project 52–eleven


The best way to escape your problem is to solve it.DSC_7477

Can I just say that they grow up way too quickly? I know that everyone knows this and everyone tells you this…but you really don’t get it until it happens! Why?!

So let’s talk a little real talk. Let’s talk about problems. You’re going to have them. You’re going to run across them, trip over them, stumble on them all your life. And there will always be new ones when you think you just solved your last one. But you know what? If you want to solve them quickly then you must escape them. And in order to escape them you have to confront them. Face them head on with full force.

I just heard an awesome quote about problems not too long ago. I wrote it down like it was worth keeping. And you know what, it resonated with me a lot. And now I’m going to share with you…”The farther you push your problems under the rug, the more likely you will trip on it later and not remember why.” Truth! You can’t just put things on the back burner and hope they go away. The longer they sit there, piling up, internalizing, brewing, the more likely they will fester and grow into something much bigger and harder to handle. You have to face them. You have to get rid of them.

Having problems is inevitable. We will all struggle with one thing or the other. Keep perspective and know that confronting it and getting to the bottom of it are important when you want to escape them. And I’m always here to help you when you need it!


project 52–ten


The biggest lie on the planet: “When I get what I want I will be happy.”DSC_0107

Oh, my dramatic Emmy B. I just love how passionate she is about life! I think in this moment she just wanted to sleep…someone was very tired!

What is it you want in life? Is it a job? A home? A person to love? I will always support your goals and the things you want to achieve. But what I don’t want for you is to not be happy as you’re working towards them. If you think that you can’t experience joy through the journey then you are missing out!

It is a big lie if you think you can’t be happy until you get what you want. And it is even a bigger lie if you think you will be happy when you do get what you want. Happiness is something to experience every step along the way. Always strive for the things you want, but don’t lose out on the joy as you go through it.

And with all this being said, don’t wait for something good to come along just to find that you now need something else to work for. Know that happiness can be had in every moment. Look for it. Find it and hold onto it. Don’t let it slip through your fingers.

project 52–nine


Life is a journey, not a destination.


Sorry Tav, you technically are in this picture. Ha! We need some new ones though!

There are so many moments we tend to think “when this happens” or “when I get here” or “at the end of this”…mommy is here to tell you that this is life! This is the life you’re living – enjoy it! There are many moments to look forward to, I agree, but there is also something about enjoy the day-to-day things. The mundane things. The moment-by-moment things.

My biggest wish for you is that you will grow old, like 200, and look back on a life full of beauty and joy and fulfillment. A life so full of things you achieved, things you worked hard for, and things that knocked the socks off of everyone else. I want your lives to be full. Abundant! But the way to get there is to appreciate it all. All the moments that are shaping you and stretching you and molding you. Enjoy them. Learn from them. Soak them up and take them all in.

There is a little saying that goes “we can’t enjoy the rainbows unless it has rained”. Truth! How will we ever enjoy the beautiful moments if there aren’t ever any hard ones to compare them too? So embrace the good with the bad. The ugly with the beautiful. And the empty with the abundant. Enjoy the journey!

project 52–eight


You will never ‘have it all together’.26613783_10155823587351145_614571443_o

This one may take you awhile to believe me and I think that is a good thing….let me explain.

Life is all about taking what comes your way and dealing with it. Taking the joy that comes your way, taking hits, taking strides, taking time. Life throws and you catch. Life pushes and you stand firm. Life does what it wants and you have to accept and decide what you will do with it.

Thankfully this all comes gradually. You have one thing you will be mastering or conquering or getting past and you will be focused. You will be really set on doing this thing. You will count on relief and accomplishment when it is completed. And that is good! I want you to look forward to the things you are doing. But the truth is, life will throw something else your way. You will get to the end of whatever mountain you are climbing and another one is always in the distance.

This doesn’t mean that life always throws negativity. There will be joy and there will be success and achievement. However, even though there is happiness, there is still hard work! And life will continue to give you these things. Life will continue to give you things to work on and strive for and overcome. And you will do it! But it will never end. Be prepared for the next mountain and stay close to Jesus. He will always equip you with the things you need. Cling to Him in all things!


project 52–My Heart on My Sleeve


I will be here.

Hillari and Nathan-1128

Music was something so important to me on our wedding day. I spent months choosing the perfect songs for our day. From the song used for my bridesmaids to walk down to, all the way to which song would play as we cut our cake and waved goodbye to all our loved ones. I chose every one carefully – each one said exactly what I wanted it to.

Instead of using words as we exchanged rings with one another, I chose a song that was so meaningful. One that I could listen to in years to come and remember that moment and the commitment we made.

