Thursday, January 10, 2013


My favorite app! Here are a few of my fave instagrams

Morning Date with my love

Getting fed on both sides.  About to bake kale chips on the right, 
and listening to the first session of Passion 2013.  
That Passion stuff will change . your . life .

Switch a-roo! This is a funny story.  
Christopher: I like your shirt
Me: I'll save it for you, and you can have it one day.  
Hey I bet I can fit into the shirt your wearing.
Christopher: What? No way!

Left is before.  Right is after.
See his giggly face.  That's the face I live for!

Dirty Hair.  What I love about dirty hair is it can do some many fun things!

What I do on Tuesday mornings.

What I do every other morning.  Bliss.

This girl! Well she is special, but you already know that from this post.

Meet Nicole Mangialetti circa 1986... I think. Or '85. Doesn't matter, its a classic.  
Have a looksey at that background - so 80's school picture!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Dearest McKinley,

I think you are pretty great, and I enjoy hanging out with you.  You make me laugh with your antics.

 I love when you cross your eyes when I am trying to tell you something important or discipline you. You know exactly how to lighten the mood.

I also enjoy hearing you say grown-up things like,"wait just a second." I think its your voice that makes me giggle the most.  I often have to tell you, "big girl voice" when I think you are saying baby-talk, but then nothing in your voice changes you just get more serious (lighten up Nicole, she will only be a "baby" a little bit longer).

 I love how you dance when you hear a beat, and the way to swing your arms and prance around. You are very good at picking up lyrics for a song you may hear once or twice.  I loved hearing you sing this one today while we rode in the van. It makes me realize how much you pay attention to things.

You are a good mommy to your baby, Sienna.  She adores you, and all the big girl things you get to do.  Like push your purple shopping cart, and pour your own cereal. She even loves you when you are silly, and do silly things to her like this:

Your big brother thinks you are pretty great as well.  Even if you two don't always get along.  I hear you two when you think I am not listening & I hear lots of love.  It is pretty special when you two are apart, and you say your goodbyes it is always: "hug & kiss."  I think you two will always be great friends.

You are so much like me its quite scary.  You are afraid of heights.  Like when daddy lifts you high.  I remember hating when tall people did that to me when I was a child.  You don't like sitting on high things either.  This was probably three feet in the air:
or on this little four-wheeler:

When you enter into a party, or room full of people you need a few moments to warm up, just like me.  Large crowds overwhelm you, and you are NOT a fan of strangers.  You typically say, "I don't like dos guys." But I know you just mean, mommy I want to make sure I go home with you and not those strangers.

You love your daddy something fierce. You always have.  He has a special place in his heart for you too.  You could probably get away with anything, but don't tell him I told you that.

Recently you have a new found interested in my make-up & nail polish.  I try not to make it a big deal, even though I think you are too young to have make-up on.  It does make for some fun picture moments.
(serious about her nails drying)

All this to say, McKinley, you are mommy's special girl.  You can make me crazy with your whining, and obsession with your paci, but you are so sweet you make my teeth hurt!

And I know soon enough you will be off with your friends, and talking and texting and who knows what else!  I want to hold onto these moments, because time...ugh, time - we have a love/hate relationship.  I treasure you McKinley yesterday, today, tomorrow and for always!

My prayers for you are that you have so much confidence in Christ, that you will NEVER compare yourself to another women.  That you have so much confidence in Christ, that no man will ever be good enough, but you will take one that loves the Lord your  God with all his heart, mind, and understanding.  I pray that you have so much confidence in Christ that you will have your own children and commit them to the Lord and His work!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

What does baby Jesus, your home and a strip club all have in common?

Let me explain.

This is more like a metaphor. Lost? Let me continue...

I am currently involved in a ministry called, Cherished.

Every second Friday-night of the month you will find the Cherished team at your local Hampton Roads strip club.  Yes, I said that.  A strip club! We give out 80-100 gifts bags at each outreach, and since we began this outreach a little over a year ago, we have given over 1,000 gift bags.  Inside the bag are two little gifts - earrings, lip gloss, eye liner, nail polish are a few possibilities.  But most important a dancer will also find in each bag a business-card with a website for more information about our group.  Our purpose is to befriend these women.  Seriously, just friendship.  

This team of ours, approximately 8 women on outreach and 4 that stay back to pray, are the closest thing to church I have ever experienced.  I'd like to believe it is because we come together share, worship, study the Word, pray, and then most importantly WE SERVE!  Not in the easiest of places, but where many believers are afraid to go: Satan's playground.  We have been kicked out aggressively, eyes rolled while saying no thank-you to our gifts, and asked to never come back.  But  many outreaches we overwhelmingly get hugs, thank-yous, many that say, "you have no idea how hard this business is," and many other warm welcomes.  

Many times during these outreaches I feel Jesus so strongly.  I realize this is where He would be.  Perhaps not inside this type of business, but definitely ministering to those who dance, those who participate, and those in the thick of it.  "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Mark 2:17

It was outside one of the clubs I realized my metaphor.

So if we were to compare our homes to a strip club it would most likely be a STARK contrast, right?  You may have never been in this type of club (I pray at least this is so), but you can draw on your stereotypes here: its dirty, its dark, lots of lust and game-playing.  Our home (prayerfully) is warm, inviting, where we like to spend our time.  At least I am speaking for myself - my home is my favorite place on earth.  When I am home, surrounded by my little family, there is NO other places I'd rather be!

This was where Jesus was before He came down as a baby: He was home, in heaven.  But He choose to come to this dirty, dark, lustful, and game-playing EARTH as a baby.  He didn't come as a big warrior on a cloud (that was waiting for His second coming) but he came as the least-of-these, a baby, at a questionable birth, He came from a questionable home-town, to a big ol' strip club we call EARTH! 

And why did He come? To serve us, to be our example and to Save us!

I know Christmas has passed, but let us reflect on the significance of God, in all His majesty in the comfort of His Glorious Home, would come down to us, to die on a cross -a death for a criminal - just so we (everyone!) can appear perfect before our Heavenly Father!

Wow, whatta God I serve!  And on those 2nd Friday of the month there is no other place I'd rather be! Although I am thankful I get to go home afterward.