Monday, January 23, 2012

Caters is three!

My Cato-Potato, my sweetie girl...
THREE years old. 
I blinked, and here we are.

Never ever have I known another quite like you.
So full of spunk. All or none. Bursting with joy and life.
You, my girl, are a treasure.
A precious gift. 
So perfectly little girl. Oozing with tenderness and pink and princess. 
You are a nurturer at your core. You tell me often of your plans for 'when I'm a mommy like you...' 
You are my go-getter, my belly laugher, my let's color all day-er. 
You sing from the moment your eyes open, have an imagination that never stops, talk vividly and descriptively all day long. You love to dress up and mix and match and pretend. 
Mama loves everything about you, my girl.
You've changed so much this past year. 
From a toddler to a little girl. Stunningly beautiful. Wildly imaginative. A dreamer. 
As I watch you grow and change, this Mama's heart can't help but to pray. I want more than anything for you to know and trust in the love that God has for you.. baby girl, HE is love. 
And though you are indeed prettier than a princess... that matters so little. The Bible tells that beauty doesn't come from what's on the outside, but from what is inside of us-- our hearts. People might look at what's on the outside, but God looks at our hearts. It took your mama a long time to understand that, and I pray everyday that I could help you learn that simple truth.
And my baby girl-- your inside...your heart... that which makes you YOU... 
that is one of the most beautiful thing I know.
My Caters... I am so proud to be your mama. 
I love you so much!

Friday, January 13, 2012


Oh, friends...
How I wish I could erase the hurt and the ache and the pain caused by that dreadful 'c' word. 
It's all around me and suddenly so fresh in my face again.
A new bride, a day shy of her two year anniversary to the  man of her a widow.
Parents to one child, whom they cherish, treasure, lavish with love... now watching ports implanted and waiting on blood results, becoming friends with hospital staffs and sanitizing their house top to bottom in hopes of a new normal.

My heart is so heavy.

I can't help but ache for my brother. All that he endured. All that we've endured without him. 
We are nearing two and a half years, and that makes my heart so sad. It's hard to move further and further from the day we last saw him. It still feels so fresh, the details so vivid...

Do you know what I keep thinking about? A moment I've scarcely shared... so private and precious... nearly sacred in this heart... but life changing and eye opening. 
I watched my little brother take his last breath. We slowly filed out of the room to allow my parents moments to themselves, and then I came back in.
What I saw forever altered my view of life and death:
I saw JD, laying in the bed exactly as he had for the past three weeks. Dressed the same. Positioned the same. Even still hooked up to some monitors. But never ever ever in my life had I been more sure of this truth:
This body is just a tent.
Though physically his body was present... that there on the bed... was not my brother. 
It was only what housed him.

For me, there was an incredible, amazing, mind-blowing peace in that. The Bible tells us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord... To be present with the Lord is to experience the fullness of joy and at his right hand pleasures forever more. Seeing firsthand the absent body and knowing what JD believed and lived his life for... there was tremendous peace in that. 

On this side of things, though... there's a great challenge. A responsibility. Never have I been more aware of the reality that this life is not all there is. Or of the reality that we're not promised another day. Or ease or health or heat in your master bedroom. How are we living? What are we living for? What do our actions- the way we spend our time, money, talents- say we are living for?

The answers to those questions, for me, are a gross distance from what I want them to be. I want my life to scream of my Savior, His death and resurrection, the precious new life offered to me... grace. I get so caught up in the things of this world-that-is-fading. I put my trust in money instead of Jehovah Jireh- the Lord will provide. I waste my energy worrying and planning and scheming, falling prey to Daniel 5:23, "and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified." My heart is all twisted up, so desperate for change, echoing that which has been prayed for months in this home, "Lord, send a revival, and let it start with me." Oh, to trust Him... to really trust Him, His goodness and love for me, His sovereignty. We've lived mountain tops and we've lived valleys and God has always, always been faithful... but yet I still wander. still doubt. still look for the here and now instead of trusting His perfect timing. 
I'm praying that this year would be one where I follow Jesus with reckless abandonment... no holds barred, take it all, this life is Yours. 
A sort of jumbled post full of my quiet afternoon heavy-hearted thoughts...

