Thursday, June 30, 2011

Missing my girl...

...thankful I'll see her tomorrow! :-)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Late Night Confession

There are times in life when it strikes me anew that I am making a mess out of things and truly cannot do anything on my own. Without Him, I am a white hot mess without the ability to see things in the proper perspective, move forward (or not) as He leads and manage the day-to-day craziness involved with life on planet Earth in any effective manner.

I like to call these duh moments. Why? Because it always amazes me when I find myself at this point again when I've never made it through any situation of consequence without fully relying and trusting Him.

I alluded earlier this week to the fact that I'm having a difficult time believing He will come through for me while fully trusting and believing He will come through for my friends and family. You know what that is, friends?


It's ugly. And it's a sin. And I'm putting it down right this moment and choosing to be completely done with it.

While it's no secret that the first half of 2011 has been nothing of what I expected and 1000 times harder than I could have imagined, the fact of the matter is that He has not left my side once. For that I am incredibly grateful.

I find it no coincidence that I have been left totally alone this evening (with nothing but my thoughts - scary!) as Tonto has been called on back-to-back transports (which NEVER happens) immediately after working a 12-hour shift. And you already know the girl is at camp so here I sit...

Actually, I was standing. In the shower if you really want to know when I was overcome with the need to sit down, type this out and just lay it out for everyone to see. Why? I have absolutely no idea. But I am choosing to obey.

No, I do not have any desire for this blog to turn into "Casi lost her baby and it's consuming her life."

None. At. All.

However, this is a part of our life right now. I've been rather transparent throughout this process and why I recently chose to clam up I really don't have an answer for...except that I desperately want to move forward and get back to our normal life. I also feel very strongly that something good needs to happen soon because this wilderness we've been walking through takes a toll on the soul.

Just keeping it real.

So, here goes nothing...

No, our days have not been easy for the past week(s). For a variety of reasons, several of which are directly related to losing our baby and the aftermath. I have no idea what God's plan is at the moment and, quite frankly, it is frustrating the snot out of me.

Why? Because I really thought I had heard Him say something and I was wrong. Flat out wrong. And that is disappointing, deflating and painful.

However, I have no doubt that He promised me something several months ago that remains true. So the fact that I don't know when, how, or in what manner He will keep that promise is really of little to no consequence because He is faithful. He always keeps His promises. He has already walked ahead of me and worked it all out. I'm simply following in His footsteps.

I will continue to do so even when  I don't feel like it. When my cheeks are still stained with tears. When it hurts more than choosing the easier (but sinful) path of disbelief.

Should you feel compelled, I would covet your prayers. There is strength in numbers and we know what He says about two or three gathered in His name. And I strongly feel that He is telling me that all of the transparency shown before today is worth nothing if I don't continue on this path.


I will not give up. I will not allow satan to con me into believing that I'm living in the middle of some cruel joke my Lord is playing. I. Will. Not. I will not shy away from asking others to join me in the prayer that His will comes to fruition in perfect time. And that I will accept it with a joyful heart knowing that I cannot even fathom the amazing life He has in store. Or drive my husband crazy in the meantime.

And that glory will be brought to His name.

He is loving and perfect and His ways cannot be wrong. My thinking can be (obviously) but He cannot.

So that's my confession...and, honestly, I feel much better now. :-)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Weekly Top 10

Though I skipped a week of this top 10 nonsense, I am at least happy that the second installment is here because - in my mind - that at least means I didn't completely lie about the "weekly" part. ;-)

So without further rambling...

  1. My girl is at church camp with her friends from FBC Woodway this week. I miss her but know she's having a blast. To be quite frank, our house is a bit less funny this week without her in it...
  2. It's only Tuesday but, y'all, it's been a bit of a rough week already. Yesterday was no fun at all. Today is significantly better and I am very grateful.
  3. Sometimes I find myself believing God's promises and faithfulness for everyone else but myself. Am I the only one? Yes, I am currently in the middle of this situation. Not just being philosophical. Trying to keep it real, friends.
  4. Rambo gets cuter and sweeter each and every day. He also likes to snuggle, which means he gets away with a lot. :-)
  5. The girl had a great time at softball camp last week. She was one of the last three left in the grounders' fielding challenge and was the third fastest base to base runner with a time of 3.33 seconds. Soooo proud of her!
  6. Tonto was very impressed with the stats in #5 as she hasn't played in almost six years. They have some batting cages to hit between now and next spring.
  7. It's so hot that I have no words. I may melt during the month of August.
  8. My girl requested that I not email her at camp. Or send packages. Or let her Nana sent cards. It's rough watching your baby grow up right in front of your eyes, isn't it?
  9. I'm really excited about the upcoming weekend. Not only do I enjoy long weekends but I have a special affinity for Fourth of July. From the parade to BBQ to fireworks, I find it entirely delightful.
  10. Taylor was playing on the computer Sunday afternoon and saw a dog she thought to be Perkie outside. Thinking she got left out by mistake, which happens frequently in our house, she opened the door and invited the dog inside. It was not Perk. Apparently the new neighbors have a dog that looks just like her except that its ears are pointy. Tay found the fact that she almost let a strange dog in the house absolutely hysterical. :-)
So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.
Galatians 6:9 NLT

