Friday, April 30, 2010


"For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever.
Though He brings grief, He also shows compassion
because of the greatness of His unfailing love."
-- Lamentations 3:31-32

Well, it's May 1st. My stomach gets in knots every year about the time April comes around because I know that very soon April will end and May will begin...May 1st. This date marks the anniversary of the day I lost my Dad. To be more specific, this date in 2010 marks the tenth anniversary of the day I lost my Dad. How could I let this day pass without writing about it here at my teeny, tiny spot on the web?
A bittersweet day.

If there's one thing I've learned as I've grown into adulthood, is that us girls need our Daddy's moreso as adults than as little girls. There is not a single day that goes by that I don't think of my Daddy and the memories I have are the stuff dreams are made of. Those memories, while they're sweet, they're also bitter.

I found myself browsing through old photos today looking for a few to post on here and memory after memory came flying back at me. I couldn't stop the tears from flowing. Happy tears, happy times. I guess that's the sweetness. Memories of happy times and the joy and peace of knowing that death isn't forever. In just a little while, we'll meet back up again and pick up right where we left off as if we never spent a minute apart.

On nearly a daily basis, in the day-to-day mundaneness of my little life, I find myself thinking of what might have been. How might things be different if Daddy were still alive? I know it's selfish to have those thoughts because he's in a much better place than this crummy planet we're spinning around on.
I remember that I was in the 10th grade on May 1, 2000...ten very short years ago. A Monday, beautiful Spring day, when the news was broken. I could write on and on about the details of that day and the days that followed. It was as if we went through it only a short time ago, most definitely not 10 years ago. Since then, it's taken me a while to be able to talk about my Dad - almost painful at times to relive it again and again. Well, I've done some growing up over the past 10 years and I would like to think Daddy would be proud of the woman, wife, Mama that I've become...or I should say "I am becoming." I'm a work in progress.

A few short years later, after I graduated high school, I got engaged and a little while later, got married. This is when I started to figure out that I needed my Daddy more now than I did as a child. Marriage brings it's own can of worms and I long for the opportunity to spend some time talking about my marriage and my new life to the man who loved me first, before my Prince Charming came riding in on a white stallion.

Fast-forward a few years and we get pregnant...a boy. My heart is broken that my Daddy's not here to see his first grandchild - a son - grow up. And what do you know? That boy is the spitting image of my his looks and most of all, in his personality. At first glance, it is most obvious that my Harrison resembles Justin the most. But, when you study photos of him, he favors my Dad so much. Funny how God works like that?

Fast-forward a few more years and we get pregnant again...another boy. A boy that we decide to give my Dad's name, David. He is Brigdon David. "A man after God's own heart." From the time Harrison was born, I began to see a change in another man in my life, my father-in-law, who I think the world of. He's a good man. I think grandbabies have that effect of grandparents...they just turn them to mush. Now, we have 2 beautiful, vibrant, happy much like their Papa David, it hurts. I watch my father-in-law with them and how much he adores them and how much they adore him, and I can't help but think, "Why can't Daddy be here to love and adore these boys??" I think of the men they will be someday and the positive imprint on their little lives that my Dad would make on them. It angers me that my God would yank someone like that out of our lives. We need him here; I need him here.

BUT - Now for the good news! God always has a plan. I've said it before and I will keep saying it for the rest of my days...Nothing that happens in my life isn't already under His feet - God's feet. Although I miss my Dad like crazy and think of his impact on my life EVERY DAY, it's wrong for me to interfere with God's will. This is the creator of the universe we're talking about here! I can say that losing my Dad forced me to grow up quickly and that's not a bad thing. I can say that losing my Dad made an impact on the man I married and plan to spend the rest of my life with, and that's not a bad thing either. My Justin is a good man and many of the qualities that I adored in my Dad, I adore in my Justin. Funny how God works that out?

So, I write all of that in hopes that someday when my boys grow up and become Daddy's themselves (someday far, far away), maybe one day they'll read this and hold onto a small glimpse of their Papa David and how special he was to me. I hope this will cause them to be excited to meet him some day. I know the day will come when they'll start asking me more specific questions about their Papa David, but until then we keep it simple..."Papa David lives with Jesus"...and for now that's sufficient enough of an answer.

