Wednesday, December 24, 2008

And Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas Now...

It has been too long, ladies! It has been a week since I've blogged... and the only reason is just cause I have been beyond busy. In the last week I have worked 4 performances for the chorus kids, had dinner with my 3 besties, worked my last day at my job, had Christmas in Cypress with my family, and drove to New Orleans... which is where I am NOW! I am here with Grant to celebrate Christmas with his family. I just wanted to drop in since it has been so long! ALSO, sweet Erica tagged me. :) How fun is that!? (That's 2 tags in 2 posts.... clearly I don't have time to sit and write something legit!) So here goes...

8 TV Shows I Watch:

1) The Office

2) American Idol

3) The Bachelor (don't judge me)

4) Grey's Anatomy

5) Without a Trace

6) Friends

7) Jon & Kate Plus 8

8) Chuck

8 Favorite Restaurants:

1) Olive Garden

2) Johnny Carino's

3) Del Pueblo

4) China Inn Cafe (holla, Lindsee!)

5) Grand Luxe Cafe

6) Panera

7) The Cabin in Sorrento, Louisiana

8) Chick-fil-A

8 Things that Happened to Me Today:

1) I woke up as sneezy as can be

2) I ate a McDonald's hashbrown

3) I drove to New Orleans (or I rode next to Grant while he drove!)

4) I ate Dairy Queen ice cream... nothing like Christmas in the south!

5) I cleaned up dog vomit

6) I took a nap in the car

7) I hugged Grant's parents

8) I sang "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in the car while Grant was in Cabela's. Nice.

8 Things I Look Forward To:

1) Christmas morning... TOMORROW!

2) meeting baby Dean

3) meeting Chase & Ronda's twins (However, Grant is absolutely convinced they are triplets)

4) Buying our first home

5) Our anniversary trip to San Antonio next week

6) Starting my new job

7) Having babies someday

8) Katie & Mo moving to Houston next month

8 Things I Wish For:

1) For God to send me something/someone that is basically a Laundry Fairy

2) To learn quickly and do well at my next job

3) To not have health complications or problems when we decide to have kids

4) That our parents will continue to be as healthy as they are

5) That we would win the $250 million power ball lottery game :)

6) That I could be tan

7) Legs that didn't grow hair

8) That you all have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

I tag, Cristina, Claire, Emily, Laura, and Stephanie G!

Love ya'll,

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

White is Better than Orange-ish Brown

I've been tagged!

My dear friend Laura tagged me to do this picture thingy.... here were my instructions:

1. Go to the 4th folder in your computer where you store your pictures.
2. Pick the 4th picture in that folder.
3. Explain the picture.
4. Tag 4 people to do the same!
FUN! :)

There are many things to explain about the above photo. Allow me to begin.

*It was taken in early June 2006.

*Jaclyn had come in town from South Carolina (where she was currently living) to meet our little twin nieces for the very first time. I don't think the twins were more than a week old here. We were SO happy to finally be aunts!

*I'm pretty sure Juliet is the one I am holding, and Aunt Jaclyn is holding Scarlett.

*Let's talk about the obvious elephant in the room here: WHY IS JEN SO TAN? Well, it's called desperation. You see, I was engaged at this time, and knew that in a few short months I would be dressed all in white. White washes me out. I tried tanning beds. I tried tanning creams. Nothing ever looked normal. Finally, in a last effort, I decided to try going to an expensive day spa and have some stranger spray tan me.

Yes. A woman I had never met before was going to airbrush me into tan-ness. I just KNEW it was going to work. I didn't care that it cost more than you wanna know...... I just wanted to see if THIS was going to be my solution to my lifelong problem of Casper skin.

Well, it did indeed make me tan. But can we all agree that I just look plain WEIRD?! I am orange. And she didn't even spray tan me super dark, but for me, that is just alot. I mean, I suddenly realized that I needed to just love what God gave me. Nicole Kidman is pale. Maybe I can be like her.

I love that picture though. I think Jaclyn looks gorgeous. And I love knowing that at the time this picture was taken, Jaclyn was not yet pregnant and had no idea what a precious joy her sweet Grace Parker was going to be.

I love seeing the twins so small....and knowing I'll see them this weekend, just as talkative as can be! Precious!!

Okay, I tag... Joanna, Erica, Nat, and Kelli

Have fun!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Tour!

Last year I spent hours upon hours at work looking through everyone's pictures at BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes. I knew that I just had to be a part of this year's tour. And then I realized that I need to throw a disclaimer out there before you start flipping through pictures:

1. WE LIVE IN A ONE BEDROOM APARTMENT. With 700 sq. ft, there just aren't that many
"halls" to "deck". So please forgive the lack of material I have for this post.

2. We are newlyweds. Sort of. December 30 will be our 2 year anniversary. Is 2 years still a newlywed? If not, do I need to change my blog name? Anyways, we don't have alot of Christmas stuff collected as of yet. But we are growing, slowly! I DO own a nativity scene that I LOVE but for the life of me I cannot find it in storage. My apologies.
So, without further delay, I present to you.......

THE FRONT DOOR. It is a black front door. And the wreath is from Lowe's, purchased way back in 2007. It fell off the door last week and Grant just put it in the hall closet and I thought someone stole our wreath. I was very relieved when I learned that my dear husband was just too lazy to rehang the darn thing!And, here is the O Tannenbaum. The blessed tree. It is a real tree, and I do love the smell. Our ornaments are nothing sentimental or special. They just go with my burgundy and gold theme... I love my star on top. Grant always helps with that part!

Here is another shot of the tree.... with the entry way in the background.

