Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It'll never be Pippa's

I've started running again.  And I, of course, use the term "running" very loosely.  When "running" is defined as "slowly jogging at a steady pace, that, by the way, most four year olds could keep up with"; that's the kind of running I do.

I have the same love/hate relationship that I have always had with it, and I suspect most real runners do as well.  I hate getting up earlier in the morning.  I hate being drizzled on.  I hate feeling tired and sore, BUT...I love that I actually got up and did it.  I love that I am being proactive with my health.  And I love the feeling of accomplishment.

Currently, I'm running 2 miles about 3-5 times a week.  I run to I-5 and back.  Not super far, but it is a start and helps me get back on track to running a 5K.  There almost as many 5K races here in Seattle as there are Starbucks (welllll, not exactly, but you get my drift).  I haven't picked out which race I'm going to try for yet, but I'm hoping to run one in January or February.

I know you're dying to know what my motivation is for my running restart, right?  Reading about so many friends running the St. Jude marathon?  Nope.  Wanting to lose a few pounds before going back to TN for Christmas?  Nada.  It was simply something my brother said.  Well, the 14-year-old version of my brother, that is.

I had on black jogging pants a couple of weeks ago (because the maid was getting behind with the laundry, curse her!).  For whatever reason, I was checking myself out in the mirror.  I suddenly noticed that my rear was, well, not in best form.  INSTANTLY, I was zipped back to a scene in the kitchen when my brother and I were teenagers.  I was getting ready for prom/had a new pair of jeans/something like that and decided to ask Will how I looked.  Being the sensitive, supportive brother he was, he said something like "O.K., I guess.  At least your butt doesn't jiggle."  Ahhh, words a teenage girl can live by.  And a grown one for that matter.  No matter how big I was compared to my friends, how my body has changed through child-bearing years,  I reminded myself of those words.  Until a couple of weeks ago.

So here I am.  35 and mother of 3.  Pastor's wife.  Wanting to love the lost and care for the hurting.  Still trying to figure out who I'm going to be when I grow up.  And determinded to get up at 5:30 a.m. and run, so my bum won't jiggle.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How to Order Cards from me

  1. Look through the pictures posted on my FB page and choose the ones you like.  Each card has a letter as it's description to the right of the picture.
  2. Click this link (  You will fill in your e-mail adress, mine ( & the amount you are paying me (click here for pricing guide:!/ServingInSeattle/notes).
  3. In your "note to seller", specify which cards you want.  For the Scripture Card Pack, you will receive 10 random pictures of my choice OR 10 of the same pictures of your choice. Please specify when ordering ("random scripture card pack", "ten of picture M", etc.).  If ordering a personalized pack, please let me know the name & the picture of your choice in your "note to seller."
  4. After your purchase, I will send you a confirmation of your order & an approximate date of delivery.  I will mail your purchase via USPS First Class Mail.  I can mail your cards directly to you or to an address you specificy if they are a gift.

What the pictures look like on the cards

How your cards will be wrapped before packaging

Saturday, September 22, 2012


No, mother, this isn't a post about our childhood cat (as you can guess, was named "Blackberry").  This  post is about the real, actual berry.

One of the fabulous things about living in the Pacific Northwest is the abundance of fruits and vegetables.  Alot of them are brought over from Eastern Washington, but many are found in our own backyard.  Literally.

Apparently, the Himalayan blackberry really loves living in Seattle.  They grow everywhere! (Southerners, think Kudzu)  By the side of the road, behind office buildings, along sidewalks, bordering parking lots, you get the picture.  Last year, I vaguely noticed them and had interest, but this year I knew more.   I knew that I had to figure out where to get some.  So starting about mid-August, I'd notice the berries starting to ripen.  Yum!  But to my great dismay, the juiciest ones were always off cliffs or in peralis ditches or RIGHT beside the busiest roads.  The conversation I imaged having with the cop, and more importantly Jason, as to why I caused a 10-car pile up never seemed to justify the urge to stop. ("But officier, can't you see how big those berries are?!")

