Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Love You Forever

Let me just start out by saying if my mother-in-law ever drives all the way to our house in the middle of the night, sneaks into my room, picks up my husband, and rocks him in the rocking chair while singing, I will personally write an apology letter to the author of this book for publicly dissing it... after I get over my case of the giggles.  But until then...

I was recently at a resale shop where I purchase most of our children's books.  They are so reasonably priced, and the money goes toward a great cause.  I came across one called Love You Forever .  It seemed like I had heard of it as a really sweet book before, so I went ahead and placed it in my pile.  Aidan (5) picked it out the other night to read before bedtime, and it started off well.  The mommy rocks her baby and sings him a sweet song, and then she sneaks in to rock him and sing when he's a 9-year-old, then she sneaks in when he's a teenager, and so on, going on until he is grown and moves to a house across town.  THEN, "sometimes on dark nights, the mother got in her car and drove across town" with a giant ladder strapped to the top of her car in order to sneak into her grown son's upstairs window and rock him.  What?!?!  As a mother, I greatly appreciate the quiet moments when I get to hold or rock one of my children.  Those are some of the sweetest moments I've ever known.  I guess I just always assumed that those moments would look a little different by the time my children are in their 30's.  Plus, I'm not very comfortable on a 10 ft. ladder, especially while wearing my grandma nightgown.

If this is one of your favorite children's books, I apologize for the negativity.  I  just find it a bit strange.  I do love the "enduring nature of parents' love and how it crosses generations" (according to the back of the book), but I think I will just strive for a little different technique as my children age.  :)  I will still keep Love You Forever and read it when it's requested.  Aidan seemed to like it, as he requested it again the following night.  And don't worry, I didn't express my thoughts to him.  Attempting to purchase books with three children (5 & under) in tow is a challenge.  I don't really have time to read through them, so sometimes it's just a gamble.  Another one we ended up getting was Where In The Zoo Are You?  Since we had just recently been to the zoo, I thought it would surely be a great hit.  Turns out, it's a personalized book all about Breanne from Southlake going to the zoo with her Grandpa Cory!  Oh well!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Good Mexican food at last

So we have been in Illinois for almost a year (April 7th it will be a year). And we had not found any good Mexican food restaurants. I mean we are from
Texas so we have pretty high standards! We have tried a few places but nothing compares to Cantina Laredo, Joe T. Garcias, Mi Chulas, Ezparzas (I could go on and on). So this past Friday night John and I went out on a date, thanks to our Preschool Director watching Reagan. John said they opened a new Mexican restaurant called La Casa Mexicana and he heard it was good. So we decided to try it. There was a 30 minute wait (good sign). It was decorates great (another good sign). We got seated. And anticipated our chips an salsa. And people the chips and salsa were a homerun! Very yummy and fresh. They also serve coke products (pet peeve of mine is serving Pepsi at a Mexican food restaurant). We ordered. John ordered enchiladas and I ordered a chicken fajita burrito. Our food came out and it was delish to say the least! And the rice and beans were good too! (I'm very particular when it comes to refried beans). It was a fantastic meal and I am so excited we finally have a good Mexican restaurant!!

Friday, March 26, 2010


First off, congratulations to Cassandra on giving birth to a big ol' baby boy yesterday!  I'll save the details for her to share with you, but mom & baby are doing well!

And now...since it's March 26th...which really has nothing to do with are 26 things you didn't necessarily need to know about me:

í I love one dog a just a smidge more than the other.  There.  I said it.

í I really hate making mistakes.

í The thing I love most about attending sporting events is cotton candy.

í  I’m incredibly anal and need order in my life, yet I’m naturally a mess.

í  I had to wear a splint that was a bar with two shoes attached to straighten out my feet when I was a baby.  Apparently it worked.

í  I love to do creative projects, but I tend to lose interest after I’ve mastered something.

í  I enjoy working with 96% of my co-workers.

í  I have seven books on my bedside table waiting to be read.  I keep buying new ones anyway. 

í  I also have two huge plastic bins filled with yarn for knitting projects I’ll probably never finish.

í Somehow I always manage to use at least 3 times the amount of dishes it should take to make a meal.

í It also takes me AT LEAST twice as long as the recipe says it should.

í I think it’s kind of weird to love a car.  But I really did love my Mazda Millenia back in the day.  I did not love my Dodge Aries.

í I’ve recently begun to dislike Julia Roberts.  This is unfortunate since she’s starring in the upcoming movie version of my favorite book.

í Simple flowers make me happy (tulips are perfection).  I don’t like big froufy flower arrangements.

í Finding new music I like also makes me happy. Like, euphoric-happy.

í It’s surprisingly easy to make my day with one small, kind action.

í Our dog Max sleeps in our bed. I kiss him on the head every morning before I leave for work, unless he’s buried himself under a blanket.

í I like water aerobics. A lot. Even if I am the only one under 50 in the class.

í My friends used to say I’ve been 30 since I was 15. I eventually caught up with myself.

