Majestic King

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God's story of redemption and love did not end on the cross.   

 The majestic King has risen.  

No longer a crown of thorns but the crown of LIFE.
Jesus Christ...our eternal hope and glory.
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"On His robe and on His thigh
He has a name written, King of Kings and Lord of Lords."  
Revelation 19:16

Wishing you a blessed Easter as you celebrate our risen Lord.  


...and there was darkness

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There was never a darker moment than the day Christ was crucified and absorbed the wrath of God for our sin.

What thou, my Lord, has suffered was all for sinner's gain;

mine, mine was the transgression,
but thine they deadly pain.

He was mocked and scorned, yet His response...
"Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Christ is in the midst of my darkest hours.

He is in the beautiful, wonderful, messy moments of my life.

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Lily recently made this painting and after finishing it she said "look mommy, I made a cross".

It is both messy and beautiful and while I love that about her creation, there it part of me that wants to "fix" it and make it more perfect.

Christ was the perfect sacrifice for our sin, yet the events surrounding his death were messy...ugly...brutal...dark.

He came to die for the broken, shattered, messy pieces of our lives.  

What language shall I borrow
to thank thee, dearest friend,

Lord, let me never, never
outlive my love for thee.
The essence of real hope 
is to lose hope in everything but Jesus and His promises.  

As you consider the power of the cross this Easter may
you cling to the One who sheds light to our darkness.   

the long road


Embracing the wind and cold at the beach

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We woke up this morning at the beach to 40 degree temps and strong winds but some little and big person around the house were determined to put their toes in the sand.

Michael flew out yesterday for some work related business so it was just the 3 of us today. I procrastinated as long as I could before the troops began to get restless and we needed a plan. 
 So...we hopped in the golf cart to check out the beach before I committed to braving the cold temps.

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As I suspected...the beach was EMPTY unlike two days prior when it was crazy busy with people everywhere.

Even though I was freezing the blue sunny skies and peaceful sound of the waves were calling my name so we headed back to the house to pack up lunches for a day of fun on the beach.

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Spencer and Lily started out all bundled up but as you can see they began to shed their layers throughout the day.

Me? Well..let's just say I kept nice and warm (somewhat) with my two coats and long pants.

Spencer started building a wind barrier wall which Lily quickly named "the great wall of China"!

They worked on it all afternoon and Lily was thrilled with their accomplishment. 
 Like all little sisters will do, she messed up some of Spencer's hard work but he was patient and understanding as always. She watches his every move and loves imitating everything he does.

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We enjoyed a beautiful day on the beach, almost all to ourselves. 
 Spencer helped me with a Hello Kitty photo shoot of Lils on the beach (more photos to come)
and then we headed up to the pool to finish off our day.

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I think this photo says it all...even though I didn't capture Lily's expression,  I'm sure you can only imagine the big smile she had on her face.

Their love for each other is something unique and I love watching it unfold.

Looking forward to my hubby being with us the rest of the week and hoping for some warmer weather!


Playing in the rain

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Our first day at the beach was overcast and rainy but we didn't let it damper the fun.
Lily was all geared up to head to the beach in her "bathing soup" but we changed gears and let them play in the rain instead.

She adores her Hello Kitty umbrella and was happy to have it to play in the rain.
Obviously Spencer liked it too :)
I started taking pictures in the garage but wanted a closer view so my sweet husband held the umbrella
for me so I wouldn't get wet while I snapped a few shots.

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Lily started out with her rain boots then decided that Spencer's bare feet looked like more fun.
I can almost hear the giggles and laughter when I look at these pictures.  
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Spencer got cold first and came in to dry off while Lily continued to run back and forth in the rain.
This picture was taken right after we heard a loud clap of thunder...she quickly came running back to the garage into the arms of her big brother.


The rainy day was actually a nice way to start our break taking it easy and enjoying some down time together as a family.

Hoping for some sunny days ahead so we can put our toes in the sand!

Happy Sunday!  


