the brady bunch




Tuesday, May 22, 2012


When Brady and I were first married (almost 18 years ago) I thought "being in love" was about how he made me feel. When he would do something nice for ME I would say with a sigh "I love you." However, what I really meant (even though I didn't know it) was I love me, I love the way you make ME feel. This kind of shallow, worldy, misunderstanding of love I held can't go the distance a lifelong relationship requires. When married life begins to get comfortable and routine, when we quit trying to woo each other, when the business of children, careers, even "churchy opportunities" compete for our attention relationships suffer if the love is based on how I feel. If I put Brady's needs ahead of my own than I am loving him, I love him.

Jesus said all ten of the commandments can be summed up within the first two. Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul mind and strength. Love you neighbor as yourself. Brady sleeping next to me every night doesn't get any more neighborly.

When people say I don't love you anymore what it really means is they don't love what the other person is doing for them anymore. They don't love the way they are making them feel. The older I get and the more I ponder what love really is I have found out I couldn't have been more wrong about love. Love is something you do for another person, it is active, it is a choice. When I say I love Brady it is not about the way he makes me feel. If I love him then I am doing things for him.

I think it is easier to understand this upside down concept in regards to our children. They really can't do much to make us feel loved. But we do things for them unselfishly because we love them and expect nothing from them. This unselfish spirit must be worked into our definition of marital love.

For God so LOVED the world that He GAVE. Not for GOD so loved the world that He TOOK.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I Cor. 13:4-7

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunrise Sunset

Just before Bailee turned eleven she tested in Tae Kwon Do again and is halfway through to her red belt! Yep, she broke some more boards, no big deal.
She wanted to go bowling to celebrate!
Bailee and her Birthday Tree! It's decorated for Valentine's Day since her B-day is the day after V-day. She has always been Brady and I's best Valentine's Gift!!

Riley took her on their (now has become traditional) birthday photo shoot! SUNRISE SUNSET
Let's all sing together...

Is this the little girl I carried?

I don't remember growing older
When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty?
When did she grow to be so tall?

Wasn't it yesterday
When they were small?

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

What words of wisdom can I give them?
How can I help to ease their way?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mother's Day Happy!

Sweet, Sweet Mother's,

I must confess I've had a few Mother's Day Sad! I think it is because I was expecting a parade or ... not have to cook or pick up clothes off the floor or change a dirty diaper. Maybe none of you have ever experienced the Mother's Day Blues but, I hate to admit it, I have. This year I am determined to have a Mother's Day Happy!!! So, I opened my Bible in preparation for Mother's Day and don't ya know the love chapter revealed itself to me! (First Corinthians 13) The following is The Message's version of this chapter...
1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2 If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 3 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love. 4 Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head,5 Doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always "me first," Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, 6 Doesn't revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, 7 Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. 8 Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. 9 We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. 10 But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. 11 When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. 12 We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

I was reading it through tear filled eyes, and I'm not a cryer. First, because I felt guilty that I don't love that perfect. But, then it moved me and encouraged me because Jesus does love that perfect! He appreciates everything little thing you mamas do. He applauds your sleepless nights. He sees how much you sacrifice for others. He knows you put the best and the most food on everyone else's plate and give yourself the least or the burnt one. He hears your prayers and is working them out. All this to say thank you for being an amazing mom. It is a privilege and an honor to know you and your precious children. I want you to have a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY. Love Always, Vicki

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Magnolia Tree

When Brady and I lived in Temple, TX he was in his third year of Medical School. We were blessed to have a very low monthly rent by living in the student housing on the campus of the VA hospital. Complete with charming post traumatic stress disorder patients wandering around our door. I could go on but, the point of the story is I would drive through neighborhoods in Temple dreaming of a day when I too could have a yard of my own complete with a big beautiful Magnolia tree.

Fast forward a few years, give or take a state and a residency, and we find ourselves living in Galveston, Texas with, you know it, a big beautiful Magnolia tree front left of our yard!!! There is something an inexperienced home dweller like myself found out, along with that yard came yard work! That Magnolia tree dropped its very lush large leaves 365 days a year. Which meant much raking and raking and raking. (No, we couldn't afford a leaf blower, still just living on love. Residency #2 and Baby #4) During one of those many hours of raking and scooping and bagging a very good lesson occurred to me... If you want something beautiful in your life you must be willing to work for it! Anything truly worth while requires some sacrifice, some inconvenience and even a little sweat. If you want a beautiful marriage, a beautiful relationship with your children, a beautiful (fill in the blank), a beautiful Magnolia tree gracing your front lawn it requires 365 days of attentiveness. I miss that Magnolia tree.