Sunday, December 23, 2007

Good Things Come in Little Packages

This week I came home to find a small box on my doorstep. I love getting packages! This one I couldn't wait to open...Mark's sister-in-law had promised to send us some yummy Christmas treats (homemade I should add) since we would not be there for Christmas. I immediately opened the box.

Inside I found a lot of those Styrofoam peanuts and the tin I had been waiting eagerly to receive! As excited as I was I sifted through the peanuts and found a small DVD...a Christmas message from our nephews and unexpected gift...small, yet mighty!

I could not wait for Mark, I miss home, I miss familiar, I miss these three young people! I turned out the lights, turned on the Christmas tree and settled in to watch the DVD.

I was able to watch and listen to Jack, and later Sam, play Christmas songs. They have been taking piano lessons...I smiled as they played their songs. I heard what they wanted for Christmas. I was able to see a chalk drawing of Noah created by Beth. My favorite part was when the kids each told Noah one thing. Sam told Noah he hoped he likes everyone. Beth encouraged Noah not to cry. Jack told Noah he would like his

It was the unexpectedness of this gift that made it so special...and it was from the heart of those whom we love. Mark and I cannot thank John, Lisa, Jack, Sam, and Beth enough for this gift. We cannot find the words that would express how it made us feel.

Years ago God gave the world a gift more precious, more valuable, more wonderful than words can express and had him wrapped, not in peanuts, but in cloths in a manger. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16
We can never thank God enough for His wonderful gift.

Merry Christmas Jack, Sam, and Beth! We love you very much. Thank you for sending us Christmas wishes. Love Aunt Angie and Uncle Mark

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Update on Noah

Not an official blog entry, Mark and I had our 36 week visit...which meant our last time seeing Noah on a tiny screen...the next time we see him he will be in our arms! We found out that Noah is currently 6 lbs. 7 oz., and not the 10 lbs. I have feared.

We found out that he has a head full of hair and that his intestines are in his body (another ridiculous fear I had). All looks well with our little man and we can't wait to meet him.

He is head down, and my body has begun the process of preparing to deliver him...which means only that I will indeed have him, but we have no due date other than January 10.

So weekly visits are in our future. Our bags are packed and in the car. The car seat is installed. Noah has more gifts than we do under the tree and we have dog sitters lined up!

Christmas Past

Shopping, hot chocolate, lights, cookies...all of these come to mind when I think about Christmas. This Christmas Mark and I will spend our first Christmas alone. With Noah due not long after Christmas we are not allowed to travel.

So today I sit peaking past the Christmas tree, watching snow fall outside, thinking of Christmases that have come and gone, traditions I will miss, and family that I love so much.

That being said, the traditional Norman Rockwell painting my family is not. Picturesque moments we do not have. Rather, belly laughter that does not stop, silly gifts that reflect personalities, and blouses covered in flour make our photo opportunities.

So, that being said, here are some of the things I will miss the most about being with family for Christmas. I will miss my dad asking when the meal will be ready...even though my mom and I have been standing in the kitchen for hours cooking while the rest of the family sits in the living room watching movies and taking cat naps. I will miss playing bingo for $1 gifts and hearing my dad call the numbers as if he had a part-time job as a bingo caller. I will miss watching my brother laugh as he opens yet one more t-shirt with some ridiculous saying on it. I will miss putting frosting on cookies with my sister, all the while trying to convince my father that purple frosting tastes just like blue frosting. I will miss watching my mom open an unexpected gift that makes her cry, while I cry right along with her. I will miss it all, yet, with the birth of Noah, I know that family Christmases are just beginning again for our family.

I encourage each of you to look past the little things that drive you crazy at Christmastime, the habits that your family has that makes you bite your nails. Take the time to remember that each member of your family has been created to be just like they are and that God placed you in the care of your family for very specific reasons.

For Mark and I, we will remember that Christmas is a birth story. I think of Mary, big and pregnant (not unlike me), trying to find a place, any place, to have her baby...our Jesus. We will remember to love deeply and to treasure the family and the memories we have of family so far away.

Love to all of you this Christmas season.

“But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”- Luke 1:30-33

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I'm Not Perfect

Wow. If you know me, you already know that I am not perfect. If you are family, you are probably laughing right now. While I know I am not perfect, I spend a lot of time trying to make sure I get as close to perfect as possible.

I plan, I organize, I spend countless hours completing tasks that I think are necessary. These tasks give me the feeling of perfection. A spotless house, thank-you cards sent out on time, bills paid and mailed early...all signs of my perfect life.

