Thursday, March 14, 2013


In February we got to spend 18 days in lovely SoCal. My beautiful sister and dear friend gave me the opportunity to be a bridesmaid in each of their weddings. I wouldn't have wanted to miss it for the world and prayed that God would work it all out for our family to go. There were so many details that had to fall into place perfectly that it truly was a miracle in itself. To name a few: Stephen had more than enough unused leave from being deployed, I delivered Micah early enough to be healed and ready to travel in time, Micah being 6 weeks was healthy and cleared for his first flight ;), and 'there just happened' to be a non-stop Space A flight (military airplane with extra seats available) headed to Coronado CA on the exact day we needed to arrive! It was incredible seeing how many specific prayers were answered and how God was providing...maybe He does that all throughout each day but this time I was actually paying attention. ;)

Flying Space A:
It was a scary thought because we had never done it and the military flights are 100% NOT guaranteed. Lol Norfolk's terminal only posts their flight schedule 3 days in advance. When you are trying to be on the other side of the country on a specific's not advised to travel this route. :) I do not have great faith, I'm quite fearfully driven, and would rather worry and do things my way than to trust God. So I was prepared to pack our GMC Acadia full of suitcases and drive to CA to make sure we'd be there on time. I wish I were joking. Lol But my wise and full-of-faith husband said that if we had been praying for God to provide a flight on Feb 14th than we need to trust that He would, sit back and relax, and watch Him work. It wasn't until Feb 12th that we saw there was a flight with 121 seats available on the 14th...oh yeah, and did I mention it would be free? SO amazing! We prayed for 4 seats to be available for us and we got 4 rows! The military men, women, and families were very understanding of our young family and helped us with our bags, carseats, luggage, and even helped entertain Tierzah at times. It was more than we could have asked for.

Getting home was crazy as we waited for a flight back but we got to spend an unplanned week in the warm Palm Springs desert, an over night stay in Reno NV, once again the crew and service members were gracious, and with a total of four take off and landings we were finally back home. We were challenged and stretched emotionally and physically but it was good for us. ;)

I took way too many pictures to post (of course) but here are a few:

Little Miss Tpot looking out the window on the flight to California.

It had been probably seven years since all of my siblings were in the same room together! Such a special time! We are spread out across the country in California, Tennessee, Indiana, and Virginia. There was never a dull moment during our times together. ;) lol I miss the drama.

This picture is of my handsome brother, Jared, and dear old dad with Tierzah! My dad lives in Colorado so this was Tierzah's first time meeting her Grand-dad. I love these fellas!

My stunning sister, Serena, and her dashing husband, Jeremy! Stephen was honored to have the chance to officiate their wedding and very special union. Maybe it was just because I love my sister dearly ;), but their ceremony was so genuine, naturally beautiful, and incredibly moving. With the waves falling against the shore, the warm colors of the sunset lighting up the sky, and the commitments being voiced through tears… It was as though the world paused for a moment. I'm so proud of you both! I love you and pray for God's favor to shine on you.

Stephen took this picture on the rooftop of Jeremy and Serena's Beach house in Pacific Beach.

My old pal Amanda and her new hubby RJ! I can't remember who I stole this picture from (Mall or Beth?) :) but as you can see it was a gorgeous country wedding fit for a gorgeous country gal. Amanda is an extraordinary woman and her loyalty to those she cares about is unbreakable. I know "the heart of her husband will safely trust in her." May God bless your union and bright future.

A snap shot of the resort we stayed at in Indio/Palm Springs. We had to wait 4/5 days for the flight home so we called our timeshare to ask what was available in Southern California and this was the only place. Little did we know it would be exactly what we needed. It was so beautiful and the weather was just right for splashing in the pool and floating down the lazy river. ;) We had been staying downtown San Diego which is quite fast paced so slowing down in the desert was relaxing. Tierzah would shout "Poooool!! Mountains!!! River!!! Lets go for a walk!!" first thing in the morning. Lol Granny took her to the Living Desert Zoo and afterwards my mom told me she said, "Thank you Grama! Thank you for the giraffes!" Made Granny cry. ;)

My mom gave me a super cute and huge leopard bag for an early birthday present. I'm certain God knew I was going to need that because we ended up having to transfer stuff into that bag because the weight of our luggage had to be divided or they would not let us fly. Just another blessing! We checked into our return flight and they announced that there would 1) only be 13 seats available and 2) we were flying to Reno NV overnight and then making two stops in the morning before arriving in Norfolk. :) We did not plan for that but tried to see it as an adventure! Lol Can you guess how many people showed up for the flight (including our 4 because all children have to have their own seats)? Yep! 13! Another blessing. We stayed at a fancy schmancy resort/casino for very cheap and Stephen and I managed to still love each other after an exhausting yet exciting trip home with our little ones. ;)

This was our Saturday morning after pancakes. Stephen and Tpot are professionals at building what T calls, "towers."

Sunday we went to the Botanical Gardens since it was a warmer day and then Stephen experienced his first Buffalo Wild Wings. We ate waaaaay too many!

Little brother seems to already be teething which has made for some fussy days this week. I tried wrapping him in the moby and it knocked him right out.

Can't believe he is already nearly 11 weeks old! He eats every 2hrs and has a couple 3-4 hr stretches in the middle of the night. We moved him to his own room and he's slowly getting used to the crib...thankfully the swing is a great help during the day too. It's cute to see the smile he gets when his big sister or dad comes into the room. I'm looking forward to getting to know his little personality.

Tpot put on this Fancy Nancy dress that Aunt Shantell got her and said "Ball-rina!" and proceeded to spin around. She is very expressive with all of her emotions! ;) We are entering the "Why?" phase and have just introduced her to the potty. She can still be defiant but her compassion and kindness is blossoming as well.

Both these kiddos are growing up so quickly! It's easy for me to slip into routine of motherhood and marriage and miss out on the joy that giving my life purposefully can bring. I do not always have a positive attitude toward cleaning diapers, cleaning the house...again, cooking another meal, listening to the chorus of two kids crying/whining, being a patient mommy or wife, folding all those tiny socks in the never ending laundry, and taking the time to conflict effectively with my dear hubby. Sometimes I let myself spiral into a negative spirit of self-pity, selfishness, and a feeling of entitlement. I allow myself to get distracted from giving my full attention to my family. I compare myself with "perfect" homemakers and guess what? I don't measure up! I know that came as a surprise to some of you. lol But I think I need those moments of desperation to remember that I can not do my specific life calling all by myself. I heard recently that the saying, "God won't give you more than you can handle" actually isn't in the Bible. ;) Pastor Craig Groeschel in his book, Weird, proposed that God actually DOES give us more than we can handle sometimes so that we learn to depend on Him. If we had it all together and were amazing at every task than we wouldn't need the grace and strength of a Mighty God. So as we are in what my good friend affectionately calls "baby boot camp" :) please pray for our family! I don't want to miss out on seeing the daily blessings.

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