Monthly Archives: November 2012

Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg



Happy Thanksgiving! We had a fun trip to Gatlinburg with our Hall/Warren side of the family.  Theresa and her children, Erin and Austin, got a cabin in Gatlinburg and had us all up for a fun visit.  Aunt Jean, Gregg, Brenda and our little family were all there. Logan was definitely the entertainment. Our little cutie had a great time in the mountains.

We had a great time hanging out, playing with Logan, doing the touristy things, and laughing together.

The deck on the cabin looked out onto the most beautiful view. . . it made the winding twisty drive up the mountain totally worth it.  Beautiful weather.  It was a nice spot for coffee . . . a photo shoots of baby boy of course.

Mr. two-teeth sure does love his Aunt Jean.  She had fun spoiling him.

It was great to get some time with Big Mama (Brenda). Logan loved having people hang on his every whimper and smile. Did I mention he was spoiled rotten on this trip?  It was great.

We had pizza and game night one night (after a car mishap changed our plans from going to Dixie Stampede to staying in. But sometimes a change of plans is just as fun).  We had a wild game of Catch Phrase – who knew Brenda was such a master of the spoken word? We laughed all night!


Of course, Logan’s favorite game was “pull Gregg’s hair.” He was a champ at that game.



We also did a little shopping in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.  Of course, we went to the Apple Barn and had to get some holiday pictures.  This made us so excited to begin the holiday season!




On our way back, we had a quick stop to see Jake’s brother Billy in Chattanooga.  It was a fun, impromptu visit.


We had a great trip.  We are so thankful that Logan is surrounded by such a loving family, near and far.  These are treasured memories of laughter and sharing together.  Even though we can’t be with all our family this holiday, we are so grateful to God for the amazing family we have.  Our family is made up of so many different people – goofballs, artists, engineers, perfectly-ironed folks and rather-be-in-a-sweatshirt folks. We have family spread out in so many places, and on this holiday when we recognize that we are blessed beyond measure we are truly thankful for all our family.

We are thankful for the blessing of each moment with our little man.  He is growing so fast. These pictures from his fun at church last Sunday (with his buddy Luke, twins in the sweater vests) make me realize just how fast time flies by. That’s why we are thankful for the moments with family, and long to have time with the rest of our family.

I’ve been re-reading “One Thousand Gifts” and it is a perfect read for this Thanksgiving season.

“The whole of the life — even the hard — is made up of the minute parts, and if I miss the infinitesimals, I miss the whole. These are new language lessons, and I live them out. There is a way to live the big of giving thanks in all things. It is this: to give thanks in this one small thing. The moments will add up.”  ― Ann Voskamp

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! Here’s to adding up the moments.




A Weekend Getaway



We had a little trip with our dear friends the Kings.  This was a long planned trip, a chance for rest and renewal and all that good stuff.

I just didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to leave our little man over night.  It was rough.  But, we had my parents in town and Ashley stayed two nights there to keep Logan.  Three adults to one baby.  I thought the adults stood a pretty good chance of doing all right.

So, we went to Nashville for a couple of days. We got a great deal on staying at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. And this was the halfway point between where we live  in Georgia and where our Kings have moved, Memphis. We had a great time.  Sometimes, you just need to hang out with friends who get it. Parenting, family balance, ministry stuff – these friends just get us.

We also did something completely out of the norm: we went to the CMA Award Show.  Yep. If you saw the televised show, you probably noticed that sparkly dot WAY up in the tip top of the auditorim. And the cute but sleepy guy sitting next to her. That was us.  We got the chance to go to the CMA’s and decided why not, when will we ever in a million years do that again?

It was fun getting kind of dressed up and going out. And the people watching was the best part. All manner of people and ALL manner of dress.  Pretty funny.  Of course these two Moms were glad to be without the ponytail and have a little make-up on.

Lauren and I had fun trying to see if we could see any country music stars. We tried to get nearer to the red carpet, which you can see in the background above.  But, for some reason the very sweet police officer wouldn’t let us back there.  So we found the other end of the red carpet.

And . . . that’s about all we saw.  But it was fun.

Our seats were ridiculously high up in the tippy top of the auditorium.  But it was fun.

The next day we enjoyed hanging out, catching up and, of course, eating our way through Nashville.  Fun stop at the Pancake Pantry.

