the little drummer boy.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

josh and i went to christmas town last night. i loved it. theme parks arent really joshs scene but it was definitely really different this time of year. the lights were absolutely beautiful. seriously. but im not so sure it was all worth it. it just made me want to be in europe- the real europe- and see the lights of paris all lit up or go to a real german christmas market. i think know one day we will do that though.

one day well have real pictures...

on the way home we listened to christmas music and drank starbucks drinks. mine was soy and just was not the same... maybe its in my head. anyways. the little drummer boy came on. the good version from the original claymation movie. i turned it way up and soaked it in. the song gives me chills and really makes me think.

the lyrics get me.

baby Jesus,
I am a poor boy too.
I have no gift to bring,
thats fit to give our King.

thats us. thats humans. that is why the Christmas miracle- the birth of Jesus- from a virgin- is so so so unexplainably beautiful. God- full knowing that humans have absolutely nothing fit to give Him- the King-comes down both fully God and fully human and takes us anyway. the begining of this clip, the man calls aaron, the little drummer boy, a ragamuffin [a poor, ragged disreputible person] that is what we all are. and Christmas is all about the fact that we have a God that loves us so much that he would send his son- himself- in the form of a little baby whos fate is to one day die and feel the entire weight of the world and all of our sins on his shoulders. all for us. how beautiful. and the little drummer boy goes before the King- little baby Jesus- and offers what he has. and in the end it says (talking about baby Jesus) "then he smiled at me." and thats the beauty of Gods grace. that we have nothing fit to give the King of Kings- yet he is pleased with his creation anyways.

i love love love that.

so i hope and pray that this holiday season will remind you of the grace and kindness. the fact that LOVE came down and conquered death for us. the Birth is the reason why we celebrate. celebrate the fact that your soul is alive because this little baby was born for you.

merry christmas from us both.



Friday, December 23, 2011

so its really warm out  the past few days. i love nice weather. but not at christmas time. i love the holidays. the smells. the lights. the hot cocoa. and especially the decor is my favorite. but this weather is killing me. i cant even wear boots its so warm. but my home looks like christmas so ill just go with that. ive had my home decorated since thanksgiving week. and since i still have this old computer and cant find my photo card adapter (hence no honeymoon pics yet) i decided to take a few pictures with my fancy smancy camera phone... okay my phone is no where near fancy and takes pretty awful pics but its better than nothing right?...

trader joes furn tree. i saw waterless snow globes on anthro and decided to make my own. i couldnt find trees so i used pinecones. and thought of making a snowman and candy cane heart on my own.

(i realize how blurry this pic is...sorry) this is our tree. yup. got it from the craft store. i think we improvised well.

here it is at night. i love it.

i LOVE christmas cards.

christmas isnt the same without cookies- and these are so good. his moms recipe.

we went pine cone picking one weekend.

i love vintage christmas tins. i get that from my mom.

 so thats most of our christmas apartment. i love it. it feels like home to me. a few things.

1. to make the snow globes i just hot glued cotton balls, pine cones, candy canes, and made a snow man and glued it all to the bottom of the lid. voila.
2. those cookies are to die for. but im not sure if it is a family recipe. so ill share if im allowed to one day. theyre a crowd pleaser!
3. katie hardy and i sewed stockings. yup. its true. here they are up close:

mine on the L and katies on the R.

cute right? i have been LOVING the neutral christmas houses ive seen on pinterest. so i decided that id make stockings. it was hard at first. but i LOVE the finished product. id share my "secrets" with you but honestly there are none. we just kind of did it. and it turned out pretty okay id say. i am hoping to get a sewing machine soonish. i find so much joy in making things. i think thats Gods character coming out in me...

were off to christmas town tonight at busch gardens. we found coupons and i found some extra work to pay for our visit... oh i cannot wait! i love christmasy things like that!



