Life is good.

Just a quick hello from Nashville :)

We have been LOVING the weather and have pretty much been living outside these days. Todd has set up his gardening stuff, so pretty soon we are going to have more basil than we know what to do with. He has also gotten into making things, and has turned our garage into a little workshop. So far, in addition to the square foot gardens, he also made two swings that hang from the tree in our backyard. The girls are in heaven!!!

If you haven’t heard yet, Kelly had her sweet baby girl Hollis, and you are NOT going to believe the head of hair on this kid. She is gorgeous like her sister and mama, but I have to say my favorite picture is the “outtake” because it totally looks like our family trying to get a photo…

In other news, I went to Dallas last week for a Women of Faith video, and it was a complete blast. I honestly cannot believe how much I enjoy being with these ladies. I was so nervous, being the new kid and all, but they made me feel like I had been with them forever. Something I love and noticed right off the bat is how incredibly supportive they are of each other. I haven’t seen any cattiness or anything but genuine respect, and it just does my heart good. I got to wear shoes that might be more than my monthly mortgage, and a twirly dress that looked like it was from the 50′s. Here is a shot of us on the green screen, which will eventually look like a disco, I think. And no, we didn’t get to keep the cute outfits or jewelry :( We had the option to buy it but I decided I needed to feed my kiddos instead, so I passed. But I felt like a queen playing dress-up! And who knew dancing for like 6 hours straight in 4 inch high heels was such a good workout? Phew.

Me and Nicole Johnson pretending to be 50′s housewives who vacuum in heels…:)
I laugh every time I look at this one because as soon as Sheila Walsh saw it she said she looked like a giant hamster. She didn’t, but it was really funny :) That is Kim Cash Tate on the 
far right but we were missing Luci Swindoll for this shot :(  
I think that’s enough links for tonight (ha!), but I hope you will meet all the ladies I will be sharing the porch with…I am thanking God for allowing me this opportunity. Don’t get me wrong; I am terrified of the whole thing, but these ladies make it the experience of a lifetime. I’m just plain grateful I get to be in the company of women who can laugh and love Jesus together…I hope you will join us this year!!!
I’m heading up to put the little ones to bed…I’ll see you all soon :)


I am so proud of my friend Kristen!!! You all might know her from her blog, “We are THAT family.” I love, love, love her heart. She traveled to Kenya with Compassion International and came home with an incredible vision for a home (The Mercy House) for pregnant girls who are living on the streets. There is a lot more information on her blog about it, and I just know you will be so touched by the way God has stirred her family to help these sweet girls.

I am so excited to share a link to grab her book…if you are a mom you will love her daily devotions, and will relate to the life of a busy mom trying to love God in the midst of it all :)

Well done, Kristen!!!! Blessed to call you a friend…keep it up, girl!


What Women Fear

I am shaking in my boots here, folks :)

No, it isn’t available for pre-order quite yet but I wanted to include you all as much as possible!!!

I am waiting on edits now but the release date is September 1, 2011.

As far as the quality of writing and the content, it is the piece I am the most proud of. The Lord showed me some things in Scripture I had missed many times, and I pray you are as blessed as I was by what He taught me.

I have long been fascinated by the questions God asks of His people in Scripture. Why does He ask? Clearly He knows the answers, right? Well, as I studied men and women in the Bible who were facing some kind of fear (fear of failure, fear of being found out, fear of being insignificant etc) guess what I also noticed?

God asked them questions.

And I believe the heart of the way we are called to deal with the fear is in the way we answer these questions. So, I wrote about my fears, my life, my God, and the answers that I believe shape us as we face fear.

Want to see the cover?!?!?! (Please say yes, please say yes…)


I will keep you posted on more details as soon as I have them, but please be praying for me as I head into edits!!! SO excited to share this with you all!!!!

Much love,

What She Said

I’m not going to say much about this post, other than that you need to read it.

