Friday, April 30, 2010


Just wanted to pass along some FABULOUS news I received this week that I have been accepted to Graduate School at my Alma Mater, Auburn University!!!

I will start classes in less than a month! Wish me luck :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010


We left Atlanta on Saturday in drizzling rain, and by the time I got home that night there were MAJOR weather concerns. Tornados were tearing through the South at devastating speeds and power, and by early Sunday morning our community was forever changed. Praise Jesus no one was killed (which is a complete miracle), but the 3/4 mile wide tornado that plowed through left tremendous damage.

Near where we live, and only minutes from my parent's home:

(Pictures from "The Huntsville Times".)

An F4 tornado also ripped through the area that our church is in. We were thankful that our church did not receive any damage from the storms, but many homes and other churches were greatly affected.
Red Cross has been set up at Mt. Vernon as the Disaster Relief Center for the area and we have been providing meals, shelter, canned goods, toiletries, and help with cutting down trees.
It is going to take many many weeks for cleanup to be complete, and years for things to begin to look "normal" again.

We are so thankful for the Lord's protection during the storm!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

So Long, Insecurity

"Now, o women, hear a word of the Lord; open your ears to the words of His mouth" Jeremiah 9:20

Spending the day at First Baptist Woodstock worshipping the Lord with around 300,000 other women across the nation, hearing an amazing woman of God share Truth to us, and leaving knowing Jesus a little better...that's a quick sum of what an amazing day we had on Saturday in Atlanta!!

The one thing that has stuck in my head that Beth shared with us, is that insecurity is unbelief. Those things that eat away at us, that we allow to take over our emotions...our faith in Jesus in those areas of our lives are not where they need to be.

Based on Ephesians 4, we also learned that a SECURE woman is:

Saved from herself
Entitled to truth
Clothed with intention
Upended by grace
Rebounded by love
Exceptional in life!

And, on a side note can I just share how completely surreal and exciting it is to watch Travis Cottrell lead worship at Beth Moore events??

The reason those feelings conjure up inside of me is because way back when Travis was barely out of college and just starting his career, he was a very common guest on the stage of my home church, First Baptist Boaz. He sang those early 90's praise and worship songs like "Shine on Me" and "Lord, I Lift Your Name on High", and he always had to do a song called "Moses". (HA! If you are from FBC Boaz, I'm sure this song is playing in your head now!) There is no doubt the anointing he has on his life, and it's just so exciting to see how the Lord is using Travis to lead others to worship!!!

All in all, it was a great trip spent with 2 of my most favorite girls in the world! Can't wait for another opportunity to have a road trip!

Friday, April 23, 2010


Valerie, Lori, and myself - are in Atlanta for....

We shopped until we dropped today at America'sMart, had a FABULOUS meal at Cheesecake Factory, and are now getting ready for an amazing day tomorrow with Beth and several 1000 other ladies to worship and learn!! It's gonna be great :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How We Met...

Since this is mine and Brad's anniversary month, I thought it would be fun to join Kelly today and share how Brad and I met.

Our story is a complete example of how God so intricately works out His amazing plan for our lives! I know this is a little lengthy, but you must read all the way through to see what I mean!!

So, roll the clock back to summer 2001...

I was in my 2nd year at Auburn, and glad to come home for the summer and have fun with my high school buddies, do a little babysitting, and get ready for my sister's wedding in July. Just a couple of days after I had officially came home, I got a call from a girl I had worked with at a company I had worked for my junior and senior years in high school. She was wondering if I would be interested in working for the summer...and, I was COMPLETELY NOT, but told her to let me think about it. I prayed about it that afternoon and evening, and just really felt the Lord telling me that I needed to do this. So, almost begrudgingly, I called her and said, SURE!! My first day of work, she and I went to lunch and bumped into her husband...the next morning when I came in she said, "Are you dating anyone?" Well, I knew what that meant - "I have this cousin, brother, nephew, son, best friend's God-child's next door neighbor that is just SOOO SWEET that I want you to meet"...you know the drill! I told her no I was not dating anyone, but insisted that I was not interested in being set up with anyone - thanks anyhow.