Just a couple of weeks ago Mark's brother was coming for a weekend of football here in the Show-Me State. I had plans. I had my days scheduled, my cleaning scheduled, my meals planned out.

I have bragged about my easy pregnancy. I have rejoiced and given thanks to the Lord for it. So in this perfect plan of mine for John's visit I did not plan on being weak. The weekend before the visit I pulled (somehow) a muscle in my stomach which kept me from being able to stand on my own...I couldn't hold the laptop against my stomach, I couldn't sit all the way up...I couldn't clean, I couldn't prepare wonderful meals. I was weak.

I went to the doctor and was put on bed rest for the entire week. This meant a dirty house, no groceries, and a guest on the way.

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

In the same week my cousin, Chris, turned 50! While we could not make the trip to Virginia for his surprise party, I was going to send a tape wishing him a Happy Birthday. I didn't do it, not a tape, not a card, not an e-mail. Happy late Birthday Chris! - Cute Glitter Graphics

Some saying reads something like this, "If you are near me long enough I will let you down." That is how I have felt, that is my flesh talking. It is not a warning to all of you. Rather, it reminds me that it is only through Christ's strength that I am able to do anything at all.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me.

My stomach has healed, my house is still not clean, I haven't cooked in days, and I have yet to mail even a card to Chris. This is where I am. It is not a confession, but a realization. As the day drawers nearer for Noah to join us I ask that you pray for us. Pray that I am able to let the little things go, that I will release the idea of perfection, and that we are able to teach Noah what is really important...that we serve a Risen Lord.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Showered with Blessings

Last week my parents came for a visit. Mark and I planned everything out...meals, day trips (mostly dealing with fun Noah things), movies to keep my dad entertained...we are great at making plans.

Not so surprising, the plans didn't work the way we expected. Dad ended up not feeling well and spent time in bed...with the exception of working on our mailbox for hours...upon hours. Dad and Dixie had a lot of great time outside. Dixie actually ate her collar. I mean ate remnants.

Mom and I spent hours looking for new hair cuts...only to leave our masterpiece examples at home.

Mark spent time...watching college football...and hanging out with whomever was home...and shopping with Mom and me.

On Friday we were able to have a 3D ultrasound done...we watched Noah suck his hand, open his mouth and look adorable. Mom went with us, as did a good friend, Ashley. It was difficult to see. I was on my side, trying to get Noah to move, Mark was beside me, holding my hand. On Sunday, after my parents left and the house was quiet, Mark and I cuddled on the couch and watched Noah's debut together. It was incredible.

Sunday afternoon was my second baby shower. The first was given by my sister,Helen, and was an intimate gathering of family and friends. This was a shower with my wonderful friends of Missouri. Mom was there with me and Mark showed up near the end to help unwrap the gifts. I was honored and blessed beyond belief.

While we miss home daily, we were reminded that we are surrounded by people who love us. We are part of a community. God put us in a place like no other. He hand chose where we would live and who we would meet.

In the pictures I am 28 and 1/2 weeks pregnant. The pictures simply do not reveal just how big my tummy has gotten...sorry Helen...but trust me on this, Noah continues to grown, as does my abdomen.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Where in the World is Angie?

It's been weeks. Each day I think, "I should write on my blog." Then dinner has to be cooked, the kitchen cleaned, the dog played with, and the husband needs quality time to talk about his day. And we think we are tired now?!

We are officially 22 weeks pregnant. I still have to remind myself that I am pregnant. Now, I know I had a big stomach before I got pregnant, but now it is big and rock hard!

When we found out we were having a boy Mark and I just looked at each other and smiled. The Love family hasn't seen a girl born first in many a generation. Mark and his brother thought there might be a genetic chance for a girl, statistically there was little.

I have been blessed with an easy pregnancy. I have slept well, I have walked, I have lost weight, I have even eaten healthier. I do believe that the nonfat, decaf, iced, carmel latte was created for me, along with hostess cupcakes. I can't get enough of either, although I rarely drink the latte.

I miss Coke and Pepsi, Taco Bell and salads. Noah simply doesn't like the foods and I know he can't have the other. On advice of Mark's cousin's wife (we won't name you, Melissa) I drank a Pepsi before my ultrasound. Noah was moving all over the place. The technician kept talking about how active the baby was...maybe I drank too much!

We look forward to the next few months. We look forward to seeing our baby. We look forward to introducing him to those that we love.

