Monday, June 30, 2008


I have 3 sisters, and growing up our friends referred to my mom and all her daughters as the "Dwyer Girls." Well, the "Dwyer Girls" can be quite quirky, so in honor of baby Annie, I thought I would make her a list so she will know for sure that she's one of us.

You know you are a Dwyer Girl if:

1. You learned to count by counting your calories.

2. A nose job has been on your Christmas wish list every year since you were 5.

3. Your favorite meal is low fat popcorn with fat free spray butter followed by a bowl of frozen fruit topped with one packet of splenda and a dollop of fat free cool whip. (who brought that one to the table first?? My bet is on Katie)

4. Your hair bill is higher than your mortgage payment

5. You are on a missions trip to South Africa where you know no one, but you straighten and tease your hair, iron you clothes, and put on make up every day.

6. The high light of your week is Saturday morning yard sales and a Chik-fil-a biscuit (Very sad, but true. In our defense, they have great yard sales in Charlotte, and it is so early that we don't have to take the kids :)

7. You have a tendency to give your husband a hard time every time he goes golfing-- just for the pure heck of it (sorry, guys :)

8. Your favorite Starbucks drink is a venti non fat, sugar free, vanilla latte. (It tastes like crap and you know it, but it is what you get because it is guilt-free.)

9. Your favorite snack is a diet coke and twizzlers.

10. You have successfully convinced your husband that he also loves chick flicks, diet coke, and light popcorn with fat free spray butter.

11. Although you will cook (occasionally:) you get absolutely no sense of your self worth from being in the kitchen.

Poor, Annie. You're doomed.

The "Dwyer Girls": (They will all kill me for posting pics-- I should have put that on the list-- You know you are a Dwyer girl if you avoid the camera at all costs :) Sorry girls, good thing I live way down here in South Florida and know how to turn my phone on silent :)

My mom and Kristi

Melanie and Me

(don't hate me, Katie. I know it is a pic of you putting something in your mouth, but I swear it is all I had. And besides, it looks very dainty:).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Today I have felt so convicted. Convicted because I have whined and complained to my husband and close friends about my own life stresses and burdens way too much lately. This week, the Lord has really opened my eyes up to those around me who are going through so much more and are hurting so badly. My heart is heavy today for my friends in marriage crisis, friends with children who are facing upcoming surgeries, friends whose children are fighting for their lives in a NICU right now, friends who are struggling with infertility, friends whose husbands have abandoned them, and friends who don't know how they will pay rent this month. Who am I to complain about the relatively small stresses in my own life compared to the hell these people are going through? How selfish I have been. No more complaining-- my new goal is to go to God in prayer for one of my hurting friends each time I am tempted to complain (BEFORE I voice the complaint). I can do this with the strength and power of the Holy Spirit.

Dear Lord, thank you for reminding me how much pain, uncertainty, and loneliness some of those dear to me are facing right now. Keep it fresh on my heart and with the power of the Holy Spirit keep me on my knees for the hurting people in my life and my church.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Whale Watching

This post is dedicated in honor of 2 very special people, Leslie and Jessica.

Leslie, this pic is for you- only because I promised at least one of me about to pop. All I am saying is that you can't see my ankles for a reason. Is it a bad thing if I put on an ankle bracelet and Chris said, "Oh, that's cool-- you're wearing the necklace I gave you for Christmas on your ankle"?

Jessica, I miss you dearly and since you love whale watching so much (no joke- she really does), I thought I would bless you with this glimpse. Didn't think you would get to see one until you went to Canada again, did you?

Enjoy, my dear friends :)

My boys are convinced they each have a baby Annie in their tummies too!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


If you check this blog regularly, I want you to know that I am not always sarcastic. I promise it is because I am under 3 weeks away from my due date, my husband has been away for the past two weeks (thank goodness he is home now!), and all I can do to survive is just keep laughing thing. I am an emotional wreck-- so, if I am not laughing I am bawling. I prefer laughing.

I love this verse:
Psalm 126:2 (New International Version)
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."

How awesome is it that the Bible tells us that through our laughter, others will know that the Lord has done great things for us? We need to lighten up sometimes and just laugh. This is where I am at. The Lord is doing great things in our church, He is blessing our family with fun, healthy children, He is teaching Chris and I so much and drawing us closer and closer to Him, but I am having a hard time processing everything and writing it into blog size entries. I am blaming it all on being pregnant and slightly overwhelmed. So, in the meantime, I choose to laugh. God is doing great things, and I choose laughter as my way of showing others that our GOD IS GOOD!! Soon, I will be able to think and process and write again (I am hoping)-- and who knows? maybe I will have something insightful or inspiring to share. Until then, bear with me and enjoy a laugh or two at my expense! :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I have been tagged by my friend, Faith, to answer a few random things about myself:

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

Oh, crap-- this question just reminded me that it has been 10 years since I graduated from high school!! The problem is that I was the class president and planning a reunion was my responsibility!!! Yikes!! "OK-- Don't panic, Holly, you can do this."

