January 02, 2009

Last post

I write this with a smile on my face. I am ending this blog. The title of it no longer fits. I am starting new chapter in life and it deserves a NEW blog. Come check us out here.

Thank you all for your LOVE, your PRAYERS and your ENCOURAGEMENT! You have no idea how many times I go back to read your comments and it blesses me again and again. Thank you for loving us and rejoicing with us! I love all of you!

Bye for now!

December 04, 2008

The Day We Will Never Forget

I loved being a bride. I loved being Paul's bride.
It was a perfect day.
Nothing in life is perfect, I know...but it was a wonderful day.
It was a picture, a shadow, if you will of something that is perfect.
It was a day that reminded us of God's goodness.
I kept thinking...I don't deserve this man.
I don't deserve this day.
But isn't that just like God?
He gives us what we have not earned, what we do not deserve.
Look at these children. Aren't they precious?
They made the day extra special.

My daddy and me. Isn't he handsome?

The men in my life...could they be more handsome?

The rings

Mia Beth

My boy is so sweet and loving. Here he is rubbing my back before the ceremony because he wanted to do something nice for me.

When the time came for the ceremony to begin I was so calm. I felt peace at my core, knowing that God had created this union and I was just getting to walk it out.

Cait walking down the aisle

Benjamin walking me down the aisle

Paul first made vows to Benjamin and Cait. He promised to love their mom and be faithful to her, but also to love and care for them as his own. He gave them each a gift to remember the promise he made to them. He gave Benjamin a Bible, his first real one. He gave Cait a James Avery bracelet with a charm he had engraved to say, "Dad."

Paul's dad performed the ceremony, which made it very special.

Finally...husband and wife

Yes, it was joyful, but almost more of a feeling of relief that it was a done deal.
We're married!!! Woo Hoo!

The family

My family

His family

The kids

Then on to the restaurant for dinner.
Here is the breathtaking cake that Julie made for us. I wish you could have tasted it. It was our favorite...carrot cake. You wouldn't have been able to stop eating. It was divine!

Feeding each other

After an amazing dinner, family style at Maggiano's, people got up and shared things about the goodness of God. People talked about how they viewed the workings of God in bringing Paul and I together. One of the most special times were when Kristi read a letter to Paul from their mom. She passed away over three years ago, so we weren't graced with her presence at our wedding, yet she had prayed for Paul's wife for his whole life. Paul's dad said that night that he and his wife had been praying for me. What a blessing to realize that.
Also, Ryan shared about how they just knew that Paul was the one for me from the very start. And that we will never understand why God does things the way that He does sometimes, but that we have the assurance that this day was His plan from the very beginning. We rejoiced at hearing that.

Here are the boys in the limo before we left.
And then us in the limo.

What a day. Perfect...well as perfect as it can be here on this earth. It's real life. It's not happily ever after as we ride into the sunset. It's just the beginning of a marriage. It will be hard some days and maybe even some years. But Paul and I are committed to this thing. We are committed to each other and more importantly to God and the covenant we made with Him before several witnesses. He will help us keep it. Look at how faithful He has been. We know that He will continue to be everyday that lies ahead.

Thank you for your love and prayers and well wishes. You have made our joy that much fuller.

November 29, 2008

Wedding Preparation

We're home from the honeymoon as of Friday night. YAY! We're husband and wife...FINALLY! I am now Mrs. Paul Lewis. Can you believe it? I have so much to share with you about the days leading up to the wedding, the day itself and the amazing trip we took after the ceremony was over! However, I've been very busy and haven't had much time to post. Besides, I don't have the wedding pictures yet so I can't share with you...I should have them this week though! Can't wait!

The family came into town on Wednesday night and it was SUCH a joy to have them here. It wasn't this huge stressful thing, like weddings usually are. It was just a delight to have them here to celebrate with us.

Thursday night Laurie, Danyel and I went all around town buying flowers for the wedding. Laurie did a lot of the flowers and sweet Julie did the rest. Aren't the flowers beautiful?

While we were flower shopping, Paul and both dads were moving Paul's furniture into my house. Look how happy he is on moving night???!!!

