Saturday, August 30, 2008

Daddy's girls.

Here's the real blog for the day. We went to the wedding of Adrian Davis and Cori Barker today. Adrian and Alan work together, so it was exciting to see him get hitched. And Cori is such a sweetheart. They were absolutely made for eachother! Before we left I took a few pics of my hubby and my sweet girls. It's not very often that we are all dressed up and in the same house, so enjoy the pics!

My sweeties!

Daddy's little girl, Taylor!

Daddy and Ava.

Being silly!

We love our daddy!

Saturday Morning Fun

So, this is what my husband and I do for fun on a Saturday morning...don't worry it's G rated! Alan has been growing a beard and finally decided to shave it off today (YEAH!!!!).

This is the gotee.

And the handlebars... my personal fave!

Scary mustache circa 1985.

And of course, the Hitler.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hillsong Conference

I've had several people ask me how the conference was, so I thought a blog update might be in order. Alan and I along with 7 other fabulous members of the worship team traveled to Houston this past weekend to be at the Hillsong United Conference. The conference was so great. This was actually my second to attend a conference. Alan and I and three others went to Orlando last November. At first, I thought the Orlando conference was better, but after thinking about it I realized it's because everything we heard there was new information. There was so much stuff shared it was like I couldn't absorb it fast enough! I realized that in Houston, some of the same things were shared, so initially I didn't feel like I was getting as much out of it. The last night (Saturday) was amazing though. The service was like this drama/monologue with video and it was so incredibly powerful. The most amazing thing about it was how simple the message was. It was all about relationships and how God had created us for intimacy. It talked about how we stereotyped people and missed out opportunities to show them God's love just because we assume things about them. In the end, it all came back to just realizing how much God loves us. If somehow we can wrap our tiny brains around that, then loving others is just a reflection of His love for us. What a simple concept! Why is this such a hard thing to do? The service ended with the song "How He Loves Us" by John Mark McMillian. It is such a powerful song. I love it and just meditating on the simplicity of the words touched me in such a powerful way.

The other thing that I really loved about this year's conference was the focus on Hillsong's I Heart Revolution. I've known for a long time that they are big on worship and justice and how the two go hand in hand. Lately I've been studying that on my own and trying to get a better grasp on it all. I think it all boils down to just understanding the heart of God. His heart for people, His heart for the world, His heart for the lost and broken and suffering. I've been catching little glimpses of it through stories from my sister. If you don't know my sister Paige, she is amazing. That's not really an adequate word to describe her, but it's all I can come up with at the moment. She oversees the Missions ministry at our church and she travels all over the world. Sometimes I'm jealous of her and all the places she gets to go and the things she gets to do, but I know that there is no one else in this world who could do it the way she does. I also know that God has me in a season of life to stay home and raise my kids and love people here where I am at. Anyways, Paige has most recently been to Thailand and India and has shared some incredible stories of God's power at work in those countries, especially in the women. I just love hearing stories about God's work in other nations. And I am beginning to realize that we have not even tapped into all that God is calling us to do for these people who are less fortunate. I think it goes so far beyond food, clothes, and shelter. Sometimes just loving people can make a bigger impact than thousands of orphanages or missions organizations ever could. It all comes back to love. That is God's heart. He created us to love and to be loved. Anyways, back to I Heart...they just talked about how if we ignore those hurting around us, then our worship is pretty much useless and worthless. I don't think they actually said it in those words, but that's my interpretation. So all in all, it was a powerful conference. God is at work in Hillsong church, but greater than that, He is at work all over the world. The thing I love about Hillsong is their humility and understanding that it's all about Him. I have never once felt a sense of performance or hunger for fame at any of their "concerts" or conferences. They just genuinely seem to love God with everything and they are so honored to worship with people and bring glory to the King whether at home in their church or across the world.

I will leave you with one final verse, because I can't get away from it, or it won't get away from me. It was shared at the conference and as a worship leader, it definitely has me thinking.
Amos 5:21-24 (The Message)
"I can't stand your religious meetings. I'm fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I'm sick of your fund-raising schemes, your public relations and image-making. I've had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to me? Do you know what I want? I want justice- oceans of it. I want fairness- rivers of it. That's what I want. That's all I want."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

No whining zone!

I realize that I have been a little bit whiny lately. Maybe not out loud, but definitely inside my head. I don't like whining. I despise it actually. When Ava starts to whine I just tell her that I don't understand that and when she's ready to use some words and tell me what she needs, then I can listen. I need to do that with myself. I think I'm generally a positive person. At least I try to be, but lately I find myself feeling very tired and bogged down with life in general. I don't want to blame it on being pregnant. I don't want to blame it on work. I don't want to blame it on having a two year old. I think I just need to have a better response to all of it and get happy!!! So, this is me getting happy! There is so much to be happy about. I have a great family with one more member on the way. I work at a job that I love and have so much freedom to just hear God and obey and run with whatever He tells me to do. I have so many outlets to be creative and use my giftings. So, no more whining!!! This is me....not whining.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

We have a floor!!!

