Sunday, December 28, 2008

our first Christmas.

in pictures...
as always if you click them they'll be a bit bigger.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

merry Christmas!

from james and shel
(this was the card james and i designed. i could only print a limited amount so i wanted to share with everyone!)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

since we've been home.

- we went to the andrew peterson (and friends, like bebo norman, and caedmon's call) Christmas concert.
- i played wii for the first time. we bowled.
- james got 6 strikes in a row while bowling for real. (not the wii)
- we've eaten a lot of great food.
- we've visited grandpa at the mall for coffee many mornings.
- we played cards and crap out/farkle with ua most nights. i scored over 3000 points in one roll!
- we saw a lot of Christmas lights in frankfort.
- james actually had a conversation with emma and she let him sit next to her.
- we had our Christmas with the hildebrandts. the vanderbrandt Christmas if you will.
- we froze our butts off, but not as much as the boys (luke, erik, aaron and corey) must have at the bears game last night.
- we watched some football.
- we started and finished our Christmas shopping.
- we have made a few presents each.
- we've been to grace twice and seen many old friends.
- we have relaxed.
- and most importantly...we are actually in the same country this year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

my best friend turns 6.

happy birthday magglio!

can't believe you are six already!

and i cannot go this day without thinking of his brother copper. we still miss you buddy!

planning on making some pupcakes later. he's home with nana and papa, so i'm waiting for them to get here so i can see him. we also bought him a new bone and a stuffed turtle he can rip to shreds in 20 minutes.

james is thrilled to be home for this! (note the sarcasm)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

catching up.

on the last few weeks. it's been crazy. so we'll just do some bullets of random happenings.

- i rode over with erica to fort bragg for her baby shower. it was a good weekend. nice to catch up with friends. i stayed with jake, paige and emmitt. i think emmitt was bummed jimmie lee wasn't there. paige and i went to a tree lighting and walked around downtown. then on the drive home erica and i stopped at jimmy john's. it was a great end to the trip! she is due next month with brayden. can't wait to meet him!

- james worked like crazy. didn't get home before 2am one night last week. we have 3 weeks of leave now so we are enjoying our time together.

- while he was working i spent some time with ben, celina and aidan. i babysat aidan one day, took their Christmas picture, the next night i met up at their house for a youth group planning meeting, and saturday the leaders met at the church at 5:30am to kidnap the kids. we only have 4 kids in the youth group. 2 are brothers so we went to their house first. woke them up at 6am by kyle playing "gloria" on his trumpet, and reading part of luke 2. next we went to kara's house. same thing, only she was waiting for us, and the first words out of her mouth were "are we having pudgie pies?" they didn't know where we were headed. the plan was to go to the hospital to see a newborn. we even bought some gifts. we set it up with the new mom, and were going to be there at 7:30am. then the nurse called and said her supervisor said it wasn't a good idea. so instead we went to a manger scene, read the rest of the passage, then on to iHop. early, but fun morning.

- i went to the eye doctor one day. was supposed to test my new contacts. complained i couldn't see out of the left one at all. he thought i had it in inside out, so i switched it, still blurry. then he realized i hadn't taken my other contact out! i felt like such a ditz! :)

- and finally, we had the 5th RTB holiday ball. no one wanted to be there since they were officially on leave as of that morning, but we still had a good dinner and were in good company. didn't get to stay for any of the actual ball part. we left after the speeches, and after james and the other guys (two of his good friends, and two others) retired the colors. he was on colorguard and i never saw him do it before, we had a few laughs at their expense. they were all shaking a lot!

- we drove up sunday, stopped in seymour and stayed the night at dav and whit's. now we are up in lafayette. adrienne flies in tonight! can't wait to see her again. spending a lot of time with family, visiting with james' and just relaxing.

happy day!

Friday, December 12, 2008

it's no fun...

decorating by yourself. so much different than last year!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

he remembered!

how did i get blessed with a husband like james?

before i begin you should know.

1. we don't have a garbage disposal.
2. i hate food left in dishes.

james has been working until 2am all week. he expects me to get out of bed and cook dinner for him then. (yea right) so i started cooking things i can easily heat up for him when he gets home.

the other night it was a hamburger helper type thing. i hadn't done this kind before so i wasn't sure if he'd like it. sure enough, he didn't, but he played it off well, and ate half the bowl.

well i woke up the next morning to find the bowl in the sink, food still in it, and filled with water.

yuck. i soon had a few choice words flying, let it sit a bit longer, and finally got the courage to drain and dump it out.

i had totally forgotten about it by the time he came home last night, but the first words when he walked in the door were..."before i forget, i am so sorry about that bowl this morning. i don't know what i was thinking. i got to work and thought "did i really just do that?"

apparently he was too tired that morning and not thinking straight.

i'm just so happy he remembered, and said something! made me smile.