Mel, this is spectacular. I just stood reading it with a cup of coffee in hand and nearly spilled it as I tried to maneuver my “Hallelujah and Amen” victory dance around the kitchen. PREACH it, girl.

The Gospel, pure and simple.


Not on paper, but in the flesh.

I pray you are all as blessed by this as I am, and as a word of caution, set down your cup before you read.


Remember the Question About Charlotte?

First off, I am so glad I asked for help with the blog stuff because you all are brilliant and there were about ten million ideas I am going to incorporated that I hadn’t thought of…thank you!!!!
In other news, awhile ago I posted asking who you all thought Charlotte looked like and then I forgot to post *MY* opinion :) A sweet reader sent me an email asking if she had missed it and I remembered I hadn’t scanned in my *evidence* :)
Since she was born, most people say she is a Smith and I do see a lot of Todd in her. BUT, we were at my sister’s house for her son Tuck’s birthday a few months ago and I saw a picture of her hanging on the wall from when she was a baby. I don’t have a copy of that particular photo but I dug through a stack of others and I pulled out a couple…
What do you all think? Do you see it???? (That is, if you can look past the rug… Mom, dad? My eyes are burning.)
I love my sis Jenn…if you follow me on Twitter you know where to go get a good cup of coffee and meet her when you are in town :)  

Seriously, even her mannerisms are like Jenn’s. Hopefully she gets her artistic talent!!!!
On a side note, I found some other photos I need to scan in…in my next book I talk a lot about some hard times in my childhood and I came across a few images that I think will convince you I was a scary, scary looking seventh grader. YOWSA. 
I will be telling you all more about the book soon…I am so excited about it, and I can’t wait to share more!!! I want to wait until I have cover comps though, because I happen to heart the cover :)
And no, it does not involve a school photo of me…
love to all!

Blog Redesign…

So I’m still on the hunt for a designer, but I think I am going to switch to WordPress in a little while. I have pushed back on the whole “changing the blog” thing, but recently I have been feeling like it’s a good idea. I know that none of you are wringing your hands right now about this, but I still want to share and ask your advice about a couple things.

I feel like Audrey’s story needs it’s own home on the blog, where you can read her whole story from start to finish in one place. I would really like for the other posts to have labels so they would be easier to find, and I need to have my contact info and scheduling stuff on there…but, I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to hear from you all about what you would want the blog to have and what you don’t like as well.

I’m sure you all will think of “tabs” that haven’t crossed my mind and I would so appreciate any thoughts you have. I know you will understand that this is hard for me and even in such a *small* thing I am mindful of the fact that I stink at change. STINK.

Any ideas?


Thank you so much for you prayers yesterday…I am so relieved that it was something her doctor could identify and know how to treat (actually, no treatment, which is even better than medicine :) ). We will go back in a few weeks to make sure it has gone down a little but she said that it was something that could take months. Who knew that lymph nodes felt like bone when they got swollen up? Not me. Ellie had five of them in a row where there was obviously a reaction to something. We think it is the kitty cat that has been coming around our house. The girls named her “Midnight Purr” and they feed her milk out of a bottle…hilarious. It’s somebody’s cat because it’s gorgeous and well groomed, but we haven’t figured out who she belongs to. Sweet Ellie-she was trying so hard to hold it together and then she just broke down and the doctor’s office. They did a little finger prick and tested her blood and everything looked perfect, so I went to bed a very grateful woman last night.

I had actually written something about a special moment between me and Ellie for (in)courage, and it was scheduled for today, so it’s up right here if you want to come over and read.

If you haven’t become a part of the (in)courage community, I really urge you to. Stop by with your morning coffee and meet all of the writers over there. I promise you will be blessed beyond measure. It is one of my favorite things I have ever been involved in and I can’t tell you how much I love the hearts of the women behind it. As I have mentioned, we moved our book club over there and have been reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, which, if I might add….



I’m so, so proud of her :)

Tomorrow is Todd’s birthday, so I need to run and do some scheming…

Love to all,