Category Archives: Our Photo Gallery

Raised To New Life

Carter started asking me about the details of Christianity a few years ago.
A little over a year ago he began asking me what exactly it meant to be a Christian.
He decided that yes, he did want to make a commitment to God that he would try to live a Christ-like life.
But he wasn’t quite ready to make that commitment in front of other people.

He and Lydia share a room and she listened intently to what we were saying.
She’s a quiet thinker, but I could see the wheels turning.
A few months later, she started asking questions as well.
Some really hard questions.
(I told you she was a thinker.)

Then this summer Lydia went to a summer music camp at another local church.
She loved the music and we listened to it on repeat for months.
(It’s still in rotation, but we don’t listen to it every day.)
What I really loved about this musical is that almost every song is straight from scripture.
My children have all (even the baby) learned a handful of verses through music.
What better way to learn about God than through music?

Soon after camp was over, the questions began again; this time about baptism.
A few weeks later, two of their friends joined our church.
The week after that another friend (the sister of the first two) joined.
And their enthusiasm was contagious.
Now that they’d seen the others go before the church, it wasn’t quite as scary any more.
Carter joined one week.
Lydia the next.

This past Sunday, they were all baptized.



I am proud of them.
I am excited for them.
I am inspired by them.


Looking Back

I’ve been working on “the baby’s” baby book.
She’s hardly a baby anymore, but we’ve had a lot of fun going through all of the pictures from the past few years.

I posted a few of these on her birthday, but not all of them.
How adorable is she?


I didn’t know I needed it.

As school started here for most kids, Lydia and I were boarding a train headed for Alabama.
My friend Kimberly picked us up in a teeny tiny little train station and carted us back to her house in Mississippi.
Though we love Kimberly and really wanted to see her, ultimately we went to see her new baby boy.

I mean seriously…just look at all the cute.

I’ve said before how much I love watching my friends love their little baby.
I love watching the transformation from woman to mother.
I love watching love grow and lives change.

Is there anything more lovely than a mother and child?

We did absolutely nothing while we visited.
Well, not really.
We ate frozen yogurt.
And we did a lot of baby holding.
I mean a lot.
(And loved every minute of it).

We also laughed.
And giggled.
And smiled so hard that it hurt.
And maybe there were a few tears.
But happy ones.

We didn’t set alarms.
Or have an agenda for our days.

We read books.
Watched Full House.
Played games.

New life renewed my spirit.
Old friendships stirred my heart.
One-on-one time with my girl opened my eyes.
Without the chaos of siblings, I saw her – just her.
And it was good.
Very, very good.

In the Shadows of a Boy I See a Man

In the shadows of a boy, I see a man.
Courage, compassion, intellectual voracity already shine bright
But in the deep, hidden parts there is more.
There is a strength not yet discovered.
There is faith not yet figured.
There are grand ideas not yet imagined.
There is so much to be, so much possibility.
And there are so many things I want to tell him.
(For now, and for then).

You are stronger than you think.
The trick is in knowing when to push on and when to let go.

Even when you aren’t sure what you believe,
love God and serve others.
Faith will follow.

Make friends with people who are like you.
And also with people who are drastically different.
Enjoy diversity.

Believe that you can do it.
And then just do it.
(Whatever ‘it’ may be).

It is not always easy to be honest.
But say what you mean and mean what you say.

Remember the power of words.
A simple syllable can change the world.
“Yes” can affirm, encourage, inspire.
“No” can be a catapult for great change.
It won’t be easy, but look for the good hiding in every answer.

Be kind.
Be loyal.
Be gentle.

Be giving and forgiving.
Friendly and fair.

Be honorable.
Be determined.
Be sensible.

Be hopeful and helpful.
Happy and healthy.

Be generous.
Be grateful.
Be joyful.

Be all of those things.
(But mostly just be you).


Tea Time

The children all spent the night with my parents on Wednesday night.
On Thursday, I was invited to Gramama’s for tea at noon.
My parents and grandparents were there.
Even my brother was a good sport and played along (although he managed to avoid being photographed).

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Summer S’mores

One of the things on our Summer To Do list was make s’mores.

It is waaaaay to hot to be starting a fire and using the microwave is just so boooooring.
So we decided to try it a new way.
Cover the inside of a big bowl with tin foil.
Then put another ball of foil in the center.
Insert toothpicks into the center ball and add marshmallows.
Cover with plastic wrap and sit it out in the sun.


While the sun is doing it’s magic, place chocolate onto crackers and let it get good and smooooshy.

In about 15-20 minutes (depending on the heat), the marshmallows will be warm enough to squish between the crackers.

Just make sure you have lots and lots of wet wipes!



And that you are prepared for the we-don’t-have-any-more drama.


1 Week News

Last Sunday, Carter made a list for the week.
The week was abnormally full of very fun things and he wanted “to remember it forever.”

On Sunday evening Marshall and I had a meeting.
My mom usually helps us when that happens, but she and my dad were on a mission trip.
So a dear friend, Claudette (or cadet, as you see above), kept all 4 of our hooligans.

On Monday, we had special visitors!

Marshall’s brother and his new wife came to visit with their two dogs and cat.
The new dog wasn’t getting along with the older dog and we were able to find her a new home!
(Social media FTW!)

Tuesday was our annual Bubble Bash and we all had so much fun!

When our friends arrived, everyone was happily dressed.
At some point Asa decided to ditch the swim suit and wear nothing but bubbles.

On Wednesday, our new (old) piano was delivered!

It is a gorgeous upright grand piano that belonged to Marshall’s grandmother.
The children are fascinated with it and I am so happy to have a piano in the house again!

