Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Break...

What a cozy day:) I'm sitting here blogging, snuggled under the blankets, eating chili and watching the Colts game. Me and Max are thinking about a nap in a few doesn't get much better than this:)
My family has spent most of the break helping out my brother while he builds his new house...ok, I haven't helped much - but the "men" in my family have:) I'm just the photographer - ha ha!! Here are a few pictures of Cole's new house going up!
Here is my brother in front of the house he's building:)!
Putting on the tin for the roof...

Both my brothers working on the roof... Me and Max watching the progress (but Max doesn't want to smile for the camera)!!I'm sooo happy for Cole because he has been waiting to move out on his own for awhile now...and he can now see the light at the end of the tunnel:)!!

Last night me, Mom, Max, Clay, and Gabe went to the North Daviess game to watch Logan play - they won by lots and Logan did an awesome job - I'm super proud of him too!! Anyway, on the way home, Max had Mom and I in tears (literally) from laughing so hard because he was singing every word to several Taylor Swift songs. He kept saying "T. Swift, baby! Hit track!" Then he knew every word!! It was sooo cute! After the last song he goes "Man, I love that song!" it was so funny - he makes my life worth living!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


It is Thanksgiving Day and I have soooooo many things to be thankful for - but today has been upsetting for me. too. It is the first Thanksgiving that I'm not running around trying to make it to all the different family gatherings...because I am only going to my side of the family. I took Max to the Toy's this morning so that he could have Thanksgiving lunch with Gil's family.

Everytime I see Gil my heart breaks...breaks for the man he could potentially be. Several years ago Gil had the world in his hands. He has had several wonderful jobs, he has an amazing family, a beautiful home, a wonderful personality, a wife, a sweet son...and he let it all go because of his addiction. Today when I saw him I was just so upset. He talked about how awful his job is (night shift at Purdue), he is exhausted, no money, and alone. It makes me so sad that drugs had such an overwhelming effect on him - it ruined his life literally. He has no home, no family, no money - I know he is hurting so much. I can't believe the reality of things on this Thanksgiving Day.

I just want to run to all the high school kids, shake them, and tell them they HAVE to stay away from drugs...or any other type of addiction that could steal away everything that God has in store for them!! It goes downhill so only takes one time, and suddenly your life is halted. I want people to know that once you become addicted, nothing else matters. You will put anything and everything aside to feed that addiction. You won't care who you hurt or what is broken in the process. You become a totally different person and everyone around you begs for you to stop...but you are too far gone by then.

This Thanksgiving my heart is so thoughts are so nagging -but I am so blessed by my Father and I'm not forgetting that. He has surrounded me with family, friends, and best of all, Maxwell Carter. Without them - I have no idea where I would be and how I could deal with this broken relationship. I hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving Day - love you!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tippy the kitten... make a long story short - I had my 1st "hunting" experience this weekend and instead of coming home with a dead animal - I brought home a new pet for Max:) Max is now the proud owner of a gray kitten named's his first pet and he's super excited. All he wants to do is hold the poor kitten (and the kitten would love nothing more than to get out of his grasp). It was a really great weekend and here are some pictures from the weekend:

Me in my new hunting gear - look at that camo coat!!
Max with his new kitty - Tippy...

Pretty proud of his sweet kitten...

That's all for now - the Colts game is coming on and we're munching on pizza - yum:)!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Everyday I get a devotional thru email by Rick Warren called "The Purpose Driven Life Daily Devotional." A couple of days ago I got one called "Sharing Your Life Message" - and it really made me think about my life and the lessons I have learned. Part of the devotional said: "While it is wise to learn from experience, it is wiser to learn from the experiences of others. There isn't enough time to learn everything in life by trial and error. We must learn from the life lessons of one another. The Bible says "A warning given by an experienced person to someone willing to listen is more valuable made of the finest gold." (Proverbs 25:12)

When I started thinking about my major life lessons - I realized that maybe what I've learned could help someone else, or at least make someone think before they make the same mistakes that I have. Here are just a few...I'm sure there are many more, but I will share just a few. I wanted to not only think back about the last couple of years, but my whole life. So here goes:

1. When I was in the 6th grade, I had the biggest crush on a boy named Greg Dean. I mean one of those laugh at everything he said, blush when he walked by, prank call him at sleepovers kind of crush;)!! At the end of our 6th grade year, he told everyone he was moving. Yes, you guessed it, I was devastated! That summer, he moved, and I knew I had missed my chance to tell him how I felt. My cousin, Zach (one of Greg's close friends) told me later that summer that Greg had really liked me and wanted to "go out" with me before he found out he was moving.
Greg and I have kept in touch ever since - we wrote letters back and forth thru high school, visited each other in college, and then he ended up teaching at a school very close to here. We look back now and think about how funny it was that we both had crushes and didn't know it, I'm just glad I got the chance to tell him about it!!
LESSON LEARNED: Never put off telling someone how you feel - you might lose your chance! If you love someone - tell them! If you are holding a grudge against someone - confront it! If you want to tell someone thank you for the influence they've been in your life - let them know! There might not be a second chance.

