The kids

The kids

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Undaunted Radiance

The Lord used Oswald Chambers (and my sweet new Kindle my in-laws got me) to rock my world today. After the struggles of the past year and half (and Garrett making the move to the Myrtle today), the following passage from March 7th in My Utmost for His Highest spoke to my heart.... a lot. Someone please remind me of this in the near future.

"In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
Romans 8:37

Paul was speaking here of the things that might seem likely to separate a saint from the love of God. But the remarkable thing is that nothing can come between the love of God and a saint. The things Paul mentioned in this passage can and do disrupt the close fellowship of our soul with God and separate our natural life from Him. But none of them is able to come between the love of God and the soul of a saint on the spiritual level. The bedrock of our Christian faith is the unmerited, fathomless marvel of the love of God exhibited on the Cross of Calvary; a love that is not earned and can never be. Paul said this is the reason that "in all these things we are more than conquerors." We are super-victors with a joy that comes from experiencing the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.

Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them. Let's apply that to our own circumstances. The things we try to avoid and fight against-- tribulation, suffering, and persecution--are the very things that produce abundant joy in us. "We are more than conquerors through Him" "in all these things", not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. A saint doesn't know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it. Paul said, "I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation" (2 Corinthians 7:4).

Undaunted radiance is not built on anything passing, but on the love of God that nothing can alter. The experiences of life, terrible or monotonous, are impotent to touch the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Two Days

Two days, that is the total number of days our family has been well during the month of December (that may include November as brain is too fried to think back that far). Keep in mind that two days is the number of days we have individually been well, we have not had two days of us all being well. Mostly because Evan has been sick since birth. Therefore, any vision I had of a dream holiday season was completely thwarted. When will I learn to stop having expectations of things???

Anyway, our little family had the stomach virus the whole week before Christmas, and Evan came down with an awful cold. Luckily the stomach virus was cleared up by Christmas Eve but Evan's cold was only getting worse and then after he broke out in hives after a bath, we ended up at the doctor with him in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve. And since the doctor's office is closed on Christmas Eve, we had to take him to the Children's Hospital. Garrett was at work when all this happened so my sister drove me to the hospital. Garrett met us there, so my sister took his car and drove home. Well, when we went to leave the hospital we realized we had failed to get my car keys from her (the hospital is almost 40 minutes from my parents house), so we had to wait for more keys to show up. We get home around 6:30 (after we had already missed church), only to discover that I had left one of our bags (containing my i-phone) sitting at the entrance of the emergency room. I cried (imagine that). We called. Praise the Lord they had it. So we scarfed down a quick but delicious Christmas Eve dinner and then made the trek back to the hospital. Then we came home and crashed.

We woke up Christmas morning, opened presents, and then packed up all of the junk it takes to go anywhere with 2 small kids. Then we headed to Spartanburg to spend Christmas with Garrett's family. We were there for two days (where we were all well except for Evan). During those two days we got to experience great time with Garrett's family and the most beautiful White Christmas. However, when we woke up on Monday morning, I looked at Garrett and said, "my throat hurts." He said, "mine too." We thought it was just allergies or something. By the time we got home that afternoon I had a fever of 101. Tuesday morning, I go to the doctor, Strep Throat. Seriously??? So, I've been quarantined (again). Garrett is going to the doctor this afternoon. Here's to 2011 being a healthy year. And here's some pics from the few seconds we were well.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

When I Get to Heaven

You know how you always here people say things like, "When I get to heaven, the first thing I'm gonna ask God is why does __________ have to happen (you can fill in the blank, I couldn't come up with a good example). Anyway, when I get to heaven, the first thing I am asking is, "Why the heck does everyone always come down with the stupid stomach virus in the middle of the night?" Apparently, my kids don't know how to throw up during the day and neither do we.

As you'll remember, Emerson had the awful stomach virus about a month ago and threw up, all NIGHT. Well, this past Saturday NIGHT she threw up at 4am. Then on Monday NIGHT, Garrett starting throwing up at 4am and then last NIGHT I started throwing up at 1am. Don't get me wrong, I don't want anyone throwing up any time but I really think I would prefer let's say, 11am.

Here's to a throw up free Christmas....and according to the weather man maybe a little snow.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thank Goodness

Apparently Emerson is really into watching ice skating. Twice in the past few weeks the Today Show has had people ice skating on the show. Both times Emerson has stopped dead in her tracks and climbed up into my lap to watch the skaters. As soon as they are done she hops down and goes about her business. I love her sitting in my lap so much that I YouTubed ice skating performances and let her watch a few...from my lap of course. Thank goodness she's not into synchronized swimming or I may have to watch this....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another Move and A Cookie Swap

Well, it's that time again, time for a member of our family to move. Yes folks, after 8 long weeks of having our family of 4 living under one roof, it's time to change it up. Last week Garrett got the phone call I've been dreading...they're moving him to Myrtle Beach at the end of the month. Ha Ha, laugh it up. After enjoying making fun of the Brantley's all this time for living in the Myrtle, my husband will now be living there too. I can't lie, I'm sad. Sad that I will once again not be living with my super hot husband. Sad that my kids won't have their dad around all the time. Sad.