Monday, December 8, 2008


james hates these old fashioned lights, but i love them. thankfully he was willing to put them up for me.

afterward, i saw our neighbor at rite aid. she said her husband saw james up on the roof and now thinks he needs to get on theirs. you should see their yard already! it has every blow up, light up, Christmas thing in it. their house has all sorts of lights, and here he wants to put up more because of our dinky little ones!

the first picture is from our first snow. if you look close you can see flurries.

the ornament is one of my favorites, my wooden shoes. know...they say "if you're not dutch, you're not much."

the snowman welcomes you to our house, courtesy of cheryl.

just wanted to share our holiday joy around here.

we'll be heading to indiana in less than a week, so we have to enjoy it as much as we can now!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


i had to apologize to ma because in all the years i went to camp, and all the times i moved away from home, i never got homesick. ever.

this weekend. i caught a bit of that disease that plagues so many campers!

ma was disappointed to hear that i wasn't homesick for their home in indiana, but our home here in georgia.

i went over to fort bragg without james. not the first weekend i've been away from him since we've been married. remember the baseball trip? but for some reason this weekend was harder. probably because i was around all of his friends, in the town he used to live in, where i used to visit him, only this time he wasn't there.

it was weird.

i had a good time seeing everyone, but man i miss him!

and it sucks when i come home and he's working all night. hopefully he'll be home before the morning comes.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


that's always been a favorite number of mine. i was born on 17mar. james and i met when i was 17. it's just a good number!

well my old roommate's old roommate, megan, tagged me. i'm supposed to share 17 things about me. so here goes...(oh and i tried to find pictures of the different things, but this is all i had on this computer.)

1. at one point in my life i had 13 piercings. 11 in my ears, 1 in my tongue and belly button. now i have none, but i do have 4 tattoos.

2. i have kept a journal since '95. i have over 13 filled, and i use them as my records. i refer to them quite often to remember what year something happened.

3. i was an athletic trainer for 3 years in high school, 7 seasons, and i sometimes miss it.

4. james and i wrote hundreds of letters to each other the 15 months he was deployed. i put them all in vellum pockets i sewed and stuck them in a scrapbook. i told my parents no one can read them until after he and i pass. :)

5. my first e-mail ever was spiritsprinkles at hotmail dot com. it was an inside joke at camp. i kept it until i went to college.

6. my best friend growing up lived in the sister house to the house in prancer. it was gorgeous and had a huge banister we used to slide down.

7. i ate a bowl of fries, a grape all sport and laffy taffy's almost everyday for lunch in high school.

8. i have a group of really good friends that i have never met. my FIFs (freaky internet friends) we were part of an august wedding message board. i first "met" them a year and half ago. we talk daily and they were there for the deployment, levi's health problems, the baby, the miscarriage and so much more. we have gotten really close and i am so thankful for them.

9. my first date ever was with james. he was 16 i was 17 and we were both volunteering at lutherhaven. we went to walmart, burger king and the parking lot of auto zone to eat our food. that's where i got my first kiss ever, after i threw up from being so nervous!

10. the 2nd time around we talked for 9 months before we met up. i was in indy and texas, he was in italy and north carolina. we got together on Christmas eve in lafayette.

11. when i move to a new city one of the first things i look up is if they have a jimmy john's.

12. i'm crazy about bird things, but i don't like real birds. i don't trust animals that can be over my head...cats fall in this category.

13. i am very ocd when it comes to certain things. a big one is numbers, like on volume controls. i have specific numbers it cannot be on.

14. i'm actually thankful for everything james and i have gone through over the last 8 1/2 years. i wouldn't change a thing. it made us closer and appreciate each other better. it also gave us the chance to grow up and be ready to be together.

15. one of my favorite vacations was a trip to myrtle beach the summer after my senior year with james' family. we went parasailing, hung out on the beach, walked along it at night, went on a skycoaster ride, cruised the strip and had a blast. the only bad part? wrecking the rental sebring. it wasn't our fault, but james was way too young to drive a rental. the airbags went off and my fear of driving was heightened. good part? he was so caring and concerned through it all. i got a glimpse of a different side of him. i'll never forget that moment.

16. i always order the same thing at fast food restaurants. each place has a meal i always get, and i never change!

17. at our wedding we rode away on the harley. i was still in my wedding dress, barefoot with no jacket. we drove to his dad's house to get my car. about 20-25 minutes outside of town. it was so cold and still it was one of my favorite rides.

i tag any of the 808 girls.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

4 months ago...