Thursday was my birthday.
We had lunch together as a family and then the kids and I ventured to the local bookstore for books and cupcakes!
Later we had some friends over for dinner and they brought a cookie cake.
When my friend went to pick it up, she asked the bakery guy if he could write on it.
He told her that he wasn’t very good at it but he would try.

When the children saw it, Lydia read it aloud: “Happy bi-dey Bridget!”
(Oh, the jokes that came from that one!)

On Friday we dropped Alden off with Marshall’s parents and went to the Braves game.
Even in well-over-100° weather, we had the best time!
It was a late night, but so very, very worth it.
They liked the game, but the fireworks were the ‘funnest’ part.

Saturday was supposed to bring a trip to The Rock Ranch, but it was just too blasted hot.
So we stayed home and played Hot Wheels races and read books and hung out together.
It was a lazy-daisy perfect day.

Sunday was a perfect end to a wonderful week.
Lunch with friends.
Visiting with my parents and Marshall’s parents.
Sitting and watching a storm pass by.

I am so very grateful for these days, these moments.




Our Town

In high school, we did a performance of “Our Town”.
(Don’t most people at one point or another?)

I remember her voice echoing in the room, solid but shaky.
“Do human beings ever realize life while they live it?  Every, every minute?”

I’d read it probably a hundred times before I heard it.
Once spoken, my ears truly heard.
Once spoken, so did my heart.

It pops into my mind so very often.
An eloquent reminder to soak it all in.


I had some old black contact paper that I cut into strips.
I made a big loop of a road where the living room rug usually is.
And then added a few side roads.
The children led in the road construction and I obediently followed their commands.
Once all the curvy parts were done, they took over the project.
They drew houses and buildings – a vet office, a hospital, restaurants, stores, a gas station, and more.
We made a pond and an airport runway with blue painter’s tape.
They even stocked the pond with lots of frogs and fish (stickers).
Each family got a (sticker) pet or two.
I listened to them make up stories and laugh and giggle for hours.
They spent nearly 4 hours constructing Busytown, USA –
A name they came up with even though they’ve never heard of Richard Scarry.
(Although I suppose it’s not really such a creative name.)
They devoted so much time to building the city that they never really had time to play with it.
I feel like I should leave it down a little longer, but I’m just not sure.
All of the furniture is pushed to the side so that Busytown can flourish.

The neighborhood is on Busy Lane and each of the houses have names like The Giant or The Tall.
There are cats that live at Sonic.  At night when Sonic closes, the cats go in and make chicken and fries for dinner.
There’s also a jail.  The guy who’s in there got out on bail once, but made a bad decision and now has double bail and he’ll be in for a long time.
There used to be a Target, but they had a fire.  Only two people were hurt, but they got well quickly.
When it reopens, it’s going to have a brilliant chandelier in the entry by the sliding magic doors.
Construction has already been started and they are shipping the chandelier from Timbuktu.

I said not a word, just listened.
This world of their imagination was fascinating.
I should have videoed it, but I was too busy acting like I wasn’t listening.
If I had shown any acknowledgment, they would have clammed up.
It is mind-boggling to think about how young you are when you start worrying that other people think your dream is silly.
But I want our town to be a place where dreams can sprout and grow.
A place where people are encouraged and loved and valued.
A place where people feel safe and comfortable.
In our town, I want to realize life as we live it – every, every minute.


The First Morning of Motherhood

One of my dearest friends is having a baby today!
And I’m a bit excited.
(Can you tell?)

Last night another friend and I reminisced about our own birth stories.
Funny how some things stay so vivid in your memory and others fade with time.

As we talked, I thought about all the things that I’d told my friend in preparation for this day.
And how no matter how many things you tell, there’s still stuff you leave out.
And you want to shout, “Oh, yeah and this…and that…and…”
But the moment has passed and then she’s in her own moment.
And one day she’ll be the one sharing her stories with another new mom-to-be
And as she talks, she’ll remember tiny bits that she’d forgotten all about
And then she’ll be the one saying, “Oh, yeah and this…and that…and…”
And she’ll want to warn her how much it’s going to hurt and how hard it all is, from labor into life and on.
And she’ll want to tell her that none of it will really matter in the end
– the birth plan that fell apart, the medicine that didn’t work,
the things that happened and weren’t supposed to
and the things that were supposed to happen and didn’t.
And when it’s all over she’ll wonder how she did it at all
And how time seemed to be standing still but now rushes by when it becomes a memory.
But she won’t understand.
Not until it’s there.
(And then it’s gone).

“Savor the moment,” I whisper to her, though she is hundreds of miles away.
And my throat catches and my heart flutters because it knows the love and joy that is about to be.


I love you, sweet friend.  You will be a wonderful Mama.
And, just like with today, I’ve tried to prepare you for what’s to be in the coming days, weeks, months.
But you won’t really understand it until it’s here.
And I’m here when it hits you, when you feel lost and confused and sleepy.
I might not have an answer, but I listen well (and that’s often all you need).
I’m certainly cheering you on today, but I’m also cheering you on forever.


It’s impossible to sit of the cuff of new motherhood without thinking of your own journey.
I even risked waking the baby to get my hands on their baby books.





Can you guess which two were born before we used digital cameras?
(Can you also tell that I am lazy because I took a cell phone picture of a printed picture?)
(Also?  My hair when Lydia was born?  I obviously didn’t know Leslie then.)

Peaches and Cream

The children and I went on a little field trip to Lane Southern Orchards.

We all picked blackberries and blueberries (even the baby).

After getting our fill of berries and heat, we came in for peach ice cream and a tour of the packing plant.


I really loved picking berries and they really loved the “factory”.
We all left tired, but happy.

And the night ended with a little living room campout.

This summer is shaping up to be quite a nice one.