Saturday, December 31, 2011

Prayer for the New Year...

This picture of Tierzah is "just because!" :) ...She's pretty stinkin cute.

Anyway! I read these verses from Ephesians and it's going to be my prayer for all of us as we begin this new year:

"When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT)"

Happy New Year to my loving husband in Kuwait (I'll see you in just over a month! ;), our tiny and precious Tpot, my family all over the world, and those who I call friends. I love you and can't wait to see what this new year holds in store!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Juice'n in the New Year

A few months ago, my friend inspired me to get this juicer. I haven't used it but once or twice. That's gunna change, though! After all the holiday deliciousness, I was beginning to really feel like I needed a good "purge." I decided to give my digestive system a little break and for the next 3 days I will have this earthy manna for 2 meals per day. Why only 3 days? Because if you didn't know, this weekend is New Years and I don't plan on missing out on the yummy food and drinks that I'm sure will be available! :) But for now,'s what's for lunch and dinner.

Today's meal is: carrots, kale, cucumber, apple, lemon, orange, celery, and a little ginger.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

An older video of Tpot

My phone wasn't allowing me to take any more pictures so I had to start moving the pics and videos over to my laptop. When I synced to iTunes it showed me that 13GB of the 14GB available were all pictures and videos. Guess who they were primarily of? Lol

I still have a ton of pictures of Stephen and Tierzah that I can't bare to remove from my phone yet. :) This was a cute video of Tpot from a few months ago. It makes me laugh everytime. She is such a ham! ...gets that from her daddy. ;)

YouTube Video

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Fra-gee-lay that must be Italian..."

That is a quote from the movie A Christmas Story when Parker pronounces "fragile" incorrectly. It is also how I have been feeling over the past several weeks...fragile! If you were to ask me how I was doing, I probably would not have told you that, though. Like most military wives in a deployment, I would just smile politely and say something along the lines of "hang'n in there." When the truth is, I'm tired, something (s) in the house is probably broken but as long as the house is still standing- I'm good, pine cones and needles are covering the driveway, a squirrel has decided to dig into my bedroom wall to make a nest, laundry is always piled somewhere (clean or dirty), it's been way too long since I've cleaned the floors, my baby is learning to pull everything out of the kitchen cabinets and then crawl away as fast as she can, she also is getting lots of teeth which is why I have bite marks on my arm (not hickeys from a glowing vampire), I lock the dead bolt of my front door ever since I had random people hanging out there at midnight one evening, I admit that I also sleep with our shot gun next to me lol, I sometimes would really like to express myself by screaming and crying like my 11 month old is doing as she fights falling asleep right now, and I'm usually passed out by 9pm. I was carrying Tierzah on one hip, had the diaper bag on the other side, my keys in one hand, and her folding high chair in the other as I walked out of a restaurant recently and an older gentleman opened the door for me. While thanking him he said to me, "Boy, I sure hope you're not ...uhh...I'm sorry I shouldn't say that, never mind..." Knowing what he probably was about to say I assured him my deployed husband would be home soon. I must have really looked like a mess! :) I know this is just a fraction of what other's go through daily and I'm honestly not writing to complain (ok, I am venting a bit) :)...but here's where I'm going:

In the midst of feeling blue I read this today. "For God, who said, "let there be light in darkness," has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shinning in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair, We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down but we are not destroyed...that is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed everyday. For our present troubles are small and won't last very long." -2Cor 4NLT - I also like how The Message paraphrases verses 16-18, "So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.

That's been so true for me recently...when things seem like they are falling apart (or I'd like to throw in the towel), I'm reminded that not a day has gone by this year without God's "unfolding grace." I know I've mentioned this before, but God's put some wonderful friends and family into my life that have encouraged me exactly when I needed it. They've reminded me that I'm not alone and have been so gracious and understanding with me as I definitely do not have it all together right now. :) My mum came out for several days this month and that was SO wonderful! Without even asking her to, she did laundry, gave Tpot baths and fed her, cleaned constantly, and babysat so I could go all by myself to get groceries and to the salon. It was great to have her company and for Tierzah to have quality time loving on her Granny. We also got to drive to TN together to have an early Christmas with my sisters and their families. I did not want the fun to end!

