Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Wedding

This is the Rehearsal Dinner, and of all the pictures below, this one may be my favorite. It's THEM, Taylor and John David. Natural, making each other laugh, joyous, in love. To answer two questions you might have...One being--Where did I get all of these incredible pictures? John David's sister, Kerie, is a photographer and she took all of these shots. Kerie, I am beyond impressed! Thank you, Thank you! Second--Why is John David wearing a crown (of some silly sort) and a robe at his Rehearsal Dinner? Neither Taylor or John David had ever had a real girlfriend/boyfriend. As a sophomore in college, if you're Taylor, things could have started looking a little grim. It wasn't that boys didn't like her. They did. But, they were always either too close of a friend to imagine kissing, OR after a date or two, they got on her last nerve. The summer before she met JD, God gave my grandma a verse for Taylor: Zachariah 9:9, "Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, ..." So for the next few months, my Mom started claiming that verse to Taylor over and over whenever she would get discouraged, "Behold, your king, he comes!" John David's Mom was making a joke about this in her speech at the Rehearsal Dinner, hence the crown and robe. Now, I am about to show some more pics, but first I want to explain the lyrics I'm going to post at the end of all the pictures. Jeremiah wrote a song (that he and his sister Alex sang at the wedding) about these two. The first part of the song is about Taylor's king coming. The second part, the boy part, is about John David. JD is a brilliant guy. Like, he could have played football at Harvard kind of smart. He is a man full of ambition, and the fact that he went from Phoenix, AZ to Auburn, AL for college is quite astonishing. He went to visit AU as sort of a courtesy to his parents (who both went there), but in no way expected that to be his college home. Once there, he just knew it was where God wanted him to stay, and now he says he came to Auburn to meet...yep, old Taylor. One more thing that will help the song make sense (if you don't know Taylor at all) is that Taylor loves to sing and play the guitar--a lot. Hope you enjoy the pictures, and the song. It was an amazing weekend. Love you T, and John David! You make me smile.
John David dancing with his Mom at the dance party we had after the Rehearsal Dinner.

Pace trying to keep us all in line before we walk down the aisle :)The reception was by the pond at my Aunt Alice and Uncle Dan's house. WE could not have asked for more perfect weather, THANK YOU JESUS! It was a 70 degree brilliant fall morning.Dapple Dapple!This is John David's sister Lanie and her little girl Addie. Don't you just want to eat both of them up.

And they were off! In a horse-drawn carriage, courtesy of Dr. Maddox.

Taylor and John David's Song

[Girl singing]From the the mouth of my own Mom,/"Girl behold your king he comes."/Long before I could see/What that summer would bring to me./Where was my faith Abraham,/When all I could see was my empty hand?

Where does a king come from?/Is it strength, is it love that gives life to his bones?/Does he come from the heaven's sky or from fairy tales,/Or somewhere in time?

[Girl Chorus] My faith could only fly so high/When all alone out in the sky,/Now that he's finally come to me/There's no such thing as gravity/Mom, can you see, He brought my king?

[Boy singing] Where did the wind come from,/That drew me up so far from my home?/I recall an angel's song,/That told my heart where I belong./Before she sang I did not understand,/What moves the heart of a man.

Where does an angel come from?/ Is it music, is it love that gives life to her bones?/Does she come from the heaven's sky/Or from stories and legends, or somewhere in time?

[Boy Chorus] A heart can only fly so high/When all alone out in the sky./When that heart hears an angel sing/There's no such thing as gravity/And that's the way it's been since you sang to me.

Then, there's a bridge where the guy and girl sing back and forth some of the lines from above. Then it ends, with a combined chorus:

A heart can only fly so high/When all alone out in the sky./When that heart finally finds its wings,/There's no such thing as gravity,/And that's the way it is with you and me.

[Girl]From the mouth of my own Mom,/"Girl behold your king he comes/[Boy]I recall an angel's song/That told my heart where I belong.

Monday, October 27, 2008

To the Faithful

I am so sorry for my crappy posting of late. My sister got married on Saturday, and I've been... occupied, to say the least! I want to post pictures. I want to tell you all about it. I need to unpack our overflowing car, go to the grocery store so that Mary Aplin doesn't waste away due to malnutrition from not having whole milk, wash our PILE of laundry, figure out where in the heck I am going to find some pictures to post considering I was in a fog the whole weekend and certainly didn't think about taking photos, and finally figure out where between Dothan and Birmingham we put the power cord for our computer since it's just about to die.

