Monday, December 31, 2012

the blog silence

with no words to possibly ever do this justice i will briefly share where our lives and hearts have been this past week.

in the early morning on dec. 22 justin woke up to several missed calls and jumped out of bed saying
"something happened to my dad."

within a few hours justin was on a plane to fort myers flordia to be with his dad and his family.
his father had experienced a heart attack and cardiac arrest stemming from undiagnosed sleep apnea. 
as the news of his prognosis worsened i flew to flordia on Christmas morning to be with my husband and my family.
after a few days on life support he went to be with Jesus due to a heart attack and cardiac arrest resulting in an anoxic brain injury.
there is so much more to this past week and to ted and to his life and to the deep sorrow felt by those who love him. i will share my heart and try to find the words because he loved this blog. he read every post i ever wrote and would usually always comment (especially when i had cancer) or send a text when he especially liked something i had written. his support of my heart and my writing always meant so much to me. i will share more soon.
but for now...dropping in to share where we are right now. 
deep grief but holding tight to the hope and peace of Christ.
he and his girlfriend, shirley were on a sailing adventure when this unexpected tragedy happened.
they blogged nearly everyday 
to catch up on the incredible journey they were on please go to:

we are heading to ky tomorrow to be with family and will honor ted by celebrating his life this saturday at the same place his daughter, sara and her husband tommy were married and where justin i had our wedding reception. we all feel that ted would prefer this non-traditional way of honoring his life oppose to a funeral service.

for details go to:

we are beyond thankful for the family and friends around us who stopped at 8pm on Christmas day to get on their knees and pray as we pleaded with the Lord for a miracle. we are thankful for the countless ways our family has felt so dearly loved and cared for in the midst of this heartache.

my dear husband wrote his dad's obituary today.

Ryder, Ted Wallace, our beloved father, “Pop-pop”, son, brother, and friend passed away suddenly into the arms of Jesus on Thursday Dec 27th, 2012 in Fort Myers FL, following a heart attack. Until the end, his family was by his side, praying and hoping with him. As a father, his love and loyalty was unmatched. He will forever be a hero to his children. As a “Pop-pop”, his laughter, sense of humor, and giving spirit made him larger than life to his grandchildren, who will miss him dearly. As a certified orthotist he faithfully and compassionately served patients in the tri-state area with The Brace Shop and Prosthetic services and eventually through Hanger Orthotics for over 30 years. Patients remember his gentle tone, consistent care, and expert craftsmanship. He was a guiding light to many around him in this community, who alongside Ted, learned to walk, to love, to read, to work at their passions, to pray, to chill, to swim, to never (ever) dive, and to celebrate life. And oh how he celebrated the people he loved and the places he enjoyed! As a sailor, adventurist, writer, traveler, and captain he had a profound love for living and moving on lakes and oceans, and thus to honor his life passion his remains were committed to the sea around his sailboat, “Serenity”. Ted is survived by his daughter, Sara Floyd and her husband, Tommy; his Son, Justin Ryder and his wife, Libby; his 5 adoring grandchildren: Ella, Jack, Ava, and Cash. His fifth grandchild, a little girl,  who is scheduled to arrive in January will be his namesake, Teddy. He also leaves behind his partner of 4 years, Shirley Lambert; his mother, Joy Ryder Moore; his brothers and sisters Kris, Todd, Tracy, Greg, Shelly, Shawn; his 12 nieces and nephews and many devoted and loyal friends. His late father, George Ryder, and nephew Sawyer greeted him in heaven. Though there is a sense of devastating loss for those who loved him, there is also an overwhelming sense of gratitude to God for having been a part of his beautiful life. We laughed with him, cried with him, relied on him, and ran to him. He was always there for those he loved. His children have chosen to honor him with a Celebration of Life Memorial on Saturday, January 5 at The Covington Madison’s Crystal Ballroom, from 6p-10p. Please visit for more details.

sail on ted. sail on...

the very last thing my dear father in law did for me was comment on facebook about the photo below. only hours before everything changed. it so dear to my heart. he simply wrote, "great picture."