I'm also especially thankful for Stephen. He is sacrificing so much for what he believes in and for our family and I respect him immensely for that. Our relationship has deepened more than I ever knew it could. I know that it is only by God's grace! There is a book we were recommended by my friend called, Sacred Marriage. I can not rave about it enough...seriously, if you are looking for a good book on marriage this is it. I guarantee you probably haven't read one like this before. It's challenged Stephen and I to look at the big picture more frequently and remember what matters most. Like Paul says, "For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." I get to be on this journey for however long God allows with the most incredible man. I love you babe! Looking forward to seeing him again in just 6 weeks.

Until next time... :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halfway There!

We finally have crossed the halfway point of this deployment and as my father-in-law told me, "it's all down hill from here." :) I really like the sound of that!

I dropped Stephen off at our local airport at 5am this morning. We just finished enjoying his 2 week R&R visit that was spent mostly at a resort in National Harbor near DC. As you can imagine, we had an amazing time together after 4 months of being apart! I took lots of pictures of our time with Stephen's family, boat tour to Georgetown, motorcycle ride through some country roads, date nights (Thanks to Grandpa, Grandma, and auntie Cheryl), and galavanting DC that I'll have to share in another post. It was so special being together as a little family again! I am so grateful for that time and it couldn't have gone any better.

However, there is no way to get around the inevitable of having to say good bye...again. That just sucks. I don't look forward to the loneliness that the silence of the night brings, missing my best friend, or trying to have a relationship through the virtual world. I truly can not imagine this life without God giving me grace for each day and the adventures it brings. Honestly, it has been in those uncomfortable/weak times that God has been my comfort and joy. He's pretty amazing like that.

One of the gifts Stephen brought back from Iraq was a beautiful journal. I LOVE it. Writing out my prayers helps to keep my mind focused (I'm very easily distracted!) It also is a refreshing way for me to express myself. Anyway, I journaled in it for the first time today and had no plans of sharing my prayer on here but it is where my heart is at right now so here is today's entry:

"October 16, 2011

Stephen has been on deployment for five months in Iraq and recently came home for his R&R visit. He brought back this amazing journal for me to write and pray in. I love it...especially the elephant.

Thanks God for such a thoughtful, loving, courageous, wise, joyful, and beautiful husband. He is such a precious gift! You have blessed us with a deep friendship, passionate marriage, and a little baby girl who lights up our world. She, Tierzah Analyse, is the sweetest, smiliest, most intense, and beautiful little girl we could have ever dreamed of having. Thank You for these precious gifts! I love You with all my heart and trust that You are Good, Your love is unfailing, You protect us, You are Gracious, You are the King of Kings, my Father, my Savior, the Creator, the Healer, Redeemer, my Friend, Jesus Christ, You are my Comforter, my Teacher, You rebuke me and guide me to the right path yet You lovingly let me choose which path I will take. You are Sovereign, and Holy, Holy, Holy. I am Yours.

Thank You for this life as a Military Chaplain/Military Missionary family. I am
so grateful. It is not easy or smooth sailing but I couldn't be more proud or passionate about what we get to do. Bringing light to our country's warriors and encouragement to their families is such an honor. Please put your protective hand about Stephen and us as we finish these last 4 months of deployment. Give him encouragement, wisdom, bold love for those You put in his path, and may he finish this course well and with joy. I pray for grace for the moments and days when we feel discouraged and tired...may You be our Rock to cling to. Help us to live everyday like it's our last!

~Your Baby girl"

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Friday, July 29, 2011

6 months already!

Dear Tierzah,
You truly are living up to your name and have become mommy and daddy's delight. We love you so much and are thankful for everyday we are gifted to have you in our lives!

P.S. As I constantly add to the pile of baby items that need to be stored because you are now too big for them... I ask that you possibly slow down this growing up thing! :)


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Farewell Jedidiah...

Jedidiah is our former microwave! I can't remember who, but someone gave Stephen and I this microwave at least 4.5 years ago. We were excited at the time that we wouldn't have to purchase one of our own. It didn't ever seem to bother us that there was a huge sticker on it, and so it traveled with us from our wee apartment, to our 1st home, and across the US to the east coast. It served us well and was still in great working order until.....

