Wednesday, March 30, 2011


About a month ago, my dear friend and I spent Valentine's Day together. Being single, this was greatly appreciated and I loved an excuse to stand with her for hours.

Christi and I are quite infatuated with someone known as The Pioneer Woman. And if you don't know who I'm talking about, SHAME!

No that's not nice, but really. You should at least click on this link to her website to see exactly what I'm talking about and share in our affinity for her.

We couldn't believe months before that she would be gracing us with her presence in Dallas and I thought, 'Its not even a question. I'm going.' I have to pause and give props to my oldest sister for telling me about Ree back in 2009. Thank you, thank you!

Okay, so back to Valentine's Day, we went to Borders in Dallas to see her. But early that day, on my way to class, I stopped by to grab the wristbands that account for your placement in line. Good thing I did because we stood in line for 3 hours, I believe? And they weren't even halfway through the line at that point.


Anyways. I wanted to share with you the EPIC experience.

It. was. surreal.

When I walked in, I saw the back of this.......

uh, hellllo marlboro man.

*He signed my book. I drew the line there. Picture with him, no. Picture of him, yes.*

One of my favorite people of all time. I think we met....almost 20 years ago. 20 years.

Standing in line for that long can really do a number on you. But it doesn't shake the excitement.

There's the back of my head. And probably the moment when I was telling her how my sister wanted so badly to be there but she was literally about to go into labor so....and then she replied with an, 'oh I wish she would have. I would have loved to deliver her baby, I'm serious.'

Oh Ree. Considering all you accomplish in one day, I'm sure you could have.

Do you ever see pictures like this with someone you don't know, and wonder why everyone looks so uncomfortable. Well its because YOU'RE NERVOUS and SWEATING PROFUSELY. And thinking, 'man I really hope the way I'm standing doesn't look funny'.

Well personally I think I looked ridiculous but I was also still completely excited. But she was a doll and I loved meeting her.

Short story behind this picture:

My sister gave me her book for Christmas and it came in February. I was just so excited to have it in my hands so I was taking a picture of it, obviously.

But then my best friend Meredith convenient calls me as I'm doing so and here's our short conversation:

Me: Hey

Mer: Hey what are you doing?

Me: Uh, just taking pictures of my book.

Mer: You're taking pictures of your book?! WHO takes pictures of their book. Shouldn't you be reading it?

Me: Listen, I just got it and I'm really excited about it so leave me alone.

Maybe you had to be there. But I took a picture of this too.....

Love you too, Ree.

Love you too.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

the epitome of a teacher

I have two older sisters. One is a kindergarten teacher.

All bias-ness aside, I have never experienced such a phenomenal teacher and a blessing. She puts herself last in respect to her students and no matter what, loves the children she's been given and pursues their hearts and minds with fervor, compassion, and love.

I have never met someone with a heart quite like hers. As my sister, I know her quite well. Spending the majority of your life sharing a bathroom with someone you get to know them fairly well. And when they let you sleep in their bed with them until a ridiculous age, because of your personal insecurities, you get to know them even better. She can be a spit fire. She can burst into song. She can be bossy because that's the way God made her. And as a younger sister, there were plenty of times that I didn't understand or appreciate those good qualities in her. But I realize now, those are the perfect qualities of a kindergarten teacher. Are they not?

Mel, I know that the past few weeks have been really rough. You have been doing a phenomenal job on your first year. I simply want to reach out for a minute to say I love you, keep it up, and the best is yet to come. I know the uncertainty of life is breaking your heart. I know there have been plenty of things pulling at you, testing your heart and spirit in every facet of your life. But you, my sister, have been created for such a rare and special reason. You have qualities that outweigh many others. You have compassion that transcends any heart ache. You have endurance that knows no bounds. You have a way of loving little ones that is restorative and many wish they knew. God created you in such a specific and majestic manner. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Even though you don't know what lies ahead for this part of your life and feel just so uncertain, don't you forget that He knows exactly what He is doing.

Even in the moments where you can't imagine it going well or working out, it always does and always will. Why? Because you know the God of creation who establishes your steps. The same God who commands the morning and causes the dawn to know its place knows the plans He has for you. And without a shadow of a doubt cares deeply for His daughter.

