Saturday, December 29

Merry Christmas Times FOUR!!!!

This year Nathan and I have had quite the Christmas! We have felt and truly been so blessed by so much time with family and by soaking up the true meaning of the season--Jesus Christ has come. All of you have probably thought of this, but I have been really taken by a certain fact this year moreso than any other year...God came as an infant. He is so mighty, He decided to demonstrate His power inasmuch that He came as the most vulnerable of beings. That is God's power.
"For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everylasting Father, Prince of Peace. His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David. The passionate commitment of the LORD Almighty will guarantee this!" Isaiah 9:6-7
Thus far, we have had four Christmas celebrations. Number one was with my Mom at my sister's apartment. So fun! Number two was the traditional Bailey Christmas with all of my Mom's relatives on Christmas Eve! Number three was the Smith Christmas on Christmas Day with my husband's family. The fun just keeps going! And number four was/is here in New Jersey with my Dad, brother Christopher and his girlfriend Jenn, and sister Jennifer with her boyfriend Jake, and my Dad's bride-to-be Kris (Nathan is here, too:-)! Here is at least one picture from each gathering until I can update more. Enjoy!
This is my Mom and my sister, Jennifer, at her (Jenn's) precious apartment. We posed in front of her real tree. Such a lost art!These are my beautiful cousins: Lauren, Bridgette, Kate, & my sis Jennifer is on the far right. I love these girls! Merry Christmas girls!

The Smith family in a horse carriage on the Fayetteville Square! It was so fun! From left to right: Phillip, Laurie, me, Hannah, and Nathan...It was an enchanting Christmas evening!

Here are some of the 'Christmas in New Jersey' decorations. That's right folks, 8 stockings...Dad, Kris, Jennifer, Jake, Christopher, Jenn, Nathan, and me! That's a full house for Christmas! Yeah for everyone being able to be here for Christmas and the upcoming wedding!!!

Here is their pretty tree. I'm not sure if you can tell from my picture, but perched throughout are cute little birds as well as beautiful feathers and seasonal berries. At the top are the two love-birds. How symbolic. :-)

Speaking of love are Dad and Kris in Central Park. Friday, the whole gang took a trip into New York City to see the sights. Between the 8 of us, we saw everything (not in detail) from the Empire State building, to Trump Tower, Rockefeller Center, Ground Zero, to Time Square, to Central Park! We had a blast!!! (*Again, I'll post more pics later. :-))

I just love this picture of Kris and me. Isn't she precious?!?!? We are so excited and blessed to welcome this lovely, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle...well, I'm just pretty sure that the whole scripture was written about her! Most of all she loves the Lord and she loves our Dad, so we think we'll keep her! The best part is, they're getting married tomorrow, Sunday December 30th. That also happens to be my Dad's birthday. So we celebrated a little early tonight since tomorrow will be full of wedding festivities. YEAH!!! Happy Birthday, Dad! And, Happy Wedding, Dad and Kris! I love you both & God Bless You!

Wednesday, December 26

My Christmas Home Tour

Merry Christmas! I was inspired to do a Christmas Tour of Homes because of my friend Kelly and her friend BooMama, and also because my Dad and his (soon-to-be) wife Kris live in New Jersey and won't get visit Arkansas for the Christmas season this year. I hope you enjoy the tour, Dad and Kris, and I can't wait to see you soon! Love you!!
Here is the wreath I made this year which is on our front door.
This is our Christmas tree. All the presents are gone since I am getting our tour up a little late this year. That's okay. :-) I'm sure my readers won't mind. Here's our nativity scene that my mother and father-in-law gave us last year for Christmas. I just love it! Speaking of the nativity...Nathan and I began a new Christmas tradition this year. We watched "The Nativity Story" movie and we will do it every year from now on. It was so moving and such a great reminder and illustration of the reason we celebrate this season. If you haven't seen it, I would highly recommend it. It's not too late to watch it!Here is a view of our fireplace and stockings. If you look closely you can see the pillow that says "Feliz Navidad." Of course, the Spanish teacher has to have the Spanish Christmas pillow. I was so happy when I found that at Wal-Mart this year!!!!This is just a little side table in our dining room with some ornaments and garland with twinkle lights.
Here's the last view from the dining room into the living room. I hope you and yours had a very merry Christmas as you celebrated our Savior's birth! God bless you!