I was in our kitchen trying to prepare lunch for myself (which was butternut squash soup). I had Tierzah in her bumbo on the dinning room table. Worried about how she seemed to be getting enough strength to push out of her bumbo (which she can now do!) I was rushing to get my bowl of soup into the microwave while keeping an eye on Tpot who was reaching for a toy she had flung just out of reach of her fingertips. I entered "1 minute and 30 seconds", then pressed "start", and rushed back over to Tierzah. I picked her up and when I looked back at the microwave I noticed flickers of light inside of it and realized "there's a fire!!!" I immediately went into panic mode and prayed "Oh God! Help!" I ran into the livingroom, put Tpot in the play pen, ran back into the kitchen, picked up my phone to dial 911 and decided that it was more important to put the fire out now rather than waiting for it to blow up, so I ran to the sink, filled up a glass of water, ran to the microwave, opened the door, saw the fire and then ran back to the sink, and out of fear...I tried to throw the water from that distance instead of getting closer, meanwhile I didn't think about how I was tossing water ALL over the place!! :) I was a wreck! Thank God, the fire did go out and I stood there with adrenaline pumping, shaking, in a puddle of water just wondering what to do next. So...I called my dad, brother-in-law, and later that day I got to talk to Stephen and they all suggested that I throw it away. I had to take some deep breaths to calm down first, though. Oh ya, and I needed to mop up my floor and counters! :)

As the picture indicates, Jedidiah is gone and a new, black, Target-sale-microwave, is in it's place. I believe this one is labeled, Sunbeam.

A day in the life... :)

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Say What?

A few weeks ago, I was reading one of the devotionals from the book, Faith Deployed...Again by Jocelyn Green. Which by the way, if you are a military spouse...I would just stop reading this and go order the book real quick. :) It's definitely a "must have." Anyway, this particular devotional was titled, Soul Talk, and the writer quoted Jennifer Rothschild as she was discussing the things that we may not verbalize but still say to ourselves. To be honest, I had never heard of Jennifer up until that point. Well...a couple hours after reading this devo, I got an email from my friend whose husband met my husband in training at Camp McCrady before heading on their specific IA deployments. It turned out that our husbands discovered that we actually not only live in the same city but that we are in the same neighborhood! How awesome is that? :) This friend was emailing to give me information about a women's summer Bible study that we could attend together. Guess what the study was going to be on?! Yep! Jennifer Rothschild's new book, Me Myself and Lies. I had to laugh because it seemed pretty obvious that God has something to teach me on this topic!

Here's a short clip about the study:

So good! We've completed our 1st week today and I am learning a ton of hard yet wonderful truths. God has been shinning a flashlight into the hidden areas of my heart as Jennifer has us asking ourselves some tough questions. For example, she mentioned that researchers have found that we speak about 150-300 words per min to ourselves! She then asked what we spend most of our time thinking/meditating on? Is it on our Cares? Concerns? Likes? Dislikes? Goals? Plans? Treasures? Scripture? I immediately thought to myself, "I probably spend most of my time being concerned about the well being of my family and friends." Well, that sounds really nice but when I actually began to keep track of my thoughts the next day...I was embarrassed to discover that they were actually mostly focused on myself...not others. Not only that, but they usually were not kind or true words that I was thinking...words like: "I'm fat, I look ugly today, I'm not a good wife or mom, I'm not making a difference with my life, I'm not very interesting, I'm not as intelligent/beautiful/graceful/or amazing as ____. Of course these aren't the only things I thought about all day, but a huge chunk of time was spent thinking about ME and my likes and dislikes. It was clear that I needed a thought closet make over! I have been enjoying discovering what God has to say about all of this and knowing that I don't have to be weighed down in my sometimes overwhelming jumbled thoughts. :) So, I've been trying over the past few days to take captive my thoughts that are false or negative and exchange them for thoughts that are, as Paul says, "...true, noble, right, pure, admirable, excellent and praise worthy..." Phil 4:8

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Need a Laugh?

Tierzah thought the sound I was making was hilarious. My phone camera wasn't focused very well at times but she still is pretty stinkin cute! :)

I've read on different blogs that Thursdays are "Thankful Thursdays." Well, I am very thankful for this little smile maker, my baby girl, and her adorable daddy, my Sweetheart! Love you two!

