Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ella Grace

She's here!

Ella Grace Chamblee was born Wednesday morning at 7:48. She weighed 5 pounds 3 ounces and is absolutely beautiful! Mom and baby are both doing great!

Here are a few pictures.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Crazy Times Update

Well, I got cut. As I said before, these are crazy times. First about my back.

I never had any idea what real physical pain was until last week. The ruptured disc in my back had deteriorated to the point that it was compressing over 50% of the sciatic nerve on my left side. I've always had very high pain tolerance so the fact that I was completely immobillized says a lot. The doctor said he didn't know how I had been functioning for the past two months. The funny part is, on Tuesday afternoon about 2:30 I woke up from a nap and had zero pain. So now I was all freakin' out because it didn't hurt but I was about to let them cut open my back and mess with major nerves. Turns out it was a good thing. Surgery ended up taking twice as long as intended. They found that I had two bone spurs and removed a piece of the disc the size of a quarter, apparently that's really big. Obviously immediately following the procedure I didn't feel too hot. Anesthesia will do that. It seems that it's all out of my system now and I'm feeling pretty good. Here's hoping Ella Grace will wait another couple weeks so I can actually be semi-helpful! Amy has been a wonderful nurse. Putting up with my sorry attitude at times is enough to earn her a couple extra stars in her crown.

As for Amy and Ella Grace, they are doing as well as can be expected. Amy's about ready to pop. I am pretty well convinced that as soon as she stops taking the meds that are keeping the contractions at bay Ella Grace will decide it's time. I'm also still not convinced she isn't further along than the doctors have said. There's really not too much else to report on that end.

I also want to say thank you to everyone who has been praying for us and taking care of us. We are so blessed to have such incredible family and friends. Please keep praying for us, for Amy to have patience with the belly and for me to do the right things it will take to heal the fastest and most completely. (I'm a little stubborn) Thank you again for your prayers!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Crazy Times

Well, things are nuts. I haven't written since July and obviously a lot can happen in three months. Here's the quick and dirty version.

End of July I threw out my back. As of today I now know it's one herniated disc, one ruptured. I thought it was getting better but suddenly it wasn't. I should find out Friday if I need surgery. Perfect timing since it seems Ella Grace will be here sooner than expected. As far as that goes, Amy started having contractions last week, two months early. So now she's home on bed rest.

I can't get off the floor because of the searing pain and Amy's not allowed to do anything out of fear the baby might be too early. We are quite the pitiful pair. Anyway, I just wanted to ask for prayers from anyone who might read this. No worries though, God's got it under control. He always does!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008


There must be a lot going on for me to post two blogs in three days, huh?

Do you ever wonder why God would want to bless you in ways you never thought possible?

In the past three days I have found out that we're having a baby girl (Ella Grace is her beautiful name!) and I have been given the job that I have always wanted. Is it just me or does it seem like I have been given soooooooooooo much more than I deserve?

I said in my initial post and titled this blog saying that the only thing we can plan for is to be surprised. Guess what...

I was right.

(I'm sure Amy and anyone else who really knows me will tell you that I always think I'm right but this is totally different).

What seems so ridiculous about it to me is that I am still so stinkin' worried and freakin' out about it. The Lord has blessed me with EVERYTHING I have always dreamed of and now I don't think I have the faith that I can handle it! What's wrong with me!?!

I am completely serious about that. EVERYTHING.

It's taken a lot of twists and turns, ups and severe downs, but the perfect picture I had of my life 10, 15, even 20 years ago is what I'm living right now. I just feel so undeserving of that.

I just pray that in my weakness the Lord will continue to display His incredible might. If you read this PLEASE pray that I will be able to be used as His instrument. As a husband, father, and now a teacher, I really hope I just don't screw up so bad that it affects all the other lives I might have an impact on.

Our God is more amazing than I can say! Not so long ago I was at a point I was screaming at Him asking if he really cared about me. I know now He was giving me an opportunity to realize that I can do nothing without Him.

