Saturday, April 30, 2011

God of This City

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10
First, thank you for the many tweets, FB messages, comments, and emails the past few days.  Things are starting to sink in that this actually happened so close to our house.  However, it is hard to believe that we cannot just run down the street and pick up some baby food or run through the Taco Bell.  It is still so surreal.  I saw this video on FB last night and it is so true.  God had His hand on us Wednesday night and again, He has a plan for us and our small town.  I think this song says it all.
The Lord has blessed my family and so many others that were in the path of this tornado, but somehow managed to come out unharmed.  Please continue to pray for those that were not so fortunate.  There are so many that are heartbroken and lost in a new world to them.  I have suffered the loss of a home and it is a life changing moment.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose both my home, most of my town, and family all at once.  Please keep our town in your thoughts and prayers.  We need all that we can get.  We may not have lost as much as those in Alabama (I am also keeping them in my prayers, I cannot imagine how it must feel to have that much devastation), but we are a very small town of less than 3,000 people and the loss of 8 and many, many buildings is devastating.  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Urgent Prayer Request for Our Town

For those of you who may not know, we live in a small suburb of Chattanooga that only has about 3,000 people.  Last night we were hit with a F3 tornado that actually hit less than a mile from my house.  All day there were tornadoes and bad storms in our area, but around 8:00 they were showing a small cell headed straight towards us.  At 8:10 they told our street to take cover on the news, so I jumped up, grabbed Nicholas out of the bed and ran to the laundry room (our most interior room).  About fifteen minutes later Michael opened the door and told me to get as low as possible and lay on Nicholas, that there was a huge, visible funnel directly behind our house.
(Photo courtesy of my neighbor, Lucas George Photography)
  Within five minutes it was all over.  Immediately we started hearing sirens, horns, and just chaos.  Our town was flat.  It absolutely breaks my heart to look at all of the pictures I've seen on FB and the news websites today.
This is of the main street through downtown Ringgold.  This is next to the First Baptist Church, which lost it's steeple.
 (Photo courtesy of a FB user)
This is the intersection 0.5 miles from my house.  It was a pizza hut, Hardees, Taco Bell, and Super 8 Motel.
(Next three photos are courtesy of Beasley Photography)
 The other side of the intersection.  This used to be a Hotel, Waffle House, KFC, and a BP.
 Food Lion and Ace Hardware plaza about a mile from my house.
 I did go to the command center (which also happens to be the Ingles grocery store I shop at regularly) at 11:00 to offer my help last night, but they were still not to the point of going into the the rubble yet.  Please, please pray for our area.  We were hit so hard and there were so many lives lost.  From what we have heard tonight they are still trying to get to some people.  We are under a curfew on our street and also told to boil water due to the water treatment plant being damaged.  I wasn't able to sleep last night, sirens everywhere, so many images in my head, and the thought of how close it was just wouldn't let me go to sleep.  I'm hoping for a better night tonight.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter 2011

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." John 11:25-26

Easter is one of my favorite holidays because it signifies the most important gift we could ever have, eternal life!  I love going to church on Easter and praising God and thanking Jesus for making the ultimate sacrifice for us.  

Friday I took off work and we got up bright and early to take Nicholas to see the Easter Bunny at the mall.  He did so well!

The Easter Bunny must have remembered how good he did meeting him because he brought him a basket full of goodies Saturday night!
 Nicholas loved looking at his new things!
 This is one of my new favorite pictures.  I love how it looks like he is reading the back of the book!
We are still in the process of looking for a church home, but we went to church with my parents on Sunday at the church I went to on my first Easter.  Nicholas did so good!  He went to the nursery and they said he did great!  We have not been in awhile due to all of us being sick so much, so I was nervous how he would do.  Hopefully he will do good again this week!
This picture is from Easter 2010, I was almost 7 months pregnant.
 And here is our family now! Easter 2011
My sweet boy and I
 This is how most of our pictures went...
 Nicholas with his Grandpa and Gigi
Nicholas loves looking at the windows at my parents house.  They have low, large windows and he loves them.  He spends a lot of time looking out the back windows in the living room, especially when their dog is outside.
 Looks like the Easter Bunny left him another basket at Gigi's house!
 When we got home late in the afternoon, the neighbors were having an Easter egg hunt and wanted to include Nicholas.  He did so good!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

It's Football Time In Tennessee...Almost

I wish it was almost football time, but for a little while today we pretended that it was.  We braved the COLD, cloudy, 55 degree (forecasted to be 65 and sunny!) and sat through the Orange and White game at UT this afternoon in Knoxville.  We decided at the last minute to go last night as part of Michael's birthday gift.  It was fun despite the cold.  I did get to sport my rhinestone UT sweatshirt that I haven't got to wear to a game yet!  It was comfy and I didn't see anyone else in rhinestones!  Haha!
We had pretty decent seats on the 35 yard line.  Too bad we can't get them this good in for real games!
 During halftime I was mega excited to find one of my favorite foods of all time that we can't get in Chattanooga, a Petro!  If you haven't had one of these goodness in a cup, run, don't walk to the nearest Petros!  It is a cup of Frito's, chili, cheese, sour cream, and tomatoes!  It was worth going just for that! :-)
We got back to Chattanooga around 7:00 and I was ready to see Nicholas.  I missed him so much today. I saw so many babies and it made me miss him.  Too bad sweet boy didn't miss us!  He cried for 10 minutes wanting to stay with his Gigi and Grandpa!