Monday, December 19, 2011

[well... done for now at least...]

we finished our finals and are now in down time. well, were working all week, but thats all and that is pretty "down" for us. i must admit it has not sunk in. i came home the past couple days and the thought "what homework tonight?" runs through my head. and then there is also no young life stuff for the next couple weeks. so i keep asking josh "wait. we really have nothing to do tonight?..." its true. we dont.

oh what JOY.

seriously. we are loving it. but i have let something steal my joy the past couple days. the fact that i didnt get those straight As i had hoped for so desperately. i got a B in microecon. im crazy. that class worked me so hard and most people- even business majors- fly by with hardly a C. i got a B. and that is insane for a non-math minded history major. i accomplished a really big hurdle. and now im not going crazy excited like buddy the elf when he finds out santas coming. its funny how we let things do that. we accomplish something and its not good enough. we get something and its not god enough. we are constantly letting this world, comparison, ideas, and other people steal our joy. i didnt get straight As. who cares? whats an A in microecon to me? i passed with flying colors, worked extremely hard, and feel quite accomplished in the fact that i didnt just memorize the questions and answers, but i actually have a fairly good concept of the course. i even think in economic terms now. like weighing my "opportunity costs" and saying things to people like "whats the marginal benefit?" kinda bugs me and then again kinda makes me feel smart. i got a B. and that is just right for me.

so note to self: "self- stop letting this steal your joy."

honestly- think about how often you do it, and it will scare you. im learning each day that my life is what it is. im living, breathing, have a husband who loves me enough to wake up early with me to help me get ready for work even though he doesnt work until later, a beautiful home in historic ghent, parents and in laws who love me dearly, and a  God who loves me enough to get down on my level and die for me.

what is your "this" ? whats stealing your joy?

JOY. find it in this season. and dont let anything steal it.

i found this on pinterest a while back and 
was reminded of it as i wrote this post


exams & hair.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

were in the midst of finishing up exam week. its not that crazy. its just long and mundane and i have microeconomic equations running out of my ears. were more than ready for this semester to be over and to enjoy the break. i love christmas time. by far one of my favorite times of the year. im ready to start some christmas traditions with each other and to be still and silent and not have fifty to-dos for school running through my mind. i like to-dos. they keep things interested and keep me from boredom. what i dont like is the to-dos i dont ever want to do. like homework, papers, and going to the bank. and so im ready to relax. craft some things up. watch its a wonderful life. drink hot cocoa-even if its 68 degrees out right now- bake cookies. and just enjoy each other.

exams will be over for me at 645 tomorrow night. i think it will take that long for this one, but after im home free. the pressure is on me though right now. i have straight As so far. i dont mean to brag. but i will anyways. this semester was hard. tough classes with a lot of work. especially microecon. i have a B in the class right now. i want an A desperately. it is possible which scares me. i dont want to let myself down. which is crazy because i was just trying to get a C in this class at the start of the semester. (its an extremely hard class.) so a B is a miracle in itself. but I want straight As. so we will see.

tuesday i cut my hair. i mean cut cut. 12 inches. i had been thinking about it for a while. but kinda chicken and unsure. my friends formed teams- team short and team long. cutting your hair isnt a big deal- but it was for me. ive never liked my hair short. 9for the record, its not even short. its technically midlength. but compared to my old hair, its short) i did it. i donated it. i like it. i won't say i love it. but i do like it. just getting used to it. it feels god i will say that. no more nappy rats nest knot clumps in the back of my hair. it feels healthy and i like that.

off to study. sorry for the mundane post about exams and hair. i have a lot to share but too much on my mind to be really clear about it.

matts in the background.


be still.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

ironic title. the past five days have been a whirlwind of non-stop events and things to do for me. i had two papers and three assignments smack dab in the middle of a work crew weekend at rockbridge. monday therefore, was really hard- but i wont complain bc the weekend was too good. chesapeake had the opportunity to take  kids to fall weekend work crew. work crew is where you go to serve campers. youre given a job, a food server, store worker, cook, dish washer, or baker. it is fun- but hard. really hard. you wake up early, go to bed late, and you are just physically and mentally exhausted. its a rare opportunity to serve 850 kids, but we did it this weekend.

so friday i saddled up in my dads 8 passenger seqouia and drove to gbhs. i loaded up the suv with 7 girls plus myself and mountains of luggage and pillows. it was crazy. it was hard to drive such a big vehicle at night, but we made it. we were servers. my arms are spaghetti noodles if you didnt know. i was exhausted. but refreshed & at peace all at the same time. i cant tell you how amazing this weekend was. i literally cant. i took four girls from grassfield- leah, christine, daytona, and anna. they worked so hard and didnt complain and kept their spirits up. it was so great to work alongside them and be with them. for the first time this semester, i felt like i was supposed to be leading. which is a big deal for me. bc ive been waiting for some direction with that.

