02 December 2010


i am admitting to all who read in the blogosphere that never have i ever sent out a christmas card. you would think that i would have been all over it last year because it was our first year with a little bundle of ruby joy to show off for all the world to see, but i just couldn't get myself in gear. but when i saw a friend share on facebook a couple of weeks ago that shutterfly was offering 50 free christmas photo cards to bloggers who would write about them, i wanted to jump right on it! i'm really glad i found out about this because, after looking through the cards on shutterfly.com, i have gotten so excited about sending christmas cards this year. i've been selfish in years past because i've loved getting holiday cards from friends and family, but i've never returned the favor. i just love the idea of being able to send a little hello and well wishes before the end of the year to people we love, and picturing them adding it to their displayed card collection for the rest of the season. maybe i'll get really gutsy and take advantage of shutterly's holidays invitations by having a christmas get together. well, maybe i'm getting a little too ambitious.. i think i'll leave that attempt for next year and just tackle christmas cards this time around. :)

here are just a few of the shutterly christmas cards i've been loving since browsing the site:

such a sweet card.. i love the "celebrate family" message as a reminder for everyone during what can be a very busy season..
their multiple picture cards are very cute and allow for a ton of creativity..
they have a bunch of vintage-looking cards; which i'm always partial to..
i love the look of and colors in this one..

well, that's all from me for now. but make sure to take advantage of shutterfly's holiday card promotion yourself.. thanks, shutterfly!

10 November 2010


i follow this blog and i like it a lot. i have this...

as my desktop background right now, and you should too. i love her art, and i love even more that she's a giver.

09 November 2010

08 November 2010


i've found it pretty ironic (and awesome) ever since having ruby that almost every time i am questioning, fretting, or frustrated over something she seems to all of a sudden be doing i'll suddenly receive a parenting e-mail, some good advice, or coincidentally see or read something somewhere that perfectly lines up and sheds some light. this e-mail from babycenter.com did that very thing for me about 25 seconds ago..

"Does your child deliberately ignore you when you ask him not to do something? Try not to lose your temper if he does. At this age, making a big deal over little transgressions like pulling petals off a flower or spreading newspapers around the house may inspire him to test your limits even more. Ignore the minor infractions and save your lectures for really big no-nos like biting a playmate or pulling the dog's tail."

holy guacamole is ruby doing this non-stop right now. she will literally look right at me with a big smile on her face while continually doing over and over again just what i told her not to. vally and i were talking the other day about how she'll even wait for me to turn my head or walk out of the room so that she can keep disobeying and then quickly stop right when i look at her again.. crazy! these moments are so trying on me and push all of my buttons, and i have to admit that i definitely lose my cool with her more often than i'd like to (although today while she kept eating a sticker from the cashier at trader joe's after i told her not to giggling with this little smirky smile on her face i had to turn my head because i was laughing so hard.. i liked that feeling rather than the sheer annoyance i usually have in these moments). how is it that she already knows how to be so defiant and disobedient? why oh why is this something that is so innate in all of us? these instances with ruby are full on reminders for me of just how self gratifying we all are even without being taught how to act that way. i just pray and hope that i can be diligent to bestow grace and patience onto her just like it's been given to me so so so many times before.

all i can say is, good thing she's so darn cute. :)

06 November 2010


vally told me yesterday that she started reading some of our first blogs the other day, and it inspired me to do the same. although i believe the post below is the only one that d has ever written on here, i was so thankful to go back and read it again. man oh man how far we've come since that day.. i'm amazed and so thankful that daniel was such a rock for me when we first found out that little ruby girl was on the way.. and looking back now, i'm even more thankful that it's apparent how God was, and continues to be, faithful in the midst of how unsure, yet trusting, we were. we talked in home group this past week about ways that God has used "evil" for good in our lives, and although i know ruby being our little surprise girl was in no way "evil" from Him, her being a part of his plan for us is definitely an area in which i can say that something totally unforeseen in our plans has been used for such good because it was in His all along. i'm thankful that this blog has been around to be some sort of a chronicle of a bit of the crazy journey we've been on the for the past couple of years.

21 October 2008


So I think that it’s probably fitting to begin my blogging trend after about a year by spilling the beans that Alinna and I are pregnant! I awoke one morning last week only to drink some coffee and telephone some friends on the East coast. I spoke with a good friend who usually asks, "You pregnant yet?". I figured I'd beat him to the punch and 'jokingly' tell him Alinna and I are pregnant. I had no idea that Alinna would come home later only to tell me that she thinks we actually ARE pregnant. So, three pregnancy tests later, we found out we're as pregnant as we were when she took the first test. Why does it seem that we all think the first one is wrong? God has such a sense of humor. He knew when I was joking with my friend that I was exactly right about us being pregnant. I can picture Him laughing the very moment those words fell out of my mouth. He not only knew we were going to have a kid before I woke that very morning, but He knew before Alinna said "I Do" and before my mom had me in 1983. "He knows the plans he has for us."

When Alinna came home and dropped the bomb on me, I was filled with excitement and shock! The moment financial worries popped into my head, I was instantly reminded of God's provision for us in the last four months of marriage. We moved to California in June with tons of questions, a couple answers, God, and each other. He's provided me with a job, us a car, Alinna a job, a roof over our head, another roof over our head when our apartment wasn't ready, and so on. I have NO DOUBT in my mind that HE WILL provide for us in the future. I’m just trying to remember the past while not dwelling on it, live in the present as best I know how, and trust God with the future, not dwelling on that either. I've been reminded of so many lessons this past week that are helping me feel calm and relaxed about the present as well as the future. It's not bad or wrong to ask God questions. We see Habbakuk ask God some tough questions and God doesn't let them go unanswered. Each morning I could easily wake to have the world hit me in the face by ALLOWING wonder and worry to fill my head... Why now with a kid? How are we going to provide when we can hardly afford to live without a kid? Can I put myself aside enough for God, a wife, AND a kid? Does having a kid mean I must give up on my dreams and move to an easier and more comfortable life in North Carolina? It's God's plan and timing, not my own. One of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes from Mere Christianity:

“That is why the real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking the other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all you natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.”

We may think we know the plan, but when we think we do, he's right behind to say, "Oh, no you don't." Although I wish he would answer these questions with neon signs, he never does. We all know God doesn’t want life to be a cake walk. I think he wants us to walk into the fire, step out into the deep blue ocean, be imprisoned for His sake, leave our families, and grow up! All in all, I’ve asked God questions this past week and a half, and though he hasn’t flashed answers my way, Alinna and I are seeing answers as we live in His will.

Just to catch you up on what we’ve been talking over since this “baby news” arrived on October 9, 2008, Alinna and I have decided to remain in California and be a Light out here in the community of Oceanside. Thanks to her for being a fantastic wife that allows to me to pursue my dreams while standing by my side through everything.

05 November 2010


d and i had ruby dedicated before our family and church on october 24th.. it was such a perfect day, and we were so thankful to have so many people who we love and who love us there to share it and commit to walking alongside us as we do our best as parents to raise her well. my friend taylor was coincidentally in town for the weekend with her amazing camera and offered to capture pictures of ruby and all of us on her big day. i had to share..

dedaj, gunter, mehaffie, and struble's unite!

leaning in like we love each other... 'cause we do!
Align Center
such a sweet sweet sweet one of my girl and her auntie v.

nothing beats a great jumping shot.

i love them all so much.

us three. <3

our longtime and generous friends, josh and taylor (the photographer).

what a doll face.

my mom made this awesome dress for ruby especially for her dedication day. amazing.


this captures her personality to a tee.

how can i love her so much?

we are so so thankful for our fun and crazy family.


i wouldn't say that you'd often hear me mentioning things that "i want"... i've always been an (overly) frugal person, so i tend not to think about spending money on this or that unless it's a necessity. lately though, there have been some things rolling around in my head, so thought i'd share my little dreamy wishlist. i guess this is "window shopping" for a mama who's usually perusing windows through the internet instead of actually walking past them. :)

a massage.. oh the gloriousness that is a full body massage. i've been graced with a couple in my lifetime, and i find myself every now and then just wishing i were lying on a table in a dark room surrounded by soft music, nice smells, and body oils. ha sounds a little odd out of context, but it's quite a wonderful thing. :)

yes, i know, it's a skillet.. but we have all stainless steel pots and pans right now, and after watching rachael ray daily for the past few weeks, i think i might need to get into the market for something in the non-stick department. very housewife of me, i know.
please do not point and laugh at this being on my wishlist. like i was telling vally the other day, i can't tell you how many times a day i think, if only i had a dust buster right now. maybe because i have a little maniac in my house getting crumbs and what not all over the place on an hourly basis.

and speaking of rachael ray, have you guys heard of her newest cookbook? it's called look and cook, as you can see.. the first 100 recipes have step by step pictures, and the rest of the recipes allow you to go online and cook along with her (commercial free) during the 30 minute meal prep. so cool.
ahhh.. i recently unearthed a sample bottle of brown sugar and fig lotion that i've had for who knows how long, and i fell in love. it has such a soft and warm scent.. hopefully bath and body works will have a blowout sale soon so i can stock up for the skin-chapping weather ahead.

and here's one that i'm sure will be on my dreamy wishlist for years to come.. nice, ridiculously expensive, designer jeans. guys, these jeans go for about 150 dollars (and up).. i mean, my wedding dress was only about 50 bucks more than that. maybe one day i'll bring myself to take the plunge, but i'll probably have to deprive ruby of diapers or a meal or two a day for about a week to fit it into the budget. but hey, that's why it's called a wishlist, right? :)

and lastly, the most ridiculous thing of all. the ipad. i usually don't go bananas for or even really care about technological things, but i have to admit that these are pretty neat. maybe one day i'll win one in a raffle or something. :)

ok, that's all for me. do you all share any of these wishlist items? what are some of yours? let's all wish together.. because i always feel that in wishing i just become more and more thankful for the fact that i'm blessed with so many things that most others would just be icing on the cake.

10 October 2010

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

01 October 2010


i haven't been able to get this song out of my head and heart ever since hearing the shelly moore band play it during worship at nc state's campus crusade meeting last week. the main lyrics that hit hard were these:

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

i feel like i spend a ton of time talking to God [and thinking and venting to whoever will listen :)] about not knowing what season i'm in.. it's not only that i don't know where i am, it's that sometimes i'm still in denial about where i [all of a sudden] am as well. in some ways, the quickness with which life has changed for me [and for us] in the past couple years has kept me from letting [or wanting] it all to sink in.. and that night it felt like He was looking right at me saying, it doesn't matter. not knowing what season you're in is in itself a season and even in the midst of that, it's about me.. not you.. and no matter what, you always always always have reasons to sing.. to be thankful, joyful, humbled and to worship me. i couldn't stop the tears from flowing that night or wipe the smile off my face.. and that was just what i needed. i felt closer to him than i have in so long and it was so refreshing. and challenging.

28 September 2010

surf's up..

this makes me nervous and happy all at the same time. guess that's what being a mama will do to you.

18 September 2010


i sing this lullaby to ruby all the time.. i've always liked it, but my love for it definitely grew when my sweet friend jessica from cali painted ruby an awesome piece of art with this song in mind that now hangs in her bedroom (i'll take a picture and post it soon). anyhow, i've never really known the lyrics for all of the different things that "mama's gonna buy you", so when i sing it to rubes i either make up random words or sing gibberish to the tune because, let's face it, ruby doesn't know the difference. :) i thought i'd share the actual lyrics because, after looking them up, i now love the song even more than i did already.

Hush, little baby, don't say a word,

Mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird.

If that mockingbird don't sing,

Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring.

If that diamond ring turns brass,

Mama's gonna buy you a looking glass.

If that looking glass gets broke,

Mama's gonna buy you a billy goat.

If that billy goat won't pull,

Mama's gonna buy you a cart and bull.

If that cart and bull turn over,

Mama's gonna buy you a dog named Rover.

If that dog named Rover won't bark.

Mama's gonna buy you a horse and cart.

If that horse and cart fall down,

You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town.

So hush little baby don't you cry,

Cuz Daddy loves you and so do I.

so sweet.

15 September 2010


my friend, janelle, sent me this link today and i had to share. how sweet and creative.

i love friends who see things and think of you because they know what you like.

the real princess was yawning...
the laundry day
gone fishin'
floating in the sky

