Thursday, March 31, 2011

Church (again)

Before I start on the topic, I want you to know that there is so much more to this blogging world than I could have ever imagined. Prayer requests, links, shared topics, giveaways, I could go on and on! I learn more about it each day, as well as come across several interesting people and stories. Tonight, I am going to link up to Kelly's Korner Blog. She does Show Us Your Life Fridays. (I'm linking early. Never been early for anything in my life :) She gives a blog topic, and everyone blogs about it and links up. It really gives people the opportunity to share ideas and learn new things. Tonight's topic is "Tell us about your church." Well, I would love to.

I attend First Baptist Church in Sheridan, Arkansas.

I have attended this church my entire life. In fact, I played baby Jesus in the nativity when I was five months old. I became a Christian, got baptized, got married, and much more at this church. I have seen wonderful pastors come and go. I have been involved in programs that have changed my life, all because of this church.

I can remember always attending as a child and a youth. It seemed like if the doors were open, we were there. As I entered into college, I stopped going as much. I would come home and visit, but I did not go as much as I once had. At some point, I joined the singles group. That was one of the best decisions I could have ever made. The people I met became wonderful friends, and we all began to grow spiritually. I never imagined that a group and study could impact me the way that group did. The wonderful thing about a church family is that we sometimes end up growing close to people we would never expect, old and young.

Now, I've talked to y'all about my struggles with church in the past. After my mom died and Madeley came, I went through such a hard time. I always said I would never be mad at God, but I treated him like I was. I pretty much stopped going to this wonderful church. I separated myself from the things and person that should be most important. I can see that now. God never stops calling us, and He never stops reaching out to us. People consistently asked me if I was going to church. It was almost like God was questioning me... Aren't you going to come back Morgan? The bottom line is that I do want to go and be involved. I want Madeley to grow up going to church, as I did. She needs the opportunity to be taught the lessons of Jesus, so that she can grow into her very own faith.

When I went to church last Sunday, the welcome was amazing. When people hugged me and said, "Glad to see you back" and "So good to see you here", it just made my heart melt. This is my home. This is where I belong.

I am happy to share this experience with you, even though it seems like a story I would never tell you to your face. I hope it encourages you to find your own church family.


She is just a mess... rolling on the floor! The next picture is a little blurry, but I have to share it and explain. Madeley has been using her bib as a little pouch. She wears it around and eats cheerios out of it. It makes me and Derrick laugh every time.

Thank you for reading!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Loves

I'm linking to This Kind of Love because it's time for...


I'm loving that I have amazing coworkers. My coworkers are my friends, and they sometimes even feel like my family. I have been thinking a lot lately about how much I've enjoyed getting to know them over the years. I appreciate their support more than they will ever know. They have to hear my stories before they ever hit this blog, and they laugh, complain, and cry with me whenever necessary. I hope they know I'm loving each one of them on this Wednesday!

I'm loving that I made a short stop at Save-A-Lot today. It made for a fantastic story! Have y'all ever been to Save-A-Lot? I don't think you're missing out on much. You have to bag your own groceries. The lady bagged mine for me, because she could tell I was a little confused. Anyway, I stopped in to quickly grab some juice before dropping Madeley off at the sitter. When I went to the backseat, I realized it was just Madeley back there. No diaper bag. Nothing. So, I head in to Save-A-Lot to get diaper bag essentials along with the juice. Ummm... they don't really carry that stuff. I ended up with a five dollar package of Tickles diapers. Any of y'all ever heard of Tickles? Probably not. I told Madeley's babysitter she was probably going to have to change Madeley every twenty minutes. She might as well be wearing a napkin!! Heck, I can't get the small package of Huggies for less than ten dollars! And I just got a huge package of Tickles for five!!
Note to self: Never forget the diaper bag.

I'm loving a giggly Madeley. This video was recorded at the end of last week. It's just too adorable not to share...

