Monday, August 13, 2012


So I got a job... which is why I have not even attempted to blog in years!

I am teaching 1st grade at a local elementary school!

I am beyond excited and can't wait to meet my kiddos on Thursday... yes, this Thursday... no, I do not have my room done... no, I have not planned out the first day... yes, it will all be ready by Wednesday night {for meet the teacher}...

Oh and I am almost 26. Is it just me or does that seem super old? Not like, old, but old as in almost 30! Goodness, where did the time go?!?

Monday, June 18, 2012

18 months

Brynlee Anne is now 18 months old! I really can't believe it! Here are some new things little miss is doing...

New Words: help, thanks, car, ok, stop

- climbing in and out of the bath and wagon
- running everywhere
- imitating anyone when they laugh
- walking on her knees
- coloring
- still loves to dance
- getting really excited when she sees pictures of other family members... it's pretty adorable
- helping mommy in her classroom
- no more highchair
- sliding is slowly becoming the favorite over swinging

You are one precious baby girl chickie-pea! It is pretty clear  you are not a baby anymore. I feel like any day you are going to break out into full blown sentences! You are so much fun these days. You love to play and dance and have fun! We love you!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Prayer Need

So it's been a while and my only update today is to ask for prayer...

The daughter of a dear friend of mine was found yesterday at the bottom of their neighborhood pool while they were swimming. She is 2 1/2 yrs old. Her name is Rosalie.

To the surprise of the doctors and medical staff they were able to revive her on the way to the hospital. After hours of no brain activity she is now responding to her parent's voices by squeezing their finger. Although this has only happened a couple of times in the last 24 hours this is hope for recovery.

So far the amount of progress she has made has been miraculous! Please pray for her and her family. Pray for comfort for the family, wisdom for the medical team and that this sweet baby girl will keep fighting!

Please share this with anyone who is willing to pray! 

Friday, May 4, 2012


Lately we have been going on a lot of walks, going to the zoo, playing soccer and generally living outside! I am not a huge fan of 80-90 degree weather in April, but I love that we can spend the whole day playing outside! Brynlee is definitely much happier that way. It will be a sad day when it is too hot to prop the door open for her to play inside or outside- whatever she wants.
Brynlee has added a ton of words to her vocabulary lately. Among the new words are, "watch" "walk" "up" and officially saying mommy and daddy again. It is pretty funny because mommy is actually nommy and when she says daddy she always yells it. Usually it is in the same tone that I may yell say "James" from across the house.
Oh and my least favorite new word: "no". I was so excited when we breezed by her first birthday without her every uttering this word. What makes it even worse, she is completely sweet when she says it. She doesn't yell, or scream or even say it with any conviction. I will say "bath time is over" and in the sweetest, most passive voice you can imagine she says "no" and pushes my hands away. I have a feeling this won't last very long. Once she realizes her sweet disposition is not getting her what she wants, it may change. All that to say: she is growing up way to fast. But who am I to complain- everyone warned me this would happen...
We are gearing up for the busiest season of our year. And by us, I really mean James. He is typically gone anywhere from 4-8 weeks throughout the summer with multiple evening events on the weeks he is actually home. I don't know how some wives/mothers do it with husbands who travel all the time. Summers tend to be a little lonely with him traveling so much and spending so much time with students. But it is just a season of the year. Then things will calm down a bit when Fall rolls back around- that is unless I am able to get a job this year!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Easter Weekend 2012

Our Easter weekend was very full and fun! We started out the weekend on Saturday at my parent's house. We colored eggs, did an Easter egg hunt for Brynlee, Grace and Graham and then finished off with dinner and dessert.
 Because there had been torrential downpours all afternoon, the egg hunt was inside in the living room and kitchen of their house. Brynlee actually got into it! She ran around picking up the eggs and putting them in her basket. Of course, once she got about three she was more excited about dumping them out and putting them back in. So Grace helped out by putting some extra eggs in B's basket! The best part of the egg hunt was afterward. We put animal crackers in most eggs, with a select few filled with fruit snacks. Every time I opened an egg for her she would get SO excited to see the crackers!