Monday, December 1, 2008


james' mom came down last tuesday. she stayed until friday so we were able to celebrate thanksgiving together.

we took her to the square for lunch, watched movies, and took a drive out to suches. we pointed out the appalachian trail to her, and she sounded just like ma..."oh i have to go walk on it!"

we walked over to adam and erica's for thanksgiving dinner. his uncle cooked for us and it was delicous! different than home, but very enjoyable.

we also got to play some euchre. i think i play more euchre when i am outside of indiana. my theory, people in indiana are tired of it until they live somewhere that noone plays. so when you do find people to play you HAVE to play! we've played a few games with ben and celina, and then more on thanksgiving.

it was so wonderful to have james and adam home. we made a toast to them since we all remember what last year was like. we're blessed they could be here.

saturday james and i went out looking for a Christmas tree. we will be on leave in two weeks, but we can enjoy the tree in the mean time! we drove around for awhile. shopped for a few Christmas tree supplies (stand, topper and stocking for james. somehow i found one that matches mine!) then stopped for lunch at jimmy john's. they just opened one a month ago. it's a bit of a drive, but closer than atlanta! i was so excited!

of course the time we stopped at the Christmas tree farm it was pouring down rain. we hopped out of the truck and i ran and found our tree. we set it up that night, after rearranging our furniture. the house smells so good now!

most of the ornaments are mine, a few are ours, and there are none of james', but he said he doesn't have any. whit said dave doesn't have much either, so maybe it's a girl thing. looking forward to getting a lot more of our own. my favorite is the ring dish from our wedding. tate carried it down the aisle with our rings, and now it's an ornament. front and center on our tree!

i've also been working on the tree skirt. i added a bunch to it yesterday. i need more ties, so i don't think it will get done this Christmas, but at least it covers the front part of the tree now!

i felt like i was living with my brothers again because i had to force james to hang just one ornament!

today i woke up and while i was getting ready for the doctor i looked outside and saw it was snowing! it isn't even that cold today, but it's been a steady snow. i screamed like a little kid "IT'S SNOWING" and magglio and i ran outside to catch snowflakes on our tongues. well, i did he just ran around. weatherman says it's supposed to last until 1am. james just started a new cycle today so i'm sure they are freezing their butts off.

oh and doctor said i have an ear infection, and tmj. oh joy! hoping the ear infection clears up quick with these drops.

happy december!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

coming soon...

last week update.

our Christmas tree pictures.

17 fun things...if i can think of the rest.

but for now check this out.

some of james' friends are in that video. i told you there was a boom!

next weekend i'll be heading over to fort bragg with erica for her baby shower. hoping i handle it all okay. it will be nice to see everyone!

Friday, November 28, 2008

sickeningly sweet.

one of my most favorite parts of our wedding was the music. especially the song i walked down the aisle to.

music was important, and i wanted it all to be acoustic guitar, no organ. so i asked my brother joshUA if he'd like to play. he was on a youth encounter team at the time, and they make great music all together, so invited them all to come.

i requested 2 standard wedding songs, and 2 more modern songs. none of which they had played before.

i never heard them practice, and just trusted them. it turned out to be the most memorable part.

the girls walked in to canon in d.

then came me with the song i'm going to talk about in a bit.

instead of a unity candle we gave our moms bouquets of daisies while they played the byrd's song "turn, turn, turn"

and we walked out to "go My children, with My blessing"

it was perfect.

so about the song i walked to james to. it was one of my favorites a couple years ago. it's a mason jennings song and it was on this 4 song cd he only released online. i never heard of mason before ralf so i must thank her.

it's a beautiful song. james made a slideshow for me for our first Christmas back together. he used that song, and the words just fit us perfectly at that point. we had come a long way, and there was a bit of hesitation on my end. (so i like the last verse.) especially if you know our story, you'll see.

so one day as i was getting ready for work at the high school last year, that song came on. it hit me. that was it! i called UA and told him i knew what song i HAD to walk down the aisle to, and wondered if i found sheet music if he could play it.

dave added the piano part, and the song really came together. just how i imagined. the perfect song to walk to james to on our wedding day.

if you want to hear it i found this video on you tube. another person's love story set to this song. i love the part where they are dancing on the bed...

just listen to the guitar at the beginning. that's what got me!

(oh and i always sang it "get back HOME to you" but yahoo tells me it's "on to you" home fit better with us. :)

and here are the lyrics if you'd rather read, or read along...

mason jennings - to you

i'm going to say what i wanted to say.
since i first saw you on that rainy day.
when you caught me looking and i made you laugh.
honey, i know you, i've always had.

and if this world is just some random bet.
then they'd be no good reason why we would have met.
but if there's something bigger, if there's something planned.
honey, i want you to understand.

that every beat of my heart is true.
i've spend my life trying to get back on to you, oh.
to you, oh.

i'm gonna do what i wanted to do.
i'm gonna trust my heart and give it back to you.
every time i speak i want to say your name.
honey, i know you feel the same.

when we're talking and you look at me.
i feel the distant memory coming back to me.
like my own reflection on the quiet lake.
honey, i see you, there's no mistake.

