Monday, February 28, 2011

Moments

There are moments in life that seem to suffocate. Sometimes it's not just one moment but a string of them that pile upon each other in what seems to be only minutes and the cumulative weight seems to be more than one can bear. If each were to happen separately, they would be momentary blips on the radar and would register as annoying.

Not life altering.

Because I spend most of my time on this blog chronicling happy times in my family so we won't forget them in the hustle and bustle of living, it may seem that we either don't have or don't want to acknowledge that "moments" like described above simply don't exist for us.

As though we live in Pollyannaville where such things don't happen.

For whatever reason, I feel the need to be very honest in that they most definitely do occur and, to be very truthful, I don't always handle them very well. Particularly when they pile upon each other without time to process each on its own.

Because that's what I do - process, figure out how to deal, file it away, move on.

Last week a number of things in our life came down all at once. Like a violent thunderstorm with no relent in sight. There was no time to process one before the next wave hit.

Random things. Some I would never have dreamed in my wildest of thoughts.

So there's the explanation for silence on my blog for the last four days. 

And let me be crystal clear - I didn't handle it well. I felt sorry for myself. And my family. Went silent. And I asked "why" more times than I can count. And cried a river of tears which, by the way, is most uncharacteristic.

Did I mention I was sick during this time as well? :-)

No, that's not an excuse. Or an explanation. It just compounded the issues but, quite frankly, the problem was that I did not hold on to what I know it true.

He is the same as he was before. He is not changing. And He will not let go.

I do not have all the answers and probably couldn't handle them even if they were available to me. My ways are not His ways and He is still on the throne. Come what may. Or may not. In whatever manner He chooses.

No, I don't understand. No, I don't like some of the things currently on our plate. But, as my man says, "I'm not going to sweat it...just take it as it comes."

Because, really, my worry and tears and bad attitude aren't going to do anything except make me (and everyone around me) miserable in the meantime. Minor inconveniences here (that sometimes do seem like major issues with my limited view) will be nothing once we enter the gates of glory.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for He who promised is faithful!
Hebrews 10:23

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sing, Sing a Song!

Last night was the girl's 5th grade music program and we were blessed by some patriotic songs sung by super sweet voices. I'm really finding this age fun because the personalities of the kiddos are really coming through and it's fun to imagine them in high school.

Note I believe it's fun to IMAGINE them in high school. I'm under no delusion that wailing and gnashing of teeth won't occur when that time comes because, honestly, how can this child possibly be growing up so stinkin' fast?

Anyway, I digress...

Taylor's music teacher was an absolute doll. This year they alternate each six week between music and art in order to help them decide what fine art elective they would like to pursue next year. My child has chosen to pursue art because there was mention of calligraphy, clay and the ability to make a piggy bank.

Needless to say, I decided to enjoy our last evening of music for a while...


The kids were really great and sang their little hearts out. Due to the fluctuating hormones of the 'tween stage, it's always interesting to watch my girl be so sweet and compliant in public places. I am grateful she feels comfortable enough to express her true feelings at home (for the most part) but it's nice to have a break from the rollercoaster from time to time. :-)


After the program she told me that she could see me and my camera and informed that that's why she kept looking the other way. Got to love her!


Singing a special part with sweet friends...


After dinner we had a yummy dinner at Cheddar's with my parents. When we got home, Tay took a shower and went to bed immediately. Of her own volition. Either she was exhausted or is finally catching some of the crud going around. Praying it's not the latter.


Thus concludes my recap of the girl's last program of this type. 

Sniff. Sniff.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

ADDY Awards Banquet

Last weekend Dave and I attended the ADDY Awards Banquet as my division had entered a number of pieces throughout the various categories. It was an evening filled with delightful banter, yummy food, more superheroes than I could shake a stick at (long story) and - in the end - recognition for the work in which we take great pride.


I have worked at jobs I love, jobs I hate, jobs that were a means to an end, and jobs where I loved the people but not the tasks to which I was assigned. I can honestly - and wholeheartedly - tell you that my current gig is one that came directly from years of prayer. There is absolutely no place I would rather be and, believe me, I know it is an incredible blessing.

