Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The last 8 months of 2008...


The last 8 months of 2008 have been the most life changing but life giving. I have become a whole new person because of you.

I spent the last day of 2007 planning a party for about 30 of my friends. I furiously shopped, baked yummy appetizers and desserts, cleaned, and sent texts to everyone I knew. The house was full of a bunch of twenty-somethings and we rang in the new year with music, laughter, drinks, and fun.

I spent the last day of 2008 planning a day of fun for one little girl. I shopped for bottle liners, baby vicks, and batteries for your swing. I fed you appetizing dishes such as; cereal, vegetables, and bananas. I cleaned your nose and tickled your tummy. The house was full of your new toys, baby bottles, and the sound of your sweet laughter.

Oh, how life has changed for me and I know it won't last long! I feel like I will just blink and you will be a twenty-something ringing in the new year with all your friends. But today you were all mine, and I savored every moment of being your favorite person in the world. I am the most blessed to ring in the new year with you. The best is yet to come.

Love you,

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Sweetest Seven

GA, (As Papa Dale calls you)

*I am so late on your monthly update...our world has been very busy!*

It feels so good to laugh uncontrollably with you. The kind of laugh that makes you stop breathing a little, or the kind of laugh that brings tears to your eyes. That is the way we laugh together now. When we play peek-a-boo every evening or when I squirt you with your suction thingy in the bathtub. You laugh so hard and it is so contagious. You keep me young at heart.

My sweet girl, one thing that has not made us laugh lately are those stinky old teeth! You have two bottom teeth that just popped up and those little things have kind of consumed our life the last few weeks. Through a few rough weeks, sinus infection, and fever; I hope we have made it through the worst.You do look really cute with that toothy smile, and you love to cuddle with mama when you are sick. :)

You love to talk, talk, talk!! (I think you take after your mama.) Rolling around under the Christmas tree is another favorite of yours. You have found a whole new world under there! You are so much fun!! I pray for your little heart to grow strong and courageous everyday. You are beautiful Gracie Ann Bullard!

Love you,

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving thanks...

For breath in my lungs, a beautiful home, and a family that I can count on...

For an undeserved gift from God who has taught me a whole new meaning of life and love...

For a man who is an amazing father and husband...each day that passes with him holding my hand is better than the next...

For a God who takes me as I am, and loves me in such a way that allows me to be free...

For laughter and memories like these...My cup runneth over.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Faith Tested

Yesterday I was completely drawn to a story in Genesis 22. The one which so vividly describes Abraham taking his son, Isaac, up a mountain only to offer him up as a sacrifice of obedience to God. Abraham sets out to obey this command without question. We all know the ending, the Lord stops Abraham at the last possible moment and he turns to discover a ram in the nearby bushes, a provision sent from God.

Reading this story in the past, I had the tendency to romanticize it a little and somehow think of it as a fairy tale. A story predetermined to have a happy ending. However, reading this time around I really put my focus on Abraham. I tried to imagine how he might have felt that day. God had given him such a shocking task and Abraham didn't know the ending. It didn't cross his mind as he climbed up the mountain with his son, whom he would put on an alter for sacrifice, that he would walk victoriously down that same mountain with Isaac still by his side. He had no clue that his God would intervene and provide another sacrifice at the last minute so his precious son would be spared. He didn't understand why all this had to be done, but he did it anyway. This, to me, is the most important part of the story. He didn't just tell God he would do it. He didn't merely walk up the hill and then expect God to come to his rescue. He did it all. He built that alter and bound his son on top. He raised his knife into the air in a moment of complete and utter submission and it was then, and only then, God could show up in a big way. In that moment God spoke to Abraham.

Genesis 22:17-18~ I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."

To think, Abraham might have totally missed out on the fullness of God's blessings had he not shown such faith and obedience in being open to God's instruction. Sometimes it is not about what the outcome could be, but about our steadfast decision to take a step into an uncomfortable direction we know we are being called. It is about hearing God and climbing that mountain with no clue of how, or even if, the Lord may show up. It is about that moment with our hand raised in the air that he will come to our rescue and provide with us with His sweet blessings in a way only He can.

