Monday, December 29, 2008

*gasp* NERDS!

Here it is. The long awaited (mostly by Mandi) post about the Anime Convention Ross and I found. Coincidentally, my brother and sister-in-law found them later. The hotel her company Christmas party was at just so happened to be the hotel next to the convention center. When they walked in, one of the nerds saw them looking around and said, "The people dressed like you are on the 3rd floor." PRICELESS.

So, this was the first picture I made Ross take. I say that because, well, I couldn't keep a straight face and he could so I made him go take the pictures. He walked up to this kid and said, "Hey dude, sweet Link costume! Can I take a picture?" The kid got WAY excited (yunno, since Ross and I are obviously normal people) and unsheathes his sword and strikes this fierce pose.


I actually took these 2. Please be advised that this is actually a female.






















These girls were wearing vampire fangs. And they seemed to really enjoy Ross, mostly because he's not ugly and he has facial hair. *giggle*


What? You're in a giant amphibian costume? *click*



There were so many more fantastic outfits, ranging from Harajuku-esque crazies to ninja wannabes. It was GLORIOUS.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

what a difference a year makes...

Last year, Christmas Eve was actually really really fun. Denver and I had some breakfast over at his grandma's (we spent Christmas with his mom's family in North Carolina) then went exploring. We took silly pictures on the cannons and statues at the capital building in Durham. We walked all over campus at Duke (which is really beautiful). We picked up shirts for my brother at NC State and UNC. We got Caribou Coffee on campus in Chapel Hill. We had an intensely beautiful and intimate moment when he took me to meet his mother, which means we went to her grave together. To be in that place with him, holding him and talking to her, I felt for a moment like my heart was going to burst with all the feelings I was experiencing - love for him, absorbing his pain and wanting to take it all from him, wishing I could actually have known her, and a gagillion other things. Then it was dinner and presents with the family at Grandma's. It was really really simple and great.

This year, I got up at 8:15 and scrubbed the toilet. Bernie, Katy, and the kids came over at 10 and we all had brunch. Then I ran a bunch of errands with various members of the immediate family. We went to church at 6 (where another passage from Joel was paraphrased, and I really think God is poking me pretty hard there) and then had presents at the parents' house afterwards. My brother and Katy know me so well. They got me a giraffe and an ELI MANNING JERSEY. I'm feeling so good with my family that I have been really good at not feeling so lonely like I did on Thanksgiving/my birthday. Maybe that'll change tomorrow. Who knows? In the mean time, I'm rocking my jersey and looking forward to pimp cups with my cousins tomorrow.

Merry Christmas, y'all. God bless you!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Total God Day

Mandi, I'm gonna have to save the nerds for another entry. God was too big today to not blog about it.

I have said several times, to several different people, that one of the biggest things I am angry about is feeling used up and wasted.

A little background: I was 22 when I met him, 24 when I married him, and apparently 27 when I'm getting divorced from him (although I still have yet to be served with papers). Because I have had to come to terms with limits on my life due to diabetes, my 20's have been prime real estate in my life. Those years were the best chance in my life to have children, and I always wanted to have them that age anyway (even before I had diabetes) because my parents and grandparents were older when they had children, and I found that very distasteful. Becoming a mom in your mid-20's has always been my ideal, so when I was 19 and my doctor informed me that when I hit the big 3-0, my status as a high risk pregnancy would basically triple, which means the odds of me being able to successfully have biological children get even lower (which is pretty sobering, let me tell you), I became even more determined that being a mom in my mid-20's was the way to go.

In addition to the beautiful children I've been dreaming about since I was 12 slipping away, I also felt just emotionally used up. I have given everything, "my all", to him and my marriage. I have been the best wife I could possibly be. I'm not, nor have I ever claimed to be, perfect, but I tried. And the used up part comes from feeling like I did as God commanded and gave myself completely to my husband. I feel like I can never be anyone's wife but Denver's, mostly because all the wifely acts and behaviors would feel insincere to anyone else. Those were things intended for him and him alone, and somehow I feel like it would always feel cheapened with someone else. That absolutely TERRIFIES me. I love him so deeply and unconditionally, so how could I possibly ever feel that intensely for someone else? The fact that my marriage being reconciled is God's best for my life is because those things were intended to be just for him. I need to trust God's provision, and I do know that he will provide and fill me. Its just very hard to feel that way when you feel so used up and wasted on the inside.

So here's where God gave me a big blessing this morning and made it relavent to spill that info. I was on my way to pick up my brother for church this morning, and I was listening to Joel Osteen's sermon on the radio. God knew I needed to hear it, and that's honestly why I was running late. If I had been on time this morning, I would've missed it!! Basically, he was talking about enduring trials and hard times at life. The point of going through things is to be a victOR not a victIM. You got THROUGH it. You didn't stay there. God didn't leave you in the tribulation. And by faith, you know He always will. He paraphrased some scripture from the book of Joel. Basically, he said, "God will give you back all the years that are stolen from you by trials and troubles." Joel Osteen, God just used you for my personal prayer fulfillment.

Then after Sunday school, I was really filled with realization at a HUGE way God's really changed my heart. That little boy "Timmy" that I blogged about a few weeks ago, I really used to hope he wouldn't be there on Sunday mornings. I just did not like that kid!! He's still a bit of a challenge, and he still throws fits, but the little guy has wormed his way into my heart with his giant blue eyes. In large group, I sat with him during the songs because he doesn't always participate and that keeps him from distracting the other kids. He has become quite the snuggler. He was holding my hands and wrapping my arms around him. At one point, he said, "Remember when we saw each other at that party (the church Cowboy Christmas) when I had my face painted? Wasn't that just so fun?" It absolutely filled my heart with the purest kind of joy. He eventually climbed up in my lap and snuggled up against me. He popped his thumb in his mouth and started to doze in my arms. Isn't it amazing how a little boy that made me crazy and I could hardly stand a few months ago could turn around and make me love him so much? God's just cool like that.

Do you think it was because tonight started Hannukah? ;-)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sights of the Season

Last Sunday, I took 2 of my nieces to the Cowboy Christmas party at my church. I would like to share how stinkin' cute they are with their faces painted:

Dallas



Monica



This awesome car was in the parking lot when we were waiting in line to get on the hay ride. Yes, it really does say, "This is Holy Hip Hop"





After dinner tonight, we partook in one of our most favorite pastimes... we went and looked at Christmas lights! This time, I totally took some pictures.

the afore mentioned LITE BRITE HOUSE



This house is ATROCIOUS. They are in violation of just about every rule of outdoor Christmas decor out there! How many Santas do you need in one small yard? You're not supposed to have more than one anyway, because it causes rifts in the space/time continuum if you do. Not that anyone really instantly notices that there are like 6, because, well, the yard is so littered with Garden Ridge and Walmart specials that you can't really tell what anything is! Maybe that's why they didn't notice the chunks of burned out icicle lights on the eaves...

Except this. My dad was all wrapped up in the fact that Mary has sunglasses on her forehead. Me? Well, I was too busy being obsessed with/appalled by the fact that they have an ADULT JESUS in their nativity looking at the BABY JESUS. Ross said that if you're Jesus, you can be at your own birth. You're JESUS. You can do anything. I still think this is just INSANE.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things!

I know I'm not the only person out there who is like, "Okay, SERIOUSLY. No." when My Favorite Things comes on the radio this time of year or gets included on Christmas CDs. Its totally SPRING when that song comes on in the movie. Lisle was out smoochin' Rolf in the gazebo in the rain, then there's a thunderstorm and the kids all get Colonial American in Maria's room. That doesn't say Christmas to me!! Is it just because she mentions packages and snowflakes? Is that all it takes to make a Christmas carol now? Sheesh. IT IS NOT A CHRISTMAS SONG, Y'ALL! Anyway, I just needed to address that since I'm about to give a list of some things going on in my life over the next week or so that I'm totally about.

with regards to Julie Andrews...

1. Ross Thomas Lucksinger. I was super stoked believing I'd get a whole night with the most wonderful man in my life, but then the stupid Amarillo airport messed that up. Instead, I get about 2 hours Saturday morning. Hey, better than nothing.