To all my dear fellow high school friends that read this: please forward this to anyone in our class that you keep in touch with:

Dear BBCS Class of 1998 Graduates (all 26 of you!!!):

Please join us for a night of Glamour and Elegance
as we celebrate our 10 Year Class Reunion
Saturday, August thirtieth two thousand eight
Five o'clock in the evening
Chik-Fil-A Restaurant
Matthews, North Carolina
Attire: Red Carpet Chic (Culottes OK)
Hosted by: SOM Class of 1998
*P.S. If you consider the black iron gate that encloses the outdoor play yard as appropriate childcare, then childcare is provided.

Wow-- I feel much better already. I just needed a minute to think.

2. My Favorite Snacks

Organic baby carrots and celery with a dash of pure rock salt and a glass green tea

3. Five things on my to-do list today

  • Iron Chris' boxers
  • Finish baking my famous made from scratch pound cake for my small group
  • Finish knitting Baby Annie's hospital blanket
  • Attend weekly homeowner's association meeting
  • Take Max and Jack to the Miami Symphony Orchestra concert

4.Things I would do if I were a billionaire

Equip everyone I know to live a more "GREEN" lifestyle.

5. Five jobs that I've had

  1. Hair Colorist
  2. Golf Caddy
  3. Maid
  4. Cook
  5. Algebra Tutor

Oh wait, do you think that question meant previous jobs? I was just thinking about what I do NOW. I'll tell you what-- Chris can be a handful.

6. Five places (OR rooms) in which I've lived

  • In a room with my sister, Kristi, that was decked out with the Charlotte hornets posters
  • In a room with my sister, Kristi, that was pink with ballet slippers all over it (neither one of us ever danced!!)
  • In a room with my sister, Kristi, that was decorated with the cartoon duck tales (sad to say, we were in high school at the time!)
  • In a room with Chris that is decorated with Star Trek paraphernalia

***I have lived with some people who are in serious identity crisis'

7.Five random things people wouldn't know about me:

  1. I am always serious
  2. I just eat and eat and eat and can't gain a pound to save my life
  3. I was always a huge BLOSSOM fan (remember that show?). I loved her so much, I even got a nose job to resemble hers.
  4. I have a really hard time opening up to people
  5. I stress about what to write on this blog
8. Five Cd's that I'd have to take on a desert island

A desert island? It wouldn't matter what Cd's I brought, because I would just use them to reflect the sun so someone would rescue me and take me to the nearest hotel where I could shower and relax.

9. People I tag are....

Everyone I know has already been tagged!!

Hope you laugh reading this as much as I did writing it. By the way, if you believe any of this, you are as gullible as my friend, Faith :) !!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


As I was driving home from church the other day with the boys and their little friend, Charlize, I overheard this conversation:

Max: "Charlize, I am almost a daddy. You know why?"

Charlize: "No."

Max: (As he is pointing to his legs) "See, I am almost a daddy."

Charlize: "See what? I see hair on your legs right there."

Max: "Yeah, see that hair right there?"

Charlize: "Yes."

Max: "That is why I am almost a daddy. When you have hair on your legs you are almost a daddy."

What a great life lesson :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lessons from DAD

In honor of Father's day yesterday, I was going write a post on the top things I miss about my dad. Since it would take you a day to read, and Chris already tells me my posts are way too long, I have decided to randomly post over the next few weeks different things my dad taught me. Most of these things are not earth shattering, just simple principles I learned firsthand by the way my dad lived his life.

Lesson #1 from DAD: Say yes to your kids when you can.

I have a dear friend who once told me, We have to tell our kids no so much, that we need to seize the opportunities to say yes whenever possible. I quickly realized that my friend put into words what my dad lived. My dad was the best at this. Why not pick up ice cream on the way home from the ball game? Why not let you where your princess pj's to the grocery store? Why not race you to the car? Why not sign you out of class a little early for your dentist appointment so we can go to lunch together?

My dad was not a push over, and he definitely could say no when he needed to (except maybe not to Katie- she always did have him wrapped!!), but he also knew what was important. Good times with his family always trumped the "We have it all together- we eat the perfect things, we look perfect, and we act appropriate at all times" act that many of us as parents get caught up in. Because my dad said yes when he could, I have so many genuinely fun memories of times spent with him--times laughing, being silly, eating foods we knew mom would kill us--good times.