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I'm loving y'all for reading my blog each day. I appreciate you keeping up with us.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


"People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all, has happened."
Kathleen Kelly, You've Got Mail

Every time I hear this quote, several things come to mind. I have always been afraid of change. I get too comfortable in certain situations, and I want them to stay that way forever. Impossible.

I know that good change does exist. Marrying Derrick and having Madeley are both examples of that, but I am well aware of unwelcomed change. I never wanted to lose my mother, no one does. The year I married Derrick was full of change, bad and good. We married in March, my mother died in April, and Madeley came in October. (If you're doing that math in your head, just know she was super early.) The hospital time alone was enough to make a person go crazy. We were there for twenty-six days with my mother, and six weeks with Madeley. All of this change was a lot to bear... especially for someone who despises change.

In the movie, Kathleen Kelly is referring to losing her bookstore, The Shop Around the Corner, but she also lost her mother. That may be why I like her so much. But in the movie, her change does turn out to be a good thing. As most change does. I hope that I can shape my perception of change. For I never know when it may come again.


I must show you another cute video of Madeley. I bought this tub to store outside toys in this summer. She wants to play with it now!

Thanks for reading!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 28, 2011

Daddy and Daughter

"A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty." -Unknown

I love my Dad. For as long as I can remember, he has been kind, loving, and amazing. I adore his calm, even temper, as well as his patience. I can remember crawling up in his lap when I was little. Nothing felt safer. I know it is my turn to help take care of him. I am happy to do it, because he has done so much for me over the past twenty-nine years.

Derrick is also a wonderful father. He loves every second with Madeley, and I can already tell she has him wrapped around her little finger. When I get in from work, it is their time to play. Madeley knows it, and she barrels in the house looking for him. They spend lots of time laughing, playing, and hugging.

I couldn't help but snap this picture tonight. Madeley standing on her tippy toes to give Derrick a kiss is just about the sweetest moment I've ever witnessed.

After dinner, they sat down to play a game. Madeley watched intently as Derrick played. When he finished, the excitement was priceless!

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The love between a father and a daughter is like no other. I am happy to have my father, and I know Madeley is happy to have hers.

Thanks for reading!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Church. Finally!!

Well, we wallered in our end of spring break sorrow for a little bit this morning.

I just can't get enough of that little girl, and I don't look forward to dropping her off with the sitter tomorrow. She'll probably see me shed a tear. I love my Madeley!

After we wallered (which apparently is not a word, but I could not find an appropriate substitute) in our sorrow, we got ready for church!

A little blurry, but you get the picture. From the moment I told Madeley we were going to church, she was a little uncooperative. She pooped right before we walked out the door and had her hair pulled down before we left the driveway. I mean, I was discouraged, but I didn't let it stop me. We were headed to church!

The sermon was wonderful. We had a speaker from India named Godwin Madhusudan. He was amazing! His message was how we've got to take the gospel to people in need. People in India and people next door. Jesus didn't just call us to accept him and pray, he called us to go and spread His good news. I am going to share a few intriguing points Godwin made with you.

•Pray that the people on mission will increase. Not just that there will be new believers, but that they will be on mission with God.
•There is someone waiting for you somewhere in the world. If you never go, that person never hears.
•If Jesus was to preach for two minutes, what would he preach? What would he tell us to do?

These are all very thought provoking points. Godwin was very pure and interesting in his sermon. He discussed the resources they have in India, "We don't have the facilities you all have..." This is so true and so heartbreaking. We create churches that please us, and they devote their facilities and money to sharing the gospel. I was so blessed to hear this sermon and glad I finally went to church!

At the end of the service, our preacher mention how happy he was to see Dad back. Everyone clapped... I cried!!


I made a new recipe today!! The Pioneer Woman's Spicy Dr. Pepper Pork Roast.

It was great! It was almost sweet and just the right spice. Here it is before it went into the oven...

Here it is just out of the oven...

And here it is on my plate...