I love you Daddy and can't wait to introduce you to your grandsons. Hope you're proud of us.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Count Your Blessings One by One

Heard this song on the radio today and it couldn't have come at a more perfect time...
"Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name
Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name
Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name
Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name"
-- Matt Redman
It's been one of those weeks and thank goodness they don't come all that often. Where to begin...Made it a point to do something nice and it got shot down, work is unbelievably slow but there are still bills to pay, two dear friends are dealing with serious health crises in their families, the fast-approaching weekend will mark the date I lost my dad, about at my wit's end dealing with my husband's night shift...all adding up to a severe lack of sleep.
Oh the list could go on and on!
When I heard this song earlier, it definitely helped brighten my outlook. My Jesus knows what my soul needs.
There is nothing that happens in my life that isn't already under His feet!
How grateful I am to Him for His grace that I most definitely don't deserve.
It seems so carefree and easy to praise God when things are going good...Everyone's healthy, everyone's happy, bank account's well-padded, etc. BUT - It's in those not-so-good times that my true colors come out and I will be the first to say, they're not always pretty.
Funny thing is, God is the same whether things are looking up or whether things are looking down. HE NEVER CHANGES....The one thing in my life I can count on without a doubt.
Thank you Jesus for my blessings - Too many to even count!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Welcome Claire-Bear!

"For You created my innermost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." --Psalm 139:13-14
This week has brought family the wonderful blessing of a new bundle of joy. Claire Elizabeth Higginbotham was born Thursday, April 22 weighing 8 pounds 12 ounces. You know her Aunt Sue could not wait for her arrival. I actually think I was more anxious than that baby's Mama. I've said it before and I will say it again....I am a sucker for newborns. Whether they belong to me or to someone else, you may as well slap it on my forehead. Is there anything sweeter than a brand new baby? Pure and innocent, without a care in the world. Claire was born to Justin's sister Jenna and her husband Bryan, and she is obviously already well-loved.

Proud Aunt Sue also had fun being caretaker to Claire's big brother Tyler. Anyone who knows my Harrison, knows that he just adores his cousin Tyler. They are only 11 months apart and often mistaken for brothers...even twins sometimes. Those boys can be together for hours upon hours and then be apart for even only a little while, but when they get back together, it's like a family reunion. You would think they hadn't seen each other in months! With that being said, I believe Harrison was most excited about having Tyler spend a few days with him than the fact that he was getting a new cousin. At first he thought Tyler was only spending one night over. The look on his face was priceless when I told him the next day that Tyler was sleeping over another night!

When I put them to bed that first night, Harrison went into this bed like usual and Tyler slept in the "drawer." (This is the trundle under Harrison's bed...he calls it "the drawer.") It was late and they were both sleepy. I was sitting in the other room in front of my computer working late. I had to stop and smile when I heard them in Harrison's room. It sounded something like this...A whisper and then another whisper and then another whisper and then giggles and then a "shhhh!" I really should've gotten up and snapped a photo, but I didn't want to disturb them.
Anyway, the next afternoon after baby Claire was born, we made a trip to the hospital to meet her. Big brother Tyler was a little stand-off-ish at first, but I remembered that when my Brigdon was born, he acted very similarly. Just a little slow to warm up. I think babies -- newborns at that -- are a little strange to small kids. It will take no time for him to warm up to his baby sister. I have the feeling he will be a good lil helper. Harrison, on the other hand, very muchly surprised me. He quickly wanted to see her and kiss her and pat her on the head. He even got to hold her! I can see it now...both those boys will be so protective of her when they all get to high school. She will not have a chance!
I remember after my Brigdon was born that Harrison was all of a sudden so grown up to me. It actually broke my heart. In only the few days that I didn't spend with him while we were at the hospital, it was as if he had grown into a boy, not my baby anymore. Sitting in the hospital room yesterday, that feeling came over me again and I actually said to Harrison (with him in my lap), "It seems like I was just in the hospital birthing you." I think it takes becoming a mother to realize just how quickly time slips away. Even now, I sometimes look at him playing outside or asleep in his bed and I think...He is so big...His feet are big...His arms are big...and it takes my breath away. Even right now as I type this, tears are streaming down my face. It's like now I have this new perfect tiny baby to compare Harrison to and he wasn't a "baby" anymore -- He was this big kid who suddenly seemed like he was grown and maybe didn't need his Mama so much. Such is life.

Now to what you all wanna! Her Aunt Sue is already smitten. I have project after project in my head to make for her. She's already got a growing collection of hairbows and frilly things and I will do my best to add to that collection as often as I can!

Congratulations Jenna, Bryan, Kalea and Tyler! We love you!

Aunt Sue loves you!

Big Brother Tyler (on the right) loves you!

Cousin Harrison loves you!

Welcome to the world

Saturday, April 17, 2010


There have been quite a few posts about my big guy Harrison and I was feeling as if my little guy, Brigdon, was being left out. Brigdon David was born November 30 and is the jolliest, most joy-filled child. I pray that he keeps his happy, content little personality forever. (It'll make for a very happy wife someday...someday far, far away!)