Friday wasn't a bad day. I went to school and it was Grandparent's Day. My parents loved this, but it was stressful for the teachers, let me tell you. However, when it was over I was done for the day. I left early, thanks to my wonderful assistant and got to head over to the spa. The parents in my classroom gave me a $500 gift card to the Grand Spa in Dallas. WOW! Never been anyplace like that before! I got a sea salt scrub, massage, facial, ultimate manicure and ultimate pedicure. It was unbelievable. Jenni and Danyel joined me for the nails and toes and it was so much fun.
After the spa we all ran over to the church for a little rehearsal. It went pretty smoothly. I only had one minor freak out and I got over it pretty quickly.

Here are Danyel and Kristi fluffing the wreaths before we hung them on the church doors. Thank you Amy for making these! They were lovely!

Saturday morning was perfect! I woke up as my babies were crawling in bed with me. We cuddled for a while and then Paul called. He wanted to read to me from what he had read that morning in his time with the Lord and then he wanted to pray for us. It was a conversation I will never forget.

Then, the day looked like this:

1) Finish packing
2) Take Cait to get her nails done

Isn't she precious??

3) Get make-up done at Neiman Marcus

Look at the sweet look on her face as she is watching me. Not many little girls get to see their mommy as a bride. She kept telling me how beautiful I looked. So sweet!

That's all I have for today. The photographer picked up here at the hair salon, so we'll have to wait on her. But...maybe I can get some honeymoon pics up this week. It was an AMAZING trip! More than I dreamed it would be! I love being married to Paul David! What a man!

November 19, 2008

The Family Comes Today and Other Fun Things

It's HERE! It's HERE! Let the festivities begin!

The family is on their way here as I type. It has begun.

Just for fun, because distraction is sometimes the best way to cope with anxiety :-) here are some fun pictures from the last few weeks.

#1 - Little shower
...with all my co-workers in the 4th grade hall.
Let's just say they gave me gifts that I will not post pictures of on the internet. Very pretty though, and FUN!

Mendy, Suzie and me

Dusty and Donna

Cheryl, Amy and Andrea

I did get a little bottle of perfume. I can post a picture of that!

#2 My son playing a joke us us

The other night I asked the kids to go get their pj's on. When they came out of the bedrooms, this is what Benjamin was sporting. Oh yes! He was in his sister's nightgown!!! HA! He thought he was so funny.
So I said, "Well since you think you're so funny, you're going to wear a bow for family devotion time!"
He played along and thought it wa funny. Sad thing is...he makes a pretty little girl with that long, curly hair and eyelashes!

Twirling, learned from none other than his sister!

My "pretty" little boy!!

#3 Colonial Day in 4th Grade

After studying about colonial America we committed an entire day to the experience of that era.

My room was the home arts room. We taught the kids how to weave on a loom (so fun!).

Here are Charla and I in our Colonial garb. This was my mom's dress from like 30 years ago. As a little girl, I can still remember her wearing this dress at a costume party. Perfect for me now!

On the loom and also learning to quilt a square.
Here Charla teaches the basics.

#4 Kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast

Cait's class had a traditional feast, including the pilgrims and the indians!
The Kindergartners were the Indians.
Their 3rd grade pen pals were the pilgrims.

Cait and her 3rd grade pen pal, Katie.

Here's Cait with her buddy Lauren.

Placemat and place card

See, life is still going on even when I feel like it should be coming to a screeching halt for us!

3 more days, y'all!!!!

November 18, 2008

Preparing my heart to be a wife

It's so interesting how life comes full circle, or so it seems at times. Some days I actually feel a little guilty that my "valley" wasn't all that long of a trek. Shouldn't I have had to drudge through a little longer, Lord? Well, His plan was good! And I remember that this is the answer to a prayer that started with my dad. Shortly after my divorce, my dad told me that he was praying that I would marry again one day and that it would be soon. I argued with him a little and then he told me that his desire for this husband to come soon was really for the kids sake and not so much mine. I joined him in that prayer asking the Lord to bring the kids and I someone who would come soon enough that the kids would hardly be able to remember before he came into our lives. God chose to answer this prayer.