Friday, December 21, 2012

dc for christmas

living in 4 different states from your family means that traveling seems to just be apart of the normal Christmas plans. but this year when we realized our due date was pretty close to Christmas we knew we would be staying put. our own family traditions, pancakes Christmas morning, new pajamas on Christmas eve, lots of movies (family man is a must. i just teared up watching the trailer. this movie means so much to justin and i), baking, candles, playing, and resting. i need some rest.

thankfully this year my parents are coming in from Oklahoma and we are spending a few days in downtown washington dc. just for fun. because we love hotels and eating out and see cities all lit up for Christmas. ava can't wait to swim in the pool.

i am officially done with all Christmas scarf orders. thanks for ordering. hope you enjoy.

yesterday we got to see our little girl. less than 4 weeks left until we finally meet her. ava asks every morning if she has been born and runs to her bassinet in the living room just to be sure. after our ultrasound we ran some errands and i handed ava a picture of her sister and totally unprompted
she said, "oh, mom she is so beautiful."thankful for a love that has already begun between them.

 enjoy your weekend. whether it be traveling or enjoying your family and friends at home.
this is a special time of year. don't miss it.

back around Christmas with some pictures and hopefully a video by justin.
you can follow me on instagram @libbyryder to share in our dc christmas adventures.

Monday, December 17, 2012

got my copy. now you get yours.

dropping in real quick to announce the winner of the sweet children's book
what's true about you by kristan farley.

congrats to the Poston family:
eek! i want this!! our favorite book right now is charlie brown christmas :)

 even if you did not win this is awesome book for your own home or for a gift.

you won a personalized copy for your own home. email me at to place your order. thanks for entering and sharing the books that are currently being read in your home.


things are quiet here as ava woke up at midnight sick so we are laying low to heal up before my parents come and we head to washington, dc for the weekend.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

a precious book

not sure when or how but i am feeling the christmas shift. sometimes it is hard for me to get into the "christmas spirit" simply because it's december. i do not want to loose sight of what this is all about and everything around us can easily distract us from this advent season and preparing for the birth of Christ.  

but after finally finishing decorating the tree this week (mid-decorating i got really upset and started crying and justin suggested i go into our room and settle down. so i did. 2 weeks later we finished the tree). we hosted a couple little christmas parties with our leaders and my small group and that has helped me feel way more like christmas is coming and i love it. it is also colder and although i do not like the cold per say i do think it encourages staying inside and being together. also got the deal of the year yesterday when my favorite 3 wick candles from bath and body works that are normally $20 where on sale for $8 and then i had $10 off so they were around $5.50 a piece. it is the small things you know...i love how lighting candles can legitimately change the vibe of our home or so it seems.

 this weekend is our last weekend before our little girl arrives where we have no plans. nothing.
today will be spent crocheting scarves, watching movies, and most likely various things with ava: reading, coloring, baking, decorating and re-decorating her tree for the hundredth time.


before i begin those things i wanted to offer a really precious and sweet giveaway.
i do not know the author, kristan farley personally but i for sure like her based on our email exchanges and the words she wrote in her book "what's true about you."

profound truths that the sweet little children in our life need to hear but also an important reminder for ourselves. i often listen to the lies and loose sight of what is actually true about who i am.

sneak peek...


the best part is that you can have it personalized for whomever you plan to buy this for as well as choosing between a boy version or a girl version...i really love that. i think any personalized touch makes all the difference.

kristan is graciously giving a personalized copy away to one of you! yup, another giveaway. 
leave a comment sharing your favorite book and you will entered to win. 
winner will be announced on monday evening.

if you are interested in placing a scarf order please do so by monday, dec. 17 to guarantee christmas delivery. to place an order email me at with scarf as the subject line. thank you to all of those who have supported this little endeavor. 


finally and by far most importantly as i prepared this post my heart aches for the families and friends impacted by the horrific events of yesterday in connecticut. i really have no words but simply that you are not alone and that you feel people around you carrying your grief and pain. although i can not speak to what this must be like for everyone involved i do know what pain and shock feels like and i recall experiencing a real sense of community as people rallied around us and however possible carried a bit of our burdens for us. you are not alone. we are praying.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

tumbler winner and our baby.

