Archive for July, 2009

A Bird’s Eye View

I seriously need pictures for this post. 

You won’t get the full idea. I’m not that good of a storyteller. But go with me here…

About a year or so ago, we found an empty bird’s nest in our backyard. Aidan was taken with it, and fascinated with how a little bird could build such a structure, with sides and a bottom, just big enough for baby birds to live in. It really is quite amazing, actually. 

He picked up the nest and wanted to put it in another tree. It’s been in a small tree in our front yard for a long time now. I haven’t thought about it in months. 

About two weeks ago, Molly wanted to look in the nest. What a cool surprise it was to find three beautiful little eggs in there! They were a beautiful shade of aqua, with brown spots. We were all so excited and watched them every day. Personally, I was excited because the eggs were quite trendy in color and pattern, but I was alone in my aesthetic enthusiasm. 

A few days after the great egg discovery, we found that they hatched! There were three tiny little brown fur balls in that nest. Every time one of us would walk toward the tree, the mama bird would squawk at us from her perch on the power line. We would see her constantly hunting for food for her babies. It has been a source of enjoyment and wonder for us to watch her take care of them. I can totally relate to that mama. We both spend most of our days hunting for food for our young. Lucky her, though, she only has a 6″x6″ area to keep straight. 

Back to the present. Today, I was frustrated again about the house not selling. I was frustrated again about homeschooling and not feeling ready to take on such an enormous task. I was frustrated about having to send my baby (Paisley) to school, when I really do not want to. 

I walked down to our mailbox, and stopped to check on the birds. We’ve had some bad weather this week, and I haven’t actually seen the mother bird in a day or so, and I was a little bit concerned about what I would find. 

This is where I wish I had the camera. 

In the nest were three little “bird children”, as Aidan called them. “They’re not babies, mom, but they’re not big enough to leave, so they’re bird children.” Their feathers were starting to develop spots and patterns, and they were not just fuzzy anymore. They were wide eyed and alert, sitting in a row in that little nest. They had grown from being the size of a teaspoon to about the size of my palm. I was again awed and fascinated. 

I sent Michael an email telling him that I checked on “our” birds and they were fine, and growing. I sent the email, and immediately had this verse from Matthew chapter 6 impressed upon my heart. 

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

 28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

So I compose another email to Michael with this scripture in it. At the SAME TIME, he sent me an email saying the same thing, but in his own words. 

The funny thing is, right after I sent the email with the verse, our internet went out because we had another bad bit of weather. I watched the wind blow some limbs down in my yard. I watched my For Sale sign hang completely horizontal in the gusty winds. I stood at the french doors in my bedroom and watched that tree and prayed for those baby birds. I knew that God would take care of them, that he made animals to be able to handle the elements, but I was still worried. 

After the storm passed, the internet came back on, and there was Michael’s email telling me that if God protects the birds, surely he will take care of us as well. Our emails crossed somewhere in cyberspace, but the time lag gave me a chance to think about the verse I had just sent to my husband and then watch those baby birds weather the storm in that small, frail, little tree and realize that God really does hold them in the palm of his hand. 

And if he holds the birds in his hand, we can rest assured that the creator of all living things holds us in his heart. 

I know I’ve been redundant about the house thing, and the homeschooling thing. I sincerely covet your prayers. I believe that God has a perfect plan for us. I am grateful beyond words that I am married to a man who believes that and will not settle for less than God’s plan. Not once has Michael tried to maneuver the situation by himself. We truly want God to get complete credit for whatever happens. 

By not trusting, I’m not walking what I talk. I don’t want to live like that at all. So if I say I love and trust my Jesus, then I will trust him. I will trust the one who holds the birds, and protects them in the storms. I will rest in his perfect love and find joy in the hope that he will keep his promise and it will be more than we could ever ask for or think. 

For his eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.


July 31, 2009 at 4:39 am Leave a comment

Aidan Just Calls Him “Boots”

Last Thursday night, the family and I loaded up and drove down to South Jackson (yes, I capitalize South. I realize it’s a direction, but it’s a city unto itself to me. So there.)

