September Took the Tourists and Settled in for Good

The past few weeks have been so full.

Full of life.

Full of difficulty.

Full of good.


There were a few weeks where my greatest wish was to dig a deep, deep hole and hide there. It was a span of time (that happens in everyone’s life?) where it felt as though absolutely nothing could go right. If it could fail, fall apart, break down, be false, be problematic – it did/would/could . . . and at the most inopportune time possible. Alexander had nothing on me.

This past week has been a recovery of sorts-

Wrapped in the arms of each other’s love.

Reading love, comfort, and safety in your eyes.

Putting one foot in front of the other and knowing that i have a hand to hold – and so do you.

We’ve had travels and tribulations and triumphs. We’ve had whispers and water and weddings. We’ve had leisure (at last) and laughter and love . . .

Four months of bumpy bliss . . . that i wouldn’t trade for anything.

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Sweeter Than This

Love Katie. Love the song. We had a couple of her songs (though not this one) on our “wedding soundtrack” – Ten Out of Tenn was one of our first music experiences together as a dating couple. Excited to get to see her again in a few weeks!


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Twelve years ago today . . .

i was a brave-faced (but quite terrified) freshman moving into a dorm room at Vanderbilt University.

i had never visited campus, and i knew no one else in my class. Just typing those words makes me wonder how i ever managed to convince myself that this was a good idea.

On one hand, i could. not. wait. to get out of my itty-bitty home town. On the other . . . i’d never made such a separation from everyone and everything i’d known. i’d traveled quite a bit, but usually with my family. i’d done long-term camps and trips away from family, but i’d usually had a friend or two nearby.

It was an adventure.

i learned. i grew. i cried. i laughed. i made some mistakes. i made some discoveries. i worked-hard. i loved getting mail and phone calls. i hated trips to the financial aid office. i was late to class. i traveled. i had my eyes opened, my heart stretched, and my mind challenged. i made big choices. i made great friends.

i became myself.

Tomorrow, my little brother (when did he grow over six feet tall?!) will be walking into his own big adventure. i wish i could be there – helping him unpack, laughing with him, drawing pictures for him (like the sweet ones he did for me…that i still have), looking around his new dorm room in wonder.

My hope and prayer, Baby Brudder, is that you take this ride for all it’s worth. Have no fear. Make good choices. Grow. Laugh. Cry. Study hard. Make great friends. Open your mind – and your heart. Travel. See. Hear. Love. Find new parts of yourself along the way. Show kindness to others. Learn patience, hope, joy, and forgiveness.

Know that i love you.

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There hasn’t been a weekend since since June (or perhaps our honeymoon?) that GW and i have been able to just be homebodies. There don’t appear to be any signs of slowing down either.

This weekend is just the same as we are expecting a dear high school friend of mine and company here in Nashvegas. i’m very much looking forward to seeing them, but i might be ready for things to slow down just a bit.

We’ve had quite a bit to do to get things settled in our household since the wedding. Joining two fully functioning adult lives turns out to be quite complicated. We’re handling it and learning more about ourselves and each other with every step. My prayer is that all these ‘learning experiences’ bind us together more strongly.

i’m quite sure that we could do with a little quiet and no need for planning.

Also, rather frustrated by my seeming inability to attach pictures to my blog posts in wordpress. Advice? i had an entirely different post to write, but it’s useless without pictures.

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art of choosing

Ever have one of those awful days? The days where you just feel like a bubbling cesspool of bitterness? No? It’s just me? Well, then guess what? Today is that day for me.

BUT. (Thank goodness there’s a ‘but’ here, right?) i have learned the best antidote to this poison. You have to choose better.

So instead of drowning in the down, i want to pour myself out today. i am grateful for too many thing in my life to be frustrated, upset, disappointed, or angered by one or two little things.

So today, i’m making my list. Today is good because:

  • My heart and soul belong to a God who is always with me – no matter how low. Always holds me.  Always loves me. Always wants the best for me. i am not forsaken. Always. With. Me.
  • i have married the man who loves me like i always dreamed it could be . . . and he adores me . . . and he makes my heart skip . . . and it’s wonderful.
  • We are more than comfortable. It’s not that we don’t experience hard times. We absolutely do. But our needs are met. We are smart and resourceful and loved. We do not lack.
  • i have a job when many don’t.
  • i have a paid off car.
  • i have friends who hear me.
  • i get to see my family this weekend.
  • We have a beautiful home.
  • My husband is smart and kind and funny (and don’t tell him i think he’s funny . . . he’ll never believe you).
  • There is joy in every corner of my life . . . i only have to look for it.

Life is beautiful. i am grateful. May you all be joyful today.

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love is . . .

. . . a yearly, monthly, daily, hourly, constant choice.

. . . putting someone else first.

. . . letting someone else have the first bite . . . and the last.

. . . needing to be kind more than needing to be right.

. . . warm hugs.

. . . a porch swing.

. . . not hanging up.

. . . biting your tongue.

. . . patient.

. . . a hot bath at the end of a long day.

. . . knowing when someone needs a break.

. . . wanting the other person to be happy more than is logical.

. . . making a dinner that you know will be enjoyed – even if it’s not necessarily what you wanted yourself.

. . . sacrificial.

. . . choosing what is better.

. . . worth everything you give and everything you give up . . . and more.

. . . not blind.

. . . constantly growing, constantly expanding, constantly pursuing.

. . . getting up in the middle of the night to get someone a glass of water.

. . . forgiving.

. . . snuggling on the couch on Saturday morning.

. . . getting up early to go walking together.

. . . not giving up.

. . . strengthening each other . . . and supporting each other.

. . . unexpected sweetness.

. . . holding hands.

. . . putting cream in the grits.

. . . not needing cream in the grits.

. . . strawberry cake.

. . . knowing when to let someone cry . . . and when to cheer them up.

. . . to have and to hold.

. . . beautiful.

Love IS.

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i feel loved when . . .

. . . i look around me and realize the unabashed beauty that God has created in this world. Breathtaking.

. . . my husband finds some new way to make me smile. It charms me every time. I love that he finds joy in that.

. . . one of my parents calls to share some small, sweet memory of my childhood that something from the day has triggered.

. . . one of my sisters sends me a text asking my opinion or offering some help on a request i’ve made.

. . . my brother tells me that i’m a good mom.

. . . i am quietly reminded of all of God’s gifts in my life.

. . . my husband’s arms wrap around me (perfect).

. . . a friend calls to tell me a funny story about her day. i love sharing those simple laughs.

. . . i get an afternoon to myself.

. . . food i’ve made is appreciated by others.

. . . Little W throws his arms around me for a hug or takes my hand.

. . . my husband says ‘Thank you’ – so good to feel appreciated!

. . . my mom calls me her baby.

. . . my sister tells me that i’m beautiful.

. . . a friend pays me a compliment.

. . . my husband’s first instinct upon waking is to snuggle with me.

. . . my priorities are recognized and affirmed.

. . . one of my kitties head-butts my hand for a petting.

. . . i get a few hours of uninterrupted girl time.

. . . my dad schedules a trip to come see me.

. . . i am understood.

. . . i am encouraged.

. . . i am told that i am loved.

When do you feel loved?

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