Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas in Heaven

After spending one of the most exciting weeks of my life in New York, I am home and gearing up for Christmas.  If it weren’t for the birth of the baby in the manger, we would have no hope of Heaven.  That is a lot to celebrate. 

Christmas, for us, is also a time to spend with family making memories.  There’s just one thing missing…our daughter.  So much has happened in our lives since Faith was born.  My book finally made it to the publisher the day I left for New York, which is a huge praise!  It has been 2 years in the making.  But as we hang the stockings, it’s hard not to imagine what 6 would look like, instead of 5.  It’s hard not to think about what would be wrapped under the tree for her.  There are times I feel guilty for being sad about it, because I know there is no better place to celebrate Christmas than in Heaven.  But that doesn’t take away the mommy in me who longs to have her family complete.

Last night, we had our Christmas Concert at church, and our  youth choir sang Christmas in Heaven.  I had to leave before they sang, but it is such a beautiful song that I wanted to share it with you.  I am so thankful for God’s gift of Baby Jesus, who died to pay the price for my sins.  I’m thankful that He didn’t stop there.  He defied death as he arose from the grave, and I can’t wait until He comes again to take me to Heaven to be with Him and to see my little girl.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Apple of our Eye~ Emmy Turns 1!

Today is Emmy Claire’s first birthday.  It seems like only yesterday we were patiently awaiting her birth.  It has been one of the best years of my life, and Emmy is such a blessing to each one of our little family members.

Sunday, we celebrated with an “apple” themed party.  The Apple of Our Eye.  It took a village to get it put together, but it turned out so cute.

My mom came over Saturday, and spent several hours helping me clean my house and get it ready.  Saturday night, my friend Kim came over and helped me finish cake pops, cupcakes and chocolate dipped pretzels.  Sunday morning, Ashley and Alyssa came over after church to help me set up.  During the week, Jessie had helped me gather supplies, and she kept me sane.  Angi made the cutest burlap apple for my front door, and it was just precious! It really was a group effort!  Mrs. Stacey let us borrow some decorating supplies, and she made Emmy’s tutu and bow too!

The table turned out so cute.  We served cake pops, a candy apple bar that consisted of apple slices, caramel dip, crushed nuts, mini chocolate chips and sprinkles.  That was the biggest hit!  We  also served chocolate dipped pretzels and apple-shaped cupcakes.


I made Emmy’s smash cake and although I quickly remembered why I don’t do cakes anymore, I was pleased with it.

The Tuckers brought Smokey, the miniature pony, and the little girls had the best time.


Eli wasn’t too crazy about him.


We opened gifts, and she had a blast with that.  Then it was time for the cake.


All of the boys are absent from the pictures because they were having way too much fun hiding, getting dirty and just being boys!

We had so much fun celebrating Emmy.  I have to say that it was a long, but overwhelmingly great weekend.  We had the 5K, a student’s birthday party and then Emmy’s party.  I was so tired but so grateful for the people in my life that love my family!!!  Not only  did my family come, but the majority of the guests were our high school students.  We love our big kids, and they love our little ones!!!  They pitched in and wanted to be a part of our little girl’s day, and it meant so much to me. 

We are blessed beyond measure!!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

When God makes you wait...

My blog hasn’t seen so many posts in a very long time.  But a sweet friend sent this to me this morning, and I loved it.  So I wanted to share it with you all.

When God makes you wait...

Written by: Anna Bachinsky

Jesus could have come and healed Lazarus when he was still alive.

Instead, He waited to raise him from the dead when he was already in his grave.

God could have made David become king the day after he was anointed.

Instead, He waited 15 years to rise to the throne, many of those years spent fearing for his life, hiding out and running away from his own father-in-law.

God could have spoken to Moses in the desert about sending him to help free His people from slavery 40 days after he ran away from Egypt.

Instead, He made him wait for 40 long years.

God could have gotten Joseph out of prison one year after he was sentenced there.

Instead, he was stuck in that dungeon for 10 years before he was finally set free.

God could have given Abraham the son He promised him when he was still a young man.

Instead, He waited until he was 100 years old and because of physical reasons would have a more difficult time conceiving at that age.

God could have answered prayers and met the needs of these men of God much quicker, but He didn’t.

He made them wait instead.

And He often makes us do the same.

