Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

Is that right to say?

Happy Memorial Day?

It does not seem right. It is a day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order to keep our country free. For too many, happy does not describe this day.

For me? I am grateful and extremely thankful that I do not have to be sad remembering my family members who have served our country. God has blessed me by allowing them to come home safely each time they deployed.

I posted this on Veteran's Day but I feel it worthy for a repost today.


I wrote a little something about what today means to me.

What is a Veteran?

It is honor, when no one else stands strong
It is keeping watch all day and all night long.
It is time away from loved ones, sometimes for a year.
It is living with constant danger, risk and even fear.

It is moving to a new place every few years or so.
It is never holding on too tight, but not wanting to let go.
It is sacrificing everything for the good of everyone else.
It is always putting others and their needs above yourself.

It is freedom. It is peace. It is something worth fighting for.
It is honor. It is duty. It is life-changing to the core.
It is brave. It is loyal. It is marching off to war.
It is tears. It is sadness. It is what will be no more.

It is hard. It is painful. It takes only the strong and true.
It is the face of America. It is the defenders of the red, white and blue.

Don't forget to pause today and be thankful for those who serve in our Armed Forces. They give up so much so we can each sleep in peace. Thanking them is the least that we can do.

To my two favorite soldiers: I salute you!

Hooyah!


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Friday, May 27, 2011

A Preschool Princess becomes a Kindergartener!

Thursday night we celebrated Caroline and her awesome year in Pre-K. You know, that great year where she cried everyday for the first four months of school? Yep! That would be the one! The kids had to come dressed as a princess or a pirate (not sure why pirate, but mine was a girl so I did not have to worry about that one). Will took it upon himself to change into his nice clothes for her celebration. Love that kid. He had his awards day Thursday too...more to come on that one!

Caroline went to the same preschool that Will went to. Most of the people were there when Will was there...the celebration was even in the same place. Here is a picture of the two of them. One of them from three years ago, one from last night!


Here is a fun collage of lots of pictures from the big night! Caroline had a blast. Who wouldn't dressed as a princess and getting to sing on stage?!

I still cannot believe she is going to be in Kindergarten next year. When did she get so old? When did I? (don't answer that!)

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

Linking up late with Lindsay and What I Wore Wednesday!


white tee: Ann Taylor
Gray Shirt: Matilda Jane
White pants: Coldwater Creek

Tank: Costco
Teal shirt: Boutique at the beach
Jeans: LOFT

Gray Tee-LOFT
Pink sweater-GAP
Skirt: Ann Taylor
Shoes: Naturalizer

Jean tunic: Old Navy
Leggings: GAP
Shoes: Lindsay Phillips

Tank: Calvin Klein (worn backwards so higher up)
Pink shirt: Loft Outlet
Pants: NY& Co
shoes: Naturalizer


L/S tee: Target
Dress: Loft
Boots: Ariat

Black and white tank: Ann Taylor
Jacket: mom gave me
Jeans: Buckle
shoes: Naturalizer (they are my favs)


Brown pants and Jacket: Shop at the beach
Teal shirt: LOFT
shoes: Rack Room

Link up! It's fun!!!

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Babe!

15 Years? Really? Has it really been that long? I adapted the poem You Are My I Love You by Maryann K Cusimano for my Anniversary post to my wonderful husband!

He looks thrilled to be married to me, doesn't he? :)

You are my husband, I am your wife.
You are my Disneyland, I am your nightlife.
You are my mountains, I am your beach.
You are my constant, I am your reach.

You are my laughter, I am your cry.
You are my "what if", I am your "why."
You are my saver, I am your buyer.
You are my predictable, I am your spitfire.

You are my goofy, I am your serious.
You are my "thinker", I am your "let's discuss."
You are my practical, I am your dreamer.
You are my minivan, I am your beemer. :)


You are my last minute, I am your planner.
You are my one word, I am your banner.
You are my honest, I am your woo.
You are my dream, I am your "I love you."




Love you babe! Happy 15 Years!!!

Here is Caroline's drawing of our wedding...from left to right that is Mark, then Caroline (with buns in her hair AND as my flower girl), me (with Princess Lea buns in MY hair) and Will (who was walking me down the aisle). :) Love her!



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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Power of Prayer

We have had some tough days in our church lately. Our style of music is trying to change and some people just do not want that to happen. I respect their opinion. I do. And I understand that change is hard (see here for a recap on change). I also understand that change without the approval of God will never happen, regardless of which side of the fence you are on.

Our precious, God-fearing pastor asked us Wednesday night to pray for the next seven days for this issue of music. Sunday in church we were told we would not be singing any congregational songs (and we didn't). Instead we would pray. The choir did sing. Oh. My. Word. They threw down!

