What's Up Wednesday

So Little Time

Wednesday

Ah, it’s Wednesday – the middle of the week, and (finally) a night I get to spend with my husband – who has been in Texas more often than Georgia these past months. It’s a rare occasion to spend some good, quality time together.

Which is why last Friday night, when Craig told me he would be in Knoxville for the night – for eighteen whole entire hours, nonetheless – and staying at a pet-friendly hotel, I finished my two hour commute home from work, packed a quick overnight bag, and loaded the pups up for the three hour trip up to Knoxville, TN! I was more than happy to drive most of the night with one anxious Lucy and an impatient Caroline in the backseat if it meant I got to see my husband!

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By the time I arrived, it was almost 11pm but we were lucky enough to find a neat little place to grab some dinner within walking distance – The Downtown Grill & Brewery.

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After dinner and our short walk back, we settled in with HGTV and FoodNetwork – our television staples…like an old married couple. 🙂 Luckily, the hotel even had a dog park for the pups to run off some of their pent-up energy – so sweet Craig had somewhere to take them when Lucy woke us up, restless, at 4am! #lifeasafurparent

The next day we got up and discovered a little bit more of the Knoxville downtown area, when we walked to have brunch at Tupelo Honey Cafe and opted to sit outside and people watch.

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The food was pretty delicious, I must say and the weather was just beautiful, but it’s safe to say my brunch date stole the show for me! 🙂

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Knoxville’s Market Square

It’s really a pity…but right after brunch we had to return to the hotel, retrieve the pups and Craig loaded me into the car – he headed back to being Captain Lefebvre, and I made the pretty little drive back to Georgia.

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I spent Sunday with my sweet parents who I realized I hadn’t seen since Christmas! I couldn’t believe it! Time really does fly…and we sure have been busy! Sometimes it is so refreshing to relax from all of the hustle and bustle…but then, I feel like, we would never see anyone at all! 🙂

Two weekends ago, I visited one of my best friends and her daughter (our Goddaughter), Willa. We hadn’t seen her since right after her first birthday, about five months before, and all of a sudden she is a beautiful little girl – no more baby!!!

I wish we could spend as much time with everyone as we’d like to… :-/ We may be busy all the time, but it is such a blessing to be able to see our dear friends and family, and spend quality time together, when it’s possible.

🙂 And now for an exciting night in with my wonderful husband and our furs!

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Thirsty For Christ Thursday

Let’s Be Honest…

Thursday

Let’s be honest here.

Living a Christ-centered life isn’t easy.

I promise you that if I had my way things would look a lot different in my life. I probably would have said “FORGET THIS!” whole thing about waiting on God and His timing for a child a long while ago, and taken matters into my own hands. I probably would have chosen the big, fancy house we were looking at in Georgia, instead of the teensy, third-floor apartment 1,200+ miles away from either of our families. I probably would have chosen to continue working in a WELL-PAYING job so we could buy our groceries at Whole Foods and our clothes from Nordstrom, instead of at Wal-Mart and GoodWill.

But…God tells us to live otherwise. He calls us to live in Faith.

Get out your Bible this instant and read with me Hebrews 11. {God, specifically, just said to me-just now, “Look at verse 11:11.” If your know our Jonah story, you know that 11:11 is significant for Craig and I. If you don’t know our story, watch and listen here. Read verse 11:11 – Oh my goodness, right??? Goosebumps. Make that Godbumps. }

Thank you, Jesus.

But back to Hebrews 11. This entire chapter is subtitled “Faith In Action”, and that is how we, as Christians, are called to live our lives. “Faith In Action” should be your subtitle!

Hebrews 11 

Faith In Action

11 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

This is just the first verse, but already we can see how to live the life to which Christ calls us: by faith. You see, it is faith that tells me God is in control and that Craig and I will be parents. That God doesn’t need our help for that to happen. It is faith that reminds me, as I sometimes sit and think wistfully of our family and friends so far away, that we were called here for a purpose. It is faith that assures me that even though we aren’t able to live a lifestyle rich in things of this world, we DO have a life RICH in Jesus.