Dinner was wonderful as usual. We had a special dessert cake Saturday night. My parents had celebrated their 31st Anniversary earlier in the week so we did our own little celebration through cake and ice cream.
Graham was loving that Grace had laid out all of her animal crackers within his reach!
Sunday we went to church, had lunch at my parents house and then went to my sister-in-laws for dinner and an egg hunt. This time Brynlee was not so much into the hunting. I think she was a little distracted by all the running room! Oh and we had an egg toss contest! It was really fun to see my nieces and nephew get into it!

Overall, we had a great weekend celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Brynlee Anne 16 months

Brynlee Anne is now 16 months old! My how time flies! It's crazy... so here is what she is up to these days:
She is constantly repeating words. I don't even think I could write a comprehensive list without missing something! My favorites right now are when she says "back" to Hadlee and kick or walk. Mostly she asks to go on a walk about 25 times a day. Oh and my absolute favorite thing is when she just says one word right after another like she is practicing or looking for a response from anything! 
chatting it up with miss Aurora
She still weighs around 25lbs and is 32 inches. Brynlee is wearing mostly 18-24 month clothes. That is in everything but shorts, in which we are wearing 2T and 3T. That's a diaper booty for ya! 
She is still a pro at sleeping. Although right now her naps are different each day- there is still a nap! So I am thrilled with that. Plus, she sleeps 12 hours every night. 
cleaning the brownie batter off the spoon! Don't tell daddy
We play outside ALL day, every day! Most days I prop the back door open and leave it {unless it gets too hot}. She loves playing with Hadlee, kicking the soccer ball all over the backyard, and playing with bubbles! 
She is growing up so fast and while it is sad, I really love it. I love that she will sit on our laps and watch movies or read books. I love love love the way she puts her hands out when she wants to be held! She is one special little lady! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Half Marathons...

So a couple of years ago I wanted to run a half marathon. Then I found out I was pregnant. 

So the next year, I thought I could do it- four months after having a baby. Yea right. 

So this year, I was doing it! I started running after Christmas and slowly worked back up to around 4 miles. Then took the 6 weeks before the race to "train" up to 13.1. The most I ran before the race was 12.25 in a little over 2 hours. 
I was very excited to talk both of my sisters into running the 10k that was taking place at the same time as the half! This way I would have someone to run the first 3ish miles with. Although that was great and all... it made the next, oh 10 a little lonely!
All in all, my goal was to finish, without walking a significant amount. I did not walk until mile 11 {for .25 mile- after feeling like I was going to puke for the previous 2 miles}. So I did finish. It took a whopping 2 hours and 37 minutes. A little longer than I had planned, but does that really matter? 

I am pretty proud of myself and my sisters for doing this race! I thought after doing it I would be done and not want to do one again... but I really want to do another one!

Oh and thanks to my friend Morgan who saved me at mile 11! I am pretty sure had she not been there, I would have been walking the last 2 miles! 
 So we'll see. I think next on the agenda will be the Tulsa Run in October which will feel like nothing at 9.3 miles!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tom Summers

On the way home from Florida we got the news that James' dad was being taken to the ER. He was dehydrated and had super high BP. Over the next 24 hours his health diminished greatly. The cancer had spread from his throat to now one of his lungs. Since there was nothing else they could do for him, they made the decision to move him to a Hospice facility. We flew to Phoenix, AZ Sunday afternoon {as soon as we could} to see him. He then passed away late Monday night.

Tom was a godly man, loving husband, father and grandfather. His ministry was his children. He poured into their lives and instilled in them godly principles so they could impact the world around them for Christ. He had a huge heart and capacity to love. He took everyone in as if they were his family. He raised an amazing son whom I am proud to have as a husband and father to my children. Tom left a legacy in the way of his kids and grandkids. He will be greatly missed.

Please pray for our entire family. James was extremely close to his father. It is hard to think that he is gone. It is hard to know that Brynlee will not remember him. I also just get so sad in knowing that in four years James has lost both of his parents to cancer.

