Tuesday, March 30, 2010


So sorry for the delay for those few of you that check in on a regular basis. It's been a very busy, sleepless weekend and I have a full first half of the day today. Easter week is not a good week for lots of down time when you help out with a church.

A couple of updates - the newlyweds are safely back from their honeymoon in Cabo and I got to talk to Michael for a little while last night. They had a wonderful time and got to rest and soak up some sun before heading back to a flooding northeast. He has five more weeks of class and then he graduates from seminary! It's crazy to me that it was almost 3 years ago that our family made the trek to the Great White North for his and Tiffany's new adventure. Time flies...whether you're having fun or not!

On the job front for us - for now I'll leave it at there are changes in the near future for us and I'll fill you in as soon as I can.

I really will give a recap of the wedding later today. Tomorrow I'm heading to DC to see the cherry blossoms since they're almost in full bloom and our weather will be taking a significant turn for the better. I'll have lots of pictures from that adventure, I'm sure.

Oh - and just in case you wondered....the Braves home opener is in less than a week and I get to be there after having a pre-game meal at the Varsity. It's the little things....

Friday, March 26, 2010

More Wedding

So sorry I've been a little slack. Our friends, Karen and Bob, arrived Wednesday evening as they head back to GA and are staying until tomorrow morning. Hamp left at 6:30 this morning to drive to GA for an interview tomorrow in Atlanta. Easter Sunday is in one week and I work part-time for a church. I'll let you figure out how much free time I've had the last couple of days.

Tiffany put up another entry about the wedding that did a great job of documenting the day. I'm still going to add my perspective and some other pictures later this weekend, but if you'll click here, you can check hers out now.

Have a great Friday and I'll be back tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

No Greater Joy

Good morning! It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood and while not as warm as this past weekend was, it's still a reminder that spring really is here. Again, you will get no complaints from me. :)

I find that I have to take a small detour this morning from the wedding documentation to share something near and dear to my heart. Many years ago, I discovered this verse in the book of 3 John and it became one of my favorites.

"I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth."

Paul was writing about those in one of the early churches, but it resonated in my mother's heart and became my prayer to the Lord not only for my own children, but for those He brought my way to love as my own.

As the years went by, many became answers to that prayer while others broke my heart when they chose to walk away. But that verse never ceased being the expression of the deepest part of my mother's being.

When I got up this morning, I discovered that Tiffany had written the second entry in her blog about Michael's wedding. If you'll take the time to read it here, you'll know why the only response I could have was to praise God for His unfailing love and neverending faithfulness.

All three of our children love God and desire His best for their lives and I am humbled at times by their example. As Hamp said at the rehearsal dinner, I'm so thankful that we're still here to share in their lives not only as their parents, but also as our brothers and sister in Christ.

This past weekend, I watched my "baby" truly grow up. The one who caused the parenting books to be put on the shelf because they didn't work, the one who was determined to live life his way even before he was born - this one vowed before God and family and friends to love, honor, and cherish his new bride until death parts them. I know he could choose to not keep those vows - many do these days - but as witnesses to their union, we were charged to protect them and we will do so for the rest of our days.

So I guess I just needed to say, "Thanks, God" this morning as I am reminded by my daughter that God is greater than anything this world might throw at us.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Greetings from a very tired MOG (mother of the groom). Hamp and I got home around 1:30 after driving the last hour of the trip through torrential rainfall. Apparently it came from Baltimore because by the time we reached our parking lot, it had stopped. This was a good thing because we had two vehicles to unload and were able to do so in a far less complicated manner.

I've been washing tablecloths, emptying boxes, putting things away, and paying attention to a very needy Kit. She chooses to not be friendly to the sweet person that takes care of her when we're gone so it's her own fault she gets lonely. But it's still kinda nice to have a purry greeting when we return.

Tiffany just put up the first of several posts she's planning to do from Michael and Bekah's wedding. She took most of the pictures and while she copied them to my computer, I figure there's not reason to duplicate efforts. So here's a link to her blog for you to check out pictures and stories from the rehearsal. I'll add my perspective in the next few days too, but there are still suitcases to unpack and clothes to retrieve from the downstairs dryer. I'm also hoping there's a good night's sleep ahead as well.