2. When I was in junior high, I was in my mom's bedroom one day looking for a book to read. I came across this "journal" and of course being the curious person I am - had to sneak a peek. What I found surprised me very much! It was a journal about me and my brothers when we were very little - just day to day things that happened and how much she loved us. At that moment I started to comprehend the bond between a mother and her babies.
LESSON LEARNED: Document the love you feel for your child, one day they will read what you've written and begin to understand just how much you love them. I began journaling the day I found out I was pregnant with Maxwell, and have continued to this day. I have 3 journals full (for his 3 years of life). I know one day he will find these and begin to read them - and know that I put him first...that I loved him with my whole heart, and the way only a mother can love her son.

3. Probably right around Jr. High again...I began to realize just how important privacy was. If you've ever been to my parents house, you know that as I was growing up we never had doors on the bathrooms. My dad built this beautiful log house...but for some reasons never finished certain parts of it. One of those parts were the bathroom doors. With two younger brothers - there were times I yearned for privacy! I remember hanging up blankets with push pins to cover the door:)!! In the last few years - my dad has FINALLY put up doors to the bathrooms!
LESSON LEARNED: Some things are just meant to be kept private. There are many things that I believe should be between me and God - that's it. Yes, I'm pretty open about things (I have a blog for goodness sakes)...but I rarely lay it ALL out on the line - there are things about my life that are only shared with my heavenly Father!

4. I've always had a "timeline" for my life - and wanted to follow it no matter what. When I was a senior in college, I met Gil. Not to say that I didn't fall in love with Gil, because I did - but I overlooked some of the qualities he had and some of his morals - because it was "time" for me to meet the one (according to my timeline). I wanted to get married, get a good job, and have I feel madly in love with Gil - the blinding kind of love, and put some of my hesitations aside. Looking back - this has been a huge life lesson for me!! I wish we would have addressed those isssues then, instead of ending our marriage now because things have gotten out of control.
LESSON LEARNED: God has a timeline for my life - and it is perfect. No timeline I can ever come up with will compare with His - and more importantly, it will fail. He is the only one who knows the plans he has for me, and from now on I need to leave it up to Him!!

Ok, I think that is enough for tonight - just take a minute to think of "life lessons" you have learned and what you know now that you wish you would have known sooner:)!! I would love to hear yours...maybe I can learn a life lesson from you:)!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Baking cookies with my baby...

Hi everyone:) This weekend was amazingly relaxing...Friday night was spent baking cookies with my little man - chocolate chip, of course:) They ended up being yummy and were gone within 24 hours:) ha ha - sweets don't last long around my mom and dad's house!! Here are a few pictures from that evening...

The rest of the weekend was filled with snuggling under the blankets, watching movies, eating popcorn, taking naps, and just doing "nothing" which is the best type of weekend there is!! Here comes Monday again - can you believe it??

Monday, November 10, 2008

My little man is growing up...

Yesterday was Max's 3rd birthday - I really can't believe it! It seems just like yesterday that I was cradling him in my arms, and today when I went to pick him up I couldn't believe how heavy he has gotten! I wanted to share some pictures that I took at Max's party last night - it was pirate themed because Max loves Captain Hook on the movie Peter Pan:)!! Here are some of the decorations - we had eyepatches & swords for the kids, also candy and pirate playing cards:)!! Max couldn't believe that I was giving him cheesy popcorn for supper - it was soooo funny!
Max loved his cake toppers - especially since they were fighting with swords, he is such a boy!!! Blowing out his candles!
Braylee and Brynna Knepp enjoying the cupcakes for dessert:)!! They are such cutiepies!!Max got lots of cool presents, but one of his favorite gifts was from his Uncle Cole, a bow with a deer target:)!! Me and Janae enjoying the party:)!! All the kids getting ready for the hayride... Max enjoying the hayride - but it was freezing!!!!!!!!!!!! My cousin and her son, Lincoln...they are adorable! My beautiful cousins Jessica and Lauren!!
It was definatly a successful party - I am soooooo blessed to have wonderful family and friends who spoil me and Max both!! I love you all so much - thanks for helping us get thru this crazy time in our lives!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

11.6.08 Over...

I had to look him straight in the eye and tell him I filed for divorce. My heart was pounding, my eyes filled with tears...but I had to tell him. Heartbreaking - my heart truely broke in that moment. What was thrown back at me was anger, accusations...but I understand - there was nothing left to say except bitter words and blame.