waiting is my enemy. so often were looking for the next thing. its like were never content to be in the now- this can be related to every day life and future stuff too. kind of like the whole wedding obsession that girls do. [yes. i did it too] you stir up this day "next big thing" in your head- like going to high school, or college, or graduating or getting a job, or marriage, or babies or retirement- whatever it is, your just sitting there twiddling your thumbs until you get to the next thing- and then when its gone your waiting for the next thing to give you direction. and that is not how we are called to live according to God.

be still and know that i am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted on the earth.
psalm 46:10

so if were just trying to configure it by ourselves- then there is no faith there that God is doing work in your life so that he might be exalted. it begs the question- do i have faith at all? if im not being still and content then no. im not putting faith in God at all. i read the other day about this kind of thing in my utmost for his highest. he says that when youve really let go entirely and you just are in the presence of God, then you experience pure peace and joy that no human can have on their own without God. 

so instead of trying to configure the next five years of my life, let alone the next week (exams coming up... eeek) which im notorious for. i am instead going to pray to learn to be still. and then actually try and do that. because this weekend, with no reserves and no expectations, proved that this is all true. if i just let go, and let God, then im free to live passionatly and endlessly and real life & joy will be given to me.

so... what are you waiting for? be still. be content. 

**heres some pics of these crazy girls from the weekend. i love them with all of my heart.
modeling of course. l to r: daytona, me, anna, leah, & christine.

myspace pose. annas really good at it.

girl group pic. cant tell you how much i love all of these girls.



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

this has been a bit of a crazy week for me- papers and tests galore, everyone is just trying to put a close on the semester. i am tired. but surprisingly in high spirits. i like that. i am not letting anything steal my joy today and i am loving it. not even a paper im not sure i did too hot on or studying my life away for microecon. im excited for hubby to come home from his class and eat some dinner and go to campaigners.

but i dont really want this post to be all about me. this past weekend josh and i ate breakfast at my parents house with my family- pumpkin cinnamon rolls, eggs, bacon sausage- the whole nine yards. it was delicous. and the last meal we will have eaten with jason my brother in law for a while. he is in the navy. he got back in july from a seven month deployment. and now he gone for another six months. this is not foreign to me- both my parents were in the navy and they went "out to sea" (as i used to say when i was little) for extended periods of time. jason and ashley are the parents of my perfect ring bearer from my wedding. ashley works at a doctors office. jaydon is super smart and wild and savannah is sweet whiney and sassy. i love them so much. i miss them lately- my busy schedule does not allow for much of any free time. i cannot imagine leaving them for seven months. and then again the same year for another six. another christmas gone. he missed their first steps when they were little, and missed them starting to talk more and more. of course he missed the bad stuff too- like bad behavoir, back talking, and constant trips to the potty. there are two of them- so that means double the bathroom visits, double the sass. but he missed milestones that will never happen again. and that is rough. being in the navy is not easy- i am not in any way trying to make this a political post- but its not easy. you are gone without your family for a long time and it hurts and can take a real toll on a family. you miss stuff when youre gone. the distance is painful.

so im asking you to please pray. please pray for jasons deployment. that he would feel loved no matter how far. that he would stay safe. please pray for my sister- who i am sure sometimes feels like a single mom. please pray she would have strength to make it through the months and that she would develop patience to the learning little ones. and please pray for little jaydon and savannah. that they would think about their daddy often and remember that he loves them very much and that they would be good.

i love my family. i really really do.
doug, jason, and josh... crazy boys.

proud momma after they were born (savannah)

savannah is a daddys girls 

Add caption

the happy bride & groom

before jason left for deployment after they were born


our first thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

sometimes i hate when i blog about what i did... its kinda mundane and boring....but this is like this... sorry- i promise it gets better at the end....

 week has been an answered prayer for us. tuesday night started our no schoolwork campaign and it doesn't end until sunday. we have rested so much and we are so thankful for that. after weeks of never ending school & work, we have found time to relax and just be together. it is strange how you notice how much you are missing when you take a step back to breathe and the fog clogging up your life disappears and youre free to just be. thats how its been for us this week. no fog. just us. we decorated our house for christmas on wednesday. it looks beautiful... ill take pictures soon... my computer can't upload right now. white lights over the huge window, a charlie brown christmas tree holding 5 ornaments, homemade snow globe mason jars, candles, and a couple vintage tins. my favorite thing might be the pinecones. we picked pinecones the other day. at the park and it was so much fun. i remember when i was little, we used to pick pinecones. im not sure what my mom used them for but i remember loving it. so now its a little tradition we will do. we spray painted them with sparkles and they are sitting in a bowl with cranberries and christmas tree clippings on our coffee table. i love christmas time. not so much the hustle and bustle and shopping. but the smell and cold and lights and trees.