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Amazing Grace Race - A Photo Essay

Musical performed by the children's choir at Brazos Meadows Baptist Church

June 26, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Entertainment by Rambo

Y'all, I have to admit that both Tonto and I were absolutely certain Bo was the most entertaining boxer ever to live for the eight years he was with us. Well, I think we're in the process of being proven wrong. 

Very, very wrong.

Why? Because he has a number of personalities, none of which he is afraid to share with the world. See?

This is a daily occurrence, not one that is staged, completed by offering copious amounts of treats or posed by humans.

It's almost enough to get him out of trouble on a daily basis as well. And, yes, he generally manages to find some type of trouble each and every day.

He even smiles...

Though if you truly want to see a smiley Rambo picture, you should check out Dogtopia's site this week. Mr. R is the dog of the week and he straight up looks like the dog in the Dentastix commercial. Hysterical!

But I'm not sure we'll get any photos soon that top this one...I personally think it speaks for itself...

All that work posing is apparently tiring...

...and we are so thankful for each and every moment of fun with this little guy! :-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Daze

This summer has been somewhat different than in the past due to the girl getting older and having more options from which to choose when it comes to activities. Instead of attending the same day camp week after week (each with its own daily activity), she's enrolled in a number of specific weeklong camps this time around.

It's a change, for sure, for someone (like me) who likes to have routine and stability. Type A much? :-) However, she seems to be having a blast. Even if the logistics of all this fun leave me looking a bit like this...

This week's offering is softball camp at Midway. She's had a blast and has come home each day hot, in desperate need of a shower, thirsty and tired. That doesn't sound great but I promise, y'all, that she really is having fun though she also takes on some of Prissy's characteristics for a couple hours after it lets out for the day.

Eventually she perks up and we settle into our new summer evening routine, which is basically not a routine at all. Friends, I must admit this is a bit nerve wracking for me. It involves me going to zumba and then coming home to figure out what we're willing to cook. I say "willing" because the heat and wind have been absolutely oppressive, which means a certain someone has been reluctant to fire up the grill. Something about the possibility of catching the house on fire makes ribs or steak less desirable, no?

There is one person in the house, though, who takes it all in stride...

This girl is sweet and docile no matter what comes her way. Including her rambunctious younger brother who is a little bit OUT. OF. CONTROL. these days...but in a perfectly normal almost one-year-old puppy kind of way.

But this is the mom of the posse and, quite frankly, maybe I just need to take some lessons from Priss and just enjoy chilling out with my family. That's actually one of my goals this summer - less busyness/activity and more soaking it in and enjoying the man and the girl. And the Puppy Posse. Always the posse :-)

That last one just made me smile. Our big girl has a hip problem so she really doesn't sit like this much anymore. When she does, it's even more special and I'm just glad I was able to capture the moment. Who needs to worry about laundry when there are photos to be taken, right?

Happy Wednesday, y'all!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend Recap

So I hear we just had a weekend but I'm having a bit of trouble recalling ours due to the copious amounts of allergy medication I currently need in order to function. Please don't be fooled - it's definitely a minimum amount of functionality we're talking about here, folks.

I'm sure the good Lord has a reason for all of the wind but I must admit that reasoning is absolutely lost on me. Every time I walk outside my sinuses swell up immediately. It's not good. Or pretty. Not even a little bit, friends.

Anyway, we did indeed have a nice weekend. The girl and I had a fabulous day Saturday. We hit Chick-fil-a with coupons for free sandwiches (thanks, Davey!) and then headed over to Practically Pikasso to use a Living Social voucher. 

She chose to make a cheeseburger piggy bank. The obvious choice for functionality, right? At least the lettuce is lime green to match her room. :-)

And here's reason #82941 you should not let my girl have free reign over your smartphone. I may or may not have decided to look at Facebook yesterday and learned that the pic below was my new profile photo...

I also go to paint but had no idea what to make so the girl got a new light switch cover. It looks plain white but it actually has multicolored flecks in it that will "pop" once fired. Or so I hear...

