How Life Happens in Our Broken World

Preface to say God is good and He is our healer.

My grandfather is sick. He’s lost a lot of weight and is in a lot of pain and has lost an incredible amount of weight. He’s being treated and evaluated and my mom as his only daughter needed to go be with him. I worked out coverage at work for my parents to go be with him. When my mom has to go attend to family affairs in Maryland my dad works with our cousin and his HVAC company. This is common.

My grandfather had an appointment on Tuesday to establish a plan and clarify his care plan. My dad went to work with our cousin like normal. I got a text from my mom giving me an update on the appointment.

I’m on spring break and offered to make and bring a meal to a friend that recently had surgery. I got off work and took Amanda to Walmart to buy ingredients. As I’m getting in line I have two missed calls…one from Brad and one from my mom. Immediate reaction is Brad gets home from work wondering where I am and mom checking in after PopPop’s appointment and missing me and the girls wanting to chat.

I call Brad and he asks if I have talked to my mom. I’m annoyed and tell him I called him first because he is my husband and I’ll call her next? He says ok well there’s been an accident….stomach drop. Ok? Brad tells me my dad has been in a very bad accident and my mom is on the way to shock trauma…

Shock trauma is not something that means anything to our southern friends or family but shock trauma to Maryland means life or death. I tried not to hang up on him but I might have.

I called my mom and she answered…oh my God what is going on?! She explains Dad was on a ladder and fell off and hit concrete face first from about 9/10 feet. He’s on his way to shock trauma and she was stuck in Baltimore traffic…she’s not there and has no info….ok mom keep me posted.

I am a wreck buying groceries. Amanda sees my tears but asks why I am sniffling….ignore. Grandpa is our hero, I tell her nothing but I am broken. We’re headed down 42 and a family friend calls….oh my God please explain what is happening?! I do my best, AJ over hears and cries…Mommy I am sad. I pull in to the driveway and am greeted by a heartbroken 9 year old “Mommy, it’s going to be okay”, husband tries to comfort….all I can imagine is my dad hitting concrete face first from 9ft high and feeling wrecked. I text my brother I love you and occupy our time making dessert for my friend.

My bro says he is waiting to hear before we pull the trigger to go to MD. ER doc tells my mom the kids don’t need to jump in the car, he’s ok…we’re waiting for cat scan results.

Mom calls, she loses her signal in the deck…my brother calls….results are back…dad has a skull fracture, 3 brain bleeds, fractured eye socket, fractured cheek bone, broken clavicle, punctured lung, lacerated kidney and bruised kidney. 7 broken (shattered) ribs. Life changes.

My brother gets in the car to come here…I call my boss and pack bags. We leave for Maryland. My brother gets a speeding ticket in Emporia, I keep my precious nephew occupied, we arrive and drive to Baltimore to be there for mom. Dad is WRECKED, but he knows us.

Thus begins our journey. Neuro checks every hour…he begins to memorize his responses. He’s asleep but listening…Joe are you in a library? Yup. Joe where are you? Wakemed. Joe why are you here? My daughter in law is having a baby. He hears the conversation around him and responds as a result. He is so confused.

He knows us, but nothing else.

I don’t know what changed except to say the fervent and intense prayers on his behalf changed and healed him. He was in immense pain, he was confused, he was depressed…”what are they going to do with me? I’m a wreck, I’m tore up”. They changed his bed sheets, mom and I held his hands on either side….

He peeks his eyes “so is this what we’re going to do? Stare at me?” Oh my GOD! He is coming back.

There’s so much more to this crazy story but all I can say is dad is himself. His body is healing. He has been to hell and returned to be here with us and he’s making real strides and I can’t explain it except God’s miraculous hand. He chose for himself not to be operated on despite his pain, even the nurse can’t find any notes in his chart that surgery was ever the plan. His pain regiment is NORMAL now after intense therapy.

