Sunday, January 27, 2013

Time to make the donuts!

When your baby sister turns 30 and claims she wants a "donut cake", then you get up and get the girl some donuts.  Daddy took the boys and I to Krispy Kreme, which to us southerners is the ONLY kind of donut there is.  

Every good southerner knows what this sign means!!  It means they are makin' the donuts and you can  get em' hot off the line!  We went inside to see just what they were up to.  Making donuts is precise and nowdays, very automated but also fascinating.   

First, the dough is stamped out into circles and placed on this conveyor belt to rise.
 It is then flipped into the oil for a little golden brown coloring.
At precisely the right time, the donut is flipped to the other side to finish the cooking process.

 Lincoln is not so sure about waiting on these fresh donuts.  He thinks those chocolate ones in the case will be JUST fine!

 The donuts go up a ramp for cooling before going under the shower of glaze to perfect the process.
 They round the corner to be placed in boxes but when you're standing in line, THIS is where they load up your sisters birthday donuts!

 They come in many flavors and varieties but to me there's nothing better than a "HOT now donut!"
 And what could be better than 2 dozen donuts for your 30th birthday?  Good thing she's willing to share!  Here's to turning 29 next year because her being 30 just makes me 3 years older too.  Boo!

Snowy Morning, Sunny Afternoon

It was a week of COLD RAIN in January.  On Thursday, the temps dropped just below freezing long enough to produce an hour of big fluffy snowflakes!  We were visiting my parents and they boys wasted no time heading out to play.  We had to hats or mittens with us but that didn't stop these two, er, three.  Little Lucy loved the snow just as much as another baby girl I once knew.  Roxy always loved running around crazy in the NC snow and Lucy was no different.     

 We all caught snowflakes in our mouth and on our eyelashes.  I did finally get them to stop and let me make adorable photos of them but as usual, it came with a fair amount of threatening.  By afternoon the snow was LONG gone and it warmed up so much, you hardly needed a coat outside.  Only in Alabama can it snow all morning and be 50 degrees by mid afternoon.  I'll take that kind of "extreme weather" any day!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Beyond Ordinary-a book review

You know a book has made an impression when you think before you speak.  You know it's changed you for the better when the words come off the pages and to the front of your mind for the days and weeks after you're done reading.  When you can apply it to your everyday life, it's a real wake up call.

Beyond Ordinary by Justin and Trisha Davis really reaches out to everyday marriages using the story they have lived to lead by example.  It's not your typically "love story" type book.  They really dig down deep and you're going to feel it. It really hit me in the gut to know my husband and I are sometimes hanging out in the ordinary when there's so much more God has in mind for us.  

I had the unique advantage of being pastored by Justin and reading their book was like "the rest of the story."  I could hardly put it down and I could hear them both speaking in their own voices through this book.  I know it's real, it sounds just like them!  

The most interesting aspect of the book was not it's focus on how to fix or solve our marriage problems but it brought to light who we are in God's eyes and put emphasis on where our relationship with Him stands.  The best summary was written by Justin himself when he says
"When you spend time and effort trying to perform and make up for your mistakes, you rob God of the work that he needs to do in your heart, and you put your spouse in the place of God.  There is a better way-an extraordinary way.  The redemption you desire can only be found in Jesus."

They really do a great job covering topics that other marriage books will skirt around.  They get right in the middle of it and turn it around.  Trisha discusses "taboo" topics with such matter of fact talk, anyone can understand and feel comfortable.  

It was easy to relate, fully involved, can't put it down type reading  .I enjoyed the book but most of all, I am thankful for them, God's work through them and the courage to tell their story.  They show us God can help and equip us all to take our marriage from here to extraordinary! 

Justin and Trish Davis are founders of

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

It's that time of year again.
 New Year's Resolutions.
This year, I'm all for making resolutions unlike some years when I really hate when that sister text comes that says "what are your resolutions going to be?"
When I began thinking about my resolutions this year, I couldn't help but feel like I was having deja vu from the very same resolutions I made 2 years ago.  A couple of years ago, we were at a crossroads in life.  It was sure to be a busy year as we made a family move to a new city where we knew no one and began a "new normal" in the Army to grad school transition.  This year we will be making an even bigger move to a place much further away to a whole new normal.  This is a life 3-4 years in the making so in a way, it feels like we've finally arrived but in other ways it feels like we are totally starting over and all the same wonders and worries apply.

