Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Like a Ghost

Sunday morning I had a little extra time since we were having church services out at the lake so I decided to get my workout in before heading out. Rambo has thing thing about remaining directly under my feet during any and all exercise activities. Eventually that becomes, as you can imagine, difficult to deal with so I finally picked him up and put him down on the loveseat.

He apparently decided a pillow was needed as he watched the remainder of the train wreck me do a little Zumba. When I turned around and saw this, I stopped dead in my tracks.


Why, might you ask? Let me present Exhibit A.


Uncanny, isn't it? I, of course, immediately sent this image to Tonto and the reply was, "that's almost scary..." We've long said that Bo must somehow be communicating with Rambo because their personality traits are so stinkin' similar. This only confirmed that belief. :-)


And just because it made me miss our sweet boy, here's my very favorite picture of him.


So thankful for the little ball of sunshine named Rambo - he brightens even the darkest day. And has the sweetest face EVER, y'all.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Don't Say I Didn't Warn You

Though I alluded to his cuteness yesterday, I thought photographic proof was the right thing to do...


I truly just want to eat him up with a spoon some days. And I tell him this regularly. He looks at me like I'm nuts each and every time.


Some days he has this sleepy look that takes his adorableness off the charts, y'all.


But last night he cried for his blankie and then spent 20 minutes playing with and chewing on it.


Sent me over the edge...


...because it was like having a baby boy in the house again. :-)


Then he gave me this grown up dog look and the mood was broken...


...but he recognized the one who takes him to daycare (Dogtopia) was not at all happy and quickly reverted....


...which earned him...


...a Friday trip to said daycare to play with his friends!


Happy (long) Memorial Day Weekend, friends!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday Bullet Points

The end of school year drain has officially hit my brain, friends, so my coherent thoughts per day have been severely limited. That should explain the bullet points below...
  • My girl is struggling to finish the school year strong. It's most ironic when you find out she forgot homework in not one, but two, classes on the same day while learning simultaneously that she earned a Commended score on the science portion of the TAKS test. She is beyond burned out. I am beyond burned out. But there are only five days left after today so, you know, HALLELUJAH! (Side note: no, we do not condone poor behavior simply because one is "burned out." She has been punished and we're still expecting her to finish strong. Just wanted to throw that out there :-)
  • Rambo continues to be the most adorable puppy ever, y'all. Though I haven't photographed him recently you'll just have to trust me. Truly precious. Love, love, love him!
  • Zumba isn't for sissies. Particularly when you've had surgery in the last month.
  • Dance recitals aren't for sissies either. Apparently the agony and ecstasy of such a production had escaped my mind since the girl chose gym for a number of years before a broken elbow caused a detour.
  • The ramifications of a broken elbow continue to live on, though thankfully only psychologically. For instance, when asked if she would like to participate in gym again, I get the following response coupled with a sad face: "I can't...I'll just get hurt..." Breaks my heart, y'all! But things could be so much worse....
  • I started a new study on Revelation and it is awesome. Truly. I love studying end time events but really don't have a firm stance on how I believe things will shake out because my opinion is that it won't matter as long as heaven is the destination :-)
  • Finally writing thank you notes for all of the love, support, flowers, etc. we received after we lost the baby. Took me a solid month to be able to do so but, seriously, we are so BLESSED to have precious friends and family! And I'm thankful.
  • A three-day weekend is desperately needed...
  • My heart hurts for all of the people who have lost everything in the recent tornadoes, floods, lightning storms, etc. Such heartbreaking stories that only One can redeem. Thank goodness He can. And does. :-)
  • Happy Thursday!
They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings...and with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers.
Revelation 17:14

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Operation World

Recently I read Radical by David Platte. I know, I know, what took me so long? Seems as though the rest of the world absorbed the riches contained within these pages long before I jumped on the bandwagon but it's better late than never, right?

As you may already know, the book concludes with a challenge to partake in a year-long experiment. The five components of the challenge are 1) pray for the world, 2) Read the entire Bible, 3) Sacrificially give to a specific purpose, 4) Spend time in another context and 5) Commit your life to multiplying a community.

Pretty heavy stuff, no?

I am absolutely not here to say that I've mastered (or even begun progress) in each of these areas. Why? Because that would be lying, friends. And not one of the "white" variety either. It would be a rather tall lie.

But I digress...

Anyway, what I wanted to share was a website found in the book for Operation World. This site contains information about all of the countries in the world, their make up (both demographic and religion) and ways you can pray for each specifically. If you choose to provide your email address, they will send you a message each day with a new country.

How simple is that, friends?

Quite frankly, this is one of the best finds I've made in a very long time. And, because we all know by now that I don't believe in coincidence, you can safely assume I believe it's been put on my mind and heart for "such a time as this." A time when all people of the world desperately need Him and the peace He can provide.

So, if you're interested (or even just a little curious), click here and check out what the folks at Operation World have to offer. It just might change your perspective. And, together, we might just change the world. How cool would that be? :-)

Declare His glory among the nations...
Psalm 96:3

Monday, May 23, 2011

But the Greatest of these is Love...

