Monday, February 21, 2011

Tomorrow is a Special Day...

Because it marks one year ago that this precious face entered our lives...

Truly counting the gift of her life today!

 We love you Selah Hope!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Going to the Mountains

I'm taking off tomorrow at noon with 26 amazing young women for our annual ZOE Girls Retreat!  In the past, we've made some amazing memories...and there is nothing quite like getting away for a weekend!  Here are a few of my favorite moments from past year's retreats

Snowball fight?  Just enough snow for one good toss!

Love our shirts?  Yes, we do original shirts for every retreat - they are a highlight...and wait til you see this year's!
Can you believe I'm related to all of these AMAZING ladies?

What's more fun than finding an old VW van?  I'm not sure if I can think of anything!  Woohoo - pile in and take pictures!

Girls listening as the boys serenade

Here is what I'm looking forward to...ah, doesn't that just look relaxing and gorgeous?

Here is what I'm going to miss...look at this face!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Story About Valentine Plans Gone Wrong

As is so often the case, Josh and I technically began our “official relationship” on Valentine’s Day (1998) – he stalked me for a few months prior and we had gone on a couple of friendly dates, but on the day of love is when our relationship became official (perhaps what college students would consider facebook official in today’s lingo).

Well, one year after we had officially been dating, Josh decided that he should pull out all the stops and show me what an amazingly romantic guy he is.  So, he asked me to go to Dallas with him for the weekend to spend some time with his family, and of course go out for a lovely 1-year anniversary/Valentine’s date.  I was very much in love at the time, and although I am a far cry from a hopeless romantic I was quite excited about our weekend in Dallas.

I’m not sure what all I fantasized about but I’m sure it had something to do with horse drawn carriages, mounds of chocolate that I would consume, and lavish gifts handed over to me.  Regardless of what I was hoping for, I should say that I was in fact HOPING and very much looking forward to what this mystery date would hold!

Josh told me to be ready to leave his parent’s house at 4:30pm. 

“That early!?”  I exclaimed. 

“Why, yes” he replied with a devilish gleam in his eye, “we have quite the night before us!”

This is going to be fantastic I remember thinking to myself!  Now, if you do not know my husband you should know a few things:
1.       He is the hopeless romantic in our relationship.  As proof: He has watched Beauty and Beast at least 5 times (need I say more).
2.      He prides himself on creating romantic gestures (for a reasonable price mind you J).  As proof: he once set up a flower business in college by taking orders and buying roses in bulk at Sam’s…he then sold these to helpless young men (not sure if it was in the name of love or some extra moolah…but either way – he loves planning events that show me I am loved.)
3.      He is SMART – as in almost genius level…but details are not always his forte.

So, back to the story

I got dolled up in my Valentine’s best and was ready to walk out the door at 4:30pm sharp!  We climbed into the car and Josh refused to tell me where we were headed.  There was an atmosphere of mystery – where would we go?

As we turned a corner and Josh slowed the car, he made this statement.  “The plans for tonight are actually not solidified, but I have back-up plans in case my first choice does not work.”

With that, I realized we were at the Fair Park Music Hall and there were no other cars in the parking lot…hmm, I thought – perhaps a private concert?  No, this isn’t that big of a date, and I was certain he wouldn’t be proposing tonight (we had already discussed this option and I had made it clear I wasn’t interested for at least another year – I was much too young…and much too bossy).

As I waited in the car, Josh ran up to the ticket window and got in line behind 4-5 people (okay, maybe there were one or two other cars around).  He made it up to the window but turned around with a dejected look on his face.  He got in the car and explained that he was trying to get tickets to a great musical (I love musicals), but when he had tried to purchase them earlier all that was left were stand-by tickets and the last tickets were purchased be the lady in front of him.

He looked so sad…but in a flash, he turned on that Josh Allen grin and said, “But I have a plan B!”  We sped off in his trust 1988 Honda Accord and headed across the Metroplex to the mystery location of “Plan B!”

At around 5:30pm we pulled into another almost empty parking lot at the Morton Myerson Symphony and he explained that he had already determined that if the musical was sold out that we would go to the Symphony instead!  The symphony should be romantic – right? 