and every word that i say is true.
i've spend my life trying to get back on to you, oh.
to you.

i'm going to be who i wanted to be.
i will become the man who you deserve from me.
no more hiding out under mountains of fear.
honey we're breaking out of here.

the open moment and the sky above.
nothing can hold us back from the things we've learned.
you need not save your strength, untie your safety rope.
you will not need it, all you need is hope.

and every dream that we have is true.
i've spend my life trying to get back on to you, oh.
to you oh, to you oh, to you oh.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

happy thanksgiving.

there are so many things i am thankful for, a great husband, family, friends, magglio, our home.

but this thanksgiving what i am most thankful for is...

james being home.

hope you have a great thanksgiving with the ones you love!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

not a whole lot...

going on around here.

we had a bonfire at ben and celina's on sunday. a little get together for the youth. we are trying to revive that group at good shepherd. ben asked if james and i would be interested in helping. of course!

our night was filled with pudgie pies, s'mores, laughs and good conversation. also a cold ride back home on the motorcycle. we had been itching for a ride and it was one of the warmer nights.

james' mom is on her way down for a few day visit. we can't wait to see her. it will be nice to have her here for thanksgiving.

we are going over to adam and erica's. adam's uncle is a chef and is cooking for everyone. both sides of their family will be here. sounds like it will be a good time. i can't wait for good food!

i'm off to finish cleaning and bake some pumpkin bread. have to use it before november is over because then it's officially winter, in my mind!

oh yea, i have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. follow up on the surgery, no big deal. i'm still healing, but it's getting better!

happy thanksgiving to all of you. not sure if we'll be on much. God's blessings wherever you are!


Saturday, November 22, 2008

don't forget thanksgiving!

glad to see so many people agree about the cupcakes. i told james. :)

i have heard of people using funfetti for their wedding cake, and i think it's an awesome idea!

james and i designed our Christmas card last night. i had the idea, but couldn't make it work. he showed me how to use adobe illustrator and he really got into it! i printed them today with my gocco, and i am so in love! a few of the fonts didn't transfer when we moved them to the computer we print from, but i'm still happy. i'm sure they aren't done the best design wise, but oh well! we did them, and they are fun!

now i just have to work on writing them.

i hate doing anything Christmas before thanksgiving. "love actually" was on last night and really got me in the mood.

shhh. don't tell adrienne. she is the queen of listening to Christmas music before thanksgiving and it made me crazy! :)

adam came over for a bit today and i got to listen to him and james jam on their guitars. it was perfect! we are going over to their house for thanksgiving. james' mom will be here too. can't wait!

oh! and we found out that we have another ball to go to! i was just talking about how i wanted to wear my tutu skirt from a few Christmases back, and now i can! hoping tammy has a top that will work!

james is less than thrilled.

Friday, November 21, 2008

death by cupcakes?

i made funfetti cupcakes a few nights ago.

i wasn't sure how much to fill the cups so a few of them overflowed and turned out looking more like muffins. so i left those unfrosted and feel justified eating them for breakfast.

since i made these cupcakes james said "you can't live on cupcakes you know?!"

i beg to differ. i am doing just fine!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

getting there.

brand new day. joshua radin.

some kind of magic - happens late at night - when the moon smiles down on me - and bathes me in it’s light

i fell asleep beneath you - in the tall blades of grass - when i woke the world was new - i never had to ask

it’s a brand new day - the sun is shining - it’s a brand new day - for the first time - in such a long long time - i know - i’ll be ok

most kind of stories - save the best part for last - most stories have a hero who finds - you make your past your past - yea you make your past your past

it’s a brand new day - the sun is shining - it’s a brand new day - for the first time - in such a long long time - i know - i’ll be ok

this cycle never ends - gotta fall in order to mend

and it’s a brand new day - it’s a brand new day - for the first time - in such a long long time - i know - i’ll be ok

Sunday, November 16, 2008

much needed.

we had a happy weekend. it was much needed.

friday we went over to ben and celina's house. we had delicious barbecue ribs, many laughs, and got to play some euchre!

saturday our mailbox was filled with love. so many cards and things. one was a card from james' mom. she sent us some mad money, with strict instructions that it was to be used on a date.

all day i kept waiting for james to ask. at one time i thought he was about to, and all he did was belch. i thought "yep, he's mine."

finally he asked me, in a roundabout way. he knew i was waiting for him to ask me.

so we got a little dressed up. he even scrubbed his converse, and we were off. i know, he looks so thrilled in the pictures. :P i just finally felt like taking pictures again. plus i loved his outfit, and wanted to document it.

we went to dinner, played a game of pool, and went to the movies. it was so nice to get out, and just be together!

physically i think i pushed myself too much. i spent most of saturday before the date in bed. think we stayed out too late the night before. i have been crampy and sore, and relaxing.

