Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The last 2 weeks...



We went to Disney World

Annerson discovered ballons

Annerson discovered Florida heat
(yes, her hair is drenched w/ sweat, not water)


We took pictures for a couple that just got engaged at Sea World.
His camera broke 10 mins. before he proposed.
Aren't they cutie?

I remembered why I wanted to be a marine biologist in high school


Lex's brother Glenn & Rachelle got married in Orlando

Glenn entered the wedding reception dressed like this
Uh...


Anners and I shared a special mommy daughter dance during the reception

Annerson continued to find new and improved ways to play Peek-a-Boo


We had a sweet visit from Gramie


we had TWO 3 day visits from my dad
1 before we went to Florida and one after
(we kinda look alike, huh?)


It's been a fun July for the Dooleys.

Wednesday morning we leave Lubbock again. This time will be super fun but in a very different way. Lex is flying to Boston to drive back to Texas with his best friend Graham. I am flying to St. Louis to visit my brother & sister and the kids. Lex will be gone a week. I'll be gone 10 days! I'm almost hyperventilating just typing it out.

Lex has never been away from Annerson or me this long.
The separation will be hard so please pray for us!!

P.S. Lex went over to tell Allen, our crazy neighbor, that we were leaving town. He came back and said that Allen didn't even live there anymore. He just moved out and 2 other guys are living there now. He didn't even say bye.

I'm off to finish the last minute packing and then it's off to bed. I'll try to update from the road but I can't make any promises. (:

He's Enough,
Leah


Thursday, July 23, 2009

She left us

Tara moved back home to Houston in May. She and I met on mission trip a long time ago...6 years I think. She thought I was crazy and I thought she was an adorable girl who had just found Jesus. She was at the beginning of a lifelong journey of faith, a journey that I was blessed to get to become a part of. That was the start of our friendship. Years later we are closer than ever. I started discipling her 2 years ago when she was in our Challenge leadership group. She has become like a little sister to me and a friend I can share my family & faith with.

A few words to describe Tara
a genuine friend
faithful to the Lord
loves the Word of God
precious sense of humor
golden smile

Annerson especially misses Aunt Tara. I've always said she is Annerson's biggest fan (besides our family members that adore her!). She has been there through it all; finding out I was pregnant, sitting on the couch with me & saying, "I can't believe there's a baby in there! It's so weird!", watching me get big, coming to the hospital right after church got out when Annerson was born, witnessing Annerson's milestones & accomplishments, countless hours spent playing with Annerson in our home, countless hours spent in our home doing nothing, and most of all, countless hours spent in the Word together, crying, laughing, growing...

I miss her. Lubbock isn't the same without Tara. Somedays I wish she'd just call me up and say "I'm on my way over. What kind of drink do you want from Sonic?"

Here are some pictures from the last couple of days before Tara left

Anners & Tara reading her new GiGi book


sweet friends

it started hitting Tara that she was leaving


It started hitting Anners that she was leaving


still sad...



opening her going away presents

right before she drove out of Lubbock

Ollie...very sad. She and Tara shared a special bond.
More like a love/hate relationship actually.

"You can't leave if I'm sitting in your seat!"




Tara,
I know you miss Annerson probably the most of everyone you left in Lubbock. She misses you, too. She really does. So here is a special birthday message just from her.


We are so excited for you Tara.
I can't wait to see how God grows your faith this year. Thank you for loving us so much.
I hope you have an amazing birthday today!!!


Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Yo-Baby Yo-Baby Yo-Baby Yo!

For all you moms out there!!!!

I have a sweet friend who is doing a cool YoBaby giveaway. It's totally free.

If you don't have babies I'd still enter. The yogurt is the bomb. I feel guilty, but I take bites of Annerson's sometimes.

It ends Monday night so hurry!

Jessica-I know you'll be getting in on this :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Freedom from what?

Tonight I am going to the in-laws for the traditional 4th of July BBQ. I kinda wish I had something a little more exciting to do. Lex is working though & I had too many invites to narrow it down to one...well, that last part wasn't true. So grandma's house is it. I love Lex's parents so it will be fun!

The big city of Wolfforth puts on a noteworthy fireworks show. I'm not planning on keeping Annerson up to watch it so I'll probably be viewing the spectacular lights from the kitchen window! Oh the things we gladly sacrifice for our children.