Miss Yall!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Simply Enchanting

I am not an artist, but every once in a while a picture or painting or sculpture will just really move me. This picture did. I wanted to share. I saw it on my friend Stephanie's blog. Wishing you all enchanting fall afternoons in the sunshine...

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Yep, that title stands for exactly what you think it does...the S-word. In a spirit of keeping it real over here on the Maddox family blog, I'm going to share with you that it's not always "Onesie Wednesday" and "Coffee Into Water." Unfortunately, everything that comes out of my mouth is not pleasing to God and useful for the instruction, encouragement, and admonition of my babies :) Yesterday, I realized that I had forgotten something at the grocery store. It hit me mid-conversation with Jeremiah about something totally different, and I stamped my foot and said, "Dad-gummmit!" Pace, who was sitting on the couch in front of me, jumped up, stamped her foot and said, "S@!#"
Jeremiah and I both wheeled around to look at her and gasped in horror. She could tell by the looks on our faces that the new word she'd decided to try out, did not sit so well with Mommy and Daddy. She buried her face in her hands and refused to look at us or speak. We kept trying to reassure her that she wasn't in trouble, we just wanted to know where she'd heard that word. In the meantime, Jeremiah is looking over her head at me and laughing and shaking his head. I wanted to tell him he was wrong, that she never would have heard that from me, but sadly, I had a different story playing through my mind.

Last week I was driving to Smith's Variety--on a happy errand to pick out birthday paraphernalia for our little birthday girl. Now, I have a tendency to always run late, which I believe has led to the tendency to perpetually drive too fast and follow too closely--even when I'm not running late anywhere. I was on a REALLY curved road (For those of you from Birmingham, I was on the road between English and Mt Brook Village, you know just before you get to the Zoo entrance), and I noticed that the car in front of me began applying their brake. I assumed it was the natural brake touch that anybody would give on a curvy road, but as my big SUV continued barrelling toward their little car, my mind also began to register that their left brake light wasn't lit up and THEREFORE maybe they were making a left turn and not just a little brake tap. The road is so curvy that I couldn't afford to hurl myself into the other lane and risk a head-on collision, so I just slammed down as hard as I could on my brakes and out it came, "S$#!"

As soon as it started, I realized what I was saying, but it was too late. We managed to stop within a breath of that car (Dad I know you are getting ready to call me with a lecture on driving too fast, following too close, and the precious cargo I am carrying--You're right!), and all Pace said was, "Mommy, why were you trying to run into that car? It scared me!" Whew! I thought. She didn't notice. She was too startled by the near accident to register that ugly word I let out. But I was wrong. Here we stood, a full week later, and that word was coming right back out. Just like she absorbs those Bible stories, apparently she absorbs cuss words too.

Once we calmed her down, we explained that it was a REALLY ugly word...even worse than stupid. She cried and said she was sorry. I felt horrible because I'd taught her the dern thing and here she was feeling all guilt-ridden about it. She hasn't said it again. Let's just hope her Mommy can keep her tongue under wraps so that she doesn't get a second lesson on the art of colorful language.

(I wasn't sure if I ever posted any pictures of those first dresses I made. These are them. Try not to notice that Pace's bows are the wrong color and WIRE-rimmed! I thought you might enjoy a shot of her penitent face :))

Monday, October 13, 2008

To Mary Aplin on Her First Birthday

(Again, pics courtesy of www.abryanphoto.com)
It's hard to believe that one year ago today, your Daddy was begging me to stop cleaning the house and doing laundry and GO to the hospital. I'd been having contractions since 5 am, and at 2 pm I was still nesting like a crazed animal. I finally gave in, but insisted that we stop and eat at Subway on our way, because I hadn't eaten all day and I knew they wouldn't give me anything once we got to the hospital. So, your Daddy and I were sitting in Subway, where I was happily enjoying my Club on wheat and the look of panic on your "normally calm when it comes to anything medical" Daddy's face, when he finally ripped the sandwich out of my hands, stuffed it in the bag and said, "I can't take this anymore. There are a bunch of innocent people in this restaurant who don't realize that you could plop a baby on the floor any second. Get in the car!"