He makes us wait for healing to come after we’ve been praying for years and there is no sign of recovery.

He makes us wait to fulfill His call in our lives after He puts the desire and passion in our hearts to serve Him in a certain way.

He makes us wait to give us the desires of our hearts, whether it’s a baby, a spouse, or a new job.

He makes us wait for direction when we are stuck at a dead end and we don’t know where to go or what to do.

He could answer that same prayer that you’ve been praying for years every night in a millisecond.

That same prayer that has been bringing you to tears.

That same prayer that the longer that it goes unanswered, the more it makes you question whether He even hears.

But He doesn’t.

He kept Moses in a desert for 40 years.

Joseph in a prison cell for 10 years.

Abraham without a child for 100 years.

David on the run for 15 years.

And maybe He is keeping you right where you’re at for the same reason He kept these men for so many years: to build your faith.

To build your faith in a dungeon cell, during the valley in your life where it’s too dark to see and too hard to believe.

To build your dependence on Him when you are barren and empty to see if He is truly all you desire and all you need.

To see how well you will trust and serve Him when you are still stuck in the background somewhere, doing seemingly nothing too significant for Him.

To build your trust in Him when the storm keeps raging, the battle keeps going and breakthrough and victory doesn’t seem near.

See… sometimes the waiting period of our lives is the most important time in our life.

It is during this period when nothing seems to be happening, when prayers seem to go unanswered, when God seems so far away that the most spiritual growth takes place in our lives. That we learn to become more like Him.

It is during this time that we build spiritual “muscle”.

That we grow in faith.

That we learn to only depend on Him.

What are you waiting for today?

What longing do you have that seems so far from ever being fulfilled?

What prayer do you keep on praying that seems to never reach God’s ears?

I want to remind you that God is not deaf to your prayers.

He is not blind to your constant tears, to your desires, and to your needs.

If He is making you wait, there is a very good reason for it.

If He is telling you “no” today, maybe it’s because He has a better “yes” waiting for you tomorrow.

If He is keeping you in the same place you’ve always been today, maybe it’s because He’s helping build your faith before you enter your Promised Land tomorrow.

If He is not healing you or bringing you victory today, maybe it’s because you will have a greater testimony when He waits to help you be an overcomer tomorrow.

Wherever you are at today know that God is right beside you and that there is a purpose for you. Even if that purpose is to wait.

Don’t give up just because you don’t see anything happening today.

Maybe there is nothing physically happening that your eyes can see but there is definitely something happening in the spiritual realm as you learn to rely on Christ.

Don’t allow your waiting period to make you hopeless about what tomorrow will bring.

Instead, let it build your faith and give you even greater hope for what God has prepared for you.

He made some of the greatest men of faith wait.

Don’t be discouraged if He makes you wait as well.

He will come through for you, just like He came through for them.

“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” – Psalm 27:14

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How Great is Our God

We have been working tirelessly trying to finish up our book about Faith’s life.  It has been what seems an extremely long process.  After sitting dormant on this project for some time, the Lord was really working on my heart about getting it done.  I felt so overwhelmed by the whole thing.  It hurt so bad to sit and recount, but I wanted it to be perfect.  I was talking to Bryan several months ago and he suggested I pray about finding someone to help me.  My pride got in the way at first.  This is my project that God has asked ME to do.  But I just didn’t have a peace about not doing something.  One night, during a youth workers meeting, I asked my friends to pray for me that I could get this finished.  The details are all God, and I will write a post all about it one day, but God through his awesome power provided the greatest blessing along the way.  Nat offered to partner with me and help me finish it, and I am telling you, we couldn’t have done anything without her.  She has really been a God-send to us.  She keeps me going, motivated, and on taskSmile  She has been working so hard to get it done.

When I first embarked on this mission, I thought it would be fairly easy.  I had blogged what I thought was every last detail there was to know, but I was so off target with that one.  I am telling you that the writing of this book, reliving every moment from the most life-changing thing to take place in our lives has restarted the cycle of grief , and has been the absolute hardest thing I have ever done.  God has taught me a great lesson through this.  So many times when we are facing a trial, we want so badly for him to tell us how it all plays out.  We think it would be so much easier if we just knew what was going to happen, we would do it with a more willing heart.  That is the farthest thing from the truth.

