Friday, September 25, 2015

So Much To Tell You is just continuing to roll along over here.  I know everyone's life is crazy.  I definitely don't have a corner on that market.  But seriously....does it ever slow down??  Goodness.  I just hang on for the ride!

I have LOTS to share with you today.  In the past two months, there have been so many things going on in our family.  Here is the run down...


Steve and I took another trip to the Pacific Northwest at the beginning of August.  You know it is one of our favorite places and we always have the best time there.  I have blogged about it many times...

And this year we had just as much fun as always!  We did lots of the same things that we usually do, like go to Cannon Beach...

We also visited Mt. Ranier.  We had never done that before, and it was so pretty!  We drove up to the top where the temperature was in the 40s!  We stopped at a beautiful lodge and had dinner and sat by the fire.  It was so nice!

Then we headed on to Vancouver, which is one of my favorite cities!  We spent every day hanging out outside just taking in all the beautiful scenery there.

One day we rented bikes and had a lot of fun biking around the city.

August 17th was our 30th wedding anniversary, so we celebrated a little early with a really nice dinner out!

When we left Vancouver, we headed to Seattle. We did all the usual touristy stuff like Pike's Place Market.  But we also visited the famous Seattle Gum Wall....

...and the Dale Chihuly Museum, which was absolutely amazing!  He is a glass blower that does the most gorgeous work!  

The first time I had ever seen any of his work was on the ceiling of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.  I became an instant fan!


As soon as we got back from our trip, it was time for school to start.  I was excited about that!  I have really missed it.  It was fun seeing all my friends and getting my room ready for all my cute third graders!

30th Anniversary

We were so busy on our anniversary that we barely had time to think about it.  But Steve got me 3 dozen roses, which was so sweet!  And we went out to dinner.  I sure am thankful for all the ups and downs we have shared together through the years!  Marriage really is a gift.  We just stood outside on the sidewalk after work that day and got Lindy to take our picture so we would remember what we looked like after being married for thirty years! :)

Mark Left For Jordan

At the end of August, Mark came home for a few weeks before he left for Jordan.  It was so much fun getting to see him.  We tried to do as much as we could with him while he was going bowling together.

And the night before he left we took him out to dinner at his favorite restaurant, Cajun Yard Dog.

I miss him so much, but I know he is having a great time there.  We Face Time as much as we can and I will get to see him at Christmas.  I have a countdown app on my phone where I keep track of how many days it is until he gets home.  It was so hard saying goodbye.  I cried.  But I want him to go out there and make all his dreams come true!  Being a mom is rough sometimes.

Laura and Lindy's Birthday

Laura and Lindy turned 24 on August 24th!  

Laura wasn't here, but we got to celebrate with Lindy.  She wanted to go out to dinner at Maggiano's, so that's what we did!


After six years together, these two finally made it official!!

I couldn't be happier for them!  This past year has been so hard, but there is so much happiness ahead for them.  I am so thankful that they are finally getting to start this new chapter of their lives!

Sean took Lindy out to dinner last Friday night and asked Ashley and me if we would set everything up for him while they were gone.  We set up his back porch with flowers, candles, champagne, & dessert.  Then we lit all the candles and left.  Lindy was SO surprised when she got there.  She had no idea it was coming, but she was so happy and excited!

The next morning, Laura flew in from Boston to surprise Lindy.  We met for brunch and when Lindy walked in, Laura was sitting there!  They had a fun weekend together making all kinds of wedding plans.

Lindy and Sean have set the date for March 12th, so we are going to be busy these next few months!

Meanwhile, Laura has a serious boyfriend now too.  

She blogged about their sweet love story here.  His name is Todd, and she is bringing him home to meet us in a few weeks, so we are looking forward to that!

And while all of this has been happening, so has the usual cuteness....

And my dad just got back from a ten day trip with one of his best friends of 40 years..  They did lots of fun things, but one of the most fun things they did was getting to see the Greenbay Packers play the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field.  I am so happy for him that he had such a fun time!

So...that is all the things I had to tell you!  As you can never slows down around here.  I can't believe it is fall now and the holidays are coming soon.  I have so many things going on between now and Christmas.  But it is all good.  I am so blessed.  I hope you are enjoying these cooler days and this wonderful time of year!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to me and sent words of encouragement and cards and Facebook messages and texts.  I have felt so loved and so blessed.  I can't even tell you how much it has meant to me.  This has definitely been the most difficult summer I have ever had.  But, despite the sadness....there have been some wonderful, happy things too.  And that is what I want to concentrate on today!  

My mom always encouraged us not to get down and stay down, but to look for the blessings in your life and be thankful for those.  It makes life so much better and so much happier...even when you are walking through a valley.  So, I'm counting a few little blessings today.  It's not a super long list, but here are three pretty wonderful things that I have loved this summer....

