Friday, January 31, 2014

Because everyone at times needs a listening ear.

Meet Whitney Caves, LPC.

Whitney is a counselor at Crossroads Counseling Center where she comes along side individuals whatever their circumstances may be to provide wise counsel and encouragement through biblical truths. (Her words from the website.) Whitney sees clients at the Ridgeland campus as well as the Clinton campus.

Now, my words. Whitney and I have been friends for almost ten years. For two of those ten, we were suitemates in college. For four of those ten, we lived in a two car garage together. To say that personally know Whitney is an understatement. Whitney is my friend that I always know I can count on to give me advice rooted in truth.  Her spiritual gift is discernment, and over the past ten years I have seen her passion for people to continue to grow.  She loves God and loves people.  Whitney's mission in life is to help people understand the Joy and Freedom that can be ours in this life.

"Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." Proverbs 19:20-21

So, what does that have to do with you. Maybe nothing. But too often, we go through life overwhelmed, confused, searching, or troubled. And guess what, there are people like Whitney who God has placed on this Earth to help us work through this things. In this day and age, there is such a stigma that goes along with going through counseling. Everyone assumes you must be in WAY over your head. Depressed. Unhappy. Weird. But those are lies that Satan tells you and me to make us go through life alone. Sometimes all we need is an impartial party with the same worldview that we have to help us over our ditch, valley, hill, or mountain.  Everyone is fighting some battle in life, but sometimes we just need help. Sometimes even in the most joyous times, like wedding planning can I get an AMEN, you need someone who will listen, help you form boundaries, and help you live in peace.

"Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety." Proverbs 11:14

If you or someone you know could benefit from wise counsel or guidance, please contact Whitney for an appointment.  You will never regret it. I have the benefit of receiving her counseling sessions over dinner, but I can promise you without them I would need to find my Whitney and fast. Life is too hard and a lot of times it just doesn't have to be.

Letters to Beau #4

Dear Beau,

This month has been a month where your Mama has learned a lot. It seems like everywhere I turn the same theme keeps coming up. Some people say that things like that are a coincidence, but I believe almost always its the Lord trying to tell you/show you/grow you in some way. You see, we are dense people, so sometimes it takes BIG LETTERS for anything to seek into our heads and hearts.

At church, we have been going through a sermon series that is talking about shifting our focus from how the world views things, to how Christ views things. It sounds simply enough, but that is contrary to everything that is inside of us. And everything that is around us. Not only is it contrary to what comes natural, but its scary. It involves taking your faith to a level that rests solely on our Savior. Without being in control yourself. Trusting that in fact He is who He says he is. And that He will do what He says He will. And

But, I have a secret that took me about 28 years to learn.  We were never in control to begin with anyways. This past Sunday, our pastor asked what seemed like a simple question. "Who is Christ to you?" My quick response was duh. He is the Son of God sent to earth to die on the cross to save us from our sins. Now, where is my Sunday School sticker? But then, I slowed down. (Not my strength). And really thought. What I said is true and I 100% believe that Christ is the Savior of our world, but he is also SO much more.

Before I go any further, I want to tell you that who Christ is to me is not who he will be to you. You will have to come into your own relationship with Him. You cannot inherit that from me or your Daddy. But, the legacy of who He is to me is one of the most important things I can give to you. Just like your Nana and Poppa and Nana and Ghee gave to your daddy and me. Also, you can't design your own Jesus like you do when we go get frozen yogurt. (I sure do hope that is still a "thing" for forever because I would be happy if that trend stays.) Hebrews 13:8 says "Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever." But, at the same time different attributes of Christ may be what you focus on the most in a certain season of your life.

