Friday, October 21, 2011


I haven’t been so good at keeping my posts updated lately. Bottom line – TOO busy. This is such a busy time of year for us, it seems. And holidays are coming up fast, so…no rest for the wicked – I mean the weary! (LOL) But, just to keep those of you updated who are STILL hanging in there with me and checking my blog (bless your hearts), I feel like taking the time to write a little bit today.

Pregnancy is really something. I am in my 26th week (in my 6th month, nearing 7, according to the pregnancy “bible” – What to Expect When You’re Expecting). It has truly been a joy so far. It really has. I have been blessed with *almost* a complete lack of sickness. At the beginning I felt kinda rough from time to time, but I honestly cannot complain after knowing what my mom went through with my brother and me. I am so thankful! I know it is because my mom has been praying since Josh and I got married that I would not be sick like she was if - and when - we got pregnant. So, major shout out to my mom! So thankful for her, and that God hears and answers our prayers. He is gracious.
Our little man, Jaxon Joshua, is growing by leaps and bounds. He weighs about 2 pounds now. He is a wiggle worm, which Josh and I are so thankful for. It helps us know he’s ok. We are absolutely thrilled to find out what his personality will be like. Like Daddy? Like Momma? Or a perfect mix of both? OR totally different than either? We shall see! We’re just thankful God is allowing us to borrow our little Jaxon boy for a while. What an honor and a precious gift. We talk to him a lot. He can hear us now. Sometimes he even reacts. I tell him every day, “Daddy and Momma love you more than anyone else in this world ever could, but God loves you even more than we ever could.” Gotta teach ‘em early!

Dear Jaxon,
Momma can’t wait to hold you! It is hard to believe that I could love someone so much, whom I haven’t even personally met yet, but I do. Your daddy and I love you more than anyone ever could. But God loves you even more! Wow! I can’t wait to spend time rocking you, feeding you, reading to you, bathing you, playing with you, staring at you…I could go on and on!

Your room is coming along. We think you will LOVE it. It is so cute and so different – unlike anyone else’s. Daddy worked hard and made you some pretty cool wall art. He is still working on some things. Your daddy is awesome, Jaxon. You will ADORE him, like momma does. He adores you already!

Daddy and momma are excited make our family a family of 3. You will be such a wonderful addition!
Your grandparents, uncles, aunts, great grandparents, great aunts, great uncles, cousins, friends…(this list could go on forever)…are SO excited to meet you as well. Get those cheeks ready for some kisses, big guy! You are loved.
Everything we do, we talk about how fun it will be to do with you! Can’t wait to snuggle up with you, tickle you, play outside with you, watch some Batman with you (that was for daddy), watch some Mountaineer football and basketball with you, take you to your first football and basketball games (hopefully next year!), teach you how to talk and crawl and walk…oh boy, it is going to be TOO FUN! And we will be there every step of the way!
               So, keep cookin’ in there, big guy. We love you SOOO much! You will be here before we know it!

XOXO ~Momma

Check back for more pics and more posts – hopefully soon!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thankful You Were Born...

Today is a special day - Josh’s birthday.

 I am truly thankful he was born and placed on this earth just for me! How blessed can one gal be?

 Immensely blessed…to spend each day with such a great man.

 So, here’s to you, my sweetheart – my best pal! I love you so much!

Monday, August 29, 2011

It's Been Awhile...