I have been wrapping some presents today! I got alot done. That big green one is one of the gifts I got for my twin nieces, Scarlett and Juliet. It is a board game. I feel comfortable saying that here, because, well, they are 2 years old and can't read blogs. Or words in general. And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care.... okay, well, we don't have a chimney. Or a mantle. We have a bar! My darling sister Jaclyn donated these fleur-de-lis stocking hangers to me and I adore them. I have lots of fleur-de-lis in my home and these were just perfect! The stocking are from Bed Bath & Beyond. (BY THE WAY, if you haven't been to the close out sales at Linens 'n Things.... GO! There is some CHEAP stuff, girls!!) Bookshelf. The only "Christmas-y" thing on here is this really pretty Waterford penguin ornament. Close-up of Mr. Penguin. He was a gift from Grant's madre. Grant has a thing for Penguins. It's weird....Behind the penguin is our wedding invitation, framed and matted. It was a birthday present from mi madre. Our dining room table, aka breakfast table.

A long time family friend gave me this beautiful Mary, Joseph, & Jesus as a wedding gift. I LOVE it. I keep it up year round. Typically it is on my shelf, but it becomes the focal point at Christmas time!

This is not related to the Christmas season in any way, shape, or form, but I just love this painted urn. I got it at TJ Maxx. It was originally $40.00 and I got it for $9.00. LOVE IT!!

Giving my Linds a little love! Don't you just love her plates?! I DO!

My kitchen stove. I made jambalaya with sausage for dinner tonight....

And last, but not least, I attempted to make some Christmas cookies tonight. They are sugar cookies. They are supposed to be in the shape of stars and Christmas trees. Clearly, that is exactly what they turned out to be. I am so proud. :)

Thanks for stopping by!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008


Last night I got to go hear Beth teach. To say I needed it is an understatement.

I don't think she could've talked about something more necessary for all of us to hear.

She taught about dissapointment. She talked about when you get to the point that you're about to give up on prayer. She talked about how so many of us are praying and praying and praying and asking God, "WHEN, God?! WHEN!?"

I saw so many tears in that room. So many dissapointed hearts. She was talking to all of us. One of the most convicting things she brought to my attention is that we can sometimes use dissapointment as a stronghold. Oh, how true it is. Just like worry, or fear, or pessimism, dissapointment can also be a stronghold.

My friends, I'm gonna pass a good word on to you that my dear teacher taught me last night. HE HEARS YOUR PRAYERS. And, more importantly, the moment that you pray, an answer is given. You may not hear or know the answer right away, but His answer is given immediately. He is beyond wise and He loves us more than we could ever begin to understand. He hears your prayer. And, more importantly, He knows what is best for you and He will answer that prayer in the way He knows is best.

I was so blessed to be in that room last night under her teaching... AND to hear our Travis sing. That boy can sing me a song. Good night, he can sing!! It was all I could do not to punch the air with my fist at all those dramatic high notes! :) It just so happened that Lindsee and I had tickets just 6 seats away from each other on the same row! Jaclyn and my mom and I enjoyed making funny faces at Linds and her gang throughout the worship time!

Thank You Lord for blessing us last night and for leading Beth to teach on that very subject and that very scripture. It was much needed.

Love you, friends...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Two Weeks Notice

That's right... yesterday afternoon I gave a two-weeks notice of my resignation here at the office.
The Lord has placed a new job in my path... it is at a law firm which is what I am used to and the offer is much higher than I am currently making. I've accepted the position and my last day at work will be December 23.

Part of me is a bit stressed... it is just a very busy time of year and throwing in a new job, not to mention training of the person who will be filling my position. But I am also very excited to work in a new environment!

Other than that craziness, things are going pretty well. I bought 4 more Christmas presents online yesterday, so I feel like I've made a dent in my Christmas shopping list. I got to have dinner with Lindsee, Claire, and sweet pregnant Emily last night. I am all about chips and queso. All about it.

Anyways, I just wanted to update ya'll on my job situation. Praise the Lord for this new opportunity. Please pray for a smooth transition!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hustle Bustle

First of all, thank you all for your sweet comments regarding my non-pregnant belly. The only thing I can think of is that I had just eaten lunch, and a heavy one at that, and I was slouching a bit. I wasn't practicing very lady like posture!! Still though, women should know better than to say something like that. Crazy!

Grant and I spent the weekend in New Orleans to celebrate the upcoming arrival of our twin nieces/nephews/niece&nephew. There was a baby shower for Ronda this weekend and I am just tickled pink/blue/pink&blue. :) Babies babies everywhere! We had such a nice weekend there. Grant was able to golf twice and fish once so he is a happy camper!

Things are just beyond busy. Christmas time often brings some freak out moments for me. I am usually pulled in many different directions and expected to be in many places at one time, and this Christmas season is no exception. I am frantic but trying to remember to find a peace and calm in this hectic hustle and bustle!! I keep reminding myself to keep in mind why we have Christmas in the first place. Somehow, the fact that I have purchased 10 gifts and still have about 15 more to go is a bit stressful and still on the forefront of my mind!

For now, I am going to go finish washing dishes, folding laundry, and putting away the suitcases from our trip.

Love you, friends!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

For the Love

Yesterday, I was in an elevator and a woman asked me when my BABY IS DUE.

I turned to her and said "I'm sorry?"

"When is your baby due?" she asked again, smiling.

"In 2 to 4 years" I replied, not smiling.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thoughts Before Bedtime

My tree is up.

The lights are on.

The star is on top.

The ornaments are sparkling.

The stockings are hung.

The wreath is on the front door.

I have fresh flowers on my table.

My apple cinnamon candle is burning strong.