Sunday Snapshot {fun with my girl}

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This past week I put my "to do" lists aside and just relished in the chance to spend some quality time with my girl. The past six weeks have been a little crazy trying to get ready for the art show I did last weekend. It was time to be still and enjoy the simple joys (and challenges I might add) that come with raising a 3 year old (if you ask Lily she is "almost tor" (aka "four").


Friday was a beautiful sunny day so we headed down to Merridees for lunch...one of our favorite spots in downtown franklin. (of course Michael says she doesn't know the difference and it's really ME who loves a good excuse to venture out to Merridees)

If you could see the way she devours their quiche and tea cakes you may tend to agree with me :)


I introduced her to their teacakes last year and she was hooked. She takes this very seriously as you can see and can finish off the entire cookie without any help from me.

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We walked around downtown Franklin enjoying the beautiful day until she repeatedly said "I'm ready to go to the park"...shopping for me would have to wait for another day.

She always goes to the swings first and then ventures out to explore.

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She crawled aboard our "boat" and her imagination kicked in. She found a perfect spot for the keys to start the engine and then the adventures began..we went shopping at Publix for treats, hit some waves, and even went to China.

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Pretty soon the sugar crash happened and she was ready for a nap.

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I love spending time with my girl. She is so much fun and it fills my heart with joy to see the way others are drawn to her.  I am blessed beyond measure.

Linking up with Stefanie's Sunday Snapshot.

Ni Hao Yall


Forever family...2 years later

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March 14, 2011 a beautiful little girl with big brown eyes was placed in our arms and we became forever family...forever changed.

The images above capture a glimpse of that day and a hint of what was yet to come.

...the moment I held our sweet girl...so scared and afraid clinging tight to her apple and partially unwrapped lollipop.

...crying on Michael's shoulder as he tried to comfort her

...our first night together before bedtime 

...holding her and seeing the glimpse of a smile 

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  Her eyes have always captivated me...at times they are intense and full of wonder 
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at other times shy, pensive and quiet
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but the eyes that define her most are those full of pure joy, delight and love
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She has a contagious laugh and radiant smile that brings us so much joy!
Lily is a survivor in every sense of the word. 
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Her resiliency and courage are my inspiration for each new day and we are so grateful for God's healing in her life.  

What a joy it is to be your mom.

Forever and always you will be our child...
forever and always we will be your family.

"Consider the lilies of the of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
Matthew 6:28


my other creative passion...

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I have been missing in action the past month spending any free moments I’ve had with a palette knife in hand painting in my art studio (aka I’ve completely taken over our dining room and living room as you can see in the photo below)  I'm thinking by the look on our dog's face she must think "her space" will be the next thing to go :)
I am gearing up to be part of the Artxtravaganza fine art show at the Webb School in Knoxville this weekend March 8-10th.  

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Photography and art are two of my favorite passions and creative outlets.  My grandmother was an artist and her creative spirit captivated me as a young child.  One of her beautiful paintings sits on the shelf right beside my art table.  Whenever I'm feeling my creative juices run dry I often gaze into this piece and wonder what she might create.  

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I will be forever grateful for Michael’s parents who have helped watch Lils on the days when she isn’t in school so I could paint.  My parents even made a trip down one week to help with her…I couldn’t have done it without their help, love and support.  My amazing husband has always supported my desire to try new things and I am so thankful that he walks by my side as I step outside my comfort zone a bit.  


My art is inspired mostly by God's truth and you will often find a label on each piece that relates to the scripture from which I was inspired.  

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Here are a few pieces that I have been working on over the past month.
 To learn more about my art and how I desire to give back through my work
feel free to visit my website 2540designs.

My parents are joining me for the weekend and I am looking forward
to spending time with them and celebrating my Dad's birthday.

Michael is staying back to hold down the fort with the kids.
When I told Lily that I would be leaving tomorrow for my art show she said
 "You are going to miss me"...ahhh...that girl knows me well.
This will be my first time being away from her for longer than a night.
Hopefully I will be busy selling lots of art and the time will pass quickly!

It is hard to believe that this weekend (March 9th) will mark two years
since we boarded a plane for China to meet our sweet girl for the first time.

Feeling very thankful today...


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