This is the song they sang:



Hands were raised, tears were falling, the presence of God was so evident in that place! We had been praying for 4 days and He did not disappoint. We are still on our knees asking for unity and oneness and I am praying believing He WILL DO IT!

Prayer

Prayer is falling on our face before a perfect and Holy Lord.
Prayer is what brings a congregation together to live in one accord.
Prayer is our mission in order to bring the church together as one.
Prayer opens up the floodgate to the power of God’s own Son.
Prayer cradles us safely in the loving arms of God.
Prayer carves out the very path upon which our feet will trod.
Prayer takes a group of people whose thoughts differ day by day.
And brings that group together to show the world He is the only way.
Prayer settles our troubled hearts and washes us clean with His perfect peace.
Prayer gives us back our focus as His Heart and Face we seek.
Prayer grows our faith and trust in the only fixer of our lives.
Prayer unites the world no matter the language, the land or the tribe.
Prayer shakes the church’s core and abolishes our sinful man.
Prayer is humbling our very soul and doing whatever He says that we can.
Prayer gives us confidence when we’re tossed on the stormy seas.
Prayer gives us the strength to take a stand, when we fall to our knees.


These are our college students surrounding our pastor before church began on Sunday!

Won't you join us in praying for this?

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Monday, May 16, 2011

My phone is making me dumb

I am not one of the blessed souls with an iphone. I know, "if you don't have an iphone, well...you don't have an iphone." And I, well, don't.

I do have a droid X though and I love it. OK...I like it. One tool I really like is the fact that as I start to type a text message or an email, it gives me four or five choices of words. So I don't have to know how to spell, just how to start a word.

And there in lies the problem. I am losing my ability to spell because of my phone. Sad. I know. But true.

If I have to give up my cell phone ever, then I pray you all can read phonetically! :)


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Sunday, May 15, 2011

I Serve a Big God

I know I serve a big God. I am praying and believing He is going to show up BIG in our church today!

I believe His Hand is on us and He is ready to move. I am trusting Him to make a clear path.

His Fingerprints

The smile on the widow’s face, the peace in the orphan’s soul.
The shining sun after the storm, the broken one who is now whole.
The laughter of a young child, the tears on a mother’s cheeks.
The longing of a lost man’s heart, the promise of the one He seeks.

His Fingerprints are all around us, assuring us of His love.
Reminding us He is on His throne in Heaven far above.
He shows His hand of mercy as He walks beside us day by day.
His Fingerprints are on our hearts as we humbly follow His way.

The broken home united, the hope of streets of gold.
The beauty of a sunrise, the shelter and warmth from the cold.
Giggles from a tickled child, coos from newborn babes.
A gentle breeze on the face, the crashing sounds of waves.

His Fingerprints are all around us, assuring us of His love.
Reminding us He is on His throne in heaven far above.
He shows His hand of mercy as He walks beside us day by day.
His Fingerprints are on our hearts as we humbly follow His way.

The very nature of our God is one of strength and full of might.
His gentle Hands can guide us through the darkest of the nights.
He surrounds us with His presence, never leaving our precious side.
His fingerprints He wanted us to see and He showed us with His life.

His Fingerprints are all around us, assuring us of His love.
Reminding us He is on His throne in heaven far above.
He shows His hand of mercy as He walks beside us day by day.
His Fingerprints are on our hearts as we humbly follow His way.

Lord, show us your Fingerprints in a big way today, please!

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Change

Change. Defined as "to become different; to become altered or modified; to transform."

Change is a hard thing. Change can bring with it anxiety, loneliness, separation and fear. The fear of change is what keeps many people right where they are.

I have a poster on my wall in my classroom that says, "If you always do what you've always done, then you'll always get what you've always gotten."

Change requires strength. Change requires faith. And change is required of us. We are not made to be a people who stay the same.

We change our size. We change our education level. We change our marital status. We change houses. We change clothes. We change schools. We change our minds. We change in our relationship with our loving, Heavenly Father.

We change a lot without even noticing it or attempting to stop it. So why is change that is planned so much harder to swallow? Is it because we might not have a say in the said change?

I remember when my husband and I moved to the town we currently live in. It was 13 years ago. We lived in Atlanta in a tiny apartment--but I was happy. Big towns don't scare me. But Mark hates them. He worked in downtown Atlanta and I taught school in Gwinnett County--about 30 miles away from our little apartment. I was the one (at first) doing all the driving and I was OK with that. Then Mark started traveling to manage some jobs going on in our current town. He traveled A LOT. That was OK because he got paid to travel. :)

We began to look for a house to buy and I was all excited because we were going to "put down some roots." We had made an offer on a house...I was waiting at the real estate office for Mark to get there so we could sign our contract. It was an exciting day!! I wanted to go ahead and sign my name. Then the phone rang. And my real estate agent came to me and said, "Put the pen down. We need to wait for Mark."

