Thursday, April 30, 2009

April 30th

In life there are certain days that have special meanings for you. For the most part you will remember those days all of your life. Most of the time they include your birthday, birthdays of loved ones, anniversaries, maybe dates of someone's passing, and I could go on and on. There have been a few dates in Joe's and mine life that we have tried to put multiple stuff into so that it will make it easier to remember. Today is one of those days. Josie was baptized on April 30, 2006. Her dress was handmade from someone in our congregation. She did really good and Chaplain Dave Terrinoni did the service. She was baptized with water from the same place Jesus was baptized. He used it sparingly, but to him and us it meant something special. I remember that Dave held her with him at the back of the church as he greeted everyone as they exited the sanctuary for everyone to see. Afterwards we held a reception for our family and friends to celebrate this special bundle of joy that God had blessed us with. We even had friends from Birmingham come to this special event in our life. After the reception me and Other Mama attended the funeral of one of the pillars of our church, Janie Graham. Fast forward a year and this date, April 30, 2007, Joe and I found out that our second bundle of joy was a girl. We told all of our family except for our parents. We told our parents that we had decided not to find out the sex of the baby. Then we got my Aunt Elisa to make special onesies that had "Jolie" on them, and we gave all the mothers their onesies for Mothers Day. So far April 30th has not had any more special meanings for us, but we still have years and years to able to fill it up. However, today will be the day that Sheila gets to see her precious baby's heartbeat for the first time, so in way it April 30, 2009, does hold special meaning.

The other date that we have done this with is December 23rd. On December 23, 2001, Joe asked me to marry him. I wish I could tell you that it was one of the most romantic nights of our live, but because of details that I will not go into, it wasn't. No matter, the point is he asked and I said yes. Then on December 23, 2007 we batpized Jolie. Our new pastor, Jonathan Yarboro, did the service. Her dress was one that we got from Storkland in Montgomery that had red and green smocking at the top. She also did really good and everyone awed at her as Jonathan walked around holding her. That morning we also lit the advent wreath as a family. Some of the family and friends that attended went with us to Shoneys afterwards. And this date like April 30th, I'm sure holds more in store for us.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


So much is going on right now I feel like I'm in a whirlwind. I'm not sure how to think or act on so many different issues. Right now I'm so angry with God. Sheila asked me the other day why I was angry and I listed every single reason. There were probably 20 things listed. The great reassuring news is that both she and God can take it. God can take me being angry with him. He understands my frustrations and is loving me through it all, and best yet he gave me an awsome best friend to listen to me. She doesn't judge me. She didn't try to make me feel guilty for being angry with God. She listened and understood. Getting it all out in the open I think was something I really needed to do. I have had so much bottled up that it was eating at me. I already feel better even though none of the 20+ things are fixed. I know we all go through these times, and that it will get better, but I'm just so thankful that I have someone to confide in and who loves me enough that I can whine and complain and be myself with, and she loves me just the same.

On a more happy note, today is the Burdick's anniversary. I'm very happy for them they have accomplished something that is rare in today's time. But this is also a good thing for me b/c without them getting married there would have been no Joe. And if I didn't have Joe I wouldn't have Josie and Jolie and I can't imagine my life without any of them.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


To a young child scissors are a magical thing. They cut toys out of boxes, they cut paper, they cut tags off of new clothes and shoes, they open food packets, and of course, they cut hair. At first my child only paid attention to the fact that scissors cut everything but hair. Then one day while playing with a friend, the friend remarked that scissors cut hair. Ever since that day Josie has asked to cut her hair or to cut Joe's, Lol's, or my hair. The scissors are put up at our house to where she can not reach them, and when I have cut her bangs, I have tried to reiterate that only Mommys, Daddys, and Hairdressers cut hair. However, in the back of her mind, she has always known that she also had the power to cut hair. Earlier this week Cassandra's blog was on how Drew had cut his hair. I laughed because I knew my day was coming. I did not know when it would be, but I knew it would come. I personally, am not particuarly attached of hair. It grows back so everytime I go to get mine cut, I tell them the shorter the better. Well, I got my call. Erica is so great and has been working with Josie on using scissors. She has taught her how to cut out shapes as well as to cut straight lines. Well today, Erica turned around for a minute and Josie snipped her hair. She said Lol was laughing as if saying "me next." Erica said she didn't know how to react. She said she thought I would be upset. All I could do was laugh through the entire conversation. I told her it took a lot to make me mad, and she said hopefully we never reach that point. Erica said that there was no gapping or bald spot, that she actually did a good job and that it blends right in. She might have a profession. Hopefully, now it is out of her system, and all I have to do is wait for Lol's turn to experiment.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Small Wonders