This is totally unrelated to the wedding, but to help you keep up with the Joneses, I thought I'd let you know that Hamp officially has an interview with a company in Atlanta the first week in April. I must confess we planned the timing on purpose so we could catch the Braves home opener on that Monday since my dear, sweet nephew got us tickets. On our return trip to Baltimore, we may have one or two other stops in North Carolina with other interviews. While I have a definite preference, most of all I want to be where God wants us. I'm just hoping it involves tomahawks, peaches, and Coke. :)

For those who like to look at pictures more than you like to read, I'll leave you with a few from the North Shore that Tiffany took. We snuck away for a little while on Thursday to show Karen and Janet where she and Michael used to live. It's an obscure little area but one that is near and dear to my heart. You can't look at the view and not be convinced of a majestic Creator and when you add perfect spring weather, well, it just doesn't get any better. More to come soon.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Getaway Day

Wow - that's about all I have to say. We've made one trip to the airport already this morning, picked up the newlyweds' car at the downtown hotel, will make another airport run and then turn our cars toward Baltimore. To say everyone is tired would be a major understatement. I wish our destination wasn't 9-10 hours away or that we were at least in the same car. Unless some major miracle happens en route, I can't imagine going the whole way today. I'm trying not to think about the fact that we may be heading south two weeks from today for another road trip.

It's been an amazing weekend and one of sweet reminders of God's grace, love, and faithfulness. The wedding was pretty much perfect and we even had a little drama as the fire department arrived at the reception. That's a fun story that's much better with pictures so you'll just have to wait for it. :)

It's sad to send my kids off to different states again. I will never be a fan of that, but as "they" say, it is what it is. So I get to practice driving with tears falling for a little while and then take a deep breath to set my face toward what God has next. And I'm thinking that's about to get a little interesting....

Thanks for your encouragement and prayers for safe travel, etc. Keep 'em coming for a while, OK?

Next stop...??

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Big Day!!

It's March 20th!! That means it's FINALLY the first day of spring and we will welcome it today on the North Shore with temperatures in the mid-60's. For my southern friends, that might not seem like a big deal, but it truly is. What a wedding gift for Michael and Bekah. Thanks, God!

It's also my friend Karen's 60th birthday! Happy birthday to you! And of course, it's Michael and Bekah's wedding day. As predicted, there's been no time for picture uploading, but we had a wonderful rehearsal dinner yesterday. There was lots of love and laughter and sharing as we celebrated God's faithfulness. And it's OK to tell you that the food was awesome because I didn't cook it. :) I planned it, but our awesome friends slaved over the hamburgers and hotdogs and everyone enjoyed the cookout. A little trivial FYI - people outside the south do not eat Moonpies. Banana pudding, yes, but not Moonpies. Go figure.....

Anyway, after the wedding and reception are over today, we have to return to the church to pack up from last night and run to the airport a time or two before we celebrate Karen's birthday tonight at a local restaurant. We've decided that while we'll still leave Sunday to drive back to Baltimore, the sleep deprived state we're functioning under will not be sufficient to travel 10 hours. So we'll stop somewhere to sleep and finish the drive on Monday.

I'll let you know how things go as soon as I can. Thanks for your support and encouragement from afar - we love and miss you all and can feel you here in our hearts.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Things We Do For Love

I would like to introduce you to my new best friend for this weekend.

And it is displaying the location to which I made three...count them...three, round trips to and from today. All for the love of a child. To be specific, the love of a child about to get married who was trying to get his groomsmen in town. (Note to people planning weddings that require out of town traveling - have everyone take the same flight or two so they arrive at the airport at the same time. Trust me on this one.)

Only the middle run was without adventure. While I've had a love/hate relationship with our GPS up 'til now, it was redeemed when I missed my exit on the first trip. Once I figured it out and quit ignoring it, we went straight to the airport. The last trip had me in a taxi loop for about 5 minutes which made a tiring day really funny for my brave friend who rode with me. Living in the city for the last year has made me either braver, stupider, or both, but airport runs are now my specialty, especially if you're flying to or from Atlanta, Baltimore, and now Boston.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Probably because it's almost 1:00 a.m. and I need some sleep. But this is my attempt to shut my brain off because if I don't, there's no point in going to bed. In the midst of the activities for the day, Tiffany and I did get to sneak Karen and Janet away for about an hour and show them the beautiful North Shore of Magnolia where she and Michael lived for two years. She's got most of the pictures on her camera, but I got a couple of Karen that turned out great.

Tomorrow is "our" day as the groom's family. We have the rehearsal dinner to prepare for and hopefully pull off without a hitch. We did get reinforcements in the way of another future daughter-in-law and the spouse of a groomsman in two of the airport runs this afternoon. We'll get pictures up as we can, but it may not happen until after the events are over. The wedding is at 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning...and did I mention that both friends who are here to help had/have birthdays this week? So once we're out of the venues and have the newlyweds on their way, we're heading together for a birthday/"we did it" celebration dinner.

Thanks for the prayers and encouragement and thoughts you've sent our way. They're very appreciated and we wish all of you could be with us.

So this therapy might have worked - I think it's time for bed now. Sweet dreams!

Beautiful Day!

This is what it looks like outside with a forecast of 70 for today! God has graced the North Shore with spring a few days early. I have to get ready to make the first of two airport runs today to help Michael out, so there's not much time now for me to write.

