A Place to Write

“Give me a place to write, ” I told him. I didn’t mean a comfy chair or a room with a nice view. I needed the literal space where I write words.

Nearly eleven years ago I sat on a white couch on Captiva Island on our honeymoon and started a blog. Then I deleted it. A couple years later I started another one and stuck with it consistently for many years and enjoyed the heck out of writing about whatever I felt needed to be said. At some point I became extremely sporadic. I once blamed having children for my lack of writing, and while that is a huge part of it, Read more

Granny Rosie

One year. 365 days to let it sink in that you live with Jesus now. It’s still very, very fresh.

8-8-16 and you were 88 years old. Numbers have meaning beyond a math problem.

Your life, even to the last breath you took, was all grace. It was a beautiful picture of the faithfulness of Jesus, His provision, and intimate relationship He has with his children.

There are things I knew I’d miss once you were gone. It’s a thought I’ve had since a little girl. I wondered who would supply my Reese’s addiction (that you started) and who would provide the Trident original during big church.  Still waiting on those Reese’s to rain down from Heaven, by the way. I knew I’d miss your laughter. Who doesn’t? I knew I’d miss your gallon of sugar with a little bit of tea. I knew I’d miss your counsel, your wisdom, and your crazy sense of humor. I knew I’d miss burgers and dancing to Dad’s piano playing on Saturday nights. I knew I’d miss beach trips. I knew I’d miss your love and devotion to your family and friends. What an example you were of how to serve a family with unending selfless love.

There’s so much about you to miss. I think about you often throughout my day. Maybe this is weird, but I hear you talking to me? I think because I’ve heard your voice so much that I just know exactly what you’d say to me in every situation. I still hear your laughter. I still post certain things on Facebook because I think you’ll enjoy seeing it, especially if it’s about the kids. I still think about going to visit you when we’re in town and going to pick you up for this or that. I still look for you at family events. I still listen to your voice on my voicemails that I can not and will not delete.

I just sometimes think you are still here. And when I remember you aren’t, it’s just as gut wrenching as it was on August 8, 2016 when Brent drove to school, met me on the playground, and told me you had passed away.

Many things I knew I’d miss. But one thing I did not see coming. One thing I did not really even know was a thing to be missed. I did not foresee how much I’d miss observing your relationship with the Lord, observing the tangible and real faithfulness of Jesus in a person.

I have always been profoundly impacted by your unshakeable faith in Jesus Christ after enduring the death of not only your only sibling and your parents, but also your child and your husband. I can hear you singing “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives.”  

It’s always been a mystery to me how you endured such suffering. Jesus, of course. But, get real–all that tragedy and you were still faithfully clinging to Him?

It was all a mystery until you died and it was as if I was invited to a front row seat of the relationship you have with your Father.

As a child, we spent the night with you often. You made the best pallets on the floor by your bed. You let us have the extra large king size pillows to sleep on. We’d get ready for bed and pile up on our pallets while you read to us from the Bible. It wasn’t an option. It was what Granny Rosie did before going to bed. And we looked forward to it.

You always had your Bible. You did not let a day go by that you didn’t read it. Even the night before you died, very frail and weak, you read your Bible. You prayed to God.

You let nothing get in the way of your time spent with God. Vacations, illnesses, hospital stays, late nights, grandkids spending the night, etc. Nothing at all prevailed as a reason to skip your nightly Bible reading and prayer time. There was nothing legalistic about it. You enjoyed it. You wanted it.  It was just as much a part of your life as eating. It was woven into your life in a completely natural way.   

After your death, you know we all tore up the house looking for things that would bring back wonderful memories. I found stacks of Bibles, covered up in notes. In every nook and cranny of your house I found pieces of paper with handwritten prayer requests on them. You wrote them down wherever you were when you heard of a need. There were reminders to pray for others all over your house. You define a prayer warrior. Not only did you write down the request, you wrote down the praise when a prayer had been answered. There was no room in your house that did not have written evidence of God’s work.  Your house was filled with reminders of God’s goodness.

I think back to that mystery, of how you endured such suffering, and I see clearly now what it was that carried you.

It’s one simple word.


You abided in Christ every second of every day. You recognized and understood that He was your only hope. You depended on Him solely. He was your life line. Without Him you could do nothing. You could not carry about your day without His abiding presence.  You could not walk through life’s tragedies without His Spirit alive in you. He was it. He was enough. He was your all in all. He was truly your strongest and best confidant. He knew you fully, and I dare say you knew Him as fully as one possibly can on this side of Heaven.