2. Cardboard cut outs. Now, you actually may not have known about the Beacon of Awesome, but its the trifecta of Ross, Jen Hernandez, and myself. So that we can always have the full beacon assembled, we're having lifesize cardboard cutouts made of each of us. Yes, we will take them places and take pictures. We can do things like that because, well, we're awesome. And awesomely obsessed with each other.

3. Donde Esta Santa Claus by Guster. If you do not know this song, or have never heard it, stop what you're doing (okay, maybe finish reading...) and download it on iTunes. That song is THE JAM. Hello?! They hope Santa doesn't forget his castanets?! And they're a bunch of Jews from Massachusetts singing the song? GOLD.

4. Grey jeans. More specifically, cute, insanely comfortable grey jeans for $10 a size smaller than the pants I wore into the store. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

5. Okay, clearance racks in general. I can't help it. I love a deal. I got an adorable pink lacy camy for $2 and then a green dress for $7. Put 'em together and it's a suuuuuuuuuuuuper cute outfit for less than $10. I also got a few new long sleeve shirts (ya know, for the 3 or 4 days a month its in the 30's and 40's before darting back up to 75) and pretty much all for under $10.

6. Sil Pat sheets. Okay, seriously, how did I bake without them? I've been baking 84,000 Christmas cookies this week and those sheets are the greatest thing EVER. Trust me.

7. Natalie and Isaac. Tonight is my brother's company Christmas party so I get to watch the kids. OVERWHELMING JOY. When I was telling Natalie about it last Friday, the conversation was a priceless classic:
Aunt Suzy: Hey Nat, guess what? Next Thursday night, I get to be here when you go to sleep!
Natalie: Slumber party?! (eyes light up)
AS: Maybe. But you'd have to sleep in the bed with me because I might get scared.
Nat: No, Aunt Suzy. I have to sleep in my own bed. But if you get scared, you just holler for me, and I'll come. I'll come protect you.
TOO MUCH CUTE!!!

8. The Lite Brite House. I went out looking at Christmas lights with my parents the other night and my dad took us to see the coolest Christmas lights I have ever seen. Not cool in the breathtakingly beautiful, sparkly traditional sort of way. Not cool in the spectacular, cohesive display kind of way. No no. Cool in the "Holy crap, you just took your childhood to a whole new level" kind of way. This man (I know its a man because my dad saw him out working on it) meticulously strung LED lights in perfect diags (he could write band drill, seriously) over his ENTIRE ROOF. I'm trying to figure out how to take pictures that convey the amazing spectacle.

9. Bowl Pools. Fantasy Football was a bust for me this year (thankfully I played in a free league) so now its time for Round 2 of football gambling: BOWL POOLS! I'm playing in 2 this year, and that means I can be twice as excited when Florida beats the Hell out of Poops and his merry band of dirty cheaters (I love you, Erin). I think the Gators can BOOM, too.

10. PIMP CUPS. After downing several bottles of wine between us on Thanksgiving, my cousins and I have taken a stance on holiday drinking - we're all for it! I came up with the idea that we need pimp cups for Christmas. So I'm making them. I found goblets. I bought rhinestones. I'm craftacular and I love my cousins.

Monday, December 15, 2008

just some scriptures I'm claiming

"We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose." Romans 8:28

"Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]." I Corinthians 13:7

"But He said to me, My grace (my favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ may rest upon me! So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am truly strong." II Corinthians 12:9-10

"But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [one combined] loss for Christ's sake. Yes, furthermore, I count everything as a loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish, in order that I may win Christ." Philippians 2:7-8

"Fear nothing that you are about to suffer. [Dismiss your dread and your fears!] Behold, the devil is indeed about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested and proved and critically appraised, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be loyally faithful unto death [even if you must die for it], and I will give you the crown of life." Revelation 2:10

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

they're so precious

Okay, you may not have known, but, um, I'm the proudest aunt ever. I am beyond in love with my niece and nephew. Seriously. How my brother and Katy managed to produce the most amazing children ever is beyond me, but I'm so glad they did.

Here are a few ridiculously adorable pictures from their birthday party this past weekend (Natalie turned 4 at the end of November and Isaac turned 1 at the start of December)









Too much cute, right?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Psalms

"Nevertheless I am continually with You; You do hold my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to honor and glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And I have no delight or desire on earth besides You. My flesh and heart may fail, but God is the Rock and firm Strength of my heart and my Portion forever. For behold, those who are far from You shall perish; You will destroy all who are false to You and like [spiritual] harlots depart from You. But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God and made Him my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works." Psalm 73:23-28

"The Lord raises the poor out of the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap and the dung hill, that He may seat them with princes, even with the princes of His people. He makes the barren woman to be a homemaker and a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord!" Psal 113:7-9

"Remember the word and promise to Your servant, in which You have caused me to hope. This is my comfort and consolation in my affliction: that Your word has revived me and given me life." Psalm 119:49-50

Friday, December 5, 2008

I've talked enough about my 84,000 trips to Garden Ridge that I probably should post some of my fine work on here. I'd been procrastinating about blogging because my heart told me there was something big and meaningful coming that I needed to blog about. I'm sure it's still coming, but I couldn't stand not having updated in over a week, so here's this instead.

The day before Thanksgiving, Mom and I went over to bake cookies with Natty. I know I'm biased, but seriously, look at this kid and tell me she's not adorable:



















Decorating was decidedly less fufilling this year. When it's your own home, there's something deeply satisfying about it. The past 3 years, making the apartment cozy and festive for Denver and the girls just made me feel right. Even though most of the decorating I did this year was my decorations just at my parents' house, it still didn't feel the same. I like having them up regardless, so here's some pics of highlights.


That empty stocking hook sucks.







Lucie says, "Look, Mommy! I can help you unwrap decorations!"

until she gets tired and takes a nap on our stockings.











my beautiful Hallmark tree in the dining room!















Yea, I made that wreath. Garden Ridge hooked it up.











my amazingly wonderful UT tree and my super cute nutcracker pillow that magically matches my bedding (totally unplanned. I've had that pillow since high school)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm thankful for...

I saw this on For Once in My Life I think it's a good idea for me to do it, because, well, after the year I've had it's hard for me to find things to be thankful for, and I need to change that. I've been saying for months that when all is said and done I want to petition to have 2008 stricken from the record. This morning on the radio, I got a perspective change. They said, "2008 has been a year full of worry. Instead of calling it that, let's call it a year of all that we lived through." I'm going to embrace that outlook.

In no particular order:
1. I am thankful for Denver, because he has shown me that I can love unconditionally and hurt more than I thought it was possible to without dying.
2. I am thankful for my parents, because they haven't kicked me out and have (not always cheerfully) provided for me during the past year.
3. I am thankful for kitties, because Lucie keeps me from sleeping alone and because Tilly is a retard.
4. I am thankful for my cousins Kelly, Lizzie, April, and Erin, because they are hilarious, they are loving, and they are just as ridiculous as me.
5. I am thankful for Grace Fellowship, because having an amazing church home really makes such a difference in life.
6. I am thankful for Kauri, because she's always praying for me, she gets me out of the house, and she doesn't think I'm crazy.
7. I am thankful for For Once in My Life (Mel), because she fills my heart and lets me cry without being a weirdo.
8. I am thankful for The Cobbs, because of the women Eryn and I have become, because Bo doesn't like tuna helper, and because Jackson is freaking adorable.
9. I am thankful for Anna, because everyone needs a friend with a cool foreign accent. Also, because she believes in me and reminds me that my heart knows what it's doing.
10. I am thankful for Ross Thomas Lucksinger, because he is the most amazing man in the world. Normally, that title should be for my husband, but these days, Ross is the one who loves me properly, and I appreciate him more than I will ever really be able to say.
11. I am thankful for Jen Hernandez, because she is a light in my life, and a total gift from God to keep me going.
12. I am thankful for the triumphant return of my period, because it renewed my faith in God's eventual blessing of children for me.
13. I am thankful for the Bible, because it's God's gift to me. It's His word, His promises, His comfort, His heart, His everything.
14. I am thankful for Bernie and Katy, because when little sister's world falls apart, having Big Brother and Big Sister to take care of you helps so much.
15. I am thankful for Natalie and Isaac, because they are beautiful and hilarious and fill my heart with overwhelming joy.
16. I am thankful for Renee Long, because she rescues me, even though she swears she doesn't.
17. I am thankful for KSBJ, because they don't play commercials and because I needed more positive jams in my life.
18. I am thankful for Whitney, because she proves that no one is perfect, regardless of the packaging. However, she's so amazing in her flaws and dorkiness and I love her so much.
19. I am thankful for the clearance section, because I'm poor but I get to own cute clothes.
20. I am thankful for Emily, because everyone needs a friend they've known since before they could do multiplication, especially when that friend is awesome AND takes you for mani/pedi on your anniversary 2 weeks after your husband tells you he wants a divorce.
21. I am thankful for my Sunday school class, because those kids are freaking hilarious and I'm learning so much from them.
22. I am thankful for electricity, because we didn't lose it during Ike and so many did.
23. I am thankful for SoMellifluous(Christina), because she's a fountain and she gives great hugs.
24. I am thankful for the Little Jen Jen that Could, because we're the only ones who think we're funny, Oh My Dad! Sudoku.
25. I am thankful for the internet, because blogger, twitter, gmail, and facebook are addicting.
26. I am thankful for knowing who my true friends are, because when your life falls apart, the ones who stick around are the ones God really wanted you to have.
27. I am thankful for my sweet sweet savior because He is always there, because His love never goes away or gets selfish, because my purpose in living is to glorify Him, because He is good all the time, because He provides, and for a million more reasons.

