Tuesday, June 30, 2009

First post as a mom!!

Soooo, this post is a day late. I actually typed one yesterday during a free moment, but when I hit the "Publish Post" button I got an error AND everything I had typed was erased (grrr). I didn't have time to start over because Asher started fussing. So, here I am today :) Maybe I can get a pass just this once!

I had a baby! Good grief, that's hard work! And I don't even have a lot of room to complain, since my entire labor experience lasted only 4 hours. I'm told they call that a "precipitous birth" - I guess because there was an awfully good chance that the baby could have been born before we made it to the birthing center. All I can say about that is that it's important to be in tune with your body and LISTEN when it tells you something. Mine very clearly told me "it's time to get in the car and go NOW", and it was right!

I could go into all the intricate details of my labor/birth experience, but I think maybe I'll save it for next week or something; I really should be napping right now while baby is asleep. Suffice it to say that it was somewhat harder than I expected, but way more rewarding than I could have ever dreamed. My husband was such an awesome support person, and he continues to bless me with his care and assistance every day. It's so fun to see this person that's been growing inside me for 38.5 weeks; I can't wait to get to know him better and better!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Choose Joy!

So this past weekend I had the privilege of attending the Women of Faith conference in St. Louis. If you have never been you should make every attempt to go to one in your area! As I was listening to the speakers and enjoying the concerts I started thinking about our circumstances in life. We all face various forms of trials in our lives. As Christians we can be assured of that. The apostle Paul tells us to consider it joy when we face trials. I don't know about you but it is pretty hard to find joy in my trials. So basically we all have a choice. Are we going to allow our circumstances to dictate our thoughts and attitudes or do we find joy in the midst and thank our Heavenly Father for them, because it brings us closer to Him? I pray that I will always try to find joy! So my charge to you is no matter what you are going through, choose to find joy! Joy in the fact that this life is only temporary! That we have a hope and future in Jesus Christ!!

________________________
Beth Harris
bethharris78@gmail.com

Super Heroes and Action Figures

Okay, so Friday night I saw Transformers 2...AWESOME! If you liked the first one, then you'll like the second one. I honestly don't know what it is, but I just love the Transformers movies. Maybe it has a little to do with the fact that I grew up when Transformers were so cool. I think it is the action-packed movie that makes me so happy. Optimus Prime is A-W-E-S-O-M-E and Bumble Bee just makes me smile every time he finds a song to say exactly what he is thinking. And, I am happy to say that Josh Duhamel is back and looking better than ever...got to love a man in uniform! There was plenty of eye candy and action to make this girl happy.

So, before the movie they always show some previews. Well, can I tell you I am secretly excited to see GI Joe when it comes out? I'm not sure why, but I can't wait. It may have to do with the fact that I have a brother less than five years younger than me and I remember him playing with GI Joe's. When you share a room with your little brother for quite some time, you end up playing with the same things occasionally, and I believe at some point one of his GI Joe's married one of my Barbies...it was inevitable really. (J, sorry if I sold you out for playing with Barbies back in the day.) So, I'm looking forward to the movie...and honestly, when you throw Channing Tatum in the mix, who wouldn't want to watch it either! Hello, take your shirt off!! (shout out to Jenn)

Anyways, while I do love all the masculine super heroes and action figures we have, I will always have a special place in my heart for the one woman who could keep up with the men and look dang good while kicking butt...WONDER WOMAN!! I have loved her since I was a little girl. I would watch the TV show (to which I own the DVD set now) and even dress up for Halloween as Wonder Woman (shout out to my mom for making my costume).

(I am all sass!)

So really, it was only fitting that last year for Halloween I dressed up as Wonder Woman again. While my mom's creativity all those years ago was awesome, I really had to do Wonder Woman proud with this kickin costume:


(and yes, that's my Ghostbuster husband!)

