Saturday, October 29, 2011

beloved Staunton

mom's house in October.. LOVE her little fall touches...

i SO enjoy coming to visit the quaintest, most adorable little town...

Staunton, Va

it pretty much just screams FALL!

pumpkin cheesecake, oh yes
vanilla nut coffee, mmmm
sweet chats with mom, make me happy
barrett off the chain excited to see Grammy, sweet
gdaddy and barrett football games, awesome
dad and ray traditions
love our visits to Staunton!!


Friday, October 7, 2011

to my sis with love...

to betsy joy:

so... i sat down to write in my sister's engagement card... but somehow i ended up sitting down at my dining room table... whew... sometimes all it takes to get the sentimental juices flowing is a blank engagement card, a fall candle burning, a picked up house, a little background music, a sleeping baby, and a husband at a softball game... so here i am thinking about my sis... my closest friend besides my husband... she is my heart. she knows my heart. she loves me. and i really love her. more than words can express exactly...

my mind is flooded with memories tonight... my first real sister memory is actually recorded on an old home video... but i remember it... my little sister just learning to crawl, and me a crazy 4 year old... both of us trying to race up the stairs... me belting out Psalty the Songbook songs! i about sent my poor little sis plummeting down the stairs. she was cute, and just tried to keep up with her crazy big sis. we had no idea all the ups and downs we would go through together... and that we would really become best friends, not just sisters.

as we grew up, betsy always wanted to dress like me... and i'm not really sure why because my lack of style was serious! (and she is now the stylin sis!) my mom always told me that she just wanted to be like her big sis... i was thinking, "are you serious?? this is not cool?"

we had our ups and downs... our fights... our disagreements... our irritable moments, but honestly, they never lasted long. i needed her laughter, her smile, her fun personality... her... i just needed that sweet girl in my life no matter what season i was going through. :)

when i got my drivers license, our relationship got a little closer... we would go on drives just because we could. we would drive out middlebrook avenue into the country and sing our hearts out to all kinds of music! it was a blast because there is no other voice in the world that blends with mine like hers and vice versa. its another special sister thing i guess. :) we would talk between songs... boys, future, life, our parents, and Jesus. sometimes i go back to these times in my mind... and just pretend we are belting it in the car. it makes me smile.

i also remember a special time when we just stopped at our old church, Staunton Grace Covenant... i jumped on the piano and we grabbed one of my dad's worship music books and sang as loud as we could in the sanctuary. it was so fun. but Gods presence was there too... He gave us a sweet time of prayer and worship together... just the 3 of us. and it was so special. how thankful i am that i can worship the same God with my sis... there is nothing else like it.

then i left for college... it was hard. we missed each other, but somehow we never drifted apart. we only got closer... through phone calls, holiday breaks, and weekend trips. we stayed in touch... she knew me and i knew her. she was going through all the issues that can accompany high school. there were break ups and friendship problems... and i would just want to come home and get under the covers with her and whisper, and laugh until mom and dad tapped on the wall, and cry with her. but i was adjusting to a whole new life at college...
no friendship, no relationship seemed to take away from us...

college flew by for me and before long i was headed to TN with my family to drop my sis off at college. i remember my poor mom couldn't keep it together. her baby was being dropped off 7 hours away and they were now "empty nesters." (i think they are enjoying it now though!) anyway, i remember a twinge in my heart when we pulled away... we were so far apart and we both had totally separate lives now... would she still know my heart? would we still share everything? well, she is a senior now and we have. we have shared it all.

my wedding day... i'll never forget, my sweet sis bawled all the way down the aisle. i knew she was happy. i knew she was feeling the bittersweetness of me getting a new best friend. it hurt, but she was excited. she knew it was right. i can't imagine a more precious treasure standing next to me on that day.

i just love that no matter what... some things only sisters get... it might fly over my husbands head or my parents too... but my sis got it... and we smile. i like that.

i love that i didn't loose a sister or a best friend... i just gained another best friend and he gained another sister...

i think one of my most special memories is a few months after being married we went to visit staunton... my first trip with my new family, the Hunts. my sis was home on fall break. it was so fun! pumpkin patches, all things fall, mountains, family time, yummy food... it was perfect. but my heart, on the inside, was in a complete knot... and she knew. my sis knew there was something. that night, with my husband asleep on the floor next to the bed... my sis and i were tucked in together (just like old christmas memories) and i knew i had to share it with her. no one else knew yet. "boo, i just found out i'm pregnant..." we had not planned to be married only 3 months and get pregnant... we had hopes and dreams and traveling... and... and... my sis kissed my head and said, "ash, its gonna be alright." i don't remember everything we said, but i shared my heart... she knew my heart, like she always did. she gave me strength. she prayed for me before we left. she called me often when we got home. she encouraged me with His Word. she was a pillar for me. and she was right. everything is more than alright... its perfect. our Jesus wouldn't give us more than we could handle. i am so thankful that she was next to me that night...