My puppy dog is cuddled up by my feet.

My husband is napping next to me.

Christmas time is here at last. My most favorite time of the year.... celebrating our one and only Savior!

I feel rested.

I feel at peace with whatever is coming our way.

While I may not feel that this apartment is a home, it is our home.

I am thankful for this home.

I am thankful for my husband who works so hard and strives to make such excellent decisions for our family. I am so thankful that he always checks with You first, Lord.

Thank You, Lord, for guiding my heart and mind, and molding them to Yours.

I am beyond blessed.

I have to go back to work tomorrow....... and that's okay.

Thank You, Lord, for long, restful weekends. Thank You, Lord, for good friends and good family that surrounded us this weekend. Thank You, Lord, for this overwhelming sense of peace and contentment I feel tonight, which I haven't felt in quite some time. I am patient. I am still. I KNOW that You are God and that You are in control.

I trust You Lord. You haven't let me down yet, and I know You never will.

Happy December, everyone. Remember the reason for the season :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Down, Christmas Here We Come!

Good morning! It is Saturday morning, but I feel like yesterday and the day before were Saturday too! All this time off has been so nice.

First of all, I'd like to give a big THANK YOU to all of you who helped contribute to my very first sweet potatoes. I combined your recipes into one very sweet casserole dish and it was a hit! I would say about 75-80% of it was eaten up... thank you ladies!

We had a great time over at my parent's house on Thursday. Alot of my cousins who I do not see often were able to make it this year so that was a fun change. The food was GOOD and so were the pies. :) I love me some thanksgiving food!

Thursday night Katie & Mo came in to start their apartment hunting. It has been fun having them here.... we are so excited that they will be living here full time.

Yesterday morning, Black Friday, Katie & I braved not one, not two, but THREE WALMARTS. Ya'll, we were on a hunt for some bedding that was cleared out of the king size. But we finally found it at WalMart #3. Ya'll.... NEVER AGAIN. I am not tolerant or patient with WalMart people. It was an adventure nevertheless, and I also got some good gifts at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Last night we went to see "Four Christmases". Very, very funny. It is a good laugh!

Today we are so excited because Chase and Ronda are coming in to spend the night with us! This is the first time they have come to Houston since we moved here and we are so happy to spend some time with them.... and sweet Ronda is just as pregnant as can be. I got lots of munchies at the store :)

Alrighty.... off to make sugar cookies with sprinkles in the shape of Christmas trees! It's the most wonderful time of the year.....

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Gonna Be a Good Week!

Well hello there! It has been awhile since I stopped by to chat with you all. I had Friday off of work so I headed up to Austin to be with all of my nieces. They are pretty stinkin' cute. The twins are talking crystal clear and have lots to say. I think the quote of the weekend was when Shannon was going to let Scarlett have a bite of her canoli, and Scarlett said, "How 'bout I just lick the chocolate out?". Girl after my own heart! :)

Yesterday was supposed to be a Christmas shopping day, but hubby and I spent the vast majority of our Sunday dealing with tire issues. Can't they just make a tire that is incapable of getting a nail in it?! Annoying!!

Also, regarding the sweet potatoes... I SO GREATLY appreciate all of your suggestions and recipes! They all sound so wonderful! What I have decided to do is kinda combine all of your ideas into one recipe. They were generally similar..... but I am NOT doing marshmallows, I AM doing pecans, and I AM using brown sugar instead of white. Hopefully they will turn out well. I'll take a picture :)

I am thrilled because the office is closed Thursday and Friday. Three day work week for me!!

Talk to Me: What are you doing/ where are you going for Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008



Katie and Mo are MOVING TO HOUSTON!!!

Our dear darling Louisiana friends are going to become TEXANS!!!!

Mo was offered a job and they are moving here!!!!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sweet Potatoes, Anyone?

Calling all Chefs!!

Next week is Thanksgiving, and I have been asked to bring some sweet potatoes! Of course, I'd be happy to do that....

Problem: I don't have a sweet potato recipe. "Look for one online!", you may say to me. Let me tell you, I have. And may I just tell you that there are 365,000 sweet potato recipes online!?! Some with granola, some with marshmallows.... it goes on and on. Jaclyn has offered her recipe to me, so as of right now, that is what I am using.... but I thought I'd open it up to the wide world of web, or atleast to my bloggy friends!

So, here is where you come in....

1. Do you have a sweet potato recipe you would recommend?

2. If you are a fan of the sweet potatoes, do you prefer them mashed?

3. Do you prefer marshmallows on top, or is that too much of a good thing?

I need to make this for about 15 people....

Comments please! I will pick the recipe that is seems easiest! (I don't wanna mess this up!) Any help would be very much appreciated!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside

Good morning, good morning! I have so much to tell ya'll about! Let's begin:

The Amy Grant concert was awesome beyond awesome. I adore her and her voice is just one of the most beautiful tones I've heard. Her band was excellent, her keyboardist's Cher impression was stellar, and the songs were SO FUN. There were so many songs that I knew as a child that I haven't heard since then. I was singing along to every song just like I had never forgotten that the song even existed! We had a blast and I was so thankful for the opportunity to go!

This weekend I got to help my BFF Lindsee with her middle school/high school Girl's Retreat. First of all, it MUST BE SAID that my Lindsee worked her little booty off and it SHOWED. That girl had it together and the girls had a blast. Her creative juices were just a flowin and I don't think anyone could've planned that thing better. The girl has a gift for girl's ministry and I am so proud of her!

Secondly, I was reminded this weekend how HARD middle school was! Those girls are going through some stuff, ya'll. It broke my heart, hearing what they go through and what they are fighting. That generation needs our prayers. I so enjoyed leading the 8th grade girls with Cristina and I will continue to left up those girls by name to our Jesus.