Brandie Elliott
who enjoys any any kind of peppermint coffee! 
you will now be enjoying whatever you want in our own tervis tumbler.
email me at to receive your tumbler. 
i loved reading all of your favorite drinks. i love water, coffee with french vanilla creamer, and a starbucks iced decaf mocha. 
i am currently on the couch with justin next to me watching his favorite show, white collar and ava watching sophia her favorite princess on disney, jr. it is nice to sit and be together. it has been a busy week but in a good way...just what christmas time brings and i do love it.
we had our 35 week check up and little girl's heart sounds great and all the random things i shared with my midwife: sore legs, tired, heartburn, which she responds: sounds about right.
i can not decide if i just forgot what it was like to be pregnant or if pregnancy with ava was legitimately easier. maybe a little bit of both. but i for sure feel like i have ran a marathon at the end of everyday, not sleeping well, and horrible heartburn. yes, these things are annoying and it is not always easy but some sweet friends of ours who have been begging and pleading and doing just about everything possible to get pregnant over the past few years...well, they are pregnant and that has caused an entire perspective shift for me and i needed it. yup, pregnancy is not the easiest thing...but the miracle. the sweet, incredible, miracle growing inside me that will soon make her arrival and join this family...well she is a gift. a precious miracle. something we were once told may not be a reality for us again. well it is real and she is coming. currently she is moving like crazy inside me. girl knows i am thinking about her right now.

it is all about a perspective shift. we choose joy or we don't. sometimes choosing joy is just too hard. i think it is real and true that sometimes what we tell our head to think just can not make the connection to our heart. but when the head and the heart meet that is when big things happen. things start to shift, look different, and feel different. even when our current situations or the hurt we are in do not change...but when our heart is on board and we look to the one thing. the only thing...Jesus do we actually begin to live in the joy, peace, hope, and love that He promises us. He does not promise comfort or easy, but He promises himself. i do not always choose Him. but everyday i pray i am moving closer to what it means and looks like to really choose Jesus in all things. the big and the little. He wants to be in the big and little...but are we making room for Him in all those things? 
let's make room for what matters this time of year.
it will change things. i promise, but more importantly He promises.
another little giveaway tomorrow that points to what He says about you and me.
if you are like me than you may need a regular reminder.  i ordered the personalized version for ava because i want these truths written on her heart starting now. 
i also may or may not have cried when i heard it read this past weekend.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

tis the season.

first off...the lack of blogging. i am very aware of it. i am working on some posts that have a bit more depth than what i am sharing today. but they are mostly just in my head and in my heart. 
so for today since it is just that time of about a sweet giveaway? you can keep it for yourself or give it as a christmas gift. 

sweet friend, crystal faye is back and this time she is giving away one of her monogrammed tervis  tumblers. not lying when i tell you i love it. i use it everyday. no joke. it holds over 22 oz of liquid and i am a sucker for drinking from something that i think is cute. in turn i am drinking way more water than i usually do. strange but maybe some of you get that. if you hate water diet coke is a great alternative or anything really...i am just shying away from dc during my pregnancy.
also, if you are a person who likes a straw when they drink do not worry bed bath and beyond sells tervis straws in a pack of 6 for $3.99. i now use mine with a straw and i love it.

(blog readers can enjoy 10% any order using the code dwyc10)

how to enter:
leave a comment on the blog telling me what your favorite drink of choice is this time of year?
 winner will be announced on the blog thursday.
comment away.


my friend elizabeth has a hilarious and very real blog. i love all those things and i love her. she has a great giveaway happening on her blog as well. go check it out.
overall this is a pretty sweet giveaway and you may spot #2 as one of my very own cowl neck scarves. yup giving one away over there right now. so go enter at
you can contact me directly at if you would like to place an order. 
(crystal faye is featured as #5. so fun)

how about a belly picture to end this little post?
35 weeks. we are getting close. you will notice from the picture that her nursery looks identical to how it was several weeks back. its true. no progress has been made...yet.

ava was about to jump off the stool while i was taking this picture. but decided to still use it. 
the belly is all people care about anyways.

go enter the giveaways. you might win. you never know. good luck.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

sharing what He has done for us

tomorrow morning i have the opportunity to share our story to a group of women in blacksburg, va. i am honored and excited. as i prepared a bit today...scrolled though pictures and old blog posts i was quickly reminded of how good the Lord is. it was not too sad. i did not cry. i will cry tomorrow. i have not figured out how to share it without tears. sometimes they are sad and sometimes they are joyful tears. but my heart feels full and thankful that something as awful and scary and horrible as cancer...has truly been the thing that changed my life in the best way possible.

 (side note: there is a bit of tension in my heart as i write this because although i am honored and thankful for the chance to share about the Lord, cancer, my family, and how we were literally carried through cancer. i do pray everyday that i will ever get cancer again. i would rather not walk that road again. i have never looked forward to a PET scan...but come this feburary after our little girl is born i can not wait to be proven wrong. that all my pain and discomfort were just pregnancy side effects and nothing more. not cancer. not chemo. not sick. but a healthy momma of two).

 in the midst of the joy and truth i will share tomorrow i am still striving to live in a way that is not stunted by fear or the unknown. but rests in the truth. no matter what our story holds i trust the Author who is writing it. His plan is better than my plan. that is where my hope is found and that is where i find rest. i hope you will join me.