í I want to live somewhere prettier and smaller than DFW someday.

í I still miss Arkansas. Especially in the Fall.

í I once lost my mind and got a tattoo. I have no idea what I was thinking.

í I want to go to Alaska, Greece and Italy. And maybe Switzerland.

í I will settle for a vacation with beaches and margaritas.

í My great grandparents immigrated to the US from Italy and Sicily.  They married here after each of their spouses passed away.  My great-grandmother was my great-grandfather’s deceased wife’s sister.  Follow that?

í I have an unhealthy dependence on post-it notes.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Something a zebra finch taught me...

When I was 5 years old, I had some zebra finches(those are birds) and they had some babies. Of course, I was completely mezmerized by these new baby birds in our home. So, when the birds were a few weeks old, my mom let me hold one...but she said, be sure not to let it go or it may fly I was making sure I didn't let my birdy go anywhere. I held my bird for about 5 minutes or so, and then went back to his cage to put him back and (as I am sure some of you are already predicting) my little baby bird plopped to the bottom of the cage, he had died because I was holding him too tight. This was very traumatic for a 5 year old to endure, in fact, the only way I really got over it was by my mom convincing me that he was in bird heaven(the things mom's will do to bring comfort). So, that story has always stuck with me- and the Lord has really used that example to remind about holding on to things too tightly. I think this is just a human thing we do- we hold on to "our" ideas, plans, things, relationships, etc... and forget to leave room for God to come in and mess with those things if He needs to...times when I am doing this very thing of holding on too tight- the Lord will just remind me of my zebra finch and how when we hold on to things too tightly we can kill that thing...whatever it may be...all things, all plans, all relationships, are is my job to trust and obey HIM with those things. Easier said than done, I know, but I pray that this is an encouragement to remind you to hold on to things loose enough to where God can come be Sovereign over them... See you next week!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Apolitical Politics

I don't even know where to begin on this one... healthcare.  Blah.  But don't worry, I'm so totally NOT going to have a gripe session on the new bill.  Not me.  I have read SO many negative comments on facebook, and it's really getting old to me.  Now, don't get me wrong.  If you have some genuinely wise words (negative OR positive) to say on the matter, that's fantastic.  But most of what I have seen is complaining for, what seems like, the sake of making a ruckus.  And it makes me wonder if these people have any in-depth knowledge of the actual bill itself.  What is it that's in there that's making you so mad?  Or is it that you are so conservative that anything like this just must be "wrong?"  I will be completely honest and say that I have had absolutely no time to research anything about this new bill.  I haven't watched the news in weeks, and I really haven't a clue.  So I'm not saying at all that I agree with anything or that I disagree with anything in it.  But I'm also not joining groups like "I bet we can find 1,000,000+ people who disapprove of the Health Care Bill" just because I want to jump on the bandwagon.  Do you really know why you disagree with it?  Is there anything good in it that you might actually agree with?  If we (both parties) could stop making harsh accusations and put that energy toward working together, wouldn't that make a better difference?  Ahh, but that just sounds too good to be true, and I guess it's just wishful thinking when I say, "Can't we all just get along?"  Disclaimer - if you joined that group and you know exactly why you disagree with the bill, then I'm not talking about you.

And that brings me to another group that I've seen a lot of this week: "I hate it when I wake up in the morning and Barack Obama is President."  While I appreciate the comedic tone of the name, it really irks me.  Barack Obama is our President.  The President of the United States of America.  Whether you voted for him or not, God has known all along that he would be our leader right now.  And absolutely nothing that is done while he is in office is a surprise to God.  I think we lose sight of that sometimes.  Now, I don't think that means we just accept and agree with everything he (or anyone else) does as our leader, but there are proper channels for disputing issues.  However, I do believe that God has instructed us (if you are a believer) to give respect to those He has placed in authority.  And from what I read and understand in His Word, that doesn't change whether there's a Democrat or a Republican in the White House.  It looks pretty ignorant (on both sides of the coin) when people disagree with something the other party is doing, just because it's the other party doing it... and I'm not just talking about the latest bill here.  I believe you lose credibility when you argue your political ideology, rather than discussing the facts of whatever matter it may be.  When I see disrespectful comments regarding our President (not just comments, but disrespectful ones), it irks me, and honestly, I think it has the potential to ruin your credibility with someone who otherwise would look to you as a Christ-like example.  Again, I am not saying at all that we should agree with everything just because.  I believe there are many ways to respectfully disagree - I do it with my husband all the time! :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What I Wore

Nora Epron, the author, screenwriter (she wrote the screenplays for "When Harry Met Sally", "Sleepless in Seattle", and "You’ve Got Mail", among others), and playwright, recently wrote a play called Love, Loss, and What I Wore. According to the official website, the play "uses clothing and accessories and the memories they trigger to tell funny and often poignant stories that all women can relate to." Ephron was the guest editor of the October 2009 issue of Elle, and she recruited several of her friends, like Meg Ryan and Rosie O’Donnell, to contribute stories about an item of clothing or accessory that was meaningful and/or memorable in their life. The stories were quite entertaining and touching, and I think the concept is an interesting one. Just like hearing certain songs or smelling certain scents, the sight (or sometimes just the thought) of certain items in my closet or jewelry box can really take me back to key moments in my life.