I went up to the ticket booth with him at this point and we stood in line for 30 minutes waiting for these tickets to go on sale.  It was fun chatting in line (although it was very windy and I kept thinking that my Valentine’s best hair was starting to look less and less stellar).  We finally were able to talk to the lady at the window and she curtly stated that the tickets were $200 each.

Josh gulped, pulled out his wallet with a bit of hesitancy, and I squeezed his arm trying to get him to look at me.  I whispered, “That’s too much, I think.”

“No, no…this is a special night,” he said.

We stood there silent for a moment.  His hand was frozen above his debit card.  My brain was shouting – YOUR BOYFRIEND IS POOR.  WELL, NOT POOR, BUT NOT RICH…HE SELLS HOTDOGS FOR A LIVING…NOT SURE, BUT THAT PROBALY DOEN’ST BRING IN A LOT OF CASH…IF HE DOES HAVE MONEY YOU WANT HIM TO SAVE IT TO BUY YOU A GREAT RING…AND HE SHOULD PROBABLY KNOW YOU DON’T LIKE THE SYMPHONY.  I wasn’t quite sure what to do…so I whispered again, “You know we don’t have to go to any show; I think a nice dinner would be special enough.  I’ll be happy either way.”

He let out a little sigh and looked at me.  “Are you sure?  I just really wanted to do something special.”

“I’m absolutely sure!”  I turned on my biggest reassuring smile, and as we started back towards the car I breathed my own sigh of relief that I would not have to sit through the symphony.

Once again, Josh turned on the charm and said, “I guess it’s a good thing that I have a Plan C!”  I must admit that I was impressed; after all, details are not always his strong suit.  This time he told me that Plan C was a dinner reservation that he made at this amazing little romantic Italian place across from the SMU campus.

He had found it online.

It took us another 30 minutes to cross the metroplex, so at 6:30pm we walked into “Plan C.”

All I can say about “Plan C” is that a shiver went through my body as we walked into the “little romantic” place.  Little it was…and if romantic is about lighting, then there was definitely ambiance…but the dim lighting wasn’t giving me a feeling of romance but rather a feeling that they were trying to disguise the filth of the floors and the cracks in the walls.  All I could think about were roaches in the kitchen and how many times had detectives been called to this location for crime follow-up?

I tried hard to put on a cheery smile, but Josh could easily see that “Plan C” was doing little to impress me.  “Hmmm…the pictures online didn’t look like this,” he whispered.

“Well, it is only 6:30pm,” I said, “Maybe we could find another restaurant?”  Please, please I prayed in my mind…I don’t want to eat roach legs.

“Definitely!”  He said, the charm and confidence back!  “We are in Uptown now and there are so many great places around here – we’ll find something amazing in no time!”

For any of you who have ever tried to find a great restaurant on Valentine’s Night know…those words were far from the truth.  As the trusty Honda took us from one restaurant to the next I slowly saw my future husband’s shoulders start to sag.

One place said the wait would be 3 hours.  Another said only 2!  Others basically told Josh to get a life, and after his 8th rejection he got back in the car and put his head on the steering wheel.

He sighed loudly and I thought I saw a tear of frustration in his eyes.  “I just wanted tonight to be perfect, but I don’t know what to do.”  He sat there for another minute, and then seemed to shake himself out of the fog.  He turned on his smile yet once again and said, “Let’s try Plan D!”

He began to drive to a restaurant where he had made reservations in the chance we went to either the musical or symphony.  He explained his entire plan to me at this point and said, “I made two dinner reservations – one in case the musical and symphony didn’t pan out and another for later in case we did go to the musical!  The reservation isn’t until 9:30 but maybe we’ll get a seat earlier since I did make a reservation.”  With that, we were off again!

“Plan D” restaurant was nice and the food smelled so very good, but since it was Valentine’s Day we were informed that we would have to wait like everyone else who walked in.  Maybe an hour…maybe more.  So, we sat in the bar area playing our favorite game of guessing people’s relationships (is it their first date…are they in a fight…is he going to propose tonight).  We waited and we waited and I smelled delicious food!  It was now around 8pm & all I could think about was the fact that more than romance, I just wanted some food!

Josh asked the hostess multiple times how we were doing on the list and it became clear that the prospects were not promising.  It was my time to tear up, so looking to Josh I told him.  “I know you were trying to impress me and make this a romantic night and although I appreciate it…I’m so hungry that I really don’t care if we go to a fancy restaurant or McDonalds.  Can we just please go find something to eat?”

