Tuesday, November 8, 2011


There is nothing, absolutely nothing, more beautiful than being on top of the clouds with a mid-fall sunset shining down on them.
I have seen beautiful things in my 26 years of life. The ocean, stretching as far as the eye can see. Sunsets so colorful that you are sure Crayola would have to create brand new colors to capture them. My sister growing up. My best friend's pregnant tummy.
But the clouds from an airplane's view - the valleys and rounded mounds like mountains of the sky- are untouchable in their beauty.

It would be easy to forget that they are merely water vapor and step out onto them thinking you would be enveloped by the softest fibers on earth - only to fall through, tumbling down through the mist and light.
It breaks my heart that I can't play among the clouds. Skipping from one to the other. Cupping the matter in my hands and throwing it in the air for it to fall back down. Lying in the cradle of comfort with the one I love while he plays with my hair.

It's a shame.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

As the cold comes on, thoughts of sweaters and bonfires, hot coffee and cold nights, fuzzy slippers and ice covered windshields, take over my mind.

This morning my windshield was fogged over, everything outside was blurry and I could barely see out. While many of you are thinking, "wow...that is dangerous" yes...it probably is; however, I wasn't driving. 

As I sat there, looking out of the greyish glass, I reflected that the past year felt exactly like what I was seeing. Cloudy, blurry, indistinguishable. I flipped on my wipers and things became clearer. There were still streaks of moisture...I realized I need new wiper blades.

I am in desperate need of new life. For God to come in and take over. It has been so long since I have felt anything: motivation, pure joy, etc... I am numb to everything, going through the motions of everyday life, doing just what needs to be done. I take little to no joy in what I am doing.

Two weeks ago, at Life Group, I felt the Holy Spirit. Before you stop reading and think I'm nuts...let me explain. We were around a table sharing prayer requests. Two girls agreed to pray (one of them not being me). As the first girl began to pray, I felt a strong urge to pray for one of the girls that has trouble sleeping. She wakes up feeling held down as if something is holding her.

So, the first girl continued praying and I felt really hot and my heart started racing. I was going to ignore the promt to pray but once she was finished praying I blurted out the prayer. It was short but I couldn't help but crying...though I really didn't know why I was crying. And my hands started to sweat and the heat was almost unbearable (sorry to the girls that had to hold my hands while praying...)

I don't say this to boast...I say it because that is what I want all the time. I want to feel the Holy Spirit. I want to feel God.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Random thoughts for a Thursday

I haven't had much to blog about lately. Joseph and I celebrated our one year anniversary, quietly and simply.
My mom is dealing with the remnants of thyroid cancer. She starts radiation in two weeks and she is so exhausted. It is hard to be 2.5 hours away. I can't help her, clean for her, cook for her. I can't get the things she needs. Luckily, she has my dad and has had him for 32 years.
I find myself having jealousy issues towards those who are pregnant and/or have babies. I would have been twelve weeks this week but my baby never got "out of the woods".
On the other hand, we are now free to do as we please, travel, sleep in and not worry about another life. This brings about the issue of selfishness. Deep down, I want to continue being selfish, to not bring a baby into the mix because it's hard, tiring and completely changes your life. When you are someone who likes order and control, it is hard to think about losing that control.
Outside, the weather is fickle. Cold, warm, hot. Cold, warm, hot. Forever changing in what people call Indian Summers.
But it is time for bon fires, marshmallows and cider (or apple pie moonshine). It is time to pull out the sweaters but not yet time to put summer clothing away.
I find myself missing those I love so dearly. So much that my heart aches. I miss my mom and dad, I miss my sister, Katelyn, I miss my best friend, Vanessa.
I am missing out on their lives. Facebook can only do so much.

Anyway. Go listen to William Fitzsimmons.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Throughout my grade school days, I was never bullied. I was quite plain, I never really fit into any particular group, and I never experienced hatred.
Mostly, I hung out with the gothic kids, you know: the ones with the baggy pants, dark clothing and black makeup. I even painted my lips black for a while. During this whole time, I never experienced anything close to bullying.
Lately, I have heard about how bad bullying has become, though I didn't really want to believe that elementary kids were being bullied to the point of suicide.
But tonight, I saw it first hand.
I was hanging out with a friend and her husband who came up to the USC vs. Navy game. My friend's cousin came along ( we will call him Junior). My friend's husband lost his phone and we looked for it for about 30 minutes. I finally looked under the chair and found it (it was under his wife's chair". I grabbed it and exclaimed "I found it" all to looks of unbelief. My friend and her husband believed that I had innocently found it under her chair. However her cousin exclaimed something along the lines of, "she found it? Yeah right. She hid it there. I wouldn't trust her as far as I could throw her...which obviously isn't far, just look at her."
I honestly have never felt so hurt in my life, especially after miscarrying. Talk about "kick'em when they're down". I cried the whole way home. Just goes to show, some people never grow up. They feel as if hurting someone makes them macho...makes them feel better about themselves.
So, so sad.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dallas/Oklahoma here I come!

In a little over a month I will be hopping on a plane and heading to the midwest where people dress in cowboy boots and ten gallon hats. Right?
Well, maybe not...
I will be flying into Dallas where I will be picked up by the gorgeous Vanessa. After a night on the town (which will probably involve a virgin drink for her and a spiked beverage for myself) we will head to Lawton, Oklahoma.

Some things I want to do in Dallas:

I would like to visit the flight museum...I think it would be awesome.

Of course I have to visit the Dallas Cowboys Stadium since they are my dad's favorite football team! http://stadium.dallascowboys.com/

Some things I want to do while in Oklahoma:

Sing the entire score of Oklahoma!:

Just kidding...

I do want to relax and visit with Vanessa, Rory and Lana. By the time I go out there, Vanessa will be 34 weeks pregnant so i am sure we will spend a lot of time chatting over coffee (well at least I'll be dirnking coffee) and watching chick-flicks while eating popcorn and tons of chocolate...because you know Baby Lana has to have chocolate.

The National Cowboy Museum...don't ask. I like Will Rogers, what can I say?http://www.nationalcowboymuseum.org/

And of course, the site of the Oklahoma City Bombing.    http://www.oklahomacitynationalmemorial.org/

Are there any other places that I should see while I am there?

A little less

Everyday the sting of loss hurts a little less. Mainly because of the grace that our Father blesses me with everyday and the constant reminders he gives of love and restoration.

Also, the people I have been surrounded with. My husband, mom, lifegroup, family and friends.