We were taking supper to my grandparents. They are super cool people, but not feeling too great these days, so we wanted to help out a bit. When I asked Mamaw what they would eat, she gave me specific instructions and even offered the recipe. Hey, no complaints here, it made my job VERY easy! 

The older kids love going to their house. The house is big, and built in a way that you can run through all the rooms and halls and it makes a big circle. Then the yard is enormous and has a long brick wall that divides their yard from their neighbors. I can’t remember going over there as a child (and we were there several times a week) and not walking on that long, low wall. Now my kids walk it, up and down, up and down.


My mother has told me that she walked the wall as a child herself, so that makes over 50 years of kids playing on those old bricks. 

For some reason, that’s really special to me. 


I have talked to my grandparents on the phone very often. I see them at family gatherings all the time. However, I had not been to their house since Christmas. I admired the new furniture arrangement and checked out all of the cucumbers my grandmother had sliced to make her famous sweet pickles. 

We ate dinner and had a fun time talking about all the things the kids are doing and have done this summer. I was so proud that they were funny and friendly and attentive to their great-grandparents. 

Aidan did not want to have his picture made AT ALL, so there are none of him. But the girls are always okay with the camera! 


Paisley has never really had a chance to get to know Mamaw and Papaw. The older two can remember when we lived across the street from them 3 years ago. We found out we were having Paiz right before we moved up here to Canton, so she has never spent the time in their house that Aidan and Molly have. 

Paisley definitely made up for any lost time! She hugged and kissed and laughed and sang and did all of her tricks. She became very attached to Mamaw, and I could not be more thankful for that. 

Papaw pulled out a pen and paper and started drawing forest animals for Aidan. Aidan watched him, then took the pen and drew a picture of Papaw. He smiled up at him and said, “This is you, Boots!” 

My papaw goes by Boots to everyone that knows him. His name is W.B. (the real names will not be revealed to protect the innocent), but everyone calls him Boots. My kids have always called him Papaw Boots. Aidan just decided that “Boots” sounded cooler, so he called him that all night. We all just laughed. I hope Papaw was okay with it! 

I do know, he was certainly okay with this:


He is just the sweetest man. I love them both so much. 

So we had a big time. I think everyone was worn out by the time we left. I hope we can do that a lot more in the coming months. 

As long as Mamaw tells me what to bring…and she will.

July 30, 2009 at 4:25 am Leave a comment

That Smell In My House? Yeah, We’re Potty Training.

I apologize for the lack of posting recently. I know you don’t really care, but I like to apologize, it’s good for my soul. 

Paisley has taken it upon herself to use the potty as often as possible. Hey, fine by me. She’s actually doing pretty well, but there are accidents. Lots and lots of accidents. 

Since she’s a third child, we’re all like, “oh yeah, another puddle. Get the towel.” 

I just wanted you all to know…that my lack of posting has not been because of a lack of thoughts or subjects on which to write. I’ve got plenty, and every time I sit down with the computer, I have to sort through the insanity and figure out where I will start. Then she wets the floor and all of my carefully organized thoughts jumble up again. 

I had an epiphany last night after I sang in church: It does not matter how well I do anything. I could be the best singer in the world, and at the end of the day, I’m a bottom wiper. It’s as simple as that. 

So…I must go, since it’s been half an hour since she went last and I have to be on standby with my towel. Hopefully soon I will get a chance to tell you about my dinner at my grandparents house, our night of worship at church, Molly playing chess, Chuck E. Cheese, and all of the various and sundry things that have been going on around here. 

But there are bottoms to be wiped. And miles to go before I sleep. (That doesn’t rhyme, but it just seemed like it fit. Maybe not.)

July 27, 2009 at 8:43 pm Leave a comment

I Would Buy Night Vision Goggles

Michael and I watched “Dating In The Dark” tonight. 