My wedding dress is an obvious example, but there are many others. Like the birthstone ring my Mama B bought me as a reward for not biting my nails. Or the hot pink mini duffle bag with the logo of my old dance school that I used to schlep around my tap and ballet shoes – I remember how it made me feel so grown up to have my very own bag!

Probably the most enduring and memorable items, however, are my vintage mens Wrangler jeans and my Army boots. Both of these items were purchased, as you might guess, during that wonderful early ‘90’s era of grunge. In those days I would pore over the pages of magazines, wishing I could wear the fabulous clothes I saw inside and then, suddenly, I could!! Plaid shirts, baggy pants, huge shoes, layers upon layers – I could afford bags full of clothes like this from Thrift Town with my weekly allowance and still have money left over for a Cookie Monster from Cheddars and a Sonic Route 44! :)

Those big hole-y jeans and steel-toed boots made me feel tough and brave and kinda cutting-edge. Yeah, I looked a little like one of the guys, but in a cute way (or so I thought). There’s no doubt they were comfy, AND they just got cooler the more dirty and beat-up they became!

I still wear them every once in a while, though usually not together. The last time I wore the boots (to a super-rainy LSU football game) I ended up with blisters the size of silver dollars. Ouch. And yuck. And the jeans were last worn as part of my "biker chick" Halloween costume, I think. Still comfy. Still tough. Good memories!!

I’d love to hear your "What I Wore" stories!!

Monday, March 22, 2010


So on my IPod Touch I downloaded the McCormick recipe finder application. I cannot tell you enough how great it is. I have used 6 recipes so far and plan to use 3 this week! So here are a few of the many great recipes on there:

Slow Cookers Italian Chicken with Vegetables

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 package fresh mushrooms
1 package McCormick Slow Cookers Italian Herb Chicken Seasoning
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup of water
4 cups sliced zucchini

Place chicken and mushrooms in your crock pot . In a separate bowl mix seasoning, tomato sauce and water and then pour over chicken and mushrooms. Cook on low for 8 hrs or high for 4 hrs. Stir in zucchini during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Serve over hot cooked pasta or with roasted potatoes.

Creamy Italian Chicken

2 Tbs flour
2 Tbs McCormick Roasted Garlic & Bell Pepper Seasoning Blend
1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 Tbs oil
1/2 cup of sliced red bell pepper
1 cup heavy cream
hot cooked pasta

Mix flour and 1 Tbs of the sesasoning in a shallow dish. Coat chicken evenly with the flour mixture. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium. Add chicken and red bell pepper, cook and stir 4 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 Tbs seasoning and cream. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over the pasta.

Slow Cookers BBQ Pulled Chicken

2 lbs boneless chicken breast
1 package McCormick Slow Cookers BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water

Place chicken in crock pot. In a bowl mix seasoning, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar and water. Pour over chicken. Cook 5 hrs on low or 2 1/2 hrs on high. Remove chicken and shred with fork. Return the chicken to the crock pot and mix with the heated sauce. Serve on buns.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Drugs or No Drugs...That is the question

Well, still no baby...though my due date is this coming week (and even that has changed since my first OB appointment, but that's a different story). Apparently my due date is March 24th, not the 25th as I was told in the beginning. But I never really went by my due date because I had been told that since I have gestational diabetes then to prepare for him to be a couple of weeks early, only because they did not want me going to my due date...G.D. in the mom can cause stress on the baby and make him grow faster than normal. Well here it is, four days before the 24th, and we have no baby. Apparently I have things under control and so there was no rush to get him out, which I can understand. He is definitely comfortable inside my tummy, but if he's not here by Thursday then we'll check into the hospital and induce on Friday. I'm praying he comes before then.

So, to the point of my blog...drugs or no drugs? Epidural or Au Natural? That is the question. I know which direction I'm leaning towards, but I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the subject. Before I even got pregnant I used to always say that I would definitely want the drugs, please and thank you! However I've had the last 10 months to read up on and gain information on choosing drugs or going the drug free route. The information was helpful and really got me thinking on what I wanted to do when it came time to deliver. I'll let you guys know what I chose after the fact, but I really want to hear how some of you moms out there made your decision. I love hearing other people's stories, so please feel free to share.

Until next time...which by then I will have a sweet little boy to take care of!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Oldies but Goodies

It has been a long couple of weeks with two sets of cousins in town for Spring Break fun!  After hours in the car today, I don't have it in me to write much, but I did want to share these sweet pictures of my parents on their wedding day.  I love seeing old pictures of family... I just wish I could tell what was written on that car!  I'm proud of my parents, even though my dad still occasionally threatens to wear black socks with his sandals.  They have always been there for me, they have always been encouraging to me, and I am so thankful for them.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


So, last week’s post happened a little bit on accident. I started out writing the post I am about to write now, but got sidetracked with explaining how I ended up in Mississippi for 10 years and decided to just run with it. It was a good sidetrack, though – and I’m glad it was inspiring to my fellow ADKOS bloggers! It’s been fun to re-hear the stories of how my besties met their hubbies!

