a little date with a little girl

This past weekend Evie got to go on a special date with her Pawpaw to the Georgia Bulldogs football game.  She was so excited and wouldn't stop talking about it all week! We pumped her up by watching a couple of YouTube videos of GA football.  Pawpaw showed up with a little tattoo for her to wear and one for Avett too. She left out of here in Pawpaws bright red convertible with the biggest grin on her face, I know she felt special. 

They went to the Varsity before the game and by 9:45 she had already eaten French fries! They went to the dog walk and Evie got a pompom that she wore on her wrist all day.  My dad said she was pretty much perfect, with the exception of one little meltdown the first time GA made a great play and my dad cheered (yelled) it scared her.  After an explaination that it was because he was happy and excited she calmed right back down.

I'm so glad that she is getting to build memories like this with her grandparents. She is already taking about wanting to go again.  Thanks Pawpaw!

(Also I came across these pictures of Evie in a UGA cheer outfit from when she was probably 8 months or so. My how our sweet girl has grown!)


number 3

I'll never forget the few hours after Avett was born.  I was overwhelmed and amazed at what my body had just done, and done so well! I was enraptured by my plump perfect 10 pound boy admiring every detail and tiny feature.  But almost immediately the oddest feeling came to me: it was an urgency of some sort.  Something as if to say that my 3rd child knew he or she was next in line, and the feeling was that they were ready. Ready to come on down and join the family too.  I couldn't shake it for a while and I tried, after all I had a merely hours old newborn in my arms! 

That feeling has come to me countless times since Avett joined our family.  It has been the strangest thing.  But somehow I know it's real.  I know that when ever and how ever number 3 comes to be that it will be a long awaited arrival by us all.  

Truth be told I'm not sure why our next baby is taking some extra time.  I go through waves of not caring one bit to disappointment and a bit of sadness.  But truly when it comes down to it I have complete and utter faith that it will happen when and how ever it is supposed to.  John and I are both terribly busy now and as we've talked and talked about it it seems that all of this waiting could be a form of a blessing in disguise. 

So we will wait.

And trust.

And enjoy what we have now.

Because what we've got going on now is pretty wonderful.  

This past weekend was spent with my sisters family and their 4 week old Mason, who is just perfection. My children were all over him and wanting to help and snuggle and take in his sweetness just as much as I wanted to.

I do believe one of the best gifts you can give your children are siblings and I want so badly to give them more.  More opportunites to grown and love and help and serve.  

They will be fantastic when and if that day comes. Time will tell and in the mean time we will savor what we have right here and right now. 


it's back

I've recently felt the magic come back in to my mothering.  It was a tough go for a while there.  I can't believe not so long ago I naively thought to my self, "I am so good at this, being a mother is so easy."  Queue the humility cycle.

Hah. Hah.  Oh the things I've learned in the past 10 months about my self and my children and my limits and relying on God in it all.  

I made a promise to my self a couple of weeks ago that I would never raise my voice at my children again.  I had gotten in to a nasty terrible habit of using that to get those sweet little people to do what I wanted.  But then a thought, I believe a divine thought, came in to my heart and my mind, "they are children, they are learning and everyday they are figuring it out just like you. Be patient and show love."  So I prayed for forgiveness and got to work on my self and my tone and attitude towards my sweet babies. 

Don't get me wrong nothing too extreme was going on I just didn't like the style of communication I had gotten in to.  I believe wholeheartedly my babies deserve the best...my best.  And sometimes that is hard when I've only had 5 hours of sleep due to my wonderfully demanding calling.  I've had to call on the Lord a lot. "Heavenly Father I am really trying my best, please send help. Help me to extend beyond my present capabilities today.  I'm so tired and my babies need me.  Please help me to somehow have the energy for them and do everything I need to do today."

And as I've reached out I've felt that help come.  I've felt myself grow in ways that I know have not been my own except by asking so desperately for it and receiving that divine help. 

I've lingered more.  I've read an extra book.  I've said longer prayers at night by Evie's bedside.  I've picked Avett up out of his crib and swayed in his dark room to the sweet smell of lavender oil diffusing close by.  Ive taken moments to teach.  I've spoken softer, kinder, sweeter.  I've snuggled.  I've played.  I've laughed.  I've said yes more.  

And truly all of this feels more like me, more like us, more like the life we are supposed to all be living together. So we will just keep on, we will keep on making mistakes and then correcting them.  We will keep on learning how to live this beautiful life we've been given. 