Jill: The Snow White Bride Part II

So, for the first of many updates, Jill and Matt's beautiful wedding took place at the Chapel on the Creeks featured below. It was a lovely ceremony enjoyed by all!

Here is one of her bridal portraits which was displayed at the reception. (I snuck a picture of it. :-) Don't tell.) Isn't she just gorgeous!?!?!

Here are the love-birds during their ceremony. I know! I know! It's not technically proper to take pictures during a wedding, but they were so precious and in love, they never knew I took their picture. Also, I was far enough back that I didn't disturb any of the guests or family...I promise!!! :-)
Here are the happy bride and groom leaving as man and wife!
Everything about Jill's special day was elegant and tasteful!

Here's the groom's cake! Don't you love the reindeer?

Here are some of the most fun guests at the party! This is my twin sister, Jennifer, and her boyfriend, Jake. Aren't they a great couple?

I just had to get a picture with Jill. I'm not sure you can appreciate her dress in this photo, but it was exquisite! She could have worn a paper sack and she would have been a sight to behold, but her dress was so pretty. Okay, so one more thing...guess where Snow White went on her honey moon with her prince charming? Disney World!!!!!!! No kidding folks! That's where they went. The fairy tale is complete. And they lived happily ever after...

Friday, December 14

Jill: The Snow White Bride

I have a gorgeous friend named Jill who will be getting married on Sunday. I have always told her that she reminds me of Snow White (because of her pretty fair skin, greenish-blue eyes, and dark hair), so of course I find it so fitting that she will be married in December! Maybe she will even have a little dusting of snow on the ground for her wedding day! What beautiful wedding pictures that would make! I met Jill when I transfered to the University of Arkansas from Ouachita Baptist University. She was the answer to prayer for a Christian friend when we met in our Spanish class! What a blessing she has been to me and what a Godly wife she will be to her future husband Matt! He is so fortunate to have her!

Her sweet friends gave her a wedding shower this week and these are a few pictures from Tuesday night. It was a lingerie shower, so I will only post some of the pictures. :-) As a joke, we decorated a bunch of over-sized granny panties for her to take on their honey moon to show to Matt and tell him this is what she got at her lingerie shower!! Isn't that a funny idea?!?!
"So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder." Matthew 19: 6

"He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." Proverbs 18:22

Congratulations Jill and Matt! God bless you in your future together!

Cohen's First Christmas

Nathan and I have had the joy of babysitting my best friend's baby boy, Cohen, who will be 7 months old on Christmas day, several times over the past couple of weeks. He is, as I like to say, "melt-your-heart-precious!" He is the cutest thing you've ever seen!!! He is one of the most pleasant babies you will ever meet because he smiles any time you look at him, he literally laughs and giggles out loud, and he is a cuddler. Could it get any better than that?!?!? Cohen is just now beginning to scoot. He's trying to crawl, but before he will go into an all out crawl, he has decided to scoot. He's beginning to pick up some speed, though, so we don't think it will be long before he will be mobile. Thank you, Kenley and Brandon, for letting us have some Cohen time. We treasure every second! Look at that grin!

Can't you hear his little giggle?!?!

I'm so sorry, Cohen...I won't let Nathan make you watch any more boring news shows. I looked away for one minute, and this is what happened! I'm just teasing...Nathan was so sweet with Cohen. He gave him his bottle and everything! In fact, I was beginning to think Cohen preferred Nathan over me because, well...he did! :-) I'm just teasing again. We had such a good time loving on this precious miracle.

There he goes. He scooted right over to the Christmas tree to check out all the lights. You can see the joy of Christmas all over his face!

I love this picture because it looks like he's waving at me and saying, "Hey!" But, he's really just reaching for the Christmas lights under the tree where he was exploring. That's okay...we'll pretend.