I ate pork tacos on corn tortillas with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, and fresh cilantro. I also paired the tacos with homemade Mexican rice. Yummy! I have a lot of leftovers if you want to come try some...

Thanks for reading!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 26, 2011


So I'm sitting here waiting for a haircut. It's nice to sit. When you're out by yourself, there's no pressure to get things done. It's nice. I have a glass bottle coke, and I'm happy!

Anyway, I hate making decisions about hair. Highlights or all over dark? Bangs or no bangs? So hard to decide!! I had bangs in my Italy pictures, so seeing the pictures made me want bangs. Am I going to regret this decision? I would show you a "before" picture, but I'm a little embarrassed. My hair is just not fit to be seen. Good thing I'm here to get it fixed up! I'll come back with an update and a picture soon...

Okay I'm back now. Got bangs!

Very happy with the cut! Thanks for helping me work out those hard decisions.


I'll share a few pictures taken of my little stinker over the past couple of days.

This is her growling/show me your teeth/blow your nose face. She makes it a lot, and it never fails to make me laugh out loud!!

This picture may be a little blurry, but it is precious! I love her interest and innocence.

She played with her bathtub bubble blower last night. Her grandparents got it for her last month, and she loves it!! She makes funny faces when the bubbles are coming out, and I just laugh. It almost seems like she thinks the bubbles are going to hurt her. Ummm... no Madeley, bubbles won't hurt you, I say. Eventually she gets used to them and giggles. Adorable!


I know today was misty and cold, but there are still wonderful signs of spring!

The Dogwood. One of my favorites!!

The wisteria. Smells delicious!

The azaleas. Pretty pink, even though I don't like pink...

And I just loved the water pattern on the ivy. I couldn't resist taking a picture!

I thank the Lord for the beauty of spring! And thank you for reading!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, March 25, 2011

