Sunday, November 30, 2008


Any minute now our new niece, Taylor Elizabeth Stroud will be born and she couldn't be any more on time!! Today was her original due date and Jan's water broke at 1:30 AM!! We have been here since about 3:30 AM in the waiting room at the hospital. Mom is excited and keeps going back to check - we've been joking that she is going to hide under Jan's hospital bed just so she can be in the room when Taylor has her first cry!! LOL The news is that any minute now Jan will be giving birth to our new baby girl!! We couldn't be happier! Especially ME - i am supposed to fly out at 3:40 this afternoon, to go back to Colorado, and i thought i was going to miss the birth completely!! As i started to fall asleep last night i was praying to the Lord that Jan would have Taylor - and God is good - Mom came in my room at 2:15 to tell me it was GO time! :) Getting to hold Taylor in my arms before i leave is worth more than any sleep i could have gotten or shower i need to take! ;) Im already looking forward to coming home for Christmas!!

Too bad Uncle Colin is in Arkadelphia preaching at our church and we had to leave him to come up here. We wish he was here with us - as do we wish every one of our south african (and Tennessee) cuzzies were here as well!

SOON and VERY soon!! Praise the Lord!!


Monday, November 17, 2008

Im coming HOME! in 3 days and i can't wait to....

Hug and kiss my family!
Hold Karoline!!
Rub Jans tummy (TAYLOR!!)
Meet my newest Niece!! (fingers crossed and prayers answered!)
Pick up Dad from the airport
Spend QT with each one of my sisters and parents and bro in laws and niece(s!)
Throw a babyshower for Brittany Weeks
Hang with Maggie
Shadow Dr. Hankins
Get my hair cut
Eat THANKSGIVING at Barri and Justins house!!
Go walking with Bitty!
Have a game night
Play Nertz
Count my blessings
Make future plans... ;)

hope i can fit it all in!! lol

I can't wait to love on my family!! - in just 3 days!! xoxoxox


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

OUCH!! - [not for the faint of heart]

The Infamous can of doom
Ok- so i have funny, yet painful story~ :[brace yourselves]: 

This morning i was cleaning the apartment, as usual, and decided to shake off the rugs. I stepped out our front door (which faces the interstate and a flight of stairs for the apartment above us.) When i was shaking off the rugs, i noticed there was an unsightly "Keystone" beer can in the bushes. I ducked under the stair case to grab it, which is pretty low, and then turned around to walk back out to throw it away... im not totally sure, but i must have thought i had cleared the stairs, because i stood up and WHACK!- the next thing i remember i was laying on my back underneath a dirty staircase with beer can in my hands and two rugs next to me. haha I was a sight to see!!!

I layed there for while... stunned and wondering if i had just made a 2x4 sized hole in my head!! And as i layed there, i had flashback to my diving board experience when i was 13... 

You see... about 11 years ago - i was playing in my neighbors pool. Our neighbor was a large, 16 year old boy. While i was on the diving board, he decided to hold on to the bottom of it, to annoy me. Well, i didnt like that - so when it was his turn, i decided to do the same to him. As i held onto the low diving board with both hands, John decided to take a running leap and do the biggest cannon ball he could muster up... which coincidentally - left a larger hole in my head than it did in the water.... I ended up having to get 8 staples in the dome of my head and needless to say, wasn't invited over to swim much after that. haha 

The place the 2x4 hit me today.... RIGHT ON THE SCAR!!  I cringe thinking about it. Its a sensitive place on the best of days. I didnt realize it was bleeding until i called my mom to laugh about how crazy i must have looked; touched the spot again and ... FEAR STRICKEN, bloody-handed me was zapped back to that 13 year old little girl, who just ran home looking like freddie crooger's victim. 

I took some pictures just to remember the humor of this day... and also the pain. I would post them, but im sure you wouldnt like an anatomy lesson on where brains go.. ;)- totally kidding. it wasn't that bad. Instead - here are some pictures on the infamous beer can, the stair case... and my cover up hair do... ;) 

The stair case and bushes where i saw the can...

What I saw when i was laying on my back... (The beam. Topher came later.)

PEOPLE:  DON'T LITTER!! It really can cause others harm! lol

My new do - i dig the braid down the side. lol

much love!!

p.s. im SO thankful i wasn't hurt worse- i doubt Topher would have known how to dial 911!! lol Thank God for Guardian Angels!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

At This Point In My Life...

