Monday, August 31, 2009

The Usual Monday Morning Post

I can't believe I have forgotten to tell y'all about this!

Starting last Wednesday, I am the new director for the 3rd-5th grade choir at our church! How cool is that?!?

It kinda happened last minute, but I am so excited for this opportunity. Last week was our first meeting. I have to admit, it was kinda organized chaos in there. Last year I was the assistant director for the PreK-Kindergarten choir. So jumping up to 3rd-5th grade really is an eye opener! I had a few behavior problems and never really felt like I had the attention of the whole group. (There were over 50 of them!) So this week I am praying that the Lord will give me the skills and tools to have a better handle on the kids this week. Thankfully, I have a great team in there helping me.

This weekend was fun! Friday night we went to go see Steel Magnolias at the A.D. Players. This is the same theatre company that I did Anne of Green Gables with and it was fun to see some old friends in this performane. Even though I totally know the show by heart, I still cried. Poor Grant was such a trooper in the audience full of women! :)

Saturday morning I slept in and then went to lunch with Lindsee and Kelli at the Olive Garden. Kelli has been a blogworld friend for awhile, but after Saturday she is now a real life friend and I simply adore her! :)

Saturday night we invited our friends Jim & Liz over. I made lasagna and we watched a funny movie and had a great time. The Lord has blessed us with such great friends! Liz is very pregnant with sweet baby girl Lily who will be here in a month. I have a feeling she'll make her debut a little earlier than expected though. We'll see!

Yesterday we had a great morning at church. Our Sunday school class is doing a series on Proverbs right now that has been really interesting and very applicable to daily life. I'm really enjoying it. Then in "big church", Pastor Gregg has begun his series on Genesis. We are going through creation right now and it is so eye opening and amazing. I am in awe of our God. I highly recommend you going to Our Church Media Page and listening to the last 2 sermons. We are so blessed to be under such a great pastor. My favorite quote from the sermon was when he said "In the United States, we have chosen unity over truth". Good stuff.

After church, we watched the golf tournament and I took a nice long nap. Then we headed out to a couples' shower that my parents were hosting for my lifelong friend Jonathan and his beautiful bride Tara. They are getting married in less than a month. It was so nice to see a bunch of old friends and eat fajitas and visit. It was a beautiful Sunday.

Back at work today... motivated, blessed, happy, and ready to get this week over and done with :)

Have a great Monday, dear friends!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Seasons of Life

I was talking with someone the other day about the many different seasons of life we go through. Some are horrible and we never want to revisit them again. Some are full of fun and joy and we look back on them with fond memories.

Which brought me to the question... if there was a season of life I could re-live or re-visit, what would it be? Where would I want to go back to?

After much thought, I decided it would be my senior year of highschool on Friday nights. Hanging out with my very closest friends, sitting on the kitchen counter eating junk, driving up and down F.M. 1960 deciding where we wanted to eat... planning the youth group retreats, laughing until one of us was running for the bathroom.... picking out prom dresses, long drives to the lakehouse... i just can't think of a time where I had more fun. And NO responsibility. Life was good. I'm still friends with all of the same people, we are just in a different stage of life. We are married, buying houses, paying car notes, getting laid off from our jobs, dealing with insurance etc. etc. etc. I laugh sometimes at the stuff we talk about now. Our 17 year old selves would be bored listening to us talk! When did we become adults, seriously?

So, I'm curious, what season of your life would you revisit? Maybe it ws 2 years ago, maybe it was 22 years ago... but what would you like to re-live again?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Long Journey of the Snuggie

Several years ago, Grant and I were on an airplane ride to somewhere, flipping through the Sky Mall catalog. I LOVE that catalog. I always find something I need. Whether it is a nice wooden end table that you put next to your couch that also includes a wooden door that makes it a dog kennel, or a giant garden statue of a sumo wrestler that would be a great practical joke... it keeps me entertained. On this particular flight, I turned the page and saw it: A Slanket. It showed a woman, sitting on a couch typing on her laptop. And she was wearing a blanket. And the blanket had sleeves. A SLANKET!

