Monday, December 27, 2010


IMG_9355 copy-2

We had a wonderful, crazy Christmas!

It started snowing around 7:30 am before the kids got up. I was so glad; I wanted them to have a white Christmas. And it continued to snow and snow and snow.

We started dinner around 1:00, almost had everything done and the power went out. Being the resourceful people we are, :), we finished everything on the stove top (gas), lit candles and had dinner.

We bought Christmas crackers, which came the day before Christmas from over the pond. We opened them before dinner and agreed that this should be a new tradition in the Queen household. They are quite fun with little prizes inside along with a paper crown and a joke.

IMG_9474 copy

Finishing dinner on the stove.

Our crackers!

Sarah and Hayden pulling the first cracker open.

Everyone got a paper crown in their cracker.

Milk and butter on the deck staying cold!

Then some fun in the snow, all 12 inches of it!! I don't think I have ever seen this much snow. Everything is stunning.
snow day
Sarah enjoying the beautiful snow. Her hair froze!

snow boy
Hayden, being Hayden

right outside my doorIMG_9711 copy

A winter wonderland... did I mention that I love where we live.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

it's the most wonderful time of the year.

Merry Christmas!!

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen. ~Author unknown, attributed to a 7-year-old named Bobby

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside...




but, somebody has had fun!

IMG_8378 copy

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Crazy Saturday

Hannah had a wonderful day at the conference in Atlanta, but more about that later...

First, late last night Hannah decided to invite me along. I thought, "ok, she isn't a fan of Atlanta and it is her first conference, she wants her momma to go. More about that later...

Atlanta, A T L A N TA. I grew up in Atlanta, but not in this Atlanta! Everyone is rushing, oh, it is Christmas. Everyone blows their horn like there is some law requiring it. Everyone is driving a dadgum luxury car, in a hurry. Few people slow down to smile. I do not like the city, sorry, but I have been in the country for 10 years and there is just too much activity for this girl. BUT, I went for my sweet daughter.

My sweet daughter that wanted someone to drive home for her after the conference. That was her motivation, I didn't even see the inside of this $300.00+ a night hotel. Hear it was pretty though; has a marble staircase, I wouldn't know. :)

Anyway, her talk about food photography went great. Many people approached her and told her that they follow her on Twitter and her blog. One lady said, " your blog is charming and now I know why, you are charming". How sweet is that! She made a lot of good contacts and we praise God for the affirmations she received.

We stopped at Whole Foods on the way out to get some healthy food and headed north as fast as we could. I mean, we moved slowly in a northerly direction, never honking and smiling at everyone as we went!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Heart's Desire

IMG_7502 copy

As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longeth after thee
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship thee

The season we have been in as been very strange and unsettling in some ways, in other ways, it has been intriguing. There are moments where I feel uncomfortable, but peace ultimately prevails.

As I have said in the past, I have always seen God's hand in my life, from the beginning of my life to the present. He has ordered my steps and directed my path. I know that has not changed; it is only in my lacking that I feel ill at ease. It is only through a lack of faith that His direction is not felt.

Church and worship have always been part of my life. I sang as a child, I attended a Christian school that I adored and went on to attend and graduate from a Christian college. I have taught Sunday School, Awana's, led youth, sang in choirs and solo, led woman's ministry, sang and directed a Praise team, and suffered through years of VBS :), etc. I say all this to say that being where I am and we are right now is difficult; to not feel connected or ministering within the church body.

I realize that God does provide us times of rest, and I probably needed a sabbatical more than I realized. Disengaging is sometimes necessary to gain perspective. I know I had lost some perspective from trying to work within my on strength, not the Lord's, to minister where there was no leadership. How futile, except that I refused for so long to accept it while my sweet husband waited patiently for the Lord to open my eyes.

So here I am, we are, seeking God's will for where He would have us plug in; and plugging in is our desire. Ministry is in our DNA, it is for all true believers; a need to reach out in God's name to comfort others, and worship and fellowship with other believers.

I know He is faithful and knows the desire of our hearts, and that of our children. I know that during this time I have been the one to be hesitant to jump back into church which probably prolonged my 'rest'. I wasn't running from God, just the junk I had experienced. He had to turn my heart back to seeing only Him, my heart's desire.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.

After my 'brush with mortality' last month I have begun to notice little things that are different. They have come to me in small, quite ways, which I believe is just my Savior gently showing me new insights into my reliance on Him.

As I had wrote in an earlier blog post, I did not have regrets to go over, things I wished I had done or anything left really unsaid. The entire time was one of peace, a divine peace. I didn't have to re-prioritize my life once I was discharged from the hospital. Haven't even made a bucket list.