Friday, November 30, 2012

christmas shopping

this time of year we begin shopping a bit for family and friends. i love the idea of purchasing gifts from small companies that are trying to grow and supporting other women and momma's. the blog is featuring a few you have seen before and a few new one's. i love it because everyone participating has been following our journey and are now apart of our story and i love that. shop away.


check them out here:

use code DONTWASTE for 10% off your order 


check it all out here:
use code LIBBYSBLOG15 to get 15% until Wednesday, December 5th at 11:59pm. 

check her shop out here:
coupon code is LIBBY for 15% off entire order. 

use GLORY10 for 10% off your order thru the end of the year



check out her shop here:
coupon code HOLIDAY for 10% off your order.

use code LIBBY for 10% off your order

use code DWYC10 for 10% off your order.


use code LIBBYBLOG for 5% off your order.

now thru dec. 24th use code DWYCXMAS12 for 20% off an order of $10.00 or more.


use code DWYC10 for 10% off your order



ava is 5 miles from home. we can. not. wait. we missed our girl.
happy weekend.

Monday, November 26, 2012

no ava.

great weekend at windy gap. thankful for justin and his heart. it was a relaxing weekend where we felt so loved and cared for. an amazing couple basically watched ava all weekend so i could enjoy time with friends and hear all of justin's club talks. such a gift. thankful for julia and hannah and for how our stories have come together. the ryder family loves you guys.

wowza...i am getting big

after a gorgeous weekend in north carolina we headed to northern ky (justin's hometown). spent some good quality time with family. his sweet grandmother is just a few radiation treatments away from being done. praying the cancer is gone, gone, gone. we were able to sleep in, attend our first UK basketball game, and lots of time with family.

 surprise. jen and ben were there too. the best.

our trip away ended in louisville with justin's sister and her family. always one of our favorite families to spend time much so little ava stayed there and we headed home. yup, ava chose her cousins and uncle and aunt over her mom and dad. i think i am more okay about it than justin. we explained it to her a few times..."ok, ava if you want to stay here in kentucky with your cousins then mommy and daddy are going to go back to virginia and aunt allison will take you back to virginia in a few days. so do you want to leave or stay here?" "stay here," she yelled. no matter how we phrased it to her she was adamant about staying. I CAN NOT BELIEVE IT!!! she is there and we are here. i know she is having the best time and is being well taken care of and loved...duh. she is with family so that is obvious but it feels real quiet in the ryder household. as we drove home yesterday we decided we were going to embrace it. go on some dates. really connect. i have a to-do list that is growing by the hour. i hope this does not make me a bad mom. wait, i know this does not make me a bad mom but i am thankful and we are really going to enjoy this break. today i slept in, worked, registered for baby girl at target, tj maxx run where i found the best new blanket for baby girl, lunch with ashley (so thankful for her life and honesty), lowes (humidifier filters because our bedroom is drying us out), a few more errands, dinner with justin, laundry, and now i am sitting on my bed ready to write thank you notes and make a few scarves and look through magazines. here is a pic. not posed. i hate posed. this is how it is laying next to me right now. the plan is to rest a little, hang with friends, decorate for christmas, and get this house ready. like every inch organized, cleaned, and ready to go. i hope that whole momma nesting thing happens. we will see how far i get once little ava is back home on friday night.

here's to good week. a different week for us, but a good week.

baby tummy pic coming soon...along with christmas decor. can't wait.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Using blogs...

Dropping in real quick this morning before everyone gets up and the day begins. If you own a little shop or make items that would be great for Christmas gifts and want to share them
on the blog email me. Blogs are great ways to get your shop out there and right now is the best shopping season of the year. If you are interested email me at I will be launching a Christmas gift idea post on dec. 1st so be in touch.

Enjoy today. Hopefully the school week and work week are winding down and rest is in sight.

