Saturday, September 27, 2008

You Had Me From Hello...

I don't think there is anyone who could honestly say that their life turned out exactly the way that they had planned. (Thank goodness, huh ?!) Tonight at dinner, Mario and I talked about what we had envisioned for ourselves as we were growing up. We have had discussions like this many times before, but I got tickled tonight when he admitted that he prayed earnestly to be 6'1"...the same height as his favorite basketball player at the time--Isaiah Thomas. I guess the Lord heard his prayers because he stands exactly 6'1"! We laughed, saying that if only he would have prayed to be 6'7", he could've been playing in the league right now! Ha!

Ten years ago I might have guessed that I would have been married by now, or at least getting close to it. I probably wouldn't have guessed that I would be the mother of two children already, and I'm pretty sure I would never have guessed that I would be involved in a career in real estate. I'm also quite certain that I would never have guessed the university that I would eventually graduate from, much less the area I ended up living in. To say the least, I was completely wrong about what God had in store for me!

One day, I plan to write the entire story of how we met down for the kids. But for now, as Mario & I celebrate five wonderful years together, I just want to take a few moments to emphasize how grateful I am for a wonderful man of God, and how grateful I am that the Lord orders our steps!

Five years ago, we walked out of our wedding reception and into the rest of our lives. I love this picture at the very end of our wedding album because it captured us leaving our reception...exhausted, but full of anticipation about spending our entire lives together. (That, and because Jamie is peeking out from between us with a box).

I will never forget the first words we spoke to one another or the exact spot I was standing when we did. I decided the same day that I met him that I was going to marry him! I'm not kidding... hence the title of today's post.

I guess he felt the same, because he announced to his cousin the first week we met that he had met his wife. Funny how there are some things you just know.

When I met his mom for the first time, she immediately made the connection to a photograph she had seen in a dorm room at OBU when they moved Mario in his freshman year. At the time I was dating someone at OBU, and he had a photograph of me in his room. San said that when she walked into the room and saw the picture, she knew that I was Mario's wife...seriously....and it didn't just stop there. She had a dream about both of our kids before they were born and described them both to a tee. Now maybe she's just a good guesser...but you tell me! :)

At any rate , we both set out to college in totally different places having no idea that our paths would cross. It's hard for me not to think about all that we would have missed out on had we allowed the difference in our skin colors to take precedence over how we cared for one another. In all honesty, we were already in love before we even realized the obvious difference. It just never was something that was an issue to either of us, and I'm so thankful for that!

It was weeks or maybe even months before we were kind of like, "Oh, did you notice that I'm black?"

"Yeah...what about me, you know I'm white right?"

"Sure...not a problem."

In reality, our conversation was much more profound than that, but that was just to show how little it truly mattered to us. And because we both felt like God was doing something in our lives, we just felt like he would work the rest of it all out. And he did. And the rest was history.

God has truly blessed us, and we are so thankful. In times of tragic loss and despair, he has comforted us and given us joy unspeakable. In times of worry and uncertainty, he has reminded us that he is still in control. He has joined our two families together in love, and blessed us with precious children and a family of our own!

Here are just a few random photos that I had handy on the computer and thought I would share:

Christmas morning in 2006 before we headed out for Flippin...

Out to dinner in Louisville when we went to the Kentucky Derby earlier this year...

And here we are today, celebrating five happy years of marriage!

Happy Anniversary, Mario! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Toliet Brushes, Dishwashers, and Dolls

Last night the kids weren't ready to get out of the bath tub, so I walked to the sink and started brushing my teeth and washing my face. They were having a ball splashing and playing so I thought a few extra minutes couldn't hurt.

Between the bathtub and the commode (which I feel is a pretty normal place for a toilet brush) sits a cute little turtle toilet brush holder from Target that coordinates with the rest of the sea creatures bathroom theme. Jeryn is FOREVERMORE grabbing it and waving it in the air. I know I need to move it...but that's beside the point.

So last night as I'm brushing my teeth,washing my face, and talking with the kids I realize they are splashing extra loud. Big J is pretending to paddle little J around in a boat, and she is paddling hard. Cute, huh?

Except I didn't realize WHAT she was paddling with. I have been standing at armslength the entire time, but with all of the bath toys floating in the tub, I failed to realize that she was paddling with the TOILET BRUSH. Uh, gross! It would have made a great photo, but I did I mention I was grossed out??

