Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Quiet Read

I am a reader. I always have book that I am reading and have to always have one "next in line." In fact, right now I have a basket of books next to my bed that I am slowly working through. A couple of weeks ago, none of the books I had looked appealing. I wanted something that would touch me, move me and allow me to reflect.

I turned to my favorite book of all time, Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. This is the third time I am reading it and it is one of those books that I have marked up, underlined and starred certain quotes and sections (which I don't normally do). If you are looking for truth, love, Jesus and even some laughs, this is your book. It was written in the 19th century by Elizabeth Prentiss, who also wrote the hymn, "More Love to Thee, O Christ.

One of my favorite parts is during a conversation between Katy and her mother. Katy has been restless in her relationship with the Lord and her mother says, "The only true way to live in this world, constituted just as we are, is to make all of our employments subserve the one great end and aim of existence, namely, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."

If you have read this book, I would love to know what you thought of it!

Monday, August 25, 2008

On this day last year...

Exactly one year ago today, Mike and I found out we were going to be the parents of twin daughters. We had known they were twins for 13 weeks but had anticipated this date to know whether they were girls, boys or one of each.

Our lives were changed that day. Changed forever. As I went into the office, I needed to use the restroom. While in the restroom my water broke. I was 20 weeks. After a hurried ultrasound and the tech telling us..."there is one girl"....."and there is another girl"...and after looking over at my husband with tears in his eyes wondering what was going on, we were rushed down to my OB's office and into a back room. "Sarah, I need to tell you that you will likely lose at least one of these babies, if not both." Those were her words. She said it all in one sentence. I wondered to myself if there was something I was missing. Did I misunderstand her? How did she know for sure what was going on?

I remember those moments as if they were yesterday, but they feel as it they were a lifetime ago. I remember the looks on the people's faces as I left the doctor's office crying. I remember the drive to the hospital. I remember calling my pastor to tell him what was going on. I remember checking into the hospital, I remember being wheeled by the nursery. I remember the smell, the sounds, the faces. I remember it all. Why? Because it was the day I found out I was going to be the mother to twin daughters.

The week following would prove to the be the most horrendous and traumatic week of our lives, yet one that was filled with peace, comfort and love and the joy of being parents.

I had developed an infection in Allison's placenta which had caused it to rupture. The hope was that as long as she could stay in my tummy, she would be saving her sister's life and there might be a chance that Emily could be delivered full term or close to it. But, I would have to lose one to save one; possibly carry one that was alive and one that wasn't. Being only 20 weeks at this point, the doctors can't stop labor in anyway because viability isn't possible outside of the womb. And thankfully, labor hadn't started so I was sent home after 3 days in the hospital to be put on bed rest until I was at least 23 weeks. At that point, if the girls made it, I could be checked back into the hospital and would stay there for the duration of my pregnancy. 3 weeks was all we needed to save our girls. I needed to do anything I could do to keep my babies safe.

I was only home for a few days before I went into labor on the morning of September 4th. By that evening the infection had progressed to the point that my life was in danger. As Mike spoke privately with the doctor across the room, I saw him nod his head and glance my way. The labor was increasing in intensity and there was nothing they could do.

Allison Elizabeth and Emily Ann were born shortly after. My babies, my daughters. As we held them in our arms, we took them in; their fingernails, their eyebrows, their ears...Allison even had a little dimple in the middle of her chin like her father.

There are things I will never know about them. I will never know what color their eyes were. I will never know what their cries sounded like or what their laughs sound like. I will never know if Allison would have liked a bat and glove in her hand or preferred a pink tutu. I will never know if Emily liked to sing or would she have rathered play the piano. We will never see them off for their first day of school, their first dates or be there to stand and applaud at their graduation. Mike will never walk his first born daughters down the aisle on their wedding day. It hurts and it's hard.

