Friday, February 27, 2009


I feel heavy. I think it's my spirit.

My church hosted a Women's Retreat tonight. We got together and ate and talked, then had 3 speakers. They each touched on something different, but they all tied together. And every one of them was speaking to me.

I have a lot on my heart and mind right now. I'm trying to process it all and take it all in. I really feel like God is doing some work, some changing in me right now. I'm going to try to listen to Him and gather my thoughts and then write it out. I want to remember where I am now and how I am now. Also, I want to share this stuff with others so that maybe they can be changed by it too.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ava's 1st Birthday

Our little Ava Nicole turned one today. It was a bittersweet day for me, and I'm sure for her parents. It seems like only weeks ago that I was waiting not so patiently at the hospital to meet her for the first time. She didn't really wanna come out I don't think. Aunt Lissa had to miss a final exam in order to see Miss Ava during her first minutes of life. I have to say, it was well worth it. I love this little girl more than I ever imagined I could. She is beautiful, sweet, funny, full of life and love. She gives the best lovin' ever... sweet hugs and kisses and cuddles. I simply think she's the best.

Today for her birthday, some close family gathered at Candice (my sister) and Dom's house to celebrate. We took pictures, opened presents (Ava got lots of clothes!!), sang Happy Birthday, ate cake, took a bath, and played with new toys! I believe her favorite new toy is the huge pink ball that Mommy and Daddy got her. We had so much fun!

I took over 150 pictures. Instead of posting a bunch, I just made a small collage of some of my favorites.
(click to make larger)


Aunt Lissa Loves You!
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A good word and a few good surprises!

I read a blog post today from here that I can't fully understand yet.. but I'm keeping these thoughts tucked away for future reference.  I already think about how I want to be a "good" mom for my future kiddos.  Anyways, here is a piece of what I read--

I wish I could wave a magic wand and make the term “good mother” disappear forever.  Not because it’s wrong for us to want to be the very best we can be, but because I believe we as mothers have allowed ourselves to be sidetracked by an impossible standard of “good”.

We keep a checklist of mothering perfections, yet overlook one ironic fact - which is that God doesn’t ever really call us to be “good mothers,” at least not as we tend to define it.  Instead, He calls us to love Him, to become more like Him - that is, to be “godly” mothers.

God doesn’t want us to be “good mothers”; He simply wants us! He wants us to be His children, to draw on His strength, to learn from Him what it means to be a successful human being.

I just loved that.  It's hard to remember, but we NEED to remember it.  Not just with mothering but in all areas of life.  The only thing we need to worry about is being more Christ like.  The rest should just fall into place.  :)


Now, for the surprises!

Today at school I got a Valentine's gift from my sweet Noah and his parents.  I know Valentine's was a little while back, but that's fine by me.  It's a cute little notepad and some stationary!  I love it!IMG_0836

And when I got home from school, my hubby had a surprise waiting on me.  (He knows the way to my heart, by the way!)

Gummy Bears (in the gold pack) and a Mountain Dew, with a sweet little note.  I didn't take a pic of the note though.IMG_0838 IMG_0806

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Walk In The Park

Today is my last day of Mardi Gras break from school and from student teaching... I'm not wanting it to end!!!  It's been so nice sleeping a little later in the mornings and having time to clean house and having time to spend with my hubby during the day.

Justin and I have been trying to go to the gym everyday.  I am so out of shape that I can't do much.. mainly just walk/jog on the treadmill for 20 minutes.  That's beside the point.. the point is that today instead of going to the gym, we went to Kiroli Park.  There are alot of walking trails there, and I figured it would be wayyyy more fun to walk outside and see new things than on the treadmill staring at a TV.  Plus, it was a beautiful day outside today!

I took the camera just in case..  I made Justin run out into a field so I could snap a picture of how GREEN that grass was.  I haven't seen grass that green in a while.  Everything is brown and dead looking.


After the walk, we decided to swing a little bit.  And Justin did tricks.CIMG2355 CIMG2354 CIMG2352

We had a good time.  And some good conversation.  Neither Justin or myself are big talkers.  We can just sit together in silence or with music or whatever and be just fine without talking.  We've even noticed ourselves riding in the car and not speaking for extended periods of time.  And we are okay with that.  It's just who we are.  But I really do enjoy the times when we really talk.  Not just small talk, but deep stuff-- life stuff, God stuff, future stuff, personal stuff.

Today we made one definite decision about our future/my education.  I have been considering going to nursing school after I finish my education degree this May.  I really think I would enjoy nursing and the money would be much better than what I'll make teaching.  Today, though, we decided to wait on that.  We would rather focus the money that it would take to pay for school on things like growing our family and investing in a larger house.  Needless to say, I'm EXCITED!


