Ten Secrets

I have seen a few of you doing this and I just really wanted to take a shot at it!  I can’t promise I’ll finish it in ten days but I’m going to work hard to finish it before you forget that I ever started!


Ten Secrets

1. I hate puppies.  Yes you heard me right.  No I don’t need you to cast out any demons.  I really truly in a most intensely genuine way HATE puppies.  When you look at a puppy and see a sweet ball of kisses and fur I see 12 months of cleaning up pee, poop, hair and teeth.  12 months of those horrible sinking gut moments where you KNOW that the puppy did not just eat your laptop screen, poop in your high heels three minutes before you’re supposed to walk out the door for church, or pee on your son’s toys three minutes BEFORE you took it out of your son’s mouth.  Don’t get me wrong I love Spock I’m glad he’s a part of our family but in all honesty I can’t wait for the magic moment when he turns 1 and this is all behind us.  SHUSH that belief is all that’s keeping me sane.

2. I put a deposit down on my engagement ring BEFORE Ryan bought it for me.  I loved it so much and was so afraid that he wouldn’t be able to afford it that I took matters into my own hands.  He proposed three days later with THE ring.  I snuck back to the jewelers and retrieved my deposit with a serious case of shamefaced.

3. I came seriously close to having the wrong spelling of Ryan’s name on our wedding invitations.  I had known him my whole life with not one single occasion to see his name written down.  I thought his last name was spelled L-O-B-B.  Fast forward to a few months before our wedding.  My maid of honor, Emily, and I are out shopping for the wedding and took a break to have lunch with Ryan.  We had just discussed going to order the wedding invitations after lunch when Ryan walked in.  He was wearing a ball cap that had the word L-A-U-B-E embroidered across it.  I glanced at it and wondered for a second what it said and dismissed it.  About ten minutes later Emily piped up and asked, “Ryan, I’ve been wondering what your hat says?”  He looked at her with the most incredulous look and replied, “Uh it’s my last name… you’re joking right?”  I let our a horrified sigh of relief… I had been within an hour of ordering wedding invitations with the wrong name on them! 

4. I spent the whole three years we lived in Germany desperately wanting to go home and shop in a Walmart.  I am utterly ashamed that I did not take full advantage of the amazing opportunity that God had set before us and sometimes wonder if the horrific ghetto walmart I am now saddled with as my ONLY shopping avenue is His punishment for my ungratefulness.

5. I’m absolutely lousy at making friends.  It took me two years to make friends in Germany… I had six months with those wonderful ladies and I’ve spent two years missing them.  As a result I spend the majority of my time alone. 

6. I think that John Cena’s arms are the sexiest things I’ve ever seen.  I watch truly terrible B movies just to see his shirts get progressively ripped up and his arms come out to play.  Rawr!  The funny part is that nothing else about him is attractive to me… just the arms.  🙂  (and this one is not a secret to ryan!)

7. Sometimes I miss being fat.  I feel like I’ve got a foot in both camps and that means I don’t belong anywhere.  I identify with girls that struggle with their weight.  Sometimes I catch myself jumping into their conversations with an enthusiastic “I know exactly what you mean/feel” and get this look that screams “What is she talking about!  She’s making fun of me!” and I realize that unless you know my entire back history I am just a skinny girl that is acting like my extra 10 pounds is the same as their extra 100.  On the opposite end of the spectrum…  I don’t fit in with skinny girls because I DON’T understand being upset over a few extra pounds and I DON’T wear bikinis because they would show my scars.  I can’t be flip about my weight because of the long HARD battle I fought to get here.  But until the day I walk around with “I USED TO BE A FAT GIRL” tattooed on my forehead… I just don’t fit in.

8. I hate non fiction.  I try and try and try to better my mind by reading a biography or a self help book and in the 11 years since I graduated high school I can honestly say that I have finished reading exactly ONE non fiction book.  Forget bettering my mind… give me a good old fashioned paperback any day of the week.  I’m a speed reader, I go through hundreds of books every year but the 9 non fiction books I’ve been working on for literally YEARS are still stacked on my nightstand collecting dust!

9. Right after Isaac was born I peed my pants.  Ryan was taking a turn changing a diaper and Isaac anointed him as a first time father.  He shot gun diarreahed all over Ryan… it hit the wall five feet BEHIND Ryan.  It was in his hair… in his mustache… on his lips…  He absolutely froze in disbelief and I started to laugh so hard that I peed my pants…  Actually I peed my pants and all over the floor and as I ran for the bathroom I heard my husband yell, “Oh great now I have to clean up the boy without help and then you too!?  So yes, I peed my pants when I was 29 years old.

10. I am secretly terrified about this deployment to Afghanistan.  I trust God 100% with Ryan, Isaac, and me.  I know that nothing will happen to Ryan before God is done with him.  I know that God has full control of his steps and that he’s safe as long as God ordains that he is… but there is always that little fearful voice in the back of my head that HAS to remind me that someday God WILL be done with him… and it could be one day in the next six months.