I look forward to Pepsi, a crunchy taco with no lettuce, and a house salad from Outback with tangy tomato and honey mustard dressing.

Friday, June 29, 2007

I Love the Way He Loves Me!

Last Wednesday Mark and I left for D.C. We had a conference to attend and planned a few extra days to sight see. We have been inseperable. So, today was Mark's first day back at work. What did he want? Freedom? Time with the other men at work? Peace and quiet? No, he wanted more time with me. He asked me to meet him for lunch!

So as I sat home, thinking how nice it would be to not make the 30 minute drive over to the town where Mark works, the Lord reminded me of how blessed I am. On March 21, 1997, Mark asked me out for the first time. On April 2 we were engaged. People were shocked. We hadn't taken the "proper" path to dating and engagement. We knew we were supposed to me married.

So, here I am, 10 years later, married to the man who loves me more than I can even imagine. I write of friends, of family, but never of this amazing man who, after spending 8 solid days with me, asked me to lunch again on the 9th day.

So, to my wonderful husband, I love the way you love me! See you at lunch.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Sha-Nay-Nay Woods or Something Like That

School ended. I was more than ready. Two days later we were in the car headed to Ohio. My sister, Helen, road with us. It was a long drive. There was a lot of laughing. I learned that Helen had a side job...and that her theme song was no longer Pour Some Sugar on Me. We all learned that you can go numb from the waist down.

Twenty-three years, that is how long I had been gone from Ohio. I left as a 14-year-old girl. My cousins were older when I left. I did not know them as an adult. My second cousins were only children. I did not know them at all.

There were things I remembered...most had to do with food! I loved Kennedy's Bakery...especially the pineapple and chocolate chip danishes. I craved Mr. Lee's sopapillas.

Now, for those of us who love Tex-Mex and who have lived or live in the south, these are not the dessert sopapillas we smother in honey after filling our stomachs on fajitas. Mr. Lee's sopapilla uses the sopapilla shell, opens it up, stuffs it with meat, cheese, lettuce, and sauce, and serves it as a meal. Chewy's restaurant serves something very similar.

So, numb from the waist down, we finally arrived...without complete directions to my aunt's house. We passed Sienna Woods. Helen called this Sha-Nay-Nay Woods and the family knew we were lost. Needless to say, we found our way. There was hugging and talking...and lots of laughing.

Here are the things I discovered during our brief time there:

1. You can always go home.
2. Family is family, and no one has to pretend to be something they're not.
3. If you laugh long enough your ribs hurt and your uncle will remove his hearing aid.
4. You can't win every game of cards.
5. If you have a "condition" it will get you out of Indian Leg Wresting and will keep you from being scared by your cousin's husband (who you claim as cousin).
6. Your husband will survive meeting one time...and he will be hugged by everyone...even if he is not a hugger.
7. Mr. Lee's sopapillas are just as you remembered them and Kennedy's Bakery still makes the best pastries in the world.
8. If you eat non-stop you will gain weight.
9. Even at 37 you are still asked to run every errand.
10. Pizza after 10:00 p.m. is always delicious.
11. My aunt is fascinated by men covered in oil.
12. You can cry when you say good-bye and everyone will understand why.

I was reminded of how much I loved growing up with my family surrounding me. I loved being hugged by Kit, my youngest cousin. He reminds me so much of my own brother, who was unable to come for the visit. I loved getting kissed by my Aunt Fletta and Uncle Ralph each night at bedtime. I loved hearing that my dad was a "local" regardless of where we went. I loved watching my parents return home. I loved the laughter that filled the house, being near the people who make me laugh, and learning who they are as adults.

So, this blog is for my dad's family. I love you all very much! Let's commit to seeing one another again soon...not 23 years from now!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

It's a heartbeat, It's a lovebeat!

Today the baby is officially 7 weeks and 2 days old!

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. Jeremiah 1:5

Each day I wake up not believing we are going to have a baby, yet knowing it is a reality and not just a hope. After nine years of marriage things are about to change for Mark and me...and we can't wait! My sister continues to be the great encourager, not hiding her incredible excitement about becoming an aunt, while Mark tells everyone he knows that he is going to be a father.

As you continue to rejoice with us, please continue to pray for us, the enemy is quick to bring doubts, playing on our fears. The Internet, with all of it's great features and unending knowledge at our fingertips, was my enemy during the first several weeks of my pregnancy. I had terrible cramping and sharp pains, and continue to have them. No one I talked to was able to calm my fears when it came to these cramps. I turned to the Internet to educate myself.