13 September 2010


a couple of very note-worthy things have happened both in and around me since friday. firstly, i became an aunt for the second time when my sweet nephew, simon andrew mehaffie, was born at 10:48 on friday night. his miraculous entrance into the world didn't only strike me because of the shear amazing-ness that is the birthing process, but also because of the joy that surrounded his coming. i love how happy babies make people. they're so mysterious. they come when they want to, and when they do decide to make their way, man, do they shake things up. simon did that for all of us.. he teased us some by making us all think quite a few times that he was on his way only to wait a little longer. and then when he finally did make his grand entrance, he fulfilled all of his mama and daddy's hopes and came naturally and without a hitch. it was such a joyful time. none of us could wait for him to finally come, and once he did, he didn't disappoint. it was the first time (well, since having ruby :)) that i was able to be at the hospital to wait for the arrival of a baby.. i was so thankful to be able to see him, luke, and rockie so soon after his birth. what a warmth filled the room when we walked in to meet him.. l & r were spilling over with joy at the arrival of their son.. the sovereignty that the Lord showed by bringing him at just the right time and in such a perfect way was overwhelming for them. i was so thankful for their excitement over him.. but when i thought about it later, i couldn't help but feel sadness in knowing that not all children are welcomed into the world in that way. not everyone sees their offspring as "bundles of joy". what perspective came for me while lingering on that fact.. what drive it gave me to love the unloved every chance i'm given. what a daunting, but worthy task. and what a reason to be all the more thankful for people like my sweet brother and sister-in-love who fiercely love their children.

the bundle.

all four.

i also felt shaken during and after being a part of our church's involvement with WIHN sunday night. our home group made dinner for four families who will be spending this week living in our church building, and then a friend of mine and i spent the night at the building as hosts and helpers for the families for the evening. i so enjoyed observing and talking to everyone until lights out at 9:00, but i felt myself holding back tears several times. to hear a five year old boy talk about things he liked to do "before he was homeless" was undeniably saddening. just looking at his sweet face and hearing him say how hard it is to go from church to church and community center to community center because he doesn't have a home was literally heart-breaking. i laid on my cot that night, sad, confused, angry, disappointed, but also thankful.. given perspective. our apartment is small, our money is tight, our savings are little, but we have so so much.. i hate forgetting that. i hate that sometimes it takes a five year old homeless child that i weep because i cannot help to remind me of it.

03 September 2010

guess what..

we moved! so, that explains why i haven't been blogging, well, at all lately. hopefully i'll be back at it soon.. and maybe even with a few projects to share since i feel the sewing bug biting.

18 August 2010

run and tell that..

my brother-in-law opened up my world when he e-mailed me these two videos.


remix. so hilarious.

so, run and tell that, homeboy.

17 August 2010

the hubs..

i married a great man. i feel like it's almost unnecessary to say that marriage is hard.. i think my favorite way to describe it is that it's "no joke". it's easy for me to be cynical or realistic to an extreme when i talk and think about marriage, but even in the midst of that, i am thankful that God has put a desire in me to be someone who wants to display and reveal the trueness of what marriage can be. it's not a walk in the park. it's not always easy and comfortable.. two people staring googley-eyed at one another for years on end taking everything in stride and always agreeing on decisions. it's not always passion-filled and "i love the idea of growing old with you". sometimes it's rock bottom hard. sometimes it's "you make me more angry than i ever thought i could be and i don't understand you one bit". sometimes it's crying and praying and not knowing how to see past the argument to the hope of the future. at least that's the "sometimes" that we've had over the past two plus years.. but but but it is joy. and it is a choice.. there is a decision and a commitment to remain. marriage, for me, draws out my imperfections and begs me to be a more patient and selfless version of myself. it pulls at the parts of me deep inside that i want to deny.. the feelings that it's inevitable that daniel will eventually just become another person who will abandon me.. and because of that twisted belief i push and push instead of trusting in the commitment he's made. marriage is big.. it's for real.. it is, in a lot of ways, nothing like what you imagine [at least it wasn't for me]. i often wish that more people were honest about the grittiness that marriage can have, as well as the victory that comes with overcoming a miscommunication, trial, or big decision. it's so refreshing to know we're not alone.

i'm thankful for this man..
for the words that he's written, and the best that he brings out in me. i pray that someday my sweet girl finds someone to have and to hold as worthy as her daddy.

05 August 2010


i wonder how often that happens.

people are crazy.. and i hope the one who wrote this never comes to my house.

me too.

I wonder if straight people know how lucky they are to be straight.

I wonder if any white/non-white/straight/non-straight people know how lucky they are to not be autistic.

i wonder if the grass is always greener.

i wouldn't mind being invited to that wedding.

i'd say this is on average the response from those who don't know what else to say.. i think nothing would usually be better.