Even now, you set examples for me in life. You show how to trust and obey and how to praise Him even in moments of weakness. I love you so dearly. Please come over soon and hang out with me.

P.S. you still have my nail polish.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

let me show you random pictures to explain what I've been doing instead of blogging.

Hi, hello. remember me?


my ability to stay away from this part of my life, is officially 22 days. that makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it. So those of you who have gotten on to me about it, thanks. Getting in trouble is a great motivation.

Let's play a game of catch up called, 'let me show you random pictures to explain what I've been doing instead of blogging'.

Of most importance, however, is this...

There is a new man in my life.

Yes, you heard me right. All 6lb. 14oz. of a handsome little man.

And NO he is not mine, just so we're all clear on that one.

I'm not even dating anyone.

After three sisters, two nieces, and a lifetime of female pets, this family has been in need of some more boys. And praise the Lord, my sister had one a few weeks ago. And that is where I spent most of my time, with everyone.

Becoming an ace at making chocolate milk and learning how to make sure there are no monsters in the bedrooms, even though I might have just encouraged that fear with all my good intentions :/

Look at him! So tiny. My expression doesn't look too enthralled to see him but trust me, I am relishing in the fact of his existence, that's all.

Having after school snacks, solo, for the first time. Let's just leave it at 1) it was sticky and 2) we changed clothes when we got home.

So much enjoyment in this picture.

Not having grasped the fact that, yes, my two and three year old nieces do know how to use my phone. I would find pictures on it like this. That was SELF TAKEN. And sometimes there would be videos. VIDEOS.

I was impressed. And a little nervous that it would join someone else to the bathroom and end up in the toilet.

But because I was around so often, I was able to capture phenomenons such as this.

Maybe I'm a bias aunt, but what three-year-old can cut out a circle in such a careful manner?

And can make a 'dinner' for mom right after she had a baby?

There was a lot of determination in this one effort.

Yes, potatoes shoved in a coffee pot = dinner.

mmmm. How precious is he?!

There would be be those moments, though, where I'd have to remind myself,

'She's three. She's just having a difficult time away from parents and all this temporary instability. She does love me. She does love me. Its just a glue stick. She'll be fine.'

And then I would wake up quite often with a two year old staring at me at 7:05am on the days that I didn't have to go to first thought,

'IIII am definitely not ready for children.'

But then I realized they are so precious and I love them and now they've been out of town for two, almost three weeks.


Oh and to top it all off, I went on my first ever road trip, a nice 14 hour drive to Florida with three of my sweet, wonderful, upbeat, patient, and hilarious friends. Let's just say that me and the beach spent 95% of my trip together. The other we were probably falling asleep at 8:30pm in all honesty.

Despite one person suffering from some questionably strange and painful sun burns, it was a wonderful and remarkably cheap. We didn't really take any pictures though. Our last evening there we caught the sunset but the five pictures I have are all a tad blurry. Its sad that we didn't think to take many pictures but we were too busy laughing and sleeping and getting tan and sleeping.

Here is the least blurry picture I have.

But let's end on this note....

Please grasp how small he is.

He's coming back this week. He'll proabably come back with facial hair and an attitude for all I know. Three-ish weeks is just too long.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

When two or more are gathered...

Yesterday was long. Everyone has those days, some longer, some more difficult. But in that moment, trying to keep my self together for a second, praying for some endurance, I checked my e-mail.

Well, I don't normally share everything I hear about but a certain e-mail from yesterday really struck a chord with me. From what I can tell, the sender sent this to someone else, who sent it to someone else, who sent it to my aunt, who sent it to me.

Confused yet?

I don't know all the details nor do I know her personally. It's about a young girl in her early 20's who is currently suffering from tremendous illnesses. She began with cancer in her jaw 5 years ago and after having many surgeries, going through remission, it continued to show up again.

It has spread to her brain.

She can no longer see and has lost her hearing because of the tumors.

