Friday, December 28, 2007

Over the River and Through the Woods

On Tuesday we started a family Christmas Tradition. We took a long walk through Holly Springs with Baily. It was great fun to get out of the house and explore nature for a while.

A true family bonding experience, we had to cross multiple creeks and worked together to miss too much muddiness.

Oh yes, the football came with us too! Can't have boys outside with balls to play with.

Questions about Happiness and Suffering

Over Christmas there was a special on 60 minutes that featured Joel Osteen, check out his website for more info about his ministry.

There is some controversy about his message, and I cannot pretend to have read any of his books or even to know exactly what he teaches, but the TV commentary got me thinking. They labeled his core message "The Prosperity Gospel", basically if you follow these steps... God will bless you.

I am also reading another book that sends a similar message about delighting in the Lord and a lot of it talks about how God wants us to be happy. I was starting to get a little uncomfortable, until the author pointed out that earthly happiness is different than heavenly happiness... I can buy that.

Another book I am reading talks about the life of Paul, the apostle, let me fill you in on a few things that happened to this champion of the Christian faith: shipwrecked, homeless, depressed, jailed, beaten...

To me, teaching that God wants us to be happy and will "bless" us can be really confusing, especially if you follow the teachings of Jesus, who said, "In this world you will have trouble..."

But, for me the struggle comes with how the troubles and the blessings work themselves out here and now. For a while I thought, "If I'm not suffering, I'm not living for God." So I inflicted suffering upon myself and looked for difficult situations to put myself in... I don't think this is what Paul or Jesus taught...

And, I have a wonderfully blessed life, a wonderful husband, plenty to eat, a great house, friends, family, health, lots of fun... all these things are great! But, I don't think they are the point...

The question is, where do I find my joy? what if I had no earthly blessings? Would I be content in any circumstance? Why or Why not?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Last one for Today

I realize that I am post happy today, but I have so many pictures to share and thoughts in my head to get out. So, this is the final post for today. I promise to share my Christmas adventure photos tomorrow!

This post is a bit more reflective... The book I was reading this morning was talking about trusting God and the author points out that she has no trouble trusting God for the big things, like her salvation or eternal significance, but its the day to day choices and anxieties that she has a hard time trusting in...

How true is this for you? I get this. I get that its easy to believe in my head and heart that God is powerful, forgiving, mighty to save, etc... but its harder to believe that he cares about the daily struggle, has experienced the internal struggles about weather to do a puzzle or go to the gym, about what to make for dinner, about how to sow a button, about which job to choose, about how much to donate to charity this time, about how to decorate my house, about what to say to a group of people who are looking to me for advice, about sharing parts of my life with new friends, about being vulnerable, and so much more...

The cool thing about Christmas time is that when I thinking of Jesus... he came as baby, he tasted lemon's for the first time, he was dependent on Mary to feed him, he experienced abandonment by friends, he was angry at times, his feet got dirty and cracked walking through the dirt, he had friends, he told stories...

We have a God that not only is huge and infinite, but is small and human, that connects with the deep places and the shallow places...

Along with the author of this book, I get into trouble when I try to take on my daily lists and desires all by myself, when I make things manageable... For ME... The truth is, I need to trust in Jesus for EVERYTHING! My hope for everything is in him. When I think this way, the little choices loose power, create less anxiety and I experience more peace...

Christmas: Christ with us!

My husband

Too bad, but this Christmas my handsome husband was a bit sick... I think something has been going around. Having an upset stomach didn't keep him from having a great time though...

Isn't he good looking?

He gave me a spice rack that I am getting ready to go put together.

We are also going to take a trip to Wilmington. When we were dating we spent the weekend there for Valentine's day and discovered a delicious restaurant that we have been dying to go back to. This is where we discovered one of our favorite wine's.

This was the Christmas for giving weekend get aways... for my parents, for his parents, dinner for Corey and Danielle. I think its essential to continue to date and have romance while you are married. Hopefully these experiences will provide an opportunity for all to do that!