We arrived after 10 long hours of driving and still haven't had much sleep. But family and friends are arriving and the festivities have begun. I just want to give God a big thank you for the gift of a Christian family for Michael to marry into and for us to get to know. I have a feeling this will be the first of many thanks being offered this weekend. :)

Gotta run - pictures later!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Driving Day

I'm trying to finish gathering things together so Karen and I can hopefully be on the road before 8:00. We haven't had much sleep around here the last couple of nights, so I'm hoping we can stay alert for the 8 hour drive in front of us. But the sun will be shining and I'll be looking at something besides concrete so that will help immensely.

I'll post something again tonight once we're settled. Lots to do in the next few days and I'm very excited about seeing our kids again.

Oh - Hamp has an 11:00 phone interview as he drives today with a company from Atlanta. Nothing like a little drama to add to the week, right? We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Changing Seasons

I was thinking about the change of seasons this morning as I was up way before the sun was. Most of the time I'm looking ahead noticing the approach of the winds of change. Sometimes it's with anticipation and sometimes it's with sadness. But I realized that while the upcoming season is giving you hints of its arrival, the ending season is doing the same.

Take this winter, for instance. We don't see scenes like this anymore around the city.

While there may not be flowers yet, we have seen the sun more often and for longer periods of time.

The same is true with the seasons in our lives. Going through our family pictures for Michael's rehearsal dinner slide show has been a very vivid reminder of how quickly time goes by with many seasons already over.

And while there might be heart tugs for the "good ole days", I would never want to stop the new seasons from coming.

Obviously, it's easy to be excited when new seasons bring things we like. I won't be complaining about warmer days and temperatures and the color green instead of gray. But I don't always appreciate the darkness and cold that certain seasons can bring and I think I miss out sometimes on the lessons they have to teach me.

It seems that our season in Baltimore might be coming to an end even as Michael is beginning a new one in his life. As Hamp and I are looking ahead and wondering what will be next, we're seeing signs around us that an ending is in sight. The knitting together of hearts that happens when God brings people together has been a reality for us here and while the roots aren't as deep, they're still there. I'm not a fan of uprooting, but sometimes it's necessary for the health and growth of what's being uprooted.

I had no clue how accurate Sam's words were when I chose them for the subtitle of my blog over a year ago. I find myself wondering anew in these days of change what kind of tale, indeed, we have fallen into.

Meanwhile, the pondering has to wait because there are last minute lists to make and errands to run. Tomorrow we leave for Boston driving in sunny weather and warming temperatures. It looks like God may choose to give us awesome conditions for the wedding and you'll hear no complaining from any of us. Spring is coming; it's just about here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wedding Week

Happy Ides of March to you! If you know what that is, thank an English teacher! I'll give you a hint - Julius Ceasar wouldn't be celebrating it if he were alive and had the choice.

True to my word, I'm going to try and keep frequent updates so I can actually reach that goal by not having so much to share that I don't have time to do so.

The beginning of the wedding week has gone according to plan so far. Karen arrived yesterday and will get to relax a couple of days before we leave again on Wednesday. I have begun the week by pretty much entering a non-sleep zone. I think I knew it would happen, but had hoped it wouldn't. As soon as I laid my head on my pillow last night, my brain took that as its cue to start racing in hyper-speed. Hopefully at some point I'll get so tired, I'll have to sleep. A girl can hope, right?

I spent about an hour last night finishing up scanning the last of the pictures for Tiffany to use for the slide show. I have waaayyyy too many for her to use, but now some of my favorites are in digital format. Here are a couple for you to see.

This first one is about as early a picture as can be taken. It's the hospital picture of Michael right after he was born.

It doesn't seem like yesterday, but it is a little weird to go through almost 30 years of your life in pictures in just a few hours. I'm sure that contributed to the overactive brain.

Warning - beware of a mom who knows how to use a scanner. You know what "they" say about paybacks.....

To add to the mix of having a lot going on right now, Hamp has a phone interview this morning with a company from Atlanta. Again, I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I've learned a lot about myself in this year of being away from "home" and I would like the opportunity to return. It might not be where we need to be and we both want what God wants more than what we want...well, at least most of the time. So we're anticipating that our post-wedding lives are about to change significantly again. I now have boxes in my dining room area filled with stuff to take to Boston and as we were packing them yesterday, I had major flashbacks of all the packing we did last year in our family. And somewhere in my organized, let's simplify even more self, I realized I think I'm ready to do this again. I guess time will tell.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Water Water Everywhere

Guess what happens when you live near the coast, a lot of rain falls, strong winds are over the ocean blowing inland, and high tide arrives?

The street looks like this.

