April 28, 2011

It's Here!


The big day has finally arrived! As you all know, I have a long-standing history with the Royal Family. Well, in my mind I do.



You see, I have been in love with Prince William since I was twelve. I never cared about N*Sync. I never blinked an eye at the Backstreet Boys. I had my sights set a bit higher.



Alas, it was not meant to be. However, I must say that I was given the best husband (and daughter!) I could EVER have dreamed of. My life really is a dream come true, and I am so thankful that I wasn't meant to be royalty. :)


Although I am 100% content and happy, William's wedding just isn't a day to be ignored. Oh no. It is to be CELEBRATED! And there's no one better to celebrate it with than my dear, devoted friend.....BROOKE! Brooke and I did London semester together in college and it solidified not only our friendship, but our total and utter devotion to the Royal Family. 

See?
Yes, Brooke is making the 5.5 hour drive from Mississippi to be with me on this most important of days. She should be arriving soon. My house is decorated for the occasion (no, I'm not kidding) and we're going to have an amazing viewing party tomorrow with my mom and sisters.

I think it's really neat how our parents' generation had Charles and Di, and now we have William and Kate. It's a right of passage to me, to watch and celebrate the pomp and pageantry of it all. I have totally basked in all of these Royal specials that have been on television, because I LOVE IT! I love all things English, especially the Royal Family, and I'm totally in my element. Why not have fun and live it up on wedding day!?

I can't wait to show you pictures of our weekend. I've been looking forward to it for months--no, years!

Cheers to Will and Kate!

April 26, 2011

Testing!

I am testing out BlogPress, so I can blog from my phone if I feel so led :) I always blog on our PC (we don't have a laptop), and I enjoy the act of sitting at a traditional computer to blog. How techie does that sound---sitting at a "traditional computer!"

Anyway, just wanted to see if this works. I hope you've had a great Easter weekend. Spring is here and we have a busy schedule ahead, but it's all good things. :)

Happy Tuesday!


April 24, 2011

He is Risen!

This is the song our choir sang this morning. This video is from Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, and it was amazing being able to sing this song. I meant every word! (Pause my playlist to hear the video.)



Happy Easter!

April 22, 2011

Good Friday

There's really so much to say on Good Friday. It's a somber day, and I really do feel myself being more reflective. It's unreal that God--the Creator of the universe, who holds the entire cosmic galaxies and time itself in His hands, would care enough for mankind to satisfy His own judgment by sending His very Son. The choice that mankind made (to sin) was all ours, and yet God chose to watch His own, beloved, perfect Son be unfairly tried, beaten beyond recognition, made to carry a heavy beam through town, and then have nails driven into his flesh. For us. For me.

All of these thoughts led me to research more about crucifixion. I don't believe I can appreciate what my Jesus did for me if I don't get a visual image in my head. Below is some of what I found. Read this with Jesus in mind.

Crucifixion was often performed to terrorize and dissuade the onlookers from perpetrating the crimes punishable by it. Victims were left on display after death as warnings so that others who attempt dissent might be forewarned. Crucifixion was usually intended to provide a death that was particularly slow, painful (hence the term excruciating, literally "out of crucifying"), gruesome, humiliating, and public, using whatever means were most expedient for that goal. Crucifixion methods varied considerably with location and time period.

The Greek and Latin words corresponding to "crucifixion" applied to many different forms of painful execution, from impaling on a stake to affixing to a tree, to an upright pole (a crux simplex) or to a combination of an upright (in Latin, stipes) and a crossbeam (in Latin, patibulum).[6]

In some cases, the condemned was forced to carry the crossbeam on his shoulders to the place of execution. A whole cross would weigh well over 300 pounds (135 kilograms), but the crossbeam would weigh only 75–125 pounds (35–60 kilograms).[7] The Roman historian Tacitus records that the city of Rome had a specific place for carrying out executions, situated outside the Esquiline Gate,[8] and had a specific area reserved for the execution of slaves by crucifixion.[9] Upright posts would presumably be fixed permanently in that place, and the crossbeam, with the condemned person perhaps already nailed to it, would then be attached to the post.