The concept is, if you haven’t seen the commercials, 3 guys and 3 girls meet up in a completely dark room. We see them because of some weird camera thing, but they can’t see each other. They get to know each other, and through their compatibility tests and personal choice, they pair up. They spend time together in the room and can talk by email a little bit. 

Then, at the end of the show, they see each other. They stand there in the dark room and one of them is revealed at a time. They can’t say anything and can’t see each other’s reaction. 

After the reveal, they can either meet on the balcony if they’re interested in spending more time together, or they can leave the house alone. It’s gut-wrenching television, I tell ya. 

So Michael and I have been discussing now for the last hour all that is wrong and right with this situation. I mean, getting to know someone without the pressure of worrying what you look like is great. However, people are so shallow, and can totally blow off a potential connection (I hate that word, it’s so “Bachelor”) if what they see is not as good as they thought it might be. 

Two of the three couples “made it”, so to speak. The other couple was the most normal of the group, and I really thought they’d end up dating. But this girl was a jerk and left a seemingly really nice guy standing alone on the balcony. It was sad, and I hope she broke one of the heels off of her toweringly high shoes on her walk down the driveway. 

I asked Michael, “If you were single, and in your 20’s, would you do a dating reality show?” I didn’t even need to ask, because we all know the answer to that one. ABSOLUTELY NOT. 

But then Michael, in return said, “I don’t even have to ask, I know you would!” I refuse to believe that deep down he is disappointed in me. But he probably is. Because he’s right. I’d do it. 

And that fact about myself is why we should all thank God today that I’m married. 

I was not good at dating in broad daylight. I’d really be a mess in complete darkness.

But that does not need to be verified by anyone who might know that firsthand. Thanks. 

Moving on…

Don’t you think God has just been smiling all over us by giving us 87 degree days? Here in Mississippi? In JULY? I tell you what, I hope everyone who realizes he’s responsible has thanked him to pieces this week. What an awesome blessing! 

Speaking of pretty days, we’ve got to get out of the house tomorrow. The troops are turning on each other and there have been many internal battles. A house divided cannot stand. I now really know what that means. 

I love having three kids. I don’t regret a minute of it. But the only problem is this: I can’t go anywhere fun without just a little extra help. I mean, I’m completely capable of managing them myself. But trying to take them somewhere like the Science Museum, or the Zoo, and explain to one child about an albino catfish, while trying to catch the other child before they run outside and take the other one to the bathroom at the same time is a bit taxing. I’m not a fan of cloning, and usually don’t think it’s a good idea…but I have my moments where I give it my complete support. 

Maybe I could just throw them into a completely dark room and tell them to get to know each other better.

July 21, 2009 at 4:29 am 2 comments

Big Decisions…and Abraham.

It’s been a big day here at Casa de la Albritton. Not big, like eventful big, but big in the sense that we’ve got a lot to think and pray about. 

I’ll start by telling you about what Molly told me today. She came downstairs and said that she had been doing something important. I asked her if she cleaned her room. No. Did she write a book? No. Did she make up a new song? No, she said. She told me that it was about God. She got tired of my guesses and told me that she had been praying to God. I asked her what she was praying about and she said, “I just wanted to thank God for my family, mama”. She hugged me, then said, “Mama, I believe in God. I believe that he is going to take care of all of us.”. 

Yeah, me too, I just have trouble seeing it sometimes.

Then tonight, Michael was tucking Aidan in and they were having a discussion. Aidan wanted to know why the earth moved around the sun so slowly. He asked, “Would we all fly off if it went fast, dad?” Michael said yep, we’d all fly off. Then Aidan said, “God’s got the planet under control. God’s got everything under control, right daddy? He’s got the world, He’s got the weather, and our bodies under control. But not cars, dad. He doesn’t have cars under control, but he has people under control and we’re smart and we can make the cars. But if God wanted to make the cars, he could. He would just say, ‘CAR’, and a car would just appear in front of people’s houses.” 

True, true. 