Because we know how our story has played out, we know it is hard.  We know that our family took some hits, that our kids have been forever changed.  We know that we faced some dark days.  We know that our lives have been changed forever.  While none of those things are bad, and every last one of them has grown us spiritually, they are extremely hard to relive, ripping scabs off of wounds that we thought were completely healed with only a scar to show for our pain.  Wrong Again!!!  Now I know why it has taken so long to complete it.  I now also know why it takes faith to walk in obedience to God.  When things get hard, and we know how it ends, we aren’t so quick to be willing.  When we are in the trenches, depending on God for every last detail, we easily trust in Him, because we know no other way.

This has all been weighing so heavy on my heart.  I have felt like the grieving mother all over again, back at square one.  I have been overwhelmed by the task of recounting our story, but I know that God is in it, and He is going to use it on His terms.  Last night, we had the great opportunity to see  Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio in concert.  I experienced worship like never before.  The Holy Spirit just poured into me like salve on a wounded heart.  I think I cried the entire time I was there.  But they weren’t tears of sadness and grief, they were tears of gratefulness for all He has done in my life and in the lives of my family.






You’ve seen me reference the song “How Great is Our God” on here many times.  The most memorable post with that song was when I was able to post the pictures of Faith from the hospital.  We knew that those words were the testimony of her life.  We even sang it in worship at her memorial service.  To get to hear it last night, straight from the man who wrote it and recorded it was a supernatural blessing.   How Great is Our God!!!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

It’s Coming….SOON!!!

I have talked about the book here and there, and frankly, it’s been a long time coming.  We are working hard, and we are just DAYS away from submitting it to the publisher.  There are so many details I want to share, and they are coming.  But I thought I would give a little “sneak peek” for the time being.  Here is the last line of the letter Cade wrote that he wanted to include:

“I thanked God for Emmy and for using Faith to minister to people about God and this is my side of the story.”


Cade Vaughn

I am so in love with that boy! 

We cannot wait to share the rest of the story with you!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

When God Shows Up

When I posted about the 5K and the t-shirts for Team Faith last week, I had, in my small mind, limited God.  I thought for sure I would be doing good to get 10 team members and sell 20 shirts.  Can I tell you that we have sold 92 shirts!!!  God is so good, and when He shows up, He shows out!  How many times do we have no expectations of God?  We get in the midst of our pity party and think that God is too big and too busy to make a big deal out of us.  I’m pretty sure he proved us wrong by sending His son to die, while we were all yet sinners.  He loves us THAT MUCH!!!  I love it when He reminds of us these things.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Faith, Hope & Run…with a purpose

When I was pregnant with Faith, I didn’t know a lot about what was going on.  But I did know that I would make sure to take advantage of every opportunity the Lord gave me to make a difference in this world.  And now I have a chance.

Crossroads Pregnancy Center in High Springs, FL offers a variety of services to pregnant women.  They offer abortion education so that the mother is fully aware of all of her options. So many times, abortion is sold to mothers as a quick fix, with no remaining effects.  That is not the case.   Their mission is to help mothers choose life!!!  They also offer post-abortion counseling, which is extremely important as well.

I have found it to be true that most of us think we would never be faced with the choice of abortion.  I certainly didn’t.  We assume that abortion only affects a certain socioeconomic group of women, with certain circumstances.  I remember as a child, and even a young adult, my family being involved with a pregnancy center in Gainesville.  I would go and listen to mother after mother whose life had been changed by the support of this pregnancy center.  I never imagined that it would make a difference in my life.

At just 12 weeks, I was begged to terminate my pregnancy.  I knew in my heart what I felt was right, and what I wanted to do.  But there were things that made me question if I was doing the right thing.  I’m so thankful for the peace that God gave me, and the strength that only comes from Him that saw me through.  Faith has changed my life for the better, and I am so proud to be her mother.

It’s easy for us to say we believe in something, and we stand for something.  But so many times we just do a lot of talking, and no walking for the cause.  Here is your chance to make a difference, and honor our sweet Faith.

Crossroads Pregnancy Center is hosting their annual 5K Run/Walk.  You can register at  If you register online, you will receive an event t-shirt.  But there is something else…

My sweet friend, Cory Ridge Holcolmb, designed the perfect logo for a Team Faith t-shirt (all the way from Germany). 