Now, I proclaimed very loudly to Grant in that moment that I WANT ONE and he made fun of me. I think he thought I was kidding. But I was most definitely not.

A couple months later, I was checking our credit card statements and saw that something had been purchased from the Sky Mall catalog. When I asked my dear darling husband what he had purchased, he informed me that he and several of his co-workers had all chipped in to buy another co-worker a wedding gift. They all bought her a slanket. "She always is cold at her desk" he says to me. I was more than irritated that he had actually purchased a Slanket but for someone else. Rude.

Fast forward again to a couple months after that. My mom, dad, sister, and I were driving to Austin to visit my other sister and her family. While on the way there, I was explaining the Slanket situation to my family. "Why would you ever need something like that?" my dad asked me.

"Well," I explained, "you see, I don't ever ever ever watch television without a blanket. And I like to bundle up. But if I'm all bundled up and I need to change the channel, it is hard because I have to remove my arms from their warm, comfy position and expose them to the cold to change the channel".

They all found this very amusing and have not let me live it down since. But seriously. I have been known to continue watching a show that I am no longer interested in because I don't want to let cold air into my warm cocoon.

Around the same time, the commercials for The Snuggie started taking over televisions across America. I was a little annoyed that this seemed like a cheaper knock-off of The Slanket. I was also thoroughly amused at the many uses this advertising company could come up with for The Snuggie. I mean is anyone really wearing these to sporting events? It took the media by storm. Here is a picture of the cast of The Today Show wearing their Snuggies.

Anyhoo, last week, for my birthday, my mom presented me with a very special gift. It's a Snuggie. And it is LEOPARD PRINT my friends.

Side note: This was not supposed to be in this post but I uploaded it subconsciously. This is the Italian Cream cake my dad made me for my birthday. THE MAN HAS TALENT. Made it from scratch. I'm just sayin'. It was DELICIOUS!

And here I am in my Snuggie, while also utilizing the complimentary book light that came with it. It is a treasure.

How pretty is my Lindsee? (Note the Snuggie in our laps)

I have been using the Snuggie often the last few days. It is a great tool to have if you like to watch television. I highly recommend it. Do not judge.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Forget Not His Benefits

Thank you all for your sweet words of encouragement. I typed that post last night right after Katie & Mo walked out our door and I was a hot mess. But this morning, as I read over what I wrote last night, I feel like I need to get that post out of the way and write something hopeful. Don't get me wrong, those things I wrote last night were very real and very much what I was thinking and feeling at the time, but I serve a God of hope and a God of peace. And I want to set my mind on things above this morning.

A few verses that have been on my heart this morning:

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done. Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts. Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and His strength, seek His face always." - 1 Chronicles 16: 8-11

"I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills His purpose for me" -Psalm 57:2

"Ah, Soverign Lord, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for You." - Jeremiah 32:17

Yesterday's post was me complaining. And I realize that over the last several weeks, I have been talking so much about the house hunt and how horrible it has been and yada yada yada. But I need to fix my mind on things above. I need to "tell of all His wonderful acts". The Lord gives me blessing after blessing and I choose to write about the stuff that I'm not happy with.

Just a few of those blessings:

I'm another year older
We are building some great friendships through our Sunday school class at church
Our church is growing and we are getting more involved
The Lord has been blessing Grant in his job
The Lord has been blessing me in my job
Some relationships with co-workers that used to be strained are now flourishing.
I drove in a horrible storm the other day - hail included- and had no visibility, but the Lord protected me
I've been loving the skies lately... beautiful sunny days and really cool clouds
I have some great blog world friends that encourage me every day
The Lord has protected us, for whatever reason, from 3 houses that were not in His plan for us.
I am so thankful for His provision and protection. I have NOTHING to complain about. God is GOOD. He is merciful and He is a God of HOPE.

He will fulfill His purpose for me.

And today is going to be a GREAT day!

I love y'all...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Too Many Things Today

Too much has happened today. My little eyes are all cried out.

