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Archive for posts tagged with ‘Family’

Weekend Antics

Thoughtfully penned on September 16th, 2013 and generally concerning Family, God's at Work in My Life

The weekend began with giraffes, just because it was Friday,


and ended with trampoline hair at small group on Sunday evening.


The time between was packed with fun, and work, and rest.

A freezer filled with meals for the days and weeks to come.

Hanging out with the cousins who we see much more often now, but not nearly as often as we’d prefer.


And long, good, intense (deep, not heated) discussions with our small group family.

I’ve spent time recently reflecting a bit on our time here, in this city that we now call home. Just over eight years ago God moved us to this place that we never would have chosen on our own, this place that would never have come up in a discussion about places we would consider living.

But oh, how good God is! He has placed us in family, not of blood but of Christ. He has blessed us with four lives and entrusted to us their care and training. He has given us work to do and sweet rest. He’s given contentment in places there was once only longing. He has made this home, and how abundantly thankful we are.

“For the Lord comforts Zion; he comforts all her waste places and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.” Isaiah 51:3

10 things

Thoughtfully penned on April 7th, 2010 and generally concerning Family, Giving Thanks, J, Life with littles, Motherhood, S

Last week my friend Lindsey passed along a blog award that included directions to list 10 things that make you happy. While I don’t do the whole “blog award” thing, I will list 10 things that make me happy (in no particular order).

1. hearing/seeing the older kiddos playing happily together.
2. when the kids laugh (baby girl has started giving us a few giggles)
3. when Little asks questions about Jesus (although she’s beginning to get pretty deep in her theology)
4. spending time with Matt
5. hanging out with friends
6. enjoying beautiful Spring days
7. daffodils and tulips and the other lovely, colorful Spring flowers
8. doing things as a family (even the simple things like grocery shopping…well, usually:-)
9. reading with my kids
10. having extended, uninterrupted time to read a good book

So, what makes you happy?

13 Days of Peace and Love

Thoughtfully penned on February 11th, 2010 and generally concerning Blogging News, Family, Grandparents, Legacy, S

On Sunday morning, January 10, as we prepared to leave for church, my Mom called to let me know that my grandmother, Mema, had been hospitalized due to heart attack. At that point no one really had much information except that she was stable and being admitted to the cardiac care unit for tests and observation.

On Monday morning, January 11, I was awakened about 5 a.m. by contractions that steadily grew stronger and closer together. I was 40 weeks 3 days pregnant, so we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our newest baby girl…

To read more, click here and check out my entry in PAXbaby.com’s 13 Days of Peace and Love.

What I love: two very special ladies

Thoughtfully penned on February 11th, 2010 and generally concerning Family, Grandparents, S

On Sunday morning, January 10, as we prepared to leave for church, my Mom called to let me know that my grandmother, Mema, had been hospitalized due to heart attack. At that point no one really had much information except that she was stable and being admitted to the cardiac care unit for tests and observation.

On Monday morning, January 11, I was awakened about 5 a.m. by contractions that steadily grew stronger and closer together. I was 40 weeks 3 days pregnant, so we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our newest baby girl.

Our precious baby girl was born that afternoon and immediately stole our hearts, just as her older sister (3 1/2 years old) and brother (21 months old) had upon their births. My parents made the three hour trip from Nashville to be with our older children while I was in the hospital. The news they brought of Mema seemed to be good; everyone thought she was improving and that with time and a change in medication she would be able to go home.

The next twelve days were pretty much a blur of newborn care, mom recovery, tending to the older children, and attempting to get as much sleep as possible. And then, on Saturday, January 23, my whole world shifted as I learned that my Mema had left this earth and gone to be with Jesus. As I spoke with my Mom on the phone that morning, I struggled with many things: holding back the tears well enough to carry on a conversation, guilt at not having been able to visit Mema in the last few months, and a profound sadness that my tiny baby had not been able to meet her great-grandmother.

I immediately made the decision that I had to be at the funeral; there was just no way that I could miss it. Even though that meant loading up all the little people, making the three hour trip, and exposing my two week old baby to all of the people who would be coming and going during the visitation and funeral. For me, this was really a no brainer, the choice between the temporary hardships of a 24 hour trip to Nashville or a lifetime of regret for not being there.