also in the mailbox on saturday was a very thoughtful package from james' dad and stepmom. they sent a necklace with baby feet on it, that says "i have called you by name, you are mine" isaiah 43:1, and a little pocket token to remember our little one.

we are loved.

we cannot thank you all enough. i know i have tried, but seriously, we couldn't make it without the prayers, support, calls, cards, emails...

philippians 1:3.

also wanted to say congrats to my friend jessica and her husband sal. they just welcomed their first baby, joseph henry to the world! woohoo!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

turn, turn, turn.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

to everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose unto heaven. a time to be born and a time to die.

that along with the rest of the chapter was read and sung at our wedding. that was what the whole message was that day. aunt susie sent it has a reminder. very fitting.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


d&e is scheduled for 7:30am. we'll be there an hour before that. ben is coming to pray with us before i go in. i was mistaken with the d&c. they have to do the extraction part, since it didn't happen naturally. :(

keep praying.

laundry, dishes, dinner, grocery shopping, clean house, etc...all done.

and it's all thanks to james.

thank God for wonderful husbands.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

comfort and support.

since i still don't feel like typing much, i'll copy and paste a few messages or e-mails i shared. for those who would like to know what happened, or hear how we have been comforted.

i went to the doctor today, and they couldn't find a heartbeat. they did an ultrasound, sent me to the hospital, they did another, and discovered that the baby stopped growing at 8 weeks. (i was almost 12)

so i have to go have a d&c on wednesday. my body still doesn't know, or hasn't recognized the loss. no bleeding, nothing. i was still getting pregnancy symptoms. 8 weeks was before our first doctor's appointment. almost a month ago, that freaks me out.

and since it hasn't fully happened yet, they are taking care of it on wednesday. they said i could let my body run it's course, but they don't recommend it because there is a risk for infection. i just feel like i am going in for an abortion, and that makes me sick.

they said since it happened so early it wasn't anything i did, or could have done to prevent it. more than likely the baby had downs, or turner's syndrome, and this was nature's way of protecting us. doctor called it nature, i say God.

it's all in God's plan. it wasn't our plan to get pregnant! it has been His plan all along. that is a comfort.

and an e-mail i sent home...

my friend called me tonight. she didn't know that i had been missing grandma and grandpa a lot more as of late.

and when she heard our most recent news she said..."shel, take comfort. just think, your grandpa is up there right now holding your baby with a big smile on his face."

it made me feel so much better. i had been praying for God to cradle our little one, but then i just got this image of grandma, grandpa, and james' grandma huddled around oohing and ahhing over there new great grandbaby.

i told james this and he said "but he was just a little thing" holding his fingers out to show how small the baby was.

i smiled and said "hey! grandpa can finally say that he really did hold a baby in the palm of his hand, and it's true this time!" (for those who don't know, after holding emma, he told everyone at the nursing home that he held her all day "just like this" and he held out his hand)

taking comfort in those moments.

thank you for your kind words. wish i could be with all of you gathered around sunday dinner. comfort food.

that same friend also told me that the only thing our baby ever knew was my warm belly, and the awesomeness of God's paradise. a place we all want to be.

that was a cool thought. our baby didn't have to experience this world. a world filled with pain, and hate, and cruel things.

just love. everlasting love.

since talking to her i have felt better. family being here and distracting me has helped, and james has been more than i can ask for. he is too wonderful. i have to remind myself to check on him, because it's his baby we lost too.

our pastor prayed for us in church this morning, and the church ladies were full of hugs, baked goods, and prayers. many of them shared that they had been through this too. i am so thankful for our church home.

then there are all the messages from all of you, emails, calls, texts. they help us smile, and remind us we are not alone.

this week will be tough, wednesday is going to be hard, so keep praying.

ahhh. guess i had some words in me.

thank you everyone. for your kindness. for being you.

Friday, November 7, 2008

since i can't say it...

i'll let these words speak for us.

my brother joshUA sent this song to james and i.

andrew peterson - lullaby

Well, I haven't got a lot to offer
Just a rhyme and a melody
But I promised I'd write if it took all night
A lullaby for thee

They say there ain't no sleeping in heaven
Baby, that don't mean that you can't dream
So when you close your eyes
Know your mother and I
Pray the Lord your soul to keep
And we never got the chance to hold you
And we never got to tell you goodnight
So we hope you can hear as Jesus cradles you near
Baby, this is your lullaby

So are you running with the angels?
Are you singing with the saints?
Are you throwing a ball against a heavenly wall
Maybe swinging on the pearly gates?

Well there's so much love between us
And so much that I wanna say
I wanna ramble awhile with my beautiful child
Baby, I can hardly wait...


