Friday, June 28, 2013

Maybe Mississippi is NOT a Mistake?!

It is probably a good thing I do not have ample time to be considering and reconsidering the pro's and con's of what lies ahead for my sweet family, but in recent days I am gaining back my confidence that I, in fact, will survive in the south. The following reasons support my thinking.

1. After seven years previously spent in Mississippi (plus 3 summers), I already say "y'all" with no problem. SCORE.

2. I already know the difference between Mississippi and Mississippi State.

3. When a local person says they are from "Chupelo", I already know that there is no such town as "Chupelo". Rather, in normal people talk, it is T.U.P.E.L.O. Located in the north Mississippi.

4. I can, without a doubt, make a fine gallon of REAL TEA. And if you are of the sweet tea persuasion, I can do that too, thanks to Mary-Mary!

5. I own not one, but TWO cast iron skillets. SHA-BOOM!

6. I LOVE corn bread AND hush puppies!

7. I am a Walmart girl, not a Target girl.

8. When reading thru the top 50 most famous southern'isms I have heard the majority of them, with one of my favorites being, "He's slicker than pig snot on a radiator "

And my final reason for firmly believing the south will not swallow me whole is;

9. I know where the Mason Dixon line IS and it's history. HOLLA!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday Night Girls

Disclaimer *This is not the first time nor the last time I will speak about the vital importance of community*

For the last two years, I have been privileged to be apart of these women's lives and hearts. These past two years have covered some of the hardest and darkest days of my life, and for their faithfulness to me, I am speechless. We have cried, we have laughed, we have laughed so hard we have cried, we have been convicted, changed and challenged by God's word and those who have taught us His word. For these women I gave up coffee and wine for a week. If that doesn't say, "I love you and I am committed to you!" I do not know how else to convey it ;)

We have watched the seasons of life spin around us and have huddled together on Thursday nights to carry each other, to be a safe place for each other, to celebrate each other, to pray for each other, to admit our weaknesses and struggles to each other, and simply to offer fellow sojourners a place of reprieve on this journey.

Ugh, I ache too deeply thinking about saying "goodbye" to each of you, and to this group as a whole.
Therefore, you must relocate with me to Mississippi. ;)!

Thank you for the life and love you have poured without end, into my heart and soul. Thank you for showing me our Jesus in an authentic and very sweet way.

You are treasures!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Holy Moly Cow: Lucy Turns Six!

These are the pictures that you swear to yourself you will never show anyone, (because you are so pumped full of random liquids, looking swollen to the hilt, and just pushed a watermelon thru a lemon. ahem.) 
let alone plaster all over a public viewing blog spot. 

 LOVE Julia's expression :)

But as I was flipping back thru Lucy's infant pictures this one made a lump form in my throat. 

This picture encompasses this exact season in our lives.  Katie was 3, Julia was 20 months, Lucy was 5 hours old, and Mark and I look like babies :) We were so tired and simply trying to survive the daily basics. It we lived to talk about it. But here we are six years later and I cannot catch my breath.

When the sonogram revealed we were having another girl, I thought that I had the corner marketed on understanding how different sisters could be from one another. WRONG. 

Lucy has always been her own little woman. We love every 'little' thing about her. She has an air of being totally aloof, but do not be fooled she does not miss a single detail. She is unaffected by crowds, nerves, and the unknown. She is unassuming and delightful to the core!! I remember very little of her infancy and toddlerhood because she just went with the flow. She doesn't like to buck the system and is typically very stable. The girl can hip hop dance like no one else I've ever seen, and always lights up any room she enters. Her wit keeps us howling on a regular basis. Just when I thought our home was maxed out on "girlyness" God saw fit to bless our lives with this precious pumpkin. And my oh my, are we so grateful He did!!

Lucy, your daddy and I are crazy about you!! Your sweet spirit and love for life is contagious. We pray this next year expands your understanding of your Savior, His world, and your own God-giving gifts. We are unbelievably proud to call you ours!

Mama and Daddy

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Maybe Mississippi is a Mistake?!!

My melt down came a lot sooner than anticipated. Last night I was up most of the night, I just couldn't convince my brain to turn off. Yesterday, I almost threw up while I began the monumental mental process of packing an entire house of 6, in 31 shorts days. Ever since Mama died, my stomach has carried the brunt of any stress my body contains. Thankfully, chiropractic care has been amazingly wonderful in regards to keeping things on the straight and narrow, but yesterday I began to feel a flare up.

In between tucking children back into bed in the middle of night, and swatting away the bad dreams, this thought smacked me hard and tied me down with fear, "I cannot move back to Mississippi, I am NOT southern enough!" Then in a sleep deprived state, which tends to be overly dramatic and emotional, I proceeded to think about all the ways I am absolutely the furthest thing from southern.

* I do not drink sweet tea.* 
This alone should could warrant a "Yankee" tattoo on my forehead for the rest of my days.

*I do not own cloth napkins*
Hospitality is one of the south's biggest strengths, but it is not normal hospitality, there are doilies, and china, and more doilies, and tulle, and Gail Pittman pottery, and iridescent chiffon. And me? Well, I am all "if you want to see me, come the heck on over.... If you want to see my house and china, give me 48 hours!"

