Iraq Journey

Young Ladies Christian Fellowship

Blissdom Conference ~ Nashville ~ February 4-6 2010

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Aaaand, we’re jumping into moving mode!

June 29, 2007

Doesn’t it seem like I just said that? Maybe because I did…? :smile:

After the first day of looking for houses this past week, John and I were getting more and more discouraged. Everything we found–through the newspaper, by talking to property management companies, and looking online–was either nice and way too expensive, or in what I affectionately called “Scaryville.” We weren’t too fond of Scaryville. :grin: We thought we were looking at a long week of… not much.

In the evening, we called on the two last houses we had on our list, and set up appointments to look at both within the hour. The first was not too bad a house, and a great price… but smack dab in the middle of Scaryville itself. We went on to the next… and immediately knew we wouldn’t be finding anything like this again! Beautiful little house, in a gated community even!, with a nice yard, allowing pets without even having to pay extra, and at a price we could work with. We left, praying that God would open the doors for this house if it was His will… which He did. The next night we went over and signed a lease, for the first time for both of us. :smile: So we have a nice little two bedroom house, and about three weeks until we move into it.

Now it’s back into moving mode for us, and our first “real” military move, complete with movers, house cleaning and all that good stuff. I’m feeling a wee bit worn out right now… but this wonderful hubby of mine is being sure I rest up as much as possible before things get really crazy after this week.

And, hey, anyone want a wood computer cabinet, two, uh, lovely big entertainment center shelves bought by a then-unmarried guy, an old recliner with a khaki slipcover, an electric washer and dryer, or a big huge toy chest? Because we don’t. :grin:

"This is the Lord’s Doing…"

June 25, 2007

On June 26, 2004, we became man and wife…

This weekend, we’ve found ourselves laughing and remembering some of our craziest moments… white water kayaking in Alaska on our honeymoon, camping in our little tent during a huge thunderstorm in Montana (why pay for hotel rooms when you can camp as you drive across country?! :grin: ), hiking on early mornings in the desert–which we’ve done since the first official day of our relationship, remembering the day my water broke and we realized we’d be parents for the first time within a day or so, the day John ran his first–and only thus far :smile: –marathon, setting up our first house together, not always eating dinner till 8:00 in those first few months because I would sometimes forget that my mama wasn’t making supper that night!, trying–and failing–when it came to training a black furry puppy, laying sod in a little base housing back yard shortly before learning we’d have to leave that house… memories that make me smile just typing them out.

This day, three years later, finds us watching God work as we look for a house in a new city. Truly, that’s what it’s been so far! Praying, being a little scared, and then having God remind us that He is in control, as always–and have you ever been so blessed by someone all you can do is weep? That’s us today. We still have to see where the next step will be, but our God is faithful… He’s been more than faithful to us over the past three years, through life decisions, through three moves so far, through allowing us to love four babies, graciously giving us the supreme blessing of being able to hold one in our arms and now be eagerly awaiting the same with this next one, and showing us Himself even when He took the other two back to His own arms, through promotions, fun times, exciting trips, and abundant blessings, through hard times, tight times, and lots if smallish and not-so-smallish mistakes… through all that these last three years have held, He’s been faithful. When we look ahead, and realize that anything we think we’ve learned thus far will seem like nothing when we hit ten, twenty and fifty years, all we can do is look back, see our Lord’s faithfulness, in every situation, and know that whatever comes, He will be faithful.

In honor of today, the day we were married, here is the story of how God’s faithfulness in our relationship began… it is long… very long, in fact. But it is precious to us, because this is how it all started, and if this was just the beginning, we can only guess at how much better the story is going to get…

I could begin to tell the tale of our courtship with the story of my dad getting a ticket aboard a Marine Corps base just moments after being asked by a young man for permission to court his daughter…. or I could begin it with the afternoon at church I spent talking about music and Christian colleges with this new young Marine… or I could begin it with the day I stood next to my dad as a fourteen year old and watched this same Marine wait quietly to tell my dad goodbye before leaving our area. But, in truth, the heart of this story begins long before any of that.

