Friday, May 29, 2009

and in the blink of an eye it's been 5 years

On May 22nd, Luke and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary. It really does seem like just yesterday that I was wearing the most beautiful dress while promising a lifetime of love to my best friend.

He looked pretty good too by the way.

But do you want to know something really crazy?

Of course you do. Who says no to a question like that?

We've known each other for 10 years! The best 10 years of my life. Without a doubt. So. I hope you don't mind, but I would like to dedicate this post to Luke. The man God chose to compliment me in every way long before I even knew he ("he" being Luke) existed.

I still remember the day we met for the first time. I wouldn't call it "love at first sight" but it was definitely "interest at first sight." After all, he was one of the only new guys to join our very small junior class. We were friends for a full year before we started dating.

Sidenote: This was not by my choice. He takes his sweet time with everything and asking me out was no exception. Looking back, though, I'm thankful we were friends for a while before we became a couple.

Not only was he my high school sweetheart but also my first kiss. What began as just a summer romance quickly turned into something more serious. After spending a year apart at different colleges, I decided to transfer to Tulsa. We had a blast doing the college thing together and made some amazing memories and friends in the process.

Finally. I'll say it again. FINALLY, after 4 years of dating, I got to marry the love of my life. And what a life it's been since the moment we said "I Do." I love being married, and I love being married to Luke even more!

There are so many things I love about my husband and I'd like to take this moment to list a few. Or several. I hope you don't mind. {I see another bullet list in your future. Get excited!}

  • I love his smile. The real one. It dazzles me every time.

  • I love that he is organized and neat just like me, but I love that he never says a word when I fall off the wagon every once in a while. You know, like when I find a good book to read.

  • I love how blue his eyes are. I've always wanted brown hair and blue eyes. I guess if that wish will never come true for me, it's only fitting that God would give me a husband with those features.

  • I love that he wants our next child to be a girl because he knows it's the desire of my heart. By the way, I so hope that it's God's plan because I would love, love, love to watch him with a girl.

  • I love that he'll watch tv in bed with me even though we have a big screen upstairs.

  • I love that he wished me a "Happy Birthday Month" this morning before he left for work. He never forgets how much I love birthdays and the fact that he would acknowlege that in the midst of his busy morning makes me feel special.

  • I love that every once in a while he'll bring home flowers for me just because he loves me.

  • I love that he thinks I'm beautiful even when I tell him I feel otherwise. In fact, I love that he thinks I'm beautiful whether I'm wearing my most comfortable, least attractive clothes or all dressed up for a date.

  • I love that he loves me unconditionally even when I'm not that loveable.

  • I love that he respects my parents and is protective of my sisters.

  • I love how much he loves his family {and mine too for that matter}

  • I love that he is the steady, calming presence in the midst of the storms we've faced together thus far in our relationship.

  • I love that he truly believes I am capable of big things and anything I set my mind to do.

  • I love that he weathers my good moods and not so good moods with the patience of Job.

  • I love watching him be Austin's daddy. He's very good at it. :)

  • I love that he takes the time to read my blog and "catch up on my life" as he likes to say.

  • But more than anything, I love that he loves the Lord and seeks His will daily. I love that he strives to be a Godly example to those around him no matter the circumstance.

Thanks for letting me share some of my list. I hope it didn't make you gag, but no one is MAKING you read this. So, really, I'm not sorry.


You are the love of my life in every way. I am so humbled and honored that a Godly, wonderful man like you would want to spend the rest of your life with me. I never doubted that our life together would be anything less than fabulous, but I had no idea just how amazing it would be. My life is richer and fuller with you in it. There's no question that you bring out the best in me and I can't imagine my life without you. I am so, SO thankful that God granted the desire of my heart with you. He truly gave me more than I could ask or even imagine. I can't wait to celebrate many more anniversaries with you. I love you!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Time Is Flying At A Rate I'm Just Not Comfortable With