So even though I'm not super focused on patriotic activities and the such, I did wake up with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for the freedom I experience personally. I've been thinking about it all day.

I am so free...from the burden of trying to do the right thing and be a moral person in an effort to win God's approval. Don't hear that I don't strive to please God by obeying Him or living morally. What I mean is that I get to spend my life on earth and my eternal life in the presence of God and the ONLY reason I get to do so is because the minute I understood that Christ died for MY sins I was called righteous, or saved, or in simple terms-forgiven. Forgiven for the past, present & future sins that are in my heart. The best part of this is that I never had to prove myself worthy of Christ's love. He called me in my sin-not after I had it all together or had worked to clean myself up. The best of the best attempts on my part are not even on the radar in light of a holy & perfect God. No matter how hard I try, I will never be a good enough person to deserve God's love. He is infinitely holy. I am not. It doesn't matter to what degree or level I might be categorized in as a moral person. I fall short of God's glory & therefore have no hope...unless...unless Jesus frees me from the penalty of the law by way of the cross!!

I've heard this over and over and over, all my life. But lately it is just overwhelming to think about. Today it is overwhelming to think about. So I celebrate this freedom that I dwell in day after day.

I am thankful for my country, yes. I am thankful for our founding fathers & the blood that was shed to secure our liberty. I am thankful that I am not persecuted as many of my brothers & sisters in Christ because we have "religious freedom" in America. I put quotations around religious freedom b/c it is quickly dwendling for Christians in America. Example: preachers are being persecuted for calling homosexuality or abortion a sin in the pulpit. Really? So basically we are "free" to believe in the Bible as long as it doesn't offend anyone and at that point we receive the discrimination. That's a totally different topic. Regardless, we still experience so many more freedoms as believers than other nations allow. For that I am grateful.

But I chose to not only celebrate our nation's freedom but the author of that freedom as well as eternal freedom for those who believe. I love the way Matt Chandler describes celebrating. Celebrate the source of the shadow and not the shadow. The creator and not the created. Makes so much more sense doesn't it?

These are 3 of my favorite verses in the whole Bible. They all have to do with freedom.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17

Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

It is for freedom that Christ set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

So as you celebrate freedom tonight it is my prayer that you really contemplate what you are free from and what you need to be freed from. I praise God for so many things that He has brought me out of and ultimately freed me from. And still, there are areas of my life where I am in bondage to sin & seek freedom. By no means do I ever stop struggling to be free from my own sin.

So as you eat homemade ice cream & watch fireworks tonight ask yourself: Do you know the Truth? Do you know the Spirit of the Lord? Are you burdened by a yoke of slavery? Do you know that there is freedom in Christ & what the freedom is from? I'm warning you that these are tough questions. They can shake you up inside and out. However, I propose that the answers to these questions are by far the most freeing of all.

Be safe & don't burn yourself!






Thursday, July 2, 2009

cute, cutie, cuteness, cuteousity, cuterific, & cuteastic



This was by far my favorite month with Annerson. She experienced leaps and bounds in all areas of her development. From totally mastering the "bye-bye" wave to signing "more" at meal times, Annerson blew my mind as I watched her study, communicate, learn & grow this month. She is slowly adding more words to her repertoire; bye-bye, mama, dada, ki-ki (Ollie), bear...I'm sure the average onlooker wouldn't be able to understand her...but we can! She tells us what she wants by pointing (to everything I might add!) and grunting. On the flip side, she loves to shake her head no if she doesn't want something.

Just the other day she started standing without holding onto anything. That's weird. Guess the next step is....uh, a step? We'll see what this month holds.

Thank you Lord for 10 beautiful months with this sweet baby girl.



Isn't our cat HUGE?

"One last stretch before I get up
and walk away from this crazy kid."

This picture capture well the relationship between Ollie & Annerson.
"Uh! I can't believe you don't want to play
pull ki-ki's tail with me Ollie! How rude!"

I was trying to capture her signing "more" but couldn't quite get it in time.
Anyways, that's what she was telling me in this picture.
"MORE PUFFS PLEASE!!!"

She knows how to give kisses!


My favorite picture I took this month