With more thought, I might change some of that around, but those are the main ones that came to mind. A lot of it seems small, but I have to cling to whatever I can these days.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving break?

Is everyone on Thanksgiving break and that's why no one is blogging?

I log in and I just hear crickets chirp.

I miss you guys. What's going on in your worlds?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

prayer request!!

I just got an email informing me that one of my serving partners, Christina Mirabel, was in a serious car accident. She's in a body cast with herniated and fractured discs. Praise God she wasn't killed, but still, that's horrible. She's a mom and her youngest is only 5. It's the holidays, and she's in that cast for 2 months!!

Please pray for her comfort, for a speedy healing, and that her family is taken care of!

Monday, November 17, 2008

why I love Sunday school...

There is nothing in the universe that makes my soul tingle more than when a child gets that huge grin and gives me a hug. I like kids. I can't help it.

I have this one little boy in my class of Kindergartners who has been more than a little difficult for me. We've been praying for ourselves more than him, because he doesn't have bad days... he has every day. I mean, he's hit, he's kicked, he's yelled, he's cried, he took his pants off once, and, according the the teachers who had him last year, he used to be a spitter. This Sunday, God finally gave us a break. This little boy, we'll just call him Timmy (cuz that kid was always falling in the well) had one of the best Sundays of his life, I'm convinced. He did what we asked with minimal discussion, he played nicely with the other kids, he kept his pants on, and he even gave me my 3 most favorite moments of the day.

1. When we were in large group worship, he pointed out a hot air balloon out the big windows. I don't know if you've just sat and watched a hot air balloon cruise across the sky, but there's something so calm and wondrous about it. Then it changed paths a bit so we got to talk about how it was like the cow jumping over the moon. We were pretty oblivious to everyone else in the room, and it was just a cool little moment.

2. When he had first arrived in the classroom, he was telling us (safe sanctuary policy is that there must be 2 adults present in the classroom at all times for there to be children. We don't want to get in any scandals like those CATHOLICS after all... lol) that he has really good deductive reasoning. We asked for examples, but he was kind of thrown. Anyway, when he and I were watching the hot air balloons, he totally busted out some deductive reasoning.
Timmy: That balloon is pretty slow isn't it?
me: yea, it is.
Timmy: is it slower than a snail?
me: no, I think its just a little bit faster than a snail.
Timmy: more like a slug?
me: maybe.
Timmy: Are snails or slugs faster?
me: I don't know. I've never raced them.
Timmy: It's slugs. Because snails have that shell and it slows them down.
DEDUCTIVE REASONING! You can't argue with that. You just can't.

3. And this one is my absolute FAVORITE. We were talking about Jesus dying for our sins so that we can be with God, because we started a new unit on Romans with the kids this week. So Timmy tells me that God is 4 parts, not 3. I said, "Are you sure? What are they?" And he goes, "It's God, Jesus, the Spirit, and Santa Claus!" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! SO AWESOME.

See why I love kids?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

nuggets of, well, weird.

I've had a busy weekend of tastings, and each tastings provided me with at least one memorable moment.

Friday, I was at the Spec's in downtown Houston. That tasting was awesome for my self esteem. As soon as I walked in, Marvin (the head of demos for that store) came over to me, calling me baby and had all my stuff set up and ready to go for me. I've heard stories about how fickle he is with who he likes. Then there was Dante. That boy decided he looooooooves me. Seriously, if you aren't feeling so hot about yourself, spend 3 hours near your own Dante. He told me I was beautiful in no less than 5 different ways, compliments galore! What a sweetie. So here's the memorable nugget of weird for that tasting. This couple walks by and one of the other reps goes, "Hey would y'all like to try some wine?" The man turns, and announces to half of the store, "Oh, no thanks. That's the wine that gave her diarrhea!" CLASSY.

Yesterday, I was at Spec's in Sugarland. This was decidedly less eventful. The nugget was more hilarious than "classy". I was pouring samples for 2 men who were very obviously a couple. One of the distributors was there stocking her wines and said to them, "Oh, your wives will LOVE that wine!" The 3 of us CRACKED UP. She had no clue! I went and explained to her after they left that their wives probably wouldn't like the wine, since they're gay. She joined in the laughter.

Today I was at HEB in, well, a melting pot of non-white races. I think I saw 10 white people total for the entire 3 hours I was there. I saw what Amy Winehouse would look like if she was black. Seriously. This woman was covered in random tattoos that didn't piece together or anything. She had the thick black eyeliner winged out. She was wearing the weird head wrap scarf thing. And she was a hot mess. She ties for the weirdest nugget of my "adventure" though. I got a tranny. That's right. A TRANNY. She was cute, but the fake lashes and nails combined with the slightly off voice made me question her gender, and so when I checked her ID and saw that her name is Brandon, I knew. And I laughed.

Gotta love my job!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

no, it's not because he's black.

It's because he's LIBERAL.

I'm not a conservative because I'm stupid, y'all. I'm a conservative because that's what life has taught me.

I hate big government. That's the bottom line.

I think wellfare is a crock. I'm all for aid, but not for lifers. I'm not a fan of a system where illegal immigrants and people who have no concept of "birth control" are living on government money and can get healthcare when I can't. No, not everyone on wellfare is like that. But the vast majority of the people in my neighborhood in Dallas sure were. Liberal Denver agrees. I was denied unemployment wages. I was denied medicaid. I couldn't even get food stamps if I wanted! Why? Because when I was still living with Denver, we made more than $30,000 a year between us. And now because I live with my parents. My dad is 65 and claims social security (because use it while it's still there, right?!) so that makes me ineligible. I would love to have a job. I apply for jobs. I've even gone on some interviews. But until then, I have student loans that aren't getting paid (and so today I learned I can't get a real estate license if I decided I wanted one), I have a wonderful bill from the hospital for $9,000 that I got today (if I had just stayed home and tried to suck it up like I usually do because I can't afford to see a doctor, I could have had a heart attack at 26 because my heart rate was so accelerated or worse, died because my organs could have failed), and my parents somehow find almost $500 a month to pay for my insulin and pump supplies. Public healthcare would be AMAZING. They gave me some information about some program that I have to provide all kinds of forms saying where I live and that I pay bills in my name (which I don't, since I don't have a job) so that I can go to the cheap clinics (not HOSPITALS) an hour away from me. AWESOME.

I believe in immigration. We're a melting pot, after all! I appreciate the jobs that so many illegals do, because I don't want to mow your lawn, cook your food, paint your house, or clean up after you. I don't think they're stealing jobs from Americans. But I do believe that they are breaking the law being here illegally, and then things fall back into the whole healthcare issue.

I believe in abortion. I think that when a woman is raped or the victim of incest, or when the mother's or child's life is at risk, abortion is excellent. But I think that the women who have had several abortions because they just keep getting pregnant are an awesome argument for being pro-life. I bet a prescription for birth control is cheaper than all those abortions.

I believe in gay marriage. I think you have no control over who you are attracted to and that saying that love can only happen between a man and woman is a violation of the separation of church and state. I don't think gay marriage ceremonies should be performed in churches, per say, but that's not a legal issue. Gay couples deserve spousal rights.