Yesterday we went to church and then headed to my parents' house for Father's Day. We had great Mexican food (Donny's fav) for lunch and I ran into some sweet friends I literally haven't seen in years. All in all, it was a fab day.

This guy was missing his dad, though. Dave worked six 12-hour shifts in a row last week and Rambo was more than ready to have his daddy home for a while. He's got him for two whole days now so he's a happy boy!

Speaking of Father's Day, these are my two very favorite men in the world. There are little girls (and boys) who don't see their biological fathers for one reason or another and many are blessed to have men step in and fill that void. You see two such men below. And they're both very good at their jobs!

Donny continues to be my rock as he has been for many, many years.

And Davey is there for my girl at every turn. Though she's at an age when she doesn't like herself at times (much less any parental figure), she knows that he will not let her down when push comes to shove. And I am incredibly thankful for him.

Yes, in case you're wondering, he is a fun-loving goofball at ALL TIMES. And it's only one of the many things we love about him :-)

Happy Monday, y'all - it's a new fantastic week!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Infinitely More than I Deserved

It may or may not come as a surprise to anyone that I've been a bit of a basket case the past couple of months. Honestly, it's been a rollercoaster that I have no doubt my man wished he could jump from (even if it was mid-air) a few times.

I know for sure that Satan likes to kick people when they're down. And he most certainly has done that to me. Granted, some of it was amplified by a pity party thrown by none other than yours truly but there is no doubt a certain someone took advantage of those times.

Earlier this week, I was just about at my wit's end. The truth is that I've done pretty well in trusting that all that has occurred this year is God's plan for us. For the most part. But this week, as I said, I was sort of at my wit's end.

And then it happened...

First, the verse I posted from Deuteronomy kept showing up everywhere I went. Even in my inbox (thank you, K-Love, for that sweet service)...

Wednesday this verse jumped out to me as the one I should memorize for the latter part of June:

Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes!
1 Samuel 12:16 NIV

Yesterday, exactly seven weeks since my surgery, I opened my email and found this:

So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.
Galatians 6:9 NLT

But wait, there's more...

Last night when I arrived at Zumba, there was a substitute teacher. She was, by the way, AWESOME. Anyway, I've been doing the videos one of the Zumba teams has on YouTube on the days that I can't physically go to a class. Some of those songs have been so precious to me as they would be posted at exactly the time I needed a reminder. Coincidence?


Anyway, she closed the workout with a cool down featuring one of those exact songs. It's called "Never Alone" by Barlow Girl and if you haven't heard it, you should definitely try it out. 

In addition, one major piece that I really felt was needed in order for me to sort of get on with it happened yesterday as well. Shortly after I read the verse from Galatians and just felt in my spirit that He had it all and I just needed to chill. 

And finally, last night while reading The Fitting Room by Kelly Minter, which is also a good read, she specifically referenced the exact verse I claimed in early May when my senses had somewhat returned. 

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

As you may or may not remember, that's the verse the Lord have me a serious WORD from on the day we would have been celebrating 12 weeks of pregnancy.

And don't even get me to talking about the beautiful doe He sent my way at lunchtime yesterday. Right by my house. Where I haven't seen one in almost for years. And guess what? My man told me he saw the exact one at the same exact place.

What does all of this mean? I have absolutely no idea.

But I do know it was a lift to my spirit that was desperately needed. God is so very sweet. At exactly the right time. But, as you probably already know, He is usually not early either! :-)

Last night I felt nothing but peace while also being incredibly thankful. There are so many times that I wonder where is He? While one would think by this time that I should know He is always there, sometimes a reminder is soooo needed. This one of those times. And He definitely delivered.

So I hope you all have a fabulous weekend. Tonto is working but the girl and I plan to have big fun. And lots of it.

Happy Friday!

P.S. I realize some of these things sound totally random but He is the God of personalization and they were things that really spoke to me... :-)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Weekly Top 10

I have no idea why I just titled this "Weekly Top 10" seeing as I've not ever written a list of this sort on the blog before but, you know, here we go...

