The Highs and Lows of 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


  • Teething - We're finally in a break until the two-year molars start trying to pop through, and L is a much happier little girl.
  • Single parenting it on when Bart's either out of town of working insane hours.
  • Actually being awake in the middle of the night and able to watch the coverage of the Boston Marathon Bomber manhunt.
  • The Cards loosing the World Series
  • The entire Arkansas Razorback football season.
  • SNotorious BIG, Snowmageddon, Snowpocalypse, The Never Ending Snow-Day

Things to look forward to in 2014:
  • Potty training Ladybug.
  • Going to Prince Edward Island with Bart.
  • My cousin Devyn's wedding.
  • Future blessings.

Pressing Toward the Goal (10th Anniversary)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Cue the Shania Twain music, because it "looks like we made it."  Today Bart and I are celebrating ten years of marriage.  Ten years!  That's almost a third of my life since you know 30 passed a few years ago.  It seems like such a long time, but it doesn't, you know?

In comparison with so many marriages today, ten years seems like a long time.  It seems as if we've made it.  We haven't; not really.  I don't even consider us at the midpoint of our life together.  I certainly pray that it isn't anything but still the early stages.  We're in this thing for the long haul, till death do us part.  What have I learned in ten years?  Marriage is hard.

No.  I'm serious.  It is hard work.  At first it's difficult getting used to living with this completely other person.  Yes, in a biblical sense you become one, but you do not just suddenly meld minds.  Then as the years go by you have to continue to look for things to love about your spouse, because sometimes the little things they can do to irritate you can hold your attention more than the things you love if you let them.

I'll be honest.  We fight.  We will probably always fight at times, because we're both rather adversarial people.  I can't imagine a marriage where there isn't some sort of fighting at some point, because no matter what, there are two different people attempting to coexist for life.

Bart and I are very different people.  He is a very devoted fan of country music.  I abhor most of it.  I love classic literature and majored in English.  I am constantly reading something.  Bart isn't a great reader and would rather pour over some scientific study or manual than a good story.   Yet we also have a great deal in common.  First of all, we're both Christian. That said, we both are very conservative in our ideology.  We love college sports, especially football.  We love cameras and photography.  There are several other things that I just don't have space to list.

I think that the most important thing I've learned in ten years is to put God first in our marriage.  Seek him daily in his Word, and things come into perspective better.  Secondly, put my marriage above all other relationships.  We may not be as social as most people, but when Bart has free time we often spend that time together as a family.  I've watched marriages crumble when both parties spent their free time anywhere but together, as if they couldn't stand to actually be together for very long.

We also don't keep secrets.  I've had my mother tell me before, "Don't tell Bart this...."  Too late.  You've told me, so I will tell Bart.  Period.  I grew up with a secretive, co-dependent mother and older sister.  I don't play that game anymore.  Honestly we don't play relationship games at all.  Of course that means that my relationships with my mother and sister aren't great.  That's fine.  They were never healthy and edifying.  Bart and I created our own family, and it comes first.  I'm a firm believer in Genesis 2:24.

As I stated earlier.  I don't feel like we've made it yet, not really.  We hopefully have a very long life together ahead of us.  I think of marriage, like life, as a race.  Philippians 3:14 states, "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."  I press on toward the goal of a godly, happy marriage till death do us part.

Ten years by the numbers:

  • 10 Christmases here and there
  • 10 Thanksgivings in Little Rock
  • 4 different homes and cities
  • 2 different trucks
  • 2 different cars
  • A run-in with a deer in 1 truck.
  • 2 dogs
  • 2 bouts with kidney stones (all him)
  • 2 pregnancies
  • 1 miscarriage
  • 1 joyous birth
  • 1 family

The Never-Ending Snow Day

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Soooo.  I'm not sure you may have noticed, but we had a little snowstorm here last week.  We all knew that it was coming, but I don't think anyone was prepared for the reality of being snowed in for days on end.  In the eight years since Bart and I moved to Northwest Arkansas, we've seen years with very little snow, and we've seen years with epic ice storms and record snowfall.  I'm afraid this year is going to fall into the epic and record category.  It isn't even technically winter, and we've already had over 6" of snow and have been snow-bound for over five days.

The freezing rain and sleet started on Thursday.  I spent the day trying to get the house in order so that we could give our friend Brandon a place to sleep that night, because he lives in Fort Smith and didn't need to try to get home that night then work again in Fayetteville the next morning.  Also, I wanted to start off with the house not a total disaster area, because I knew after a day or two of being snowed in, it would be a pit anyway.

Friday morning we got up early to see Brandon off.  It started snowing while we all slept.  Bart worked from home.  It was the first time he has tried to work from home since Ladybug has become more mobile and vocal.  It wasn't easy keeping a toddler quiet while Daddy talked on the phone to all of the people he had to talk to.  Meanwhile Lucy had decided to enjoy the snow and almost froze off her tail.

Before Ladybug went down for her afternoon nap, we suited up and played in the white stuff a bit.  She loved it so much more than the Christmas snow from last year.  In fact, every day when I dress her, she asks to "Go outside?  Play in snow?"  We went out as much as we could, but the temperatures were so low that we didn't need to be outside for very long.  Ladybug did learn from her Daddy to eat snow.  I think she has an addiction now.

It was so cold that Saturday the snow was still here.  My northern friends are probably laughing when I stated that.  However, usually by Day 3 we're able to get out and about.  We watched college football, especially the Bedlam Game (BOOMER SOONER!).  My girl loves her OU, just like her Momma.  That night, Bart and I rented  the new The Great Gatsby on iTunes.  I'm actually thankful that we didn't get to see it in the theater.  It wasn't that good.  It was too. as Bart put it, "overproduced."  It tried too hard.  It was completely too ostentasious and as my friend and former high school English teacher stated when I mentioned it on Facebook, "sparkly."

