Monday, December 28, 2009


I am procrastinating right now....and yes, blogging can be just that for me. I have a pile of 'stuff' to go through....bills to organize, insurance calls to make, a few 'thank yous' to send out, and it gets me thinking. The physical piles are enough ....they look at me - they taunt me - when I want to sit at a clean desk, it forces me to deal with them.

What about the junk on the inside? The bitterness, the judgement, the critical nature, the unforgiveness, the negative self-talk? It's not quite as easy to take those piles and throw them's also not as easy to see them. I watched a movie last night in which a group of women talk about how they are supposed to be each other's "mirrors" - to show them reality vs. perception. And just like we all do when we put on that holiday weight, we avoid every mirror in a 5 mile radius so we don't have to SEE it.

Friendships are designed to be this way....they are not ALL that way....but those few and special friends with the courage to be truthful....are meant to be mirrors. My husband is a wonderful mirror to me....shows me truth while still telling me of his love. It's a delicate balance but because I trust him....I can look right at myself and deal with those piles.

This year....take a look at your piles....not just the ones sitting on the counter or your desk but the ones inside. Tackle that unforgiveness....swallow that pride....put away the judgemental finger....and put on love.

Sunday, December 27, 2009!

It's a total committment....a total and complete act of sacrifice. It got me thinking, though. Isn't that what we sign up for when we decide to be parents?

With Jude, our firstborn, we didn't plan for him. We didn't know what to do when that little stick had 2 lines on it. I remember it distinctly - a warm Monday morning....I was preparing for a large sales week at the hotel I worked at in Grand Rapids. I had recently taken this "Director of Sales" position and was still in my 'honeymoon' phase. I woke up early and had noticed a few days back that I was late but wasn't that concerned.

I had a pregnancy test in a drawer so I took it just to "rule out that possibility" and get showered/ready for the day. WHOA! I freaked out. I.TOTALLY.FREAKED.OUT.

I went to Joel....still warm in bed....pulled him out of his slumber and forced the test in his face....he rubbed his eyes, adjusted his contacts....and said, "Yep, that means're pregnant!" And just like that.....LIFE=Different Forever!

Fast forward 5 yrs....I've just had my 2nd son....breastfeeding didn't work with Jude (though I really wish it had) and now with Leland, I am being taught such a lesson. It's 100% total giving giving giving with no expectation of anything in return. It's an amazing resemblance to the relationship God desires us to have with Him. There is no end to His way it could run out. I've been paranoid many times that my milk wasn't plentiful enough for this growing lad...and yet everytime he goes to magic, he is filled, content and full of coos and smiles.

It comes with its humor, however, when this child goes through a growth spurt and I feel like I am just a human bottle/gas station....or when I fear answer the door without putting on a shirt first. This season is quirky and hilarious....exhausting and exciting...but wow, has it drawn me closer to the truth of sacrifice. Leland may never have a recollection of this time....just like how he won't remember the mystery of the womb, but I will shall not forget it nor all the benefits of God's unending love and mercy.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

May it be a sweet and precious time with loved ones celebrating the birth of Jesus....

Much love,

Joel, Jess, Jude and Leland

Friday, December 18, 2009


So the transition has truly taken effect...2nd child here...firstborn is more than OK with Leland. In fact, Jude daily surprises me with his kindness....loving nature....and patience for this little person who has come to live with us.

We took the boys together to pick out our Christmas tree....surprisingly we found just the right one and I am SO in love with it this year. It's perfect in every way. Leland stares at the twinkling lights and I so enjoy watching these new smiles emerge from this tiny little face.

As we await the holiday season, Joel and I have drawn close...being so thankful to God for His blessing and timing...thankful to family for their love, service, prayers and concern....thankful to friends for their listening ears, loving hearts, and open hands. It's a year we will never forget and we look forward to a year full of memories.

I am hoping to make a list of resolutions that I actually stick to....this is something I've been thinking about for a while it is so far:

1-Lose 20lbs (getting to pre-Jude size)

2-Serve with Joel/Jude in an outreach of some kind....(homeless ministry, etc.) This is the age I learned about the compassion of God.

