Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Seriously, if you didn't love MckMama before this post, then you should now. There are few things in life I appreciate more than honesty. You cannot fool God. He already knows what you are thinking, so you might as well just tell him. Are you pissed? Might as well tell Him, because He's the one who gave you the ability to have feelings and emotions. I appreciate her honesty, her willingness to just be real with us.

I had a Spiritual Leader in college who was real. I mean, I had a lot of real friends and Bible Study gals, but this one woman, she was real real. She was engaged to be married, and just days before her wedding, her fiance called it off. She was hurt. And pissed. And she had every right to be. I know full well that her being "pissed" did not make her less of a Christian, less of a mentor, less of a believer. The fact that she was willing to share these feelings, but still stand on the Word of God, made me admire here even more. Because she didn't pretend everything was good, she didn't pretend that she never questioned God, never wondered what the hell He was thinking or doing in her life. I loved it. I loved her for it. I respected her for being real with me.

Turns out, God was shaping her. And her ex-fiance. Changing their hearts and their lives.

They got married a couple years later, and asked me to sing in their wedding. They shared their second first kiss in front of us all. God had known what He was thinking all along.

But is it clear yet that what I learned from her wasn't how to answer questions "the right way", or to put on a smile and bear with it? Nor did she turn her back on God because she was mad. There is a place, a sacred ground, where it is possible to still Believe in God, to still trust that His Word is true, that HE is true, and still be upset, be mad at God, be pissed if you want.

Because HE is true, and His Word never changes. HE never changes. He is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

(stepping off of pedestal)

We love MckMama, we love Stellan. Get better soon, baby.

And in case you are here reading today, to the woman who showed me how to love God and still be human, I love you too. I hope you know this.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Not Me! Monday, Stellan Style!

As we are all aware, Not Me! Monday was started by MckMama. "I created Not Me! Monday for the purpose of confessing our shortcomings and imperfections to each other since, after all, we are all only human!" (MckMama's words) Every Monday, you can find more "Not Me! Monday" at her site. However, this week, in honor of her and Baby Stellan, we're doing "Not Me! Monday - Stellan Style!"

This week, it's our chance to HONOR MckMama and Stellan with our Not Me! Mondays.

I'll go first, and I hope you'll follow!
This week, I did not stay up late at night, everynight, checking Twitter statuses about Stellan. I was not hiding under the covers with my cell phone, hitting "refresh" every 2 minutes. Because of this, I did not start following other twitter-ers, who twittered (tweeted?) about Stellan.

I also did not post about him on my blog, twice. Stellan did not occupy my thoughts for a majority of the week, and I certainly did not sit at my desk and cry over him on Wednesday .

I absolutely did not LAUGH OUT LOUD at the picture of Small Fy in her swimming goggles, and giggle at the picture of McNugget eating McNuggets!

I did not breathe a sigh of relief when I saw the pictures of Stellan sleeping, and I did not love MckMama a little bit more, when she admitted to us all that she was not pissed. I do not think she is incredibly genuine and real. I do not think she is 1/2 the mom and woman I one day hope to be.

What did you not do this week, in honor of Stellan and MckMama?!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Like a kid in a candy store!

At the risk of sounding like a Jr. High girl with a new outfit, can I just tell you how excited I was to be invited to spend the evening with some of my favorite bloggers, and in my opinion, overall wonderful women! (FYI, I would link to their sites, because trust me, I KNOW ALL OF THEM BY HEART, but I don't really know the rule on site linking. Because, do y'all want everyone to know that we live within driving distance of each other?? I mean, you tell me.)

Anyhow, I can say this. Beth was so kind to invite me, a stranger, into her home and let me meet her friends. And honestly, it was the best blind date I've ever been on. Which reminds me of this time I actually went on a blind date, thanks to my girlfriend Barbara, and the guy was icky and smelled like he'd just gotten done changing the oil in his pickup truck. And our "date" consisted of sitting in the living room at Barbara's house with her and her boyfriend while watching a movie. And I chose to sit on the floor while scary grease boy sat on the couch and then when he left I didn't even say goodbye. Not that I am comparing last night to that blind date, but I couldn't possibly mention blind dates and not bring up that freak fest that almost ended my friendship with Barbara night.

It was a fun night, and it was for a really important cause. Ladies, thank you SO much for allowing me to crash your party. I have admired you all from afar and am so thankful to have finally met you IRL. Hope to do it again sometime.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

There is Power

My first bloggy giveaway is in the works, so make sure keep checking back here throughout the week and weekend! I've got something fun up my sleeve! I'll be sure to twitter about it, so if you don't follow me on twitter, or even know what twitter is, you should!

Also, I am going to be blogging over at another site, and I am SO.EXCITED. to share this information with you, but I can't, just yet. If you'd like a hint, think pregnancy. And no, I'm not currently! I'm full of surprises and secrets around here tonight!

But, you wanna know what's not a secret? God is in control. While I generally don't post very "religious" things on my blog, my belief that God answers prayer and changes lives is not "religion", it is a relationship I have with the Creator, and He invites me to speak with Him. Today, and tonight, and probably all day tomorrow, my mind will be filled with thoughts and prayers and petitions on behalf of MckMama and Baby Stellan. And I share this with you not to boast of my prayer dedication for this family, but to BOAST OF THE AMAZING POWER OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD. The God who hears our every prayer, who knows the outcome of our prayers before we pray them. The God who knew before the Earth was formed, that on this very day, around the world, His warriors would be joined together to lift up His child. This does not mean that our prayers do not count for anything, simply that the God of the Universe cannot be and is not surprised by the change in Stellan's health.

Let's not let this family down. They are relying on the prayers of faithful friends, and in their time of need, we must all join together and be The Body.