Let’s be honest. This Christian life isn’t easy. Sometimes it isn’t pleasant. Sometimes it doesn’t go the way we want.  But remembering our life is not our own, helps to put things in perspective. Remind yourself each day – Not my own will, Father, but YOURS, be done.

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Busy With A Capital Zzzzzzzzz…

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As you all know, Craig and I have a very limited number of relaxing weeks and weekends, and in that regard,  nothing has been remotely out of the ordinary!

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In the midst of getting to know our new stomping grounds, we have also kept busy with my Youth Ministry. A few weeks ago, we sang “Revelation Song” at Mass, and rounded out the day by volunteering at a local assisted living facility, and various other acts of service.

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I am blessed with a great group of teens! Last week, we meet for a Pizza & Devotion Night at a local restaurant, and it was so cool to have a discussion about faith right in the midst of a busy and crowded restaurant.

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As a matter of fact, this weekend, we will be hosting an overnight teen lock-in with another church…We better start resting NOW! 🙂

We also recently made a trek down to Georgia for what seemed like the flash off an eye! I drove down with the pups and was able to meet my best friend’s sweet and beautiful daughter, Willa:

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I spent a relaxing afternoon of catching up and manicures with a dear friend in Atlanta:

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And Craig and I both were able to spend some meaningful time with family…so meaningful we didn’t even stop and think of taking any pictures! :-\

After taking Craig back to the airport in Atlanta for work, the furs and I made the JOURNEY back to Maine…in ONE stretch! Thanks to our awesomely fuel efficient car, I only stopped once for diesel!

And since our return and my opportunity to speak at the Maine Catholic Women’s Conference last weekend, we have resumed our usual frenetic pace!

Well, back to that busy schedule we go! I have some crafts to make for this weekend’s lock-in, and presumably, a nap to take!

So, what keeps YOU busy? We’d love to hear! 🙂 Can’t wait to talk to you again tomorrow!

XoXo,
Pier & Craig

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TTC Tuesday

Keep Your Heart & Your Bible Open

TuesdayEven in the midst of a not-so-great morning, God revived our spirits today – as only He can…

Yesterday, at 6:30 AM, we pulled out of the Lefebvre Century Farm driveway and began the journey back home.

By midnight, we were in Tennessee and our sweet Lucy pup was beginning to regret her decision not to eat any of her dinner or drink any of her water or potty when we stopped at the Kentucky border. Craig had just switched back into the driver’s seat at our last stop, and knowing I had to be at work at 7 AM, I was twisting and turning in my seat, trying to fall asleep for the rest of the drive…But Lucy’s panting and whining in my ear was not like the lullaby I was wishing for.

Needless to say, God guided us safely home, and just after 2 AM we pulled into our driveway – utterly exhausted. All five of us – Lucy, Caroline & Miss Daisy included – collapsed into deep slumbers in record time, and before long at all my 5 AM alarm went off. Boo – Hiss.

I spent this morning at the office grumbling about my sleep deprivation and rubbing my tired eyes. I was lamenting the fact I had to spend the next eight hours here, and then would return home to a husband-less house, since Craig flies out this afternoon. Woe is me. (Yes, friends, even after two 18-hour car rides together in one weekend, we still have spent the morning texting and talking on the phone all lovey-dovey, as usual. And are still saddened at having to part for the week the minute we return home!)

We spent a good chunk of the car ride yesterday discussing just how good God is, and where we feel like He is leading us right now. We sang praise and worship songs together; We listened to several podcasts of awesome sermons and devotions; We did not talk about The Voice; We didn’t mention one single movie star; There was no US Weekly to be found along the car ride. And we are very aware that none of that is “normal”. We are also very aware that there are plenty of people who make snide remarks behind our backs about our relationship and our devotion to God and His Will in our lives, and that’s okay. We aren’t living our lives to make anyone else happy, and we certainly don’t feel left out not  knowing what’s going on in the world of E! Entertainment. But we aren’t judging you for your lifestyle or how you choose to spend your time.

