Sunday, October 24, 2010

life: as it really is (why makeup should be non-negotiable)

i'll probably regret posting this, but it just makes me laugh so hard that i wanted to share the giggles.  when josh and i celebrated our tenth anniversary last month, we took a few photos to commemorate our special day.  this was one of them...

my precious husband insisted on having a copy of what he graciously refers to as his "smokin' hot wife" so he could put it in his office.  i had the photo printed, and he sweetly put it by his monitor.  now fast forward to this past week when i was in a continual routine of coughing my lungs up, putting them back in place, and then starting the cycle all over again thanks to a nasty bout with bronchitis.  i gathered my wallet and keys and walked downstairs to tell josh goodbye so i could head out to the doctor.  he stared at me with a look of pity, but there was a curious little glimmer in his eye as well.  finally, he placed something in my hand, told me to stand still, and took this:

and that, my friends, is life: as it really is.

Friday, October 22, 2010

i had to chisel the dirt off my little people

we had a field trip today with our homeschool group to sunshine farms in somewhere far, far away, alabama.  now remember that i used to teach preschool special education...i've done the pumpkin patch/farm thing many a time in my life.  but never quite like this...

authentic was the name of this game, and we had a blast from the moment we drove onto the farm and saw a cowboy herding cattle until we said goodbye to the pumpkin-bales on our way home hours and hours later.

some of the highlights were petting the horse (mr. genuine cowboy offered abby a ride, but she responded with a look of terror, a quick-latch onto my leg, and a polite "umm, no thank you")...

milking the somewhat odd contraption otherwise known as a "cow"...
playing in the cotton bin (good thing the kids were up-to-date on their cotton lessons)...
wading through the corn pit...
riding the tractor-train...
and sliding down the ginormous inflatable slide...
plus, izzy enjoyed just vegging out in the grass watching the farm cat run around the field...
after all the fun we had at the farm, jack did some vegging out of his own when we got home...
 sleep tight, little people.  sleep tight.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


8:45 this morning.  the phone rang, but i couldn't find the one phone in our house with a working caller ID.  i risked the early morning conversation with a vacuum cleaner salesman and answered.

"allison?"  it was the voice i've become so familiar with over the past year or so.  but unlike the last call i took from patricia at that same time, this conversation filled us with joy.  i squealed as she began to tell us about a baby in ethiopia who has been set apart for our family.  family history, medical information, height, weight...and birthday.

june 26, 2010.  the same as judah's.

is that the actual day of his birth?  probably not.  families and orphanage workers in third world countries spend far less time celebrating the day of a baby's birth and much more of it trying to sustain the child's life.  but the uncertainty of that precise date doesn't mean that much to us.  what matters is that we loved judah desperately.  we lost him tragically.  and god has blessed us graciously with another child to love, care for, and raise to know the love that the lord has for us, his adopted children.

much more in a few days...

Friday, October 8, 2010

overheard at our house today...

the kids have been talking a lot about judah lately.  asking a lot of questions, mentioning how much they wish he were here.  well this is what abby came up with this week...

"mommy, i can't wait until we're in heaven and there's no sickness.  and no dirtiness.  and no messiness. and no deadness. 

oh, and no flu shots." 

**go HERE to enter to win FREE custom-designed christmas cards from the paper shop (that's me)!  there's only FOUR DAYS LEFT!**

Thursday, October 7, 2010

life: as it really is

my friend, brook, of too many b's wrote a post a while back about the family "perfection" we often portray on places like facebook and personal blogs.  it's not that any of us actually has it totally's just that we want everybody out there to think that we do.  i've really tried to use our blog as a place to share things that are real -- real happy, real sad, and everything in between -- but as i was reading back through all of the beach posts from the last couple of weeks (sorry for that obnoxious number of photos), i realized that from the outside looking in, it probably appeared as if we spilled out of the car in a heap of giggly goodness onto the white sands of seagrove beach.  it might have seemed as if our children ran on flighty tiptoes toward the gorgeous ocean and played happily there for the remainder of the day while josh and i sipped on lemonade under an umbrella. 

ummm, that's not exactly how it happened.

in fact, on the evening that we joined our friends down there, we walked out to the beach together and i carried my camera eagerly in hand to get jack and isabel's first amazed reactions to the vastness and beauty of the ocean (the last time we were at the beach was when jack was just a few months old).  but what i got was a son who was terrified of the waves and a daughter who bawled her eyes out whenenever we put her feet down in the sand.  she cried like the sand was eating her legs.
and that, my friends, is life: as it really is.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

HOME is the place to come back to and be loved

as you've been able to see over the past week or so, we had such a super trip to the beach.  the weather was incredible, the ocean was gorgeous, and the company was divine.  we were totally bummed to leave the peace of that wonderful place.

it was a long five-hour drive home that day.  the kids were precious and we had a great drive....but we had really enjoyed our getaway and we weren't necessarily looking forward to getting back into the grind of "normal" life.  but as we drove down our street and our house came into view, i could immediately tell that something was different.

there were fresh flowers on my doorstep in place of the gnarly, dry, twisted mess that had been there when we left.

i LOVE fresh flowers, but because god gave me two pitch black thumbs, fresh flowers don't seem to care for me as much as i do them.  but the outdoor flowers were nothing compared to what i found when we got inside.  this was on the fridge:

"dear lewis family, we hope you had a WONDERFUL time at the beach!  we pray it was relaxing and re-energizing and that the focus was on having fun as a family.  now that you're back, there's no reason that the vacation can't continue a little longer.  our family wanted to help you savor the calmness as you slowly slip back into reality.
GOD gives us friendship to help sustain us on earth until we are collected into the arms of our heavenly FATHER.  your friendship strengthens us, sustains us, focuses us, challenges us, and grows us in HIM.  we love you all."

my amazing friend (who has asked to be referred to only as "McCleany") broke into our house while we were gone (ok, she and josh actually snuck a key away without my noticing but it's more fun to say she broke in -- and she's certainly not beyond something like that!), and she cleaned my house from top to bottom, prepared all of our meals for the first several nights we were home, baked homemade desserts, left a goodie bag of toys for the kids, and filled several rooms around the house with more fresh flowers and fall decorations. 

no, i'm not kidding, exaggerating, or making this up.  it was unreal!  but the most meaningful gift she gave me is that she covered us in scripture and prayer by posting handwritten verses and reminders throughout nearly every room in the house.  i've been walking through some very difficult circumstances over the past several weeks and McCleany knew about it, prayed diligently for me, and took clearly HUGE steps to let us know that, in her own words, "we support you and lift you up daily to our LORD and SAVIOR."

as i walked slowly through the house smelling the freshly cut flowers, giggling at the drawings her sweet children had scribbled for me, and resting in the words of GOD, tears began to quietly roll down my cheeks.  i had been given such a tremendous gift, and i'm writing this today to remind me always of the love behind the action, to spur myself on to serve others as i was so selflessly served, and to thank McCleany for her sacrifice.

she is greatly admired and deeply loved.

Monday, October 4, 2010

the beach is the place to learn new things

how to jump off the side of the pool:
how to swim:
how to throw a frisbee (sort of):
and how to relax on a weekday:
 as for me, all my learning was done from behind my camera.  we had such a wonderful trip!!!