Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Chaos

Between trying to redo a house, Christmas, rescuing puppies and somewhat living out of our car.... I'd say this month has been chaotic. Forgive me. I am anxious to sit and write about our new home, but I. HAVE. NO. TIME.

 Just a little update:
 Painters will finish the inside today (Friday)
We'll move from Starkville on Monday
Appliances will be installed Tuesday - Yipee!
Floor will go down Wednesday and Thursday
We will hopefully stay Thursday night!

We are ready, to say the least. 

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! 

Also, baby Harper is the size of a large cantaloupe (5.5 lbs and 22 inches)! She was a pineapple last week. She is growing really fast. Only 5 weeks and 5 days left. I'm starting to get freaked out/excited. Waiting on February 1st...

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Beginnings

Friday was a BIG day! After a 21 hour semester, Daniel graduated from Mississippi State. 

He was able to finish his degree in 3.5 years - "You gotta do, whatcha gotta do." I am so proud of him for taking a full load during the summer and succeeding in the fall. Both of us are very relieved! The semester flew by. 

Congratulations on... 

1) ...graduating
2) ...a new job
3) ...a new marriage
4) ...a new baby girl
5) ...a new dad
6) ...a new house

Wow. So much is happening.

Yesterday was our last Sunday at Adaton Baptist Church. It was a bittersweet time. We love that church! Saturday Daniel and I made a trip to Oxford to pick up my Craigslist find and visit with our former pastor, J.D. Shaw and his family. Daniel and I have missed them tremendously this past semester. They seem to love Oxford and their new church - you could see it in J.D.'s face. We finally got to see their sweet adopted child, James Samuel Shaw. Now they're a happy family of 6! I hope we stay in contact with the Shaws as we move south. They have made an impact on our lives while in Starkville. 

James Samuel Shaw, Mimi and Annie

Miss Zoe

J.D. and Wilson

Last Thursday, Daniel and I had a doctor's appointment. 
33 weeks

Everything was great and he referred us to another doctor in Jackson. THAT appointment is Tuesday - we're really excited about meeting Dr. Sims. That's right... Dr. Sims. It was meant to be. If anyone knows anything about this doctor, let us know! She's now the size of a HONEYDEW (19 inches/ 4.5 pounds). I'm not even going into my conversation with Daniel. I always make him guess what the fruit is and this one ended with, "Hahaha... oh my gosh. I married an idiot!!!" I was just kidding, but he understood. We are thriled and can't wait to meet her!!! SHE. KICKS. ALOT. 

House: Hopefully we'll close this week and start renovations! Everything is happening so fast. 

We thank you for all of the prayers! Things have worked out better than Daniel and I could've planned. Looking back to June, I thought our world was falling apart. There have been blessings after blessings. To think we're moving out, buying our own house, starting a family and starting a new job - only possible through God. NO good comes from us. Thank you. 

Now off to Crystal Springs for Christmas break. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


(might not be as cool as this kid)

Those are words I didn't think I would say this past June. After leaving my internship at First Presbyterian, I thought a diploma was unreachable. I remember going to the Keeler's house and being so worried about telling them "the news" and not completing my job. Mr. Harper Keeler was so quick to comfort me that night. He reassured me we would get the internship done. That was the first time I felt this would be okay. The internship was obviously the last thing on his and Mrs. Beth's minds. As I have said before, they were worried about my health, the baby's health and Daniel. 

After leaving their house, I had hope about my education. I would finish my degree. I then had to tell my dad, who paid my out-of-state tuition. I talked to my advisor before even mentioning it to him. She thought I could take an incomplete for the summer semester and finish in the fall. That's exactly what happened. I was able to get an internship with Community Counseling Services. Not only did I get an internship, but a paid internship... in Starkville (1/2 mile from our apartment). UNBELIEVABLE. Daniel and I (and my parents) were all thrilled! I started on September 12 and finished TODAY! 

540 hours piled into 2 binders

 I had a meeting at Community Counseling and my final meeting with my advisor, Jan Cooper Taylor. The first one was a breeze, but I was concerned about the second one. Needless to say, it went really well! (Funny story: After finding a parking spot, I realized the meter was good for 45 minutes. I knew I would at least be an hour. So, I walked in The Bakery and had to know someone studying - nope. Not a single soul. What do I do? See a freshman Phi Mu and ask her to put money in my car while I'm in my meeting. I might've embarrassed myself, but it surely wasn't the first time! I got back with 10 minutes to spare - thank you, Phi Mu lady! AND… it was the first time for me to be back in my building all semester. I ran into 2 of my professors from last semester. They looked at me and said, “Have you gained weight?” It was a surprise for them! They later joked with me and asked how we were doing. I really wanted to tweet, “#thatawkwardmoment when you see your professor for the first time being 8 months preggo.” Good times!)

Dr. Taylor and Anna Brantley at spring commencement

Needless to say, the meeting went REALLY well! Dr. Taylor and I talked for an hour and a half about my 2 VERY DIFFERENT internships and what I learned. Both were great experiences! Daniel and I made many connections at First Pres and will return shortly! The church has reached out and helped us along this journey. I could not be more thankful for that opportunity. Community Counseling targeted a completely different group of people. In the beginning I was quick to judge- I'll admit. My attitude was, "Why don't these people get jobs? They're living off the government. Blah. Blah. Blah." My view slowly changed. I had to remind myself some people weren't given the same chances I was given. They weren't raised with educated parents. They didn't HAVE an education. They had children for more money, because someone told them it was okay. It's a vicious cycle. My eyes were opened to a new world. A world where money is viewed differently. Family is viewed differently. Values and morals are viewed differently. Unless someone wants to change, you can't force it. Lesson learned.

client at the elderly home- lookin' sharp

Robert, from Inverness, called me Mary Sims 1,000 times a day. I got used to my new name quickly. 

Mr. Charles sings in a Motown band every Saturday night in Columbus

Mrs. Earnestine asked me at least 3 times a day, "Are you... Are you..." Yes mam, I am! "Oh well, good! Is it your first?" Yes mam. I'm young. "Oh wee. When is the date?" February 1st. "February? I had a girl in February. I had 2 girls, no boys." That was our conversation... at least 3 times a day. I miss her!


Miss Annie and Miss Ruby (program manager) playing Bingo. Miss Ruby taught me so much. She expected a lot from me. I'm going to miss Starkville Manor and Miss Ruby in the spring! She has a wonderful heart. 


group in action

singing Christmas hymns

 Upon the end of my meeting, Dr. Taylor talked on a serious note. She was glad to see me finishing my degree at Mississippi State. Back in June, I had so many things going through my head. "Do I finish my degree? Do I find a job? Do I work part-time and do research? We won't have income. Daniel's in school with 21 hours. He can't work. What am I supposed to do?" She told me that an education was SO important these days, but I wanted to take responsibility for myself. I wanted to work and support Daniel. It was a sense of independence. I'm so glad my parents and Dr. Taylor persuaded me to finish. It was a great feeling to turn in my portfolio. Not only was it paper in a binder, but something more than that. I accomplished my goal. What I thought was impossible, just became possible. Thank you, Mom, Dad, Keelers, First Presbyterian Church, Community Counseling, faithful friends, Daniel and baby Harper. It's a relief, but also a reminder that anything is possible with God. 

Remain faithful.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Happy Birthday, Daniel! 

You're finally 22. We can celebrate being the same age for 4 months! Harper and I love you very much! 
(Now finish exams so we can move)