Lily is 2 1/2!!!

 Wide mouth smile with her unclothed baby doll. 

Dear Lily,
As we cross another milestone in your precious life, we rejoice that you are a healthy, lively, hilarious, sweet little girl. If I can sum up the past 6 months of your life it would be a “joyful challenge”. It’s enough to enter the “terrible twos” (which, by the way, I don’t really buy into that idea); we’ve also moved you away from the only home you ever knew, made you move 2 times in Bham before we had a place to call our own, and put you in that place that starts with a “d” and rhymes with maycare. By God’s grace alone, I do not complain about the challenges this season of life brings. I never will.  Hold me to that. I wouldn’t trade the nastiest two year old fit for anything this world offers. Every moment with you is precious, even if the moment makes me want to scream. I’m thankful for the joyful challenges because I have endured them with my 3 favorite people–Jesus, your Daddy, and you.

I have some super good news for you…Mommy is quitting her job, you are done with daycare, and starting in August we will both be at a church’s MDO program! You get to have fun and learn with other kids your age at no cost, I get to have fun and teach other kids, and we will only be there part-time so we can spend more time together at home! After praying daily since January for a better situation for us, God has heard my prayer. But, don’t think that the past 6 months have been a waste of our time. God used us for His glory while we were there. Let this be your first lesson in doing things you don’t like to do for His name’s sake. There will be many many more. 

We love you a thousand billion quadrillion times more than we did the day you were born and our love for you will only grow from here. And Jesus–ya know, he’s the One that you talk about every time you see a cross–Jesus loves you more than us. Can you even imagine His immense and limitless love for you? It’s incredible. He’s incredible. And we pray daily that He draws you to Himself so that you may receive salvation.   

You treasured by the Father. And by Mommy and Daddy. We love you, always. 

Beautiful girl eating her cupcake

Some facts about our sweet girl:

Weight: I’m taking a guess…27 lbs?

Shoe Size: 5/6, she is tiny feet!

Teeth: Cutting her second set of molars! The other night she told me her teeth hurt and as I was
brushing her teeth I discovered why!

Clothing Size: 2T and she can still wear some of her 18 months clothes. Petite for sure!

Potty Trained? Yes! Since March but we do put a pull-up on her at nap time and overnight. She could probably get through nap time without one, but the few times we’ve done that she’s had an accident and woken up too early from her nap and been a little cranky. At this age, I would just rather her get a good nap without accidents.

Reward for being potty trained: A Beta fish that Lily named “Bicarla because she plays the guitar.”

Crib/Big Girl Bed? Toddler bed since March, easy transition thankfully! Getting a real bed soon.

Paci/Thumb: As much as I wish she didn’t, Lily sucks her thumb. She had her first dentist appt right before she turned 2 and he wanted her to stop sucking the paci before she saw him again this summer. So…the paci has been gone since March. And we are going to tackle that thumb sucking when we go to the dentist again in July. Honestly, thumb sucking is nothing compared to other difficult situations parents go through with their children. I’m just thankful she’s a healthy girl. I’m sure there are many parents that wished their biggest concern was thumb sucking.

Hairstyles: Her hair is getting long and has yet to have a true haircut. Ponytails and pigtails are common these days. And some days she just lets it hang loose.

Current Favorite Foods: oatmeal, watermelon, pistachios, cashews

Current Favorite Song: “Springsteen” by Eric Church…she calls it the “whoa whoa” song

Current Favorite Show: Dora and Pingu (A Swedish cartoon about a penguin family. We watch it on Netflix so I’m not sure if it’s a network TV show or not. It was funny the first few times we watched it. Unfortunately, Lily still thinks it’s funny. We love to watch her laugh at it though, so we don’t mind watching it.)

Current Favorite Restaurant: Which Wich

Current Favorite Treat: Doodles and Steel City Pops

Funny Moments: Brent recently took on a temporary part-time job. His first night of work, Lily asked him why he was going back to work. He jokingly replied, “To make you some money.” So…what does Lily do every time he gets home from work? She asks where her money is!
Lily frequently asks if she can have some Coke. We don’t want her to have soft drinks on a regular basis, so our answer to her has been “when you get older.” I found some coke alternatives at Earth Fare with the intention of Brent drinking them. Lily had some of his and said, “I’m drinking coke. I’m older now!” And, now, everything else we’ve told her she can do “when she’s older” she thinks she can do now…since she did have some coke, ya know.