What is it that God may be asking you to carry up the mountain? What big step is He asking you to take? Know that He will intervene and in that moment of your faith being tested, you are surely being blessed.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Long Overdue

It has been a while since I have posted pics of my precious doll. Here are just a few sweet pics of my beautiful baby girl. Isn't she is such a big girl!! Also...I thought I would post a few of her in her costume. She was the sweetest little bee ever and she wore her costume all around town on Halloween to shop with Mama. And...What bee wouldn't be complete without a big bee bow??

Life is good and being her mama is even better.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Reading these words written by a very wise woman, in my mind, leaves no room for question.

"Here's the deal. You can't have it both ways. You can't pick a candidate that is pro-abortion that you know will choose at least 2 pro-abortion supreme court justices if you are against abortion. We allow 4000 babies every day to be killed in the U. S.. Just over 4100 soldiers have been killed in the Iraq war in 6 years. How long do you think a nation will go unjudged that allows this? Are you aware of the disproportionate number of African-American babies that are killed? Do you realize that your tax dollars will pay for it under his administration? Do you realize it is a money making enterprise? Wasn't slavery tolerated because it increased profits? Is slavery more offensive than killing 1 1/2 million infants a year? By sucking their body parts out, piece by piece? What kind of people have we become that we are numb to this? As a former labor nurse, let me assure you, the baby IS a baby."

Click here to read all of her amazing words. It will stop you in your tracks and really make you think.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Stuffing

We just stuff it all down. Maybe that is what we think we are supposed to do. We pile it into every nook and cranny of our soul. We hide our secrets, our addictions, our shame, and the lies that exist inside of us in the form of insecurities. We think we hide it all so well, but in the process of the stuffing we lose ourselves. Each person has their own reason to justify this survival tactic. Whether it is learned from the example of a family who knew it as the only way to cope, or its just something you've created for yourself as you selfishly hide from your own fears. Whatever the reason, known or unknown, it is there.

We hold on so tightly sometimes that we are too naive to recognize our own sickness. We even attempt to fill our lives so full that maybe we just won't even have to think about it at all. And the worst of it isn't even in the act of what we're doing, but the in the fact that we think we must. In order to be accepted by others, ourselves, or even God we stuff it so tight we can't breath; but even this doesn't stop us. On the outside we try and paint life as a pretty picture of an otherwise false existence.

But why? The thought of the facade makes me want to scream. But how can I? How can I judge this? This is coming from someone who less that a year ago had myself so stuffed with junk that, in turn, I created my own worst nightmare. I went around believing the lies of my own independence and strength without one ounce of real truth peeping through. I held on tight to this illusion of normalcy until, through a vessel of my own choices, I could go no further. It took circumstances that reached painfully into corners of my soul long covered up, and seemingly lost, for me to come to my crossroad. One where I could finally stop hiding behind one false identity after another. I cautiously approached the darkest doors to my heart and prayed that God would be waiting on the other side when I finally got the courage to open them up.

Unwillingly, but so gratefully, I realized for the first time that there was never any box in which I had to make myself fit. I see clearly that all the mistakes and junk in the world could never be too much, and it was never even my job to pack it away so carefully. I once again have found parts of my heart that I thought were gone. Joyfully, I know never again will I miss out on my truest self. I can now cling to my real life. The one that was paid in full for me to live victoriously.
Slowly, through so much undeserved love and healing, a beautiful light is finally able to shine. It is shining brightest on the places of my soul that have been entirely covered since childhood. Places long forgotten and largely overgrown are alive again. Since the light has come in I know I could never, ever go back. And really, despite myself, all that time my stuffing was never too heavy. Not for a man who carried a wooden cross up a treacherous hill, just for me, His beloved daughter.

***This post was inspired by the author of a beautifully written book, "The Shack." Hearing Wm. Paul Young speak was an amazing experience that I will always remember. He was so full of something people in a lost world are trying so desperately to find. The book is phenomenal. Once you hear him talk about his part in the story, all the controversy surrounding the book quickly diminishes. A cool part of this God story is that he wrote the book mostly on a train while commuting to one of his three jobs. His intention was to only give the story as a Christmas gift for his children so that they could know the deepest parts of him. Paul never really intended on becoming a writer when he printed a mere 15 copies at Office Depot after Christmas, mind you, because he couldn't actually afford it before. Little did Paul know that 4 million copies of that same book later, God would use his words to tell a redemptive story. One that would reach so many of God's own children all over the world. It is fiction, but based on Paul Young's heartbreak as a child and a relationship with the God he understood as a man. Paul was amazing, but his passion for Christ was even more riveting. It just shows that apart from God, we can do nothing.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pretty Pretty Pumpkin

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Half Birthday


Six months is not really that long at all. Really, it is very short. I am amazed at how much you have added to our lives in such short amount of time. You have taught me a whole new meaning of love, patience, and happiness. Each day that we are your mommy and daddy we find new things to love about you.

