Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pictures With Pumpkins

One of my most favorite activities every year when we lived in Mississippi was going to the Pumpkin Patch. The year Sarah was in kindergarten I got to go on a field trip with her and take the church kids. TWO trips to the pumpkin patch! I was a happy camper. I have yet to find a pumpkin patch near us that lives up to the Sunflower Maze, hayride, and totally cool playground "our" pumpkin patch had. Every year I bemoan this fact as I see others post pics from their awesome pumpkin patches. I still haven't found a great one, but we found a roadside one sponsored by a church and we made do. :)

I just have to share my pictures. Because each of my kids found a pumpkin and came straight to me to pose for a picture. And I realized, after many years, I have them trained. :)

I've got the cutest pumpkins in the patch! Hope you are enjoying your fall and all things PUMPKIN!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In His Arms

A while back I wrote about my relationship with Josh and how I felt like I knew he was the one for me because I felt safe with him. I realize that just does not sound romantic at all, but for some reason that is the first thing that comes to me when I think of the first time we "embraced". It was our junior prom and I was on the planning committee and had spent the whole day running like a crazy woman decorating and getting stuff ready. I was exhausted by the time I actually got to the dance. (That would become a theme for me. :) K-Ci and JoJo's "All My Life" started blaring through the speakers and we awkwardly made our way to the dance floor. I had made it known to anyone who would listen that I was not interested in a relationship. Josh and I were at prom strictly as *friends*. But, the music started and tired as I was I found myself laying my head on his chest as we danced. And I felt safe. And while it would be several months before we would officially become more than friends, I knew that there was something there that I had never experienced before.

I was thinking about this because my sister recently took some family pics for us, and two of my favorites are candids of me and Josh. We tried really, really hard to pose "romantically", but I just couldn't get it together. She wanted us to put our noses together and stare into each others eyes lovingly. I got the giggles. She got this.

I showed this picture to the person who has been training me at work. She has never met Josh and knows next to nothing about us. The first thing she said was, "He looks like a protector."

My other favorite is one that we didn't even know she was taking. We thought she was taking a pic of the kids, but she snapped one of us.
This may be my most favorite picture of us ever.  Besides the fact that she has awesome editing software that removed my wrinkles :), this picture perfectly symbolizes how our relationship makes me feel. Like I'm wrapped in big arms that take care of me. That care about me. That love me in a way I still haven't quite wrapped my brain around.

The greatest thing I realized looking at this picture is that from the first time those arms wrapped around me, I have felt safe because those arms belong to someone who has wanted nothing but good for me. Even in times when what made me happy was hard for him. Even in times when I gave him every reason to be very angry and wish bad things for me. Even in times when I didn't care enough about myself to want good, he wanted it for me.

I am so blessed to have this person who keeps me safe in his arms. But, I am even more blessed to have a Heavenly Father with even bigger arms. Everlasting arms. A Heavenly Father that genuinely wants good for me and who wraps me in those arms through the not so good times. "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" Matthew 7:11. 

Just like my earthly relationship with Josh, I haven't done a single thing to earn or deserve the love God shows me. I can't understand or explain why He is so good or why He chooses to be my protector. But, I'm thankful to be able to share that He offers the same love and protection to you.

"The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, ‘Destroy!’" Deuteronomy 33:27

Monday, October 8, 2012

Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend....

Hey y'all! Just wanted to check in and let you know that I am loving my new job. LOVING it. For real. Let me tell you why: 1. There are babies. I am working with 2 centers and 39 kids all under the age of 3. I can go sit in the baby room, hold and rock babies until my heart's content, then, if they start spewing and pooping, I say, "Oh, I've got some paperwork to do." And I leave. 2. I have my own office with a window and a bathroom. After a job where my office was my vehicle, this is like the holy grail. 3. I'm working in the cutest little town with little shops and restaurants just waiting to fill my lunch hour. 4. The people are precious. 5. I feel like a difference is really being made in these little people's lives. And that is important to me.

