Monday, April 11, 2011

Springtime: Love, Therapy, Pneumonia

You may be pondering to yourself, "What have those Earls been up to lately?" I'm sure you all sit there each day pondering the happenings of myself, my spicy two year old, and my...well, spicy husband. :) I think that makes our family some form of tabasco sause or salsa (which is only fitting with how much Mexican food we eat) Here goes....

Lets see.... we had two sets of company come in town to visit us. Praise God for this new house in Virginia Beach, it begs to be filled with company. My heart loves to see my old friends (and I've been told by my husband that I miss them more than I know, and that I experience minor Lynchburg depression when they leave...wink). We are also extremely thankful for the new friends God has blessed us with here in Norfolk/VA Beach, seriously they are great and we love them immensely. I'm excited to be a part of a new ladies group meeting at my house on Sunday nights...we are going through a book on marriage and it's going to rock our socks off, I can feel it.

Bella has been a busy little thing, as I type this she is making snow angels in the flower bed (yes that would mean dark soil in her hair and teeth). She is still getting ABA therapy 3-4 times a week for 2 hours a day. This is in home so we are actively a part of everything she does during therapy. She is doing really well still and wecontinue to see the benefits (mostly in her communicating her basic needs to us). She still has her "autistic" moments, and I have to remind myself that she will not be cured in one day, or I guess what I mean is....I cannot just fix some of the things she does easily. We pray daily for patience. I (Annie) want God to make me a perfect mother for Bella. Josh is such a great father for her and we are working together and learning together. Josh and I were talking the other day and we realized that our hearts are so full of love for Bella it's hard to imagine loving anything else more. It also used to really be hard for us to see children younger than her progress past her developmental maturity. I mean, I could be walking at the mall and see a 1 year old using lots of words that Bella can't use and want to just burst into tears.... but, today....I rejoice in who Bella is (and who she is not). I praise God she breathes. That she can see. That she can taste. That she's alive. After all, without God...she would not even exist. For that, I thank Him daily.

I am plugging away in my master's. Sometimes I want my master's to go away, and by go away I mean....well, if I could put it in a drawer and take it out only when "I feel like doing homework" that would be great (which, would not be often as I am still recovering from my addiction to reality TV :). I love learning about special education, but the extra work makes me want to hit a snooze button somewhere. Alas, I plug away and I'll have you know I've gotten straight A's thus far (patt on my own back and brag fest going on here). My results from a recent MRI (degenerative disk disease and herniated disk) now call for 3 days of physical therapy a week for me (yayee--sarcastic cheering). Yikes. My calendar is tired. Does someone have a Hawaiian Island I can borrow? Just drop me off....drop off a physical therapist and chiropractor too ;)

Josh is busy with being the cutest and bestest (not a word) Chaplain EVER....oh and he teaches Church History classes for Liberty University as well. He's so good at multi-tasking it's amazing. I'm pretty sure he's the "coolest" guy I know. Obviously he's not the "Koolest" guy because then he'd be my dad... Dr. Koole. Just sayin'. :)

We went out to California last week for Josh's sister Jaimee's wedding. It was gorgeous. She was a beautiful bride and her new husband Rick fits well into the Earls clan:) My nephew Caleb was a handsome addition to the groom's side as well (see picture of Jaimee and her son above). Josh was the minister who married them, Bella was the flower girl (poor dear got pneumonia on the flight in but made it through the festivities), and I was honored to be a bridesmaid and do a reading. We also got to visit with my brother, his wife, and my sweet niece them so much! The poem Jaimee had me read is below, I think it's so beautiful don't you?? It's by Pablo Neruda...

(I Do Not Love You) *Don't let this title fool you, there is so much love in this poem, it practically oozes....
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Well blog stalkers--- that's the 411. Who says 411? I certainly don't... but just did.

Have a blessed day!


  1. Hi... I found your blog a few months ago when my husband announced that he was joining the Navy and becoming a chaplain. So, I did lots of looking for other wives that might give us a clue what to expect. This is a BIG step for us but my husband really feels that God is telling him this is the thing that he should do. So, Thank you both for your insight and experience and being willing to tell people (total strangers!) about it. I'm still nervous about this decision, but getting better everyday.
    Thank you!
    (sorry for being a blog stalker!) :)

  2. Matt & Rebecca,
    If you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact one of us -- we'd love to share more about our journey into chaplaincy specifically with you. I know how BIG this step is and it takes lots of faith to move forward, but there are a lot hurting sailors/wives/families out there that need good chaplains/wives :) God bless,


  3. Annie and Josh,

    Hi. A month after I last wrote, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. So, our plans are kinda put on hold right now. Matt is taking the extra time to really get back in shape and learning lots about patience with dealing with me. It's kinda weird, but I think this is a blessing in disguise. It's teaching us lots about faith, and trust and compassion. hmmm. not the road we planned, but one that I'm sure God wants us on right now.
    Thanks so much for your blog... we do love reading it!


    If you want, you are more than welcome to check out our journey: