My Dear Misty

Many of you know my dear friend, Misty. I was honored to have her as one of my bridesmaids in our wedding! God is doing miraculous things in the life of Mist, and her husband, Chad. I added their blog address on my sidebar, but thought I'd post for them as a special welcome to the blog world!

Check out their story and praise God with us!

It Happens

Yes, I'm aware that most of my posts lately have just gushed newly wed giddy happiness.  When I was single it was easy to post about life situations that upset me.  It was easy to post about something that depressed me, annoyed me, or made me angry.  It was common for me to share what was going on with my relationship with God, even sharing personal details.  Being married is a different story.  I can not air my dirty laundry because now another person is involved.  A lot of my business now is his business, too.

BUT I can air my dirty laundry when it's all my fault.  Yes, I fully take the blame and I ask any of you out there for Godly, wifely wisdom.  You see, I get teased sometimes as being "the perfect wife" merely because I stay home.  That couldn't be further from the truth.

I whine when Chuck is looking at the TV or computer and doesn't pay attention to me right away; I cry when I don't know what food to fix for our company; I get silent when something doesn't go my way; I get moody for absolutely no reason and take it our on my poor, unsuspecting husband; I argue even when I know I'm wrong; I worry; I fear; I fret; and then he comes into the kitchen.  He grabs me, holds me in his arms and says, "I just want you to  know that I love you, Abby.  For better and for worse. I support you."  And then I feel even worse and cry some more.

Yep, my friends, that is me as a wife.  These are my true colors as a newly wed.

The good news? Well, actually, the GREAT news is:  Praise Jesus, the Holy Spirit resides in my heart!  Oh yes he does.  I need God every moment of every second of every hour of every day.  I need him more then sleep, more then water, more then food, (and yes I said food, for those of you who know me well!) more then ANYTHING in this world, I need my God.

Thankfully my God forgives, and he gives me the grace to keep moving forward and to keep working hard at this wife thing.  God allows me room to try and fail, to be up and to be down, and he whispers strongly in my ear, "You need me alone.  Rest in me.  TRUST in me."  Oh how sweet it is to be loved by Jesus.

I don't think my husband knew what hit him when he married me!  My parents tried to warn him.  (Seriously.  My dad warned him about me!) But God has given Chuck this crazy, unconditional, incessant love that makes me want to strive even harder to be the Godly, loving, respectful and resting wife I can possibly be! 

Where would I be if not for my Savior?


There are just those major high's in life when God blows me out of the water, over and over.  Last night was one of those nights.  It was the GREENEST night ever.  We praise GOD for how HE is providing for and taking care of us.

Chuck was going to be home a little later from work, so I was able to catch up with 2 friends on the phone, only to be utterly amazed and shocked with what God was doing in each of their lives.  I had chills all over during both conversations.  I had tears in my eyes as I heard each woman pour out her heart at God's power, mercy, and adoring love for each of them.  I am blessed to have friends who love God and are examples to me of how to walk by faith.

Crazy enough, while I was actually still on the phone, Chuck arrived home saying someone was outside wanting to look at our car that we were trying to sell.  Well when I got off the phone, absolutely elated for a dear friend, there were people sitting in our living room.  I proceeded to greet them and that's when I noticed the GREEN cash on the table.  I stuttered a bit and said, " you're buying the car?!"  We had posted it less then 48 hours earlier!  Praise God!  Praise God!  We are now a one car fam!  (Isn't that so GREEN of us?!)

After dinner we then went Christmas tree shopping!  We had been given a wedding gift of money to buy Christmas decorations.  GREAT gift!  We had planned to buy a 7 foot tree, a tree stand, lights, and ornaments.  As we began scouting out tree's at several different places it became increasingly clear that if we did purchase a 7 foot tree, and a stand, we had no money left over for lights, or ornaments!  Hmmm...

The third place we stopped, just as we were getting pretty bummed about our situation, we walked up this path to be utterly elated at what was in front of us.  There was a little cluster of baby Christmas tree's!  We immediately looked for the prices and were even more elated to see that THEY were in our price range!  Chuck got this enormous grin on his face and started to get a little giddy.  The tree was so liiiiiittle and cute I couldn't even stand it.  Chuck's little boy glee combined with the adorable baby Christmas tree gave me no choice but to peak out from my furry hood, look up into his face, and said, "Alright!  We can get it!"  We both cracked up laughing at our tiny, baby, GREEN Christmas tree.

With just enough money, we got the tree, a skirt, and some lights.  Then we went to Target where we each picked out our first ornament and one box of tiny ornaments!

We are praising God for His constant provision for us!  We are rejoicing!

Tonight we are decorating our baby to come....

11 because it's November

1.  It's been one year since my Dad's 3rd open heart surgery!  God has made his heart healthy!

2.  God gave me a job for a day so now I am able to buy Chuck his own Christmas presents, not using his money!

3.  Chail.  He brings me such joy!  I love him like I've never loved any baby in my whole life!

4.  God has given us an awesome Shepherd Group to be apart of.

5.  God has given me an incredible study on the book of Esther (by Beth Moore) and a great group of ladies to study with.

6.  I am working with a sweet group of teen girls, leading their Shepherd Group.

7.  I am a stay-at-home-wife, it is the best job on the planet. 

8.  I no longer have to work on Thanksgiving Day.
9.  There is a new member arriving in our family in the next several months!

10.  My apartment.  It's so homey and is my most favorite place to be, especially when Chuck is home.

11.  I married my dream-come-true.  I couldn't have imagined a more perfect husband!  I love you, Love!

Praise the Lord!

