Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wedding in the Big D

This weekend we got to go over to Dallas for the wedding of some sweet friends, J.W. and Elizabeth. It was one of the sweetest weddings I've been to in a long time. The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was a great party! 

Taylor drove over earlier in the week for business, and I flew out on Saturday. It was a quick trip, ending with us driving back today. I am tuckered out but very much enjoyed the trip.  

I didn't take any pictures until later in the night, when they had busted out the glow sticks and crazy glasses.

Lindsey, my sweet sis-in- law Caroline, and me:

Travis and Taylor had just a little fun with the glow sticks, if you can't tell:

The band was great. You couldn't help but dance. 

The fun bride and groom: 

This pic is not the greatest-Travis was laughing hysterically at something and Taylor's eyes are half-closed, but I thought it was cute and wanted to include it anyway:

 All in all it was a fun trip. I'm so glad we were able to go. I missed my sweet little munchkin but really enjoyed the travel time. Sometimes it is nice to just sit on an airplane and decompress! 

One last pic, just for fun. At my hair appointment last week, I decided to try on some of the wigs they have sitting around. I've always had a wild hair in me just begging to get out--do y'all think I should go for blonde? 

 Ha!  I don't think I would ever actually do it, but it was fun to pretend!  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Picture Post

I'm not feeling particularly wordy today, but I wanted to post a few pictures from the last few days! 

For a couple of reasons, we ended having to postpone the cooking marathon we were planning for this past Saturday, but the Avens were still able to come over for a little while and have lunch. Those boys are so sweet to each other! They had fun riding various and sundry trucks and tractors and eating Chick-Fil-a.

Sunday AM. Apparently it was patterned pants day.

Last night we got to attend the PrĂ©cis Pageant at my high school. My sweet nephew Kyle was a beaux. There were a lot of talented and good-looking kids up there! 

Handsome dude.

 Hope you are having a great week! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Unexpected Gift

 I just wanted to take a moment to brag on my dearest and oldest friend. Right before Christmas I recieved a package from her in the mail. After I opened the outer part, I pulled out the gift--and from looking at the box, it appeared to be a keyboard. I thought it was a little random but was thankful for her thoughtfulness nonetheless! Then I opened the package and pulled this out: 

My sweet friend had read the blog post I wrote a while back about the missionaries I had the privilege of hearing.  She was struck by these words that the young missionary shared, and by what I wrote. So she painted this little canvas for me so I could keep it somewhere where I'd see it regularly. Encouraging me to put the rubber to the road, basically.

This my friends, is why she is my BFF. It does not matter if we live a few or thousands of miles apart--I can count on her, and she on me. We have not lived in the same city for over 10 years now, and we are still going strong. I truly thank the Lord for technology--Skype and FaceTime are a huge blessing to our friendship! 

  That last one we call the "prom pose." Em, I spared you some truly horrendous pictures from the junior high years. Ok, let's be honest, it's only because my awkward phase was considerably worse than your awkward phase. If I posted them, we'd be going down together.

   We love you, Auntie Em!!!

  In other news, the Year of the Crock Pot is off to a running start. Tuesday night was Apple BBQ Pork Tenderloin--and it was slap yo' mama good, if I do say so myself. Tonight was Pineapple Chicken Enchiladas--also quite tasty. Not slap yo' mama--but perhaps a distant cousin or other relative who comes around only every third Thanksgiving or so. 


This weekend I am getting together with a sweet friend for a fun Saturday of cooking and closet shopping. She needs to borrow some winter clothes from me for an upcoming trip to NYC, and so we decided to make a day of it. The boys will go and do...well I don't know what they'll do yet!...while the girls are home on a casserole making marathon! We are going to make and freeze ahead a bunch of casseroles to make our lives a little easier over the next couple of months. I would never do this by myself, but with company I know it will be really fun! (We may begin to rethink it when we are elbow deep in chopped onions, but for now, we shall forge ahead!)
Pretty sky tonight. I hope you are having a great week, and that you are looking forward to some fun plans for the weekend! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Routine, Lottie Moon, and the Weekend

   This weekend was the weekend of the movie/chick flick for me. Taylor's birthday was Friday, and his only wish was to go to the hunting camp for the weekend! So during T.Mark's naptime and after bedtime over the course of the weekend I successfully curled up on the couch with some hot tea, under about 3 blankets, and watched When Harry Met Sally, Notting Hill, The Proposal, and Casablanca. I watched them on Apple TV, so as they buffered I even got a little reading in. If I'm going to be by myself, I'd say this was a blissful way to spend the time! 

