Monday, December 17, 2012


I have watched more hours of CNN than I'd like to admit. Every time the thought crosses my mind to turn it off and busy myself with things less troubling, I remember that the sweet people of Connecticut don't have that option. As long as I am connected, I am on my knees for them. As long as the thoughts of Friday cross my mind, I am covering them in prayers.

I've been home for the past 9 days. I keep giggling because I haven't taken this much time off since our honeymoon. What I would give to be sitting poolside sipping "Yo quiero Pepsi" right about now. Instead I am thanking God that I get to be the one passing out Boogie Wipes and giving great big hugs all day long.

Coop is on day 8 of a fever we can't seem to break and is just pitiful. Chris has been feeling terrible since Thanksgiving and I've been so worried about him. I felt myself get lost in the chaos and instantly fell to my knees seeing how small my concerns are in the grand scheme of things. I put on my big girl panties and fell asleep whispering praises of thanksgiving for my precious boys and for the time we get to spend together.

Chris had an appointment with his oncologist this morning and praise the Lord, his scans remain CLEAN! Now to problem solve on why he is feeling like he is. Dr. Szabo thinks that the effects of chemo are hanging around a little longer than we expected. Lots of tests to determine what's up and what can be done to make him feel better, but hearing the words "Cancer Free" never ever ever gets old!

I went hunting for the anniversary date of his chemo and radiation end date tonight so I could plan a little something and pulled up this old blog post:

I instantly knew I needed to re-read it. Again and again.

Our Christmas cards sit at the Target photo counter waiting for us to pick them up, our Pink Pig tickets hang untouched on the bulletin board in the kitchen, and I haven't had a shower in two days. And the beautiful thing is that not one of those silly things matters. Not a one.

Hug your babies tight tonight. Tell those that you love how much they mean to you. Know that more often than not, good really does triumph over evil and that God is amongst those that mourn. Our time on this earth is not without struggle. We were never promised that. The beauty is that our eternal home is paved in gold and secure with the one who carries us during times like these.

Walk with confident humility with your head held high knowing that His sovereignty reigns and His grace covers all.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bobs and Bobbins

I'm itching to whack my hair off again and rock the mom bob. Only problem is I'm ridiculous and get sweaty palms just thinking about doing it because it reminds me of a different time and place.
If I cut it, will this little peanut please stop growing like a weed? Who's tiny baby is this anyway?

Chris had a scan Monday. All I could think about Sunday night was how God carries him from scan to scan, and covers him with His sweet grace. That thought alone knocks me to my knees with prayers of gratitude in a quick minute.

We had a bit of a scare over Turkey Day weekend that had us on the phone with the Cancer Answer. I wonder. Have they found that blasted answer? Do their elevators still smell funny?  Chris handled it like a rock. Always does. Silly me got all worked up and had to eat three plates of spoon corn bread to calm down. I know it. But the thought of him feeling so bad again just makes me want to hurl. And sweat. And go to Hobby Lobby. *Thank you Danielle for rescuing me and helping me get lost in the wooden letter aisles.*

Mostly I've been rocking the jazz hands and happy dance these days. Filled with joy, and all from this little Sugar Britches adventure. Haven't even had time to blog. Or put away our Fall decor. Or cook anything that doesn't involve a crock pot or a trip to Ricos.

This little machine has a) brought me more quiet time than my garden tub ever did (remember when we didn't buy a house because the tub wasn't big enough for sweet tea and prayers??) b) not gotten us pregnant but taught me that lots of mighty things can happen while you are in the "waiting", c) not stopped running for more than 2.2 minutes, d) stitched about a gazillion fleece scarves, and e) made me SO DERN HAPPY.

I get to shop. I get to monogram everything under the sun. I get to see folks faces filled with joy when they receive their creations. There's nothing sweeter.

