Surprise Blessings



It’s something TV producers seem to enjoy writing on (Monica and Chandler on friends, Charlotte on Sex and the City, Tina Fey in that Baby movie, the list goes on), but people experiencing it? There is no entertainment there. There is a lot of pain, waiting, unsolicited advice, and often lots of medications and needles (soooo many needles).

Jamie and I actually gave up on having any more biological children. I cried. I prayed, I yelled, and finally I surrendered. And the “peace the transcends all understanding guarded my heart.” I was really at peace by 2016. I was so grateful that God had given me one little blessing and I knew He was the author of our family- not me and my plans. Jamie and I prayed, talked, researched and slowly began the processes of starting an adoption.

My blessing, as a toddler.


We began filling out the initial paper work, praying, and getting excited! I submitted some of that work on a Friday in early September. Saturday I took Jamison on a hike, solo, because Jamie was traveling. I lost my footing and tumbled down a steep section of the hike. It was so embarrassing.


I needed an x-ray. In a very Jim and Pam moment, we found out God had a new plan for our family. One that involved putting the adoption on hold for now, because we had a second bio kiddo coming. We could not believe it. We still can’t. Our God is so good. Five years and a few heartbreaks after our first miracle, we have a second, healthy little person set to join our family in May. There is no medical reason, no logical reason that this should be happening. This baby is technically impossible. Trust me, I’ve sat with Doctors who told me,

“this will never happen to you.”

But, God.

DSC_4866 Facebook_edited-1


My dear friend Lisa, who has walked closely with us in as our family plans have changed, said something many years ago to me. She said, “my goalis, no matter what, to say, ‘Blessed me the name of the Lord.'” I can’t stop thinking of these words.

The Lord Giveth

and the Lord taketh away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord. ~Job 1:21


Team Z, party of four?!?!


So many of us struggle in secret with infertility and miscarriage. One thing I have been tremendously blessed with is woman who have come around me, prayed for me, and shared their stories. I am forever grateful for those woman. If you are struggling and need an ear, a shoulder or prayer, I am right here. To you who has been told “never” I tell you,

“with God, ALL things are possible”


Cheers to all the “rainbow babies” and love to those still waiting with empty arms and hopeful hearts.



April 1, 2017 - 7:17 pm

AK Alexander - Well said my friend! As we wait for our rainbow baby we know God knows how it’s going to all turn out- He is in control! Love you! Am so excited about your sweet little girl due soon!

Diane and Steve’s Wedding Part 1

Diane and Steves wedding was a gorgeous celebration of faith, family & marriage. It was a joy to be a part of their day!

Diane’s gorgoues dress:

Diane got ready in her neighbors beautiful home- which gave everyone a brief moment of quiet in the exciting, busy morning.



Her Dad was hilarious:


I am a sucker for a gorgeous bridal portrait, and Diane ROCKED it!




Steve pulled off a pretty nice groom portrait too:)


Diane and Steve chose not to see each other before the wedding, but wanted to come together to pray over their day and their new life together. I love to see a precious couple that values their marriage more than their wedding and God more than themselves.


And then there was this guy… he stole my heart and has not returned it:


annnnnnnd yes. these pictures speak for themselves. No dry eyes.





We are going to have a little cliff hanger here… stay tuned for part two of this precious couples day!!

House Reno: Paint Paint Paint

To say we have been busy would be a bit of an understatement! In the last week we painted somewhere around 40 GALLONS of paint. The paint gal at Lowes knows me by name, and the cashiers at Lowes tell me not to bother pulling my military id out, because they’ve seen it so many times.

Little Man continues to find new ways to entertain himself:


While we were testing paint samples, someone left little love notes all over the house for me. 🙂


I practiced my name…


I also took up a new hobby of mangling tee shirts for painting. Little man was always up to help.

St. Anne’s 2009 Youth Retreat? Restyled!


Some friends from church came over to help. This crew maybe small, but they are mighty!



Did you know you can kill bugs with paint rollers? Little man was pretty pround of this:


Jamie replaced the laundry room floor that had rotted out. The linoleum had to be rolled out with a roller, but it was so late lower was closed. Improvisation:


And the Blue and White laundry room awaiting shelves:


Jamie took out all the shelves and painted them outside. There were some unexpected results:



We would not have survived this week without the good people of chick fil a- who we saw BEFORE 7 am several day this week:


Stay tuned!

Our Fixer Upper

We bought a house in Tullahoma! We found a place that we love, set in one of our favorite neighborhoods, on a great piece of property and close to our favorite state park (as in, a mile or two). The only downside is, it’s a bit of a fixer upper. Call Chip and Joanna Gaines!

This is the house “before” we started working… and two naive, innocent home buyers.

A few pictures to illustrate why we love the place so much: toad hunting for little boys, a huge field of wild daisies a short walk away, woods in the back yard, and Bobo creek close by.


We have been working hard:

Jamie replacing a rotted floor… me proving I do things:


We took down all the popcorn ceiling, sanded for days, and then primed and painted for WEEKS (a week. but it felt like forever.) Little man has been a trooper, helping or hanging out with us while we work.


Sometimes he gets in on the action. Here he is painting a ceiling. He picked up a full can of paint while Jamie had his back turned, carried into a room with a ladder, found himself a brush and got to work. I think Montessori calls this “Practical Life”. I call it “Practical Heart Attack”


Little Man also “helped” us by taking his hammer (I bought him a hammer. This ones on me.) and removing lose posts from our deck. Jamie handled that one…


These things aside, little man has been hard at work on calmer activities, such as building a toad habitat, learning how to graph, and coloring.




Check back to see our progress!!

Tullahoma Tuesday- University of Tennessee Space Institute Hike

My family and I moved to Tullahoma, Tenneesee this summer and we love it here! I thought it would be fun to spend Tuesdays showing off the cool places in this town. Little man and I spent yesterday hiking around the University of Tennessee Space Institute while Big J was in class. We saw lots of deer:

Everything is still green here, which I love. Its like summer is hanging out just a little longer!
We did find one fall tree can you spot it?


Little man and I enjoyed a good game of “Pooh Sticks” which is basically tossing things in the water and watching the splash. Things little boys love…


There was plenty of Tennessee orange.


The school has a dock with a boat house. There are boats, canoes, and places to lounge.


Little man found himself a nice hammock after our hike. Tough life!!

Where should we explore next?

Elizabeth Ann Photography is a wedding and family photographer in Tullahoma Tennessee.

January 30, 2016 - 2:48 am

Janet Helma - What a beautiful area of the country! Tennessee is gorgeous and so is Jamison! Beautiful photos!