A few pics

Sunday afternoon all of us gathered together to have a delicious meal at Ginny and Tom's house. Its fun to see all of our brothers together.

It took several tries to get a good shot of Baily, but she is a pretty doggy! Did I mention that Baily had 3 stockings?

I worked on Christmas Eve day at NoFo and my fam came to say hello. Shiloah decided to try eating lemons for the first time. Her face was precious. Shiloah is one of the happiest babies I have ever seen. She has such a wonderful smile and a joyous presence. I have heard that she is a lot like me :)

So much to share

I am going to have to do several posts to capture the past few days... they have been absolutely fabulous! I have thoroughly enjoyed being around family and friends to celebrate Jesus' birth.

Several things to celebrate:

1) Sleeping past 9 three days in a row (for me this a huge accomplishment)!
2) Cleaning under our bed (first time in two years)
3) Cranium Championships with Matt's family (we rock at this game)
4) Getting countless packs of Orbit in my stocking (thanks mom)
5) Delicious meals (Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie is my favorite)
6) Puzzle time!
7) Singing songs to our King
8) Playing with kids
9) Starting a new family tradition (walking in the woods with Baily)
10) Learning about Matt and his family (pictures to come)

And so much more...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Reflection for the Day

For Paul, "grace" is shorthand for "what God has done in Christ Jesus"

I am reading a book by N.T. Wright that my brother gave me, and took this quote from day 16 while reflecting on what Christmas is all about.

What did God do through Jesus?
What does God continue do to through Jesus?

I don't profess to have all of the answers, but here a few of my thoughts at this time of year...

When Jesus came to earth he made God accessible to everyone. Before this individuals could not approach God without the fear of death or having to be perfectly ceremonially clean.... Jesus walked among people, Jesus broke all the rules of who to hang out with and what was most important, Jesus was a friend to the average... Grace through Jesus...

As a baby Jesus was vulnerable, God made a sacrifice to come here and be a part of the world, Jesus was a baby, he probably had colds, he probably got dirty, he wore sandels, he went through the Jewish school system... His birthday... Christmas... Grace coming "down"...

Jesus knows what its like to be betrayed, lonely, hurting, abandoned, disappointed, loved, cared for, cherished, angry, and more... God identifies with us... grace through Jesus...

I could go on and on, but I won't here... please post your thoughts on what God is doing through Jesus... Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Top Songs of the 90's


I love the end of the year because TV stations do special count downs that help me to reminisce about the past.

I grew up in the 90s and pride myself on knowing most lyrics to songs that came on the radio while I was at gymnastics practice, high school dances, driving in my first car, hanging out with friends, making up dances, and just being silly.

I typically can't hold attention to shows that well, but this one kept me glued to the couch because I couldn't wait to see what else they were going to bring out.

Do you agree with #1? What memories do any of these songs bring for you?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My gum addiction

As you may know, I have an addiction... chewing gum! Orbit dark blue to be exact... on bad weeks I will chew an entire pack in one day. I'm not sure if its stress, or bad tastes in my mouth or the need to be doing something... but, sometimes I swallow it, sometimes I spit it out, sometimes I take one piece out to only replace it with the next one.

I have tried to quit several times over the past year... still chewing away :(

But, today I found this article. It's verdict... gum is not bad for you :)

Updates on Life

These last few weeks have been full and fun with weddings, parties, friends, and getting ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

I haven't posted pictures in a while, so here are a few from our recent adventures.

Mandy and Kim did an excellent job directing Melissa's wedding! We all had fun playing with your kidos! Way to go Bernie!

Melissa was absolutely beautiful. I'm excited for you and Brandon's adventure!!!

In the Christmas spirit, I took part in my first craft party... several others were very productive (way to go Ladies).

I on the other hand, got it in my head that I would do something with wine corks... Jonathan tried to help me out, but I was unsuccessful.