I'm also excited about my niece's 1st Birthday Party tomorrow!  I'll definitely be posting pictures of that very soon!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

just some happy stuff

The first "happy" for me in the past few days was selling thisIMG_0572....

Our friend Shelly needed a bus ticket to be able to come to our wedding. She was part of our wedding party, so this was pretty important. Justin decided to buy her a ticket in exchange for her old car. all of this happened this past July. Ever since then we have had this old burgundy car sitting in our driveway. It wouldn't run or anything.. just sitting there. Justin kept thinking he was going to fix it and then make some money off of it, but it never happened. Well thank the good Lord, someone finally bought it from us! We made a whopping 30 bucks on it. I really wouldn't have cared if we had given it away.. I wanted it out of my sight! ha!

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My second "happy" was when Justin came home from work with this.....

He got employee of the month for February at Outback! I know how much he deserved it, too. He is such a hard worker and never calls in sick. He does extra work that many others don't do. I'm pretty proud of my man. He also got a $50 gift certificate to Copeland's. Yummy!

Here is a picture of him with his prize!Imported Photos 00049

Next, our cats have been hilarious lately. They are getting so big and fat. It's funny to watch them play with Justin cause they stand up on their back feet.

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And last, but not least-- If anyone knows my hubby, you know he is not a reader. He will read his Bible and that's about it. Well, can you believe how happy I was to see him order a book from Amazon, and then actually start reading it!!! And look what book it is..Imported Photos 00051

Love Dare!

We went and watched the movie Fireproof together and both loved it. He was still talking about it the next week. It was a really great movie that makes you think about things in a new way.

I really think Justin wants to try to be the best husband he can. I am SO lucky! :)

And just one more picture--Imported Photos 00048

Monday, February 23, 2009

Date Day

Saturday my wonderful husband took the day off work so he could spend it with me :)  In case you don't know, that makes me one very, very happy wifey.  Quality time is not one of my top Love Languages, but it still does wonders for our relationship.

We slept late (sort of), went to some garage sales, visited the in-laws, went to the mall, went to our first "modeling gig", ate dinner at Copeland's, shopped at Target, and then came home and snuggled on the couch.  It was a glorious day.  I love my husband.

Back to the modeling..  It was raining pretty heavily.  And it was cold.  But that didn't stop us!  Justin and I ended up being the only two "models" there for five photographers.  It was interesting.. we felt kinda famous.  We would just be walking down the street and have five cameras in our faces.  Paparazzi!!!  We felt like we didn't do a great job.  Both of us are stiff as can be in front of a camera, but those photographers worked magic! 

In case you wanna spend hours looking at photography websites like I so often do, here are a few of the ladies that were there: (she did our wedding too)

And here are some of my favorites from the day1 3 close up  justin2 posed puddle window

We had SO much fun!  I'm getting prints of some of these and I can't wait to see them!  Hopefully we can do something like this again sometime.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Growing Up Right Before Our Eyes

I finally got the chance to go visit with my sis and Ava today.  She's doing more and talking more every time I see her.  It amazes me, really.

Today she wanted to play with my phone and my camera all day.Imported Photos 00138

She's also drinking out of a "big girl" cup now.Imported Photos 00140

And, I found this cute chair today and brought it to her.  I think she likes it even though she can't quite get in and out on her own.Imported Photos 00137 Imported Photos 00133

And of course the biggest news... she's WALKING!

(these videos are from my point and shoot camera and are horrible quality, but that's all I had!!! I need to purchase a good video camera soon!)

And one more cute pic just for good measure!Imported Photos 00139

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ava's Walking!!!

My sis just text messaged me and said that Ava started walking tonight! I'm so excited... I cannot wait to get over there tomorrow and see her! I know pictures won't do it justice, but maybe I can take some video if I can get my hands on a video camera. I'll try.
Ava will be turning 1 on the 26th of this month. I can't believe how big she is getting and how fast this first year has gone by. More about that later this month though....

I love that babygirl!

wasting time....

I'm in the computer lab at school patiently waiting on 6:30 to get here so I can go take yet another test. I was really hoping for an easy, laid back last semester of school. Yeah, that's so not happening. Oh well... only 2 more months!

I've been sick lately. Really, really sick. I have no clue what it was/is since we have no insurance, and I didn't go to the doctor. But I felt so bad that I didn't student teach or go to class on Monday or Tuesday. Finally my wonderful and faithful Mamaw brought me some left over antibiotics that she had been saving for a rainy day. They make my tummy hurt some kind of awful, but overall I'm feeling much better. Hopefully I'll be completely well by this weekend.