In other news, Tonto is going to have his knee injected with some synthetic cartilage-type stuff on Monday, March 7. Please pray with me that it will be successful as not all patients get relief from this type of treatment. He also has what is believed to be a miniscus tear but that's not something that can be fixed right now for a variety of reasons.

So my prayer is that the injections will get him from "here" to "there," though I'm not exactly certain what that will be. What I do know is that He will take care of it. :-)

Happy Tuesday, y'all!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bears for Babes

As you may already know, in October 2009, our daughter’s life took a sharp detour as she suffered a very serious break in her right elbow, which required immediate hospital admission and surgery to provide stability through the use of a titanium plate and six screws.


This was a very traumatic time for Taylor that was made more bearable when she was given a special bear, who she named Ace, while in the ER. He had coincidentally suffered the exact same injury that evening so they had much in common. Ace came home with his right arm bandaged just like Taylor’s and he progressed - amazingly - at exactly the same pace as our sweet girl. And, after 14 months of rehab, Taylor now has full exten- sion of her arm and we will forever be grateful for her recovery. 

Praise God!


Now it’s our turn to give back and, as the first phase of this plan, we are collecting stuffed animals so that other children in Central Texas will have the opportunity to receive a special friend like Ace during their time of need.


We can tell you firsthand that our experience would have been much more difficult had Taylor not had something to comfort her throughout her stay and months of rehab. We are committed to this project because the distribution of these cuddly friends is completely dependent upon donations from the community.


Now please know I'm not asking you to donate bears to this cause. I'm simply using this outlet to spread the word. More than anything, I covet your prayers for the children who are suffering because we know from personal experience that receiving a stuffed animal doesn't negate the road they - and their families - face during and after serious injuries and illnesses.

But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Puppy Love, Part Three

Most people who know Taylor realize that one of her biggest loves is the Puppy Posse. She has such a tender heart toward them and it makes my own melt to watch her care for and love on them. She honestly loves each of the three with the same intensity and truly doesn't play favorites, though Perkie does sleep with her now...but that was really about helping her adjust to the new puppy. :-)

Can you believe it - a good picture of the Perkster!


This little guy had to visit the vet on Valentine's Day because he had a cough. Thankfully they don't think it's kennel cough but just a bad case of allergies. Surprising diagnosis in Central Texas, huh? Anyway, he's doing much better but, y'all, his cough suppressant contains Prednisone.

Yes, the steroid. Fun times for sure. For instance, this morning when I noticed the house was too quiet, I walked into the living room to find pillow stuffing and couch cushions FLYING.


Prissy seems to be taking things in stride, though.


What's funny is that Rambo goes from completely destructive to impossibly cute in a matter of 0.13 seconds. See?


Looks like a face who never does anything wrong, right?


And, because good pictures of the Perkster are hard impossible to come by, here's another for your viewing pleasure.


Happy Wednesday, friends!

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 (NIV)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

He Made a Liar Out of Me

On Sunday, as my man was working hard at the hospital, our Sunday School class briefly discussed the upcoming holiday. I boldly told them that we "don't do Valentine's Day." Now I will tell you that my man did surprise me with chocolates and a very sweet card last year and I was incredibly grateful. He has also sent me flowers several times throughout our relationship but that was mainly when we were dating, engaged and/or newlyweds.

To be quite frank, I'm so grateful that God has delivered our marriage which - don't get me wrong, isn't perfect but my man is perfect for me - is pretty much the biggest blessing of my life that a special day to commemorate it just isn't make it or break it for me.

Fast forward to Monday morning. Almost exactly a year ago, our bank account information was compromised along with several hundred other members at our credit union. Counterfeit debit cards were created, our account was wiped out overnight and it was a week long nightmare, friends. Because of that, I watch our account very closely and when I logged in yesterday, I found a counterfeit check had cleared. Yes, someone actually is in possession of our routing and account numbers.

Scary!

Anyway, I called the bank and they began going through the pending charges (of which there were only two) on the account to make sure they weren't counterfeit as well. So they get to this obscure charge that I immediately thought was fraud but, upon further investigation, it had been charged the morning of February 14. At a florist's shop.