We need his lung to heal to remove his chest tube, his pain is manageable for his broken ribs. He can come home to NC without having to go to rehab. We are a week in to this hell and we have HOPE. Our faith validated. Our man is coming home mentally stable with hope of restoration of his body. His road of recovery is long by medical expectations but as believers it is non existent…his body is being healed daily! Thank you all for your “hem of his cloak” healing prayers. Please continue prayers of healing out of your mustard seed belief!


Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken

Made this for a friend!



chicken breasts (you could add a 3rd without altering the recipe I think)

1 cup

broth/stock (I used unsalted chicken stock)

½ cup

low sodium soy sauce

1 can

8oz – pineapple (shredded, diced, whatever your preference)

1/4 cup

Brown sugar

1-2 Tbsp


1 tsp

Garlic powder

½ tsp

Chili powder

½ tsp

Ground ginger

1 tsp

Corn starch



  1. Add chicken, broth, soy sauce, pineapple, brown sugar, honey, garlic powder, chili powder, and ground ginger to crockpot.

  2. Cook on low for 2 hours.

  3. Increase heat to high for 2 more hours.

  4. Remove chicken.

  5. Add sauce to a small sauce pan.

  6. In a small cup create a slurry with the corn starch and add to the sauce. (slurry = stir 1 tsp of corn starch in to a small amount of warm water – this is to prevent the corn starch from clumping if you add it directly to the sauce in the sauce pan)

Tip: you could increase the corn starch to 1 tbsp to really thicken up the sauce to a nice glaze, but I’m not a fan of corn starch so I tried to limit this

           Tip: to increase spice level, use a full tsp of chili powder.

And Then There Were 2

Due to my major lapse in blogging, you may notice I now have an almost 3 year old.

Where’d she come from?! Well, we know where she came from, but for as much as everyone seems to know about Autumn (first born syndrome) you may not know anything about AJ, or Amanda Jo. It depends on her mood of course whether she wants to be called one vs. the other. I love that she knows her name so completely she identifies specific emotions or moments with either name. That feels so adult to me. It reminds me of how we use middle names when reprimanding our children, or their full names instead of the nickname for them to show them our level of seriousness.

Amanda Jo is my super snuggle bug, she’s a Mamma AND Daddy’s girl and withholds nothing from us in terms of hugs, kisses, and affection. She was born the day before Autumn, and we celebrated Autumn’s 4th birthday in the hospital room. We decorated, had cake, and made Autumn feel as special as we could so that her new baby sister didn’t completely steal the show.

AJ is my moon. She brings balance to our family, she is the calm. For as wild, and silly, and for as large as her sass and temper are-she completes us. Autumn is bright as the shining sun, everything about her is bright and joyous and BRIGHT. (Did I mention bright?)  But the moon lights up a dark sky…that’s my AJ. She’s bright too.

I fully believe that God knows what we need and He gives us nothing more than we can handle without Him. While I need Him daily as a mother, wife, and woman, He gave me these incredible girls that blow my mind every day. How did they turn out so incredible, their personalities so intricate, and perfect? How they make me laugh. How they exasperate me. How tenderhearted and compassionate they both are, and yet so very different. In these moments of contemplating my children and really just reveling in the amazing qualities of them both I realize that God did not give them to me for me, He gave them to me for Him. One day they will no longer be tiny little humans. They will be grown ups functioning in this broken world shining their brightness in whatever capacity God has for their future. It is then that I will be able to lay no claim to them, except to say they grew in me. I loved them. I taught them who God is. I’m so proud to call them mine, for now. I’m humbled God gave them to me for this life, this short time.

My dad just turned 56 years old in July. I will be 32 this year. I remember when my dad was my age. 32. I REMEMBER that. What does life look like for me at 56? Oh how these two children make me want to speed up time, to watch them grow, to see what the future holds. But for now I will savor every new thing. Every math problem solved, every difficult  word sounded out, every concept understood, every sentence spoken, every funny conversation posted on Facebook, every night rocking to bed, every snuggle, every hug, and every kiss. These two have Brad and I a satisfaction I think we never anticipated. Strangely different than I ever expected. My two girls.