I have learned a lot about you in the last 6 months. I will share some of my favorites to celebrate how much you have grown and changed since the first day we brought you home.

1. You make the cutest faces now. One of our favorites is when you scrunch your nose up and breath in and out really fast. You almost sound like a little puppy and we always laugh. I think you've discovered that you can make a lot of funny noises and you like to show them off.
2. You are so close to crawling. You are trying so hard to scoot your little bottom along by pushing your feet down into the floor. You are almost there and we are so proud of how strong you are. You don't let not crawling stop you though because if you want to get somewhere, you just roll all the way there.
3. You say "ma" and "ama", but not "mama". Don't worry though, bug, I know what you mean:)
4. You love your tea party excersaucer. You play so intently when you are in it as if you have a very important task in front of you. You get the most serious look on your face as you discover what you can do with each of the toys on top.
5. You are on the best sleeping schedule ever! You sleep from 8 to 8 every night!! We could not have asked for a better baby!
6. You think your daddy is the funniest person in the world. He can make you laugh like no one else can. Your eyes completely light up every time you see him. You save your wild and playful side for him and your sweet and gentle side for me.

Six things for a sweet six month old baby! I am so happy that God picked me to be your mommy.

I love you so much,

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Quarter Life Discoveries

.....I lived the first part of my twenties trying my hardest to hold onto the past. I spent too much time thinking that "the good old days" held some kind of secret to a lost happiness and youthful carelessness. I thought if I could just go back or even recreate it for one day, all things in the world would feel perfect. I sit here now at 25, not claiming to know it all, but claiming to know one thing. Happiness is being perfectly content in any and all circumstances and appreciating the now, no matter what that may look like. I will move forward, but not too fast. There is something so liberating about soaking in each season and not grasping so hard to what lies behind me, or giving all my energy into rushing to the next. I will give the best of me to right now.

.....Good friends are the people who see the very worst side in you, yet still love you because they know your heart is good. You don't ever have to worry what they really think of you, what they say when you aren't there, or even what they think about your outfit. Your friendship with them is way past what is on the outside. You can say what you feel and disagree about the really big stuff. They don't feel judged, nor do they judge you. These are the friends who skip the small talk. Those are the best kinds of friends and they are very rare finds in this world.

.....Love is not about creating romantic moments that you might see in a script. Love is not found in something that has a price tag. Love is about living day-to-day life with someone and taking the time to look up and see them giving of themselves just for you. It is being totally blown away by the person you see beside you and allowing yourself to be humbled by their sacrifice. Real love holds moments you could never create with any amount of money or planning. Love is found in the everyday...You may just have to stop for moment to make sure you recognize it.

.....The best is yet to come.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


**This is a long overdue post that I have been so desperately wanting to share since the day it happened, but this is the first chance I have had to write about it. It was one of the most amazing days of my life.

My pastor had a vision. One where hundreds of people would make a step out in faith that would forever change the course of their lives. One where they might accept Jesus for the first time, or one where they would publicly proclaim their desire to have a deeper relationship with their savior. This vision consisted of swimming pools, lines of people, and buying everything someone would need in the chance that we might have someone be spontaneously baptized. We worked for weeks preparing and mapping out everything down to the last detail.

We were nervous, but through the risk of looking crazy or thought of no one stepping out, we could still somehow feel that God was about to move in a big way. The day before people on staff sent out emails asking and challenging us with the question, "What if only one is baptized? Will it be worth it?" We had to think that it was. Even if one life was changed forever, it was. We had to trust God that the heavens would open up in our little corner of the world on that day, October 5, 2008. Today was their day.