Its alright because I got to finish making our video from our cross country trip . I tried posting the video here, but it didn't work. I'll have to save that for a future blog post.

The annual Smith Family Christmas celebration was a blast as well. Its a bit different this year, last year Shannon and Kim announced Palmer was in Kim's belly, and now he is actually here!

Matt and I got caught under the mistletoe...

We had lots of laughs with friends and even made it to round 8 in Catch Phrase. Way to go team!

Well, this post is amazingly long so I'm done for now.

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Check this out :


The Hathaways sent one to us... they don't take long to make!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Just call me Master

At 5:45PM last night I finished the last of my PhD work (at least for the moment). I still have a bit of grading to do for the courses I am assisting, but as for my stress level... no more performance requirements! :)

It is a bitter sweet feeling for a couple reasons:

1) The exam I took last night was very difficult. I usually feel confident and good about myself when leaving tests... like I knew what I was talking about and must be better than everyone else... (have I ever mentioned that I am competitive and struggle with pride?) But, last night I felt like... I hope I did alright... what ever I did was the best I could do... and I have no opinions about how others are doing in comparison to me...

2) I'm excited about the next steps in my journey, but will miss the people that I have been around for the past 5 months. I have learned a lot, not only about Public Administration, but also about myself and the world around me this semester and am thankful for that.

So, please just call me Master Traci! Dr. Rowe may happen at some point in the future, but for now I am excited to be a master communicator and a more humble individual (I hope).

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fun Fun Fun

Why do we take ourselves so seriously?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Honey on my lips

Over the weekend I had two conversations with friends that pushed me in my relationship with God.

1) One friend said like it was nothing, so I read John over Thanksgiving and then Mark last week... we then talked about questions we were struggling with and how the Spirit of God transforms our lives from the inside out.

2) Another friend reminded me what its like to desire so deeply to understand who God is and what his word is telling us. She compared reading the Bible to reading a good novel, not able to get enough.

These two instances helped me to reconnect with the power of the Word to transform our lives, with the desire to know God, to seek, to ask questions, to be renewed everyday.

I say this because in conversation #2, I had the Bible with me that I have had since I was 16. There are highlights, underlines, folded pages, handouts from bible studies and conferences, etc. My friend said she couldn't wait for the day that her Bible looked like mine... I am thankful for the richness of growing up in a relationship with God, but I also need to be reminded that I there are many more highlighting and page bending opportunities ahead of me...

Sunday, December 2, 2007


So, the papers that I have been so excited about finishing are not performing as well as my typical "traci standards"... see the title for my grade on the psych paper...

I have to say that I have mixed feelings. There is a part of me that is just glad to be done and thinks it doesn't matter and I'm glad that I'm not stressed, but then there is the part of me that has woken up at night thinking about all of the ways that I could make the next paper better.

I think to myself, I still have time...
I could add in this thing, or that thing...
what about this idea...
what do my professors think?
I am letting people down?
Does it matter?
Should I be upset?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

One step closer

Again I must announce with glee that my second final paper is completed... 11 pages... power point... everything... coming to a close :)

I must admit that I could have done better on both of my final papers. I feel a bit internally conflicted about that because I know that I have better insights to share, but I don't have the desire right now to come up with them or push myself to integrate one more article or perspective. I confess...

But, I know the work is good enough to pass (or at least I hope). I even think my presentation is going to be good.

So, what's left?
2 Final Exams
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can

The tip of a new foundation?

My life has taken some unique twists and turns over the past couple of years...

Grad School
Planting a church
Brother moving to Raleigh from seminary
Friendships across culture, race, religion, sexual orientation
Learning about human trafficking
Buying a house
Thinking about starting a family
Identity crisis: externally and internally
Fear, shame, guilt, anger, pain
Grace, joy, freedom, healing

On of things I am thinking about now is what it means to truly follow Jesus. I feel like God says, there is more than you think... there is more to ask, more to learn, more to seek, more to become...