Okay, put that on hold, and let me tell you a little background info. Two years prior to this, I was 17 years old and at a Disciple Now weekend (which was always held in March) at my church. I felt a strong sense from the Lord that I was being called in to the ministry, but to do what I had no idea. I shared with my leader for the weekend and my youth minister that the Lord was calling me into the ministry and that I was going to marry someone in the ministry.

Okay, back to 2001...

My co-worker shared with me that she was wondering if I was dating someone because her husband thought I would just be PERFECT for his best friend, Brad. She would come in day after day and tell me how I just had to meet him - how sweet he was, how good he was with her children, how funny he was, what a great guy he was. I would think, "Yeah, but God has big plans for me - I'm supposed to marry someone in the ministry. So, as good as this guy may be, God has another plan." Don't we always thinkg WE KNOW as much as God does? Well, after much prodding, I finally said I would meet him - even though I knew NOTHING would come out of it. A few days before I was to meet him, my co-worker and I were talking about him and she said, "You know, I haven't even mentioned one of the most important things about Brad. A few years ago he was called in to the ministry. He's actually serving as our Children and Youth Director at our church right now." I was STUNNED!!

Well we finally met. Brad fell in love at first sight - he said that the first moment he laid eyes on me the Lord told him I was who he would spend the rest of his life with!! I was a different story - even though everything felt right, "falling" for someone was just hard for me and I fought it...how incredibly crazy, I KNOW! We had went out 4 or 5 times, and I told one of my dearest friends I was going to end it with Brad. Thankfully the Lord intervened. Brad was preaching at his church on a Sunday night, and asked me to come to the service. And, do you know what he preached about?? LOVE. The perfect love of Christ. The God given ability we have to genuinely share Him with others by simply loving. It was one of those divine moments in my life when God said, THIS IS RIGHT, HAYLEY!! STOP ACTING CRAZY, AND TRUST ME! From that point on, I was head over heels in LOVE!!!

Well, it didn't take very long for Brad and I to realize we loved each other and we would definitely marry. I had shared with him how the Lord had told me I would marry someone in the ministry, and we had discussed how amazing God was to reveal that to me before we even met. But, we didn't realize HOW AMAZING until a few months after we had been dating, I was looking through Brad's Bible. On one of the first few pages, he had some dates written down of important milestones in his walk with the Lord. I stared in disbelief at what I saw as I read down the list:

Announced calling - March 24, 1999
Preached first message - March 28, 1999

Thinking back to that Disciple Now weekend that the Lord told me I would marry someone in the ministry, I realized that Brad announced his calling into the ministry less than a week later! HOLY COW!!!!!!!!!!! At a time in our lives when we didn't know each other even existed, God was already preparing our hearts for His plan with us together. Isn't God AMAZING??

Less than 2 years later, we were married and poor Brad never knew what amount of craziness was possible to have in his life until I became his wife!!!! HA!

So, guys and girls know that God DOES have a plan for your life - even though it may not make any sense right now. He is lacing together your journey so intricately, and when you look back you'll be able to see His mighty hand directing you the entire time!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Batter Up!

Brad, myself, and Ellie went to watch Kailey - the oldest of our 4 Favorites - play T-ball tonight. Being that I have not been to our community ball field since my sister stopped playing softball back in the day, this was all new to me. Kailey is only 5, so for their age group they don't even keep score - they let each team bat 2 times and be on the field 2 times, then it's over :)

We had a great time, and had LOTS of laughs watching the children play in the dirt and have 5 year old conversations instead of paying attention to where the ball was! It was just precious to watch those little dolls with their ball caps on that were too big run as hard as they could to grab the ball and fling it towards anyone that might would catch it. :) The coaches were so good with the children, and very patient. I know it will be fun to watch how much the children grow and learn over the season!