Mystery solved. Christ abided in you. You abided in Him.  (Abided? Abode?)

I need a reminder to be that in love with Jesus, to be that dependent on Him for every need and every second of my day.  

After searching through your many Bibles on a mission to find “abide” written in your Bible…

I found this…

And did this…


Now Granny Rosie, before you get to thinking I’ve turned into a rebel since you left, talk to Jesus. He knows my heart. He knows Miss Goody Two Shoes over here prayed about this for two years, wanting to be sure she was not being dishonoring or disobedient.  This may be a stretch, Granny Rosie, but just as the Israelites wore God’s commands on their body (granted, bound to their arms with leather straps, not permanent ink), this is me binding His word to my arm so I can internalize His truth and be reminded of His abiding presence.

I settled on the word “abide” long before you died. I’ve since discovered that you are a wonderful reminder for me of what it means for Christ to abide in me, and for me to abide in Christ. It’s only fitting I would have the word in your handwriting from your Bible on my wrist.

You are loved and missed immensely, in ways I can’t express with words. Your life was an incredible testimony to God’s faithfulness to His children. He never let you go. He held you and He carried you all the days of your life, even to your last moment as He answered your greatest prayer in your later years…to not die alone and to continue to live in your house. God granted your request on 8-8-16, because He’s a great God with great love for His people. You were welcomed into His presence after taking your last breath in Dr. Weldon’s office with Dad by your side. The two people you probably trusted most on this earth were the two people God allowed you to see last as you slipped into eternity.

Amen and amen. God is good. And I can’t wait to see you again.

When we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory!  

Scott’s Third Birthday

Happy birthday, buddy! If there is any single word I could use to describe your life it would be joy. Sure, you have some unpleasant toddler moments, some days more than others. That is to be expected and considered part of your development as a kid. Aside from normal toddler behaviors, you radiate so much joy. Your smile and laughter are contagious. It’s obvious you are being raised by two very sarcastic parents because you try so hard to get away with things by saying “I was just trying to be funny.” It works often, because you are very funny.

If there was an award for the best brother to be stuck between two sisters, you’d win hands down. You love your sisters with all the love you have to give, though sometimes that love is expressed through aggressive playfulness. You will make them tougher and they will make you softer. It’s a win win for everyone.

Your three years on this earth have been full of life. Can’t stop won’t stop should be your motto, because you are all in or all out and everyone is going to know. You love all modes of transportation: “tars”, trains, bikes, motorcycles, “ambulamps” (ambulances), “wees tars” (police cars), fire trucks, garbage trucks, “recycwing trucks” (recycling trucks), etc. You also love riding in your Power Wheels F-150. Your pick up truck is probably the best investment we’ve ever made in a toy for you. You throw things in the back, ride all over the yard, fix it when it’s “broking” (broken), and take your sisters for a ride. Every night you sleep with your doggy pillow, cars that you have to park just right on the bed first with one to hold in each hand also, and your Bible that you usually tuck under one arm. There are usually other various toys to be found in your bed each night. You are actually dependable (as dependable as a 3 year old can be) when I’m needing your help with Ruby. You are her little protector. You watch her every move and make sure nothing goes in her mouth that shouldn’t. Bottom line: I love being your mommy. It’s the best. You are the most fun 3 year old boy and we love watching you grow, learn new things, and laughing with you. You help keep things less serious around our house because with your happy go lucky personality it’s hard to stay mad or stressed for long. You are starting to understand the things of God and for that we are very grateful. When you choose to obey us, you get all excited and say “That makes Jesus happy!”

Here is your 3 year old interview that you weren’t really that in to. No surprise there. Your answers are first, Mommy’s answer in parentheses when necessary.

What is your name? Stotty
How old are you? fwree
What is your favorite thing to do? uhhh…I don’t know. (Play with your sisters, ride in your truck, jump on the trampoline, swing, play with your train table and cars)
What is your favorite food? eltmo (oatmeal, also chocolate chips)
What is your favorite drink? juice and milk
What is your favorite color? black
What is your favorite animal? I like to ride on trains (lions, bears, and dinosaurs)
What is your favorite show? Blaze and Paw Patrol
What is your favorite movie? The Incredibles (also Star Wars)
What is your favorite toy? Bigger truck (the car hauler you got with birthday money from Mom and Pop)
What is your favorite song? The ting one (Head Over Boots by Jon Pardi. Scott calls it “the king one” because of the line “if I was a king, you would be my queen”. He knows every line. He also likes 80s Mercedes by Maren Morris, which he calls “80s acedes”)
What is your favorite book? Little Blue Truck Leads the Way, Don’t Push the Button, your seek and find book
What is your favorite Bible story? My Bible story (David and Goliath)
Who is your best friend? Zoe, Macy (Zoe is a girl from your class last year and Macy is a dog. Mommy says Parker is your best friend because you tell me all the time that Parker is your buddy. You make friends and play with anyone.)
What makes you happy? a trains (also seeing your sisters in the morning when you wake up)
What do you want to be when you grow up? Two. I’m fwree. I mean I’m fwree. (This was his first answer.)
I know you are three, but what job do you want to have when you grow up? Oooo…a tuptake (cupcake)!