3-Read the bible in a year (haven't done that in ages)

4-Plan a date night with Joel once every 7 days....a family night once every 7 overnight getaway once every 7 weeks....and a family adventure every 7 months. (Ron & Katie Luce do something similar-where I got the idea from!)

What are your goals for 2010?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Welcome Baby Leland

Leland Ryan Miller arrived 2 weeks early on Nov 2, 2009 at 11:09am at Hillcrest Hospital weighing in at 6lbs 5oz and 20 inches long....

....just 35 hours after his cousin, Josiah Gibbs, in the same hospital...same delivery room too! It's quite a story!

So...take a look at this guy who happens to look identical to his big brother, Jude...

Friday, October 23, 2009


So I am nearing week 37...feeling large and in charge...but overly frustrated with how life can overtake my energy. Sleep is barely an option these days as hips fall asleep and go numb or my 4-yr old comes down with flu symptoms and feels like sleeping horizontally with Joel and I. He likes to lay his head on daddy's tummy and legs over top my bulging belly...must be nice to have recliner-parents!

I wake up and am inspired by Joel's committment to get a productive day in and I go to start cleaning only to yawn and yawn and end up snuggling on the couch with Jude watching Dinosaur Train or better yet, Sesame Street.

I have to remember that this time with Jude is precious as it's a matter of days/wks now until Leland joins this family and transition occurs. I am hopeful....excited...and mostly, grateful. Just would love a miraclulous dose of motivation - but guess I have the rest of my life for to snuggle some more...

Here is my latest prego pic....not playin' around....this baby IS coming!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

hate goodbyes...

So, our dear friends, Dylan and Candace are moving home to Vegas....on one hand it's really super awesome for them to be near family, grandmas and grandpas, cousins....but on the other hand...they were really becoming great "family friends."

Dylan and Candace are creative artists, "makers of fine things" - so check out their stuff:

Something I am learning is how easy it is to take for granted the people you have right before you...your husband/wife...your bff....your fantastic neighbor....and when "life" takes them on another journey, it hurts. We will miss you guys a ton but know that our relationship not something geography will dictate...Godspeed friends...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

And his name is....

Leland Ryan Miller

Leland is pronounced "Lee-Lend" and means, One who dwells near fertile soil that will one day become a vineyard or an orchard.

Ryan is his middle name after his Uncle Ryan...Joel's oldest brother and the man who has helped to spiritually lead not only his own family but all of us through some tough times. We love you, Ry, and hope this little guy learns how special it is to be named after quite the man!

Jude is entirely excited by the idea of this little person...he consistently watches my belly to see the growth, talks to Leland, assures his little brother that he'll be out soon and "not to worry" - it's beyond adorable.

We have enjoyed this season of pregnancy-not only because it was a long wait-but also to watch it through the eyes of our 4-yr old. We'll NEVER forget this time with's been in the words of Jude "Super Smuper Duper Special"

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Our next son...

We had our ultrasound this morning....the radiologist easily saw his "male lovelyness" and we knew another son was in store for us. He was 1lb and healthy as an ox! God's so good!

Thanks to all for praying!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day from us....

We love you Dad - We love you Grandpa - and Joel we honor and appreciate the day to day sacrifice you make for us without complaint! May you truly feel our love and know how grateful we are for your love and faithfulness. I thank you for being the example to Jude of who God the Father do it better than you could ever realize...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sweet summer....welcome!

Joel and I have made an intense effort lately to make our time together with Jude and one another a priority. Not only is a new little child coming along to rock our worlds...but its our last summer with JUST one child in our home.

I am excited to say we're meeting our goal...playing outside a TON...being active with our amazing church family....planning an entire 9-day vacation where we are making memories together, enjoying the warm weather while it lasts, and seizing each moment we have together.

Here are a couple of shots of our summer so far...celebrated Joel's bday with a surprise dinner...did Crepes for lunch...and walked the Coventry Street Fair together too!