So I grab it from her and she shouts, "Jeryn handed it to me!" I looked at him as if to ask, "Is that true?" He just laughed out loud. That stinker...

Just for the record, this is one of Bubby's favorite places in the house! He can be in another room of the house, but when he hears that dishwasher open…he comes runnin’! He just cracks me up! Today when I picked him up at NeNe’s he had obviously spilled something on the clothes I sent him in. He was in the bedroom and when he heard my voice he came FLYING out of the bedroom with his arms held out toward me. He turned the corner wearing a huge red t-shirt that was dragging the ground and smiling so big he could eat a banana sideways. Man I love that boy!

Last week he started something so cute. Of course, like any decent mother, I always test the temperature of his food before giving it to him. However, if I hand him something that is even remotely warm, he holds it right in front of his mouth and blows on it AS HARD AS HE CAN. And I don’t mean just a little, I’m talking vigorously! So funny…
Now there is a story behind this doll…
Her granny got her this for Christmas the year before last. Some of you moms may be familiar with the MyTwinn collection?? We cut a lock of J’s hair, and sent a picture of her in, and they made a doll that supposedly looks like her twin. (Debatable).

J has just now really taken an interest in the doll and has been toting her around. As a matter of fact, I slept with this doll’s toes poking me in the side all night (as if we had room for anyone else in the bed).

Let me emphasize that she is a very large doll…she doesn’t look as large in this picture as she really is. Earlier in the week, J had taken the doll in the car. I can’t imagine how it would be possible in my car to get lost in the junk, but somehow she did. I ran to pick up some lunch and as I reached back to grab my purse, the doll’s face was under my purse…I shrieked out loud before I realized it was the doll.

Ever so often we get a magazine from the doll company. They have never been looked at until now. This time, the magazine has become of the uptmost importance, and we must know where it is at all times. If milk were spilled on it at dinner time, heaven forbid we throw it away...salvage it for crying out loud! J has made a hobby out of looking through the magazine while lying in the bed tucked in, occupying the commode, and traveling. Oh, and she also commented that "Some people call it a magazine, and some people call it a catalog, but either one is okay."

So here's the reason for the story: Two days ago she was studying the magazine and noticed the real bunkbeds and the matchign doll bunkbeds in the photo. Very dramatically she suggested that she might need the doll bunk beds. Before I could even respond, she said, "Mom, I want bunk beds like these for myself (they were pink), but I don't need them...just the doll bunk beds, so don't even worry about getting bunk beds for me. Don' think about that, ok?"

Bless her heart--little does she know, Momma is thinking about keeping gas in her vehicle, not $128 doll bunk beds, let alone a new set of REAL bunk beds! Thank goodness she is so thoughtful that I didn't even have to tell her "no" on that. Now, if I can just figure out how to explain that the doll will nto be receiving bunk beds either...maybe I can swing the child&doll matching pajama set she's inquiring about.

Here she is working on her first homework assignment for pre-k. They had a review sheet for the letters and numbers they had learned this month. I'm so proud of this girl!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


My sister and I are always joking about how much we visit Kelly’s blog. We grew up with Kelly and she has been a dear friend since, well, forever! The longer I live, the more I am convinced that everybody in the world reads Kelly’s blog. In fact, I recently commented on someone’s blog in another state, that neither Kelly nor I have met, and found out later that she recognized me from Kelly’s blog!

Jamie and I joked that we were glad Kelly didn’t have a live traffic feed on her site because we would be embarrassed—we both admitted to checking it a minimum of three times a day! But the funniest thing said was one day when we were discussing how we never read or watch the news. In fact we were talking about how when people asked us questions related to recent news; we would play along and pretend like we knew what they were talking about!

Here’s an Example:
“Boy, things sure could be worse—we could be down in Houston picking up the pieces.”

“Yeah, I know that’s right…isn’t that a shame?” Then we scramble to find a paper or flip through the channels… “Oh, there was a hurricane recently?”

We laughed at ourselves and then my sister proudly said, “I don’t watch the news, I get all my news from Kelly’s blog!”

I cracked up! So, all of that being said, my sister is the one with the news today! Click here to check it out! Congratulations! I love being an AUNT!!