My parents heard the term “courtship” shortly after we began homeschooling in 1992. Being the sold-out extremist I was, at eight years old I was telling my fellow second grade friends why they should believe in courtship. I also remember the blank stares I got back!

For years, I could recite a perfect courtship speech. After all, I had read the books, listened to the seminars, talked to the speakers, pored over the articles. I knew my stuff! In my mind, courtship was basically a formula. A plus B always equaled C. I measured the “success” of real-life stories I read or heard based on how they measured up to my standard.

Little did I know that when my dad met a young Marine at our new church just before Christmas 2000, God was about to blow all my preconceived ideas right out of the water.

We had just started attending this church that year and were meeting many new people. After a few years of church searching and being without a church home, God was showing my family the error in some of our thinking regarding the church and the body of believers. We were once again falling in love with the Body of Christ in the location He had put us.

My dad has always had a heart for young men, and when he met a young Marine at our church, it was no different. They would talk after services and my dad was impressed with his heart for the Lord, and the fact that, as a young man in the military, he was remaining faithful to Christ even in difficult circumstances. There are many young men who, when away from home and their parents, no longer attend church by their own choosing.

One particular Sunday, we were sitting in a row and this Marine was sitting at the end. Directly in front of us sat a group of teenagers who were much more interested in each other than the message being preached. I was disgusted. My self-righteousness grew and festered until I was no longer paying attention to the sermon myself. I sighed loudly and rolled my eyes. I mean, didn’t they know this was church?

On our way home that day, my parents, who had caught wind of my annoyance during the service, were remarking that it was interesting to watch the young Marine at the end of our row. He was listening intently throughout the service and the Lord’s Supper which followed, taking notes and seeming to not be bothered at all with the disturbances in front of us. They both mentioned that we would do good to follow his example.

A few weeks later, our pastor announced during the service that the Marine my dad had been talking to would be leaving for another Marine Corps Base during the week. Afterward, my younger brother, Zach, and I were standing next to my dad while he talked to another man when I noticed Zach talking to the Marine.

A minute later I asked him what they were talking about and Zach, who was then seven, replied, “I told him to wait and not leave. Dad would want to say bye to him.”

I was a bit mortified that Zach would tell him to wait there, but Zach thought he had done a great deed… until, that is, we were in the car going home. My parents were talking together about feeling bad that it had never worked out for that Marine to come for dinner while he was here, and Zach piped up with the information that he had been the one to tell him to say good bye to Dad. We laughed and told him that he hadn’t really needed to tell him, and poor Zach felt bad.

The young Marine left, and we soon forgot his name, often referring to him as “that young Marine guy.” When talking to my brother about examples of godly character in older young men, my parents would point to “that young Marine guy” as one such person.

The next two years became a time of tremendous growth for me, but only as the result of some very difficult times.

I began to change, and not all the change was for the better. God, in His infinite wisdom, had to get me to a place of complete surrender to Him, and in the process, had to peel away the layers of self-righteousness and the outward façade I had been living behind. I realized I enjoyed the attention of young men, and I no longer cared about protecting my emotional purity as I had so long said I would do. In my blindness to the deceitfulness of my own heart, I would recite my “courtship speech” to a friend, then relish in the attention given by young men at church.

Soon I found myself broken before the Lord, as well as my parents, and for the first time in years, I saw myself as I really was—a sinner saved by grace. My heart was no better as a conservative, homeschooling girl than anybody else. The summer I was 16 was a turning point in my life. For the first time, I could walk with the Lord without such pride and pretense. God gave me a new respect and compassion for others in place of the condemnation I’d so readily bestowed on fellow Christians. It was truly as if the scales were removed from my eyes and I was finally able to focus on Jesus—only Jesus.

That fall, I started writing in a journal with the intention of giving it to my future husband on our honeymoon. I kept a prayer card in my Bible with the words “Wherever he is, whatever he is doing…” across the top and started praying daily and purposefully for him. I knew that God knew who this man was, though I didn’t, and with a fresh understanding of the importance of it, I wanted to commit myself to him.

Being that I’m a girl who is absolutely “in love with love,” I was struggling with knowing that I would have to wait for this man for years, as I was only sixteen and could foresee years of patient (or not-so-patient) waiting ahead of me.