*I hate grits and chick'n n dumplin's*
Yep, you read that right. They make me gag. Salted ones, sugar ones, peppered ones... Only one time have I eaten grits that I liked, and Andrew Vincent knows where they are!! :) This could potentially have the official GRITS (girls raised in the south) group picketing my residency.

*Myself and my girls despise bows, and we own nothing with smocking on it*
Collective gasp beneath the Mason Dixon Line!

*I specifically request that people do not send me 'thank you notes' and rebel against their inner etiquette to save a few trees.*

*For 4 years I have worn jeans, t-shirts, and shorts to church. Our children don't memorize catechisms, and they are banned from attending AWANAS.*
People just started praying for our salvation.

*"Because we have always done it this way" is neither a motivation or valid reason for me to wear a dress to a football game in 100 degree weather with 100% humidity*
For real, put some shorts and a tank top on and call it the new tradition. More prayers for my salvation.

* I do not own a single tube of lipstick*
I had to borrow some for my Mama's memorial service. Truth.
Recently the girls asked me why I didn't wear lip stick, to which I  replied, "Because it has formaldehyde in it and I don't want to eat it!" Which provoked the question, "What is formaldehyde?" My response,"something they inject dead people with." Which lead to Lucy telling her friends, "My mom doesn't wear lip stick because it is ground up dead people in a tube!" AWESOME!

You see, I am too northern for the south and too southern for the north. That's why God sent me to the midwest. I smile too much for the north, and am lacking in all kinds of proper etiquette for the south. Again, that's why I grew up in the midwest.


But with the light of a new day, I am reminded of when Moses told God he was not eloquent enough to go to Pharaoh. And God said, "Now, therefore GO, and I will be with your mouth, and teach you what you shall speak!"

And I am A LOT sure that God has made a way for us to GO, and that He and He alone will bridge the gap of my insecurities of not being 'southern enough'. That He will teach me how to speak and be southern again without sacrificing my authenticity. And most importantly He will be with my un-lipsticked mouth and all of it's midwest glory!!

So here is to my GOING, even if I am the furthest thing from eloquent and southern!

P.S. My sweet, southern husband would like to make sure you read today's post with laughter, he does not want to offend anyone before we even arrive ;)!!! Bless. His. Heart. (See it's coming back already!)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Lacking in Content


So.... I would not expect deep content from the blog in the next few weeks, or months, except for the occasional melt down I'll have and need to write about on here. :)

In the meantime, I hope some cute pictures will keep you coming back for more.

We finally made it to the pool. Brrrrrrrrr. I do not remember a June so mild. Which I will take, considering I think I might die when the heat of MS hits me.

Uncle Andrew came into town for the weekend... so fun!!

Lucy had a birthday party with her cousin Megs, and I am pretty sure it was a total hit!

"In the river on the bank"

The dads cut the cake, each child received their preferred piece. SUCH GREAT DADS!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

I'll Be Your Mississippi

Almost two years ago we set our sites on moving home to Kansas, and I would not trade these past two years in Kansas for ANY.THING! We had sixteen months of unlimited access to Mama. We could see her whenever we wanted to, talk to her, touch her, sing with her, sit with her, talk to her, laugh with her, watch her, and most importantly care for her. It was simple, but oh so sacred.

Never in a million years could I have planned out the last eleven and a half years of our lives. The minute I said, " I do!" to my covenant marriage with Mark, is the minute my life as I knew it was transforming quickly into a life I never knew existed. Before I married Mark, I had lived in the same city for twenty years, in those twenty years I had only lived in two different houses. In the last eleven and a half years I have lived in 7 different cities, 7 different houses. Before marrying Mark, the biggest change in my life was rearranging my room. I was NEVER as in NEVER the new kid on the block. Up until leaving Kansas eleven years ago, I owned the block ;)! I went to the same school kindergarten thru twelfth grade. I knew every face, every road, every store, life was so completely comfortable and familiar. It was a sweet twenty years. I thought for sure that my childrens childhood's would be a blueprint of my own; WRONG!

Katie has lived in 6 cities and in 6 different houses. Julia, Lucy, and Anderson have lived in 4 different cities and 4 different houses. Because of the ability to home school, Katie has only been in one school, and the rest have only known homeschooling; for that consistent factor in their lives I am grateful. I do not for one second begrudge the road the Lord has laid out for us. We have learned the richness and beauty of building community. We know how to do it now! Our kids are the most flexible kids I know. They adapt with such ease and grace to new situations, far better than I do. They have learned that a "home" is just a space that can be recreated any where.

With all of that said, Mark and I long to give our children some roots, a place of sweet reprieve and stillness!! Katie is a short seven years away from graduating from high school, I would LOVE for those years to all be in one place. I would love for all of our kids to be able to build around them a group of friends they can do life with for a long time.

Two years ago we thought Kansas was going to be that place. We had no idea our time with Mama was going to be so limited. We thought we had years. With the care and keeping of Mom in mind, we thought it would be very natural for this to be a long term spot for us, but courses often shift directions when you least expect it.