A few pictures from our break so far:

Friday, November 16, 2012

on the road.

as i reflected a bit yesterday on my 20's...even though i have one year left i thought about how significant these past years have been. some of the most life changing things to ever happen to me happened during my 20's. meeting justin, really began to take my relationship with the Lord seriously, moved to ky, got married, moved to va, had ava, got cancer, moved again, about to welcome another little girl into our family, and building some of the most significant relationships i ever could imagine. not to mention the thousands of other little things that are still big things because they are all apart of my story. i am very grateful and pray that it has all only just begun.

yesterday justin and some girlfriends surprised me at my favorite lunch spot downtown. forgot to take a picture. but so thankful for other women and mother's to walk through life makes all the difference. 

what we have been up to:

 thank you for all the scarf orders (still taking orders so feel free to email me). crocheting will help pass the time as we begin a road trip to windy gap a young life camp in nc for the weekend. justin will be sharing again the good news of Jesus and i get to hang with some special girls, hannah and julia. then we head to ky for thanksgiving to see lots of family. i kind of like road trips. just not what i have to do in the next 4 hours to prepare for it. time to get off the computer.

one of her first gifts, thanks lala. can't wait to swaddle her up.

we are registered and took the tour and they are ready for us.

 ava hiding out in old navy. thankful for my friend liz who chased her around so i could grab some early christmas gifts for my family.

big sister helped the midwife as we listened to the heart beat. great way to celebrate my birthday. ava loved it. she may not want to share with her sister but i do not doubt for a second that she is going to love her.

will be blogging on and off over the break. might be more off than on.

happy weekend.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

so come on, come on.

this has been on repeat lately. (best way to read this post is to open the link to the song and let it play quietly in the background as you read. worked for me). after a good friend sent me a text message one night last week i have not been able to stop thinking about all that is tied up into this song for me. i have a tendency to do this with songs...i get on one and can't get off of it for a while. i am a girl who is just fine with playing songs on repeat. when i like a song...i like a song. quick side note: baby just kicked my rib. the hardest i ever felt. little miracle inside this belly and maybe she loves this song as much as her mom does?

  friend: listening to transatlanticism with friends. love you. and your husband. and your daughter.
 me: man that song means a lot to me. it's what jus and i listened to as we drove to the maury river 
    & fell in love.
 friend: i know :) your passion for this song changed my life lib. seriously. don't forget that music is a part of YOU. i fell closer in love w Jesus through this song bc of you.   
me: thank you. means more than i have words and reminds me that i can lose what i love. music is a love. Jesus wants everything about us. i want to give it to him.

***thankful for friends who take the time to send a little text when they are thinking about you and sharing what is true and real in our lives*** send those texts and make those calls. it is worth it.

i first heard this song when i was in college on spring break. it was april 2005 and i was on marathon key in a few houses with lots of friends. it was a young life trip. it was the best. one of my friends was sharing one night about his experiences at the sundance film festival that past january. as he shared his heart and the heaviness that he saw as he watched several independent films that focused on the pain in this world. rape. human trafficking. drugs. the brokenness we see around us and may even find ourselves in. he had this song quietly on repeat in the background as he shared his heart and where he found himself one night in utah. this song was on repeat in his room like it was that night when he spoke. over and over. i know he may have experienced this song differently than i did but something struck me as i sat there listening. i could not stop thinking about the end of the song where death cab sings these words...i need you some much closer...over and over and these come on, come on...over and over. i thought about the Lord and where i was and what i was doing and what i was about. i began begging the Lord to come closer to me, my life, my heart. every piece of myself that was broken and embarrassing and sinful. i wanted Him in that place. then the cry to myself and everyone around come on, come come on, come on...leave your life that is sinful and dark and dry and come to Me. enter into a life that matters. with adventure and joy. deep joy. a hope greater than anything else this world has to offer.

The Atlantic was born today and I'll tell you how...
The clouds above opened up and let it out.

I was standing on the surface of a perforated sphere
When the water filled every hole.
And thousands upon thousands made an ocean,
Making islands where no island should go.
Oh no.

Those people were overjoyed; they took to their boats.
I thought it less like a lake and more like a moat.
The rhythm of my footsteps crossing flat lands to your door have been silenced forever more.
The distance is quite simply much too far for me to row
It seems farther than ever before
Oh no.