The person executed may have been attached to the cross by rope, though nails are mentioned in a passage by the Judean historian Josephus, where he states that at the Siege of Jerusalem (70), "the soldiers out of rage and hatred, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest."[10] Objects used in the crucifixion of criminals, such as nails, were sought as amulets with perceived medicinal qualities.[11]

While a crucifixion was an execution, it was also a humiliation, by making the condemned as vulnerable as possible. Although artists have depicted the figure on a cross with a loin cloth or a covering of the genitals, writings by Seneca the Younger suggest that victims were crucified completely nude.[12] When the victim had to urinate or defecate, they had to do so in the open, in view of passers-by, resulting in discomfort and the attraction of insects. Despite its frequent use by the Romans, the horrors of crucifixion did not escape mention by some of their eminent orators. Cicero for example, in a speech that appears to have been an early bid for its abolition,[13] described crucifixion as "a most cruel and disgusting punishment", and suggested that "the very mention of the cross should be far removed not only from a Roman citizen’s body, but from his mind, his eyes, his ears."[13]

Frequently, the legs of the person executed were broken or shattered with an iron club, an act called crurifragium, which was also frequently applied without crucifixion to slaves.[14] This act hastened the death of the person but was also meant to deter those who observed the crucifixion from committing offenses.[14]

The length of time required to reach death could range from a matter of hours to a number of days, depending on exact methods, the prior health of the condemned, and environmental circumstances. Death could result from any combination of causes, including blood loss, hypovolemic shock, or sepsis following infection, caused by the scourging that sometimes preceded the crucifixion, or by the process of being nailed itself, or eventual dehydration.[31][32]

A theory attributed to Pierre Barbet holds that, when the whole body weight was supported by the stretched arms, the typical cause of death was asphyxiation.[33] He conjectured that the condemned would have severe difficulty inhaling, due to hyper-expansion of the chest muscles and lungs. The condemned would therefore have to draw himself up by his arms, leading to exhaustion, or have his feet supported by tying or by a wood block. When no longer able to lift himself, the condemned would die within a few minutes. Experiments by Frederick Zugibe have, however, revealed that, when suspended with arms at 60° to 70° from the vertical, test subjects had no difficulty breathing, only rapidly increasing discomfort and pain.[34][35] This would correspond to the Roman use of crucifixion as a prolonged, agonizing, humiliating death. Legs were often broken to hasten death through severe traumatic shock and fat embolism.

It is unfathomable to me that Jesus would obey His Father and go through with the plan that was ordained for Him. Because of the culture, Jesus would have known exactly what a crucifixion was like, and what was in store for Him. And because He was also fully God (and thus all-knowing), He knew that there would be people from generation to generation who would reject Him and His offer of salvation. Yet He still died to pay the penalty for our sins, so that we could be healed, redeemed, and holy in the eyes of God.

For me, in order to fully appreciate Easter Sunday and the celebration that it is, I need to allow myself to be somber, reverent, and reflective on the death of my Lord. It's necessary for me to get to a very deep, sad place so that my worship is truly celebratory on Sunday. I have to admit that it hasn't been this way for me every year. In fact, Good Friday tends to pass along like any other day, with Easter being the focus. But you can't celebrate one without understanding and reflecting upon the other.

Jesus, forgive me for my total complacency in understanding Your sacrifice for me. It's beyond belief and affects me to my core today.

Beyond Awesome

My friend Nikki sent this to me and I have watched it over and over. And laughed EVERY time.



And this is one I found tonight. This is a singing group from St. Andrews, Scotland, where William and Kate met. Please tell me you catch the reference to Chariots of Fire toward the end (which was also filmed at St. Andrews). I seriously love this.



You're welcome.

April 21, 2011

Decorating for Easter

I've added several things decor-wise to celebrate Easter! I love this time of year, and especially this week as we celebrate who Christ is and what He did for us. I always want our home to reflect that we're Believers; it's something that's very important to me. Here's what I've done around the house!