Thursday night, I guess technically before the weekend started, we went to Tico's with the Thames and had a great time. I did get one pic that night. 

As you can see, we both have boxes of leftovers. I never let a bite of steak from that place go to waste!

Saturday T.Mark and I got the ingredients to make Taylor a red velvet birthday cake. The grocery run was the most exciting part of our day if you want to know the truth! The rest was a hodgepodge of riding tractors, motorcycles, and trucks, as well as playing in a sea of giant Legos. Every little boy's dream. This one's, anyway! It has been too cold to go outside, so I've tried to make the inside activities fun. 

 The pics above are from lunch on Sunday with our sweet friends, the Avens. T.Mark and Ro are big buds, as you can see. I'm hoping that over the years they will do more to help each other stay OUT of trouble than to get in it!  We shall see. We ate at Two Sisters, an awesome restaurant right around the corner from the church house. If you live in Jackson and have never been--hit it up immediately! Definitely the best home cookin' in town. Primos is a close second, but Two Sisters wins the prize. 

  We found out yesterday morning in church the grand total of the Lottie Moon offering at our church. (If you are reading this and not familiar with Lottie Moon, she was a Southern Baptist missionary to China in the late 1800s/early1900s. She has come to somewhat personify missions for our denomination, and is an inspirational figure for me personally). Our church goal was $450,000, and the total amount given was a record for us--$562,000. I just about jumped up out of my seat when I heard that. It is so amazing to know that an additional 3.5 missionaries will go out to preach the gospel because of those additional gifts. Statistically, it is likely that 15 additional churches will be started. I am so excited to be a part of something like that, even if I am not there physically. 

   This week will be simply getting back into a routine for us. T.Mark's mother's morning out program resumes from their Christmas Break, and my work picks back up a normal schedule. The only unusual thing is how extremely cold it is here. The wind chill this morning was 4. FOUR!!! You have got to be kidding me. My ideal temperature is between 80 and 90, I'd say, so I am not made for this to say the least. 

    I hope you enjoy getting back into a routine this week too, and that you stay warm!! 



Sunday, January 5, 2014

How Deep

So I had a whole other blog post written for today. Or almost written. And I will post it later, probably tomorrow. Because I had some things to say--some important and some just for fun. But I am throwing a big old halt on that for right now. 

Our worship service tonight was about just that--worship. About what it is supposed to be and not be. About how it is an expression overflowing from the knowledge of what the Lord has done for us. About the fact that worship is a concentrated effort that involves a cognitive aspect that then naturally evokes genuine emotion or feeling. 

And we sang this song. I have heard it a million times. Sung it in church more than once. But good grief. The lyrics are so piercing. They certainly pierced my heart tonight with a razor sharpness. Please read them. Roll them around on your tongue. Think about the meaning and implications of each phrase. Sing it softly if you know the tune.

How Deep the Father's Love for Us

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Friday, January 3, 2014


I have never been big on New Year's resolutions. I figure, if I'm going to do something, I might as well just do it. Why must there be a big to-do because it is the beginning of the year? However--something about this year is pushing me to do something along the resolution line. However, I much prefer the statement "I am resolved to..." as opposed to "my New Year's resolutions are..". I know that's kind of dumb. It's just a difference in phrasing. But these resolutions everyone makes are often dropped by mid-February. Life gets busy. You go to a couple of parties and get off the healthy-eating bandwagon. To each his own--but I am going to be resolved to do a few things. So here they are:
1. Read more. Voraciously. Insatiably. Because I love it, and because it is good for my brain. I am a better person because of what I read. Here is one of the stacks on my nightstand (you'll see the other in a minute):