So what's a girl to do?  Thankfully for me, I have a big God that cares about little things.  I didn't pray about, I didn't come to Him with my longing for those succulant, little berries (insert licking lips sound here), I just continued looking for a fence that I could scale to try and get some.  But He knew my desires and provided for me anyway...

One day after church, I noticed a couple in the kitchen with a couple of big containers packed with blackberries.  "Where did you get those?!"  "Um, behind the church" was Amy's sweet reply to the berry-crazed woman.  Are you kidding me?  Behind the church?!  I had been willing to risk life and limb to try and get those berries and all I had to do was walk out the back door of the church?!

So at the next available opportunity (5 minutes later), I herded all the boys out and we picked the first of many containers of blackberries.   And yes, they were as delicious as I had imagined.  I just couldn't believe how easily assessible they were. 

Isn't that just like God?  Something that I thought was difficult and literally out of reach, He made available so even my baby boy could enjoy them.  What an awesome God we have!

"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"         Matthew 7: 9-11

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Tale of Two Ladies

This week sealed the fate of two women from my past.  They weren't really friends, rather godly women that I looked up to.  We never hung out, went shopping together or had play dates with our kids.  But the news of their lives still had a impact on me.

The first is Willie Dupree.  She is a lady I befriended while we lived in Halls.  Over the course of several months & years, we developed a special friendship.  She feel in love with each of our boys after they were born.  I think she considered them her grandchildren.  You see, Willie never had children.  Talk about unfair.  She had a heart of gold & would have been a wonderful mother.  Her husband died 20+ years ago, so I can't imagine the loneliness she has felt.  But so strong in her faith in the Lord.

Her birthday was at the end of July.  I tried to call for several days.  No answer.  I finally called the church secretary at our old church.  She couldn't find out anything either.  I was in distress and had come to the conclusion that she must have finally died.  So on Wednesday, I started calling the funeral homes.  I couldn't think of any other way to figure out how to find her.  After the 3rd funeral home, I finally found her.  Alive!  She had set up a plan with the funeral home, but hadn't used it yet. :-)  They gave me her next of kin's number and I was able to learn where she was.  She was moved this summer to an assisted living center (finally! She just turned 95!) and I was able to get her name and address.  Yay!  I pray that I will get to visit with her again on our next trip back to TN.

Mrs. Willie and baby Gideon
 The second story has a happy ending, just of a different sort.  Dottie Danley, rather suddenly, went home to the Lord.  Even though I haven't seen or talked to her in years, I was still shocked and deeply sad when I learned the news.

Dottie was the wife of the pastor at the first church that Jason served at.  Talk about a godly woman.  She was such an encouragement to me and a model of what I could only hope to become when I grow up (because I'm certainly not there yet!).  I know she had faults, as we all do, but she always displayed grace, elegance and wisdom when I talked to her.  And a great sense of humor!  I remember a story she told me once of trying to clean up a spot from her carpet.  She scrubbed & scrubbed at that spot only to discover that it was a shadow cast from the window pane.  I can still see her laughing at herself over it.

Mrs. Dottie (stolen from my friend Jennifer's FB page).  All my pictures with her are pre-digital. :-(

Even though these two ladies really have no effect on my day to day life, they still have affected who I've become.  And that's exactly what I would like to be remembered for.  As a woman that loved the Lord and encouraged others to do the same.  So thank you Dottie & Willie for doing just that.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Divine Appointment

Those of us who are believers in Christ know that things don't happen by chance.  Dumb luck.  Coincidence.  No, we know that God has a plan for all of us.

Romans 8:28 is thrown around alot in the Christian circles as to "why" things happen.  I think this verse almost gets used too much.  But still, it was the first one that popped into my head after what happened today.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
I met a woman today that there is no reason in the world I should have met.  Indulge me to back up 1 year to explain why...