I believe in stem cell research. That's purely selfish because I know it impacts diabetes research and well, I'd like to see it cured in my lifetime.

I am a fan of energy diversification. That's totally our future. I mean, we aren't still using steam to run trains, so obviously we evolve. But in the mean time, my car runs on gas. Drill domestically. Seriously.

I'm technically a moderate, but I sit decidedly on the right side of being a moderate.

So excuse me for not peeing all over myself with delight about the new liberal president. The world didn't end, but its not like it got magically better.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

get in the spirit with a ringer!

Halloween is fun. I'm not dressing up because I'm not going to any parties and I don't have kids to dress up with (yea, I'm gonna be that mom, look out) but I still like Halloween. I prefer to go with a strictly autumnal theme for seasonal home decor, but that's more because I like to decorate in 2 month spans. Anyway, Halloween. There are 2 key elements that go into being prepared for Halloween if you are a non-costuming adult. Candy and a Jack-o-lantern. We got super cool candy to hand out, which was the easy part.













The jack-o-lantern part is a bit more difficult for me. It's been 12 years since my traumatic carving accident, but I know that I will die without ever carving another pumpkin. Mom and I were going to just put a candle in one of those plastic pumpkin buckets. We didn't see any at the store today, so we changed the plan. I was just going to paint a face on a pumpkin. So we picked out a nice big one and brought it home. Here comes the part about the ringer. My brother called and said he and Natalie were getting ready to carve theirs. I asked if he wanted to do ours, too. He knows about my fears and totally agrees with my decision to never carve a pumpkin again, so he gladly agreed. Natalie and I designed the face together. I think he's pretty awesome...




My adorable face design assistant:














My adorable distraction from the actual carving:

Monday, October 27, 2008

what? still sick?

I know, I'm shocked, too. I've been fever-less for almost 24 hours, and that right there is probably the biggest blessing. I discovered last night that I can lay on my back again. That's been a pretty nasty issue since I got home. When I would lay on my back, my chest would get tight like my lungs were collapsing and my throat would feel like it was closing. In addition to being REALLY uncomfortable, that's kind of terrifying. I have some awesome headaches (which are obviously not from being dehydrated since I drink 2-3 liters of water with electrolytes daily) and have picked up a fierce honking cough. The antibiotics (1500mg of amoxicillin daily) are pretty rough on my tummy so I will be pretty happy when I finish the 10 day run and my stomach can heal. I made the grave error of going to the grocery store with my mom today (hey, it's her birthday) and ended up ridiculously exhausted. On top of that, for no apparent reason, my entire body is swollen. I went to put on the jeans I wore to church yesterday and they were uncomfortable because they put so much pressure on my pelvis. They weren't snug yesterday. I don't think I just gained 15 or so pounds over night, either. My face is puffy, too.

Eryn has ordered me back to bed, so that's where I'm heading. I'll probably take a pill to settle my stomach on the way.

Thank you so much for all your prayers, guys. I know that that's playing a huge role in my healing. The more I've read about sepsis, the more I know how blanketed in prayer I was all night in ICU.

Friday, October 24, 2008

about last night...

I woke up at like 6am yesterday with my throat on fire. I figured it was just super dry (which happens when I sleep on my back sometimes) so I got some cold water and curled back up in bed. My mom woke me up at 11 to see if I wanted to go run errands. I realized it was not just dry throat and declined in favor of "sleeping it off". I got up about 12:30 to make chili as I had been promising I would. I almost didn't make it because I was getting really light headed and sick to my stomach. I hurried up and then retreated back to bed, noting that I was starting to run a fever. I spent the next 3 or so hours shivering under 3 layers of blankets because I had such horrible chills. Finally at about 4:30, I wrangled the strength to grab my cell phone and call my mom (in the other room mind you) for help. We checked my temp and discovered it was 102. That's 4 degrees above normal for me. Upon standing, I went woozy, darted to the bathroom and puked for dear life. That was enough for Mom and she insisted on a trip to the ER.

I got to the ER, still shivering, and they instantly labeled me as urgent given my temperature. When they discovered my pulse was racing at 160, they didn't waste time. I had an EKG, a CT scan of my head, and chest x-rays, in addition to several bags of IV fluids, blood cultures, and a throat culture. I no longer felt silly for going to the ER. My mom left me around that point because she said she wasn't feeling good. My nurse came in and told me that my strep culture had come back positive. That sucks, but at least it's not pneumonia, right? Well, then like 20 minutes later she comes back in and asks if the doctor has been in because I'm being admitted. Not why or anything, just that I'm being admitted. Well crap. So I call my mom, who has decided she needs to camp out in the bathroom because her entire digestive system was revolting. She ended up sending my awesome brother up with my things, which I totally appreciated. My nurse comes back in and tells me I'm going to ICU because I have sepsis. Not gonna lie, that freaked me out a bit. I got to ICU, had more holes poked in my arms, was hooked up to an IV, a heart monitor, and a blood oxygen monitor, and frequently a blood pressure cuff, so I had to get a nurse every time I have to pee (and when you're on IV fluids, trust me...) The nurses last night were telling Brother Bear and me that I would probably be in for 2 or 3 days. Yea, that's expensive when you don't have insurance. I'm glad I was there, though, because my heart started racing in the middle of the night when my fever spiked to just over 103. My nurse woke me up around 5 (for the umpteenth time) and told me that my mom called and she's now in room 515. Seriously? Good lord. I'd been on hardcore IV antibiotics all night to get the infection under control, which worked because my temp was holding steady at around 99 and my heart rate was back down under 100. I was bracing myself for nasty hospital lunch when my nurse came in and told me I was being discharged! So I'm at home with antibiotics and lots of rest. Either I'm really lucky I went in early or they sent me home because I don't have insurance. Probably both with a bit more of the second one. That sucks, but I'm pretty sure I'm stable. And my brother's optomism on that was, "If you relapse, you'll never have to work again because you'll own that hospital!"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

is that stalking?

I have my list of blogs on my page, obviously. I know all of those people. But there are some other blogs that I read of people who I just kinda know in real life, but because I read their blogs, I feel like I really know. Does anyone else do that? And does that make me creepy?

Friday, October 17, 2008

lalalalalala tonight!

Last night I had a girls' night with The Jen. Her sister Lori hooked us up with a pair of tickets to see New Kids on the Block.

We had a beer before we went to the show. We got to the Toyota Center, laughed a lot of people, then found out our tickets had been upgraded. Instead of crappy nosebleed seats (section 400!!) we got moved down to section 120, row 13. Pictures available on myspace and facebook. The show was everything I could've dreamed of. We laughed so hard when we weren't dorkily singing along. There's a time in the show where Jon gets a camera and Danny encourages the crowd to dance while Jon films. Guess who made it up on the big screens during that segment? Yup! Jen did the robot and everything. We're so cool.

After the show, we met up with her sister and her friends for a few beers.

I got home at 4 this morning. Totally worth it.

Cuz you gotta be hanging tough.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

devotional snippet

So, I'm not going to talk about Sunday other than to thank everyone for their love and support. I am truly blessed. I'm glad I'm in Dallas at April and Dave's and not in Katy, though, because its kept me from sinking into a pity party funk.

On Monday, I got my Christianity.com devotional in my inbox. Ever since the moment I read it, I have felt better. I don't feel burdened or wounded. God is good. Here's the best parts.



"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up." Luke 18:1 (NIV)

(she told a story about her son playing football)
The parallel to our prayer lives is astounding. Too often, I have given up praying about a concern, believing the play to be over. Perhaps I think God answered "no" when I don't see an answer in my timeline. Sometimes I see things with human eyes, and give up too soon. I wonder how many times we've stopped praying just shy of experiencing healing, freedom from addiction, or the salvation of someone we love. I'm thankful my family and I never stopped praying about my dad's salvation. He came to Christ two weeks before he died.

Just as my son learned to block until the whistle blows, may we be encouraged to pray until the trumpet blows, revealing that Jesus has returned to earth. In other words -- never give up!


Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your power and majesty. There is nothing in the universe that is too big for You to handle. Help me to remember that You want to hear my prayers, and You delight in answering them when it brings glory to Your name. In Jesus' Name, Amen.