This was a picture from the other day when it was beautiful outside. Notice the water level compared to the concrete wall.

If you could see it now, it's only about a foot from coming over the top of the wall which is why the street leading to the parking lot is flooded. This is the bottom step heading to the street as you come down the stairs from the building's front door.

So for right now, Hamp's truck is trapped in the parking lot and my car is trapped out of the parking lot. The city is celebrating St. Patrick's Day this weekend so there are a lot of people in Fells Point, thus no parking left. I had to pay $10 to park in a lot nearby after a long day at the mall. The moral of the story is if you have a driveway that leads to where you live, be thankful for it. If you have a garage at the end of the driveway that leads to where you live, be VERY thankful for it. The things we take for granted until we don't have them anymore.....

In other news, well, I guess there really isn't any. We're still preparing things to leave on Wednesday for Michael's wedding. Of course we're leaving as the temperatures are going to hit 60 degrees with sunny skies. If we reach the 50's with sunshine in Boston, we will consider ourselves very blessed.

I do need to give a shout out to Tech's basketball team. They've upset several teams including the nearby Maryland Terrapins (fancy name for a cute little turtle) to end up in the ACC championship game tomorrow against Duke. That would be quite a victory should they win the whole thing. March Madness is about to begin in earnest!!

Stay tuned in the coming days as there will be lots going on and I hope to post often so the entries won't take as long.

Have a great weekend and don't forget we lose an hour of sleep tonight as we go to daylight savings time again. Who needs help losing sleep?? I sure don't.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Miscellaneous Stuff

Do you know what this is?

All that's left from this.

FINALLY!! Warmer temperatures, more sunshine, and longer days have combined to just about remove the evidence of the record breaking winter Baltimore had this year. You will hear no complaints from me. Nope, not one.

One week from today and Lord willing, I'll be driving toward Boston as we travel there for Michael and Bekah's wedding. I'm home today working on lots of last minute details and also to begin cleaning the apartment really well for my cat allergic friend, Karen, to arrive this weekend. She is graciously driving from Georgia with a packed car to bring some of the things we need for the rehearsal dinner. She'll take two days to get here, visit for a couple, and then we'll caravan along with Hamp to Boston. I think we're going to need both of our cars, though, because we need Hamp's truck to get Michael's stuff moved into Bekah's apartment before we all land at the hotel. It's about to be really busy....

I've been scanning pictures for Tiffany so she can put the slide show together and I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you.

Before you think he was only a cute little charmer, I'll give you a small clue as to why I am the way I am after attempting to raise him to adulthood.

It's been a fun journey down memory lane the last couple of weeks as I've gone through pictures for both Michael and Matthew's weddings. (Thanks to my brilliant husband who thought of gathering Matthew's at the same time!) It's funny how looking back gives you a greater perspective in which to move forward. While it might be sad for some seasons of life to be over, as in the natural world, seasons keep coming and with them, new life in some form. Watching spring slowly loosen winter's grip reminds me that while looking back is helpful to glean the wisdom experience brings, only in looking forward will we keep growing. Once again, one of my favorite illustrations shows it perfectly.

Here's a little randomness from recent days. Thanks to Cracker Barrel and Karen, we will be bringing some flavor of the south to the rehearsal dinner.

While not RC Cola, it still works when you add one of these for one of the dessert choices.

Oh, I almost forgot. I found a picture of Tiffany and her friend Emmett that I told you about in the last post. It's from her Furman graduation and gives you a better idea of what Emmett looks like. (If you're wondering why Tiffany looks like she's half dead and barely standing up, it's because she was. She was very sick with the flu for graduation and we weren't sure she was going to make it without passing out.)

Emmett has had some procedures done in the last week to prepare him for chemo to begin. He's still very sick and the prognosis hasn't changed, but there are many people praying for him and his sweet family. There's a lot I don't understand about why God allows certain things in our lives, but I know He's faithful to His children and I believe He will be to Emmett as well.

As I close this post out, in case you were wondering the Braves opening day is in 26 days, 3 hours, and 1 minute. I'm still trying to figure out if I can make it to Turner Field for their home opener. If I did, I would also be able to catch a soccer game that Matthew helps coach. But things are still in process with potential job possibilities for Hamp and we don't know if a visit to North Carolina or even Georgia would need to be worked in for an interview. (Yes, I said Georgia, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up so they can't be dashed later.) So for now, I'm still pondering and will see what happens.

I've said this before, but I love when baseball begins again because for those that are fans, there's just something fresh and new about spring training. For just a minute, everybody is equal, hope is in every clubhouse, and aging legends move closer to the end of their career even as new legends are discovered. Childhood memories warm us as we recall games with fathers or uncles no longer with us and communities are united as we root for the home team. However you like to welcome spring, I hope you get to do so this week.