Corey and I were talking the other day and I asked a question about assurance of salvation... he said thats not the main question that bible seeks to answer... the bible is teaching us about God, knowing God, and understanding a world made new in his ways, Jesus is "God made known" to us... His message is revolutionary for the world, more than understanding that we can be forgiven individually. We can and are forgiven and redeemed as individuals, but thats not the entire point...

So what is the point? Where does the message start now? I am seeking and wondering...

Jesus I trust you. Jesus I want to know what your life was like when you walked on the earth. Thank you that you are alive and your Spirit lives within me. Help me to walk in step with your Spirit. Bring me closer in relationship with you. Show me how to breathe your Spirit in every part of my life. Help our community to truly seek your face and show it to the world. Amen

Monday, November 26, 2007


In my family we have a Thanksgiving tradition... the tradition takes place between the main meal and dessert... at first people are hesitant to share, but after we get into it we are all very "thankful" that we take the time to do it...

I start by placing unpopped, unbuttered popcorn kernels in napkins. Then I tie a ribbon around each one to keep the kernels in. We then place them around the table. Each person finds a bundle at their seat. Some people feel the pouch and trade for fewer kernels and others ask for the hefty portion. At some point we all open our napkins and count the kernels inside. The tradition is to say one thing that we are thankful for for each kernel.

We started this tradition because its so easy to get together over the holidays and talk about nothing or everything besides what are gathered to remember... how thankful we are... we are truly blessed.

This year we laughed a lot! My Uncle Melvin and cousin Bobby were particularly entertaining and sincere. I will share some of things that I am thankful for here:

My husband
changing leaves
my nieces
a loving family
being part of the church
nc state
our washer and dryer
the Bible
my health
and much more...

Friends with Babies

I know Jessica is waiting to see this picture of her little girl. Enjoy :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Extended Family

Last night Matt and I got to share dinner with my brother and his wife and Danielle's brother and fiance. My highlights will follow:

1) John Michael and Ann Parker are super fun... I think its even more than sharing a double name (Traci Rae :)
2) Lots of laughter about memories from our past that may be only appropriate to share with other family members.
3) Delicious meal... Thanks Danielle!
4) Bedtime hugs from Hannah
5) Razleberry pie that made me think of my mom... whom I get to see real soon.

I could go on and on and but, this experience just adds to things that I am thankful for.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

One Down, One to go!!

I just finished one of my final papers!!! This is the best feeling. I can't believe I actually eeked out 15 pages with my level of motivation these days, but I feel good about it and can move on to the next topic.

I really feel like running outside and shouting for joy, but its really cold and I'm only wearing my husbands bathrobe, so I think I will restrain myself and just shout for joy here...

YEAH. Can you feel my smile ? :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Joining a Revolution

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Lately I have been struggling with why the "gospel of Christ" is so important... I know it may be taboo to say that, but I have been so caught up in doing and going and seeing things in my own life and others lives that are difficult that I have felt distant or angry or unsettled in my faith... this morning I asked God to remind me what seeking him is all about.

He whispered the words above

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

High School friends

We recently got to attend a wedding for Scott, one of Matt's best buds from high school. It was a lot of fun and good to reconnect with people we hadn't seen in a while. Its tough to keep in touch with everyone that we would like to (even family). Sometimes I get sad about that and then other times I just know thats the way things go.

My mom recently went to a baby shower for one of my best friends from Roanoke and got to tell me how everyone was doing. I wish I could've been there, but its alright. I think we are all going to be in town for Thanksgiving. I can't wait to see everyone!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

N--C--State--- NCState!!!

Wolfpack Fans had a great weekend! I am glad to be one of them. We are now on a new path... 4-0 record for the second half of our season and I am hopeful.

This week's tailgate was a ton of fun! I love the early morning ones (I'm a morning person) so, I get to cook the pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs with cheese and drink champagne and OJ at the same time. There is not much better... okay there are several things that are better, but it is a lot of fun.