Yep, my man had ordered me flowers. He specifically waited until that morning so I wouldn't find out and a crook ruined it for him. But something that a thief could not steal was the joy of knowing that he loved me enough to send flowers. On the day of the year when flowers are the most expensive. And have I mentioned Dave is the frugal one in our family? :-)

It made my day to learn that he had given them specific instructions about what he wanted in the arrangement. Including filler and greenery. Is he awesome or what?!?!

And he did really well. 

See?


The back is just as pretty as the front. Per his instruction. Plus, white roses with hot pink tips are - in a word - AMAZING!


Oh, how I love him. More today than ever before. Much more.

And it has nothing to do with the flowers, really, though it has everything to do with the man himself.

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Valentines

This little Valentine woke to a fabulous surprise - a giant box of chocolates and sweet card from Davey - and declared it to be "the biggest box of candy I've ever seen!"


This little Valentine developed a yucky cough overnight and is headed to the vet later today to make sure it's just a cold and not kennel cough. He's having to miss the big party at daycare but I took his cards in on my way to work since he worked so hard getting those tiny pawprint stickers on each one...


This little Valentine sent me flowers and I only know that because a fraudulent check cleared our account this morning and they notified me of the florist charge while I was discussing the fraud...


And the girls are sporting new V-day bandanas that have yet to be photographed. Praying you all have a blessed day and that you feel very loved. :-)



Friday, February 11, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

Several weeks ago I began reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts as part of The Bloom Book Club. Honestly, I kept seeing information about this book EVERYWHERE and I had no desire to read it. In fact, after reading the description on Amazon, I desperately wanted NOT to read this book.

Which is why I knew it was needed.

All I can say is WOW, y'all. It's absolutely amazing and has changed my outlook on everyday life a great deal. I won't give away the premise in case you haven't read it but, basically, it's about recognizing beauty and His gifts to us every day of our lives.

Quite frankly, He has blessed me with so much that I absolutely do not deserve and - all too often - take for granted. Like the things I experience on mundane days aren't worth noting, which isn't true at all.

For instance, do I take the time to be thankful for a healthy child, a striking sunset, the ability to send my child to a dance class, having a job, freedom of religion, a roof over my head, the opportunity to cook dinner for my family?

Because, y'all, there are so many who don't have those things in their lives.

I complain about how much our vet bill is but, truthfully, I should just be thankful we're able to take care of these sweet animals. My busy life overwhelms me sometimes and my child may work my last nerve but I have a friend who died from breast cancer a few months ago who would have given ANYTHING to stay on this planet and have her children aggravate the snot out of her.

So I've been wrestling this through for the last few weeks and I can promise you this book - and His words through it - helped to prepare me for yesterday. As I sat in a surgeon's office with my man (who had surgery only 11 short months ago that was supposed to fix the cartilage problems plaguing him), the last thing in the world I was expecting to hear were these three words: total knee replacement.

That's what he ultimately needs as it doesn't seem that his cartilage has regenerated itself.

The problem is that he's not old enough to have the replacement as one can only have two at most in a lifetime and there's no promise as to how long each artificial joint would last. Besides, he's very active and is on his feet all day at work so odds are the joint wouldn't last him as long as older patients.

As he went for a MRI of both knees (pain in the other now from overcompensating) last night and I soothed my nerves with a Red Velvet Cheesecake Blast from Sonic (highly recommend, friends), I realized that we hadn't even come close to having a panic attack about this news.

Not even close.

Which is growth on both sides that only He can provide. We found ourselves being thankful there are injections that can get him from here to surgery with much less pain (synthetic cartilage, if you will), rejoiced that he could get into MRI the same day (which is almost unheard of) and were elated to learn he could follow up with his surgeon next Thursday. Personally I was AMAZINGLY grateful that Taylor's arm is not broken and in need of substantial rehab while we're navigating these issues again because that's the boat we were in last year.

I even found myself thanking God that we had the funds to pay all of these co-pays (instead of the rising costs of health care) and trusting that He will provide no matter what comes our way.