Now, in just 4 short days I will marry this man that God has sent to us. We are all kind of getting married as a family in a sense. The kids are gaining a dad. Paul is becoming a dad for the first time. He is becoming a husband for the first time. I am becoming a wife...again. It's no secret that I've walked this road before, even though some days I would like to deny it as truth. But I can't. I can't "fix" that. I have been married before. It's no secret to Paul or anyone else for that matter. But, still somewhere inside I wish it could be the first time for me as well.

So, I began the heart training many weeks ago when I accepted Paul's proposal of marriage. I began talking to myself about what it would look like to be Paul's wife. How can I love him more? How can I serve him better? How can I promote peace in our house and make it feel like a home? It has been a joy to begin thinking these thoughts again. Even the other day I had so many things to get done in a tiny window of time. I was battling with which things to do next and what things to drop altogether. The thought came to my mind..."What would honor Paul the most?" So, I decided that ironing his clothes for him was first priority. It's been fun retraining my mind from a selfish mentality and for my children only...to someone else as well. Someone wonderful!

What could we all push off out to-do list that free up some space to bless someone else? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

November 17, 2008

The Countdown Begins

Some of you think I've dropped off the face of the earth. You call, and I don't answer. You e-mail and it takes me days to reply (very unlike me). I assure you that I am here and that I am well. Just busy and wanting to focus on what is happening. It's so big to us! It is the biggest life change of our lives so far.

So...here we are! It's the week of the wedding and there are only 5 days before the BIG day. We had the whole weekend free, for the most part, to run errands and take care of stuff, but we really didn't have that much to do. We have planned pretty well up to this point.

So, the family comes in on Wednesday night. Very exciting! I have multiple jobs for them that include either a glue gun, running an errand or helping me with my daily stuff. I have complete confidence that we can get it all done easily and with peace and calm. That is atypical for the week of the wedding, I think! My family is so great to do this for me!

I went to tan this weekend for the first time in...I don't know, 10-11 years. I have these stark tan lines from my bathing suit this summer that do not match my wedding dress lines. I should have started a month ago if I wanted this to be effective, but hind sight, right? So, the result? Well, I am burned in places I've never been burned before. It hurts! I so hope it tans over soon and doesn't peel!!! AH!

Who cares, really though? Paul doesn't. He wouldn't care if I was shedding like a snake. It's going to be a great week!

November 13, 2008

My Dress

I never could get around to posting about my dress shopping experience with Danyel and Kristi. However, my sister FINALLY started a blog and she did post about it. Please go read about that day and see some pictures. Paul, no peeking!

Click HERE to read.

November 02, 2008

All Things Fall

There is no season I have ever loved more than fall. If you know me very well at all, you know that about me. I love the colors, the weather, the smells, the foods, the celebrations nearing, my birthday falling right in there. I've always loved fall, but now I have an ever greater reason to love it. It will be the season I celebrate the anniversary of my marriage to Paul...God's blessing to me.

Because I love fall and we like to do fun things in fall, I thought I'd post some pictures for you. Soak it in guys. You can just see God's glory displayed in each intricate leaf and every relief of a breeze on your face. Praise Him in the midst of this season and tell your children of the goodness of the Lord!

Pumpkin Patch Fun

Pumpkin House

Hay Ride!!

I looked down and saw Cait's sweet little hand holding Paul's. They're sweet on each other.

Aunt Kristi and cousin Tyler


Uncle Jimmy and Cait

GiGi came to help with the garage sale and got to stay for some pumpkin patch fun on Sunday.

Jenni and I got to coordinate our annual Ladies Retreat this year. Not sure what was more fun...the planning or the retreat itself. Absolute blast!
One thing that made it so much fun was the Christi got to fly in from Tennessee for the retreat. It had been too long, friend.

The Aggies in their burnt orange. They freaked out at first, but then got over it!
My dear, dear friend Mindy also got to come in from Maryland for the retreat. Our visits are always so anticipated by us both and then are over so quickly. Can't wait to meet your baby girl, Min!

The gang right before heading home.

Another dear friend I hardly ever see...Amber! So glad you got to come, Amber. That baby bump is one we rejoice with more than most, seeing as how we prayed for her for so long. Praise the Lord!!!

So glad you got to come, mom! This will have to be an annual tradition!

I love fall!