Thirdly, I got to meet Shelly and Abby! Actually, I have met Abby once before but I got to spend a bit more time with her and it was a blast. Shelly is as adorable as I imagined her. She is so blessed and she spoke truth over those girls. They absolutely adored her and I hope they heard what she had to say. If nothing else, Shelly was speaking to MY heart this weekend. I learned alot about what I put my self-worth in and I was reminded that I am the daughter of a King.

Saturday evening, Grant and I drove around looking at houses. We found this neighborhood full of cute, small, little starter homes. We got all excited until we finally came up on one that was for sale that had a flyer in the little tube. This cute little starter house was a cute little $200,000 out of our price range. Clearly, we were in a very expensive zip code or something! We were floored! After our dissapointing house hunt, we went to see the James Bond movie. It was typical. :)

After church yesterday, Grant and I spent the day with a sweet couple from our Sunday school class. Grant & Ben played golf together while Lynn and I shopped at the outlet mall. Girls, I got the cutest shoes. The. Cutest. Shoes. AND I got this cute green dress from Banana Republic that will look great with black tights and boots. I just had a blast getting to know Lynn and I am so glad to have made a new friend! We are absolutely fine with our husband's golfing if that means we get to shop!! My intention was to buy Christmas presents, but I found some super cute stuff for me.

So now I am at my desk at work... I am loving the chilly weather. I am motivated this morning after such a refreshing weekend and ready to take on this week. My prayer is that I do everything for HIS glory and not for my own.

Love you, sweet friends!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I've Got My Hopes Set High

Allow me to tell you what I am doing this evening:
However... she is not going to be singing this kind of music:

She is going to be singing THIS kind of music:


Amy Grant was the very first concert I ever went to. And she'll be singing the same stuff tonight. I am considering crimping my hair.... or atleast wearing a scrunchie.

"I've Got My Hopes Set High" that I will hear the following songs:
Thy Word
Sing Your Praise to the Lord

Lead Me On

Saved by Love

El Shaddai
Pretty much anything and everything from the "Heart in Motion" album

And... I know it isn't even Thanksgiving yet... but I am REALLY HOPING that she busts out with some "Grown Up Christmas List" and "Breath of Heaven". PLEASE, OH PLEASE!
I'll let you know how it goes after I come down off of my cloud! :)

Monday, November 10, 2008


Is anyone else watching this show? We LOVE Chuck!! We been watching it sine last year when it first premiered. It is a good, light-hearted, clean, silly, action packed show. It is good Monday night entertainment. I like it because it is a T.V. show that knows it is a T.V. show. Does that make sense? It's okay to do something a bit out-landish, it's just fun! Plus, Chuck has that Jim Halpert loveableness that is just beyond adorable. Love him!
We highly recommend it!

Tonight is taco night... which sounds so good on this rainy Monday. Tacos and Chuck, not a bad Monday night, if you ask me!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Eat Something

Every few months I get on this big dieting kick. I finally decide to stop eating 100% carbohydrates, all day, every day and start monitoring my caloric intake. This usually doesn't last very long, don't worry.

I have also realized that the vast majority of the time, this dieting thing is usually proceeding an illness. I get sick, lose my appetite for a few days, and then I am able to practice some self control due to my lack of desire for anything heavy. Funny how that works....

Well, I am married to a man who has a hard time eating enough. Seriously. My husband is trying to gain weight. He is just too busy to stop and eat. I live to eat, he eats to live. He simply does not find the time for food, and then when he does eat he gets full very quickly. I wish our metabolisms could just change places.

So lately, it has been my goal to lose weight and his goal to gain weight. (Would'nt you love to have that problem?) He is increasing his amount of calories per day, and I am trying to reduce mine to the normal, healthy, doctor recommended level. I think that means I am reducing by 95%, give or take.

Here is how it has been playing out..... during the middle of the workday, I will suddenly find myself in the midst of a serious and desperate craving. It doesn't matter if I ate lunch 40 minutes ago, this craving is intense. I am slowly but surely learning that I don't necessarily have to eat mass quantities of food everytime I feel hungry... so.... I try to "take one for the team". I will just text message Grant at work with these two words: "Eat Something". I have sent Grant to the office with bunches of munchies to snack on throughout the day. I will text him and remind him that he needs to eat.... NOW.

Sometimes I will suggest to him the exact thing he should be eating: "Graham cracker and 2 oreos". Or, "Eat something... preferably chicken Mcnuggets". I guess I feel somewhat satisfied knowing that one of us is acheving our goal :)

In other news, today I was at a rehearsal and I saw a bag of M&Ms lying on the piano. They were open, but the top of the bag was twisted as if the owner was saving them for later. I asked the director "are those your M&M's?".... he told me they were there when he got there today.

I stared at those M&M's for 4 hours. I was this close to eating them, even without knowing to whom they belonged or for how long they had been lying there. I never ate them.

Will power, people. Will power.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Two Cents

Good morning, dear friends. Thank you all so much for your kind words after my little episode on Monday! I am back at work, and inching closer and closer everyday to 100% Jen. I am on a wonderful antibiotic and I am so thankful for prescription medication! Also, I am not anemic, so PTL for that :)

Alot has happened in our country the last few days. Initially, I had decided that I was not going to blog anything about the election of our new president. Later though, I realized that if I go back and read my blogs two years from now and see that I seemingly had nothing to say about such a major event, I would be quite dissapointed in myself.