See? God is good.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

good sermon

I went to church this morning with April and David. The sermon was from the book of Philippians, aka the book of JOY. Afterward, April looks at me and goes, "Dude, that sermon was so for you." The pastor was talking about how Christians aren't stupid. We aren't hiding our heads in the sand and pretending nothing bad is going on around us. Instead we're just placing our hopes and faith in something bigger than this world and this life.

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:1-9

Its so simple and yet its amazingly hard to do. We're in the world but not of it, or at least we try to be. Life is absolutely not what we want it to be. That's because we don't have that kind of wisdom. God does. And His timing is perfect. He orchestrates it all. It does not matter how many tears I cry, how many times I beg and plead. God will not move one second faster to spare me the pain. Not because He doesn't love me or because He enjoys my pain or something. But instead because He loves me SO MUCH. He's shaping and molding me. Life isn't about what I want or what will make me happy. It is about the pure joy that comes from my relationship with Him. It is the peace that fills me when I whisper His name.

When I feel abandoned and rejected and broken, He won't necessarily end it. Its lessons I need. I have done and will continue to do everything that I can to be a Godly wife. I love my husband. I believe in my vows. My pastor a few weeks ago said that a popular misconception of marriage is that its a 50/50 thing. It's not. Its a 100/? thing. You have to give 100% on the condition that the other person may give you nothing. Its not give to get. Its give to give. That's EXACTLY what I'm doing. I am still his, 100% and he is mine about .00000000000000001% But that's just how it is. Maybe God has plans to make it better and different. Maybe He doesn't. In the meantime, I have to start every day with the intention of living faithfully to the man I committed myself to, loving and praying for him, regardless of the choices he's making. I didn't get married to make myself happy. And I don't want to stay married to be happy. Yes, he makes me happy (obviously not all the time...). Yes I love being around him and the man he's been and can be. Fortunately, God has blessed me with a heart that is capable of unconditional love. It doesn't matter what he does. I cannot love him less. I have tried. I have begged God to make me love him less. And instead I love him more. I love the creases of his eyes. I love the freckle on his lip. I love the lint in his belly button. I love the pain in his heart. I love the confusion in his head. I'm not looking for perfect. There is nothing he had or can do that is unforgivable to me. Its just a matter of getting to the point where forgiveness is warranted.

I'm going to rejoice in the Lord. I'm going to do what is right and pure - I'm going to love my husband and honor my vows expecting nothing in return. I'm going to fill my heart with thanksgiving - that God blessed me with a man to love so much. I'm going to pray without ceasing - for God's will and for the patience to live in His timing. I have learned to have faith, to trust in God, and to be patient. I'm putting it into practice as best as I can, and so the peace of God is in me.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

progress!

First of all, I got over my scared thing, and my feelings that I shouldn't try to get a real job because I'm scared of feeling rejected and all that. I started applying for real jobs. That's right. Jobs that don't involve an apron or a plastic nametag. Jobs that I've actually got the resume to back up. We'll see how that goes.

Secondly, I am sooooooooooooo looking forward to the next few days in Dallas. I'm looking forward to being with the people who love me the most, and that I have the most fun with. Well, and Denver. Parties this weekend, wedding stuff with Bunny, and then trivia on Tuesday with Liz!! It's gonna be a much needed boost in my life.

Onward and upward! Is that the saying?

Monday, October 6, 2008

I've come to realize...

... that sometimes I'm waiting on the Lord out of fear instead of faith. I'm scared to move forward! I'm so terrified of going back to the person that I've been that I don't want to make any decisions and so I wait for God to shove me - and shove me hard at that.

I also realized that I don't fully rest in God's peace and presence. I'm tired. Here's the metaphor that God gave me last night about it: I'm tired because I'm basically treading water. Yes, God is taking care of me in that there are no sea creatures trying to eat me and the water stays pretty calm. But what I really want is to get on a raft and just bask in the Son (get it? Sun/Son. I love homophones!!) and blindly go where God sends me.

Maybe someday... maybe someday.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

makeover complete!

The ladies at the salon were way super excited when we announced we were chopping our hair for Locks of Love. The lady that did my mom was like peeing her pants she was so excited.

I can't post the before picture because the lady who took it unfortunately saved it as a movie on my camera. Until I learn how to undo that, you'll just have to believe me that we had waist length hair. But now...



Seriously, my hair hasn't been this short since I was in elementary school! It was shoulder length in 8th grade (that was 8th grade, right Vicki?) I was thinking to myself the other night watching Letterman that Anne Hathaway's hair is super cute... and now I kinda have it!

And Mom's is AWESOME!



Manis and pedis afterward sealed the deal. It was a good day. A good day indeed!

Friday, October 3, 2008

mini makeover!

Tomorrow is going to be a super awesome girl's day with my mom. She's in a funk. I'm in a funk. Perfect timing. We're getting mani/pedi's and then chopping our hair for Locks for Love. I'm getting about a foot cut (which will still leave me with hair past my shoulders) and she's getting over 18" hacked (which will give her a cute granny bob!). After all that, we're going to dye Mom's hair because it's salt and pepper and frizzy and not matching her face. She's almost 57, but her face doesn't look that old. She's gonna be a hip granny!! I'll totally post pics tomorrow night.

Also, I have a date with Denver next week.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

tunnel vision?

I am horribly and miserably lonely. If you spend much time with me lately, it's pretty obvious. This is the first time in my life when I haven't had at least a handful of friends around me to spend time with at any time. In Katy, I officially have 2, and I haven't seen either of them in over a month. As much as I enjoy snuggling with Lucie as I fall asleep every night, I hate sleeping alone. 3 years of sleeping next to him will do that, I suppose.

I've been talking to him a lot more lately. Not about us or about the future or anything, but conversations not unlike the ones I have with any of you. We talk about tv shows we've watched, we talk about sports, we talk about the cats, etc. Nothing serious, but still pretty filling conversations. Its details about who we are, and that makes the conversations worthwhile.

This Sunday, the sermon was about improving romance and sex in marriage. This was probably the most painful sermon of the series for me. It would've sucked in an of itself, but the day before, I had a good cry about how ridiculously romantic Denver can be, and the things he's done for the pleasure of my smile. Jen Jen was talking about how she went to see Rent and I ended up down memory lane remembering the amazing "just because I love you" date D took me on the first year we were in Dallas. He told me to get dressed up, took me to dinner, then took me on the train for a surprise. He had secretly bought tickets for us to see Rent together. He'd never seen it but I had and had gone on about how awesome it was. Seriously one of the best nights ever. The guy is good, what can I say? Well, hearing a sermon on romance the next day is pretty tough, especially when you're exhausted and your 5 year olds were horrible that morning. I had to shut down just to get through.

Here's the tunnel vision part.

The only people he's hanging out with (and living with) are other HOB people. He's out and about several nights a week, with HOB people. And then tonight on facebook I saw that he's organizing a charity golf event for an HOB coworker with breast cancer. If I worked at HOB, would he put an ounce of effort into me, too? Is that really the only thing wrong with me? Cuz wow, its starting to look like it on this end. And that feels kind of terrible.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mommy Dearest

all the buzz about pregnancy on Twitter today really inspired me to blog about the horrible mothers I encountered today. Well, or at least the loudest 2.

We were poking around at Michael's when all of a sudden the entire store (literally. pin drop.) turned to stare as a woman ripped into her pre-schooler at the check out line. She was SCREAMING. "If you don't get over here right now I'm gonna spank your ass right here in front of everyone!" That's right. In addition to screaming at her child in public, she also cussed at the poor kid. Some therapist is gonna make a killing on him when he gets older...

Then we walked next door to Home Goods (OMG I died.) Apparently that crazy lady from Michael's has a sister. I went to the restroom and I was barely able to keep from bursting into laughter at the way this woman was going off on her daughter in the handicapped stall! She was borderline yelling, "Stop crying! They aren't tight! I had to put them in your hair because it looked A MESS! [sidebar, who effing says that?] Now quit it! Quit crying or I'll give you something to cry about! [oh yes! a CLASSIC!!!!] I don't care. I don't care what you want. You're 4. You don't have an opinion. I tell you things. No, I really don't care because it's not always about you!!!" The little girl was crying the entire time and whimpering things. Then they head over to the sink and all of a sudden they're laughing and fun. Maybe it was just the toilet, who knows? I walked past them in an aisle and she goes, "Stop whining. You sound like such a titty baby," to which the little girl replied, "I'm not a titty baby!!"