Kailey did great, and we were so proud of her! She was most excited to see sweet Ellie had came to watch her game :) We are looking forward to many more nights at the ball field!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Top 2 Tuesday

I am joining Taylor at the Undomestic Mommy for Top 2 Tuesday! This week's top 2 are favorite items under $15.00.

My favs are:

1. Tervis TumblersI just absolutely adore my Tervis tumblers!!! A couple of Christmases ago, I got a whole set with our "P" for Powell on them. These are what we use everyday, and I love to take one to school with me every morning because they keep my water cold all day. They are a little pricey - $15.00 each (the 24 oz. size) - but sooooo worth every penny!

2. Mrs. Meyers All Natural Cleaning ProductsWhat started out a few years ago as a search for cleaning products that would not make my hands break out has turned into an obsession with cleaning with all natural products, and my absolute FAVORITE cleaning products are "Mrs. Meyers Clean Day" products, in Basil scent. They are GREAT - they clean very well, are completely all natural, smell AWESOME, and do not make my hands break out!! With each product being around $5.00 (and they last a very long time!), they are very much worth every penny! I buy mine at World Market or Whole Foods, but can also be purchased online.

Check out other's who joined here. Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Random thoughts to share today...

1. I'm dreading tomorrow (Monday). Not for any particular reason other than it's Monday...my least favorite day of the week, people! BUT, I only have 6 MORE MONDAYS until school is out...so, I'll take a deep breath and convince myself to get up in the morning.

2. Brad and I got to spend the majority of 3 full days together this weekend, and it was WONDERFUL! The demands of Brad's time and attention to his job force him to not be at home ALOT, and so days we get to spend together are few and far between. Thank you Lord, for the blessing of this weekend!

3. Saturday afternoon, Valerie and myself (with Ellie in tow) went to our local craft show - Art on the Lake. We go every year and have so much fun checking out our local artists' work. Among the artists is one of our very fav artists, and Carolyne's Diva Do's (after school craft class) teacher, Kelli Jackson. She does FABULOUS one of a kind pieces! If you are not familiar with her work, you need to be! Check out her blog, etsy shop, and Diva Do's.

4. Our sweet little Yorkie, Ellie, has just fit perfectly into our family!! She has met most everyone, including our 4 Favorties who have just fell in love with her. Brad and I both adore her and are so thankful that we have her :)

5. I have gotten results back from the 3 tests (GRE, PRAXIS 2, and APTTP) I had to take for Graduate School - PASSED, PASSED, PASSED!!! WOOHOO!!!

6. I should hear from Auburn THIS WEEK if I have been accepted into Graduate School...please say a prayer!!

7. We are less than a week away from going to Atlanta to see Beth Moore and I am just absolutely BEYOND WORDS excited....I can't wait!!!! We are leaving Thursday so we can get in some shopping before the conference on Saturday. It's going to be tons of fun! But, more than the shopping - and, you all know how I LOVE to shop! - I am so ready to sit and bask in the spirit of the Lord and have Truth spoken to me through Beth. Saturday, HURRY UP!!

8. We are having some contractors come out this week for a couple different home improvement projects - and, I am just so excited! I'll share more as things get started!

9. I am sooooo LOVIN' the amazing Spring weather we have had the past couple of weeks!! It's definitely given us Spring/Summer Fever...we've been getting our yard and the pool ready, and finishing up details for summer trips! I just love this time of year!

10. The next several weeks I am going to have lots going on. Be prepared to either not hear a whole lot of me, or to be OVERLOADED with pictures and updates...you know me, I don't know the meaning of "happy medium". Thanks for sticking with me despite my quirky unpredictability!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Welcome to the Family...

Brad and I went to Elkmont yesterday and picked up one of my anniversary presents - a puppy! This sweet, precious, little doll stole my heart when we went in to see the Yorkie puppies at Adams Farms.