He is such a blessing and a joy to our family every day. It brings tears to my eyes to see my growing family. A family I never dreamed I'd actually have.
After Harrison was born, I honestly thought I would never be able to love another child as much as I loved him, my first-born. Even up until the very last days of pregnancy with Brig, I still had no idea how I would "split" my love equally between 2 children. How amazing God is that he can see into a Mama's heart and somehow make her love that 2nd (or 3rd or 4th...) child just as much as the first. I didn't think my heart could hold any more love, but it amazingly does.

So, just to brag, here are a few shots of my sweetness. These boys are my heart and I thank God for 2 happy-go-lucky, bright children!

As a side note or side story or whatever...I just had to blog this before I forgot. Last night after Brig was in bed, I had reminded Harrison to go clean his room while I took a quick shower and then he would be done with his chores for the night. So, he went off to his room while I hopped in the shower. Not 2 minutes later, he runs in the bathroom and says, "My room is done!" Really?? is what I'm thinking. So I reminded him, "If that room isn't done when I get out and check it, then you're not getting your sticker (for his chore chart) and you won't get your money for today. You have to do ALL the chores to get the money." He says, "Okay...but my room is done!" I said, "Alright, I'm gonna check it in a minute."
So I get my shower completed and he says to me, "Come check my room, it's done!" And here's the kicker.... He adds, "You are NOT gonna believe your eyes!" My word! Where one earth does he come up with this stuff!
Needless to say, I didn't believe my eyes. His room WAS done and it was done RIGHT! Crazy kid...He never ceases to crack me up!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Secret Spy

As most of you know, I have the blessed opportunity to work from that I am very grateful for. It also works out since my husband works at night that he can be "Daddy Daycare" in the afternoons, which is when I work. So I'm sitting at my "desk" (the dining room table) and I can hear a ruckus going on outside. I stopped to peek through the blinds and I see my three fellas having the best time in the mud!

Some of you may remember from an earlier post that my Harrison LOVES mud! I have never met another child that adores all things dirty as much as he.

Right now as I'm typing this, he's sees this picture and actually says, "Yep, I was stuck there. That's the Bounty Hole my Daddy made. I made it out though. I'm gonna do that again today." Getting to play in the mud every day, truly his dream-come-true! But oh it gets worse.....

Brig's in the mud too! Justin's already trying to turn my sweet innocent baby boy into a pure Dirt Dauber just like his Bubs. Not cool. Actually, the one thing that cracks me up most in this picture is Justin - boots and shorts...saggy shorts. Yikes. Thank goodness these boys (all 3 of them) have me to keep them clean and presentable!
I had to secretly take all these pictures through the window through the blinds. Had I walked outside, all of the ruckus would have ceased. They know this is something Mama does not like and I had to let them enjoy the mess while they could. Sweet memories with their Daddy!

The Culprit

[This actually happened last week, I've just been a bit slow at updating (surprise surprise). ]

Justin had spent a large part of the early morning working outside when the phone rings. He was on the other end asking me to bring him a shotgun. First thing out of my mouth, "What are you shootin' at?" I honestly assumed it would be a snake as this is the time of year that snakes start to make their appearance. Yuck. I. Dislike. Snakes. Another "joy" of the woods life. His reply, however, "No, a coon." As in RACCOON. Another yuck. I. Dislike. Rodents. Especiallly this species of rodent in particular because him and his pals have been getting into our garbage nearly every night. Yet another "joy" of woods life. With all the action, Harrison darts to his room and throws on play clothes at sonic speed and jets outside. I heard a few shots fired and here my spouse dragged that germ-possessed thing up to the house. Yuck. He says, "Get your camera and take our picture" as he was obviously quite proud. Yuck. Seizing the opportunity of a picture (I can't resist), I grabbed my camera and took this:

The first thing that came to my mind when I looked at the resulting photo was, "My word, do we look like some pure White Trash??!?" As if it weren't bad enough that my husband had shot a raccoon IN OUR BACKYARD, my kid looks like he just rolled out of bed and threw on the first thing he could find (which he actually did) AND they stooped for a picture in a spot with no gross AND you can see a set of 2.5-ton military axles (for a future "project" he keeps telling me) in the background. Seriously??

So this is my disclaimer: We are not the trashy folks that this photo shouts we are. I almost hesitated to post this picture, but then figured Why Not? Someday when that kid is grown, he'll have this picture and maybe remember that day and it just might bring a smile to his face. In that case, I guess it's worth a little of my disgrace at this time.

Garden's On it's Way

"Gardenette" Update: Everything is sprouting! Below are new pics of everything over the past few days. Every morning, Harrison runs out to the porch to see how much his plants (no longer seeds) have grown. It is so very exciting for him!