For your party, we invited friends and family to have pizza and cupcakes at the park. The theme was Paw Patrol because it’s your favorite!

Ruby’s 10th and 11th months

10 months

11 months

 It’s a good thing we only have one more of these because we’re definitely going downhill with these monthly pictures

Firsts: crawling, pulling up, beach trip, taste of ice cream and whole milk, Kiddie Carnival, ride on a carousel, fourth of July fireworks, drive-in movie

Favorite Toy/Activity: dancing, if there isn’t a song on  you click your tongue to make your own beat 

Mommy’s Favorite: Your dance moves 

Daddy’s Favorite: When you say hey to him and get all excited to see him. He is definitely your favorite person right now! 

Lily’s Favorite: When you try to talk 

Scott’s Favorite: When you play in his bedroom with him 

Milestones: you’ve transitioned from formula to whole milk, you are in 12 month clothes, you are crawling and pulling up, you are pointing or reaching out to people or things you want 

Weight/Length: I’m guessing you are somewhere between 20-23 pounds

Like Mommy: Your hair is getting lighter and showing signs of being curly 

Like Daddy: You are content and easily pleased 

Like Lily: Most mornings you wake up in a good mood and occasionally you will stay in bed and talk before we come to get you

Like Scott: You love milk! 

Best Memory: Your first beach trip with Granny Rosie, which was also her last beach trip with all of us 

Biggest Challenge: You finally got some teeth. 4 came in at the same time which meant you were fussy, cranky, snotty, and in pain for at least two weeks. 

How We Spend the Day: You are up around 7 in the morning, usually after Mommy, Lily, and Scott are gone for school. You have some milk and breakfast then Daddy takes you to school. You play, eat, sleep, learn at school until Mommy picks you up in the afternoon. Once you are home, you eat a snack and play with Lily and Scott until dinner time. You eat whatever Mommy cooks for dinner and are in bed by 7:30 every night. 

Nicknames: Wuby Jeams

Funniest Moment: No moment in particular, but your personality is really starting to shine and it’s so fun to watch! 

Words: “Daaaadee” is daddy and baby. “Hey” while pointing means you want keys or a phone. You also have picked up on the fact that when you need someone you yell their name over and over again until you get that person’s attention, so when someone else is yelling a name you start yelling things too. I mean, why not? 

Coming Up: Your first birthday party! 

First time to ride the carousel

Precious memories with Granny Rosie on your first beach trip and her last

You had such a fun summer with Lily and Scott

First movie and first time at the drive-in! We saw The BFG. 

First taste of ice cream 

Enjoying some time with Pop in Mentone

Watching the fireworks on the fourth of July! 

You and your hair are WILD! 

I think this may be my favorite picture of you

Hanging out with your cousin Mav at the beach

First time at Kiddie Carnival. It was hot and you were miserable. This is also how mommy looked all night. 

Just checking out the dog food

Lazy morning at the beach 

Last Wright family beach trip with Granny Rosie. She passed away on Monday, August 8, 2016. 

With your namesakes after Granny Rosie’s funeral. Your great grandmothers Ruby (left) and Jean (right). 

Dear Little VKs: That Summer

Dear Little VKs,

I dare say this is the best summer I’ve ever had. Yes, even better than any summer I had as a kid or a teen.

You know why? Because you are here.

I feel a sense of completeness. This is my life. You are my kids. The ones I dreamed of raising. And this is that summer…the one I imagined when I was dating your daddy. The summer where he goes to work during the day and I have the summer off so we just play in the wide open spaces of our yard and I don’t care as much about a dirty house and keeping up with laundry and cooking actual meals. What’s important is enjoying the time we have together. Jumping on the trampoline. Splashing in the $15 inflatable pool from Aldi. Pushing you in the swing on our hand-me-down play set. Watching you drive your Power Wheels all over the yard and killing the battery everyday. Sometimes twice. Reading books. Watching the baby birds in the bedroom window. Curling up on the couch to watch a movie and eat popcorn. Catching fireflies in a mason jar.

