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This past weekend was really good. All of it. The whole thing… from Friday to Sunday night when my head hit the pillow after painting my fingernails… well, I got 5 done and couldn’t keep my eyes opened to finish the other five… thankfully they’re clear. I emphasize that the whole weekend was good because I needed it to be good. Last weekend was long and exhausting and this one was too short and very renewing for my motherly soul.

Because the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

We started off the weekend in Tallahassee. {pictured above} Canopy roads are everywhere in this town and I took them for granted when I drove them everyday. We have lived there twice and it has a very, very, very special place in my heart. I know, that sounds cheesy but I can’t think of how else to put it. We came to love Tallahassee not only for its beauty in and of itself, but for the people we came to know and love while we were there. Someone told me that the places where your children are born will always hold a very special place in your heart and I believe them. It’s true of Anniston, AL where Morgan was born and it’s true of Tallahassee, FL where Paige was born. Not only because of their births but because of all the special people and memories that were created there.

We stayed with some very special people: Mitch & Gaye. I could write an entire post just on them. They are some of the most fabulous people I’ve ever met. We lived with them for several weeks when we moved to Tallahassee the second time around while we did a house renovation. In a few words, they are: humble, giving, loving & God-fearing… and precious to us & our children. Mitch is the father to my most precious friend {who also deserves a post all of her own}, he is a business man, an elder, a community leader, a grandfather, he is kind, he is honest and he is generous. Gaye is energetic, compassionate, magnetic, selfless, kind, and she is fun to be with. They have been through what no one on this planet would ever want to go through, the tragic and horrific loss of a child. And yet, through their trial, loss and grief God has been glorified.

Aren’t they precious? And what about their house? It’s fabulous and was recently built. I have to take a second and brag on my sister, who played a very KEY role in the design and furnishing of this house. The whole time we were there I’d tell Gaye, “Oh! This is fabulous! I love this! Where did you get this? Who did this?!” And every time her answer was the same, “Your sister!” I’ve never once doubted my sister’s ability to do her job with great skill but to see it in person absolutely blew my mind. I can pick paint colors and throw some pillows on a sofa but seeing this house all pulled together was INCREDIBLE. Sister, I know why you’re big time and why you’re going to be even more BIG TIME soon! I love you and this is SERIOUSLY the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen in my entire life. And Mitch & Gaye are grateful for all your help… and I know why, because I saw ALL that you can do! You should do a post on this house on your blog… your readers would LOVE it!
Paige was fond of the silk curtains. I didn’t let her play in them for long, I promise!

She was also fond of the pantry {which was the most beautiful pantry I’ve ever seen… with a quartz counter top all of it’s own}. Her favorite snack was the Fresh Market popcorn! I think y’all will remember that Paige is “Queen Snacker”. See Gaye’s smile? This is how she is. She and Mitch really love our children like they are their own grandchildren. It’s amazing… really it is!

I only snapped a few pictures, but I’ll share what I have with you…

As you can see the house is elegant but not showy; comfortable and classic. They’re still finishing up some details but overall it is simply amazing.

We took all 3 children with us and the girls loved building a pallet in the “secret room” which is a walk-in closet in the guest room. We all slept great and loved waking up to coffee with two of our best friends!! We love y’all and thank you for the hospitality!

I guess I should tell you why we were there… for the most special baby shower I’ve ever attended. My friend Rachel is expecting a son in several weeks. This is a child that has been long awaited and prayed for by many {myself included}. They have prayed for a child of their own for many long years and have now been blessed with a son. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate with her and many of my other friends that I miss dearly {hello Tallahassee girls, you are precious to me, I loved seeing you all and I love you dearly!}. To have almost all my friends in one room was such a treat. We had so much fun and this was my favorite gift she opened {I try to keep politics at bay on the blog… but this was too cute not to post!}. If McCain/Palin don’t win in ’08, perhaps the Republicans will take office in 2032.

We also had the opportunity to go by our old house. Lots of memories flooded my mind when I saw it. I know it’s just a house but I do love it. And I also wish the owners would trim the bushes and throw out some fresh pine straw. We tried to see our neighbors {hey, Sue & Jerry!} but were sad to miss them. We should have called but we don’t normally operate the courteous way.