And this is a picture of my sweet nephew and niece wearing the shirts that J&L gave them when they told them the news! R’s says “I’m the Big Brother” and A’s says, “In the Middle!”
I am relieved she announced the news because I nearly let he cat out of the bag the day after I found out. They were waiting to tell R until after their doctor appointment. I told Mario’s mom in from of J without even thinking. I said, “My sister’s having a baby!” Sandra responded very enthusiastically and J immediately started jumping up and down saying, “Mom! Who’s your sister?! Who’s your sister???!!!...Mom! Tell me!”

I managed to get her distracted but I’ve been waiting for the light bulb to come on. I didn’t want her to run back and tell R before his parents even got the chance. I know she understands that Jamie and I are sisters--we have talked about that before. I guess she just forgot or thought I had another sister somewhere! I will tell her the news when she wakes up in the morning!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Nothing in Particular

Okay, a few of you inquired about the prayer calendar mentioned in my last post. You should be able to go here and print your own. So go, print one...print several! And USE it, USE it, USE it! I LOVE IT!

Thanks to my friend Kelly who gave me the suggestion on how to accomplish this for your convenience. You might have to sign up, but it's free. If you already have a google account, then it should be super easy.

We went to my parents last weekend and had a blast. Near the end of our trip, their power went out. We headed back a little guessed it--our power was out! So, we unpacked, repacked, and then headed to my in-laws to enjoy luxurious things like hot showers, refridgerated drinks, chi irons, and the wonderful sound of something besides complete stillness in the middle of the night!

Somewhere during all of that I came down with some sort of bug and was sick as a dog. Spent the first half of the week battling that...My sister posted some pictures from our trip to Flippin here.

If I remember right, she mentioned that our two oldest ones fought like cats and dogs the whole time, but I don't think she elaborated too much on that. It really is a little unusual for them to fight as much as they did. They have always loved playing together and for the most part get a long well. However, my mom had to referee a pretty intense argument that resulted in Jaiden making a fist and punching R as hard as she could in the stomach. He obviously knew he wasn't supposed to hit a girl, so he shoved her into the fence as hard as he could...all of this over the pony of course.

Mother, tickled as she was, had to put on her poker face and mediate. As she was driving the farm buggy back to the house she looked over and the kids were still going at it...J with her arms folded up mad and fussing with R. I was standing in mom's kitchen when they busted through the door:

"No, YOU started it!"

"Noooo...YOU started it..."

They woke up in a better humor the next day. When they did begin arguing over the pony again, mom threatened to "sell the pony" if they didn't straighten up. It seemed to work.

The rest of the week was busy, busy, busy! I still like to walk J into her classroom every morning but she insisted on being "dropped off." I insisted on taking her in and her response was, "Maybe next time."

My little man learned several new words this week. He said, "Sis-sy!" plain as day and it made his sister just beam! (and me to). He called his caretaker "Ne-Ne" which is what we've called her forever! He is also saying hat, horse, rope, ball, dada, momma and several other words. He mimicks every little thing we do.

He recently got his first pair of cowboy boots and a hat--he is so proud of them! He LOVES the horses. He SCREAMS if Mario goes outside without him, SCREAMS when we take him off of the horse, and SCREAMS when it is time to go back inside. Other than that, he is a pretty laid back guy! (A lot like his daddy) When I have to go somewhere, Mario usually has him watching calf-roping tapes when I get back. He is already trying to swing anything that resembles a rope above his little head...ribbons, belts, hatbands, video chargers, USB cords, cute!

J had her first soccer game today. I don't think they really kept score, but I'm pretty sure they beat us by more than I care to know. It is tough to keep the attention of 4 year olds, so hats off to the brave soul who volunteered to coach those sweet kids. He is so patient and good with them. It's going to be a lot of fun!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pre-K Pro!

I will go ahead and apologize for this incredibly long post, but this is definitely stuff that a mother wants to document.

With one week of pre-k under our belts, we are far from being settled in to our new routine but we can definitely handle this. Can I just say I am thankful for the rain, but good grief, we literally got washed into the classroom the first three days!

J is all too independent, and while I knew she would be just fine, it was me that I was really worried about. She had been counting down the days. I was talking to my dad the night before she started and he said, “Oh, she is going to do great! She’ll be just like (her Aunt) Jamie was, she’ll love school and be the kind of kid that made guys like me look bad.” Notice he didn’t say “like her mother.” :)

Her good friend and the only kid in the class she knew would not be attending on J’s first day, so I thought I’d get a good early start on preparing her for that. On the Saturday before school started I gently said, “Now, sweetie, Adi won’t be there on your first day, but she will be there on your second day.” I held my breath while I waited for her response. Sounding almost a little annoyed, she said, “Mom--I’m going to make new friends!”