Would you please join in praying for our friends, the Millers? You can read their story here
and I'll leave you with a CS Lewis quote that I've found to be spot on in my own life:
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

The Lord bless you and keep you...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Eleven days into a new year...

I've made my bed for four days in a row. That is more than a combined total of like... my whole life.
Just ask my mom.

I also drank nearly 90 ounces of water today. Fo' real. Camelback water bottles are my best friend. 
And on sale for $11 at Target this week. 
Certain family members of mine who have teeth and are not my husband chewed holes in the tops of my last two.
I plan to keep this one far, far, far from their little mouths. ;) 

I began a new daily devotional-- my quick fix for the morning, to tide me over until quiet time in the afternoon. It's working well for me... I knew it was the right one for this year when day one talked about living intentionally, purposefully following hard after Jesus.
I'm still looking for a workbook type book to assist in my Bible studying. I just do better with that sort of structure at this stage in the game. I'm open to suggestions... hint hint.

I still need to sit down and make a budget. I have...four days remaining before I need to have it ready.
I read the Help last week and it was excellent. Really enjoyed it.
We continued our house purge over the weekend and it is absolutely unbelievable how much we've removed from our house. Disgusting, honestly. But-- it's freeing to have it gone. It is so nice to have order and structure, a place for things to go. To not have to shove and pile to make things fit. Ah. Relief.

We celebrated our girls' birthdays this past weekend! It was fantastic-- a wonderful time with friends and family that we love so much. I'll have pictures to come, but I have my computer on overload right now, as I am moving 50 GB of pictures to my external hard drive at the moment.

Nora had her One year well baby check up this week.
A peanut! :)
19 lbs, 10 oz, 28 inches long... 25th percentile across the board.
Other than the double ear infection, all was perfect with my sweet girl.

Lastly, my time off of 'work' has ended and I am SO glad to be back at it. I really, really, really missed doing it-- and that's a good feeling. 
However, there are serious parameters in place so that I can continue enjoying it instead of being overwhelmed by it, and most importantly, so that I can do wife and mom well. 

And on that note, if I have any plans of keeping up with the kiddos tomorrow, I better head to bed.
Better posts to come soon- ha!

Monday, January 2, 2012

hearts and love and mush and gush.

I'm resolving to blog more-- can you tell?!
The sweetness of this pictures melts me.
I'm a puddle.
Juuuuuuust kidding. 
But seriously-- these little girls... sisters... oh my heart is so full.
Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

birthday girl

 My sweetie girl... Nora James..
one year old today.
Unbelievable to me.
 Oh sweet girl, you are such a precious gift.
I cannot believe a whole year has passed by...
The day you were born is so fresh in my mind--
a girl! I just knew you were a baby girl growing inside of me.
 You've been pleasant from the moment you arrived.
Easy going.
Everything I ever imagined a 'Nora' to be.
I love watching you emerge, your sweet personality.
You love people. Have the sweetest giggle. Love to jabber.
 You really love Mama. Love to be in my arms, in the sling, at my legs... wherever I am.
I love that, sweet Nora James.
(Oh, but you love your daddy, too! You light  up when he walks in, jump from my arms to his. You are so loved... not just mama and daddy, but Corban and Caters, too. They love their baby sister, have from the moment they met you.)
 I'm in no hurry, my sweet girl, for this age to pass.
The days go too quick...
just my newborn baby, and now, already, my one year old little girl.
 Baby girl-
You are a daily reminder of God's sovereignty and goodness
and kindness and love.
Joy does come with the morning.
 I hope that every day of your life you will know that you are treasured and you are loved.
 Such a gift...
My Nora James.
I am so thankful and so proud to your mama.
I love you, sweetie girl.
Happy First Birthday!