Sparkly Purses.

this morning,
i found Grace's pink sparkly-handled purse
{that she had been carrying around all morning}.

in it?

a pony.

her "lipstick" that is her new obsession 
{and which the promise of a new one totally gets us through a grocery trip}

and a yellow and blue rubber ball.

because a girl never knows when she'll need a bouncy ball, right?


and, as I cleaned up her purse contents,
i had a flash-forward of about 13 years.
of her carrying a real purse.
coming in the door, plopping it on the table with the rest of cute teenage-girl-ish stuff.

i envisioned her texting her girlfriends,
doing homework,
complaining about boys.
going to sports practice,
youth group,
service projects.

and, my heart stopped.
this little baby girl of mine?
she's growing too fast.

{as is your child, I'm sure}.

since we can't slow time down,
over the past few months I've tried to be even more
 deliberately intentional with these gifts of ours.
{the possibility of a neurological disease will do that, I'm sure..
..if i won't be able to walk in 20 years, you better believe 
i want to be able to say that when I could walk, 
i ran with the kids, kicked a soccer ball, peddled a bike,
 every single time i could.}

so, today?
i hold her when she wants to be held.
i cry with her over whatever's wrong in her almost-3-year-old world.
i give her snacks, at maybe not snack time.
 i let her wear her crazy colorful boots when she wants to.

because really?
the stuff that frustrates me day-to-day?
like spilled cereal and laundry piles
and dirty bathrooms and dishes to wash?

it doesn't matter.

connecting with my kids?
being kind and tenderhearted towards them?
pointing them towards our Savior?

that matters.

i pray to that i do it better and better each day, with each new phase we enter into with its new challenges.  i pray i pursue kindness towards them, pursue tenderheartedness. pursue love, compassion, gentleness.

{and i pray you do, too.}

Rosemary Bacon Chicken


Since Sundays are generally a pretty busy day for us,
mondays i usually spend around the house. 
in running clothes, playing with the kids, 
catching up on laundry and cleaning.
today i spent around the house, 
making Easter egg countdowns with the kids, playing dart guns,
and fighting off a sinus infection.

{this is making me sound super-interesting, right?}

anyway, here's today's super-easy, really yummy chicken recipe.
{i didn't take a picture of it with our roasted asparagus and salad!}

Rosemary Bacon Chicken

a little bit of garlic
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 thick slices bacon 
{nitrate-free is the best!}
salt and pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves 


1.pre-heat oven to 425*
2. rub about 1/2 teaspoon garlic on each chicken breast half. i used this kind, but you could totally use garlic powder or even real garlic.

3. season with salt and pepper.
4. lay one rosemary sprig on each chicken breast.  i love rosemary! it will add a great flavor, but I promise it won't be overpowering.
5. wrap the bacon around the chicken.
you could totally use a thick toothpick to hold it in place, but I just made sure each end of the bacon was tucked under the chicken, and it baked fine. 

6. bake until a thermometer says the internal temp has reached 165* - this took my chicken about 24 minutes. 


grant and grace inhaled this. 
seriously, inhaled.
it has fabulous flavor.

{found a photo with our yummy asparagus!}

tips on roasting asparagus, coming soon.

Weekend Wrap-Up

today, i got to sit beside my husband in church.

i know, not very earth-shattering news,
but, in our line of work
{church ministry}
it is a bit different from our norm.

