Monday, October 29, 2012


My heart aches just looking at these pictures.  It captures all of them right now, just as they are.  They are my my world.  My family.  It's crazy for me to think that God believes I deserve all of them.  They are so wonderful in all different ways.  Today I'm just extremely grateful for each and every one of them.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Maddie at age 6

I simply love everything about this.  Except for how long it took me to spell every single word she wrote down.  I have to point out that my favorite part is that her favorite pastime is "relaxing."  She's definitely in the right family! :-)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dearest Madeline,
    Today was your 6th birthday and you were sick :(  You had a fever in the middle of the night and because of that, you missed school today.  We hung around the house together and watched a lot of "Barbie and the Popstar." 
    I have to say that in a way I'm glad you were sick today.  It meant I got to have you home and all to myself.  I've missed you a lot since you started Kindergarten.  I know how much you love school and that makes me happy.  But there have been times in these last few weeks that I have deeply missed you.  Let's face it, for a while it was pretty much just me and you.  You were my side-kick.  You were my bud.  We had so much freedom, just the two of us.  It was pretty special.  (Just for the record you are still all of those things to me; it's just a little different now).
   Several times today you told me things like "I'm lucky I got you for a Mom," or "I love you so much," or "You're the best Mom anyone could ask for."  Honestly, I think I'm the lucky one.  Lucky that God knew exactly what I needed when he gave me you.  You have been such a light in my life, Maddie.  I'm always proud of you; like all the time.  Your heart mystifies me; it's the most loving and forgiving heart around.  You teach me constantly. 
  So, on your 6th birthday, now that you are all tucked into bed on the top bunk, I want to say thank you.  Thank you for being so brave with your emotions and your love.  Thank you for being an awesome big sister to Gracie and MJ (they really look up to you).  Thank you for being sweet, goofy, smiley you.
  But mostly, I hope that some day I can truly live up to the person you see me as.  I love you Maddie.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Today was a beautiful day.

Only, not in the traditional sense that would be based on weather.  I caught a glimpse of something majestic.

Gabe and I met at the grocery store while Maddie and Gracie were at school.  It was a very rainy day and he had time to meet me there and lighten my load with the baby and all.  We shopped around finding everything we needed and many things we didn't.  We threw it all in the cart without a thought. 

At the deli counter we were behind a man who was probably our age.  The deli lady was having some long convo with the lady in front of him and it was all I could do not to say something.  I had so many thoughts running through my head; things like: "terrible customer service", "the deli lady has an awful attitude",  "why do I live in Virginia?
You get the drift.

So, Gabe and I finished our shopping and proceeded to the check out.  There was only 1 guy in line so I chose that lane.  As we were loading our groceries on the belt, I realized the man in front of us was the same guy we had been behind at the deli.  I could tell there was something going on.  The manager was being asked questions by the clerk about "voiding, or holding the transaction until he could make a call about his card."  I knew what was happening.  The man had a look of shock and worry on his face.  He seemed to be saying "Can I afford food?" without speaking.  It struck my heart.

So, my inner voice (aka The Holy Spirit) said that we should offer to pay for this man's groceries.  His total was $37.85.  But then another voice came in saying that "he would be offended if we offered to pay."  I felt stuck.  So I didn't do anything.  Didn't say anything to Gabe, didn't think about it again.  I just sort of froze. 

In that moment, while the man was down about 10 lanes from us, making a call to his credit card company, Gabe spoke up to our clerk and the manager and said, "I'll pay for his groceries."  The looks on their faces were priceless.  They told Gabe he didn't have to do that, etc. etc. but Gabe responded "I'd like to pay for his groceries." The clerk in the next lane overheard what was happening and started talking about us "being a blessing" to this man.  

So, the clerk proceeded to add up our groceries with his and gave us our grand total which we paid.  By then the man was off the phone and walking towards his cart.  The clerk told him we had paid for his food and he was SO very, very thankful.  He reached out and grabbed Gabe's hand with both of his.  He shook it over and over and said "Thank you" while looking deep into his eyes the whole time. 

I had tears in my eyes at the sight of this. 

I've always known the kind of man Gabe is.  He is very loving, a good provider and a wonderful hands-on dad.  I know his political beliefs (don't we all? ;) and his faith is secure.  But honestly, he humbled me by his actions today.  He saw a need that he could meet and he stepped out in faith to help someone who was down on their luck.  Isn't that the point of it all??????  I had the same thought as him, but I let doubt and fear tamper it down to where I did nothing. 

I feel like I re-fell in love with him today at the supermarket.  I was reminded of how big his heart is and how lucky I am to call him my husband.