It is just perfect!  It is complete with her name, her verse, and her sweet footprints.  If you choose to sign up to run on Team Faith, you can get your shirt for cost at $7.00.  If you cannot run, but would like to support our team, you can purchase a t-shirt for $15.  The profits will be donated to the Crossroads Pregnancy Center.  There will be two options- Gray with Hot Pink logo, and Hot Pink with White logo.  Please contact me at if you are interested in purchasing a shirt, or if you have registered on  I want to make sure it doesn’t fall through the cracks.

My prayer is that every child will have a chance at life, and we want to help make that happen, one step at a time.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Birthday, Amy.

pic 1Very few people are blessed with a true friend in life.  Sure, we may have a best friend for a season, but then the season changes, circumstances change, and most of the time, our friends change too.  I am one of the very few with a true friend.  I am even more blessed to have a few.  But one stands alone, and her name is Amy.

Amy and I met 16 years ago as I began my career at the Tax Collector’s Office.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t even like her in the beginning.  I thought she, and one of the other girls there, were a little snooty.  This is quite funny now, because if there is one quality you will NOT find in Amy, it would be “snootiness.”  For some reason, we had to work together on a project, and it has been an unbreakable bond ever since.  That was 16 years ago.  I was just 18, and would never have imagined I would ever have a friend like Amy.

Amy is the friend who has encouraged me through a divorce.  I remember her going with me to meet the mistress, tracking down where they were living, and helping me sharpen my investigative skills.  Shortly after the divorce, I found myself staying out later, and partying a little too much.  Many times I would oversleep, and Amy would call me to tell me to get my butt out of bed and get to work before I lost my jobSmile

After Rob and I got married, and I had children, Amy was still my dearest friend.  She loved Cade like her own and was there for the birth of SaraGrace (and even provided some comic relief).  Most of you know she was the one in the ultrasound room when we got the news about Faith.  She wasn’t supposed to be there that day, but thankfully God intervened, gave her an intuition, and she did what she wanted instead of listening to meSmile  She encouraged me, loved my family, and loved my daughter. 

When Faith was born, she was there bright and early.  She would come back to where I was waiting for the c-section, and just hold my hand, and tell me it was all going to be okay.  Once Faith was born, she was one of the first in the room.  She was the only one other than Rob and me that held my angel.  She took off the entire week to help us out.  She loved our children and took care of them, she supported my parents, she helped with the funeral, but most importantly, she was my friend. 

There have been very few days these past 16 years that we haven’t talked on the phone, or in person.  We have our “morning coffee” on the phone on the way in to work, and it just makes my day.  She always listens, tells me her honest opinion, and knows me better than most.  She knows my deepest darkest secrets.  She’s been on the mountain tops with me and in the valleys.  She is the epitome of a TRUE FRIEND.

Proverbs 17:17- A friend loves at all times.

Today, Amy turns 40!!!  We celebrated with a wonderful surprise party last night.  There is no way in the world to repay her for what she has done for me.  My only hope is that I can let her know just how special she is.  Friends like her are few and far between.

Happy birthday to the best friend a girl could ever ask for!!!  My sister from another mister!

Monday, September 9, 2013

SaraGrace Sings a Solo

Be still my beating heart!!!  My sweet, spicy redhead sang her very first solo in church last night, and I couldn’t be more proud of her.  I must admit, I teared up a little as she stood up on that stage singing “Change My Heart”. 

I am so thankful for our church and their willingness to let the little ones share in worship.  She will never forget last night!

Of course we want to share it with you, so here she is in her very first official singing debut.  (Note that baby sister is trying to compete with her in the background.)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Be Still

So many times when you are seeking God’s will for your life, there are so many directions that seem to be right.  But you just don’t want to step out in front of Him or his timing.

Serving God wholeheartedly has been on our hearts for some time, and there are just so many shapes in which it can be manifested.  I have so many thoughts and wants, and ways in which I think it should be.  But all of my own personal opinions just seem to cloud what is He really wants from me.

There is no doubt I am a busy woman.  Too busy for my own good.  I have been convicted and my heart has been heavy.  There are just so many great things going on in my life, and I want to be neck-deep in all of them.

But that sometimes comes at a cost.  The important people in my life sometimes suffer at the hand of my ambitions to be the best at everything I do.