At this, we went back to the car – both of us frustrated and hungry.  Josh started to drive, and literally stopped at almost every restaurant along the road.  He refused to stoop to McDonald’s level but was determined to find something.

Please God, I remember praying…Please let us find something – ANYTHING!

An HOUR into more driving and searching we pulled the Honda into a gas station.  While Josh filled up the tank we had quite the argument…I wanted to give up – “Let’s just go home!  Your mom has left over lasagna” (man did that sound good now that it was 9pm).

But Josh refused to give up.  He was not going to fail this mission!  I don’t remember what words were exchanged but I know most of it had to do with disappointment and wrong expectations.  After “the moment” at the gas station, we agreed to try 3 more places and then we would give up.

The next restaurant we saw was The Macaroni Grill, and at 9:30pm they said they could seat us right away!  HALLELUJAH!  We feasted – Italian Nachos, Piles of Pasta, loaves and loaves of bread (it was 9:30 – I was starving!)…and finished it off with Tiramisu.  By the time we took our last bite of tiramisu we were laughing at the craziness that had been our night, and we made a pact to never again let our expectations and desires to impress the other overcome the simplicity of loving one another.

Becoming Paige
Looking back, it is a night I would not change.  I learned so much about my future husband that night.  I learned that he loves grand gestures and he loves to make me happy.  I also learned that it is important to let him lead the way when he has made great plans, and I learned that it hurts his heart when he feels he has disappointed me.

And I learned about myself that night too.  I learned that one of the greatest stumbling blocks in my life is setting up false expectations.  This may be expectations like that night of an event or another person, but often it’s the expectations that I put on myself. 

Since that fateful Valentine’s night we have tried to show our love through more simple plans.  One year we ordered pizza and had a candlelight dinner over some pepperoni…this year, I was working on a project and so my amazing husband helped me cut and sort papers for over 2 hours.  After 10 years of marriage, that self-less act of love reminded me of the boy 12 years ago who driving his Honda just wanted to make me happy…and that love, whether it’s shown through paper cuts or extravagant plans is something I will try to never take for granted.

Monday, February 14, 2011


From our family to yours!  Happy Valentine's Day!

May you love extravagantly!  And may you ENJOY loving one another today!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Story About Kidnapped Parents

When I was 5 years old my sister Leslie and I shared a room.  We cozied up in our bunk beds every night whispering stories or complaints to one another about how unfair it was that we had to go to bed at such an early hour.  In the summer of that year, our bedtime of 8pm seemed especially cruel – afterall, the sun was still out and as all children know, there should be playing instead of sleeping when the sun was out!

Over the summer months we became quite masterful at prolonging the inevitable bedtime.  We would ask for stories, get up for a drink of water, and on especially creative nights we would get up to ask my parents deep questions about life – you know, like why was it that Stephanie across the street was allowed to ride her bike outside until 8:30pm but we were relegated to our bunk beds at 8:00pm?

During one of these summer nights we had gone through our litany of bed time excuses only to surrender to the inevitable and try to go to sleep.  I was almost dreaming of tomorrow’s bike rides and the ice cream truck when I heard Leslie calling my name in a distressed voice.


“What is it, Les?”  I asked with annoyance.

“I think mom and dad have been kidnapped or something.”

“What?”  I asked as I started to awaken from my sleepy state.

“I said, I think mom and dad have been kidnapped.  They aren’t here.”

As I sat up in my bunk bed Leslie began to explain to me as only a 3 year old can that she had gotten up to ask one last time for a glass of water only to find that my parents were nowhere in our house.  I asked if she had checked the kitchen.  She had.  The bedroom?  Check.  I went down the list of every room in the house only to discover that according to Leslie they were nowhere to be found.

Perhaps they were kidnapped I decided…but I told her that I would check it out first.

As the two of us ventured into each room, Leslie began to cry and I began to worry.  Who would have kidnapped them I wondered?  And would they be able to escape? 

I tried my best to be brave for Leslie, and told her that I would call the operator.  (I guess it dates me a bit at the realization that 911 was nonexistent at the time – but I had learned in kindergarten that when there is an emergency it was best to dial 0 and talk to the operator!)