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." -Phil 4:8 NLT

...My goal today...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Homefront Happenings

Me and Tpot @ 5 months! She is growing like a weed, talking up a storm, loves meeting new friends, and enjoys smiling at her daddy via skype and tango. :)

I did the ultimate "mommy fail" a week ago! :( I had T on the changing table, turned around to pick up some clothes off the rocking chair, and then I heard a "thump!" I whipped back around and saw my precious, tiny, baby flat on the floor! Everything was a blur after that moment, my heart felt like it stopped, T was in shock and then began crying, I started shaking while holding her little body in my arms trying to comfort her. I thought of all the worst scenarios and was certain that I had broken her....I felt AWFUL! I remember just pacing around the room praying out loud and then for some reason I started singing "Jesus Loves Me This I Know". I began to cry too as I realized just how much I love this little person and how I would rather take her pain and hurt so she wouldn't have to experience it! I was reminded that this is exactly what Jesus has done...because of His deep love for me~His baby girl.

Sigh, thankfully, Tpot was ok! Thank you to the mothers I've admitted this to already who have helped to remove my condemnation by telling me their own "baby drop" accidents. LOL I love you girls! One of which, was my own Mum. ;)

Needless to say, Tierzah has become an accomplished roller!

I have been trying to get out of the house when the weather permits to soak up some sun. I missed not having Stephen here to enjoy the beach with but I know he'll be home soon. I love you, babe!!!

Awkward picture, I know. :) We were sitting in Tpot's room when a severe thunderstorm came through and the power went out. It was bedtime for us so lights weren't really needed. Thankfully, I remembered where Stephen's flashlight was so I could maneuver up and down the stairs. It only lasted a couple hours...but I just think it's "ironic" that this ONLY happens while Stephen is deployed. I'll admit that I was scared for minute (the dogs were scared too lol) but God took that fear away quickly. As I lit a few candles, I thought about how romantic it would be if Stephen was there...maybe next year. ;)

Care package!!!!! THANKS BABE! :) I spent Fathers Day weekend with family in MD and had a wonderful time. When I got back home Sunday evening, I noticed a package at the door! I read the love letter a few times soaking in the words and then I opened the gift...

A Kuwait Starbucks Mug! How cool is that?! I was so excited that I have something to remember him by every time I use it. I couldn't wait to have my morning coffee the next day. :) I'm sure it even tasted better from this mug.

Stephen, if you are reading this, I forgot to tell you that I wore a couple of the shirts you sent home. :) They still have your scent on them so I thought wearing them while I hold Tierzah would be another way for her to remember you. Well, maybe I missed of your manly smell too. Xoxo

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I read this and have been chewing on it when things have felt particularly hard or stressful lately..."So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever. 2 Cor 4:16-18MSG This reminds me to trade the immediate for the have the right (eternal) perspective. Blogging from my phone but should be "sleeping while the baby sleeps" :) Good night all and good morning to my Sweetheart!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Visiting Stephen at Camp McCrady...

I had the opportunity to drive about 7 hours down to Camp McCrady (which is located on Fort Jackson in South Carolina) to spend one night and one day day with Stephen. It was SO worth the trip! I would fly around the world to spend just a few moments with him. I read once that when being asked about how she copes with her husband traveling so much, Ruth Graham (Billy Graham's wife), responded by simply saying, "I'd rather have a little of Bill than a lot of any other man." I can definitely resonate with that! I'd rather have a little of Stephen knowing that he is exactly where God would have him to be right now...even though it is not in my arms.

Our little "T-pot" (above) was so excited to see her daddy! We picked him up Saturday evening and had a fabulous time together. Couldn't have asked for a better visit! The hardest part, of course, was saying good bye...again. I'm learning that I may never get the hang of trying to swallow that familiar lump in my throat as tears run down my face and we kiss one last time. *Deep breath* Watching my best friend walk away knowing he will not return for months is the most difficult thing in the world. I suppose a great blessing from separation is time to reflect on just how much I love Stephen and why. While driving back to the hotel through the dark, country roads, I realized that I had a little baby asleep behind me and I needed God to be my strength, catch my tears, dry my eyes, and get me home safely. He is continuing to be my strength as often as I put down the reigns and allow Him to be. I downloaded a book by Sara Horn to my iphone called, God Strong. I totally recommend it! Sara gave an awesome illustration about this idea of being "God Strong"...she said:

"When we no longer rely on strength from within but instead rely on strength from above, it is no longer up to us to be the strong ones. Because it is no longer about us. When we place our strength with God's strength, we discover a major difference. The burdens and problems and the heartaches we carry around with our own strength don't disappear, but they do feel a little lighter. We don't have to push and pull and lug and grunt our way through. Instead, we can walk with God and rely on his muscle to do the heavy lifting. It's like carrying a heavy box up a flight of stairs. To do it by yourself is not just hard but exhausting. If you lift it with someone else who has the muscle power to carry most of the weight, it's better. It's easier. It's doable. We see a major difference, not just in actually moving the box but in our perspective. Isaiah tells us that God "gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak" (Isaiah 40:29 NIV). He reminds us that when we put our hope in God, our strength is renewed. We can ride on the backs of eagles. We can run and not get tired. We can walk and not grow faint. We can become God strong. None of this can happen, though, when we try to do it ourselves."

SO true! To be honest, the verse, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" has kind of felt like a cliche when I have said it in the past. Maybe because I have grown up in the Church culture and have heard lessons about it hundreds of times. I'm not sure what the reason is but I have not really embraced it and tried to truly apply it to my everyday life until recently. Adjusting to the new normal of this deployment in holding down the fort, communicating long distance with my husband, and mothering our new baby...I realize that I absolutely can not do this (fill in the blank) on my own. Or at least I will not last very long trying to do it all in my own power. But the exciting revelation for me has been that when I'm feeling discouraged or overwhelmed...I can step back for a moment rest in the truth that no matter how daunting the situation seems...I can do it and succeed because He is going to give me the strength.

Ok, back to my visit! :) Stephen and I are very fond of sushi and could probably eat it everyday so we had to hit up The Red Bowl. I don't know if it was just because we were so excited about being together but the sushi we had was probably the best we've had in a long time! Stephen got me a stand for my camera so of course I had to try right away (above). :) I love you, babe!

While on my drive back up I95, I stopped in North Carolina to have lunch with my sister. Tierzah got loved on by her Auntie Shantell. It was nice to visit together and to live within driving distance to do so.

Me and Tpot back home!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Deployment...Round #2

As you may have guessed from the title, we have just begun our second deployment. About one month after we had Tierzah, Stephen came home from work and asked me how I felt about another possible deployment. He told me what this deployment would entail and that made the lump in my throat a little harder to swallow. At that time, he had only been back from a previous deployment for three months or so. As crazy as it sounds, I knew in my heart as he was telling me about the orders that this was something we needed to do. We both cried and prayed together about it and he accepted the assignment. Now that I knew what to expect during a deployment...the "yes" carried a lot more emotional weight than before. He would deploy in 10 weeks to training at Fort Jackson, SC and then on to Kuwait/Afghanistan for the next 10 months. He is no stranger to Kuwait as he was deployed there 3 times while enlisted in the USMC. Stephen (and myself) cares deeply for those in the war zone and having this opportunity to reach out to them is one we could not pass up! I'm so proud of my hubby doing what he has a passion for and making this huge sacrifice to be there for our military men and women.

I love you, babe!

If you would like to follow him on his journey his blog information is:

SO...I am going to try to blog at least once a week to share the experiences of this deployment from the home front. This is our first time being in a deployment with a little one so prayer is definitely appreciated. :)

The pictures below show the story of Stephen's last morning here in VA. I dropped him off at base at 6:45am and from there they loaded up in the buses and headed down to SC. Ah yes, we stopped at McD's for some breakfast first. lol I know, it's not especially healthy for you but it was our "last" indulgence before the deployment as we both have been trying to eat healthier and work out since then. :) Anyways, this good bye wasn't long and drawn out like the farewell we had when he deployed on the ship and I think I actually prefer it that way. I took some pictures and then drove away. The songs on KLOVE radio that morning were all so encouraging and perfect that I cried all the way to the grocery store. I cried because I felt like God was wrapping His arms around me reassuring me that I could trust Him.