Recently my mind has been taken back to our early days as a family here on Stock Gap Road.  I remember how carefully and thoughtfully I put together Evaleigh's nursery, every item shifted dozens of times so they were perched in just the right position.  I remember countless hours of back breaking work with my selfless mother recovering And refurbishing my great grandmothers couch for Evie's nursery while chatting and dreaming about my little Evie and what she would be like.  I remember the day we brought her home from the hospital and how proud I was to show her the small space I had created just for her, even if she slept through the whole tour.  I remember foggy middle of the night feedings rocking back and forth in the old blue recliner while peering through the nursery French doors observing my John sleeping away on our bed in a messy tangle of sheets and blankets.  

My memories here at Stock Gap are rich and run deep: being a young girl running in the yard (many times with no clothes on),  giggling evenings with my sister as young girls, warm homemade cauliflower soup made by my mother during cold months, talks on the porch with my father about goal making and life plans, bringing John here the first time during Christmas of 09' to meet my family for the first time, my first pregnancy while living here the first time again after my parents divorce, bringing my 5 day old son here when we moved back in the second time. And oh so much more.

This is home to me.  It is the place my children know as home. Today Evaleigh told me, out of the blue "Mom, I love our home."  She knows nothing different. 

Sometimes I look around I know that we won't be here forever but to me the library will always be my first baby's nursery, the place where we loved and learned about each other for the first time.  The place where I first cultivated the mother love I feel every day now.  The kitchen will always be the place I learned that Evaleigh doesn't like beans or peanut butter.  It is the place where Avett learned to exert the strength of his little body by carrying whole gallons of milk to me for a drink.  The place where I filled my families bellies, maybe not always of the healthiest food but I will remember that we never went without. The master bedroom will always be mine and johns room,  the place where we conceived our first baby.  The place where we had a tiny Christmas tree just for our selves.  The place where I fell asleep pregnant and watching The Cosby's while John played with my hair or rubbed my feet or back. The place where we talked and talked and talked about the future and what all we hoped it would hold.  And the bathroom just through the double doors was where I nonchalantly took a pregnancy test that changed our whole lives.  The dining room will always be our joy school room. The place where we learned and created and dirty little hands left prints on the windows and sometimes walls.  The place where I couldn't keep Avett from eating the sticky tack off the back of our art work hanging on the windows.  The halls will never just be places to walk or travel from room to room.  They will always be race tracks that my children ran round and round with cars and strollers.  The place where the sweetest sounds of little feet pounded that memory in to my heart.   The living room will always be that in every sense of the word.  The place where we lived and lived good and hard. The place where my husband would sprawl across the floor and toss the children about in the air and tickle them relentlessly only for them to cry out "again!" Or "more!"  The place where my husband and I retired to every night to connect at the end of the long full days.

This house is our house.  It is where we share in life and love and though day in and day out we go through our routines and schedules I know we are living out our future memories. And they are good ones, filled with what I hope I will only recall as magic.



(Taken by John last week as the children piled on to Evies bed for a bed time story. Keep love in your heart little one)

Tonight was the end of one of those eternally exhausting days. But as I took my place in the old chair that belonged to my grandmother in Evaleigh's room she picked out her two books for the night and hopped up in to my lap.  I curled down over her for a hug and a snuggle and she said, "that's why I love you mom."  I asked her if my hugs were what she was referring to and she nodded yes. It was a moment I never want to forget.  Then I hugged her again and I told her, "we have a special relationship you see, you and me. You will always be my little girl and I will always be your mommy." Then she rubbed my arm curled up as close to my body as she could get and said, "you are special."  I just wanted to linger in that moment as long as she would let me.  It felt warm and good and just like the sorts of things I dreamed motherhood would feel like.

Motherhood and just plain old life is so busy these days I don't have a lot of time for lingering the way that it beckons in the newborn or infant stages. We are 3 busy bodies in our home going from task to task, toy to toy, craft to craft, dirty projects and play times, mealtime to snacktime and nap time at all moments.  

Ev and I have a habit of whispering secrets in to each others ears these days and many of them go like this, "I love you mom and I will always love you and you are a good mom and I really love."  And mine are about like this, "I love you so, please always be a good girl and make good choices and remember who you really are. I am proud of who you are becoming."

I love my tender hearted darling Evaleigh Joy Murphy.


anniversary shoot

I would literally go anywhere John Murphy led.  I trust him with my whole heart and my whole life and everything that we have ahead of us.  I am so proud of him and all that he is doing.  

Tonight he has a meet and greet with a top 10 in the nation accounting firm.  He got his suit dry cleaned yesterday just for tonight. They reached out to him a couple of weeks ago wanting to meet him after seeing his resumè.  We are hopeful for the prospects of upcoming internships next year.  I am so excited for what the future holds.  Most days I just sit back in awe of the man I married.  I am proud to be doing life with him by my side.  

I was so excited to get the rest of our anniversary photos back and I couldn't be happier with how they turned out.  Get ready for a lot of pictures of us.  Oh and we kiss and canoodle...a lot. 