I need you so much closer [x8]

I need you so much closer [x4]
So come on, come on [x4]

a few months later i found myself in the truck of a cute boy from kentucky and we listened to this same song as i cried and said goodbye to virginia. one short little month in june that changed the entire direction of my life. forever. this boy was a part of it all with me. how thankful i am that he shared that month with me. we both get what happened. something big. something life changing that  brought us closer to the Lord forever and where our stories met and never parted again. lots of adventures later we are still in this together. we sat on a big rock in the middle of the maury river right after listening to this song and said nothing. just sat there. thinking about all that had happened and what would come of our future. this boy later told me that it was on that rock when he first realized he loved me. both not sure if we would ever see one another again but either way it was real and it was love and the trajectory of our lives were about to change. this boy asked me to marry him near that same river a year or so later and we later married that year.

you never know how a song might capture you. take hold of you in one place and then bring you to another. i love that about music. i love that the Lord created music and we can worship Him through it. we are playing more music in the house these days.

so come on, come on. 
so come on, come on. 

join into the one the thing. the one thing that changes everything.

(be back tomorrow with a quickie. as i enter into my last year in my twenties. 
this decade has been a life changer for sure)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

weekend recap

 by wednesday i actually meant thursday morning.

this past weekend was special. there has never been a weekend like it at rockbridge. i only say that because a record was set at rockbridge for having the most students, leaders, staff, and guests ever at the camp. during saturday night's cross talk there were nearly 1,000 people in the club room. it was a gift and an honor to be apart of it and experience camp in that way along with watching students change from when they arrived on friday night to when they left on sunday afternoon. it really was spirit filled. 

a few highlights from the weekend:

-over 140 students stood up to share that they had begun a relationship Christ.
- spending time with good friends and seeing some very special people in chesapeake.
-assignment team party on saturday night (thanks anne-stewart). cheese dip and all.
-aside from a lot of people sleeping on the floor in cabins...the weather was perfect, plenty of food, incredible energy in club, funny program team, and listening to justin share this heart about christ. he shared a bit about cancer during a talk and although i knew it was coming i sat in the back of club and wept. first i tried to wipe the tears away with my sleeves and then they could not even contain it. bringing me back to when it all began and not being able to contain myself in the intense gratitude i have for being healthy once again.
-overall great weekend ended with a little bit more joy. our sweet friends lindsay and will got engaged. yes we love marriage and weddings.

so fun that jmu students and staff were there on work crew, program, assignment team, and just hanging out. that was my job. to support justin and keep an eye on ava. thankfully camp was also filled with a lot of great people who were willing to play with ava so i could sit and listen to justin share. ava loves club but she is not ready to sit quietly through a club talk. one day she will but not yet. thankful for friends who laid in the bunk bed while ava slept next to them in the pack n play because she did not want them to leave and when she nearly fell asleep in the bathroom floor after refusing to put her pull up on. it is always funny to me to hear what ava tries to pull with other people that she would never do with justin or i. either way i am indebted to so many friends who love ava as deeply as they do. thank you.

a bit superficial but my sister was in town last weekend to hang out, celebrate her birthday, and to host a CAbi party. it is this great line of clothing my sister sells and the items i purchased arrived a half hour before we left for camp. being 30 weeks pregnant it is hard to feel "cute" or comfortable in most of my clothes these days so having new clothes to wear this weekend was seriously really nice.


thanks for everyone who entered the giveaway. 
the lucky winner is celeste: "love the tan monogrammed clutch!"
email me at to get your $25 winning code.

use code dwyc10 for 10% of your order

Monday, November 5, 2012

a giveaway


we had an incredible weekend at rockbridge. the Lord was moving for sure. it was a record breaking weekend with the most students and leaders and guests at camp ever. it was a joy to be a part of it all.  ava and i came home with colds so we are taking it easy today. 
post about the weekend on wednesday.


instead i have a new shop to introduce you all to that a sweet friend of mine officially opened today. 

(be sure to "like" the shop on facebook) 

  is an online shop full of adorable products from jewelry to iphone cases to monogrammed clutches to pillows to stationary. all very trendy in great colors. lots of personalized monogrammed items available as well. i love a personal touch. 

***check her shop out at***

 crystal faye's shop is giving away a $25 gift certificate to one random commenter on the blog.
so be sure to leave one telling me your favorite item and you will automatically entered.
i will post the winner on wednesday. don't miss it.

when you place an order be sure to use the code DWYC10.

personally my favorite product is my monogrammed tervis tumbler. i use it everyday.

 happy shopping.

