Sunday, November 30, 2008


I have been eager to write of friends, family, and food and laughs and lights and laziness...all things that made my heart swell this long Thanksgiving weekend. Every time my heart feels stable enough to write though it seems another house puts their Christmas lights up or I catch up with a good friend and then my heart is just too full again. So here I am. Brad is sweeping the needles from our perfectly picked tree. Amos is wondering what a tree is and if it will give him food. My house smells like Christmas due to the $3 impersonating candle I bought on special last year along with the mix of the fragrance of the fraser fur....our most favorite of trees!
There is too much on my mind and heart right now though if I were to be really honest and I can't seem to write about all the joy that has been leaping out of me this last week. My heart is really heavy and the only thing I know to do with that is take a bath. So, I am taking a bath. I probably should have spared you this terribly short and annoying post (annoying because it seems all too vague) but I just thought I'd try. I am thankful too for my bath. I love the over sized bath tub of our undersized condo. I love the jets and the Crabtree and Evelyn bubble bath that some how made it's way into my house....maybe you gave it to me last Christmas. If you did - I love it! I love the candles all around my bath tub and I love that Brad warms up my fluffy white robe so it is warm and ready for me when I am done. I am thankful for Brad. Why I sit and let my heart stir over things I can't control but that burden my heart - he does all my wifely chores. He has done the tree by himself (probably better that way) and he is now cleaning the kitchen. What in this world did I ever do to deserve a Brad? That's just it....I never did a thing. I just prayed for a long time and knew that God was writing my story. And that reminds me. He is writing this story, too. The one that won't leave my mind. The one that brings unwanted, heavy tears. He, too, cares and has the pen and knows the ending. I sent my dear friend a card last week that read "Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end." On the inside I wrote something like HOW FRUSTRATING (really BIG)! It's so true....we all know that "In time...."in God's time" things will be okay and everything will work out but it is the today, the right now that just gets us. Isn't it true. I will heed my own advise though. This story in my head is not over. It is in the middle and though the middle hurts....the end is yet to come and God can bring glory to any tale He writes. On to my happy bath. I am so thankful for so many things and that I don't write my story.

Oh, and, since I am becoming a walking billboard for church sermons gotta hear this one too. Gosh, I am just in love with these sermons lately. How are they speaking so specifically to me and Brad? Click below and then go to "Listen and Learn" and listen to the first sermon. 99% of you won't do this but for the few of you that do - you are welcome. Enjoy.

Listen Carefully

And....I found three things to add to my Christmas list. Depending where life has you - you may like these too:

(1) Souper Jenny Cookbook! What???? Oh my gosh, shut the front door! I will camp out for this treat.
(2) Prayers for our little "lemon". I know I haven't spoken much regarding this most exciting blessing. I figure there are six months of baby talk just wait!
(3) Just let me dance! This pleasure has been something I've cut out of my routine and budget since I began living with a boy. But I love to dance! There is no stopping it. What a great Thanksgiving morning Brad and I had watching the runners jog down Peachtree for the Atlanta marathon while listening to our Christmas music for the first time this year! And if I can make a show out of Santa Baby you can only imagine what I'd do in a room full of mirrors! I need to dance again. My life misses it.

Oh.....and who's counting...these are like my lustful, unrealistic "want" but a girl can dream right???? Happiness on my feet! (Espresso not black. Do you like them too? Have you seen other tall brown leather boots that I should consider wanting???

Monday, November 24, 2008

Down time

I am a professional volunteer, note writer, and random talker to random people in random places these days. No, the man doesn't pay me but that doesn't matter. These are things I like to do. I volunteer at our church, Buckhead Church on Monday afternoons. These are my most structured hours during the week. I love structure and oh how I miss it on a regular basis. I know, I know...many of you - my "board of directors" I would call you - know that I usually abhor structure and prefer chaos but the grass is always greener, right? I need structure! I need to know where the staples are and I need to know there is someone to tell if the internet is down and I need to plan on the Thanksgiving lunch at the office the way I planned on the same lunch last year. But this year is just different. You don't need too many staples to send letters to people. If the internet gets sick Amos is no help and there is certainly no "office" party at my home office. A year ago I may have told you flexibility was what I was seeking but I was so young and so naive and so new to the non-structured world. Anyway, Mondays are great. There are rules and there are ways to answer the phone and literally 98% of the time I have had the answer! It helps that I have volunteered in about every area in my church and if not I know the person who runs the area so I typically have answers. You wouldn't believe some of the questions I get during my 3 hours at the front desk. Really, you wouldn't believe them. Next time we have coffee ask me. They are ludicrous...not all of them but enough of them to make me feel like I was a part of some drama for the day.