Oh, how I would love to one day just twirl around several times and BAM...I'm Wonder Woman. With her lasso of truth (that would certainly come in handy) and her gold bracelets that deflected bullets, she was seriously every girl's dream...or at least my dream. And you know, Wonder Woman had some serious curves! Not some super-skinny chick fighting crime...no, she's was ALL woman. Makes me proud!

In reality, I am my own Wonder Woman in so may ways...be it working a full-time job, maintaining a clean home, making sure the laundry is done, and getting dinner ready every night, but it's also keeping up with family and friends and the various activities/ministries I participate in. I am so blessed with the life that I have been given, and I hope that I do it all with grace.

So, as we like to say in the Jones family (and G.I. Joe talk), now you know, "and knowing is half the battle."

XOXO,
Cassandra O

Friday, June 26, 2009

Big News!!

We here at DKS would like to announce the arrival of our newest "friend nephew."  Erica gave birth to Asher this morning!!  He was born at 11:50 a.m. weighing 7 lb. 10 oz. and measuring 20 inches long.  Erica, we are all so proud of you!

Feeling Bookish

One thing I might not have mentioned last week is that I tend to stress out about, oh, everything. My brain is always working overtime planning out the next day, week, or you know, hour. I construct conversations in my head before I ever have them, and then I deconstruct them afterward, thinking about what I should have said, or analyzing what exactly the other party meant by what they said. The brain, it does not have an off switch. Or it didn’t - until I discovered audiobooks. Now they don’t have a 100% success rate, but most of the time, I can turn on a good audiobook and get lost in someone else’s world.

Frankly, I always thought of audiobooks as boring stuff for old people. I gave them a shot because I realized that I was spending my entire drive to work at 6:30 in the morning stressing out about the work I had to complete that day. I have a fairly demanding job and a lot of the things I do (or don’t do) have a significant effect on other people’s lives. I mean if I have an off day – oops!, your sick kid has no health insurance, or oops!, my company gets sued for ridiculous sums of money, or maybe oops!, I don’t know WHO his life insurance beneficiary was, the two of you will just have to duke it out – just to name a few prime examples. I would start the day completely drained before it even began. I tried listening to music, but I would keep advancing to the next song on the iPod as my brain churned, and that wasn’t helping. It was fortunate that the first audiobook I tried was “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. The author was also the narrator, and that gave the book an extra spark for me. I loved that book like I haven’t loved a book in a long time. I didn’t necessarily agree with her life view on everything, but I loved reading about her life experience. And it came at a time that I really needed to hear it. To this day I pop that book in the CD player every time I’m feeling a little restless, and I swear it drops my blood pressure 10 points.

Since then I’ve discovered that my tolerance for audiobooks depends 100% on the narrator. I can tell you within 5 minutes whether I’m going to make it through the book or not. It could be a really fantastic book – for example, I was enchanted by “My Life In France”, a memoir of Julia Child’s life, but the way the narrator pronounced the French words in the text made me nauseous. I had to stop two discs in. But I was really enjoying the book itself, and now it’s on my “To Be Read in Print” list.

So I thought since I love books, I’d occasionally tell you what I’m currently devouring so those of you who dig that kind of stuff can check it out. (Side note: I thought about having a song of the day each Friday, but my music tastes are probably a little too random for the masses. Or in my husband’s opinion, too sleep inducing for public consumption.) Another thing about audiobooks – they are ridiculously expensive. So I frequent the local libraries to get free audiobooks in conjunction with my library high. Yesterday I checked out “The Girl Who Stopped Swimming” by Joshilyn Jackson. I have also listened to her book “Between Georgia” and it was one of my favorites. I am already so engulfed in this one that I hate to get out of the car when I arrive at my destination. Yesterday Mark came home to find me sitting in the dark garage with the car off just so I could hear five more minutes of the story. The author narrates these too, and I really love what that adds to the book, it makes me feel like I’m getting to know the characters as they were made to be known. There are some exceptions to that rule though (I’m looking at you Elizabeth Berg*). Great authors are not always great narrators.