Except sweet tea.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Thanksmas 2012 and Baby Emma

This weekend was Thanksmas 2012. That's synonymous for food-coma-while-surrounded-by-our-entire-family-while-playing-games 2012. Insanity, y'all.
My parents are too good to us. Entirely too good.
They live for Thanksmas all year long and spoil us rotten from the time we get there til the time we all leave. We will get an email with the details of next year's trip in about t minus 2 days.
They think of every little detail and go out of their way to make sure that we are all together, having a complete ball.
The weekend is always like food for our souls.

Speaking of food, my mom cooks for all 20+ of us. But you'd think she was cooking for a small army. We graze ALL WEEKEND LONG. And it. is. fabulous.

We ate pinwheel sanmiches til we couldn't see straight.

Sausage balls and biscuits every morning.

Chili and taco soup.

Brisket samiches.

Fried chicken.

We were only there for 3 nights.

You do the math on that.

We ate A TON.

We also met the nicest Carnie in Pigeon Forge. He let Coop ride the rides at Kids Kountry (eeek with the K alliteration) after dark. Even though we arrived 4 minutes after the park had closed.
Made Coop's night, can't you tell?
Miniature Grumpett. Anyway. The Carnie, wish we had taken a picture of him. He was just too sweet.

We always stop at a Christmas Tree farm in North Carolina on the way home and scoop up our Christmas tree. Tell me how in one years time, we went from this...
To this.

Mercy me.

So we're home and tonight for dinner, we had ice cream sandwiches. In our PJs. Ok, also while snuggled in bed. Only Cooper tee teed on our bed the night we left, so our entire bedding set had to be taken to the cleaners for damage control. So we ate 'em in our frumpy no-comforter-or-blankets bed. Which means I am going to freeze tonight. Sweet.

The weekend was so full, it really was. But I can't tell you how many times I hit my knees this weekend for our sweet friends the Cheeks. Baby Emma was born last Sunday and is in the {completely unexpected} fight for her tiny little life. She has brought so much glory to God and is a little warrior already.
I cry out to God for her again and again each day. Her mama is just absolutely precious to me. When Chris first got sick way way back when, Kelly brought us this little bamboo plant. It was to bring good luck, and goodness me, did we need it in those days. Chris guarded that little plant with all his life for YEARS. Every time I turned around, he had it situated in a new place in the house.

We moved and the bamboo plant moved with us.

I nearly killed it a dozen times over. On accident of course.

I am re-reading Angie Smith's book right now and just ran across a quote that made me instantly think of Kelly and Andy. "At the end of each day, regardless of what it had held, we knew that she had been given to us for a purpose, and we were seeking wisdom as we embraced that. To be brutally honest, it wasn't because embracing it came naturally. It was because we didn't know how to survive without believing that God was in control".

Isn't that the truth?

Baby Emma needs your prayers, sweet prayer warriors. Will you please do me an itty bitty favor and cover her in the coming days and weeks?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


**Total shout out to Daniel Lough, of Jones Mobile Media, who rocked our world and captured these precious memories in the making of our sweet Coop. Holy Moly, these pictures sure make us count and recount our blessings one by one--
We're coming off Pixar week on Disney, so naturally, when Coop ran shrieking from the bathroom with his undies around his ankles about a bug chasing him, I joined right in acting loony tunes, pretending to be like a bug on Bug's Life. 

How was I to know it was a real life scorpion?!
I went ninja bat crazy on that little double-pinchered booger and sent him right up to bug heaven.

Coop cried and asked me why I had to squish him. Then he asked me why I used Daddy's shoe instead of my shoe.

Guess he came in after Chris and Coop played in the leaves? I don't care where he came from, all I know is that I got stung by one when I was about 8, so he sent me into a hissyfit real quick. No body messes with my pistol britches.

I grew up in a teeny tiny Methodist church. Like all good Methodists, we had communion every first Sunday of the month.

