Wednesday, December 28, 2016


2016 was the Year of Goals for us.  We wrote down a goal list at the beginning of the year.  Then, one by one we were able to check off those goals.  We give thanks to God for allowing each goal to be met and guiding us along the way. 

In January, we became members of a church that we were hesitant to join.  Not because we didn't like the church or the people.  Simply because we weren't 100% sure that is where God wanted us.  However, the day we were to attend Membership Class, God spoke to us in a BIG way!!!  It was immediately obvious to Craig and I what we should do and we joined without anymore hesitation.

In March, Craig received a promotion that he had been praying about for 2 years!!!  It was a joyful day when he heard that news.  His store is about 30 minutes away and is also where he worked years ago as a co-manager.  He's come full circle!

In July, I was able to quit my job as a preschool music teacher.  I dearly loved being around those kiddos and hearing their wonderful stories.  But, God was calling me to do something else. 

At the beginning of August, we enjoyed an amazing family vacation to Disneyworld!!!  Everyone should experience it at least once.  We ended the vacation at my favorite place, Gulf Shores, Alabama.  It was so incredibly peaceful and relaxing. 

At the end of August, we all started back to school.  Kaitlyn started middle school.  Preston started intermediate school.  I am now a full-time music major at my university.  It took a little bit of an adjustment for all of us and our crazy schedules, but we got it under control.  We are very much enjoying our winter break!

Also in August (it was a busy month!), Preston's team became a Select baseball team.  Preston had dreamed about being on a Select team for years!  He is the King of Perseverance.  However, it was short-lived and Preston is no longer part of that team.  I know if he really wants to play on a Select team again, it will happen.  He doesn't give up.  We will just pray that the right people come into his life to coach him, encourage him, and help him reach his baseball goals.  We are fully trusting God on this.

I will admit the last couple months seems like 2016 was smacking us in the face with different issues that would arise.  But we believe God is preparing us for next year and all that He has been telling us already.  Overall, this year has been good for us.  We were amazed at all God has done as all of these goals came to fruition.  We remained faithful and persistent in our prayers and obedience to God. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Musings of a College Student

This semester was hard.


It wasn't hard because I was finally a full-time student, taking 13 hours, while still trying to be Superwife and Supermom (an impossible task!).  It was hard because I was studying music. 



Ok, I think enough caps for now.  But perhaps you get the gist of it. 

So often it is assumed that music majors just play their instruments, learn some songs, and graduate.  It is so much harder than that!!!

First of all, you have to audition to be accepted to the music program at TWU.  I did that two years ago and they held a spot for me as I worked on my core classes.

You study and analyze music by breaking it down measure by measure, chord by chord.  Why is this note allowed and why is this one not?  You hear the music and must be able to exactly identify each note, each chord, each quality, each rhythm.  You learn secondary instruments and must be very proficient in them.  Then, you take the instrument you auditioned with and you practice.  You practice until you have learned ways to use your instrument you never thought possible.  You practice knowing that you must constantly be striving for perfection, even though it seems so far out of reach.  You practice and practice some more.  You make sounds that turn into beautiful music and share it before your peers and your professors.  You eat, sleep, and breathe music.  Most often, dreams are filled with music. 

And you repeat this routine. 

Every. Single. Day.

I wish I could say I'm exaggerating, but I assure you I am not.  Craig can also assure you, I am not.  He was the one to always hear my complaints, my "I can't do this", my "Why am I doing this?", and knew my grumpiness would somewhat dissipate when a week of testing was completed.  Often times, I was ready to have meltdowns and just cry it out.  I got frustrated and so often wondered what had I gotten myself into?! 

Honestly, I love my university.  The professors are wonderful and they truly want every student to succeed.  I've emailed each of my music professors at least once when I wasn't quite understanding the assignment.  I don't ever hesitate to ask questions.  I've made some really great friends that I hope are in it for the long haul with me.  Sadly, some of my friends found music to be just too hard and are switching their majors.  I also usually forget how much older I am until one of them mentions their age or I mention when I first went to college over 16 years ago, the internet barely existed.  However, there are other non-traditional students that I have become close to and we lean on each other.  Everyone is really supportive because we know we are all in this together.

My family has been such an amazing support system.  Craig juggled his schedule to work with mine each week so someone would always be available for the kids and their activities.  My poor kids would ask when I would be done with my homework and my reply was always "when I graduate."  As much as I was focused on school, I tried my hardest to be at every school function, every baseball game (often with homework in hand), and spent time with each of them.  I especially made sure Craig and I had our monthly dates, our deep discussions, and supported him with his professional and personal goals.

It was a tough semester, but I made it.  I worked really hard in every single class and made a 4.0!!  I have a long road of school still ahead of me, but I will do it.  One semester at a time.  Music is beautiful and studying it only enhances my appreciation for it.

This school journey has included lots of prayer and increased my faith.  I certainly could not do this on my own strength.  It has always been about God's timing.  I have put my full trust in Him and obeyed when he told me to "Go!"  Everyone tells me when this is over, it will all be worth it.  I am fully believing in that and feel that I'm truly doing what God has called me to do. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Kaitlyn's Birthday Letter

Dear Kaitlyn,

Wow!  You are officially a teenager now!!!  It is so hard to believe how quickly these 13 years have flown by.  It has been an amazing journey to watch.

You are so incredibly creative.  You don't need a pattern or specific instructions.  You see something you like and can make it on your own.  Your attention to detail is phenomenal.

You want the world to be kind and loving.  When you see something that is not, it truly bothers you.  However, you are sure to share your good heart with everyone you know.

You are always wanting to help others.  You don't like to see someone go without.  Your compassion is a great example for others.

You give such godly wisdom and you truly understand the Word.  You know why it is important to understand the Ten Commandments and the Fruits of the Spirit.  You tell us such meaningful things when we most need to hear it.  You are mature beyond your years.

We are so extremely proud of you and the young lady you have become.  We are excited for all that God has in store for you.  We will continue to pray for guidance and protection while giving thanks for such an incredible daughter.

We love you,
Mom and Dad