After Adam and I got married, we lived in an apartment in Ridgeland, MS. Our building backed up to a little creek and some woods. This may sound charming, but don’t be misled. 1) The creek was either dry or full of icky brown water and 2) the woods were full, obviously, of bugs that wanted nothing more than to enter and overtake our home. I do not miss Mississippi roaches. At all.

Anywho, at some point a developer bought the land with the woods and, of course, cleared out all the trees to start building this neighborhood of duplexes. Because that’s what developers like to do – cut down perfectly good trees. But that’s not the point of this post. And I am getting to the point. I promise!

One lovely late afternoon, just for fun, Adam and I decided to go walk around in the newly-cleared-out dirt. As we walked, I began to pick up rocks and sticks and tell Adam that they were fossils or ancient artifacts – dinosaur tibias and pieces of prehistoric pottery, that sort of thing. I was trying to get a laugh out of Adam, and it worked. He looked at me like I was a weird-o and asked if I was feeling OK. After a few minutes of this I went to pick up what looked to be a small white rock, about the size of a grape. Except when I picked it up, there was more to the rock beneath the surface, buried in the dirt. So instead of getting a grape-sized rock, I ended up with more of a baseball-sized rock. As I brushed clumps of dirt off, the rock started to look…different. So I brushed some more dirt off and looked at it more closely. Then I asked Adam to look at it. It came to a point on one end, and had these weird serrated edges. And suddenly I knew that I had just found something. Something cool. I didn’t know exactly what it was, but it was SOMETHING. And Adam just kept saying, incredulously – I can’t believe you did that. I can’t believe you were joking around about fossils and actually found a freakin’ fossil.

Because, folks, I found a freakin’ fossil! I took it to work the next day and showed it to this older gentleman who worked as a runner at my office. He told me he knew someone at the Mississippi Geological Society who could probably tell me exactly what it was, so on my lunch break we went to their offices. They were pretty impressed and gave me lots of information on my find. Which, by the way, is a left upper tooth of the Giant Shark Carcharodon Auriculatus from the Eocene and Oligocene of Mississippi. I was given a copy of “Mississippi Geology”, Volume 7, Number 1 from September of 1986 which says:

“Teeth from many shark species can be found in [Mississippi’s] upper Cretaceous and Paleogene marine sequence. Generally, these teeth are less than two and a half centimeters (an inch) in length. Some can barely be seen without magnification. Exceptionally large teeth are rare in Mississippi…The impressive large shark teeth of the Jackson and Vicksburg groups are those of the primitive great white shark Carcharodon auriculatus. This must have been a huge and fearsome shark. Its teeth are often twice the size of the largest modern carnivorous shark, Carcharodon carcharias, the great white shark.”

The article also says that the tooth is anywhere from 35 to 42 million (MILLION!?!?!) years old. I wondered if maybe an entire fossilized shark was buried near where I found the tooth, but the geologists told me that was unlikely – the teeth of sharks are embedded in the gums rather than directly fixed to the jaw, and are constantly replaced throughout the shark's life. Multiple rows of replacement teeth are grown in a groove on the inside of the jaw and moved forward in a "conveyor belt"; some sharks lose 30,000 or more teeth in their lifetime. The rate of tooth replacement varies from once every 8–10 days to several months.

The whole experience is probably one of the more fun, exciting, interesting, and random things that has ever happened to me. I like to imagine that God was sitting in Heaven, listening to me joke about artifacts and fossils, smiling as he anticipated and orchestrated the moment I would, in fact, unearth a relic from one of his much earlier creations. It reminds me that God is so much more than just rules and judgment. He plans out special moments and interesting "coincidences" for us because he loves us and enjoys seeing us enjoy ourselves. He certainly knows how to make a memory!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Opening Day

Spring is just around the
corner (actually the first day of spring is March 20th). This has been a very long winter and my first Midwest winter. So I am anxiously anticipating warmer weather! So with the start of spring comes baseball. And baseball brings me to my husband. John and I met at Dallas Baptist University where we were both students. I had Spanish class with John's roomate Brett. So we became friends and always hung out at their house. One thing led to another and John and I became good friends and hung out a lot. On April 1, 1999 we were sitting in their living room watching a movie and John kissed me! Of course I kissed him back. He then asked me if it was an April Fools joke. Of course I said no! The following Monday, April 5th was our first official date to Opening Day of Texas Ranger Baseball. We have tried every year to go to Opening Day. And last year we took our little girl for the first time and then packed up and moved to Illinois right after the game. So we are still Ranger fans, but we are now also Cardinal fans. We probably won't be going to Opening Day, but will definitely celebrate 11 years of being together!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It All Started With Billboards

So I thought I would steal the idea from Erica and Amelia and write about how Scott and I met.