Monday, March 23, 2009


I know that I have not written much lately, and I'll get into that later this week. But for now, I am coming to you on behalf of a mother and child who desperatly need your prayers. If you're not familiar with MckMama and her "MSC (Many Small Children)", you can visit her here. If you are, then you know the story of Baby Stellan, his miracle in utero, and the lives his story has affected. He is in need of prayers tonight, and while I would have liked to just copy all of Angie's post here, I figured if you wanted to read it, you could go to her site. For now, please just be in prayer for this family. If you Twitter, please re-tweet, if you Facebook, please make it your status. If you believe, make it your prayer.

From Angie's blog post earlier today:

"The God of the universe is neither surprised nor threatened by this turn of events. He is the Great Physician, and I am asking you to beseech Him this morning on behalf of this baby boy we have all come to love."

May God, who is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine, wrap his loving arms around this family, this baby, and carry them through.

Jesus, we cry out.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I was looking through some of my old blog posts tonight, reflecting on college life, seeing growth. Not only in my writing, but in my life and my relationships. My old blog was started when I was a Senior at UT, spending hours and hours of my week involved with Campus Crusade for Christ. That time of my life was so unique and character defining. Even though my friendships have changed and I have moved, and moved on, I look back on those years as know they helped make me who I am.

I also found this quote I posted, from the book Fahrenheit 451, which I had to read for a communication class.

"Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime."

I am still searching for my something to leave behind. My something to make a difference.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

2 of my favorites...

Not every girl is lucky enough to have two daddies...

And a Brother and Uncle for Heroes.

(They were gone for the wedding, but returned to the U.S. soon after!)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Make a Difference

Well, here we are. It's been an astonishing 9 days since my last update, and that was just pictures, so it doesn't count. I would love to tell you that I haven't been able to write because I've been traveling the world, visiting orphanages and feeding children, or volunteering my time with the Peace Corp, making the world a better place. But really? I've been stuck in a rut, throwing myself a pity party. FOR NO APPARENT REASON.

I have cried a ton this week. Mostly about real-life things, the stress that comes with work and marriage and life in general. But also, I've cried over little things like OnStar commercials, and the way my dog tilts his head to the side when I leave for work. You know the look.

I bought stock in pregnancy tests a box of pregnancy tests, just to be sure, and they were all negative. My hormonal calculator shows that I should either be pregnant or, you know, the alternative. And so far, neither of those situations have appeared. Maybe I have a wicked case of PMS, or just the winter blahs, but whatever they are, I am getting tired of them. Last night I was so emotionally exhausted, I was sure I would fall right to sleep. And I did, until 1:00 am, and then I was wide awake until 3:00. Laying in bed, looking at the ceiling, asking myself why I'm not doing something with my life that matters.

I want to do something that matters. When did this get away from me? I have always felt like I wanted to make the world a better place, and until recently I have felt like I was doing something to help my fellow man. But now, I feel like I just...exist. I go to work, I do my job, answer the phone, get the lunch, make the copies, send the faxes, process the insurance, call the customer, get back in the car, drive home, make dinner, do laundry, take the dog out, take a bath, take the dog out again, try to find time to spend with my husband, finally lay down to go to sleep, and think "where did this day just go?". Breathe in, breathe out, repeat.

But then I think, I suppose that's okay for a certain time in your life, right? To just go about your business and not worry about finding time to volunteer here or coordinate this clothing drive. I need time to refresh, to remind myself WHY helping other people feels so good.

For this period, maybe the person who's life I'm supposed to be making a difference in-is my own.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Photo Challenge Wednesday, Week 2


This week's challenge is about perspective. Without knowing that I would ever use these pictures for anything other than my Facebook profile picture, I took them in Texas. I don't think that sentence made sense, but you get the idea.

In this picture, you obviously are drawn to the name "NATALIE" (which is a great name, but not the topic of this particular post. Check back tomorrow). But you also see other distractions in the picture, that make it, well, messy.

But this one! You KNOW it is all about "NATALIE". And all I did was step to the side, and get close. Then I darkened the edges using Picnik.com, and ta-da.

Btw, it was my Facebook picture for about .5 seconds, and then I changed it. Because I can't make up my mind.

Now jump over to Beth's site to check out all of the challenge entries. And then have a great day.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

And it's official

I'm Going to BlogHer '09

I am going to Blogher09 in Chicago. I have a very nervous-first-day-of-college feeling and I don't know why! Aaron was very supportive of me and has been encouraging me to go. When I told him that early bird pricing ended yesterday, he said he would pay for me to go anyhow, so I looked up the new pricing and was shocked to find that the price hasn't changed yet. I call it good luck (it is March, after all), but I believe this was the actual reason.

I am really excited, but I just don't even know what to expect! I'm really hopeful to meet some of the wonderful women I stalk admire, and learn about increasing traffic to my blog. I also am looking forward to staying in a hotel and ordering room service. I am NOT looking foward to how I'm going to get there, as the mere thought of driving in downtown Chicago makes me want to cry.

I emailed Ruby&Roja about a new blog layout, I just purchased the name "onceuponacline.com" and now I'm going to Blogher. This is like a grown up woman's dream come true!

Now, I must get back to watching Hannah Montana.

Well that sucks

I just lost my blog list. I would re-enter all of the sites, but I fully intend to get a blog makeover SOON, and don't want to do it twice.

On that note, if you know of a blog I should be reading, leave me a comment with the address! I'm always looking for new "computer friends"!

He's not mine.

I would love to say that we've had an eventful weekend, but we really haven't. Which is good sometimes, especially when it's cold and snowing.
A couple more pictures from Andrew's baptism, because...why not??

Veronica and Andrew


And I love all the comments I got last week about how cute he is, and I wish I could claim him as my own, but I can't. He's my cousin, but that's good enough for me!