If you enjoy Joshilyn Jackson’s books (or even if you don’t) you should check out her personal blog too. http://joshilynjackson.com/mt/ It’s pretty funny stuff. I just found the site recently and I’m so tempted to start with the archives and read through the whole thing, but I’m a little late to the party and that would be FIVE YEARS worth of material. Don’t put it past me though, I’ve done it before. (Did I mention the OCD thing? Um, yeah.) And you know…I’ve been wondering how to fill the lazy vacation days I have scheduled for next week with something that would keep me from reorganizing every closet in the house (as necessary as that may be). We’ll just see. Check back next week and I’ll let you know how it goes. Regretfully, I would place my wager on the closets if I were you.

* ed. note: I’m referring to the author, not the childhood friend with the identical maiden name who now happens to follow this blog!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm bothered...

So, I have been evaluating some of the things I watch and have been trying to decide what is best for me to be putting in my mind each day. Okay, so I love to watch Grey's Anatomy, the Bachelorette and occasionally will watch one of the ridiculous MTV shows- not some of the most upstanding moral shows out there...but really what shows do show strong moral character these days?
Really, I don't support any of the ideas displayed in these shows, yet find them entertaining...so what does that say about me? I don't agree with the homosexual lifestyle, yet it's right in my face each week watching Grey's Anatomy...so really by watching- I am supporting it? I know that as a Christian I can be "in the world" and not "of the world"- so does that make it okay to support these types of shows by watching them- I am not sure. I would like to say that they don't affect me, and mostly they do not, but I will say that I am probably a little more desensitized to immoral behavior from my exposure to these shows...however, I can also watch these shows and think I would never do that or that is so ridiculous!
So, I still don't know the answer to this- if I take it back to scripture I am challenged because in Phil 4:8 it says, "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think on such things..."- so do I turn of the TV all together? I know we have the Holy Spirit to prompt us on things too...so where is the balance in all of this? Just something I've been thinking about...would love to hear any thoughts??

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

90%

So it rained like crazy a couple of weeks ago.  Tornados were approaching, and we were in our little hiding spot.  Our neighborhood had a lot of fences down and at least 10 trees that bit the dust.  Thankfully, we were fine, and so was everything on our property.  It rained so much that I thought we could go at least a couple of days without watering.  The next morning, I sweetly (as always and never in a nagging way - ha!) asked my husband (Chris) if he would check to make sure the sprinklers were off.  He said he would, but then he almost left for work without having done so.  So I mentioned it again, but he didn't want to mess with it.  He said, "I'm NINETY percent sure they don't go off today."  I said, "90%'s not very sure."  And off he went.  So, of course, the sprinklers come on just a little bit later.  I hate to say, "I told ya so!!", so I sent him an e-mail with "90%" as the subject.  In the body, I just wrote, "I'm 90% sure I'll be 'in the mood' tonight."  :)  He was excited at first until he realized what I was really saying.  

Happy Humpday!
Amelia

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Here's Staci...

I would describe myself as a walking contradiction- mainly because I can be incredibly nostalgic, and at the same time look to the future with great excitement to the new things each day has to offer! I am optimistic, random, silly, love to laugh, love an adventure and love getting to know the people that cross my path. I love being a Christian, and have thought many times what would I do without Christ in my life? Scary to even think about, really.

The past 9 months have been such an adventure, as we welcomed our first child into the world in September 2008…little Allegra “Allie” Nicole has blessed our lives in ways we never dreamed of…I never realized how much I would love being a mother! Allie is one of the best surprises I have ever gotten- yeah, that’s right she was our little- “surprise” I’m pregnant! Her addition to my life has definitely created a paradigm shift in my world…

A few fun facts about me, I am 30 and grew up in Arlington, TX and went to Temple Christian School - graduating in 1996, and then went to Hardin-Simmons University and graduated in 2000. So, I am a product of ALL private Christian school education- which at times growing up left me a bit na├»ve and living a little bit in a “bubble”. I have had some interesting jobs through the years- waitress, radio dj “Staci Love”, generic business girl, personal trainer, vitamin sales girl, library assistant and eventually a Kindergarten teacher…so my life has certainly not lacked in variety. However, my ultimate dream job would be for me to be a really good backup dancer-random, I know!