I have learned much through the process. I learned that sometimes, I cannot grieve alone like I like to do. Sometimes the tears have to fall on someones shoulders. I was able to get a glimpse into motherhood, what it is like to care for someone so completely without ever seeing their face. 

Sometimes my hand still gravitates towards where Lord Voldemort was nestled in my tummy. And while I know that he is no longer there, I know that he has paved the way for our next little one.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

On loss and love

I'm not sure how to start this post... but here we go:

On September 25,  which would be mine and Joseph's 1 year anniversary, we were going to announce that we were expecting an amazing little baby. I would have said that I was due April 14 and that we were hoping it to be a boy (though any sex would do). We would have been congratulated and doted upon. We would have started our baby registry and around Thanksgiving we would have found out the sex of the baby. (And hopefully through the process I would have gotten over my fear of needles...eesh).

But sometimes things don't work out. On Sunday, September 4th I began the process of miscarrying. I believe we completely lost the baby on Monday. I never really thought about what it would be like to have a miscarriage. I knew many of my loved ones have been through it but I didn't really know what the process was like and I didn't know about the physical and emotional pain.

It is surreal. Sometimes, I can't believe it. After only 8 weeks, the baby had already become such a huge part of Joseph and I. I want so badly to go back.

I would place my hands over my tummy like I was holding the most precious gift, and I was. I wanted to hold him forever, to keep him safe and cradled until he was ready to come out into the world. My hand still wants to go there to protect him, to keep him in place.

My sister had christened the baby with a name: Lord Voldemort. Not a conventional name to give a precious baby, but it was uniquely his none-the-less. Prior to finding out that I was pregnant, Katelyn was looking through a stage-by-stage pregnancy book. While looking at one of the photos of a baby, she exclaimed "that looks like Lord Voldemort." From then on, the baby in my tummy was known as Lord Voldemort (or Lord Volde for short).

The thought of how big the baby was, how already at 8 weeks, the baby has eyes with eyelids, its little hands and feet are forming. He is about the size of a raspberry. A little raspberry was in my tummy. The thought put me in a constant state of awe - that I was growing a little person.

While there is tremendous sadness and feelings of loss, there are always feelings of happiness - the baby had already brought so much joy to our lives. Joseph and I gained new titles: that of mommy and daddy.

The wound is still fresh, I go through moments of pure sadness thinking of how "I wanted that baby...no other...just that one". I wonder "why" and "what if".  But through it all, God is good. He knows the answers to all my "whys" and "what ifs". And I trust Him with it.

For a slight moment in our lives, we got to experience a different kind of love.  One that will be with us until we pass on.

We cannot thank everyone enough - those that have called, texted and visited. Thank you for loving us.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

When you think you have.....

hardwood floors underneath two inches of badly laid tile/laminate/wooden veneer, make sure to double check because more than likely, you don't.

Exhibit A:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Question of the day

Why is Shark Week so revered?
It's a complete week dedicated to one of the world's greatest predators.
The Discover Channel shows massive amounts of shark-related video...and honestly people....you are probably watched the same sharky-shark-shark clip 100 times.
There are videos of dedicated to:
Top 10 Clips of Sharks Jumping
Top 10 Shark Attack Videos
Top 35 Great White Shark Videos
Top 10 Weird Sharks
Top 10 Videos of Sharks Riding on Unicorns.

Okay...I made that last one up. But why, oh why, is there a week dedicated to Sharks?
What about the armadillos and aardvark? Why don't they have a week?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The saddest story ever told...

There is a poll conducted by Fox News that asked the question: Which film makes you cry the most?

Scientists at the Smithsonian found that the 1979 flick, "The Champ" was the winner.

Since I have never seen the tearjerker, I cannot comment on how valid the answer is but I can list my top 5 tearjerker movies (in no particular order):

1. Titanic - End Scene

I will admit, the first time I saw this movie in the theatre, I was crying the moment the music started at the beginning of the movie. Prior to the movie, (in my 7th grade glory), I had conducted research on the Titanic, the people aboard and its history. I was connected. I felt as if I was a part of this movie. The scene I was to highlight is the end scene; you see old Rose lying on a bed, the camera pans to a line of photographs of young rose doing all of the things that Jack and Rose talked about doing. Then camera then goes through the sunken Titanic, then you are back on the intact ship. You end up at the grande staircase where Jack and Rose are reunited for eternity. Give me a tissue, please.

2. Bambi - Death of Bambi's Mom

Don't even try to tell me that you didn't cry whenever Bambi's mother was shot. You know you did.

3. Moulin Rouge - Death of Satine

It never fails, every time I watch this movie...which...I don't even know how many times I've seen this movie...I cry. I bawl. I use a whole box of tissues. "The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return."

4. Steel Magnolias - M'Lynn's monologue on Shelby's Death

This scene is both heartwrenching and funny. "Take a whack at Ouiser!"

5. What Dreams May Come - the whole movie

I bawled throughout this movie. There is so much sadness...and so much beauty.

Some other movies that deserve to be on the list:

Up, Million Dollar Baby, The Notebook, The Lion King, Passion of the Christ....and there are so many more.

What makes your list?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Things I love...

Here are a few things I love. They are romantic, whimsical, sweet, beautiful and some of them are downright unpractical. That's okay though: Enjoy! (Click on the photo to go to the Etsy shop!)

I found these cuffs on Etsy by JezebelCharms. The cuffs are made out of brass and are printed with quotes and photos. Love, love, love!


If you have been around me lately, you know I have a thing for birds. One day while in Michael's I saw these cute, antique-looking ceramic birds. On the display they had said birds perched on top of old, worn out books. Thus began my obsession with the whimsical little creatures.

This lariat necklace features a twig and sparrow and is different and beautiful! 

This photo took my breath away. It makes me long for the ocean. I don't know why but there is something nostalgic about sea oats.

I also wanted to feature one of my dear friend's Etsy shop. She doesn't have anything for sale but I know she makes the most gorgeous paper roses. To all the guys that read this blog, I urge you to order your wife a dozen or so of these beautiful roses. They are shabby/cottage-chic. I have two sitting on the buffet in my dining room and they add an understated beauty to the room. She can make them in any color and even...wait for it....book pages!!!! Eeek! I swoon over anything book related.

Edit: I can't believe that I forgot about my own sis-in-love's etsy shop!!!! Guys...she is such a talented painter among other things. I couldn't decide which painting I loved best so I will post both of them.