WOW. I have taken quite the “break” from the blogosphere lately. For some reason, I was completely lacking inspiration and desire to write and share for a while. I feel like the urge is returning, though. And boy oh BOY do I have lots to share. What a busy and exciting last few months and weeks I and my family have had!
First of all, we found out baby Shackleford is a HE. Jaxon Joshua will be making his appearance in late January. Josh and I are ecstatic. Our baby boy is going to be such a joy. He already is. My sweet cousin did the ultrasound for me in her free time, but unfortunately couldn’t give me pictures, because they were out of paper. I will be having another ultrasound in a couple of weeks, though, and will get some pictures to share then.
I also have had some changes in my job lately, and they are for the better. Praise the Lord for His goodness! I have seen Him move in mighty ways regarding my work schedule and how it will cooperate with taking care of my sweet boy. For about a year now, I have been working 50 hours a week in the engineering department at Phillips Machine Service. It was a great job – kind of monotonous – but a great job, nonetheless. I was thankful for it. Josh and I worked together, and we truly enjoyed that. We have always loved working together. When we found out baby Jaxon was coming, Josh and I began to pray that the Lord would make it clear to us what His plan was as far as my working after baby was here. I have always known I wanted to work in some capacity, even when I had kids. I enjoy contributing to my family. I did know, however, that I wanted my number one priority to be my family – my baby. Josh and Jaxon need to be my focus. And they are and will continue to be. So, we prayed – Lord, make a way for my work schedule to decrease. I need to be home more often when baby arrives. And He began to open doors. About the time I decided it was time to talk to my boss about what I’d like to change within my work schedule, my former position, which I enjoyed much more than the engineering department, opened up again. Immediately Josh and I thought – OK, Lord. We’ve prayed. We feel this opportunity could very well be You opening a door for us. And I went to talk to my former boss. I explained to her the situation, what I wanted, what I needed, and asked what she thought. SHE WAS ALL IN. So, thanks be to God, I will start out with 3 months off when Jaxon arrives (not fully paid, but Josh and I have been saving for that time) return to my job after, working 4 - 10 hr days. I will be off on Wednesdays with my sweet boy. That will break the week up nicely, I feel. And, EVEN BETTER, she said she was willing to allow me to work part time later on, if Josh and I decided we could handle that financially. Our prayers were answered and we were blessed – praise the Lord! God is BEYOND good and gracious to us. We are so thankful for His guidance. His plan is truly best. We look forward to seeing Him continue to work and bless us as we follow His will. My dream is to work 3 - 10 hr days. Please pray with us that the door will open for that to happen at some point.
Last but certainly NOT LEAST, I had the privilege to travel with my parents to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, last week to see my brother, Daniel, graduate from OSUT (basic & AIT training combined) and become part of the United States Army National Guard Military Police force. What an experience! I couldn’t be any more proud of his accomplishments. His Platoon, the 4th, was chosen as the honor platoon for the training class and he was chosen to be on the color guard, and MORE. He did so well and grew spiritually during these last 5 months. We are so very proud of him. I will post some pictures, and perhaps some video, of the graduation and family day in the near future. Haven’t been able to sort through them yet.
SO - with all that's been a crazy busy few months. And it's only going to get busier from here! Stay tuned...

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Well, it's official! Baby Shackleford #1 (as far as we know there's only one little bean in my belly) is on his or her way! Josh and I are so excited to move into the next phase of our lives together. It just keeps getting better! The due date is January 25. I am 7 weeks along right now. It is still a bit early, so I covet your prayers that all will continue to go smoothly with baby.
We had been trying for a bit. Surprisingly, it didn't take nearly as long as we expected. We were able to surprise our parents and everyone else, too, I think. We hadn't told anyone we were even trying.
Boy or Girl, we really couldn't care less. We just want a healthy baby - 10 fingers, 10 toes, etc., etc. Health is all that matters to us.
I had to pick a song with "baby" in it for this week. I had a few pop into my mind. I think this one takes the cake, though! Enjoy some Diana Ross and the Supremes to get your weekend started a little early!
Check back in often for the latest on little Lily Grace or Jaxon Joshua (whichever one it may be!)
Praise the Lord for this precious blessing I get to carry around for the next several months! I couldn't be more thankful.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Congratulations, CLASS OF 2011!

Well, it’s high school graduation day for many. I love this time of year. New beginnings are everywhere. Naturally, it takes me back to my high school graduation. There were only 6 of us – 3 boys, 3 girls. (I went to Christian school, in case you’re wondering…) What a sweet night that was! I felt so grown up. And I was. We all were. I cherish the memories of high school and college, too. Sure, there are some things that I’d like to forget. But most everything I remember about those years is wonderful. I made some great friends – friends that will always be in my life. We don’t see each other every day anymore. Actually, I do see one of my fellow high school graduates EVERY day. My husband! Josh and I had the privilege of attending 7th-12th grade and college together. We just couldn’t get enough, so we got hitched, too. AND we work at the same company, too. I tell you, we just can’t get enough! LOL 
Though I don’t see the other 4 every day, they are in my thoughts. I think back often to fun class periods and school trips we had together. Lots of extremely fond and funny memories.
One of my favorite songs is Rascal Flatts' My Wish. It sums up my thoughts and feelings for all of my school friends – both high school and college – and for those of you who are graduating in 2011. Here’s to you…