Well. Long time, no post. I'm sure you all missed me as much as I've missed you. And if not, then please keep that fact to yourself.
For my self-esteem's sake.
It's been a little crazy here at our house. I told you May was chaotic. Clearly, I wasn't lying. Banquets, Anniversaries, Birthdays, and Graduations were just a few of the activities on our agenda these last few weeks. However, I think things are about to slow down.
Famous last words, I know.
But anyway. Here is a quick rundown of what's been happening. In bullet points. Because I know you have better things to do than read long, drawn out paragraphs about my life. And I love a good list. So. Fasten your seatbelts, folks. It's gonna be a quick ride...
  • Mother's Day was awesome! Having a cold the same weekend~ not so awesome. Still, it was a very relaxing weekend thanks to my AMAZING husband. {I still have a Mother's Day post in the works. Here's hoping I actually get around to finishing and publishing it.}
  • My mom and dad celebrated their anniversary. Yay! I failed to congratulate them until the next day. Lame. Nevertheless, I am so thankful for a Godly example of a wonderful, healthy marriage. And also, we will be having them over to celebrate appropriately next week. Should be fun!
  • Attended a banquet honoring Claire's senior class. I only got to stay for part of it since Luke was out of town for a funeral. A big thanks to CBC for having their Parents' Night Out that Friday. Without you, my attendance to "A Journey Through Time" would not have been possible. Also, your $5 per child fee cannot be beat. Claire looked beautiful as usual, and of course, sister pictures were taken... See my facebook if you want proof.
  • Tammy and Josh came to San Antonio to pick up Austin for a week of Grandparents/Uncle camp. I was pumped and sad all at the same time. Which is exhausting by the way. He, however, was just pumped.
  • With Claire on her senior trip, my mom and I began preparations for The Graduation Bash of '09.
  • Attended my last MOPS meeting and watched a little of the graduation practice. Felt a meltdown coming on. Fabulous.
  • Had said meltdown before lunch at the parental unit's house. Double fabulous.
  • Pulled it together to finish last minute partay preparations.
  • All of this was occurring on the same day as my 5 year anniversary. :) Ahhh, 5 wonderful years with my best friend and LOVE OF MY LIFE! That along with a night downtown put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.
  • Graduation Day!!! So long, SACS. Hello, Baylor! Or more importantly, hello Common Grounds. Best coffee ever. Hands down.
  • Party at the Keiffers' house. God was so good and gave us a little rain with a cool breeze so we could eat outside on the covered porch. Nothing like family, Rudy's BBQ, a little rain, and a reason to celebrate!
  • After a quick clean-up, Luke and I ran some errands before heading up to the lake. Loved the quality time with my favorite along with a little Beth Moore on the side. Not in person, unfortunately. Just by CD.
  • Celebrated Luke's birthday and Mark and Tammy's anniversary at the lake. I also rode and drove a jetski, tubed, and considered water skiing. I would encourage you to take a moment to picture my participation in these activities. It's quite hilarious, I assure you!
  • Headed home with our munchkin and am attempting to catch up with life.

Just in case you didn't have the wherewithall to read the bulleted list. Here are some pictures...

The Graduate. I realize the picture is blurry and a little dark. I make no excuses for my camera. Fortunately, Luke is getting me a nice one for our anniversary and my birthday. :)

The parents of our graduate. Don't let their smiles fool you. They are fully aware that Baylor is not a raise! ;) However, they are super excited for Claire.

Couples. And good looking ones at that! :)

My grandparents and aunt and uncle came to help Claire celebrate. Fun times were had by all!

Claire and her cake.

My Granny with Uncle Lewie and Aunt Judy.

Claire with Mom and Dad. What's really cool is that I did not get a picture with her. Better luck at her college graduation, I guess.

Jon. Giving the famous Aggie's gig 'em sign. His and Britt's moto: never pass up an opportunity to harrass the new Baylor attendee. :)

And then we were off to celebrate with these fun people.

Again, sorry about the darkness. If you look really close, though, you will see why we have such a blast with these people.

Austin with the Birthday Boy

Austin with his Uncle Josh. Do you love the mohawk? Lake trips are for doing crazy things with your hair. I would post pictures of me to prove my point further, but I would hate to break your computer screen.

Mark was getting ready to water ski. Notice how calm and collected he looks. This would be no where near how I would've looked should I try this sport.

Tricks on the tube.

Luke and Jared

Me and Lindsay. We were as scared as we looked. You just never know what the boys will do when driving the boat. Luckily, we had a blast and made some funny memories. Would you expect anything less?

Our little floatation device. He loved putting this on and walking around the house. Hilarious.