Now, I'm not saying I will be the most perfect mother. I'm not saying I have the patience of a saint. I'm just saying that there are just some moments that you really can avoid. At least the second awesome mom took her kid to the bathroom to go off on her.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

man training

Every good man has to know how to hold a woman's purse and be patient while she tries things on at stores. We're training Isaac early. We brought him along to the Bridal Salon yesterday while we looked for bridesmaid dresses. He was sooo good and, as per usual, ridiculously cute, all while keeping guard of my purse!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

humility and perspective

So, I haven't had the greatest of weeks, but it wasn't things I really wanted to blog about. I've never wanted to stay in Katy, and lately I'm kind of getting the itch to get out of here again. I miss my friends, especially the beacon of awesome. My Little Jen Jen that Could and I have been talking a lot lately about being lonely and not really having any friends where you live. As much as I miss her and Liz up in Dallas, I know Austin is where most of my friends are. Beacon of Awesome and all that. I think it was the converesation with Denver where he was mentioning a move back there that really started the yearning in my heart.

No, I'm not announcing a move.

Basically, the more I started wanting to leave, the more I felt guilty leaving about the things here that have been so awesome for me in this, the worst year of my life. Then some unpleasant things transpired this week that just made me feel pushed. They were things that reminded me why I never really minded not being here in the first place. I stopped feeling so guilty about wanting to leave, and replaced it with swirls of anger and resentment and just general angst.

God worked some things out for me, like He does.

The lesson for the kids this morning was about God's provisions for us, because we belong to Him. The memory verse is "My God will provide for your needs" Phil. 4:19. I've been praying for provision for a few weeks now, and its nice to have that scriptural reminder.

The sermon this morning came from Ephesians. Don't you love it when God helps your eye to wander to EXACTLY the scripture you needed, even when it has absolutely nothing to do with the message you're hearing? Me too.

"Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath and resentment and quarreling and slander be banished from you, with all malice." Ephesians 4:31

That, my friends, is a prayer answered. I've been praying for days now for God to change my heart and used some of those exact words. The feelings have been decreasing, but I knew it was still there. And then I saw that scripture...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, God is so cool.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

cleaning like whoa

Despite the cooler temperatures, I still just really don't like working outside. Maybe when I have my own house, I'll enjoy watering the lawn or putting in some new flowers. But after about an hour of hauling fence posts and tree pieces (trunk chunks and branches), I was over the project and found other things to do with my time. In order to contribute, I steam cleaned the carpet. Its not like it didn't need it, especially after poor Sadie's accidents. Needless to say, both of my parents are in awe of Bissell's and my mad skillz.

My dad and our next door neighbors, Marcus and Evelin, worked it out on the backyard, and it doesn't look so disasterous. The front curb on the other hand... we're waiting for the crews to get to our street to haul it off.



In other potentially spectacular news... D and I have been talking pretty much every day. Amazing, isn't it? We like talking to each other. Ross and I were discussing how that shouldn't be as uncommon as it is, given that marriage is an optional institution. Go figure. Anyhoo, in one of our many recent conversations, he told me about some big life changes in the life of his douchebag brother (sorry, that wasn't nice). It seems Austin has finally discovered that life is better lived together. He's packing up and leaving Atlanta for Phoenix, and more importantly, for Nicole. They had been together for several years, and about the time we were getting married, Austin was saying she was the one. Then he started freaking out about getting married, etc, one thing led to another and they broke up. Fast forward almost a year later, and they're back together and he's following her to Phoenix. Here's why that's awesome. Austin's fast and cool bachelor lifestyle has been a huge influence on D and his desire to not be married. Maybe this will alter his perception for the good. Let's pray about it!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

good scripture...

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us and for us and conferred on us.

Romans 8:18



I just heard that on the radio and had to share it. I mean, it applies to a whole multitude of things right now. It applies to my menagerie of trials. It applies to having all the flooring ripped out of the first floor of your house (love you, K). It applies to moving across the country (love you, E). It even applies to an upset stomach! I mean, it really just covers it. Its hard to not get swept up in the down moments of this life, but the only way to really and truly get through them is with Jesus! How small this life is in comparison to the glory of eternity in heaven with Him!

Monday, September 15, 2008

nuggets of not awesome

My mom came and woke me up at 8:30 this morning with 2 nuggets of bad news.

The first was the one that made me cry - Sadie passed in her sleep last night. Before I went to bed last night, I laid in the hallway with her, just petting her, kissing her nose, telling her how much I love her and what a good dog she is. When I went to bed, I prayed that God would end her suffering, either by healing her or by bringing her home. He obviously chose the second one. It's extremely sad, but I know it's better. This house feels weird, though, and it's upset all of the kitties. Animals are sensative, too!

The second nugget was more of a "Well crap. That totally sucks" type of nugget. My brother's house flooded this morning. That's right. IKE didn't flood it, but the thunderstorms that came through with the cold front last night coupled with the debris and ground saturation were just too much for their neighborhood and they got about 3 inches of water in their house. I spend my afternoon and into the evening over there occupying the kids so they could get as much stuff upstairs as possible. What a pain in the neck! Especially since they've lived in that house for about 3 years and this is the second flood. Those beautiful hardwood floors they put in less than 2 years ago are ruined. SUCK.

As far as Ike goes, I realized I have failed to mention the non-immediate property that was affected. We own a house in Texas City. It's the house my mom grew up in, and it's been through some nasty storms (Carla in 1961, Alicia in 1983) and stood firm, so we're hoping it's pretty much fine. My sister-in-law's family has a beach house down on the island by Jamaica Beach. That's down on the west end, where they aren't releasing images yet and rescue crews still can't access. From what we hear, it's still completely underwater. People matter more than possessions, so we're still counting ourselves extremely blessed at this point. And I still believe it was my hurricake that did it. :o)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

On this post Ike Saturday...

We survived, and were for sure on the lucky end of the stick. I posted some hurricane pictures on facebook...

I stayed up all night with Mom and occassionally Dad. Denver texted to check on us around 1:30, which was a pretty huge comfort to me, given the role reversal from Hurricane Ivan. The power flickered a lot after the storm made landfall around 1, but didn't go out until 5am. We started the generator and continued watching coverage. That's right. Our cable never even went out, despite the tree that fell on the box outside. Then a little after 6am, the power came back on, and I finally went to sleep.

I appreciate everyone who's been checking on me throughout this. It's made me feel incredibly loved and that's invaluable.



The saddest thing about this for us has been our border collie, Sadie. She's 13 and blind, and she got extremely sick last night. We thought the storm was just making her nervous, even when she started to throw up a little. We knew she was really sick, though, around 3am when she started having diarrhea that was basically just straight blood. I know that's really disgusting, sorry. She has had accidents all over the house. It's miserable for her and miserable for us because we can't do anything for her right now. We're afraid that come Monday, we're going to have to have her put to sleep. I know it might seem silly, since she's a dog, but she's a part of our family, and we're very upset about it. Please pray about that for us, and for her to not be in pain.

Friday, September 12, 2008

waiting is the hardest part

It's just shy of 10pm on Friday. Ike should be making landfall in the next 2-3 hours. We still have power. We're still dry. Our wind is a bit gusty.

The generator is set up, and we have the essentials ready to go for the night - ie the worst of the storm.
-fridge
-lamps
-fans
-tv
-dvd player

Also, I baked a Hurricake. It's AWESOME.

We have everything we would need, including extra toilet paper. The only way we could possibly be more secure is if our windows were boarded up. Almost no one in this area has them boarded, so I don't super concerned. Dad and I did a bang up job securing everything outside this morning.

Now it's just the waiting game...

I wish I could stop thinking about Hurricane Ivan. I remember how that storm ate me up inside, how worried I was about D, and how hard it was to get ahold of him for days. I totally understand how some of y'all are feeling right now. I really do appreciate all of the calls and texts I've gotten today. I feel so loved by my amazing friends. Thanks y'all. Cell service will get spotty around the storm, but keep trying and I will try my best to let y'all know how we fared as soon as I can!

I loooooooooooove you. And your prayers.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ike, Ike Baby.