Now as a mom, I do my very best to weigh each one of my children's request through the lens of, "Can I say yes to this one?" Will it really hurt if he wears socks with those horrible spiderman sandals Aunt Melanie graciously gave my child (because she would never let one of her boys wear them :)? Will it really hurt if we occasionally enjoy an icee at Target right before dinner?
Moms, I challenge you to relax and seize the opportunities when we can say yes to our children. Not only will you be creating some great memories for your children, but I bet it will make life more enjoyable for everyone--including you.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I know I am 9 months pregnant when:

  1. I make Chris take the kids to the pool at 7:30 every night and instruct him not to put sunscreen on them so it will count as their bath (no comments please about how you have noticed a green tinge to their hair lately).
  2. I feel baby Annie kick and my first instinct is to ask her to knock it off.
  3. A dear friend offers to take the kids for the day, but I refuse because the thought of loading/unloading them from the car is too overwhelming. (If you know how heavy Max is, you understand!!)
  4. I have decided that shaving my legs is really not that important even though I live in South Florida and go to the pool Every. Single. Day.
  5. I count sitting with Max and watching a 30 min Super Why program as his learning time, recreation time, family time, and exercise time (that is, if I make him get up at least twice and get me a drink).
  6. I have suddenly become an overly optimistic parent (i.e. "Oh, he's OK on the roof- he really is a good climber". OR "Don't worry that his lips are turning blue- he really is a good swimmer. I promise he'll get to the side, just give him a few more seconds.")
  7. I have to take more bathroom breaks when we are in Target than my 2yr old and 3yr old combined!
  8. Every one in the house except me is sleeping with a rolled up pair of pants under their heads because I need all 15 pillows we own to fall asleep!! (they would just fold a blanket, but since I keep the thermostat at 55 degrees--- all blankets are being used to avoid frostbite)
  9. I baked a ham large enough to feed 30 people, and I am so proud that now my family will have a home cooked meal to eat every night until I deliver (By the way, how long does ham last in the refrigerator?)
  10. Chris is beginning to complain that going to the community pool for a bath every night is taking too much time. I ask him in all honesty if he thinks the lake in our back yard would count?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Always Racing

Tonight in my small group, the Lord really opened my eyes to something I need to change in my daily life. I am always racing the clock. I set the timer on my stove for everything-- to do the dishes, to put on my makeup, to vacuum, to get the kids ready--everything. You name it-- if it is an everyday chore, you can bet I race the clock to get it done. For some reason, I get a kick out of finishing before I hear that awful timer go off. I am not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing (it is good to be timely and efficient isn't it?), but what the Lord showed me tonight is that I am always making my family hurry. I am continually pressuring my boys to move faster. Hurry up and get your shoes on, hurry up and get in the car, hurry up and get out of the car, hurry up and finish going to the bathroom, hurry up and wash your hands, hurry up and come here, hurry up and go to bed. Hurry, hurry, hurry --I say it all day long. I even set the timer for them while they pick up their toys and when they play the computer. We race every morning to see which boy can get dressed the fastest, and we race when we get in the car to see who can get buckled first. "You have to hurry or we are going to be late," is probably the most common phrase I say to my kids. Lately, Max keeps asking me, "Mommy, what happens when we are late?" with this intense curiosity like he is expecting me to say that our world is going to fall apart.

Chris used to(I say used to because I think he is either used to my racing obsession after 8 years of marriage or he just gave up on this battle!) always tell me that I have a special talent at making the smallest things in life stressful-- like doing the dishes, bathing the kids, and folding laundry. Who knew? You mean that everyone doesn't enjoy the fact that when you rush you get more accomplished in a shorter amount of time?

Well, tonight I got the point! Pastor Troy taught us this weekend that everyday is an opportunity for us to bring joy to someone else's life. I have been thinking about that statement all week, but I couldn't quite figure out what the Lord was trying to tell me until tonight. I realized tonight that not only am I creating stressed out, high strung, borderline spastic, and extremely competitive children, but I am robbing them of learning to enjoy the little things of everyday life. My kids live in this fear of being late-- like if we are late or slow, then something really bad is going to happen. In all reality, the only thing that will happen is you might actually enjoy some of the moments we have together when we are cleaning the toys, or getting in the car, or getting dressed. You might actually remember your childhood and the moments you spent at home with me instead of just remembering a fast forward blur of your preschool years. I have been totally missing the opportunity to bring joy to my family in the little things of life. I have been robbing the very people I love most from enjoying everyday life because I would rather enjoy the feeling of getting things accomplished. How selfish I have been.

Chris and my boys, I love you guys to pieces and I promise that with the Holy Spirit's help I am going to slow down and take every opportunity to bring joy to your lives. Whether we are doing the dishes, running errands, or getting dressed--- we are going to enjoy it and chill out. No more timer on the oven (except maybe when it is just me-- but I won't make you be a part if it!! Chris, I will even go for running errands together, even though you know I am thinking that we could get 2x as much done if we separated and we could race and see who makes it to Chik-fil-A first! Sorry, Babe, it took me 8 years to get it; thank you for being patient with me and playing along without complaining all these years. I love you.