What's your favorite Etsy shop? Have you bought anything from Etsy?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kettle Corn

There is this group. The group consists of 3 ladies (not including myself) that I love and adore.
Because I love and adore said ladies, I decided to make them kettle corn for our weekly meeting.
The popcorn was a medley of salty, sweet, crunchy and chewy. Perfect, in fact.
Just in case you want to make some salty, sweet kettle corn for a group of amazing ladies, or if you just want to make it for yourself, see below:

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 cup sugar
Salt (to taste)

In a large pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add two or three kernels of popcorn. When you hear two or three pops, quickly add the popcorn and sprinkle the sugar over the kernels. Cover and shake the pan violently until the popping slows down. Remove from the heat and toss with the salt.

Voila! You have kettle corn for yourself and those you love. If you want really sticky, sweet popcorn, add a bit more sugar.
I will note that when I say "shake violently", I mean shake like you have never shook anything before. Don't shake it like a Polaroid picture. Don't shake it like a salt shaker.
Shake it like it's your job.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I like definitions, so I will start this post by defining.

In.som.ni.a [in-som-nee-uh] -  inability to obtain sufficient sleep, especially when chronic;difficulty in falling or staying asleep; sleeplessness.

I have officially, unofficially self-diagnosed myself with this "disorder". Typically, I find it hard to go to sleep. Joseph is usually in snoozeland before I can say, "good night honey". (Seriously, his head hits the pillow and 5-seconds later he is out. Cold.)

My typical night looks like this:

10:30 pm - Lay down

10:35 pm- Turn over on my side

10:40 pm- Turn over on my other side

10:45 pm- Return to Go. Do not collect $200

11:00 pm - Count sheep that start out as cute, fluffy Serta sheep and end up as zombie sheep

11:05 pm - Pray that said zombie sheep don't eat me

11:15 pm - My mind begins to drift

11:30-midnight - At some point during this time, I fall asleep

2:31 pm - My mind drifts out of dreamland

2:32 pm- Elbow Joseph to deter him from snoring

2:33 pm- Lie awake until the cycle comes back around (minus the zombie sheep)

Almost every night this cycle occurs and for some reason I always wake up between 2:15 and 3:00 am and have the hardest time falling back into blissful slumber.

Oh to be Sleeping Beauty or Snow White; to fall asleep and stay that way, maybe not eternally, but at least for an 8 hour period.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

On Fear

First hit the play button and listen to this song while reading the post. Beautiful...

We all have fears. Fear of self, fear of the unknown, fear of spiders, snakes or other creepy crawlies. Fear of public speaking, death, rejection. Fear of loss or love. Fear of water, airplanes, and heights or in my case, fear of needles. Even a fear we don’t think about: grief.

Whatever the fear, no matter how big or small, whether the fear is tangible or mental, it is there. Fear is there.

Fear: [feer] –noun. A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

I think the key phrase is, “whether the threat is real or imagined”. Many people don’t understand my fear. At the mention of shots, IVs needles, I have a fit. I rub my hands together, tense up and sometimes I get light headed. No flu shots for me. I can't give blood. I'm allergic to needles, I promise.

Most people think it’s funny, they don’t understand the psychological fear that comes along with the thought, sight or even the physical application of needles/IVs. But how can they understand, when even I don’t understand my fear?

I can’t remember when the fear started but I do remember the first episode I had regarding needles.

Picture it: Carolina Forest High School 2002. We were having our yearly standardized tests and I was in a classroom with a teacher that I didn’t know. After testing, you are encouraged to bring a book or homework to work on while waiting for everyone else to finish. I brought a book that described in detail the methods of chemotherapy (I wish I could remember the name of the book…it was good).

After reading a few of the graphic lines, I started seeing spots that turned into tunnel vision. I felt very warm and after a few minutes got up and asked the teacher if I could go to the restroom. I made it to the hallway, right outside of the classroom door. I pressed my cheek against the cool, concrete walls. Next thing I know, I’m on the ground and the school’s resource officer was standing over me asking if I had taken any drugs. Drugs? Really? No. I hadn’t taken any drugs. Unless you consider literature a drug.

And may I remind you, I have a tattoo! (I almost passed out while getting tatted...but I didn't pass out...)

The second episode was similar as it happened at school. It was during health class, when the girls and boys separated to talk about safe sex, birth control and the like. It also happened to be the only day that year that I wore a skirt. While the teacher was talking about Depo-Provera and Norplant (implanted birth control methods), I started to get the same tunnel vision. “Seriously Jessica? Again?” I thought.

My mom had told me if it happened again, to put my head between my legs. Yeah…I was really going to do that in the middle of class with a skirt on. Again, I got hot and the next thing I know, I’m on the floor. Again, no drugs.

Another favorite story is when I went to the health department to get my shots for Africa. One of the teenagers who was accompanying us to Africa went in before me. She came out and said, “Oh it’s nothing”.

The nurse calls my name. And since I am a big girl, I asked my mom to come back with me. The nurse took me to an office, with a desk and two chairs. She asked me to sit in one of the chairs. She came back into the room and had the needles with her. I gently commented that she should have me lay down as I would pass out otherwise.

She reluctantly led me back to a room with an examination table. I lay down and the shots were administered and the whole time, tears were streaming down my face. The shots didn’t hurt necessarily, it was the fear that took over my emotions and the tears didn’t stop.  However, I didn’t pass out.

So, I pass out and freak out. The fear is so great that I pass out. I get so freaked out that my body goes into shock and I drop like a fly.

I have tried to process the fear, to think about why I fear something as common and ordinary as getting a shot. I know it doesn’t hurt. I’ve had IVs, shots and have had blood drawn and overall there is little or no pain.

It isn’t the thought of medicine going into my veins. It’s the thought of a needle being in my body. As I type this, my heart is racing and I have the urge to rub my hands so the phantom needle will go away.

What is your fear? How do you cope with it? Do you avoid it completely? Do you face it head on?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Maybe in the future:

Loving this song and this artist.

Where was she during my heartbroken college days?

Ingrid Michaelson is so cute and quirky. Her videos are overall creative in theory (though one freaks me out because the video revolves around clowns. And if you didn't know, clowns are creepy...)

That's all I got for today. Some big things are brewing and I will be posting more in a couple months on what is pouring out in our lives.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Don't Waste Your Life

A couple of Sundays ago, I was at my cousin-in-law's house for Sunday lunch (which they graciously provided as they had no clue that three additional people were attending).
After dinner, Kurt and Lanaea introduced me to some music that I thought I wouldn't care for: Christian Rap.