So when I am not volunteering I am dining. Usually with a companion but sometimes these days - all alone. Typically Taco Bell is my place of choice when I am all alone. Since I am without employment I vowed to Brad that any lunches I eat out would come out of my $50 I make a month teaching exercise classes. He likes this idea. To stretch that fifty bucks though I have to do a lunch or two at the Bell. $1.06 is all I need unless I get crazy and order two bean burritos! Crazy! I have enjoyed my coffees/lunches/mid-afternoon coffees with friends during this season of ample down time. I actually have a running list of those conversations in the grocery store that go like this....
ME "Oh my gosh, we really should get together.."
"We really should."
Me "Yeah, we really should. Gosh, when was the last time we tried?? April?"
"Yes, April. But this time lets really get lunch. I mean really."
ME "Perfect. I'll email you"
And then you get one of those looks like "Sure. See you next year."
Oh, but then I do email that afternoon! I love it. I love having the time to follow through with my friendly offers! More so, I love actually doing something that I say I want to do. That gives me good feelings all over.

And, with all due respect, I do get a little more cleaning done with this excessive downtime. The dishes get put in the washer immediately and I have relieved Brad of his bed-making routine in the morning (normally because I am still in it) which I know makes him a little lighter on his toes the whole day through. I keep a running list of the places in my house that need attention. You see, marriage is a funny thing. Brad's closet is color and size coded with certain sections for pants, shirts, and "other". My closet is a plethora of every article of clothing ever purchased or donated to me since my sophomore year in high school (just in case that shirt comes back in to style). Admittedly, there is usually a shirt or two with no owner as I have lived with many girls in the past and half of my clothes are missing and I am sure half of theirs have once graced my closet. Brad often suggests that he will take a Saturday to super-organize my closet as well. I just shut the door and tell him he is closet is the model of organization (in my own unique way.) So that is just one of them. I need to organize and clean out my closet but there just isn't that much down time...right???

And here are just a few other things that occupy me these days:
*Worrying about things I can't control. I am good at this one (despite the fabulous sermon on "worry" posted below.)
*Checking just in case there is a house that needs to be bought or rented in February. Good to start early.
*Glancing at for only 24 seconds just to see if the title of the first job post reads, "BETSY, WE NEED YOU!"
*Calling my mama every hour and forty five minutes to ask her how to boil chicken or cook broccoli or how many cups of water are needed to boil eggs?
*Searching and for new recipes that one day I might try when I enjoy cooking again.
*Looking through drawers for things once lost. Brad's red Georgia hat, my old sunglasses, the camera battery. I will NEVER give up!
*Organizing my inbox with colors to indicate the category of the email. I know...this is pretty bad.
*Writing a list of things I want in case anyone ever asks me walking down the side walk what I want today?
*Floss my teeth. Alot.
*Writing lists of baby names. This is a fun activity. I started this list in 7th grade. Every girl does. I am just glad I found mine in time......In time for what you might ask....
*In my down time I am enjoying growing a BABY! Yep, a little Bagwell Baby will grace our family late May of next year. He/she is the biggest surprise that has ever befallen me or Brad. We are thrilled. Now, we are thrilled. It's been a funny few months as we wrap our arms around this news but God has continued to open our hearts to welcome a new person to the world! CRAZY! Of course there is much to write on this subject and that will come but we figured it was time to let the world know...we'll be PARENTS!!!!
*Oh, and I mustn't forget...I enjoy looking up new words to expand my vocab these days. This will be valuable one day....I just know it. Yes, I am certainly loving my down time.

Me gusta las fotos!


A Amos and Briscoe going for a hike
B Amos herding the cows
C Amos kissing the cows
D A low country lunch in the Boro
E Girls that like boys that make fires (with Charlsie's guidance)
F Boys with loud guns
G Fluffy dogs hiding by the house because of the loud gun shots
H My baby's daddy
I My favorite boys
J More doggie kisses
K A perfect Sunday hike!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Past 'Boro pics




Reunion this weekend!