1. My girl continues to improve daily from her bout with strep. Perhaps she'll be able to eat foods with texture by the weekend?
2. Said girl has apparently been tracking the size and condition of her tonsils daily by examining them in the mirror with her tongue out. Very scientific, no? She does report the size has gone from THIS BIG to This Big. As I said, very scientific.
3. It's hot, y'all. I realize we live in Texas but, sweet mercy, my hair products and I were not built for this type of heat in June. Even August was questionable but definitely NOT June...
4. Said Texas heat clearly doesn't give a rip what I think about it.
5. We were cleared for VBS last night and it was soooo much fun. I loved it. The girl loved it. Tons of other kiddos loved it. And the Lord was glorified. So, you know, win-win-win.
6. Rambo is currently attending Wet and Wild Wednesday at Dogtopia. It's Back to the Beach week. He refused to wear doggie swim trunks or take his beach towel but did jump in the air and turn a mid-air circle when we walked in the door. He hides his excitement well.
7. Tonto is working a marathon stretch this week. He's still in good spirits, though, and I'm praying the exhaustion doesn't catch up with him too quickly. This is day two of a six day stretch. Did I mention he works 12-hour shifts?
8. A little pearl of wisdom learned this week: bad hair color can be fixed almost immediately but a bad cut grates on your nerves for weeks. You can take that one to the bank, girlfriend.
9. I heart Living Social. Seriously. Groupon is good, too, but they aren't specific to Waco. We may or may not plan our weekends around the deals we've got stocked up. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory anyone?
10. My phone was recently wiped of all data due to an update. Personally, I think "update" may be a misnomer in this situation but the result is I put out a message on Facebook for those who are willing to hear from me again to message me their number. I've gotten three responses. Who knew this would be such a humbling experience? No, my husband was not one of the three. He didn't get a choice. :-)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

One Hot Mess

Y'all, I'm just a hot mess this week. I really dislike my recent butchering haircut. My color is now all off because of what had to be done to fit said haircut. It's one of those weeks that you just feel fat and puffy every day. And don't even get me started on the update I did to my phone last night. Long story short, every single piece of data had to be wiped out to make it work again.

Superficial issues? Absolutely!

Ones that, in conjunction with suffering through an allergy season that will apparently never end, are severely compromising my mood? You bet!

It's also possible that I'm a bit hormonal. A by a bit, I mean a huge hormonal mess.

And let's not forget that my baby is sick. Though she is much better, for which we are very thankful.

All that to say that I'm not exactly a pleasure to be around this week; however, one thing has remained constant. The Lord putting this verse - in varying translations - in front of me. 

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT

No matter how rotten my mood or week, there's something good around the corner. And that is the great joy and comfort we, as believers in Jesus Christ, can revel in. Circumstances are momentary. His glory, might and love are forever.

And that, friends, is what I will dwell upon as I put myself in timeout. :-)

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Story We Didn't Want to Write

Our weekend began delightfully. We had a nice dinner Friday evening and then I attended the tea to honor our pastor's wife Saturday morning. After I came home, things began going downhill. Quickly.

We headed out to Academy so the girl could get a new softball glove for camp next week. While looking for a glove, she somehow caught an errant softball with her forehead instead of her glove. She wasn't even hit that hard but it did leave a bit of a mark so I wasn't surprised when she began complaining of a headache shortly thereafter.

Off we went to Poppa Rollo's assuming pizza would make all things better. While we were waiting for our food, I noticed she laid her head down on the table a couple of times but just thought she was tired. After she spilled her entire Dr. Pepper over the table and me, Tonto cleaned the table with the solution they normally clean tables with after people leave.

Some of the cleaning solution got into Tay's drink so she began drinking my Diet Coke. Out of my straw. Repeatedly. Thinking nothing of it, we continued along our merry way.

We dropped her off at the house to get some rest since she still had a headache and hadn't gotten much sleep between spending the night with a friend and going to VBS all last week. Once we got home from Wal-Mart, all of us took a nap.

As soon as I woke up, though, I got a text from my girl. She was in the living room. Strange, I thought...

It said, "Please come here. Now."


Off I head to the living room where she informs me that she feels terrible. Upon touching her forehead, I realize she is burning up. Fever of 101.1 degrees. But no other symptoms. So, we figured, she must have a sinus infection. After all, the allergies have been fierce this season.

After getting Tylenol on and off through the night, she was almost down to normal but was no complaining of a sore throat.


We waited for the clinic to open yesterday afternoon and were immediately treated to a strep swab, which came back negative. Unfortunately, though, when the doctor looked into her throat, he immediately declared that the swab was misinformed as she clearly has strep. An "impressive" case, from what he said.

Did I mention VBS started at our church last night?

So the girl now can't attend until tomorrow. I also can't attend because I honestly don't feel all that well and, even if I don't come down with full blown strep, could infection unsuspecting children who just want to learn more about Jesus.

If I make it until tomorrow evening with no sore throat, fever or other symptoms, I'll be clear. And both of us can attend the last two days.

So that's where we are...

