Friday, March 13, 2009


I absolutely love learning new things and reading all kinds of books. When it came to college, that was just not my thing. I didn’t enjoy the whole process and I could not wait to be done.

This was many moons before I knew Joe, but he was a student at SFA and he was a geography major. What would he do with a geography degree? Well, that’s why he decided to go back to school two years ago and get his finance degree. God lead him to a private catholic college in Colorado that offered online courses that went along with their courses on campus. It is a great university and was the perfect fit for our family.

Let me tell you. Joe has worked his butt off. Even now as I type this, I get that lump in the back of my throat and my eyes fill with water thinking of the blood, sweat and tears he left on that keyboard. He managed to have a full time job (in a completely new industry), be a full time amazing husband, the best full time dad, and go to school FULL TIME! He amazes me. Not one ball dropped.

After almost two years, IT IS FINISHED! Oh, and we celebrated!

Last weekend, I surprised the hubs with our first post-baby night away. We went to Dallas and got to worship at Gateway (oh the oasis!).

Then, we invited Joe’s three closest friends/mentors in the Dallas area over- John, Jason and Monty, for what started to be a little cake. If the Graves are involved (which I should have known this), then they give lavishly and do things BIG! It ended up being steak dinner and a shower of wonderful wisdom and gifts.

The family.

Jason and Bella

The Durham Crew!

Thank you all for encouraging us along the way and celebrating the end with us- you truly helped capture the moment and propel us forward into all that God is calling us to. Afterwards, Joe said that it was one of the most special nights and it really blessed him.

I pray the Lord returns it to you 100 fold.

Last but definitely not least, we headed to the Hilton at Southlake! In other words, if you are a “Bachelor” watcher, it is off to the “fantasy suite” (except he's not a bachelor, HE'S MINE!).

This is where "The Bachelor" shuts the door...


So as I mentioned before, this season has had so many sweet moments- ones that I will forever cherish. At the same time, the last year has been one that I did not see coming. Its like that slap in the face when you didn't even know that something was the matter (trust me, I know there are i-s-s-u-e-s that God is dealing with in me; I just didn't know that He was going to have to take me out into the middle of nowhere to deal with them :) glory.

I have been open about the trials that this season has blessed me with and I really don't think that I have been trying to hide it. Let me just tell you though... something happened. Something glorious happened after I told the blogging world all about it. You all must have been praying some vigilant prayers for us country folk. There has been MAJOR breakthrough.

I have even cried, not just once, but twice in thanksgiving to God for bringing us out here. Yes, you heard that right, I have cried about being thankful for being out here. Crazy.

I wanted to update you and thank you my sweet and dear friends for holding up our arms, loving us wherever we live, and for standing with us for God to get some serious glory out of all this. I do not want to waste even one sweat droplet; I'm sowing them all!

Monday, March 9, 2009

He Thinks My Mower Is SEXY! :)

We had a fabulous weekend and I can't wait to tell you all about it. First, for this...

I have always had this affinity for mowing. I would beg my mom to let me mow the yard and most of the time she would tell me that it was my brother's job. My job was cleaning the bathrooms (boo- hiss!)

Since we moved out here, I have been asking to mow the yard! When we got home yesterday, we set out to have a family fun-work day (i.e. making work fun by doing it together :) Anyways, Joe said that he would get the yard started and let me finish. To my personal glee, he left me one whole side- yeehaw!

I have never driven a riding mower, but I figured it would be a lot like a car. No way, it reminded me of the wii. If you have ever played it, you know that if you barely touch it one way or the other, it is very sensitive. When I first hopped onto that John Deere, I felt like I was playing some mowing game on the wii. I was swerving and making S's all over the yard. Joe and I were laughing so hard. After a few minutes, I kind of got the hang of it.

I may or may not have swiped one of the bricked flower beds. Oops!

Afterwards, I asked Joe what he thought of my mowing skills. He said that he had gone out to the driveway 3 or 4 times trying to flag me down and get my attention to no avail. He then suggested, "For a minute I thought you were getting the ball park ready for opening day for the Rangers you were so intense."

I take my job seriously. Does anyone need me to mow? :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Party planning is not my thing, its His!

I can't believe I'm hoping for an early exit from the fire when I can't even get this one down- I might as well pull up a chair. Hope it doesn't burn my butt.

My first little birthday party to plan for my first child. Scary.

You would have thought from the way that I was approaching his first birthday party that I was helping to plan Obama's inauguration or something. Seriously. I brainstormed and researched and had all of options lined out.

After much deliberation I came up with an idea. Isaac LOVES books I thought we could go to the Barbara Bush Library in Houston.

I was talking to my dad a couple of weeks before the party and he was asking where we were having it at. He said, "THE LIBRARY!?! what are we going to do at the library? Are we going to whisper when we sing him Happy Birthday? Are we going to hang out in the history section? Did you tell Joe this idea?" He went on for close to 10 minutes with his antics. He had me crying and laughing so hard I couldn't breathe.

So I went back to the drawing board and solicited some advice. Unfortunately, I didn't solicit the best advice.

Fast forward to the day of the party. All day long I couldn't shake this nagging feeling in my stomach. We all met at the park and we were going to have lunch and play. It was 80 degrees the day before the party but Saturday morning it was a f-r-i-g-i-d 50s. Too cold for little man to play. The only thing that frigid weather is good for in Houton is that it keep the humidity at arms length and prevents your hair from being one massively large frizz ball. After our family stood around for 30 minutes freezing, we decided to move the party to my dad's house. My favorite part was having our family there to celebrate with us.

Then, yesterday morning, I was praying and I asked Him what was going on with the party. And then it hit me. I didn't include HIM! All of that time planning without including the Creator of my baby boy and the One who invented birthday parties. Forgive me Lord for not including you in the things that I think I have to do and miss out on the fun of You being right in the middle of it all!

To my little Isaac, I hope that next year mom will remember that- "Apart for Me, you can do nothing" (including birthday parties :)

Now for some pictures:



(My in-laws came and surprised us and brought our nice, Hannah. We are so excited they were there too! Here they are playing before the party- doesn't he look like a little toddler!?! Yikes!)

My sis, Steph.

His cute cousin, Thomas.

I love this picture of my dad and him.

Wish I could have gotten more pictures but after we moved locations, it threw off my picture taking groove.

Angel Baby

Isaac, my "angel baby" as I call you. I can't think of two pictures that sum up the heart that I see in you.

You are strong, passionate, full of zeal and able to wield your sword.

You are also kind, love people, compassionate, and my sweet snuggler. When you look at people, you are discerning and you see who they really are.

I can't believe that you are one. I've had so much fun with you this last year. I know we have many more fun adventures ahead of us and can't wait for every single one of them.
Your dad and I are crazy about you. I hope you never doubt that for one second.