I wanted to share a little bit of the story behind this song.  I think it is the kind of song that could mean something to anyone who hears it.  We all have mountains to climb and whatever the mountain is that you have to climb wether it is a personal trial, repentance, an addiction, self doubt, loss of a loved one, or just something hard in your life that makes you feel like you have no idea how you'll make it through, I hope this song can give you a glimpse of hope and the source that you should look to for help. 

You are not alone.

You don't have to do anything alone.

Jesus Christ is the way, he will always be the way.

I wrote this song recently for someone very close to me who is facing the biggest trial they have ever had to face.  I've never known anyone in my life to ever display more faith than this person and they are such an enormous example to me of how to face our trials and challenges.


Standing here and looking at the top. 
Knowing that you have to climb. 
You fill your lungs your feet hit the dirt. 
In motion pushing every stride.

And when you feel that the step you take is the last one you can bear.
A burning and a feeling He is pushing you there.
The higher you climb the more burdens you unload so you can ascend.
You turn to look behind you
And He is carrying them.

Blisters sting the sun is beating down.
Breathless gasping in your chest.
Slipping sliding trying to hold on.
A strength emerges just beyond your own.

And when you feel that the step you take is the last one you can bear.
A burning and a feeling He is pushing you there.
The higher you climb the more burdens you unload so you can ascend.
You turn to look behind you
And He is carrying them.

Climb, climb, climb.

Standing here and looking at the top.
You never knew how far you'd come.

(Disclaimer: sorry for the crazy eyes in parts, it's a habit I'm trying to break. So proceed with some non judgemental caution, Ha!)


my squints

John came home last night pumped up to make some changes together and laid out the plan for me in great detail.  So this morning when I came home from seminary I found him laying in our bed with his scriptures in hand and our girl next to him with a a belly full of chocolate milk and watching a show on his phone. A few minutes later he popped out of bed and we got dressed and exercised in the living room to Jillian Michaels.  I looked around at our babies joining in with us and crawling all over us during floor exercises and I was so happy that this is my life.

I get to sweat and laugh and grow spiritually with the most incredible partner by my side.  There is a line in my patriarchal blessing that says, "you will help your companion rise to his full stature and he will do the same for you".  I've seen that so much through out our marriage. Just when one of us needs a little push or encouragement or motivation the other one comes in at the right time with that need.  There is such a balance that surrounds our interactions.  

I'll never forget one morning on the way to church we both had been a little short with each other in the storm that is getting a family of four out the door on time for 9am church.  We both drove the first few minutes silently while the children chattered on in the back and I put on my makeup. I was so aware that I didn't want any tension between us so I just blurted out something random about a house on the corner of double springs and new hope church road.  We had been watching the progress of this house renovation for months.  It was simple and it immediately cleared the air and then we were back to laughing and being happy.

Ive learned that it is always important in our marriage to put the other person first. Above our pride and all of the temptation it can be to hold on to the little things.  I'm more in love everyday with the man I chose to build my life with and in so honored he chose me. 

We have been through a lot lately and he has been such an example to me of being faithful in hard times and always showing forth kindness.  I want to be so much more like him.  

I love my John Murphy.   


Tonight after John got home from school we all piled up on the gator to take salt licks out to the cows.  Evaleigh sat in the back with her green slushie from Sonic and My dear Avett was in his rightful spot, my lap...always my lap.

I was johns gate girl and we drove in to the pastures running over the overgrown weeds that are starting to grow to a more tree like state.

It was slightly cool and there was a breeze and I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming gratitude for this beautiful family I've been given.

Life is so good and we are immensely blessed.  I am so happy to be living here in the south and sharing life with my perfect husband. I never dreamed it would be this easy and wonderful and natural. 

Joy school

Now that we are settling in to the school year it's time to add yet another thing in to our crazy schedules.  We will be starting joy school with evaleigh the first week of September. I completely took down the dining room table and carried each piece down to the basement.  The children used my extra tools to "help" disassemble.  I love their little willing and helpful spirits.  Just tonight as Deb and the kids and I were getting out of the car to eat a quick dinner at sonic Evie reached over to Avett's seat and said, "don't worry I'll get Avett out." Something so simple made me so proud.

We printed out rules for our classroom and have already been singing the songs all over the place! Evaleigh put her own special twist on one, "we do not hit or kick or spit." Close enough my dear.

I drug down (all by my self against the will of my bad back) the cube storage from Evies room and then promptly replaced it with my mother's childhood dresser that was collecting dust in the garage.  I can't stand for things to be out of place too long. So how our joy school room looks crisp and organized.

I look forward to teaching her about the joy of life and living.  And I can tell she is looking so forward to it too!

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