12 Stone doesn't so much roll that way, so when we walked in this Sunday and saw the wine and bread baskets, my little old school heart filled with joy.
We are wrapping up a series called iPray. It hit me this past week that my prayers are kinda wimpy. I'm good at praying for God's amazing grace and mercy to wash over us when things fall apart. I'm a pro at praying for mercy in the midst of chaos. I whisper prayers daily for him to make us strong when we are weak and to make us graceful when things don't go the way we had planned.
What I'm absolutely terrible at, is praying boldly and specifically for the things we need. I've learned to pray for Gods sovereignty but have never ever wrapped my head around the idea of actually praying for exactly what we need. I've always felt like I just couldn't do that.

As PK talked, it hit me that maybe God wants me to grow a pair and pray boldly, knowing that He is God.

In our journey of trying to add to our family, I've never once directly asked God for a baby. Isn't that ridiculous? I've cried. I've paced. I've rambled. I've bargained. But what I haven't done, is ask Him for the desires of my heart.

How can we go to God so ballsy? So direct? When Chris was fighting the good fight, I prayed for grace. I prayed for him to be strong. I prayed for "God's will". I prayed for his hair to stay put. I prayed for his pain to ease and for his soul to heal. What I wanted to do was to scream out and pray for him to be washed clean and for God to take the cancer away. But for whatever reason, I struggled so much with that.

It's on my heart that maybe God wants to be the God who provides rather than always being the God who calms us in the storm.

 It feels strange. Really strange. But I'm going to do it. I'm going to go boldly and knock persistently, and know that His Grace is washing over us no matter what His answer may be.
"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you". Matthew 7:7

Monday, November 12, 2012

Blog Coma

I completely forgot to blog.

For like a month.
Maybe it's because my computer screen is covered in fleece from Sugar Britches burnin' the midnight oil? Fleece Frenzy! Fleece Frenzy!

Maybe it's because we saddled up with Woody for a rootin' tootin' fun Halloween?
Love him.
Maybe it's because we had an election and I started spending waaayy more time oogling sparkly things and hilariously inappropriate e-cards and ooey gooey triple chocolate chunk desserts on Pinterest trying to escape?
Maybe it's because I discovered Sho Gun's Crispy Roll and had to go and get it 5 times in the past month?
Don't know what happened really, but I've missed this little blog!

Can you even believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner? I can almost smell the spoon cornbread and bacon wrapped green beans bakin in the oven and see the glow of the neon Old Navy sign warming up for Black Friday. Mmm. Thanksgiving!

So very much to be so very thankful for!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tough as Nails

I ran into a pole last week. With the car. Not sure if that makes it better or worse but it reminded me of how stinkin’ hard I can be on myself. It didn’t damage the car *much* and was totally no big deal at all but I was ill as a hornet with myself. First thing I did was run in the restaurant and ask the hostess to please tell me how many other people had done the same.
None? Stellar. Moving on.

Took me right back to when I was 9 years old and spilled milk at the table and ran off to my room to punish myself. My parents couldn’t stop laughing long enough to clean it up or to come get me out of my self-imposed time out.

As a teenager I had ONE super rotten moment where I got brave enough to sneak out of the house. With Chuckie Zoom Zoom and the Get-Along Gang. Brilliant. Went egging and toilet papering WITH OUR YOUTH GROUP (that’s a blog post for another day!). Totally got away with it. 100%. Woke up the next morning and ratted myself out. Went to every single house and cleaned trees and driveways and front porches for hours while I cursed myself.
I’m cracking up now just thinking about it but the reality is, 9 or 17 or 31 years old, I have this tendency to be hard on myself.

Same thing with Sugar Britches. I am having a complete BALL! Absolutely so much fun and so much grace being poured out through the business.
At the same time, I will hem and haw and sweat and pace over making sure I get every single stitch just right. I am a people pleaser (irritating flaw at times) and a perfectionist (ridiculousness) and it makes for an interesting combo some days.