From my “Future Husband Journal,” as I called it:

My Beloved Husband,

The time is late, but I want very much to write you. I have been thinking of you almost constantly the past week or so. The thought that has filled my mind is that you are now, somewhere on this earth, living, and you are not with me. I know it does not make any earthly sense, but I do love you, wonderful man I have never met…I have been struggling with patience the past few days. On the closer side of victory some of the time, fighting hard with my longing for a visible, tangible person to love others. I know the Lord uses it for good, though—a stronger and deeper closeness to Him I have already noticed…

In March of 2003, a week before my seventeenth birthday, my best-friend-and-closer-than-a-sister came for a visit. Bethany and I were up one night until four o’clock in the morning, talking about our future and our plans for life after high school. We talked of courtship and trusting the Lord. She told me she and her parents had such peace about her plan for after graduation. She had a thriving business and ministry as a music teacher and had endless opportunities before her to serve the Lord through music. I, on the other hand, was still wondering what I would do. I was looking at a nearby Christian college and wondered if I might end up teaching piano for a while also. One thing was for sure—I didn’t want to just “sit at home cross stitching all day, waiting for someone to drop out of the sky,” as I often told my parents!

During her visit, Bethany told me about a young man and mutual friend who had just begun courting. I laughed, “Well, I guess that means that’s one less person….”

“What do you mean?” She smiled at my sheepish look. “Did you think he was a possibility?”

“Kinda. I always wondered… things just seemed to match up. But, obviously, he wasn’t in God’s plan.” We both laughed and shrugged.

Later that night, I wrote in my journal…

I think God is trying to show me something. I can’t think of a time when my heart has been so free of any thoughts or speculations or prospects in mind. I really believe He is bringing me to a place of a truly deeper relationship and dependence on Him and Him alone. I should not have my eyes on any, any person other than Christ. And I see Him pulling away the distractions that have held me back for quite a while. I so desperately long to be wholly and completely devoted to Him in every way. And I truly, sincerely mean that… there are so many things changing in my heart and life—I wish I could eloquently record them all here, but I know I can’t.

And there are some issues of the heart which can never be put into words. Such is the state of my heart tonight…


The week before Bethany’s visit, some friends of ours had given a young Marine a ride to church. Apparently he had served with the father from this family at a church when he was in Japan and upon his arrival to California, called and asked for a ride. Churches near military bases are full of people who knew each other at previous duty stations, at this Marine was no exception. He knew a few of our other friends and I soon heard that he even been at our church a few years before. Being that we had only been attending for a few years ourselves, I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t remember him…. although before I met him that morning I had thought he looked rather familiar.

It is not unusual at all for young Marines to come to our church, but whether or not they continue to come is often another story. Many families have a heart for these young guys and try to make them feel welcome with hopes of encouraging them to stay. As was customary, he was invited to stay and fellowship with the families who spent the afternoon at church and have lunch with everyone. Although my family lived right in town, most of our good friends didn’t, so I had stayed at church that Sunday with a family who had two daughters my age.

We had filled our afternoon with games, music and singing and were all standing in the foyer at church talking when we heard the soft notes of Palchelbel’s Canon in D being played on a guitar. It was John, that new Marine.

“You know that song on the guitar?” We were all pretty impressed. After all, doesn’t every girl know that as the perfect song for their wedding processional?

Apparently he didn’t have any idea of the significance of such a song. “Uh, yeah, I do.”

We all listened while he finished, then I asked what else he knew. I had just learned to play Canon on the piano and loved classical music, and he had just started turning his guitar skills in the classical direction, so we compared songs and quickly realized that we both shared a strong love of all things music.

The afternoon progressed and so did our conversation. We talked about his home in Colorado, his time in the Marine Corps, my piano students, Christian colleges we both had looked into. He was talking about high school and mentioned that he had graduated in 1998.

I thought for a second. “That would make you…?”

“Twenty-three.” A brief pause. “And you are…?”

“Turning seventeen next week.”

