January 30, 2012

January cookies

So, for the year of 2012 I am making Brett a new recipe of cookies every month. I'm pretty excited about the challenge of coming up with new and fun ( but also yummy) recipes every month!  This month I found a really great recipe for "S'more Cookies" and the picture above is when I took them out of the oven, before I'd cut them into squares. ( while you put them on the graham crackers in individual cookies, they kind of morph together into a bar...) 

I'm happy to say that after cooling and cutting they were still A-mazing. Now Brett just has to come back from the field before I eat them all myself :-) 

If you'd like the recipe you can find it here: S'more Cookies

January 29, 2012


So, back in August we had new neighbors move down below us. They were mildly annoying to say the least. The guy had a bunch of his friends over for his lunch break most days and they always talked REALLY LOUDLY ( with one particular word that starts with F being their favorite) and would periodically wake Ransom up from his nap...
The wife was also super cool and bought this sign for outside...

What makes this EVEN better is that our house is next door to an Elementary School...so the sign was able to scar young children on a daily basis. 

Then Halloween time came and the guy spent days on end sawing and hacking outside their front door ( for some reason they didn't seem to realize they had a whole patio and garage BEHIND the house...) which was directly under our living room. We were puzzled at WHAT he could possibly be doing until one day he erected a large wooden witch outside their door...also for their children. *sigh* 

Now, one of the kind of cool (?) things about living on a "training" Army Post is that if you know what school a person is doing you know how long, give or take, they will be at Fort Benning. These people were here for the Infantry Basic Officers Course and therefore I had a pretty good idea of how long we would be graced with their amazing presence downstairs.....too long. 

And now to change scenes: 
Our good friend the Fones have been planning to come to Fort Benning for a while now for the Captains Career Course. Lindsay lived with me before she and Isaac where married and while Brett was deployed. Now, she's married and has a baby of her own and I was SO excited about living near her again in this new stage of both our lives...
I was excited about them being close by, but I was incredulous when I heard that Lindsay and Isaac were praying that they'd get to move into the same building ( each "house" has four different homes in each one, two upstairs, two down stairs. On each side, the upstairs and downstairs share a back door and the stairs leading down to the basement. Essentially you could both open your kitchen doors, lock the back door and you'd have one, very large house.).  I knew all of our surrounding neighbors and I knew that none of them were planning on moving any time soon. I was sad, especially since I was not such a big fan of our perviously described downstairs neighbors...But I felt sure that there was no way living that close to our friends was possible. I secretly felt that those prayers wouldn't be answered....

As the time for the Fones to arrive got closer I started to get excited and take multiple walks around the block to check for empty houses. There were several that were pretty close by and I thought that this must be the answer to our prayers about living near our friends. 

Then a month before they headed to Benning, I was on my way to the grocery store one morning and I noticed some workmen heading into our downstairs neighbor's house...and being the crazy stalker neighbor that I am, I looked closer and LOW AND BEHOLD they had MOVED OUT.  Oddly enough, we never saw them move and we're guessing it was some time when we were out of town. But all that really mattered is that what I thought was IMPOSSIBLE had happened! The home directly under ours, the one that shares our back door, that shares our patio, that shares our very roof...it was available!

But the Doubting-Thomas in me was still not sure...we still had a month to go before our friends arrived and I knew that there were quite a few schools starting at Benning in the intervening month and that there would be a lot of people moving in. The odds that this particular house would stay open a whole month, they were slim. However, by now my faith was rising a little bit ( thank goodness..) and I shot out a facebook status asking people to pray that the house would stay open for a month....

As each week passed and moving trucks came and went, filled up and poured out all over the neighborhood-we prayed hard for our downstairs house. Slowly weeks went by and it stayed empty! Finally Isaac arrived to being their moving in process. It took a few days ( whoa are they busy!) but he finally got an appointment with the housing office. As he made his appointment on the phone he mentioned that he was staying with some friends and that the house below us was free and that he'd really like to move in...The lady replied with, "Is that on M- street? Because those are the only keys I have and the only house I'll be able to show you...."

That's right. There are no other houses available. The only house? 
The one right below us. 