Well, of course she would. What was I thinking?

So Mario & I took her to her class on her first day. Sounds simple, but in the middle of a MONSOON, sporting high heels and carrying a 15 month old while trying to handle a massive umbrella, it was more like a recipe for disaster. The wind nearly lifted me off the ground and J’s first day of preschool was feeling more like a scene from Mary Poppins. Truth be known, if I thought the teacher would have let me stay the entire day, I would have done it rather than face the weather again. So we snapped a few photos and M ran on to work. I thought I should hang around for a bit…only she didn’t seem like she cared either way. “Momma’s going to stay for a few more minutes, and then I am going to have to drop your brother off, okay?”

“Okay.” She was clearly unshaken by my statement about leaving. I hung around for a few, but Bubby was getting into EVERYTHING, so I decided to make a dash for the car. I kissed her and closed the classroom door. No tears…at least from her. But as I leaned onto my tip toes to peer through the window on her classroom door and watch her as she walked over to some other little girls and started playing, tears began to run down my cheeks. My little girl, was growing up so fast. Of course she still needed me, but not at that very moment. She was just fine…and making new friends!

I entrusted her into someone else’s care and that scared me. Ever since she was a baby, she has gone everywhere with me. Back in those days she traveled to practice with me every day. On the days of home games, she came with me. She hung out in the locker room while I dressed, and sat on my lap in the training room while I got taped. At nine months old she traveled to Florida with us and a couple of months later to Mississippi (and a lot of places in between). In Mississippi, we won the conference tournament on a last second shot. On the front page of the school paper was a picture of a huge crowd on their feet celebrating. In the middle of the crowd was my dad throwing his right arm out in front of him shouting and Mario was doing something similar. But in the midst of all the excitement, there she was, sound asleep on Mario’s shoulder! That year we made it to the NCAA Division II Final Four. The games aired on ESPN2 and they showed her sitting with the rest of my family watching the game! When I graduated and started working, there were many times that she would come to work with me. She still loves to come to my office.

In October of 2007, when she was 3 ½ years old, she learned the ENTIRE 91st Psalm. It took about two whole weeks to teach it to her, but she retained every bit of it and could recite it to perfection…all 16 verses.

While I was nervous about entrusting her into someone else’s care, God quickly reminded me that she was still in his care. When I made it back to the car, I put Bubby in his car seat. The wind was blowing so hard and the rain was pouring into the car while I struggled to snap the harness. I climbed back into the driver’s seat and just prayed out loud for a long time. I’m so glad that there is a God in Heaven who knows my name, and the names of my children. I’m so thankful that he cares about what’s nearest and dearest to my heart. I prayed over J on her first day, and for the upcoming school year.

My sister gave me a prayer calendar a year or so ago. I can’t say enough about how important it is to pray over our children. Each day I pray that my children’s hearts will desire only the things of God. And he is already answering those prayers. J is totally intrigued with bible stories right now. She wants to hear them in the morning, in the car, at naptime and bedtime. She carries her little bible everywhere. She has slept with it many a night and Mario said to her once last week, “I notice you have been sleeping with your bible.”

“That’s because I love Jesus, and I love my baby brother.”

Praise you Lord for answering prayers. May she never lose that desire to know more about you.

Last night, like clockwork, she set in to hear bible stories. For some reason, the story of Jacob and Esau is her favorite. Normally she has to have the light on to see the pictures, but this time I convinced her to just close her eyes and listen while I told it. I told about how Isaac prayed for Rebekah to have a child, and God gave them twins. I explained how Esau was all red and hairy, and Jacob was all smooth. As I tried to transition into their later years so I could really get to the story I just said, “So time passed and the boys grew into young men.” J immediately interrupted me and said, “No, you forgot to say Esau became a skillful hunter and his brother Jacob was a quiet man. That’s what my bible book says.” She was exactly right. Is she like a little sponge or what?

Several nights ago we were lying down ready for bed and she asked me, “Momma, do you know why I was acting that way tonight?” (Bridget and Preston had came to the house, and she was literally bouncing off walls)

“Why?” I asked.