Brad, Amos, and I are headed to the 'Boro this weekend. Waynesboro that is! I am so thrilled. I just can't tell you.....
This trip was an annual trip with my old roommates at the Terrace and a few other selected few. Brad and I went in March when we first started dating and I think this trip may have sealed the deal. Something about seeing a boy with a gun, out in nature...just doing his thing. Brad tried to teach me how to shoot his turkey gun which I learned was a big mistake but I don't think I cared....I just liked that he was holding my arms and my hips steady so I could pull the trigger. Needless to say, there is much anticipation about going back this weekend. Not only can Brad and I flirt and act like school kids - many of my favorite people will be there! Catie, the coolest friend I know, is hosting and she is flying in from Dallas. Kat, the funniest person I know (and pretty cool too), will be coming from B'ham. Charlsie, the honorary roommate and her dog, Briscoe, Amos' girlfriend is also bringing her fun and games....It's a mini-Terrace reunion! (without our most adventurous friend, Katie.) Katie, as you may have read previously, and her husband, Ryan, have taken the move of a life time to literally live on an island. They are living on Nantucket...even writing that feels CRAZY! Katie is one of my longest friends and truly one of my most genuine Georgia peaches! So I just love that God has them in the farthest place from home. Their stories are quite entertaining. Anyway, of course they can't make the trip.

So, what will 10+ people do out in the woods for a weekend in a really old house with 2 twin beds??? Eat and laugh. That is what I am most looking forward to. Catie's family is cooking up a big dinner on Saturday. The boys are bringing their guns and fishing poles and the girls will bring all the munchies! I am just so happy to spend time with my old roommates. You know this about me....I live in the past season of life. Katie used to say in college that I spent the whole time taking about the glory days of high school. Yes, I am that girl and I loved high school. Then once college had come and gone and I lived with my favorite people in my favorite house in Atlanta I couldn't help but talk about the carefree days of Athens. And now in this first season of marriage I am sure Brad tires of hearing of the trouble we got into living in the Terrace...the four single girls for nearly 3 years in Atlanta. Ahhh......good times for sure....maybe the best times. Anyway, per my husband's request I am doing a better job seizing the day. You know, trying not to live for the past to come again and trying not to dream away the present. This mindset surely helps me enjoy the cold air in the room in the mornings when I get up and the brilliant sunshine throughout the day as I roam about Atlanta. More so, it helps me enjoy each conversation throughout the day without thinking in my head about my next thing to do or the next place to be. God is good. Marriage is good and has surely helped slow me down a little.

Cheers to a relaxing weekend in the woods with my puppy dog and my cute husband and his gun and favorite friends and yummy food (and probably little sleep! :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008


This morning's church service was one of those that hurts so good. It's not the kind of guilt that you feel when you have necessarily done something wrong. It's the kind that hurts just because you realize you have been so blind and seeming could have been missing out on something more. I love how God does that! The simplest messages sometimes take the hardest hits...helping reming me of my priorities and what really matters. And what really matters to me, deep down, below the worries of needing a job, whether we should move, and how Brad's job will go in this market - is that God is supreme in my life. And just as Andy said this morning, "He knows the things I need. " (Matthew 6:27-34)

Brad and I left both feeling a little lighter and a little more free today. We are going to take Amos to Piedmont park this afternoon and let him enjoy the cold. He has the most perfect winter white coat growing right now and he just seems to love to be outside! We are going to just enjoy today and just worry about today and not think about what we can't control tomorrow. There are certainly more uncertain things in our lives right now than certain things but the certain things carry much more weight. God knows and loves us surely more than the birds of the air and the flowers and yet he takes care of them. How much more will He take care of us, who are made in His image? Oh, what a good morning. Thank you thank you thank you.

Here you go: Take 40 minutes and know you'll feel a little lighter after.....
(Click on the turquoise looking cd cover, then choose the second sermon - Switching Sides)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dad's home!

Mr. Brad is home from work today to honor the veterans of our country. I am so giddy. Now he can see exactly how exciting my days are here at the condo. I can't stop poking him just to make sure it is real. Yep, it's real. He is here next to me eating cheerios.