1-Spending time with these cuties.  They are the sweetest gift from God and they brighten so many of my days.  If I'm ever having a hard day....I just need a big dose of these three and I feel so much better.

And, guess what??  We are getting another little bundle of joy in February!  Yep.  Ashley is about to have #4!  I guess she is following in my footsteps.  Haha!  We are so excited for them!


Okay...I know I'm late to the party (as usual)....but SERIOUSLY!!  Oh my word.  I am addicted!  We have been binge watching all summer and I love this show so much!  I am about to start back to school, so I've got to hurry up and finish.  If you have been living under a rock or something and haven't watched this need to fix that asap! Best. show. ever.


Somehow this summer, despite everything that has been going on, I have been able to get together with at least one or two friends every week for lunch or dinner.  Friends are just the best.  Everyone has been so sweet and encouraging.  I don't know what I would do without them.  I even got to go spend the night in Boone a few weeks ago with one of my best childhood friends who was there on vacation.  I got there around lunchtime and we did not stop talking until 10:00 that night.  We didn't turn on the TV or do anything else except sit on the porch and talk!  Then we got up and started again. Haha!!  I love friends like that.  

So...that is my list.  Short and sweet. Just still taking life day by day and looking forward to lots of fun things we have planned in the next few weeks and months.  I hope you are enjoying this last month of summer! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Even So....It Is Well With My Soul

I really don't even know how to begin this post.  I don't think I can fully express what the past two weeks have been like for me and for our whole family.  But I am going to do my best because, even though I know I will never forget this time, I still want to record, as best as I can, everything that has transpired.

Let me begin with July 16th.  It was early on that Thursday morning when I got a call from my dad saying my mom was not doing well.  She had gone to bed fine the night before, but he and my aunt, who is a nurse and has been my mom's caretaker for a month, could not wake her up in the morning.  She seemed unconscious and was unresponsive.  I immediately threw on my clothes and headed over to my parents' house.  I think we have all known for a while now that the end was coming, but we just weren't sure when it would happen.  Throughout the morning, all her family gathered around her.  We all told her how much we loved her and we said our last goodbyes.  We played music and held her hand and tried to make her as comfortable as possible.  But as the afternoon wore on, she seemed to be waking up.  Finally, she opened her eyes and came out of the coma-like state she had been in all day.  She seemed surprised to find all of us surrounding her!  We were all so happy that she seemed to be doing better.  We laughed and talked for several hours and my mom was fully alert.  It seemed like all of a sudden she had gotten a burst of energy.  My niece, Brianna, even got her iPad out and showed Mom the wedding pictures that she had just gotten back.  My mom put her hand on Brianna's leg and rubbed it so sweetly.  She couldn't talk anymore, but we all knew how much she loved us.

Later in the day, my brother went over and took his three kids.  She hugged them and rubbed their backs and held his baby, but she definitely was beginning to decline again.   My aunt said she went to bed around 9:00 feeling very weak.  I kept my phone on all night...expecting the worst.  Then, around 4:30 in the morning, my aunt called to say my mom had passed away peacefully in her sleep.

Saying goodbye to my sweet, beautiful mom for the last time was one of the hardest things I will ever have to do.  I will miss her so much.  She has been such a good mom to me for my whole life.  She has always been there for me.  She encouraged me and gave me advice and she was always interested in my life.  She taught me manners and how to cook.  She made our house cozy and comfortable.  She told me about Jesus and showed me how to be a good wife and mother.  She rocked my babies and had us over for dinner and always recommended good books she was reading.  We taught a Sunday School class together for six years and when I was teaching in a Title One school, she even spent a whole year coming to my classroom on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help me out.  She was intentional about what she did and I was one of many who benefited from that.  Nobody loves you like your mom.  Her passing is going to leave a huge hole in my life.  Who can measure the love of a mother??  I know I will miss her every day. But....despite this...I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I am so thankful she is no longer here.  She was so very sick.  ALS is a brutal disease.  I hated seeing her like that.  And now she is healed and whole and with the Lord.  And I am so happy for her!!  Thank you Lord, for being merciful and taking her home at just the right time.  

This was her obituary...

Dwain Horsley Bouldin, 74 died at home in Matthews on July 17, 2015. She passed away peacefully in her sleep after a two year battle with a

She was the oldest of Bill and Lasca Horsley’s four daughters. Dwain was born in Franklin, N.C. on March 19, 1941.

God gave Dwain exceptional intellectual and leadership skills. Always at the top of her class, she graduated at seventeen and enrolled in Baylor University in Waco, Texas. There she met her future husband, Don Bouldin, and graduated in three years. Together they began a fifty-five year ministry as pastor and wife. 