Mommy’s current favorite: Watching/listening to you care for and play with your stuffed animals; your awareness and beginning knowledge of Jesus; asking me to lay my head on your belly while we do our bedtime routine

Daddy’s current favorite: Having real conversations with you; being asked to pray with you every time he drops you off at school

Biggest Challenge: Bedtime, thankfully not on most nights though. You get scared at every noise you hear. Many nights you are afraid to fall asleep in your own bed and you say, “I want to sleep in your bed so I don’t hear noises.” Things would be much easier if we just gave in, but we don’t want to start that habit so we are holding out and trying to be consistent as long as we can.

Bedtime Routine: PJs, brush teeth, tuck in friends (stuffed animals), tuck in Lily, Mommy and Daddy both pray, then we both sing “Jesus Loves Me”, Mommy kisses you goodnight and leaves, Lily makes Daddy linger for a little while longer while he promises to come check on her after she falls asleep

How We Celebrated: An early dinner at Which Wich and cupcakes from Ashley Macs

Writing your order on your bag at Which Wich…one of the reasons you love this place! 

And here is Lily’s interview with Mommy.

Take 1

Take 2: Bathroom situation taken care of. Bribed her with a cookie and some milk. (For the record, Lily’s favorite Bible story is not “voodoo”. It’s “boodoo”. Just want to clear up any assumptions that we are teaching her that voodoo is in the Bible, ha! And, no, I don’t know what story she’s talking about; although she does love Noah!)

And this is what happens when Lily interviews Mommy while Daddy records it all. 

Happy Father’s Day!

To the man who:

  • took me to school nearly every day in middle school so I wouldn’t have to wake up early and ride the bus
  • also took me to school on the 4-wheeler when I was in elementary school because…well, I don’t know why. 
  • made countless early morning trips to the store to get milk
  • An Alabama alumni who paid for my college education at Auburn even though it killed him to do so
  • worked (and still does) extremely hard to provide for his family
  • taught me the proper way to eat a frosted brown sugar Pop Tart (spread butter on top and nuke it for 42 seconds on medium)
  • can fix everything…literally
  • sewed all my buttons back on when they fell off 
  • offers great counsel and wisdom 
  • made sure to spend quality time with me
  • loves my mother more than his children
  • offers free professional photography so we can capture memories with Lily
  • spends time in the Word and in prayer daily
  • not afraid to boldly proclaim his unshakeable faith
  • made decisions with his career that kept his family as his priority
  • a living example of how to depend solely on Christ
  • instilled in me a love for all things music
  • makes the best chocolate milkshakes
Happy Father’s Day!!! I love you bigger than the world!!!
And to the man who is the father of my sweet Lily girl and Heaven baby (and Sanibel and our new fish Bicarla)…
  • thank you for your selfless and unconditional love
  • thank you for how hard you work to provide for us
  • thank you for loving Jesus more than us
  • thank you for keeping us above your career
  • thank you for putting up with us crazy girls 🙂 

We love you!!! Happy Father’s Day!!!

Submission: What It All Boils Down To

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loves the church and gave himself up for her. 
Ephesians 5:22-25

This is not a serious biblical post. You won’t gain any meaningful insight from this. Don’t let the title deceive you.

For the first time in my life I had to submit to my husband on a matter that I did not wish to submit to him.

Let me back up since the word “submission” has such a bad rap these days. God commands wives to submit to their husbands. This simply means that we trust that their wisdom and discernment are from the Lord, therefore, when we submit to them, we are ultimately submitting to Christ. Submission does not mean I slave over a hot stove all day long because my husband demands a home cooked meal by 4:30 everyday. It also does not mean that I give up my own opinions, dreams, ideas, etc. It does not mean that we can’t have a discussion when we disagree on a matter. It is not a “my way or the highway” type of relationship. I just simply trust that my husband is in a deep relationship with Christ and his “commands” have already been prayed over and thoroughly thought through (say that 10 times fast). Notice that in the verse above husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ loves the church. A godly husband would never expect his wife to submit to something that wouldn’t glorify God because at that point he would not be loving her as Christ loves the church. Thankfully, Brent and I agree on the important stuff 99.9% of the time, so I have never (until now) had a hard time submitting to what he says.

Phew. Anyway.

You want to know what submission boils down to for me?

Get this…

Power sliding doors.