so thursday we headed over to my parents house for thanksgiving. we ate a delicious pumpkin sausage casserole for breakfast. seriously my mom is the best cook ever. we saw happy feet 2 with my niece and nephew- not the best and kind of a weird plot- then relaxed while the turkey continued to cook. i made thumbprint christmas trees with button ornaments with jaydon & savannah. i miss them and wanted to do something fun with them. they turned out really cute i think. then we ate- turkey, ham, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatos, green bean casserole, rolls, and mac & cheese. for dessert- my mom made a pumpkin rolls, apple pie, and pecan pie. thanksgiving is no joke at my house. my mom made it all and it was so good. it makes me really excited for christmas dinner.

what i am thankful for most this week is being able to relax and be with my husband. not just live and do things with josh but to actually be with him. to enjoy each other. we havnt gotten to do that lately and we have been shown the importance of that this week.

"this too shall pass" has been non-stop running through my mind this week. i saw this phrase on a blog i love called under the sycamore. she put some fencing together and had on it "this too shall pass... be present." i think most people take that phrase as "its okay- hard times will go away." but i love the way she took it. as not just the bad stuuf, but the good stuff too. i realized that more than ever this week. we won't be newly weds forever. we wont be in school forever. and we wont have a first thanksgiving together ever again. it wont always be just us to worry about. this too shall pass. so more than ever i want to learn about and from josh. and just be with him- in the present. in the now.

i think you should too. enjoy the little moments. never take it for granted. and push through the hard ones- never take them for granted. it all will pass. be thankful for today- not whats coming up. so today i am thankful for another day of rest. and im not thinking of the total of twenty+ pages of papers i have to write in the next two weeks. but i am thankful for this day and this time with josh.

happy thanksgiving everyone.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

okay so here are some long over-do photos i promised from the photobooth. theyre pretty funny. if you were in one and i didnt post it, let me know and ill send you it stat.

but first quick update. i for some reason have all this spare time today and i am loving it. subbed half day. came home made lunch and took a little nap. so needed. the Lord has answered my prayer sooner than i thought and i am looking forward to thanksgiving and being with my family next week. also relaxing with josh. im going to try and finish a couple papers and assignments so that next wed-sunday is free and it will give us the little taste of freedom from school we have been longing for... then of course we have finals and such and then Christmas and relaxation will be upon us. cant wait for that.

also- did a little vamp up for the blog in my random spare time. im diggin it. grab my button if you care... im not sold on it but its def a work in progress.

**note here: this last portion is kind of mundane and useless to any blog readers... but i need to put it out there just in case anyone has any solutions...

another thing getting me down. my technology issues. my phone is haywire (kinda always has been but progressively worse as time goes on) and although it appears nice and i have kept it in pretty good shape, it is dumb. doesnt send texts when i have service. doesnt always let me know when i have a new text. turns off and on by itself. i mean the list goes on- one time josh was calling and it would only let me speak on speaker with him. i was at odu in the hall so everyone heard our convo. needless to say- i want it. yup. the iphone. maybe it is because a lot of my friends have them. but i love them. theyre reliable. plus who doesnt want to instagram all the time right? ...
but i said technology issues. plural. i cant decide if i need a new phone or laptop more. my laptop is a) a dinosaur b) missing the "B" button so it kinda hurts your finger when you type. c) heavy d) (heres the worst one) doesnt survive but 7 minutes without it being plugged into the charger. its slow and sometimes over heats. needless to say i want a macbook. (yes it did hurt to type that b just then.... and that last one too.) but lucky for me- student loans dont make sense and even though i am not living off my parents income anymore, my financial aid for this year is based on their income and i dont even get enough to cover my whole tuition. if anyone knows of anything i can do about my technology situations- id love to know.

okay the pictures...theres a lot...

steven & kaitlin.
 rob & jess.
 yl committee couples- the ngs & the wiggins.
 brandon & katie NASH. (they just got hitched in oct!)