God has opened HUGE doors with my book, and we are working so hard on getting it done.  We are looking at having the manuscript complete by the end of October.  He has blessed me with a wonderful woman who is helping me put it all together.  I am so thankful for her, and the joy that I have had the past few weeks.  To physically see something that God has put into motion come to fruition is one of the most fulfilling things I have ever been a part of.  He is taking my deepest pain and allowing it to become one of my greatest joys!!!  It is totally unexplainable, except for the fact that He is God and I am not.

So my quest to find my niche in which the Lord has called me has lead me to a quiet voice that is whispering, “Be still and know that  I am God.”  I need to quit trying to be Wonder Woman in everything I do, and just do what He’s set before me with my whole heart.  So I have committed to work on this book with the same effort that I have been chasing everything else that comes my way.  That may mean that other trivial things will have to temporarily take a back seat, but that is okay too.

I cannot wait for you to be able to share in this project with us.  It truly is a testament to the HOPE we have in Jesus Christ!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

When it Rains, It Pours

It has rained this week in our lives.  And I mean FLOODED!!!  But in an AWESOME way.  God has poured out so many blessings on our family this week, I am on such a high.

Some of this will be vague, and I am sorry for that, but we are still praying through some of these details.

The first thing that happened this week, was that we got to see awesome details being worked out in students’ lives.  The Lord literally orchestrated some things that were undeniably Him.  He’s so awesome!!!

Secondly, we are praying about some opportunities for Rob.  His heart is in ministry to students, and God has opened a small door.  We have a lot of praying to do!!!

Lastly, but the best!!!, is my book.  Y’all, I have been burdened by my disobedience in this area.  I have a hard time managing my time (I’m busy.  I’m a wife, a mom, a Sunday School teacher, a youth worker, a jewelry lady, a contractor, and this list goes on and on.)  However, NOTHING should get in the way of being obedient to God’s calling on your life, and I have been so guilty of that.  So here is what went down….

We were at a youth leadership team meeting discussing an upcoming event.  I just happened to ask for prayer in regards to the book situation.  My heart has been so heavy to get it done.  One of my sweet friends mentioned that her long-time friend had just published her second book, and it was a number one pick on Amazon this past week.  I asked if she thought the lady may be interested in helping me finish my book. 

The next morning, I asked for the contact information.  I facebooked the sweet lady, and she messaged me back almost instantly.  She couldn’t help me at this time because she is so busy.  But she happens to be a member of a Christian authors group, so she put my request out to them.  Within minutes, I had a sweet woman interested in helping me.  I facebooked her and a partnership was born.  A door was FLUNG open by the Almighty God. 

I am now working with the sweetest lady who is going to help me finish Faith’s book, and she is going to edit it as well.  I was waiting for the door to be slammed closed whenever I asked her fees.  But me and my faithless self were proven wrong again.  It is something we can work with.

  The weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders.  Rob and I are going to work diligently this weekend to get the rest of our story done and get it to her.  She said she shouldn’t take too long to finish it. 

I cannot begin to tell you how it feels to personally see God working miracles in my life!!!  I know God is good, all the time.  But He has POURED out blessings this week to us.

As I’ve been studying James these last two weeks, I have been convicted about having faith without action.  It’s easy to say I believe in Jesus, and I trust Him, but do my actions say so?  Sometimes we have to just step out on faith.  And that is what we are doing.

Please pray for us as we continue to seek and follow God’s will for our lives.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Liquid Gold

We love us some creamed corn around these parts.  It is probably my most FAVORITE food of all.  It is a lot of work, but so worth it.  For a while, we just settled for “tube corn” cooked in the microwave.  It was okay, but not nearly as good.

Since we all love to eat corn, we had a family gathering  to put some up in the freezer.

The girls started out with the shucking and silking process.  Because we were so busy, I do not have any pictures of us doing that work.  But I do have some pictures of the cows enjoying the fruits of our labor.


Remember Lulabelle?  She is growing….a little.


Mom & Dad got some new contraption to do all the work for us.

20130625_191417_resized Once the corn was creamed, it was time to vacuum pack it.20130625_193413_resized It was definitely a family affair.  Cade was away at at Children’s Camp, and SaraGrace was in charge of all of the littles (Lord Help Us!!!).   20130625_192241_resized

It was a job keeping them all entertained.