I do have to say that the best gift you can give your family is to believe in God and Jesus and to live your life for him. Knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that both Tom and Vicki are in Heaven really is the best comfort in this time.

Friday, February 24, 2012

February Fun in Florida

 A recap of our month....
The month started with the long awaited trip to Destin, FL!! James had a conference in Destin {last year the same conference was in Palm Springs- rough life right?} so we decided to tag along! The other youth minister went as well and he took his wife {one of my best friends} and their 6 month old daughter! After enduring an all night drive, Jared, Laura and Aurora found out their son back at home had pneumonia. So their trip ended the very next day when they flew home to be with him. It was sad without them but we still managed to have some fun!

James was mostly at the conference. So I knew aside from mealtimes and late nights, it would just be me and B! So we did a lot of playing in the hotel room. Actually, we mostly played on the balcony since it was 70-75 degrees and sunny! We did some playing on the beach, swimming in the pool at the hotel and some shopping around town. I also did A LOT of reading. Brynlee still went down around 8 each night so that left me to either watching tv or reading. I read the first 2 books of the Hunger Games {which I loved!}.

 We left Thursday morning and drove back to OK. I was super nervous about the drive back. On the way, the girls mostly slept so it wasn't bad at all. But once we hit daylight they went a little crazy. Let's just say we survived because of 2 laptops and an iPad. We watched Hairspray {multiple times}, High School Musical 2 & 3 and Backyardigans. But we made it!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Brynlee 13 months... a little late

It is kind of weird now that Brynlee is one. I want to keep doing updates and everything but without the regular monthly update, I am not sure where to go on this! So here a basic update on our chick-pea. 

These days, Brynlee is learning new words everyday! It is so crazy and somewhat of a challenge to discover what she is actually saying! Oh and she has two small sentences she says! Pretty exciting stuff. So here are the words and "sounds" she is saying now...

"What's that?"
"What's this?"
"Dog" {I think... she says this when pointing at our puppy so yea.}

She also does this hissing sound with her tongue and teeth. Although this isn't a word, it is still kind of fun. I guess that covers most of it. She still doesn't say "mama" or "daddy" even though we know she can!

Miss chicky is having some serious teeth issues too! We have 3-5 coming in right now... that is to add to her six. Almost a mouth full!
The other thing I have to mention is her dancing. This child LOVES music and loves to dance! She shakes her head, stomps her feet and claps her hands. I am positive that we dance every single day to any kind of music. Whether it's something we put on intentionally or music that comes on with a commercial. She will stop dead in her tracks and dance! We love it!


I just want to say a little bit about Christmas presents.

Never before have I understood why parents would go SO overboard with presents for their kids. That is until I had a kid. I now understand the desire to have all of the fun, exciting toys that are available these days. This only happened after roaming through Toys R' Us a couple of months ago.

Fortunately for our bank account we prescribe to the thought that less is more! Inadvertently we ended up with one big, fun present {the kitchen set}, something she needed {a new blanket}, and a smaller toy {balls for a ball pit}.

Basically, we already have SOOOO many toys and "things" to play with. That coupled with the amount of gifts she gets from other family members, makes for a plenty big Christmas. Not to mention her birthday being two weeks before Christmas!
$1 beads were a HUGE hit
I really want to work hard at keeping this mentality for years to come. I don't want to make it all about the presents on our part or Brynlee's. On the same note, I was listing all these things I wanted to do and make as our Christmas traditions. I had all kinds of things like an Advent Calendar of activities, looking at lights, Elf on the Shelf and reading a different Christmas book every day. While these are all fun and good things I was already starting to get overwhelmed and lost in all the "stuff." Growing up, Christmas was never about the stuff or activities. While I know it may be difficult to keep Christmas simple, I truly believe it is the best way to celebrate and teach the true meaning of Christmas to Brynlee!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Christmas 2011

Okay- so I know I am super late on these posts... but I want to have a record of these things, so I don't care!