Mema was a very special lady. She poured her love into my life from my very earliest moments. She set an amazing example of what a wife should be as she cared for my grandfather during his years of battling muscular dystrophy. She demonstrated the love of a grandmother in every way. She influenced my life in many ways. Her death is felt by many and by me every day.

Our baby girl is a very special little lady. Right now because she is ours and, hopefully, in years to come because she grows and matures into the very special lady God has created her to be. I feel blessed to be her mother and pray that she is as good a woman as my Mema was.

I did get to introduce these two ladies who mean so much to me, although not in the way I had hoped. Instead of a cheerful welcome into the arms of her great-grandmother it was a tearful, one-sided conversation.

And now it is my privilege and obligation to make sure that this tiny girl knows how much her Mema loved her even though she never met her. It is my privilege and obligation to make sure she knows that in her final days Mema was very concerned about the well being of this tiny girl. It is my privilege and obligation to make sure that I pass along the legacy that Mema left.

Mema, you are loved and missed, but a part of you lives on in each of your daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters. Including this tiny bundle of baby girl that I hold in my arms.

Also published at PAXbaby

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Grandma’s Blog

Thoughtfully penned on October 8th, 2009 and generally concerning Blogging News, Family

I mentioned in my previous post that Matt’s grandmother (Grandma) was recently diagnosed with a recurrence of the ovarian cancer that she has been battling since 2004. She has recently made the decision to begin sharing her journey through these past 5+ years in hopes that it might inform, encourage, and inspire. And most of all, she is sharing how in the midst of it all she has relied on God and he has carried her through in a mighty way. If you are interested in reading more of her story I would encourage you to visit her new blog, John’s Wife.

She is an amazing lady whom I love very much, and I would love for you to stand with us in prayer and encouragement as she continues her fight.

New (old) Furnishings

Thoughtfully penned on October 7th, 2009 and generally concerning Family, Grandparents, House

Several weeks ago we learned that my grandmother-in-law (heretofore known as Grandma) was once again waging war on the cancer that has plagued her for the last four years. As a result of this most recent diagnosis, she and Papa John have decided to put their house on the market and plan to move in with Matt’s aunt. As they prepare the house for sale they are clearing out some of the furniture and sifting through all of the layers of stuff that you accumulate throughout a lifetime.

Many of the furnishings and accessories in their home hold generations worth of family history and Grandma knows the story behind each and every piece. It has always amazed me the memory she has for such things; she is a wealth of oral history for both her side of the family and Papa John’s. At various times throughout our marriage Matt and I have been blessed by their generosity in sharing these items with us, and, thus, have several pieces in our home that have long family histories that we hope will one day be passed on to our children and grandchildren.

Last weekend Grandma called Matt and asked if we would be interested in having a few more pieces of their furniture. The only catch was that we needed to get it quickly in order for them to clear out and stage the house by the time it is scheduled to go on the market. So, this weekend we made a whirlwind trip (approximately 24 hours) to Nashville.

We came home with three new (to us) pieces – a beautiful cupboard/china cabinet that has been in the family for several generations, a lovely marble-top chest that dates to the early 1900s, and a comfy couch (it isn’t an antique, but it is a great addition to our living room!). We also were gifted a wonderful set of white dinnerware and various other bits and pieces that have value to us because we remember them from visits and associate them with Grandma and Papa John.

I am truly blessed to have such wonderful in-laws (Matt’s parents, his siblings, all of his grandparents, aunts, etc), and we, as a family, have been truly blessed by the love and generosity of Grandma and Papa John. I just hope we can remember all of the family stories to pass on to our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren like Grandma has.

My new nephew

Thoughtfully penned on September 18th, 2009 and generally concerning Family

Please join me in welcoming the newest addition to our (extended) family – our nephew, Baby Bean.  He was born on Tuesday morning weighing in at 7 pounds 9 ounces and measuring 19 3/4 inches long.  Hop over to tell Lu congrats and see a picture of her beautiful baby boy.

I can’t wait to meet him and hug him and his Momma.

Three’s a crowd?

Thoughtfully penned on September 7th, 2009 and generally concerning Family, Life with littles, Motherhood, S

As you know, unless this is your first visit to Sidetrack’d, we are expecting to welcome baby #3 to our family in early January. Three doesn’t seem like an abnormally large family to Matt and me, but a good size portion of the rest of America doesn’t seem agree with that. Apparently, we are in the process of becoming a full-fledged traveling show.