There are some things that I do know. I know that God is good, even when we don't understand. I know that for every tear I have cried over my daughters, God has cried more. I know that I will get to spend eternity with my daughters. I know that God was there when they were created, He was there when they were born and He was there when they died. He was there, He was there, He was there.

He was in the hospital room. He was with us as Mike and I lay side by side in the hospital bed crying out to Him. He was in the moments we were able to spend with our daughters. He is even in the pictures we have of them. He was at the graveside when we laid their bodies to rest. He is at the cemetery--in the wind that blows the trees that makes the wind chimes sing.

And you know what...He is here. He never went away. He was there all along. He has written the story of their lives. The story of two sweet baby girls in my tummy one moment and in the next moment they were in Jesus' arms. The story of two lives that changed a family from Ohio to Alabama and from California to North Carolina.

I read from someone, who recently lost her child, say, "Because I know Who, I am willfully unconcerned with why." There isn't any explanation for why and there won't be until I meet my sweet Jesus and hold my babies in my arms again. Even then, honestly, I think I will be so filled with joy that it won't even matter.

As this week approaches, I am anticipating moments of remembrance and a hope for heaven that has never been more real.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

Happy Birthday Dad! I pray this year is full of many blessings and good health! I love you!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Out for a couple of days...I promise I'll be back!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A test

I have to admit, I love to type. It is one my most favorite things to do. In fact, sometimes when I'm not typing, my fingers spell out the words that I am saying. Is that weird? No, don't answer that because I think I already know the answer.

90 words

Emily at Chatting at the Sky had it on her post yesterday and so now I am hooked. You don't really want to know how many times I've taken the test....

Take the test and see how you do....let me know!

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Project

There is a wicker chair that has been in my family for about 20+ years it seems like. For as long as I can remember, it was in my parent's living room with a matching table. When I moved to Nashville about 10 years ago, it was passed to me (everybody else was tired of it and I was at my first job out of college so I was taking anything I could get my hands on, especially things that were free).

It has made an appearance now and then for the last several years but when Mike and I got married, it had a final resting place in our attic. However, when we moved a couple of months ago, it saw the light of day again and I decided it would be a nice addition to our front porch. I had wanted a wicker chair for the front porch and even though it's not the garden style that you normally see, I thought it would work.

For all these years, this chair has been the natural wicker color, like a tannish brown. Then I started blogging and life changed, for me and the chair!. Spray paint was now new in my vocabulary and since this chair needed a lift, it was the first experiment. I first painted it off white, like this.

I put it on our front porch, but since our house is white, with black shutters, the chair got lost. So, on to Plan B. Black seemed to be such an inspiring color for so many of you, so I tried it...and succeeded!

It still needed a little something though. Just a little color. My mom made the pillow using and old sofa pillow I had and some of the fabric I got a few weeks ago at the flea market. Now, it doesn't get lost, but stands out! Hooray!

Also, yesterday was the first day back to school for Mike. He is a high school math teacher at one of the magnet schools. Not only is he a math teacher, but he's one of those teachers. You know, the kind that actually teaches and the kids come away having actually learned something. But he's also one of those teachers too, the kind that gives homework on the first day of school!

I am so thankful to be married to someone who loves what they do and wants to continue doing it as long as he can! In honor of his first day back I made one of his favorite meals, Poppyseed gets a 10 every time!

The Weekend

This past weekend Steve and Christy came through town to visit a friend. On their way, they dropped off my nephews, Sam and Ben.

We had some things planned but before any of that, Mike said he would make it worth their while if they wanted to help with the yard. Both of the boys are hard, they had a few Lego sets picked out that they have been waiting to get, so they were very motivated.

Sam loves to mow!

Ben started out weed eating, but then helped finish up with the push mower.

The next day we took them out to Opryland where they have a go-kart track.

They also had mini golf.

I LOVE this picture!

It was so nice to have the boys here for the weekend!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Kitchen

With the exception of the baseboards, the kitchen is done!

This is the eating area BEFORE....