This is a picture of his beautiful Mommy, Kenley-- the very reason he is such a precious baby! She takes such good care of him and nurtures him so well. She makes him so happy and comfortable. I can't wait to see how his personality develops to see if he has her witty sense of humor and excellent and intellectual discernment or if he will be more like his Daddy, Brandon, who is calm, quiet and intelligent, but who likes to joke, too. I imagine he'll be a good combination, but one thing is for sure- Cohen will grow up knowing what it means to love the Lord because he will see it in both of his parents.

And for the grand's the little man with Santa for his first Christmas! What a priceless photo. I love you, Cohen. You've stolen my heart!

Thursday, December 13

Thank You Lord For All You Have Done

The beautiful curly headed woman you see proudly standing between her two precious children, Hannah and Nathan, and in front of her husband, Phillip, is my dear mother-in-law, Laurie. We are at Nathan's graduation from Law School, which occured this past May. This post is all about her and the journey the Lord has brought her through in the past couple of weeks. She is a faithful, Godly woman who has walked through a trial relying on God, His Word, and prayer. What an inspiration she is to me and everyone she knows! Before I go on, I would like to share some verses with you that I think are very appropriate--especially in Laurie's case since the Lord has especially gifted her with such a talent to sing. Oh, how she can sing!!! Our Sunday School teacher, Jason, shared these the week of Thanksgiving and they have just stayed with me.

1 Chronicles 16: 8-12

"O give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known His doings among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; meditate on and talk of all His wondrous works and devoutly praise them! Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord! Seek the Lord and His strength; yearn for and seek His face and to be in His presence continually! Earnestly remember the marvelous deeds which He has done, His miracles, and the judgements He uttered."

I can tell you that I will definitely remember and always offer praise for what God has done for Laurie because she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of thyroid cancer about 4 weeks ago she had surgery a week ago Friday. The doctor removed her entire thyroid taking with it any cancer/disease/and/or problem. The amazing part is that in the course of a few days, the doctors who initially looked at her needle biopsies and found what they thought was surely cancer called her a few days after that and told her they could not confirm that it was malignant nor that it was benign; so we continued in our hopes and prayers believing that our family's and friends' prayers must have begun to work already! We also found out that Laurie would be operated on and cared for by one of the best doctors in the nation.

As a family we are so grateful that God allowed us to meet and be blessed by Dr. James Suen. We pray that he will continue to be blessed in his practice. You can check out this link to see just a little of what he has accomplished in his lifetime of dedication to the medical profession. Thank you Dr. Suen!!! Phillip, my father-in-law, told Dr. Suen that Laurie enjoys singing and that we would like to try and preserve her voice as much as possible, so dear sweet Dr. Suen spent 4 hours in surgery to make sure and protect her vocal nerves. God bless him! Also, talk about a small world...Dr. Suen's older brother and my grandfather were best of friends when they attended Little Rock Junior College (which is now UALR) and they even played football together, and played in the Little Rose Bowl together! I'm so glad that my Nana told me that and I was able to share it with Dr. Suen.

We will find out Friday if, in fact, Laurie's thyroid was malignant or benign, but either way, the Lord has taken care of her completely. Indeed, He took care of her the whole way through. Each prayer was answered along the way and she was so fortunate to be covered in prayer by so many loving family members and friends. Thank you to all of you who prayed for her. She felt it for sure!

Saturday, December 8

Putting My Best Foot Forward

Hello! This is my first official post. YEAH!! Thanks to my sweet friend Kelly I am now a part of the blogging world. Also, I have been inspired for quite some time by all you bloggers out there. Isn't it fun to keep up with each other, be encouraged by each other, pray for each other, and be strengthened by others' strories simply by reading a blog? I have to admit, the first time I heard the word I thought it was some funky virus you were probably supposed to avoid or from which you were supposed to protect your computer! Oh how far I've come! My technologically savvy twin sister, Jennifer, rescued me from appearing the idiot by filling me in and then creating a blog of her own which you should definitely check out. She's an excellent writer and one of my favorite people in the whole world! To all of you who will eventually find my blog, thank you for allowing me to read have blessed me even though you are unaware of the sweet blessings you have given. I'll post more later. Happy Reading!