21 July 2010


i had some good, refreshing time in belmont a couple weeks ago, and i've been such a lazy blogger lately that i'm just getting around to sharing. it was so nice to have some time away from my day-to-day routine at home with ruby and give my parents the opportunity to have 5 (or 6?) straight days to spend time with ruby girl and see her in all of her sweet, wild glory. my mom is such a servant to me anytime she's around.. getting up with ruby and the sun everyday, helping her at mealtimes, changing diapers, and so many other things that i do love, but also tire of doing day in and day out. it's a blessing, and i'm thankful that she finds joy in it. i also got to visit ikea for the first time (crazy.) and see my sweet friends brandon and christy.. what perfect timing since they had their lovely baby girl lucy just a few days later..

here she is..

i'm aware that you can't see her sweet, new, little face at all in this picture, but i've been in love with this shot ever since brandon sent it to facebook. b & c have so badly longed to be parents, and i've been filled with joy for them since their baby girl was born. one of the things that really helped me through the time right after we found out we were surprise pregnant with ruby was the thought of so so many people who want nothing more than to have children and either never see that hope realized or go through extremely hard times until it happens for them.. although becoming ruby's parents came as a shock to us, i am so grateful that we were blessed in a way that others sometimes aren't.

another major highlight of my time in the queen city was deciding to stay in town a bit later than i had planned so i could visit redemption church at my friends shawn and kalle's home in charlotte. i've been so impressed by the way they've been following the call on their lives to be church planters, and that even in the midst of extremely difficult times they moved across the country and are doing just what they know God is asking of them. shawn taught out of the end of ephesians, and although i was challenged a ton concerning my marriage specifically, what he spoke about regarding the purpose of the relationships in our lives in general is what has been resonating with me ever since that weekend. i guess what i walked away with is probably a simple idea, but being reminded of the fact that although we serve a gracious Father who allows our relationships to bring joy to us and enhance our time on earth, the true purpose of our connections with others is ultimately his glory. his glory. man man man did that kick my butt. i didn't get in my car back to raleigh that night with a smile on my face patting myself on the back thinking, "awesome. i'm a God honoring machine in my marriage, friendships, motherhood..." it was pretty much the opposite.. i was able to think of instance after instance in which i, if anything, dishonor God in the way i treat my husband, spend my time with friends, acquaintances, and even strangers, and think and act as a mom. in most cases, i'm probably either not behaving in a way that glorifies the Lord or thinking of the relationship with whoever is it as beneficial and for me.. not him. shew. it was humbling, but i was so thankful. since i've been home, i've regularly been finding myself checking my spirit, attitude, actions, and words and (working at) altering them to reflect something that brings him glory. although it's beyond easy to let myself think and live like everything and everyone in my life revolves around me and what feels good, looks good, and makes my time here good, it's better and necessary to realize that it's just not about me.. i want to operate in my relationships in a way that makes people double take and wonder what's different about them and why.. not to boast in myself, but so that i can point to him and how's he's changed my heart.

i definitely know that i didn't explain that nearly well enough to give you an idea of all that is and has been going through my head since hearing shawn teach that night, but i hope it gives you an idea of what i'm trying to learn. what a process.

and here are a few pictures from my whirlwind 24 hours in charlotte this past weekend..

the same day my very cool sister finally moved to raleigh,

i was in charlotte to see these two sweeties tie the knot..

and spend some time with these girls and a handful of other friends from college.

times really really does fly.. but i'm always thankful for the comfort i find in being around people who know me.

ok. stream of consciousness.. complete. thanks for hanging in there. :)

11 July 2010

can't stop..

if you ever feel sad (or any other emotion, for that matter), watch this video. i can't stop.

21 June 2010

dad's day..

since ruby loves her daddy so much, it was only natural for her to make him a little something for their second father's day together. somehow i was able to paint her hands and pry her fingers out straight for long enough to get these sweet little one year old hands prints on the blank side of a grits box. my especially favorite part is the pink heart made from her two little thumbs prints. insert "aww" {here}.

ruby is the sweetest girl, and i can't really express how much i look forward to seeing her and her daddy grow closer over the years to come. for many reasons, father's day has never really been a day that i looked forward to with joy or expectation.. seeing daniel as a dad has changed that for me, and i am so thankful. my heart feels hopeful because of how different i know ruby's relationship with her daddy will be than mine was.. not only hopeful for her and for myself, but also for others in my life who i know have a less than ideal view of what a father looks like. i feel very blessed in that hope, because it gives me assurance that history does not have to repeat itself and that our children can have blessings where we had only curses. sounds super spiritual, perhaps, but it's exactly how i feel.

thank you, daniel, for being a part of that hope. <3

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...