The morning came and no words can describe the presence of God in our buildings. He was there. When my pastor spoke people listened. One by one people took a step of faith and I was blown away. I saw things that day that I never imagined. I saw lines that reminded me of something I would see at an amusement park weaving through our building and all the way out into the parking lot. I saw dads give up their selfish pride that they have been clinging to for so long and being risen up from the water into a new life. I saw families and spouses being baptized together. I saw tears of relief on their sweet faces after all these years in bondage. 500. That was the number of people who chose God that day. 500.

There are so many stories. You will just be awestruck reading them and there is no holding back the tears. You can read a lot of them here, in the comments of the whole last week of posts on my pastor's blog. And here on my boss' blog, and our children's pastor at CT, about baptizing her own two sweet kiddos. There are so many, too, that will never be known. So many stories that will never be told, but generations from now lives will be changed because one day God showed up in a big way to bring new life to His people and their families.

And if that wasn't enough...the next weekend 54 people decided that was their day to take that step in faith and each of them were baptized and given new life. I am just blown away. I am so blessed to be at a church where my pastor takes risks and listens to the voice of God, even with all the fears that may come alongside it.

I am still praying hard for those still living in the day to day muck. You, who feel stuck in a pit of despair and have yet to make that step to give up control and fully trust Him with all your hopes and fears...with every little detail of your life. Today can be your day.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Check out one of my sweet friend's blog. She is amazing. She took Gracie's 3 month pics and I just love them!! Here is a sneek peak at some of them. Kristen is so talented and my sweet Gracie looks beautiful.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Moments with you...

The sun is setting just above us. Sounds of children playing and passing cars swirl through the evening breeze. You and I lay on our bright pink blanket covering the earth below us. I watch as you gaze intently in wonder at the nature all around us. Your delicate hands grab aimlessly as you attempt to catch the grass, while examining the texture of the blades between your fingers. Sunlight and curiosity glimmer in your blue eyes. You are mesmerized by the world around you.

I listen as you babble in excitement and I think to myself, "Life was made for these moments." Moments where everyday life is but a faint memory. Moments when all I see is you and not the heartbreak of yesterday or the worry of tomorrow. Moments where childhood dreams are remembered and the blessings of today are realized. My heart is still in these moments with you.

I pray over your little heart, so fragile and new, for when everyday life may one day feel like too much. Or for when friends let you down and you find yourself disappointed. For when you have so many dreams and no clue what to do with them all. Or when faith seems so small and waiting patiently on God's timing seems like a nearly impossible task.

I pray then that these moments with me are tucked away somewhere in your grown-up heart. I hope you remember my smile and your own childhood dreams. I pray you remember our moments. May they leave an imprint of never ending love and stillness on your heart...forever.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I am a mom....I use coupons

I am now the annoying person in line at your local grocery store who pulls out her coupon organizer and one by one puts all her coupons on the counter. I then double check my pink organizer just to be sure I didn't forget to give the cashier one of the prized possesions, I so carefully clipped. I leave the store feeling gueniuely satisfied with my savings, almost as if I know a secret that no one else knows. I again feel proud when I get home and put all those groceries where they belong thinking to myself...I saved myself $0.60 on this, and $1.00 on that....

This is coming from a girl who one year ago to date rarely even cooked a meal, much less used coupons. I thought coupons were dumb. I thought coupons were a waste of my precious time. Now, sitting down on the search for coupons gives me a thrill like a kid searching for eggs on Easter. I feel I have found the golden egg when I spot a coupon for something I really love!

I am new a woman ladies and gentleman. I am a mom now, and I use coupons.

And if you see me pull out my pink coupon organizer at your local grocery store...I won't be offended if you choose another line. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Another month goes by....

You played so well all afternoon. Your giggles are contagious. For dinner you ate sweet potatoes; your favorite so far. You took your bath, drank your bottle, and now you are down for the night... at 7:50 pm, without even a peep. You are such a good baby! I am certainly blessed with you sweet girl. Happy 5 months today!! You are so loved.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Afternoon strolls

Isn't she sweet!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Absurdity: Part Two

I feel a real connection with my sweet blogger role model today, Tales from the Running Mama. I remember not too long ago reading her post called Absurdity. At that time, I was a brand new mama and I laughed at her post about dedicating sweet Charlie. I couldn't even imagine Gracie being to that milestone so soon. Her rantings involved a whirlwind of a morning, but ended in a sweet moment of peace. A moment where the serenity of Jesus transcended all of it, right in the middle of her everyday chaos.

