again today ... my.heart.is.full! ♥

{Photo taken last year at Tessa's college graduation}

today ...

today, my heart is full.

full of emotion!

nearly 5 years and 7 months ago {june 5 will be that exact "milestone"} we sat in a hospital room and heard the words that changed our lives forever...

"i'm sorry, rickey didn't make it"



life as we knew it was no more.

tessa was a senior, she hadn't even graduated yet, how could this be happening?

but, God.

but God, knew.

while we still do not know the "why" of that day
{and won't understand the full "why" until we reach heaven}
God does.

and He has been faithful to see us through.

today, we awoke to sunshine filtered through the clouds on this "yooper" morning.

there is a chance of rain yet again, it's been a rainy spring, but the temperatures are supposed to be pretty nice, for springtime in the "yoop"!

the house will soon be bustling with activity as mama worries that everything is "just perfect"!

for today, today & tomorrow, we celebrate a milestone!

each day is a milestone actually, each day is a testament to God's unfailing love and grace, but today, and tomorrow, we celebrate another big one!

when the doctor spoke those unbelievable words on november 5, 2011, i wondered how in the world we would survive? 

how would we go on?

how would the girls make it through the next 24 hours without the daddy who adored them, much less through the next days, weeks, months & years?

they had school to finish, the world to explore, husbands to meet .... all without their daddy.

but, God!

but, God stepped in and was a father to the fatherless!

He sent just the right people at just the right times, to offer support and love and encouragement that they needed and this weekend, we celebrate a milestone as kajsa who was just a little girl {12 years old that day in 2011} will graduate from high school!  it is such a blessing to see what a beautiful young lady she has become and it is a joy to celebrate her and the accomplishment of daddy's girl #4 graduating from high school!

since rickey went to heavem, all 3 of the girls have gone on to graduate at the top of their classes which is such a testament to God's watchcare over them through the years, and even more importantly, all have professed and demonstrated a deep, deep love for Jesus ... an honor and tribute to their daddy!

so, this weekend, we WILL celebrate!

we will celebrate KAJSA and her achievements!

though she has actually already spread her wings and flown {she completed her required classes for high school at the semester and has spent the last 4+ months living and working in georgia with uncle tim}, she will officially walk across the stage tomorrow to receive her diploma!


today, my heart is full!

as rick and i watched a friend's son graduate last weekend, who also lost his daddy, we reflected on how truly unfair life in our fallen world can be.  in a perfect world, joey's daddy would have been there, fist pumping him and giving him a high five for his accomplishments, just as rickey would be here this weekend, loving on his girls and glowing with pride as kajsa walked across the stage tomorrow ....

but, alas, God.

God has plans that we do not understand and rickey will not be there, in person, but he will be there in spirit ... for he lives on in the lives of his 5 amazing children and his beautiful grandchildren.  he lives on in the memories of all who knew him, and he TRULY lives in heaven with our LORD and SAVIOUR.

God's ways are not are ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts. so, we will miss daddy this weekend, and that is o.k., but we will also celebrate!

we will celebrate the love that God has blessed tessa with in her husband andrew, and the love taya has found with her fiance justin, and with the accomplishment of  "the baby" graduating from high school!

we will live and laugh and love and be thankful for these beautiful days we have been given!

i, as the blessed mama to these 3 amazing young ladies will savor the moments as they fly by 


i will be thankful for all that we HAVE been given, rather than focusing on what may have been taken from us too soon {in our earthly view}.

i will love on those that are here and enjoy their company
{tessa & andrew & kajsa}
and look forward to next weekend in georgia with taya for her bridal shower!

i will be thankful today, as i am each day, that God brought a "new" rick into my life who so completely "gets" these swirls of emotions! 

i'm truly amazed at his gentle understanding at occasions such as this and blessed beyond words that God has allowed me to love, and live and enjoy life again! i know that though he is not the girls earthly, biological daddy, he WILL beam with pride as kajsa walks across the stage tomorrow, and he will be thankful for the opportunity to have his "bonus daughter" achieve this milestone! i once asked him how much he loved the girls and he, without missing a beat replied, "so much that i would take a bullet for them" ... greater love has no man than he lay down his life ... rick truly is a blessing to us!

so, yes, today & tomorrow, we will celebrate!

we will celebrate all that was, for without the Godly influence of their earthly father, the girls would not be the amazing young women they are today!

we will celebrate all that is, for each day is a miracle and a gift from God!


we will look forward to all that is to come ... possible college graduations, and more weddings and {hopefully, wink, wink} grandbabies ....

knowing that we do not know what the future holds, but we know WHO holds the future, and we know who holds our hands!

thank you, Lord, for all your blessings.

my heart is full ♥

So many changes ...

We like to tell people that we love Chattanooga so much we moved here twice! Since my last post in 2020, we spent eight months in Michigan...