So, while I am loving my new job, I am also loving the weekends! The weekend before last we had the opportunity to go out of town for a wedding. Not just any wedding, but the wedding of our ring bearer from OUR wedding. How old are we? Old. We dropped the kids off with T and Josh and I had 2 kid free nights. The groom's parents had offered to get us a hotel room or to let us stay in their friend's camper. I couldn't pass up the camper. That's pretty much a bucket list thing for me. I wasn't exactly sure what this camper was going to look like, but we were pleasantly surprised.
Our home away from home. :)

We so enjoyed spending time with the wedding party and family. My favorite member of the wedding party was the ring bearer. He is 4. His parents actually own the camper we stayed in and he came over to give us a tour. Josh left to head back to the main house and asked if he wanted to go wtih him. He said no, he wanted to hang out with me. :) I was getting ready for the wedding and he was getting bored. I kept asking him if he wanted to go back and he kept saying no, that he wanted to stay with me. Bless his soul. It's a lengthy process when I have to put my face on. But he was patient. And he asked for my phone number. I'm not usually in the habit of giving out my number to boys (okay, so maybe I can't even remember the last time a boy asked for my phone number), but he was just too cute. Josh understood. I think. :)

The place where the wedding and reception took place was gorgeous. Josh performed the wedding and it was a surreal moment watching our ring bearer repeat after him, "I do." Yes, maybe I teared up a little.
Josh and Ra- June 2001
Josh and Robert- September 2012

 After the wedding I got the preacher all to myself. Kind of. Actually I shared him with the phone as he checked the football score throughout the reception. I told Robert that he should feel VERY loved that Josh agreed to marry him at the exact same time as the FSU kick-off. We did get a chance to slow dance, but I had to laugh. By the time we got up to dance there was a bridesmaid dancing with a baby on her hip and then some cousins dancing with each other. How romantic. :)

We need more practice with these self-portraits  lol

It was just a special day and so much fun to be a part of. And Josh and I totally want a camper now.

This weekend was fun, too. Okay, I have to be honest. Friday night would probably not rank high on anybody's scale of fun. I won't lie, going back to work full-time has been an adjustment and I have been sooo tired. I didn't make it past 11:00 one night last week and anybody who knows me knows that is a big deal. Friday night was no different. I totally stayed up as late as I did because I had to wait on my laundry to come out of the dryer. For real. I actually fell asleep on the couch watching Dateline. Brought back memories of my Friday nights in high school before Josh came along. :)

Saturday I subbed at the dance studio. It was fun to be back in dance teacher mode for a few hours. It was also a good wake-up call that I really need to start exercising again. :)  That night my sister and her babies and my mom came over. My sister has started a photography business and she is fabulous! My brother and his girlfriend were going to meet her to have pictures made, but they were running a little late. We were not planning to have family pics done, because even though I have been dying for Jenny to do some, I did not feel like I had had the time to do proper pre-picture preparations like fixing my 3 week overdue highlights or buying matching clothes. (You all know that is a big deal to me.)  But, Jenny said we could find something we already had in our closets so we went searching for things that would match me, because I was so lazy I didn't even change. :)  We had the best time with those pictures even if my baby child was wearing a hand me down shirt with a stain. Jenny promised she could edit it out. I'm counting on her editing a lot!!!! We laughed a lot and she got some pics of kids falling and my niece and nephew were in the background of a few of them and I know those are the ones I will really treasure.

Later we ate bbq, boiled peanuts and watched the FSU game. She finished Philip and Kayleigh's pics and I got to look through all of them. I also got to play cars and puppies with my niece, Lyla and watch Luke have a big time with my kids. I just realized I don't have any pics from that. After having a pro take pics my phone camera just doesn't seem to cut it. :)  I didn't last long that night either. Again I fell asleep on the couch, so I found out the next day we lost. I told Josh I was sorry I couldn't be there for him. He told Eli he had to give him some bad news and Eli informed us he already knew. He had checked online.

Yesterday was a great day at church. One of our church members told Eli to tell his Daddy that he is a hero. I agree. And it makes my heart swell with all kinds of happy when other people realize how amazing he is.  By last night I had a sore throat and was feeling achy. I wasn't surprised. I did start work at a place with 39 kids who all seemed to have runny noses. My person training me had also gone home sick last week. And I had to go to the health department to get my physical. I told Josh I could've gone out and licked the sidewalk and it would have been the same germ count as what I've been exposed to. :) So, I stayed home from church last night and watched Hallmark movies and drank hot green tea.

Today, I am thankful that I look forward to my weekdays as much as the weekends!