Here is where my story picks up (not quite as eloquently written as hers)....imagine, if you will, this picture.

It's 4:00 AM, AM PEOPLE.... We are driving back into Dallas from yet another gig, (this being the glamorous life of a rocker husband) and only one thought is on the front front of our minds. We need to be a church at 7:30, this is the day that Gracie is getting dedicated. I think to myself about this huge day in our lives as parents, and hers, as a daughter of the Lord.

It's 6:30 AM...We hear the alarm screeching through the silence. After pushing snooze a few times, we get up almost in a dream-like state and rummage through our closets for something that is nice to honor this day, the day she will be dedicated. Today a CT Kids t-shirt and jeans just will not work.

It's 7:30... We are driving down the road feeling barely alive and I am putting on my make-up. I think about the task ahead of me. I am about to make a promise to give her to Jesus and trust her in His care. I am really cut out for this job?

It's 7:50....We pull into the church parking lot and instantly we go through our separate routines of another Sunday as church employees. Unload the gear, set up the classrooms, (which this Sunday consisted of putting together a futon) make sure all the new volunteers get to their rooms, put on a smile, and greet all our families. All the while thinking about her, Gracie Ann, and how on this crazy day with two hours of sleep and the thoughts of teaching her all the right things and being all that she needs swirling over our heads. Am I really capable of being the one who will teach her completely about the love of the Lord, a love that I am still trying to comprehend myself?

It's 10:45...finally time. She is beautiful in pink and brown. We parade across the stage and make a promise to her and to our church family to raise her to know the Lord, to do our best to give her over to Him. The people pray for us. I take a peek of all of the sweet people with their hands extended in prayer and I feel overwhelmed. I feel blessed and filled with so much hope.

Afterwards, my mother-in-law, gave me a bag to open for this special day. Curiously, I open it to see framed, beautiful pink words before my eyes that instantly calm my anxious heart.

"....for God so loved Gracie Ann that he gave his only begotten Son..."

With tears in my eyes I realize, I don't have to be everything for her.

He already has been, and will always be, everything she will ever need.

Jesus heard my heart that morning. He was listening to a nervous mama just wanting to be enough. What my head forgot, but my heart soon remembered, He is enough.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Musician in the Making

Concentrating really hard!

Look at what I can do Mommy!

Gracie decided to help her daddy record some music tonight. She wrote a beautiful song. Her CD will be dropping any day now! :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Four Months of Being Your Mommy

Sweet girl,

Each month of being your mommy has been better than the last and this one, so far, has been my favorite. You are so big and you are doing so much, all things I couldn't even imagine just a few months ago.

You are talking non-stop and I love it! You already have an opinion on pretty much everything and you let us know. We have the sweetest conversations all throughout the day. You talk in your baby talk to mommy and daddy as if you know exactly what we are saying to you. I love how you need me and how you know right when it is time for me to get home from work. (You let daddy know if I am late!) You grab for everything (especially your pink poodle) and smile at almost anyone. Your laugh is so sweet and we are starting to hear it more and more. You are amazing.

Grace, you have made us better. You, sweet girl, were one of my earliest childhood dreams when I would rock my babydolls to sleep, pretending to be a mama. I never knew it would be this good actually rocking you, being your mama. God blessed us beyond compare with you. I will try my best to be gentle with your heart as you grow into the woman that God has created you to be.

I love, love, love you!!

P.S. Daddy says he loves you and he can't wait to hear you sing. Also, he said be sure to cut your fingernails regulary because they hurt when you scratch him. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Make Over and Working 9-5, Just trying to make a Livin'...

***The lesson of this blog...When I don't post for awhile you get a lot of random information at once. Enjoy!

We got a makeover and don't we look pretty! My sweet friend Jamie (I would link her, but I don't know how) changed her background and then she told me what I should do in order to change mine. Now this daunting task scared me a little, because I am not the brightest crayon in the box when it comes to any type of modern technology, but I did it! YEAH! I love our bling-bling background! Also, we are getting Gracie's 3 month pics taken this Friday by my other sweet friend and photographer and I will post them soon.