We had plans today to look at a house on our lunch break. Great house, great location, great price. Super cute and pretty with a big yard. I was thinking that this could be it. Around 11:00 we were informed that we shouldn't bother going to see the house because - you guessed it - the seller's had just accepted an offer this morning.

Y'all I had just about had it. Tears started a-flowing. I know that crying doesn't help anything but I was just DONE. I felt like giving up and just deciding to live in this apartment for the next 30 years. I mean, I understand that this house was not meant for us but this is the THIRD time this has happened in the span of about a month and I am just so exhausted and frustrated.

After I had a good cry, I got myself together and was reminded by my sweet friend Lynn that the Lord is good and that He loves me. I took a deep breath and said "Okay Lord, I trust You".

And now I am sad again. Not because of a house, but because of something much more life-altering. Our sweet precious Katie & Mo left us tonight. We said goodbye as they begin their move back to St. Croix. I am so proud of them for what they are choosing to do. They know they need to be with his family. I am so proud of Katie for the sacrifices she is making and for the way she is supporting her husband. It all just happened so fast and it was hard to say goodbye. We sat here on our couch and held hands and prayed and we all cried and hugged and UGH I just have no more tears left. I am going to miss our friends.

The only positive thing about them leaving us is that they are leaving us with their 50 inch plasma TV since they are worried it would get damaged on the boat ride there. Grant is enjoying playing his video game on such a large screen!

Tomorrow I will have some fun birthday pictures to share with you. I am just exhausted tonight and am going to hit the sack a bit early tonight. Love y'all.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Post I Wrote on my 25th Birthday

Yes, that's right folks. Today I am 25 years old. A quarter of a century. I'm feeling very adult-y today. So I fully intended to write a post today since I haven't talked to the bloggy peeps since Monday. But there is a bit of pressure in this situation. It's my 25th birthday. What kind of post should I write? Should it be something epic that can stand the test of time? Should it be something meaningful? So meaningful that 15 years from now when my children are surfing the internet and find my blog they will say "Seriously, Mom, you've been blogging for a sweet forever" and also "Hey, look what Mom wrote on her 25th birthday" ?

I think I'm taking this too far.

The final decision came around and I decided I'm just gonna write a blog post like any other day. And it will just be the post that I wrote on my 25th birthday. The day I was feeling all adult-y.

More news on the house hunting front.... Grant and I found another house that we loved and then the sellers accepted someone else's offer before we even had a chance to make an offer cause you know it had been on the market for a whole TWENTY FOUR HOURS. Apparently we waited too long.

Dear Sellers of Houses:
We would like to buy a house. We have some money. We would like to give you our money in return for your house. Please stop selling them to other people. It is really annoying and it makes me burst into tears at my desk at work. And that is not very adult like of me. But honestly, we are going around looking at houses and then someone else buys them about ten minutes before we make our offer and home girl is starting to get a bit irritated. Please take our money.
Jen the Claustrophobic-One-Bedroom-Apartment-Dweller

So last night we met up with our realtor to look at a few more houses. The first one we looked at was a pricey patio home and when we walked in, I immediately realized that we were at Great Grandma Betty's house based on the wallpaper. And also the bright blue corian countertops. It wasn't a horrible house but for the price they were asking as well as the work that needed to be put into the house... it was a no. The second house... y'all.... I had to take a picture for you. (Please note that the minute I walked into this bathroom I immediately ran for my camera and then said out loud "they have got to see this" and when I said "they" I meant you blogging people. This is a strange relationship we have).

So I realize that these people spent alot of money remodeling their master bathroom and forgive me if you love this but I just cannot see myself living in this from day to day. This is what you see when you open the door to the master bathroom.

Let's take a closer look. Yes, that is a beautiful shower made of slate. And yes, it is an open shower. As in no curtain. You just stand there and shower. In the open-ness. CAN YOU IMAGINE?!?Okay I just had to share that with y'all.

After the unsuccessful attempt to buy a house, I met my mom at the mall for some birthday shopping. It was successful. I bought a cute purple top and a dress that has changed my life forever. Pictures to come :) Thank you, Mom!