The night before we went to the doctor I cried...I cried out of fear, out of not knowing, out of both ignorance, and out of Internet education. Miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, normal growing pains...I just didn't know which I was experiencing. Mark was worried, I was worried, we prayed.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Our doctor's appointment was not until the following afternoon, but after praying we had peace about what we would hear. My doctor eased my worries without any words at all, but rather with the still small heartbeat of our little baby bean.

Baby Hannah Catherine or Noah Jacob is doing well and growing. Pray for safety for Baby Love as we continue through the first trimester. Pray that we will continue to allow God to show us His grace during this time.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


I was tagged quite some time ago...but between that time and now we have had a lot going on in our lives. We found out we are pregnant, my sister is going to be an AUNT! We hosted a graduation party for a young man who is more family than friend. The last day of school has come and and gone, just to name a few. So, I am finally finding time to respond to my tag.

1. I used to hold live concerts in my parents' front lawn and charge admission. I would roller skate and sing. I was typically singing Olivia Newton-John songs. My roller skates were blue and yellow.

2. I love to play Clue, but I can never find anyone with my same passion, so it has been years since I have been able to enjoy the game.

3. My appendix ruptured when I was in 3rd grade. I spent several weeks in the hospital and missed the last day of school.

4.I am not fond of "girly" movies. I prefer action and suspense and I really do not like to go to the movie theater. I have a hard time just sitting. I am sure this will change once I become a mom, but for now, I am always doing something else while watching a movie at home. The theater limits this, so I prefer to wait and rent movies rather than driving an hour to the theater.

5. Breakfast is my favorite meal. I especially love to eat breakfast at a restaurant while vacationing.

6. I love snow!! I know, it is cold and impossible to drive on, but I still love it. When it falls, I sit at the window and watch it. I like it less when there is ice under it.

7. I am an animal lover. I do not like hunting, I do not like veal, I do not like seeing animals in shelters. It makes me cry. I understand the overpopulation of wild animals and I am coming around to the need to hunt for environmental reasons, but it still makes me sad to see a deer in the back of a truck. Mark says one day I will become a vegetarian.

8. I prefer to be at home rather than around a lot of people. I am not anti-social, once in a group I am just fine, but given the choice, I would choose to be curled up at home in comfortable clothes.

9. I can make gravy without lumps! I don't make it very often, but I have mastered gravy making. It has taken years of practice to write of this success!

10. I had a dream years ago that I was getting married. My friend, Jennie and her husband were there with twin boys and I was marrying a man with dark hair. At the time Jennie and Michael were not married, had no children, and I was in high school. Jennie and Michael came to my wedding with their twin boys and Mark has dark hair!

I am going to have to tag friends who do not have blogs, but tagged they are (and there won't be 10 of them). When you are tagged, you have to write 10 facts that are not well known to others and then tag 10 other people (or as many as you can think of). So, Meg, Helen, Chris, Mom, Cynthia, and Lisa L., you are tagged!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

How Will They Remember Me?

There are countless incredible women who have touched my life, ministered to my heart, handed me tissue after tissue, loved me, prayed for me, laughed with me, and shared memory after memory with me. Today I chose four of those women to celebrate.

My Mom
My mom is the first woman to hug me, the first to pet my hair, the first to comfort me, the first to laugh with me and the first to love me. My mom was the woman who told me that the Easter Bunny didn't exist. She told me that friends would come and go. She also taught me that talking on the phone wasn't such a bad thing and that you can cry at any movie you want to. She fought the school when I couldn't hold my pencil correctly and came to every class the room mother. She probably tried to embarrass me in front of my friends, but I can't remember it. She taught me how to cook, how to sew, and how to clean house before going on vacation. She taught me to forgive easily and love deeply. She also taught me that love truly does cover a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). When I leave her I cry a deep cry no matter how old I am. I love you Mom.

My Sister
My sister is the woman who taught me that if you don't want pulled around the house on a rope you better learn to walk. She taught me that gum doesn't come out of long blond hair. She taught me that no matter how hard you try you can't roll down a hill in somersault fashion and that if you are told to ride a bike down a big hill without training wheels and without knowing how to use the brake, you probably shouldn't do it-- no matter how much you want in the bike club. She taught me that worms do survive in books and that no matter how mad you are you shouldn't swing trash. She organized my first surprise party. She watched every scary movie ever filmed with me and she ate Doritos and drank Pepsi with me every New Year's Eve for years. She played dolls with me, passed me notes under my bedroom door, and rode bikes with me until our legs turned to jello. My sister also taught me that family matters and that giving from the heart gives the most joy. She taught me that distance can make a relationship stronger and that she makes the best aunt to our dog Dixie and would make an even better aunt if we were ever to have a baby. I love you Helen!