So what shall we do today on this little gift of a day off? Brad has always wanted to go to the zoo. I love the monkeys. This is an option but Brad says only if we can take our child, Amos. We need to paint some places on our walls. I like to paint because it is soothing and I like seeing the end product. Brad is looking around the condo for projects we can do today. Unfortunately, when you live in a brand new condo that another man owns there aren't too many "projects" to do.

Regardless, I am just happy that our country chooses to honor Veterans today and I am happy that Brad's bank wanted to participate in the holiday. I love Tuesday's at home with Mr. Brad and the famous dog and no plans! Yippeee.......

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I have 7 minutes to spare before my next class.
That's right, "class."
"What is she up to now," you are thinking. I'll tell you.....
This morning at 6:23am I got a call from maybe my new best friend Dunn. He asked if I wanted to sub an 8th grade class at a local private school for a teacher that was out. What? I haven't stepped foot in a middle school classroom....since, well, I wore baggy jeans and pigtails. I had some other anticipated appointments today but I somehow mustered up a "sure, I'll be there."
I know middle school anything shouldn't be too intimidating but I don't even remember what you did in Middle School. Will these kids know how to read? Do they call me "Mrs. Something" or can they just call me "Betsy?" Is there a dress code? Are tall boots too risque in middle school? I thought I'd fall fast asleep for another 30 minutes to complete my now-usual 9 hours before my big day began but I was so anxious and giddy just to have somewhere to be by 8:25am so I hopped out of bed with energy! I was a minute or two late because I didn't know where the building was and I couldn't decide on my outfit. I mean, I want to be the cool teacher, you know? I want to be the substitute teacher they never forget! I think it's gonna be a good day of learning. 1800 SAT we come!

(I just heard a bell. Do I need to go somewhere? Where's the lunchroom? I'm hungry. Is lunch soon. Aggghhhh....i don't know what the bells mean!)

Anywho, first period I made up a jeopardy game to quiz the little boogers on their vocabulary. Words like immigrate and emigrate...persecution and brain drain along with toxic waste and the Continental Divide. Many I knew....several I didn't. I think they liked my game though. The boys won and the girls didn't like me much for that. And get this....every kid in this school gets an apple laptop. I plugged mine into the white board and then the kids could answer the vocab by touching the screen and matching it to the right definition. WHAT??? Brad, can we send our kiddie-poos here? I even like the uniforms. I think I want to do middle school all over again with my own apple laptop and knee socks.

Okay, the bell rang again. I'll be back. I need to tell you about God's goodness yesterday. Off to class.....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I feel new today

I hope to have time to explain why. Much to do today but I hope I am back. For now.......

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
His mercies never come to an end.
They are new every morning.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

One thing remains the same

This certainly isn't my writing but my sweet friend Rachel sent it today and by-golly, I like it. I hope you have voted! I love wearing my little sticker all over town and feeling more patriotic than a cracker jack on the fourth of july!

God Is Still in Control
David Langerfeld
Nov 4, 2008

God Is Still In Control

By the end of the day today, we will know a lot about the future of the United States. You might be surprised to learn that I am about to predict the outcome - I am about to predict what will happen after the election. Before the votes are counted, even before the voting booths close, I can predict with 100% accuracy that the following things will happen... 

 1. The Bible will still have all the answers. 
 2. Prayer will still work. 
 3. The Holy Spirit will still move. 
 4. God will still inhabit the praise of His people. 
 5. God will still pour out His blessings upon His people. 
 6. There will still be God-anointed teaching and preaching. 
 7. There will still be singing of praise to God. 
 8. There will still be room at the Cross. 
 9. Jesus will still love His own.
10. Jesus will still save the lost.

Whatever the outcome of this election, remember, God is still in control.

Today, tomorrow, forever...
God is still in control.

We'll be telling our grandkids about this one

For a girl that has been partially employed for most of the past year I've spent more than my desired time watching the news, the Today show, and each and every political debate. I can't believe that even though tomorrow there will be plenty of commentary and analyzing going on by all the loud people in D.C -it will all be over. I won't have to watch another horrendous Jim Martin commercial again. Hallelujah! Really, I can't take one more. I've gotten to where I mute the tv when I am home. I like to have something on so it doesn't feel so lonely in the condo but I literally refuse to listen to one more of those ads. Oh my goodness....I am not I am typing I look up and there it is again! I surrender. No more tv. It is off. Done.