Thank you God for loving me. Thank you God for your grace. Thank you God for your infinite wisdom and ability to use people who are broken and worthless without you!

Okay, that was my "venting" for now. I do sincerely covet your prayers and I pray God blesses your life as much as He has mine!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's a Girl

Oh no, I'm in trouble. If you ask my sister she will readily tell you how protective I have always been of her. I got a little ridiculous at times I admit. So how much more am I gonna be absolutely nuts about this little girl on her way!?!

I already love her and I think first thing when she's born I'll let her know just how much I'm going to protect her and then ask forgiveness upfront for the times when it might get a little out of hand.

Anyway, just wanted everyone (the 5 people that read this) to know. Look out world Ella Grace is coming!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

She's Gonna Be Such A Good Mom

She's gonna be such a good Mom! I know, I'm prejudiced. But really, when you see this picure of Amy with Belle (our beautiful niece) can you honestly think otherwise?

Seriously, I am so blessed to have found the love of my life who is the woman I am SO excited will be the mother of our children. I can't even begin to express how thankful I am that Amy is able to (seriously) understand and love me. Lemme tell ya, that is quite feat in and of itself. Everyone who really knows me can attest to it.

The way she loves me shows me more each day how completely and unconditionally she will love our children. I didn't know that kind of love really existed until Amy.

Yeah, I know, I said before I'm a Momma's boy (see Mother's Day post) and I have experienced unconditional love from Mom, but it's so much more than I ever knew could be. (Mom, I know you're gonna be reading this and I know you understand what I mean).

My prayer is that I can love and care for Amy and this baby that is on (his/her) way even half as much.

Oh yeah, I am scared out of my mind.

I have NO DOUBT that Amy will be an amazing mother to our child. I just have so many fears about being the kind of father that this baby and our family needs.

The real reason for this post is to humbly plea for anyone and everyone who reads it to please pray for us as we venture into the realities of parenthhood. I DO know the Lord will provide for and take care of us but I am severely struggling with the reality of knowing that I have been called by Him to take care of and provide for this family.

I know, that sounds sooooo contradictory. Please pray that I can give it to Him and will place this child in His hands.

Thank you for enduring my pleas and thank you for praying for us.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It's Finished!!!

This weekend while Amy was out of town with her mom, her dad my dad and I finally finished the bathrooms and the great epic of house remodeling is done! Now I gotta get started on the yard. Ugh. It is awesome to have a half acre with a lake but when it comes time to mow it...

Anyway, here are some before and after pictures. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Red Flags

There's just something about being at the beach that enables me to just take a minute and breathe. My absolute favorite part of the day is at sunrise. (I know, that's a sunset picture. Amy had the camera both mornings.)

The air is still cool and the humidity hasn't quite reached sauna level. I take my book and my coffee and find a chair. The best part is there is NO ONE out yet. For some strange reason it's the only time in my life I don't dread getting out of bed.

It makes me wonder why we don't take more time like that on a regular basis to just be. Our world has forced us into human doings instead of human beings. It's the times like that at the beach though that I feel most alive. Just sitting there looking at and listening to the power and immensity of the ocean I feel so small in the presence of God. It helps me to remember that peace can be found in anything. No matter how powerful the forces against us are.

This weekend at Panama City I heard there was anywhere from 40 to 60 people rescued from the waves. Two people were lost. After being out there for about 30 minutes on Saturday I wasn't suprised. It was brutal. What amazes me the most is that there were double red flags up all weekend. For those who don't know that means STAY OUT of the water. Like I said though, I went in too, (there was only one red flag up at the time but that was because they had been too busy rescuing people to change them).

Why is it that we see the warning signs and just choose to ingore them? So often we think that we can handle a situation or we can be in control. Problem is, we know better and still dive right in. If we could take a second and realize that God has something else in mind, maybe we could see the problems and the waves crashing in and stay back. Like I said, watching the powerful waves pounding the beach is a beautiful experience. Getting knocked under by one and then being pulled out by a rip tide isn't.