Isn't it funny that we adults get some of the greatest joys watching small children do and explore things for the first time? Most things, we have already done before but it thrills us to see little ones doing it for the first time. The other night Josie was drawing for me and she said I'll draw you a circle. Now Josie is three and has often told me she would draw me something and it would just be scribble, but to her it was an airplane, helicopter, or a hotdog on Uncle Ben's birthday card. I looked down and sure enough she had drawn a circle. I made a huge deal about it and as soon as Joe got home later than night that was the first thing she did, was draw a circle for him. Unfortunately, Joe and I can take no credit on this, it has to have been Erica (the girl who keeps her and Jolie) that has taught her how to draw circles. We did start working with her to draw triangles though.

My next amazement happened Saturday. My cousin, Sara, had her baby, Clara Beth, Friday evening. As soon as Joe got home from work Saturday Josie and I went to the hospital to see Sara, Clint, and Clara Beth. Josie loved every second. She could have cared less who was in the room except for Clara Beth. We let her "hold" Clara Beth as I sat beside Josie supporting Clara Beth's head. Whoever was holding Clara Beth, Josie just watched. She stood beside her the entire time they changed her clothes for pictures. It was so sweet to watch. It also got me wondering again if we should have another one, but that is another blog. A little while later we left and went home. Josie and Jolie started playing and Josie brought me one of her dolls and said this is Sara. I said okay. This is big because this is the first time she has named something. In the past she has asked you to name her dolls/animals, but this was the very first time that she came up with a name on her own. I, of course, called Sara and told her that Josie had named her baby after her.

Then came Saturday night. Other Mama had gotten tickets to Disney on Ice and invited us and Caden and Sheila. It was a last minute thing that someone offered to her and we all were so excited about the opportunity. Joe and I had debated a month or so ago whether to buy tickets b/c Josie is a very active little girl. She does not watch TV and we were scared we would be wasting our money. Other Mama said she got the tickets for cheap and that if we needed to leave, no problem. So Saturday night, Sheila, Caden, Josie, Other Mama and I went to see Disney on Ice. Both Caden and Josie did great! They both stared in amazement and it was just so much fun to watch Josie. She would get so excited or yell or clap. At one point she was holding the popcorn that Sheila had bought for Caden and the box was so big that she could not wrap her arms around the box to clap so she held them over her head to clap. I remember doing all kinds of stuff like that when we were kids and how much fun we had as a family and it made my heart overflow to be able to do that with my daughter. I can't wait until the circus comes and hopefully Jolie will be able to come.

So often I write about Josie and not about Jolie. So I wanted to share about her as well. Yesterday we had a church luncheon that me and the girls stayed for after church. The girls got restless as soon as they finished eating so I took them out to the playground to play. Granted, Jolie usually falls alseep on the way home from church but she was all ready for play yesterday. She swang for a good while and just laughed as she watched everyone else running around. Then she got braver and decided she wanted to slide. The playground was built by the men of our church who did a great job. They have two slides a smaller slide and then a taller slide. The ramp going up to the first slide is quite steep and Jolie, bless her heart would try to walk up it, but just couldn't witout sliding back down. So I would help her up and run back down so that I could be at the bottom when she came down the slide. She would sit there for a minute just smiling and laughing at me and then would come sliding down. She loved every second of it and seeing that huge smile on her face totally made my day yesterday.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Eastered Out

I hope everyone had a fantastic Easter weekend. I think we are "Eastered" out. The girls hunted and dyed eggs all weekend and had a blast. We also managed to see a good part of our family over the weekend as well, so all is good :)

Josie was amazed with church on Sunday and it was so cute to watch. She was so excited to put flowers in the cross, she loved getting to take her fish piggy bank full of "monies" to Mr. Jonathan for the One Great Hour of Sharing, and she was so cute trying to explain to us the representation behind why her plastic egg was empty (the tomb was empty). She just kept telling us to Praise God.

Here are some pics from this weekend.