So, who is Christ to me? Christ is Grace. When I was in high school and even college, I think that I thought that the Grace of Christ was started and completed on the Cross. And that not getting what I deserved from my sins was all that Grace had to offer. But, in the words of your Aunt Whitney, I was missing my blessing. His Grace is so much more. It's in the everyday. From the ability to rise above what you want to see the needs of others. His Grace gives us strength to meet our every need. Every day is more than we can handle on our own, but through his Grace he meets our every need. From our physical needs to our spiritual needs his Grace covers all of those needs. And for someone like me who prides herself on being pulled together, it is a great sense of comfort that I am never asked to do anything for one moment on my own. And neither are you.

His Grace takes us to places we would never go on our own. It carries us through things that we could never bear alone. It grants us greater Joy than we could have ever known without it. It gives us the desires of our hearts we didn't even know we had. It brings us Hope in the darkest times.

Always remember that His grace is sufficient.

I love you baby,


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Day!

Here in the Deep South, we get snow *maybe* once a year. So, as a person who has only seen snow about 15 times, and let's be honest most of those times it was sleet, I still get VERY excited when the white stuff floats down. We didn't get much at our house this time, but it was still enough to just tickle me. 

It turns out Beau shares my excitement for the powdery delight! We went outside for 1 minute to take our obligatory southern kid dressed in mismatched "snow gear" picture. Looking like a happy hobo! 

It was a fun day that we got to spend together in the warm! And who knows we may just have another day tomorrow...

Happy winter! Glad that our snow day was fun and not nearly as serious as other places. I'll take my tablespoon of snow! :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

On the mend!

January 19-26

We are all finally feeling better this week! Beau went back to school. Bubba and I went back to work. Ready to be 100%! This week in January holds four! very important birthdays! And we sure had fun celebrating! Even if we didn't get to see John and Caroline. Next year for sure! 

This fine young man is now 30!!! Goodness gracious we are getting old. Happy birthday Brother!!

Lots of sleep as we all recovered!

Word on the street must be that we are a friendly home to strays. These two spent some time on our porch before we found their owners.

Happy 5th Birthday Lei-Lei!! She is so big now. And sweet. And kind. And funny!!

Hanging out in his high chair!! Such a big boy.

Best lunch date there is. We got to leave work and school early! Had a date and a great time! Love my little buddy.

Happy Birthday to my niece Caroline! The best present she got is a baby SISTER!!! I cannot wait to be an Aunt to that sweet little girl. I am a great aunt to little girls. I have about 6 references if she needs them.

We are ready for a normal week. But, with this bunch our lives are rarely normal!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sickness is for the birds!

January 7-18

Well, these past few weeks have been full of the sickness. Food poisoning for the adults and RSV for the baby. Hopefully we are on the way to recover! Even though we have had a rough couple of weeks, we have managed to have lots of fun family togetherness. Someone somewhere said "the family that pukes together stays together." Or maybe that was me now. 

Here are some scenes from our days. 

Disgusting, yet adorable

4 month shots! He was quite skeptical that this would end well for him.

Rice cereal for the first time! Semi-success.

Zen baby. Loves his bath!

Wrangling this wild chick during a movie. Love our nieces!

Pitiful. First breathing treatment.

Super Daddy taking care of sweet boy.

Trooper keeps smiling.

Starting to play again. Makes mama happy.

Hopefully, this week has more sleep, less coughing, more smiling, and less vomit.  The world would be a better place for everyone then!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Letters to Beau #3

Dear Beau,

There seems to be no rhyme of reason to the timing of these letters. At first I thought they would come once a month, but they are slightly less frequently than that. You and I have a hard time sticking to a schedule. 

You are now a BIG four month old! You are not only big physically (15.4 lbs and 26" long), but in the last few weeks you have become a baby. This makes your mama SO happy, but also really sad. I can't believe just how quick you are growing up. "They" always say the days are long, but the years are quick, and that's just so true. 

A big new thing that's kinda hard but right for us is you have started school! You love being with the other babies! In fact, you like people watching so much that you have a hard time concentrating on eating and you don't like to sleep for fear of missing out. We don't fault you for that. You come by people watching honestly. 