Beth Moore and our pastor, Gregg Matte, had great stuff to say that really spoke truth over my heart. (Most of you have already read Beth's, I'm sure, but click on Gregg's name and see what he has to say. GOOD STUFF.) I am so thankful to study under such great men and women of God such as them.

As for me, the thing that kept whispering into my mind as every state "turned blue" on Tuesday night, was do not be a hypocrite. For the last 8 years, I have been a little more than irked at the people in our country who were not supportive of our government or our president. I didn't always agree with him either, but especially in a time of war, I thought it was more important than ever to stand together, UNITED, and support our leadership. Do not be a hypocrite. Now I have to do that. I have to choose to PRAY for this nation, PRAY for our president-elect, and PRAY that the Lord's will would be done in this country. After all, it is a high probability that my children will be born under this administration. (As I mentioned that very fact to my dear sweet husband, his response was, "We are gonna have kids in the next four years?!?". Yes, dear) So, I will be supportive. I will not like everything, but I will keep praying and promote UNITY!

Now, having said that, I have to now ask this very serious question that has been weighing on my heart for the last 4 to 5 months or so: CAN WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE NOW??!

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's Been a Weird Day

Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, I told Grant that my throat was hurting pretty bad. I took some Tylenol Nighttime Cold medicine and headed to bed immediately. I had ALOT to get done at work today and knew that I had to go.

It was a rough night. I woke up several times an hour and my throat was getting worse and worse. My glands were swollen and I had a horrible headache. I got up in the middle of the night to take some more tylenol but nothing really worked.

My alarm went off at 6:15. I felt like I had been hit by a truck but decided to go ahead and get in the shower and head on to work.

I was in the shower and started to feel queasy, like I may get sick. And then I did.... (nice image there for ya) and then I felt better. I was beginnning to think that maybe I shouldn't go to work, and those feelings were confirmed when I fainted in the shower.

Grant was still in bed and he said that he heard me say "oh...." and then he said it was just really loud. I fainted and I knocked all of our toiletries down as I fell. That bottle of Tea Tree conditioner never knew what hit it. Grant said I was paler than he has ever seen me, and I must say that that is quite an accomplishment.

I went to the doctor this morning. My mom picked me up and took me cause I didn't feel comfortable driving after fainting. They ran an EKG, a pregnancy test (that was a nerve wracking few minutes), a blood sugar test, a strep test and they also drew blood cause they think I might be anemic. I will get the results of the anemia test later in the week. (But, for the record, not pregnant, no strep, blood sugar normal.... however my heart rate was a bit elevated.) After the doctor, I went to my mom's house were I laid in her bed and she brought me drinks with the bendy straws and chicken and stars soup. I found myself wondering when I digressed back to 5th grade. :) Thanks mom, for taking such good care of me.

I am feeling a bit better tonight... I don't feel like my glands are as swollen as they were and my fever has gone way down....

It's been a weird day....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Story I've Never Told Ya'll

It was the summer of 1999. I was on tour with the Houston Children's Chorus, traveling throughout Europe, singing in the most beautiful, historic places. It was my last hurrah before I graduated out. We had already been to Rome and Florence. Our last stop on our two week trip was to Venice. Every place we went took my breath away. I was amazed that there was so much "world" out there that I had never seen.

There were about 160 of us total on this trip. On our first day in Venice, we took a tour of St. Mark's Cathedral. That was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. I found a picture online:

Later, we all split up into groups to go through the markets and do some shopping. My group had 5 girls and 1 adult chaperone. We were all 6th-8th grade, so she didn't have to watch us that closely. Anyways, we ran into another group of girls with their chaperone, so we began to walk the streets of Venice together, a group of 10 energetic American little girls and 2 chaperones. We had a ball.


We were in this beautiful hand blown glass shop. It was a 2-story store, with lots of vases, figurines, and beautiful things that I probably would appreciate more now that I am older. I found this beautiful bright blue glass ring that fit just perfectly on my middle finger. I turned to my friend Julia to show it to her, and she wasn't there. "She must have gone downstairs", I thought. So down I went into the lower level of the store... I was expecting to see 9 girls in the same bright blue t-shirt I was wearing. No where to be found.

I walked outside, and looked to the right and the left of the alley we were shopping in. No bright blue shirts. "They cannot be this difficult to spot. I saw Julia like 90 seconds ago", I thought. So I walked into the stores directly to the right and left of the glass shop I had been in. No girls.

"Don't panic", I thought. I stood outside the store, knowing that of course they would realize in about 30 seconds that I was not with them, and that they would turn around and come back to the place they last saw me. After an hour passed by and I was still standing there, I knew that things were not going to be that simple.

It was around that time that I saw a man in his early to mid thirties staring at me. He slowly walked up to me and said,

"Sweetheart, are you lost?".

Cue crying. Lots of tears.

"Y-y-y-yesssss!" I sobbed.

"Are you an American?" he asked.

I told him I was. He was from Ohio. He wanted to know if he could walk me somewhere. I didn't know where to go. He asked if he could get me a ride back to my hotel. I didn't know what it was called. (It was some long Italian name). He wanted to know if I wanted to use his cellphone. I didn't know who to call. I didn't know the number of anybody on the tour with us, and what was I supposed to do, call my mom back in the States? "Hi Mom! I'm all by myself, lost in Venice!". That would've been pretty.

So he gave me $40,000 lire (which I think is about $50 American dollars, I may be wrong) and gave me his cell phone number. I could tell he was worried about me, but didn't really know what to do. After he left, I decided to start walking. I just knew I was bound to see some bright blue shirts... I mean there were 160 of us!