Thank you God! My Dad received a clean bill of health from his heart surgeon today! We are all incredibly relieved! What an awesome early Christmas present! Thank you to everyone who was praying. Thank you so much.


Exactly one year ago today, my Dad underwent his 3rd open-heart surgery at The University of Penn hospital.  At this time last year, my family was waiting as my Dad's heart lie on an operating table...again.  That was certainly no game of  "Operation."  In this operation, there is no buzzer that sounds when you hit the wall.  It is a reality that we lived through and will forever praise God for.  It's a terrifying memory, but sweet at the same time.  Sweet because of God's overwhelming peace.  We felt God's presence so tangibly, it was as if He was literally hugging us all day.  And what a loooooong day it was.  Oh how the hours dragged by!

But praise God from whom ALL blessings flow, He brought my Dad through.  Just a few weeks ago my mom threw a semi-surprise party for my dad to celebrate all that God has done this year.  She took the people who were at the hospital the day of my dad's surgery out to an incredible steak dinner.  Then we went back to my parent's house for some of Julie's famous, delicious, and astounding CAKE!  (The same Julie who made our wedding cake.)  It was a night to remember and savor in our hearts.

 My Dad see's his surgeon in Philly tomorrow (Friday, November 20).  Please pray for him!  I know we've all been struggling a bit about worrying.  There's this looming fear that arises when the surgeon visits are scheduled.  Will he find some thing....again?  Pray that my Dad has a clean bill of health!

 I know God is overwhelmingly good to his children at ALL times.  I struggle with anxiety over my Dad's heart and all that he has gone through.  I know my Dad struggles, too.  Pray for him!  Though I believe God will be good no matter what the visit tomorrow shows, it is still hard to wait.  It is still hard to trust, but I wish it were easy for me.  It should be by now, right?

God's words to me today: (Phil. 4) 

The Lord is near.  And the God of peace will be with you.

Thank you God!

Father and Me


I'm not a morning girl by any stretch of the imagination.  This is in complete contrast to my husband who actually enjoys setting his alarm for 7:30am on the weekends.  On Sunday I told him to wake me up at 9am so I'd have time to get ready for church.  Promptly at 9, Chuck came in and began the routine of getting me up.  I typically just lie there, unmoving for several minutes.  Sometimes I make a noise or two to communicate something or rather.  

At some point in the haze of the morning routine, Chuck whispered in a sing song voice, "I have a surprise for you!"  Breakfast (food, of course!) was my first thought.  But then I heard him get up, pick up his laptop, and bring it back into bed.  After getting my glasses I rolled over and found THIS!

Chuck and I had scouted out many blog ideas on Saturday.  Since web design is his profession, he gets really excited to do any project of that nature.  We finally narrowed it down to this, my favorite idea.  Then, the next morning Chuck got up early and created this perfect new design just for me!

I was so excited I clicked on my blog all day just to admire his handy work.  I told him he should have waited until Christmas!  What a gift!  

I hope you enjoy the new look, I owe it all to the gifted and generous husband of mine! 


Chuck and I met exactly one year ago TODAY! Since I already wrote about that night 2 posts ago, I'll just say: PRAISE GOD FROM WHO ALL BLESSINGS FLOW! If you asked me one year ago today if I'd be married, I'd say "YAY RIGHT." Now here I am, 4 1/2 months into marriage with the man that has already surpassed all my wildest dreams! God. Is. MIND-BOGGLING. Thank you God!!!

I love you, Babe. Happy One-Year-Since-We-Met-Anniversary!

(and thank you, as always, KT!)

Let it Snow!

Notice anything new about my blog? (Thanks to my talented, computer savvy man!)

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! =)

I Rememer THE DAY!

I have made some new, sweet friends recently while leading a teen girl's Shepherd Group through our church. Inquiring minds wanted to know how Chuck and I met so I shared our story. There has been a request for me to WRITE out the story, and as promised, here I will tell it again. Happily! =)

A little over a year ago I moved to VA from MN. I began attending a church in the area comprised mostly of single, twenty to thirty-something adults called Frontline. The very first night I attended Frontline was the very last night anyone was able to sign up for a Fall Retreat they were having. I immediately went home and signed up! I was dying to get connected, and be involved in that church community. I already had 2 friends that were going, so they made sure we would be staying in the same room.

When I got to the retreat, my 2 friends introduced me to their friends! Low and behold, I met my friend, Katie for the first time. We clicked right away and became "Retreat Best Friends". Of course we talked A LOT about boys that weekend. As I was describing the type of guy I was interested in, Katie stopped on the sidewalk and said, "I know the perfect guy for you! He is a Youth Pastor, he dyes his hair, and he has piercings." What more did I need in a guy?! =)

When we got home from the retreat Katie showed me pictures of Chuck on Facebook. That's when I told her, now I HAVE to meet him! Boy was he gooooood lookin'! I certainly didn't want to pass up a chance with him.

A couple months later Katie was giving Chuck swimming lessons as he wanted to train for a triathlon. While they were doing that, I was slaving away working at Starbucks. As my shift was ending Katie called to ask if I wanted to join her and Chuck for a late dinner. I was instantly THRILLED! But then I realized what I was wearing. Ugh. Work khaki pants, a black work shirt, ugly black work shoes and to top it all off, I had worn a hat all night so I had hat hair! Of all nights to set me up with Chuck! Curiosity (or hormones!) got the best of me and I drove on over to TGI Fridays.

When I walked in the door, Chuck's back was to me. He had on a trendy, stylish hat and an earring in each ear (cartilage) which I had always loved on guys. Once I got to the table, the first thing Chuck did was stand up. He extended his hand and I was stunned. When was the last time a guy was gentlemanly enough to stand and shake my hand? I felt so special already!