Morning Glories

Sunflower Sprouts

Corn Sprouts

Yellow Squash Sprouts

This garden has already given us learning opportunities to share with Harrison....namely patience. Even though the plants are through the ground, he still can't quite figure out why there are no vegetables yet. We will get there.

Monday, April 5, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Just a few snapshots of the beginning of Harrison's garden. He is SO excited! We're calling it the "gardenette" because it's him! I can't wait to see what he thinks in a few weeks when things start to sprout. I see many lessons coming from this...Patience being the main one!

Morning Glories!

Farmer Harrison (Disclaimer: These are play clothes and his Daddy dressed him. Anyone who knows me knows that this is not appropriate anywhere other than the backyard.)


Best Buds


I have struggled this Easter season about the whole Easter basket/Easter bunny thing. My Harrison is nearly 4 and is to the age where he's catching onto such fictitious characters like the Easter bunny and Santa Claus. He hadn't mentioned anything about an Easter basket or the Easter bunny, so we had decided that we would just leave all of that out of Easter. The last thing we wanted was for him to mix up some candy and bunnies with the true meaning of Easter...a Risen Savior!

However, my so-intelligent husband came up with the idea of instead of doing candy, etc. that we get him his own garden tools and some seed packets and such for his very own little garden. I myself had gone back and to deciding on whether or not to do a spring garden. But, this little boy adores all things dirt and how exciting to watch things you planted grow out from that beloved dirt??!?

Easter morning, he wakes up and the garden goods are on his toybox. He knew right what they were and what they were for. "Ours gettin' a garden!" he said. Such a happy boy.

It's Monday morning now and ever since yesterday morning, he has not let me forget about that garden. It's on our "To-Do's" for the day. Pictures to come soon!

Happy Monday - Make it a great day!


So I spent my entire Saturday outside doing yardwork. We moved to our new place back in September, but then the holidays, a new baby, and an insanely cold winter has delayed my getting any landscape done. No more! Warm, sun-filled days are here.

My green-thumbed mother-in-law and I (non green-thumbed) set out Thursday afternoon for a trip to the nursery. We came home with all my truck bed would hold. Ended up making another trip Saturday morning for another truck full. Needless to say, I had my work cut out for me getting those things in the ground. Daddy and Harrison had "boy time" plans already, so I was on my own.

As I got started working, something occured I hadn't planned for. Roots -- lots and lots of roots making it most difficult to dig appropriate holes for my shrubs. I guess that part of living in the woods. These darn roots had turned a job that should've only taken 2 to 3 hours into an all-day event. What's amazing though, is how much easier it was to dig the holes after I had chopped out the roots. Even more amazing is that my God was teaching me such a simple lesson right there. I felt him say, "You know, Sue, if you chopped out the garbage (AKA roots) in your life, do you know how much easier it be for Me to make you fruitful??"

I said in my first post that God teaches me a lot through moments with my boys. Here I was all by myself, covered in sweat and dirt, and God's teaching me. I'm a work in progress for sure!

Needless to say, after that moment I enjoyed my day much more. It was the most beautiful day and I was blessed to be spending it outside in His creation doing something I love. It just took that little reality check to get me in the right mind-set. God has a way of doing that for me.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Round Two

Here I go in my second attempt to stick with a blog. After much encouragement from friends and family, I have decided to give it another shot. I honestly can't think of anyone interested in the daily goings-on in our little life, but my goal through this is to get those day-to-day moments and memories down in writing so that years from now, they will not be forgotten. Maybe it's because we recently added a second child to our family and I'm suddenly remembering all the things I had forgotten from when my first was a baby...things that I thought "oh, I don't need to write that down, I'll remember it." Wrong.

The Lord teaches me a lot through my boys and if writing about those moments make me a better child of God, wife, Mama, human - then I'm all for it. My God knows I need all the help I can get!

Quick Explanation - My oldest Harrison actually inspired the name "Mud in Heaven." Anyone who knows this sweet-souled boy of mine knows he adores dirt in all forms - A true boy. And as most nearly 4-year-olds, he is full of questions. So we're outside just the other and he's playing in the mud (his MOST favorite form of dirt) and he so innocently asks me, "Mama, you think there's mud in heaven?" I said, "Well, yeah, probably so." He says, "Good. Maybe Jesus will take me for a ride in the mud in Him's big truck." I say (laughingly), "I'm sure He will if you ask him." His reply, "Yep. He will." So I should be. That's one of those little moments that I would be bound to forget had I not taken the seconds to write it down.

My goal is to post regular updates, stories, lessons, etc about my family and the things God's teaching me along the way. Wish me luck!