Monday, May 23, 2011


My heart is breaking...

Last night an F3 tornado tore through the town of Joplin, MO. This is only a couple hours from here, where we went to school and lived for a couple of years and where many of our family and friends are still living. Thankfully, my sister and brother-in-law were not in the path of the storm, but many were not so fortunate. The tornado is said to have been at least a half mile wide and on the ground for at least 4 miles. One hospital, the high school, a Wal-mart and 2,000 other buildings were completely demolished. Complete neighborhoods were leveled. A lot of devastation in the town of Joplin.

Please pray specifically for a close family of ours who lost their home and all of their belongings. They have a 5 month old baby girl. Today a group from the church is on their way to Joplin to take diapers, clothes and other belongings to the family, as well to help with anything possible.

If you live near Owasso, our church is collecting cases of water to take up tomorrow. It can be dropped off at the church {101st & Garnett} anytime today.

There are also supposed to be severe storms today and tomorrow with the possibility of more tornadoes... pray, pray, pray.

I am also asking for prayer for another close friend who lost her husband Friday morning in a wreck. He was hit by a drunk driver and died at the scene. They have two sons: a junior in high school and a 5th grader. I cannot even imagine the pain she is going through right now- but I know she would covet your prayers for peace and comfort during this time.

Psalm 143:1
"LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief."

Friday, May 20, 2011

baby Graham

I am SO behind!! Baby Graham is already 3 weeks old! Goodness.

Baby Graham was born April 28th at 8:30 {ish}. He is pretty precious! So tiny... he is long and skinny, although he was bigger than Brynlee by a couple ounces!

We were fortunate enough to go see him the day after he was born. He is so laid back and chill, pretty much the opposite of big sister Gracie {we love her spunk!}. He is so cuddly when he sleeps... he curls up in a little ball on your chest-so precious! Needless to say, we love him!! I can't wait to see him again this weekend at Abigail's graduation!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The joy of planning

With the lack of a job and the reappearance of sleep {Brynlee has done great the last two nights}, I find myself planning.

 Now,  I am a planner. I want to plan out each day with what we will do {even if it is nothing}. Sunday nights I find myself planning our week. I want to be planning a vacation. I am also currently planning a baby shower for my best friend.

I understand Brynlee is only 5 {almost 6} months old. But with how fast things have been going- I found myself planning her 1st birthday party last night! By no means do I want my chick pea to be a year old and I am most definitely NOT ready for December to be here... but I can no longer help myself! I always said we wouldn't do some giant shindig for birthday parties but it has to be kind of a big deal. Although it will still probably just be family {because we have a lot near and not too much room} So it has begun. And I figure the early the plan, the more I can do things myself to keep down the cost. And with her birthday being between Thanksgiving and Christmas it will take some planning just to figure out when to do it!! 
So I am now keeping a file of ideas for this party... I can't wait to see what she looks like and can do by the time she is one! Like these:

Balloon Garland
Pull String Pinata

And in other news: we officially have a roly poly {sp?}, who likes to roll all over the living room! Our lives have changed dramatically already- and I know crawling is right around the corner!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

So I am writing this and it is really Tuesday... but Brynlee is down for a {real} nap for only the 2nd time in a week, so I thought I should take advantage!
I am most definitely loving the weather of the past couple of days. Currently it is 75 and sunny and not even windy {which is unheard of in May in OK}. It's beautiful! I can't wait to take Brynlee to the park this afternoon to enjoy the weather even more!
I am loving that this weekend I get to see almost all of the family- including my grandparents! My little sister is graduating from college {the last of us four}. I am SO proud of her and the person she has become. She is way more mature than me in a lot of ways and I kind of love that! They are still looking for a ministry so if you want please pray for them!! As of this week her job is over {She works at the school} and Tyler's job changes significantly in hours. SO they are ready to move on to the next place, but waiting to see where God leads them! Love them...
I am loving that I am officially 10 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight, which may have changed since last night I ate an entire bag of microwave popcorn... oh well. I am still excited!

I am loving/excited that miss Brynlee Anne is such a happy baby. Friday, Saturday and Sunday she was basically up from 6:30 am-10:00 pm without a nap and really never got fussy. I don't know how she does that BUT if she isn't going to nap then I am glad she is just happy!
I am loving our church. I know I have said this many times before but it really is true. Each week I am reminded in what God is doing in the lives of many people including mine. I know that sometimes I get frustrated and discouraged and feel right smack in the middle of a giant valley with no way out... But I was reminded this week that everyone needs time in the valley. That is when God does some of His best work in us {probably because we listen more...} Living life on the mountaintop is not reality. It comes in brief periods- which is fine.... Here is a link to the sermon if you want to hear more about it!