This took me FOREVER!  As in hours…  I have wanted to do this challenge since I first saw it and this was the challenge that tripped me up.  Simply because I don’t have many secrets… I try to be an open book and it was like pulling teeth to come up with ten things! 

Until the next challenge,


A Reluctant Queen The Love Story of Esther by Joan Wolf

A Reluctant Queen by Joan Wolf


A Reluctant Queen The Love Story of Esther by Joan Wolf

This book is a retelling of the biblical story of Esther.  She is a young Jewish woman who is called upon by her people to become the wife of a king to save them.  She goes through months of preparation before her meeting with this man and against all odds is chosen to become his queen.  When circumstances unfold that put the Jewish race, her people, in danger she must find the courage to put her faith in God and go before the king to save them.  It is a story of courage and faith that will inspire you.

This book caught me completely off guard.  I LOVED it.  I think that we all too often forget to give humanity to the people in the Bible.  They are so far removed and we hear their stories from such a young age that they stop being people and become characters.  This book was a rare gift for me… a chance to see this young woman with all her fears, insecurities, hopes and dreams truly put her faith in God and overcome.  I loved seeing the love story unfold between her and the king and to watch the hand of God work in her story.  I know that everything in this book was not historically accurate and that the author took admitted liberties with the story but for me it’s a tool to help me understand one of the best examples about faith.  I highly recommend it!  I’ve known this story my whole life and today I feel like I’ve met Esther for the first time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Spring for Sasannah by Catherine Richmond

Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond


After the death of her parents Susannah travels out of the states and into the territories to Fourth Siding, Dakota to marry a man she’s only exchanged a few letters with.  Jesse is a homesteader with big dreams of building a farm that will feed many and a family that will fill his life and he doesn’t want to face another winter alone.  When Susannah arrives she isn’t what Jesse expected and he despairs that she won’t survive her first winter in Dakota but chooses to trust that God knows His plans for Jesse and Susannah.  He just wishes that Susannah could do the same.  Will the winter ever end and bring the thaw of Spring to Susannah?

This book wasn’t what I expected.  I enjoyed the budding relationship between Jesse and Susannah and their growing trust in God in their lives.  However the story feels like it spins out of control.  There is just so much packed in that I sometimes felt a bit overwhelmed.  That said it was a wonderful story.  I enjoyed the historical references and the friendships that the characters manage to forge in the harsh country they live in.  It brings a great admiration for those that came before us.  Overall I would recommend this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

“A bientot” seems an appropriate phrase for this phase of my life.

I’m sure by now you’re tired of hearing that I just don’t know how time gets away from me.  I think it’s time for me to accept that it just does.  It’s time to admit to myself and let you know that I now know that I’m a ‘once in a while’ blogger for this season of my life. 

I miss it.  I miss the friendships.  I miss you.  I’ll always be here, I’ve been here for 6 years now and I have lifetime premium from way back when they sold that so I’m NOT GOING ANYWHERE.  But it will probably stay this slow until Isaac is a little older.  I keep waiting for things to calm into a routine and I finally realized that they have… just without any me time!  No complaints… this life is more than I could have ever imagined and I’m grateful for every single moment! 

Until the day when I can come back even once a week please find me on Facebook if you haven’t already.  It’s just so easy to send pictures, videos and small updates there.  I have an easy way there for my family to get to know my son from a distance and it takes little time from my day.  I even have a phone that uploads right to my wall…  So I’m there for now.  I’ll come here once in a while and try to hit the big points though… Don’t feel obligated to comment or keep me but do know this…  I will always be here.  I read your updates when time allows and keep you in prayer.  I don’t usually have time to comment but I do when I can.  Please don’t delete me!  I know I’m now the creepy stalker lady but really you ladies are my only friends!  I have never found my niche here… other than a phone call to my mom once a week and maybe hearing from my sisters once a month you ladies are my it.  How pathetic is that?

Okay so while I have five minutes here’s a quick update. 

Me – the docs had to redo all of my blood work that I talked about in my last post.  My thyroid came back normal but I was anemic and then the rest of the tests never got run.  So I’m still waiting… HUZZAH!

Ryan – He is currently in Dayton, OH at a class for work.  He’ll return on the 23rd only to turn around and go for another class on the 6th of June if everything works out.  I can’t give any details but he’ll be gone by mid July for good and home sometime in the Spring of 2012.  He’s going to Afghanistan.  I can’t tell you where and I’ll never be able to… I can tell you this… PRAY! 