When I realized that we really were going to be moving here, I did what any normal woman would do-I started decorating our new house.  Yes, the house I had never seen & didn't know the logistics of at all.  I knew I wanted to change the boys' decor & picked "camping/outdoors" as their new theme.  I found the bedding I wanted (which was, of course, no longer made), but knew I "had" to have it.  And, once again, I did what any normal woman on a tight budget does, I turned to craigslist.   But not just to TN craigslist, the WHOLE U.S.  I stalked every major city I had the time for typing in "woolrich" trying to find this particular bedding (which was going for a killing on ebay).  I can remember calling Alaska one night only to find out that she had already sold it.  Like I said, I "had" to have this bedding.

See!  Isn't it super cute?!?  I eventually found 3 sets total (thanks again Nicolle & Ashley!)

Where did I finally find that first set?  SEATTLE, of course.  So I e-mailed Nicolle (an almost perfect stranger at this point) to see if she could pick it up.  She went to the lady's house, got it & saved that bedding for us in her basement until we moved & got a place to actually use it.

Fast forward to today.  Our fam loaded up in the minivan to go to a park today for play time & a picnic lunch.  On the way I asked if we could stop at some yard sales.  We turned down a few random streets on our way to the park.  At one random sale, I saw a little bag (marked "free") with the print from the boys' bedding on it.  I asked the lady if I could have it because it matched the bedding in my boys' bedroom.  After a couple of minutes, she said "Were you the one that bought that bedding?"  I thought she was asking if I had been to the sale earlier in the day.  But, you guessed it, she was the same lady that Nicolle had bought my bedding from 1 year ago.  IS THAT NOT CRAZY?!?  Of all the yard sales in all of Seattle, I wandered onto hers.  And she's not just some random lady either.  Oh no.  She's been a PASTOR'S WIFE for over 15 years!!  If that isn't a divine appointment I don't know what is.

So don't let Satan trick you into thinking that you "just happened" to run into that that old friend you were praying for or it was "by chance" when that check for $400 came in the mail after you got a bill for $400 earlier in the week (which also happened to us this week!!!!!!)  God is in the details of your life.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Yesterday I was having a major pity party.  The "no one likes me, everybody hates me, I think I'll eat a can of worms" kind-of party.  I'm not sure exactly why, but it just kind-of consumed me for the day.  I knew what I had to do, but I kept putting it off until laying in bed last night.  I know that when I get into those funks, the best medicine is to make a "Thankful" list to remind myself how much God has blessed me.  So here's the list I came up with.

Things I'm thankful for:
1. My 3 healthy boys. Luke's heart defect corrected itself in the womb, Jonah wasn't hit by that car, and Gideon didn't crack his skull when he fell off the playground.  I mean, really, I could probably just stop right here.
2. A husband that loves me. And doesn't beat me. Doesn't take advantage of or lie to me. Doesn't grow tired of playing "monster" with the boys. Doesn't schedule anything on our date night.  And doesn't complain too much when he has to attend my pity parties.
3. My Tennessee life. This includes my family that loves me dearly, my soul sisters that I can call at a moments notice, southern nature (thunder, lightening bugs, cardinals, etc.) & Chick-fil-a (that I know is secretly dying to open up a store just down from my house).  I will probably never have that life again, but it's safely stored in my heart forever.
4. Food. I have yet to miss a meal because I had to. Even if it's leftovers of leftovers, I always have something to eat.
5. Hot water. Anyone that has done any kind of mission work knows what a luxary this is.
6. Sight. Even if I go blind tomorrow, think of all the wonderful things I have seen in my lifetime! Babies, rainbows, mountains, faces, flowers, oceans, unicorns, well, you get the picture.
7. Technology. Not sure which is my favorite, but I would be lost without my washing machine, dishwasher, indoor plumbing, wi-fi & minivan!