See Coop's shirt? Because his middle initial "W" is super duper wide and "C' and "D" are tall and skinny, the monogram comes out looking off centered. It's not though. It's just because of his initials. Will our next child be named according to symmetrical monogram letters? Possibly. Kidding. I'm not that crazy. Ok, so I've tested a few 3 letter combos just to see. I digress.

Same thing with my work at CHOA. I lose sleep over making sure families are happy and that my babies are making progress. Some days I just can’t let it go. It comes from my heart—it truly matters to me that people are happy.

I pray over Coop that he would somehow miss out on this silly trait and know that all that he does is just plum pleasing in his Father’s eyes. And in mine and Chris’. Except for that time he tee-teed on his curtains. And the floor. Not pleasing. In any way. 

To find the balance between striving for good (not perfection) and bringing joy to others (not getting in a tizzy over pleasing people until I can’t see straight) is something I need to work on. As a wife, as a mom, as a friend, as an SLP, as a Sugar Britches.
How ‘bout y’all? How do you find balance and keep yourself in check?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Went to see the Sermonator today.

God love that sweet man.

He's the only cross-eyed booger I would let operate on me with one hand tied behind his back, standing on his head any old day.

I won't sugar coat things (I'll leave that for Sugar Britches--wooo Sugar Britches! Best. Thing. Ever.) It was a tough appointment.

I went in ready to come running out with a game plan and instead, I walked out praying that God might just teach me how to be graceful.

Cause I'm just not.

Dr. Sermons feels like we are at a crossroads. No more meds. No more procedures. No more poking. No more prodding. At least not for now. It was the first time he said it and even though I did the ugly cry, I needed to hear it. He feels like what we're up against is just the aftermath of the chemo monster. It's just that simple.

What's the most beautiful and amazing thing to me is that although cancer took a lot from us, it didn't take Chris. The man I am upside down and inside out crazy about still snuggles up to me after we tuck Coop into bed each night. He is a walking, living, breathing miracle and that is worth more than anything in this entire world. The icing on the cake is that every time we look at our little pistol britches, we are instantly reminded that God gave him to us. GAVE him. He was born into this world just days before Chris got diagnosed. God's timing was perfect. He knew just what we needed and just when we needed it.

I prayed and prayed and asked God to play a particular song the whole way home today. If He would play it, I would feel Him and know that He is still working his good work in us and that our story is not over yet.

It never came on.

I waited. And waited. And waited.

I did jazz hands to Justin Bieber and went through the Chick-fil-a drive thru (surprise). I went to the bank. I stopped to get gas. I went to Hobby Lobby.

And then I pulled in our driveway.

And it came on. It's not even popular any more. But there it was. Amazing how He washes over us at the very minute we need it. Simply amazing.

"And be CONFIDENT in this: the God who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it"
Philippians 1:6

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cranky Tank

I needed a little Grace poured in my cup this morning.
Don't know why really, but I've been puny this weekend. October rolled around and oh my gracious, how I LOVE October! Sweaters and tall boots and tall pumpkin spiced Starbucks drinks and bales of hay and changing leaves. I love it all! Only this October, we were supposed to be bringing our baby girl home. On top of that, we just found out that Blue Cross won't cover our visit with the reproductive endocrinologist so we can see what our next steps are. Whatevs.

We got up, got dressed, and scooted to church and I was just about beside myself, waiting for worship to start. You know that feeling when your soul just craves worship with others? Our church is busting at the seams (praise the Lord!!), so we got there about 45 minutes early this morning. Nerds.

We dropped Super Coop off at his class (no tears-thanks to the fact that it was "make-a-sword-our-God-is-mighty-Sunday) and I settled into our seats while Chris served.  Long story short, I ended up giving up our seats to a family with a itty bitty newborn. It was fine. It really was.

Only we got moved to the overflow room. Also known as the mama/daddy/newborn baby room. And we I (Chris was still serving) was surrounded by tiny pink babies.

And there I sat, trying to watch worship on a TV screen, eyes welled up with great big ol tears.