That’s right. Those darn power sliding doors on my van are the only thing in our entire marriage that has tempted me to put my foot down and resist submission.

And try I did, but I did not win.

You see, we are in a sticky situation with our cars. Brent still drives our first car (yes, our first car because it was his when he turned 16, then mine when I turned 16). And that’s a completely different post for another day. Unfortunately, it’s not going to run forever and could actually die any day now. Of course, we’ve been saying that for the past 5 years and it’s still going strong…even thought it’s been totaled twice and caught on fire once. But again, that’s for a another day. Obviously it’s in our best interest to find Brent another car, but we don’t need to add another car payment. Thankfully, my father-in-law is a car dealer and can get a us a deal if we trade in our van. Sigh.

My van that I swore I would NEVER drive and here I am upset that I have to give it up. I get a little attached to my cars. And by a little I mean A LOT. They practically become family members to me. So much that I whispered on the phone in the van the other day when I was talking about the pros to getting another vehicle.

5 months preggo with Lily the day we bought our van

I’m wearing a Life is Good shirt that Brent bought me. It’s a picture of a van and it says, “This is how we roll.” Not anymore!

Our van is getting a little high on mileage and possibly has a cracked radiator. So even though it will be paid off in nearly a year, it’s about to cost some serious maintenance fees. And no, I don’t know what I’m talking about, but this is what I’ve been told by Brent and my dad. So, just pretend I know what in the world a cracked radiator is.

Bottom Line: we must replace Brent’s car and I can’t keep my van.
Solution: Trade in the van and get a family car (van or SUV) and a cheap but dependable car

It just so happens that there aren’t any vans in stock where my FIL works that I care to own. But, there is an SUV that I fell in love with over the weekend. And of all the back and forth, wishy washy discussions we’ve had the past few days over the van vs. SUV…it all boils down to one hang up. The power sliding doors. Space is another issue, but we only have one child (and if you read this post, only God knows our future for more kids or not) and in the past 3 years we’ve only needed all the space in the van once…when we moved. Space is disguised as the issue, but the real issue that has tempted me to demand I get my way is the power sliding doors. Deep down, I know that Brent is trying to make a wise decision for us financially. But I just LOVE my PSD!!! Such a hard convenience to give up.

But you know what the Lord did? He put me in my place and asked me, “If you can’t give up the convenience of power sliding doors, how could you ever give up much more than that to follow Me to the ends of the earth?”

And, well, that’s when I decided to submit. Because I don’t want the convenience of power sliding doors to stand in the way of me visiting orphans.

We turned in our van and brought home an SUV.

Here’s the best part…

The power sliding door on the right side of the van QUIT WORKING the day we turned it in!!!
Haha…see my husband does know what he’s talking about and it is a GOOD thing for me to submit to him!


Compassionate Lily

This is one of those posts that I like to call a “baby book” post. Most of you won’t care to read this, but I want to record it so I can always remember these sweet and precious moments in Lily’s life.

I think tonight was the first time Lily has ever seen me cry…a for real sobbing cry. Minus the first three weeks of her life when I was so sleep deprived I practically wept 24/7. Thankfully, she has no recollection of that!

I have pretended to cry around her and she gets upset with me when I do that. She really does not like to see me cry. I’ve wondered what she would do if I were really crying. I found out tonight.

We were just pulling in the driveway, still in the car, and I was upset over something that has overwhelmingly burdened my heart. Lily, acting so sweet and concerned, said, “Mommy, come back here so I can give you a kiss.” She kissed me twice and wiped the tears off my cheeks. She thought I was upset because my phone was dead, so she kept reassuring me that as soon as we got inside she would put it on the charger. 🙂

Later, I was in the kitchen and she ran in a wrapped her arms around my legs. I apologized for being so upset (because I did raise my voice out of frustration while we were in the car…not at any one person, but at a situation) and she said, “Jesus will make you better.” Grace and forgiveness in the heart of a child.

No worries Mom, Jesus makes it better.

I can not put in to words how much gratitude I have in my heart for a Jesus-loving, compassionate, caring, forgiving daughter.

God created her with a compassionate heart for a purpose. A purpose that I am excited to watch unfold as she gets older. I have a few ideas of my own of how God can use my sweet Lily, but I’m sure His ideas are way better than what I can imagine. I’m just so thankful for the many ways I already see Him at work in her young little heart.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. 
Ephesians 4:32