Friday, April 10, 2009


I love the Lenten and Easter seasons, however, I have always found it difficult to celebrate Jesus' death and resurrection almost immediately after his birth. Maybe it is all so close together to make it more meaningful. We all fall in love with the "baby" Jesus each year at Christmas as we listen to the story of his humbly entering the earth. We become enchanted by the angels and the faith of the wise men. Then we slowly transition to his temptation in the desert and the realization that Jesus was human. At our church we are encouraged to give up something for forty days in rememberance of Jesus' fasting in the desert. In the past I have given up TV and caffine, but this year I have had so much going on that Lent just passed me by without me really realizing it. Sunday we celebrated Palm Sunday as the children of our church walked in with palm branches. My imagination goes wild as I try to picture what it must have been like that day. Last night was our Maunday Thursday service. We gathered to reflect on the Last Supper and take communion. I also like to wonder what it would have been like to have been in that room that night. The emotions of everyone, fear, hope, and love. Tonight is our Good Friday service. It is, of course, a somber service, that I always look forward to. As much as you celebrate someone's birth it is just as important to celebrate their death. Then Sunday, as we all know, is Easter. Resurrection Sunday.

Jesus is risen and He lives. In today's world it can be hard to see it or believe it sometimes, but he does. He lives in each one of us. We are called to be the light to the world, salt to the earth. Jesus is reflected in each one of us, through our deeds and through our love to one another. God is real and still performs miracles every day. I strongly and truly believe this. All you have to do is look. We all know someone who has beaten some odd, who is still living though they should have been dead, who should have needed this surgery but yet became well without it, became pregnant when they were told they never could, that should be crippled but has walked again, and I could go on and on. "The blind will see and the deaf will hear," God still does this every day. And he does it all because he loves us. He loves us all so much that he sent his only son to save us. How many of us would forfeit one of our children to save the world? We may sacrifice ourselves, but not our children. But yet God's plan was so much bigger. God's love was so much bigger. He created us all, all different cultures, all different colors of skin, all different languages. He did this, and then he gave us the most beautiful place to live, with mountains, beaches, rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, deserts, rainforest, waterfalls, etc. How can we look at this and not believe that he exists? How can we look at this and not believe that is the miracle worker? Jesus has risen so that we can live eternally with him and his father. What greater joy is this, that we shall be called the children of God? God chose us all when he created us. God made us all important with special gifts and talents to serve him and to serve one another. One of my favorite quotes from the Bible is "I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out." Luke 19:40. We should all never cease praising God. No matter how bad it gets, God has still blessed you. God is still with you. God will never forsake you. God has taken such good care of my family. He has answered every prayer and every need that we have ever had. Granted, it may not have been the answer we wanted, how fast we wanted it, or the way we would have done it, but God has always taken care of us, and he always will. God has blessed us so richly and every day I thank him. I thank him for my husband that he created to be my soul mate. I thank him for my beautiful girls that he has entrusted to Joe's and my care. I thank him that we have a roof over our heads, food to eat, jobs to go to, vehichles that take us to our jobs, friends and family that love us and support us, a church in which we can grow and serve him, and for life itself. Life is so precious. We never know what day will be our last and so we must live each day to the fullest, letting those around us know how much we love them and appreciate them, praising God and thanking him for loving us and being with us, and serving God and others.

Easter is a happy day. Easter represents new life, new beginnings, and faith restored. I wish you all a very blessed Easter and pray that you all know that Jesus died and rose for you.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


How many of you remember your senior quote for the yearbook? Mine was without darkness there can be no dreams. I can't remember now who said it or where I found it. There is so many levels behind that quote, but it got me to thinking about my dreams. We all have what I call "real" dreams. Things that are attainable and will probably happen in your life time. Then we all have those fantasy dreams. The dreams that will probably never happen, but they sure are nice to think about and plan out. Joe and I have a dream. In our minds we have it all worked out. We would own an old antebellum house with a wraparound porch and turn it into a bed and breakfast. It would have to have many rooms with a huge kitchen and a huge dining room. We would have a game room where our visitors could play games or watch TV. The house would be located on several acres of land that included lots of game and a nice sized pond for fishing. Joe would take people on hunting and fishing excursions and I would do the cooking and hosting. I would probably hire someone to do the cleaning, laundry, and bedmaking. Every room would have a fireplace and its own bathroom. Some of the rooms would be decorated in woodsy/hunting/fishing motif and the rest would be other themes. We would close for the holidays so that all of our family could come stay with us and everyone could have their own rooms. I think about the different people we would meet and the different cultures we would learn of by doing this. We have never talked about whether this home would be located in Alabama or if we would move somewhere else to do this. It also has never been given a name, but it sure is nice to think about.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