So the house still is sporting a pretty sign in the yard. It doesn’t look like it’s going to sell soon. So yesterday, I started to wonder if I needed to take the situation into my own grubby little hands and find my own answers. I started jumping ahead of myself and assuming that I knew what would be best for my family. 

Here’s the deal, though. I’ve lived my entire life letting God handle the big decisions. I don’t know how I would ever make a life altering choice without him telling me exactly what to do. I don’t have any secret knowledge of the mind of God. I am actually quite baffled and confused about why he works like he does. But I do trust him, and believe that he loves me and will do things perfectly in his time. 

So trying to find an answer for Aidan’s school situation just didn’t work out for me. I’m going to continue to wait, and do what I feel like he’s telling me to do, which is teach my son at home. 

And for the first time, I’m actually feeling up to the challenge. I think we can do it. I believe with all my heart that home is where I am supposed to be, and I know Aidan responds well to one on one time, so it’s the best answer right now. 

So Michael is reading about Abraham and Sarah tonight. God promised Abraham descendants. But he never told him how he would get those descendants, or how soon he’d get them. So they waited, and waited and I’m sure were quite confused about God’s timing. After 11 years, Sarah took matters into her own hands and decided to give Abraham a son through her servant. This was a bad choice on so many levels. It was another 13 years before they found out that God was going to give him a child through Sarah. Then they had to wait another year before they actually had the baby. So it was 24 years since God promised Abraham descendants before it actually happened. 

And then, after all that waiting, a few years later, Abraham was willing to put his child on the altar, just because God told him to. 

This is what was written about Abraham in Romans, chapter 4:

18Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”

So rather than look at what God is doing right now and wondering why I don’t have a tangible answer, I choose to focus on what he has promised us. He has promised us an abundant life and a house full of joy. He has promised us peace and comfort. He has promised us that we will be provided for, according to his riches. 

My own plans will always fall short compared to the fullness of blessings that God can give us if we wait on him and walk with him every step of the way. 

My kids seem to get that. They believe God’s in control. Apparently they’ve heard that somewhere. It’s time for mama to step up and put my faith behind my words. 

I can’t wait to see the big picture.

July 16, 2009 at 3:43 am 1 comment

The One Where We Said, “I Do.”

It’s been a whole decade. 

While I’m not really surprised, seeing as how there’s nobody else in the world that has the tenacity of Michael to stick with me for this long, I have to admit it’s a little bit surreal to know that I’ve actually built a life with another person. 

Hear that, honey? We’ve BUILT A LIFE. 

Without killing each other. 

I know 10 years is a mere drop in the bucket for many of you. I hope it’s just a drop in the bucket for us! But we’ve had some awesome times in the last 3,650 (give or take a few, I didn’t figure leaps) days and I wouldn’t have traded a minute of my life with him to be anywhere else. 

So let’s celebrate! 

sc0056dc60This is Michael, without me. I know he’s in London, but let’s pretend he’s sad and forlorn and quite lonely. 

sc0058c3d0This is me, without Michael. Apparently, my parents were so desperate for me to find purpose in my life that they enlisted me. 

We needed each other. 

sc0056bb7aThen after a weird turn of events involving us dating each other’s friends while secretly pining away for one another (that’s not EXACTLY what happened, I just like to pretend it that way. This is my story.) we realized that we had to be together. I think it was the matching pants that did it. 

So we dated, and broke up, and dated, and broke up, and dated, and broke up. 

Then Michael finally got past his issues (which were totally unfounded, because, seriously, who wouldn’t want to enjoy my brilliant conversation and wit on a daily basis?) and proposed. 

There was a picture from that night, but the flash makes us both look like we dipped our faces in baby powder, so never mind. 

Then we registered. We got gifts. We invited. We planned. We picked a honeymoon destination. We went to counseling. We bought furniture. We made HUGE decisions about where we’d live and what we would do. 