Nothing has ever hurt like this, the only other time I can remember feeling this way is when my "Aunt" Susie passed away. For me this is somewhat like a death - a death of a marriage that I fought with all my heart and soul to keep alive. I know there will be many who disagree with my decision...but I can't spend the rest of my life worrying about what others think about what I've done. I have to do what I know must be done. I don't know why I'm going thru this pain, but one thing I do know is God has a plan for my life.

I have to pull it together...Max's 3rd birthday is this weekend and he needs me now more than ever. I have to put aside the tears, the heartache, the questions and just be "mommy" this weekend - be what Max needs me to be. Pray for our "little" family and max. Also pray for Gil, who I know is also dealing with a broken heart, just in a different way than I am.

Most of you have probably heard this song...the lyrics have been running thru my head the past few days...

Thought I couldn't live without you,

It's gonna hurt when it heals, too.

It will get better in time.

Even though I love you,

I'm gonna smile because I deserve to.

It will get better in time.

Since there's no more you and me,

This time I let you go so I can be free,

and live my life how it should be,

No matter how hard it is

I will be fine without you...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Arm me with strength...

2 Samuel 22:32-33 says:
For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? IT IS GOD WHO ARMS ME WITH STRENGTH and makes my way perfect.

Please pray that God will arm me with strength this afternoon...I will explain later, but I need your prayers and His guidance...thanks so much, everyone!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Leaves, leaves, everywhere...

I finally got enough energy to update on our weekend - I had some cute pictures that I wanted to share:)! Max was a little under the weather this weekend - Sat. he had a high fever, but by Sunday morning he was back to his old self:) I took pictures of my wonderful friend Sarah Swartzentruber and her extended family(on her husband's side) this weekend. Here are just a few - they were so easy to photograph because they are such a gorgeous family!!

The Swartzentruber family Hailee Swartzentruber - what a cutiepie!! What a sweet brother and sister - Austin and Hailee!

Max had tons of fun riding a "real" 4wheeler this weekend! He thought he was hot stuff!! Gabe helped him at first, but then he took a ride on his own - I don't think that was safe at all!! Gabe helping Max on a "real" 4wheeler:)!! He decided to try it on his own...Mr. Independent!

Janette came to visit Clay from Evansville, and they watched Max ride the 4wheeler - Max veered toward Janette at one point and I think he scared her a little:)!! Ha ha!!

We also had a little family party on Saturday night for my Grandma Raber's birthday (Max calls her Grandma GG) Here are a few pictures from that night

Max loves his "Nea Nea" Janae is growing up so much, she is like a little sister to me:)!! Then there is a picture of me and Logan (Janae's brother) that I love dearly...can't wait to watch him play for ND this year in bball - he's a big baller:) ha ha!!

And last but not are a few pics I took this afternoon when me and Max were just hanging out:) So cute...

Max standing on a rock, admiring the beautiful leaves!! But here is what happens next... Licked to death by the dog!!!! I gotta get out of here!! Cute pic of Max in the leaves...

Everyone enjoy this wonderful weather - for Max's bday party on Sunday it is supposed to be a high of 34!!!!!!!!! Pretty chilly for a weinie roast and hayride!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Things can change in an instant...

I just can't get going today...really struggling with hearing about Jim Miller's sudden passing. I love his three girls with all of my heart, and as I heard the news this morning my heart broke for them. They are the sweetest, most kind-hearted and faith-filled girls...the hurt they must be feeling right now must be unbearable! Please pray for them - the days ahead will look daunting and dark for those girls...but pray that God's love and comfort shines thru this storm. If I know Brit, Briona, Baleigh, and Jamie at all, I know that they will use their strong faith to guide them thru this time. Send up prayers, send cards, flowers, notes, just surround this family with love right now...please!!
My heart is breaking for them...