We choose to live with our hearts on our sleeves, and sometimes they get broken more easily that way – but they are also left more vulnerable to God’s interception and for that we are thankful! A text message I received this morning – one that made my heart skip a beat – is one anyone else could have smiled at and laughed, “Ha! I’m infertile! We wish!!”

But our faith and our openness to His work all around us made that text message into a certain gift. And it was just that – a little gift from God.

A dear dear friend of mine messaged me this morning:

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Of course Craig and I were just overjoyed! We don’t believe in coincidences, and my friend didn’t know about our “Jonah Revelation“! This dream and the fact she chose to SHARE it with us has GOD stamped all over it. We could have taken our grumbles to heart and dismissed this as “nothing” – but no! It isn’t nothing and God doesn’t wait for you to put your best foot forward before He delivers you a message.

Perhaps this little message is nothing more than reassurance.

But one thing is for certain: Our God is after a love relationship with us. He communicates in a very present and REAL way.

You only have to invite and foster that relationship.

Then WATCH IT GROW and follow Him in amazement. You will never again be like this world.

You may lose the majority of your “friends”.

Your family may never understand you.

But you will be happier than you ever thought could be possible.

Keep your heart and your Bible open.

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Thirsty For Christ Thursday

What A Difference…

ThursdayMy, oh my, what a difference a few years can make in your life.

Three years ago tomorrow, I was hemming and hawing over what outfit to wear on my first date with “this guy” I had been talking to over e-mail and late-night phone calls for the past month. I’m sure I was obsessing over this decision in my favorite bar of the week, after work, beer in hand, and a worn out spirit in my chest. I was almost out of hope. Where was he??? I had been praying for “him” for what seemed like forever.

Two years ago tomorrow, “that guy” devised a proposal scheme that caused me to actually fall out of my chair, and crawl to him – knelt down on one knee, and answer “Absolutely!!!”, while crocodile tears streamed down my cheeks. I was shocked God had FINALLY answered my many prayers!

A year and a half ago last Saturday, “that guy” was waiting for me at the end of a long aisle. I had the biggest tears of joy in my eyes I have ever had in my life. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how much more I would love the man waiting at the end of the aisle.

Last night, we sat next to one of our dearest friends for Wednesday night church and worship at the new non-denominational church we have been attending in addition to Catholic Mass every Sunday. I was so sad when the ‘sermon’ was over. I gave my friend a hug and thanked her for leading us to such a spirit-filled place. She may not have known it, but I had tears in my eyes. Tears of happiness I am beginning to experience with my whole soul.

I thought to myself, three years ago I would have been in a loud bar with friends on a Wednesday night.

Two years ago, Craig and I would have been having a ‘tv dinner’ at my old condo in Atlanta, having a few beers, listening to music, maybe heading out a little later to meet some friends for a mid-week drink.

A year ago, we may have sat on our sofa on a Wednesday night, sobbing about our infertility.

Last night, I saw with new eyes and noticed some wonderful changes Christ has made in our lives. We have an ever firmer faith in the Lord. We are in church as much as we possibly can be – because it’s the desire of our hearts. We long for His Word. We pray together. We study the Bible together. We TRULY mean it when we pray for His Will to be done in our lives. I no longer listen to ‘regular radio’; instead we are all about praise and worship music in our household. We no longer live in sorrow about the lack of a baby’s cries in our halls. We trust that He has wonderful plans in store for us. There is no question He has a beautiful child waiting for us in our future. I have even let His guidance take me to a place the evil one has forever told me I wasn’t good enough for. I now realize, I am NOT good enough…but He is.

Everywhere we go and look and listen in today’s world, we feel like strangers in a foreign land. There’s a reason. We are.

There is a new king of our domain. It’s Christ.

