Saturday, February 28, 2009

A few wedding shots...

Wedding day is here...not time for lots of posting. But, I know some of you are dying for pictures. Let me tell you, friends. These past few days have been some of the best days of my life. More about some of the sweetest moments later. Here is a smattering a few of the fun moments so far...

Bridesmaid Love

Some of the girls at the Thursday night welcome dinner.

So, we passed this big watermelon on the side of the road. It made the 7:00 AM trip to Jackson airport WAY worth it!

Bridesmaid's Luncheon. Isn't my best friend just radient?!

C-LINE!! Love this kid! Best roomie ever! Chattanooga here we come!

The one and only...Amy Kerr. America's Junior Miss 2002.

The beautiful bride...what a blessing she has been to me and so many others.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Two Places at Once

I remember learning about the words omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient when I was in the 6th grade. Mr. Jamie and Ms. Becky asked if I would be willing to help them with a skit for Children's Church. I'm not going to lie...I jumped at the opportunity to do something other than "big church" for the week.

As a 12 year old, I was pretty intrigued with the whole idea of God being omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. At different times in my life, I've wanted to be present in all places, all powerful or all knowing. Right now, I am wishing I was omnipresent.

My bestest friend in the entire world is getting MARRIED on Saturday. To say I'm thrilled would be quite the understatement. I'm actually driving over in an hour so I can be there to help...and then there is quite the lineup of events to attend. I've been looking forward to it for months...I can hardly wait!!

It would have been WONDERFUL if Natalie's wedding was the ONLY thing going on this weekend, but that was not the case. At the same time, a group of about 175 students, leaders and volunteers will be in my hometown participating in a Disciple Now weekend through my church.

I love Disciple Now. Loved it as a teen and love it even more as a leader. As a leader you have the opportunity to speak truth to a group of teenagers, listen, answer questions, guide them, cry with them, lead them into a deeper more intimate relationship with The Heavenly Father. My heart breaks that I can't be there with those kids...many of whom I used to take care of. I hate that I'm not able to be there, but that's just how it is.

Don't get me wrong. I know the place I need to be is right beside my best friend and that's RIGHT WHERE I WANT TO BE. Really, I would NOT HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY.

In fact, if you want to know the truth. I'm glad that it worked out that both events happened at the same time. Why? Because I have been able to see growth in myself. I love it when we have the chance to see that we are learning! You see, last year I wasn't able to attend Disciple Now either. I was gone that weekend for work. I hated to miss it, but I didn't think much about it. When I found out the weekend coincided with Natalie's wedding; I knew I wasn't going to be able to help. However,this year, instead of just saying I wasn't able to be there I the Lord showed me that I could chose to help in another way and that's what I'm doing. I may not be leading a group, but I'm praying like it's my job. Literally, I have challenged myself to pray as though hired for the weekend to pray over those kids, homes, speakers, worship leaders and volunteers. I am praying that every person involved will ENCOUNTER the Heavenly Father like they never have before. Praying they will see that living for Christ is more than having a knowledge of Him. It is taking that knowledge and putting some ACTIONS with it.

I don't have the ability to be in more than one place at a time, but my heart does...and this weekend part of it will be in Brewton, Alabama and the other part will be in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How many kids do you want??

I've always loved baby-sitting. To this day, I love taking care of little ones! When I was growing up, I was asked by adults and peers alike, how many kids do you want?? Up through about 9th grade, the token answer was 8. I wanted 2 girls, quintuplets: girl, boy, girl, boy, girl AND another girl. 6 girls...2 boys...8 total. I don't really know where that came from, but it was what I wanted and I prayed for that for YEARS!

What I especially wanted was multiples. Now, after watching John and Kate Plus 8 every Monday for the last few years, I know it is a lot more difficult than I once thought. So, when I found out last fall that someone that I knew in REAL LIFE was going to be having quadruplets, I got so excited. Kate was two years older than me in school and everybody loved her. She is really one of the sweetest people ever. Not only is she going to be a great Mom, she is going to be the best Quad Mom ever!

Being from a small town has its perks. Everybody was all about those babies. THEY ARE HERE! I can hardly wait to go home and see blue and pink ribbons everywhere. Kate delivered 4 beautiful, healthy babies last Sunday. So many exciting things are going on in the lives of people I know and it just gets me all happy inside!

Oh...for those of you that were wondering....I don't really want 8 kids anymore. 4 would be LOVELY! I'm definitely hoping God comes through with some UNANSWERED prayers!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Leaving a Legacy

Exactly one month ago, I was sitting in a church. Normally, I love going to church, but this was a little different. This time, I was there not for a worship service or wedding, I was attending a funeral. Though the church was large, it packed with family and friends of Pete Pierson. Many called referred to him as "Coach Pete," but he was always Uncle Pete to me.