Now, I will grant that we do have our children fairly close together – Little and Boo are 20.5 months apart and Boo and Baby Girl will be not quite 21 months apart – which I’m sure adds to our oddity. But if you know us well, you know that this is just one way, definitely not the only way, in which we’re a bit strange.

Last Monday was the big ultrasound day. All along we had planned to take Little with us, but due to appointment time, scheduling conflicts, and prior commitments, we decided to take Boo as well. The looks began as soon as we walked in the doctors’ office door. And I don’t just mean people glancing up from their books and magazines to see who’d entered the building, I mean people on the other side of the room fully turning around in their chairs to see us entering (fortunately, Matt was with us or I’m sure I really would have gotten some looks!). The children were well-behaved and fairly quiet (as quiet as a 3 year old and 16 month old can be expected to be), but you could just feel the unspoken comments.

This isn’t our first encounter with this type of thing either. Since I’ve had enough baby bump for people to recognize that I’m pregnant we’ve heard all the “wow, you’ll have your hands full” and “three little ones; you’ll be busy” type comments. And, of course, we’ve noticed the looks that say “are you crazy?!” or something of that sort. I’m sure it will only get more prevalent as we get closer to welcoming Baby Girl and then, especially, when I’m out alone with all three of them.

But it makes me wonder: if we get this kind of censure (at least that is the word that comes to mind) as a soon to be family of five, what do larger families feel when they are in public together?

Just because it makes me happy

Thoughtfully penned on December 15th, 2008 and generally concerning Christmas Time, Family, Friendship, Meme

My wonderful SIL Lu has tagged me for a meme. The rules are really easy: write six things that make you really happy and tag six people.

1. Sweet baby giggles. There’s nothing like hearing my two year old or my eight month old laugh, I mean the big, belly laughs. They make me smile.

2. Great friends (and neighbors). I feel so blessed that God led us to a neighborhood with such great neighbors. My best friend lives two doors down. We have a ton in common and enjoy hanging out all the time (literally, we see each other almost every day); we also do things together as families since our hubbies get along great, too. Then I have my other good SAHM friends, and my best friend that I had to leave behind in Knoxville. I’m quite blessed in this realm.

3. Clean sheets. I love climbing into a bed made with sheets fresh from the dryer. The feel of clean sheets on my skin and the smell of dryer sheets on my pillowcase are delightful.

4. A really good book. Give me a well-written book with a great story and I could read for days on end. Books that meet my “great book” criteria aren’t all that common, but when I find one I relish it.

5. My family. God has blessed me with a wonderful husband and two great kiddos. My life would not be complete without them. Sometimes the kids make me want to pull my hair out, but they bring great joy to my life.

6. Christmas trees. I love Christmas. And my favorite of all Christmas decorations are Christmas trees. I own three (we only have one up this year because of the little man) and would keep them up year round if Matt would let me. I love the ambiance they add to the house, the beauty of the lighted branches, and the way the ornaments look. Just can’t get enough of them!

I’m not going to tag anyone, but if there is anyone still reading after my unintentional blogging sabbatical I would love for you to play along!

The Thanksgiving post

Thoughtfully penned on December 10th, 2008 and generally concerning Fall Festivities, Family, Giving Thanks

Wow, it’s been two weeks since I posted last. What have we been up to? Let’s start with Thanksgiving…

This year, for the first time, Matt and I decided to stay home for Thanksgiving. We enjoyed being home and hosting the holiday for a change.

Thursday was spent preparing since we weren’t having our Thanksgiving meal until Friday. I cooked all day, and Matt and Little raked the yard and played in the leaves. We have some cute video of Little playing in the leaves – scooping them into a bucket, throwing them around, and rolling around in them. She had a big time playing outside with her Daddy.

Bebe and Grandad arrived about 8:00 Friday morning and our Thanksgiving really began. I cooked and washed dishes for another several hours while Little enjoyed playing with her grandparents. We enjoyed a delicious (if I do say so myself) meal and good company.

We all had a great weekend visiting and playing and being together. We have a lot for which to be thankful.

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