I chose to sit next to Katie, across from the terribly good looking boy to have a better view. The three of us chatted the night away! We discussed a variety of topics, laughed, ate, and even shared our hearts. I even mentioned this blog at one point, in hopes Chuck might catch the bait. (He posted a comment the very next day! Whoo hoo!)

We all said our good-byes and I hoped I would hear from him some day. Of course Katie called me the SECOND we were in our cars! We died laughing because she had told me so much about Chuck in advance, but the poor guy had no clue he was being set up!

Little did I know that Chuck went home that night and told his roommate, "I don't know what it is about that girl (ME!), but I have to see her again!" (Ugly Starbucks clothes and all!)

And THAT my friends, is how it all began! =)

Sunday Evening Blues??

Last Sunday afternoon I went out for coffee with some new girlfriends. They were both saying they had "The Sunday Night Blues". Both had to go back to work the next morning and confessed to feeling down about the weekend coming to a close. I didn't say much at the time, but I went home and declared to Chuck, "I don't have the Sunday night blues!" (said with a major grin on my face!)

I really love my life! I love my day-to-day routine. Since I started watching Samuel 2 days a week, there has been some adjusting, but I think the kinks are being worked out quite nicely. Watching Samuel is a blessing! It's nice to have a little friend hangin' with me for 2 days!

So on this Sunday evening, I do not write with blues, I write with...purples! (I had to choose a different color, so I picked my favorite one!) Chuck is scurrying around working on his To Do List (NOT a honey-do, his OWN, thank you very much!) so I feel the urge to write!

Our weekend has been full of each other. It started off with my husband walking in the door on Friday after work with 10, gorgeous, red roses just for me! ("The Perfect 10" they were called.) He proclaimed, "Happy Date Night!" We had been given a giftcard to The Cheesecake Factory, along with a gift from a friend so we were able to have our FIRST restaurant date since our honeymoon! Praise God!

Afterwards we went for a stroll around the lake where Chuck proposed to me just a little over 7 months ago! (Ha! Feel free to laugh! It's just mind-boggling how God has brought us together in such a little amount of time!) We sat on "our" bench and reminisced about that night. We snuggled on our bench and gazed at "our" beautifully lit up fountain shinning so prettily against the dark of the evening. It was just one of those perfect moments in time where all is well.

On Saturday we were honored to attend the wedding of Chuck's good friend, Tony to his bride, Jennifer. What a gorgeous day it was for a wedding! Everything was beautiful! We had a wonderful time seeing friends, catching up with people, and enjoying the huge Chinese feast they served us!

The rest of the weekend we have been able to JUST BE. Relaxing on our new couch, taking naps together, eating yummy meals, taking walks, talking, reading, going to our church, laughing, and being the happy couple God has joined us together to be!

Sunday night blues? Nah! I got my Babe by my side and a brand new episode of Alias to attend to! =)

Stay-at-home-What?! Part III

So what do I DO all day?! Easy. I follow my heart's desire and that is to take care of my husband! Obviously that can look a million different ways for a million different people. For me, I enjoy planning, creating, preparing, and administrating our home.

A friend gave me this awesome calendar and I write out chores, meals, activities, our schedules and fun stuff on there. Then during the week I pretty much follow the calendar. I love To-Do lists! I love keeping our home organized, cleaned and feeling homey. I love having every thing in it's place so that when Chuck comes home from work he feels that he can sit down, relax and enjoy our home.

During the day I get to spend time with God, journal, read, study, prepare lessons (Youth Group Shepherd group I'll be leading), and pray! I work out as well, which is amazing since last year I often was not able to. I enjoy planning meals, preparing dinner, making treats, you name it! It's especially fun when we have family or friends over, which we love! I've been able to help friends, volunteer at events, and tomorrow I even get to go lobbying in DC!

And now, just this week, I started watching my friend's baby! It's only 2 days a week and I still get to stay home! God continues to provide! I am deeply grateful. I'm living the life of my dreams.

Stay-at-home-What?! Part II

It has been one of the biggest joys of my life to be Chuck's wife, and to stay at home. I was greatly reminded of this passion the other day when a good friend of mine announced, "I just want to be a wife and a mom!" (This coming from a woman with an amazing career!) She uttered the EXACT sentence I have said for countless years. And now ladies and gentlemen, I am a wife! I keep announcing it because it's still hard to fathom.

Staying home hasn't come without difficulty though. I did not expect the intangible pressure that is out there for a young married woman to be working. I did not expect the funny looks, the confused glances, or the silence that would follow. I can understand though in our Nation's Capitol, with hard-working women driven in their careers all over the place, I am not the norm (any more).

Staying home hasn't come without sacrifice either. It is not easy financially. I'm certainly not a Desperate Housewife of DC. Because my husband is firm in his support of me desiring to stay home, we have both accepted certain sacrifices that have to be made in order for me to be able to do this. Interestingly enough, this has been that part that has been most exciting!

GOD PROVIDES. Obviously God provides, but saying it and living it are two completely different entities. It would take hours to read my blog if I were to recount all the crazy ways God has provided for us. I can just feel God's support and encouragement of this decision that Chuck and I have made! After all, God is the one who has given me the desire to be a wife!

Whether it was through a "random" bill that we ended up not having to pay, money showing up in strange places around our apartment (No lie! This has happened more then once!), being taken out to eat, being given food, "late" wedding gifts, or a small raise for Chuck= GOD ALWAYS PROVIDES in wonderful, incredible, mysterious ways! I was so excited about God's provisions last night that I could hardly fall asleep! But it's true! God has blessed us and we are humbled. It never ceases to blow my mind how intricately God works.

