It's Another Boy!

Poor, sweet Anna. We opened the pizza box together, and before our eyes, the ultrasound photo taped to the inside lid revealed what we had been waiting to find out for weeks.

"It's a boy!" Travis and I shouted together. 

Then Anna's little voice cried out: "But I don't want another brother!" I immediately looked down and saw her face drop and the tears begin to well in her eyes. My heart so full of joy broke a tiny bit for my first born who so desperately wanted a sister. It was as if she never wanted anything more in her life. Her own baby sister to hold and nurture and dress up in the sweetest little girl clothes. A sister to begin her huge family of sisters just like little orphan Annie--her ultimate dream. I hugged her and kissed her and told her what an amazing big sister she is to her little brother and will be to her new baby brother. I thought of all the things I could tell her to convince her that it's ok she's the only girl (for now). You'll get to have your own room someday. You'll be mommy and daddy's favorite girl. You'll get to keep all your dolls to yourself. 


All I Want for Christmas

The past few months have been a whirlwind. Fall is already crazy in itself. Three birthdays to celebrate, a soccer season to fill our Saturdays and at least one night a week with practices, and a new school year schedule to get accustomed to, not to mention Halloween and Thanksgiving, plus Christmas to prepare for right around the corner. And then on top of all that, this year we had a big move. Well, maybe not a big move, we only moved three buildings down the street, but a move nonetheless and our first with kids. They tell you it’s not easy moving with kids, but it’s one of those “you never really know until you’re in the throes of it yourself” type of ordeals.

I feel like we’re finally catching our breath in December, but even then we have all the festivities that come with Christmas, and as a mother to two young kids I want Christmas to be magical and special and include every activity that goes along with it. We have an advent calendar and a Jesse Tree; we’ve already baked cookies, watched at least 10 Christmas movies, and listened to Christmas music every day since Black Friday. I have it on my radar to visit Santa, see the singing bears in uptown and walk through the nearby Christmas village, take a carriage ride through the Billy Graham Library lights display, and watch still at least 20 more Christmas movies. Plus there are the parties to attend and the Christmas cards that need to be printed, addressed, stamped, and sent. Oh, and then there are the gifts; gifts for the kids, gifts from the kids, gifts for parents, grandparents, cousins, siblings, aunts and uncles, friends…


Half Way There

I've made it to the half way point. **praise hands** A part of me feels like the baby will be here in no time, but I also feel like 20 weeks seems so far away. I mean, we still have Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine's Day, and St. Patrick's Day to get through. The leaves still have to fall from the trees and Charlotte's one snowfall in the winter needs to blanket the grass until it all melts away in the afternoon sun. Flowers will be blooming again before my due date rolls around and daylight savings will have already graced us with her sunny presence. Still so far away, right?

To tear or not to tear?!


Here we go again

I can't believe the last time I posted was back in June. I didn't think it'd be like that, but the summer just got away, I got pregnant, I got really, really tired, and my writing was set on the back burner. I even wrote a post back in April promising myself I wouldn't do that again. I guess you could say I jinxed myself. Since realizing I went on an involuntary hiatus I've slowly started writing again. I have a few pieces in the works and maybe they'll make it to the blog, maybe they won't. I'm having trouble starting a piece and not finishing it. The trend recently has been I lose interest in that piece or I have another idea that pops in my mind and I have to get it down on paper or I'll lose it. Either way, I did finish this small thought below so I'll share it with you, plus there's a bumpdate following it. I contemplated whether I'd even do a bumpdate this time around because, you know, it's my third, but the more I thought about it the more I said, "yeah, this is my third, and he/she is just as important as my other two." So here we go again!


Something Greater

The day I decided I didn’t like fishing was the day my dad took me fishing for the first time. I was three years old. I was so excited to be going on this special trip, just he and I. I can’t remember where we went or whose boat we borrowed. All I know is we were at a lake surrounded by the tallest of trees that offered a nice reprieve from the summer sun beating down on the water. (Not that my little three-year-old self cared about such things. I was of the age when the heat would plaster my ringlets to my face, sweat dripping in my eyes, and I wouldn’t mind one bit.) I remember looking down at the boat from the dock. It was small, just your typical rowboat. I stood on the dock waiting for my dad to put all the fishing gear onto our tiny boat. After settling everything in its spot he took me into his arms and placed me on the wooden seat across from him. I mustered all my strength to hold on to one side of the boat as he rowed away from the shore, my body engulfed by my life preserver. But I didn’t mind, the anticipation of catching my first fish was killing me. I had no idea though that most of fishing is waiting.


My Reclaimed Hobby

It was December 29th, the end of another year gone by. In just a few days I would fly out to California for a sisters trip with Stefanie and Emily where we would visit Joshua Tree, hike to the Hollywood sign, stand On Top of the World in Laguna Beach, and ride a wooden roller coaster on the Santa Monica Pier. In the days leading up to 2016, I was beginning to feel the itch for something new. I had become a sort of serial hobbyist bouncing from one interest to the next as soon as the first sign of boredom set in.

