When our depravity meets His divinity, it is a beautiful collision.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

10 little blessings

I've loved babies for my entire life. I would ask for baby dolls every Christmas and birthday. My bed time routine was to put every single doll and stuffed animal that I owned in the bed with me, while managing to save a little space for me to squeeze into. 
I thought babies were the cutest creatures on earth (and I still do).
When I was 11 years old my first nephew was born. Since then, I've been called Aunt Sarah by 10 beautiful children. Sometimes I feel like I should have earned the title of mom by now. At least I feel very well prepared for my own children after all of the munchkins running around me constantly. 
Today I am writing about 10 little (and some not so little anymore) blessings in my life.

Alyssa is my oldest sister's first child and she is now 10 years old. It feels like yesterday that my first niece was born and I was thrilled beyond belief. She was the cutest baby girl with chubby legs, dark black hair, and a huge smile. She has grown up to be a beautiful and brilliant young lady. Alyssa is gifted in piano and learns things very quickly. She's got a goofy sense of humor and is sometimes a little clumsy, yet, she still manages to be an excellent soccer player. Alyssa works hard to be the very best at everything she does. She is dedicated and persistent and never fears competition. She will grow up to be an excellent mom because she has been a huge help to her own mom with her little brothers and sister.


Eight year old Benjamin is my sister's second child and he is the prime example of a middle child. His sense of humor is his most charming quality and he can make me laugh on a daily basis. He was born with a love for birds...all birds. Ever since I can remember, he has said he wants to be an ornithologist when he grows up. Yes, he uses that term and it means "bird man" in simpler terms. Penguins, flamingos, blue jays, wrens; he loves them all. A few years ago he decided that he was a genius and gave his family "genius lessons" every Monday afternoon. I am Aunt Alfred to Ben, and he is Leroy to me. Ben's greatest quality is that he is so comfortable in his own skin that he never just goes with the crowd. If he doesn't want to do something, he is perfectly fine being alone. He is tender-hearted and LOVES his mom who is also his best friend. (He tells me that I'm his best friend, too)


Abigail is 2 years old, going on 35. She is completely independent and follows her own rules. Her role model and best friend seems to be her big brother Ben and she is strong competition in the humor department. Her smile is contagious, but when she is angry you would rather be a few miles away because she is REALLY angry. She speaks very well and seems older than she really is because of that. She recently informed her mom that when she is 3 and a half she will lose her teeth just like the blue shark. She is fierce and will definitely make a name for herself in the world!


Christopher is my sister's baby boy. He is 18 months old and absolutely precious. Just like his big brother, he is completely in love with his mom. He has the most precious smile and laugh and is always willing to flash it for the camera. He is capable of making all animal sounds, yet he chooses to just say "moo" for every animal. He enjoys being a big boy and trying to claim every toy before his big sister. I know that one day he will work hard to protect her, though.


Joshua is my oldest brother's son and he is my oldest nephew at 11 years old. He has always had the sweetest and most gentle spirit. When he was a baby he had all of my attention with his sweet, round baby face and his love for all things Mother Goose. Art is his passion and he loves creativity. He is extremely efficient with a pencil in his hand. Drawing, writing, homework...he loves it all. His favorite subject in the 5th grade is spelling, just like his Aunt Sarah. He was recently chosen to be in the Louisiana state children's choir, so it may be unnecessary to say that he loves to sing. Josh enjoys hanging out with his dad and aspiring to be just like him.   


Jacob is Joshua's only little brother. At 8 years old, he often has the personality of someone much older. He can sit with any adult and feel completely comfortable with holding an adult conversation with them. He not only answers questions from adults, but he initiates his own conversations and questions with them. Jake loves to sing and dance. If it's music from the Disney channel, he loves it. He can be found at nearly any moment of the day with a song coming out of his mouth. Jacob is a helper. He enjoys doing things to help out and typically doesn't complain about it. He is strong-willed and pretty independent and has no trouble leading others. He is a math whiz in school and cousin Ben is his best friend.


