I'm a full-time wife and mom of two adorable boys. When I'm not busy trying to keep up with them I enjoy photography, traveling, planning parties and a little bit of reading.

In February of 2008 I was diagnosed with an incurable terminal lung illness, though God promised me a full and complete healing. While we wait for His timing, we're taking it one day at a time, and standing in awe of how God's using all of this for His glory. The tough road we've traveled has given us a new perspective on the fragility of life. Memories are more important to us than ever before. The goal of this blog is to share some of our family life - the ups and downs, the joys and probably some of the pains as well. It's mostly meant as a personal journal of sorts, but you're welcome to share in it. We'd like to take this opportunity to say ...


Monday, July 20, 2009

Fork in our Path

Have you ever felt that you should do something, but it didn't really make total logical sense? I mean the decision wasn't a bad one, but it seemed like "odd" timing. Or if it didn't work out just right, then you'd experience a huge financial set-back. But, despite all the reasons for you not to do it, it still felt that you were supposed to....

Well, Aaron and I are in the middle of that sort of situation. We are facing one of those make or break, fork in the road points in our lives. We both think we know which path to take, we've just been waiting for the right (God's) timing. We've been knowingly waiting for eight months already. In early November Aaron brought up for discussion the possibility of a change in our family's life. At first I reacted the same way I have the last hundred times he's brought it up over the past two or so years. Out of frustration he finally said, "Just pray about it!" So, I did.

I prayed. And prayed. And prayed. And before long this time my heart began to change. Within a couple weeks I was actually excited about the possibility, and had complete peace even though it seemed impossible (financially, physically (energy-wise), etc.). But the PEACE was undeniable. Finally we brought up the possibility with our parents. And then after several more months told a few friends and asked them to join us in prayer. Finally - after SEVEN MONTHS of being convinced that despite the craziness of it, this IS the path that God has for us, we were given our final confirmation last week.

This past week Aaron was offered (and ACCEPTED) a job in Cranberry, PA (just north of Pittsburgh). It's doing the same thing for Verizon Wireless that he currently does - just in a new region with different management and co-workers. Cranberry is four hours from where we live now. It's 1.5 hours from our closest family (my mother), and it's really far from our friends, our church, and our support network. But it's only about 20 minutes (without traffic) from my doctor.

The economy is down. Our investments are worth less. Our townhouse is in a new development that is still building new houses. Why would someone buy our "used" house for the same price as they could buy a "new" one just down the street? Unless God works a miracle (which I'm living proof is possible) - then we'll lose money on this house - a lot of money. This move makes absolutely NO LOGICAL SENSE. But we both feel God leading us to Pittsburgh. And so we will go. When God told Abraham to pack up everything he owned and move his family to a place that God WILL (note the future tense) show him, that didn't make sense either. But Abraham obeyed, and was blessed for it.

Aaron's job begins September 1. Our house has now been listed. We are unwilling to buy a new house until this one sells. Of course our hope is that our house will sell, and we'll settle on a new house out there before then. But if not, until God sells our house and we move, Aaron will be staying at a hotel in Cranberry during the work week (which the company has generously offered to pay for), and I will be here alone with the boys. That prospect does not appeal to any of us. But, we are confident that God will work it out in His timing. If it takes longer to sell the house (rather than shorter), then it means that we have more time to save up money for the move.

So ........ if you know anyone in the Mechanicsburg, PA area who's looking for a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath townhouse that's in still new condition - please send them our way! You can check it out HERE. Our next couple weeks are going to stay VERY busy - trying to sell the house, continuing the relocating process, etc. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Oh - and ...

Congratulations, Darling.
I'm so proud of you!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Headin' Home

See ya 'round. The young'ens and I are headed home to my Mama's today. We'll spend the week there while Aaron holds down the fort here in Mechanicsburg. Poor guy - actually has to earn a living.... We're really gonna miss him, but it'll be good to spend some time with the boys in my childhood home.
(This is the street I grew up on, but that's not the house...)

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge mountains, Shenandoah River.
Life is old there, older than the trees,
Younger than the mountains, growing like a breeze.

Country roads, take me home,
To the place where I belong,
West Virginia, mountain mama.
Take me home, country roads.
All my mem'ries gather 'round her,
Miner's lady, stranger to blue waters.
Dark and dusty painted on the sky,
Misty taste of moonshine, teardrops in my eye.

Country roads, take me home,
To the place where I belong,
West Virginia, mountain mama,
Take me home, country roads.
I hear her voice, in the mornin' hours she calls me
The radio reminds me of my home far away.
Driving down the road I get a feeling
That I should have been home yesterday,

Country roads, take me home,
To the place, I belong
West Virginia mountain mama,
Take me home, country roads
Country roads, take me home,
To the place I do belong
West Virginia, mountain mama,
Take me home, country roads

Friday, July 17, 2009

African Mercy

We are friends with a couple, about our age and also with two young children, who are missionaries on the African Mercy - a ginormous ship (almost the length of two football fields) that has been retrofitted to be the world's largest non-governmental hospital ship. Currently it's docked in Benin (in West Africa). It has six state-of-the-art operating theaters on board, and performs over 7,000 surgeries each year!

Our friends took advantage of the summer holidays (the wife teaches the missionary children that are on board) to fly home and visit family and friends. I'm sure that 6 weeks every 2 years isn't nearly enough time for them to catch up, and fit in all the "American" experiences they'd like their kids to have - like camping - and to build memories with their extended family. But, they're gracious enough to take what they can get, and flexible enough to squeeze lots of experiences into such a short time!

They've already been "home" (or does the ship feel more like home already? hmmm. I wonder?) over a month, and just last night we finally got a chance to connect with them for the first time. They cleared their schedules and came to small group - that's where we first met them. It was sooooooo good to see their smiling faces, and hear his funny quips as we talked about last night's topic (true humility and the sometimes perceived arrogance of real spiritual discernment - and how the two interplay - very interesting discussion!).