and now.. my sweet sis is embarking on a new journey. i am glad that i was able to go before her... :) just because i can tell her in those moments... "its gonna be alright." there will be ups and downs in marriage. there will moments of, "i'm done", there will heartbreak... but i can promise there will also be fun, companionship, love, laughter, and adventure (and much more good than bad!) this is just the beginning of a very special journey. i will no longer be #1 best friend, because Patrick will now have that place... but I will be right there... still a close second (you got that Pat?? :)

i can hardly envision her on her wedding day. i know she will be a thousand times prettier than i can even imagine... because her heart has always shined so brightly! :) so i know she will shine. i can't wait. i really can't wait.

so boo, just know that i respect you. i am honored to be your sis. i am more than thankful for all that you have done for me. i am humbled at how you have responded to so many things in your life. i am overwhelmed at how much you love and care for others. i appreciate your selflessness. i see your heart to walk in wisdom and to grow in love. i see Jesus in you. you are an example of a godly woman. a woman who loves her Savior. and now you get to be a wife... and Patrick gets to benefit from all that you are! and i know you will a beautiful example of that as well. i'm always here for you. i seriously couldn't love you more than i do right now! you are a treasure in my life. you have given me more than you will ever know.

i love you, boo.

i'm always here if you need me... always...

p.s. its gonna be the best day of your life. i can promise you that ;)

i LOVE mommy & barrett days!

finally made it through my work week... now for a 3 day weekend... yeah!!

today... barrett and mommy day... played ball, got dressed in some fall colors, ran to target with our buddies nadine and will, and came home for lunch with daddy and nap time.

i have felt more refreshed today... sipping my coffee, rather than throwing it in a to-go mug only to get cold by the time i get to drink it at work... it's nice to just sip :)

instead of shoving down breakfast and jumping in the car to get to the Y for the 8:30 cycling class, we just stayed in our pj's a little longer and played with every toy in the living room...

i normally try to clean up the kitchen while B runs around eating cherrios and watching mickey mouse clubhouse in the morning, but today we just left the dishes (which i need to get up and do) and read all the books on the shelf... well, attempted to read all the books on the shelf...

b is hating shopping carts these days, so as embarrassing as it was seeing him meander up to random people and say "craca" (cracker) and pull things off the shelf, and run around yelling "fooball" (football)... so today he got to get "down" and run around target, while people were looking around for that little boy's mom :)

we are pushing back nap time and trying (and i use that term lightly) to get rid of the paci... so he lasted until about 1:00 and he was over "pushing back nap time." so we got in the car and he then he began yelling "papi, papi, papi" (pacifier).... so i gave in.... we came home for a nap with paci in mouth and little eyes shut tight... but i hear someone in their crib now whimpering... so it looks like the afternoon festivities of mommy and barrett day are to be continued... :)

thankful for a day with my little one :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

HE builds this House... thankfully!

i've lost count of the number of cups of coffee i have consumed today... the caffeine is only lasting about 5 minutes.... whew!

i am exhausted... to say the least... i am sure that ray is ready to lock me in a closet today... because everything just seems off... mainly me...

i haven't felt this run down in a long time. i was feeling pretty charged up and ready for my super mom week... balancing the whole be a good wife, great mom, and awesome nurse! well, that all came to a crash landing by tuesday morning. my work schedule has included days, nights, classes... and everything in between... causing my sleep to be broken and just not very good. barrett is in the midst of changing from two naps to one. and ray and i are usually so tired by the time we sit down at night... we fall asleep on the couch!

if you know me, you know i love a new fresh calendar month, cleaning my weekly white board "to-do" list, and planning the events of the week... meals, play dates, work schedules, etc. everything has been falling into place, following the schedule to a "T". then, my over zealous passion to live life to the fullest slows me down... making me realize my frailty, my dependence on Jesus, and my utter need of Him for every task! i am sitting here completely aware of this fact... "Unless the Lord build the house, its builders labor in vain." Psalm 127:1. yes, Jesus, i remember, you are building this house... you are in control... you will give me strength and wisdom in how to pursue this week...

last week was filled with some sweet play dates... causing my heart to be filled to over-flowing! encouragement, laughter, and just all being in this journey together causes my heart to sing... and make me long for even more of these precious times with dear friends and their little ones! but i also must remember that my heart needs rest as well... there are times that we just stay at home in the quiet of the moment and soak up those times. i want my heart to be just as readily open to receive from the Lord in these moments too.

so... i already over-did it this week... and i still have a LOT of things that have to get done... that will get done... and i will make it... even in my exhaustion... we will get through. and not just "get through it"... we will smile and laugh, and make memories, and spend ourselves to the fullest... but we will also rest, and be quiet, and know our limitations.

this week is a "one moment at a time" kinda week. so in this moment... the house is trashed around me, barrett is running around yelling cracka, and we are counting the seconds until dada comes home to rescue us!

"He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust." Psalm 104:14.

*** after re-reading my post, and looking at the cute pics of my B, and remembering God's promises... I already feel encouraged!! :) we're having a dance party in the bath tub now!!! ***

oh! and my sweet sis is getting hitched!!! :) she is engaged to her best friend Patrick! Can't wait to start wedding planning with her!!! Plans for dress hunting in the near future!!! Yeah!!