Why I did it.

Facebook marriage challenge? Puh-lease. Brad , 8 years in to this, knows I’m committed. I participated. Why? 

Because I wasn’t always. 

We have been through some CRAP. But why do any of you even need to know that? You don’t. But when I get challenged on Facebook I go with it. Here’s why…it gave me a chance to say- marriage is hard, and THAT is a level of intimacy that doesn’t belong on social media and none of you need to know it…except to say…chances are good you have all been there at some point too. Aren’t we all doing this life thing together? No? I’m sad for you…you should be doing life with someone, especially someone who has walked THROUGH whatever struggle you’re going through. I call that church life, doing life together.

 But church life just happens to be MY thing. I am into meal planning and prep, I want to work out more, I’m a mom, I am SO fulfilled by my profession and pursue growth. I clean my home thoroughly-baseboards , murphys oil, bleach, essential oils and all, every Saturday ! But the reality is…Jesus is my motivation. 

God ordained my marriage. Even those moments when I wish He picked someone else, He didn’t. Does my commitment lie with Brad? Nope. It lies in the covenant I made before God to honor and cherish this man. As a Christian? Come ON. That’s worth sharing!! Y’all don’t know my details, but do you have to know MY details in order to relate?! Absolutely NOT, because you have your own circumstances. 

My hope is that, whether you know my details or not, you know ME. You see my every day life. You see me strive to represent Jesus in everything I do. So by default you know my marriage is a representation of my commitment to God. 

Marriage challenge?? I challenge you to think about your marriage, why you’re still in it (we’ve all thought about not), what are those golden moments that keep you there? Kids aren’t it. They’ll move out one day. 

The marriage challenge for me wasn’t a chance to show you why my marriage rocks…it was an opportunity to reinforce the reasons I stay committed. Guess what guys, Facebook challenges ain’t it. God is. The marriage challenge was an opportunity to remind me of that. Life is hard. Parenting is harder. Marriage is hardest. Damnit Brad, you are hard. But I refuse to focus on the negative. I PRAISE  the things that make you amazing  (a lot). 

I put my job, my kids, my food all on Facebook. That’s all fair game. Yeah I get that my marriage isn’t fair game (intimacy)…except to say…our commitment is still worth sharing. You’re life has issues too. Don’t share the negative. The marriage challenge gives you the chance to search your story-share those good things! Celebrate them! They keep you. They drive you. Do the challenge if for no other reason than to remind yourself why you’re  HERE.

Our First Graduate

Well last week we had our first graduation as parents. And it only took us 6 1/2 years to get here. I would say that it’s been an anticlimactic journey to reach this point, but it hasn’t. It’s amazing what can happen in 6 1/2 years of life.

Autumn has learned her ABC’s. How to count. Her shapes. Sentence structure. Sight words. How to write a paragraph. And her favorite accomplishment thus far? Learning to read. Brad and I can spell very few words to each other these days, she can often figure them out. And she doesn’t give up trying if they aren’t easy. Meaning, days later she’ll say something along the lines of “I know what that word was”, and a smug smirk joins that party. She may not know WHAT the word means, but daggon if she didn’t figure out how to pronounce it based on the letters.

We had to visit the doctor the other day and while we were waiting to get called back she was reading every magazine in the place. The really incredible part was that she was literally reading these articles. I have to admit, things got a little creepy for me when she discovered the “new mom” magazine and began reading the Babies R Us article….”We realize what an exciting time this is for you in your life!” Yeah, that was weird.

She amazes us daily with her incredible personality, her leadership qualities, her follower qualities (ha), and her beauty. The whining is pretty amazing too. Along with the drama. And here lately, a big old dose of ungratefulness. The reality though is that we have a first grader. An almost 7 year old. And she is AMAZING. In every single way, she is amazing. Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only parent that feels like this child can’t possibly have my blood coursing through her veins, that God couldn’t possibly have meant to give her to ME, of all people.