First of all, it's September 11th and that warrants some reverence. Do you remember where you were? I freaked out in my dorm. I lived on the 11th floor of a 14th floor dorm building, 2 blocks from the capitol building of the largest state and the home state of our president, on campus at the largest university in the country AND the university where the president's daughter and nephew were currently enrolled. It was a horrible day for our nation and at the same time, a beautiful day for our nation. Say a prayer for the fallen and for the ones they left behind, as well as for the terrorists.

Now for regional news.

I LOVE thunderstorms. I do not LOVE hurricanes. I wasn't all that concerned until this morning. I mean, we have a generator, and Mom and I went and bought some food (canned of course) and water, figuring we'd only need stuff for a day, MAYBE 2. I was even cracking jokes with Ross about the dreaded Cone of Uncertainty! Then we saw the models this morning and suddenly, the mood has changed. We're still planning to stay here, with all 5 animals. My mom grew up in Texas City (which they're currently predicting a 20 foot storm surge to hit) so she's an old salt with storms. And this isn't the first hurricane I've been through in this house. I mean, for Hurricane Alicia, my parents had to stock up on diapers because I was only a year old. My mom remembers "fondly" Hurricane Carla, so she made this atrocious face this morning when some idiot reporter called Ike "the second coming of Carla."

Keep us in your prayers. Not just my family, but the whole region. It's gonna be a doozy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Its totally craftacular!

So far, September has not exactly been a deep blog month for me, and maybe that's refreshing. It hasn't exactly been drama free for me, but I've been in the mood to blog about the little things that make me happy. That being said, I completed another craft tonight. I need to get a paint pen and do a few touch ups to the frame, but overall, I'm totally delighted with how it turned out.



It's a French memo board made with real wine corks! The gold buttons down the middle are the caps off of bottles of Moet & Chandon White Star, for the classy element. I have lots of wine decorations for my kitchen, and a memo board is perfect in the kitchen, for coupons, recipies, etc. I loooooooove it. Now all I need is a kitchen to hang it in!

Monday, September 8, 2008

ain't goin' down till the sun comes up

So, Denver and I started chatting online around 11 last night. I finally went to bed well after 6 this morning. It was AWESOME. No pressure, no stress. Well, I mean, the first 30 minutes always makes my stomach clench up, but after that. none. We talked about work, Sunday school, football, ANTM, and a million things in between. It was like being on a date but we already know each other's likes, dislikes, and interests, so it was easy. It was all the reasons we fell in love with each other in the first place, and in the same format, too, ironically - online chatting.

Best part? He told me he's looking forward to me coming up there at the end of the month.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I caved.

Today, I bought Christmas stuff. I bought my wreath and a garland (which I will decorate after Thanksgiving) because they were half price and so it was $8 for both of them. I also bought some fabric because my mom is going to make a table runner for my coffee table. We went ahead and got it because we'd scouted 4 different stores and that was the only nutcracker material we'd seen. Plus this gives Nanner lots of time to make it.

In non-seasonal binge purchases, I'm addicted to wedding magazines. Thanks, brides!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

September isn't Summer

I don't care what the thermometer or my damp armpits say, September is the start of AUTUMN, aka my favorite season. Here are a few reasons why it's my number 1.

1. My favorite color is orange, so that works.
2. FOOTBALL.
3. hoodies and cardigans with flip flops.
4. all the Christmas stuff comes out (if you know me, you know that I ADORE Christmas decorations.)
5. FOOTBALL.

Since today was the first day of September, I lit my mulled cider candle (smells AMAZING), watched football, and crafted a beautiful centerpiece.




Nothing says "fall" like styrofoam vegetation and balls. It makes me feel festive, and added to my excitment when UCLA upset Tennessee in overtime.

If you need me, I'll be lost at Garden Ridge.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Spoiling is fun!

I know his birthday isn't until December 3rd, but between the sale price and the overwhelming cuteness, it went in my cart. Oh Isaac, your Aunt Suzy is a sucker for making you giggle!



it's called the Put 'N' Giggle Octopus. The balls are soft and he can practice motor skills putting them into the bowl. Plus it wiggles and giggles which will totally make him laugh. And that totally makes me happy.

I'm so screwed when I have my own babies.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I think I have a problem.

So, I thought my addiction to diet coke was bad, but I know I can go days without it and it's not that huge of an issue. However, losing my internet on Monday night was the awakening of a different beast. I was MISERABLE. I would walk by the computer and feel this clenching inside of me. I was having withdrawals! Now, if I was smart, or at the very least responsible, I would see that as God showing me that the computer is becoming an idol in my life and make an effort to cut down my usage. Unfortunately, I felt so horribly DISCONNECTED that I don't feel ready for that. Maybe someday.

On a ridiculously adorable note, I was at HEB with my mom on Monday and one of my kiddos came running up to me with a huge grin on her face. Moments like that are totally the blessings of teaching Sunday school with little kids.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday in 2 parts.

Part 1: the kids.
They told us that attendence would be low the first few weeks and then as school started, would surge and then level out in October or November. The first 3 weeks, we had 7 or 8 kids in our class each Sunday. Today we had 15. That's right. 15 5 year old blessings. I've been praying to become a more patient person and for sweeter speech, and this is an excellent arena to develop those things! Probably 10 of my kids are wonderful. They're pretty well behaved and the worst problem is a bit of the wiggles or wanting to keep playing instead of doing the lesson activities. But the other 4 or so offered some challenges. These challenges were totally exacerbated by today's lesson which was the plagues in Egypt. To replicate the boils, the kids were given red dot stickers. Most of them were adorable with it. 3 of mine were gone for the rest of the lesson because they got so wrapped in sticking them on each other's eyes. Don't worry, they offered up challenges outside of that, too. The biggest challenge of the day was that they did tangible renactments of these plagues outside. Friends, it was HOT. We didn't make it through all the plagues, but we did add a new one: the plague of "I have to potty real bad!" It wasn't really that horrible, but I hope that they rethink the time of the year they do this lesson when it cycles back around.
The morning ended with an awesome moment, though. I had a new girl in my class and she was not happy about being there when she arrived. We sat together on the carpet and I tried to convince her to play with the other kids, but she wouldn't even talk to me, just make gestures and "HRMPH!"'s. When her mom came to pick her up, she ran over and gave me a huge hug. LOVE IT.

Part 2: the sermon
Today was the first day of the new sermon series: For Better, For Worse. Today's message was the purpose of marriage. I've been praying since I found out about this series that God would open me to it and change me. I prayed it again this morning when we were praying before he delivered the message! So imagine my surprise when I found myself sinking into resentment and a general feeling of, "Duh." I caught myself and immediately prayed for God to remove my arrogance. Obviously, there are lessons for me to learn and changes to be made in me with this, because why else would God have me in this place to hear these things?

I believe that God is at work and moving, and maybe, just maybe, D will listen to these sermons online. Nothing is too big for our Lord, so why not?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

so far so good

One of the main reasons I came to Austin this week is because I've been feeling kind of funky. I want to feel good, and I do believe that you have to choose to be happy, but for whatever reason, the funk is still trying to take over. I think God knows it, too, and has been trying to help me fight it with all the extra obvious blessings He's been showering me with.

But I'm in Austin. This is the place where I'm relaxed, where most of the people who know me best are. It does good things for me, so I'm hoping it'll push out my funk.

I had a great evening to kick off the visit, and know there's more to come.

Monday, August 18, 2008

seriously.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: God is so cool!

I have a Stephen Minister through my church who is AMAZING. She and I were talking last night about how things have been going for me, and if I had talked to D or not. Well, things have kind of slidden downward for me in a few areas (out of my control) and I haven't talked to D which is eating at me because I miss him so much. She told me that she would be praying and that she knows the Lord is working in my life. I told her that I know at this point its all about faith, trust, and patience.

Fast forward a few hours to me being awake all night because I made the bad decision to take a 4 hour nap after church. So I was playing games online and listening to ksbj. I love the overnight DJ on that station because he sounds entirely too much like Mr. Garrison from South Park when he talks, but also because he uses his breaks between songs to talk about scripture and pray. Well, last night he really caught my attention when he started talking about the scriptures (I think it's in John 14) that talk about asking for things in faith. He actually used the words faith and trust when talking about praying and seeking the Lord's guidance and provision. Um, yes.