I laughed at his surprise, although I was a bit used to it. People had been thinking me much older than I was for as long as I could remember. Inwardly, I smiled to myself. Good. A nice age difference there… no need to worry about any interest on his part. I enjoyed talking to him, and for the first time in a long time, actually felt that I could have a brother/sister relationship with this John Baker without any flirtatiousness or concern of anything more developing.

On our drive home from the evening church service, I told my mom about the new Marine at church that day.

“Yes, I saw him too. What is his name? You know, I think I know who he is…”

“His name is John. Do we know him?” I was puzzled.

“Yes, it’s him. Remember the ‘young Marine guy’—the one Dad met a few years ago?”

It clicked. “Yes!” I laughed. “He’s that guy! How funny…”

My dad, a firefighter, was working one of his usual 24-hour shifts that Sunday and wasn’t able to be at church. “Dad will be so happy to know that he’s back,” Mom said. “I’ll have to call him when we get home.”

Bethany came a few days later for her visit and I quickly forgot about that Marine. The following week at church, I saw him after the morning choir practice.

“You know, we realized something really funny after church last week.” I told him as everyone walked to the choir room. “When you were here three years ago, my dad had met you and talked to you quite a bit then. My little brother even told you to make sure to tell him goodbye before you left—do you remember any of that?”

His look of surprise quickly turned to a quiet laugh. “That was your dad? I was wondering if he was still here. I didn’t see him last week, though—was he here?”

I told him Dad had been at work last week.

“It’s funny, I almost asked you last week if you happened to know that guy. So… you’re that man’s daughter…”


Within a few weeks, we had John over for the long-overdue dinner my parents’ had wanted to give him three years before. We all enjoyed an evening of ping pong, Pictionary and music. He didn’t have his own vehicle due to Marine Corps regulations, but when my dad left to take him home that night it was with a promise of coming again the following week.

Soon John’s presence in our home was becoming more and more regular. My family and John would all laugh over games after dinner, enjoy many discussions on topics of all sorts, spend hours playing music and singing song after song, and then trying to stay awake in the car as my dad drove the half hour back to the base late in the evening. We quickly discovered that John and my dad were alike in more ways than should be possible and the fact gave all of us endless amusement. My mom took pictures of them on days they ended up in nearly the same outfits and teased them that they must have called each other before getting dressed that day to verify the color shirt to wear! (Of course, she is hardly in a single picture from that entire time, being that she was always the one taking them!)

I was viewing all of the interaction between my family and John through the eyes of my newfound sense of resting in the Lord. I honestly thought that our age difference canceled any thought of anything besides friendship between the two of us. We enjoyed each others’ company, loved singing together and talking about music, we had many similar interests and ideas, and I was thankful to have been given the chance to enjoy a pure friendship based on a common love of Jesus.

As we got to know him better, I remember thinking that he did measure up to so many of the things I thought valuable in a husband. I was still learning the difference between negotiables and non-negotiables, and was contemplating which things were essential to a godly man and which were just preferences.

At one point, John had mentioned his love of reading in a conversation with my dad. My dad asked him what his favorite books were and I heard his answer from where I was across the room. Nope, I thought. Not my type of books. Good, one more reason I could never end up with this guy. He was just a good friend—someone I could talk to very freely and easily and not worry about anything else.

One day John had a long weekend and wanted to visit our nearby Joshua Tree National Monument. My family hadn’t spent a day out there in a while, so we all packed a lunch and drove into the park for a day of hiking and boulder jumping. At one point John and I ended up sitting on a gigantic boulder and as my 12 year old brother hopped from rock to rock around us, I found myself telling him about the events of the past two years and how God had dealt with me and changed my heart in drastic ways. We both told each other our salvation testimonies and talked about some of the hardest and best times of our lives.

Later, John, Zach and I went bouldering for about an hour. I thought of how my parents obviously trusted him. What I didn’t know was the conversation they were having back at our picnic site.

“I think we’re going to be planning a wedding next year.” Dad looked at Mom. I wish now I could have seen Mom’s look of shock!

“What?!” She laughed. “You’re crazy! We shouldn’t be talking about this now! I mean, Ashleigh’s only seventeen…”

“I’m serious,” Daddy replied. “Have you been noticing or thinking anything about him?”