I thought, "Christian Rap...hmmm...this is going to be terrible." Most of you probably don't know this about me: but I used to love rap music. Whether is was in the club or in the car, I was bobbin my head and dancing to music that degraded women and glorified drugs and murder.
Needlesstosay, I stopped listening to it when I turned my life back to Christ.
So when Curt and Lanaea introduced me to a few rappers that make up a group called the 116 Clique (One One Six Clique), I was surprised by not only how amazing their beats are, but how deep and theological their lyrics are. The rappers could easily be heard on popular radio and people wouldn't think twice about it (except their lyrics are geared towards glorifying Christ and rebuking gang life and other negative lifestyle choices.
Here is his testimony:

So I could sit here and talk about it all day...but it would be better if I posted a video and let you decide for yourself. I encourage you to take a look at Lecrae, Trip Lee and Tedashii. Listen to the beats but more importantly listen to the message. It's legit...word. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mexican Restaurant-Style Cheese Dip

You guys may not believe me when I tell you this secret...
How do I know it's a secret? Because one of the waiters at an unnamed Mexican Cantina told me it was.
Okay, it probably isn't a secret but I like to think it is.
Please make this dip, then invite me over. I'll bring the chips.

Mexican Cheese Dip

16 oz White American Cheese (Land O Lakes preferred. You can find it in your grocer's deli)
1/2 cup milk
1 can green chilis (or do what I did - chop up some pickled jalapenos!)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

Place cheese, milk and chilis in a sauce pan, heat on medium heat until thoroughly melted. Add cumin and salt. Add more milk depending on how thick you like your dip.
Transfer to a festive bowl (or margarita glass) and serve warm!

That's it! So simple even my sister could do it. (I love you Katelyn...you can make me a grilled cheese later)

Notes: The chips we have were already pretty salty so I halved the salt.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

If I had my way

If I could have my way, I wouldn’t be where I am.

I would be sitting along a clean, blue shore, feeling the salt gather on my skin and brushing strands of hair away from my face.

I would be walking along a rushing river, listening to the water splash against rocks and logs. Barefoot, avoiding anthills hidden in tall grass.

I would be miles and miles above the earth. Looking at the top of cotton candy clouds, dreaming of walking among them.

I would be teetering on the edge of the horizon, watching the sun melt in colors of pink, orange and turquoise. The heat slowly dying.

I would be far away from city lights that illuminate even the darkest nights. And lying on my back, look up to see millions of stars looking back at me.
I would be running through endless fields my only guide being inconstant fireflies.

I would be worlds away from where I am, at my cold desk, looking at a screen that can merely show me glimpses of the joy I wish to take in.

Friday, June 24, 2011

When there is nothing to write about...

post something you wrote a long time ago. This was written when I first moved to Columbia. I was living at a place that I greatly disliked. One day it snowed and it was so beautiful. This is what came out of that day. Of course, it is a fiction piece, but it evokes the emotions felt during that time.

I danced in the rain today. I threw out my arms and twirled around like I used to do when I was a little girl. I tilted my face towards the sky and closed my eyes, letting the icy rain tingle and run down. I knew that my mascara would run and that passerby’s would point and shake their heads at my wet clothes and stringy hair that quickly plastered itself to my face. I didn’t care. I was free. I was free from something that I didn’t want to be free from but nonetheless, I was free. And in this moment, it seemed as if God was crying. Cold, harsh and heavy tears; shed just for me and me alone as if to say that He knew my pain; that I was not alone. But I was.

Then the rain turned into snow and I stopped dancing. I looked in awe at the frozen rain that rarely falls in this humid state. I let it drop delicately in my hair and set on the edges of my eyelashes until it dissolved and was no more. Over and over tiny flakes set upon me and the ground; enveloping me in hope and white purity. I smiled and my heart was filled with warmth. I wanted to call out to everyone and tell them of the snow and the beauty that it was bringing. I called. But no one answered. I knocked on doors and screamed for them to come outside and see the wonder that God was pouring out on us. No one came. So I sat on the ground upon a pillow of snow and cried. Wishing my tears would freeze and fall slowly to the ground.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blue Star Mothers

There is a cause that burns deep in my heart. That cause is the care of our military. Many family members and friends have served in the military from the Army, Navy, Marines, Airforce and Coast Guard (we love all branches in my family).

Whether or not you agree with our military being overseas, whether you are a republican or a democrat and whether or not you know someone who has served or who is serving: it is our responsibility to pray for, to care for and to support our soldiers.

That being said: I have a grand opportunitiy for you to be able to serve. It won't cost you a thing (unless you want to donate, which is completely cool with me) and it will only take you about 30 seconds...maybe 52 seconds but who's counting?

Four Star Plumbing and Air Conditioning is giving away $1,000 to a lucky non-profit organization. Who should that organization be, you ask? The Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina, of course.

Click here and scroll down to the very bottom of the site. Fill out your information and where it says "HORRY COUNTY Non-Profit or Charity Organization Name for Nomination" just type "Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina".

Go ahead, do it. I'll wait....(be sure to vote EVERYDAY!)

Okay. Now that you're done, let me tell you a little bit about who you are voting for. Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina constists of a group of loving parents who have sons and daughters that are currently serving in the United States Military. They are a non-proft, non-sectarian and non-political organization that lives to support one another and to send support to troops.

Through Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina, you can donate items to be sent overseas, donate funds for postage to send the packages or attend an event in support of the Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina.

If you are interested in joining the BSMCC, you can click here for more information.

Also, I have a vested interest as my cousin is serving overseas and his momma (also my cousin) is a Blue Star Mother.

Even though their children aren't with them, they bring them to every event via a picture on a stick. (Usually everything is better on a stick...but for some reason a picture on a stick isn't as good as the real person).

Go vote!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Life is fleeting

The last few weeks have brought a myriad of emotions to both sides of my family.

It started with the passing of my husband’s grandfather, Pop. Then my first cousin, Lana Carol Beaty. Next, it was my Great Uncle Eugene and finally, yesterday, my Uncle Gregg. The first three passed within days of each other, making for a very hard week.

A week full of tears and laughter. A week of longing to hear the voice of our loved ones just one more time. A week of peace knowing that all those who were suffering were in a better place.

***Side note. I hate when people say “so and so is in a better place”. Though it is true (hopefully...as hell is a VERY real place that souls go to) it just sounds so cliché. End side note***

However, this past weekend was full of wedding bliss. I was able to watch two amazing couples join together in the wonderful (yet tough) union of marriage.

Then, there was the birth of my cousin’s baby, Sadie Lynn.

While all of these events have greatly affected my life the past few weeks, the two events I want to focus on both happened on June 13. The death of Uncle Gregg at around 12:30 am and the birth of Sadie Lynn at around 8:01 pm.