So, standing in my parent’s bedroom I walked to the phone and dialed 0 with confidence knowing that the operator was always available to help.

As soon as I heard the voice say, “Operator.”  I went into full story mode trying my best to explain that my parents had been kidnapped and we did not know what to do.  I then took a deep breath prepared to receive wisdom and comfort from the all-wise operator.

 “Stop playing on the phone, little girl.  This line is meant for real emergencies.” The operator spat out these words and immediately hung up the phone.  I was shocked as I held the receiver in my hand listening to the dial tone.  I didn’t know what to do – hadn’t my teacher said that the operator was always able to help in times of trouble? 

Leslie looked up at me with tears in her big blue eyes and I knew I had to try one more time.  This time I would be brave and make sure the operator knew this was a real emergency.  So, as I heard the word, “Operator.”  I launched into the most confident speech any 5-year old could make about the fact that her parents had been kidnapped.

To my relief this was a different operator and she asked me several questions – all of which I was proud to have the answers to…
Address: 8505 Louisville Drive
Phone Number: 792-0773
Parent’s Names: Jackie and Linda White

She asked me a few other things and then explained that I would now be speaking to the police who would ask me a few other questions.  The police officer asked me the same type of questions and then explained that everything would be okay – that they would do their best to find my kidnapped parents.

The police officer then asked if I knew my neighbors and when I said that I did, he told me to go over to their house and wait for a few minutes until a police officer could get there.  I hung up the phone, put my hand on Leslie’s shoulder and told her to go put on her robe and pack a few things because we were going next door.

Leslie and I went to our room and pulled out a suitcase.  We packed our favorite dolls and some crackers.  We put on our new robes and house shoes and prepared ourselves for the trip next door to the Addling’s house.

As we stepped out our front door I realized that it was still light outside, and then I noticed familiar voices and laughter.  Could it be?  Was that my father’s voice?  How had he escaped the kidnappers already?  We turned from the front door to the driveway and were amazed to see that sitting in lawn chairs were my parents talking with the neighbors!  They were alive!  They were not kidnapped!

My parents needless to say were a bit surprised to see Leslie and I dressed in our best night attire carrying a suitcase.  Leslie screamed and started yelling – “you’re alive!  You’re alive!”  As my dad picked her up he started to laugh and say that of course he was alive – what were we up to now?  We started to explain that we thought they had been kidnapped, and in the midst of the story I commented that the police were coming to help us find them.

My parents laughed about our story, but then my dad halted and asked, “Did you really call the police?”  “Yes I did!”  I proudly boasted, “And they are on their way.”

My dad hurried inside to make a phone call, just as a police car pulled onto our street.

Becoming Paige…
I used to love telling this story when I was a little girl.  I thought it made me sound brave, although I understand now why it made people laugh and light up with joy!  And although it’s cute that two little girls would make assumptions about their parent’s being kidnapped – I’ve started to wonder how often do I make false assumptions about my life.  How often do I go by what I see when the truth of a situation is right outside the front door?

Sometimes I like the comfort and the confines of the house I make in my life – even if the reality or assumptions inside of that house aren’t ideal.  I’m trying to step outside my house more this year – look at situations from a different vantage point…and allow the Lord to walk me out the front door where I can see His truth rather than just my reality.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Story About...

I’ve always known that I was a story teller.

I knew it when I was 13 years-old and I convinced my entire bus one morning on the way to school that Vanna White was my aunt (my maiden name was Paige White). I think I had a whole bit in there about the correct way to turn the vowels and that I was being coached to one day take her place…

I knew it the first time I preached…stories are how I know God and so this is what I communicated (I also quickly realized that stories can be LONG and that I must work on cutting down the details the next time I preached ).

And I know I am a story teller because I find myself telling Selah stories constantly – stories about my life, stories about what her life might be like, and stories about Jesus.

I used to think perhaps I should be more theological in the way that I think or teach or talk. Perhaps stories were childish and for yesteryears, but when it dawned on me that Jesus was the master story-teller, I decided that it was good company to be in…

So, I’ve decided that I’m going to actually work on my story-telling. Not fictional stories – no, I love telling stories that have happened to me in the past. I love these stories because when I reflect on them I always see lessons or God’s grace or just ridiculous moments that I can grow from…

That’s why I’m excited to let you know that from here on out, I’m committed to sharing with you one of my stories every Tuesday. Some will be about faraway places – like the time I jumped in the Indian ocean or walked through a bamboo forest in Maui. Others may be embarrassing – like the time I mooned two boats full of high school boys. And others may be simple – like the time I went on a date with Jesus and He told me to go to The Disney Store.