Ridiculous, I know it.

God met me there and reminded me to be humble and gracious. I fought with him and reminded him that I am weak and cranky. I grumbled and shuffled in my seat . Until He broke me. Again. And again.

Remember, we are right where he intends for us to be. Maybe not in this situation, but in the grip of His grace.

I have the best husband in all the world. He took one look at me (once he found me) and understood. We ended up scooping Coop and coming home and bouncing in the bounce house. Cooper was tickled that I had on my "pirate" boots so he could sword fight me. (He won).

I fought with God some more while I made pimento cheese samiches for lunch. I went to move Coop's Sunday School paper off the counter and his weekly verse nearly jumped up and slapped the butterknife right out of my hands.

"The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still". Exodus 14:14

Ok, God. You win. You are mighty and good and your plans far exceed the cranky tank ways of my day today. And oh how I thank you for that.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Ode to Applejacks

I've been sewing. And sewing. And sewing.

I even came up the original "Sugar Britches"
You think they will fit? "A" is for "Ali", right?

You think I'm kidding, but I was reminded of bloomers this week when TLC aired a reality show on CLOGGING. No joke. I watched and shed a tear for my old Applejack friends. I rocked my petticoat and bloomers entirely too long. I was 17 when I quit. That's about 13 years too long to be doing windmills and heel clicks but good golly I loved, loved, loved those clogging days.

They made a comeback in college. Mostly when I had had too much to drink. And maybe also at my wedding.
Chris came home from his trip to Arizona and went straight to our dresser to make sure I hadn't monogrammed his socks.

I would never! (Wait, monogrammed socks? Now that could work. JK. #obsessedADL)

Coop has been growing like a weed. I'm sayin.
He loves preschool and is learning so much every day! His little lip barely even quivers in car pool anymore. Go Coop, go!

He was strangely quiet yesterday when I put him down for his nap. I snuck in to kiss his chubby cheeks and found him standing at the foot of his bed. Butt nekkid. With a 3 foot mound of clothes around him. He had emptied every stitch of clothing from his dresser drawers. When I asked him what on earth he was doing, he replied "I tee teed on the floor mommy. And the curtains too."

I cleaned up the mess but not before skipping off to the bathroom to check for grey hairs. I had 3.

Slow down little lion, slow down.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

This Old House

If porches could talk, this one would tell some stories.
893 Stark Road.

It's where chairs and babies were rocked. Where Big Wheels were raced. Where sweet tea was sipped.
Where cars and blessings were counted one by one.
Where this old screen door slammed and this old brown door squeaked.
Where our mighty rock Mama Potts was born.

Right inside this very window.
This old house is where we got our raisin'. Where we learned that the good Lord carries us and that His Grace never fails us.
This old house is mighty old. As we've grown, those porch boards have weathered. Those walls have bowed. Those ceilings have sagged.

The time is coming where our old home place will be torn down. And it's tearin' us up. But as these doors and walls and windows and porches come down, we will know that their very being helped to raise us up. 

And we know that heaven's got a mighty fine front porch made just for rockin' and that is just where our sweet Mama Potts is right now. Counting cars. Shooin' flies. Singin' hymns.
And laughing at all of us sillies down here.

"But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" Joshua 24:15

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sweatshop and Transformers

I've been mighty busy.

So busy that we were greeted by tons of Georgia Power trucks on our way in from dinner tonight. Transformer blew. On our street. Something about a sewing machine going nonstop for 36 hours.

Definite work in progress, but here goes nothin'--

When Sugar Britches hits 25 followers, I will have a faboosh super sale.

I used to dream of opening a little boutique at the beach. Boutique in progress, beach...well, baby steps y'all, baby steps. I've gotta say I'm just tickled pink and having bookoodles of fun!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bobbin and Weavin

My machine came today.

Nearly snuck up and grabbed me when I came home from work. Wasn't supposed to be here for 8 more days.