Here is the e-mail I received with her mother sharing her heart and plead. You'll want to read this:

"L has her good days and bad days. Over all, she is much better than the first of December. Most of you know L is in hospice care and we are doing the care through our home. She does not fully understand the intention of this care. We recently decided to ask for an MRI, which usually means you have to come out of hospice care and can return back, but were able to do so without dropping out of hospice care. Friday afternoon she had her MRI and did very well staying still for it. This is the first time in a long time that she was able to stay still. [Her dad] received a call today to let us know that the tumor appears to be stable in some areas including the brain, but has small growth in another area. Considering L’s medical history the doctor’s do consider this to be tumor, but it could still be an issue caused from radiation/chemo treatment. The only way we would know is to biopsy, which cannot happen. We will continue as we have for the last couple of months.

We ask that you please pray for L and our family. I ask that you please pray for L, us to be able to accept whatever the outcome is in her life, and for God to give us (parents) the wisdom we need in her health care.

I would like to share something that L has felt and believed through this struggle over the last 5 years. Most of you know L has always kept a journal of her daily thought. She showed us her journal about a year after she was diagnosed with cancer. She had written in it that she had been praying for God to give her testimony, because she felt she did not have one to share. L felt that by growing up in a Christian Home and attending a Christian School that she just really did not have something to share with the lost. Boy, did she get one! She told [her dad] and me that one thing she wanted to see out of this experience with cancer, would be for lives to be changed and people to come and know the Lord. There are many family and friends that L had told us she was concerned about their Salvation and praying for them. Now, for the ones of you that do not know the Lord as your personal Savior, please do not think there is not a God in all of this who does not care. God has never left her or our side. The Bible says the just and unjust will all suffer. That means none of us are immune from suffering. Being a Christian does not mean you will not suffer or you will stop sinning. I often feel like the apostle Paul. He said he was the chief of sinners. Well, I believe I hold that title. Please do not look at my life and make a decision based on my daily living. I am just a sinner saved by God’s wonderful grace. Salvation gives you eternal life with Christ Jesus. You see, L wanted a testimony that she could share with the lost and lead them to the Lord. She wanted to see souls saved. I am not telling you anything she not has not told her family, friends, or church groups. With L not being in her right mind and able to share this, I want to share her message that she has shared with us. What ever happens in her life, God had a reason. He in control!

This is one of the hardest updates I have written! We want to share L’s testimony and her story, of what she wants told to all. Please feel free to share with others. This is L’s wish and what she would want to share with everyone hearing her story. She does a much better job at sharing it than me."

Um, this was terribly humbling to say the least. How awful to suffer such a painful and life changing illness and at such a young age. Talk about someone who needs to be lifted up in prayer, who needs endurance, and hope. Being in the same stage of life really made me think, 'what if that was me? I couldn't imagine what that would be like.' And it just simply places me right back in the place I need to be. Thankful.

Thankful that I have eyes to see, feet that can walk. Endurance to keep treading through life. Hope that never dissappoints. A peace that trancends all understanding. And moments like these that remind me how blessed I am, even in the really tough parts of life.


Here's what I'm thinking. This blog averages about 120 visitors a week right now. Wow, I'm not complaining about that!!! Some of you are believers in Christ and some may not be. But for those of you who are willing, won't you join me in lifting this girl up in prayer?

Prayer is one of the most powerful of movements we can act on for one another. Lifting one another up through prayer, a bended knee. What if each of us, after reading this, prayed for her once. That would be at least 120 people this week. How wonderful.

I felt compelled to share this with you today. So much so that I hope my urge for prayer would stir in your heart so deep that what ever you're doing, you would be willing to stop life for a moment, and lift up our sister in Christ. She is hurting, she is weak, and she needs to see the power of prayer.

In Matthew 18:19-20 it says this, "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."

Again, I know we aren't all together physically but....maybe you have someone who would pray alongside with you. I don't know. What do you think could happen? I, for one, know that my God is full of love, compassion, and healing. He is also just in every way, sovereign, and full of grace.

I know in the deepest depths of my soul that He hears me when I pray. I've seen it proven true time and time again.

So I urge you, only in a willing and compassionate heart, would you join me in praying for this girl?

Thank you so much for reading such a lengthy, probably repetitive, and probably confusing post.

I appreciate you so dearly.