Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fall Retreat

"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." -Psalm 121: 1-2

This past weekend (Oct. 19th-21st) Clint and I went on a church retreat in the mountains near Asheville, NC. This was actually the same retreat we went on last year as singles. It was such a blessing to be invited back and return as a married couple to lead the worship music. God certainly moved mountains in our lives over this past year and we were able to reflect on His faithfulness to us and His provision for us while we were surrounded by His breathtaking creation!

We enjoyed the beautiful fall colors and views during a hike up the mountains with some friends

Me and Clint at the top...what a view!

Our eternal view...

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." -John 3:16

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Pumpkin Patch

Clint and me with our little pumpkin...

We had lots of fun at the Pumpkin Patch with Aunt Allie (my sister), and Nana & Papa (my Mom & Dad)! We went to Gross Farms in Sanford, NC where my parents live. They had a super cute play area for kids, a hay ride, plenty of pumpkins that you could pick yourself from the patch, homemade ice cream, and a corn maze. I think Sophie's favorite part was picking her baby pumpkins from the patch. My favorite part was spending time with my family!

Sophie swingin' in the sun...

Playin' on the train...
Hangin' with the boys...Makin' new friends...Slidin' down the slide...

Ridin' on the hay ride with Allie, Nana, and Papa...

Pickin' pumpkins with Papa and Clint...

My big pumpkin...Thank you family for a great day!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

NC State Fair 2007

We went to the NC State Fair for opening day yesterday and had a great time! Sophie got to ride a few rides, pet some farm animals, and to our pleasant surprise we got to see our favorite bluegrass band perform live! If you are interested in going, you can visit for more info. The fair is only in town for 10 days and there is so much to see and enjoy (and eat)! I would definitely recommend going!

That's Sophie in the caboose of the train

"Hi mom!" (that's Sophie again in the back window of the caboose)

Of course, Sophie had to ride the jet ski ride so she could be just like Clint!

Surprise, surprise...she chose the pink one!

The Wells Family Band - great musicians, great singers, great live music! They will be performing again at the State Fair Sun. Oct 14 - Tues. Oct 16 at 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm. Please visit for MP3's, video clips, and more info on this bluegrass family from Clayton, NC.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sophie (May 2004 - August 2004)

More photos of Sophie...

May 2004 - "Look what I can do...I figured out how to lift up my head...I like this view!"

"Peek-a-boo, I see you!" - Sophie's favorite game

Sophie's favorite spot to snooze was in my arms, but the carseat ran a close second!

Sophie's least favorite spot to sleep - her crib! Sophie had a strong aversion to her crib and would usually scream and hold onto me for dear life when we got near it. I took this picture just to prove to myself that she could be happy in it! She probably spent a total of 10 hours (awake) in the crib. It looked pretty in her room, though!

June 2004 - "I've discovered my toes and I love them"

Sophie was being silly and trying to stick her tongue out at the camera...a ham is born!

July 2004 - Sophie went throught the, "I love my binky and I must have my binky" phase, but it only lasted 1 month.

The bib says it all - CUTE!!!

Again with the binky and her other new love...Baby Einstein (developmentally appropriate DVD's for babies that Sophie was mesmerized with long enough for me to take a shower)!

First Fourth of July celebration - Sophie and Papa (my dad) are expressing their patriotism!

First experience with solid food - organic rice cereal most of which ended up being spit out, but sometimes baby spit up is so cute, isn't it?

First exercise in the fabulous ExerSaucer which Sophie enjoyed for about one month. Note to self - you do not need all of that "baby stuff" to entertain your next baby...the remote control or your cell phone seem to work just as and learn!

Sophie has always had the greatest facial expressions...she looks like she was up to something here. I can imagine her saying, "I know something you don't know." She probably had a poopy diaper :) (lol)

August 2004 - Sophie is trying to crawl...finally!

Sophie's first two teeth! For future reference, Hyland's brand homeopathic teething tablets and gel were really helpful during those fussy teething days.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sophie's birth story (January - April 2004)

Sophia Grace was born January 4, 2004 in Davenport, Iowa. I was due on my birthday (12/29), but Sophie arrived 6 days late. My mom and dad and sister were in town for a week waiting for the birth. The day my sister had to fly home (1/4), we were hit with a blizzard and her flight was canceled. I went into labor that morning and Sophie was born at 12:36pm. Although the blizzard inconvenienced thousands of people, I was selfishly glad that it hit when it did because my sister was able to stay and meet Sophie. Now, for those of you that would rather not read more details about the birth, please scroll down to see more pictures.