Wow! I'm feeling better already. I was shooting for 10, but I don't think I need to go a bit further. I AM SO RICH! I think I might be the richest girl on earth.

Thank you, God, for reminding me that all good things come from you.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows"  .James 1:17

Taken this spring at the Washington Arboretum

Sunday, June 10, 2012

# 4

No, I'm not announcing that we are expecting our fourth child (don't lie, I know you were thinking that!)  I'm referring to the fourth commandment, as in Charlton Heston with the stone tablets commandments.  Do you remember which one that is?  Murder?  Nope.  Stealing?  Nope.  It's the one about the Sabbath.
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.  On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner (alien) who is within your gates.  For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.  Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."  Exodus 20:8-11
Wow!  Did you remember it was that long?  I didn't.  In fact, that commandment gets more words dedicated to it that any of the other commandments do.  I'm not at all saying the fourth commandment is more important than any of the others, but if God dedicated that much space to it, then He must want me to take notice.

Unfortunately, I never really have.  Don't get me wrong, I pitch a fit if I have to miss my Sunday afternoon nap for any reason, but I don't think naps are exactly what God had in mind.  For whatever reason, I started thinking about my response to this commandment.  I decided I wanted to change what my response was to  Sunday.  (Which is a whole other discussion; so if you don't know why Christians celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday, I think this link gives a pretty accurate description:

About a month ago, I actively started trying to make changes.  After about week two, I shared this with my friend Jennie.  She asked "What does that exactly mean?"  Since I was still fleshing out the logistics of it, I didn't give a very good answer, but it made me think harder about what & why I was doing this.  For me, I decided observing the Sabbath meant that I would take a break from the things that I do most.  What I needed to "rest" from.  I have added a thing or to each week, but this is my list so far:
1.  No laundry.
2.  No dishes.
3.  No e-mail.
4.  No craigslist or e-bay.
5.  No checking to see what Kate Middleton wore or what crazy celebrity baby name came out this week.
6.  No Facebook.

Those last three are the hardest!  I have decided that I'm not going to be legalistic about this, though.  I got on FB today to wish a "Happy Anniversary" to 2 dear friends (and to post this blog!), but I did struggle to resist clicking on my messages or scrolling through the newsfeed.  (Ahh, unchecked messages!)  On the other hand, I have thoroughly enjoyed divorcing the dishes & leaving the laundry for a day.  I have to bust my tail until late on Saturday night to get all my chores done, but isn't God worth it.  I mean, I always do that when dinner guests come over, so why can't I do that for my God?

Now be warned, that if you, too, decide to try to make a change to your Sabbath, that doesn't mean that the world is going to rest, too.  The baby will still throw up, the car will still get a flat tire, the neighbor's dog will still poop by your front door, or whatever else Satan can think to throw at you.  But I'm determined to not give up that easily!  I want to learn to "guard" my Lord's day and somehow figure out how to "keep it holy".  Philippians 4:13!!

Probably NOTHING at all what Moses looked like, but, eh,  you get the picture.

Monday, June 4, 2012

One Year

It's hard for me to believe, but yes, we have now lived in Seattle for one year.  Has it flown by? Yes.  Does it seem like we've been here forever?  Yes.  Am I still homesick?  Yes.  Do I still cry?  Yes..but not as often.

Those first few hours & days here are, quite honestly, a blur.  Much of it was so raw that I think I've just chosen to forget details.  It's good, though, to reflect on the past and remember some of those hard-to-live-through details.

After a last meal at, you guessed it, Chick-fil-A, we flew out of Nashville on our non-stop flight to Sea-Tac.  Five long hours (plus a two hour time difference) with 3 small boys is enough to make anyone crazy!  But the big boys enjoyed most of the plane ride and were excited as we started to land.
I, on the other hand, was nowhere near as cute or excited.  As the pilot said, "We are now approaching Seattle.  Please return to your seats & prepare for landing", I was very close to having a panic attack.  I wanted to scream, "TURN AROUND!!  Don't land this plane. TURN AROUND NOW!!"  Thankfully, to Jason, I didn't and managed to exit the plane that had been a hell hole for the past five hours (non-stop flight with a 15 month old, need I say more?).