It took me 2 hours and 1 trip to Chick-fil-a to muster up the courage to thread my first bobbin. Truth.

I just sat there staring at the thing, sweating, and rehearsing the steps over and over again. I watched an instructional DVD, 3 YouTube Videos and read the 200 page manual front to back. All to thread a bobbin.

Once I powered the machine and watched the thread whir around that lil bobbin, I was hooked.

20 minutes later and I had whipped up my first creation.
Interpretation: It's a burp cloth.

A ruffly mess of a thing but oh how I shrieked when it was complete. It's crooked and silly looking, but it makes me happy. Imperfections up the wazoo. Crooked ruffle ribbon. Wrong color thread because Hobby Lobby closes before 11pm. Messy back stitching. Imperfectly perfect.

Tomorrow to conquer the Mighty Monogram. Not to be confused with the Mighty Mammogram (I heart you Aunt Lucy).

Sew much fun.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Carpool Line and The Pink Pickle

The carpool line got my Super Coop. Tears. Wailing. Screaming. Superhero like Houdini moves that landed him in the floor of the backseat reaching and hollaring for me.

I was all like "Gimme some sugar" and he was all "mama don't leave me, I wanna ride on the golf cart".
Left me shakin' my head.

I think it's probably because we've been at the beach.
I didn't want to get out of the car either to be honest. Or put my clothes on. Or do anything except play in the giant yellow submarine,
Or play with a tractor in the sand,
Or ride on a giant giraffe (I promise he insisted on the giant giraffe and loved every minute of it),
Or crawl up under the table and play with cars and choo choo trains,
Or have ice cream with Daddy,
Or splash in the pool all day long.
(It's a crying shame no one ever takes a picture of this child.)

Some people run off to the beach to find themselves. We run off to find good food.

But while we were there, Chris encouraged me to do something. I've been needing a hobby something fierce. Something to get my mind off of Ella Grace and this stinkin' fertility business. It's an awkward topic, I know it. And I'm sorry for mentioning it time and time again, but it's just where the good Lord's got us right now. The closer we get to Ella Bella's due date, the antsier I get. I've been out of whack. I've been preoccupied. I haven't been myself.

I did some soul searching over fried pickles and ice cream at the beach and asked what do I love oh so much that I could pour myself into?

Sweet tea, babies, and all things monogrammed. There it is.

We ordered a monogramming machine. I hem hawed around and around and Chris kept encouraging me and telling me to go for it. I've been sewing for years. And by "sewing", I mean hand stitching yards upon yards of fabric. Roomie/Floormie Abby will tell you, time and time again, she would come home and find me stitching away.  I've made curtains and duvet covers and pillow shams and monthaversary onesies and whatnot. Chris is never surprised when he comes home and I've restitched every thread of fabric in our house just because I want to. It takes me approximately 27 hours per pillow sham because I refuse to use a sewing machine. Everytime I order something monogrammed from Super Fly Emily (the absolute PRO at all things monogrammed) I squeal and shriek and tap dance around the kitchen.

Time to learn a new skill. Time to focus on something not Clomid related. I tap danced around the beach condo just thinking about thinking about something other than this baby makin' business.

I sat with my toes in the sand and dreamed up a shop name. I dreamed up monogrammed bloomers and onesies and burp cloths and john johns. I can't decide between "Pumpkin Doodle Designs",  "The Pink Pickle", or "Sugar Britches" (not to be confused with "Sugar Bear" on the only show that gives Desperate Housewives a run for it's money. Don't lie y'all. Everyone is bashing June and her June bugs when really, is HBB any worse than Snookie? Watch on. No shame.) I'm stuck between the Pink Pickle and Sugar Britches.

I sashayed right down to Hobby Lobby and signed myself up for some sewing classes. Gotta learn how to use this machine cause I hear you can't really monogram by hand. Psh.

When you see a post entitled "A monogramming machine got me pregnant", you'll know the sun was shining on this monogrammed tush.