Often people remarked that Dwain was born to be a model pastor’s wife. In small and large churches alike, Dwain taught Sunday School and Bible classes. She was often chosen to speak at large, state-wide events. 

An outstanding writer, Dwain was both a writer and editor of adult curriculum for the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. 

She taught Senior English, Debate, and Religion at South Mecklenburg High School while rearing three children and assisting her husband in multiple ministries. 

Dwain was bright, funny, gifted, a great friend and encourager, a terrific mom and grandmother, great-grandmother. But, more than anything, she was a committed follower of Jesus Christ. She gave Him her life as a child and He used her and blessed her all her life.

Dwain was proceeded in death by her parents. 

She is survived by her husband, Don, and three children, Betsy Maddox and husband, Steve; Blake Bouldin and his wife, Angie; and Brent Bouldin and his wife, Britney. The Bouldins have eleven grandchildren, Ashley Scott, Mark Maddox, Laura Maddox, Lindy Maddox, Brianna Wooten, Bryson Bouldin, Brett Bouldin, Brad Bouldin, Bailey Bouldin, Brooklyn Bouldin, and Braxton Bouldin. They also have three great grand-children, David Scott, Caroline Scott, and Will Scott. Three sisters, Kirsten Horsley, Billie Horsley, and Karen Horsley; and her beloved Bichon, Jake, also survive Dwain. 

Memorials may be sent to Carmel Baptist Church in memory of Dwain Bouldin.

The days after her death were bittersweet.  We had lots of wonderful family times.  We laughed and cried and reminisced.  

We sorted through pictures and told stories.  

We talked about ways my mom had impacted all of our lives.  

We prayed together and ate tons of amazing food that just seemed to keep pouring in.  

A few nights before my mom's funeral, we all gathered together to share our memories of my mom and remember all the ways she had blessed our lives.  Here is what my sister in law wrote about that night....

My mom's funeral was wonderful.  Five preachers participated and our church was packed.  So many wonderful friends took time out of their day to come support us and tell us how much they loved us and my mom.  I felt so encouraged and loved.

We all got so many wonderful Facebook messages from friends telling us how much my mom had meant to them and how she had impacted their lives.  Here are just a few....

It is strange how even in the hardest times of your life, God is there giving you hope and joy and peace.  And that is exactly what happened during this time for me.  I am so thankful and blessed.

I can't recount this story without mentioning my aunt, Karen, who was my mom's caretaker for the last month of her life.

This is what I shared about her on Facebook...

Have you ever met a real life hero? An angel on earth that God sent into your life to help you through a hard time? That is what this sweet lady is to our family. Karen is my mom's youngest sister. For the past 30 days, she has been my mom's personal home care nurse. She has sacrificed time off of her own job to take care of my mom during this last month of her life. She has fed her, bathed her, dressed her, and treated her with such love and tenderness right up until she took her last breath.
Karen's last day with my mom was this coming Monday and my mom did not want her to go. Even though Mom was no longer able to talk, she communicated by writing on a white board. As Karen began to gather her things together a few days ago and start packing to go home, Mom was sitting in her favorite chair writing away on her board. Karen asked her what she was doing, and my mom turned her board around to reveal this message. She knew there was no one else who would love her and care for her in the same wonderful way as Karen did. Being a caretaker is often a thankless job and I just wanted to say how eternally grateful I am to this beautiful soul who stayed with my
mom till her very last breath and gave every bit of love, sacrifice, and energy she had to making this awful disease as bearable as possible. Thank you so much Karen. I love you! 

During the days right after my mom passed away, Sean's (Lindy's boyfriend's) mom was getting worse and worse.  She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer a month ago and has just been on a downhill slide ever since.  Sadly, his dad just passed away nine months ago, so this has been extremely hard on him.  Here is what happened during those days in Lindy's own words....

So...not only did we lose my mom, but Sean also lost his mom three days later.  Only a few days after my mom's funeral, we attended another one to honor the life of Sean's mom.

He is now left with no parents at the age of 24.  He has two half brothers, but no full siblings.  We are heartbroken for him.  We love Sean like our own and have made sure he knows that we will always be here for him.  He will be part of our family.  Please pray for him as he adjusts to a new normal.  Lindy will be moving back from New York in two weeks to be here with him.  She wants to be with him!  But she is so sad that she barely got to New York, where she has always wanted to be, and then had to come back.  It is just a hard time for everyone right now.

Even with all this, I still praise the Lord.  He loves us and has been with us through every valley and every hard day.  He will continue to carry us and He will be faithful just like He has always been.  He is the same today as He has ever was and I cannot imagine going through any of this without Him walking right beside me.

Even is well with my soul.