It all started back in the Fall of 1994, and I was starting my junior year of high school. I was in band...color guard to be exact (you know, the girls with the flags)...I also played the flute but only because you had to play an instrument in order to even be in color guard. I loved playing the flute in junior high but once I was introduced to flags I didn't want to do anything else. I had so much fun in flags and I was actually pretty good...good enough to make the Texas Tech Flag Corp when I graduated high school. Anyways, I I was in band...and so was Scott. He "played" the clarinet...and I use the term "played" very, very loosely. Oh, if only you could hear the tape he had to make one time...PRICELESS! The boy was only in band for the social aspect of it and because most of his friends were in band. So, one Friday night on the way home from a football game Scott and I were riding on the same bus, and he just so happened to sit right behind me. You want to know how he started the conversation? He asked me about a billboard on the side of the highway we were getting ready to pass...and then the next one and the next...and that's how our friendship started. I say friendship because for the next two years I dated three of his friends...he and I were 'just friends.' We hung out a lot and always had a good time but I just wasn't feeling it. It's okay though because he had his fair share of girlfriends during that time as well. :) Scott and I remained the best of friends for the next 10+ years and it wasn't until 2006 that we officially started dating. He had worn me down. (Just kidding) Somehow Scott always knew that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and he was just waiting for me to get to that same point. On March 10, 2007, Scott proposed and I said yes, and then on February 16, 2008, we were married. Now we're anticipating the arrival of our first child any day now. It's amazing how God works through all the details of our lives and it is in His perfect timing that everything happens. Scott is my best friend. Our marriage isn't perfect but we make it work and we have fun. I love him so much and am excited to embark on the next phase of our life together...parenthood. Thanks for allowing me to share my story.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Up in the gym just working on my fitness

Sing it with me.  Except that technically, I don't work out in the gym.  Regardless.

I mentioned last week that when I'm doing a good job at taking care of my body, I workout at home with various fitness DVD's.  My weight has shot up and dropped down more than once over the past decade.  When I watch my diet and exercise, I stay in shape.  When I quit doing both of those things, I gain weight.  Go figure.

Each time I've tackled this problem, I've managed my eating habits through different systems, but my exercise regimen has consisted of DVD's and the treadmill every time, with a water aerobics class thrown in here and there.  I've seen great results that way, and in the process I've become a fitness video aficionado.

Let me give you the highlights of my history with the ever-entertaining fitness video industry:

Cindy Crawford -The first fitness tape (as in VHS, yes this was a looong time ago) I ever purchased was Cindy Crawford: The Next Challenge.  The basis was that you were working out with Cindy and her trainer Radu, doing all the things she did to stay in shape.  I tend to find celebrity fitness videos a little questionable.  This one though, was actually a pretty well balanced workout, and I really enjoyed it.  Somehow I never quite ended up looking like Cindy Crawford though.  Oh well.

Richard Simmons - Say what you will about this man - he is a godsend for fat people.  When you are seriously overweight, it is beyond daunting to try to start a workout regimen on your own.  You feel too fat to go to the gym with all the skinny people (nobody wants to be the fat girl huffing at 3 mph on the treadmill with the skinny chick beside you running at lightening speed and not breaking a sweat).  You also can't fathom that you're going to be able to keep up with the tiny, ripped beings on the covers of the fitness DVD's.  But then you see the Richard Simmons videos, and you think - there is nothing that dude can throw at me is going to be too hard.  And you would be right.  He is as cheesy as all get out, but his workouts are low impact, encouraging, and also entertaining.  The guy is hilarious.  You cannot get through one of his workouts without laughing.  Now, it's not nice to laugh at people - but trust me, he can't hear you through all that hair.  I eventually moved on from these because I needed more of a challenge, but they were a great start and I am a huge advocate.

Denise Austin - This woman is beyond perky.  The word psychotic comes to mind.  However, when I first starting doing her videos, I actually kind of appreciated the enthusiasm.  She has some great target toning videos, and she puts out consistently good workouts that are challenging without killing you.  I literally own more than a dozen of her videos.  Sadly, Denise and I had to part ways after I found myself saying ugly things to her in reply to her perkiness.  I don't know where we went wrong - but I guess year after year of hearing "If you rest, you'll rust", or "Your spine is your lifeline, keep it healthy, keep it strong" just pushed me over the edge.  Maybe enough time has passed that we can hang out again...but wow...I don't know, I'm feeling a little twitchy just thinking about it.

So I think it's time to mix things up again.  I somehow stumbled upon YRG Fitness, and I've been thinking about buying the system, but it's a little pricey and I don't know if I'm ready to commit.  Frankly, I'm a little scared of that guy, but I like the sound of the workout.  I have knee and foot issues, and I really need something that's low impact, while still being effective and challenging.  That's where you come in.  Has anyone tried YRG?  Or anything else that you would recommend?  Help a big girl out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Get Out of My Way!