And so, as you can see I under estimated God's ability in a big way. I forgot the greatness of our God. I forgot that a little matter of having Close Fellowship with friends is but a small thing to Him. He delivered. 

January 26, 2012


So, friends life has been jam packed with cool stories lately. But, since our house is currently occupied by four adults, a toddler and a baby there has been pretty much zero time for blogging.
But, as SOON as a get a second ( hopefully this weekend) I'll tell the incredibly cool story of WHY there are so many people in our house this weekend...

Until then a quick story:
Today is Brett's birthday. Which is great. What is NOT great is that his Texas Drivers License and the registration on both our cars expired on the same day.
Of course, this fact wasn't fully realized until two days ago ( cuz I guess we live by the seat of our pants around this joint), anyway, being the ultra Doer that I am, I jumped into ultra high gear and figured out a way to get all these things taken care of yesterday. The day before Brett's birthday.
First, I got everything together for Brett to get a Georgia License ( it takes 40 days for Texas to renew a license long distance...so that was out).
And I waited until my babysitter arrived and then I planned to head to the JAG office to pick up the proper paper work to get our registrations renewed and then head out to the random teeny-tiny town where the registration office is located.

And then the curve balls came....of COURSE Brett couldn't get out of work to get his new license...and *I* started searching the house high and low for our Power of Attorney ( so that I could do things for him)...and couldn't find it. Any.Where.
It was horrible. I literally looked through ALL our files. ALL our drawers. ALL our boxes of misc. papers...and I got more and more worked up...finally I decided to drive to Brett's office to check and see if it just might be in his car. And then when I got to his car, and searched it completely I got back in my car only to find that it was completely and utterly dead. As in deader than a door nail. As in so dead the automatic locks wouldn't work.
And that was the last straw.

All my plans failed. Completely and utterly.
But you know what didn't happen?! I didn't start driving out to a little town in the middle of no-where and have my car completely die on me. INSTEAD it died in front of Brett's company where I had my husband and 150 dudes there to help me. Talk about the perfect location for your car to die.

And then today, without any of my totally awesome planning involved at all-Brett got his new license, we got both cars re-registered, and our broken car got fixed.
A little bit humbling to realize my amazing management powers do not hold a candle to God's graciousness.

January 22, 2012

The Climb

And let us all pause and listen to the Miley Cyrus song, The Climb. I heard it on the radio twice this week. And I did NOT change the station. Cuz I rock to some Miley.

Anyway, I suppose that's why the title of this post popped into my head, and because it describes so well how I've felt over the last 10 days. ( ten days!! since my last post!! crazy pills!!). I'd say the first half of this month was rough, as in bottom of the barrel rough....but even at the bottom there, where its lonely and you walk around your block on a Sunday afternoon and you think, "Geez, no one cares about me or Ransom here!"  even down at the bottom there was light. And there were surprise dinner dates, and phone calls and little things that proved that earlier thought was a lie.  And while things are not easy (as in it isn't being handed to me on a platter)  it doesn't mean I can't get out there and find some Community.

It helped that my oldest, dearest friend Amy came into town for a few days- it helped that I've seen Brett a little more. Its helped that I've started going to a Women's Bible Study ( PWOC! WOOP WOOP) on Thursday mornings. Its helped that I've started meeting with an older woman once a week. It helped that I've decided to take Ransom to story time at least once a week. Its helped basically that I not sit around at home alone. With only a one and half year old to talk to. Not. good. for. anyone.

But, I cannot promise that such walks around the block will not happen again. Because, let me tell you I bet they will....I don't even know if loneliness can really BE avoided.  But I will embrace the fact that I hope it has made me more gracious and loving towards others. Because I feel that everyone ( yup! I'm going to make a giant sweeping generalization because I think its just THAT true.) is lonely or struggling at some point. And who's to say that I'm not the one to help them in that?!