She is so tiny, and needed a very girly sweet name...Brad and I decided to name her Ellie :) It just fits her to a T!! And, because I'm crazy, she had to have a middle name; her PRECIOUS breeder that we got her from is Jane...I instantly fell in love with her, and wanted Ellie to be Ellie Jane in honor of her. Mrs. Jane prays over all her dogs before they are purchased that they would be a blessing to their owner, and bring peace and joy into their home. She is such a sweet lady, and her love for the Lord is infectious! You can visit her website here.

If you remember from my 30 by 30 list, #19 was "get a puppy"...with Ellie in tow, I lovingly check that one off my list!

Welcome to our little family, Miss Ellie Jane :) We love you already!

Friday, April 9, 2010


Brad and I celebrated 7 years of marriage on Monday!! 7 years...in so many ways it seems like time has flown; in others it seems like it has been an eternity!

Brad and I have been through a lot since that blissful 5th day of April in 2003...so many wonderful, delightful things...sooo many learning experiences....so many heartaches...sooo many laughs - lots and lots of laughs. Oh how very thankful I am that we laugh - ALOT.

Out of the 7 years of marriage, this year was only the 2nd time we had to work on our anniversary. Normally, we go out of town but because of Brad's schedule right now that was not possible this time...BUT, we are planning a fabulous trip for later :)

I started thinking about the number seven. 7 - the number of perfection. In the Bible, God uses the number 7 to identify something of importance - He created the earth in 7 days, and blessed the 7th as holy...we are to forgive others 77 times 7...in Revelations, there are 7 churches mentioned...and, there are hundreds of other times God used 7 in His Word. I looked up what 7 actually meant in Hebrew, and it means to be full or satisfied. So, I'm going ahead and claiming this year for Brad and I as our year of perfection of great fullness in our lives!! To God be the glory!

Bradley, I can't wait to spend another 40 or 50 or 60 years with you. I love you so very much!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Weekend

I've been a little crazy (what's new??) the past several days, so I'm gonna be a few days behind posting some things...please just bare with me and love me inspite of it :)

This weekend Brad and I helped hide and hunt more eggs than I care to count! Aside from the egg hunt I had at school, we also had an egg hunt at church and at both our family gatherings. I can only hope that all eggs were found...I guess we'll know if a lawn mower finds one!! HA!

A few of our Mt. Vernon children...

Sweet Sam and Maci on the hunt for eggs...
Maci and Carolyne counting eggs (and, looking for ones filled with chocolate!)
Kailey and Kenedi on the race to find the most eggs!
Kenedi :)
We had such a very very blessed Easter service!! I am so thankful for Jesus, and for the salvation I have in Him!!!

After church, we spent the day with family, and as always had a blast! I can't think of any better way to spend the day!

My sister, Valerie, and me...

Racing on my parent's Trikes (and, Robby on Carolyne's bicycle with training wheels! HA!!)

One of my favorite pics of the day...my family has such a love for music and having fun! I love that you get just a glimpse of the guitars in the background of Sam and Maci playing :)

I hope each of you had a wonderful Easter weekend!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter is Here!

Yesterday began all the Easter festivities! We had our Easter party and egg hunt with all the families at school. I have such a fun job!!
This weekend Brad and I have LOTS of things going on...Church Easter Egg Hunt, I'm doing prom flowers (why on earth someone planned a prom the day before Easter is beyond me!!!), LOTS of cooking, Sunrise Service, Regular Sunday Service, family time with both our families, Brad is working crazy hours, and of course I have a bazillion errands to run. We have one JAM PACKED weekend...BUT, amidst all the running around and complete CRAZINESS that our lives always seem to be, our minds are fixed on what this weekend is really all about.

The cross.


The sacrifice that He gave for us.

On how this weekend for us as Christians marks the MOST SIGNIFICANT thing that has ever happened on this earth.

I'm sure the rest of you will have a weekend much like ours - very busy and a little crazy. But, while you are up to your elbows in egg dye, making your casserole for Sunday lunch, and running to the mall to get that last thing for the Easter basket, don't lose sight of the reason for Easter - JESUS.



We serve a risen Savior!!! Glory to God! I hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend!!!