This September, my sweet hubby Randy and I will have been married for 5 years. We couldn't be more different, but work great together as a team- we definitely balance each other out. We live in Irving and I just recently took on the new job of a “stay at home” mommy. My hubby and I are really involved at FBC Euless- we actually met there about 7 years ago- my how time flies when you are having fun!

Current vices- coffee, Dr Pepper, endorphins you get from running, and trying to use big words in sentences- ha, ha!

So, overall this task of “introducing” myself to this blog has been difficult because I have been in such a transition stage of my life with being a new mommy- so my typical response is not so typical these days…this blog will hopefully help me define this new “version of myself”…looking forward to the blogging journey with some of the most priceless and genuine friends I know!

It's me - E!

I think I should start out by saying, by way of fair warning, that a large number of my posts (at least for a while) are going to be about the bun I currently have in my oven. I promise to TRY not to blather on and on about this or that adorable thing he does, and I will especially attempt to steer clear of vivid descriptions of the contents of his diapers and stuff like that, no matter how interesting I might think it is. I'm not saying I won't ever have anything else to talk about (how sad would that be?), but let's face it - this kid is about to be my number one fixation for a while, and there's no much I or anybody else can do about it!

So, now that I've got that out of the way, on to the intro...

My name is Erica. I am 30 years old, and the youngest in the group (only by about a month and a half, but still!). In July, I will have been married to my husband Adam for 7 years, and, as I mentioned, we are expecting our first child pretty much any day now! I work as a paralegal at a law firm that specializes in toxic tort defense (thrilling, no?). If I could figure out what I want to be when I grow up, career-wise, I would start looking for it, but the truth is that my job is OK enough that I don't think about my "calling" that often. (FYI - a discussion of work will probably be an upcoming topic; stay tuned). I am also blessed to be very VERY fulfilled in the other (much more important) aspects of my life - awesome husband, loving family, fantastic friends, etc. God is good!

I tend to have a very hard time narrowing down my "favorite" things - those e-mail quizzes that go around really stump me. But here's a list of ten faves that probably won't change any time soon (in no particular order):

1. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
2. Cereal
3. the movie Ghostbusters
4. Root Beer
5. My cats (Angus, Phoebe, and Sadie)
6. the TV show COPS
7. Jane Eyre
8. Researching random things on the internet (aka Google)
9. Reminiscing
10. Routines

Ok, so it's weird that the last 3 ended with "R", but whatever. To round it out, maybe I should do a list of things that I DON'T like...I'll keep it to 5 since this is getting long:

1. Cursing
2. Bad drivers
3. Losing things
4. Soggy bread
5. People who talk in the theatre during movies

I think that pretty much covers the basics. Somehow I thought this self-intro thing would be easier to do, but it's taken me like an hour! Did I mention that I'm Type A? :)
See you on Mondays!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mary's Mixing It Up

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. When we here at DKS discussed the monumental first individual post, we took a vote on whether we should tell a little about ourselves or each tell a little about another. It just so happened that I was outvoted…by a landslide. But the beauty of having my very own day to post is that I can do it my way, so here goes.

These ladies may give you the baseline facts, they are excellent wives and/or mothers and truly incredible friends, but here is what you would be sorry if you didn’t stick around to find out for yourself…

Amelia is one loony, fun lady. You can’t help but have a good time when you’re with her. She is an even-keel kind of girl, even when the boat is a-rockin’. She is creative and has a thousand random talents. She is hilarious. She can put you at ease in an instant. She makes friends and then she shares them. I can’t tell you how many people who are now dear friends (or even spouses!) were introduced to each other by Amelia. That my friends, is a gift. She is supportive, honest, non-judgmental, and the kind of friend who doesn’t let you forget who you are when life gets a little crazy. She also makes a mean macaroni and cheese.

