Thursday, August 25, 2011

eddie and judy.

In July, we took a weekend trip to Louisiana to the Parish Hermitage.  
Sounds weird, right? 
It's not, it's pretty much AMAZING.

The Parish Hermitage is a ministry ran by Eddie and Judy Parish in their home.  Eddie is an incredibly gifted therapist/counselor, cook, and worshiper... and Judy definitely has the gift of hospitality and is the most genuine, sweetest, open armed person, ever.'s like a retreat.  
Marriage. Family. Whatever needs to retreat. 
Us? We needed a marriage retreat.  
Not gonna lie, it has been a hard season.  
I was suppose to leave and cleave over three years ago, but i forgot to. 
or didn't want to. or didn't know how to.
This, plus five years of stuff, came to the surface, and it needed to get out.

There is no way I can sum up, on this post, all the past 8 months have entailed...but if you want to know...I'd love to talk about it.  I'm an open book and talking helps me process.
I can sum this up:  
I got mad at God. REAL mad.  Like, I didn't know I was capable of, mad.  He forgot about me.  He left me.  I felt abandoned. 
So, He let me get mad.  He let me do my thing.  He KNOWS me, way better than I know myself.  How much I can take, how I'm wired, how I think.
Things would happen, big and small and He would quietly speak to my heart.
He pursued me.  
He went after me. 
He wooed me.
Not in a loud, kinda way.  
In a way only He could speak to ME.
And thats where I am right now.  Learning to let Him love me.  Learning to trust Him.  Learning to really let Him clean me out.  Learning to give up CONTROL and receive HiS FREEDOM.

So the Parish weekend...
They live on a river in between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Their place is lush and beautiful and full of big trees.  They have a board walk on their property by the river.
They have a guest house.  Eddie came and met with us about four times.  He walked us through our story.  He helped us along the way.  He gave us incredible take aways and tools that we have found to be life saving in our marriage right now.  He loved on us and prayed for us.
Judy made us breakfast and lunch and we joined their family for dinners in their home.  Not just a normal dinner.  An INCREDIBLE dinner!  Like, steak with sauteed incredibleness on top, rolls, grilled veggies, fried okra kinda dinner. 
Not stuffy fancy, but appreciation of GOOD food fancy.

We walked away from this weekend feeling...HOPEFUL and REFRESHED.  

At the Parish house, enjoying the RAIN.

This is Eddie and Judy with their children.

We looked around New Orleans before we flew home.  

After we took these pictures (with the horse statue and big pretty building) and left, we realized we had no idea the significance of them.  We just took some pictures because it looked important or something!?

I am so thankful for the Parish family, my persistent husband, and our Louisiana weekend.  

"You are not bad communicators.   You know what needs to be said.  You are just lacking the honesty and integrity to say it."  Eddie Parish   (OUCH.  THIS HIT HOME.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


ohhhhh I am PRETTY SURE you said "hi" this morning.


Well, this word just got bumped up on my favorite words list.
I love you oak jackson!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Oak Jackson, 
today, you are ten months old, and...
I love you.
You bring so much joy to my life. 
I am learning so much from you and through you.
You are one amazing boy.

I love your backwards laugh, and the space between your teeth.
I love your superman curl and how your hair goes to a point in the back, on the left side.
I love that you laugh when others laugh and clap every chance you get.
I love that you love the itsy bitsy spider and butter-cup.  Best lyrics ever.
And that you think the best book in the whole wide world is "Shake It Up Baby."
I love how excited you get when you are going after something, and how broken hearted you are at the smallest things.
I love that you love trucks and cars and trains and wheels and airplanes.  
happy ten months dude.

this month...

You are "cruising" a whole lot more...and a lot faster.
I'm ready for you to walk so you will be further away from germs. :)  Makes sense to me.

-you colored all by yourself with markers for the first time.  you prefer your skin way over paper.  so, we bought some crayons.

-you are a champ at waving.  i love it. hi. goodbye. all the time.

-still giving high fives...but now we are working on "knucks."

-you are eating A LOT of new things...yogurt, hard boiled egg yolks, zucchini and summer squash, asparagus, cheese, blueberries and the list goes on...
AND your first ice cream cone!

-we played and swam at Mama's house.  Grandma has this exact picture of me looking out these windows...

-you have conquered feeding yourself puffs and yogurt melts...for a while you really emphasized your pointer finger and thumb little pincher action...VERY meticulous (that might just run in the family) are even taking bites with your new teeth

-speaking of TEETH, top two...CHECK.  goodness gracious those two caused some snot and congestion and ear infections and sleeping out a wackiness and pain... BUT they are quite lovely and i think you will find they will come in handy.  you are pretty cute with teeth.  i secretly hope you keep a space in between the top two.  AND your two fangs are coming in also!  wow, four on top!

-you went on your first real beach trip (Cali. was more of an ocean viewing)
you didn't much care for the sand or waves the first day, but each day you liked it more and more

-Norman still doesn't care too much about you...BUT yall  have started playing ball together.  you like it. he doesn't.  you hold the racquet ball in your hand and norman tries to get it.  we throw the ball, then force norman to bring it back.  again, you like it. he doesn't. BUT we are working on it.  I gave Norman a big ol' lecture the other day about shipping him to Mama's house if he didn't start loving you.  I think its  working...

-you went to Louisiana for the first time (even before we drove through it on our way to Alabama.)  We went on a retreat between Baton Rouge and New Orleans...i'll have to do a post about this trip.

-we celebrated Pa's birthday with Parker

I love you Oak Jack.  

This mama is in full party planning least in my head.
Man oh man...this is gonna creep up on us!  2 months. ready. set.
I'm so excited.
You are going to be ONE. A whole year.

BUT...TODAY you are ten months, and I'm so glad.  I love you today.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


We are home from an amazingly wonderful vacation.
But heres the deal...
Between Amy and I (AND BJ) we have A LOT of pictures and A LOT of "photo shoots," and sometimes there are three cameras at one time snapping like crazy.
All that to say...I don't know where to begin or how to organize "the Orange Beach vacation" post.

SO...I'm just gonna creep along and do a little bit at a time.  HOPEFULLY this will be easier once I get going.

The drive there was wonderful.  We didn't know how it would be with a 15 month old, 9 month old, and a 50 year old with a broken neck...but it ended up being a breeze, considering.

The Mississippi photo shoot:

-no one can get away with humiliating Amy like BJ can.  IT.IS.GREATNESS.ALWAYS.

- oak's tongue is doing the following number a lot lately:

- the following photo shoot is hilarious.  caroline is quite the ham.  as you will tell, she gets her picture taken quite often

- the classic "caroline lean."

- "enough touching, oak."

- "it's okay, oak, i forgive you."

- "okay, i'm gonna come in a little closer for a pat."

- "now for the next pose.  watch this one, oak."

- "hands on hips."

- "turn, look..."

- "...and smile."

- "yes, that was nice. thanks for the shoot."

- After "Caroline's shoot," she decided it was time to play.  This could be my most favorite picture ever...oak's face says it all:

- Precious Dad, neck brace FREE.  Just the day before, the doctor told him he only has to wear his brace in the car and while sleeping.  whoohoo!  a very happy dad = famous traditional vacation shirt = great start to the trip!

Absolutely nothing to say:

- This was the start of an incredible week for these four people...I LOVE watching mom and dad love these babies.

- "the tongue" again

- my dear brother.

- mom did some great research and found out Leatha's was a must.  and we all agree, it is a must.  pork ribs. sweet tea. rolls. slaw. potato salad. deep south mississippi.

More beach pictures and stories to come!