Jul 23, 2014

Hiking Ohio Chronicles

     Pictures are truly one of life's ultimate time travel devices. They transport us back to different places, different people and unique experiences. They make it easier to not only remember the sights, sounds, and smells, but the emotions and conversations from a particular moment in time. And no matter how nostalgic you are or are not, there is beauty in being able to sift through a raged box, view a dusty reel, or scroll though an online collage and remember times that passed too quickly but times that added immeasurable value to your own life. I really love these pictures for that reason. They remind me of home and family and gosh darn good times! Hiking with my sisters and my grandma in God's creation genuinely makes my heart happy.

Jul 22, 2014

When friends come to visit.

     Friendship is a beautiful thing. A kind of organic ideal that constantly proves to enrich life. I am in no way an expert on friendships. In fact, too often when things get tough or require too much effort I can turn and walk the other way. It was my dad who once said, "being a good friend is choosing to stay in the mess and muck of other people's lives, realizing that you aren't perfect yourself, and acknowledging that even in your best moments you need forgiveness and grace." Because surprise of all surprises, friendship isn't easy! But what's that saying, sometimes the hardest things in life are the things most worth pursuing, or something like that.
     Gray and I are spoiled with some amazing friends. Each one brings a unique trait or quality to the table and so I find that I can enjoy God's creativeness through each different personality and dynamic relationship. And it always amazes me how different portions of my personality can be brought to light with each friend. I first noticed this with Gray. He could act so silly and fun with one friend, but so serious and mature with another. Not that he never intermixes the two extreme's, but different friendships can lend themselves to revealing different facets of our character. I don't know anyone who is completely the same with every person (albeit, this excludes morals, values, beliefs, but refers to personality traits like outgoing, silly, serious, etc.).
     This weekend Chris and Grace made a stop at our house before meeting up for a family vacation on the beach. It was a 24 hour whirlwind of teary eyes due to continuous deep belly laughs, crinkled foreheads from thought provoking conversations, and permanent smiles as a result of happy hearts. Chris and Grace are the kind of friends who are continually enriching our lives. I'm so glad they took the time to see us, and although the time went by way to fast, I will forever cherish the memories we made.
     I will never forget the moment when Grace became a forever friend. We were sleeping over at the Cato's house, I'm not sure of the occasion, but Grace and I were upstairs laying on the mattress in that stuffy loft that holds many many secrets. We were discussing love and life and got to the point where we couldn't help but be vulnerable. It was the best kind of conversation. The kind with depth that divulges hidden fears and troubles, but doesn't leave them hanging, instead it embraces them and shares the burden. I come back to this quote often when I think of that night;
“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . ."” ― C.S. LewisThe Four Loves
I knew as I lay there fighting sleep that God had gifted me a special friend. And that's what she is; a precious friend that stood by me at my wedding; a sweet friend who despite my horrible long distance communication skills still pursues me! And it only seems to get better! I'm so excited that we are both expecting our first babies together. Crazy, crazy, I am so lucky to have Grace in my life!
I can't wait till the next time!

Jul 17, 2014

Rigg's Update

     Riggs is just as sweet and ornery as usual. He's my little shadow, always interested in what I'm doing even if it's something as silly as folding laundry. Secretly I love it, he truly is a great companion. The only time he's "bad" is when we leave for extended periods of time. He has full access to the house when we are gone, and occasionally he takes advantage of this freedom. Usually it involves one piece of mail torn up on our living room floor. What makes me laugh is that it's only ever one piece of mail, I guess he doesn't want to get too ambitious. We're counting our blessings!
     He has been cooped up a lot lately just due to the random craziness that is Grays and my schedule. So when my friend needed someone to dog sit for the weekend I jumped at the opportunity! Jade was so sweet and the two of them together had Gray and I laughing. They played so well together and wore each other out! Riggs was definitely sad to see her go, but I know more play dates are in the future. :)

Jul 16, 2014

Father's Day 2014

     Just another post playing catch up! Father's day with Jim here was a real treat and going to a Brave's game was definitely the icing on the cake! It threatened to rain on a number of occasions, but thankfully it stayed nice the whole time and the sky, well the sky was spectacular. It was such a fun day!
     I'm always encouraged when family come to visit. They seem to bring a slice of home with them that truly refreshes my heart. They might even make me a little homesick too, but only for a short time. And one of the many perks (especially when Jim comes) is getting pampered and spoiled! I definitely had sweet tea and ice cream that day. Baby was kicking like crazy from that sugar high. :)
     It was good for Gray too, just to relax and enjoy time hanging out with his dad. I love the relationship they have. I'm excited for baby to experience the same relationship with his daddy as Gray does with Jim. So much to be thankful for, so much to look forward to with great anticipation!
     Thanks for making the drive Jim, you are truly a joy to be around. I'm so blessed with a wise and loving dad, father-in-law, and my own Gray who is soon to know the joy of being a daddy to our little boy! I'm glad Gray and I got to celebrate Father's Day the way it should be celebrated, making much of the special dad's in our lives! You can never give dad's too much kudos!!