Autumn, one day you will read this I hope. I hope you will know what an exceptional child you are. And I hope that as you read this, you have stepped in to whatever role it is that God has for your future and realize that being exceptional is just how God made you. Because it’s likely that even today, people find you to be impressive, amazing, EXCEPTIONAL. We love you sweetie.


A Year?

Oh you guys. A year, almost an entire year since I have blogged. It’s amazing how time flies, how life happens, how a new job changes everything, and how much time an almost 3 year old takes! And let’s not talk about the 4 jobs between Brad and I, or the lack of wireless in our house. But don’t be mislead. Life is good. I’m just tired.

Autumn has grown so much and is such a little person, no longer a baby. We are convinced someone was mistaken when they labeled the 2’s terrible…for it is most certainly the 3’s for us that are….emotions running high is definitely one way to put it. But we love her, and all of the funny little things she says. She has become a little love bug, it just took much longer than I ever expected. I love how when I rock her at night before bed she still sticks her little butt out, tucks her hands under her chest, and burrows into my shoulder. She has always done this, but it seems that at her age now she seems to do it with a little more vigor…she loves to be snuggled and held close (don’t we all?!).

She will be 3 on Monday and we have a fun filled birthday ahead for her. She is telling everyone that her “birfday is comin’ up” and she will “free” and she “gonna go to jumpin’ jax wif all my fwiends”.

I’m so proud of her at this stage in the game. She makes me laugh, she teaches me forgiveness and love. Emotions that are not easily accessible some days, she teaches me to access them. I adore my little girl and this life that God has blessed Brad and I with. It warms my heart to meditate on this little family of mine.

Season of Thanks?


How awful is it that during this awesome season of thanks and gratitude all I wanna do is complain? Ugh, I feel so LAME. My checklist is just really long and I am feeling overwhelmed and I think that has a lot to do with it, I’m sure anyway.
I am thankful for this beautiful life God has allowed me to live, I just need to get past the funk of feeling like I do. How are you all doing??

What my daughter says.


So while I was home yesterday I typed up the little phrases and things Autumn said all day long. I am so proud of my little girl, she is so smart. I will probably come back and edit this as she says more things, but posting this for now.

I hold you me. I help you me. Aww, you tired baby? Wow, das cool.  Soo good! I have bite dat now? I see picture? I see Jesus? Mere baby, I hold you. What in the heck? Rub my back. I wanna bounce. I take my bath now. I fall down! All done now. I wanna eat now. I want my milk. I wanna walk now. We go to Nana’s house? We go to Autumn’s house? This water old. Ew Nasty. No ma’am. I want my balloon. What’s this? What’s that? I want dat right dare. Is Lucky swimmin’? Fishy in his house. Fishy sleepin’? That scared me! See, the gloves are on me! Bless you. You okay baby? I will see. Ow that hurt me. Touchdown! I love it! Thank you! Welcome! Scuse me! I want vitamin pwease?

11/12/11: singing- joy joy joy in my heart
11/13/12: I take it out. I found it! I found medicine binky. Brushin my teef.
11/26/11: one at a time!
I am being really slack about updating this! I got my phone replaced finally and so I forgot to add WordPress back to it. It is on here now 🙂
11/30/11: back up, back up! Jesus is in my heart! Jesus loves me this I know da Bible tells me so.

Mountain Time!



This is her D-D-Dora Punkin. So cute.


We are leaving for the mountains on Thursday for a full out family vacation and I am really excited! I feel like I am getting sick but isn’t that just life for ya? Hoping it won’t be too rough on me. I am down to 177 now, by the way…that is 125lbs now yay! Autumn will be 2 in November and absolutely blows my mind on a daily basis with her smarts. I had my review and it went great and I am really enjoying it. School is still kicking my butt, but December 12 is just around the bend….the very long and bendy turn….but around the turn none-the-less.
So that about sums it up. I am on my phone updating so I hope it doesn’t seem too disjointed. Hopefully I can update again after our trip. Happy 27th Birthday to me on October 8th!!!