Friday, May 20, 2011

Listen to the Sound

Happy Friday, blog buddies! I love Fridays...and I LOVE music. So, since today is fave song Friday, it is only right that I share with you one of my new found favorite songs!
Building 429 is a Christian group that I really like. They have some fantastic music - great meaning in their songs.
Listen to the Sound is one of their new songs, and I am a HUGE fan.
You know, we all mess up sometimes. Every one of us has done something that we regret or said something we would like to take back. Maybe we've had something done to us that we think we will never overcome.
I think alot of teenagers today, in particular, feel that they can't be forgiven - they can't overcome their problems. They are stuck in this never ending cycle of mistakes.
GOOD NEWS! That type of attitude couldn't be further from the truth. Isn't it safe to say that the God who said "Be of good cheer - I have overcome THE WORLD!" is perfectly capable of rescuing us out of the pit of sin and lifting us up into a purpose-filled, successful, Christ-honoring life? ABSOLUTELY.
Friend, I don't care who you are, what you've done, where you've been - it really doesn't matter to me. And it certainly doesn't matter to God. He wants you. He loves you. He desires  a relationship with you.
Listen to the Sound talks about that hope we find in God. He is all the hope we need. And in the end, if we follow Him and His plan for our lives, that hope will be turned into reality.
Be happy; be encouraged - He has overcome the world. Pretty sure He can overcome your problems, too. Just ask Him!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Stone's Throw from Sane...

Well, bloggy buddies, sorry it has been so long since my last post. I didn't even get to do a favorite song Friday last week. Boo! It has been a hectic week in the Shackleford home. My sweet husband has been battling a kidney stone. This is his second one. The first he had four years ago, and it had to be broken up by laser. This one we are still - STILL - trying to pass. Please pray that he can pass that thing tonight. We are headed to the doctor tomorrow morning to see what he thinks is the next step if Josh hasn't passed it by then.

Also, I have been had a couple writing jobs lately, so that has been taking up some of my time. I am thankful for it, though! I enjoy writing advertising or human interest pieces, and that is what I have been doing lately on the side. For my most recent job I earned $100 plus a night stay and dinner at a beautiful Inn in Lewisburg, WV, about 1 hr away from us. Check it out and stay there if you ever have opportunity - it is fantastic all around! The food, the rooms, the service - everything is great! And it has a great history. Here's the link...

So, I will do my best to get a favorite song on here Friday! Check back for more blog posts, and tell your friends about "It's an Adventure!"

Friday, May 6, 2011

No, Never Alone

We have been in revival at our church this week with Bro. Dave Young and his family. What a blessing it has been! The Lord has spoken to my heart on many levels, and I am thankful for that. I don’t ever want to stop hearing from God.  
In addition to having some great evening services throughout the week, I have personally had some great devotional time alone with the Lord. How I wish I would’ve been more consistent with my devotional life during my teenage years! I feel I would be even closer to God now than I am if that had been the case. But, nevertheless, better late than never, right?
               This morning, the Lord laid something on my heart that I had never truly grasped. I have always prayed for my brother each day, but lately I have been praying even more fervently, as he is at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, going through BCT and AIT in the Army National Guard. I wrote him a letter yesterday and put some Bible verses on the back that I thought would encourage him. This morning, after my devotions I was thinking of more verses I could share. One popped in my mind: Hebrews 13:5b, “for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” What a fantastic verse! God is with us. Always.
               As I thought about that verse and thought about my brother, I was picturing him going about his day – doing his PT, going to the shooting range, etc. He had mentioned in his last letter that he needed to do better on his pushups. The military does those “special” pushups, ya know? He is struggling some with doing those properly. He also has to pass a shooting test to move on to the next phase of training. There is just so much he has to do, and it is difficult, no doubt!
               But as I thought of all this, I pictured him there with Jesus standing right by him. And isn’t that how it REALLY is? I feel that so often, as Christians, we fail to take God at His word. He said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” We know He has given us His Holy Spirit who dwells within us at all times. God didn’t lie, did He? NO! He is always right there - every moment of every day.
               So, as my brother is working hard, trying to get those pushups right, and the Drill Sergeants are standing over him, he is not all by himself. Jesus is right there, too. When he is practicing his shooting at the range, Jesus is right there by his side. When he is just standing in formation, he has a true battle buddy standing right next to him – Jesus! What better battle buddy can you have?
               Thinking of that encouraged me SO much. And when I share it with my brother as I write another letter to him, I think it will encourage him, too.
               Since it is “favorite song Friday,” I wanted to share the words to a hymn that I love. I think it fits right in with my post today. It was written by Ludie D. Pickett.

                                NEVER ALONE

I’ve seen the lightning flashing,
And heard the thunder roll,
I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing,
Trying to conquer my soul;
I’ve heard the voice of my Savior,
Telling me still to fight on,
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.

The world’s fierce winds are blowing,
Temptation’s sharp and keen,
I have a peace in knowing
My Savior stands between—
He stands to shield me from danger,
When earthly friends are gone,
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.