Thursday, November 6, 2008

God is at work yet again...

ben, celina and aidan came over for a visit last night. james pulled out a couple of his old camp pictures. we were looking at the staff postcard and ben pointed out this one lady in the picture. he said there was a lady at church who looked familiar, and he was wondering if it was one of the staff members.

well, a couple weeks ago, at pastor bob's dinner this lady called me over and asked me about camp. she said she had gone there in 1997, and wondered if i knew tim jank. i thought she was just there for a retreat or something.

yep, it was the same girl from the postcard. her name is phyllis, and her and ben were on staff together!

so now our church has 2 staff members, and 2 campers from lutherhaven summer '97! crazy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

maybe we should stay in georgia...

of the 5 counties (3 in indiana, 1 in texas, and 1 here in georgia) i have lived in for the last 4 years all but the one we are in now voted for barack.

the one we are in...was 75% mccain.

james on the other hand hasn't even been in the united states. we counted yesterday, and it was a little over a year out of the last four. of those 4 years, a lot of the time he wasn't around a tv, or computer, so he was a little lost on this election and decided not to vote.

speaking of not voting, my brother's friend shared this article with me, and i thought it was a pretty good read.

it was a different kind of vote for me this year. being an army wife, and knowing that this person would be the new commander in chief of the army. i felt like i was picking our guys boss, and not just our next president.

all i can say is i am proud of mccain, and who he is, what he did for our country, for serving.

and i pray barack leads us where we need to be. God put him in that position for a reason. also that our country can pull together. i hated all the political trash talking i saw. you have your views, i have mine.

let's just move forward.

(and i am up so early because james just left for pt, and i can never fall back asleep!)

Monday, November 3, 2008

ah kids!

yesterday was ben's first service, and later in the day his installation. we spent most of the day at church, and enjoyed a dinner afterward.

you should know, like most pastor's who are leaving, pastor bob told the congregation that he doesn't want to hear anyone say "that's not how pastor bob did it!" or something of the like.

well, during the children's sermon ben introduced himself and said "you can call me pastor ben." and taught the kids how to say his last name. which included a bunch of kids going "how-PT!" and spitting all over the place.

then he told the kids he wanted to know all of their names. they took turns and all 20 some shared. when they were done he said..."now, i won't remember all those right now. eventually i'll learn them all, but do you know someone who DOES know your name?"

at the exact same time one kid exclaims "Jesus!" and the kid next to him says...


haha. welcome ben!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

you know you are pregnant and hormonal when...

you cry tears of joy for a world series win for a team that isn't yours.

i just saw the smiles creep on the phillies' faces in the top of the 9th, and i remember that feeling all too well. you want to smile, but at the same time you don't want to get ahead of yourself. 3 years ago i sat on my papasan afraid to make a move. tonight i found myself on the couch, doing the same thing, for another team.

i am so happy that we got to see the phillies play a game, in their stadium, this year. i am so excited for their fans! i love the catch phrase from a fan who called into the radio..."Boston did it. The White Sox did it. Why can’t us?"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

new sets.

on flickr. forgot to say something when i added the others, and i just added more today. lots of new pictures.

there is a link on the right. :)

good shepherd.

last sunday james and i were welcomed at good shepherd lutheran church. we were 2 of 11 people that day to become members. we are so excited to have found such a wonderful church home so quickly!

along with that, and reformation sunday, it was also the farewell service for pastor bob. we will miss him, but everyone is excited for ben to get here! in true lutheran fashion we have tons of potlucks coming surrounding all the happenings. mmmm!

it was a great service. singing luther's hymns, pastor's sermon, a baptism of two older children, and all the new members. lots going on!

pastor bob was a visitor to good shepherd 3 years ago. at the time he was retired. the current pastor was very sick, and the church was struggling. they asked pastor bob if he would help them out. 3 weeks after his first visit, he was in the pulpit! he ended up sticking around, and becoming their pastor through the transition. it was supposed to be a year, but ended up being longer.

good shepherd definitely benefited from having pastor bob there. the church began, and continues to grow.

he made us feel right at home, and we are so thankful for that!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

our long, but adventure filled night.

well, we had quite the adventure yesterday.

meet the key players...
army ranger/hunter (fyi - this picture was taken with my hand out the window behind me not even close to looking at the screen.)

loving wife

not a hunting hound dog


and topographical map

james worked hard all week, and decided this was the weekend he was going to begin his deer hunting season. he studied the guides and learned all georgia's rules. certain days are both sex days, you can get 12 deer (yes 12!) total. 2 buck, 10 doe. certain counties are always both sex, and so on. much different than home.

anyways, so you can hunt anywhere in the national forest. when ma was here and we took a drive he started scoping out the perfect spot. he asked me if i wanted to come with him last night, just to walk a bit and see if we could find the perfect place.

it was raining, but i decided i'd like to get out, and it'd more than likely be fun! we didn't have power for a lot of the day, so i was itching to do something.