You may also be wondering why I haven't posted in awhile. I am back at work. (Hence the Dolly Parton reference in the title, love her. I once told Chris if I could hear any voice for the rest of my life it would be hers. Don't judge.) I am not teaching anymore though. God has me in a new and awesome season right now and I am working at our church. I know it is a perfect fit for me as a new mommy. I have the greatest team and the job is such a testament to God giving us the desires of our heart. I love his continued faithfulness in our lives.

For now I will say bye-bye to a classroom full of kids and hello to an office I share with, at times, six people. I love it! I am sure you will be hearing more about my fun and crazy team soon.

Also, one more side note in the most random and information-filled post ever, Gracie rolled over Sunday!!! She is so strong and we are so proud of her! We are also getting a new camera this week that takes video, so soon I will post some videos of her showing off her new gymnastic skills. By the way, I thought it was totally cool that she performed her first gymnastic skill on the first night of the Olympic Women's Gymnastics competition. Coincidence? I think not...Olympics 2024, here we come!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Mommy Marathon

I look at the clock, it's 4:30. I lay her down after a long day of avoiding naps. Perfect...a little time for myself! I excitedly log on and get lost in blog world, reading the thoughts of others, my favorite past time. In the back of my mind I know I should be taking advantage of this peace to get ready for the night ahead. I ignore the thought, "I don't have to leave until 6:15. I've got plenty of time... just as long as she doesn't wake up."

5:00... I reluctantly shut the lid to my pink laptop and walk to the closet to choose my outfit for the night. I choose black. (I have learned in the last three months that spit-up doesn't show up as much on a darker color.) Next, I begin my make-up and this excites me a little because I haven't worn any since Saturday. But then I hear it... echoing through the house, her faint cry informing me that her nap is over. She only slept 30 minutes and I hope, a little too optimistically, that if I put her passy back in and pat her tummy she will fall asleep again. I literally run through the house and into her room and do both respectively. I realize the "mini-makeover" I have scheduled with myself will now be canceled.

5:05...I hear her crying again; however, this time it might be considered screaming. Running back into her pink room, I peer into the crib and see her rubbing her tired eyes. She sees me and give me a gummy grin. I can't resist, I pick her up and rock her back and forth a little. She coos and I lay her down to change her diaper. We play the "making silly faces" game for a second and we both smile. I carry her to my room and open up the blinds. Maybe she will want to soak up some sun laying on my big bed while I finish the make-up I never really started?

5:20...I am back at the mirror and she is on the bed kicking and smiling. (This lasts about 30 seconds.) The next 15 minutes of our lives are spent like this:

Put her passy in, I do my powder....she spits the passy out and screams. I run in the room put it back in and give her a smile. She is content. I run in the bathroom slap on some blush. Screaming again. I run back in and tell her in a sugary sweet voice, "Baby, I love you so much and I really want to hold you all the time, I do, but Mama would actually like to wear make-up tonight." Passy in. Eyeshadow on one eye. Passy out. I run in and give kisses on her tummy. Passy in. Eyeshadow on the other eye, it is a little bit uneven, but it will do. Passy out. I rush back in, "Don't worry, Mama is here." I pick her up.

5:40ish...I dress her.

5:41...Spit up on that outfit. We find a new one, put it on and I quickly find a matching bib this time.

5:50...I feed her. I hold the bottle with my chin while putting on her shoes with my one free hand. One shoe won't fit and I can't seem to figure it out. I leave it off for a second, burp her, and put her in her swing. I spot the "too small" shoe on the floor and notice a small wad of tissue paper, from when they were brand new, still stuck in the toe. I could have sworn that she had worn these shoes before?? I take it out, throw it on the ground, and put it on her chubby foot.

6:10...Only 5 more minutes and I still need to fix my hair and pack her bag. I sprint back to my bathroom. She begins to whimper. I know the content baby I left in the swing won't be there for long. I hurriedly stick my hair up in a half pony tail and straighten a few pieces in the back. I hear her whimper turn to a wail. I take a second glance and realized that I forgot my mascara. I grab it and slap it on in under a minute.

6:15...We should be walking out the door. I run over to tell her, "Mommy is going to pack your bag and then I promise we are leaving and you get to ride in the car!" She returns my promise with a quivering lower lip. I run to the kitchen get her bottles ready, run to her bedroom grab extra burp clothes, and run to find the camera.

6:20ish...I load her in the car and run back in the house to grab her stroller. I fold it up and put it into the trunk of my Mustang, which is a job all in itself! Finally, I grab her bag and my purse, lock up, and head out.