So off I went walking. Looking back, I really wish I could've enjoyed this walk more. I spent 4 hours by myself in Venice, exploring... too bad I was looking at the color of people's shirts, rather than the architecture and culture around me! At one point, I was walking over a bridge. As I looked below, I saw alot of my friends from the tour, in their bright blue shirts, passing below me on a gondola. "YOU GUYS!!!" I yelled. They all smiled and waved as they passed below me. I tried to follow their gondola down the waterway, but I just got myself more lost.

There was only one moment I remember panicking. I had walked into this area that was not at all tourist-y. This was a shadier area of Venice, and as soon as I walked into it, I got stares from all around me. I was red-headed, pale, freckle faced, and could not look more like an American tourist. I ran back in the opposite direction as fast as I could.

As I was walking, I remembered the cathedral. There was a big square where people congregated and fed the pidgeons. And there was a big clock tower... maybe if I could just go there, it would be easier to spot people.

So I walked and walked and walked...... and I came across this bar, with their doors wide open. I stopped in front of the doors and asked the bartender, "How do I get to St. Mark's Sqaure?". Blank stare. "St. Mark's Square... with the cathedral?" I asked again. Blank stares from the drunk patrons of the bar. Finally, the bartender seemed to have a lightbulb... she said "SAN MARCO?". YES!!! "Si, si, San Marco!!" I replied. At this point, she went off on this unbearably long explanation in Italian, using her hands and fingers. I knew she was telling me exactly how to get there. Language barrier. Yikes.

Anyways, I finally had a breakthrough moment. I walked upon a archway and saw this: (It's pretty cool actually, I found all these pictures on google but I am almost certain this is the exact archway I walked through. I just remember thinking it was so beautiful!)

So I walked into that square and sat right down against the tower, me and my periwinkle Jansport backpack. And my bright blue shirt. I probably sat for 45 minutes, wondering how in the world this happened.

It was then that I saw one of our male chaperones, with his group of 6 boys. He saw me, and his eyes got huge. "JENNY!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? WHERE IS YOUR CHAPERONE?!?". Again, cue tears. I barely got it out, but somehow explained to him that they left me and I was lost and I've been by myself for hours. He and his boys sat down on the ground with me as he explained to me the importance of "not wandering off". Gee, thanks.

Finally, I saw them. 10 girls in bright blue shirts, sobbing. 2 female adult chaperones, sobbing. And we ran. And we hugged. And they all said "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" about 1100 times. And my dear friend Julia was unconsolable.

Turns out, they had left that store, and some girls wanted to shop, while other girls wanted to go get some ice cream. They split up into two groups, each group thinking the other group had me. It wasn't until a few hours later when they met back up that they realized I had not been with either group.

I wish I would've enjoyed it more. I wish that the leaders didn't ask me if I thought my parents would sue. I wish I would've taken some more pictures. I wish I would've bought that blue glass ring.

I wish I could go back someday.

And that, my friends, is the story of my Venetian adventure :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Street Names

My job deals primarily with new homes under construction, 90% of those in new developments. So, everytime a new house is being built, the builder will call me and give me all the specifics on the house, including the address. These people are cracking me up with the street names. Who decides what a street is going to be called? And why do some of these names make absolutely no sense at all? Allow me to give a few examples:

1. Some names are too long, and a bit unnecessary. Do you really wanna write " Blue Cardinal Meadow Ridge Lane" every time you write your address down for someone?

2. Some names sound ridiculous.... "Blue Tiger Mountain" is a little contrived, don't you think?

3. There is a whole street full of homes on "Littlehip Hawthorn".

4. My sister Shannon told me there is an area in Austin, full of multi-million dollar mansions. All of these giant, fancy homes live on a street called "Possum Trot". Is that ugly or what?!

5. Forgive me, but I am not interested in living on a street called "Goat Lagoon".


7. Again, I am not making this up: "Tonnawanda Park Forest"

8. I feel bad for the people who have built their dream home on "Gorki Pueblo"

9. "Wexford Chenango" - 'nuff said.

10. This doesn't really fall into a street name category, but I just have to share..... I had a builder call me the other day and tell me that one of their homeowners wants to change their address from "7506" to "7508". I asked why... apparently they wanted 7508 because the number 6 "made them uncomfortable, and it isn't a peaceful number. 7506 is not feng shui". FOR REALS!!

Whatever happened to Maple Street?!?!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I very much enjoyed your responses to last post's "Talk to Me". I must say, the prize definitely goes to Cristina! What a thoughtful husband she has! Jaclyn and I were thinking that maybe Cristina might tell us where her husband bought such a thoughtful gift? Because maybe we want to steal his idea and give something like that to someone else........ pretty pretty please, dear Cristina? :)

I would have to say that the best gift I have ever received (besides my engagement ring) would have to be my first car. Too bad I totalled it by hitting a stationary object.... sorry, Daddy. That is another story for another day...... or maybe NEVER! :)

Today was a GREAT day, largely due to the fact that I did NOT go to work today... and for this I am very thankful. We are taking one day off every other week due to the economic crisis, and I opted to take today off. Best decision I've made all week! I got to see some of my favorite people today.... Lindsee, Claire, Miss Grace Parker, my mom, my dad, my cousin Joey, Troy (who has done my hair forever), Mama Eddy and our dear DANA!! :) It was such a fun day. While Lindsee, Claire and I were eating at Olive Garden, I found myself wishing that I could be a stay at home wife and eat at Olive Garden with the girls all the time!