So, I mentioned before that I'm doing a "Best things" status update every day on Facebook this year. And its taught me to be a lot more aware of the little things that make a day good. And you know that I've noticed thus far that its often the little nice things that strangers do...like the guys in the fire truck that turned on their lights for Ransom when we passed them on our run the other day....or the little old lady in Chick-fil-a who went and asked one of the works if Ransom could have a balloon that was hanging from the ceiling because she'd seen him pointing at it....I'm telling you people:  Those things made my day!
I need to also be more intentional about being kind to strangers not just people I know. People in my inner circle, people in my outer circles...and people that aren't in my circles at all! Here's to kindness and here's to the great help it brings to climbing out from the bottom of the barrel.

January 12, 2012


This morning Ransom and I got to see Brett for a few hours....most of which Brett spent sleeping.

And thus I fought hard against disappointment ( that we didn't get more time together), guilt ( that I wanted Brett to give up on sleep to spend time with us?!), anger ( stupid army!) and a whole lot of other unpleasant emotions. Buuuut, the whole experience reminded me yet again what a challenge being thankful can really be sometimes...I mean, what I wanted was to be genuinely happy to see my husband who I haven't laid eyes on in the flesh for over a week. What I wanted was to soak up the few hours we got ( even if it was watching him sleep) before he heads back into the field. But sometimes my ugly side gets the better of me.

Hopefully, however, I did rally enough to enjoy a little breakfast of scrambled eggs, apples and cinnamon toast with Brett and our growing little dude. Looking over the last few days of pictures reminds me just how he has transitioned out of the "baby" stage. *sigh*

Every time I come into a room and he's sitting proudly on some piece of furniture I get a little shock...luckily it hasn't been on, say, the top of the entertainment center...not yet anyway. ;-) 

 Let me just say that riding in one of these carts has made shopping a BREEZE yet again...of course when he gets tired of this, I'm not sure if they have anything cooler...heheh
 Is it just me or does eating cereal the proper way seem really grown up?! 

Little dude up and started blowing bubbles in the bathtub last night! I didn't even show him  how! He was so pleased with himself that he posed for this picture. ( seriously, he posed.) 

January 10, 2012


So, while chatting with a friend on FB this morning I was reminded of an important verse for me...

"He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." ( Jer 17:8) 

So much goodness there, a combo of exhorting- Am I planted by water? Am I not anxious no matter circumstances? Have I ceased to bear fruit? ...

...and encouragement: I do not have to fear when crunch times come, I do not have to be anxious in rough times when things are drier than a bone...for I have living Water! 

Yes, I would not hesitate when saying this is a "drought" season- being with out my Other Half is bad enough. But then, at the same time this verse is perfect, because I hesitate in saying this are Bad. They are definitely NOT bad. 

Getting to watch my son grow and learn every day. To see the big and small ways that the Lord provides for my mental wellbeing every day. To see the Lord working in the Lives all around...these are good things. These are the green leaves that keep me going. :-) 

January 09, 2012

35 minutes of free joy.

So during my run this morning, I ran by the back of one of those non-discript Army buildings (WHAT do they DO inside all those buildings?!?)  where there is a dumpster. And next to said dumpster was a bookcase ( sadly destroyed by last nights rain). And  metal  industrial shelves ( not yet fully destroyed by rain!). And I immediately thought,  "Hmmmmm, what else do I have to do today but take those shelves off the hands of that dumpster!?"

And so after my run, and after talking to Brett on Facetime, Ransom and I piled into the car and I wedged the metal shelves into the back of my car....I even thought to bring a tarp so as not to ruin my car insides. This was smart since they shelves were wet, dirty and covered in leaves.

So I brought them home, waited for Ransom to go down for his nap ( which, P.S. He is STILL asleep!! He's been down for OVER 2 hours! WOO!) , then I cleaned up that bad boy and BOOM! I turned my back stairwell from this:

Into THIS:

And the whole process took less then an HOUR!! YAY!!

January 07, 2012

One day at a time...

This year I'm not counting the days Brett is gone. I'm consciously not figuring out just how long Brett's going to be out of the picture of our family. Instead we're taking it one day at a time....and out of that has come my favorite New Year's Resolution. It actually just happened rather than me "resolving it so"...and I suppose my hope is that I'll keep it up...

On facebook at the end of each day I am recording the best things about that day. Simple. Not anything new. But I've found, in the need to document the good things, I'm continually on the look out. And, since its not like our days are that jam packed around here, its a bit more tricky and you have to be on the look out for the special moments.