One thing that came just over the weekend was a softening of my heart toward the organized church. Those of you that know me, know I have been in church all of my life and have served as a lay leader most of my adult life. Ministering has always been apart of who I am until a year ago. After some very difficult incidents and situations, we found ourselves unchurched.

During the year prior to this, I had struggled with the organized church and its committees, controlling members and a lack of God's word being preached clearly and definitively.

I say all this to tell you that God has worked afresh in my heart. He has softened it again and I feel renewed. I don't know what He would have me do, but I am ready. I know this is an answer to prayer for my sweet husband.

As I wrote in the children's journals the other day the verse about how our days are already numbered and ordained came to me.(All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them ever came to pass Ps. 139:16.) It gave me pause to consider what I had gone through in October. I believe that God is sovereign, nothing in my life is by accident. What I experienced was just a physical thing, some may call it a 'brush with death'; I see it as an opportunity to be a witness before men. It wasn't my appointed time to die. It was just a thing; we are human and our flesh fails us.

I know that I will continue to get sweet tidbits from God here and there. I welcome the opportunity to share my story when led to show how incredible the God I serve truly is. We, as a family, still rejoice at how God's hand was on every part of that short journey from October 8 - 16; not just in the outcome, but in the people we met, the dr. I had, the caring Hannah experienced from strangers, the prayers that went up, the joy we experienced in the mist of a potential bad outcome.

So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgment of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word.
Hebrews 10:23

Sunday, November 21, 2010

“Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal.”

IMG_6573 copy-2

Enjoy life, it isn't a dress rehearsal...

Friday, November 19, 2010

What else do you do on a beautiful November day. Take the dog to the park and watch two of your children fence with sticks!!!

happy fence friday!

And if you haven't been over to Hannah's blog, go NOW! She has a recipe for some very tasty brownies and they are so easy to make.

gooey brownies

Happy Weekend!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Amazing Photos

Hannah took some amazing photos of a friends baby this past week and today had her first professional photo shoot in a city 2 hours away. We are so proud of her!

I can't show the photo shoot; but I can show the baby, so here is the precious little bundle.

baby c
baby c

God has given each of our children amazing gifts and nothing gives us more joy than to see them use those gifts.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mother-Daughter Retreat

The girls and I had a wonderful, long weekend with my best friend and her oldest daughter who is Sarah's best buddy. It was a great time of fun and fellowship.

We rented a cabin outside of Pigeon Forge, TN, bought some groceries and prepared ourselves for a girls only time! And a girl's time is what we had.

We cooked, laughed, watched cooking shows, painted fingernails and did some outlet shopping. Yes, we are wild and crazy. Seriously, if you saw how many people were at the outlet stores, anybody had to be crazy to get in that mass of humanity!

Coming home we ran into a lot of snow on the top of the mountain. It was amazing and beautiful. The girls made a snowman and named him Herman. We all said it looked like Narnia with the snow on the evergreens; just magical.

meet herman

snow is like magic.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.

I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.

-Nathaniel Hawthorne

Sunday, October 24, 2010

These Two Guys...

hayden, october 1st, 2010.IMG_2389

they were very worried about me.

When I talked to Hayden and Sarah before I left for Erlanger, Hayden just dropped his head. I know he was trying to process everything while I worried that I would not see him again. Just 13, my baby, I didn't want to leave him without a mother.

I didn't even want to look at William, seriously, I was afraid I would fall apart. We had just celebrated 24 years of marriage on the 4th and here on October 8th, he could lose his wife. We have been through so much together, loss of a baby, loss of parents, Alzheimers, financial ups and downs, depression, etc., but this... this was so much bigger.

My guys did great and to see their faces Saturday morning did this momma and wife a world of good!

Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Psalm 57:4

Friday, October 22, 2010

Time to Go Home!

simple + pretty

Beginning on Wednesday, Hannah and I started asking about my Cumodin levels, praying that they would be up to where the Dr. wanted them. Slowly they began to climb, but not fast enough for me!

Wednesday was a tough day for both of us. Hannah had not been sleeping well and wanted me home. I was tired of laying in bed watching TV. We both were teary all day.

By Thursday I was more resolved, knowing that I did not need to leave without the right amount of blood thinner in me. I definitely did not want a repeat of Friday. The existing clot was begin taken care of by my body, but without blood thinner, it could start growing again.

Friday evening I found out that my levels were up, but I refused to get my hopes up until the Dr. came in a said I could go home. Saturday morning she came in and said those sweet words!

She told me that it had been a blessing to care for me and then gave everyone of us a big hug. I told her that she had been a blessing to us in so many ways.