Monday, June 9, 2008


I just wanted to write a quick post about how good my God is.

When I woke up this morning, I had 3 things on my agenda for today:

  1. Tackle the mounting pile of paper work on my makeshift desk

  2. Catch up on emails

  3. Do #1 and #2 with a pleasant attitude

The Lord had other plans. As I dropped my kids off at summer camp, a friend of mine asked if I would like to get together this am. Since I am not one to EVER turn down social interaction, I justified abandoning my commitment to tackle the mountain of paperwork by telling myself that she probably needed to get a few things off her chest, and I would be a good friend by listening and praying with her. Both she and God are laughing right now, because less than 2 sips into her coffee I completely verbally vomited all over her!!! Everything I was struggling with, things I knew the Lord was convicting me of-- I mean everything. She heard it all. After and hour or so of listening and giving me some godly advice, she prayed for me. Man, I REALLY needed it!!

About an hour later, I had a preterm labor scare during a church meeting- of all places! So here I am--in this meeting, trying my best to act like I am paying attention and to offer at least one intelligent, creative idea-- all the while thinking I am about to have a baby! As soon as the meeting was over, my friend Heather drove me to the hospital and gave up her entire afternoon to sit with me while they ruled out labor. It was actually one of the first times we have really had a chance to talk and get to know each other better without kids wrapped around our legs. Besides the fact that we both thought that she was going to end up being my birthing coach (which, I think scared her more than me! :), we had a great visit with each other. I REALLY needed that too.

So, why not one bill was paid or one email returned, the Lord showed me today that He has surrounded me with great people here in Florida to do life with.

Dear Jesus, Thank you so much that you showed me today that I am not alone down here. You know my every need, and You have surrounded me with generous and amazing people that really care about our family. Thank you for taking care of us. Thank you for the reassurance today that you will provide all I need- not just financially, but socially, emotionally, and physically. You are good and I am so blessed to be your daughter.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Here's how things went down today. This morning, Chris and I were about to lose our minds with 2 little ones going stir crazy in the house. Chris gives me the, "I don't care what we do, but we have to get them out of the house NOW" look. "What do you want to do, Babe?" is my response. "I don't know. Lets take them to the pool" he replies. "Sorry, but I already did my hair and I am not doing it again before
church tonight. How about the park?" So
to the park it was :).

First, we go to the same park we thought we always go to, but obviously we have never gone on the weekend, because we were shocked when they told us we had to pay to get in. $8 bucks to slide for 20 min? Um, no thanks. So we left and decided to try another nearby park. When we arrived, we realized some kind of party or something was going on. We decided to check it out, and we could not believe what we had run into. There was country music blasting, pony rides, hay rides, a GREAT bar-b-que lunch, sno cones, face painting, and numerous other activities for the kids---- ALL for FREE. It was great. The kids had a blast, and of course, we played it off like we had this special surprise Family Fun Day planned all week!! Seriously, we still have no idea what we jumped in on, but everyone was super sweet to us and we even met 4-5 people who went to our church that said they knew who we were and they made us fit right in! We think it was some kind of equestrian club party. Regardless, it was a blast; and we are thankful the Lord saved the morning and even made this 9 month pregnant mom look like she's got it together to her boys!! Thank you, Jesus, for the little things you do! :)
Oh, and thanks to the Southwest Ranches Equestrian Club for a great morning!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Fishing Fun

I took this pic from my back patio. We were just about to head out for a few minutes of fishing before bedtime. I love having a palm tree in my yard. When I was a child, my family always vacationed in Florida. As we would make the drive down each year, my mom would would get so excited as soon as she saw the first palm tree. The sight of those trees meant we were getting close to a week of rest, relaxation, and fun at the beach. Well, I guess it stuck, because every time I see my tree it makes me want to grab my coffee and just chill for awhile. It makes me happy.

All I have to say is that Chris did not catch that fish, but he was more than willing to be the one in the picture. I can't say I blame him. I would be frustrated too if I had just spent the last 3 days out there trying to catch ANYTHING, and my wife and son catch one on their first cast in less than 5 minutes!! Hang in there, Babe. I let you reel in the next one.

POOR THING. He finally gave up and came inside about 2 hours later.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Beach Baptisms

Just thought I would follow up with a few pics from our beach baptisms. What an amazing night! We watched over 200 people get baptized and then enjoyed an awesome concert by our worship team at the Hollywood Beach band shell.

P.S. Thanks for the pics, Heredes!!