I'm a bad citizen... eek. Who knew that if you didn't vote for 2 federal elections, they pull you off as a voter?? [in my defense, i was in another country for the last one!] But, I was never told they would or did pull me off until i called up there a minute ago (thanks to Brian- my future P.A.) and asked why i couldn't pull up my voter registration- then they broke the news!! :( And of course the last day to register was last Monday. Dang... who feels guilty now??? <-- ::me::

Anywho....on a more adorable-note i want to wish Baby Karoline and my best friend and soul-mate, Maggie Happy Late Birthday's!! :) I of course called them on the actual b-day (like 4 days ago)- but i just thought it would give me a good reason to post these on my blog... hehe: (who is the most beautiful baby on earth??!!!) yea... P.K. ::Princess Karoline - as PaPa calls her::


If you want to see how adorable the party was, look at my sisters blog..! She threw the most rockin' 1st birthday/football party ever!!! :) :) Wish I could have been there for it - but i was in spirit!!


Oh and I wish Brian and I could have been at the G/GNO [girls/guy night out] with my old coworkers/bf's! But i thought about you girls! Hope you didn't cry too much over us not being there. ;-) love you all very much!

Well, im off to go read and then try to get some oil drained from my car. I put like a whole bottle in ... not smart, but it was so low i thought it needed it! - now its about 2 inches above the "full line". :shaking my head: which apparently, is NOT good!! ~Without Dad, i often wonder how i will make it. lol Im gonna be a poor poor lady.  

I need a bike...

                            .... So much less maintenance! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bitter Sweet

So i found out that i have to pick between going home for Christmas and Thanksgiving...

Naturally i want to come home for Christmas, of course!! BUT, i already bought my ticket for Thanksgiving... which means.... yea, i dont even want to say it.

But the good thing is - i have 10 days home for thanksgiving, more than i would probably have for Christmas - and im going to try to do something useful at Christmas - like work at a soup kitchen or something. So far, i can't find one thats close enough to me... but i'll work on it! Im just going to have to skype my family like 24/7 during that time... cause Kaci and Caleb won't be here either. I'll be Home Alone!! {hands of face: aaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!} haha - hopefully no bad guys will come for me. :) But Kaci's Papa called me today and told me that he wants me to come to their house as much as i like during that time! They live in this glorious house up high in the mountains and it over looks aspen trees and snow for miles! its gorgeous!! He is the sweetest man alive... i'll post a pic of him... just to warm all of our hearts! :)

[disclaimer: dont write sad comments unless you want a blubbering ball of emotions over here in colorado!!] :) i love you all so much!!

Who's up for Christmas in November??!!! :)

pps...JAN- you better work on having Taylor between the 20th and 30th... k?! We're eating jalapenos the whole 10 days im here so that baby will come out faster!! :)


Monday, October 6, 2008

Its Been A While...

Well, i know its been a while since i updated- my apologies! But i got two emails today from different people saying "whats going on? why haven't you updated in a while?" - so i racked my brain for the coolest things i've been doing lately... and here is a top 10 count list ;-)

10.) Picnics at the Park with Topher every other day; walks; making playdough
9.) Looking at beautiful yellow leaves!! (pics at the bottom!)
8.) Looking for jobs (got two prospects!! Although not professional, they still pay- and involve getting out!) :)
7.) Finding dozens of new trails right outside my apartment complex- which extend for MILES and miles!..(nothing like Feaster Trail in the Delph that totals maybe 3 miles round trip!!) ;~)
6.) Visiting my friends in Boulder and taking time to walk around alone on Pearle Street... and going up to Estes Park
5.) Looking at Schools to attend (now i just have to make up my mind on what to go to school for... nursing, ultrasound tech, dietetics, yoga... J/K!- [insert any other random profession and believe me, i've thought of it!]... ???)
4.) Reading an enitre book from start to finish in just over a WEEK!! (such a huge accomplishment!)
3.)Soul Searching... haha- I guess thats what i would call it- just lots of reading, journaling, thinking, praying, hoping. haha
2.) Getting my ghetto car fixed for a bazillion dollars!! oh yea, including driving it once with the oil lid off, causing a massive amount of smoke and oil to go everywhere!! lol
1.) Watching too much Scrubs!!