This is AFTER...

My mom made the curtains for us. I still need to find some things to hang on the wall but haven't found that perfect thing just yet.

This is the other side of the kitchen BEFORE...

This is AFTER...
Don't the floors look great? Mike did a wonderful job! The appliances were white when we moved in and I really wanted to go with the almond/bisque color. We were able to find a used fridge and stove for a fraction of the cost and they were in perfect condition! We are still on the lookout for a dishwasher. The Kitchen Aid mixer in the corner is a prized possession! Mike bought it for me right before we moved. It makes all the difference with my baking!

Hope you like it!
To Laura, regarding the laundry area shelves--my husband didn't go by any plans, he actually just went by pictures of shelving he saw in another house. He said if you would like to email him, he could respond with how he did it. You can reach him through my email which is in my profile. is the recipe for the Chicken Bruschetta.
1tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp black pepper, divided
4 skinned, boned chicken breasts
Cooking spray
1 Tbs olive oil
1 (8 oz.) package sliced mushrooms
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped plum tomato
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Combine garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper in a small bowl; sprinkle chicken with garlic powder mixture. Place the chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray, and broil for 6 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm.
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 tsp salt, mushrooms, zucchini and minced garlic; saute 2 minutes. Add 1/8 tsp black pepper, tomato, onion, basil and vinegar, saute 3 minutes. Serve the vegetable mixture over chicken; sprinkle with cheese.
Makes 4 servings.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Home again, home again, jiggety jog

Whenever we would return from a trip when I was little, we used to say, "Home again, home again, jiggety jog, _____ looks like a frog." We would put one of our name's in the space. It's funny, I still say it when I pull in my driveway when coming back from vacation.
I had a wonderful time, as I always do, this past weekend. Although we didn't snatch up any good finds at thrifting, we did have the opportunity to go through some things that have been passed down to us from a great aunt that has recently passed away and some other things that my grandmother Mimi has been wanting to give us.
The vegetable dish (on the left) the gravy boat and the cordial cups are from Mimi. The vegi dish and the gravy boat were part of a set that was given to her and my grandfather for the wedding! The small bowl and place settings belonged to my Aunt Ruthie. She sent me the bowl as a wedding present with a note saying that my great grandmother used it when she served tea when her friends would come over. How fun is that?!! If you look closely there is an infant place setting next to the bowl. My computer is doing something funny and I can't upload the close-up of them. They are so cute!
These linens also belonged to my grandmother. Christy and I went through TONS of sets of them and these were some of my favorite. They each have a piece of fruit on them, pineapple, pear, grapes and and an apple. I've been looking for a special pineapple to have as a sign of hospitality in our new house--this might be just what I was looking for. I think I am going to frame it and put it in our entry way.
Hopefully in the next week or so I will have a picture of my new floors. Mike worked so hard while I was gone. He was originally going to go backpacking in the Smokies for a few days but since the floors needed to be finished he put that on hold to stay home. He's a good man! When I walked in the house, it looked so different and I can't wait to share the pictures with you!

Friday, August 1, 2008

My other home

There is something so comforting about coming home to the city you grew up in.  I know the streets, how to get from here to there, the grocery stores and where the nearest gas station is. I know this place like the back of my hand. It's good to be "home."

Well...sadly, there were no good finds today. We searched high and low and NOTHING was to be found. Maybe we were looking too hard, maybe it was all picked over. Who knows. We'll try again tomorrow to see if there is anything that is calling our name. 

I did have a nice surprise from my grandmother, Mimi. She has been downsizing recently and is cleaning house. I was fortunate enough to have her give me these two beautiful pewter bowls that she has had for probably over 40 years. She has some of the most interesting, unique and beautiful serving pieces and silver. She recently gave me a silver gravy boat and vegetable platter that someone had given her and my grandfather for a wedding present in the early 40's. It is something I treasure!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend with your families! I sure will with mine!