Stephen- sippin his coffee before leaving to check in

One last "car picture" on our way to base.
I miss him already!

The Griffins
I took this a few days before he left. We were trying to spend as much time together as we could.

In a couple days we will have completed week #1....39 to go. As predicted, things start to "go wrong" as soon as the hubby leaves. :) It's actually pretty comical. As soon as I got home from dropping him off, I was unloading the groceries and the power to the whole house randomly shuts off (it turned back on within the hour, thankfully), light bulbs start burning out around the house, the ants begin to invade, Tpot decided to wake up every 2 hours during the night, birds made nests in a hole in our roof and mailbox, and our dog goes on a chewing binge. :) I had to laugh. Ok, I wasn't laughing while I got up through the night with Tpot but the rest seemed to be part of my initiation to deployment #2.

The blessings definitely abound also, though! Stephen has been able to call and skype this week!, I have a sweet little girl to keep me busy :), great family and friends to keep in touch with, awesome neighbors, a church that I love to be apart of, and the opportunity to fully rely on God.

There certainly have already been tough moments that I never thought would end but I'm looking forward to seeing the growth that will come through this for our little family.

Until Next Time...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Delivery, Diapers, and Destinations...

Tierzah or T-Pot :)

I am happy to introduce our little bundle of joy! On January 21st around 1:00am, I started having contractions which continued until January 22nd. My husband and amazing coach helped me stay focused and gave me so much encouragement the entire time. At 10:10am Tierzah greeted the world with her 7.7lbs and 20inch ball of cuteness! She has had us wrapped around her tiny finger since the moment we held her in our arms. New is such an incredible miracle and gift! We are so very blessed! Learning the meaning of her cries, "surviving" the first 2 weeks, that first Dr's visit when she was 4 days old and I finally heard that she was "doing well"... "looking normal"...and well, that I had not broken her somehow! :), dressing her up right away in all her cute outfits, her 1st bath, being so tired throughout the night that I'd fall asleep standing up, taking hundreds of pictures of the same pose...the one of her sleeping on daddy's chest, and seeing her first smile-goo (talk)-roll over-foot grab- are all special memories we are thankful to hold dear. I've been meaning to post this for about 3 months, but it's even more meaningful to me that it's being posted on Mother's Day instead! Thank You, God, for two little ones in Heaven and our precious baby girl! My cup is full... :)

What have we been up to?

Well, besides the obvious :), we've been on the road and in the air traveling. This picture (above) was taken in Tampa, Fl at the North American Mission Board Conference. T-pot was just 8 weeks old at the time. It was very nice to get away and spend this time together. It's definitely "different" traveling with a newborn but I wouldn't take back the memories made for anything. The NAMB provided beautiful accommodations and once again treated us and the other missionaries like royalty. Some of the staff members offered to hold T and love on her so we could eat meals with our hands free or sit in the service together by ourselves. They always go out of their way to make us feel appreciated and loved. Thank you, NAMB! :)

While we were in Florida, Stephen's Grandma Griffin passed away in Texas. Francis Griffin was highly respected and admired by her children and grandchildren. We had the privilege of joining Stephen's sisters, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to remember and honor her life and accomplishments. Stephen was humbled by the opportunity to officiate her memorial ceremony. I was so thankful that I got to hear all the stories and memories that the family shared of her life. I look forward to passing them on the T-pot one day as she gets older.

Next Stop...
Stephen and T are standing on the balcony of our suite in downtown San Diego. We decided to take a vacation back to the motherland. The carne asada and california burritos were calling our names. :) T got to meet her Granny (my mum), uncle Jared (my bro), and many of our dear friends. Since this was the place where I grew up, met, dated, and fell in love with Stephen, we had so many special spots that we wanted to revisit. My mum babysat T for us a few times so we could go on our 1st dates without a diaper bag and stroller in tow. :) We had a blast!

I just had to add this picture too. :) This was Easter Eve and she was 3 months old. That little smile melts my heart.

I feel as though I've just blinked and time has flown past us. I pray that we cherish these moments while we have them! Thank you God for the time you grant us to spend it wisely.

