Monday, September 29, 2008

Some pictures

Mike was able to steal a few minutes this weekend to capture some beautiful pictures!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My husband the school bus driver

A little known fact about my husband, he drives a school bus. Let me clarify--it's not his regular job. The school where he teaches doesn't have a bus system so the students rely on each other and parents to get them from here to there. When it comes to sports, extra-curricular activities and clubs though, there is one big yellow bus that the school uses. Because Mike is the only teacher at his school with his CDL license, he is the lucky one that gets to drive it.

This weekend, the Environmental Club is taking a trip to the Smokies. Now, not only does Mike get to drive, but this is truly a bonus for him. He NEVER passes up a chance to be in the mountains. Thankfully we are only 3 hours from the mountains. Camping and backpacking are his passions. We have container after container filled with camping supplies and gadgets and I have more Nalgene bottles than I care to count. Although it means 3 or 4 days without a shower, I have come to really enjoy the camping trips we take. I only go in the spring and fall though. Summer means bugs and bears, winter means cold and miserable. We compromise and go on spring break and fall break and then he goes by himself the other times.

This will be his third time going with club and he looks forward to it every year (he also gets a day off of school!). They spend time by the campfire, take hikes during the day, they do a study on salamanders and the past couple of years they had a professional story teller come in. This year there is going to be a bluegrass band and some of the students asked Mike to bring his guitar so he could play. He's going to have a blast!

He'll be gone all weekend but I am sending my love with him in the form of COOKIES!!!

Hopefully he will share with the kids!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Saturdays around our house usually mean a little work being done on the house, an errand here or there and a movie at night--just a laid back day.

Saturdays in the fall are a totally different story. Mike and I began dating in the spring so I had no idea what September would bring until after the engagement ring was on my finger. To my surprise, it's not about going to the park for the day, or's about SEC football, BBQ and the remote control.

I am originally from Ohio so growing up I knew about teams in the "Big Ten," teams like Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State. When I married Mike, the SEC came into my life. There is a whole institution that comes along with marrying a southern boy. "War Eagle" was now something that was shouted out to someone across the parking lot if they had an Auburn sticker on their car. "Do you think Kodi Burns got a fair shake at being quarterback?" and "What do you think about Tony Franklin's new offense?" are now questions that are asked..even to me, someone who knows very little about football. I have to admit though, it's growing on me. I don't break out my Auburn hat like Mike does though.

Notice the sweat stains on the hat. Nice. He has another Auburn hat, but when I asked him why he doesn't wear it he says, "I don't want to dirty it up." Ahh, the feminine side comes out. He also has a game he plays with his good friend Jon; they whistle the fight songs of the teams and try to guess which team it is.

I think one of the reasons it's growing on me is that I get to make a "game day meal" or should I say "game day snacks." Mike always mans the smoker. To pull off game day ribs, you have to start the smoker at 9:00am and they aren't ready until dinner.

And I make the dips. Today I am making "The Very Best Onion Dip". Christy, posted the recipe last month. YUM! I am also making Hot Reuben Dip. This is one of our family's favorites, especially my niece Jessica.

Hot Reuben Dip

1 package softened cream cheese

1.5 cups shredded Swiss cheese

1/2 cup Thousand Island Dressing

4 oz. corned beef

1/2 cup sauerkraut, drained

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix cream cheese, 1 cup Swiss, dressing and beef. Spread in pie plate. Top with sauerkraut and 1/2 cup Swiss. Bake 15 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with cocktail rye bread, rye crackers or pretzel crackers.

Out of allegiance to my childhood, I'm obligated to say, "Go Buckeyes!" But now that I'm married to an Alabama boy and I live in the south, I'm proud to say, "War Eagle!"

Have a good game day!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's Your Day Mom!

Happy Birthday Mom! I wish I was there to give you a hug! Enjoy yourself today, it's your day!
Just like I did for Dad, I pray for a year of many blessings and good health!!!

We love you!
Sarah, Mike and Baby!!!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Many of you have been posting about getting ready for fall and all that comes with picking pumpkins, the cooler weather and the beautiful leaves starting to change.

There is a song by Nichole Nordeman called "Every Season" that I have listened to over and over and over since our daughters were born. It is a song that speaks the truth of what it looks like to go through the seasons of life: the joys of summer, the cooling of fall, the harshness of winter and the promise of spring.

We have been through our "winter" so to speak, this past year. Because our God is good and faithful, he always promises spring to come. Spring has come to us! And he/she will be arriving in March! I have been waiting patiently to share my news with you, but I wanted to wait until we knew everything was okay, and more so, wait until after September 4th. Here is his/her first picture!

Honestly, it has been a bittersweet 3 months; knowing that we were expecting but also anticipating what September held for us. Having hope can be exhausting--trusting that what God says He will do, He will do and continuing to wait on His promises. It can also be exhilarating--realizing that yet again, He is the one that is control and not us. And when His timing comes, you can finally rest. We have gone back and forth with these emotions too many times to count the past year but we are so incredibly thankful to Him to bless us with another child.

After the girls were born, and realizing what our "new normal" would be, Mike made the comment about how much we would love any subsequent children we would have. Not only because they would be our babies, but because of experiencing the loss of two. Only God knows if the baby inside me now would have eventually come if his/her sisters had lived. Because of Allison and Emily, we have so much to give.

Many of you have prayed for us this past week and for that, there really are no words for me to say, other than...thank you. It was truly overwhelming when I would read the comments, not even knowing you, about how you were praying and lifting us up. Everyone should be so fortunate to have that kind support.