Honeymoon memories

Derrick and I never got the opportunity to share our honeymoon memories with others because our life got so hard so fast.  We were only home from our honeymoon two days when my mother went into the hospital.  I remember taking my camera with me and sharing pictures with people in the waiting room, but I never even downloaded the pictures until yesterday.  Yes, two years later.  It seems like twenty years.  Not in a bad way, it’s just that everything was so crazy that my wedding and honeymoon memories seem a little bit like dreams now.  Anyway, I would love the opportunity to share our wonderful trip with you now.  It was amazing, interesting, and anything but boring.  We went to Italy!  We could have chosen some relaxing beach resort somewhere in the Caribbean, but we wanted something different.  In hind sight, I was utterly exhausted from the wedding and would have gladly welcomed a sunny beach, but I would never trade our wonderful Italian memories.
We started out in Florence.  Beautiful, beautiful Florence!  We stayed at Hotel De La Ville, which was magnificent.  I absolutely loved everything about it, and the staff was beyond helpful.  To this day, they have the best coffee I have ever tasted.  I was definitely spoiled with warm cream and tasty Italian coffee!
This is Derrick and I on our first night there…
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We were excited about getting out, but had no idea where we were going.  We ended up going to a restaurant recommended by our concierge, Buca Mario.  Best. Dinner. Ever.  We made two minor mistakes while we were there.  I ordered what I thought was a pasta appetizer and a main course.  What I ended up with was two pasta dishes.  I looked like a little porker.  I mean, that didn’t stop me from eating them, but still.  The second mistake was the tip.  We tipped pretty well.  I mean, our bill was on the high end.  The waiter chased us out the door to hug me and shake Derrick’s hand.  We thought that was a little strange.  After talking with the concierge, we understood that the gratuity is included in the bill.  So we just handed over a chunk of our money without knowing it.  No wonder the waiter chased us! 
Our first day out, we did a lot of sightseeing.  We went to the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as the Duomo.  It was beyond beautiful!  I can’t tell you everything about it, because we would be here all night.  What I will tell you is this… Derrick and I decided to take our picture in every dome we saw.  You’ll see in the pictures to come.  We also climbed about 460 steps to get to the top of the Duomo.  We were able to see all of Florence.  It was amazing!
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Hand painted, of course.
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We walked all the way across town to see the piazza, the Ponte Vecchio, and the Arno River.  Ponte Vecchio means “old bridge” in Italian.  It was the only bridge in Florence not destroyed by the Germans in WW2.
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Time to share a little bit of Italian cuisine…
We shared a meal at Il Latini.  It was a different, yet very good meal.  We started with an appetizer that we didn’t even order.  The waiter just told us we were eating it and then brought it.  It was ground liver cooked in gravy then served over bread.  It may sound terrible, but it definitely was not.  Even Derrick liked it!  Then we did get to choose our main courses.  Derrick had some kind of pork roast with a bone in it.  I had an Italian soup called Ribollita.  Oh it was good.  I loved every bite! 
We loved Buca Mario so much, that we ate there on our last night in Florence as well.  How could we not?  It was the best meal ever!  This time, I ordered one pasta, Derrick ordered one pasta, and we shared a filet mignon.  My pasta had asparagus sauce.  Delicious!
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Next, we went to Rome.  I was sad to leave Florence.  I could have spent the entire trip there, but I knew Derrick was excited about Rome.  He is such a history buff and this was right up his alley!  The hotel in Rome is not worth mentioning.  It was not even comparable to the Florence hotel.
Here we are at the Trevi Fountain.  We dodged pick pocketers, polaroid pushers, and other tourists to get this picture.  We came back later in the trip just to watch the crowd and enjoy some gelato.
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This restaurant (can’t remember the name for the life of me!) was impossible to find.  We had 8:00 reservations and stumbled upon it in an alley around 8:03.  It is the restaurant I told you about the other night.  It specializes in bacon dishes.  Both mine and Derrick’s pastas were made with bacon.  Yummy!  I made the mistake of asking the waiter what rocket was.  I had seen it on several menus.  He told me it was arugula.  I said okay.  Well, he brought me the rocket dish, beef tips in gravy with arugula.  I mean, it was great and all, but I am a terrible communicator!  Derrick had pasta and filet.
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Here are the Spanish Steps.
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Here we are at the top of the Spanish Steps.  Do I look winded?
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Our second day in Rome, we had a private tour of the Coliseum and the Roman Ruins.  It was definitely the way to go.  We went to the front of all the lines, and Derrick got to listen to three hours of interesting history.
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Caesar's grave.  People still place flowers there daily. 
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Derrick is intently listening and I’m just snapping photos!  I did listen to some of it.  He was more than knowledgeable.  He also said he learned it all from just living there.
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The Pantheon, which I loved because of all the mathematics history.
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Dome picture!
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On our last day in Rome, we went to the Vatican.  We visited St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel.
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Derrick is touching the foot of the Statue of St. Peter.  His foot was completely rubbed down because it is considered good luck to touch it.
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  Another dome picture.
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These last few pictures are very interesting.  We had a driver pick us up to take us to the airport.  He was asking us about what all we did, then he asked us if we had seen the keyhole.  We hadn’t, so he took us there.  This is the Knights of Malta gate.  It leads to the gardens of the Knights of Malta.  There were even guards manning the door.  Can you see how worn the keyhole is?  If you look through it, you can see a perfect frame of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.  It is literally amazing, and it is a tri-nation view.  We were standing in Rome, looking through Malta, to see the Vatican.
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Through the keyhole…
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This was an amazing trip.  We couldn’t have asked for more!  When I got home, my mother had prepared my house for me.  She had gone to the store to stock my refrigerator and pantry with the things I like.  She had also filled my brand new vase with beautiful gladiolas…
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So thoughtful.
I hope you enjoyed our honeymoon memories.  Derrick did assist me in writing this blog.  I couldn’t remember all the details on my own.  Thank you for reading!!
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