I got these cardboard letters from Hobby Heaven Lobby and spelled out "Risen." I got the idea from a local boutique here in town.

I also added fabric bows around my entry lamps.

Kurt's mom made the "ribbons" for me. They're made out of the same fabric that the ottoman is made out of in the living room, so it ties everything together. I just tied them on in a bow!

My sister thought it would be hilarious to leave me a surprise when I got home from her babysitting one night.


I added these Easter plates and flower arrangements on the dining room table.

I got branches of floral stems that I liked from HHL and broke them apart (tip: use wire cutters). Then I just separated everything into several smaller arrangements. I filled vases I already had with moss. Since everything's fake, I don't have to worry about watering, etc.!

These are the plates. They're from Pottery Barn, but I got them on eBay!




I used to have a taller display chest here by the stairs. I found this chest for a STEAL the other day and I knew this was the perfect place for it. I had wanted something lower here, because I wanted to open up the room more. I found the mirror on sale at Trees and Trends. Obviously I don't have everything in its place yet, but you get the idea!

This is my "Easter basket" this year! My mom got it for me at my favorite antique/craft mall. The little girl reminds us of Evy Katie! :)

This is the tall chest's new home in the dining room. It's perfect because it fills the space really well.


And finally, my mantle. I moved the bunny there, and added a sign I love. The sign has some aqua in it, so it brings in the accent color I'm using.



I love adding things for different holidays!

April 19, 2011

Love in Pictures Photography

MANY months ago, I started to feel a little idea form in my head that involved something I love to do, as well as a potential fundraiser. Well now, I'm taking the plunge!

I was asked recently to take some maternity photographs for a girl I've known since we were young. She approached me out of nowhere, and that was the catalyst for me to launch "Love in Pictures Photography!" This is an easy way for me to contribute to our adoption costs, and it's a great creative outlet as well!

I'm NOT A PROFESSIONAL by any means, but I do have a great camera and I love to take pictures. I'm always learning new things. This idea was actually born out of frustration, because I thought to myself, "All I want is for someone that's good with a camera to snap good candids of us as a family and give me a CD! I don't need fancy schmancy packages!" I want to fill this void for families who don't have a lot of money to spend, but they just want to be documented loving each other. I aim to give a very low-key atmosphere with zero pressure to perform. And it's all on a simple CD that includes all printing rights. SIMPLE, and AFFORDABLE!

I created a website for this new endeavor, and I think it's going to be fun. I'm not aiming to become a professional photographer or even make a huge amount of money with this; I just figure that every little bit helps, and I think there's a need for simply a girl with a camera that isn't expensive.

Thanks for praying with me that this will be a fun way to get Liam HOME!

Oh, and I do have quite an adorable model to practice on, don't you think?




MORE Blog Safety!

EDIT: Okay, so after hearing from several people, it's still possible to do some clicking around, etc. I just don't know every way around this, so if any of you do, please feel free to share. This is the knowledge I have, and I wanted to share. Feel free to add what you know in the comments. Also, I have not gone back into posts (other than the last several) and adjusted the photos. Only the most recent posts will have pictures that are non-clickable.

Hi there!
I'm still getting a LOT of people asking questions about blog safety. Here's the deal: There are some people who will take pictures off of other people's blogs and try to pass them off as their own. Also, people will just take pictures for their own use, whatever that may be. Please understand: I'm not accusing ANYONE of taking my pictures or doing anything weird! This has never happened to me personally. Ever since I started blogging, I have done periodic Google searches of our names, and also of my daughter's name since she was born. I made sure that there were no strange search results, and that any pictures that showed up were coming from my blog, and not somewhere else.

Since I've had this happen to some friends, I am just being proactive. I know that there are friends and even some family members who think that blogging isn't safe, and I shouldn't be doing it. Well, I have found the blogging community to be wonderful for me, and I have NEVER felt like our safety was compromised. And now that I'm learning more of how to solve problems, I'm safeguarding us to the best of my ability. Here's what I've learned:

Kelly did a great post on watermarking your pictures. This is putting your label on your pictures (much like professional photographers do). As someone pointed out, people can always take a screenshot of your page and use your photos, so watermarking really is the best option with photos. I'm going to start doing this.