Today at work the girls bought me this whole bag full of fantastic products from Bath & Body Works. Also, the facebookers took over my wall and my email for most of the day. It was so fun and I felt so loved.

Then this evening, I enjoyed a one hour massage that was booked for me by my husband. And now I am laying on my couch feeling greasy and relaxed :) I'm gonna take a shower here in a minute. But I'm going to do it with a curtain because ADULT PEOPLE NEED THEIR PRIVACY WHEN THEY ARE SHAVING THE LEGS.

And that is the post I wrote on my 25th birthday.

Future Children of Mine: As you can see, I have always been this weird.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I Love Bagels

It's a bagel kind of morning. I'm sitting here enjoying a dutch apple raisin bagel from Panera while sipping on a cold Diet Coke. Things like this are what makes Monday mornings a bit more tolerable!

I have to do the weekend recap, but it is alot to type and I'm not feeling too wordy this morning. So, I present to you: THE WEEKEND USING ONE SENTENCE PER EVENT!

Celebrated Dad's birthday
Had breakfast with some newlyweds
Watched a lifetime movie
Took a nap
Picked up bridesmaid dress with bride-to-be
Took a nap
Saw G.I. Joe which was horrible
Went to church
Lunch at Grandaddy's
Took a nap
Cleaned the house
Cooked dinner
Watched movie with husband
Went to sleep
And that was that.
And this is now.

I'm feeling very confident and motivated about this week. Great things can happen this week! The Lord has really settled my heart the last few days about our frantic search for a house. I have been getting so anxious and worried and beginning to feel like maybe God didn't really know what He was doing and feeling like I should start taking matters into my own hands. But He has reminded me of a few things:

His plan for me is already mapped out. He knows what our next address will be. His timing is perfect. Even if I am feeling like we are quickly running out of time, His timing is so much better than my timing. He is more than enough for me. I don't have to have a house to be happy. I don't have to live in a house to feel complete. Even if this one bedroom apartment is where we live for the entirety of our marriage.... that is okay. Comfortable? No. Okay? Yes. He is enough for me. Being His daughter, being His child is enough. I don't need anything else.
Having that mindset the last few days is making me feel so much less frantic and so much more at peace. I know He will provide and I don't need to worry my little red head. :)

In closing... I would like to share with you a pair of shoes that I found online recently. I have several weddings coming up this fall and I think these will be the perfect shoe... with the heart and all, it is very wedding appropriate.

Aren't they just so dainty?

Don't be jealous. You know you want them.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Coffee Makes Me Spazzy

We picked up Mo & Katie from the airport last night. We crawled into bed at 2:30am. I am sitting here at my desk at work, drinking my 2nd cup of coffee. I am all over the place. And you know what that means about my blog: LIST FORMAT.
  • While they were gone, Grant & I kept their sweet dog Molly. It was so weird to have 2 dogs running around, but she is so cute and quite the cuddler. I'm gonna miss that little girl.

  • Tuesday was the best work day ever in the history of mankind. My boss is having the ceilings painted in his house and the paint company requires that someone be in the house. Well, my boss had meetings all day and so my job on Tuesday was to sit in his home the entire day and watch television. I started off with the Today Show, followed by a little Regis & Kelly, followed by a little What Not to Wear and then I finished the day with the Law & Order SVU marathon. It was a hard day's work. It was glorious. I told him that I am always up for a day like that!

  • There is a zit on my chin right now. It is so big, it could probably have its own chair at a restaurant. It's like another person. It's unreal. And there is no face wash or cream that can minimize it. I think it is here to stay. Maybe I should give it a name? I don't know. I'll have to think about that.

  • I am in love with our church Sunday school class and small group. While Mo & Katie were gone, they brought us casseroles and fruit baskets and sympathy cards and candles and gift cards and money for their plane tickets to shower them with love and support. Yesterday, I got the key to their apartment and snuck in and set it all up so that when they got home, it would all be there. I am just so proud and honored to be apart of such a loving, supportive group of people. We have made such great friends in the last year. God is good.