For instance, yesterday one of my favorite moments was when I was scrubbing the bathtub. Well, wait...let me re-phrase. I actually hate scrubbing the bathtub...I'm pretty sure that's what they'll be doing in Hell. So, instead let me quickly continue by saying that while I was scrubbing the bathtub Ransom came in and brought me one of his favorite books-one that had been strategically "hiding" at the bottom of the book pile after I got super tired of it-He had obviously found it and in his joy had brought it to me to read. "MO!" he said... "MO!" ( meaning "more"...which also translates into just about anything that he would like at any given time.)
So I stopped scrubbing ( really, any excuse there...) and read the book right there on the bathroom floor. And the after a few more minutes of scrubbing and Ransom investigating his bathtoys that were hanging out on the floor while I cleaned...once again he stuck the book back in my face "MO!"

And so I read that stupid Colors: Slide and Seek book about five times while trying to clean the tub, each time I'd stop cleaning and Ransom would position himself into my lap with a little satisfied sigh.
Honestly it was fun. And I loved that Ransom loves his books. And I also love that I don't love cleaning the tub so much that I don't mind "breaking the task up a bit". hahaha!

I also was stripping the guest bed and putting fresh sheets and after sticking the old sheets in the laundry I came back to see this....

These are the good moments. And I think that when I look carefully, they out weigh the bad moments by quite a lot.

January 04, 2012


How totally adorable is my son today?

So, this is my "Mommy Date" time. I'm spending it at Starbucks working on a few Internet projects.

But I thought Id drop the ol' blog a line, because I wanted to follow up my yesterday post with what's happened since: I had one friend schedule a visit for later in the year ( much later, but during a time when I'm guessing I'm gonna be extra lonely), I had a blogging friend invite Ransom and I for a visit! Fun! And it's always good to have those kind of things stored away so that your mind always has things to look forward to- that's the most important thing for mental well being in my opinion. AND last but not least I've been scouring our neighborhood the last few weeks trying to find the closest empty house for my friends The Fones to move into when they move to Benning at the end of the month.....and what do you know?! Our downstairs neighbors must have moved overnight or something!! Good riddance crazy people!! And now I'm praying hard that Lindsay and I get to live together again ( or at least under the same roof...this time with our respective homes, husbands and children...)

All that being said, the Lord continues to remind me of his Goodness, His presence and above all His perfect timing.

January 03, 2012

My fav pictures from 2011....

In no particular order, my favorite pictures from 2011....There are so many it was hard to narrow them down, but here are a few to remind me of all the fun-especially in watching my little dude grow up-that this year has had to offer...

Red Letter Day

Ransom has a habit of sitting his fridge magnets around the house as though they are standing. It cracks me up to find an "A" on the arm of the chair, or an "I" next to the bathtub...

Today begins the New Year. I mean, sure its the 3rd, but that's a minor detail. For me it starts today....mostly because Brett went back to work today, and thus starts normal life. And "normal" life for 2012 means "single parent mode".

While Brett's 9 month deployment doesn't start until June, he's gone for most of January, parts of February and ALL of March. I am resigning myself to loneliness. And while last night when thinking about days upon days of just me and Ransom I wanted to cry, for the most part I'm curious to see what God is going to do with all this extra "free" time.  If there is ONE THING I've learned from the last few years its don't Doubt God. He comes through every single time....and time and time again when I've faced a future of emptiness and loneliness ( its a reoccurring Army Wife Theme) the Lord has always provide: reminders, letters, friends, projects, activities, trips....He provides.

And in fact, last night when I started to feel a little tear coming into my eye when thinking about this weekend alone ( why is it that weekends are the HARDEST to be alone?!)  I opened my Bible App on my phone and this was on the screen...and for some reason it was HIGHLIGHTED...I guess just so I wouldn't miss it...but its kind of a mystery of how it got highlighted or why it was on the screen ;-)

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid..." ( John 14:27) 

And so this new year begins...how will it go? That just remains to be seen...but "little" miracles are expected daily. Happy New Year, everybody!