The nurses were excited for us and came in to tell us bye. One in particular that had taken Hannah and I under her wing came in to give us a hug. We had developed some good friendships with these sweet women and they certainly made our stay more bearable. A lot of laughter flowed from my room during the week. God had sent dedicated nurses to watch over me.

A couple of things:

We still do not know why I experienced this massive clot. There is one genetic test we have not heard from. I did not have an injury, I had not been on a plane for hours, I had not been completely immobile for a length of time, I am not over 60, etc. I did have the symptoms though; difficulty breathing, chest pain on inspiration, rapid heart rate, and low blood oxygen saturation.

It is possible that the blood clot moved to my chest and began to grow slowly over the 2 weeks I was being treated for pneumonia. By the time it was detected it was very large and very dangerous. But we will never know for sure and I am ok with that.

I have seen God's hand every step of the way during this journey. I have felt His strength when I was weak. I have felt His peace when the world would say there should be no peace. I have felt His comfort in the mist of great discomfort. I have experienced sweet sleep because I had hope no matter the outcome.

God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present and well-proved help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

For I the Lord your God hold your right hand; I am the Lord, Who says to you, Fear not; I will help you Isaiah 41:13

Be anxious about nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6, 7

When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. Proverbs 3:24

Your right hand has held me up!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Room With a View and Other Stuff

What a blessing to have a room with big windows! The natural light was amazing as was the view. From my bed I could see the Tennessee River and the mountains surrounding Chattanooga.

It was nice to get settled in a regular room where the family could come and visit without major restrictions. Hannah finally had a couch to sleep on, though it didn't look very comfortable.

Side note: Prior to this she had to find whatever was available in one of the ICU waiting rooms. One night a gentleman told her that he was going to find her a reclining chair as he had seen that she was by herself and had not been able to find a good place to sleep. She said that there were many people that were so nice to her over the week. A volunteer in the Ronald McDonald house sat and talked with her one evening. In the restroom a lady asked her if she was alright. My doctor would check on her and ask about her.

The nurses were in and out frequently to draw blood (should have counted how many times), to take vitals, to check IV bags, etc. We talked and joked with them. When one walked in the room, I went ahead and held my arm out!

I told one nurse that I was going to pull my heart leads off to just give them some excitement at the desk. I did get my IV tube kinked a couple of times and the alarms went off. (that was unintentional, I promise)

Hannah and I made sure to thank them for every thing they did. There were several very difficult patients on the floor and we felt bad for them. Every nurse and tech was so friendly and that made the stay so much more pleasant.

As each day passed we could relax a little more, knowing that the my chance of survival was now outweighing my chance of not surviving. Hannah and I did hit a wall on Wednesday; we were tired and just mentally worn out. Once over that hump, we lightened up and settled in for remainder of time, whatever that may be.

During the week I had several tests and blood work done. I didn't fit the age or circumstances to have a blood clot, so the doctors wanted to try to find out why. Right now, we are still not sure. ( I did nap well on the gurney while waiting for the tests, can't figure out why)

My Cumodin levels were rising slowly and they had to be therapeutic for me to leave since the clot had been so severe. I would have to remain on the Heparin drip until then. My doctor, the one we met in the ER, was so careful with my care and patient to answer any questions we had.

The week was long as Hannah and I watched TV and found the silliest things hilarious. Sorry, some things are just too personal to share! Just glad we didn't get kicked out!! Ok, one hint: just because it says you can clean with it, doesn't mean you should!

Next: Discharged with hugs!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010



But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. II Corinthians 12:9-10

His grace was and is sufficient for this young woman of faith.

I can not begin to describe the pain I saw in her face as the doctors spoke to us about the reality of my situation. I can not imagine how she felt as she saw her mother laying in a bed helpless. I can not grasp how alone she must have felt with no one there for her that first night while I lay in ICU.

What I do know and understand is that she found a strength that is not of this world to navigate her way. To take care of not only herself in a strange hospital, but to make sure I had what I needed. I know that she had to call on all she had been taught over the last 20 years to make it through those first 24 hours.

There were several that offered to come stay with me so she could go home and rest; wild horses couldn't have pulled her away. There was a determination in her eyes to see to my care; she wasn't leaving me.

There are no words to describe how much appreciate what she did day in and day out for me. She cared for my every need no matter how small or trivial. And goodness, let the Heparin bag get low and the girl was fit to be tied; that was life to me as far as she was concerned. She was going to make sure that ran uninterrupted!

Today she is stronger for having walked a difficult road. Today she knows that His strength is sufficient in her day of need.