Thursday, March 31, 2011

{Embrace} Seven Years and Cherry Blossoms

Dear Ayla,

The meaning of this moment is probably lost on you for right now, especially since you slept through most of it. But just as my participating in the Embrace movement is a way to record for you what your mommy looked and lived like when you were a baby, I want you to know your whole story, going back to how Mommy and Daddy fell in love.

Seven years ago this week, I was visiting friends in Washington, D.C. Two people I usually spent time with while here were Michael and John. This particular weekend Michael was busy, so John and I found things to do. (Now, I was not one of those girls you will meet who has more guy friends than girl friends, I just happened to get along well - in a strictly platonic sense mind you - with these two guys.)

One of the things your dad, (oops, getting ahead of myself here) John and I did was go for a motorcycle ride. That night we met up with a group of friends for dinner. After dinner, John said goodnight to me with a "holy half hug" (I'll tell you all about this later) and told me, "You're such a blessing."

(Yeah. Exactly!)

The next day, a beautiful spring Sunday, during church I noticed what an amazing smile John had.


Since Michael was still busy that afternoon, John and I decided to go for a run around the National Mall.

Now, here's where it gets good. I had just trained for and run a half-marathon, so I was in pretty awesome shape. John, on the other hand, hadn't been running so much. Let's just say, I kicked his butt!

That, and the beauty of the in-full-bloom cherry blossoms surrounding this city's beautiful monuments and memorials, made this one of my favorite runs in my entire life. Afterwards, John and I rested under one of the trees and told each other our life stories, neither of us having any idea that soon and forever after this day our life stories would be intertwined.
(Photo taken March 28, 2004)

I told John on our way home that this was the kind of day to fall in love. I meant fall in love with Washington, D.C., of course, but we have to watch our words, baby girl!
Young John in his old Jeep Wrangler (Photo taken March 28, 2004)
Two weeks later we started dating, 16 months later we got married, and nearly 7 years later we were blessed with you.

So you see, my precious jewel, this is why your mommy and daddy will always try to take you to see the cherry blossoms. You never know, maybe you'll meet your own love there someday!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011



I had so much fun with some pictures I took out in my back yard today, the brilliant photo-editing website, Picnik, and these quotes from the Quote Garden.

(I also changed my header and FB profile pictures in the same way)

(Oh, you don't do Facebook? Ok, here it is.)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

One thing I love about... Sundays

I go to a mom's group every other Monday.

I go to a women's Bible study every Thursday.

In both of these settings, I get to see my lady friends interact with their and other's children. And I love this and learn so much from them.

But here's one thing I love about Sundays:

What do you love about Sundays?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday night confessions

The clean clothes are in the laundry basket, so her dirty clothes are piling up on the floor.

The dishes in the dishwasher are clean, so the dirty dishes are piling up in the sink.

I didn't like the sweet potato pie that much when we had it last night, but I still ate another piece tonight.

I wore really uncomfortable boots tonight because I didn't feel like going back up two flights of stairs to change my socks

I didn't update Facebook for two days after my baby was born, but I'm obsessively checking it to get updates on my two friends having babies tonight (one down, one to go!!).

Gratuitous cute baby picture

This is what my baby girl has started doing while she's eating. Laughing and talking to me instead of actually eating. I absolutely love her!! (The confession part? I took this picture while nursing her in a dressing room at TJ Maxx. She had other customers laughing with how much she was enjoying her meal!)

Your turn....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

{Embrace} My luck

I decided to join my sister in the {Embrace the Camera} thing she does on Thursdays. I don't know if I'll do it every week, but I got a cute picture of me and my lucky charm today, so I'm jumping in!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Every Day Ayla - Month Two

I couldn't find a good song for the slideshow this month, so I decided to just do this as a photo collage.

And as a bonus, here's Month One as a collage, too!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


The good news:

John's still here!

The ambiguous news:

We have no idea when he's leaving.

Government bureaucracy, red tape, blah blah blah .

We're (still) cherishing every day we have together, trying to live as normally as possible with the knowledge (and lack of) that he could be leaving any day. 

I believe that even this was known to God and is part of the necessary equipping for what is to come. What if we always lived every day watching and waiting for what God has for us in that place where we are? How much more intentional would we be in conversations and relationships if they could be the reason we are "waiting?" How much more quickly to obey would we be?

We say we trust in God's timing, but then we act as if timing is ours.  (I can't be the only one who's felt that impatience and frustration when things don't go according to my plan. Right?)

So, that's where we are. Waiting and learning and loving.

How are you doing?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Random helpfulness

I've been doing lots of laundry lately. In doing so, I have been looking at lots of tags and realized I had no idea what most of those little symbols mean.

You probably already know or don't care, but I'm going to tell you anyway. That's just the kind of person I am. (Emphasis on the kind!)

You are welcome!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The answer is no

(to the question on her shirt)

I have a fun new way to procrastinate. I have a daughter. And she must be photographed. So, when I don't feel like doing anything else, I take pictures of her. Today I thought I would show off a cute t-shirt her Aunt Nikki gave her, a cute hat Grandma bought and the pretty blanket Miss Jayci made.

Here's what we got:

I finally cracked the code and got these:

So, although I don't think she could be any cuter, I have a feeling she will.

(And I'm ok with that!)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Now is later

I have been reminded that I promised to show you what we got each other for Valentine's Day.

And I will remind those people (moms and sisters mostly) that I said I would post it later, and later is whenever I say it is. And I say it's now.


I got John this Willow Tree figurine, because we have the couple, the pregnant mom and the mom with new baby, and he needed some representation up in our collection! Also, I had to get it because it looks like it was modeled after one of the pictures we love from Ayla's newborn photo shoot (even down to the colors!):

John got me this Lisa Leonard necklace. 

"Immah" is Hebrew for mother, the lesser known counterpart to "Abba." It also can mean, "with her," which takes on multiple meanings for us this year.

Ayla got her daddy the picture frame and picture you see in that first picture above. I'll be posting more pictures from her photo shoot in future blogs, but you can see several more on our talented photographer, Ryan Zook's, website. 

God got us all a new stroller (you can read the story here), so we all did pretty well!

Did you get or give anything fun or meaningful?

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