I’m trying to hold firmly to the belief that he is immortal.  Got you didn’t I?  He is immortal until the day God is done with him.  We have prayed hard for years and Ryan and I both feel complete peace that this is exactly where he is called to be and as long as he’s walking with God in this life then nothing can touch him until God is done with him.  When God is done he could choke on a kernel of popcorn or drown in his toothpaste.  So I stick to the belief that God has all of us firmly in the palm of HIS hand and we will be held up. 

That all said… PRAY because where he’s going is scary and what he does when he’s there is not the desk job he has here and the current climate over there after the death of Osama Bin Laden is not good.  Pray that Ryan can clearly see the path laid down for him and that God favors his steps and that he makes a difference. 

Okay enough of that.

Isaac – He is amazing.  He consumes my every moment and I don’t mind a bit.  My life is so completely different from what it once was but my heart is so entangled that I can’t even remember my before.  We have spent 9 years in waiting… and he’s here.  He says my name… he pats my face… he gives me kisses and holds my hand… my heart is lost. 

In other news he has yet another double ear infection so life has been a bit difficult while Ryan is away.   I have to take him back to the doctor today because he woke up in the middle of the night with a deep booming cough and I had to put him in bed with me to make sure he was breathing okay.  Poor little man… 

Okay I owe you some current pictures as well.  When we were home in Phoenix this past month we had the opportunity to have my cousin Heather do a photo shoot.  SHE IS AMAZING!  These are the result.  We asked for some goodbye deployment pictures so that Isaac would have them and as this is our 8th goodbye and we don’t have a single picture I WANTED THEM.  Well we did it up and the results are stunning… and then after we did some that are just us…

For those of you that know me on facebook you might have seen these so I apologize for the duplicates.

Saying goodbye…

Ryan & Courtney-5

Ryan & Courtney-12

Ryan & Courtney-16

Ryan & Courtney-20

Ryan & Courtney-10

My hero holds my heart…

Ryan & Courtney-13

Farewell my love…

Ryan & Courtney-22

Funny story here… Heather says lets have a kiss and Courtney pop your foot!  Right as this kiss happened a homeless man started whooping and whistling.  It was one of those moments that I’ll remember forever.  So funny!

Ryan & Courtney-24

Worth every blister and penny!

Ryan & Courtney-26

Then we changed clothes and set off on foot in downtown Phoenix to find interesting places to shoot.

Momma, fly me!

Ryan & Courtney-33

This picture weirds me out!  I look like a happy succesful 30 something mom.  When did that happen?!

Ryan & Courtney-35

Smush face!

Ryan & Courtney-37

Originally she had me hold him out… that lasted about 3 seconds before he started the journey down… My arms are pitiful!  That gave Ryan, Heather and her husband (who is my cousin) Evan a good laugh!

Ryan & Courtney-41

Old building makes cool backdrop.

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Just us…

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I love this man… I can’t believe we’ve been married for 11 years next month.  My heart still pitter patters like we’re kids!

Ryan & Courtney-45

Now let me ruin the romance… We can not be normal.  Nope not possible!

Ryan & Courtney-48

Perfect fit…

Ryan & Courtney-52

Seriously my hero in so many ways.  I’m the luckiest girl in the world.

Ryan & Courtney-54

Ryan to a t.

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This was his own doing… we set him down and he reached out and grabbed our legs…  This was a boy worth waiting for…

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Hey guys she’s watching!

Ryan & Courtney-62

Baby kisses!

Ryan & Courtney-67

Daddy knows just where to tickle!

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My guys!

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I leave you with probably my favorite picture of all time of Ryan and I.  This is so us… so completely.  My life captured in a moment…

Ryan & Courtney-49

I’ll close with an I love you.   You really do mean so much to me.  Thank you for your words and encouragement over the years of my journey you’ve traveled with me.  This is not goodbye but as Amelia Peabody would say “A Bientot” (see you soon in french)


No Place Like Holmes by Jsason Lethcoe

No Place Like Holmes by Jason Lethcoe

A book review for Booksneeze


Griffin goes to London to stay with his uncle for the summer.  He knows nothing more than that his uncle is a detective and lives at 221 Baker Street.  When he hears about the great Sherlock Holmes he is beside himself with excitement!  What a summer of mystery and intrigue he’s in for… and then he discovers that his uncle lives at 221A and Holmes lives at 221B and his hopes are dashed.  His uncle is a second rate detective living in the shadow of the greatest detective of all time.  Then Griffin meets a lady who was turned away by Holmes and he and his uncle take on the case!  Adventure and intrigue might be in his future after all!

I grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries and this book was a fun read that reminded me of them.  I got it more to share with my son when he’s a bit older but I was completely captured by this book.  I loved following the story and guessing at the case.  I also loved the way God was woven into the character’s lives.  It does not disappoint as a good hearty read for my little boy and  I can’t wait to share it with him!  I love too that the end of the book is left wide open for more cases and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.  Overall I highly recommend this read for your family (and for you!)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”