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8 NLT


For the past week and a half, every verse that's been delivered to my inbox, caught my attention on the radio or crossed my path in some way or another has focused on one thing: love. Now I must tell you how ironic it is for me to write this post today because, honestly, I don't feel very loving at the moment. I didn't sleep last night, my allergies are kicking something fierce and I'm in a general lousy mood.

Just wanted to throw that out there because 1) I believe in full disclosure and transparency, 2) it amazes me God still loves me soooo much even when I'm unloveable and 3) it's a good reminder to me that we're not called to love just when we feel like it. (Duly noted...)

I must admit that, though I found it neat that all of the verses and lessons coming my way centered around one theme, there was some confusion on my part as to what it all meant. That was until last Friday.

May 20th had been circled on my calendar for a number of weeks. It was the day we would have been 12 weeks pregnant and I had thought breathing would come a little easier at that point. Though I've not talked about it at all on the blog, I was uneasy pretty much from the time I found out we were expecting but thought it was just due to the general shock, my penchant for anxiety and the fact that I hadn't been pregnant in 12 years.

Obviously that was not the case and my uneasiness was for a reason. Unfortunately, the date was ingrained upon my brain and I was not looking forward to it at all.

Many who know me also know I'm a Beth Moore junkie (stick with me - this will all come together in a minute) and am pretty must constantly doing one of her Bible studies. I came upon Beth's teachings during one of the darkest times in my life. I was in desperate need of a fresh, real and new dose of Jesus though I most assuredly did not realize how desperate it was needed at the time.

God used her to speak to me in a way I'd never before experienced. Please don't mistake that statement to mean I believe Beth saved me because that's not the case. The Lord used her (as He does many others) to change my life. And I will forever be grateful.

So...fast forward and I have been doing a study on the life of Paul for a couple of months. In fact, we found out about the baby and I had surgery right in the middle of the section where Paul's suffering - and his response to it - was being detailed.


Coincidence? I think not.

Last week was the final one in the study and as I viewed the last video, she began speaking about a verse that's become rather dear to me during this season...


And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28


A good one, right? So here's what she said that rocked my world. There is one condition that must be met in order for Him to work it all out: we must LOVE Him. That's it. Simple, right?

A quote of hers was "if we love Him then He is OBLIGATED to abide by His Word."

How amazing is that, y'all? Because there are a lot of things I don't have the answer to but one thing I know is that I love Him. With all my heart. He's already done so much for me and we've received blessing upon blessing we didn't deserve.

To me, this was just another confirmation that He is working through this situation and one day it will all make sense. He will, in other words, redeem it. Quite frankly, it was a confirmation so needed at that time.

He is so interested in the details that He gave me this word on a day I was dreading. He also put it on the heart of a friend to pass along a copy of "Heaven is for Real" and I literally read it cover to cover Friday night. It, too, was a tremendous blessing. I can't tell you how many ways it spoke directly to me. Mainly because so many are things others wouldn't understand.

But He does. He always does.

So what was waiting for me in my inbox this morning?


Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13:7


This reminded me of one of my recent posts. Let me reiterate.

I will not give up. I choose to have faith. My hope remains. And it is in Him. It is enduring. And love, just like the Lord, never fails.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Fond Farewell

Though I've jumped around with posts lately, I've been trying to keep it from being a bunch of New York stuff and none of my girl or what's going on in our lives right now. So thanks for hanging in there with me and, without further ado, may I present the final installation of our trip to NYC?

We had a lazy morning, packed up and stashed our luggage after checking out so we wouldn't have to rush back to the hotel for checkout. Then we headed across the street and had a phenomenal breakfast at Nations Cafe, which is - as you may have guessed - a hop, skip and a jump away from the United Nations. Unfortunately, it was Saturday and the flags weren't flying but I took a picture anyway. Of course.


Next we strolled through Katharine Hepburn Park on our way down to Times Square for the last time. We were in need of some souvenirs. :-)




On our way, we passed Tonto's most visited spot while we were in the city - the New York YMCA. He spends a lot of time at our local Y and you can apparently use that membership at any Y in the country.


We passed by The Helmsley Building one last time...



...while Tonto walked with purpose - he was ready to get back to Texas, y'all. And his puppy.


Before we knew it, we were back in Times Square...



...and, because we had some time to kill, we headed inside the Times Square Visitors Center...


...which was beautiful...


...which was quite fancy...


...and really awesome...


...and is also where the Centennial ball lives...


...it's also next to the Disney store in case you were wondering...


...so after a few more quick looks...


...some magnets, postcards, t-shirts and a splatter painted hoodie were purchased...


...and we were ready to head back to the hotel...but we were way early so we hung out in the park for a while before hopping into the hotel car for the airport...


...where we were still very early but, as it turned out, our plane was delayed so they put us on an earlier flight to Charlotte for free. There we were able to get another earlier flight - though this time for a small fee - and head back to Dallas.

