We called them trees. We dipped them in Ranch dressing and suffered through their vitamin-filled crunchiness. And we laughed about how it seemed we'd be able to see the chainsaw grease on the cauliflower, if not the broccoli. My daddy was a logger for all of my growing up years. And one of his many tall tales from "back in '09" (back before we'd had a recent '09!) was how he cut down broccoli and cauliflower trees. I'm guessing this particular story was manufactured in an attempt to get my cousins, my brother, and I to eat our vegetables. Kind of like the story about the time he stopped at … [Read more...]

Shoebox Time

shoebox time!

We went Shoebox shopping this morning. Shopping with three children in tow is exhausting in itself. But when they are each allowed to help select gifts to fill a shoebox, it's a unique but enjoyable challenge. We've been talking about it for months. Our oldest daughter, intrigued by the idea that you could choose to send your box to a boy or a girl, decided firmly that she was sending hers to a boy. And our youngest? He was going to send his box to a cow. Yes, a cow. But after watching the movies from Operation Christmas Child at church each Sunday this fall, and making many plans … [Read more...]

the first, the last, and the in between

We talk about the first time and the last time, romanticizing the romance and the goodbyes in Country songs and novels. But the truth is, that first kiss, though sweet, is often awkward. And the first time that newborn babe is in your arms you're as filled with fear as you are joy and relief. That last goodbye, though cherished, is a memory always tinged with sadness. That last glimpse, though not to be missed, often reflecting but a shadow of the person we remembered. It's all those times in the middle that give that first memory meaning, that make that last goodbye bittersweet. When … [Read more...]


I am related to some of the most beautiful people in the world. I just can't decide if they seem more beautiful when I'm missing them so far away, or if they are more beautiful when I get to see their faces again after a long absence. My beautiful paternal grandmother is in the hospital with pneumonia right now. And the miles never seem so great as when someone you love is hurting and you can't be right there. So today, I'm struggling to see the beauty through my tears... The beautiful friends who write out their prayers for me and give me beautiful written reminders of God's love for … [Read more...]