When in affliction’s valley
I’m treading the road of care,
My Savior helps me to carry
My cross when heavy to bear,
Though all around me is darkness,
Earthly joys all flown;
My Savior whispers His promise,
“I never will leave thee alone.”

He died for me on the mountain,
For me they pierced His side,
For me He opened the fountain,
The crimson, cleansing tide;
For me He’s waiting in glory,
Seated upon His throne,
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.

No, never alone,
No, never alone,
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.

Friday, April 29, 2011

In Honor of the Royal Wedding...

One of my favorite songs - Goin' to the Chapel. I used it as my ringtone for months before my wedding day. :)

Congrats to William and Kate :) Hope your marriage is pure bliss, as is mine.

p.s. I have to be honest - isn't it almost disgusting how much attention this event has received? Think of all the more important things they could be reporting on the news. CRAZY!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

LOVE is Here...

Well, I mentioned in my earlier post that I'd probably share one of my favorite Tenth Avenue North songs for Fave Song Friday. Here it is - playing over the music player now! I originally wanted to share their song You Are More with you. Look it up and check it out. I wasn't able to add that one to my playlist, though.
The song Love is Here is also one of my favorites of theirs, and it seemed pretty appropriate for Easter weekend.
Easter is, without a doubt, one of my favorite holidays. It means new life now. It means new life for eternity, thanks to our Savior who became sin for us, was buried and sealed up in a tomb, then rose again after three days time and lives TODAY. RIGHT NOW. Love is HERE with us. It is within reach. We just have to believe in Him. It is so simple, yet it seems so hard for some people to grasp.
If you are reading this blog today and do not know for sure if you died right at this moment where you would spend eternity - let me help you! I was blessed to have someone share that with me, and I would love to share it with you.
Christians are the only people who have the privilege of serving, worshiping and praying to a God (capital G) who is ALIVE. He's not dead - He's risen, as He said. Visit the tomb today and you will not find a body lying inside. He is alive and well, Friend! Accept Him today and experience His Love. It is HERE NOW.

Hope everyone has a sunny and happy Easter!


The Dragon 2011

Here's my amature video footage - ha! Enjoy!


What a weekend we had! I love summer vacations – can’t live without them. But something I love almost as much is the occasional springtime mini-vaca. Josh and I were invited by friends of ours from work to spend a couple nights in Knoxville/Gatlinburg, TN. They have a Corvette and we have a GTO, so we planned to go cruisin’. Naturally, we jumped at the chance. It’s always nice to move out of the “normal routine” for a few days and shake things up a bit. We had an absolute blast. 
First, we stopped in Knoxville to catch a Third Day, Tenth Avenue North concert. It was so much fun and so encouraging! Loved the live music. Excellent. (Perhaps I will share one of my FAVORITE Tenth Avenue North songs with you for Fave Song Friday.)
While we were in Knoxville we ate at Ye Ole Steak House. It was delicious, and I could kick myself for not taking a picture of our steaks. WOW. You’ve never seen steaks so big. Seriously. And they had the best sweet tea I’ve probably ever tasted, second only to my momma’s. Check them out sometime if you’re down that way. (Or UP that way, depending on which direction you’re traveling from.)
After a nice stay in the Hampton Inn, downtown Knoxville, we drove to US 129 a.k.a The Tail of the Dragon. If you’ve never heard of this road, Google it. It is 300-some curves in like 11 miles. CRAZY. I thought for sure I’d get car sick, but thank goodness I didn’t. I got some video, which I will try to post maybe later, but it doesn’t even begin to show the curviness…also, a cop got behind us, but it was still fun. LOL
Once we made it through the Dragon, we stopped at a motorcycle resort/restaurant to check out the “Tree of Shame.” Basically, it’s a tree with hundreds and hundreds of pieces of scrap from motorcycles that have wrecked while navigating the Dragon. Kinda sad; kinda funny, too. 
Tree of Shame