There you have it. May at a glance for the Keiffers. Hope you all have had a fabulous month as well!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

7 things you really don't have to know about me {but i'll tell you anyways}

So I was tagged by my friend Bre'anna to list 7 random things about myself on my blog. I'm not gonna lie. I kind of like reading these things because I feel like I get to know a friend a little better.

And also because I'm a dork like that. goes. I promise you'll be dumber by the time you finish reading this post.

1. Not only do I absolutely adore my husband, but I love our history. He was my high school sweetheart and my first kiss. Now he is the LOVE OF MY LIFE and no one makes me happier than he does. I could go on forever but we just don't have that kind of time.

2. I am a huge fan of music. Isn't that funny? You know, since I'm the only one of the 3 sisters that does not possess singing talent. In fact, many people assume that I have a beautiful voice just like Britt and Claire. I do not. If you EVER see me heading toward a us all a favor and get me off the stage! However, that doesn't keep me from appreciating the amazing talent of others.

3. I wish I could dance. As lame as it sounds, I would just love to be on Dancing with the Stars. Except I'm not a star. And I'm not a professional dancer. And let's face it. The only person I would care to partner with would be Luke. Be real with me here...some of those dances could do wonders for the marriage relationship don't ya think? I'm just sayin'.....

4. I really, really, REALLY love to laugh. It's the quickest, easiest, and cheapest way to brighten a person's day. Plus, I hear it's a great way to burn some calories. So SCORE! Fortunately, God has blessed me with an abundance of people in my life that make me laugh on a daily basis. Life is never dull and I love it!

5. I think I've mentioned it before but I love rainy days. I love how everything smells right before and after it rains. And I love how cleansing and relaxing it is. I'm one of those weirdos that would love living in Seattle or somewhere else in the Northwest. Unfortunately, I am NOT a fan of bitter cold and snow. Soooo, the five days of rain we get a year here in Texas will have to do.

6. I have this dream of writing a book someday. At first I thought non-fiction for sure, and now I think I could go either way. Maybe I'll surprise myself and do both. Regardless, I have this unexplainable desire to make a lasting impact for Jesus in some way. Whether I do that by writing about what He has taught me or through some other adventure, I just hope He will give me the opportunity to do big things for Him. We'll see...
7. Speaking of doing big things for Him, I am privileged to have one of the best jobs in the world. I love being Austin's mom. When we found out we were pregnant, I immediately began to worry {big shocker there!} about whether or not I would be a good mom. I should've known that God meant business when He said He wouldn't give us anything we couldn't handle. It is definitely the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done. Not to mention that there is nothing I wouldn't do for our little man. In my opinion, Austin is proof that God blesses us above and beyond what we deserve. I am so honored and humbled that He would trust me with the big job of being his mom.
So there you have it. And now I have to tag 7 other people.
1. Claire- Now that you've finished high school, it's time to update your blog. Oh and also, you just got back from Florida. There is blogging gold in senior trip memories, let me assure you! We're all waiting with baited breath so don't let us down.
2. My cousin Elena- I know you've got some good stuff to say so let's hear it. You can't have twins and not have some funny realizations about yourself. I'm sure you will not disappoint!
3. Jordan- I love you and I love your blog. So glad that you and Britt became friends in college because you're like the 4th sister we never had.
4. Allison- The new mom. Sometimes we need an exercise like this to remind us of who we are outside of the dirty diapers, spit-up, and bad days due to some really long nights. Plus, I KNOW you have some "little known fact" gold in your arsenal and I can't wait to hear it.
5. Drea- I'm tagging you simply because you are my favorite friend. We have some hilarious memories and you always have great things to say. No pressure. ;)
6. Courtney- Don't think I don't read all those lists you make on facebook when you're bored because I do. I hate that I don't get to see you as often so things like this make me feel like we've had a quick convo at MOPS or something. You are such a fun girl and I love that I now know someone else with a "bonus child." :)
7. Christie- Let's be honest. May 7th was long ago so it's time. Don't lose heart! You'll hit your 100th post in no time, I'm sure. We just need to get you on the blogging bandwagon more often. :)
I would tag Britt but she has been tagged already. Therefore, I'm going to take this opportunity to give her a shout out and remind her to list 7 things! I have no doubt that you'll make us laugh and cry so get to it. It's not like you have to move in a week or anything.
Thanks for checking in, friends! Happy Tuesday!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

i feel like i've spent the last few days under a rock

It's true. During my bout with The Cold, I got hooked on the Twilight saga. It all started so innocently. I couldn't find anything to watch on tv Saturday so I thought I'd rent a movie on U-verse. I had a couple of options that I was considering, and in the end, I decided to see what all the HOOPLA was about over this movie/book.