While God took an amazing man from our family, He also gave us a new life. While we continue to mourn for the life that once was, we celebrate the life that now is. While we cry over the last breath of Uncle Gregg, we are rejoicing at the first breath of Sadie Lynn.

I am reminded of the scripture found in Job 1:01-22, “ He said, 'Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the lord.' Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.”

When we lose someone, we are quick to anger, to blame God, to ask why. Anyone will tell you that these are all ways to cope with loss. But Job makes such a beautiful point. God gives. God takes. He is the source of balance and He is also our comforter.  He replaces mourning with joy. Weariness with strength.

That isn’t exactly where I wanted to go with this post. I wanted to point out the perfect beauty of birth, life and death.

Enjoy the song from Live...it is kind of appropriate. Kind of.

The end.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A challenge

I was given a challenge. And I, in my opinion, succeeded.
I present my first designed and executed brochure. While I didn't create the content, I did gather it :)

Click on the link below to see the brochure made for our Drug and Addiction Studies program at the College of Social Work.

Drug and Addiction Brochure

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Time to stand up for what I believe

Michael Bolton is awesome and completely underrated. Before you start sighing and navigating away from my blog...hear me out.

My first concert was Michael Bolton, the opener was Celine Dion (that tells you how long ago this was). I remember it was in Charlotte, it was hot, we had grass seats and we sat on a multi-colored checkered blanket. I was very young so I only remember snapshots of the show but since then I have had a soft spot for Mr. Bolton.
So yes. Michael once had outrageous curly, weird, blonde hair. It looked like he stuck is finger in a socket one too many times. But people...it was his trademark and it worked. When you think of Michael Bolton, you think of ridiculous curly hair.
But people...I challenge you to take a journey with me into the world of Michael.

Look past the cheesy, 90's videography. Look past his mane. Look past the terrible jacket, fake fire, halfway open shirt and tight jeans. Scratch that...we can keep the tight jeans.
But seriously, listen to his voice. That man can sing. Amen and Amen.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

About a man...

This is the speech I wrote for my grandpa's funeral a little over two years ago. Speaking at his funeral, recounting his life and talking about the man I knew as grandpa is one of the greatest memories I have. As you can see, his life was one of stuggle, addiction and finally redemption....

"Today we are not mourning the death of Raymond Eugene Pressley. We are celebrating the life he lived and his reunion with our Heavenly Father. 

Grandpa was a proud man, serving three years in the United States Marine Corp, spending 13 months in the Korean War.

In his early days, he was fond of having friends over and cooking out. He was the master of the grill serving up grilled steaks and baked potatoes. He retired from Town and Country Ford inCharlottewhere he was given the responsibility of opening the service department and closing it down. While at Town and Country he met some of his greatest friends. During his brief stay in a nursing home about three months ago, dementia had already settled into the depths of his mind, he constantly yelled out random names including “Momma” and “Pinkie”. We explained who these people were to the nurses. However, the nurses were puzzled when he would yell out “Lonzo! Lonzo!” but we knew what he meant. Alonzo was one of his greatest friends at Town and Country Ford. Ultimately, he was devoted to his friends, family and his career. 

He was proud of his children, David a Union County Police Officer, his daughter-in-law Tammy who he fondly called “Slammin’ Tammy,” his daughter Beth, a Registered Nurse, his son-in-law Chris who helped take care of him in the last year of his life.

 Grandpa also found tremendous joy in his grandchildren. His oldest grandson Drew followed in the footsteps of his uncle, becoming a Horry County Police Officer. Grandpa lovingly called Drew’s wife Heather “Half Pint”. There is Brandon whom he called “Bran-Man”. He is graduating this year and attendingCentralPiedmontCommunity College. Katelyn was his little girl who he called “Katie-Pooh”. She is also graduating this year and attending Coastal Carolina University. 

To Brandon and Katelyn, I want you two to know that Grandpa will be walking with you across the stage as you graduate. He is so proud of you as we all are. 

Then there is me a Graduate student at USC. He rarely called me Jessica preferring to affectionately mispronounce my name as “Jessic-er”. 

He was elated when he was able to visit his sister Jennie Mae and his brother Harold around Christmas time. Out of 8 children these were the remaining three. After the visits, he couldn’t stop talking about the joy that the visits brought him. 

Grandpa lost two of the most important people early in his life His first son, Raymond Eugene Pressley, Jr. died at a mere 13 months old and even though my nana Gwen or as he called her “Pinkie” and him divorced many years before, he came to see her right before she died of lung cancer in 1993 and never stopped loving her. 

Her death marked a milestone in my grandfather’s life. It was the time when he put down the bottle and picked up his heart and life. He became the model grandfather, teaching us all how to drive…which may be the reason for my lead foot. He was always willing to play a game of blackjack or Uno and told us stories of his time in the Marines, stories that we hold dear to our hearts. 

He had many sayings which probably wouldn’t make sense unless you knew him. After drinking a cold drink he would exclaim “Woo Woo Welches”. He would speak random Korean words that he learned in the service, one being “Ichiban”. When saying hello to someone he would say “Hello Wall”. This saying finally made sense when he was at the nursing home. He was a speed racer in his wheel chair and would bump into a wall and exclaim “Hello Wall”. Finally, he would say “Guess what”. We would ask him “What?” He would grin and affectionately say “I love you”. 

And lets not get started on his Gomer Pyle references…all he needed to do was look in the mirror. At the end of his life he spent most of his time watching Gunsmoke, Andy Griffith, Bonanza and Hogans Heros.

These are only a few of his many stories that we will always keep with us. He learned how to slow down and appreciate the smaller things in life and in doing so taught all around him how to do the same thing. 

Overall, his life is a testimony to how our Lord can deliver and set free a person’s soul giving them a new lease on life. As he left this world he smiled his Raymond smile, letting us know that he was entering the arms of our Father.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A little about Pop

The wound is still fresh. Scarcely, scabbed over with God’s salve. My own grandfather passed away April 30, 2009 and a few short months later I met Pop, Joseph’s grandfather.

Pop passed away last night, in the presence of his wife, Nonny. It was a swift and peaceful death, no suffering or prolonged hospital stays.

 Joseph always echoed, “I wish you knew Pop when”. When he would take them to Clemson games, take them fishing. When he would whistle “How Great Thou Art” in the car with his own unique arrangement.

But I feel lucky to have known him at all, to have spent two years getting to know him and his lovely bride, Nonny. What I know of him is only a pinprick in his life.