Where one of our two bags met us. The other arrived at the Waco airport the next morning. I was really irritated and ready to have all of my stuff and be home, truth be told, but I'm very grateful they got it  back to us so quickly.

And not just because it contained all of my makeup and hair products.

It also had the souvenirs. And if you think I was willing to face my child without a splatter painted hoodie from NYC, then you have obviously not faced the wrath of a hormonal 11-year-old lately. :-)

All in all, it was a great trip. The time was awesome because I really needed to get away and it's always nice to spend time alone with Tonto. That being said, we were sooooo ready to get back to the Puppy Posse and the girl that it wasn't even funny.

Being away makes you appreciate home, doesn't it?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Seven

Lest you think I've come down with a very early case of dementia, I do realize a post with this very title and the same photos was done last week. Unfortunately, that's about the time Blogger had a bipolar episode that lasted almost two days. Needless to say, that post has been lost to some cyberspace bully for all time.

It's a shame, really, because I'm almost certain it was a literary classic.

Or, you know, NOT.

But anyway...

So my girl - also known on the court as Seven or Stella because it was mortifying to be cheered for by her given name last season - wraps up her second go 'round with volleyball this evening. I must say that the spring has not seemed to drag on for 360 days like the fall. I will forever be grateful for the lighter schedule and the ease that having been through the process once before provides.


Last season she had an incredible coach and I can - without reservation - say the exact about this season. While they have two totally different coaching styles, Taylor has greatly improved under each. In fact, she's so taken with the sport that she'll be attending volleyball camp at Baylor in July.

While I suppose she's actually taken with staying in a residence hall, hanging out at a pool party with college volleyball players and living on a college campus for a few days, we'll just go with unabashed love for the sport if y'all are good with my delusion :-)


They have only lost two games all season and neither was exactly a blowout so I'd say they have a LOT to celebrate this evening as they wrap up the season at Mazzio's Pizza. That's just how 11 and 12 year olds roll, y'all...


That's her coach in the pic above. He is so cool, calm, collected and encouraging. I could take some lessons, quite frankly...

So here's to a great game this evening. To be quite honest, they smoked the team they're playing tonight earlier in the season so it would be quite a disappointment if they folded. They also had the best game ever a few days ago as they took on one of the best teams in the league and beat them by 10-15 points in each of the games.

I was proud. And surprised. And grateful we didn't go to three games since we drew the short straw and began play at 7:30pm. Yes, in the PM.

Good luck tonight, Miss Taylor! We love you and are so very proud of your progress. The fact that a couple balls hit the floor each game because, as you say, "my friend wanted to hit it more than I did...that's why I moved out of the way" makes it all the more sweet because you are such a polar opposite of your mother. 

And so much more awesome. :-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Humbling Experience that is Ground Zero

One of the places we were most looking forward to seeing while in New York was Ground Zero. After my conference was over, we walked over to Grand Central Station so we could hop on the subway and avoid a really lengthy walk.

It was here that I was both amazed by the beauty of Grand Central Station (which I planned to photograph upon our return but, honestly, I was too worn out to take the camera back out) and by the fact that the man working the booth - from whom we got directions - honestly thought my man was Larry the Cable Guy.

No, I'm not kidding. It was incredibly amusing and, truth be told, I kind of wanted to just let it go to see what kind of perks he might get but - in the end - he was honest and corrected the guy. Still - hilarious...

Anyway, after our ride on the subway (which sounds much more fun and romantic than one might imagine), we arrived at our stop and began walking toward the general vicinity. That's when we saw that there's a church about a block away from where the destruction occurred.


A really old one...


...I mean, y'all, look at how old those tombstones are - amazing!


Then we caught our first glimpse and our moods became very somber almost immediately.


First we came upon the memorial wall where so many had special displays so they would not be forgotten.


Completely...


...utterly...


...heartbreaking...


We had been all over the city by this time and each part is equally as loud. There are horns honking, people talking loudly and life moves at an incredibly fast pace; however, that's not what we found here. 

What we saw here was patriotic...


...awe-inspiring...


...humbling...


...and mesmerizing. New towers are being built, the museum will be open soon and you can see where water will be flowing as ginormous fountains at the original footprints. It's is an amazing place, friends. As Tonto said, "You see it on television but it doesn't seem real until you're here."

Exactly.

After our visit to the site, we headed over to see this...just to say we did...



And, after taking one last look at the progress currently being made, we were back on the subway...


After returning to "our part of town," we strolled along Madison Avenue (a phrase I never thought would be used here) and came upon a phenomenal burger place. It's called Burger Heaven and let me promise you that is definitely not a misnomer.

It was actually featured as one of the tasks on "Celebrity Apprentice" in the season that included Bret Michaels, Joan Rivers and Cyndi Lauper. It was soooooooo good and we left stuffed. Sinfully so.

Then we did what all the cool kids do these days and retired to the hotel before completely darkness even set in. We were looking forward to a little exploration (and to buying some souvenirs, of course) the next day before hopping a plane back to Texas. 

We were missing our babies something fierce!