Then the day came. The night before had been fun, hanging out with our friends and eating Sonny’s BBQ. My brother sat in my room until the wee hours of the morning while I packed, and I like to think that maybe he was there because he would miss me. My mom and I put the hot rollers in my hair, and headed to the church. We left my car at my grandparents’ house because Michael’s Mustang was the getaway car. We arrived at the church and started getting ready.

sc00bf6979This has always been one of my very favorite pictures. These girls were a blast. They are the reason I was not nervous, and in quite a good mood when it was time to hit the aisle. They helped make my day so happy. 

sc00bf5d11This is while my friend Clark was singing “Love Changes Everything”. Thank you, Alta Woods, for not having the “only Christian songs” rule for weddings. While I support that rule, I am so glad we used that Andrew Lloyd Webber song. 


Here we go! We could not, would not be sentimental before this moment. He had a ceremony to do, and I had perfect eye makeup, courtesy of my cousin/guru, Jenni. So we laughed, we talked about how awesome the music sounded, we joked about how we wanted to get the show on the road. 

Michael and I opted not to see each other before the wedding. I kind of wish now that we had done that, just to do the pictures early, but good grief, I loved seeing his face. Nobody stood up when I came in, per my request. I wanted us to see just each other, and not have to look through the crowd. Michael knows me so well, and specifically asked me not to walk down the aisle waving at everyone, but to try and stay focused on him. At first I found the request a little ridiculous, I mean, it’s my parade, right? But when the doors opened, he never even had to ask. There was nowhere else I wanted to be but right at the front, beside the best person I’ve ever known. 


If I had to change everything about that day, except the groom, of course, and just keep one thing, it would be having my dad do the ceremony. He did a great job, and it was touching and sweet, without being a tear-jerker. 

Oh, and the above picture is the one where Michael thinks my hair looks like Cousin It from The Addams Family, in the episode where he gets a toupee…but he’s quit saying that out loud when he sees it.

sc00bf3ec0And there we go…full of excitement, promise, wishes and a lot of nerves about our future.

Then there was the reception which I hardly remember. Then the run through rose petals, which was sort of fun. Then the awkward pulling away from the church, and the drive where we just didn’t know what to talk about for the first time in the 7 years we’d been friends. It was awesome, scary, funny and overwhelming. 

Then the honeymoon from the depths of Hades, and the move to our first home: an apartment on St. Anthony Avenue in New Orleans. We had to find jobs, and set up house before Michael started school. 

Those years were spent praying for provision and direction. We made so many friends and had some great experiences, and some not so great experiences. For example, we said goodbye to the Mustang:


We were sad about the car being stolen, but our grief was assuaged when we found out we were expecting something else: A BABY! Our world turned sideways when we saw those results. Then Michael finished school,

sc00568fadwe moved to Meridian, MS, and 3 weeks later:

sc00c4bb07Then 20 months later:

sc0068d209Then two and a half years later:


And the rest, they say, is history. Our history. There’s so much more to the story, which already has gotten too long for this post, because there is so much more to us than where we live and what we do and having kids. Everything about Michael has become a part of me, and everything about me is now a part of Michael. We are a unit, cohesive and unbreakable. 

We’ve had thousands of laughs. We’ve discussed everything under the sun. We’ve fought about misunderstandings and miscommunications. We’ve prayed and seen God do amazing things. We have high expectations of our marriage and work hard at it. We are each other’s best friend, and favorite person. 

I may do things on this earth that are pretty good. I have a lot to be proud of, with my kids and an accomplishment here and there. But the thing I am most proud of, and the thing I work hardest at, is this. I love my husband. I have prayed for him since I was 15 years old. It is an honor and privilege to be his wife every day. 

Thanks for hanging with me, buddy. We’re better now than when we first started this deal. God has been so faithful, so good. I give him the glory and praise for everything. Let’s go kick up our heels!

July 10, 2009 at 7:12 pm 5 comments

Shrimp, Sand, Surf, Smiles, and NO Sunburn!

I’m still kind of shocked that we pulled it off. 

We took all of our crazy selves to the beach. 

(collective “oh my gosh, they’re nuts!” I understand, I thought so, too!)