We had made plans to have "Christmas" with James' sister and her family Friday night, unfortunately my body had other plans. I woke up feeling fine but by about lunchtime was not doing great and had a rising fever. So, I slept the afternoon and evening away while James and Brynlee went to celebrate. Luckily, I was able to keep my fever down over the next couple of days with medicine! 
Christmas was wonderful this year. It was a little different with it being on a Sunday but still great! Since Christmas was on Sunday, our church did identical services on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. So we went to the service Saturday night {actually myself and Brynlee ended up at the service again in the morning, just because!}.

Since my dad and James would be "working" Sunday morning we decided to have Christmas with my family on Saturday. We went over to my parents' that morning. James made omelets for everyone. Then we did presents and lunch and hung out until it was nap time for everyone! One sad note about Christmas Eve- my poor bother-in-law was super sick. So he was somewhat quarantined on the couch  away from all children. 

I just have to say that Christmas Eve service is always one of my favorite parts of the season! I loved that this year it was a little less reflective and more of a celebration- it was pretty wonderful! And of course we tried getting pictures of everyone {which is impossible with three small children}. SO we had a couple of Brynlee and Gracie!

Christmas day we went to church again and then to lunch with James' extended family! His entire family from his mom's side always gets together for lunch! We love going to see them. They are so much fun! We topped off the night by going to see lights at Rhema Bible College with my parents and the Smith's!
It was a wonderful weekend full of family, fun and of course the most important thing: Jesus!

Friday, January 13, 2012


So I am sitting here watching Extreme Home Makeover which is rebuilding 7 homes in Joplin, MO. There are so many feelings that have come through watching this for the past couple of hours. It brings back all of the feelings that we experienced when the tornado happened {living 100 miles away and having lived in Joplin for 2 years in college}.

When it happened we were at small groups and completely oblivious to what was going on. My friend got a text from her mom {who lived in Joplin} simply saying not to worry because they were okay. Which of course completely freaked us out and sent me into a panic trying to figure out if my sister and brother-in-law were also okay. We are so thankful that they lived on the opposite side of town and suffered no physical effects from the tornado.

So many people that we knew lost everything. Some close family friends lost their entire house and everything in it. They have a daughter Brynlee's age. Luckily, they made the decision to go to a neighbors house to stay in their basement. All I could think about was the inability to provide for your baby. They literally had to rely on someone else for everything for quite some time. I can't even imagine being there, seeing the destruction immediately following the tornado and even being an active part of the clean-up.

I have also sat here reading my sister's blog posts that she wrote shortly after the tornado. She had graduated from college the previous day and wrote a post about graduation. Since she was done with school their lives would be changing. They were looking for jobs, planning to move and waiting on the next step in their lives. They really had no idea where God would be leading them next but didn't want to miss out on the opportunities they would have to serve while remaining in Joplin.

She says: 
"Until then we will love where we are and love the people here. We have a lesser role in the youth group now... but we have new opportunity to spend time with couples our age and I have a new opportunity for a Bible study. We will definitely be taking advantage of where we are and the great church that surrounds us. We know God is keeping us here right now for a reason, so we will use that."

She had no idea of the events that would occur later on that same day but she knew that wherever you are and in whatever circumstance, God is still there. And when you are living out God's will in your life you can find joy, peace and comfort through any trial.

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT) 

As hard as it is to watch and relive the devastation, it is even better to watch Joplin rebuild and restore hope to each resident of Joplin, MO. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Blogging Obligation

So I keep reading everyone's posts about Christmas and New Year's and Resolutions. While I would love to sit and write about all of those things in length, it may not happen for weeks to come! I want to write so I don't forget all the things we have done {mostly for Brynlee}. As of right now, our internet is kind of messed up {really this just means it isn't wireless anymore so it's impossible to get on while Brynlee is awake}. Oh well, I may just have to live with the fact that these posts will be happening over the next few weeks. Oh, and James has been home most of the last week so pretty much I have been hanging out with him! I definitely don't want to waste the extra time we have together!

So that's that! Now I feel better and somewhat free of this obligation to blog about everything "right" now!