For as long as Joe and I have been married (7 years on May 11th) we have never taken a real family vacation. When I mean real I mean go away from your hometown for longer than a weekend and stay somewhere other than with family. We have done tons and tons of weekend vacations/getaways, but that is not the same as your week long vacation. Once or twice we spent our alotted week's vacation at my mom's house in Panama City, then we started having children and I had to use my vacation time to help pay for my maternity leave. Last year I realized that I would be able to use my week's vacation time and that we could plan it where we could use income tax money to pay for it. So this vacation has been in the works for almost a year now. In thinking about our vacation, I got to thinking about how I have not seen my aunts and grandmother since our wedding (even longer for my cousins, they live in Pennsylvania) and how I would love to see them. I asked my mom whether she thought we might could plan a vacation at a halfway point and so we settled on Jellystone Park in Cave City, Kentucky. I am so excited. Only 68 more days to go. Not only is there stuff to do there where we will be staying, but tons and tons of stuff to do around the area. This will be the first time my aunts and grandmother will meet my youngest daughter. We are staying in a cabin that will hold us all, so we should get lots of quality time together. I am a huge list person and so today I have been working on my lists and figuring out ideas like only bringing one big bottle of stuff we will all need, or each family taking a night to cook. I am so excited and I just can't wait for the opportunity to experience this with my girls and with my family I have not seen in a while. There is so much that we will all be able to do together, as well as just chilling out there at the cabin. To me vacations are always more fun when you have other people there to experience them with. Very few times have Joe and I gone away together, we almost always go with other couples, we just find it more fun. So this trip should be really great b/c there will be plenty of us that if we want to separate and do different things, we can. I hate to wish away part of my life, but our vacation can't get here soon enough.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Isn't it amazing how one realization can change so much in your life? Many have asked about the remark referred to in yesterday's blog, and although I'm not sharing it, I did speak with the person who said it. She said she meant it as a compliment, that things were different for her. However she meant it, it was something I needed to hear. I'm glad she said it. Someone needed to make me realize what I was doing. And do you know, I worked very hard at not doing it yesterday and it felt great. I wasn't as stressed yesterday, I was happy all day. By me not doing this, I actually have less to worry about. In fact it is kind of freeing. So I encourage any of you out there, if there is something that you realize that you don't like about yourself, you can change. You can overcome whatever obstacles. Sometimes we rationalize our behavior because we think we deserve to act a certain way, but if it is not true to the covenant you made with God, your husband/wife, your children, your family and friends, then whatever rationalizations you have come up with are moot. I am so glad that I finally see this.

On another completely different subject, I am loving Easter this year, and I'm not talking about the religious part, but the festivities part. The church part is always meaningful to me. Josie is so much more aware of what is going on and wants to be involved. We went and saw the Easter bunny Saturday and of course she was so thrilled. We hunted for eggs throughout Bass Pro Shop and now that is all she wants to do is hunt eggs. That afternoon our town was holding Easter activities for the children and she loved it. We got there too late to hunt eggs, but she still loved every second of it and was so excited about the candy she got. After that she and I went to Wal-Mart to buy groceries and Palm trees so that we could have palm branches for the children to walk with on Sunday. She reminded me several times that we had to get the palm trees and was so excited about walking with the palm branches. Sunday she, her friend, her friend's mom, and I decorated Easter bonnets for the goody Easter bonnet parade. I hot glued easter grass, ribbon, fake flowers, and iron-on patches to her hat. She is so excited about it. On Lol's I hot glued easter grass, plastic eggs, flowers, and iron on patches. They are too cute. This week we will die eggs as a family, attend Maunday Thursday service, Good Friday service, Easter egg hunt at church on Saturday, Burdick Family Easter on Saturday night with egg dying, church Sunday morning, more eating with Other Mama and Pap-paw, and more egg hunting. She is so thrilled. She talks about the Easter bunny, and was so proud of her Easter art she did at "school" yesterday. I pray that I will keep all these memories, but I'm sure I'll forget a lot of it, but for now I'm floating on cloud nine seeing my little girl so happy and loving life.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Remark in Passing