Whatever the story – I want to find God’s fingerprints on my life – afterall, it’s stopping and reflecting on how He is here and what He is doing that helps us to become who we are…and since this blog is called Becoming Paige, I want to invite you each and every Tuesday to join me as I reflect on how His hand in my stories have molded me and ARE molding me into becoming Paige…becoming His.

And I want to invite you to begin reminiscing on your own stories. How have they and how are they helping you to become who you know you were meant to be?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Where I Am - Rambling Edition

Where I Am: Sitting on my couch, watching the snow blow off my roof and straining my ears for Selah's cries.  She is resting at the moment, but is sick - I'm guessing the flu - bad cough, constant fever for the last 24 hours, and the most pathetic "I'm really sick, Mom" whimper.  Those little watery eyes just make my heart break, and it is amazing how all that seems to matter is holding her.  Yes, the house is a crazy mess and yes, I have so much reading and studying that I should do...but my job today is to hold her - I have to admit that I love that job!  I really am one of those moms!  Well, maybe not fully one of THOSE moms...but that is another issue.

What I Am Watching: Honestly, I'm a little bit embarrassed to let you know, but in my job today of holding Selah I just finished watching a little made for TV movie - Revenge of the Bridesmaids...sad, I know!  But on a more sophisticated note, I would also like to recommend The King's Speech.  This is the only movie I've seen in a real live movie theater in the last two months and I loved it!  First of all, I love Great Britain...and I secretly love the royals - don't all girls really?  Didn't you ever secretly wish that you met an undercover prince and could become royal yourself? too.  So anyways, I highly recommend this film - the acting was fabulous...I learned a little bit of interesting history...and the story about the common man helping a reluctant hero find his courage and voice was inspiring!

What I am Reading: This happens to be a picture of my bedside table at the moment...

Why yes, there are seven books on my nightstand!  And why yes, I also happen to be in the middle of another 3-4 books at work.  I think this is a problem - a real problem...I also think it is a sign that I'm just not incredibly excited about any of these books right now...although they are all good books and I enjoy each of them whenever I pick one of them up...

Here is my highlight of the top 3:
Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers - I actually AM reading this book right now - I just love Francine Rivers!  And I gave my mom this book as a gift for Christmas.  She finished the book and handed it over to me to read - I define this book truly as the gift that keeps on giving!

Real Sex by Lauren Winner - Sorry everyone, this is not some steamy book that is addressing my sex fact, the subtitle is "the naked truth about chastity."  And I'm reading it to prepare for our upcoming relationship series at zoe.  Here is what I have realized - I CANNOT - repeat CANNOT communicate the same reasoning behind remaining chaste to our college students that I was told growing up.  For one, they've heard it before & a large majority of them are having sex.  I'm realizing as I talk to girls (Christian girls who love God and yet who are very sexually active) that they need something more in order for them to make a decision to wait until marriage to have sex.  I don't have time to tell you what I think they need to hear (wouldn't that be a good blog though!)...let's discuss that one later...but that is the purpose of this book - I'm trying to see new sides to this truth...because I love those girls I talk to...and they need truth about sex...

Just Do Something - Terri Reed gave me this book & I like parts of it (LOVE parts of it actually), but I also have to stop this book often and debate in my head and heart a mix/mash of sermons I've heard over the years - you know...those sermons where I can climb a mountain and conquer the world and must find my purpose today...those sermons that I believed for so long...because this book basically says - STOP trying to find the magic purpose and just go do something.  I see truth in both that is why this small book still sits atop the night stand.

Wow, this has gotten so long and I've only covered 2, I'll just go ahead and sign off.  But, since I started off as one of those moms I guess I'll also conclude as one of those moms with 2 snapshots of my precious one!
What I Am Laughing At:  Josh taught Selah a new trick & it is her favorite thing to do now!

Learning New Tricks from Josh Allen on Vimeo.

What I Am Smiling At: From my birthday party!

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