Sunday, October 30, 2011

Baby Dos

On his birthday morning
I love my baby dos. His birthday week (and weekend) was spectacular. He is such a chill little baby, we delighted in celebrating him. You know, since we were sick last week (horribly sick with a stomach bug) we couldn't really see past the next trip to the bathroom (tmi?) so when we were feeling better on Monday, we decided to throw together a party for my baby dos in a week.

I think the party turned out quite well considering how last minute it was.

The most important thing though was being able to relax, have a beautiful afternoon outside celebrating my little love.

Eating his cake
Spencer wasn't so sure about the cake. He put him in his high chair with it and he complained about being strapped in when he wanted to run around. We all laughed, took some pictures, and then he finally realized what was in front of him and boy, did he go to town :)

I look at pictures of him that we've taken over the last year and my heart just swells with so much peace and joy. Children (as cliche as this sounds) TRULY are a gift from Heaven.

My happiness comes from above, but I do delight in the little beings that I'm blessed to shepherd. It makes me giddy thinking that God may have more kids planned for us.

I must have the baby bug :) because I just see babies and melt into a puddle on the ground. Swoon.

no hands! haha
Have a great Sunday! I snuck a nap in, and I feel like a brand new person. I'm seriously thankful for naps too.

And I was also so thankful to make it to church for the first time in THREE weeks this morning. Even though Nate and I missed out on the celebration because we were in the 3yr old classroom teaching, it was WONDERFUL to be there.

This is me smiling.

xo, jade.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Circle of Life

No, I'm not going to start singing Hakuna Mata (which I believe is really bad theology anyways) but I have been pondering on the big circle that our lives make. How we're more of a grid, really, and always intermingling, always threading through each others lives to create this marvelous, miraculous tapestry.

Today my smallest son turns one.

Two years ago, my beloved friend, Joe Houston, closed his eyes here on earth and opened them in paradise.

I am one of those swoony, whiney people who is always asking questions as to why things happen. My mom says that it started really early with me, especially when my friends parents started splitting and I started to see beyond the bubble that my safe little world resided in.

Then, as a teenager, I felt hungry. Hungry for the great, wide open. For big things to happen. For meaning in the smallest things. I questioned things constantly. Argued frequently. Loved deeply.

Then I was invited to a yellow church down the street and went. And that's where I met the Maker. In a creaky, old pew, with hard backs, and hymnals in the pockets. I found peace. I found salvation. I found that the world was at my fingertips, because I had the rush of empowerment soaring through my veins. It suddenly wasn't about me anymore. And I liked it. And I feared it. But mostly, I pursued it.

Then I grew up and slowly started seeing how much more difficult life is than I realized. Oh, the pain and grief of innocence-loss is true. BUT, I knew the sweet victory of salvation, so these difficult times were made all the easier. Hard. Still. BUT, good.

In my quest for love, light, beauty, and good stories, I've realized that life does come full circle. I'm 27 years old, and I'm slowly starting to have memories of my mom when she was my age, with two small children. I look in the mirror and I see the same smiling face. The same dimples. She, as a young mom, opened the doors for BIG imagination in my life. That compounded with my dad's affection for books and stories created in me a whirling dervish of a person. One that I think my family appreciates, and laughs at. And sometimes shakes their head at.

And I deeply desire to see that freedom ringing in my children's hearts. The same delight in something greater, something bigger, something more beautiful than they'll ever understand. I sometimes think I catch that glimmer in Wesley or Spencer's eyes when I play a song of worship for them. I see the beauty of the words shining in their eyes and they sing along. (Though, at the moment, I think Spencer's favorite song is The Bear song)

Life moves fast. It goes by in a blink. But my children are still young, and I want to do all that I can to open up their hearts to the One that they need most. So that they can feel freedom ringing in their veins, and they can love deeply and run with perseverance the race marked out for them. I look forward to the conversations we'll have when they begin to ask the hard questions.

Joe and his son Asher, summer 2009
I miss my friend Joe. But I'm thankful that we had those months together to grow and love and teach eachother. I can't quite phrase the depth of my affection for him or his family. I struggle with even remembering some of those times together, because his earthly exit was so abrupt and so frustrating. You can read more about his story here, and how we searched for him for three weeks before his body was recovered by the Coast Guard off the coast of Matagorda Island.

I realize this must sound grim to you, speaking of such grief on my son's birthday. But truly, we loved Joe well and delight in his memory. The pain is true, but the gratefulness for him will never fade.

Happy Birthday pumpkin!
Happy Birthday, Spencer, little buddy. Your mama and dadda and bubba love you so. You were born to shine brightly.

Happy Re-birth, Joe. We know we'll see you again someday, friend.

xo, jade.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


This morning I was gathering a few pictures of Spencer for his birthday party that we are having for him this weekend. It's just going to be a small party, no exact theme and nothing too fancy, but I want it to be enjoyable and about him! So I'm printing some pictures of my littlest son and giving thanks in a big way as I look through these sweet moments captured throughout his first year.
I couldn't help but begin to cry as I saw some of these pictures. The memories began flooding my heart, and I just nearly lost it. Wesley was looking at my like I was crazy, but truly, my heart is full right now.

Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Close To Your Heart" with Matt Redman is playing in the background, and the lyrics were just too much for me, combined with the pictures of my little family scrolling before my eyes. I've made bold the lyrics that just melted me..

I'll share the lyrics with you now:

Though hope is clouded
It has not left us
Though pain runs deep now
You’re deeper still
And You are holding
All things together
Hold us together now
We have this hope
An anchor for the soul
We have this truth
A compass for the heart
You’ve gone before us
And You are with us
And You will carry us through
You will carry us close to Your heart

Here is confusion
Where is the meaning?
But we are trusting
Your Father love
And You are holding
All things together
Hold us together now
We have this hope
An anchor for the soul
We have this truth
A compass for the heart
You’ve gone before us
And You are with us
And You will carry us through
And You will carry us close to Your heart
Close to Your Heart
Safe in the arms of Jesus
She’s safe in the arms of Jesus
We’re safe in the arms of Jesus
We’re safe in the arms of Jesus
We’re safe in the arms of Jesus
Safe in the arms of Jesus
We’re safe in the arms of Jesus
She’s safe in the arms of Jesus
We have this hope
An anchor for the soul
We have this truth
A compass for the heart
You’ve gone before us
And you are with us
And You will carry us through
You will carry us close
You have carried her home
You have carried her home to Your heart.

Spencer, maybe hours old..
October is full of very sentimental memories for me. The major one being Joe, our precious friend, was lost during a military training exercise over the waters of our gulf near Matagorda Island. My heart aches for him still, and while Spencer was born on the anniversary of the day Joe walked into eternity, I am thankful for my memory. I am able to build new memories with my second son, now, and keep close to my heart the memories of Glyndell's second son, Joe.

Fear has always been that awful companion to me for years. It's something I've battled and continue to do so, but this song gave me much peace as I remember my friend, give thanks for my son, and trust God for the future (and any other mini-nate and jades that come our way)

What are you thankful for today, with the sun shining, and the music playing?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

4 in 4

Little Brother, turns one in a week!
Yes sir. Four out of four of us have been terribly sick this month. Normally, October is one of my favorite months. It's fraught with so many wonderful, and not so wonderful memories, and I just have always held it close. Plus I have a child born this month and any month celebrating a baby is a good month to me. I just have really struggled with this October. So much has changed in a few years, so many emotions to register. And to top it off, our little blue house has been struck with some awful, terrible, menacing, not-nice stomach virus. All four of us have been sick and while the kids seem to be better and Nate and I are extremely sick, I'm PRAYING that they are spared from any more sickness. They have been troopers while I've been bedridden (missing me) and still smiling and playing with daddy (who is NOW very sick).

I'm just heartbroken that we are spending these days wallowing and sick. No more of it, I'm calling out for good health for this house. I appreciate your prayers and love. Seriously. You have no idea how your encouragement is so good for the soul.
Big Brother saw an ice cream truck!

And besides. These two smiling faces are worth every fight in us to get better. There are pumpkins to be carved and paintings to be painted (stay tuned for an exciting post about that later).

Pray for healing. For health. And for happy hearts.

time to go sanitize some more....

keepin it real,

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Twice this week it has stormed beautifully and I wasn't able to stay home to enjoy it. Twice.
I don't know about you, but for a girl who loves to cozy it up with husband while a storm is blowing around outside, that's just plain sad news all around.
The storm this morning was a little crazy. It was loud and thunderous, but then it was gone. Wes had a dentist appointment and by the time we left, green balloon in hand, it had blown itself out into the gulf.

I do so love cozy rainy days at home with all my family nestled together on the couch.

Anyone been to any good pumpkin patches lately? I think we're gonna try and make it to one this weekend.

Guess I should make sure my batteries are charged.
I love pumpkins.
And the fall..
and my family.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Happy 30th Brother!

BG and his 30 candles
So yea, I never finished my week o' birthday posts for my brother's 30th birthday.

The main reason being that he came to town and we celebrated all weekend with family and friends. We had Bistro d'Asia for dinner. Some Black Forrest Star Wars cake goodness for dessert. Played Pictionary (GIRLS rule!). We watched movies, went to the water gardens. Walked through the Art Museum. Had lunch on the balcony of the museum.

We loved the glorious weather. It seemed that fall had made it's way to south Tejas...praying it stays so beautiful. Thankful for the relief from the intense heat we had all summer.

Then on Sunday my family and Nate's family went to church together to celebrate Spencer's dedication to the Lord. It was a short, sweet moment with pictures of this past year scrolling across the screen. It warmed my heart to see my family sitting together, supporting Nathan and I as we pursue God's will for our family.

We desire to honor him and pray that our children would see and hear our heart's cry.

Wesley helped blow out the candles
Darth Vader sat on top of the cake

It was a wonderful weekend with much to celebrate. We always hate to see my brother leave (especially Wesley) but I'm thankful that he doesn't live too, too far away. It was fun hanging out with my folks too. They're a hoot. The boys always have such a grand time with them. Fun stuff.

Jamie's living room all decked out
I hope you had a fun weekend, brother. I know I did! Cheers to a new year! :)
xo, jade