So, no, my life is not perfect. Some days it's so far from it that I cannot see straight. But the fact of the matter is He has provided and will continue to do so regardless of what comes our way for the man's knee ailments. Or anything else for that matter.

So I choose joy. Gratitude. Happiness.


Eucharisteo.

Because it always precedes the miracle.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Great Blizzard of 2011

As I previously indicated, we enjoyed a nice blizzard of 2-3 inches of snow on Friday. Honestly, I didn't have a lot of hope that the forecast of said wintery mix would actually materialize because I knew we would all be off together and that just usually doesn't happen. This time, though, we were absolutely blessed to have a fun and lazy day together!

Dave got up before I did to take the pups out and he captured Rambo's first snow experience. He looks all calm, cool and collected here but I can assure you that did not last very long. I told my mom that the snow was apparently like crack to a puppy because he went absolutely nuts and he remained absolutely nuts throughout the entire day. In fact, this is one of the few pictures actually good enough to share because he was running so fast that most of them are just a blur. And that's using the new camera so you know he was moving. :-)


She was ecstatic!


This is looking out our front door. Usually when we get snow in Texas it hasn't been cold enough beforehand that the snow and ice actually stick to the road surfaces. Clearly that was not a problem this time around as there is usually a road just on the other side of our mailbox.


He. Could. Not. Get. Enough.


Looking down our driveway from the garage. Have I mentioned that we live on the side of a hill? Yeah, we weren't going ANYWHERE.




Looking down our very steep hill, which is camouflaged a bit by the snow. It's a very sharp incline but, for some reason, people were still trying to drive UP the hill. They promptly slid back down. My husband actually photographed this process but I won't share those pics. Got to protect the identities of those who have a lapse in judgment, right?


Love. Her.


She sat down to make a snow angel and promptly regretted that decision. This picture absolutely cracks me up, y'all!


Let's try again...


Almost there...


Finally - full on angel!


This crazy boy kept sticking his face in the snow, which created an adorable "snow 'stache," which is basically a pencil thin mustache made out of snow. He wouldn't slow down enough for me to capture it, though, which REALLY bummed me out!


After a really long nap, Tay went back outside to play for a while and gathered some snow off the top of the pile for snow ice cream. It was soooooo good and really easy. Of course, most things are great when you top them with chocolate and/or caramel syrup, right? :-)


We finally got out of the house about 5 o'clock in search of some Mexican food. We thought the roads were absolutely terrible given what our yard and hill looked like but once we slid down our street, all of the streets were clear. A little damp but nothing frozen at all.

Our little hill was frozen over again on Saturday and we weren't able to get out until about noon. Sometimes God just makes us slow down, doesn't He? Last weekend was definitely one of those times for us and, while we did do some grocery shopping and cleaning, we mainly just rested and enjoyed our time together.

It was fantastic!

Unfortunately, though, we're apparently expecting an ice storm sometime very early tomorrow morning so it's possible that we'll be stuck again soon. I'm not excited about that AT ALL but, hey, we'll roll with the punches. :-)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Let's Hear It For The Boys!

As I'm sure most already know, we had a veritable blizzard here last Friday in Central Texas. Yep - we got approximately 2-3 inches of fluffy, white, dry snow. It was fantastic. Both Tay's school and Baylor were closed and, as luck would have it, Davey was off (and not on call) so we had a fantastic lazy day of playing, naps and snow ice cream. You can bet that Carl was crazy busy during this time capturing the moments and you will most definitely get the obligatory Texas snow pictures but first...

LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS!!!

The Baylor Bears, that is...


If you follow men's basketball, you may know that a number of people had some rather lofty (and perhaps unrealistic) expectations of our team this year. You see, they went to the Elite Eight last year and were one lousy charge call from heading to the Final Four (yep - still bitter) BUT several of our players graduated or went in the draft so this year's squad has been working hard to put the pieces together in time for a NCAA run.


These photos are actually from the Colorado game Tay and I attended weekend before last. They were, unfortunately (and almost inexplicably) down by 14 at the half BUT our guys did not give up. Nope, not even a little bit.