Serious again, Mom went on to confide in Dad that she had indeed wondered if the Lord was beginning to reveal that John was the man He had ordained for their daughter. In return, he told her he’d been thinking the same thing. They continued talking and came to realize that both had already been praying earnestly about the possibility, but that the feeling was so fragile they had been unwilling to even speak of it lest something be ruined. So began many hours spent in secret, my Mama and Daddy on their knees together praying earnestly, fervently, and unlike ever before for this young man God had brought into the life of our family, for the near future of their baby girl, and for an extra measure of strength, wisdom, and guidance as her parents.

All the while, they breathed not a word to me…

On my part, the day at the Monument was pivotal in other ways. In the afternoon, John and I played a game of Skip-Bo on the picnic table and as we laughed and joked about my quick and easy win, I felt my face get warm. Why did he look at me that way? I walked out and climbed on a large boulder. He followed me. It was the first time I started wondering… what was that spark?

A week later, John was visitng and he and I were sitting in the living room talking. John suddenly seemed to hesitate and stumble over his words.

“Uh, Ashleigh? Uh…. What would you… well… Would you object to me talking to your dad about a relationship… between you and I?”

I was stunned. I sat in shocked silence for a minute or two before catching my breath. I had a million thoughts running through my head. Um, what did he just ask? Is he serious? There’s um, seven years between us. Doesn’t he know that? He can’t mean me. And, shouldn’t he have talked to Dad first?

“I think you need to talk to my dad,” I managed to spit out.

“That’s what I was wondering—would you be okay with that? I mean, would you want me to?”

I knew he was just wanting to know if I was even interested. There had been so little interaction between us of a romantic nature, such an absence of flirting and such complete respect for each other that he probably wasn’t sure just what I was thinking. The truth was, I had been trying as hard as could be to not think anything at all. I had been purposely not allowing myself to dwell on him, because I was afraid of ruining what was such an innocent friendship. I wanted desperately to tell him “Yes! Talk to my dad, now!” But this wasn’t how it happened in the courtship books I had read, and could it be that God would actually work differently than the way an author portrayed the perfect courtship?

He began apologizing profusely, believing me to be offended. He thought surely I was not even interested and he had done something drastically wrong by my reaction. In an instant, he envisioned the end of what had been a sweet friendship. With haste, I merely stumbled for words while telling him again to just talk to my dad and then quickly rushed to find my mom! She could immediately tell by my golf ball size eyes that something was up. We hurried into her room. Again, my dad was working his 24-hour shift that day and wouldn’t be home until the next day.

I swallowed hard. “He—John—just asked if he could talk to Dad about starting a relationship between us.” The shock still had not worn off of my face.

Mom’s eyes began to fill, but she stopped herself and asked, “What did you tell him?”

“To talk to Dad.”

She laughed at her silly daughter. “So he’s out there thinking you aren’t even interested? And are you?”

I tried willing myself not to blush. “Yes.”

“Then you need to tell him so.”

“What do you think, though, Mom?”

Her eyes were watering again. “You don’t know how earnestly Dad and I have been praying about this the past few weeks. We’ve been thinking God is showing us that He has brought John into our lives for this reason and have been praying for some very specific things, one being that if it was God’s will, He would have John initiate talking to Dad soon.”

Now it was my turn to cry… before going out to tell John, “I just wanted to tell you, I would be very happy if you talked to my dad.”

“That’s what I wanted to hear,” he smiled.

April 28, 2003

2:20 am

My stomach is doing flip-flops and I can barely see to write this—I’m using my night light. John has asked if he may talk to Dad.


The next evening, when Dad was home again and was driving John back to his barracks, John broached the subject. A few minutes later, this led to the infamous story of the ticket Dad got for driving 45mph in a 35mph zone on base. We attribute this to the fact that, though he had already talked to Mom and I and was expecting it, he was slightly distracted by the fact someone was asking for his baby girl.