just call us the next generation of newlywed hunters. (yes, my grandma was proposed to, and spent her honeymoon hunting, ah love.)

so off we went. in the truck, leaving maggs at home, because what good is he?

we drove around for awhile, me checking the georgia hunting guide to see what time sunset was. (6:42pm) we had about an hour to search.

the two places he would of liked to have hunted we found out the trails were actually driveways, and they made it very clear that there were to be no trespassers!

so he decided to trek into the national forest.

we were on a little two track, just enough room for the truck to brush the tree branches back on both sides. it was also the bumpiest ride i had ever been on. (not good for a pregnant lady with a small bladder)

i rode most of the way like this...

james knows most of these trails pretty well, it's basically what he does all day, marching or driving through here. so i wasn't too worried, plus his land nav skills are quite impressive. what we didn't expect was to find a tree similar to this one, covering the trail we needed to take.

so back to the topographical map we went. looking for some other way around. by this time it is beyond sunset, still raining, and only getting colder. (we are in the mountains after all)

we find another way out, james gets out of the truck to make sure the path is clear and we can get over to garrett farms (our destination) it looked clear so off we drove. little did he know, on my side of the truck it was a lot more of a marshland than his side. (of course the only side he checked)

so we drove on, and soon enough we were stuck. spinning tires, 4 wheel drive no help at all. we could see garrett farms across from us, it was so frustrating!

of course he had unloaded his tool box out of the truck to haul drywall, so we had no ratchet straps, no tools, only an ice scraper. which turns out, isn't a whole lot of help when you are stuck in the mud.

another thing you should know is that there is very limited cell phone service. at the spot where we were stuck we had none, but where did? oh yea, garrett farms.

now you are probably wondering why we didn't just walk over there. well, we tried, but it turns out that creek we were planning to drive through, was more like a small river. we had no flashlight, so we couldn't see where would be a good place to cross, and didn't feel like soaking our feet.

so we start walking. trying to find service, my night vision failing me miserably (no help when you keep checking your phone for one measly bar.)

we finally find a spot after a 20 minute walk from the truck. we stand there and phone adam. he has a truck, he just passed EIB (expert infantry badge) so surely his land nav skills are up to par, he can rescue us!

unfortunately he hadn't gotten back from benning yet. he was about 45 minutes away. (this was 5 til 7:00) he said he'd come get us though, just stay put (since we had service) james sent him a 6 digit grid, and we sat in the dark, hoping he'd find us.

before i go on you should know these two things...
1. i have been around many different people lately who have brought up the movie "deliverance" apparently it was filmed close to here, and everyone is talking about it.
2. i was a bystander when this exchange went on.
erica - "did you know there are bears out here?!"
beccca - "well what kind of bears?"
erica - "i don't know! A BEAR'S A BEAR!"

the entire time, that was all i could think about. freaking myself out. it's still raining, we have no flashlight, and all we can do is stand there in that same freaking spot with one bar of service.

at least i had my camera to keep things fun. i think cameras are a must at times like these...

(that was taken without being able to see where the lens was pointed, and ruined our night vision for a good 15 minutes.)

at one point we hear what sounds like a stump being knocked over at the top of the hill we are standing below. i freak out, james tells me to squat and stay still, and eventually tells me it was nothing. all the while holding his knife at the ready, unbeknownst to me. he tells me later, in the safety of our home, that more than likely it was a bear burrowing in for the night.
oh lovely! apparently he heard it rustling the rest of the time we were standing there. me clueless the entire time.

we stood out there for 3 hours until there were finally signs of headlights. too bad they were on the trail below us. adam must have taken the wrong split in the road. all we could do was stand there and watch him drive by. it was the most disheartening sight.

we tried calling, but of course he had no service where he was. we did finally get through, and told him to turn around and go back to the split. we left our little safe spot on the trail, and headed down. still no sign of him, and just as we were about to turn and try and find another spot with cell service we saw his lights. took off towards the split and jumped out with flailing arms, and chattering teeth.

the lifesaver brought us blankets, sweatshirts, coffee and hot chocolate. it was the best!

i told him he could keep his EIB, even though he failed to come to our coordinates. he definitely made up for it in the good friend category. (he had been gone 3 weeks, and erica had dinner waiting for him, but he had to pass to come find us!)

we ended up getting home around 12:30. what a long night.

oh yes, i did not forget the other key player, the dog. the whole time we were out there james was worried about me, and i was worried about maggs. sure he was home, more than likely in our nice warm bed, but i was afraid he was confused. it was night time, and we weren't there. james thought i was crazy, but then we walked in the house. maggs didn't come greet us, but we heard him crying. i figured he had just woken up, and wasn't sure if it was us or a stranger in the house. so i called his name, and he cried louder. turns out he shut himself in the pantry/laundry room all night! at least he had food, and the whole garbage, which thankfully he didn't eat too much of.

what a night!

and james is back out this morning.
i hope it was worth it babe!

another link from aunt nancy because they are great entries...
another safe season, and the deer hunters.