This is all I ever wanted. I don’t have big, lofty goals I want to attain in my life. I have a few goals in mind and I would like to reach them one day. But, you are what I wanted. The three of you and your daddy. Oh, and the dog, but her hair is everywhere and y’all keep letting her out of the fence and I have to chase her and yell “SANIBEL, COME GET SOME BREAD” like a redneck and I’d rather keep this chipper so we are just going to drop the dog talk right now.

I don’t deserve for that summer I imagined to become this summer. I don’t deserve for you to be my reality. But here we are, filthy and smelly from playing outside all morning and all I can do is tear up and thank God that I have all of you.

Abide in Him, my children, and His desires will be planted in your heart. You will grow to want the same things He does.

It was first His desire to give you to me. To give your daddy to me. And to give me to all of you. Our family is just what I pictured, but it was God’s design first. And He is the one that planted the desire for you in my heart.

I’m going to fail you everyday. I’m going to mess up and make the wrong choice and say the wrong thing and jump to the wrong conclusion. But you can be certain that none of those things will happen with your Heavenly Father.

Keep the joy that you have. It’s utterly contagious. And when you feel you are losing that joy, ask God to restore it. Because your joy will lead others to joy in Christ. It certainly has that effect on me.

Thanks for being you. Don’t change.

Except this one thing, please stop letting the dog out of the fence.

I love you always.

Ruby’s Ninth Month

Miss Ruby, you have officially been out as long as you were in! You have done so much growing and learning this month! 

Firsts: Sitting up without any help, swimming in a pool, taste of chocolate pudding, eating meat and all kinds of table food (including eggs and peanut butter!), riding in Lily’s jeep and Scott’s truck, trip to the Birmingham Zoo and Discovery Center in Murfreesboro  

Favorite Toy/Activity: Rolling all over the floor, dancing, your red toy car that you play in on the rug, Lily’s baby doll 

Mommy’s Favorite: Your dance moves 

Daddy’s Favorite: When you say hey to him and get all excited to see him. He is definitely your favorite person right now! 

Lily’s Favorite: When you try to talk 

Scott’s Favorite: When you sit with him in the chair to watch Paw Patrol or Blaze 

Milestones: Sitting up, you have completely given up a bottle–you will only drink out of sippy cups now, no more baby food, 9 month clothes, size 3 diapers 

Weight/Length: I’m guessing you are close to 20 lbs 

Like Mommy: Your hair is getting lighter and showing signs of being curly 

Like Daddy: You are content and easily pleased 

Like Lily: Most mornings you wake up in a good mood and occasionally you will stay in bed and talk before we come to get you

Like Scott: You do “The Wiggle” in your high chair, a signature move your brother created when he was your age

Best Memory: Nothing in particular sticks out, but all of our summer days spent at home playing with your brother and sister are sure to create memories for all of us! 

Biggest Challenge: You are such an easy baby, I can’t think of a challenge. You want to crawl so bad but just can’t figure it out yet. It frustrates you sometimes. 

How We Spend the Day: You wake up anywhere between 6 and 7, take 6 oz of formula and eat yogurt or a pancake for breakfast, play, nap from about 9-10:30 sometimes a little earlier, take another 6 oz at 11, play, eat lunch whenever your siblings do (usually turkey, cheese, fruit), nap from about 1-2:30 or 3, another 6 oz at 3:30, play, sometimes a cat nap around 4:30, dinner at 5:30ish (usually whatever we are eating), another 6 oz at 7ish, and bed by 8. You also munch on snacks throughout the day 🙂  

Nicknames: Wuby Jeams and Miss Ruby 

Funniest Moment: Watching you dance and wiggle to the music on your toys 

Words: “hey ya” is usually your way of saying hey to anyone, but “hey da” is your slightly different version reserved for your daddy :). You say these while either waving or sticking your hand straight out waiting for a high five 

How We Celebrated: We made cupcakes! But I didn’t let you have any 😦 Be patient little one, your first birthday will be here soon. 

Coming Up: the beach!!! 

Driving in my big red car! 

A summer stroll

Play date with Seth. Looks like you two really enjoyed each other’s company. 

You remind me of Scott here. Such joy! 

All babies need doggie kisses. 