Don't get me wrong. If God leads me to go back to work, then work I will. I understand sometimes that is how he provides. But for now, I am marveling and wondering at this gift I have to be HOME for my husband!

And the answer to the ever-popular question, "What do you DO all day?" Well, you'll just have to wait and see for Part III!


This Sunday marks 3 months of marriage for us! I do believe it's been the fastest 3 months of my life. Though in some ways, our wedding still feels like yesterday. At any rate, I now have 3 months as being a wife under my belt. Not a day goes by where I am not in wonder at my new life.

Chuck and I have been surrounded by brand new people and situations. We've officially joined a new church together. We had prayed very specifically about what we believe a church should be and this church has certainly proved to be God's answer.

Through our new church, we've joined a shepherd group (small group) that meets in a home. It's a multi-generational group that we both have come to thoroughly love. We're also volunteering in the youth group together. I've already attended my first Girl's Night Out event. It made me excited to continue volunteering!

On top of a new church, Chuck has a new job. Seems every where we turn, new people are around the corner. Because of this, the same old introductions have been repeated countless times. "Where are you from? Have you lived here long? How long of you been married?" and the most popular question to be asked,

"What do you do?"

I'm pretty sure I have the most unique answer for my age. It almost always catches people off guard. Especially in this area.

"I am a stay at home wife!" =)

To Be Continued....

Jamaican me Crazy!

I've been missing our Jamaican honeymoon lately! We visited The Grand Palladium Resort and Spa near Montego Bay. Our honeymoon vacation was a gift from God. People ask us if we would go back and we always say, "We'd recommend YOU go, but if we're gonna travel like that again, it would be fun to try something new!" I do think we had the best trip either of us has ever taken! We went for 8 nights and 9 days of bliss morning, noon, and night! The resort was all inclusive which made us feel like royalty! We went on a "date" for every single meal! In between meals, we lived in the sun- either next to their enormous pool, or right on the beach!

This is our very own balcony off of our fabulous room! We were on the third floor of a Villa. You can see the other Villas in the background, along with one of the pools.

Ocean magic! This was our view from the majority of the scrumptious restaurants. We loved hanging out on the very top balcony.

Welcome to paradise!

Mmmm...tans glowing after a day of fun in the sun!

We're so MFEO! (Sleepless in Seattle anyone?? =)

I think we could have spent our honeymoon in a paper sack and still had a phenomenal time together, but God had other plans! We are so blessed that our trip was such a gorgeous, tropic, dream-come-true vacation of a lifetime!

My Girl

My Daddy and I's dance at the wedding! =)

The Way You Look Tonight

Thanks for the video, Jen! We LOVE it! =)

Over the Rainbow

Happy 2 Month Anniversary to the man who makes me come alive with a radiance in my soul that I have never known! Indeed, the dreams that I dared to dream really did come true.

Dancing onstage at The Mellow Theater in Scranton, Pennsylvania seemed more like a dream then reality. Joanna Nunemaker and her assistant, Janean Truax artistically captured such dramatic scenes between my husband of just a few hours, and I on our wedding day. They made it seem as if we had all the time in the world to be in the spotlight, on stage, the stars of each other's show. And we were. We gazed at each other, danced across the stage with no music needed at all, laughed, whispered our thoughts to each other, and basked in the utopic feeling of our day. We hardly noticed our talented photographers as our only audience.

I will not soon forget how it felt to done the gown of my dreams on that monumentous day. It was nothing like being a princess or even a queen. It was more then even that. Dress flowing for miles seemingly, my brand new husband sweeping me into his arms, and the beauty of our emotion entwined together created nothing short of a miracle from our God.

Here we are in a private moment on the grand stairs at The Colonnade in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Joanna was creatively nearby at all times, but we seemed to hardly take note. We were caught up in each other, in our own magic. In just a few seconds we descended the elegant steps to be cheered on by those who love us so dear.

There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby Babe, and it's beyond what I could have ever asked or imagined. I adore you and love you with all my heart. You know where to find me.

Reading Rainbow!

I came across this video today and found myself singing joyfully along! SO heartwarming! I used to love this show. I guess it's my love for reading, writing, and all things literature. It's amazing how one small memory can trigger such happy, warm, and safe feelings. I can totally picture myself as a little girl snuggled up on our old family couch mesmerized by this show and all the books it advertised. I love reading!

The Newly Weds

Married. I am married. I am a Mrs. I wake up every morning in awe and wonder at this life I am living. I treasure this man that I call my husband more then I ever knew possible. Chuck helps me to see the light. He helps me see the glass half full. He helps me to be positive, no matter the circumstances. He works hard and always with a smile on his face.

Our newly wed life is fabulous! We are happy beyond happy! We ended up having a 4 week honeymoon due to some delays with Chuck's new job. Though the husband wasn't too thrilled, I was secretly doing cartwheels at our extended time together! God provided him with a job at a moving company that he worked so hard at whenever they offered him hours while we waited.

I am a homemaker right now and couldn't be happier! I know you may be wondering if I get "bored" staying home all day. Heck no! I have many things to do that I just love. It's my dream come true. First being married to such an incredible man, and second to be able to stay home and my priority is to take care of him!

Even though I am loving being home, Chuck and I have been talking extensively about me pursuing other dreams that I have. He pushes me in my passions and desires to see all my dreams fulfilled, big or small. It's incredible! I will keep you posted as I hope to pursue these other dreams in the near future!

Chuck is officially at his new job, and is VERY happy to be there! I have to say though, when he walks in the door when work is done, it's my favorite time of day! =)


We are THANKING God today! Chuck was officially offered a position with IBM today! Praise the LORD!!! =) And YES, he accepted the position! WHOO HOOOOOO!!!! THANKS for praying!