Why do I need to be better by this weekend?.... Well because on Saturday Justin and myself are going to be models for the first time ever. Ha! The girl who did our engagement and wedding pictures needed some models for a shoot this weekend. I figured we might get some good pics out of the deal, or at the very least I would get some first hand photography tips/tricks! I'm pretty excited about it, but have no clue what I'm gonna wear!!!

And since our washing machine seems to be broken, my choice of cute outfits is very limited. I have about 5 loads of laundry that need to be washed, dried, folded and put away.. but the darn thing won't work. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the handyman hubby will fix that sometime soon.

That's all for now... I have a test to take!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Today started off just how I like it.. we slept late and then just laid in bed for a while and talked about random stuff.  I wasn't feeling too good, so Justin got up to get me some medicine.  Then we exchanged cards. 

Let me just say that I have a very, very sweet husband.  He has a way with words that can bring happy tears to my eyes.  :)  I was very impressed.

Then we got dressed and went to eat.  We went to one of my favorite places, Chili's. We had chips and salsa (one of my favorites), our meals, and then Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie (another of my favorites) for dessert.  It was perfection!

Justin had planned to surprise me and take me to the park for the rest of the afternoon, but after eating so much and not feeling too great all morning, I just wanted to go home.  We spent the rest of the afternoon just being lazy together in front of the TV and cuddling on the couch.  Oh, and I got a box of chocolate candy too!

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Now Justin is at work and I'm spending the night alone.  Fun, Fun!


In other news, two of my really good friends lost their Nanny today.  She has been battling cancer for a little while now and passed away early this morning.  It's got me pretty down because I knew Nanny personally and loved her.  It's also got feelings stirred up in me from when both of my Papaws died a few years back.  What a horrible experience.  But we know Nanny is in Heaven and happy. 

Anyways, say a prayer for the Peters family if you feel comfortable doing so.  They need it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Miss Ava and Miss Riley

A little while back my sister, Candice, and I took Ava to visit our mom and grandparents in Farmerville again.  We were excited this time (more than usual) because our cousin Heather was also coming to visit and bringing her babygirl, Riley.  Riley was born only one day after Ava.  We love getting to visit with family!  And the babies keep us entertained!  Here are some pics---

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HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY to everyone!  I'm excited to see what my hubby has planned for our day tomorrow!  I'm sure I'll post about it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kari Jobe

My wonderful friend, Lauren Grace, texted today and asked me to go to a concert with her tonight.  It was at 1st West in West Monroe.  I hadn't seen my Lauren Grace in a long time, and I love me some worship music.... so I went.

Kari Jobe was amazing.  She is totally anointed and talented.  She sang a few songs from her new CD. 

Then she and her band did some other worship songs.I'm so glad we went.  It was good.  And I got to see some other friends there.

Here is a pic I took of myself.  I curled my hair for the first time tonight.. let me know what ya think!Imported Photos 00001

And, here is me with Lauren.. I love this girl!Imported Photos 00003


My computer that is!  I got it back today and I'm so happy.  I still don't have time to upload all of my pictures though, because I'm getting ready to go to a concert tonight.

But here are some of those before and after pics of the cabinets...IMG_0454 IMG_0557 IMG_0567

I know these aren't the best pics, but I'll post more after we get more finished.  We still have ALOT of work to do.  This is just to see the difference in color and hardware.

I'm excited, too, because we picked out tile for the countertops and backsplash!!!

Well, here is one sneak peak of Miss Ava.  I just can't stand not to post one of her..


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's All About Me!

I did the note on facebook.. 25 random facts about me. Well, since I was just dying to blog about something, but don't have access to any of my pictures... here is my list--

1. I love God. I want more than anything to live the life He's called me to live.

2. I got married to my husband, Justin 8.8.08 after only dating for about 6 months. It's been one of the best decisions I've ever made.

3. I love my family more than life, even though they are ALL crazy!

4. Speaking of family, my niece is the light of my life. Ava Nicole is one special and beautiful girl.

5. I absolutely cannot wait to have kids of my own. It's all I wanna do "when I grow up". I'm having trouble being patient, but I know I want the time to be right.

6. I graduate school in May. Woo-Hoo! I've been in college forever.. or so it seems.

7. I have a passion for children. I know I'll work with children alot in my lifetime in different ways.

8. One day I will go to foreign countries with my husband and preach about Jesus to people who have never heard His name. We are called to missions and we love that we are.

9. I'm obsessed with photography. I could look at photography websites all day long. I just got my first "real" camera and hope to pursue that someday soon.

10. I love food. Especially sweets. Icecream is my all-time favorite food.

11. My parents divorced when I was 10. I hated it then, but now I can see that I learned and grew alot from the whole ordeal.

12. I blog. I like to have a way to express my thoughts and to remember the day to day details of the past. I also like reading other people's blogs. I do it daily.