  • We are still house hunting. We put an offer on a home about a month ago and we were outbid. We are still looking. I do trust the Lord and I trust His perfect timing, but I have to admit, I am getting a bit anxious. Please pray that the "perfect" home comes on the market SOON! We need more space. You know your apartment is small when you can vaccuum the entire apartment without ever unplugging the darn thing from the wall!! But seriously, more than anything, pray that the Lord would lead us to the place He wants us to be.

  • Even though I'm feeling a bit lost/panicked/anxious about the house thing, I do really feel like God is truly blessing us beyond measure right now. He is good and is doing far more than we could ever ask for or imagine. When it comes to our friends, our marriage, our jobs... He is good.

  • The post-it notes here at the office ran out so we had to order more.... I do love me some post-it notes. The new ones came in this morning. They are neon colored. I'm more a fan of the pastel post-its. I guess I will have to learn to cope with these loud colors.

  • I think I'll name the zit Nancy.

  • I never got to thank you all for the advice you gave regarding our sleeping problem. I was surprised and encouraged to know that so many of you have struggled with the same thing!! It has been so much better. We are "just doing it" as many of you suggested. And I really am so much happier with my days when I am able to have a morning. I am so gald we admitted our problem!

  • Grant got me a Blackberry. I always chuckled when people called it a crackberry but I now totally get it. My gosh. I love it. I think I may name it.

  • Name my blackberry. In the comments, please leave your suggestion for a good name for my little buddy.

  • Okay I am going to stop now with the list-making.

Hope you all have a wonderful day! Love love love....

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Happier Things

We had a wonderful extended weekend in Orlando with Grant's family. It almost didn't go off as smoothly as we had planned. When Grant and I got to the airport Saturday morning at 6:30am, the lines were outside the building. When we were standing in the security line, they started paging us over the loud speakers for our final boarding call. They were reading our names 3 or 4 times and we were just standing there helpless. Through some begging, pleading, and all out cutting in line, we were SPRINTING through the airport, running to our gate.... no one was there. We hopped over a rope, ran down the jetway, and onto the plane. We were the last people on the plane and I was breathing like a chain smoker!! Praise the Lord that we got there on time and miraculously our baggage got there with us!

I am now going to put some pictures up... they are in no particular order because I am too lazy to get these in chronological order. Let's begin, shall we?

Here is Chase and Ronda taking Evan and Emily on their very first ride at Disney World!! The 5 month old little ones were so good and low maintenance. I adore them :)

Me and my little snuggler. We love to nap together.

Look at his little face!

I love that castle. It still makes me smile when I walk into the park.

Late Sunday night, Grant and I went back to the park from 10:00 thru 1:00am. It was so fun and we got to ride alot of rides.

Here is Isabella on her 8th birthday!! Isabella was the flower girl in our wedding and she is getting so big! She loved Disney World and had the best 8th birthday ever.

I've always loved Pluto...

Based on his legs, would you agree that Pinocchio is a woman? Those don't look like boy legs to me.

Here are Grant's parents who made this whole trip possible!! We had a wonderful time and are so glad we got to spend so much quality time with them. Thanks for the trip! We love you :) And aren't they just so precious?!

Our Emmy girl smilin' so big! Is she not the most adorable thing you've ever seen?!

It really is a small castle...

Ronda and Bell on the teacups...

Wendy and Cosmo! Wendy is Grant's first cousin... we so loved spending time with them and their precious girls, Isabella and Sofia. It was really fun to experience Disney World with children. We love you guys!

TALL castle.

Sweet Sofia! She is 2 years old and such a delight. The girl has no fear and will try anything. She cracked me up the whole time :)

Oh, and we got a really special treat! My friend Shane is a Blue Man in the Blue Man Group. We have done many plays together (we were Romeo and Juliet!) and I am so proud of how far he has gone! He got us tickets and Grant and I were able to go see him perform live. It was SO COOL to see him all blue and doing something so awesome. We were thrilled and got to talk to him a little bit backstage afterwards! It was a highlight.

And there ya have it folks!