“Because I am just happy, momma.”

I smiled, “That’s wonderful sweetheart, I want you to be happy. Momma prays every day for your heart to be full of joy and happiness.”

“You know what, momma?”

“What, sweet girl?”

“It’s working.”

My heart just melted. I squeezed her tight and then she said, “You know another reason I was acting like that?”


“All that sugar—you know the kind that makes me bounce off the walls.”

“J, I didn’t give you any sugar tonight…”

“I know, I’m talking about the kind at vacation bible school!”

I was puzzled because VBS was back in July. That night when I was picking up after the kids were in bed, I found a brown paper bag that she had made at VBS. Inside were empty tootsie roll wrappers and some other stuff. I guess she knew what she was talking about after all. I’d like to know where she had that stashed.

I know this has been a super long post, but I’m almost finished. So I pulled into the line and watched her while waiting my turn to pick her up on the first day and I realized just how much she still needs me! :) She was so precious sitting there on the bench next to the other kids in a dry spot with it pouring down rain all around them--Part of her seeming so grown up and the other part of her looking around nervously for her mommy. She couldn’t see my car yet, but I could see her. She was scanning…looking...waiting. I kept waving but she wasn’t seeing me yet. She was swinging her little legs back and forth and I knew she was ready to see me. She was still wearing her sweet little (and very fashionable I might add) sweater cap that she had picked out to wear on her first day. I hope I never forget just how fresh and sweet she looked wearing her new backpack and sitting ever so patiently. I love that girl!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

For the Second Time Around

Well, here I am, some two years later, setting up another blog! While I can think of 101 reasons NOT to blog, I can also think of one good reason TO blog...because I miss it! (And I like it) At the top of those 101 reasons would most definitely be finding the time to even attempt this again, but here we go...over-committing is my main forte! :)

Although I have a lot of flexibility with what I do, I still work full time. I am also a wife to a wonderful husband, and mother to two precious children. This job of course is more consuming than any other full time job you could ever have. But I will also add that it is a great blessing, and the most rewarding of all! But somewhere between business related meetings, housework, preparing meals, giving baths and running a typical mom shuttle service (which involves dropping off and picking up everywhere from daycare to gymnastics, to soccer, to swim lessons, to haircuts and birthday get the point!) I seem to sign up for everything else under the know, mumbleepeg on Mondays, a Pampered Chef party on Tuesday, Wednesday night bible study, and so on…
You may think this is a bit of an exaggeration…it’s not, but I should never be short on blog topics!

It was during a Beth Moore bible study on the book of Daniel last fall that I really had an enlightening on this matter. As we focused on the scripture 1 Timothy 4:7-8 (below my blog title), I realized that I was a champion at making time for all of the tasks that mattered little (at least to God, even though I obsessed over them), and missing the mark when it came to what mattered most (Him!). So, while I like to think I have improved in this area, I know I still have a long ways to go. At any rate, this will give you an idea as to why the blog title…I think of my self as “in training” although I am already a soldier in the army of the Lord. And I guess we all are in training, huh? Just another reason I refer to myself as such, because I am fully aware that we step on to the battlefield daily. Surrounded by spiritual warfare, we are fighting unseen enemies. Therefore I’m suiting up in the armor of God and encouraging you to do the same!

SO…What to expect on this blog? Talk about my Lord and Savior, and lots of it! There are so many times throughout the day that I think about the goodness of God and meditate on His Word, but so often I neglect to write down these things or even share them with anyone but myself. So this as an opportunity to reflect on the things God is showing me in my life and I’m using this as sort of as an accountability partner, if you will to record those things.

What else? Lots of bragging on my little ones and sharing our experiences with them. They are growing up before my very own eyes and I want to relish every moment! Just this week my oldest started pre-k (more on that later). But just real quick…how is that possible?

And among other things, just some good ole’ random posts just because I like writing! I have always loved writing. I was on the year book staff three years. English was always one of my favorite subjects because of all the writing we had to do. I still have a lot of the essays and short stories that I wrote in elementary, junior high, and high school. Looking back they are quite terrible (you don't have to be good at something to enjoy it, right?) But maybe blogging is a way for me to take a few minutes to do that.

And so, with ALL of that being said, I forge on into the world of blogging! I hope you will join me, and feel free to leave your comments. Happy Blogging!