Yeah....well, we obviously didn't buy that house that day. He walked in and told me he was offered a job in our current town (that I had never seen but deemed it a po-dunk, barely two stoplight kinda town) and he couldn't turn it down. I didn't want to move. Putting down roots was exciting to me since I moved every 3 years while growing up. And I wanted to put down roots near Atlanta.

What I didn't know was that God wanted us to put down roots somewhere else. Somewhere I did not want to be. Somewhere small. Somewhere very far away from family. Somewhere I HAD NOT CHOSEN!!!


But He has blessed us in that change in more ways than you would want to read about here. :) And that is usually how it works. We drag our feet against the change only to realize that once we let go, the God ordained change is amazing.

Our precious church is going through some changes right now in how we use our music to worship God. And this change is rocking the worlds of many of our members. It is a change our pastor, staff and deacons have all prayed about and all feel God sensing us to do. But remember, change is hard. So, will you pray for us and with us that we can move passed the fear and passed the attitude of "No one consulted ME before they did this." and make this change in a way that is honoring and glorifying to God?

Change is hard. But it is not necessarily bad.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday! I sorta failed here. We have had a huge week with lots of stuff crammed into it and I found myself running late almost everywhere I went. I am not proud of that but it is the main reason why I do not have many pictures!

And wow...one of them is from Field Day. This is me tossing an egg for one of the teacher events. My team won! Yeah me! :)

Black shirt: GAP
Tshirt: local printing company--that was my class's team color
Jeans: Buckle
Shoes: Mary Jane Sketchers (old)

White shirt: Target
Dress: Ann Taylor
Shoes: Lindsay Phillips
Jewelry: Silpada

Striped shirt: Loft
Jacket: Jones of New York (by way of Costco)
Shorts: Loft
Shoes: Clark's


Dress: Loft (a few years ago)
Jean Jacket: Loft
Shoes: Rack Room
Jewelry: Silpada

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy and Silpada.

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Mom.

It was the one name I always wanted to be called.

It is the hardest job I have ever had.

I have only held that title for 8 and a half years. But they have been the best eight and a half years of my life.

I have had some total full circle moments as a mom. Full circle meaning that my mom now finds too much joy in saying, "It's payback, Paige. He/she is just like you were."

Like:

Waking up early on Saturday mornings and wanting to immediately make sure that my mom and dad knew what kind of day it was...so I woke them EARLY! Sorry mom.

I always thought going to bed before 10:30 was so uncool. Now, I am so excited if I am in bed BY 10:30 and if it is before then I almost can't contain my joy. Sorry mom.

Watching cartoons was so much fun (even if I did have to wait til Saturday morning for them to come on). I was always so upset when they were over...and even more upset when mom would send me outside to play. Now, I understand. Sorry mom.

Fridays were always cleaning days...we could not go anywhere if our rooms were not clean. I often tried to pretend I had cleaned (cramming things in almost any empty space, clean clothes in the dirty clothes basket, turning on the vacuum cleaner but not pushing it around the room). Now, I have to FIGHT my kids to clean their rooms. Sorry mom.

I complained a lot about dinner. I wanted hotdogs and mac and cheese or pizza for dinner, but never EVER asked for spinach or broccoli. I whined and moaned and groaned about eating my dinner (but NEVER about my dessert). Sorry mom.

I sat behind my mom in the car and I often, I am sure without even thinking, may have inadvertently kicked her seat. SO SO sorry mom!

I talked non-stop. And I do mean non-stop. Sorry mom. From the absolute bottom of my heart I AM SO, SO SORRY!

I did not say enough "please", "thank you" or "can I help?" Sorry mom.

I was a rude, rude teenager. I haven't hit this age with my own kids yet but if these past 8 years are any indication of "what goes around, comes around", then mom, I am on my knees saying I am so sorry!

I think the only way I can keep trudging along in this motherhood thing (besides, you know, the mere fact that I love my kids with all of my heart) is that now, in my life, my mom still loves me and better than that, I am crazy about her (I pray that falls under payback too...).

She is so much fun to be around...she laughs easily, she defends her grandchildren, she loves her family with all she has and she has been such a great example of wife, sister, mom and daughter. I pray that I can be even half the mom she is to me.