My, oh my, what a difference a few years Christ’s reign over your life makes.

Titus 3:5

Not by the works of justice, which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the laver of regeneration, and renovation of the Holy Ghost;

xoxo

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The Big 3-1 & The First Week On The Job!

Good Morning All!

First, my apologies for being MIA the past few weeks! We’ve had a lot going on here in Georgia – from C’s birthday to his recurrent training to my new job as a nanny! Unfortunately, in all the hustle and bustle, we were unable to make the trip to MN for Craig’s cousin’s wedding – We were so sad to miss it, but plans are in the works for us to make a trip north very soon! Would anyone in GA like to volunteer to watch this little rascal sweetheart for us while we are gone?

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My sweet husband celebrated his 31st birthday last Saturday and we were so lucky to be able to spend the whole day together! I made a Layered Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting with Pecans – all from scratch. You can see the recipe here. I made a few minor changes: The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar, and I ran out of sugar at 1 1/3 cups…So I added Dark Brown Sugar to reach  1 1/2 cups, plus about another 1/3 of a cup. Also, I used pecans throughout the batter AND in the icing, as well. Craig LOVED this cake. He isn’t much of a dessert person, but loves his breakfast, so this combination worked out well for him, as it is very similar to Banana Bread. Typically, I would have a picture of this deliciousness for you…but, alas, I used a new type of icing to write “Happy Birthday Craig” on top of the cake….and instead I made a MESS! 🙂 Who says delicious has to be pretty?? 🙂

Birthday Boyl surprised the birthday boy with a ride in a World War II Vintage Open Cockpit BiPlane!

IMG_1739 IMG_1731 IMG_1736I had no idea how much fun our ride was going to be! You should definitely try it out! You can make a ‘reservation’ here. We followed our flight with a yummy dinner at Elevation Chophouse:

IMG_1749And then some of our very best friends – Josh, Julia and Steve – met us to end the evening at Electric Cowboy! Happy Belated 31st to Craig! And thank you to everyone who helped make his special day even more special! 🙂

In other news, I am officially into my second week as a nanny to beautiful newborn twins and a lovely two-year old little girl! This week I have begun to cook for the family, as well, and just cannot begin to  explain how much I am enjoying my new “job” – two of my favorites: cooking and children, and it’s what I do for a living?!?! Love it!

Well, speaking of my new nanny position, I must get going! Little Lucy needs a walk before I head off to work!

We hope all of you are doing well! Promise it won’t be such a long time until our next post! I’ve got a great recipe to share for a Buffalo Chicken Dip I turned into a Casserole/Hot Dish. It’s easy, gluten-free and quite tasty! 🙂 So, until then…

Take Care! XOXO,

Pier & Craig

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Christmas, Woodworking, and Fondue!!

Once more I find myself on the road again. Ironically I am writing from Wisconsin again, Madison this time, and again the Vikes are prepping for another game against the Packers! Pier and I had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends and hope that all of you did as well. Our first Christmas together was absolutely wonderful. We started Christmas day off with Mass at midnight and it was great to hear and sing the Christmas hymns with my wife by my side! Then in the morning we woke and enjoyed our time together and to share our gifts with each other. I could have not asked for any better gifts than what Pier gave me. She knows me so well that she found the perfect gift for me, a painted picture of several breeds of cattle on it! Now it may not sound exciting but anyone that knows me knows how I love anything to do with farming. I love it and we have the perfect spot for it in our living room!sloop nude Anyone that knows Pier knows how she loves fashion and she had been hinting mentioning how she would like a comfortable flat and that she had researched the perfect ones! She knew I would key in on the research that she did and that I would probably remember exactly what she wants. Well she was right! I got her the pair that she had been looking at, a pair of FSNY flats. Now the only way I could remember the initials was to say Fox Sports News Yes because I had no clue what it stood for. Although after a little research I discovered that it stands for French Sole New York. Now mind you I was not up to the task of picking and buying a pair of shoes since there are so many variables… size, shape, color, texture, design, etc. So I had to be creative. I ended up printing out the FSNY logo and I picked a pair that I thought she would like and I printed them out on paper. I found a shoe box and I placed the label on the box and then placed the paper cut outs in the box and wrapped it up. Needless to say she loved it and I also picked out the exact pair that she ended up getting!