Tonto is at home with the girl today and she has indicated that her sore throat is maybe a little better. She's been unable to eat much more than popsicles, ice cream and smoothies. But she finally relented, so says Tonto, and ate chicken noodle soup (which she declared yesterday was "yucky") for lunch and scarfed the entire can down. Apparently it's really hard to get full when you can't eat anything but a liquid diet. Should have seen that one coming, though, right?

So here's to hoping y'all had a much less eventful weekend than we did :-)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Week End Rambling

Anyone else glad it's Friday?

If not, I've got enough excitement to go around but I just thought I'd ask... :-)

I've been trying to follow Rambo's lead this week and stop to smell the roses a bit more. The month of May just about does me in every year and this one was no different. So many things that must be done and, quite frankly, we had a few weeks of behavior modification thrown in there as well.

I honestly thought for a bit that I had no idea who the child was standing before me. However, I'm am so very thankful that a lot of prayer and handing down (and not backing off of) consequences for certain behavior seems to have worked wonders. My girl is back and I am so very grateful. For real.

Anyway, the girl spent a couple of nights with a friend to attend VBS this week so the man and I got some uninterrupted time to hang out. We've also just been getting into the swing of summer and firming up our plans for big fun over the next few months :-)

What all of that means is there hasn't been much picture taking or exciting blog fodder going on in the ol' Bowers household.

That is, unless you want to hear about the amazing Bible study I'm doing on the book of Revelation. It's really good, y'all, but talking about seals, woes and tribulation on a blog largely devoted to my daughter just doesn't seem quite right...feel free to contact me via email, though, if you want to chat.

I love, love, love the study of end time events. It's not that I have strong opinions about how things will be wrapped up (honestly, doesn't matter, in my opinion) but I do enjoy the study. A lot.

We don't have many plans for the weekend (thank you, Jesus!) but I will be attending a tea for our pastor's wife tomorrow morning. She's an incredibly dear friend of mine as well so I'm looking forward to honoring her. She definitely serves it. (And so much more.)

Other than that, we're just going to enjoy hanging out because our schedules get wacky next week. And not in the Wacky Mac kind of way. Just busy.

But I digress...

Anyway, have a great weekend, friends. And try to stay somewhat cool. :-)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sometimes you just have to stop...

...and smell the roses...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer Livin'

We have lots of things planned for this summer but I purposely didn't plan any type of camp or activity for my girl this week because I really felt she would need a chance to sleep in, enjoy some rest and relaxation, and recover from the school year.

So, of course, she's been up and ready to have fun before I managed to leave the house for work each day this week.

That's just the way it goes, right?

She is enjoying herself, though. She played with a friend yesterday afternoon and today is hanging with another girlfriend. She's also spending the night. So, you know, woo hoo!

All that to say that there's just not much going on right now that is blog post worthy. Yes, I realize that's never stopped me from boring you before but everyone can turn over a new leaf. You know, maybe.

We're in the process of planning our trip to South Padre later this summer and, in fact, just booked the condo yesterday. We are incredibly excited because it's - wait for it - beachfront. Don't get me wrong, we had a fantastic time in Galveston last year but we did a lot more than just go to the beach like Moody Gardens, Houston Space Center, Schlitterbahn, etc.

This year we want to spend a whole lot more time with our toes in the sand and we found a fantastic deal so we are eagerly anticipating that trip. And doing a lot of daydreaming about things like this...

Happy summer, y'all!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dancing Queen

My girl had her first dance recital in six years over the weekend and, quite frankly, she ROCKED IT, y'all. She was a dancing queen when she was younger but then developed a love for gymnastics and tumbling. Well, after suffering a broken elbow that required 14 months of rehab, she decided not a change is hobbies was needed.

Smart girl, huh? :-)

She did a fantastic job and we were all really impressed that she picked up so well after a long hiatus. 

She also looked beautiful, in my opinion, though it became apparent quickly that an 11-year-old does not exactly have an appreciation for a smokey eye....

She decided to do tap and jazz this year but, by the time the recital was over, she had determined next year will include all three types of dance so looks like we'll be picking up ballet shoes soon :-)

Nana and Boppy gave her these absolutely beautiful hot pink roses after the performance...

...and then we headed to La Fiesta for some after dancing grub...

Their jazz number was to "America" from "West Side Story" while the tap song was "The Chattanooga Choo Choo."

I had her put the second costume on again last night so I could snap some pics. They wore black leather newsboy style hats during the performance and they were adorable!

Absolutely loved the studio this year. Loved the costumes. Love the girl. Basically, an all around success!

And now summer can truly begin - woo hoo!

Happy Monday, y'all :-)