We went to the hospital and 2 very short hours later, I was holding you in my arms--in absolute awe to be meeting the little person that had been bustling around in my tummy for the past 10 months...The following 2 months would be a blur. Bebe was so sick, you had to be hospitalized for a week with a UTI, because we were in the hospital, Pace celebrated her second birthday in Dothan without us, and then there was the normal new-mother-who's-up-4-times-a-night zombieism. As soon as the doctor released us from Children's, we three girls left Daddy to fend for himself and moved to Dothan to help/be with Bebe. There are some things about that time we spent with Bebe, your second month of life, that I want you to know.

It was a dark time for me. You needed me for food, for comfort, for bouncing (Oh how we bounced to keep you happy!)...and nobody else would do. In some sense that was hard, because I felt like Bebe needed me too, and I wanted so much to be close to her as often as I could. Bebe needed you too. You--such a tiny, perfect, glorious distraction from her pain. But you were also a distraction from the sleep she so desperately needed. So we would escape, you and I, and since you wanted to nurse every 3 or 4 hours, we would escape a lot. You would nurse, and as I sat in the dim quiet rooms, I would stare at the white peach fuzz, perfectly round head, and angelic profile that made you and there I could find a release for all my emotions. You heard me cry out to God, begging that He honor His promise to heal Bebe. You were the comfort for my paralyzing fear. And you, new life at its most pristine, served as a constant reminder that the world would not stop turning--no matter what happened with Bebe. We sang "Great is Thy Faithfulness" a lot during that dark time, and I can remember lifting my heart to God as I sang "strength for today" and then catching my breath as I squeezed you in my arms and sang "hope for tomorrow."

While Jesus called Bebe back to himself, in His great mercy he left me you. And as you learned to smile at the world, I felt myself learning how to smile again as well. You have a smile that is filled with such joy that it's irresistible. That smile has brought more happiness to my life over the past year than any other singular thing. You are such a gift to your Mama!

There have been those who have chided me over the past year for your great dependence on me. You have been, unquestionably, a Mama's girl--screaming as though limbs were being ripped from your body if anyone attempted to take you from my arms. But I haven't minded the criticism or felt the need to explain. I know how deep the valley was that forged our dependence on one another. Only you and I know how many tears that sweet head of yours has had to absorb. I believe you took in a little piece of me that I couldn't hold myself.

The majority of your first year may have belonged to me, but I am afraid I am rapidly losing my spot. Your sister mothers you so, and takes such delight in all your little nuances that you can't help but belong to each other. There are many mornings at breakfast when you two just look at each other and giggle uncontrollably. You delight in secrets born of childhood, that I am afraid Mommys cannot understand. Then, there's the fearless spirit you've been developing over the past few months that whispers to your Daddy's heart. We both were trying to coax your big sister, on her long sturdy legs, into the waves at the beach. I looked beside me, and you were going face first, on all fours, right into the splashing spray. I've laughed as you've bravely attempted to follow your sister down every slide, off every step, and up every hill. You have an adventurous and brave heart, that reminds me so much of what I love about your Daddy. So, while you are still the daughter of my body and heart, I am sadly happy to watch as you plant yourself more deeply in the lives of those who love you.

Thank you for loving me unconditionally in the most unloveable period of my life. Thank you for the privilege of teaching you and watching you grow. Thank you for your smile, that sets my world ablaze. And thank you most of all, just for being Mapple Dapple. I love you, and happy happy first birthday baby girl.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Onesie Wednesday

I've been wondering...Is Pace too big for a onesie? SB, I hear your voice loudly screaming, "No!!" :) All I know is, there is nothing quite so cozy and inviting as these two little things, clean as the day they were born, smelling like baby lotion, and eyelids heavy with sleep. If they are zipped up tight in matching onesies, well, you just don't get much sweeter than that. I got these in SAM'S! of all places, and while they are very soft, they are also lightweight. I feel like a commercial, but anyway, Happy Onesie Wednesday!

Monday, October 6, 2008

My Weekend

Instead of dealing with this (the wreckage of a chocolate chip cookie):
Or examining the deep wrongs associated with this (yes those are matches and the box to strike them with):
Or cleaning this (coffee grounds and Splenda):

I was doing THIS (hanging out in Atlanta for my sister's bachelorette party):

Taylor's friends are awesome and we had a blast...perhaps a little bit too much of a blast :) I spent Saturday morning cuddled up with the sisters in a king size bed watching a special on New Kids on the Block. I don't know WHEN I've wallered in the bed in the daylight and just watched TV...it was so relaxing!