Faith & Doubt: TRUST

There are many more things I could add but it is time to get to work! Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Easter Weekend... yes it's 3 weeks late!

We had a great Easter weekend. It was full of activities and fun! Saturday we spent the morning dying easter eggs with some of our nieces and nephew {and Brynlee of course}.

Then we went to a family lunch. James' mom's side does a big meal and easter egg hunt each year! So off we went to South Tulsa for the celebration. We don't get to see this family often enough... usually 3 times a year but we always have a good time!

Sunday we began the day at church! I know I have said this before, but I love our church! I am so happy to serve/attend a church that celebrates the death, burial and resurrection each and every Sunday, but especially on Easter! Then we went off to lunch at my parent's house. It was a little weird without the rest of the family {Joel in Portland, Elizabeth can't travel due to baby Graham coming any day, and Abigail and Tyler needed to stay in Joplin!} but a nice surprise... my Uncle Jeff was in for the weekend! So we got to spend some time with him along with my cousins Lindsey and Blake! Brynlee had a fun time meeting new cousins! I still need to get these pics from my mom!

Now, we did not do an Easter basket. When I was kid we didn't do Easter baskets. I asked my mom why and she said that there usually wasn't enough extra money. It was either Easter clothes or a basket... and clothes won out! But don't worry I definitely don't feel deprived or anything like that. If anything I am kind of thankful. Easter baskets are fun and there is nothing wrong in doing them {although I haven't exactly figured out why we do them?? You are welcome to clue me in if you know...} There are so many things that make the day busy and about food and family and everything but Jesus. So I figure it is one less thing to get in the way. Now, this is not to say we won't do an Easter basket when Brynlee gets older... who knows! Actually, it didn't even occur to me that we didn't do one until I was at Wal-mart Friday night and saw all the baskets and people going crazy buying them!!

We had a great weekend celebrating Jesus raising from the dead!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Second Mother's Day

Now, everyone keeps saying how this is my first mother's day and just let me be honest for a minute: when you are pregnant you get to celebrate mother's day... but I understand why people say that anyway!

We started the celebrations Saturday night. When I got home from running the kitchen counter was covered in tissue paper. So James instructed me to carefully remove each layer until I saw this...
Now, before this we only had one picture of Brynlee actually printed. So I was super excited!! And James had taken Brynlee outside that day to take pictures and they turned out AMAZING!

just one of the 300 pictures he took
Sunday was super packed. We went to church early so Brynlee could get a nap before lunch {which was only for 45 minutes.. the nap that is. Lunch was forever- it was good, but took us and hour and a half after sitting down to get our food}
James' grandparents meeting Brynlee for the first time!
four generations
Then we came home and got ready for my parents to come over for dinner! We had a great time just talking and watching Brynlee make funny faces! Then of course taking pictures outside!

 It really was a great day! Sometimes I just can't believe that I am actually a mom... I am truly blessed!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Brynlee Anne- 5 Months

Brynlee- Today you are 5 months old!! I can't really even believe that... mostly because it is SO close to 6 months, which is way too close to one year! Wow. I know I have said it before but I totally did not believe people when they would talk about how fast the time goes by... now I do.
Anyways. Miss Brynlee, you are huge basically {in the best way possible}. I don't know how much you weigh or how long you are and it really doesn't matter! Your cheeks and legs let me know you are growing just fine! You are wearing mostly 6 month clothes with some 3-6 and 6-12 sprinkled in. You are wearing a size 3 diaper {the 2's were cutting off circulation in your legs}...
The past few weeks have been very eventful. Here are some of the happenings you have been a part of:

- a playdate at the zoo with my friend Chali and her twin boys Josiah and Garrett and Tiffany
- your baby dedication
- a cooking lesson with Selah {which hopefully I will blog about someday!}
- welcoming your baby cousin Graham
- your very first Easter {which did include dying eggs}
- celebrating Mother's day with me and grandma... and some aunts and even your Great Grandma Gigi
You have changed A LOT the past month! You love to roll over from front to back. You also love to crane your neck around to look at whatever/whoever is behind you... especially your new best friend; the wipes warmer. You still LOVE to talk {and we love to listen to you}. Everywhere we go people comment on how happy and smiley you are: and they are right!! You love to laugh and play with your daddy and you still enjoy helping me cook {although your legs are barely fitting in the bumbo these days!}.
 We love you so much and can't believe that we get to spend years and years getting to know you!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011