As we emerged from the airport, the boys got to see Seattle in all it's glory for the first time.  It was 50°ish & drizzling.  Since the raindrops were so light & large , Luke said "Is it snowing?"  Tears in check, I got into the van that was to be our vehicle for the next few weeks.  A church member had sweetly let us borrow his 1980s carpeted van.  It was fully functional and was big enough for all of us, but you can imagine it only added to my emotional state.

We had arranged to stay with 2 church members until we could find a place to live (that's right, we DID move across the country without knowing where we were going to live).  Mike & Nicolle, whom are now some of our dearest friends/almost family, were the ones that took us in during those first few weeks in June.  Luke later referred to their house as "our first house" here, which delighted Nicolle.

Nicolle had dinner ready for us when we arrived to their house from the airport.  We just sat down at the table when Luke said, "When are we going home?"  Yep.  You guessed it.  That's.When. I. LOST. it.  I ran to the bathroom and sobbed my eyes out for the next 10 minutes or so.  Jason later said that Luke wasn't confused, he just knew that Mike & Nicolle's house wasn't going to be our new home and wanted to know when were we going there.

The cake that was made for us at our "Meet Martha Lake" party.  When Jonah saw it, he said "Is it my birthday?!"

The next days and weeks were about the same as that night.  It didn't take much to set off the waterworks.  Our first Sunday at Martha Lake, I sat in the ladies Sunday School class.  About half way through the class, I looked around and thought, "This isn't MY class.  These aren't MY friends.  I'm supposed to be in Tennessee.  What am I doing here?!"  My now dear friend, Jennie, followed me out of the class and walked around the church with me, while I tried to get it together before Jason's first sermon.

Whew!  I'm certainly thankful to past all that drama.  Am I sure that this was the right move for our family?  Yes.  Do I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is where God wants us to be?  Absolutely.  Do I still cry?  Yes...just not as often.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Home. Haven. Nest. Refuge.

Today my maternal grandparents moved from their home of 40+ years.  Since Christmas, they have been looking for an assisted living facility that meets their needs & makes them happy.  They finally found a place a couple of months ago.  The wheels were then set in motion for them to put their house on the market & pack up to move.

While I was in TN earlier this month, I got to spend alot of time at their house with them.  I got to help my Murr go through dishes, sort through the attic & decide what to take to their new home.  About 2 days into the process, I realized how blessed I was.  I know most people had to do all the sorting, cleaning & selling after their grandmother passed away.  Not me.  Murr was right there beside the whole time.  I got to hear about the time that she & Grandpa picked out the same platter from an antique shop...on separate visits!  Or the time she went all the way to Japan looking for a new set of dishes, but ended up buying the set she had her eye on at home.

May 15.  I almost feel like someone has died.  Their house means more to me than my childhood home ever could.  Not that I didn't have a wonderful house or love growing up there, but there was something magical about 5042 Lakeview Drive.  Easter egg hunts.  Snacks under the arbor.  Picnics on the patio.  Eating chocolate bars out of Murr's "secret" hiding place.  Being sprayed from head to toe so the "chiggers" wouldn't bite us.  Popcicles melting down my arm on a hot summer night.  Sitting in my grandpa's lap on his riding lawnmower.  Hours & hours under the "Fun Fountain" water toy.  I could go on and on.

Thank you Josh and Millie
for sharing Lakeview with us, and
giving my mind a place I can always run home to.