I am a people person. I am a pleaser person. I don't like for anyone not to like or to think bad things about me. Not sure why I'm this way, but I am, always have been. This weekend a remark was made in passing that shook me. Is this how people perceive me? Am I really like that? I've thought about it and thought about it since it was said. In my mind I've had a reason to act the way I do when it came to this, but the more I've thought about it, no I don't. I agreed to be one way and I have not held up my end of the bargain. I'm sure the person didn't mean any harm in the statement, but now it has me wondering, how many people think I'm like that. The more I've thought about it, the answer is probably a lot. I have a huge task ahead of me in changing my way of thinking, and although I want the person to like me and not think this way about me, I'm glad it was said so that I can work on fixing my own issues.

Friday, April 3, 2009

"Be Still and Know that I am God"

Part of me feels like I'm doing a book report, but oh well, here it goes. Yesterday I read the book "90 Minutes in Heaven" by Don Piper. For those of you who have not heard of it or read it, it is a true story of a Baptist minister that died, went to heaven for 90 minutes, and came back. After he came back he was literally in hell for months and to this day continues to live in pain. He was in a horrible car accident that he should not have survived. Anyways, I'm not going to cliff note the book for you, I'm going to tell you how this book impacted me. I realize that my opinions and beliefs differ from most of you reading this b/c of the difference in denominations (I'm Presbyterian), however, I think we can agree on a few things. The most important of those is that we all striving for heaven. In the book the author describes what he saw of heaven and and to the best of his ability tried to explain how he felt. I cried while I read this entire chapter of the book. One of the things that touched me the most was that he said he was not worried about those that he had left behind. That God does not allow you to worry in heaven. He knew that they would be taken care of it. I know for us mothers this is a very hard concept to grasp. As long as I'm living I'll worry for my children, I'll worry for my husband, I'll worry for my family, and my friends. I'm a worrier, plain and simple. I come from a family of worriers. To know that one day I will worry no more, helps me deal with my own mortality a little better. I have never feared my own death, but I have worried about those that I would leave behind. Would Joe know what bills needed to be paid, would Joe remarry, would he be able to raise the girls by himself, would my girls know how much I really loved them, and I could go on and on. But to be completely free from worrying would be heaven enough for me. Okay, not really, but most of you know where I'm coming from. My mind is my own worst enemy.

The second thing that really impressed me was the author learning how to let other people use their gifts. The author was immobile for months after the wreck. He completely depended on the doctors, nursing staff, family and friends. However, anytime a visitor asked to do something for him, he wouldn't let them. He didn't want them to see him as weak or needy. One day a menotr pastor friend of his confrotned him, actualy it sounds more like it was a chewing out. Long story short, the pastor friend explained to the author that by him not allowing people to do for him he was stiffling their gifts. All these people had to give him was their prayers and whatever else they could do for him, be it get him a magazine, milkshake, or read to him. Once he started allowing people do for him his attitude changed. I am one of those people that feels that if you want something done, you should do it yourself. I hate asking for help from others. I, like him, feel weak or needy. God created us to be communal people. He gave us all different gifts so that we could help one another. If everyone was the same, nothing would get accomplished. I, like the author, have to learn to open myself up to people. To allow them to do for me, as is God's will.

The last important thing that hit home for me was that throughout the entire book, he asked the question, Why? Why allow him to experience heaven only to bring him back to earth for months and years of tortoure and pain. Why him? So many times in life we ask the same question, Why? Why did this happen? We all know that God has a plan, but yet because we do not know the plan we are compelled to ask, Why? Years later, Mr. Piper finally realizes why this happend. We know that God loves us, we know that he has our best interest in his plan, we know that he will take care of us no matter the trial or tribulation, and yet our faith sometimes is not quite strong enough to say, okay God, I'm giving it up you, I'm giving in to your plan. I'm going to quit worrying and trying to figure this out. I'm going to quit trying to make you answer me. I think a lot of this goes back to the communal part of us human beings. Not only are we being taught something by God, but God allows others to learn from us. Mr. Piper has been able to touch so many more people that he would not have been able to touch had the accident not happened. This is what it all it boils down to: God loves us, he takes care of us, he wants us to take care of each other, and no matter the pain, trial, or tribulation he is always with us, holding us, reminding us that we need to be still and know that he is God.