Beth is a hoot. Wherever she goes, she brings lightness and laughter with her. She is one of the most genuine people you will ever meet. Beth is always 100% Beth, and I find that awfully refreshing in a world of what-you-see-is-not-usually-what-you-get. She is kind-hearted and completely selfless. Her glass is half full, and she’d be happy to share it with you. She always has a punny joke or a funny story. She looks at the world in a way that will surprise and amuse you, and will usually make you think about the way you see it too. There is never a dull moment with Beth!

Cassandra is our resident wild child, but she is also an incredibly loyal and devoted friend. She doesn’t worry about what other people think and when it’s time to make her own path, she’ll do it with flair. She is generous with her time and always willing to jump on board for a good cause (or a gas company boycott). I jest Cassandra, I jest. She is an encourager, and once she’s on your team, this girl will go to bat for you every single time. She loves to do little things to let you know she's thinking about you. You never know when a handmade card from Cassandra will find it's way to your mailbox and brighten your day! Don’t let the tough exterior fool you, she’s all heart.

Erica is a study in the best kind of contradictions. She’s adventurous, but careful; spontaneous, but thorough; she’s intelligent and cultured, but she’ll still laugh at a poop joke. To sum that up neatly, I guess I could just use the word balanced. Erica has always been a fantastic listener and she is a great judge of character. Being a pretty reserved person (read: scaredy cat), I’ve always thought of her as fearless. She’s not afraid to jump out there and try something new, and she has had some pretty amazing experiences as a result of that. She’s the kind of person who truly enriches your life just by being a part of it. She is loving and trustworthy and just a really lovely person.

Staci is a master at the art of getting to know you. She has a way about her, and you’ll find yourself openly sharing your life story approximately 15 minutes after meeting her. She can make you comfortable in an instant, and she truly wants to know who you are when no one is looking, and what it is that makes you tick. Staci has a sweet, sweet heart and a slightly irreverent sense of humor that will have you doubled over in no time. She loves life and people, and all the funny stories that combination brings about. She manages to fit more in a day than I can fit in a week, and she does it all with grace.

The truth is, I wouldn’t be me without them, so they couldn’t be left out of my bio. I am so incredibly grateful that they are my friends. We have each taken completely different roads over the years, and it is has been an awesome adventure to share life with these ladies and get through it all together.

And now to satisfy the actual purpose of this post (if anyone has actually made it this far!) I suppose I’ll tell you a little bit about Mary:

I married my husband Mark in July 2006, and we live in Coppell with our two dogs - Max (the great) and Milo (the terrible). I’m an Office/HR Manager who usually likes her job. I love to laugh and hate to be the center of attention. When I walk into a library or a store full of pretty things, I get a rush that is probably similar to the feeling you get partaking in illegal substances. I’m a little OCD (and by “a little”, I mean “a lot”). I hate roller coasters and talking in front of groups of people. I crave order, but I’m terribly disorganized. I love all sugar and/or cake based products. When I have a bad day you can find me in front of a plate of brownies. I would not say I’ve had an easy life, but I am very aware that many people have had it much worse. Spending time with my friends always gives me that please-don’t-let-this-moment-ever-end-I-really-love-these-people feeling. I crave lazy afternoons, but am completely unable to sit still when I finally get them. I’m a work in progress. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Amelia (by Amelia - duh!)


Well, according to a recent personality assessment, I am self-confident and assertive.  I am social, I don't always deal well with change, and I am organized (or like to be).  I "can be warm and cooperative, but occasionally somewhat competitive, stubborn, or assertive."  I would say that's a pretty fair assessment of me.  My husband and I did this assessment for a "Marriage Checkup" thing we did at our church.  In case you were wondering, it looks like we're gonna make it.  : )  


Random side note - I can't figure out how to put this right under the picture, but that's me (Amelia), Chris (my husband) and Daryl & Becky (our former neighbors from Oklahoma and some of our BFFs).  I didn't have a recent picture of us with our children, so I'll have to add that to another post.  We took this picture this weekend when D&B came to see us.  I thought about cropping it down to Chris and I, but then part of Daryl's forehead would have still been in it.  It's more fun with them in it, anyway!