I'm a Bride...Sigh.

I woke up this morning in a haze but when I came to, I realized, "Next week at this time I will be a married woman!" Of course I called Chuck right away!

I'm just so happy. It's the most incredible feeling on the planet to be The Bride. I went to Heritage this morning and felt like a movie star. People were coming up to me saying, "Uh...big event this week, huh?" Or, "Some one's getting married soon!" or "How many more days??" I LOVE IT! It's SUCH a blast! I knew I couldn't wait to marry Chuck, but I had no idea how much FUN the week before the wedding would be!

Tonight I am going out with 2 of my beautiful bridesmaids! I'm just so excited to be with them and talk the night away. I am one very very blessed woman!

Today my Grammy gave me a GORGEOUS wedding gift: a glass candy dish with lid! I adore it! And she wrote me a beautiful card mentioning how much my Grampy and Chuck would have gotten along. I held it together, but I have been missing my Grampy throughout this whole process! I imagine him up in Heaven smiling down on us. I know he would be absolutely thrilled!

Update: God provided us with a BEAUTIFUL apartment! Chuck moved all our stuff in yesterday! I can hardly wait to settle us in. YAY!

We find out tomorrow if Chuck gets the job with IBM. PRAY!

I'm happy. =)

PRAY for us!

I've been catching up with some friends lately, and have realized that there are questions out there that are dying to be answered! Thought I'd take a minute to share some of what is going on with Chuck and I.

Most importantly, we are getting married in 16 days! Oh my goodness! If you have not RSVP'd yet, or for some reason did not see our invitation yet, check out: ASAP!

Here's the scoop y'all! Chuck has a passion and definite calling into youth ministry. He recently transitioned out of his position as Youth Director. He completed his master's degree in March (Seminary/Bible degree) and also the phase at his church. We feel God is leading us to stay out of full-time ministry during the first year of our marriage. Since Chuck received his undergrad degree in computer science, he has been searching for a computer programming position for this first year. He is extremely talented! I am so proud of this man that I am going to marry!

PLEASE PRAY FOR US! Chuck is still applying, interviewing and searching very hard for a job! Then once he has a job, and when we know where that will be, we will need to find an apartment. We are trusting that God will provide, but getting anxious since we will be married in 2 weeks!

Please pray! We are so grateful for all that God has done and we know will continue to do!

What loop am I in?

5 years and 3 months. FIVE YEARS!!! I can hardly believe that's how long I worked for Starbucks! It just blows my mind. Good 'ol Dickson City, the not-so-good MOA 1, my beloved MOA 2, and now Chantilly Crossings! From Barista to Shift Supervisor to Coffee Master to completing my Assistant Manager Training and back down to Barista in the end! There is so much on my mind. I'm having a hard time putting my thoughts together.

I haven't even been here for a year and already God has done earth-shattering things in my life! He's given me a nephew that I love and adore more then I ever knew possible! He's given me the love of my life, the man I am going to spend the rest of my life loving. I'm getting married in 22 days (3 weeks thank you very much!)! And on top of it all, He's used my future husband to release me from having to work 2 jobs!

This is such a lame post. I can't write what I'm feeling because it's just TOO MUCH! That, and Chail is crying and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is yapping in the background. I'll try this again another time! =)

Soaking IT In

There is hardly an inch free on my bedroom floor. I certainly can not even reach my closet without tripping over boxes of ribbon, tull, bows, invitations, or honeymoon clothes. I look around my room and there is evidence of an upcoming wedding everywhere! It's the best feeling on the planet. I have never been this happy in my entire life!

Sure, there's the absolute excitement that comes from the fact that our wedding is in 50 days, but more then that, I am going to be Chuck's wife! The name of my blog is Full of Joy, and I AM! It's not the wedding that excites me the most, but becoming one. It's a dream come true. Chuck is beyond what I could have ever even dreamed of asking God for! I could not have made up a more perfect fit for me. Like bread and butter, toast and jam. ;) More accurately, like soy milk and espresso. (Yes! He drinks soy milk, too!)

I love the fact that I am the Bride-to-Be. I love that I'm engaged. I love that I'm wearing a stunning diamond ring on my left ring finger. I love that my smile glows and my face lights up when my man walks in the room. I love that we can act silly together watching movies on a Friday night laughing hysterically over nothing at all.

Tonight I am reminded to enjoy these moments. To enjoy being engaged and not hurried to get down that aisle. These are days to be treasured, and I'm soaking it in like sun on a 90 degree day at the beach! Only 100 times better!!!!

Did I mention only 7 weeks to go??? ;)

Who's My Little Love??

Happy Birthday Chail! Chail turned ONE on Saturday! I've been thinking about the first year of his life and all the ways that God has used him in mine. I'll never forget the first time I met him. He was the tiniest little thing. He had on tiny overalls, Trisha was feeding him, handed him to me, and I got the biggest tears in my eyes. Then Chail threw up on me. =) That day changed my life forever. It's crazy to think back on moving here to take care of this little guy. I've never experienced the kind of love I have for my nephew before. He brings so much joy, happiness, and huge smiles into my day like nothing else can. He makes me laugh, cry, act silly, and do disgusting things I never thought I'd do.
He's the first face first face I see almost every morning. He crawls into my room screaming his happy baby screams and smiling so huge you'd think I was the most famous person on the planet. He loves to bury his face in my comforter, and roll around in the blankets. He laughs so hard when I tickle his tummy and say, "Who's turning 1?!"
This sweet baby is my Little Love. I'm am the luckiest Auntie in the world!
Happy Birthday, Chail!