Friday, November 2, 2012

a swing and a song

our family is headed to rockbridge for the weekend. this young life camp holds such a special place in our hearts as justin and i had no idea what would come of our summer there in 2005. needless to say things worked out well for both of us. incredible to look back on all that we have walked through together these past 7 years. prayers for the hundreds of students and their leaders who will be at camp and justin has he shares about God and Christ's death and what that means for our lives.

happy weekend.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

the flying song.

clearly since it took me a week to get back to this place it means that nothing really happened that was more important than where ava pooped. not true. but she has not pooped anywhere else besides the toilet since last week. progress. basically it has just been hard to come and sit and write and make it all happen in the midst of life. i made a promise a while back that i would not force it. i would never force the blog. lately i have just been crazy exhausted and i am spending more of my computer time writing my notes for work than writing about my heart and my life. but i read plenty of other blogs where i know for certain they are busier and more tired than me and they bust out a little post. so it is really not about making excuses but more about where i am finding myself these days and for whatever reason it has not been here. but hold tight. don't leave us yet. it wont last. i am thankful for readers and emails and how i know the Lord is using this space in countless ways even though my writing is not the most consistent.

so where we are today: (added after i posted: this is not to offend anyone as we realize we are in the minority with this whole decision...)

happy halloween. i have never been that into this holiday. grew up dressing up and getting candy but never got into the skeleton, devil, and witch side of the whole thing. but because i can not shield ava from everything she has begun talking about witches and ghosts and caused us to stop and think. we are well aware that you can not protect your kid from everything. sheltering does them no good. but there is a time and a place for everything and at 2.5 years old we do not want her little mind filled with that stuff. i am down with candy and dressing up and having a great time but we have decided for our family...not yours...just ours that halloween will not be a real big deal. so instead when she wakes up we are making brownies with orange frosting, drinking apple cider, and having a family dance party. that was justin's idea. i realize that we will need to address this next year and then again as she gets older and her friend's are trick or treating and figure out what is best for her and for us. this year we were just taken a back a bit at how aware of it all she is and how she does not seem to miss a thing. so we decided we do not need to walk around the neighborhood as she observes an assortment of costumes...some that may scare her or some that she won't stop thinking about or talking about which is what has happened a bit for the last week or so.

what are your thoughts on halloween? or your family traditions around it?

ava did however wear her tinkerbell costume to run errands today. since oma took the time to get it all together for her she wore it for a bit and it is great for dress up since she is currently really into tutu's.


today as we drove around town we were listening to a cd from our friend's wedding and ava got a hold of this song called rocking chairs by the branches. she wanted it on repeat and loud. louder louder she yelled from that back and calls it "the flying song." it will for sure be heard on repeat during our fall dance party tonight.


a while back i wrote about feeling stuck and then wrote about movement. it has been almost a year since i wrote them and in many ways i am still in the same place. good sign? maybe not. i am sure there has been growth. we are always growing. but i re-read those posts as i have been thinking a lot about what i am learning about myself and jesus in a study i am doing with some friends called stuck by jennie allen. after those posts from last year i got an email from a friend. we have not met but we are still friends. blogs connect people. a bit from the first email:

 You mentioned in your most recent blog that you had experienced being stuck. And you have experienced being unstuck. :) These were powerful words to me, as I have spent a lot of time over the last couple years thinking about being stuck/unstuck. I am an editor in the Christian publishing industry. One of the last projects I worked on there before I resigned was one called Stuck by Jennie Allen. It is a Bible study for small groups and it is truly amazing. It's message is one I need to hear every day. It is life-changing. And I just wanted to share it with you in case you are interested. Jennie also has a book coming out this spring. She is like you in that she is vulnerable and courageous in sharing her heart. She is authentic and talks about her walk with God in a way very few people do. Here is the link to a little bit of info about Stuck: . It's not that I'm trying to promote the product, I really just think you would love it.

(she sent me a copy of the study and although it sat in my front hall closet for a few months it is out and it is challenging me and changing me)

more to come as i form my thoughts and ava just woke up from her nap. but i loved this from stuck:

freedom is found in:

~allowing God to defend me, even if that means I don't see it until heaven.
~accepting that my life is not right an fair now, but it will be.
~loving instead of defending or fearing or fighting.
~giving freely and not having a sense of entitlement.
~embracing my faults, rather than proving my point.
~releasing others' perceptions and understandings of me, and holding on to God's, since He knows my heart.
~embracing the dead of my rights and desires, and receiving His will for me.

He wants us to hear this and trust it, and we don't always know why. He never said it would be easy to follow him.

girl after my own heart. no one said anything was going to be easy. off to make cupcakes. enjoy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

right now.

