July 27, 2010

8 Years - "I Will Be Here"

July 27, 2010
My Christopher has been "here" every step of the way. He has held my hand through the good and the bad. He has been my rock and support through the passing of loved ones and through the birth of our precious little ones. He is without hesitation my best friend! He loves me unconditionally and without judgement. He has always been my biggest fan and always in my corner! I love you Christopher Michael and I am so proud of what you have allowed God to do in your life! I cannot wait to see what God has in store for us! Happy Anniversary!

Below are the lyrics from our wedding song. Seth Carmical did an outstanding job with a wonderful Steven Curtis Chapman song.

Tomorrow mornin' if you wake up
And the sun does not appear
I...I will be here

If in the dark we lose sight of love
Hold my hand and have no fear
'Cause I...I will be here

I will be here...
When you feel like bein' quiet
When you need to speak your mind
I will listen
And I will be here
When the laughter turns to cryin'
Through the winnin' and losin' and tryin'
We'll be together
'Cause I will be here

Tomorrow mornin' if you wake up
And the future is unclear
I...I'll be here

Just as sure as seasons are made for change
Our lifetimes are made for years
I...I will be here

I will be here....
You can cry on my shoulder
When the mirror tells us we're older
I will hold you

And I will be here
To watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you are to me
I will be here

I will be true
To the promise I have made
To you and to the
One who gave you to me

I...I will be here

And just as sure as seasons are made for change
Our lifetimes are made for years
'Cause I...
I will be here....
We'll be together

'Cause I will be here

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July 24, 2010


July 24, 2010
I love it when a totally surreal moment hits you. Sitting in my living room Wednesday surrounded by 2 great friends and lots of babbling I was totally hit with a surreal moment! Aleshia, Chesney, and I have been friends since middle school. After thinking about it for a while I realized that the 3 of us had not been in the same room together since high school graduation 10 years ago and now here we are all 3 together with our babies! Wow! Enjoy the pics!

Colton & Willow Grace ... she is such a doll!

Colton is shower Willow his books... he is book nutso!

Claire, Emmett (the newest arrival) and Willow Grace.

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July 22, 2010


July 22, 2010
re-fine, a verb: to free from impurities or unwanted material; to free from moral imperfection, to improve or perfect by pruning or polishing.

Over the past two years the Lord has used these motherhood to work in me in way I never could have imagined. I often (very often) refer to it as a refining process. Through His refinement I have been brought to my knees more often and more often not understanding exactly what the Lord was trying to show me. I have had a difficult time explaining this process, but I recently came across a story that has summed it up so well:

Malachi 3:3 says "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it"

God is wanting to see His image in all of us and in order for that to happy there are going to be major and minor points of refinement that will have to take place. Whereas before I rebelled against this process I am now asking the Lord to continue to hold the fire in the places of my life and my heart that need to be heated and refined because I know He has his eye on me!

What has the Lord used in your life as a tool to refine you? How have you grown from this process.

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July 11, 2010

Approaching Eight

July 11, 2010

As Chris and I approach our eight year wedding anniversary (yes, 8 years!!) I am continually amazed that the Lord picked ME to be his wife! I think about where we've been and what the Lord has done - it absolutely amazes me! What started as two teenagers in youth group has led to 8 wonderful years of marriage with 2 little ones... hard to imagine.

So just in case you're interested here are a couple of fun facts about us:

How/Where did you meet? Church Youth Group

Who pursued who? - Definitely Chris! For 6 months ... then I saw him talking to another girl and that did it for me! HA!

How did he propose? On the church altar during a new years eve/new years prayer service. It was amazing... I still get goose bumps when I think about it!

How old where you when you were married? Really young!! Probably too young for most!! Chris 22 & Summer 20

Social Butterfly or intravert? - I am definitely the social butterfly and Chris is for sure the intravert, however he has come a long way!

Occupations? Chris is the Director of Marketing (and jack of all trades) at Brooks Furniture & I am the mommy extraordinaire & COO (I will let Chris be the CEO... wink wink) of the Brooks household (formally a Mortgage Broker).

College? We both went to UT, Chris has a B.S in Marketing and also has his MBA, I have a B.S in Finance.

Who gives in first? Me! Always me! ha! I'm curious what Chris would say!

Favorite Movie - Chris is definitely Tombstone and mine is Pretty Woman

Pets? Nope... too much trouble!

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Wish Us Luck!


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Start Saving Today!

1. Ebay!
I cannot say enough how much I love ebay! If there is something I am looking to purchase I always check ebay. You will be amazed by what you can find. I have been able to find a lot of boutique clothes for both Colton and Claire on ebay at prices much lower than department stores. Ebay is also a great place to resale your nicer items.

2. Craigslist
I was pretty unfamiliar with Craigslist until I started looking to purchase large items for our church nursery. If you are looking for baby gear, check your local craigslist. There are lots of items on there that have been taken very good care of and a great price. Many people just want to get the items out of their way! This is also a good place to sale your larger items.

3. Homemade Baby Food
I know what you’re thinking, make own baby food! That is time consuming and expensive. Let me assure you that this is absolutely not true. All you need to make great baby food is a pot to boil your veggies, food processor to pulse your food and ice cube trays to freeze them in.

How cost effective is it you ask! Here are some numbers:
Gerber Peas and Sweet Potatoes are approximately $0.23/ounce. To make homemade it cost approximately $0.04/ounce.
Gerber Bananas $0.23/ounce. Homemade Bananas $0.01/ounce.
Gerber Applesauce $0.23/ounce. Homemade Applesauce $0.03/ounce.

Not only is it cost effective, but you are able to expose your infant to a variety of seasonal foods that you may not be able to find in your local grocery. The health benefits are also too many to mention.

I have a baby food post coming soon!

4. Cloth Diapering!
When most people hear “cloth diapers” they think of those flat flimsy cloth diapers and diaper pins, swooshing nasty clothes in the toilet and stinky odors. However, cloth diapers have been revolutionized and can be as easy to use as disposable diapers!

You will spend a bulk of cash in getting prepared for cloth diapering, but once you have built up your stash the only thing you will need to purchase is detergent. According to what type of diapers you purchase you will be able to use them until potty training. There are several different types of diapers you can buy:
Prefolds & Diaper Covers
Fitted Diapers & Diaper Covers
Pocket Diapers
All in Ones

Stay tuned for my Cloth Diapering 411 post!
Here is a great blog dedicated to cloth diapering: http://www.clothdiaperblog.com/

5. Breastfeed
Although breastfeeding is not possible for every family, if you are able to breastfeed your baby for the first year of life you can same at least a thousand dollars a year! Ultimately, all that is needed to breastfeed is mom and baby, but there are many breastfeeding products that moms can opt to buy. If you are feeding and pumping you can build a supply to feed your baby long after he/she is weaned.

Basic powdered cow’s milk based formula cost about $0.12/ounce. This translates into about $1225 for the first year. If you baby needs special formula due to allergies, reflux, or a sensitive tummy, this number can as much as triple!

Here is a fun blog dedicated to breastfeeding: http://www.mamaknowsbreast.com/

6. Gender Neutral
Buying gender neutral whenever possible is a great pay back in a few different ways. First, if you have a child of a different sex the 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) time around you can re use your items – such as your car seat, stroller, pack in play, swing, bouncy seat, etc… Also when you are finished with the items and ready to sale you will have more buyers because you are not gender specific!

7. Ask!
If you’re a first time mom ask other moms for advice in what items you need and do not need. You will be amazed by the stuff you purchase that you actually didn’t need. With that being said, if you are questioning buying a certain item wait! Wait until the baby comes and you actually need it.

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