In light of Valentine’s Day and all the many declarations of love for others, I have been thinking a lot about love and marriage and what that means to me.

I believes that God sees a married couple as one body. There is no longer two hearts, but one.

I believe that when one person in the marriage falls, the other should pick up. If both are falling, how will you as a whole ever get back up?

I believe that marriage is a journey. And in every journey there are mountains and valleys. Everyone’s looks different. No one can look in and understand the journey like the two who are taking it.

The song I chose as we committed to one another says it all… I Will Be Here

I will be here. I will be here through it all. The ups, the downs, the craziness of life. When life gets hard and you can’t breathe. When life throws curveballs and you’re dodging them left and right. When life is good and easy and content.

I’m not going anywhere. I’m in this forever. I will be here.


project 52–six


When your ship comes in, make sure you are willing to unload it.


Life will bring you opportunities that I want you to chase after. Just because something is harder to get doesn’t mean it isn’t for you. There are things in life that you have to work at – hard! So know what you want and go get it.

There will be times when things will come your way. Call it luck, happenstance, or a God thing – things will come your way and I hope you know what you want enough to know when this happens you will go for it.

Fight for what is yours and fight for what you love. Even if it’s work. The best things in life aren’t handed to you on a silver platter. And when working for them you will appreciate them more.

So when your ship come sin and something good comes your way, be willing to work at receiving it and know that you will be glad you did.


project 52–five


Success stops when you do.

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I love how determined you are. All three of you. Yes, even babyT has fight in him.

Most people would say you all get it from daddy. Any this is true. Daddy is very persistent. Very stubborn. Strong-willed. But so am I. Mommy has the fight in her too which is why I think it is so strong in each of you. You don’t give up. You keep trying until you succeed. And I hope you never stop fighting.

I’ve been told how difficult it is to raise strong-willed babes. I have also been told what a privilege it is to raise them. How the strong-willed children are next generation’s leaders. How the ones who have the fight are the ones who stand tall and make a difference. My heart is full thinking that each of you has this in you. Each of you won’t stop. And I pray that you never will.



project 52–four


Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.


You all deserve the very best. You all deserve love and kindness and respect. Don’t let others treat you any differently than you should be treated. And you should always treat others this way as well.

There will be many things in life, and people, that you will come across and you’ll have a choice to either stand up, walk away, or stay exactly where you are. This is your choice. You get to decide how and what you handle and how you handle it. Your choices will shape your life. Your choices will shape everything. It’s okay to take a breather. When things come your way and you have to decide what to do, I pray that you stop and think and make the best decision for you. Even if it’s a small one. Some of the smallest decisions we make shape how we handle the big ones.

I sit here tonight, all of you in bed, and think about your futures. I pray you only put up with the best since you all deserve the best. And I wouldn’t wish anything else for all three of you.



project 52–three


Others can stop you temporarily, but only you can do it permanently. 



There will be many moments in life when momentum will be picking up and someone may try to stop you. Moments when life feels pretty good and everything is going smoothly and you are chasing something amazing and then things come to a halt. In these moments, please remember that this only has to be momentary. You only have to stop if you want to. You only have to put everything down and to rest if you are okay with that.

Sometimes others may try to stop you for valid reasons – perhaps they are trying to help or they may be concerned. Other times these momentary stops may be for their own benefit and not yours. Please stop and try and figure out what is best. Pray. Consider. Ask those you love. I only want you to stop if you want to. You are in charge of where your life goes and I pray that you will always remember this.

I recently heard something that stuck with me. Something I heard out of context but I liked it any way. “Choose discipline over regret”. There may be things in life that could cause regret. Things that can cause you to keep going back and not forward. Instead of stopping and getting stuck, I pray that you will choose discipline. Choose to learn from whatever it was that stopped you. Choose to do things differently next time. And then choose to keep going. Keep moving towards the things that make you happy.




project 52–two


Most people will be about as happy as they decide to be. 


My mom (Gammie as you know her) has always told me that I was such a happy little girl. When I was going through my moody teenage years she would remind me of this and also the fact that my name means ‘merry’ – like I should live up to it or something. I needed the reminder – more than once. And there are days I still need it.

I can’t help but look at the three of you and soak up all your happiness and carefree spirits. I am one blessed momma to have three beautiful children, each of them so happy. I pray you stay this way. I’m sure we’ll have some of the same conversations, “you used to be so happy” – and it will be true. But I pray it lasts and it always stays a part of your lives.

There will come times in your life where happiness will be hard to find. Moments when you could easily choose discouragement, grumpiness, stress; but, I pray that in these times you will remember that you can choose happiness. You can decide to not let circumstances, people, things to steal your joy. And I hope that you will always remember what it feels like to be simply happy.