Uncle Pete was special. He loved the Lord with all of his heart and his actions reflected that. He never met a stranger. He lived out The Great Commission. He never had anything bad to say about anyone.

As I listened, I thought to myself, When I die, what would others say about me? Then I began to make a list of things that I would want them to say about me. I don't know how much longer I have on this earth; I pray that it is many years. However, we are not guaranteed tomorrow, and I am beginning to realize that though I am 24, I am already building a legacy.

So, what kind of legacy am I building? What do I want others to say about me? There are many things on my list, but towards the top is "She was a woman of prayer." Take a minute and think about it. I'm sure you can think of at least one person that you have met over the years that you would say is a woman of prayer. I've met a lot of these ladies in my lifetime and they never cease to amaze me.

I desire that in every situation---joyous or bleak---my first response would be to pray. Prayer isn't scary. In fact, it is just the act of communicating with our Heavenly Father. Sometimes prayer is spoken aloud, sometimes it is in your heart and sometimes it is written down...but they are all forms of prayer.

The Lord has really been working with me in this area the past few months. I'm finding how much more fulfilling it is to pray when you pray specifically. So, as I've been talking with friends and family I have been asking can I pray for you specifically this week? Oh my is so rewarding to pray for people specifically. There is just something about knowing that I am standing in the gap for family and friends. In the past few months, I have seen Him do some incredible things, and not just in my life...or my friends' lives...or in the lives of those I know.

Have you seen the button on the side that says "Praying for Harper?" If you haven't before, I encourage you to click on that button and read through some of her posts...especially the ones starting on January 16. What a privilege it was to lift up that little Harper...daughter of Scott and Kelly...none of whom I have ever met.

Let me be the first to say that I'm NOT a woman of prayer yet. In fact, just today one of those sweet friends that I call weekly to ask about her specific prayers called me and said "umm, yesterday was Thursday and you didn't call and ask me how you could pray for me this week." She's right, and I had no excuse. I totally forgot. Whoops. Yet even in that, I was thankful. Though she didn't say it with words, her actions showed that she knew her requests weren't falling on deaf ears. She knew that those specific requests were being lifted up to the Father.

Lord, thank you for putting in me the desire to be a woman of prayer. I pray that I will be faithful to call upon your name first, no matter the situation.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm going to risk a little embarassment...

or a LOT of embarrassment...and tell the bloggy world that sometimes I play pretend. Yes, I am 24 years old...but I am a firm believer that pretending is good for brain, and the soul for that matter!

You see, most of the time when I play pretend, it is because I'm thinking of what my life will be like...10 years, 5 years, next year, next day...doesn't matter. Other times, I find myself reliving my past and occasionally playing pretend so that I can what actually happened.

I recently drove by a house with some cute little girls out front selling Girl Scout cookies. Under any normal circumstance, I would pull over and buy a box or know contribute to the cause. :) But, since I knew I had a bridesmaid's dress that needed to be zipped at the end of the month, I passed them by. To be honest, while there is a pretty black dress that I need to fit into in less than two weeks, the fact that I had no cash or checks on me is what really kept me from purchasing.

Anyway...all that to say GS cookies...and just Girl Scouting in general have been on my mind recently. I always wanted to be a Girl Scout, but I was never was. My older sister was. My younger sister was. I wasn't. It's ok, Mom and Dad...I'm over the fact that I wasn't a Girl Scout.

What's funny is that I don't think I ever really cared to sell the cookies or do the crafts and activities. I just wanted to be able to wear my uniform to school with all of my colorful badges. I just wanted to be able to walk across the street with all of my fellow Scouters to the little troop hut after school.

When I was home earlier this year, I saw the hut. I took a picture. I pretended that I used to wear the uniform with all of the colorful badges. I pretended I was a Girl Scout.

Well...guess what. I've found out a way that I can take my pretending one step further. I have been doing a lot of cleaning in the past few days and I recently came across some recipes for Girl Scout cookies. No, they aren't THE recipes, but they are pretty durn good. I love to bake and want to bake some of these again, but I've got there's the matter of that little bridesmaid's dress...and if I do any baking and eating, the dress will definitely be too little.

Here's where you come in. What's your favorite kind of GS cookie? If it's one that I have the recipe for, I would be most delighted to bake them and send them your way. And yes...I will be playing pretend while I make them. For the record, I will probably be pretending that I am baking for my kid's bake sale! Yes, I am aware that I am not married nor do I have any kids. The joy of pretending!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's that time of year again...