Church was cancelled Sunday, but I had to get out of the house.  Honestly I really needed to go to the store for a few very important items, because I didn't know how long the roads would be too dangerous to drive on without four-wheel-drive, and Bart's in Oklahoma City Tuesday-Thursday.  We grabbed a burger at Feltner Brothers and then braved Walmart.

Monday Bart went back to work, and we tried to get back into our normal routine.  It was difficult to really get into our routine though, because I spent all day waiting on the Schwan's guy to make our delivery.  He's scheduled to come every other Monday from 11-1.  For obvious reasons he was super late Monday.  I'm always afraid I won't hear him, so it's hard for me to get busy doing anything else while waiting.  I'm not complaining about his being late.  Heaven knows I'm just happy we had that delivery at all with the condition of the roads.  That night we helped Bart to pack for his trip.

Tuesday was our normal day.  I did laundry and other housework.  I also spent a lot of time hanging with my girl.  We played outside with Lucy and Dory a couple of times, and Ladybug decided that she likes to walk on ice.

Today, we ventured out into the world!  We did a little shopping at Northwest Arkansas Mall, then we drove all the way up to Bentonville to drop off our donations to our church''s Christmas Store.  The Christmas Store is Saturday, and they're really behind on donations.  I hope everyone is able to fulfill their commitments, because this is the first year we're volunteering, and I can't wait to be a part of it!  Most importantly, I hope the families who really need the Christmas Store are able to get what they need and also are able to hear the true message of Christmas.

Tomorrow, the kids are finally back in school.  It has been an entire week since they were in class.  That really has nothing to do with us, but it's good to know.  There have been a great many complaints at how poorly our roads have been treated, causing the entire region to be crippled for days.  The worst part of this is that it isn't even technically winter yet. It's going to be a long, cold season, I'm afraid.  I much prefer the milder ones we've had the previous two years.  I was not bred for the cold.

How have you been lately?

What I'm Really Thankful For

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

This is a post that I started in vain the Monday after Thanksgiving.  The busyness of Thanksgiving claimed an unexpected victim in my blog.  Then a head cold prevented any constructive thought.  The Snowpocalypse, Snowtorious BIG (that was cute a week ago but not so much anymore), Snowmageddon, or whatever you want to call it then arrived.  Blogging and just alone-time in general isn't easy to come by when you're all trapped together inside the house for days.  I'll save all of that for another, later post.

You may or may not have noticed that I didn't participate in any of those 30 Days of Thankfulness posts on social media or here.  I'm not a big fan of Thanksgiving as just a day or month.   It's kind of like how I'm not a fan of making a big deal about Valentine's Day.  We should show our feelings to those we love the most every day, not just one in particular.  We should also be thankful every day, not just that one Thursday in November or for that month.  I am very thankful for so many things; things that I don't always take the time to notice but are very important to our lives.  I would like to list them here.

  • The first thing that I'm thankful for is the assurance of my salvation.  I know that when I was 14 I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life.  I know this.  That knowledge is the bedrock of who I am, what I believe, and the joy in my life.
  • I am thankful that when I was 21 years old I met a guy at our summer job.  I wasn't looking to meet anyone in particular at that job, but I did.  We became friends.  We started dating the next summer and married a year after that.  We are just ten days shy of our tenth wedding anniversary.
  • I'm thankful that Bart is someone who wants essentially the same things that I want in a home and life together.  
  • I am thankful for Bart's job.  He may work long hours sometimes and often have to be out of town, but he works for a company that believes in him, appreciates him, and he has grown not only as an engineer but as Christian, a husband, a friend, and a father while working there and with the people he works with.  We are very blessed with where Bart works.
  • I am also thankful that Bart's job provides for us so that I am able to be home with Ladybug.  We may not have as many things as everyone else.  We may not get to go on as many vacations, and we may never live in a bigger, fancier house than the one we have now.  However, when Ladybug is sick we don't have to juggle schedules to take care of her.  When the snow hit, we didn't have to worry about missing work because her daycare was closed.   It has been a blessing to not have to worry about having to get on these treacherous roads.
  • I'm thankful for our home.  It keeps us warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and shelters us from whatever mother nature throws at us.  It may not be the most luxurious house there is, but it is home.  That is what matters.  On these cold nights when I go up to check on Ladybug sleeping snuggly, soundly, and warmly in her bedroom, I am very thankful that I don't have to worry about protecting her from the elements.
  • I also am thankful that I don't have to worry from where my child's next meal is coming.  We don't have to go to bed with empty stomachs.  Like I said, I'm thankful for so many things that are easily taken for granted.
  • I'm thankful that after five years, Bart and I finally started going to Sunday School at our church.  It's a blessing that I've sorely missed.
  • Lastly, I'm thankful for these two.  Bart isn't the perfect husband, but he is the perfect one for me.  He is a good, God-fearing and loving man with a huge, soft heart.  He may seem hard, but really he is anything but.  Ladybug is a sweet, intelligent, healthy, funny girl.  The other night when Bart was saying her nightly prayer with her at bedtime, she chimed in while he was thanking God and praying for different things and said, "and Momma?"  Let me tell you, I needed that after the day she had given me.  I am very blessed with these two and love them more than any things or other people.  Being wife and Momma to them is what truly makes me happy. 

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