Not much happening this week. Well actually so much is happening that I end up crying a few times a day. but really it is less about being busy or having too much to do but its just that I feel too tired to do it. Mostly it is because I miss my husband who is gone for work and Ava pooped her pants at the social security office. Yup for no reason she decided to not ask to go the bathroom and instead pooped in her panties and pulled her pants down in the waiting room. Did I mention we were there because someone threw a rock through my car window and stole my purse a couple weeks ago so we were just getting some new important information that someone decided to steal from us. Just one of those weeks I guess. My heart burn is back and I feel like I stuff myself into my clothes. Loose clothes. I vow to only wear loose clothing. Don't usually come to the blog to vent and complain but today it seemed appropriate. Mostly because I have had blog on my list for the past few days and everything that had far more meaning and significance seemed a little fake. since I just sat down to write and could not stop crying because Ava has decided to not listen to a single word that has come out of my mouth in the past 48 hrs and is mildly obsessed with cartoons and gets really mad really easily. Girl is strong and feisty and wants to do everything on her own. Like walk around to the driver seat and unlock my door and then unlock her door and begs to drive every time we enter the car. As if my answer is going to change from the last time she asked? Ava you are still not 16. Could go on and on with the calamities of this week but it just seems narcissistic and annoying. I promise next time you come back to read it will matter a bit more than discussing were Ava pooped most recently.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

random assortment but important

a little recap.

last week before heading back to va ava and i headed to tulsa, ok to spend a few days with my parents. we had a great visit. ava had not stopped talking about feeding the ducks, going fishing, and playing with katers (my parents little yorkie). since all our family is out of state these visits are always really special and oma and papa made it especially fun for ava. thankful for my family and for the memories that were made.

 first of many many fish she caught. she was not the least bit grossed out by touching them. 
 unlike her mama.

 long day of running errands and she spotted this ride at the grocery store. 
by far the best 25 cents we spent. 

most of the errands were getting fabrics for the nursery and ava's big girl room. i love this part.
getting it all ready for her arrival...countdown begun...3 months from yesterday.

 tulsa aquarium.

fishing with papa before her early early birthday dinner.
decided to celebrate a little early this because papa can't make it to her party in january.

between all of this i was given the honor to share our story of cancer and jesus and how it changed everything forever. the pastor at my parents church as been reading the blog since my parents first moved to tulsa and made it all possible for us to be there and share to a few different groups throughout the week. i was humbled to be given the chance to speak in front of other mom's like me and others who had walked a very similar road, or even a worse road, and some whose spouses lost the fight. but it united us. regardless of our specific experience we could understand each other on a level that not everyone can. i am thankful for the chance to learn from other people.

i have never really spoken in front of people about cancer (aside from small groups of my friends) and i loved it. my own parents who walked the road with us and read every blog entry had never heard me share it in my own words and that was special. i am very thankful for them. it is humbling to talk about a season of our life that could have ended to differently but instead i am healthy, alive, and pregnant. miracle, miracle, and miracle. i have a deep desire to keep sharing about how when you trust the Lord. really trust the Lord and have a vision for not wasting your life or your cancer (thanks to john piper) it really can shift your entire walk through cancer...or divorce, depression, addiction, job loss, anxiety, or whatever your road might be. 

my mom had said this before but it really stuck with me when she shared it again last week.
not exact words but roughly.

one of the hardest parts about libby being sick was that for the majority of her life i was the one that offered her wisdom and advise as i had walked many of the same roads before she had. i always seemed to have something to offer. but in was my daughter who was teaching me what it  looked like to walk through cancer, raise a baby, and glorify the Lord.

(thanks mom. i know nothing about cancer was easy for you and dad)

speaking has given me a whole new vision to really begin sharing our story more (email me if you want details on having me speak) than just on our blog and begin writing that book i will one day complete.

traveling home. i could not ask for a better flier. after 11 hrs and 3 flights and 2 layovers we made it home. thankfully she slept nearly the entire way on the longest leg of the flight. 
sweet guy next to us was cool with her sleeping a little close.

first JMU football game on saturday with some good friends. ava's favorite part: the marching band.

 ava and her sweet little friend. these two love each other and it is so fun as her mom to watch her make friends. the best.

 found her silent in her room and she looked at me and said..."just reading."


scarf orders have begun. if you would like to order one for yourself or for someone you love 
email me at with scarf in the subject line.


happy almost weekend. we are headed to rockbridge for high school fall weekend. realized tonight its been three year since i have been on the trip. can. not. wait. please pray for big things this weekend in my own walk with the Lord and the hundreds of students from around harrisonburg. this is always such a life giving and life changing weekend.