And . . . another high point for Jake was the realization that Nashville has a  . . . wait for it . . . Chuey’s!! He was thrilled to his toes that we could stop at our favorite Mexican place from Dallas and have a plate of the “goo.”

Oh, Chuey’s.  You’ll never know the depth of my hubby’s love for you.

All in all, it was a great weekend.  But I was sure glad to get back to my little man.  And I decided it will be a long time before I leave him overnight again. Love him so!



Logan’s first Halloween was a blast.


We loved our pumpkins!



He was a lion for Halloween, chosen mainly because it’s super cute, but also because he opens his mouth and tries to eat everything, which looks a little like a tiny lion cub “roaring.”


We went to the Brandon’s annual Halloween party, which is always fun.  Our buddy Quinn was there, dressed as an old man, a “resident.” This was so hilarious because Andrew, Quinn’s Dad, works with the elderly at an Assisted Living Center.

Jennifer, Quinn’s Mom, was dressed as “Jo Ann’s fabrics.” Well, we all know that that is where my Mom practically LIVES.  So we had to get a picture of them together.


We had fun at the Halloween party catching up with friends and showing off our little lion.

Logan even helped with the trick-or-treaters in his Halloween outfit.


Happy Halloween to my little pumpkin!

Family Dedication


Last weekend was a special one for us.  Logan was dedicated at Heritage Baptist.

I’m not sure words can express how much this moment meant for our little family.  I’m remembering the sign that hangs in his room that says, “For this child I have prayed.” We prayed for this child, in this church, with this family, for such a long time.  And then we stood with our family and church family and made promises over him.

This is the church where we have served for several years. This is truly a family of faith for us.  This is the sanctuary where Jake and I have both spent time together, just us, in prayer.  This is the place where, a couple of years ago, I met God before dawn on Easter morning and had it out.  We were on our way to the community sunrise service and stopped in the sanctuary at 6:30 am to grab a few things. I had my flower for the flower cross, a pink tulip that had surprised us in the yard, and I placed that first flower on the flower cross that morning.  Then I promptly let my heart break before God. This is that sanctuary for me.

So, standing there with so many I love was a tremendous moment for us.

The service was beautiful.  At our church, a family dedication is part of worship, and happens at the end of the service. The worship service included beautiful, meaningful music.  My sister Ashley sang two of my favorite songs.  And, our friend Andrew, a minister in North Carolina, was our guest preacher and did the dedication.  For a pastor, it was an interesting thing to think about who would actually “do” the dedication. Usually, Jake is the one “doing.” We have many minister friends who could have done this beautifully. But, for us on this day, Andrew was just the one to do it. We were thrilled that he came. 

For the most part, Logan did great!  In our church, the family stands at the front and the pastor takes the baby in his arms and walks the baby through the aisles of the church.  This is symbolic and has always meant alot for me to see other families experience this.

The pastor asks the family and the church for a commitment to nurture faith in this child.  The parents are reminded that “this child is not your own.” As we heard this reminder that Logan was a gift from God and that we would be giving him back to God all of his life, my heart could barely hold it all in.  We promised to nurture his faith, to teach him about God’s love and to say “yes” to God for him until he can “yes” for himself.

We are humbled by these promises.  I’m still processing all that this means for me as a mother, and the commitments I want to live into.

We also had a blast on this weekend because all the family visited.  Dan, Robin, Brenda, Jean, Teresa, Ashley, Penny, Alannah, Uncle Ted, Pat and Ameris, Gregg, and the three of us. That is a fun crowd.  We all hung out at hour house Saturday night and then gathered for lunch after church.  It was easiest to have a family lunch right there at church, so we gathered in the fellowship hall together with Italian food.


It was great to have family there. Logan was entertained by his jumperoo during lunch. But he barely had a chance to get in it for being passed around.



Our beautiful mothers!


This outfit was a special gift. My mother made it for him and embroidered his initials on the front. I just love it!

At the end of the day, it was nap time for a little man.  It’s exhausting being that cute and working a crowd.





We love you, little man.  We promise to love God with our lives and invite you to your own journey of Christian faith. We are committed to walk alongside you on that journey. Soon, you’ll take your first steps, and you’ll keep on walking. We promise to be there with you, pointing the way as best we know how. We trust in grace, mercy and love for the whole journey through.