I DID get highlights today!!! This was a big step for me. I put my hair in the hands of Troy, who always does EXACTLY what I want him to do... and I am loving what he did with the color! It is VERY subtle. I'm pretty sure that people who do not know me would not realize that they were highlights. He put some beautiful golds in my hair that really have a vibrant tone. I am pleased and can no longer say that I am the only woman in Texas that has never put any color in her hair! I am glad that my hair looks like it did before... it is still red, just a bit golder red. Is golder a word? More gold? Can someone help me out?

Grant has been out all evening at a concert... I have been lounging, reading Southern Accents and cleaning my kitchen counters. It's been a good night! It was so pretty and crisp out this evening when I took Moxie out for his walk that I almost took the long way home! I decided not to though since it is night time and we have some shady neighbors and Grant is out late. Now Mr. Moxie is sleeping by my feet as I am blogging to you sweet folks!

Tomorrow is back to work... but thankfully it is FRIDAY! :)

Talk to Me: What is somewhere you have always wanted to visit but never have?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Talk to Me

I am tired... so... list-format post is in order today. However, if you get to the end of this ever-so-exciting weekend recap, then you will get to talk to me in a new feature I like to call.... "Talk to Me".

1. I am slowly recuperating from my busy weekend. I did not stop at all, the Children's Chorus took up every waking moment of my weekend, Friday through Sunday. Such cute kids though.

2. There is a line in a Dr. Seuss song that the kids are singing, and a soloist has to sing the word "sauerkraut". Bless his heart, he kept singing "Saukernaut" (pronounced Socker-Not). Adorable.

3. We watched "Baby Mama" last night. SO. FLIPPIN. FUNNY. I'm still quoting it.

4. This week is going to be weird at work. Our VP is on vacation all week which kinda scares me, and, the accountant got fired on Friday. Again. This was Accountant #4, since MAY. And I am doing her job again in the mean time until they hire someone.

5. Due to the economic crisis, our hours have been cut. Nice. However, I will now have every other Friday off! :)

6. I went to Kroger last night to buy some white cheddar popcorn. I was CRAVING it. And it was good.

7. My hair needs some help. And, for the first time EVER, I have decided I am going to put some highlights in it. VERY SUBTLE ONES. Because I have never ever put any kind of color in my hair, this is a HUGE step for me. I am very nervous!!

8. I saw my friend Amy this weekend. She has lost 67 lbs. I about fell over when I saw her! She said she did it by running everyday. I told Grant that I want to start running everyday. This should last till about Tuesday.

9. I had dinner with my Linds Saturday night. It was SO NICE. I love her.

10. The children's chorus sang at a wedding Saturday night. It was a beautiful wedding. Apparently only beautiful people were allowed to be present. The bridesmaids were ALL blonde. It looked like an episode of The Hills. And one bridesmaid just would not fix the bride's train and it looked terrible. It was all tucked under her and wrinkled. Lindsee and I were trying to telepathically communicate to her to FIX THE TRAIN!!! That is her ONE JOB! Thankfully, the mother of the bride got up from her pew and fixed it after about 6 minutes of torture. I felt much better. But you could tell that the bridesmaid felt really stupid. HELLO!!

11. Church was awesome yesterday. We are really liking our new Sunday school class!

12. I had a corndog for lunch yesterday. And, to quote my sister Shannon, "I really need to start eating more corndogs". They really are soooooo good. Have you ever had the Mini-Corndogs from A&W? YUM!

And now... a new feature to get some conversation going:

Talk to me: What is the best gift you've ever received? (I'm talking material here. We all know the real answer is eternal life, but I am thinking more along the lines of "coach purse") I am waiting to be impressed :)

Have a great week ladies!

Friday, October 17, 2008


Ahhh yes.... TGIF. Brings back memories of Cory and Topanga.

It is 4:45 on Friday afternoon and I am out of here in 15 minutes! I have reached a stopping point in my workload and have decided that I should spend my last 15 minutes of this day blogging. I'm sure the head honchos will not mind.

Honestly, this isn't going to be a very fun weekend for me. I am doing choreography rehearsals with the Houston Children's Chorus all this evening, ALL DAY (and I do mean ALL DAY) tomorrow and then Sunday afternoon. I won't be seeing the husband much. Speaking of husband....

I am ALL ABOUT this praying for my husband constantly thing! He does not read my blog at all, but this week he shared with me that he has been trying to make himself pray at least once an hour at work, and he has found that his spirits have been "up" this week. I never really told him about this thing I've been doing, but apparently he has been feeling the need for prayer too! SO COOL! I am so glad all of you ladies decided to join in as well. And I don't plan on stopping anytime soon!

Quick Praise Report: On November 13 I will be attending the Amy Grant concert.... the concert that is focused on the first ten years of her career.... aka the AWESOME YEARS. I am BEYOND ECSTATIC..... I may be sporting a side pony tail, or perhaps a sweatshirt decorated in puff paint. I could wear a bright t-shirt and pull it through one of those things that looks like a non-smoking sign. I haven't decided yet. It is going to be a big night. HUGE.

I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing, rejuvenating weekend..... keep on prayin!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Praying for our Husbands

I have really had it on my heart lately to be praying for my husband. I always pray for him... for his protection, for his heart, and I thank the Lord for the way he works so hard for our family.

But this morning I just really felt that I needed to spend some serious time in prayer for him.

I have decided that from now until Saturday, I am going to spend some heavy time lifting up my sweet husband to our Lord in prayer. I have a list on my desk (on a post-it-note, of course) of specific things I am asking of my Jesus. Every time I look down, I pick one thing off of the list and close my eyes and talk to God about it. I will be praying for him before I go to sleep. I will be praying in my car on my way to work. I just want to do everything I can to pray as much as possible for the man that is the love of my life.

And then, I thought about how alot of my friends, family, and yes, my sweet blog friends are married too and maybe they may wanna get in on some of this goodness....