I don't exactly know where to begin this post. I just opened my Mother's Day present, and let me just say it is pretty stinking awesome! I can't wait to show it to all of you! I really do love being a mom. I wasn't sure what to expect out of motherhood {and I know I have barely scratched the surface}. There have been many ups and downs in the five short months Brynlee has been with us. Even so, I love it! When she smiles, laughs and talks to me each day, I am reminded of how much I love my sweet pea!

But this is really more about my mom! I know most of you think your mom is the greatest but I have to disagree! My mom is amazing. She has the biggest heart. She loves to take care of us kids/grandkids/in-laws even as we continue to grow and have our own families!
She is the queen of giving presents and just knowing what people like/dislike. I love that about her! She always pays attention to our ever-changing personalities. She has a heart for Jesus and seeing lost people find Him.
We have always been close, probably because we are so much alike! We could talk for hours about anything, everyday. I am so thankful to have a mom who understands me. I love that she could always be both parent and friend. I am so glad that we live so close! Not that it changed anything when we lived 12 hours away... but still it is nice!

Today I was reminded yet again how much I love her {we met up to shop at Wal-mart just like pre-Brynlee days!}. I love you mom! If I can be half the mom to Brynlee {and future kiddos} that you were to me {and Elizabeth, Joel & Abigail} then I will be overjoyed!!

Mother's Day 2010

Friday, May 6, 2011

Favorite Vacation Spots

Now this week on Kelly's Korner is very exciting for me! For those of you who know me know that I am 100% a beach person when it comes to vacations! I am ALL about sitting on the beach, day in and day out getting a tan, reading a book, laying in the water and just hanging out.

There are many places in the world I would love to visit and see, but when it comes to a relaxing vacation there are two places I would LOVE to go: Mexico or Florida. Now, if I had to choose between these two, I would most definitely choose Mexico. But sometimes a vacation needs to be more affordable, which leads us to Florida.

I have only been to Cancun and Cozumel in Mexico. While Cozumel was beautiful, I am more a fan of Cancun. The beaches were better and I just liked our resort more. The most important thing to know when going to Mexico, is an all-inclusive resort! That's all you need! On our honeymoon, we stayed at the Moon Palace Resort and Spa. I loved every minute of it!! The food was amazing, the beach and pools were beautiful and the people were wonderful! I would go back in a heartbeat {and I am dying to go back...}

These are all from Cancun on our honeymoon!

In Florida my favorite place to visit is Panama City Beach. I know it is not quite as popular or fancy as Destin, but I kind of like it because of that. Of course, there are a billion tourists all the time. But it is still less than Destin. And we always manage to head to Destin for a day to shop! {I would really love to visit Seaside someday, where the Truman Show was taped. We ate dinner there one night and walked around. It was beautiful!!}

In PCB, my favorite local place we ate was Pineapple Willy's. It was really good food and cool atmosphere. Honestly, when we go on vacation we are boring! We tend to stay in and cook dinner and then go out to shop and walk on the beach and such. I know, I know. Not super exciting. But when I go on vacation I want to relax- so that's what we do!

That's about it I guess... This is making me want to go on vacation so bad!! Maybe someone out there will have a nice, inexpensive vacation for the tiny budget that we have right now!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A letter to Brynlee Anne

Dear Brynlee,
    At 5:59 a.m. on December 9th, 2010 our lives changed forever because you entered our lives. From the moment we saw you, your mother and I experienced a love we had never experienced before. It’s an unconditional love that grows deeper every day, and every day is a gift that God has given us, in you. Our hope and prayer is that you have a solid relationship with God and his Son Jesus Christ. We pray that you will grow closer to Him each and every day as you live according to His Word. We pray that you will reflect the light of Christ to everyone you come in contact with. As Christ works through you we know that you will bare fruit as a testimony to his truth in your life. We pray that these things will be evident in your life: love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness and self control. Know that god made, he loves you and will never leave you. Make wise choices and treat others how you want to be treated. We love you and can't wait to see how god uses you for his kingdom.