Devin is my brother Stephen's oldest son. He is 8 years old with blond hair and beautiful blue eyes. He was a baby during my high school years and he stayed with us a lot. I remember rocking him to sleep and me falling asleep with this sweet baby boy in my lap. Devin has grown up to be a very unique boy. He can be incredibly sweet and sometimes shy, but when he is around the people that he knows and loves he is a huge talker and jokester. He loves feeling important and showing his little brother how to do things. He is tough and strong and does really well in school.


Mason is Devin's only little brother. At 6 years old he has grown to LOVE Michael Jackson's music. He can always be found carrying his MJ cd, ready to sing and dance. He is the spitting image of his dad, just with darker skin. He loves his Pawpaw's hot rods and can name cars that I've never even heard of. He befriends anyone and his favorite subject at school is art and recess. He loves being around grown-ups and often follows the big people around. He is active and and can "run faster than Devin". Mason is loving and affectionate and always greets me with a big hug.


Two year old Tucker is my brother Jon's oldest son. He is precious with dark hair and big blue eyes and just like his shirt says in this picture, he is fast as lightning. He has a way of making me feel important every time I see him. It's as if he hasn't seen me in years. He freezes, gasps, his eyes get big, and he jumps up and down. Even if I just saw him yesterday, he always does this. He is a firecracker and LOVES to jump and run. He has an obsession with Yo Gabba Gabba and I'm convinced that it's because of the weird techno music on the show. If I do something fun that he really likes, he looks at me, holds up his pointer finger, and politely says, "One more!" (But he really means one more, and one more, and one more, and so on...) Tucker is a ball of fun and rarely gets upset. 


Tarver is 6 months old and is affectionately called "Tar-Tar" by his big brother Tucker. He has gorgeous, big blue eyes that are very prominent on his face. He is one of the sweetest babies I've ever been around. He is always ready to smile and is learning to do new things every day. He will be sitting up and crawling around soon so that he can keep up with his super fast big brother. 

And there you have it. Ten precious blessings in my life. I've accumulated so many of these munchkins that I'm beginning to have trouble remembering birthdays for the little ones, but they will always be extremely special to me. I know that God has given me each one, with all of their distinct personalities, to help prepare me for my own sweet babies in the future!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Praising God for His blessings

I'm finding it hard to make time to post a new blog every day, but I'm trying my hardest to keep up with it! School keeps me busy and when I'm not in class I'm usually trying to chat with my husband for a while every night.

Last week I was presented with the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic with a medical mission team. I don't really know anyone on the team, but I did not hesitate to agree to go! I will be going as a student journalist with the tasks of blogging, writing news articles, taking photographs, and filming. I already have a feeling that this experience will shake my world up a little (or a lot!).

I am beyond thankful for the experiences that God has allowed me to have in my 22 years of life, and this is one more experience that will change me to the core.

I will be on a team of 14 and we will fly into the Dominican Republican and drive to the Haitian border. We will not actually be in Haiti, but in Jimani, a border town. Haitians from Port Au Prince are being allowed to cross the border into the Dominican Republic to receive medical care. The infrastructure of Port Au Prince is devastated and crumbling and this has caused the people to evacuate and seek help elsewhere.

Many of the details of the trip have not been worked out yet. We will have Disaster Relief training next Saturday and we will hopefully learn more of the details as the trip draws nearer.

I'm nervous, but only because I want God to shine through my writing. This will be the biggest journalistic task that I've ever had. I want my writing to be all about what God has done and is doing in my life and in the Haitian people.

At the end of my life, I will be able to look back and praise God for all of the opportunities that he has given me in my life. This experience is sure to be on my list of praises.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Blessing #2

I know you are probably all expecting my second blessing to be something serious and life changing, similar to yesterday, but today my answer is...


Please know that these blessings are in no particular order. I'm not more thankful for ice cream than I am for my mom or my education. No, that's not it. I just love ice cream and I just had some and it really makes me happy.