I know on June 1, 1952, he married his wife, Maxine. Together, they raised four children together and were married almost 59 years. (Next week would have been their 59th anniversary).

He was the former director of Charleston County Mental Health Clinic, Deputy Commissioner for S.C. Dept. of Mental Health for Community Mental Health Services for 15 years. During his tenure the number of Community Mental Health Centers increased from one to seventeen. He served as Psychiatric Services Chief for TriCounty Mental Health Center in Bennettsville, Director of the "Rose Center" at the Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg, and Special Consultant for Medicare Certification Program for NIMH.

He  was a pioneer in the field of autism, receiving the "Professional of the Year" award from the National Society for Autistic Children in 1975. In 1981 the S.C. Society for Autistic Children named their award "Raymond E. Ackerman Professional of the Year". He was honored "Distinguished Life Fellow" by the American Psychiatric Association in 2003. He was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha (Honor Medical Society).

He was known for his love of Clemson football and his sweet tooth. Every time I visited, (sometimes sporting a USC Gamecock t-shirt, just to tease him a little) he would have a twinkle in his eye and friendly bantering would ensue. There was always a bowl of candy on the kitchen table (it was the good stuff…he had a hankering for Reece’s peanut buttercups and Twix bars).

I have many fond memories of him, besides the ones listed above. Sitting and listening to his stories (which is always the greatest thing an older person can give to a younger person), rubbing lotion on his legs when he was in the hospital, scratching and rubbing his back and my favorite…hearing him tell me how happy he was to have me in the family. Those words meant so much. He made me feel completely welcome and at home.

Another memory is the way he looked at Nonny. Their love story is one that will stand through time. It was rare, beautiful and a love that we all should try to achieve in our marriages and relationships.

It was a joy to see Nonny laugh amongst tears, last night, while stories were shared about Pop and it was utterly heartbreaking to see her hug him one last time as we left the hospital.

 I am sure I will edit this post as I gather more information about this awesome man, father and pop.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Jamaican-Me-Crazy Sirloin Steak

You need to walk out side, heat up your grill and make these steaks. If you don't want a 12 oz steak (who does?) You can certainly use 8-6oz steaks.

Do it....do it.

4-12 oz steaks

46 oz. pineapple juice
1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar
2 cups soy sauce
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup cider vinegar

¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon garlic salt or two teaspoons fresh, crushed garlic
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper for a kick!

Mix together all ingredients (except the steak of course). Reserve one cup of marinade liquid. Place remaining marinade into a large, ziplock bag

Tenderize steaks by pounding them with a mallet or by using a spiked tenderizer.

Place steaks in marinade and smush (don’t you love that word? Smush…Smush…Smush.) Sorry…I get carried away. But seriously, work the marinade into all those holes you just made in your beautiful steaks. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Use this time to pause, reflect and heat up that grill.

Brush grill with olive oil and place steaks on the grill. Cook until medium (or however you like ‘em!). Drizzle a tablespoon of reserved marinade on top of steaks, place on platter. Try not to eat them before placing them on your table. That would be bad…very bad.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's been so long...since I've seen your face

10 points to anyone who names that tune.

SO it has been a while since the last post. A lot and nothing has gone on. My birthday came and went along with Easter.

My birthday was a magical one. My first birthday being a married woman...and my husband did not disappoint. The night started with a surprise visit to Al's Upstairs, a swanky Italian restaurant located in West Columbia. Al's has a beautiful view of downtown Columbia.

 I had the mixed grill (filet migon, salmon and lamb, anyone?) It was unbelievable and worth every penny. Joseph had Chicken Charleston...which was some sort of chicken. It was okay. It didn't touch my mixed grill. We ended with cheesecake. A ginormous piece at that...I didn't want to share with Joseph. It was so good, so rich and creamy. Almost sinful.

After the cheesecake, my husband decided it would be a marvelous idea for us to walk the riverwalk. I, however, did not think it was a good idea as I was in 3-inch heels and my stomach was full of cheesecake. We walked about 5 minutes before the complaining started and Joseph relunctantly headed back to the car.

We then took an interesting tour around downtown Charleston. We took a left...then another left....then another left and ended up back where we had started (at the State House). I was completely and utterly confused as to why we circled the block. We then headed over to the Flying Saucer where my hubs had set up an intimate surprise party with my favorite people. I wish I would have gotten a group shot!

I will leave you with this pic:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Here's looking at you, kid...

Monday night was date night. It was filled with pork chops that never seemed to be done (thanks to a faulty thermometer) and one of these:

Yes, that is a Sonic ice cream sundae. I ate the whole thing and I don't feel guilty about it. I may have felt a bit sick after scarfing down all the fudge at the bottom.

After the sundae we went to TJMaxx to get a movie. Did you know that they had movies? I didn't until last weekend while I was browsing around. I saw a shelf of movies and they had Casablanca. I made a mental note of the movie (and the price). So Tuesday night we drove by TJMaxx to pick it up.

You see, it was only a year or so ago that I first saw the iconic movie and Joseph had never seen it. Of course I had heard the usual lines, "Here's looking at you, kid",  "We'll always have Paris", "Of all the gin joints in all the towns, in all the world, she had to walk into mine" and of course "Play it again, Sam". (Actually that last line is never said in the movie but people always quote it as such...how's that for Funday Wednesday Trivia?)

Watching this movie made me think: What other great, classic, maybe even less known films from this era am I missing out on? There are so many wonderful qualities about movies made before 1960: the classic beauty, the gorgeous costumes, the absence of nudity and most of all the love story. I mean, even Lily Munster was gorgeous!

Exhibit A:

Also, I wonder why we never talk like the characters in old movies. I may be wrong, but the female lead seems to always have this breathy, slightly English accent with a knack for fainting on a whim. When was the last time you had a good swoon?

So, this begs the question: What are some great films of the 20th century?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Published Work

I have nothing to write about today. Rather, I don't feel like writing so I am going to post one of my older pieces.

This work was written after a date with a guy that I had been seeing on and off since I was 13. I met him at the skating rink and we dated for a bit. You know how young "love" goes. Over the next eight years we would talk, on and off. We would get together and hang out, go to pool halls, hang out at his friends' houses.

This was one of those nights.The night I realized I was wasting my time, my life and my integrity. Everything that night was very vivid and while this story is fiction, some of the imagery and events have a truth.

I was very embarrassed by this story for the longest time. In 2006, I submitted this story to one of my professors at Coastal Carolina University and he urged me to submit it to the literary/art magazine, Archarios. The submission deadline had passed so I didn't see a point but he persisted and after a few phone calls it was submitted.