You are such a sweet little baby. You love to smile at your daddy. You basically light up anytime he looks at you or talks to you. I can't tell you how much I love seeing y'all be buddies. You both are morning people. You wake up smiling and your dad gets you, while I find the will to get out of the bed. 

Talking to your daddy. 

This past month you have started rolling both ways. You play with toys. You laugh. And you love taking it all in. Baby boy you make our days so full. It's so fun watching you grow, but just don't grow too fast! 

To the moon and back, 

Your mama. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

An Experiment in Commitment

I am a commit-a-phobe. Not in the sense with people, but with following through. So, I have taken an idea from a ton of people and decided to document our lives each week. Some exciting weeks it may include lots of talking, but most maybe just a picture. In the words of Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Here's to 2014. And stopping and looking around! 

January 1-6

Parents are terrifying! Ringing in the New Year with a kiss!

First day of SCHOOL!!!! One small step for Baby, one GIANT LEAP for Mama.

Report card. He slept. Good boy! 

My Nana is the Best!!! Happy Birthday!!!

Big boy plays with toys now. What the heck!

Best dog on earth.

It was a crazy, fun first week of 2014. It is cold, cold this week. I am ready to get warm and cozy like my main-man dog Gunnar. He has the right idea.

Wow. December. Where'd you go?

So, December. My how in the world is it almost 2014? December flew by in a blink. in a flash. I believe one big recap is in store!

December 1-7

We spent a ton of time loving on cousins and beginning the first of the holiday season. Beau's Nana Sue kept him this week and we partied hard with Nana! Christmas with a baby is really so much fun!! Even though Beau had NO idea it was his first Christmas, we did and that was the best. 

Best friends. And cousins. 

Big bow head girls. Loving on their baby.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 

Snuggles with Nana! 

Bath time is serious business. 

December 8, 2013

This date gets it's very own spot, because this is one of those landmark days of our family. (No not the day Beau slept through the night, which did insight almost as deep of spiritual significance. Kidding). On this day, we dedicated Beau to The Lord. We prayed that God would guide us to raise Beau as a man that seeks God's heart. Our prayer isn't that Beau is "good" boy because that behavior is pleasing, but that he will be a person who truly seeks and loves The Lord because that is the only way to live your life and have true joy and meaning. Unfortunately, we live in a world that tries to make that statement seem intolerant and untrue. But truth is truth, and we wanted to landmark a day and covenant with God to raise Beau in a manner pleasing to him. 

So, Beau. Find the Lord young, and cling hard. Your mama and daddy will fight for that for you.

Love my boys.

Best Dad. 

Nana and Ghee (I mean Granddaddy according to him)

Nana and Papa


Honorary Aunts

December 9, 2013

Beau! You turned 3 months old!! You are such a gem and so sweet. You rolled over for the first time tummy to back and love your trick! 

December 10-13

Nana Sheryl kept Beau this week, and our big adventure was heading to Canton to see the lights and meet the big man himself, SANTA!!!

SANTA, Beau Knows him! 

December 14, 2013

We were at a surprise engagement party for A Fri!! soon to be A Gill coming live and in action 2014. Beau was such the gentleman. He got passed around and loved on by many. He especially loved Emily's husband Taylor! 

December 16-20

Nana Sue was back in action to keep our baby. It really has been so fun getting to see our parents so much during these weeks. And a huge blessing to have an easy transition back to work before B starts daycare in January! 

Matching babies. Love them!!

December 23, 2013


We celebrated by eating hibachi and loving our family! 

On the way! She is so grown. And my bestie. 

December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve!! We went to church and celebrated the birth of our Savior. I can't help but tear up every time I hear O Come All Ye Faithful. "Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing. O come let us adore him." I pray that I, and we, do that better and intentionally in 2014.

December 25, 2013


LAG 1&3 down for the count!

December 26-31

We haven't stopped celebrating. Can't stop. Won't stop. You can catch my decorations up in March ;).

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! And here is to 2014!!!