Friday, October 24, 2008

baby update.

i know that's what the baby link is for, but sometimes i just have to post here too!

we went to our first prenatal appointment today. all this week i had the thought "what if we really aren't pregnant and they look at us like we are crazy for being there?" well...

we are! :)

and exactly how far along our estimations told us. 9 weeks 6 days. due may 24th. (and she said that will NOT change.)

no ultrasound, or hearing the heartbeat yet. lots and lots of blood drawn, and information given.

we go back in 2 weeks for the test results.

physically i have been feeling great. no morning sickness (which is very rare for a girl who vomits frequently, if you know me you know what i mean) still tired, and this week the mood swings hit in full force. (poor james)

can't wait to find out more about our little one. as always, we'll keep you updated!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

these three...

make any sucky day better. (not sure where em was that day, guess she wasn't feeling photogenic) oh i guess you can add mason jennings to that list too, since his latest cd is near levi...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

ma came to town!

and we did a whole lot of antique shopping, regular shopping, dining, and driving!

the first night she wanted to take james and i out to dinner. we decided to hit up "the oar house" since i had heard great things about it. the food was good (what i could eat) and the atmosphere was even better! here are a few pictures from that night... click on it and read the sign behind ma and me.

the rest of the days were spent at the square, and showing her around on the scenic drives. ma was thrilled because she got to walk on the appalachian trail. there are a lot of entrances to it around here, and james works in the national forest, so he comes across hikers all the time. we showed her around camp too, and all she wanted to see was the px and comissary. ha! not much to see here!

that view of the mountains is just one of the many many reasons why i am in love with our little bit of the country. it's so amazing down here! especially now that the leaves are changing and the mountains look polka dotted.

james had to work again today, so i headed off to church alone. we transferred our membership, and will be welcomed officially in the service next weekend. it is also pastor bob's last sunday. he is headed back to retirement, and pastor ben will be up here next! we are so excited to see him so often again.

i was thinking in church how small the lutheran world is. i know people say that all the time, but i was thinking in particular about my last two churches. in san antonio, our pastor was pastor dan. his mom and sister are long time members at grace in lafayette. our home church. then we come here, and a month later we find out that one of our oldest camp friends will be our new pastor. crazy!

hope you are having a great sunday! i'm off to watch the race, and watch for updates from the bears game.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

had to share this picture.

since i don't have anything else to share. nothing much has been happening around here. ma came for a visit. that was nice. i'll have to post some pictures. this morning we went to breakfast with our new pastor, ben, his wife, and son. that was wonderful!

but the other day my friend bradi posted these pictures of her meeting taylor swift at soldier field.

she went with my friend's (luke) little brother, thomas. luke and i worked at lakeview together, and he is such a sweetie!

anyways, his brother is thomas finchum, as in thomas finchum the olympic synchro diver.

so when they met taylor, she was the one freaking out. she is a young girl, and a fan of his, and the pictures are hilarious. you would think it would be the other way around. thomas and bradi would be freaking out (although i'm sure they were) but in this picture you can see how giddy taylor is...

so stinkin' cute!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

a big thanks to aunt steph!

so as james and i moved in we purged our closet and donated a bunch of clothes and things to goodwill.

he had this t-shirt, and he asked me if i wanted it. it was one of those old, faded t-shirts that is just so hard to part with. i knew he didn't really want to get rid of it, as he reluctantly tossed it on the pile.

so the next day, while james was at work, i snatched it up with an idea in my head. knowing that we were going to start trying for a baby soon, and that my sewing skills aren't up to par yet, i called aunt steph. asked her if i mailed the t-shirt if she would make a quilt for us. i was going to use it to tell james the big news, when it happened.

turns out, we were pregnant a week or so later!

so steph finished it, ma brought it down, and we love it!

cannot wait to wrap our little one in it.

here is a picture from it's glory days.

and here it is, revamped and ready for baby...

it says "it's not just a's a way of life"

thanks aunt steph! we love you.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

fall fun.

we went with a group of friends tonight to "uncle shuck's corn maze" here is the design of it this year...

there are two different mazes. the red and the blue path, and 12 checkpoints along the way. adam and james got to test their land navigation skills and lead the way. it was pretty fun, and a little more challenging in the dark.

i only got two pictures. this is greg...

i asked him if he would take a picture, so of course this is what we got. he always keeps us laughing! greg was also in afghanistan with james, stood up in our wedding, and is up at the camp with james now. he is from atlanta, or close to it, so he is right at home!

then i got the picture i wanted...

and keeping in the spirit of corn. here is the shirt ma sent me. i love it!

and a view from our backyard. the leaves are starting to change. and i like the stop light effect of these three...

happy fall!

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