All and all it was a super fun day, but I'm glad to be home in my warm house.  I think tonight calls for a hot bath, glass (or two!) of Cabernet, and a movie!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Michael!

 Happy Birthday to my best friend, the wonderful dad of my baby, and the rock of our little family!  Today is Michael's 30th Birthday!!!

In the past 9.5 months since he became a dad, there have been several moments that I've loved more and more than I did a moment before...

The first time he held Nicholas...
 When I saw how he looked at Nicholas the night he was born and how much love he had for our baby...
 How quickly the bonded...
And how much they love each other...

Nicholas and I love you very much!

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Next Thirty Years

Yesterday I moved into a new decade...30!  Michael and I have birthdays 3 days apart so we decided to have a party Saturday night for our friends to share in our birthdays with us.  It was so fun to spend some time with our closet friends and we even let Nicholas hang out for awhile before we called his Gigi to come get him!
(that picture makes me laugh because we were both dressed nice, but SOMEONE spit up all over Michael! Haha!)
 I'm sure you were wondering if we had our own cake, well of course we did! I LOVED our cake!  Becky did another great job for us!
 We wanted something that represented both of us, so we had a tier with chocolate cake and pink zebra print and a white cake with bright blue for Michael!  It was such a fun cake!!!
 Yesterday was a fabulous day!  Nicholas and I took a nap together and then we went outside and played, and played, and played in the water table!  He LOVES this thing and I loved spending my birthday with my wish come true from so many past birthdays!
 I always said my kid would NOT play outside in just a diaper, but sometimes it just has to happen!  He got so soaked that I could wring his outfit out! Haha!

 Last night my parents had our family over for dinner to celebrate both of our birthdays.  Nicholas had fun getting a LOT of attention (of course!).  I love this picture of him and my Nana.
 He helped me open my gift.  He is just so helpful! :-)
 My cousins got me a frame that had all of Nicholas's monthly pictures in it!  I LOVE IT!  It will be perfect for his birthday party!!!
 He played with the paper for a while!  He loves anything he can tear up!  Such a boy!
 Me and my sweet boy!  I am so thankful that I finally had a baby to spend my birthday with.  It was definitely the best one yet!!! (even if I am 30 now! Ha!)
 My aunt made my favorite cake for dessert, my Nana's recipe German chocolate cake! YUM!!!
 After dinner we gave the wildchild a bath in Gigi's big bathtub!  I'm afraid we may have started something!  He loved it!
It was by far the best birthday I've ever had.  I've spent the past few sad that I didn't have a baby yet and this year was so much better because of my sweet boy!  I spent some time while I was lying down with him thinking about those sad birthdays and I thought about those of you still waiting.  I pray that you will be blessed soon!  I know your pain and your desperation and I pray for you daily.  

The Lord has blessed me so much in the past year and I am so thankful for a wonderful year, and well, quite frankly a wonderful thirty years.  I can't wait for the next thirty!  The past thirty have been filled with both many happy and many sad times, and I am thankful for all of them.  Each of those experiences have made me who I am.  I said a lot this weekend that it seems like I JUST turned 21, now I'm 30!  I also remember when the song, "My Next 30 Years" came out and how far off that birthday seemed.  Oh well, here it is!  I'm hoping these next thirty are even better than the last thirty! :-)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sunny Sunday

We were given a GORGEOUS weekend this past weekend and we took full advantage of the day on Sunday afternoon.  Nicholas was on a nap strike, so I decided to pull out his last Christmas present.  His Granddad and Mimi gave him a water table and toys.  I filled it up with lukewarm water and turned him lose to play in it.  HE LOVED IT!!!!

Such concentration!
 Probably my very most favorite of all of these pictures.  I laughed so hard because he knew exactly what to do with a cup. He filled it up with water and drank it! Hahaha!

 Taking a little break to see what Spencer is doing...which was staying as far away from the baby and water as possible!
 He had such concentration and determination while playing that I could NOT get him to look up at the camera.  He made me laugh so hard while playing with his table.
 Gigi and Grandpa stopped by to say hi while we were outside and here is Nicholas and Gigi playing with his toys.  He had so much fun!!! I can't wait to get it back out again this weekend!  Needless to say he was SOAKED when we went inside.  Even his diaper was heavy it was so wet!  Haha!
We ate a bottle and then went over to play at our neighbor's house with the big kids for a little while.  When we got home around 6:00 he seemed tired, but no more than usual.  Well, after a jar of food and half of another, this is what he did...PRECIOUS!
I hated to wake him up for a bath, but he was down by 7:00 and slept hard until 7:10am when Daddy woke him up!  We are pretty sure that our all-boy will be VERY busy this summer when he can spend time outside.  I can only imagine what our weekends at the pool will be like!  Pray for me with this busy boy! Ha!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Feeding Myself

The past couple of nights Nicholas has insisted that he feed himself!  Here is what happens when you give in and give a 9 month old a spoon full of veggies! Haha!

We both needed a bath and a washing machine when we were finished!  There were also two different spoons on the floor, veggies on Spencer, and who knows where else!