Coming up....Melissa Milroy's wedding on the 4th of July....loads of July Birthdays....and an Author's Show on July 27th at the Beachland Ballroom.

Hope you are making the most of your time together too....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A new role...

Well, after years in the corporate world under the Marriott Sales umbrella, I gave it all up for ministry/mommyhood. While it has been utterly and 100% worth it, I do miss the work world. I miss the networking lunches, afterhours get-togethers, and the morning reports.

Joel and I have been brainstorming ways to utilize those desires and put them into a more suitable role. We've decided to plunge ahead with Joel's side freelance business, Joel Miller Design (catchy name, eh). I remember when Joel was in college-Kendall College of Art and Design-and the thoughts/dreams he had about what he would do with his degree. It's remarkable to think that each of his dreams would come true:

1-He would have a steady job with insurance to provide for his family (Thanks Twist Creative Incorporated)
2-He would have ability to do some side freelance work as well

So, recently we've decided how I can fit into those dreams...I am pregnant with our next baby so going to back to work isn't an I've recently been hired as Joel's assistant. Yep, he's my boss. So far so good! :) With what he has learned from TWIST and what I've learned about design from him...we think we can make a great team...he with the "raw talent" and me with the proactive sales experience.

So, friends...who read this, keep an eye out for us. Joel's work and portfolio can be found at
and we're both on LinkedIn as well. Network with us and we'll network with you!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009's been real

Jude was saddened to hear that T-Bone was not just "resting" in his bowl last Friday, May 29th...yes, folks...T-Bone is no longer with us....but instead in the loving arms of his fishy saviour....

Jude attempted to resurrect him a few times in prayer..."God make T-Bone ALIVED again!" But to no avail..

We are getting all sorts of ideas and recommendations on a new fish for him....for now, we shall mourn.

For those who knew T-Bone, you knew he was a fish that swam with gusto, ate his food in moments, and truly enjoyed being talked to by his favorite 4-yr old. Oh are so so so missed...even by Joel!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Everyone Meet T-Bone!

T-Bone joined our family on Saturday, May 23rd 2009 approximately 12:15pm. It was a sunny day in neighborhood....I was heading out to buy $1 flip flops at Old Navy when I realized there was a 3 hour line to wait to buy FLIP-FLOPS! So, Joel, Jude and I decided to bypass Old Navy and head down to Petsmart.

Jude was fascinated...all the dogs leaving/entering the store...the aquarium section was enormous and exciting....the smell of gross animals...ahh...lovely! Well, Jude just turned 4 on 5.22 and we told him we thought he was old enough to care for a pet goldfish. He was beyond thrilled!

We took him home....let him come out on the patio with us to grill out and I have to be perfectly honest, we are really starting to ADORE this little guy! I am in awe at the love for T-Bone Jude has shown. Jude is displaying character traits we didn't even know were there, care, concern, responsibility, and joy in watching this fish grow. (Especially cuz I'm Puerto Rican and can't stop feeding it!) our new little itty bitty Miller-fish. He's a precious little dude with a "tough" name...also-say a prayer that he lives for at least 6 months! :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

A faith walk...

If you aren't familiar with our story....we tried for a while to get pregnant with this child I am carrying...came with trials...a painful 2nd trimester loss...lots of fertility work-ups, a minor surgery....and news of endometriosis...

2 years later, we are pregnant...and are walking into the 15th week...ironically the week I lost our 2nd, Sam. I am pensive this week as my eldest turns 4...and I would have had a one-year old by now too. While I am sad as I miss that little one all the time, I am excited for the answered prayer we had been waiting for. Just today, I came across a poem I wrote during the "eye of the storm" we endured. May it minister to you as you read...and if someone you know needs to read it...share it please...