Sunday night was Kendall's KD initiation, so the four of us (sisters) went to Auburn together. We laid out, went for a run at Keisel Park, got showers in the dorm, and then all gathered to put a special little pin on Kendall. I felt like a college student all weekend (although, I am pretty sure I didn't look like one :)) Jeremiah's parents kept the girls, and all in all, I'm feeling guilty about all the mini-vacs (as Jeremiah calls them) I've been taking lately. Oh well, it's been fun!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Coffee Into Water

(This is a picture our friend Bryan took after Mary Aplin's baby dedication. http://www.abryanphoto.com/)
Last Thursday, Pace was still hanging on to the remnants of a fever, and she couldn't go to Mother's Morning Out. It was hard on me. I wait feverishly for each one that rolls around, planning my week around really getting things done during that time. This particular Thursday, I had around 400 wedding invitations that had to be stuffed, sealed, stamped and put in the mail before 5:00. So, I lay Mary Aplin down for her nap and joined Pace at the breakfast table for a quick bite and a devotion. This used to be our normal ritual, but since Mary Aplin has started eating breakfast too, I am normally feeding her (instead of myself) while Pace eats. I clarify this because, while saying goodbye to my breakfast, I have also said goodbye to a lot of my devotions. At least, they are much more sporadic.

I feel Pace watching me while I read John. Suddenly she says, through a big bite of cheese omelet, "Mommy, will you read that to me?"

"Pace, there are no pictures in this book. Why don't I read to you from your Bible later." In my mind I'm thinking, "Come on, I just wanted a quiet devotion this one morning."

"Please Mommy. Please will you read it to me for just a second?" Ok, I cannot sit here and refuse to read to my child from the Bible. I acquiesce. I start reading somewhere halfway through chapter 1 of John. I read a bit and then try to explain in more simple terms what I am saying...The child is enthralled. "More Mommy. Will you keep reading?" This went on through Jesus' first miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding. Nicodemus coming to Jesus in the middle of the night, and then Praise Jesus!, I sat there in the morning light and tried my humble best to explain John 3:16 to my 3 year old. It was such a gift...

Now, I will tell you that I had to fight Satan, who kept drawing my eyes over to the wedding invitations scattered all over my dining room table. Beckoning me to stop reading and come be productive. Thank goodness the Holy Spirit spoke more loudly than the devil that particular morning. Assuring me that if God laid out the opportunity before me to share Him, with my own child for goodness sake, He would also provide the time for those stupid invitations. And you know, He did. They were all sealed up and in the mail by 2:30 that afternoon.

After we read from my Bible, Pace ran to get her Bible so that she could see the pictures of what we'd been talking about. I will tell you that there was a line about Jesus being raised up like Moses' staff--which turned into a snake, and this was by far more intriguing to her than water into wine or salvation. However, I trusted that a seed had been planted in her heart and we've spent most of the past week reading about Moses, the burning bush, and that snake/staff incident. So this morning, a week later, I was amazed to see just how well she had been listening.

Jeremiah got a break from work and called to see if we wanted to meet him at a coffee shop for breakfast before I took Pace to MMO. Since you all know how much I love to go out for breakfast :), I threw the girls' clothes on and we were out the door. After we'd finished eating, I pointed out to Jeremiah that I felt bad because (while we'd been sipping away on coffee) the girls had not had anything to drink. He went up to the counter, and the girl who worked there put some water in a coffee cup, lid and all, and handed it down to Pace. As Pace walked back to the table with her cup, she handled it very carefully, expecting that it held hot coffee. She lifted it gingerly to her lips and you could see the shock register as she discovered she was drinking cold water instead of hot coffee. She looked at me and said, "Did Jesus turn my coffee into water?!"

Y'all, Jeremiah and I both started laughing so hard, I almost spewed my coffee. In her mind, Jesus was in the business of miraculously changing beverages. If water into wine, why not coffee into water? And just as we'd read together a week before, about Jesus explaining to Nicodemus that he would need faith like a child in order to be saved, we saw that childlike faith in action. She never questioned if the miracle was real or not. In fact, she believed so completely that she expected Jesus to be doing the same type of thing in her own sweet little life. I am utterly convicted about doing my devotions more regularly/in front of/with my children. Just as she watches me drinking out of a coffee cup and wants desperately to do the same; I know that watching my hunger for the Word will spur her own hunger. Thank you Lord for the lesson, I pray you'll help me be consistent, but real, before my little minds.