In true "African custom" (I know - it's a continent, not a country, and stereotypes of the continent as a whole are very irritating!), they brought gifts! They found the little drum at a market in Benin. The workmanship is quite beautiful, and it's sturdy enough to survive young children (an added bonus!)! The photo doesn't do it justice - the white parts are carved out. It will fit beautifully with the other African (technically Zambian) sculptures that already adorn my living room. Thank you, dear friends, for the beautiful gift!
If you're looking for a much needed, and much appreciated place to send some of your tax-deductible donations / tithe, I'm sure they'd be grateful. You can find more information about the African Mercy HERE. I remember as a child my mother taking me to view one of the Mercy Ships, when it was docked here in the States. I never dreamed that when I grew up, I'd be friends with a family who not only are raising their two children on one of the ships, but also met on one of the ships (The Caribbean Mercy) almost 10 years ago!

Charles & Shelly - it was wonderful to see you last night and have a chance to reconnect a bit again. Your children are growing beautifully! We wish you only blessings as you prepare to return to the African Mercy soon. You'll be in our daily prayers as you continue to fulfill the call you have so willingly answered.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bumps in the Road

Sometimes in life you're so focused on your goal, that you don't notice the dips and bumps in the road to get there....
... that is until they make themselves known to you, usually in an up-close-and-painfully-personal way. It's often therapeutic to have a little cry. Take a moment or two to look back at what tripped you up, so you don't stumble the next time you walk that same path.
But then get up, and brush yourself off. With renewed determination, hold your head high. Refocus your attention on your goal ... and keep moving.
My seventeen month old gets it. Why do I, as an adult, sometimes get hung up on the hurts and lose sight of the rewarding goal?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Yummy Inspiration

A couple days ago, a friend posted a RECIPE for an oldie, but, oh, what a goodie! After I realized that this current long weekend (Saturday thru at least Tuesday) would be spent with me in bed, and Aaron taking over the household, I quickly decided to whip up some pre-made meals that could be munched on for the next several days without any further input from me. It only took about an hour for me to make it all, and the fridge is stocked, and the three men in my life are being well fed (with more than just toast and string cheese).

So, the menu included:
Chicken on the grill - my mother-in-law's recipe, (Aaron cooked it on Friday, and there's enough to last several days)
Homemade soup - sausage, tomatoes, and whatever other veggies that were hiding in my pantry and freezer
Egg salad - either you love it, or you hate it, but in the summer we love it on crackers
Watermelon - a whole, seedless, perfectly ripe, juicy watermelon already cut up and ready for quick snacking
7-Layer Salad - oh yeah! It's the only salad I eat as a leftover. And I had everything on hand for it except lettuce and bacon. Even better!

Thank you, Beth,
for the yummy inspiration!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Today Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennett kept me company
while I spent the day in bed recuperating
from last night's gigantic medicine increase.

(The five hour A&E version!)


It ended up being an okay day after all!

I'm doing another huge increase Sunday night, so
I think we might spend another day together on Monday!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Lazy Summer Evening

So - a friend recently commented that summer's 1/2 over, and I was caught off guard. I've been so busy lately that I didn't realize that we're soon gonna be half-way thru July. I guess it's time for me to get in the swing of things and start actually doing some summer activities with my family.

... But what!??!

We haven't had ice cream outside 'cause Alex usually refuses to eat the stuff. We haven't gone to the playground at all (except once in May) 'cause it's generally too hot for me to tolerate. We haven't gone to the pool 'cause I'm not allowed in water, and it's generally too hot for me to tolerate. We haven't gone to the beach 'cause I'm not allowed in water, and it's generally too hot for me to tolerate. We haven't gone to Hershey Park or the zoo 'cause it's generally..... You get the point. Summer activities revolve around enjoying the hot weather, and when I'm outside in the heat I think I'll pass out 'cause I can't breathe. So - I've been getting down on myself for all the summer experiences my kids aren't getting yet again this summer!

If I don't have any projects that need done after Aaron gets home from work, then generally we eat dinner and once it cools down we try to head outside for a little bit. Harrison has fun picking flowers and running/crawling in the opposite direction of where we want him headed.
Alex rides his spider man bike or plays catch with Aaron, and he absolutely loves doing both!
But it's hardly anything - definitely not enough! Alex is missing out on so much that was part of what summer meant to both Aaron and me when we were children. I've been trying to come up with ideas of summer activities that we can do as a family that don't revolve around water, or a lot of walking, or being outside in the heat of the day. I HAVEN'T COME UP WITH ANY! I seriously need help - please give me some suggestions!!!!

Life Lesson #1

If you're four years old, and afraid of something - - like getting wet by a sprinkler ball - - DO NOT let your friends know!!!

It's important to "fake it" that you like the sprinkler ball, rather than just standing off in the distance.Your friends will notice that you're not participating, and will chase you around the entire row of houses until they catch you, and carry you back to get soaked by the scary sprinkler ball!There's not much point squirming out of their slippery grip, and running away. They'll just chase you around the houses until they catch you again!
And they will drag you kicking and screaming back to the ball again. Only this time everyone will be in on it - pointing the water directly at you!
It doesn't matter how many times you run away. Your friends, who love you, and only want what's best for you, will chase you down time and time again until you finally stop kicking and screaming.
And lastly (and most importantly), make sure you do not notice your father who's standing just off to the side watching you in your distress and laughing his pants off!
Also, make sure you have a mother who was good enough to photograph the entire escapade and will NOT let you see the pic of your father laughing until you're all grown up and have successfully repressed the nightmare that happened at your own July 4th party!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009