2. Along those same lines--read through the Bible in a year. I have never read it through in a year, and if I am honest, I think there are some more obscure parts that I have not read AT ALL. This is absolutely unacceptable for me. The good thing is--I actually started this one back in September. I bought a One Year Bible and started with the month of September, and have been going for four months strong! So technically I am already 1/3 of the way through on this resolution! (There's that whole thing about not having to start on Jan. 1!)
3. Be very intentional about discipling my child. (No that is not a typo--although discipline is going to be a buzzword for us this year as well!) I know he is still small, but as evidenced by this video I posted a while back, you are never too young to learn Scripture!
I read this great article today, and loved what it said. Basically it stated that as parents, we should have a "lesson plan" in mind for our children for the year--what we'd like them to learn (and us to teach) spiritually, just as schoolteachers have one for what their students should learn. At T.Mark's age (not quite 2), it may be things as simple as the fact that Jesus is always with us, that He wants to live in our heart, that kindness and sharing are important ways to reflect Him. I haven't decided what to focus on yet, but I am going to be intentional about it.
4. Kind of going back to numbers one and two--read as much as possible to put the Bible in a more historical, archeological, as well as currently contextual perspective in my brain. I want to learn more about theology. As much as possible, in fact. Here's how I'm starting that off:

5. Cook more regularly. I have had a hard time getting on the bandwagon here. Before we had kids, Taylor and I both cooked fairly often, but it was more gourmet-style--we'd find unusual recipes and try them out, or Taylor would spend hours tending something on the grill. Those days are going to be few and far-between now. I officially declare this year the Year Of The Crock Pot. And the Casserole. And the Home-Style Cookin'. Since T.Mark has put baby food behind him, and Taylor has a work schedule that does not allow him to cook as often, this is going to be my new mantra. I have always admired my sister for (among other things) how well she puts food on the table for her family every night. Quite yummy food, in fact. I hope I can be like her when I grow up. Looks like we'll be having lots of Roast, Spaghetti, Mexican Casserole, Veggies, Baked Chicken, Taco Salad, and Lasagna in 2014. Loosen your belts, boys.
So I think that's it. Nothing too crazy ambitious. These will all be manageable for me. I want each thing I am "resolved" to do to be easily attainable, yet still a little bit of a challenge. Because, well--if you know me--you know that I love a challenge.
I can never resist a pretty sunset.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


  We had a fun time ringing in the New Year in Oxford last night. It certainly was not glamorous but we had a great time. T.Mark and sweet Nora Lynn enjoyed playing together. I loved watching my little boy be so sweet to his friend!
 Right before this picture, he offered her some of his cracker and said, "Hey, darlin." Haha!! I was cracking up. Looks like we have a ladies' man on our hands.

  We weren't going out anywhere, but I decided I needed a little sparkle anyway. 

 We had called ahead to our favorite restaurant in town, and were lucky enough to be able to get their New Year's Eve menu--takeout! Now--I am easy to please, food-wise, but if I am totally honest, I have to admit that I'm a bit of a foodie. Unusual pairings and flavor combinations get me every time. I am just fine with a hamburger and fries, but if I get a chance to have a nice supper like this, I'm excited! 

 Somebody had a little trouble staying asleep and got to come sit with Mama as we finished dinner.

 We loved having the Guerieris with us! 

 After supper we just stayed up and talked while we watched the ball drop in NYC. And then yes, in case you wondered, I made it to midnight Mississippi time! 
  This morning we took our time getting up--well, as much as one can do that with a 19 month old and 15 month old--and hung around the house for a while. Then we decided to take a group stroll up to the square just for fun, and to get some fresh air. It was nice to see the square somewhat unpopulated. It was so quiet and calm. A rare occurrence these days in Oxford. 

The only store open was Square Books--just fine by me! This place is one of two favorite bookstores of mine (the other is Lemuria in Banner Hall in Jackson).  (Fun fact about yours truly: as a child, I was such a compulsive reader that if someone handed me a book, I could flip quickly through the pages and could tell by the smell of the book which bookstore or library in town it had come from.)

I know.

I'm a crazy person.

I've always loved the staircase to the upstairs part of Square Books, where you can buy coffee and sit and drink as you peruse. 

  I spent some time thinking back over 2013--and I am so thankful for what it brought. The Lord has blessed me far beyond what I deserve. I hope your 2013 was full of blessings as well, and I hope that will be just as true of 2014!