An ache that just won't go away
I shut my heart off
but I hear Him say
Wait, precious one, wait

I focus on this & that
all the while my heart goes back
So many things to occupy
This one ache I can't get by

I choose to trust-so hard to say
I know a mustard seed can go a long way
take this girl whose wavering
Give her peace while laboring

I long to hold you, precious one
To nurse you, rock you,
dress you, cradle you,
show you the mooon, show you the sun

One day I'll tell you the story of you
How God proved Himself real
and spoke out of me truth

I'll speak of His love
through His word and our Friends
I'll instill in you how in His will
hope has no end

Until I meet you,
Daddy's holding me tight
Because the ache is too painful
I can't sleep at night

Transfer this pain, God
turn it into faith as we wait
Create something beautiful
Someone whose testimony is Great

I'll give this one to you, dear Lord
like Hannah gave Sam
They will be yours
because you are the great I AM

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Many of you know this already but to make it official....little baby Miller is on his/her way and due to make an appearance on Nov 13 2009. What you may not know is the significance of that day. For the last 2 years, that date has been a day of sorrow...until now. You see, Nov 13th is the same day I lost our 2nd child, Sam. I was 16 wks pregnant...excited to find out the gender in just 3 weeks...when the unthinkable happened. We have been healed by God over these last few the prayers of those around us and the remarkable women who "understood" this loss and came to my rescue.

God's redeemed this sad sad day....and created not only joy but ANTICIPATION about the arrival of our 3rd child. At nearly 11 weeks, this pregnancy has been altogether wonderful: morning sickness and all....

Continue to pray for us...we'll keep you updated!

~Miller Fam

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How blessed am I?

To have each day with my explore the world through his eyes..
To be loved and cared for by a great husband who would do anything for me
To have supportive friends, accountability partners, and a community of kindness all around us
To have a home that is so cozy and comfortable, easy to clean, and yet can turn into a space for entertaining in no time!
To have neighbors that would and have been there for us in more ways than we can count
To have a beautiful family exemplifying character, wisdom and truth

Sometimes you just have to stop and see the kindness of God in all that we have before us...rather than complain about what politicians/presidents do right or wrong, let's live with eternal significance that isn't based on an economy.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


The warm weather has been teasing us outside....I am finding myself outside with Jude for 3 and 4 hours at a time before I even realize it. I am lured by the breeze and watching the tulips start to bud in the front yard...oh the promise of life to come.

Jude has become an addict. To the outdoors that is...I can hardly get him inside anymore unless he is ravenously hungry or thirsty but I have an inkling he may learn how to hunt for his own food after long...this kid was made for nature.

This summer we are preparing our first little Miller family vacation...somewhere down in Hocking Hills...where we can teach Jude to fish, sing songs around a fire, and take in the artistry of our God.

Happy Spring to one and all...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


So, I got this sweet little part time job...selling handbags, jewelry, beads, etc...beautiful products to beautiful people...I've learned and gathered some information while working at this boutique...Women love to be beautiful.

I watch as they hold a handbag in certain ways at the full-length mirror in the corner of the shop and I stop to wonder if we are all the same. The beauty of one woman saying to another, "That looks phenomenal on you!" or "Oh my, THAT is your color!" Those words...those powerful palabras speak life into the soul. Sometimes I am sad, though...when I see a woman who must depend on these items to fulfill the need she has in her quest to be with the trend...

I continue to pray for each of the genders to rise up to their full potential....where there is no more degradation of the female form...where men can be real men who appreciate ONE woman's appearance rather than adhering to the "Look but don't touch" motto....and where women can walk into a social setting without immediately comparing herself to the other women in the room: causing her to miss out on the most important thing in life: RELATIONSHIPS

Monday, January 26, 2009

Here's to you, baby....

So, as a young girl you wonder who your future husband will one day be. Some dream of a handsome man to take them ballroom dancing....ride in a horse & carriage....or be the type that goes outside and chops wood in a hot flannel...

I was known for dreaming of my "David"

yes...all throughout children's church, I was CAPTIVATED by stories of he killed Goliath effortlessly, his care and responsibility for the livestock he was entrusted, his incredible ability to write music and play the harp, and his leadership and intimacy with God. He was the only one in the bible who was known for being a "man after God's own heart.."