Finish it up with today's devotional in Jesus Calling

Expect to encounter adversity in your life, remembering that you live in a deeply fallen world. Stop trying to find a way that circumvents difficulties. The main problem with an easy life is that it masks your need for Me. When you became a Christian, I infused My very Life into you, empowering you to live on a supernatural plane by depending on Me.

Anticipate coming face-to-face with impossibilities: situations totally beyond your ability to handle. This awareness of your inadequacy is not something you should try to evade. It is precisely where I want you - the best place to encounter Me in
My Glory and Power. When you see armies of problems marching toward you, cry out to Me! Allow me to fight for you. Watch Me working on your behalf, as you rest in the shadow of My Almighty Presence.

Revelation 19:1; Psalm 91:1


There's a song by Casting Crowns called Who Am I that really gets it.

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

Who Am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love, and watch me rise again
Who Am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

I am Yours
I am Yours
Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
'Cause I am Yours
I am Yours



I am so small and insignificant but the Lord of Creation knows every single hair on my head, and loves me so deeply. He actually does care about every single thing that I feel and pays attention. That is HUGE. My life is a mess right now in so many ways, but because I am covered with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, it's all part of the beautiful work of art that the Lord is creating in me. SERIOUSLY.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I like your faces.

I'm coming to Austin this week. I'll be in town Tuesday afternoon thru Friday morning (yes that means Posse on Thursday). If you'd like to hang out and crack Busey jokes, call/text/comment me. Because I love your words and voices, but I also love your face.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

In your FACE.

I absolutely love it when God is in my face. Well, not so much when He's convicting me, like in my face saying, "STOP THAT!" and pointing out my flaws, weaknesses, and avoidable stumbles in my walk. But I love it when He's in my face showing me He's there and listening.

This morning in Sunday school, we were talking about how God took care of Baby Moses. The lesson for the kids was that God takes care of them just like He took care of Moses in the river. When they said we'd grow spiritually from working with kids, they weren't kidding! Who doesn't need that reminder that God is always taking care of them?

Then I get to big church (I teach during the 8:45 service and then worship at 10:45) and there's this beautiful glossy flyer card thing for the upcoming sermon series: Marriage - For Better or For Worse. Katy gave me some encouragement because she knows those sermons eat at me, and not in a convicting way. September 7th is "How to be a good husband". Anyone interested? :o)

Then tonight, I texted Denver for Lucie (because she got on my bed, walked over and nuzzled a picture of him, then snuggled in my lap) to tell him she loves him. He responded with "Do you know who Need to Breathe is?" Um, YES. "Yea, they're my show tonight." Friends, this is HUGE. For several hours tonight, Denver will be ministered to, whether he realizes it or not. He will be surrounded by Christ's message and be in a room where people are worshipping the love of their life - JESUS. Being at a Christian concert is extremely powerful, and it's hard to not feel it deep inside of you.


God's fighting for him so hard, y'all. He's been telling me to be patient and faithful this entire time, and even in the darkest times He's been there (even when I felt left - but that was to build patience) and now He's giving me a burst of answered prayers. I've prayed so many times for God to put things in Denver's path that make it hard if not impossible to ignore Him. Um, hours of praise will do that.

God is so cool.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

patience...

Do you ever have those days where you just can't stop praying for patience with the people around you? Okay, all of you moms obviously do, but I mean everyone else.

Do you think God cuts you a little slack when PMS is involved?

I really hope so...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Gary Busey will pull out your endocrine system

I am not going to do a full on recap of the splendor of my 3 days in the hill country, because there's entirely too much awesome to be contained in a blog. This entry is still going to be lengthy, but decidedly condensed. Prepare for a highlight reel, full of visual aids.

Kicking off the trip with several hours with Eryn in Austin was PERFECT. You know how you miss people, and you know you them, but then when you finally see them again and you realize how much you really missed them? Yea, that happened to us. Eryn, you're way too beautiful, girl. HAHAHAHAHAHA! Tuna helper.

Thursday night was Ray, Sarah, Kevin, Tom, Shan, and me. I did not win at beer pong, but I think with beer pong, everyone's a winner. Same with Circle of Death. Fallopian Tubes.

Friday was golf day. You know the day is about to be awesome when you pile in the truck and Ray looks at Kevin and says, "Kevin, I need to know if you have any Kenny Loggins." And is then SHOCKED that the answer is no. SERIOUSLY. Anyhoo, golfing in Burnet is unique. I did not enjoy when the bee flew up my shorts. I did enjoy the tumbleweed the rolled across the fairway, the empty shotgun shell next to the cart path, and the multitude of deer just chillin' throughout the course. (for the record, I totally just typed "coarse" and went "oh crap!" and fixed it.) On the way back to the house, we had a little fun with Tom and Cody in the bed of the truck. Trust me, washing the windsheild while going downhill is HILARIOUS.

Friday night, almost everyone else arrived. The only person who maintained complete sobriety was Cody, but that's because he's on medication that prevented him from drinking. We drank for him, naturally. I lost at beer pong, repeatedly. My game was just not on this weekend!! It's okay, though, because there were a lot of good times all around.

Saturday morning I got the best wake up imaginable. I was being gently nudged awake and opened my eyes to the angel that is JEN HERNANDEZ. She rocks my world.


Saturday morning was also the time when Ross and I (while taking breaks to make fun of Karl) took an hour to get to the punchline - Gary Busey is Egyptian! We laughed so so hard, because we think we're HILARIOUS. We were taking pieces of Busey-quotes, comments our friends had made, pop culture notable quotables, and snippits from Wikipedia to create an hour of laughs that all started with Gary Busey threatening to "pull out your endocrine system." We discovered that the ovaries and testes are included, so Busey was probably just threatening to rip your balls off. We meandered along and talked about vulvectomies (because Sarah started that on the golf course while talking about her job). Moving right along, A&E in the Classroom made an appearance. At one point, I was mentioning how when my friend Russell was killed, his casket was filled with special things he had loved, including but not limited to a copy of Blazing Saddles. That coupled with the previously mentioned educational television led to jokes about mummification. And voila! PUNCHLINE. When the ancient Egyptians were preparing the body for mummification, they removed the organs. They removed the brain with a hook through the nose. Part of the endocrine system is in the brain. So you see, Gary Busey wasn't talking about violence at all. He was just wanting to prepare you for mummification.


We always have fireworks on the dock Saturday night. This year, Karl tried to kill us. He lit an M-60 then accidentally threw it behind him and straight into the box of fireworks. We are some fast movers when our lives are threatened. Luckily, he just burned a hole in the box and did not light the entire dock on fire.

There was this group of drunken fools from a few houses over paddling around on a water trampoline (see image below), getting entirely too close to the balls of fire we were shooting into the air.

The water cops arrived and gave them all tickets for being retarded. Not really. I mean, they got tickets, but more because 1. it's illegal to be on the water after dark without a light on your "vessel" and 2. they were all blatently TRASHED. We thanked the cops for getting them off the water.

Obviously I love the traditional big fireworks in the sky. I also REALLY REALLY like it when Cody and Ray revert to little boys with fireworks. We had "cock fights" which means they would do a circle of those chicken fireworks. My favorite was the military renactments with tanks. The losing red tanks were dubbed "The French Tanks"

BEFORE:

AFTER:


I had to leave when the fireworks were done because I had to be at the church by 8:15 this morning (obviously, I was late, but only about 5 minutes). I packed up, got lots of hugs and hit the road at, oh, 12:30. I had some near death animal experiences on the drive home. It spooked me a little when I was driving 65 mph on hills in the dark (hey, that was the speed limit!) and a deer sprinted across the road. But what really made me soil my pants when one was just chillin' in the road. No "deer in the headlights" look. She was looking around!! Luckily, there was a stop sign just past her, so I had already begun to stop. My car stopped about 3 inches from her, and then she ran off. My final near death experience actually resulted in death. After 11 years of driving, I have now offically created roadkill. That poor little armadillo didn't stand a chance. But hey, my brand new tires took it well!



I got home at 4:30 this morning, and it was totally worth it. What an AMAZING weekend!! I talked to Denver several times over the course of the weekend. That stirs a lot of feelings in me, but God put me where I needed to be. When I have that much awesomeness around me, its pretty much impossible to be depressed. Seriously. God blessed me beyond belief. I have amazing friends and so much love in my life. Plus laughter is good for you, and I laughed A LOT. Thanks so much, y'all.