Thank you mom. Thank you for the clean clothes, the home-cooked meals, the late nights, the early mornings, the endless hours of prayers, the giggles when you are punchy, the shopping trips, the mac and cheese recipe, the advice and the example you have always been for me.

I am truly blessed because out of all of the moms in the world, I got the best one.

I love you mom!

Happy Mother's Day!

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Children

Children are such a joy...my children make me laugh daily. They leave me without an ounce of strength by the end of the night but they are a treasure!

I read this poem on a sweet friend's blog and wanted to post it here at the start of a weekend that celebrates moms. I am honored to be a mom and am truly blessed to call these two mine!




You Are My I Love You
Author: Maryann K Cusimano

I am your parent you are my child
I am your quiet place, you are my wild

I am your calm face, you are my giggle
I am your wait, you are my wiggle

I am your audience, you are my clown
I am your London Bridge, you are my falling down

I am your Carrot Sticks, you are my licorice
I am your dandelion, you are my first wish

I am your water wings, you are my deep
I am your open arms, you are my running leap

I am your way home, you are my new path
I am your dry towel, you are my wet bath

I am your dinner you are my chocolate cake
I am your bedtime, you are my wide awake

I am your finish line, you are my race
I am your praying hands, you are my saving grace

I am your favorite book, you are my new lines
I am your nightlight, you are my sunshine

I am your lullaby, you are my peek-a-boo
I am your kiss goodnight, you are my I love you


Happy Mother's Day weekend!

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

It's Wednesday! This is a fun, no stress blog linky that also gives out fashion tips--score! And Beth, if you are reading this...look! Shoes on everyday for pictures! Double score!

Tshirt: Ann Taylor
Jacket: Ann Taylor
Pants: LOFT
Shoes: Rack Room
Jewelry: Silpada

White Shirt: GAP
Grey Shirt: Matilda Jane
Jeans: Buckle
Shoes: Clarks
Jewelry: Silpada

Tank: LOFT
White shirt: J.Jill
Skirt: Matilda Jane
Shoes: Lindsay Phillips snap shoes
Belt: GAP
Jewelry: Silpada

Black shirt: Talbots
Jeans: Buckle
Shoes: Rack Room
Posy Pins: The Pleated Poppy
Jewelry: Silpada

White shirt: Kohls
Black Sweater: The Limited
Jacket: LOFT
Pants: Boutique at beach (my new faves)
Shoes: Rack Room
Jewelry: Silpada

I am linking up with The Pleated Poppy and Silpada.

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Devastation

I want to apologize for not posting anything since last Wednesday's What I Wore Wednesday post.

I get that post ready on Tuesday night and set it to automatically post the next morning. Last week, last Wednesday, was a day I will never forget.

We spent an hour and ten minutes in the hallways at school that morning, ready to take cover because of a possible tornado. That set of storm clouds passed us by without incident.

The day continued and the sun even came out. But all after school activities were canceled. Churches canceled services. Everyone was told to find a safe place. More bad weather was coming.

I watched all afternoon as tornadoes swept through our neighboring state of Alabama. I know the towns I have to listen for on the news...their weather usually becomes our weather. My mind could not comprehend what I saw happening in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. And then I heard it...the local weather man telling us that the same storm from Tuscaloosa was heading our way and was wreaking havoc everywhere it went. We started down the steps to the basement and everything was eerily quiet outside.

My kids were polar opposites of each other. Will was so scared he thought he might throw up. Caroline was cheering and singing and saying we would be fine. We turned on the TV and heard that the storm may hit our county or it may go slightly north of us. We watched as they tracked it...we watched as it missed us.

I was relieved, to say the least. Then I got this picture from a friend...a friend who lives on the border of my county and the one north of me...she took this from her basement window...

That tornado, now determined to have been an EF4, hit the town just 15 minutes from my house. Ringgold, Georgia will never be the same again.


We have always said that the mountains around us have always protected us. And so far, for me, that is true. But Ringgold has mountains too. And that tornado bounced off those mountains, into a valley and did some major damage.

I have a student who lives in that valley. She and her family and their house are fine. She didn't come to school on Thursday and I have never been so scared to try and make contact with a parent. I was so relieved when I heard they were OK. I was much better on Friday when I saw her and could wrap my arms around her. Her lip quivered as she told me how the tornado came through her backyard. My eyes filled with tears thinking about what could have been. What did not happen to her, did happen to many in that town though.

While Ringgold was not nearly as devastated as Tuscaloosa, it was hit hard. Below is a video that has been on all of my friends' facebook walls and I wanted to share it with you. If you can spare a prayer for our neighbors, please do so. And if you are from Alabama and reading this, then know we are praying for you too!






God Bless You,

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