 

Josh and JuliaWe also celebrated Christmas with our friends Josh and Julia. On Wednesday night we headed up to the Melting Pot and enjoyed a long fondue dinner! It was delicious. It was my first time to eat fondue and I must sayCraig and Pier that it is a perfect dinner to have great food and great conversation. I look forward to another visit in the future!

Now comes the wood technical part…. 🙂

 

In the middle of all this I have found some time to work down in the shop on Pier’s wedding gift. I must say it is coming along quite well. This past week I got the wood dimensioned out to the correct thickness and out to a rough size. To do this I first laid out wood and I drew out the individual pieces on the boards so I would know where to cut each piece from. Parts laid out on boardThen I used a jig to flatten the board in my planer.

Support adjusted to hold board
Support adjusted to hold board

I place the wood on the jig and slide the adjustable supports up to support the board and then slide it through the planer multiple times and it creates a flat top.

Then I can flip the board over and plane it to the correct thickness. Then I joint an edge with another created jig, to create a 90 degree angle to the top and bottom. That takes care of 3 sides (top bottom and side) and the 4th side will be finished in the next step when I run it through the table saw to rip the stock to a workable width. Those will eventually be glued up to create the top and bottom of the cabinet piece.

Planed and flat on top
Planed and flat on top

So now I have 3/4″ and 1 1/4″ thick square pieces of stock that are ready to be glued or cut into final dimensions.

This past week has been busy and it does not look like it will be slowing down in the near future with our plans of traveling to Rome, Italy in early February. We both are excited to travel and see all the sites Rome has to offer! Happy New Year to everyone!! Craig and Pier

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A Shortie But Goodie…

I hope this post finds all of you returning from wonderful Thanksgivings! As said before, it was no fun being apart on our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, but we are lucky enough to have amazing family and friends who helped make it a very special holiday!

Pier with her parents and brother. Thanksgiving 2012

Our dear friend, Jill, traveled to Green Bay, WI for the holiday to visit her sister’s family….and she was kind enough to ask my sweet husband if he wanted to share Turkey Day with them! Craig was actually able to be on the road, and at the same time able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal that truly embraced the entire meaning of the day itself: Family, Friends, Thankfulness, Generosity, & Delicious Food. 🙂 Thank you so much to Jill & her amazing family!

Well, I’m heading home from work to see my husband now! (See, I told you this one would be short and sweet!)

Y’all have a great night!

Love,

Pier & Craig

 

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Love Is In The Mountains

This weekend C & I were honored to be guests for our dear friends’ Josh & Julia’s wedding in the mountains of North Carolina. C used his photography skills to document the whole thing, but unfortunately, for the moment, you’re stuck with MY photography… Luckily, the bride, groom and their beautiful children made it impossible to take a bad picture. Here are a few samples:   And one of the videos I took (and I profusely apologize for my videography skills…Goodness, the sun was in my eyes and I was trying to hold a small digital camera still in the wind…I know – excuses, excuses…):

The rest of the pictures are HERE and you can see the other videos HERE.   Witnessing the marriage ceremony of two of our most treasured friends, especially in such an unbelievably gorgeous setting, really brought home for me (or perhaps I speak for both C &I) God truly being in the midst of such an event. And if you’ll allow Him to, He will remain at the center of everything in your relationship. At the end of a long week, there is NOTHING like going to Mass with my sweet husband. Nothing makes me feel closer to him and nothing makes all of my silly anxieties and stresses melt away like worshipping with my soul mate.

 We wish our newest newlywed friends the very best! We are so blessed to have them in our life!

Xoxo,

Pier & Craig