As we enter into the next several months I am sure there are going to be a mix of emotions (there already has been--pregnancy and non-pregnancy related!), but my prayer is simple and comes from an old hymn from the late 1800's...."Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art, I am finding out thy greatness of Thy loving heart....Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved, know what wealth of grace is Thine, know Thy certainty of promise, and have made it mine."

Job 8:21
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

For my daughters

Today is our daughters' birthday. This poem was read at their memorial service by our pastor.

Your tiny legs leapt over this life
And into eternity
With one great stride.

From the safety of your mother’s womb
To the cradling hands of the Father.
You never felt earth’s harsh chill.
You know now of what we only dream,
The future for which we hope:

That the distance between this world and the next
Is shortened by God’s embrace;
That heaven’s gravity will not fail you,
That you are alive and well

Whisper words from the other side
Sing for us an angel song
Let us hear the voice we have missed.

Bend heaven’s rules
Tell us of the face of Jesus
Assure us of our destiny.

Help us as we wait for the day
Of your full-bodied embrace.

Allison Elizabeth, my blessed first born. I remember vividly feeling you move around and kicking in the days before you born. Because your placenta was empty, I was able to feel every kick, move and stretch that you made. I am thankful for that. You are definitely the "big sister," you came out weighing almost two ounces more and being close to an inch longer! Did you know that your father named you? We had your name picked out, we just didn't know which one of you would get it. Since you were "baby A" your father decided that you should have the name that began with "A." Did you know that we share middle names too? It is a family name--your great-grandmother and great-aunt also have the name Elizabeth. Because of you my love, I was able to share 7 more days than anticipated with you and your sister in my belly; you hung in there for as long as you could. There are so many things I want to tell you about, to share with you and to teach you. I know this can't happen this side of heaven, so I wait for the day when I can hold you in my arms and whisper to you how much I love you.

Emily Ann, my sweet baby. 11 minutes after your sister was born, you were born. Ever since I can remember, all of my dolls growing up had the name "Emily." It was pretty much set in stone from the time we knew we were having twins that one of you would have this name. I remember holding your sweet hands after you were born, they were so soft and your fingers were long and beautiful. Your Aunt Christy even commented that they were so pretty and reminded her of Nana's hands, your great-grandmother. You have carried on a tradition with your name--Ann was Nana's middle name, it is your Aunt Christy's middle name and it is your cousin, Jessica's middle name. I sit here and wish with all my heart that I could say your name out loud and that you would come running to me. I know you can't, you are in a much better place.

To both of my girls, you changed our lives. You are missed and loved. My love for you, as your mother, goes deeper than I ever thought love could go. Oh how I wish you were here to celebrate your birthday. I picture the two of you digging your hands into birthday cake, surrounded by friends and family. I envision pink dresses, bows in your hair and cheeks that I can't seem to get enough of. I know that you are celebrating in heaven but it doesn't take away the sting, the pain and the longing I have for you. I am selfish, I want you here with me. Your father and I miss you everyday. There is not a day that goes by that I don't touch the two rings that are on my necklace and think of you.

The tears have come less frequently over the last couple of months than they did a year ago, but as we celebrate your lives today, they are flowing. I will re-read the poem. I will stand and look at your footprints that we have framed. I will look at the pictures we have of you. I will do the same thing I have done everyday since the day you were born--I will remember you.

We will visit your marker today at the memorial gardens and the reality of life and death will be real to us as we will clean off the stone that says you are buried there. We will listen to the birds singing and we will weep. There is mourning and grief today, but more so, I desire that this day be one of a celebration. A day that is remembered as one with the highest and deepest of love for two precious babies.

Allison Elizabeth and Emily Ann, my sweet, precious and beautiful daughters, your lives are remembered today and celebrated. We love you and can't wait to hold you again.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

An Award and things you didn't know....

Thank you to Carrie at Buzzings of a Queen Bee for this award!

I was also tagged for sharing 6 random things about myself so here goes....remember, they are random...

1. I went to Toccoa Falls Bible College in Toccoa, Georgia and graduated with a BA in Family and Children Ministries.

2. I was a nationally ranked racewalker when I was younger. It's actually an Olympic sport!

3. I've been to Australia.

4. I like to drink orange juice when I eat pizza.

5. I became a christian at Young Life Camp in 1991.

6. I was trying to think of a 6th random thing and when I asked Mike, he said..."tell them that you sleep with your mouth open." So there you have it.

Have a great Wednesday!

A Man and His Dogs

Mike has 2 dogs, Abby (short for Abacus--he is a math teacher remember) and Bailey. They are both "outside" dogs. I have never had an "outside" dog, only "inside" dogs. Charlie, my dog, is an "inside" dog (click on the link to see what life with Charlie is really all about). That means that Charlie doesn't normally like to be outside for any longer than he has too. He sleeps inside, eats inside and plays inside. Mike's dogs do all of that except...outside.
Living in a condo wasn't really the best place to have "outside" dogs so Mike's parents graciously offered to keep Abby and Bailey for us until we bought a house and could have them with us. Now that we are moved in and settled, last weekend we went to get them.

Let me tell you, Mike is a different man with his dogs by his side. They follow him everywhere and really just can't enough of him. And I think, even though he wouldn't admit it, he can't get enough of them either. Tonight when he was outside working on the yard, I snapped a couple of pictures. Bailey is the black lab and Abby is the yellow lab.

In the second picture, they were watching Mike and waiting for him to put down the weed eater so he could throw the ball. As soon as he did, they went running toward him!