Ya see, my friends, sometimes I speak my mind too often and "attack" or come down hard on Grant. But I really need to realize that the #1 way I can help my husband is to PRAY for him.

Who wants to join me? Anyone wanna come along with me on my "Pray for Husband" week? And for my sweet friends and family who are not married, this is an AWESOME time for you to pray for your future mate, wherever he may be. You can pray over him, that he would make wise decisions and that the Lord would be preparing him for YOU!

Let's make it a Blog movement! Who is with me? Leave a comment if you're joining!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Good Friends, Good Weekend

Our friends Katie and Mo left this afternoon to head back to Baton Rouge. It was so fun to have them here the whole weekend. We had alot of fun! We had very fun talks and very serious discussions. We miss those two and are so blessed that they came to visit! We ate alot of fried food, chips & queso, and kolaches. The boys were very consumed with their guns. Katie and I have no interest in the firearms so we just laid in my bed and talked about anything and everything. And I mean everything. Katie and I did some serious shopping. We both bought several things from Payless and then we did some damage at the outlet mall.

I wore my new Payless shoes to the outlet mall. But, I have to tell ya, about one hour into the shopping trip, I began to feel the "Payless-ness" of the shoes. It was a painful time.

I did, amazingly enough, purchase my first Christmas gift for 2008. I am starting early this year. I really wasn't intending to, but it was one of those things that I saw this item and immediately thought of someone inparticular and knew that I had to get it. When you know, you know. So, let the Christmas shopping begin. :)

I am making a new dessert this evening. It involves chocolate pudding, whipped cream, oreos, and strawberries, all layered in a coffee mug. The husband is really excited. And I am pretty ecstatic about it as well!!

Love you friends!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Happy Saturday Morning to You!

I just wanted to post a quick update. KATIE & MO ARE HERE! Our dear friends have come to stay with us for the weekend. It has been a blast so far. Last night Katie and I went to Payless and each bought atleast one pair of shoes. I also bought 2 necklaces. BOGO makes me feel justified :)

Right now my husband is in the kitchen, making chocolate chip pancakes, and later today we are going to explore the outlet malls.

It's gonna be a great Saturday!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Aisle 13

Monday after work I went to the grocery store. I usually go on Sundays but since we got back late from New Orleans on Sunday night, I was unable to go. We had absolutely nothing to eat in our pantry/fridge (unless Grant would like to eat cookie dough for dinner.... which sounds AWESOME to me) so off I went to Kroger.

I was still in my work clothes that day: high heels, black pants, and a purple button up shirt. After wearing high heels ALL day and then going up and down the aisles of the grocery store, I was ready to take those shoes off. But that would be disgusting.

Anyways, I was in aisle 13 or so when I had a horrifying discovery. I was holding a jar of Prego in my hand when I looked down and realize that a button of my shirt had come undone!! The top button was buttoned, but the one right below it was not... and ya'll... I WAS GIVING PEOPLE A SHOW! It wasn't one of those buttons that doesn't matter. This was a button that was pretty much anything you needed to see. I out loud said "Oh My Gosh!!" and put the Prego back on the shelf while I tried to put myself back together.

Now, girls, here is where I am a little irked. I was in Aisle 13!! Lord knows how many stay at home moms and lovely women I walked past. Why didn't any of these dear women say anything?? I had been feeling like people were staring at me. At one point I pulled out my compact and made sure nothing was on my face. But nope, nothing was on my face. Why wouldn't they tell me? I thought maybe they think I'm just a floozy and I am intentionally having my shirt gaping wide open. But there is no way they thought that because the top button was buttoned.

Come on ladies!!! Help a girl out!! If I saw a girl walking by with her business all over the place I would TOTALLY stop and tell her! What is the deal?! I got out of that store as fast as I could. With my three cute pumpkins that now adorn my kitchen counter.

Moral of the story: Ladies, if you see a young girl trying to get through her grocery shopping and is so distracted that she doesn't realize that she is giving all of Kroger a free show, HELP A SISTER OUT!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Just Another Marvelous Monday

Well happy Monday to you all! Grant and I just got back from New Orleans late last night. I have to tell you, we had an GREAT time. We hadn't seen Grant's family since the 4th of July (CRAZY!) and the trip was long overdue and felt far too short.

We had a wonderful time just sitting around the kitchen talking, discussing how Ronda is going to decorate the nursery for the twins, eating ice cream cake and just being together. Grant and his dad and his brother got to spend alot of time together and I am so thankful, he has been missing his family really badly! By the way, that Ronda is beautiful, glowing, and I can already tell she is going to be such a great mommy.

Grant's mom took great care of us the whole weekend and cooked her little heart out. We are so thankful. Moxie and Bailey (Chase and Ronda's beagle) got along great. They love to just pace around the house and follow Grant's mom wherever she goes! And then Gammy and Paw-Z came over with their little baby chihuahua, Black Jack. Black Jack is NOT a fan of Moxie at all and also doesn't seem to realize that Moxie is much bigger than him. They were cracking us up.

Grant and I got back to Houston around 9:45 and unpacked and went straight to bed. We were exhausted. This morning I am feeling really rested and rejuvenated though, so Praise the Lord! :)

Our dear friends Mo & Katie are coming to Houston to see us this weekend! I am beyond excited as I haven't seen my Katie since JUNE (this is getting ridiculous) and I am thrilled to have her here!!

So today I am just working working working, going to the grocery store afterwork and cookin dinner. It's a good day my friends!

Have a positive attitude today. Praise God for the small things and don't focus on the negatives. :) That's my pep talk for ya!