5 Favorite Things About Cleveland

1. The People: There’s nothing like the hospitality, welcoming arms, and generosity found in the community of the church and the culture in Cleveland. The people here are also very proud of their little town and how well maintained it is compared to the rest of the Delta. Understandably so, Cleveland, especially downtown, is pretty and interesting.

2. Mississippi Grounds: This little coffee shop feels like home away from home. Anytime we feel homesick or Birmingham-sick we go and plop ourselves down in front of the glass, garage doors of this renovated gas station and sip on some delicious coffee. The beautiful Cleveland courthouse in directly across the street providing a comforting small downtown view.


3. Cheap Food and Gas: We were paying 2x as much for food from the grocery in Birmingham. And CHEESE and MILK are so much cheaper here!

4. Time: It takes us maaaaaybe 5 minutes to get to Walmart. 5 minutes to Church (ie work). 5 minutes to any school within Cleveland. 5 minutes to both quality restaurants and cheap, fast food restaurants.

5. Crop dusters: They are always flying around. Growing up around small planes they always remind me of my dad. And of course that brings a smile to my heart. Aviation culture is strong here, especially on Delta State’s campus creating a unique atmosphere that I’ve never really been around before, as well as an agriculture culture. Growing up in West TN, there is very much an agriculture culture there especially at UT Martin (originally an Ag school) but it’s very different here. I can’t put my finger on the difference.



Welcome to the Delta



Where you never want for sky,


There are fields a-plenty


And the road is always straight.



the beauty adorned

on a single bloom

caught her eye

a tear drops

silently, sliding

down the slippery

slope so many

others had made the way for


One bloom caught

in the landslide of many,

an emblem of life and love,

caught in the moment,

still in time

disappeared as

the shovel began its dirty work


and everything rushed back

as she flailed to keep her head

above the oncoming wave

Open Eyes

a cold chill

reverberates down the

crooked spine

of a girl


beaten and broken,

old eyes peer out,





But you walk on by


Sample Platter from Tennessee

Here’s a sampling of our super busy last weekend:


Photo #1: My parents large and loveable Great Dane Murray. He’s always up for a photo opportunity.

Eleanor's First Dress

Photo #2: Eleanor’s first dress. Mom got it on clearance at baby Gap and it’s adorable and TINY

My Pudgy Self

Photo #3: My non-tiny self as a newborn. WHAT A PUDGE! At nearly 11lbs what’s one to expect though? Mom brought out the baby book in an effort to ponder over our little one’s possible appearance. Sunset on the DrivePhoto #4: A GORGEOUS sunset on the drive from the in-laws in middle TN to my parent’s place in west TN. A front had just moved through the area creating optimum cloud coverage for a beautiful pink, orange, and purple dusk show.

Photo #5: You’ll have to picture this one in your head. Zach ran an 11.5 mile trail race in Chattanooga (ie up a mountain). He ended up running probably closer to 13 miles. So picture him worn out, sweaty, and hobbling around like an old man.

AND that is a pretty good sampling of our weekend from Tennessee. It is always wonderful to travel home. Even for the purpose of running 11 miles.

Who Said Fortune Cookies Can’t Predict The Future?

photo-2Pei Wei Fortune Cookie at 9 weeks… Ultrasound at 20 weeks confirms! We are having a Girl!