Growing up we ALWAYS had ice cream in our house. My dad is the ice cream king. I recall nearly every night hearing the bowl and spoon being pulled out of the cabinet and I knew...it's dad's ice cream time again. 

It's just a simple pleasure in life that makes me smile.

I plan on giving my kids ice cream every night too...or at least once a week!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Blessing blog #1

Beginning today, I will be blogging a blessing for every day until my husband is home again. I have noticed that I tend to focus on all of the negative things in life when I have so much to be thankful for. This doesn't mean that you will never hear me complain about missing my husband, but hopefully I will be able to reflect on blessings in the midst of my loneliness.

I am blessed to have a husband with the ability to work. In the midst of the economic crisis that America is in, it is no easy task to find a job. I am thankful that my husband is able to work so that I don't have to right now. I am able to fully focus on my last semester of school instead of worrying about finding time to balance school, a job, family, friends, etc.

Chris has always had a good work ethic. He has always put providing for our family as a priority and has taken care of me more than I could have ever wished for. The Air Force has been a blessing simply because for the next 6 years we will not have to worry about employment or where our money will come from.

I am blessed!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Needed a reminder

I did not expect to write a blog tonight at 3 a.m., but I am sitting here waiting for a DVD of Chris's graduation to burn and I cannot help but write about it.

My day was rough. It started out alright. I went to a birthday party for my nephews, Joshua and Jacob. I'm usually fine if I am with other people. My mind is occupied. After the party I was just upset. No reason why, other than feeling lonely again. It's difficult to go home (my parent's home) without someone to go home to. I talked to Chris, but he was frustrated with me because I've been so down lately. I know it's hard on him to see me unhappy. He feels like he is to blame.

He's not.

I've just had trouble getting motivated to live my life fully these days. After talking to Chris for a long time tonight, I feel much better than I have all week long. I miss him...always. But I'm finally starting to feel like I can live again.

Tonight I got the urge to get out my new video camera and try to copy the videos onto DVD for the first time. Who knew this was exactly what I needed? I went through all of Chris's BMT graduation videos and watched and edited them.

I cried.

I was reminded what this struggle is all about. I saw the accomplishment in my husband's eyes and remembered that this was his dream. I am here and he is in California for a purpose. Serving the people of America was his goal...the reason he became an Airman.

The very first video was of the Airman's run. Watching it made my heart beat so fast. I was quickly brought back to Lackland AFB, standing on the side of the street, anxiously waiting for the the one that I had waited 8 and a half weeks for to run by.

Proud is an understatement. I was beyond proud. 

I am still very proud of my husband. What he is doing is no easy task. He is putting life on hold so that he can train in order to protect our country. He misses home. He misses family. He misses me. He is willing to sacrifice all of that to be in the United States military. Not everyone can do that.

Seeing his face and his smile in those videos made me remember how important my sacrifice is too. It isn't easy being an Airman's wife, but I wouldn't trade it for one second! I love my husband and my support is important to him. I will forever be grateful for the sacrifice he has made to better our nation and our family.

Sometimes I just need a little reminder.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I hold it all when I hold you

Sixteen years old, sitting in the passenger seat with the love of my life behind the wheel. Nowhere to be, nothing else on my mind. Being together was all that mattered.

Windows down... freedom, and a song on the radio.

when memories fade
we've got each other
when time and confusion collide
singin' i hold it all when i hold you 

when friends walk other ways
we've got each other
i hold it all when i hold
i hold it all when i hold you

we fell on hard times
this isn't the ideal
we're miles from home
doing the best that we can (best that we can)

i won't do this without you
i won't do this without you
so take heart...
'cause you know that you have mine

and it feels like we could last forever
and i'm not doing to do this alone 

It was our song.

I had no idea that the words would mean even more to me throughout the years.   