Dad and John talked in the parking lot of the barracks into the wee hours of the morning. Dad asked him every question he could and had been thinking of. He wanted to know what John’s intentions were. Was he just expecting a short-term, emotional relationship? John assured him that he fully believed that I was the girl God intended him to marry. He wasn’t interested in a relationship for a relationship’s sake. He wanted to get to know me better with the intention of marriage down the road. Before he left, Dad told John that he gave his complete and full blessing for our courtship to begin.

The next day, John and I went back to the Monument to hike up a short trail my family often visits. At the top, in a little notebook put up for the tourists, we wrote, “John and Ashleigh, Day 1—‘This is the Lord’s doing, it is marvelous in our eyes!’ (Ps. 118:23)”

During the next month, I wondered how any person could be as happy as we were and still continue living. The peace we all had in this was astounding. I had never known anything like it. Our friendship continued and grew, and John prepared to go back to Japan indefinitely. Our conversations turned from “If we get married…” to “When we get married…” I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. We talked about everything—standards, convictions, preferences, likes, dislikes, foods, hobbies, dogs, flowers, Bible verses, books. We talked to his parents as often as we could, including them from their much-too-far-away distance. We began a Scripture memorization “course” together to do while he was gone. Then John received the news that he would only be in Japan for about a month before being stationed—we could hardly believe it—back here to the base only thirty minutes from where I lived.

Shortly before leaving for Japan, we were stopped half way up on one of our hikes when John looked at me and asked, “Is it okay to tell you I’m in love with you?”

“Yes,” I whispered.

“I love you, my Ashleigh.”

“I love you, my John.”


We decided to use the time John was in Japan as a time to pray and talk about where to go from here when he returned. During that month and a half, I attended a Music Camp at the Christian college I had been looking into. Being there, in the midst of everything college and everything music, I started to wonder if I was making the right decision. After all, I was still so young. Could I possibly need to do something else before getting married? I was surprised at myself for wavering. I called my parents and asked for help and prayer. I suddenly felt lost. I also had a long talk with a godly woman at the college, and she and my parents told me the same thing. God had a plan unique for me. My primary purpose in life was to honor, love and serve my Savior, and how could I best do that according to His will? He had quite clearly given John to me and only I could decide, though with the counsel of my parents, whether or not I marrying him was the best thing. By the end of the week, God had used it to completely clear my mind and show me, without a doubt, that He had given John to me and becoming his wife was the greatest thing I could do. I needed that week to weigh out everything and become fully convinced of what God had for me. I was about to face many a skeptic and be on the receiving end of many doubtful comments from people. I needed to be sure.

After Music Camp, my family spent a few days at the beach with Bethany’s family. She and I talked about my courtship (she still had yet to meet John!) and the fact that, if things went as planned, we would be planning a wedding for the following summer. I asked her what she would think if we became engaged soon. She replied that it would be weird—she was still reeling from the courtship! I laughed and told her not to worry, since it would most likely be quite a while before I had a ring on my finger.

A few days later I stepped off a plane in Denver and into John’s arms. I was going to spend a few days with his family and my parents and Zach were going to drive up a few days later. As of yet, my family had only been able to talk to John’s family via telephone, and while this was not “ideal”, we were thankful for the opportunity to better get to know them now in person.

John and I began our drive up to his home where his parents were waiting. John wanted to make a few stops along the way to show me some of his favorite scenic places. First, we admired the stillness of a large lake, then headed up closer to his hometown of 10,300 feet elevation. We stopped off on the highway and hiked a little way up a hill until we saw the top of a sparkling waterfall. John suggested climbing down to the stream below it, but I wasn’t so sure. It looked so steep. He assured me we’d be okay. We headed slowly down the hillside then settled to sit on a fallen log with our feet dangling over the water. With the mist from the waterfall surrounding us, John slipped a beautiful marquise cut diamond ring on my left ring finger and asked me to be his bride. Again, I was rendered speechless… but only for a moment. I whispered, “Yes,” with tears in my eyes.


