Tuesday, April 23, 2013

In An Instant

It's been almost a week since I walked in the door after running and thought my biggest concern was that the upcoming 5K I'd signed up for just might render me with an inability to breathe. At least that's how it appeared after running the Woodway hills.

Less than an hour later, I watched my husband put his scrubs back on (after working a 12-hour shift) and head back to the hospital to attend to those injured in the fertilizer plant explosion in West. It was surreal to say the least.

Hello, reality check.

Yes, I totally felt like a whiner.

And since then I've not really had much to say. At least not here.

As I frantically exchanged texts with those I know in that area and called my parents (who were completely unaware of what had happened), I had no idea when we would see Tonto again. And that was absolutely no surprise. Because I've watched him do this countless times.

You know the situation is NOT good when the national news picks it up. So my heart literally sank when this popped up on my email...

Dave worked the Jarrell tornado (on site) and has rendered aid in the aftermath of countless disasters. But even he will tell you this one was different. And while his reasons (less severity of injuries but a greater overall total) would be different from mine (it was sooo close to home and we know these folks), the fact remains that all in this area have been greatly affected.

What I know is that, though life may at times seem difficult, I have nothing to complain about comparatively speaking. And I am so thankful my girl's volleyball coach and her family are unharmed. Their homes sustained great damage but they're all well and accounted for.

What I also know is that the lives of those who rendered aid (in any form) that night (and in the days since) will never be the same. The things they've seen remain etched in their memory. And it changes how they view life. To this I can personally attest.

So let's not forget them either in this incredibly long and painstaking recovery.

And let's also not forget the healing powers a baby can bring after an incredibly tense and INtense 24 hours. :-)

Life can change in an instant. Obviously. But somehow it seems much more REAL when it happens in your backyard...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Candy Apple Eggs

There seems to be a big hole on the blog lately. Namely, that I blogged all the way AROUND Easter but haven't addressed it directly. And, yes, there's absolutely a reason behind it.

I simply didn't want to.

Incredibly mature. I know.

It's not that we didn't celebrate Easter. Because we did. In fact, the bluebonnet shots were taken after we'd had a wonderful service at church where we were surrounded by all of our ag farm friends. Yes, they're all going with us now and that's truly a blessing. Love. Them.

But the truth of the matter is that Easter hasn't been quite the same the past two years. Nor am I convinced it ever will be again, to be quite frank. Though that's not necessarily a bad thing.

What most (ok, all except two) people don't know is that on Easter 2011, I woke in a cold sweat. From a dream I was absolutely convinced was real for a solid 15 minutes. It took me that long to realize that the reason Dave wasn't next to me was because he was at work. And that Taylor was right down the hall.

And that it was just a bad dream. Because I was, in fact, still carrying our baby. We'd seen it alive and well only a few days before. But the fact remained that even though I knew that in my head, I couldn't shake the feeling. All. Day. Long.

And the next morning, I knew. Don't ask me how I knew. I just did.

The hours leading up to our (regularly scheduled) doctor's appointment were like the final countdown of dread for me. And Dave really thought I was crazy. That's my perception anyway. The truth is he really had no idea what to do with me.

Joke was on him because I had absolutely no idea what to do with myself either.

And, in all unfairness, I never actually told him what was on my mind. I was just irritable. Incredibly so.

And when I found out Dr. K was running late because of a delivery, I literally wanted to sit in the (very busy) waiting room and cry. And when I saw a co-worker's expectant wife sitting across the room, I wanted to become instantly invisible.

We all know how that appointment turned out at this point. And, while the Easter's date changes (somewhat wildly) each year, my association of this event with the holiday will probably not. Ever.

And that's ok. Truly. 

Because what I realized this year - as I was dying candy apple eggs with my girl - is that a lot of things changed that day. But the most important ones did not.

Though there is obviously no healing power in Easter eggs, there is in laughter. And in seeing yourself in your child. And watching her somehow be all of the things you always wanted to be but couldn't perfect. 

And, for this Easter, that was enough. More than enough.

For that I am eternally grateful.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Champs and Such

By now you probably know our men did, in fact, secure the NIT Championship. I really can't tell you how happy we were for this guys. They have hearts of gold and really battled this season to finish on a high note. Sort of like our football team did. And I may have actually predicted that would happen...though I was definitely OFF about the timing of the ascent. :-)

Because I'm super sad Pierre will be graduating and leaving us, I pulled up this pic from this time last year. Good gracious, y'all, both of these kiddos have grown up and changed a LOT in a year.

And last but CERTAINLY not least, our girls turned a corner over the weekend and secured their first tournament hardware of the season. This is the first year for most of these girls to play club ball and some had never even played volleyball so their progress has been pretty fun to watch.

Never have I ever seen my child more BESIDE HERSELF than when she stuffed someone at the net and followed it up with two ace serves. Which obviously means never has my heart ever almost exploded in sheer joy quite like it did on Saturday. ;-)

One more practice tonight and a tourney on Saturday...and then the season will be over. But we will certainly be playing again next year. And definitely with the same club. 

Sooooo thankful my girl has found activities that light up her world. Though volleyball, track and a goat wouldn't have been my first three guesses, they are right up her alley. And that's really all that matters.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring has Sprung (Or so we thought...)

First and foremost, the Bears are playing for the NIT Championship tonight in New York. At Madison Square Garden. And you know we'll be watching and one of us will probably utter some words that will later be regretted.

Just keeping it real.

And you can clearly see who Rambo's favorite player is - Brady Heslip for those who don't follow the Bears - as he's already flashing his 3 Goggles.

On another note, the weather in Central Texas is (even more) bipolar (than usual) but, over the weekend we were convinced spring had arrived. We were wrong but that's not really essential to this little story.

We are lucky to have lots of very mature plants in our backyard but we needed to rearrange some, mulch and create one bed from scratch. In the process of this little project, I learned a couple of things - 1) Home Depot has a DJ spinning tunes in the garden section on Saturdays now. Who the heck knew?!? 2) This mama is clearly not raising a fool.

After a (sort of) long afternoon and more stooping and squatting than I realized (have no fear - my legs were quite the reminder for three days following), we were up and running again. :-)

Which made me incredibly happy. But not nearly as happy as my people who got 7-Up Cake for Easter. Apparently my lack of eating carbs has really deprived them of bakery treats. And to that I say, well, at least now you appreciate said treats.

Because I was off on Monday, I tried a new Pinterest find - no carb ice cream - and, y'all, it may have changed my life a little. Of course, it was laden with heavy whipping cream and you really can't go wrong with copious amounts of very bad for you dairy.

And, in the interest of full disclosure, our dogs have already dug up one of those beautiful flower beds. Twice. And words were uttered that could not be taken back. But we all survived. :-)

Sic 'em, Bears!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Texas Tradition

When I moved to Texas many years ago, I had no idea what bluebonnets were so it stands to reason I also had no clue it's illegal to pick them. On someone else's property anyway. And I also didn't "get" the whole take your kids into a patch of wildflowers that may or may not be riddled with pests and/or snakes to take pictures.

But I've clearly gotten over that phobia.

My dad made a point to take my baby girl's pics each and every year. Though there are a (very) few we missed, the hits are a whole lot more plentiful. And this may be a somewhat weak year for these blue beauties but we still managed to find a few patches at our secret spot on Easter afternoon. :-)

My beautiful girl...

...and her main man. 

And, because she felt it only fair if we had to suffer as well...

Love these and will treasure them, without doubt.

And just to give you perspective on how much she's changed in a year, here's my fav shot from last year's shoot.

Oh, what a difference a year can make. Particularly in the life of a teenager. :-)