I wanted to include Sophie's birth story because I had a beautiful experience with natural childbirth and I would encourage all women to consider this option. When I was pregnant, I attended The Bradley Method childbirth classes which emphasize the importance of a healthy baby, healthy mom, and healthy families through natural (spontaneous and unmedicated) births. If you are interested in more information, or to find a class, please visit I also had a midwife and a doula (labor coach) who were very dear and important people during Sophie's birth.

I woke up at 3:30am on January 4, 2004 with mild contractions...I went back to sleep. I woke up at 6:30am and still had the contractions so I called my doula. I told her that I was going to shower and eat something (you need lots of energy for labor) and then call her back later. By 8:00am, the contractions were much stronger and I was no longer able to stand. It was time to focus...I was in labor!! My doula arrived at our home around 9:00am and the contractions were 3 minutes apart. I was able to rest between the contractions and do the relaxation techniques that we practiced during our childbirth classes. Labor progressed very quickly and we headed to the hospital around 10:30am. When we arrived, I was almost fully dilated which shocked the triage nurse who said, "Don't push" to me and rushed to get me into a delivery room. My midwife arrived at 11:10am and everyone breathed a sigh of relief! After a few good pushes, Sophie was born at 12:36pm! For the record, Sophie weighed 7 lbs. and 8 oz. and was 19 1/2 inches long. My midwife immediately placed her on my chest after she was born and I cried. My doula said the expression on my face included relief, awe, disbelief, and pure joy all at once. That sounds about right. I remember thinking that I could not believe that I had just given birth, yet I knew that I had because it was a lot of hard work and I had the most beautiful, precious baby girl...awe and joy! She looked right into my eyes and we instantly bonded. Thank you God for the miracle of childbirth and the amazing and perfect gift of a child.

Sleeping beauty slept a lot during the first 4 weeks

At 5 weeks old, Sophie started smiling! I was lucky enough to capture one on camera!

Unfortunately, Sophie did more crying than smiling during her first few months of life.

April 2004 - Sophie's First Easter...I was much more excited about the adorable Easter outfit than she was!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Simply Sophie

Super, sweet, suprising, silly, smart, strong, smiley, soft, snuggly...just a few words to describe my very special little girl, Sophie. She is almost 4 years old already! I hate to admit this, but I have not put a single photo album, scrapbook, or journal together yet! So, please indulge me as I create a snapshot of the last 3 years and 9 months of Sophie's life in the next few blog entries. There will be lots of photos and only a few words, but I hope you will enjoy them as much as I will!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Compassion at First Sight...

When Clint and I met in Sunday school class at our church, he said, "it was compassion at first sight (and he thought I was cute).” I was crying and had asked for prayer because I was still mourning the end of my marriage. It had been one year since my former husband had left me and Sophie (my daughter). At that time in my life, I was just beginning to emerge from the fog of grief and the pain still ran deep. I was in a new town, a new church, and I felt very alone. Clint understood my tears because his former spouse had left him as well. He came up to me after class and talked to me for a little bit and for the first time since moving to Raleigh, I felt comforted. I somehow knew that Sophie and I would be ok.

I kept a low profile that summer (2006) and spent most of my time figuring out how to be a single, working mom. By late August, however, Clint found me, emailed me, and eventually called me. We talked on the phone almost every night about everything…our past, our families, our future hopes and dreams, and God. Both Clint and I had faith that the Lord would turn our sadness into joy as he promises in his word. Clint began to pursue a relationship with me and I finally agreed to dinner and a movie towards the end of September. In mid-October, we both went on a church retreat for singles up in the beautiful North Carolina mountains. It was an amazing weekend with God and new friends and I was finally ready for a new beginning in my life. By the end of the trip, Clint and I were officially dating!

Photos are from the church retreat in Boone, NC (October 2006), my birthday party at the Cheescake Factory (that my wonderful boyfriend planned for me - December 2006), New Year's Eve 2006 (something tells me that 2007 will be a good year!), and Charleston, SC (March 2007).

Six months later…Clint proposed!!!! Of course, I said YES (actually, I think I may have said, “wow” first when I saw the ring)!!!! Seriously, though, I was honored that Clint was asking me to be his wife and so grateful to God for his grace and goodness in my life. God has blessed me with a man who seeks after Him with his whole heart. I know that Clint will be a faithful and loving husband and he will take great care of me and Sophie.