Erica's blog post inspired me to write about how me and my husband met.  I love hearing stories about how couples met and started dating.  After college, I began going to a small start-up church.  The pickin's were quite slim in the boy department, but I knew it was where God wanted me to be.  I loved it.

Round 1:
I had donut duty that day, and  I was cleaning up after the service and had to take the trays to the kitchen.  And when I say kitchen, it was more like a very small closet with a sink in it.  This was in the very small lobby area of the church, so people are always standing around in there.  WELL, there just happend to be this handsome, young lad standing right in front of the door to the kitchen.  I think his beautiful blue eyes were the first thing I noticed.  Well, the way he tells it, I said, "I'm Amelia.  Nice to meet you.  Now get out of my way." What?!  I would never!  I remember flirting for a brief moment... ahem, I mean, I remember introducing myself, chatting for a minute, and then politely asking him to move so that I could get in the door behind him.  And that's how it all began.  For months, I would hope to see him at church.  We would share a few brief minutes of conversation about gas and steam turbines or things like that, and that was it.  And it was fun.  He traveled a ton, so I never knew if he was going to be in town or not.  When he was in town, we occasionally went out to eat with many of the other singles at the church.  Somehow, we would always end up sitting across from each other.  After one of those outings, we were both getting in our cars and were kind of saying goodbye over the roof of his car.  And then he randomly asks if I'd like to go see a movie that Friday night.  Um, yes!  I was excited, but then I didn't hear from him all week.  Boys!  I finally heard from him... I think it was the same day we were going out.  I could even tell you what I was wearing for our date... and what he was wearing.  Come to find out later, he actually was going to wear something different, but his friends convinced him he was over-dressed!  Boys are funny.  And annoying.  During our dinner that evening, I think they sent him at least 50 texts.  He finally had to turn his phone off.  Anyway, so we went to eat and went to see a ridiculously crude Austin Powers movie.  Yeah, baby, yeah.  We both felt a bit awkward during that... not the best first date material!  We had a nice time, went on one more date, blah, blah, blah.... then we had to have a DTR.  Due to other circumstances and our general feelings at the time, we decided we would just be friends and seek the Lord for a while to see if together was where He was leading us.  We had not kissed or held hands or any of that mushy stuff, so it was really not that we were taking a break from anything but just setting the limit that friendship is all it would be for then.  And usually one of these decisons would be sad or tough, but I really just knew that God was in control.  I was content.

We talked occasionally and saw one another when he was in town at church, but the communication wasn't super consistent.  We both were seeking the Lord during this time, and man, it paid off!

Round 2:
I think Round 2 started in February of 2003.  We met at Outback after I got off work one day.  He told me how he had been feeling, and I was feeling exactly the same way.  And from then on, we actually finally dated, and I guess somewhere in there, we eventually kissed.  :)  It all felt very fast from there, but we already had that frienship to spring off of... and we just knew.  We were engaged on May 23, 2003 and married 5 months later on October 26.  I love my husband!  And by the way, his name is Chris.  I just realized that I had not used his name yet!

If you read this post, you know that it has been a pretty big whirlwind since then, and now I have 6 more of those beautiful blue eyes to look at.  :)  I love our engagement story, and I think I'll save that for another week.  You've probably had about all you can handle for one read!

How We Met

In August of 1996 I moved to Jackson, Mississippi, to attend Millsaps College. In August of 1997, my now-husband Adam moved to Jackson from Monroe, Louisiana, for the same reason. Jackson is pretty small-town after growing up in D/FW. Millsaps was great and I had no problem with Jackson while I was in school, but I definitey had absolutely no intention of staying there after I graduated. However, as He so often does, God had other plans. Millsaps is a small college (less than 1500 undegrads), so Adam and I knew each other, had a lot of mutual friends, and maybe even chatted occasionally, but there were a few key moments that really mark the beginning of our story:

1) On move-in day at the beginning of my senior year (Adam's junior year), we were parked near each other in the parking lot unloading our cars at the same time (we lived on different floors of the same dorm). After dozens of trips back and forth up two flights of stairs, I was literally taking the last load of stuff out of my car, and it was then that Adam swooped in and asked if I needed any help…great timing, huh? Anyway, we talked briefly, then he apparently went back to his dorm and told his roommate that he intended to go out with me. He then proceeded to start dating a good friend of mine (we’ll call her "N"). Not that it bothered me – I thought he was nice and cute, but he wasn’t on my radar as date material at the time.

2) I was not in a sorority, but my roommate and most of my close friends were, so I was invited to attend one of their date parties. My roommate had a "pre-party" in our dorm room, so I was there with my date (we’ll call him "B"), and Adam was there with N. At one point Adam and I ended up sitting on the couch next to each other and, somehow, even though the setting was not AT ALL conducive to this type of discussion, we started talking about church and discovered that we had both been brought up in the Baptist church. Millsaps is a Methodist-affiliated school and, quite frankly, Baptists were few and far between, so we both felt like it was something of a coincidence. The conversation didn’t last long, and then we were both back to our dates. I ended up seeing B for several months after that. Adam and N stopped seeing each other not too long after the party (for unrelated reasons, my friendship with her later ran its course, lest anyone worry that I broke some cardinal rule of friendship by dating and later marrying Adam!).