13. My favorite color is green. I just painted my kitchen lime green. It's crazy, but I LOVE it.

14. I miss my momma. She lives about 45 minutes away, and I hate not being able to see her at least once or twice a week.

15. I'm not coordinated or athletic AT ALL. For example... I cannot jump rope. I cannot dribble a basketball. I cannot play tennis. Etc, Etc, Etc.

16. I wish I had a good, or even decent singing voice. I would love to be able to sing.

17. I can't stand for anyone to touch my bellybutton. It freaks me out.

18. I have two black and white kitty cats, Samson and Sylvester. They think they are human.

19. I drink sweet tea every single day.

20. I desperately want my husband to get a regular Mon-Fri 8-5 job so we can actually spend time together.

21. I"m not at all a morning person. I have to drag myself out of bed every morning.

22. I love HGTV and Food Network.

23. I have lived in only 2 states... Louisiana and Florida. And Florida was only for about 3 months.

24. I could watch a movie every single day. I love movies. I just don't have the time.

25. Cooking is still very new to me, but I'm really enjoying the learning process.

I thought it would be hard to think of that many things, but really, I could have easily kept going.
Now, everyone that reads this should tell me a random fact about yourself! :)

Monday, February 9, 2009


I have been LOVING the weather the past few days. It's gone from cold outside to perfect. It's been warm but with a breeze. The sun has been shining. It's just been lovely. :)
To prove that I love it, I even got outside with Justin and did a little bit of yard work. He was blowing off the patio in the backyard, and I decided to rake the leaves into a big pile. This is huge for me because I never, NEVER do yardwork.. haha!!!

In other news, my computer is still not back. I'm missing it. But.... I'll live.

Church yesterday was incredible. Sometimes on Saturday evenings I start thinking that I would rather not go. I would like to, for just this once, sleep late on Sunday. Sometimes I just don't feel like going. Well, I'm so glad that I always push myself to make it... It's always SO worth it. It uplifts me and refreshes me and makes me feel like I can make it through the rest of the week. I believe everyone should have a church and a church family that can support them and encourage them the way mine does me.

And finally, a peak at some before and after. We still are not finished. It's a slow process. But here goes....
Well, nevermind. Justin's computer won't read my memorycard. :(
I'll have to wait til I get my computer before I can post any pics.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sick Computer

My computer is at the doctor right now. My anti-virus ran out and my computer is running really slow. It's not so bad since I still have Justin's at the house. The only problem is that I have tons of adorable pictures of Ava and Riley from today that I can't do anything with... :(

As soon as the computer comes home, I will upload, edit, and post some.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Harper's Going Home!!!

That's right.. I just read Kelly's update and this precious baby girl gets to go home tomorrow after 20 days of hospital living.  All wires, monitors, tubes, etc. have been removed as of today.

...And they said she might not live. 

She is a true picture of God's power.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

random happenings from the past few days...

1.) This past Sunday was a great day for our nation..  THE SUPERBOWL.  We didn't have church that night so we could have watched it.  But I just didn't care to and Justin hadn't kept up with football this season... so we did the unthinkable.. we skipped it!  Almost.  We both took naps and watched some CSI.  We did catch the end of the fourth quarter though.  It was quite a game from what we saw.

2.) Student teaching has been going okay.  I can tell the kids are getting more comfortable with me.  Two year olds are a handful but so much fun.  I got observed for the first time today.  I was a ball of nerves, but it actually went really well.  I got good feedback and some good suggestions.  I know I'll still be nervous next time though.  Oh, and tomorrow my lead teacher will be out.  We will have a sub.  I'm interested to see how that goes!  Hopefully the kids won't be too wild and crazy!

3.) I'm really behind on my Bible reading.  I hate that I am.  It's just that, like I haven't had time to blog, I haven't had made time to read.  I'm determined to get caught up this week/weekend though.

4.) We bought the hardware (pulls and hinges) for our cabinets yesterday.  We've been working, slowly but surely on getting the cabinets stained.  Here is a peak of our unfinished product..IMG_0448

5.) In my extremely limited "free" time, I have been trying to read up and learn more about photography and how to use my camera.  I found a new lens that I want as soon as we get some extra cash.  This growing passion for taking pictures is really making me wish I had some babies of my own to practice on.  But for now, here are some of my cats.  (no post processing)IMG_0406 IMG_0420

6.) Justin and I have decided that we want to try to go on at least one missions trip together before we have children.  We are talking to our pastors at church about getting something together.  It's on both of our hearts to go to Mexico sometime soon.  I'm excited and scared and nervous and happy.  I just pray that God use the time between now and then to really prepare and equip us for what is to come.