I am so excited right now. After two years of ugly concrete in my kitchen I have a floor! A real, actual, beautiful, honest to God floor! Two years ago, the concrete was a vast improvement over the old carpet that was in the kitchen. Two different kinds of carpet actually. Arranged in a strange wavy pattern across the kitchen. It had to go, so we began the kitchen remodel the week before Ava was born. (I say "we" like I had something do with it. I actually laid in bed, breathing paint fumes, trying not to go into labor so my husband could finish this crazy project he had started.) In addition to the new floor, our hideous entry circa 1974 is gone!!! The disgusting tile that can only be described as the color of baby poop, the dark paneling, it's all gone! My husband has worked so hard since Saturday to transform ugliness into a warm, cozy entry and kitchen. Now I will actual want to have people over more often. Hooray for home improvement projects!!!

Kitchen Before: (notice the wave? That's where the two carpets met before)Kitchen After:
My beautiful new entry. Before pictures do not exist. No one wants to remember the hideousness. Trust me!

Monday, August 11, 2008

What a week!

This has been a cram packed week! First I'll start with the best birthday! I turned 27 yesterday (Sunday) and it was a good day. The older I get I'm starting to realize that birthdays aren't as big of a deal as they have always seemed in my head. Growing up, I remember planning my birthday for months. Of course my plans would change a dozen times before I decided on the perfect party theme, gift, and activities for the day. Now that I have kids, I put all that thought into their birthdays. My birthday happens to fall one week after Taylor's and one month before Ava's so once we recover from Taylor's big day, I start thinking about Ava's and my day goes by without as much thought. This year I will admit I had a slight pitty party because once again, my husband sort of forgot my big day! Well, he didn't forget because I reminded him about six times the day before, but he is right in the middle of a slight remodel of our house. And in his defense, birthdays or really any holiday was never a big deal in his family growing up. He doesn't understand how I can put so much thought and effort into one day. So as he is slaving away ripping up carpet, busting up 30 year old tile and painting walls, I was having an immature moment, astounded that he had not planned a fabulous day for me. Well, I started seeing how hard he was working (and is still working) and I got over it really quick. He took me to dinner last night and we had a great time! And he is giving me a great present....a floor! If you have been to my house in last two years you have seen the lovely concrete floor in our kitchen. He is transforming our ugly, outdated house while I sit and watch. I am pregnant, so I can't really do anything to help. Thank you Alan, I love you! I also had a great surprise yesterday afternoon. I took the girls to the Reed's house for a little swimming and my wonderful aunt Lisa got me a cake. There were so many friends there and it was a great moment to share with them! We even go to swim a little while before the rain down pour! Then today, my mom planned a great birthday girls lunch with more wonderful friends and family! And I got to go without kids, so that was also a treat. Sometimes it's nice just to have some time that I'm not dealing with leaky sippy cups, stinky diapers, picky appetites, etc. And my mom got me a really nice Kitchen Aid stand mixer!!! I'm so excited about this gift! Now I just need Alan to finish the kitchen so I can get in there and cook up something fabulous and yummy!

Ok, next big thing this week...the Olympics!!! I love the Olympics. Every night I just want to sit and watch until they're over and then I search through the other channels and watch the more obscure events. I am watching a boxer right now named Prince Octopus (real name) from Ghana and I'm hooked! I know nothing about boxing, and this poor guy is getting beat 11-2, but hey, it's the Olympics, so I am hooked! It just fascinates me and I can't get enough!!! So between the birthday, the paint fumes, the new floor, and Michael Phelps' quest for eight gold medals...what a week!!! Oh yeah, and today I scheduled the C-Section for baby girl #3. We will welcome our sweet baby on Monday, November 10th. That's the plan anyways!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Day at the Lake

We were supposed to go to Dallas this weekend for a little family trip to NRH2O waterpark. Apparently there is a crazy bacterial outbreak at Dallas area waterparks and pools. We decided the waterpark was a bad idea, and we would wait to go to Dallas when we had more time. So, the Rich family headed out to the lake yesterday! This was the first time just the four of us went out in our boat. We tried the day we got the boat. The four of us loaded up and went to Buffalo Lake, but did not have much success. Long story short, we forgot the boat keys, Ava was screaming her head off, we nearly lost the boat and trailor because we unhooked it from the car and forgot to put something behind the wheels, and the list goes on. So, needless to say, our first try was a no go. So, yesterday, we did it!! Just the four of us, and we had a blast!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Taylor's Party

Taylor's 8th birthday was super fun. We had a fabulous pool party, so I thought I would share some pictures of all the fun!

Taylor opening some presents!

Taylor and her friends the Davidson girls (Abby, Jordan, and Annalise)

Ava enjoying her cupcake...and her bikini!

Kelsey, GiGi (my mom), and Madison

The guys entertained themselves with washers.

Happy Birthday Taylor!