I disabled right-clicking on my blog. This prevents people from stealing any written content.

And now, most recently, I have learned how to prevent my pictures from being taken (for the most part---I don't know of a way to completely prevent it). I'm not sure how to disable where it says "save image as." Does anyone know how to stop that? People can steal your pictures, because when they click on the picture itself it shows up full-size on your screen. People will save that image to their computer and then it's theirs. I have learned how to disable this feature! When you click on my pictures now, it will do nothing! And since I've already disabled right-clicking, they can't be taken that way either. Now, to make sure your pictures don't show up full-size, it IS more time-consuming and you have to do it picture by picture in the HTML section of your blog. However, it's worth the effort to me. CLICK HERE for the easy tutorial I used. Now, for those of you who want to try this and are having issues, I found that my HTML code looked a little different than what was in the tutorial. My only advice is to experiment until you get it. I delete up until it says "img border". I can't show you because it's doing weird things with the formatting. I'm sorry I'm not more help. My advice is to create "play" post that doesn't matter and experiment from there.

I know it seems overwhelming, but you'll get it! The way I learn things is just by Googling until I find a good tutorial. I hope this helps. I love blogging, and I really love the relationships I have with different people. If you take the right precautions, I think it can be very safe and enjoyable.

Happy Blogging!

April 18, 2011

Preparations for Liam

I just wrote a post on our adoption blog about more preparations for Liam! I encourage you to follow my adoption blog, since I'm trying to keep adoption-themed posts over on that blog. This is so that all of our memories and preparations for Liam are documented in one place. Go read all about my baby carrier, painting, and more! :)

Please take a look at our adoption fundraiser shop! It's a great way to show your support for adoption and look cute while doing it!  

Dads and Dolls Tea Party

Our church had the cutest event recently for dads and their daughters! It was a tea party, and it was a time for Dads and their "Dolls" to come and spend time together. I cheated and stayed a few minutes to take pictures--I couldn't stand not having pictures of something so cute! :)

Evy and her date, Daddy, before the tea party. This is Evy's morning face. :)

Evy and her OTHER date, Papa!


The decorations were so well-done!

Seriously adorable!


The first stop was decorating a cup to use at the tea party.

It was the sweetest thing, seeing Evy and Daddy work hard on their cups together.


Evy with her little friend Ansley. I PROMISE they were more excited than this picture lets on. Hahahaha!

This is "Miss" Christy, our WONDERFUL Director of Preschool Ministry! She is fabulous and was so enthusiastic about this event. It was a hit!

Papa had a special little girl in his lap.

It was so neat to see a full room of Daddies and Daughters spending quality time together.

My dad was the speaker for the event. He did have some credentials, considering he has three daughters!

Evy matched all of the decor, so of course I had to take pictures!

It was such a happy and fun day with Daddy and Papa!
We're so thankful for a church that believes in creating events like these for families. It's SO important to just stop and take the time to focus on what matters most. I'm also so thankful for the incredible father Kurt is to Evy. He is so tender and loving with her, and she adores him. I am incredibly blessed to see their relationship every day! Evy also has two WONDERFUL grandfathers (and GREAT-grandfathers!), and it's a legacy we will cherish always. Evy is one loved little girl!

Please take a look at our adoption fundraiser shop! It's a great way to show your support for adoption and look cute while doing it!  

April 16, 2011

Happy Weekend

We are here visiting Kurt's parents and we're having a great weekend so far. We've had some good family time, and that's always fun. I've gotten some "work" done (coordinating Vacation Bible School drama skits, returning emails, etc.), and I've done several blog posts! The most important one is on our Adoption blog, where I shared updates on Liam!

Have a great weekend!

Please take a look at our adoption fundraiser shop! It's a great way to show your support for adoption and look cute while doing it!  