I've been accused of dragging out our engagement story to try to rope people in, which is a great idea, but really that's not my intention! In actuality, I am always nervous to post a blog that is too long because I find that readers lose interest! And because our story is so long, I didn't want to post the whole story at once! The story is incredibly sacred to me and I never want to cheapen it. I already feel like it loses it's value when I try to put it into my own feeble words.

The man that has won my heart and captured my love is beyond anything I could ever even begin to post on a lame blog! BUT he deserves for his wonderful proposal story to be completed! =)

The Rose Quest Venture moved on to his townhouse where we have spent countless conversations, hilarious moments, many movie nights, multiple dinners, breakfasts and lunches, and have delved into the deepest places of our hearts together. There were several more roses, notes, and riddles posted in these special places all around his home. But the hunt only got more exciting from there!

Our next destination carried us to one of our most meaningful date spots. Drum roll please, none other then Potbelly's! This was the restaurant where we shared 2 very sweet meals together, one time following the weekend we started to truly fall in love with each other. When we arrived at Potbelly's that night, Chuck told me to look for something "familiar". As I passed each table, I finally looked to my left and saw a good friend of Chuck's sitting at a booth, grinning from ear to ear, holding another red rose for me. We sat, chatted, and enjoyed each other's company while discussing the next riddle...

From there we moved on to a parking lot! I was directed to follow the "glow-in-the-dark" arrows that he spent two hours painting! And that was just the arrows! As we strolled along, hand-in-hand, we came around the corner and the site of the beautiful lake came into view. Since it was night, the lit up fountains were shinning beautifully in the center. It was such a romantic, and peaceful walk.

As we moved along, two more lights came into view. There was a bench facing the lake, with the bright fountains in full view, and a little tiki torch was lit on each side of the bench. There, on top of the bench, was Rose #11 and my last riddle. I was then instructed to look UNDER the bench where my final rose was sitting atop one last special gift...or so I thought! A wide, flat box that I know all too well was waiting just for me! Inside was a massive chocolate chip cookie cake that read, "I love you Abby"! I couldn't be happier! My favorite dessert in all the world! AHHH!!

BUT, I have to admit at this point I was a bit disappointed. After all THAT and no ring? I tried to keep positive and upbeat, but inside I was shocked. I had been hoping all night that he was going to pop The Question. Well, right at that moment Chuck stood up to point out something and when I turned back around, there he was, kneeling in front of me.

All of the sudden, he opened a tiny box and this bright light came blazing forth to reveal the most beautiful, stunning and perfect diamond ring I have ever seen. And that's when I heard the 4 words that have changed my life forevermore,

"Will you marry me?"

Yes, yes, and YES!!!


Last night Chuck and I rented a movie. It was my turn to pick (even though we typically like the same movies anyway!) so I chose the most recent N. Sparks movie. Chuck was out like a light after about 5 minutes (still jet laggin' from his trip to Germany) so I essentially watched the whole movie by myself. I am totally not a movie-crier. My heart turns to stone for some reason when I watch movies! Last night was no exception. It was a horribly sad and depressing film, and I sat there dry-eyed regardless.

When the credits started rolling Chuck finally woke up and that's when it hit me. He was still pretty drowsy but I nuzzled my face into the crook of his neck and whispered, "I love you..." and he responded, "I love you too..." and then I said as tears sprang to my eyes, "NO! I love you!" The tears continued to pour as I felt this man's arms around me and tried to fathom our relationship.

This man loves me in a way I never knew existed. He cherishes me like nothing I've ever experienced. This man sacrifices, gives, plans, adores, treasures, admires, encourages, gives things up, and loves like no other. As I began to grasp all that he is to me, and is for me the realization arose in my heart that some day he would die (THANKS to that depressing film!). Chuck gently reminded me that if God chose to take either of our lives early on, it would be for His plan and His purpose. He encouraged me that is why God comes first, and no other. This morning I had no choice but to fall on my knees in the shower, thanking God for this man in my life and at the same time, opening my hands and surrendering Chuck to Him.

I wanted to paint a picture of how unbelievably amazing my man is! So, moving forward from my last post, after the romantic picnic The Rose Quest lead me around the house to special spots of moments we had shared there. I followed several more riddles, and collected several more roses at places like where he picked me up for our first date, and the place outside where we had our first precious kiss.

From the house, we ventured on to a photo studio! When we walked in I glanced around, unsure of what to find there! As I looked up, the guy behind the desk presented ANOTHER rose with another sweet card attached! For the next hour, Chuck and I had our own personal photographer in our own personal studio! We posed, laughed, hugged, kissed, smiled, and had an amazingly fun time geting our pictures taken! It was seriously SUCH a blast! We even got to pick out our favorites, and Chuck insisted on buying me the extra collage that our photographer had created. He suggested putting the date on the picture (Him knowing what the night was about to hold, me not knowing!) and now we have that picture with that date to save for the rest of our lives! The Rose Quest continued on from there...


Warning: The story you are about to read changed my life FOREVER. It might just change yours, too.

It was 5:00 on Friday night, February 27. Date night had finally arrived! It is always, without a doubt, the highlight of my entire week. Chuck arrived and I bustled down the stairs ready to bust out of the house for our special date. I went to put on my jacket and he informed me to wait. Confusion began to formulate. He then came a little closer and handed me a small, fancy brown envelope, instructing me to open it and read the card. In it, I was invited on a mission called "The Quest for the Roses". I was given rules, awarded 3 lifelines, and an option to accept the mission...

Upon accepting, I was handed my FIRST single red rose of the evening. I was also handed a second card, which happened to be attached. The card had a little riddle that I had to figure out explaining our next location. (I have to admit, even though the riddle was personal between Chuck and I, I still had to ask for help! Give a girl a break! I was nervous!)