Fast forward to March: 3) Over Spring Break, B and I broke up. I was sad at first, but the sadness was quickly overshadowed by a feeling of relief as I realized that I was 100% free to do whatever I wanted, wherever I wanted, with no ties to anyone or anything anywhere! Since B was from Mississippi, there had been some question about what I would do after graduation – stay in Mississippi? Try a long-distance relationship? Well, our break-up took care of that problem quite handily! So I planned to move back home and look into the buyer’s training program at Macy’s or Saks. One night during the first week back to school after Spring Break I went to the cafeteria for dinner, where I bumped into Adam. And that’s when it happened – he told me I looked pregnant (yeah, he's smooth like that). Just what every girl (who isn’t pregnant) wants to hear, right? :) By way of explanation, I should tell you that I had just been to the gym, so I was tired and walked up to him rather dramatically with my hands pressed into my lower back. In Adam’s mind this apparently conjured images of the pregnant waddle and the words left his mouth before his better judgment could stop him. I laughed, then walked away, pretending to be hurt and appalled. He tells me that his friends gave him a lot of grief about the comment, and he sent me an e-mail later to explain and apologize. We started e-mailing and talking more and more after that. Several nights we sat up in the lobby of our dorm and just talked for hours and hours. From the beginning I told him we should keep things casual and just enjoy getting to know one another. I was graduating in a month and moving back to Texas; he still had a year to go. This was just not the right time to be getting into anything serious!

4) Easter rolled around and Adam invited me to spend the weekend with him and his family in Monroe. As soon as I met his parents and his brothers, I knew my "keep things casual" plan was in trouble. They were, and are, AWESOME. They just folded me right in to the mix. I felt and saw a level of love and friendship and care that was really familiar to me…it reminded me of my own family.

5) Needless to say, my "plan" disintegrated. On graduation day, before I drove back to Texas with my car loaded down with all of my stuff, Adam and I sat on a bench at a park and had "the talk" – you know, the DTR (Defining The Relationship). We decided to give it a shot and do the long-distance thing. That lasted for about, oh, three months, maybe four. I spent the summer in Fort Worth, we ran up some impressive long distance bills talking on the phone (this was before everyone and their dog had cell phones), e-mailed, and both made the 8-hour drive to visit a few times. By September, I was back in Jackson. I knew this relationship felt different, and I wanted to give it the best chance I could. Some people thought rearranging my life like that was a mistake, and even I had a hard time swallowing the idea that I was moving BACK to Mississippi, but my instincts (and God's leading) were right!

A year and a half later, on February 11, 2002, Adam proposed to me at that same park where we sat and talked after I graduated. And five months after that, on July 13, we were married in a beautiful ceremony in front our cherished family and friends. Our marriage isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and cute cuddly kittens (is anyone’s?), but we know that God brought us together and He will bless our union as long as we keep Him at the center. I thank God for my husband every day and I could go on and on about how great he is, but I’ve probably rambled enough for one blog post! If you’ve made it this far, I'll end by saying thanks for letting me share our "how we met" story!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

March 8th

One year ago today John, Reagan and I flew into St. Louis, MO at 7:30am. Then drove to FBC Maryville to be presented to the church in view of a call. We pulled in to the parking lot and one of the ministers asked if we were ready to go into the sanctuary. I asked for 10 minutes to feed Reagan. So I went into the nursing room and John and Rich went upstairs to some Sunday School classes. I finished feeding Reagan and was getting up to go when John and another woman came in to the room shut the door, locked it and turned out the light. John then tells me there has been a shooting. I just clenched Reagan to me. I began to hear screaming and wailing outside the room. The police then came and got everyone out of the preschool area and directed everyone to the gym. We were told that Pastor Fred Winters had been shot and two others wounded. We were in the gym for a couple of hours. Here we are not knowing anyone (except the staff who were trying to help with all the chaos). Finally the administrator came and got us to escort us to the parking lot to his wife. On the way out he told us that they hadn't told anyone yet, but Pastor Fred did not make it. We were in complete an utter shock!! The administrators wife took us to her house. John, Reagan and I went into a room and began to call our family and friends to let them know that we were okay. After we had made all the calls we just sat and stared at each other. We couldn't believe what was happening. We prayed for everyone involved especially for Fred's wife and two daughters. We then began to ask each other what were we supposed to do. Fly home that day (we were supposed to stay two more days to look for a house). What did this mean for the job situation. So many questions and so many emotions. The administrator came and took us to our hotel. We sat on the bed and watched the story on tv. That night another local church opened up their building for us to have a worship service. It was very emotional. The next day the church leadership met and said they wanted to move forward with John because that was what Fred wanted. Lots of people asked why we would still want to come to FBC Maryville in light of the tragedy. My response is always that we don't let Satan dictate what we do. God had us there that day for a purpose.