I'm not doing this alone and that keeps me going. I love you Chris Hudson. You are the only one for me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Feeling the Distance

Occasionally, I will catch myself daydreaming about a trip to California to see Chris. Tonight I had one of those moments. As I drifted off to sleep, (or so I thought) I found myself getting off of the plane and into a rental car, taking pictures in front of his Tech School dorm and meeting all of his friends. Then I suddenly came to my senses...I'm making these plans in my head for nothing.

It's not any fun to hear about all of your friends going to visit their husbands in Tech School. I'm happy for them, but I can't help being a little jealous sometimes. Too bad my husband is a 28 hour drive away.

The thing is, we could afford for me to go for a visit. It is expensive, but we've got the money in the bank that would cover the trip. But...is the cost worth the little bit of time that we would get?

Of course, my initial answer is yes. Absolutely. A price cannot be put on time with my husband. It's priceless.

That's my heart's answer.

If I think logically, though, is $800 or more too much to pay for 48 hours of time? Probably.

That's my head's answer.

It's a difficult position to be in. Knowing that you would give anything to see them and trying to balance that with also knowing that the separation does not last forever. I know that the time apart is a part of the growing process. It's a sort of stretching of the patience that brings growth to more love through sacrifice for one another. I want that kind of love. The kind that would absolutely wait a thousand years for the one it desires.

When looking at the big picture, 3 months really isn't very long. Life seems to fly by and I know that this will too. Even when the days seem to drag by, I can still say, "One day less than yesterday until we are together again."

While Chris was in Basic Training, I discovered a musician by the name of Jason Reeves. I bought his CDs and fell in love with his music. The first time I heard one song I instantly knew that it would be my "Tech School song". Read the lyrics below and you'll understand why:

Old Fashioned Letters

You still write me old fashioned letters
put your perfume on the pages
with crossed out words that you took back
like "do you really miss me?"

but in my own way I take you everywhere I go
and it feels like home
cause I can hear you say "it's gonna be ok"
this waking life's a dream

but it's not right with me to have to hear your voice
reaching through the wire
and it's not fair to be 3000 miles away
from California

days like this I feel the distance
  I wanna run but I resist it
with cold reminders all around me
of what I left behind

but it's not right with me to have to hear your voice
reaching through the wire
and it's not fair to be 3000 miles away
from california..

oh it doesn't feel the same
nothing feels the same..
without you.

but in my own way I take you everywhere I go
and it feels like home. 

Sometimes I feel displaced...with no home. I live in a house with my parents, but it isn't home to me anymore. Home is where my heart is and my heart is in California with my husband.

It sure will be nice when I can feel like I'm home again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


In June of 2005, nearly five years ago, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Thailand with an organization called Awe Star Ministries. I traveled with a group of about 20 total strangers halfway around the world with the mission of sharing Christ with the Thai people. After 5 weeks in a foreign country, I grew to love my team and the country of Thailand.

Traditional Thai greeting is to say, "Sawadeeka!"

This weekend, I have the amazing privilege to spend 3 days with my two best friends from my Thailand team, Loren and Rachel. I was able to visit Loren once just a few months after our return to the U.S., and I haven't seen Rachel at all since Thailand. We somehow remained in contact with one another through each of us getting married and moving (some of us more than once).

Rachel, Loren, and I on a boat ride to Laos

They are the kind of friends that will always be around, even if we don't see each other for years at a time.

Rachel is now married and has a teaching job in Texas. She is still the sweetest person I know! It doesn't really matter how long I go without talking to Rachel, I have always known that I could call her for advice or encouragement any time that I needed it.

Rachel and I in Thailand

Loren is also married and has a big girl job in Philly! Loren and I are like two peas in a pod. She's silly and a little bit weird, but so am I. She says random things often in order to get a laugh or just because she feels like it...and so do I.

Loren and I making a Halloween gingerbread house during my visit to Georgia 

I will never forget meeting these two.