This piece ended up taking first place in literary works for the magazine. I was surprised, to say the least. It is amazing, though, how God works things like that out. I was about to leave to go on a mission trip to Africa and needed some extra funds in order to go. The prize for first place was $200 and it was greatly appreciated.

Above the cash prize was the honor of having a published work. I have never had a creative piece published and while it was on a small-scale, I still felt like I had accomplished something huge (especially after reading the words of the other authors that had written for that magazine. Incredible talent.)

I will give a disclaimer that there may be some inappropriate wording...be warned :)

So without further adieu.....



I arrive at your car. The walk consisted of a series of nervous fidgets and sideways glances that keep me from looking at you. I get in and make sure that I shut the door in a lady-like manner, thinking that you care. I reach for the seatbelt...my fingers never grasp it and I know it is not there because it is cool not to wear seatbelts so why have them. Yet I keep reaching trying to find something that will save me from you. You start the car and my ears no longer work. I look at you and your lips are moving but no sound comes out. You are drowned out by the beats and turntables of the little box under your dash. So I smile and laugh and pretend I heard everything you said. You smile back and grab the gear shift and we are gone.

     I stare out the window looking past the tiny wet bubbles that ambush the window and distorts everything on the outside world. These new glasses that I am looking through make the road lights look like stars and I cannot tell a difference between the two. I look over at you and cross my legs. I move them slightly closer to the center console hoping you will notice and lay your hand on my knee. Of course you don't so I take it personal and again look out the window into this new vague world. You turn the music down and say something about stopping to get cigarettes and I say "yeah cool". But it isn't cool. I hate cigarettes and the way they make you smell. Especially when you kiss someone…yeah…like I am going to get a kiss from you.

      It takes you a second to turn the volume dial back up to 11 and another second to pull into the BP. You leave the car running as you run into the gas station to get your cigarettes. I watch as you tell the clerk what you want and you laugh together and then look out at me and wink. I see your mouth form the words "Thanks man" and you turn and walk out the door. I take a deep breath and brace myself for when you enter the car. I put my best southern belle smile on so you will think I am having a great time with you so far.

      When we are back on the road you pack your cigs then ask me to open them and light you one up. So I do…the taste of the cigarette bitter in my mouth. I then have the urge to kiss you, to make you taste me. I refrain and hold back a cough and hand the cigarette back to you. My eyes are watering from the smoke and you look at me and ask if I am alright. The southern belle smile returns and I nod yes and say something witty about how my contacts are bothering me. You know I don't wear contacts.

       So we are driving to a little bar and the whole time I am worried that I won't be able to get in seeing as how I am 20 and underage. You always know someone who will get me in and they don't care if I drink. We park and go in and of course you know someone and that someone gives us a pitcher of beer and we set up at a vacant pool table. We play a few rounds…flirting with each other over beer fumes and cigarette smoke. I bend over to make a shot and your stick magically appears to hit my backside and I turn around with the same flashy smile and bat my eyes and hope that you see I am tipsy. So I make my shot and miss and I say something cute about not being able to handle balls. I play with my cup of beer while you are making your shot and take a long sloppy drink and act like it is water. Guys always say that beer starts to taste like water after a few drinks…I still do not believe them. You make a few shots and get all of the balls. There is nothing left on the table except the white. It looks so pure an innocent with little hints of blue just like me.

       You get tired of playing the "pointless" game and make your way over to the dart board. Bullseye. You do not ask me to follow so I stand there looking around for an escape feeling awkward in my own skin. I catch your eye and you give me a nod as to say, "Get over here". So I waddle over acting as if I'm fine. But you see the glassiness of my eyes and you know if you work hard…that you will get what you want.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

On feeling aimless

Since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of achieving something huge. Over the course of my 25 (almost 26, yikes!) years I have wanted to be a teacher (age 9), a veterinarian (age 13), a writer (age 13-present), an actress (all ages). I had dreams and aspirations but I never mapped out a plan to get there. I always fielded life as it came to me, no matter how hard it was hit or fast it came at me.

I decided on my bachelor's degree major while I was in college. Going from undeclared to business (yeah, right...me a business major) to finally my first love, English. I am so incredibly happy with the education I obtained and the things I learned through the English Department at Coastal Carolina University. I met some amazing professors (Lecouras, Albergotti, Ennis) that refined not only my writing but my way of thinking and processing. Though everything was fine and dandy in the land of English, there really aren't exciting opportunities waiting to jump out at you.

So then I meandered to a Master's degree in Mass Communication. Besides the friends I met through the process, I was not impressed. $30,000 worth of student loans later, here I am. Sitting at my desk, drinking a mug of coffee generously made by my loving husband (because let's face it. He makes great coffee), doing work that has NOTHING to do with either of my degrees, wondering what I am doing with my life.

In the last four years I have obtained two degrees, married an amazing man, moved to a different city and found a job that most would kill for yet I am unimpressed. I feel mislead, confused and simply bored.

I try to think of my passions, what I am good at. I attempt to think of my dream job but all I see are visions of me on a beach with a radio and a fruity drink.

So what will satisfy? Becoming a mother? Traveling to a different country? Learning a new hobby? Writing a book, perhaps?

All sound amazing. All seem to be sparkly and pretty on the outside. I know, however, that each of the things above, all of my aspirations are temporary. They would bring impermanent satisfaction only to leave me wanting more. Needing more.

So what brings satisfaction? Happiness? Accomplishment?

I think I know.

Friday, March 18, 2011

On having a Super-Husband

I know that most of you, especially those of you who are married, think that your significant other is the greatest.

Well...I am sad to say that I may have the GREATEST-EST husband ever.

I have never really stopped to truly enjoy his strength, talents and creativity. But while looking around the house I came to realize just how talented he really is.

He is an awesome brewer, making many different styles of beers including stouts, sours, IPAs, rye ales and the list goes on (with the help of his friend Matthew). He is an amazing drummer and djembe player. I wish he would play more.

He is an avid disc-golf player, though I will admit that he hasn't played a lot lately as he chooses to spend time with me. But he gets out there on his day off and really has a great time!

He is also so talented around the house. Since we have been together he has: re-tiled the floor, replaced the 1940's Harvest Gold toilet, re-finished the Harvest Gold bathtub and replaced the vanity in the guest bathroom.

If that isn't enough, he has also tacked up the cabinets and pulled down wallpaper in the kitchen, painted the living room a nice shade of Macadamia Nut (aka beige), wired up the surround sound, pulled the fireplace cover off (it was a not-so-pretty gold), scrubbed our unsealed tile floors because they were driving me bananas, painted our bathroom, primed our ceiling for painting, cleaned the garage, raked leaves in the front yard, made a fire pit in the backyard.....the list goes on.