Before making the trek home to Alabama we dropped in on our “first friends” in Tallahassee, Cameron and Meghan. {I stinkin’ forgot to get a picture while we were there} It was SO fun to see them and catch up on lost time. Meghan is also having a baby that has been long awaited and prayed for. She’s such a tiny thing and her little bump is really cute… but I’m afraid my post-partum bump was bigger than her baby bump. Oh well!

Sunday evening we had Justin’s brother {& his family}, sister {& her family}, and parents over for a little family fellowship of swimming and tacos! We had a lot of fun and always enjoy their company. It was a great way to end a great weekend! Here’s a picture of Paiger and her cousin Chapel… she loves him and I thought this was a cute picture of the two of them.

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  • Jessica
    September 8, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    That road looks familiar 😉 I didn't realize how much I liked Tallahassee until I left for college… I would be sad if we ever had to move from here though! I don't personally know Mitch & Gaye, but have heard him speak about the loss of their son at church… They seem so sweet and I can't imagine what they've been through. Did you go to Wildwood Sunday, or were you already home at that point? I need to e-mail you pictures – I've made 4 shirts so far I think and I'm just getting started! 🙂

  • Molly's Mom
    September 8, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Love that house! Very clean and elegant. Cute pic of your little one hiding in the curtains.

  • kt
    September 8, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    sorry we missed you on this visit to tally. maybe next time! (and i didn’t know that meghan and cameron were expecting a little one…without our Bible study, we’re so out of it! 🙂

  • andi
    September 8, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    love the home, crisp, but warm. love the pic. of p. and c. at the pool…
    I am sooooo glad to hear you’ve had a restful weekend. enjoy your cup of coffee in the a.m. 🙂 Love ya girl!

  • Cousie
    September 8, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    I’m glad you had a great weekend! Raiger’s swimsuit is precious! I’m going to have to call soon so we can catch up. We know you love and adore your husband, you just have to vent occasionally;) Mitch and Gaye have a great house! Good job, Brookie!
    I’ll talk to you soon! Love You! Cous

  • nurserachel
    September 8, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    I am so honored that you came to my baby shower, I know that was no easy task! You are such a sweet friend and I miss you SOOO much!!!!

  • erika
    September 8, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Sister, you bless my little heart. Thanks for your kind words… Mitch & Gaye were the best clients I could ask for, they trusted me and we shared a common vision for their home. I can't wait for my next visit to do the finalizations – then I'll post some photos! I'm thrilled you liked it! What a treat to see your precious Tally friends… would have loved to seen Meg's baby bump. Raiger, those draperies were not cheap… hope your fingers were clean! 🙂 You are a precious angel!

  • becky
    September 8, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    i just love trips that refresh me! and that little raiger…i could sop her up with a biscuit!! and oh how i would love to have talent like erika! i do NOT have an eye for design. i know what i like, but couldn’t go to a store and reproduce it if i tried lol!!

  • Beth G.
    September 8, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    I am glad yall had such a good trip! It is great to get away!

    What a beautiful home! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

  • Kellie Patton
    September 9, 2008 at 5:28 am

    Ya’ll take the neatest trips – the pictures were great and that home was beautiful! As always, your children are PRECIOUS! I hope to meet ya’ll one day this side of heaven!!!

  • Dianne
    September 9, 2008 at 7:19 am

    The phrase that Becky used…LOL…”sop her up with a biscuit” is just the perfect phrase for your cute family. This mom with an empty nest sure loves hearing about those kids. God bless you all!

  • Jules
    September 9, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    it’s so weird, your friends are living in the house that I’m supposed to have…hmmm.

    oh, I drive through Tallahassee at least 3 times a year. Is there anywhere good to eat???

  • Gmama
    September 11, 2008 at 6:12 am

    SOOOOOO sorry we missed you when you were in Tallahassee. All of us were out of town. Almost made me cry to miss those precious children. We still miss you very much.
    Love, Pops and Gmama