They fought their way back into the game while the cheerleaders bounced around...


...and the Lady Bears (who are #1 in the country, in case you missed it) cheered from the sidelines...


...and our guys...


...took the lead...


...with two minutes left to play...


...and ended up winning!!!


And, as you may have also heard, they went down to Reed Arena on Saturday and beat the Aggies. You might say they WHOOPED 'em. You know, if you were into that kind of thing.


We could not be more proud of these guys and you can bet we'll be cheering them on throughout the remainder of the season. However long that may be. But, in the end, what matters is that these are outstanding young men with hearts for God. Their coaches have hearts for Him as well and they are intent on instilling that in the players.

Their goal is that they develop not only athletically and academically but also spiritually. In the end, that's what really matters, right? So, as for me and my house, we will support the Bears come whatever may (or may not) because we believe.

And, long after football season, we're still intent on RISING UP!

Sic 'em, Bears!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Get in the Groove, Y'all!

Last Friday evening we enjoyed a special treat as we got to see the Harlem Globetrotters perform at Baylor. Davey had to attend a computer class at work but Nana and Boppy were able to join us for the fun!

After a quick dinner at Logan's Roadhouse, we headed to the Ferrell Center with Carl in tow (was there any doubt, friends?) and took our seats. We were blessed to be able to sit on Row C, which delighted my daughter to no end because she's used to sitting on Rows 30-34 for the basketball games. What can I say? Swiping my ID and getting complimentary tickets is just easier than buying season tickets when we can only attend 1/3 of the games anyway...

But back to our story - now I hadn't attended a Globetrotters game since I was in elementary or junior high school so I was super excited. Tay went with my parents when they were in Waco three years ago but she LOVED it the first time around so we were all on the edge of our seats...

And then it was time for the legendary circle warm-ups...


Several members of the #1 Lady Bears basketball team were in attendance as well, including 
Brittney Griner!


Special K (foreground of the pic) served as our emcee for the evening and he was awesome. So funny, y'all. And family appropriate, which is always a plus, right?


Flight Time was also really cool and he did lots of tricks with the little ones...



Because we usually sit so high up, we had no idea there was a "BU" under the new video board. Guess you learn something new every day, huh?



The coach of the Washington General donned a burnt orange suit for the occasion. My personal opinion is that you deserve what you get if you're willing to talk trash and wear orange at my school. But, you know, that's just the Bear talking...

It was difficult to root against a team wearing green and gold. Just didn't feel right. I got over it quickly but still...


Taylor was in a delightful 'tween mood and posed for numerous pictures. Obviously.


After the game we ran a marathon getting her basketball signed by a number of players. This is about the time I lamented my decision to wear 4-inch heels for the occasion. I mean, really, I was going to feel short around basketball players no matter what so why endure the pain?

Anyway, this is Bones...a magnificent dunker...


...Airport signed right about here but, y'all, the pics I got were a bit unflattering and who wants to chance angering a man who can dunk you through a hoop? Not this girl! Therefore, no picture.

...and this would be Ant, the point guard and shortest member of the squad...


...and my personal favorite - Sling Shot! Why, you ask? Because he thought I was cute. And said so. That's when I realized it was possible to live your dream of being a professional basketball player while suffering from blindness. Again, who knew?


And Globie, the mascot!


We attempted to get autographs from Special K and Flight Time but, y'all, the lines! We raced back down the steps - still in stilettos, mind you - in time for Squirrel and Bingo to signed both Tay's ball and the sleeves of her Baylor hoodie. She truly thinks she has arrived at this point, my friends.

We wrapped up with the coach and, unfortunately, I can't remember his name off the top of my head. Boppy insisted that we get this one, though, because he was apparently "a big time 'Trotter back in the day." And if that doesn't provide you with enough description, well, I don't know what would...

Happy weekend, friends! Davey is off with us this week and we don't have anything planned except for eating lots of appetizers that are very bad for you on Sunday. I also hope to enjoy the game because, honestly, I don't remember much about last year because my blood pressure was in the DANGER zone. 

I do remember the Saints won, though.

Who dat!

Oh, yes, I most certainly did say it... :-)