We packed up most of our earthly belongings a week and a half ago, and set out down Hwy. 51 into Madison to make a very, very important stop. 

We had to pick up Allie. 

Yes, our sweet friend, Allie, who my kids adore to pieces and who was the reason we all came home reasonably unstressed. She’s 17, funny, smart, sweet, and patient. She fit in with our weirdness immediately, and so far, hasn’t told anybody that we’re insane, to my knowledge. 

100_6992We drove to Hattiesburg and had lunch at a very crowded McAllister’s. Then made our way to Biloxi where we found our hotel for the night. Michael had a suite reserved because we had so many people. They made a mistake at the hotel and put us in a smoking room. Now, just in case any of you that read this smoke, that’s your choice. What you put in your lungs is your business. But the rooms stink, and I refuse to stay in one. So the only room they had left was a room with a king bed, a couch bed, and they could bring us two rollaway beds. The room was HUGE. It was more like a studio apartment. The kids jumped from bed to bed for a solid hour. We watched Jonas and Horton Hears a Who. Allie and I bought groceries and Michael went for pizza. It was a fun start to our week. 

The next morning we got up and went to the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport. If you have a chance to go, please do. It’s just wonderful. I really enjoyed it more than the Children’s Museum in New Orleans. It was clean, bright, and very interactive. We stayed 4 hours, enjoyed a picnic lunch, and just had a big time. Here are some of my favorite pictures:

100_7010This thing was in the middle of the museum. The kids loved it. I hit my head too many times to be crazy about it. 

100_7006You paddle in the canoe in front of the green screen…

100_7007And you show up on TV!

100_7055There was the play supermarket, where Aidan worked the fish counter. Business is slow at the moment…

100_7028Molly had to catch the train. If I had a dollar for every time we sang “Boomerang Express” in this little train…I’d buy the museum.

There was so much more. A science area, an area where kids can experience what it’s like to lose one of their senses. There’s a toddler section, and a huge outdoor area with gorgeous tree houses in the old oaks that are so prominent on the coast. It was a wonderful time. 

We drove through a thunderstorm, but finally made it to Alabama’s coast, and our condo. The rain stopped, so the kids quickly put on swimsuits and headed out. This was Paisley’s first view of the beach! 

100_7061100_7062And she quickly leaped into her daddy’s arms, because she didn’t like sand on her feet. 

100_7067The older kids, however, had a LARGE time. They stayed outside until dark. 

The rest of the trip looks pretty much like this: we played on the beach. I tried to introduce the guy we rented our chairs from to Allie because he was cute. We ate a lot of seafood and sandwiches. We stayed up late because we stayed on the beach until dark. We came in every afternoon and napped. Allie and I hit the outlet mall and I got a great dress and one of those straw cowboy hats that makes me look like I’m going to a Kenny Chesney concert. I packed clothes for a family picture, but it never happened. We got one, though. And since I’m standing behind Michael, it’s the only picture you’ll ever see of me in a swimsuit. 

100_7074This was bright and early one morning, before we all got wet. Having Allie there was brilliant, she could play on the beach while Michael and I swam, or could take Paisley to the pool, where she was happiest. It was a great decision to bring her, and I loved getting to know her better. 

100_7087100_7078100_7177100_7178100_7115This dude gave us his body board, and we LOVED it. The waves on Wednesday were huge, this picture doesn’t do them justice. Michael stayed in the water most of the day. They were easily 10 feet tall, and so much fun!

100_7180And this is proof that you can have too much fun. 

I got a sinus infection on Wednesday. We drove home on Thursday and before Michael even took Allie home, he dropped me off at MEA to get a shot and a Z-Pack. I was feeling better by bedtime, but that drive home had been rough! 

Now all the sand is washed out of our suits, the coolers are stowed away. We’ve been home almost a week now and I’m craving just one or two more days of sunshine and sea. 

Summer’s not over yet….

July 8, 2009 at 3:25 am 2 comments

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