"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; He bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold
from those whose walk is blameless."
Psalm 84:11

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A little Howard on the way!!!

God is so good!! As Craig and I approach our one year anniversary in a few weeks, we have been blessed with the news that we are having a baby!! Little did we expect that this season would come so soon, but we are overwhelmed with joy and excitement about what lies ahead!!

I found out on the morning of Saturday, October 3, while Craig was at work. "We weren't trying, but we weren't preventing," which is a common phrase I've been hearing a lot lately and applicable to our situation as well. I woke up that morning, still have asleep, and realized what day it was, and decided to take a pregnancy test. Not expecting anything crazy, as I wiped the sleep from my eyes, I realized that what I saw wasn't a negative sign, but a pretty little PLUS sign!! In absolute total shock, I sat down in the middle of the bathroom floor, trying to adjust my eyes to make sure I was seeing it clearly. After staring for several minutes, it hit me. I'm pregnant!!!!

Tears started flowing down my face and I started pacing frantically around the house! I couldn't believe it! Then all of a sudden, I was overwhelmed with humility. I hit my knees on my living room floor and began praising God for choosing me to carry one of His own. During our time here in Memphis, we've been surrounded by several women that can't have children. So utter humility consumed me in this moment!

Craig wouldn't be home for another six hours, so I cleaned the house like a mad woman and tried to preoccupy my mind! I started thinking of a creative way to reveal the news to him! What I ended up doing was creating 8 different envelopes that contained scriptures that affirmed him as a man and husband! I read each one of them aloud and then shared with him how he portrayed all these qualities so well! The next to last envelope, I blindfolded him and took him to the back yard where the final envelope and a small gift was waiting. Psalm 127 refers to children in a man's youth being like arrows in a quiver, and blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. So I bought a quiver and arrow!! As he took the blindfold off and went to check it all out, I pulled my camera out and video taped his reaction! It was great!! Check it out below.

We couldn't be more thrilled about the gift of life God has placed in my womb! We know and trust that this is God's perfect timing and plan! Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare to embark on the journey of a lifetime. June 10th will be here before we know it!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Eaten alive by the Gators...

So, Craig and I finally made our way up to Kentucky for the first time since Easter. He typically works every Saturday so it makes weekend visits very difficult. Since he had never been to a UK football game, I told him back in the summer to pick a game that he'd like to go to and go ahead and take a vacation day because he HAD to experience Commonwealth Stadium!! I can't say that the weekend turned out to be perfect. we experienced terrible weather, although not as bad as it could have been, and suffered the most embarrassing loss in Kentucky football history...Possibly worse than our loss to LSU a few years ago. However, in spite of the unideal weather conditions and crappy football game, we enjoyed some much needed family time and amazing food!! Craig loved the atmosphere of the loyal Kentucky fans and school spirit! One of his highlights was the CATWALK that takes place right next to our tailgate spot! Although Kentucky isn't close to winning a national championship in football, I can joyfully say that Craig is an officially converted Kentucky fan!! GO CATS!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Work, work, work!

Monday, August 10th, was my first day back in full-time ministry! I am officially on staff with DownLine Ministries here in Memphis, serving as their Event Coordinator and Kennon Vaughan's, the Director, scheduler. DownLine is a nine month Bibilical training and discipleship institute. August 24th is the first day of classes and we currently have accepted 117 students from ages 21 to 75, across different races and ethnicities! It is an incredible dynamic! We are launching our first ever discipleship conferences this year as well...A huge part of my job! The men's conference is in October, featuring Tom Nelson, Dr. Robert Coleman, and Voddie Baucham and many others, and the women's conference is February, featuring KAY ARTHUR and NICOLE C. MULLEN!! I can't believe I get to plan conferences on this level with some of the most influential teachers of our time!! I feel so privileged!

Three days in and I couldn't be more excited!! Craig and I have completely embraced the mission and vision of DownLine and I am so blessed to be a part of such an incredible ministry! Please pray for DownLine and the new endeavors that we are taking on!

Craig is still with Memphis Athletic Ministries, aka MAM, an inner city sports ministry. After directing their big summer day camp/academy over the last few months, he is transitioning back into the school year schedule where he helps oversee one of the facilities, all of their leagues, and coaches a basketball team. He has built some deep relationships with a handful of guys that have played on his basketball team over the last year and half and is excited to continue to pour into them this year! God is truly working their lives and is using Craig to impact them for eternity!

The websites to our ministries and the DownLine conferences are posted at the bottom of this page. Please visit them to check out more about what we are doing!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A few days with Steph and Blake!

As summer brings transition in our lives, we had the opportunity to take a little vacation. One of my best friends, Stephanie Konny, and her husband Blake live in Wilmington, NC so we decided it was time for a visit. Wilmington is home to the original Dawson's Creek series, A Slice of Life Pizza, and one of the prettiest beaches on the east coast. It was so much fun visiting a new place, relaxing on the beach, and spending time with two of our closest friends. The food was AMAZING and I can finally say Craig actually got a tan! I promise you that it won't be our last visit to Wilmington! Visiting long time friends + cute town + amazing food = GREAT VACATION! Thanks Steph and Blake for being such wonderful hosts!

Our New Home...Well, Rental!

After living in a small apartment for the first seven months of our marriage, we have finally upgraded and are spoiled beyond imagination. Just as we were about to sign a lease on a different apartment, I was approached by my boss about a possible living situation. After weeks of working out the details, we are now living in the "guest house" of couple we know from DownLine. It was cheaper, bigger, and has incredible amenities!! It's an 1800sqft home in the most central, best location possible! We have an immaculate back yard and swimming pool, which is technically our neighbor's, and more space than we could ever dream of! They gave us the go ahead to paint and make whatever changes we'd like. So when Annie, the interior decorator of the family, and Derek came to visit, we went to town on the kitchen! Still some improvements and updates to make, but we are so blessed to have a home that we are now able to share with others! Come visit Memphis! We now have a guest bedroom!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My Last Day as a Nanny...

For those of you that don't know, I spent my last year working as a nanny for two boys, Takis (6 yrs) and Demetri (3 yrs) Patikas. On August 10th I will be starting a new job working with DownLine ministries so Friday was my last day working with the boys. Craig and I wanted to do something special for them, so I planned a scavenger hunt all over Memphis! They had to solve some riddles that led to all the places we had been over the last year. It was so much fun! The grand finale was Incredible Pizza Company, a supersized version of Chuckee Cheese. Here are some pictures from Friday's events!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Craig's first trip to Florida!

The fact that Craig had never been to Florida just perplexed me so I had to plan a trip. We made arrangements to visit Granddaddy and Maggie in St. Cloud, FL over the Fourth of July. To make the trip even more exciting for Craig, we brought a long Mickey's biggest fan...Annie! So of course we hit up Disney, spent a day at Cocoa beach, Craig and Granddaddy bonded on the golf course, and we enjoyed some amazing Maggie Burgers to celebrate the Fourth! It was a great trip!

The biggest let down: Space Mountain was closed til winter!
The biggest highlight: Comparing Annie and Granddaddy's legs!! : )