I grew up in the DFW area, but I was born in good ol' Lubbock, Texas.  I am proud to be a third generation Texas Tech Red Raider.  My degree is in Finance, but I have been rapidly losing brain cells over the past 4 years as I keep poppin' out babies.  I have Aidan (4), Emerson (almost 3), and Ivy (1).  Oh yeah, and I got married sometime before all of that.  Chris (my husband) is a Texas A&M Aggie, so we have a nice little family rivalry.  I somewhat jokingly told him the other day that I was considering hanging my diploma in the laundry room.  Maybe I should!  


I guess it's obvious by now, but I will add that I like to use parenthesis.  I love taking pictures, and I have been getting lots and lots of practice on friends and their babies (and my own children, of course)!  I love old things and things with character.  I don't fix my hair every day.  I love Dr. Pepper, especially a good Dr. Pepper from Sonic during Happy Hour.  I would say I'm an optimist.  I like gardening/landscaping.  I like to have a plan.  I like to eat.  I love a good laugh, but I don't laugh at just anything.  I love playing games and am a bit competitive.  I love people.  I love my family and friends, and I am incredibly grateful for the unconditional love and grace God has shown to me.  What an amazing gift!  


That's me in a nutshell (and I am quite nutty).  I look forward to blogging on Wednesdays (humpday)!

Introducing: Cassandra O

Hello! My name is Cassandra O. (we'll just leave my last name a secret because I just heard on the radio this morning that more and more thieves can rob your house just from the type of information you share...crazy!) Anyways, I am 31-years-old and live in the DFW Metroplex with my husband, Scott, and our adorable Yorkies, Beckham and Maverick. Here's a family pic from last year:
A little bit of info on me: I grew up in Arlington, TX, graduated from Lamar High School, and attended Texas Tech University (Wreck Em Tech) and The University of Texas at Arlington. I am currently employed at a law firm in Dallas as the Business Manager. Scott and I attend First Baptist Church Euless and are currently serving in Preschool...more specifically, we have a 1-year-old class (I thought this was a good way to get Scott ready for kids). I enjoy watching sports (Cowboys, Mavs, Stars, Rangers, Red Raiders), making cards, hanging out with friends and family, and getting a mani/pedi!

So, that's just a little bit of introductory information on me. I had a lot more written and then kept deleting here and there because I thought, "that's something for another post."

XOXO,
Cassandra O

Friday, June 12, 2009

I am Beth!

Hi my name is Beth Harris. I am 31 years old and was born in San
Diego, CA. I have lived in California, Louisiana, Texas and now
Illinois. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior at
the age of 7 and surrendered to the ministry my freshman year of
college. I attended Dallas Baptist University where i met my
wonderful husband of 8 years, John. We have a 6 month old daughter,
Reagan. She is our little bundle of joy!!! I am so blessed to be
able to stay home and take care of her! My husband John is a
minister. We just recently moved to Illinois because John took a job
as Adult Ministries Pastor at FBC Maryville. Yes, that FBC Maryville,
where Pastor Fred Winters was shot and killed on March 8th. We were
actually at the church that morning to be presented to the church in
view of a call. The only reason we were not in the sanctuary was
because I needed to feed Reagan. God was really protecting us!! But
we knew that He was calling us here! We absoutely love our new
church! Everyone is so great! We feel right at home!

Well that is a little background on me. I look forward to blogging
for you on Tuesdays!

I also want to say that Amelia, Cassandra, Erica, Mary and Staci are
the most amazing best friends a girl could have! I am so very blessed
to have each one of them in my life!

________________________
Beth Harris
bethharris78@gmail.com