But writing has always stayed with me. I've been writing stories ever since I was little. I began this blog a few years ago because I wanted to share my stories. It's just never been a hobby I've really invested money in like I've done with all those come and go hobbies. Thankfully you really don't need to invest money into writing, unless you want to take a class or attend a conference. Just your time. But because I never felt confident in calling myself a "writer" I never pursued taking it further. I'd write for a bit, blog for a bit, leave it for a bit, but I've always come back. It's never left me like the other hobbies.


I was nominated for the Liebster Award!

Never heard of it? Me neither. Well, not before last week. For those of you who haven't heard about it (like me last week), the Liebster Award is an online award given from blogger to blogger as a way to recognize writers, letting them know how much their work is appreciated. It also allows followers to discover new blogs they may not have been familiar with before. What a neat concept, right? 

I was honored and humbled after a friend from high school reached out and nominated me for this award! Thank you Meredith Nye, from Semi-Balanced Mama, for nominating me and being someone other than my mom who reads my blog! Go check her out, guys. She's been writing for less than a year but already has a huge following. I've really enjoyed seeing her journey in the blogging world!


Just Like Judas

Judas has been on my mind lately. Maybe it has something to do with Easter behind us, and the fact that he was the one who set Jesus’ walk to the cross in motion. I don’t want to give too much credit to Judas because ultimately the Lord’s plan would’ve played out with or without Judas, but his role is pivotal in the most amazing story ever.

I often wonder if I’m like Judas. Would I betray Jesus to the point of death? Would the lures of this world be enough to entice me to deny my Lord? Would I sacrifice my beloved to receive glory? My body wells up with goosebumps when I think about such things, but something inside me can’t help but ask these questions. Am I really like Judas?


Citizens of No Land

I’ve been quiet through this whole thing. I haven’t really spoken my two cents yet. Maybe out of fear. Maybe because the words haven’t been there. Maybe I’ve been in denial this issue has really anything to do with me. But it does. Because it really it has everything to do with all of us.

Refugee. The dictionary defines the word as “a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.”

Where we live, where we work, refugees constantly surround us. Refugees from Nepal and Burma, Rwanda and Liberia, even Syria and Afghanistan. We’ve come to love the people who we call neighbors. We can’t see ourselves living anywhere else. They have become home.

As our country decides whether to let any more refugees enter the USA, I can’t help but be thankful that they allowed the refugees in who currently reside in our neighborhood. What if we hadn’t met Moo, Mooku and Daykulay, Sui and Esther, Anisha and Sabina, Shalena and Hari? And then there is Mary, our daughter’s best friend. They play everyday, being so sweet with one another without ever knowing any different. Anna doesn’t know Mary’s family is from the mountains between Burma and Thailand. She doesn’t know what Mary’s parents and siblings had to endure to get here, to safety. She doesn’t know that Mary’s family lived in a refugee camp before flying on a big plane to welcome arms in the city of Charlotte. All she knows is that Mary is her best friend and that’s all that matters at this point. Friendship.


Daughters of the King

We wanted to provide a place for the girls to feel beautiful. Beautiful in their skin, beautiful in their hearts. We wanted them to see who they really are. Not defined by the world’s standards but defined by their Heavenly Father’s. He says his daughters are beautiful, he delights over his daughters with singing, he brings purpose to his daughters’ lives. We wanted them to really see it, really feel it.

Emily transformed Laura, Susan, and Jackie’s back patio into boho chic with sari’s she acquired from her travels around the world draped over twinkling lights, lit candles set in mason jars, and flowers delicately placed in tiny vases. We thought it be appropriate to provide hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies—because, duh, what girl doesn’t love chocolate? And because we were going to share with the girls how they are daughters of a great high King, we planned to make crowns from ribbon and flowers.


Dear Anna,

Hey there, my sweetheart, my joy. It’s 2:30 in the afternoon and you’re supposed to be napping like your brother in the crib next to you. How he hasn’t come to yet bewilders me. I only say this because the clunking from your baby dolls hitting their mini cradle beside your bed is enough to wake even the deepest sleeper. But alas, his slumber hasn’t been interrupted. The noise must be a familiar occurrence to him as you avoiding sleep in the afternoon has become the norm and the phrase please read quietly has fallen on deaf ears.

You missed me peaking in at you a few minutes ago. My displeasure of you still awake left quickly as I took you in. You are breathtaking. I can’t believe you are mine, flesh of my flesh. I watched you ever so gently hug your baby and with the utmost care lay her down to sleep.

Then it struck me, why did you do it all so gracefully, so carefully, so lovingly?

And it’s because of me. Me.



Often I wonder why God placed us where we are. I get bogged down counting all the people I know who would be "better" suited to be missionaries in a refugee neighborhood compared to us. People who could love better, have more compassion, better pray-ers, people who actually speak the same language as their neighbors, who are more selfless and are willing to give all their time to building up this community. I'm discouraged after I sit and think about all those more "qualified".

And then I hear a voice that says, "But I called you, and you said 'Yes!".

But why?

Why were we called? Why was I called?