Josh says he wants to take his Buell next time. Yikes! (A Buell is a sport bike made by Harley for those of you who, like me, know nothing about motorcycles) p.s. I bought my first Harley Davidson shirt on the trip. Does this make me a biker chick? Nah. Gotta ride first, and my hubby wants to master the art before he lets me on the back, which I greatly appreciate. After that, I will be the classiest biker chick you’ve ever seen.
We headed down to Gatlinburg after that – did a little shopping and ate at a fantastic Italian restaurant. I believe it was called Best Italian. It lived up to the name, for sure. That night, we had every intention of driving up to Pigeon Forge to ride go-karts. We hopped in the GTO and headed that way, only to be stopped in traffic and make it to Pigeon Forge 4 hours later. YES – 4 HOURS LATER. If you’ve ever been to the area, you know it is approximately 5 miles between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  Needless to say, we had to make our own fun. We laughed ‘til we cried. It was aggravating to say the least, but we did have fun getting to know each other better away from work. No go-karts that night after all. Maybe next time! Later we found out the traffic was due to a hot rod show they were having in Pigeon Forge. Can you believe it? Craziness…
We had a nice drive back home to good ol’ WV on Sunday morning. Got home, washed cars, mowed grass and made it to church for the evening service! Great way to end a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Favorite Song Thursday? {AND Friday}

Hey, Kids!
I am going to be out of commission starting tomorrow morning, so no blogging tomorrow for my typical "Favorite Song Friday." I was thinking, how about you all comment and share some of your favorite songs. Any genre - let's hear it!

AND - Special thanks to all of you who have started following me! It just encouraged my heart to see that "followers" number go up each and every day. I'm still not quite where I want to be, but I know the blog will keep growing! I have started following some of you all as well. Forgive me for not getting to ALL of your blogs just yet. I have been so slammed lately at work, it's been wild.

Have a wonderful Thursday and enjoy the weekend, as I will be enjoying mine to the MAX.


Friday, April 8, 2011

The Things You Do...

Well, it is Favorite Song Friday once again - hard to believe it! I am a big fan of oldies (as you can probably tell from my playlist) One of my favorite groups is the Temptations. It's hard to decide on favorites, because I love all of their songs, but today I am playing "The Way You Do the Things You Do." It is just a fun song to enjoy and take us into the weekend. With that said - hope yours is fantastic!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Of Shoes, Tumbles, Brothers and Missions...

    What a weekend and start to a new week we’ve had in the Shackleford household! Not only did we have the usual weekend rituals taking place, but also were dealing with my brother’s upcoming departure for basic training. Somewhere in the midst of everything, I managed to fall down my stairs at home. I am good at finding time for such things. This time, mind you, it had nothing to do with my being clutsy. I promise. You can ask my husband – he will verify that it was my shoes that did the dirty work.
So cute and yet so dangerous...
    I had been looking for some cute, silver flats for some time and finally found some – at WALMART – for three bucks. I *love* finding good deals. So great. I had worn them several times within the last couple weeks since I bought them. But Saturday it rained. Apparently my shoes had some sort of soft, almost fuzzy-feeling stuff on the bottom (which I never noticed) that didn’t like the wetness. Add to that my jubilant entrance to the stairwell and you have BAM. A bumpy trip from the tippy-top of the wooden stairs to the landing. That wild ride resulted in the most gargantuan bruise of the century – shaped like a heart – on my upper left hip. (Thought about posting a pic but – YUCKO.) Other bruises developed, too…on my leg, behind, back, etc. And you can imagine the soreness that followed. Honestly, though, it could have been so much worse. No broken bones, no concussions, no coma. I think I’ll live.

    We had a great time that evening with family, regardless of my ensuing soreness. Daniel had a good time, and that was the main reason we had gathered. Had a great dinner and spent some time together with family from out-of-town. Even snapped a few pictures! Here are just a couple...

Me, Daniel, Josh - never a dull moment.

Best parents and brother EVER.

    I have known for months now that Daniel would be leaving. I did a great job saying goodbye to him Sunday night, but when I walked out the door to leave, reality set in along with a few tears. Not too bad, though. We talked and texted all through the day Monday and Tuesday as he traveled here and there, catching planes. Then Tuesday when he texted to let me know he was almost to the base, reality set in again and I cried MORE. I think it’s that unknown feeling – not sure when he’ll be able to use his phone, if at all. But the overall feeling I have is excitement for him. This will be one of the greatest experiences of his life and will help him grow and mature, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well.

    Now we have made it to “hump day,” the mid-point of the week, and it is time to start Missions Conference at our church. I look forward to this each year. It always is interesting and encouraging to see missionaries and all they have been accomplishing for God throughout the world. What a blessing, and what a kick in the pants for me to see how much more I could be doing and NEED to be doing for God. Join us at 7 PM Wednesday-Friday, 6 PM Saturday if you’re in driving distance – Victory Baptist Church, Scott Ridge Road, Beaver, WV. Hit me up for more info if needed.

Busy life, full of adventures…more to come!

p.s. Thank you so much to all of you who met me through the linky party and posted sweet comments and thoughts! I am thankful for that information and excited to learn more about each of you and your blogs as well. Please keep in contact!