Sweet. Mercy. I had no idea.

For all 2 of you that haven't jumped on the bandwagon, be warned. It's crack in the form of a book.

So ANYWAY. After I watched the movie, I had to go out and get the rest of the books. Like I said, it's crack. And I was addicted.

Lucky for me {and my little family} I was able to finish the series in a few days. That's right. I said days. It turned into a sick obsession, really. My only comfort was the fact that my sisters felt the same way when they read the books.
I guess there's hope for me yet.
However, I cannot say the same for my house. Looks like I'll be grounding myself from reading again until I can get my act together. I will also be posting a very belated Mother's Day entry along with a little tribute to my sweetie. We celebrate 5 years on May 22nd.
And oh yeah! His birthday is May 25th.
Good thing I finished those books...

Friday, May 8, 2009

spending a little time in the Word

Greetings from my bed! Oh you didn't know I'd named my bed The Word? It's pretty clever actually. This way I can honestly say that I'm "in the Word daily" and feel better about myself. Ok just kidding.
Still suffering from this ridiculous cold. Oh, who am I kidding?! This head cold is kicking. my. butt. Thank goodness for MDO since I'm staying in my bed until I have to pick the munchkin up. Seriously. Being a mom with no sick days is not for the faint of heart. Praise Jesus for Noggin and The Disney Channel and Video on Demand. Stop judging! They say Noggin is like preschool on tv and I choose to believe them.
So. Since my head is full of junk you get the privilege of another random post. Try to contain your excitement. Here we go.
I'm watching The Food Network right now. I just finished Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller and I have one question. Why in the world is she so skinny?! It makes me question the level of tastiness in her recipes. I'm just sayin'. Now Paula Deen is on and I just love her! If we have another boy I picture our relationship being much like hers is with her 2 boys. Except without the mega cooking empire. Let's face it. I like to cook but it's not my passion. See this week's meal list...take out.
That brings me to my next random topic. Motivation. Somewhere along the way it took a vacation from my life and I'm ready for it to return. This post describes just how I feel these days. I'm tired of my schedule and can't seem to get back on track. There is some major cleaning that needs to be done and not even the bumble bee clean-up can help me now. However, I was somewhat inspired by this little post. Now if I could just get rid of this cold I'd be set.
And speaking of The Cold, I didn't get to sleep until 2 last night. I felt like my sinuses were going to explode out of my face.
Did you like that visual?
I knew you would.
I finally got up and did the neti-pot. Once again I was reminded of what a humbling experience it is. Way to kick a girl when she's down, Sinu-cleanse. I already felt ultra attractive. I also finished my book, checked my facebook, and contemplated watching Grey's Anatomy. Let's just say that when I woke up this morning I felt like I'd been run over by a Mack truck. And I'm sure I didn't look like I was going to win some beauty pagents any time soon. The only thing that made me feel a little better was hearing Austin chatting in his bed through the monitor. Such a sweet boy and a ray of sunshine in my day.
Did any of you watch Grey's Anatomy last night? I DVR'd it but haven't watched yet. To tell you the truth, I've heard it was gut wrenching and I'm just not sure I'm up for the look-like-I-just-got-stung-by-a-bee cry. Talk about attractive. I've already been feeling a little weepy lately and I have NO idea why. I'm a little nervous about subjecting my emotions to that. Oh what the heck. Might as well get it over with. We all know I'm gonna watch it eventually.
Ok and now Giada just made something that looks heavenly. Oh gosh. Just what I need to be tempted to make right before I start The Shred.
I think it may be time for lunch. Too bad this cold hasn't stifled my appetite. I could've gotten a head start on my new program.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