I got to bring a friend from school with me. She is great! I love making new friends and sharing life with those around me. Hopefully our tailgate crowd will only frow and grow. (Not necessarily for planning purposes, but for fun and friendship purposes).

Oh, yeah... back the football game. I took a picture of every time we kicked off after scoring. Final score 31-27 Wolfpack!!! It came down the wire, but I would expect nothing less from my team.

PS> on another note, I have been away from the blog world for a bit and hopefully will be back to include more than just my football musings this week... lots going on, but not processed enough to share with cyberspace yet.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Football Friends Food

Saturday was a great day! I got to run with Bobbi Jo in the morning. I love getting to know friends better :)

Then after a couple hours of school work, we went to Mandy and Daniel's for a home tailgate celebration. Aren't the boys cute (I mean tough, with the football and all)...

Some of our family came by to see us too! That was great! Congrats Liz and Elliot, I'm glad ya'll got to hang out with our friends too.

We then got to enjoy the Wolfpack Win!! I watched the cheerleaders and recollected my glory days, while Matt pensively considered the best next move for the Pack.

Afterwards we wanted to celebrate. But, our friends have a tough time deciding where to go... We can never decide where to eat and when we want to move from one location to the next. We missed the Ellis' in helping us to decide.

Finally, we picked mexican, but when we walked in to the deserted restaraunt and saw the the ten year old boy vacuuming at 10 minutes to close we decided to take Meredith's advice and hit up Chili's.

Good times with friends.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Competence, Autonomy, Relatedness

For all of the complaining that I have done about my academic life, I need to do some positive writing as well...

Ryan. M. R & Deci, E. L. (2001). On happiness and human potentials: A review of research on hedonic and eduaimonic well being. American Review of Psychology , 52(1), 141-146.

I just read this article and it made me think. It is part of the Work Motivation class that I am taking. Here is how the article concludes:

Perhaps the concern of greatest importance, not only for psychological theorists, but also for humanity, is the study of the relations between personal well-being and the broader issues of the collective wellness of humanity and the wellness of the planet. It is clear that, as individuals pursue aims they find satisfying or pleasurable, they may create conditions that make more formidable the attainment of well-being by others. An important issue, therefore, concerns the extent to which factors that foster individual well-being can be aligned or made congruent with factors that facilitate wellness at collective or global levels. Such research will one would hope, point the way towards means through which individuals can seek hedonic or eudaimonic outcomes in ways that are sustainable in the context of the four billion others who also aspire to be fully functioning and satisfied in this earthly life. p.146

This may be confusing without reading the entire article, but it points to again some of the concepts that were touched on at the conference I was just at and what I believe deep in my soul. I don't want to sound arrogant, but maybe I will...

Is research the way to find the answers to these questions? I don't think so, but maybe there is a way to make a connection?

I see this all so clearly because I just left a meeting with Jeff, Jason, and my brother where were talking about the core foundations of Visio Dei. When God is the center of these questions, we do have guidance on the ways to walk as individuals in connection with community toward discovering not only our role in this earthly life, but also in the bigger picture.

Learner: Our story, God's story, Our culture
Lover: God, One another, the world
Giver: Our character and gifts, As the church, In missional communitas

Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted... Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled... blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth... The first shall be last and the last shall be first... trust in God... don't worry about tomorrow... love one another as I have loved you... for God, who began a good work in you, will carry it to completion... folllow Jesus and he will make you fishers of men... freedom for the captives, release for the prisoners, sight for the blind... freedom from oppression... humility... gentleness... truth...

These things are made real in relationship with God and with others, in acceptance that we can't do it on our own, in realization that there is something more... in recognizing what our gifts are (Competence), with the ability and empowerment to use them (Autonomy), and in community with others who are reciprocally seeking Competence and Autonomy towards the kingdom of God (Relatedness)


I know this was real long, but I needed to get it out and I'm not ready to put it in an academic journal yet.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Justice and Jubille

Please take a moment to check out ths website Jubilee

My friend Amy did a fabulous job putting it all together, I am way impressed.