The first time that I really talked to Rachel was before we even left for Thailand. We had training in Dallas and Rachel and I partnered up during prayer time and she said the sweetest prayer for me and I didn't even know her yet! After that, we had smaller teams called MOM and POP groups and Rachel was a MOM leader, but not my leader. Somehow, I still gravitated towards that girl!

Meeting Loren was quite different. I remember that I thought she was extremely quiet, but I knew that she had something more inside her head. I don't remember the first moment that I actually knew she and I would be good friends, but I know that by the end of the trip we had a list of 20 random things that we wanted to accomplish and we succeeded. (I think some of the others on our team may have been a little annoyed by us with our list of things to do...oops!)

The three of us with Charity just having fun during our free time

Needless to say, I am thrilled about having the opportunity to visit my dear friends after such a long time! It was a very spontaneous decision by all of us, but it has worked out perfectly. Friday night I will be in Texas with Rachel and Saturday morning we will pick up Loren at the airport.

Loren and I working in a rice field at a Thai orphanage

I know that I don't even have to say this, but I hope that even when I'm old and gray we can still get together every now and then. Maybe by then I'll have my own private jet!

Aw man!

So, somehow over half of my posts have been deleted.

No good. :(

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Perfectly Lonely

My days are usually pretty busy. I try to keep it that way while Chris is gone. I used to be perfectly content with sitting around the house watching tv all day for days at a time...not so much anymore.

Idle time is too much time to think. And to miss him.

This week has been hard because school hasn't begun and I've got nothing to do. Maybe I should appreciate this time of nothingness, but I'm ready to be busy again! I've been sitting around every day and playing the Wii, cleaning my room, sleeping late, watching tv, making trips to Wal-Mart...anything at all.

This week I've stayed up incredibly late just because I dread going to bed alone again. Sleeping in the same bed as someone doesn't seem like a big deal until you're apart for so long.

I sleep with a stuffed animal named Scruffy now. Chris and I made him at Build-A-Bear for my 21st birthday. It's been years since I've slept with a stuffed animal, but I almost can't sleep without Scruffy anymore. While Chris was home for Christmas, Scruffy was on the floor and I didn't think twice about him. When Chris left, Scruffy resumed his position in bed.

Chris and Scruffy- 2 really cute Airmen!

All of this is to say...I really miss my husband. I miss affection. Growing up I really didn't receive a whole lot of affection. My parents just aren't that type, I guess. I became a very unaffectionate person, not really by choice, but necessity. I've always loved hugs. I was always a little jealous of friends who had moms that would hug them all the time. Don't get me wrong, my parents love me. I'm sure of it. I got hugs as a kid, maybe just not as many as I would have liked. Sometimes I even wonder if the lack of affection is my fault. Maybe I've never been a very welcoming person in terms of affection. Not sure.

When I met Chris, all of this changed. It's hard to go without his hugs and without holding hands...without the closeness. He broke through my barrier and boy do I love his affection! 

Last night when I went to bed at 3 a.m., I had Scruffy in my arms and my iPod playing John Mayer's newest CD titled "Battle Studies".  His song "Perfectly Lonely" pretty much summed it all up for me when it said:

Nothing to do, nowhere to be
A simple little kind of free
Nothing to do, no one but me
Is it really hard to see why

I'm perfectly lonely
I'm perfectly lonely

I'm happy that my husband has joined the Air Force. I know he's happy and I know that this is where God has placed him.

But man, I sure do get lonely sometimes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Glancing back and looking ahead, but always living in the moment

I am not a very anxious person. I do not worry much and I usually don't have many highs and lows. Maybe even-tempered is the right word to describe me. I'm not sure.

Here's the deal: Before those sentences I should have written a disclaimer saying that this only applies to my life before 2009.

2009 has been a year unlike any other for me. I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions that I never imagined to be possible in my life. I have had highs and lows and everything in between.

As the year 2010 begins, I realize that I am so thankful for 2009 and everything that came with it. I have changed tremendously. I had a lot of growing up to do in one year, but I wouldn't have it any other way because it's what I needed.