Riding with the wearer of swimming glasses (aka goggles). 

A HOT trip to the zoo! 

Playing at the children’s museum. They had a small section just for your size!

Family ride on the zoo train

Dancing with Quinton on Memorial Day 

He loves loves loves to have his Wuby Jeams next to him! He says you are his best friend. 

The three little VKs

Excited about pancakes for breakfast! 

You got to be a flower girl again at the wedding of Travelers and Puppy Puppy. The creative wedding planner was your big sister Lily. 

Sitting in the chair watching Blaze! One of his favorite things to do with you. 

First time in the pool! You kicked and kicked and kicked some more! 

Lookin’ good with your daddy at Travelers and Puppy Puppy’s *inflatable* poolside reception. 

Getting the bunny ears from your sister! 

All smiles after a night swim! 

Ruby’s Seventh and Eighth Months

Truth: This picture wasn’t actually taken the day you turned 7 months. You are a few days short of being 8 months. 
Truth: This picture wasn’t actually taken the day you turned 8 months. It was taken just 2 weeks after the first picture. Just enough time for there to be a noticeable difference between the two. Like different sheets. Okay, and maybe longer hair. 

Well, what do you know? Your mother has failed to keep up with these monthly posts. Unlike your sister, who was the only child for 3 1/2 years and never knew the affliction of her mother missing a monthly post, you are not the only child and I’m surprised I’m just now messing this up. Alas, before you turn 9 months, here are the details of your 7th and 8th months. 

Firsts: Puffs, yogurt melts, black eyed peas, water in a sippy cup (you are actually a pro at that), feeding yourself a bottle, sitting up with assistance

Favorite Toy/Activity: Playing on the floor with all of your toys, you love to chew on your toes, watching your brother and sister play and dance 

Mommy’s Favorite: You are such a happy baby!

Daddy’s Favorite: Daddy always says “Ditto” 

Lily’s Favorite: Your squealing and your chubby cheeks

Scott’s Favorite: He doesn’t like when you are napping, so he gets really excited to see you when you wake up. While you are asleep, he asks several times “I can go check on Wuby???”  

Milestones: You can roll belly to back and back to belly; you don’t mind being on your tummy and you actually sleep on your tummy most nights now; you are sitting up with assistance; you can eat real food, not just baby food; you can wave at yourself and clap 

Weight/Length: 18 lbs; 75% in height and weight 

Like Mommy: Your hair is getting lighter and showing signs of being curly 

Like Daddy: You are content and easily pleased 

Like Lily: Most mornings you wake up in a good mood and occasionally you will stay in bed and talk before we come to get you

Like Scott: Your smile, chunky cheeks, and hair

Best Memory: You were a flower girl in Aunt Katie’s wedding! 

Biggest Challenge: Still having some nasty diapers 

How We Spend the Day: You wake up around 6 or 6:30 and have 6 ounces of formula and a container of yogurt, you play until your mid-morning nap around 8 or 8:30, you sleep for about 1 1/2 hours, then you eat 6 oz around 10:30 and play until lunchtime, at noon you have a jar of food and play until 1 when you and your siblings take a nap, you wake up by 2:30 or 3 and have another 6 oz bottle, you play and have a cat nap around 5, you then have another jar of food while we eat dinner, you take your last bottle sometime between 7 and 7:30 and you are in bed by 8. 

Nicknames: Wuby Jeams and Miss Ruby 

Funniest Moment: You LOVE to take selfies! 

How We Celebrated: Daddy was out of town the month of April so we didn’t celebrate your 7th month, and your 8th month was in the middle of end of the year/birthdays/anniversary chaos so we didn’t celebrate that month either. I promise your 12 months will be a big deal! 

Coming Up: Summer break!!! 

First time to try out the swing outside 

Meeting your cousin Mav for the first time

 Dancing with Granddaddy at Aunt Katie and Uncle Zack’s wedding

He has a very special love for his Wuby Jeams 

When Daddy left for Dallas your feet did not touch the bottom of the exersaucer. By the time he came home, you could stand in the exersaucer. 

Your sweet brother rocking you to sleep.

You spent a lot of time with Nana and TBone while Daddy was away. They came up a few times to help out with yard work, errands I needed to run, and just letting me get some rest. 

Baby girl at your 6 month appointment, at 7 1/2 months old. You take all the shots like a champ! 

Swinging on the front porch in Mentone with Mom and Pop 

Playing at the neighbors house

You and your siblings took me out to eat for Mother’s Day 

Always so happy!