Please spread the word that David Batstone is coming to Vintage 21 on Thursday, Nov 8th at 7:30PM.

We can all celebrate freedom together.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tastes from the past

Yesterday afternoon I met a friend to talk about life including the various twists and turns we take on our journey towards discovering and embrasing our true identities. We met at McDonalds for an ice cream cone.

In the midst of thinking about my present and future I was sent to my past...

The first Young Life Camp I ever went to was in New York. Just outside the camp we stopped on a huge bus at McDonalds. While the (what seemed like forever) we waited in line, friendly people from McDonalds came to these high school kids providing free dream cones. I was shocked! What wonderful service. They said it was because we were having to wait so long and they were just being friendly and welcoming to their area... but, I will never forget the taste of that ice cream cone or the amazement of how generous the people were.

Once we got to the camp we learned that the program staff had been the ones posing as Mc emloyees (I'm not sure how they worked that out?). Pretty Cool!

So yesterday, as I licked my soft serve I was reminded of how wonderful Young Life is (not just for the ice cream of course) and how much God still has in store. When I was 15 I had no idea where I was going to be at 26.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Civic Engagement?

I am at a an Academic Conference for the Association of American Colleges and Universities. It is facinating in many ways and I am still processing as I write. The title of the conference is: Civic Learning at the Intersections: U.S. Diversity, Global Education, and Democracy's Unfinished Work.

So far I have heard some fabulous renound scholars speak about very practical issues concerning the role of higher education in developing civic agents that are able to participate in social change.

One of the reasons that I applied to the PhD program I am in was because I wanted to be able to help students recognize and build their capacities to do these very things. Recently I have been lost in the midst of figuring out if I even have the capacity to do these things, and still struggle a bit with that. However, part of my identity formation is recognizing my gifts and talents and how they intersect with the world around me. I have a ton of choices, as do the students I will work with and the faculty members who are here with me.

The Plennary speakers have provided insights that I agree with and point to some of the goals that Visio Dei has set out to be a part of as well. I think I see another intersection...

Harry Boyte spoke of the hope that we have to offer to students using a couple quotes 1) "We are the ones we've been waiting for"... realizing that we have the capacity to become who we are created to be 2) We do this by unlocking our gifts and talents and connecting them with whole of life... Does this sound familar to the body of Christ at all?

When we don't function to our capacity society suffers, individuals and communities need a sense of agency and the capacity to use their various talents in ways that benefit the common good. Our role as educators is help students recognize these talents and build their capacities to use them in a wholistic sense that integrates their lives with the lives of other in the communities in which they live... I can get excited about that.

Another speaker, L. Lee Knefelkamp said that we can't recognize our civic identities in isolation, but need to act them out and refine them in the context of community. A civic identity is intended to be one that develops the capcity for love, wisdom and courage in the face of challenge and difference and complexity... does this sound biblical at all?

I post this to say that it appears there are ways that my academic life can intersect with my spiritual life in a non over spiritualized way. I also post this to say that I have a TON to learn and process. I also have some questions...

Is Higher Education the "best" place to help people recognize their talents and how they intersect with the world? Maybe its just oe of the places... If we don't take that approach what are the implications?

Is Democracy the end goal of all of this? If not, what is? Does it matter how we define what democracy is?

If we are helping to develop students with the capacity for love, wisdom, and courage, can we do that without sharing the redemptive power of Jesus? What are the implications when we don't?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Family Fun

Tonight Matt and I had dinner with my brother and sister-in-law. It was delicious (thank you Danielle)!

Then we went together to work until midnight. I studied for my second midterm as a PhD student and Matt estimated a detailed job (he is actually still at the office as I am typing this, its 12:48AM).