6:30...Driving away and only 15 minutes late, not too bad. I begin to have this gnawing feeling like I forgot something. At the stop sign I search my purse. No cell phone. "What if Daddy tries to call?" I say out loud. I turn around with hesitation, take the house key off the keyring so I can leave the car running, and run into the house to search for my phone.

6:43... Back in the car, phone in hand, and headed down the road. Almost 30 minutes late. I look back and my princess is sleeping. I roll my eyes and smile. I take a drink of my now lukewarm Diet Dr. Pepper and, oddly, I feel a sense of accomplishment.

I feel like I just ran a marathon in heels, with a baby on my hip.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

3 months already!!

Pink Lady

Look at those baby blues!!

Mommy and Gracie

A half smile...she was so tired!!

Being silly in the of her favorites


I feel like I blinked and this last month was gone!! You have been so much fun lately!! You make Daddy and Mommy laugh so hard everyday. Your faces and sounds that you make now are the cutest thing ever. You have found a new love...ceiling fans! Your favorite thing to do now is to lay on the couch, listen to daddy play guitar, and watch the ceiling fan go. You just smile at it, kick your legs, and talk to it with all that you've got! You are so close to rolling over. You get about halfway there all by yourself. Any day now and we will be chasing everywhere! You have your stash of toys in the living room corner and you have already decided which ones are your favorite. You are definitely a little girl who knows what she wants. I love that about you! We fall in love with you more everyday.

Love you forever,

Thursday, July 17, 2008

it's been awhile...

I have a lot of blank boxes this month on the baby calendar I keep of Gracie's first year. On it I carefully note all of her "firsts", her favorite things, and whatever else I think merits going down as a memory. Needless to say not much has happened lately in terms of baby milestones around our house. That is also another reason why I have not posted in a while, thinking without a major milestone, I have nothing worthy of writing for the blogging public.

However, I remembered today while rocking her I was wrong. There are so many things she has been doing that are very much worth writing about, even though there may not be a pre-made sticker that came with the calendar of each of these unique moments, such as "first smile" or "first doctor's visit." I thought I would share our moments with you, as small as they may be, they are what I get excited about.

The other night while sitting in the rocking chair rocking her to sleep, I pressed my cheek to hers and thought "I will love you forever". Immediately after the thought entered my mind, she grabbed around my neck and squeezed as hard as she could. Mind-Reader? I think so.

She has been trying so hard to talk. Each time we talk to her she moves her mouth to copy our words and then her eyes light up like she has done something worth being proud. Then yesterday, while sitting with her daddy, I heard him yell, "Baby, she is talking. She just said 'moo' twice." I laughed and said, "Wow, that is really cool." But secretly, I don't really think that would count as a word though unless she were a baby calf.

There are so many more little things that she does like moving positions from where I lay in her crib, grabbing onto her favorite toys and smiling, sleeping a full 8 hours through the night, and discovering her feet and almost laughing at them. These are the things that probably don't mean anything to anyone else, but make my day complete. My heart is full, even if her calendar doesn't show it.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Isn't she Lovely...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sweet Baby

Dear Gracie,

You are two months old! I know I can't believe it either! This last month has been so full and so fun as you have begun to develop your own little personality and become your own little person! The best thing about this month is that you have started to coo and smile at mommy and daddy when you hear our voices and see our faces. How sweet that is for us to see such perfection.

This month started off by you spending all your time with daddy. Mama had to go back to work for two weeks to end the school year with my class, and daddy stayed home to take care of you. He did a great job with you and got you on a great sleeping schedule. He is not just a great daddy, but a great husband too. He not only took care of you during the day, but he did all the late night feedings too, so that mommy would be all rested up for work the next day. He is very selfless when it comes to you, sweet baby. I was proud of him. He loves you so much and wants to protect you from the world. Now that summer is here, I am home every day with you and we have so much fun together! You keep me very busy! We have been to the pool, to the park, and to watch daddy play music. You are very adventurous!