20130625_191324_resized Sometimes she left her post because she got bored herself.


Emmy had a great time, and was sooooo good!!!  20130625_192216_resized

Now all we need are some of the O’Steen’s famous CORN FRITTERS!!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Things I Learned on My Very First Run

I never thought I’d be blogging anything about running.  I am not a runner.  I am not a motivated person when it comes to exercise.  However, after doing some stalking of some facebook running pictures, I thought it would be a good idea to do the Couch 2 5K training regimen.

You see, Disney has several runs throughout the year, and I can be easily motivated by Disney.  So I set out to get started.

sb shoes

I did go to a local running store to get fitted for some shoes.  That’s the only smart thing I did leading up to this. 

I did (barely) finish day one of C25K.  But not without learning a few things.


So here is a list of things I learned about running in the 30 minute training session. 

***Please Note:  This is just me being honest. Do not hold this against me:)***

  • Watch what you eat before you run.  We thought that eating pizza and drinking a gallon of diet coke would be no problem if we waited long enough before running.  SOOOO not the case!!!  I thought we would be experiencing dinner for a second time on the second lap.
  • $50 is NOT too much to spend on a good sports bra.  I am a tightwad.  I do not spend lots of money on clothes and such, and my shoes were over $100.  There was no way I was going to buy a bra for $50…until now.  After layering THREE bras, I finally felt comfortable enough to run.  But OHMYGOODNESS it was HOT.  I will definitely be making the investment next week!
  • Compressions shorts are important.  We went to Orlando a couple of weekends ago and ended up in the Under Armor Store (hence the $50 bra).  I do love a good deal and found some running shorts on clearance for $10 so I bought them.  But they also had some compression shorts on the rack.  I couldn’t imagine wearing those things in the heat of Florida, so I skimmed by them.  They are like Spanx, but only tighter.  And thicker.  But after making a few rounds on the rack, I thought I would try them for $14.  I.AM.SO.GLAD.I.DID!  The purpose of those bad boys is to keep my thunder thighs, and the chaffing,  in check.  SOOOOO worth the $14.
  • Dry-Fit Socks.  I did not spend $10 a pair on dry fit socks because one would be missing after just one wash.  However, there are no bathrooms at the track that are open, so I was so wishing I had them after I had to pop a squat behind the car (remember the gallon of diet coke?)
  • I should invest in one of those tight-fitting running tops, even if my six pack of jelly rolls is completely visible to those within a 100 yard radius.  Between my three bras and a tshirt, I liketa died of a heat stroke.

I guess it’s good to learn by trial and error, huh?  I knew running wouldn’t be easy, but we all enjoyed it as a family last night.  I did push Emmy in a non-jogging stroller half way last night, so I think I should  get a little extra kudos in the workout department.

On the way home from the track, we started talking about coming up with a family team and supporting a cause in Faith’s honor. 

fam shoes

Cade came up with the idea to support a cause that “helps women to not have abortions.”  So if anyone knows how that works, we would love to hear from you!!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Catch Up Post that is WAY OVERDUE!!!

Oh my goodness!!!  I have neglected my blog in a huge way, but we have been so busy making memories so it’s been lots of fun!  There is so much to catch up on, so I’ll start with this post, and continue throughout the rest of the week.

As I mentioned before, we didn’t get to do anything the weekend of Faith’s birthday as a family.  Per Cade’s request, we had made a pact that we would celebrate her every year, so we had to make good on that promise.

We headed to the most magical place on earth over Memorial Weekend.

entracneI do not ever tire of Disney World.  It’s a good thing, because we should be added to the payroll since we’ve been there so much in the last couple of weeks:)

We stayed at Coronado Springs again, and loved it.   Our dear friends, the Collins, met us over there to swim and hang out.  The first order of business was to slide into their amazing pool and have a great time.

 kids float pool

These two oldest children of mine are something else!  They love each other so much, then fight like cats and dogs.  They crack us up!!


The kids loved playing on the steps in the waterfall.

kids steps

Emmy loved the water, but she got so comfy, she slept in her raft as I pulled her around the pool for 45 minutes.  She’s spoiled I tell you!

emmy sleepAfter all of the swimming we could handle for one day, we went to  the Pepper Market Restaurant at the hotel.