5042 Lakeview Drive
The back patio (notice they are both eating popsicles!)

Murr & Gideon having one last snack

"Super Duper" grandpa sorting through an old cheese box from his shed

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I'll take snow over rain any day, but SIX days?!  Yep.  We are on day # 6 of off and on snow.  And between the power going out & my three hoodlums blessings from above, I can't seem to get a decent blog written.  So I've decided to start this morning & just type what I can, when I can.  So if the following sentences sound like the ramblings of a half-insane person, rest assured, that's exactly what they are.
My boys climbing a tree in the field across from our church

I love snow.  Really.  I like to play in it, look at it, take pictures in it and of it, and listen to songs about it.  But when you add kids into the mix, it's a whole different ball game.  There is a "Family Circus" comic strip of the kids in the family running inside & screaming "It's snowing!".  All the children are shown having these visions of all the fun that snow will bring (sledding, snowmen, snowballs, etc.)  The mom?  Her vision is of putting on snow bibs, pulling off wet snow boots & doing extra loads of laundry.  That's how I feel right about now.  As much as I need to get out of the house at least once a day this week, I inevitibly know that's what the outing will bring.

Our church (notice how snow covered Larch Way in front of the church is!)

I know that this snow is unusual for Seattle, which does make it alot like TN.  "Big snows" are few and far between both here and there.  The main difference, that I can tell, is the temperature.  In Tennessee, it could snow on Monday and be totally melted by Wednesday.  The temperature fluxuates in such a short time period there (hence all the tornados).  In Seattle, it's 32° today, 33° tomorrow & 40° the next.  Drivers in Seattle & Tennessee (myself included, right Ang?) are the same, though.  They can't handle the snowy roads!!  Everybody that didn't go get their bread/milk/eggs HAS to get out in the snow & will, mostly definitely, end up in the ditch.

The view from our living room

It's 3:15 and still snowing.  The weathermen reported that it was supposed to stop snowing YESTERDAY at noon.  I guess they forgot who's still really in charge of it all. The God of Wonders who created the weather.

Same field as from above.  I ♥ snow pictures!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


One of the joys (ha-ha) of the flood ( is getting to move into our apartment.  Again.  There are boxes everywhere, my Hope Chest is still sitting in front of the fireplace, and I'm hoping that Jason doesn't leave me before it's all back into place (it's hard for a neat freak to marry a pack rat). 

Our move from a 1790 sq. ft. house (with full attic: -click on the first picture to see what I mean) to a 1250 sq. ft. apartment was a challenge.  We had a huge yard sale before we moved, got rid of stuff after we got here, and we still had so much that we had to store some at our friends' house (thanks M & N!).  All that to say, I feel like God used the flood to tell me that we I still had too much stuff.

So while I'm putting it all back into it's rightful home, I'm, yet again, getting rid of more junk.  One of my favorite finds of the week was my old stamp album.  Remember those?  I'm not sure how many years I collected stamps, but I know it helped me through those awkward preteen years.  In the process, I found over $25 in uncirculated stamps.  Woo-hoo!  I had forgotten what an art form stamps were and enjoyed looking at over the 200+ years of American and world history.  Those self-stick fakes they have now seem so tacky compared to the masterpieces of years past.

Tonight, I've been knee-deep in one of my "letter boxes."  These are large rubbermaid boxes that contain every tangible memory I've ever come in contact with.  That means letters, concert tickets, name tags, IDs, birthday get the picture.  I don't really know why I needed to keep them all, but here they still sit.  I couldn't bear to go through them before or after the move, so they just got shoved in the closet. 

Going through all these letters (and yes, I have to re-read each one before I put it in the "keep" or "toss" pile) has reminded me of how blessed I am.  Right now I'm in the Summer of 1997, a.k.a. "My Disney Summer."  So many of you wrote me letters, sent me packages, and kept in touch with me while I worked at DisneyWorld.  Thank you.  Seriously.  For taking the time to invest in me and love on me.  I am so blessed.

One of 3 (maybe more!) boxes of memorabilia I'm going through

My work ID for the summer I worked at Disney.  Miss that hair!