A few positives however are: Garrett is employed, that's positive. Also positive, my best friend lives in the Myrtle so at least I will get to see her when we go visit....and Em will get to see her betrothed, Harrison, and we will get to see baby Fisher who is due to be born in early January. All positives. We have no clue how long Garrett will be there for.....only time will tell.

Another positive thing that is not related to the upcoming move, I'm helping host a cookie swap this Saturday. I can't wait. I love holiday parties, especially ones that revolve around eating cookies and taking cookies home. I have been thinking about what kind of cookies to make for a few weeks now. I turned to my friend Martha for a little help. First I tried making these little guys, Lucinda's Molasses Drops.
My sister-in-law, Amber, aka one of my best friends, came down on Saturday to help me test out the cookie recipe. We had a great time hanging out, but the cookies didn't turn out quite right. They were interesting but not what I wanted to bring to the 1st Annual Cookie Swap. So, on Sunday, I tried making something similar to these...
Cocoa Nib Rounds (shortbread with cocoa nibs). In case you are wondering...what the heck is a Cocoa Nib??? (i thought they were just little bits of chocolate)... Cocoa Nibs "are perfectly roasted cocoa beans separated from their husks and broken into small bits. They are the essence of chocolate. Nibs add crunchiness and subtle chocolate flavor to baked goods and savory dishes. They make a great substitute for roasted nuts or chocolate chips, without added sweetness (definition courtesy of"

Anyway, the cookies turned out great. If you want to try them, COME TO THE COOKIE SWAP! If you are interested, message me, and I will give you the details (location, time, etc). Just show up with 2 dozen of your favorite cookies. And leave with cookies to take home to your family and friends.
Yummmm....the cookies are helping to ease the pain of the impending move already. I swear I'm going on a diet after Christmas...if not Garrett may never want to come back from the Myrtle.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's A Miracle

As noted on the sidebar of this blog, in the past it has been 100% impossible to get a picture of our family with everyone at least facing the camera. Enter Kim DeLoach. I got to know Kim while I was on staff at Grace. I have loved getting to know her over the years. Not only do I consider her a friend but I also think she is one of the more talented photographers I know. To check out her work go here. To check out the wonders she worked on our family...don't move a muscle. Here is a sampling of the recent pics she took of our little family. Please note that is only a very small sampling b/c to post more than a few would take a fortnight. And well, I have a little time, but not a fortnight (which I think is technically like 14 days).

Our precious, precious, precious Evan. You have never met a sweeter more pleasant baby. I promise.
Our precious, precious, precious Emerson. The cutest yet feistiest little lady I have ever known.
The miracle photo. Everyone is almost looking at the camera.
Thank you Kim DeLoach. We are so thankful for you!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Love Love Love

It's Christmas, the time of year when we celebrate the Lord's love for us, love so great that "he sent His son to dwell among us and to give His life as a ransom for many." I am in awe of His love for me and am celebrating the many blessings He has so graciously given me. So, here are a few of the blessings that I am delighting in these days. I genuinely LOVE the following:

To begin with, I love love love that as I am sitting here writing this post, Emerson is dipping a Sharpie in the foam from the cappuccino my dad made me, and bringing it to me to lick off. Occasionally she takes a lick too and says, "yum, yum, yum." I love her.
Speaking of loving Emmy. I love that on Thanksgiving morning, she decided to climb up into this chair and enjoy the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It made my heart happy to watch her.
I love my husband....even though he dressed my daughter in Clemson gear on Carolina/Clemson game day. Regardless, I love the relationship he and little Em have.
I also love that Evan snuggled with G during our Thanksgiving meal. I am so thankful to have this little guy home and healthy.
I love that anytime Emerson sees a camera she makes this face and says, "cheeeeeese."
I love that Uncle Cullen and Aunt Courtney know how to "cheeeeese" like Emerson.
I love that Emmy's "Gama" likes to "cheeeeeese" too. It's funny how similar they all look.
I also super love that Courtney taught Em how to decorate the tree.
And I love that Em wanted to put all of the ornaments in the exact same spot.
And I most definitely LOVE this ornament. Uncle Cullen as a little tot. I also LOVE that Garrett's mom still has every ornament her kids ever made...and she uses them. That is a wonderful mother.
I love that my kids have Uncles and Aunts that love them like crazy.

And grandparents that can't get enough of them.
And sing them lullaby's when they are tired and sad.
And finally, I LOVE that the Gamecocks are playing for the SEC Championship. We may not win but darn it WE'RE PLAYING!!!