So....... it is with much excitement that we announce we are moving back to French Camp, Mississippi!! A place that is so near and dear to our hearts. Ideally, we would love for this place to be home for a very long time, but I learned long ago to not make those kind of plans. For the love, we lived in King George, Virginia for two years. Never would have imagined that ;)!!

I've tried to answer a few of the most popular questions we've received along the way.

The most frequent question asked by Kansans is, "Why Mississippi?"
The most frequent question asked by Mississippians is, "Why not?" :)

Hands down the most popular question asked is, "How does your Dad feel about this?"
I love that so many of you automatically think of him. That blesses our hearts. Honestly, long before I ever married Mark, my Mom and Dad unreservedly trusted in my personal relationship with the Lord and His role as my life's guide. My Dad's response was what it has been since I was about sixteen, "If this is what the Lord has for you, then I dare not get in the way!"  I blubbered my way through telling him, as any little girl might. My Dad is our biggest fan, and I know that will never change!! He said he could not imagine a more wonderful place for his grand kids to grow up. I know the road between KS and MS will continue to be blown up by all parties involved. I struggled with telling my family, aching to not add one more "sadness" in their lives after a very intense season of sadness and loss, but each of them has graciously responded, seeing why Mississippi is a very natural fit for our family.

Where will Mark work?
Mark has taken an engineering position at Taylor Machine Works, a company he worked for in college. A company that we already love and respect.

Where will you live?
The answer to this question provokes by far my favorite response. When I tell my JOCO friends we are going to live in a double wide on family land, they almost faint. When we tell people from MS, it's like telling them the sky is blue. Nothing out of the ordinary. This I know for sure, you will ALWAYS have a place to stay in French Camp... our home! A space that can be recreated any where, even in a double wide. So y'all come.on.over!! Oh, and by the way, we will have a pimped out storm shelter, so swing on by when the sirens go off! Or wait, do they even have sirens in French Camp?

After explaining the double wide situation, a common follow up question people have asked jokingly (but we all know there is a little bit of truth in every joke) "Is Mark making you do this?"
LOL! No, Mark is not "making" me do anything. Just like I didn't "make" Mark move to Kansas. We just don't function at all on a tit for tat paradigm. We make decisions together. We are a team. If we aren't in total agreement on something as major as a move, then we KNOW that is an indication from the Lord we have a HUGE red flag. In our nearly 14 years of being "Mark & Sara" there has never been a major decision made that both of us didn't totally agree upon. A sweet gift, INDEED!

How are the kids taking it?
Like I said earlier, the kids are amazing when it comes to change. Honestly, when we first announced it we sat around the dinner table and bawled our eyes out. They love Kansas, but mostly they love the people IN Kansas. Over the last few days they get excited, then a little sad, then excited again, because any time something new comes along it means we are forced to say goodbye to what has been. And what has been, has been incredibly wonderful and we will cherish it forever.

Will you continue to homeschool?
Our education theory is one year, one child at a time. With that said, all of our girls will be attending public school in the fall. I am out-of-this-world excited for them to make this journey together as sisters. French Camp Elementary has some of the best teachers this world has to offer!

What will you and Anderson do?
This is where my heart just begins to overflow with anticipation about this next chapter. Anderson and I are going to be "Anderson and Mama" for the first time EVER! He has one year left before full time kindergarten and we are going to just soak up every moment.

Mark and I are also thrilled out of our minds to see what God has in store for my writing, speaking, blogging, etc... We have so many opportunities coming our way, and I cannot wait to pour a lot more time and energy into something that just lights me up! And come on, Lake Anne and the surrounding areas can be any writer's muse. The blog is just begging for a series entitled, "Life From the Double Wide!" ;)!

So dear tape gun, our paths meet again.
We've touched so much, we're more than friends.
With much joy and much glee,
We are thrilled to be your Mississippi!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Life from the Cell Phone

I love pulling off pictures from my phone and downloading them. I love how eclectic the pictures are. Especially, because often little hands sneak my phone and take shots. So here are some snaps from our life lately, via the cell phone.

Anderson and Lucy protecting the house with their guns. I blame our weekend in MS ;)!

Lucy sporting a 1980's exercise instructor do..

Little hands took the next few :)


More cousins

Drum roll please!!! Our eldest getting her ears pierced!! Whoop!! Whoop!!

Way too big for this Mama. Short hair, braces, AND earrings?!? SOB

They always say, "never bite the hand that feeds you!" Megan decided to do the opposite; scratch Poppo's back while he grills.... Guarantee yourself the best chop on the grill!!

We are waiting for the temperatures to get a bit warmer here so we can go swim off all the extra energy running through our bodies. I love children who are totally exhausted from the pool, they are easier to work with :)!! That's the only way we survive our summers. Sheer exhaustion. Last week was a week full of total "mom fails". Not enough physical space or emotional space was created for everyone to feel sane. And both of those space needs are on an all time increase as the kids are awake A LOT more and are well... physically bigger. So... I am resolved to fix that this week.

Here's to hoping for a more spacious week!!