{it was so nice}
to hear my husband's voice singing next to me

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

but, even though most Sunday morning's i'm found trying to find someone to sit next to,
it's so, so, so worth it.

however, i will enjoy the once-a-year mornings that we can ride together.
sing together.
worship together.

matt, the absolute love of my life, and myself.


this afternoon i sent a text to my husband that said 
{I'm painting the table in the foyer}
an hour later I text again
{i say i'm painting and get no response? :)}
to which he replied, 
{that doesn't surprise me.  every couple of months you're painting something. :)}

after almost 10 years 
{10 years May 11!}
he does know me well.

i love to paint.
super, super, super love it.
love color.

so, this table in our entryway?
{that's way old, super scuffed up, and doesn't really fit with our decor anymore?}

it's about to be a mustard yellow.  
I'm going to keep the red bowl, 
get rid of the {W}, the white picture frame, 
and probably move the picture above it as well.  
We have an old mirror that I'm thinking will work above this table, off-centered,
with the frame painted a deep turquoise.

anyway, here's the table now, 2 hours and 2 coats of special no-need-to-sand primer later.
the yellow to be painted tonight, after little fingers are asleep.

also testing out arrangements for a gallery wall of sorts for our living room.
what do you think? okay to mix frames?
i think I like it. and, that {W} moved from the entryway?
i think it will be a dark red.

i told you i like to paint! 

happy weekend, all!


happy, happy, happy news around here today.
my MRA and MRI of my neck came back completely normal.

follow-up appointment in a couple of weeks with the neurologist.
{still gotta discuss the original MRI that did not come back normal, 
along with figuring out the cause of the symptoms}.

so, this could still possibly be something serious.
however, today's MRI coming back normal means 
it's not an automatic diagnosis,
and at least if it is something serious,
we're in the early stages.


so, for now, celebrating God's goodness and mercy.
thanks for celebrating with me,
praying with me,
loving me.


i've been so humbled by everyone's care and concern.
i'm just *me*.
and yet a lot of you have been so extremely kind.
 it's humbling, and touching.


so, we wait, keep praying,
and try to get back to regularly scheduled life.

I Will Follow

Over the past year, Chris Tomlin's song I Will Follow has been a special one to me.
The Lord used the lyrics well over a year ago
 to help spur my heart to follow Him to a small country in East Africa.
{a country with which I fell in love and my heart longs to return}

when we've sang this song over the past year, 
my heart always beats a resounding {yes}.
Lord, I will follow.
wherever you go, i'll go.

I just never knew that the journey would go in this direction.


a couple months ago I had some weird health symptoms.
kinda par-for-the-course around here, right? it's always something.
some weird weakness and tingling along my left arm and leg.
got a bit worried about a stroke, but it went away, and so life went on
and we kinda forgot about it.

forgot about it until about a month later when the symptoms returned.

so, fast-forward through lots of doctors and tests,
and we're getting pretty close to knowing some answers.
what we do know is that it's not a stroke, seizure, tumor, or blood clot.

which leaves other kinda more serious, kinda scary answers.

tomorrow morning I have one more round of MRIs.
we are very hopeful that these will give us some more definitive answers.
a clear MRI is good news.
really, really, really good news.
burst into tears-of-relief good news.


Chris Tomlin's song says

Who you love, I'll love
How you serve I'll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow you
I will follow you 

and that's the prayer of my heart.
wherever, however, whenever He leads,

what I believed about God 2 months ago?
that He's all-powerful, all-Sovereign, faithful, loving, merciful?
it's still true.
even in the face of a potentially scary diagnosis,

What I believed about God 2 months ago, I choose to believe today
and tomorrow. and the day after that.
{come what may}.


so, friends that have loved us, thank-you for praying with us and for us.

may our heart's response mirror Job's - 
upon receiving devastating news of the loss of his children and possessions,
he fell on the ground in worship, saying

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
   and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
   may the name of the LORD be praised.”

 come what may after tomorrow's test,
{may the name of the LORD be praised.}


Chris Tomlin's song.

Beautiful Girl

This sweet Gracie-girl?


i kinda like her.
 a lot.

Saturday Night

{and this is on my heart these past few weeks.}

...My grace is sufficient for you...
2 Corinthians 12:2

Right about now

Right about now on a rainy Thursday morning.
we were fort-building, army-guy playing.
and, then, I ran to put a load of laundry in.

And grant figured this out.