We have been given so many examples from His Word, people in our lives, and our own experiences to know when there are two red flags up in our lives. My prayer is that we can learn to recognize those times and step back and say, "Maybe I'll wait a bit and see what God has planned." If we can, I hope we can then look at the waves that were about to take us under and thank God He knows what is best for our lives.

Most of the time we can swim out or God can get to us in time to rescue us. Sometimes though, the waves pull you under before you can realize it's too late.

What double red flags are flying for you today? What is it in your life that you need to take a step back from and ask, "Is this really a good idea?" I pray you can walk along the beach with Him and enjoy the beauty He has given us. If you decide to swim out on your own, Satan might just be there waiting to cause a rip tide that will pull you under for good.

Monday, May 12, 2008


I am a momma's boy. Yes, Amy is fully aware of this and I'm about 98.5% sure she's okay with it. Mother's Day was awesome. At lunch yesterday we had every possible category of Mom there. There were two great-grandmothers, two new grandmothers, one grandmother-to-be, one new mom and best of all my beautiful wife and mom-to-be, Amy. It was quite a celebration of Mom!

I have been blessed to have these mother's (and others who weren't there) in my life more than I can say. A mother's love is something I will never fully understand (for obvious reasons) but I am so thankful to be on the receiving end. It is such a blessing to know too that my baby's momma will love them in that same way.

This time next year I'm sure this day will be a completely different experience. Since I'm not the one who's been sick and miserable carrying this baby it still seems very surreal to me. But every now and then I catch a glimpse of Amy with her hand on her belly and this look in her eyes and I can already see that mother's love pouring out of her.

Thank you Mom for showing me the unconditional love of God. Thank you Amy for being the woman you are who will love our children in the same way.

Most of all, thank you God for blessing my life with all these beautiful women. They truly reflect your glory in their lives.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ten Years, One Good Lesson

Well, I guess now that the rest of my family is blogging I'm gonna try and get on board. I'm not very good about picture taking and journaling but I guess with a new addition to the family on the way I better get some practice.

Anyway, I want to share some thoughts that have been raging through my head the last couple months. As I come up on ten years next week since graduating from high school (yep I'm getting old) it seems like it's been so much longer and just yesterday all at the same time. You know how people say one day you just wake up and suddenly feel old, gain weight inexplicably and talk about "those kids?" They're right. Things don't heal as fast, sleep is harder to come by and the baby's not even here yet!

What I really want to share though is the most important thing I have learned in these last ten years. It's why the title of my blog is "Plan To Be Surprised." When I left for that first semester of college I had everything planned out in my mind. My major, timelines, future after college, everything. It took all of about a month for every bit of it to get blown to shreds. It took about seven years to figure out what my problem was. We all have well intentioned plans and ideas for our lives, we have to. It's ridiculous to just sit back and think things will just happen. We have to plan and we have to work to accomplish those things. However, the one thing we have to plan for at all times is to BE SURPRISED!

Guess what, things don't typically work out exactly how we plan. What it took me so long to realize is that God has things in store for me that I never even imagined. When I finally took a step back and looked at what I was doing I realized something. I'm a control freak! Now, make sure you understand what I mean by that. I'm not one of those Type A personalities who runs over everything in their path to get their way. When it came to what I was doing with my life though I was in total control of me. Turns out, I'm not very good at that. I was trying to make myself happy with all the wrong things.

The funniest part of all though...

God has continued to bless me throughout all of it.

As I look ahead to the next ten years I see so many things I want to happen. There are countless parts of life to plan for and it's necessary and good to do that. I mean come on, show me one person who hasn't freaked out a little bit when they find out they're having a baby! Now though, while I plan for my family's future, the one thing I absolutely know will happen is life will smack me in the face, throw me hard breaking curves and probably at times beat the livin' mess out of me. I can't wait to see what happens. God has blessed me with a wife who is better than I deserve, a family who loves and supports me and the ability to get up every day and have a fresh start. Through everything that comes our way God will continue to provide and the one thing I am planning for through it all is to be surprised!