I read somewhere that 6 is the magic number of resolutions to make.  I don't know why that was but I believe everything I read on the internet so 6 it is!  Now on to the good stuff!

1)  Jason and I hit double digits this year in our marriage!  We have a great marriage but I believe anything is better when you make it a priority and work at it.  I know the strength of our family depneds on how well we communicate and love one another.  This year, I am going to make US a priority.  I want to make sure I love and respect Jason to the best of my ability.  I'm going to work at making our marriage Beyond Ordinary!

2)  I had a good run in October trying to eat clean.  November came and my birthday, Jason's birthday and the holiday's really put a halt to that but I loved eating clean and I didn't find it hard or too constricting.  Eating clean only requires that you TRY to not eat processed foods and refined sugar.  It's not a diet, it's a way to eat more healthy for a lifetime.  I also love eating clean because when/if you can't eat clean 100% of the time, you just get back to it as soon as you can.  As with anything, I'm sure it gets easier over time but I'm resolving to eat cleaner when possible and ensure my family does too.  (that last part will be easier said than done with my candy monsters!)

3)It's as old as time, the jingle "make new friends, but keep the old".  But that phrase embodies just what I plan to do this year.  I moved to Nashville thinking it would be very hard to rival the friendships I left in my neighborhood in NC.  I was overjoyed and a little surprised to have developed deep and meaningful relationships here that I plan to last a lifetime.  These girls took me into their circle and I soon felt like I was one of them.  We are walking the same paths in life and it's so nice to look over and see someone walking beside you.  I love these girls and leaving them is going to be so much harder than I ever realized.  On the other hand, we're moving whether I like it or not.  I find moving MUCH easier when you have friends before you go so I have and will be continuing to develop friendships already in Houston.  It's nice to have someone to ask questions and that knows things while you are in the middle of finding your way around.  I plan to fully immerse us in Houston life and friendships are a BIG part of that.  I'm praying now for good and Godly couples that we can "do life" with there in Houston.  I've never had a hard time making friends, I just hope I can make it happen quickly and by next year, I'll be saying the same kinds of things about my Texas friends.

4)I need to put my TRUST in the Lord.  I know I need to do this in each and every situation but this year specifically.  I let the moving/finding a house/choosing a school thing push me to the edge of sanity when we moved here to Nashville and all my obsessing didn't get us this great house and a fantastic school.  God did.  He's got this.  Please, please remind me of that in 3 months when my heart is in my throat over housing and the perfect public school for Jackson.  My prayer is that God will guide us to the area, the house and the school he wants for us and I will trust his guidance completely.

5) It's no secret that I'm a planner.  I have been known to ask Jason, "What are you going to be doing in the next 6 hours?"  I realized that sounded a little silly but I like to know how things are going to go before I get to it.  I would venture to say I'm not a bit spontaneous (thought I should be more).  This year, I would like to manage my time more wisely.  It's calming to me to know what needs to be done and to have the time set aside to do it.  Dinner prep before breakfast.  That's my style.  I would like to make the time to get it done.  Exercise, laundry and time with God are things that need to make my high priority list.
Pastor of Crosspoint, Pete Wilson, wrote just today:
      There are a variety of consequences to spiritual procrastination from destroying relationships, to     
      stress, to a chronic sense of guilt. It can erode your sense of joy, eat at your self esteem. But the 
      worst is, it will keep you from ever realizing the purpose for which God created you-not because you 
      ever said “no” to God. You just said “tomorrow”.  
 Managing my time more wisely will also make me feel like I have made time for those little "play with me, mommy" moments which are so special and oh, so numbered.

6)And to follow up that last one, How many more times will I hear, "Will you play hungry hippos with me?" from my 7 year old?  How many more times will I hear Lincoln say, "let's play baby!"?  I hope to spend this year making lasting memories with my family!  These are the days of their childhood.  These are the days they will remember and tell their own children about.  We are making memories, setting traditions and shaping their lives.  I want to make it meaningful and wonderful!  In the little moments at home, after school and on the weekend along with trips across the southeast, I want to make memories that will last a lifetime!