OH yea and im starting 2 new jobs!! The first one is being a Barista at Starbucks... haha- i know, its not ideal, but you gotta make ends meet somehow, right? :) I start training tonight! [wish me luck!] The second is a job as a receptionist at the staffing agency i employed to help me find a job- haha - pretty nice that they offered me a job.- even if its not the job i thought i would be doing. At least its a place that actually would HELP me look for a better job in the mean time. I just am praying they are cool with the time in need off for Thanksgiving and Christmas. If not, i will be devistated!

well, i love you guys- Let me know how you all are!
Oh and Happy Belated Birthday to me dear Susan McPeake!! I hope it was a very happy birthday!! love you!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

That Ain't Cornbread, Sister!

Discalimer: this whole post is upside down and backwards.. i apologize... i'll fix it later. But for now, i have to go clean up 10lbs of moon-sand from the kitchen table. I am so OCD sometimes, it makes me a nervous wreck to have all that mess just out and about. haha

Say Hi to the Incredible Hulk!

Once upon a time i used to be able to cook... apparently that talent has left me lately.... and im left with things that look like this...

Thats no cornbread, sister. those are chocolate chip muffins... 

Its the inside that counts, ok!? ;) The Incredible Hulk, i mean, Topher, liked them! 

Monday, September 8, 2008

5:30 am

So Kaci and I started working out together today at 5:30 am - I can't lie, it was hard to get out of bed, since it was like 45 degrees this morning and i was still sore from power pump on saturday.But its nice to get it out of the way so early! 
Anywho - All of the above is just crazy. But here's to losing the weight! :) holla

Friday, September 5, 2008

There are days i wake to peace i can't explain..

Lately i've been listening to an extra lot of Tyler James music. haha (surprising, i know!) But this song, "Go Down To The Garden" says it all for me right now (give or take a few parts of the song).  My life has changed a lot lately, in little and big ways - and its only going to continue to change - - and though it may seem like too much to take in at times... especially when i realize my family is not with me... there is still this peace that wakes me up each morning, and carries me gently through my days. I've dreamed of moving to somewhere, anywhere -for years - and somehow God allowed this move to work out after trying so many different times. He must have something for me here - and though i've left behind family and friends and the comforts of 'home' - it remains that i have a purpose here - what it is, i have yet to find out. But i sense it. I anticipate it!  But the one thing that keeps me going is the constant reminder that my love for my family and my friends only continues to grow from far away. In fact, it feels deeper, more necessary, more deliberate. Even if this journey im on only exists to increase my love, i am happy to be on it. Even when i can't see your face, you're in my heart.  - and my your voice is sweeter to me than ever. So called, "hard times" don't mean 'bad times'... I think it means growth - in life and in love and in character. So im taking these times, and im loving them - each one - whether they are weird, or "hard" or "crazy", or just wonderfully amazing - and im living them out with all my heart! "wheresoever you go, ... go with all your heart."... and my heart is full - with love for each of you... 

There are days I wake to peace I can't explain that comes and carries me
And the plans I made when I was young have only left me
Distracted from all the many things I'd never change
It's no use trying to rearrange what's come and gone

Go down to the garden and see the things we've planted
Up from all that's withered, though often took for granted,
Grows flowers we've not planted... reminding me

In a photograph, there's a quiet country house with windows facing west
And I'm standing with a girl that's come to walk beside me
And when the leaves fall gently down upon her golden hair
I'll take her to the alter stairs and say, "I'm yours"

Go down to the garden and see the things we've planted
Up from all that's withered, though often took for granted
Grows flowers we've not planted... reminding me

our love will grow
our love will grow

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mt. Bierstadt

OK - so i realized i didn't say anything about these pictures! This was my fist 14er to climb (google 14ers) after being in Colorado for one week! It took us 6.5 hours to climb and it is one of the "easier" one's. There are about 54- 14ers in Colorado!!  They are called 14ers because they are 14000 ft above sea level. Some people get really bad altitude sickness climbing them, but surprisingly, i didnt! (im a little proud -hehe)! I did have a splitting headache at the end, which i think was mostly due to coming down so fast- (ok, thats basically altitude sickness - but it didnt stop me!) :). And it went away with a few Advil and a nap. :) I wish you all could be here to see it. The picture with me pointing at the Gold circle on the rock it the summit point! They mark the summit with some sort of plaque on this one - so i had to take a pic with it! :) 

Oh i went to Boulder this past weekend - brought back lots of memories of our mission trip there in like circa 1996- knocking on doors, going to the celestial tea factory  - and oh yea, mom breaking her knees while Dayle and I screamed from the ski-lift -thinking mom had broken her neck! haha - and then there was that whole long journey home on the bottom of the OBU bus!! lol oh good times in Colorado - we are going to hope I have better luck skiing when i finally get the chance! haha well, i better go - more later! lots of love sistas!xoxo