So, My commentary is on how hard it is often to understand ourselves and to trust God in the process. Somehow my brother and I feel burdend to perform and perform well. We both (or I should speak for myself more so) want to live up to some standard that we have set for ourselves. I think this has to with what other people think, what we think God thinks, and what we think matters... its very complex inside the Paxton head...

I didn't think I was going to cry or be as honest as I was with them. I don't have a history of being completely honest with my brother (with out the aid of a therapist) and it felt good to be able to say exactly what I was feeling. My how we are growing!

I am encouraged. I am encouraged that they are taking 40 days to pray and seek God in the matters of their life. I am encouraged to listen to God and let go of some of the should's in my life. I am encouraged that I have a husband who loves me, laughs with me, and helps me to let go of perfection.

But Matt and I struggle too! We both are facing changes and challenges and questions of what our purpose is. Sometimes its chyrstal clear and sometimes is a mystery. We face jealousy and fear, but we live with hope and faith.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

State Fair

Last night I went to the North Carolina State Fair with some wonderful friends. I wish I had remembered my camera because then I could've posted pictures of huge pumpkinds, cows, sheep, racing pigs, racing ducks, delicious fried food and scary rides galore... If you can't picture it you need to go!

My recommendations:

1) Learn something about the state agriculture. Does anyone want to share a new fact they learned?
2) Go with a group of friends or a romantic date :) Sorry Matt is taken already.
3) Eat some fried OREOS, but stay away from the fried Reece's cups.
4) Try a root beer float (from the red tent) Jason's favorite.
5) Watch the pig races. I had never seen a pot belly before. Its pretty amazing.

Off to study for Mid Term #2

Monday, October 8, 2007

Update on Life

I feel like I have been distant from the blog world recently, and I have... but, just an update on life. Things are good, but busy. I'm thinking about how wonderful of friends that I have (see pics).

I am thankful for discipleship relationships that I had in college and continue to this day.

I am thankful for people who speak truth into my life and care for my whole being.

I am thankful for my wonderful husband. It was just our two year anniversary on Sunday. We went to dinner and got to walk around down town and spend time talking about a lot of life. This is so needed!! My feet hurt though, because I wore my awesome hot black high heals for the two-three mile treck around Glenwood and Fayetteville St. Man, fashion hurts.

I will never forget my mother's advice from a young age... always wear comfortable shoes :)

Anyways, I'm off for another busy week, my first midterm as a PhD student on Wednesday, reading, research, and writing... coupled with watching The Batchelor, Jubilee meetings, The Office, Meeting with friends who are sick and have praises, waiting expectantly for a new baby to come into the world, and hope for heaven on earth.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Watch this trailer

Human Trafficking is a serious problem in our world, both globally and locally. This movie is coming to theaters tomorrow, Sept. 28th. Unfortunately, its not in Raleigh yet, but watching this will give you a taste of why some of our hearts are breaking.

For those of you who are more into news, watch this... David Batstone will be in Raleigh, NC at some point in the near future... I am hopeful that we can bring peace in this area...

Monday, September 24, 2007


These are just a few of the recent pictures that I have taken... Last year, we didn't have children at our tailgate, or close friends and family that we truly hung out with on a regular basis who had kids... As you can see from these pictures NOW WE DO!

I will take a moment to brag on my husband, because, unlike his face in the pic (scroll down just a bit, you will get a laugh), he is truly wonderful with kids. Yesterday he sat and played with our niece Hannah for a while after church service. It was a beautiful thing :) But, I think when it comes to the really little ones, he is bit nervous.

Thanks Kim for letting us take part in caring for Palmer on Saturday. It was super hot at the game, so I retreated to the shade hoping to find Mandy, Shannon and Palmer. I did find daddy and baby and got to hold Palmer and walk around for a little bit. It was fun :)

But Mandy toughed it out in the sun to route for the Wolfpack-- You amaze me girl! She is one of the strongest and positive pregnant people that I have ever known.

I am truly thankful that I have great friends to share life with.