April 14, 2011

Blog Safety

A TON of y'all asked if I would share how to disable right-clicking on your blog. It's so easy! Go to your blogger dashboard and click "Design." Then add an HTML gadget somewhere on your blog. GO HERE, grab the code, and put it in that HTML gadget box. That's it!

After hearing from a lot of you, I realized that pictures can still be taken from a blog, even if right-clicking is disabled. I knew this already, but for some reason it didn't register in my brain---haha! I believe the only way to help the issue is the watermark your pictures, which I've been debating for a long time. Since I've never had any issues with people taking my pictures, I just haven't done the watermarking thing. But I suppose it's always better to be on the safe side, so I might start doing it. 

I hope this helps, and we should all be helping each other to find the best ways of protecting ourselves. If you have any useful tips, please share!

Please take a look at our adoption fundraiser shop! It's a great way to show your support for adoption and look cute while doing it!  

Beautiful Brynn and Beautiful Haircut!

Quick housekeeping note: I'm sure most of you have seen that Kelly and other bloggers I know have been dealing with picture theft off of their blogs. Just as an extra measure of safety, I have now disabled right-clicking on my blog, so that pictures and content can't be stolen. Thankfully I've never dealt with this, so this is just a precaution. Also, I will be editing my Facebook friends so that it's only people I know personally. Thank you for understanding!

At the end of March, our dear friends Ryan and Whitney welcomed their first child into the world, Brynn Elise! She is beautiful, and we were so excited to meet her!


Kurt was getting off of work, so Evy and I met him there at the hospital. My dad went too (since he's their pastor as well as friend---Ryan and my dad run together). I got really cute pictures on my phone of Kurt, Evy, and my Dad but they are refusing to upload--ugh!

It was so neat to hold a newborn again. When I had both of the girls in my arms, I thought to myself, "So this is what it would be like with two!" However, we'll have a unique circumstance with our second child---Liam will come to us as an older infant! God's plan is perfect, and I am excited to see how God brings each of my children into our family.


Here's the Lancaster Three meeting Brynn. I promise Evy smiles---you've seen her smile! She's going through this phase where she is INCREDIBLY sensitive and shy around strangers. It's a chronic condition. However, she's a smiley, bouncy, happy girl around us (and once she's gotten to know someone), so I'm not worried at all! :)


Just the day before, I had given Evy a haircut. I only trimmed the back, because it was growing in a weird inverse-triangle shape. I evened up the back, and now it's an adorable little bob. I'm growing out her bangs as well (they're natural bangs--I've never cut bangs on her, and they're just now starting to grow!). I think she looks just adorable.







Sugar and spice, and everything nice---that's what little girls are made of!

Please take a look at our adoption fundraiser shop! It's a great way to show your support for adoption and look cute while doing it!  

April 13, 2011

Big Man On Campus

Last month, my brother was in the "Big Man on Campus" pageant (and yes, it was a pageant) at his school. It's a funny thing the Student Government puts on every year, and the proceeds go to charity. This was the same night as an adoption event we had at our church, so I raced there from the church to be there in time for the pageant. The cool thing is that my sister and I were wearing our Room for One More shirts, so it was good advertising for adoption. I'm so glad I went to see my brother compete!

The opening dance number. My brother was supposed to look lost and flustered on purpose.

Then he ended up leading the dance!
This was the "Swimwear" section. All of the guys interpreted "Swimwear" pretty loosely. I have to admit, it was hilarious.

For his talent, Will sang and played a John Mayer song. It was fantastic, and really stole the show.


Formal Wear. Will thrived in this area. Haha!

....And he took it upon himself to take a picture with the emcee, a local newscaster. This was while he was onstage during his formal wear walk.

The big interview.

HE WON!!!!!

He's single, ladies.

My two youngest sibs.

Me and my little brother.

My parents with the BMOC.

All of us. We missed you, Lissie Kay!

Me and Kurt Burt! :)
We're so proud of Will and how loved he is by his peers, teachers, etc. It was such a fun night seeing him do what he does best----ENTERTAIN!

Please take a look at our adoption fundraiser shop! It's a great way to show your support for adoption and look cute while doing it!  
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