First stop: My bedroom where a cozy blanket was spread out on the floor, and a cooler awaited, holding our dinner for two! He had California Tortilla salads, and a diet coke...all food catered specifically for me and my special eating habits! He also had several 3 x 5 cards written out with "Shooting the Breeze" questions. We talked, laughed, and ate our food slowly and sweetly. Already I was feeling like the Queen of the Universe!

Each card, each riddle, each detail, each thought, each location was catered to me specifically. It was thee most perfect and romantic and thoughtful experience from start to finish. But wait! I'm getting ahead of myself, this is ONLY the beginning....

One Thing Costs Everything

The story of our engagement really started almost exactly a year ago. Last spring Chuck and I both lost our grandfathers. Though we didn’t know each other yet, we were grieving the serious loss in the same way at the same time.

Chuck’s grandfather’s wish was that each of his grandsons (5 boys including my man) would inherit and divide up his gun collection. This left Chuck with two valuable guns, both monetarily and especially sentimentally. My baby loved those guns! His chest puffed out a little farther, and his grin got a little wider any time the topic of those weapons came up. I seem to even recall him asking my brother on a man date to go shoot their guns together some time. Chuck was proud of his guns, and proud to be the owner of his grandfather’s prized possessions.

Several weeks ago, Chuck informed me that God provided a way for him to buy me an engagement ring. I was pleasantly surprised by the news, eager to hear what God had done. Without hesitation, my man proclaimed, “I am going to sell my guns.” Stunned, I immediately protested and informed him there HAD to be another way. In true Chuck fashion, he informed me that in fact, it was NOT my decision. His mind was made up.

“If I don’t sacrifice anything for your ring, what value does it have? If I charge it on my credit card, what did it cost me? I want your ring to cost me. I want to sacrifice blood, sweat, and tears otherwise; it’s just a piece of jewelry and means nothing. My grandfather would be happy knowing that his guns are on your finger.”

As he scouted out gun stores in the area, he came in contact with one particular man who shared with him that there would be a gun show the very next day! The gun show only comes to this area once in a blue moon, and it “just so happened” to be that weekend! Off to the show he went, and sold were the precious guns from his grandfather.

Just a few short weeks later, my man walked out of a jewelry store, my custom made ring in his pocket for the EXACT amount he had sold the guns for.

If God is for us, who can be against us??

Stay tuned… =)




Woman of God

The balanced woman of God is committed to the Scriptures, sees her giftedness and value, and trusts in the Lord as her refuge.

~Charles Swindoll


It's over. Thank God. That's the first thought that came to my mind when I came out of anesthesia yesterday...."It's OVER!" The past 3 days have been quite the journey. A journey I could not have expected, nor anticipated. Looking back, it was rougher then I realized it would be. But, also looking back, I am amazed at how God gave me strength and took care of me in ways I could not have known I would need.

My parents came down! They watched Chail and allowed me to sleep, and be able to rest! A massively important blessing! Chuck sacrificed his day and schedule to drive me to and from the doctor's. Just his presence does wonders for my soul that I can not describe. The first question the nurse asked me as I was becoming conscience again was, "Who is driving you home today?" I felt so much peace in saying, "Chuck." And I felt so much peace in knowing my parent's were at the house, waiting for me to arrive and take care of me.

All is well. From what the doctor could see yesterday, everything looked "normal". He took biopsies, and the results will come back in a couple weeks.

Today, I am thankful for The Body of Christ. All the blog posts, shared verses, texts, emails, messages, phone calls, and love! Thanks to each one of you!

I am one step closer to getting to the bottom of the crazy little mystery of this body of mine! I am reminded again that God is not so much in the business of teaching me a final lesson, but in teaching me lessons each step of the way...


That's the first word that comes to mind when describing my current situation. I just drank my first glass of HalfLytely. I have to drink a glass every 10 minutes for the next 3-4 hours. I will prevail. The texture going down is not pleasant. The taste is managable. I chose pinneapple. The affect it is having and will have on my body...well, we're not gonna go there.

Hour 14/22

It's been 14 hours and 22 minutes since I've been able to eat! Right now it's cool. I'm hungry, of course! But, the good news is I am able to eat green, orange, or yellow Jello-O. I can also have some hard candy which keeps me distracted a bit. Fruit juices are also an option. The wierd thing is, I still won't be able to eat until around 5PM tomorrow. Sigh.

I start the drugs in half an hour. Then the second round at 5. Oh dread...


I had my first ultrasound yesterday! It's a BOY! Not really. A common myth about ultrasounds is that they are used mostly for pregnancy. That was news to me. Apparently they are used mostly for OTHER tests, like mine.

I actually thoroughly enjoyed my first ultrasound! I never thought I'd be having one until the possibility of a human being inside me came about. None the less, it felt nice. Basically a twenty minute massage of sorts. Not bad.

I got a little nervous because the lady stayed on my right side for an awfully long time. I had a moment of "Ohmyword. Does she see something awful?!" No sense worrying. I'll find out soon enough.

Yesterday also brought on a new symptom that actually proved quite frightening to me. More so because it proved to me that something more serious IS going on with my body. Another great reason why going to the specialist is essential. Not to mention getting the colonoscopy next week. I feel like I am 88 years old, instead of in my YOUNG (That's right Jamie.) twenties.

Working 6 days a week, being responsible for a baby 9 hours a day M-F, being on my feet at Sbux 5 nights/times a week is really taking it's toll on me. I feel tired. I feel cranky. I feel exhausted emotionally and physically. This whole health ordeal is definitely more of a stress weighing on me then I care to realize or admit.