Carpe Diem comes to mind.

Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm trying out mobile blogging! Testing testing 123 :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Two Months Since Homecoming...

Reintegration :)
...a funny word that military folks use to describe the process one goes through post deployment.
Stephen has been home for exactly two months this coming Monday. I've heard and read that it normally takes about this length of time for couples to completely cycle through the "Honeymoon" and then "Readjustment" stage of deployments. Honestly, I would get nervous as I would read material to prepare for homecoming and how it warned that after the "Honeymoon" stage passed...reality would begin to settle in. Doesn't that just sound depressing? After being apart from Stephen for six months, I was already filled with SO many different emotions about being reunited again that this added to the anxiety! It did increase my prayer life as it consumed most of my thoughts, though. :) However, I knew that this new experience would just be something that we'd have to go through and there wasn't a detailed plan to prepare for it.
Thankfully, we've had a pretty smooth transition for our first deployment. Of course, there was also those moments when it seemed awkward to have meals together, share space, communicate all throughout the day instead of just writing 1 or 2 emails, and remembering to think about what the other person wants/needs presently when normally we did not have to. While we have had some adjustments over the past 2 months, I believe that God has also given us grace to laugh at ourselves and to enjoy each other one day at a time. After managing the house by myself for 6 months, I remember being SO thankful when Stephen automatically took out the trash, changed hard to reach light bulbs (that had been out for 3 months because I couldn't fix them), carried heavy groceries or items that would have taken me a long time to maneuver on my own (especially being so prego), washed dishes, took care of our dog, did laundry, and cooked meals! I have just been in awe and extremely thankful to have my team mate back home again. This deployment gave me a whole new appreciation for Stephen and all the "little" things he does everyday that in the past I may have taken for granted. We've also had the gift of just discovering each other inside and out all over again! How awesome is that? :) I believe that as hard as deployments can be...this must be the "special blessing" that can only come after going through such an experience together. The opportunity to have passion and remembrance of our deep commitment to one another stirred and fanned aflame for 6 months is a great gift indeed.
So..I suppose we're officially graduating from the "Readjustment" stage now. :) I hope to continue to learn and grow in my relationship with Stephen, though! I couldn't have been blessed with a better husband and friend. I'm so grateful for the ministry we get to have to our servicemen, women, and their families. God definitely has been enlarging our hearts for them and I pray that we would not lose sight of our mission.
"Oh Trinity of love and power...our brethren shield in danger's hour...from rock and tempest, fire, and foe...protect them wheresoe'er they go...thus ever more shall rise to Thee...glad hymns of praise on land and sea..."

Above is a picture of the view from the ski resort in Massachusetts that Stephen and I got to stay at over Christmas with the Griffin family. It was beautiful and the small New England town near by reminded me of Bedford Falls from the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life." :)

Of course, at the time I was 36 weeks prego (above) and not really able to do much skiing. ;) I did enjoy the time we got to spend with my in-laws as it was the 1st time we were ALL together in several months. My mom and sisters-in-law surprised me with a family baby shower while we were up there. It was super thoughtful and I felt very loved! I'm sure you may have heard about the big snow blizzard that recently hit the northeast and thankfully none of us were stuck in that before we got back to our homes. Our area here in Virginia got about 12-14 inches of snow which shut down the bases and gave Stephen and I more alone time for free! Woo Hoo

We've been getting Tierzah's room ready and anxiously waiting her arrival! I'm 38 weeks prego and definitely "feeling" it. I was not being very smart and decided to scrub our kitchen floor with the burst of energy that I got a couple days ago. Ya...later that evening, I could not walk because of pain in my back/leg and Stephen graciously carried his ginormous wifey up our stairs to bed. :) Ha! So I am trying to be smarter with this new nesting energy. Anyway, every false contraction, kick, jab, or reminder of our coming arrival brings on a wave of emotions! I can't wait to finally hold, cuddle, and kiss our baby girl. It's hard to believe she is already on her way and call us crazy...but we're already praying for Griffin Baby #2. One at a time I suppose, though. ;)
Me cute niece, Eva, made this card for me (below). I think they are very wise words and hopefully I will have applied them by the time I write my next post!