just another thursday

Ahhh, naptime! The perfect opportunity to gather my thoughts, which is a little more difficult today since I'm suffering from a head cold. I'm the last to get it because where we go one we go ALL in this family.
It's just the way we roll.
But I won't let a little cold get me down! Austin and I have had a great day. So great, in fact, that he was not too thrilled about having to pause and take a nap. And his pause is my fast forward since naptime always seems to fly by! We took a walk with some friends, had lunch with Luke, and listened to our new Veggie Tales CD. And now, I'm sitting in my favorite recliner soaking in the quiet while I regroup for Round 2.
One of my activities today was the ordering of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. It's the sensation that sweeping the nation. Every time I visit someone's blog they're talking about starting this little gem. It's kind of like The Swine Flu {or The Swine as Luke and I call it}. Everywhere you turn someone's talking about it. I have to tell you, though, I'm a little suspicious that The Shred is about more than just dropping a few pounds. I have a feeling one also shreds any sort of pride they may possess. I'll let you know.
The thing is that swimsuit season is quickly approaching. And since my in-laws now own a lakehouse and my parents have a pool, I think I need to do everyone a favor and take some pride in my bathing suit appearance.
You're welcome.
Wanna hear something crazy? My littlest sister graduates from high school in a couple of weeks. The tears, they're too close for comfort! I cannot believe our little Claire is about to spread her wings and begin the next chapter in her life. Look out, Baylor! Claire Bauerlein is about to take you by storm. Kind of reminds me of when I took Baylor by storm. I had to leave because it just couldn't handle me and my great friend Drea. Ok, well that and the fact that a certain boy had captured my heart. Still. Good times and wild rides were had by all that year. Oh, college! You are missed!
And now, I am proud to announce {I'll refrain from making my usual disclaimer here} that the Keiffer family is going to sponsor a child with Compassion. I. am. pumped! Some of you may know about the debate between Luke and I regarding how many little people we feel led to have. He wants 2 and I'd be great with 3. For the sake of our marriage, I've agreed to 2. But do you want to hear the really cool thing?
I knew you would. You're good to me like that.
Anyway, sponsoring this child will be like having a third. Or second before we add to our family again. I think it will be so special for us to write letters and pray for whoever God gives us. Luke told me that "he still remembers Bruno." Or whatever the little boy's name was. I hope this will make a lasting impact on Austin about how blessed we are and the importance of helping others with what God has given us.
Alrightey. My head is starting to feel like it's going to explode so I'm gonna wrap this up. Have a fabulous day, sweet friends {and family}!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

while i'm procrastinating, i may as well update you

It's NAPTIME here at our house, and while I should be doing some stay-at-home mom stuff, I thought I'd post some pictures and such instead.

You can thank me later.

So I changed my layout. Duh. I kind of like this minimalist look. I never in a million years thought I'd use the words "I" and "minimalist" in the same sentence. Wonders never cease.

And while we're on the topic of the 'ol Layout I need to let you know that I have NO idea what is going on with my spacing and font size lately. Seriously. I've tried to change it a hundred times after posting but to no avail. Some things just have a mind of their own and we should learn to accept that. I know Luke says this to himself about me on a daily basis and he still has his sanity.

I Think.

Last night I whipped out the camera to capture a sweet little scene between my boys. Austin found a book that he wanted Luke to read to him so he climbed up in his Daddy's lap and listened intently.

This book is great because it teaches you how to speak in code, do magic tricks, wrangle an alligator, etcetera and so forth and so on. All things a little boy NEEDS to know. So SCORE! In fact, this is what it's called:

Such a cute book!

And then Luke made me take another picture of them because he thought the one with his mouth open didn't really do him justice. So here they are again...

Austin & the AT&T Man

The color coordination in this picture makes me so proud. Love these two! Love them.

And just because I know how much you all love the littlest Keiffer, here's a close up for your viewing pleasure...

You gotta love the milk tongue! Kind of reminds me of the formula tongue look he sported back in the day. Ahhhh, memories!

Yes, we've had some fun times these last couple of evenings. Luke's homecoming is definitely the best part of the day!

Sooo I took a look at the Social Bible, which is basically my brain in the form of a zippered agenda, the other day....

{Just a visual in case you were wondering what it looked like}

...and I'm getting a little stressed. May=chaos for this family. Mother's Day, anniversaries, graduations, banquets. My head is spinning. And not in a good way. I have come thisclose to double booking ourselves a few times. Don't get me wrong. I love having so many things to celebrate. I just also love quiet, family weekends. But what fun is quiet really?