My College Roommate
I had countless college roommates, some more like me than others. Cynthia moved in with me after telling me I had split ends and that she had RATS living with her in her apartment...uninvited I should add. She taught me that no matter how poor you are you should always keep your hair healthy. She taught me that it is OK to drive a sherbet-orange Pinto with brown stains on the hood...especially when it is pouring rain outside. She taught me that you shouldn't mix gold an silver...even though this is no longer a fashion error. She taught me that belts are accessories and they should match your shoes. She taught me that friends share their last dollar and buy two tacos for $1. She taught me that friends pet friend's hair the way my mom used to. She taught me that sweat pants should not be worn to class unless you are sick, or have planned the outfit to look like you have been up all night...even if you hadn't. She taught me that no matter what you do true friends never leave you, but will correct your stupid mistakes. She taught me that no man is worth giving up who you are, what you believe in, or your pride. I love you Cynthia!

The Friend Who Knows My Heart
Not a college roommate, or a cousin, or sister, or co-worker, it is Lisa Smith who is the final woman I celebrate today. Lisa taught me that weight has nothing to do with being beautiful and that even women at their ideal weight can still battle weight issues. She taught me that I have worth in the Lord and that He delights in me (Psalms 147:11). She taught me that true beauty comes from loving and serving a Risen Lord and that there truly is nothing greater than being in the presence of Jesus. She stood beside me and worshipped with me, held my head up when I couldn't, and sang with me on the worship team...even thought we couldn't keep the beat. She lifted me in prayer time and time again when I was weary. She taught me that a Godly woman truly is to be praised (Proverbs 31:30). She cried with me when Mark left to do ministry in Branson, she cried with me when we realized a season was ending in our friendship, and she cried with me when the Lord allowed us to enter a new season. She taught me that there are friends who know your heart without uttering a word. I love you Lisa!

You can learn all about Lisa at:
She was my inspiration for starting my blog!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

How Great Is Our God

I admit, I am a problem solver. If someone has a problem, I want to fix it. If I think someone is making a decision that I think may not be the best, I tell them how I think they should fix it.
I was sitting in church on Sunday morning...telling a friend how I think she should change things in her life, giving examples of other couples that have made choices that haven't always turned out for the best. I thought I was doing a great job, but I am worrying that my words are falling on deaf ears.
Worship started and I was singing along, thinking about all of the "things" going on in my dad is waiting for biopsy results, I have two friends in relationships that I am worried about, we are still not pregnant, even if we were pregnant we would be broke, we need a fence, we need a new couch, ....insert your favorite worry here.
Then, we started singing the song, "How Great Is Our God." It was familiar, we sang it at our previous church.
As I sing the words, the Lord starts impressing upon me just how great He is. The chorus reads:

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

We sing this over and over and the Lord kept reminding me over and over that all of the "things" I was worrying about will be taken care of so that all will truly see what an incredible God He is.
I don't need to try to solve all of the problems of the world, God is great enough to take care of them all. I do not need to worry about the decisions of my friends, God is great enough to take care of them. I don't need to worry about our finances, God is great enough to take care of them, I don't need to worry about the health of loved ones, God is great enough to take care of them.

"Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." Matthew 6:34

Monday, March 12, 2007

Dirty Paws

Yesterday we forgot about the time change. We just didn't forget, we really forgot and missed church. I told myself that this was the Lord's plan for us so that we could have the day to rest. Dixie, our dog, had other plans. The weather has finally warmed up a little here in Missouri and she wanted to spend time outside. When I let her back inside I checked her paws. They weren't just dirty, they were packed with mud.

As Mark warmed the water in the tub and covered the floors with towels I carried Dixie into the bathroom. She cowered, she tried to hide, she wouldn't look at me, but instead, hid her head under my arm. She knew she had done something wrong and was wanting to let us know she was sorry.
Even with her muddy paws, Mark and I still loved Dixie...and she is only a dog. We used gentle voices, we affirmed our love for her, we tenderly bathed her and dried her, and then rewarded her with a treat.
How much more is God's love for us.

For God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8