Kristen (Kicken) is expecting a baby girl in August and we are over the moon excited!  We worked on Casey all weekend about Baby Girl’s name.  They keep telling us they will agree soon!

collins I love this girl!  One of the greatest blessings of friendship in my life:)


I love this picture of our family.


After dinner, we turned in early.  Our kids were excited to just lay in bed and watch tv.  Since we don’t have tv at home, that is vacation to them.

kids bed We got up early the next morning for breakfast and did some more swimming.  Then it was time to check out.  We had a gift card to Chili’s so we left out and headed there.

me rob Once lunch was over, it was on like Donkey Kong.  Rob surprised me and Cade with the thrill of a lifetime….a ride in a NASCAR!!! 

 cade me track  Somebody was really excited!

me cade racetrack I was excited, but nervous as a pole cat.


SaraGrace wanted to ride so bad, but she isn’t quite 6 years old.  Although she tried really hard to convince them that she should get to since she would be 6 on July 30th.  But they let her sit in the car and get her picture taken.

sg car

Cade absolutely LOVED his ride.  Sean, our driver, took him to 120 mph and Cade is still talking about it.

cade car

I got to go 140 mph and I prayed the entire 3 laps.  I told Sean that if you ever wanted to see a praying parent, take them in a NASCAR at 140 mph while their 3 children are watching on the sideline:) 

We were so sad to see the weekend come to an end.  We all had the best time making memories and honoring Faith and her birthday.  I love my family and I thank God every day for the blessings they are in my life.  Although we were sad to leave, we were excited because we knew the Volpes were coming and we were coming back in a few days. 

Stay tuned for the pictures from the Vaughn/Volpe Voyage to the Mouse.  Never a dull moment with all of us!!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Faith’s Second Birthday

This past weekend, we not only celebrated Emmy turning 6 months old, but we also celebrated Faith’s second birthday.  It was a tough week, but a good week.

Saturday morning started out with a few tears.  I got a text, then saw a facebook message from my best friend, Amy.

amy gardenShe had put the butterflies and angels at Faith’s Garden Saturday morning.  One of the hardest things about losing a child is fear they will be forgotten.  The best way to encourage that parent is to remember that child.  Nothing does my heart good like someone remembering Faith.    Amy never lets me down!!!

That evening, my sweet friend, Kristi had invited me to speak  at her church.  I had the honor of sharing Faith’s story at their ladies event.  

kristi I had worried all day long about being so emotional, but the Lord is faithful and gave me peace.  I met so many wonderful ladies, and I left with the assurance that God is still using Faith’s life to minister to others.

Sunday was her birthday.  I woke up fully expecting to be an emotional wreck.  And I was a little emotional.  But I had such a thankful heart knowing that Faith was singing with Jesus.  It’s what gives me hope.  We had flowers in the church to honor her and her day.

flowersMs. Dianne at Lady Bug Flowers and Plants did an amazing job and the arrangement was fit for a princess!!!

After church, we got an extended nap ( a much needed 2 hours, thank you!!!) and then headed to Faith’s Garden.

Although the Garden always stirs some emotion, I always find hope in this:


We had cleaned everything out a few weeks ago to repurpose it and freshen it up. Rob repainted the sign, and one of our high school students, Lane, repaired our  girl statue.  Then Gamma stopped by with the balloons.  I am so proud of the way it turned out. 


Once we got home, SG wanted to bake something, so we made some pink birthday cookies in honor of Baby Faith.  We had to use the Easy Bake Oven, of course.


SG was the master pastry chef!cookies She must have really liked them because she ate them all by herself:)

I would be telling a story if I tried to act like my heart isn’t broken.  Sunday was a hard day.  But I was reminded that He is ever close to us and never leaves us, even in our darkest days. 

Psalm 34:18

18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

I am overwhelmed by the loving and encouraging words and notes from our friends and loved ones, both old and new.  God has used you to bless our family this past week.  Thank you for being a part of our lives, and for sharing in the life of our sweet daughter.

Our family had made a pact to do something fun each year to celebrate Faith’s birthday.  We will be celebrating this weekend with a fun surprise trip to a Disney resort with the kids.  I am sure there will be plenty to post when I get back.  There is never a dull moment with our bunch!!!