On June 26, 2004, we became Mr. and Mrs. J.D.B. Our wedding was beautiful and perfect for us, because it was glorifying the precious Lord who had brought us together. The day itself brought a bit of stress and a few tears due to the fact that our outdoor Rocky Mountain ceremony, overlooking a lake with snow-capped mountains as a backdrop was rain-and-hail-stormed out. Thankfully, John’s dad is a pastor and we were provided with an alternative location… but that is all another story! From the beginning of our relationship, we had been learning that God works in different ways with each of His children, and of course we were no exception. We went through the same difficulties during the course of our courtship and engagement that most couple face—we are, after all, merely two sinners coming together to give God glory in a portrayal of His love toward and relationship with us. But through all of it, both the blissful times as well as the agonizing times, God again proved His faithfulness and grace by bringing us through and, as John so often prayed in those early days, by bringing us closer together by drawing us closer to Himself. We could honestly say on our wedding day,

“This is the Lord’s doing, it is marvelous in our eyes!” Ps. 118:23

June 26, 2004

My Beloved Husband,

Today is the day I become your bride… and you will be my husband. The one I have dreamed of, prayed for and loved.

I love you, my John. I can hardly wait. This doesn’t seem real. Oh, how I love you!

See you at the altar…

Yours forever, with all my heart,

Your Bride

Your Wife

Your Ash

Originally published on June 26, 2007. To contact Ashleigh, feel free to email her at heartandhome29 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Over Half Way There

June 22, 2007

Nearly 21 weeks now….

And given that Troy was born ON his due date, I think I can logically guess that I actually am about half way to seeing this little person face to face.

On Tuesday we had the joy of seeing our new little one kicking around on a computer screen. Seeing that baby, and hearing the heartbeat always makes my eyes fill.

The ultrasound revealed only too clearly that Troy is going to have a baby brother in the fall.

We are thrilled, completely overjoyed!, to be having another precious boy. One has been such fun… we can only imagine how wonderful two will be. What made us both laugh was the difference in this baby at this point compared to his big brother. Troy was all over the place during his ultrasound, always pushing and kicking at any pressure, then nearly “posing” for a nearly perfect classic profile shot… which is so very much his personality even now. This little boy was much more shy, not seeming to want to be seen, and moving gently around his current little home inside his mommy. Troy is a very typical first born in every way, and we’re expecting this second little man to be a bit more reserved and less “wild” than his big brother… much like John and his older brother.

Tomorrow we’re having a yard sale in preparation for our move in four weeks… a graduation celebration to attend in the evening… and then we’re leaving early Sunday morning to head to our soon-to-be new area, go to church at one of the churches we’ve heard good things about, and then spend the week looking for houses… and hopefully a trip to the beach while we’re at it. :smile:

Good Ol’ Fashioned Summer Fun

June 9, 2007

As our days here in the desert are getting hotter and hotter, Troy is fast becoming a little fishie. As often as possible lately, he’s spent a couple hours in the afternoon in his little pool. He splashes water at me and the dog (who is usually being lazy in the shade), cracks himself up, jumps in the little streams of water that orange sprinkler puts out… then gets tired of “swimming”, wants to wrap up in his towel and snuggle for a minute, but only for a minute–because he’s a BIG BOY and it’s time to RUN and PLAY and LAUGH… and scrape knees on the concrete, and try to eat rocks, and coax his doggie to get in the pool with him while Mama is telling that doggie not to…. fun stuff, that’s for sure! I read, talk to my mom, my mother-in-love, or my sissy, sip my tenth glass of ice water, get sun on my shoulders… and supervise this adventuresome boy’s attempts at dunking his whole face under water.

Fascinated by the water-spraying-turtle…

…and by the hose. The best time of the whole day is when the pool is filling up.

The tiny rocks from the landscaping are so… intriguing. :grin: He’s still not sure they shouldn’t be considered a good afternoon snack.

Still not quite understanding the concept of “Keep the hose in the pool, Troy.”


Dinners on the back patio. Grilled chicken, sweet corn on the cob, homemade yellow rice, iced lemonade, fruit salad for a cool, light dessert…. just sounds like summer, doesn’t it?

All clean from a bath, going to bed while it’s still light outside… completely tuckered out.

Can you smell the sunscreen and taste the popsicles yet? :)

Mom’s surgery update

June 7, 2007

Thank you to those of you who prayed for my mama yesterday when she had her surgery. I posted an update here. :)