughter, but oh so loud!  Poor Emerson had no idea what hit her.  We did the auction exchange and thankfully, everyone (well most everyone) ended up with something they actually wanted (not always true in past years).

On Christmas Eve, we let Kinsley open presents from her Aunt Kristin and Uncle Alex.  They couldn’t join us this year because my brother is working in retail in Georgia (not for long as he just got hired on with a police department and will be back doing what he loves) but they sent gifts ahead of time.  Then, we had an oyster roast with my parents, aunt, and grandmother.  I so look forward to this whenever we are home for Christmas.  I love steamed oysters and they are one of those delicacies that you don’t get all the time.  They were so fresh as my dad had just caught (don’t know that you can catch oysters as they just lay there but not sure what to call it?) them that week.  Welcome to the south and living on the coast!! Then, we had to leave Santa cookies and milk and the reindeer a carrot.  This is what Kinsley awakened to the next morning.

Gone!  Well, except the carrot, which was bitten.  Poor Santa ate the cookies, drank the milk, and almost died choking on the carrot so we are glad he didn’t finish it.  She loved that it wasn’t there! Santa also left her and Emerson some fun presents beside his empty plate and cup!

Then, we read the Christmas story, ate yummy Christmas breakfast (another of my favorite parts – yes, I notice a pattern that my favorite parts have to do with food 🙂 )- sausage and egg casserole, crock pot grits, and monkey bread, and opened presents.


Here is her opening Jessie from Toy Story – the only present she actually asked for this Christmas.  She was excited – can you tell?  She said “My Jessie” when she saw her.  The best part about having a sister who is a baby?  She got to open all of her presents too – though we had to keep reminding her they weren’t hers.  Even infant toys thrill this toddler.






Checking Jessie’s heart with her new doctor’s kit.  Then, it was time to dance!














This is her Advent Event (up until Christmas day) – yes, even this had to travel to Gammy and Pop-Pop’s house.




Then, we came back home, dumped our stuff, repacked, and headed to our winter conference with Cru called Encounter.  Together with over 800 students and 100 staff, we learned about and worshipped the Lord, heard about what the Lord is doing in our partnerships overseas (and how we can go, give, and pray for them), fellowshipped with each other, participated in a day of outreach handing out boxes of love to less fortunate in Greensboro, and rang in the new year by praying and then having a BIG dance party.  Nothing like it and never will I be able to celebrate New Years by myself after doing this year after year.

We had 9 students come from Eastern NC (in picture above) and close to 20 went to Impact Conference in New Orleans – it was so neat to see how the Lord impacted them this week.  Needless to say, we have loved this Christmas season and Encounter, but we are ready to stay home for a bit.

Welcome 2013!!!