OH - this was the song that was in my head the whole day - and mostly anytime i see anything beautiful here but don't have a camera/or my camera can't capture the beauty of the place in the pics i do take... (its of course, john mayer - one of my fav's)

I'm writing you to 
catch you up on places I've been 
You held this letter 
probably got excited, but there's nothing else inside it 
didn't have a camera by my side this time 
hoping I would see the world with both my eyes 
maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm 
in the mood to lose my way with words 
Today skies are painted colors of a cowboy's cliche' 
And strange how clouds that look like mountains in the sky 
are next to mountains anyway 
Didn't have a camera by my side this time 
Hoping I would see the world with both my eyes 
Maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm 
in the mood to lose my way 
but let me say 
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes 
it brought me back to life 
You'll be with me next time I go outside 
just no more 3x5's Guess you had to be there 
Guess you had to be with me Today I finally overcame 
tryin' to fit the world inside a picture frame 
Maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm in the mood to 
lose my way but let me say 
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes 
it brought me back to life 
You'll be with me next time I go outside 
no more 3x5's

14ers Weeners

Ok - so im stoked! Tonight i went downtown with Kaci, Caleb and Topher. We had a good time- it was gorgeous because they had all the trees decked out with Christmas lights. We got some coffee and walked around and then listened to some live music on the streets. I love that scene. 

anywho - TOMORROW (aka 3.5 hours from now... yes, at 4:30 am) i am waking up with Kaci because we are going to hike a 14er! ... ok, look up Basically, there are 54 mountains in Colorado that are 14,000 ft high - all different classes. Kac and I are going to do Beirstadt tomorrow. I love love love hiking and so i can't wait - but the killer is that we have summit by Noon, which means we need to be starting at 7 or 8. The weather can turn bad really quickly, so you have to be down by 1 or 2. Anyways - I can't wait - I will take pictures so you can see what im talking about. It should be really beautiful! 

Colorado is gorgeous - i still love waking up to mountains and walking out my door to a trail! There are trails everywhere here! I really need a bike. :) 

i love you guys and miss you so much! Can't wait to show you the pics tomorrow! all my love... xoxo


Sunday, August 24, 2008

3rd Day's a Charm

So im almost on my 3rd day of Colorado living - and already i have gotten to have a picnic and hike at Pine Valley. It was beautiful! Sadly, we missed church. Caleb was supposed to play a show at some coffee shop with some friends, but it got cancelled and by the time we found out, church was over. :( next week, for sure! But a day in the mountains was well worth it. I put up a few pics from our day. There are also some hilarious pics of Christopher and Zac playing cowboy. (notice: topher's horse is actually a T-Rex .... sweet!) haha

Tomorrow is my first day to be semi-alone with Christopher! ah - im a little nervous, but it should be fun. We are going to go to the park and play, which im excited about. And thankfully, Zac is here, so that makes me feel better. anyways, i'll have to let you know how that goes! 

p.s my $10 dresser smells so much like must and cigarettes i wont put my clothes in it, and my whole room stinks! lol isn't that lovely :)

Welp, lots of love - i miss you all stax!! xoxo

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rocky Mtn. High

So i finally made it to Colorado! There were a few glitches along the way, but you could consider them minor, seeing as how i got here alive and with my car in one piece, (almost). :) i have several pictures of the trip - leading up to it, and then when my car decided to jump off the tow dolly while we were driving! Scary! But there were only a few minor bumps and scrathes. eek!

Colorado is so nice. No humidity, and i can see the mountains right out my window... well, if i look past the interstate. haha. But seriously, its about 70 degrees- ah! The altitude is strange- i felt out of breathe walking around Target today - that was a first. haha. Oh and i did two big things today - firstly, i bought a $10 dresser from a garage sale (of course!) and then Kaci and I haggled the mattress king down from about $500 to $300 on a mattress. Im impressed! But i dont get it until tuesday. boo.  Anywho-Topher is hilarious for a 3 year old - he's got a mind of his own. and Zac is alot of fun with him. Its nice to be here, but so strange to be so far away from family. Being around Topher reminds me that i dont want to be far away from my niece(s) or sisters/parents forever. Im already looking forward to Thanksgiving/Taylor's birth!!  I love you guys so much!!  - i'll put pictures up tomorrow. Its pretty late right now, and im emotionally pooped. Not to mention i have Karoline and Britt's cold. (But im not complaining, im just glad i have a little bit of you guys with me!) haha