I can barely catch my breath listing all the things that he has done as an act of service. I could not imagine doing half of the things that he has accomplished and if I did attempt them it would look like a 2nd grader was allowed in the house to wreak havoc.

I am so grateful for such a loving, forgiving, sacrificing husband who is a leader through and through. I know much of it comes from the way he saw his parents interact growing up and I am so grateful. The majority of it comes from his relationship with Christ who gives him strength, grace and most of all unconditional love.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Doing Church

Church is a verb.

Yes, yes...I know. Church is also a building, a denomination, the clergy and a body of believers. Church has many definitions but there is one that I never knew existed. A definition that encompasses a community of believers in action, living life together.

Church is more than going to a building every Sunday, sitting down, standing up to sing, bowing your head during prayer and thinking about the football game that is coming on later and listening to a preacher man drone on about hell, fire and brimstone.

Church is about giving yourself freely to your Church family and the community that you live in. It is about washing each other's feet, giving up the shirt on your back, praying with fellow believers and making things happen to help your fellow-man.

Most of all church is about sharing the Gospel - the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and what that means for humankind.

Church is about family. Church is about love. Church is about Christ.

This past Sunday at church was a little different from the normal service we have. It was a night of worship, scripture and prayer. The Church was challenged to get out of their seat and pray for their neighbor. The service portrayed, to me, what Church is supposed to be.

We get so caught up in "playing the role" each Sunday. You know, the one where we plaster on a fake smile and tell everyone: "I'm doing fine!" When really, you feel as if your life is falling apart. A beautiful thing about Church is that you don't have to be okay all the time. You can come broken, scarred and upset. After all, Christ did say: "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28.

It's real. It's encouraging. It's living life with a community.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

On writing...

Writing used to be a hobby of mine. One that brought much creativity and joy to my life. Over the past couple of years my pen has barely scratched a piece of paper with letters of meaning. I have come to a point in my life where I am not quite sure where my joys lie, besides in Christ.

I have had many hobbies over the years, writing, sewing, a brief stint of knitting, acting, backstage hand, piano...the list goes on. While many of these I have enjoyed and proved to be quite good at I wasn't passionate about any of them. In an endeavor to find a passion, I have begun reading my writings of old. Some of them make me jerk back in disgust thinking, "what was I thinking when I wrote that?" while others bring back fond memories of sitting on the front porch with paper and pen in hand, the breeze gently brushing my face.

Here is one of those writings, written during a Creative Writing class at Coastal Carolina University. I don't remember what prompted this piece but I do remember reading it in front of the class, feeling proud and accomplished. It is untitled, written in 2007.

And they come and go like seasons,
Coming in and out, changing the way
Life is viewed and decisions are made.

And you, bright tranquility that
Contains me in rain showers and mud puddles,
Splashing in endless new life and bliss.

And raging forth in the sun,
You dance along the aqua coast,
Beckoning me to follow the lines of salt.

And the tragic beauty of browns and red,
Leave you bare and naked,
Taking your dignity and hope

And on the brink of freezing,
You lie on the cold hard earth,
Frozen, staring into the black.

Yet who are you? Season of mine,
that breaks between the saltiness of summer
and death of winter. You are middle ground
and I say to you: pass me by; leave me here.

On this sandy shore to mock
the seagulls that land and stay.Never migrating though the cold is near.




Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shine it all around

So lately I have been listening to a beautiful song written by Warren Barfield. The late Keith Green recorded the song and apparently made it popular. Sad thing is: I had never heard of Keith Green until I heard this song.
My wonderful husband and his friend Matthew spent about ten minutes explaining the impact that he made on the gospel music industry.
As Joseph, my husband, put it: "He was a Jesus Freak before being a Jesus Freak was cool."

For me, the song, "Oh Lord, You're Beautiful" has a tremendous amount of significance. I wish I could put into words the meaning this song holds for me. Maybe one day I will. Until then, I will leave you with the video as well as the lyrics to this song.

Oh Lord, you're beautiful,
Your face is all I seek,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

Oh Lord, you're beautiful,
Your face is all I seek,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

I want to take your word and shine it all around.
But first help me to just, live it Lord.
And when I'm doing well, help me to never seek a crown.
For my reward is giving glory to you.

Oh Lord, please light the fire,
That once burned bright and clear.
Replace the lamp of my first love,
That burns with Holy fear

I want to take your word and shine it all around.
But first help me to just, live it Lord.
And when I'm doing well, help me to never seek a crown.
For my reward is giving glory to you.

Oh Lord, you're beautiful,
Your face is all I seek,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.
Oh Lord, you're beautiful,
Your face is all I seek,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A long time coming

It has been 2 months since I have written anything besides a quick note in a birthday card, a grocery list, invitations to a baby shower and a quick note on my hand with a sharpie marker to remind me to pick up the produce basket (which I forgot to do).
It has been 2 months or 62 days since I have felt any sort of creativity. It is still lacking.

However, a lot has happened in 2 months, which is usually how it goes. Christmas came and went, as did New Years. I buried my self in watching the past five seasons of Bones instead of doing laundry or cleaning the house. I have since caught up on said housework. We had two amazing snow days which rarely occur in South Carolina. I have stepped out of my box and have started building relationships with smart, witty and creative couples.

The most amazing thing, though, was welcoming my first nephew into the world.

Jackson Drew Edwards was born at 3:09 p.m. on February 17, exactly a week after his daddy's birthday. He came into the world five weeks early and gratefully everything about him is perfect. Weighing in at 5 pounds and being a whopping 19 inches in length, Jackson had a full head of hair, long fingers and toes and the most beautiful face.

I never expected to feel any emotion besides happiness upon seeing Jackson. From the moment I laid eyes on him, I was in love. When I held him, the world stopped and all I could do was gaze at his little face in awe. I can only imagine what Heather and Drew felt when they first held their son.

While Joseph and I live 2 hours away from Drew, Heather and Jackson, I anticipate the joy of watching him grow up. I cannot wait to rejoice in his little triumphs of taking his first steps and saying his first words. I cannot wait until Joseph and I have children so little Jackson will have a cousin to grow with.

To Jackson: You are such a miracle. You have already brought a tremendous amount of joy to so many lives. I cannot wait to watch you grow. When you are older I will tell you stories about your dad and what he was like as a child. I hope that you grow strong in character and in faith.