Tax season is in full swing. Three reasons why I know this is the case:
  • I see ads for Turbo Tax everywhere I look
  • My accounting friends have no thankful that I changed my major to marketing!
  • This lovely character is waving to cars most days when I am driving home. Apparently it is the Statue of Liberty and passers by are supposed to see it and turn into the Liberty Tax building. I haven't seen any activity. Maybe the person in the suit should talk to the guys dressed up like Little Ceasar's men a few blocks down. Their business is always hopping!
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Have you filed your taxes yet? I have...or, my Dad has filed mine. I told him I would be happy to do them this year, but he insisted that he enjoys it. I'd hate to take away something he loves.
Now I'm just patiently awaiting my refunds. Really...this is one thing that I can be patient for...I know of too many others that aren't getting refunds at all. I'll take what I can get, whenever I get it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

I'm not really superstitious, so Friday the 13 doesn't really phase me. In fact, now that I'm taking a minute to think about has been a great day. Here's a quick briefing...

  • Watched the sun rise. BEAUTIFUL....not quite as good as the one I got to see at the beach last weekend, but there were still a lot of clouds. If you don't make a habit of taking the sunrise in, clouds are KEY.
  • Washed clothes...majorly needed as I don't remember the last time this was done
  • Organized my desk...the arranger in me absolutely LOVES to get things organized. It was so nice to have some time this morning to get my desk neat and tidy.
  • Played with a 2 year old...little Miss Ella and I had a blast while her Mom was getting her haircut. The weather was just perfect for a trip stroll and playtime at a local park.
  • Held a week old baby...One week ago today, Harper Livingston Douglas entered the world. I've been looking at pictures all week, but today I got to hold her in my own arms! I don't think I've ever held a baby so small!
  • Put the finishing touches on a wedding toast...I've been working on that thing for months! All I needed was a few hours holed up in a Starbucks. Now I just have to figure out how I'm going to make it through without crying the whole time. Suggestions? Maybe I could just print it and hand it out!
  • Made a tower, read some books and colored a few to spend the evening hours with the cutest little boys, Houston and Henry.
  • Rocked a Henry fell asleep in my arms.

If the next Friday the 13th is anything like this one, I can't wait. For the record, there will be two more this year...March and November!

What was your Friday the 13th Like??

If I Only Had A Brain

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Sadly, it's not because I don't have things to write about. Quite the contrary, this nanny gig gives me TONS to write about...but when I get home I have ZERO brain cells left to put together a post. Now I have a bit more sympathy for my sister and other moms who aren't frequent updaters.

For those of you that are wondering---all three of you---two weeks in and I am LOVING this new stage of life. I am loving it so much that if you ask me to tell you about my day, more times than not, I will tear up.

Don't get me wrong. It's no cake walk. When I get home, I am completely exhausted, but 100% fulfilled...and that is a GREAT feeling!

God is so good. He has poured out His blessings in such abundance that I could never begin to count them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A look into the back seat

This is what I see when I look in my rear view mirror. It makes me smile. My dream of being a nanny is finally being realized!
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Happy 21st, Sarah Beth!

***My sincerest apologies for not getting this post up sooner. I had a little trouble unarchiving some of the photos. ***

I'm doing this tribute a little differently. Instead of telling all of you how much I LOVE Sarah Beth, I'm going to tell HER. You can feel free to read along if you would like.

Sweet Sarah Beth,

I cannot believe that you are 21 years old today! It seems like yesterday that you were going through Recruitment at The University of Alabama. From the moment I saw you sitting in that chair on the left hand side of the room, I knew that you had to be in my sorority. I remember that excitement that I got when I scanned the Bid List and saw your name and I remember sitting with you in the chapter room on that first night thinking "this girl is going to be even better than I thought."

Those that knew me during college would probably say that I was much happier my senior year...I would attribute much of that to you. When you WORK, but when you have have FUN. I'm still working on that fun part, but I think I'm getting better.

You were, and still are, my sports friend and my Friday lunch date...oh, how I miss our Friday lunches at City Cafe! Then there were the Sunday walks by the river and the last minute computer assignments. We crammed lots of fun memories into that one year.

You are a leader...whether you want to be or not. People are always watching you and always following. I remember countless conversations that first year when you talked about maybe wanting to be President. Sometimes I kidded you about it, but I want you to know that I always knew that our Sorority would thrive with you as its leader. I will never forget when you called to tell me that you had decided to sign up to run...then the call a few weeks later to say you were slated...then the call the week after to say you you were the new President of Delta Zeta. I felt like a proud Mom! Then, when I saw you in action a few weeks ago, it was all I could do not to cry. Once again, you've surpassed my wildest expectations.

Sarah Beth...on this, your 21st birthday, I want you to know how proud I am of you. I want you to know how thankful I am to have you in my life!

She will probably kill me for posting this picture, but I just had to. It's not a good picture of me either, SB...

One of my favorites...celebrating her birthday freshman year. How nice of the sorority to throw a Grab-a-Date party in her honor!

Relishing in a Crimson Tide victory over Mississippi State