Yes, there is a bright side! There always is! But today I don't feel like it. Today, I just feel like being honest.


I am the worst Nanny on the planet! Maybe not as obnoxious as Fran, but I bet Fran never put the baby down for a nap at 8:45 AM, decided to take a little nap herself and slept until NOON! Thank goodness the babe was playing happily in his crib! I hope he doesn't hold that against me for the rest of our lives...

Hello Issues

It's been about 6 years. Yes, it's true. My stomach issues have prevailed and actually worsened over the last several years. I've always chalked it up to being good 'ol lactose intolerant, but that never explained why I still struggled even when I did not consume dairy products.

I've tried every thing under the sun to figure out what exactly is wrong with me!

-given up most dairy
-given up ALL dairy
-gone on the cleanse (Anyone remember THAT phase?! Oh have mercy on my soul! Poor Tara had to drag me to Urgent Care! At least I got to fall in love with Gilmore Girls then!)
-drove at least twice a week for an HOUR each time to see the Chiropractor
-given up wheat
-given up flour
-given up gluten
-given up sugar
-given up EVERY THING! (Boy do I miss my lattes.)
-taken probiotics

You get the picture. So, the time has come for me to buckle down and actually see a specialist. I did not even KNOW a specialist existed for my issues! Heck, I honestly thought I was actually normal, not realizing what I go through isn't normal!

Basically after my first visit, I was bombarded with a massive list of tests that have to be done! I'm sure my colonoscopy blog will be an absolute HOOT. Yippy Skippy! I tell ya...

Anyway. Today was Day 1. I had my blood work done! My sweet boy took me and of course made it fun! As we were walking back to the room, he decides to loudly proclaim to the others waiting their turn, "I wonder if it's a boy or a girl?!" I definitely hit him, but couldn't help but laugh! What a stinkin' goon!

I'm glad Day 1 is done! Day 2 will be an ultrasound...very weird. Very weird! I have no doubt interesting stories will follow....


Whoa! Thanks to all of you who have been praying for Chuck (and for me!). Pretty sure I was way more worried/concerned then he was. He's just thrilled that he's getting released soon, and that the Dr. approved him to go back snowboarding Feb. 7. (No comment.)

His CAT scan came back OK, so praise the LORD!!Thanks so much for praying!

Chuck and Jon have a two hour drive back this afternoon, so hopefully that will go well.


Thanks again!!


Well, this isn't exaclty the blog I was hoping to write tonight, but Chuck's CAT scan came back showing bleeding on his brain. They are obviously concerned and are keeping him overnight to do more CAT scans in the morning.

From Chuck's perspective, he went up about 10 feet in the air over a jump, and doesn't remember anything until he woke up in the hospital. His face is scratched up, his limbs are sore, but he's already talking about the "next time" he goes. (This does not make a girlfriend happy.)

Thankfully, my drive home went well, thanks for praying!!Please keep PRAYING for Chuck, as bleeding on the brain is NEVER good news...

Pray for Chuck!

So I just got a call from a good friend of Chuck's (boyfriend Chuck, not MN Chuck!) saying Chuck was being taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital. No one wants to get a call like that. My heart is racing, and I'm trying not to be the freak-out, worried girlfriend. Jon says Chuck should be fine, but that he mostly likely has a concussion from a snowboarding accident today. Please pray for him! Those are the only details I have right now.

Also, I have been in NJ for the past couple of days and ended up getting very sick. I am about to drive back home right now and would appreciate your prayers for that as well. I am still weak, and am now obviously quite shaken by the news about Chuck.

Please PRAY, and I will keep you posted as I know updates!!



I thought today would be a great day to introduce my significant other (Chuck!) to my blog world! Starting at midnight last night, he has made my special day more sweet and wonderful then I ever thought possible!
I woke up this morning and the celebrating only continued! The first image I saw when I opened my bedroom door was this man holding lil baby Chail in his arms! Of course I turned right back around to hide my messy hair, frumpy pj's and groggy eyes, but alas, he didn't mind after all!
Luke 'n Trisha gave me a darling present and card, hugs all around and they were off to school. After getting the baby dressed for the day the three of us headed downstairs, only to encounter a half a dozen pink and yellow roses, a card, beautifully wrapped present, and homemade breakfast, all for me! I was stunned! Just stunned!
I could write more, but I don't want to appear sappy and annoying (OK, I know I am, but I just can't help it people!). I am just so honored and humbled to be in a relationship with this man that I can't help but gush and share about him with you!
THANK YOU to YOU my fabulous boyfriend!
And THANK YOU to all of you who have written sweet Facebook notes, texts, cards, and calls! It all means so much to me!
I am a VERY BLESSED woman!


I finally got tagged in a 6th album/6th picture post! I'll admit I was beginning to feel a little left out! Chuck, you made my day with your Waveland pictures AND with tagging me! Thanks friend! =)

Unfortunately, I have already posted this picture on my blog. I confess this makes for a boring post, but I had to follow the rules!

I will say I feel as if I am leaving Christmas behind now, and moving forward. I am enjoying this feeling. I have been enjoying moving into 2009. I heard a wicked powerful message this morning. It was one of those messages where you know God is speaking directly to YOU (me) and probably no one else in the room! I could barely keep it together as I sat there stunned at the TRUTH God was so clearly speaking to my heart, to my soul. I am determined to REACH forward, TRUST God with my future, and bury those things that need to be buried.

My 2009 year began on the beach, ocean crashing, stars bright, close to a very special friend ;), hearing other friends share about the goodness of our God, and I am certain the year is only going to get better from there...

After all, I am a firm believer in the MAGIC of the beach...