I absolutely love watching you grow and change and I always anticipate every milestone you will cross, but it is a bittersweet journey being your mommy. I was very sad when I had to pack up all your newborn clothes because you had outgrown them so fast. You have also started sleeping in your room in your crib and I was so scared to let go of you at first, but you sleep so much better in your big crib. I know that you have much more growing to do sweet baby. This is only the beginning of the adventure of being your mommy and the series of letting you go a little bit at a time. But for now you are still my sweet little baby girl and I will keep each moment tucked away in my heart forever.

Love you,

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Tonight I sit here in front of my computer in a cozy little home, a beautiful sleeping baby girl I am watching on the monitor, and the dull sound of music in the background as my diligent husband is recording in the next room. It seems as if everything is right in our world, but I can not help but feel overcome.

I feel for a mother and father who lost their son in a senseless death a few days ago. Tonight at the funeral home I gave the father a smile and saw only a blank stare on his worn face. I feel scared for a beautiful nineteen year old girl who lays in a hospital bed tonight as her mother, father, and so many friends wait patiently and pray for the latest updates. I feel for my old college minister who lost his seventeen year old nephew this week...he was about to start his senior year of high school. I pray for a dear sister who longs for a child and feels hopeless at times. I cry for a mother who lost her sweet baby and is still so full of faith as I read her thoughts everyday. I try to sort through why people walk away from marriages and leave their promises behind. I am overcome.

I look to my God and ask why it seems so dark out there. I hear a stillness that requires me to trust. To trust that He knows exactly how my heart feels in this moment. To trust that He is walking with each of these families as they try to conjure up strength from their innermost being. To trust that He hears my prayers for each of these. Prayers for a perfect peace that will calm their troubled hearts and the "stormy seas" in their midst. I know you are there God. You have a beautiful tapestry painted for each one of their lives. My prayer is that they know it too and just trust.

This is the verse that has been hanging on my fridge for months. I clung to this during the some of the darkest places of my life this past year. I was in a place of a horrible unknown. I truly did not know if my marriage would survive all of the blows it had taken. I was in a broken place. A place where all I could do was trust.
Psalm 40:1-3 "I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their Trust in the Lord."
Guess did survive. Now it is more than I could have ever hoped for. Through pain HE has created such beauty.

I am overcome, not by these present troubles, but from the neverending and true faithfulness of my amazing Heavenly Father.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Family

Gracie in her swing being cute.

Aunt Candice and Mommy

Uncle Taylor and Mommy

At first there were two.

Sleepy Gracie after a busy weekend and Mommy.

Here are some new pictures that we have taken of our little family. We had a great Father's Day weekend. Chris had a show on the lake on Saturday night and Uncle Collin and Aunt Candice came to watch. While Mommy and Daddy were doing that, Gracie went with her Gigi and Poppa Dale to her first rodeo. Then, on Sunday we had Father's day dinner and Gracie gave her daddy two new pairs of flip flops and a new iPhone for being such a great daddy!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Schools out for the Summer!

Another school year is over and I have let another group of my babies go onto third grade. I worried over them everyday and hoped that I was teaching them enough to prepare them for the next grueling year. Most importantly, I hope that I taught them how to be good people and find their talents and make good choices. I loved all of my kids this year and they definitely made me a better teacher.

I was so glad that Gracie got the chance to come up and meet them. The kids have been watching me grow and talking about baby Gracie all year. When they were making artwork about their favorite 2nd grade memories, most all of them wrote "Baby Gracie". They worried all year about me being on my feet, what I was eating and drinking, and how she was growing. They also had lots of advice, since a lot of them are experts with baby brothers and sisters. This class will always be so special to me!!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Mommy, Aunt Erin, Aunt Courtney, and Gracie Ann

Dr. Aunt Erin and Gracie Ann

Although Gracie is a native born Texan, there are a few reasons we just love Oklahoma. One of them is the amazing friends we have there. We just went up this weekend to watch my best friend, Erin, graduate from OU Med School. We are so proud of her accomplishment!! Gracie was proud too, and showed it by being a perfect baby through the whole graduation. I am a blessed mommy!

Another reason we love it is all the good memories we have there. That state holds some of my most precious memories from college. When I cross that state line and breath that Oklahoma air, it never fails, I can't help but reminisce.

Last, but not least, that is where I met and fell in love with Gracie's daddy. So I guess you could say that Gracie is half Okie.

Things just seem a little bit simpler there. Maybe it is because I was there at a simpler time in my life...when all I had to worry about was making it to class on time.