From that point on...this legend became my ultimate desire for my husband. That my husband would in many ways resemble this hero of the faith.

Little did I know in a tiny little town of east Texas, I would meet this artistic worship leader called Joel. Second born of 4 boys...skilled at guitar, piano, and with outstanding vocal talent.

It hasn't been until this last year that I've realized what an answer to my child-like prayer Joel has become:

He is a fighter and would do anything to ensure Jude and I are safe
He cares for his home with such integrity
He is the most gifted songwriter I've ever known
He is the most creative person I've ever encountered with ideas too great for his mind to hold
His leadership gift is one that is at its root, servant-like and giving, not demanding its own way
He knows what intimacy is and has taught me a great deal about knowing God personally

So, here's to a phenomenal human being...and one I'm excited to call my husband.

I love you!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Worship Night Jan 2009

We had a group of friends over last Friday night...a random group that never normally hangs out...and God met us there.

We didn't plan. We didn't rehearse. We just came before God...honored Him...and we are forever different...

Joel and I don't claim to have a big home....expensive belongings...but we sure do love opening up what we do have to our near and that is what blesses God: blessing others!

We hope to have many more in the future...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I'm in awe of this 3 year old little person I live with...his incredible understanding and concern for others and his beautiful way of wanting all people he's near to be involved in what he's doing. Truly, he is a "people-person". My prayer for him is that he would grow up not only in the admonition of the Lord....but would truly gain the importance of sacrifice and selflessness in relationships. I pray that he would realize we were given these precious (and short) lives in order to give them away...

I recently saw the movie seven pounds with Will Smith. After seeing it twice, the movie has struck several chords in me...

1-Relationships aren't real if they don't cost us something (time, listening, etc.)
2-True love is about giving all you are to the one(s) you love.

Now, I know Hollywood didn't necessarily want to display that story line...but that is what I took from it. Life is not simply a series of minutes that turn to hours and hours that turn to days and we occupy them with cute little jobs and card-playing. God intended for us to be given HIS great gift of order to give it EVERYONE else. We live our lives not for ourselves....oh if only more of us understood that!

My son's already got so much of this wonderful attribute and it is natural because he is young....has a sensitive and innocent spirit...Lord, guard it and protect it. May he stay as sweet, kind and loving as he is today. May he always love people as dearly as he does now.

Here's to you my precious son! Mommy loves you a heaping lot!

(Take a look at the darling bracelet he and Brittany for me!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Oh was I ever inspired when I walked into Anthropologie today...3 yr old in my right tote in my left. I browsed the sale racks salivating at the housewares...cute door knobs, monogrammed coffee mugs, and then I saw these precious hanging ornaments. 75% off!

I looked through them loving each one more than the next....imagining our tree with these gentle lacy ornaments bringing in the tidings for next year...

I stood there for a moment watching the artist paint doves on the front windows...wondering what it was about this store that Joel and I loved so much.

-So much of it is out of our price range
-A ton of it is fad-related and will be dated by 2010 or sooner.
-The customer service isn't what I would call superior.

Why do we love it?

I think it is because it encapsulates a love for the new and the old...vintage fabrics paired with modern jewels...canvas and twine wrapped around shiny bronze and glimmering candles...
I believe the store has done a remarkable job at creating an experience that celebrates femininity spanning from the 1920's to now. It does not put women in a place of servitude, rather it commemorates what we as women do well: create, cook, sew, decorate, and more...

So, here's to a store that I've found even more reason to love....

(Here are the ornaments I purchased-what do you think?)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Vegan Stuffed Green Peppers

So, we are on a mission to eat healthier this year....and we tried a new vegan recipe calling for black beans..rice..onions..cilantro....and a healthy dose of garlic. We LOVED the flavoring in conjunction with the crisp of the pepper!

If any of you have some good vegan recipes-for breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks....please comment and let us know!

Happy & Healthy Eating to you and yours....

Thursday, January 1, 2009

NYE Bash

Great friends, great food and lots of laughs to celebrate the New Year. Happy New Year Everyone!