And on that note, I'm going to end this random little post. All this talk about our May schedule makes me want to take a nap.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

the munchkin

Hello Friends!
Today is all about Austin.
As I'm sure all of you know, life is never dull with our little man. He is constantly surprising us and making us laugh.
Here are some of my favorite Austinisms:
  • Tatch! {catch}
  • Hi, gagoo! Bye, gagoo! Nigh, gagoo! {gagoo=doggie}
  • Oh, Mommy!
  • we cruck {big truck}
  • Nope!
  • Where i go? {where'd it go?}
  • Tit! Yay!! {kick...}
  • Stop! {this is usually said with his hand outstretched}
  • Stuck, Mommy. Stuck.
  • Hey!!
  • Whoaaa!
  • Pea... {please...}
  • tanks {thanks! said when and if he pleases}
  • Ahhh! Dere i di! {oh! there it is!}

Everyday is an adventure with a one year old learning to talk. In addition, he's shown some interest in the potty lately.

I'm not even kidding!

I'm not sure but we may be close to ready for the big Potty Training Talk. But I can't talk about that right now or I'll start hyperventillating...

Austin also loves to Sing. He loves The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Zaccheus, The ABCs, and Old MacDonald. Sometimes when I feel like embarrassing myself, I'll sing these songs to him while I change his diaper. Either he Really loves them or he is dumbfounded by my absolute lack of singing talent.

He brings such joy to our lives and we are so blessed to call him our Little Boy!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Allow Me To Bring You Up To Speed

In no particular order, here are just a few little details of our life lately. And by lately, I mean the last 2 weeks since I had some pictures to upload.

I took Austin outside to play the other day. I had the bright idea of filling a bowl full of soapy water and grabbing a couple of his cups to take with us. I also put on his swim shorts from last year. And that's exactly what they looked like...his swim shorts from last year...

He played with these for approximately 2 seconds before he was chasing Savannah around in the yard...

Savannah was a fan of this new idea for another 5 seconds before she was tired of all the chasing, hitting, and hugging. Notice that I wasn't lying about the shorts. It would also appear that his shirt is looking a little snug too.

That's unfortunate.

Austin and I discovered some baby birds living in one of our bird houses the other day. Did I just say "one of" like we own more than one? Because we don't. So I almost lied to you. My apologies.

The little birds have since flown the coup, but we sure had fun watching them grow and hearing their tiny chirps right outside our kitchen window. Many thanks to Savannah for not trying to eat the baby birds. It must have been difficult for you!

Before you start to worry if there is something wrong with your eyes, the picture is a little blurry. Aaand you'll have to look real close if you want to see some baby birds.

I did all I could, people! I did all I could.

I recently had the privilege of hosting a shower for one of my Bible study friends. It was super fun and I LOVED our color scheme! She's having a little girl so we went with hot pink, lime green, white and black. And since several of us hosted together, we were able to do some really fun stuff. Here we are with the "guests" of honor...

It was at this shower that I had the most AMAZING ham and cheese quiche I have ever tasted in my life! And yes. They were homemade.
That same day I announced my bright idea of putting together a Ladies Night Bible Study cookbook. It must've been the quiche talking since I was reminded of my committment just the other day via mass email. I'm pretty sure the words "oh crap" came out of my mouth.
Seriously, though, it'll be fun to compile all of our amazing recipes. Paula Deen's got nothin' on us!! :)

I had my whole family {minus Britt & Jon} over for dinner last night. Here are my two favorite stories from yesterday's activities.
Luke told me he was going to run to the store to get some coke and adult beverages because he felt like "boozing it up" at dinner. That means he planned on having one Smirnoff Ice with his BBQ. He makes me laugh.
The second exchange took place between me and my dad later that evening...
Me: There's coke, water, and other stuff in the fridge.
Dad: Ok, I'll take one of those Smirnoff Ice. Can I have a glass?
Me: You don't want to just drink it out of the bottle?
Dad: No. I don't want to freak Granny out.
Me: What?! She's the one that yells "WHISKEY!" instead of cheese when we're taking pictures! {It's true. She does.}
Dad: Yeah, well, she talks a big game.
Never a dull moment, folks! Needless to say, we had a great time. And not because we were all "boozing it up." We really have that much fun with each other. Last night was no different.
That brings us to today. After Sunday school, Luke and I took Austin to lunch. We also stopped by Petsmart to look at the puppies. I really thought all of this activity would wear the little munchkin out for a good nap but no such luck.
That means that the rest of the afternoon should. be. interesting.
Happy Sunday, friends!

Friday, May 1, 2009

It Will Change Your Life

I have been on 2 mission trips in my life.
Both were amazing. And life changing.
My first trip was to Mexico because how can you not go on a mission trip south of the border when you live in freaking San Antonio, Texas. It was a great first experience! One of the things that sticks out in my mind is how much FUN we had. We went to an orphanage and basically played with the kids for the weekend. I may not have realized it then but that trip made an impact on my life. I can only hope that I did the same for those children that are probably adults by now.
Fast forward about 3 1/2 years.
I was about to graduate from high school and take a trip to Europe with some friends to celebrate. Only God had a different plan. About half way through planning for The Big Trip, I realized that I did not have a peace about going to Europe. Instead, I felt led to go on a mission trip. I was so nervous about telling my parents because we had spent some money in advance for what I will now call The Other Trip. Turns out, the parental unit was on the same page.
And then I told them that I would love to go on said mission trip with my sister Brittany.
This was monumental back then. Let's be honest. I think we all know at least one 18 year old and the havoc they wreak with all of their "wants, needs, and plans." Ok, maybe they're not all that bad but it's a painful age. For everyone involved.
So it was settled. Brittany and I would leave for Haiti a week after my high school graduation. We went to meetings, gathered the ugliest skirts and such to pack, and planned what snacks we would take. Angels sang and babies laughed when our bags stayed under the size and weight limit.
Or maybe it was just my mom singing and my dad laughing. I'm not really sure.
Anyway, we boarded the plane with our team and headed to a place where people are not strangers to poverty.
Ok, and now I'm going to be real with you. I was still nervous. And homesick. And scared.
The only thing that made this trip a little easier was the fact that my sister was with me. And like it or not, we were in it together for the "dur," as I like to say. Luckily we are very close and there is no one else I'd rather have by my side in a foreign country. Well, I'd be good with family and a few close friends too, but they weren't on the trip with us.
I am not lying when I say that trip changed MY LIFE! Truly. My team changed my life. The people changed my life. GOD changed my life.
I have never had more fun, been more scared, or more tested IN MY LIFE! {And now I'm going to dial down the all caps and exclamation points because you're all smart people. I'm pretty sure you get the point.}
I saw God move and made some of the best memories. Even though the trip did not go as planned for me and Britt, we both left Haiti changed and stronger than we'd been when we first stepped foot in that country.
So why am I telling you all of this? That would be because I've been following a group of bloggers that took a mission trip to India this week with Compassion International. Pete, Melissa, and Angie are the team members I've been keeping up with via their blogs. Their stories and descriptions of what they've seen are beyond moving. Not to mention the fact that their pictures will rip your heart out.
No really. They will.
I don't even know what to say other than I have never seen such joy, hope, love, sadness, poverty, and desperation. And that's just from looking at their pictures. The faces of those children have stolen my heart and the love most of them have for Jesus has moved me to tears. I really don't have words for how much a little afternoon reading has opened my eyes. And that's big. Just ask Luke. He'll tell you that I'm rarely rendered speechless. The really cool thing about this trip, though, is that most of these team members got to meet the children they sponsor. Can you even imagine? Some of these children traveled 48 hours just to hug the person God has used to change their life.
It's moving, people. Very moving. Just try not to bawl your eyes out when you read about the day and look at the pictures taken. Seriously. It's humanly impossible. I promise that when it's all said and done, you will look like you got stung by a bee because you cried that hard.
Also. Try not to feel like the most selfish person EVER. This too is humanly impossible.
As I sit in the comfort of my air-conditioned home, I am dumbfounded as to why God would choose to let me live such a lavish life while others suffer. I guess only because of His mercy and that I would use what He has given me to help those in need.
I hope that reading these blogs will inspire you to find a way that you can minister to others in need. I know I'm already praying about what God would have me do!