 my in-laws- this is too cute/funny
 long time family friends- the geers
 some of my favorite boys- one whos my most favorite.
 [no words.]
 just married- being silly.
 cute ladies
 more cute ladies.
 my MD family- known since 1997
 cail & jimmy
 best friend for life
 we coordinate really well...
 the band.
 the in-laws.
 the siblings.
 my beautiful bridesmaids.
love these ladies.

the end. thats the last of the wedding photos for you... enjoy your weekend everyone "this time shall pass" so dont waste it as libby has been learning/teaching.


i hope you dance.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

so ive been learning a lot in this time of crazy busy life. its no coincidence i know- God is using this time to teach me patience and to teach me to dance. so this past march someone told me this analogy for life and it has stuck with me like the skin on my bones. this is how ive been feeling.

most people consider their lives with christ a walk. you always here "how are you doing in your walk with christ." well i cant shake this feeling of a dance. of my dance with christ. and this is how it goes:

so if life is like a dance- you start out in search of the perfect dance partner. this is looking to things like- school, boys, girls, drugs, the american dream, being prosperous, accomplishing things, money -whatever it is youre looking for it to complete your dance. but those partners suck. maybe for a little bit or split second those dance partners feel right but they dont ever work. they step on your feet dozens f times and eventually your toes bleed and you find yourself on the floor.
then when you find Jesus- you find that he is the perfect dance partner. he is it. thats what youve been searching for. the perfect match. and when you start out in this dance with him- its free and graceful and you feel like youll never stop. its ballet and beautiful and breath-taking and feels almost as if youre dancing in the air. its remarkable.
but were still in this broken and sinful world so life is not perfect- even a life with christ isnt perfect, its just easier becasue heres why:
the dance goes on even when you cant. we hit these hard rocky terrains and hills and mountains in this dance. mountains of trash we have to dance over. through crowded forests and through rivers and streams. it gets tough. but we still dance. and it gets tiring. things get hard. and you want to give up. and when this happens jesus invites us to stand on his feet while he dances. like a daddy to his little girl. and then things get harder sometimes. unexpected life. and jesus invites us to rest in his arms at our lowest points. jesus carries us through all of this- the trash, the mountains, the streams. the dance continues, were just being carried by him.

this makes my tears fall and heart burst. its all so real. this life. lately i feel like this season is beautiful- im young, married, and in love with my home and my husband. but its really tough. its beating down on me more than ever. and so were dancing over this mountain. the scenery is beautiful. yet its really tough. and jesus is carrying me the whole way. so im trying to take it all in. and allow myself the joy the Lord offers me.

and so my encouragement would be that i hope you dance. i hope and pray you dance and know who youre dancing with. jesus says, "Come tome, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11: 28-30. 
who will you choose to dance with today?

our first dance. it was so blissful and beautiful. were still dancing today- its just tougher and jesus is carrying us.


youre beautiful.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

this past weekend at rockbridge we sang this song. and i am in love with it. im listening to it on repeat. its by phil wickham and the song gives me chills. heres a little listen for you.

the lyrics are so simple and so true.

I see your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say... You’re Beautiful

I see your pow’r in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
Its all proclaiming who you are... You’re beautiful

I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are setting on your heavenly throne
Soon you will be coming home... You’re Beautiful

When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing... You’re Beautiful

the song does such a wonderful job of explaining some of the characteristics of God. beautiful. surrounding. powerful. mighty. compassionate. life-giving.

and that last little section. gives me so many chills. remember that time i walked down the aisle? and i look back and think about the fact that it will happen to me again one day. and this song explains this. its a reality and what a beautiful day that will be. i pray you know this too. that theres something greater out there thats going to happen one day. because the love that jesus had for me and for you, we get to be his bride and join him in everlasting life. sometimes i think i know that in my head but dont always feel it in my heart. but its going to happen and its going to be glorious. 

i imagine it a lot like july 24. because that day i never felt closer to jesus. and i wore the prettiest dress possible. and  i felt more beautiful than ever. and i thinks that because jesus lives in me and wanted to show a a little tiny piece of what that would look like.

imagine for yourself. just for a minute today. think about what the Lord has done for you and the fact that the most beautiful day in your life will be the day you walk to him on eternity's shore.

 the joy on this day and in this moment above is only a taste of what it will actually be like.


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