Carrying on......Today is obviously a pretty huge day for our country. The fact alone that there is an African-American man and a woman in the election is something to talk about. Not that my generation has been around all that long but I do recall 5th grade history in Mrs. Cooks class and all of those men we learned about from the last 200+ years. I didn't fully understand that social changes would soon mark many of my young adult years......the fall of communism, the rise of terrorism, the tolerance of all kinds of people who call themselves American, the decline of American morality, and the rise of Starbucks! Those are the most memorable ones for me. I mean today is a big day.....not only are we voting for either a male and a female presidential ticket or an African American led ticket - Starbucks is giving away free coffee!!! I have waited for this day for a long time! After spending my future kids' college fund on frothy coffee flavored drinks the last several years it is about time for something completely free! No "after 2pm-2 dollars off" type stuff.....FREE FREE FREE! So, as I am sure you are already in line as I write or you are preparing to go it - get out and cast our vote for history! The free things don't last forever now! If not for the love of your country, for the love of free things! Here are some other free things below, too. Basically, go vote. Get your sticker. Go get some chicken fingers at Shanes. Yummo! Go to work for a few good hours. Talk about your crazy wait in line this morning and how you didn't know any of the other names of the other offices you voted on. About 1:30 you are going to need a break. Walk over to your local S'bucks and they'll give you a mid-day-pick-me-up-cup-o-coffee....on the honor system, too! You just have to tell them you sticker needed. But don't lie...that goes back to the morale decline of America thing. Then, finish your emailing at work and on your way home to see the kiddos - stop by and get you a big ice cream cone at Ben and Jerry's! All for free. I love election day.

Starbucks for President!
The Fresh sign is Always on at Krispy Kreme.
Shane says VOTE.
We all scream for ICE-CREAM!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tis the season

I drove around Thursday night after Brad and I had dinner together and parted ways. I drove through the large, picturesque neighborhood across the street from us. First, though, I got a signature hot chocolate from Mr. Starbucks and I found my cd I made last year of Christmas songs. These aren't your over the top "I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus" type Christmas songs but the ones that just get my heart stirring for a little mistle toe, cold weather, and lights on the trees. Sufjan Stevens authors many of them....Holy, Holy, Holy and Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Songs with more than enough joy to get you feeling all giddy about the season to come but also just enough tranquility to help you relax and not get so anxious about trees and shopping and lights and crazy family gatherings. Anyway, this night I just needed to feel Christmas so I went and found it. Apparently these days many homes decorate for halloween like they do for it's neighboring holiday. There were orange lights in trees and lanterns placed in windows. There were circles of little ghosts planted in yards. Since it was the night before Halloween I even caught several families carving their pumkin in the front lawn. I turned my tunes up a little louder and sipped away at my hot chocolate. I am sure husband was a little concerned as I should have been following him home from dinner (since we met eachother as he was coming from work). I didn't think twice though....I was in heaven. I could start to feel crisp fall air on my cheeks with my windows down and the piercing red leaves of every 4th or 5th tree just made me melt. You see, I love these next few months. I love everything about them. This year I have been especially anxious for my most beloved time of year to arrive. I think it is something about change. Not Obama type change but real change - God given change in the colors of the trees and the sky. The steep change in temperature. The change in priorities with lots of family time in the works surrounding Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. And the change of pace. Maybe it isn't true for everyone but I feel like even as calendars get more ability to truly savor my hot chocolate or hold onto the notes of Christmas hymns sung at church and the desire to just sit and be with family - all increases.
Just like the stores in the mall, every year I anticipate this favorite time of year even more. I'm excited to actually have some "annual" traditions between Brad and I now that we get to experience our second fall season together. We will certainly go see A Christmas Carol at the Alliance. The first day of the best Santa's arrival at Phipps we will walk over and watch all the kiddos and their families tell him their wish lists. We also plan to visit the Atlanta History Center again for the caroling and the lights. Oh, I am just so so happy for the change in the air. What a perfect time of year! Let the leaves turn and fall and let the temperatures drop for 'tis the season.....though maybe a little early!

Saturday, November 1, 2008