The year began with so many uncertainties. Chris dropped out of school knowing that it wasn't where he needed to be, but unsure about a career path for his life. We thought, discussed, fought, cried (ok, I cried), worked through things, worried, struggled, changed our minds, and finally decided on a path that I never imagined my life would take.

In the midst of working out those plans and figuring things out, I unexpectedly became pregnant. We were nervous, but excited to see where life would take us with a new baby. In February I had a miscarriage and my life seemed to turn upside-down for a bit. I let everything go. School was not a priority. Work was not a priority. I wasn't sure how I felt about anything anymore and numbness took over.

With the love and support from some of my closest family and friends, especially my husband, I made it through the fog and became a better person through my struggles. This was not easy and I would have never chosen this route for my life, but it was necessary growth in my life that would eventually come, regardless.

April is when we made the big decision for the Air Force life. At first, I was so opposed to this idea that it literally brought our lives to a halt and made us really think about marriage and what love means.

Chris has dreamed of being in the military since he was a little boy when he said he wanted to be the Joint Chief of Staff. I believe that this dream has been alive since birth. Yes, I believe that it is a God-given dream. My husband's undying passion to serve our country is the only thing that made me reconsider my way of thinking. Why was I so opposed? The reason was purely selfish. I couldn't bear the thought of losing the person that I loved more than anyone else.

After much wrestling and me putting my selfishness aside, we made the jump and Chris began talking to a recruiter one week after his 21st birthday. I can honestly say that this is the best decision he has ever made. He has always tried so hard to make me happy and to take care of me. He was trying to take care of me by finding a means to provide for our family and also trying to keep himself happy with a job that he would be passionate about.

Our summer in 2009 was fantastic. We spent lots of time together when Chris wasn't working. Since the summer I met Chris, I've always considered him to be my best friend, but this past summer really confirmed that. We spent all of our time together and I loved it. There are a million goofy things that we do or say when we're together that no one would understand except us. I think he's the funniest person in the entire world and I think he thinks I'm pretty funny too.

In August we celebrated our first anniversary together. We went to Biloxi and Gulfport, Mississippi for a few days. We stayed in a cozy little hotel that was very much like a bed and breakfast. We went to the beach, did some shopping, and just had time for us. This was just one month before he left for Basic Training. We had a wonderful time, but of course, I had to keep reminding myself to live in the moment instead of dreading what was to come.

At the end of August I began school again and in mid-September we moved all of our things to my parents house and sold Chris's truck in preparation for Basic Training. Chris left for BMT on September 30th. The days following are such a blur now. I just remember feeling alone and unlike myself. It was a rough time. Looking back, those 8.5 weeks seemed to fly by. I made some really good AF wife friends through facebook. They helped me to maintain my sanity and they helped to pass the time away through late night chats and such.

On Thanksgiving week Chris graduated from Basic Training and we had a wonderful week together. He left from there to go to Vandenberg AFB in California. He came home for two glorious weeks for Christmas. We spent much needed time together and with lots of family. It was a wonderful Christmas. He was home to ring in the New Year and is already back in California. I felt like a little piece of me left with him, but I know that the time will pass quickly.

Looking back on 2009 and ahead to 2010 there are a few things that I am sure about. I love my husband more now than ever before. He is happy with the Air Force and so am I. We can and will stick together through anything and it will only make us stronger.

There are some things that we are unsure about for 2010. We will move to Barksdale AFB, but where will we live? What kind of job will I be able to find? Is a baby in the near future? Will we make friends? Will they be friends for life? Will we find a church that we love?

So much to think about...

While looking back on the past year, I have good memories that will stay with me forever. Looking ahead to 2010 is exciting because we have so much to look forward to and so much to be thankful for.

All of this is good, but I know that it is most important to live in the moment. To take every day and live fully, knowing that it was created with a purpose. My Savior loves me and my husband loves me. In this, I will be satisfied.

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