Yesterday we had two special services for reflecting and remembering Pastor Fred. Fred's beautiful wife Cindy spoke. It was amazing to hear her world that day. She was open and honest and God was glorified yesterday! She presented the Gospel at the end. Just an incredible service. Then last night Fee Band came and led just our church family in worship. It was just an amazing time of worship and healing.

If you would like to watch one of our services from yesterday you can copy and paste this link in your browser and then click on Remebering and Reflecting: One Year Later.

Please continue to keep Cindy, her daughters and our church in your prayers.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

So What Exactly Are You Saying

Last Thursday I had my weekly doctor's appointment at the OB. We went through the usual routine as of late...pee in the cup, check my weight (always a favorite) and blood pressure, and then off to the room to have a stress test (which usually lasts about 30 minutes). Because I have gestational diabetes I have had to undergo a stress test for about a month now. They hook me up to a machine and monitor the baby's heartbeat and if I'm having contractions. They schedule these type of appointments at 9:30 am or 1:00 pm, usually after you've had something to eat because that's when the baby is more active. After the test is done then I go for a sonogram to check the fluid level around the baby and then we wrap up with a conversation with the doctor. It's about an hour and a half appointment. So, this past week was no different. At the end of the appointment I met with the doctor (and not my doctor b/c they like to rotate you around to see everyone) and she dropped the bombshell...she said that I needed to stop working and go on bed rest. Um, what?! I still have three weeks to my due date, even though they've talked about inducing a week early because of my gestational diabetes, but that's still two weeks of bed rest. So I asked in as calm a voice as I could, "Are you saying that I should stop working the remainder of this week or the rest of the pregnancy?" She said the rest of the pregnancy...and that's when the tears started to form. I know she wouldn't tell me to go on bed rest if I didn't absolutely need it, but it was still quite a shock to hear, especially after hearing her say that my little man is doing really well and I seem to have my GD under control. Apparently my blood pressure is starting to rise and I have been retaining a lot of fluid in my feet...A LOT!!!! They are just being cautious...I understand that. So Thursday afternoon I began my sentencing. I'm 3 days in and doing okay, so far. I am so not the type of person to just lay on the couch or in bed like a slug...I like to be up and about doing things. I've already caught up on some shows we recorded, watched some movies, and have been reading magazines...and that's starting to get old. We bought some books earlier today (I got out for a brief field trip to Target...shhh, don't tell), so hopefully I can stretch those out over the next week or so. I do have a project I can work on while in bed and I've been saving it for this coming week, so we'll see how that goes. Other than that, it'll be more movie-watching and napping I'm sure. Just what the doctor ordered. If you've ever been on bed rest I'd love to hear how you passed your time...I may need some ideas.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Better late than never

For your reading pleasure, the top eleven signs that it's time to start taking care of yourself and making some healthier choices (I just couldn't leave it at ten - we're beyond that at this point):

You've sent an email in the last two weeks to your girlfriends entitled "Big Girl Pants" and it wasn't a forward.

You've started to consider the maternity section as an alternative for clothing options - and you're not pregnant.

 When self-medicating, cupcakes are your drug of choice.

You can't remember your Weight Watcher's online password, though you've been paying for the membership monthly for about a year and a half now.

Clothes that you wore "when you were bigger" can no longer be classified as such.

You buy bags of candy at the grocery store without remorse - and it's not Halloween.

You get winded bending over to pull on your sassy black boots.

You catch a glimpse of yourself in a store window and don't even recognize that it's you at first. Surely that double chin belongs to someone else.

You've moved from denial to acceptance, and just started buying the bigger size without thinking twice.

It is now quite obvious that your Facebook profile picture (though accurate when you uploaded it 18 months ago) was definitely taken more than 20 pounds ago.

And the number one sign that it's time to get off your duff and get to work on that body:

Your doctor has begun threatening you with scary sounding medications if you don't get things under control on your own.

It was all fun and games right up until that last one.  It's time to stop saying "I'll start next week", and actually start next week.  Rather than trying to stuff in every horribly fattening food before my self-imposed deadline, like I usually do, I've already started working in some better choices.  I hate feeling tired and slow and lethargic, and I'm ready to be a better version of myself again.  I liked that girl.  I want her back.  She was pretty hot.  I kid, I kid....

I know how I morphed into this, and I know what it takes to morph back. Hard work, sweat, and tears.  Oh yes, I've been known to cry while doing particularly butt-kicking workouts.  (This is why I workout to DVD's in my living room folks.)  So Amelia and I have made a pact to keep each other in check, and I figured that posting it on the blog was a pretty good method of accountability in itself.  So hold me to it people.  No more Gooey Nutella Butter-on-the-thighs recipes here anymore.  Let's do this thing.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I heart 80's movies

It's so fun to flip through the channels on the television and find a little nugget of entertainment, that is, an 80's movie. I get so excited and find myself getting lost in the nostalga of the movie, it just takes me back. I also love 80's movies because there is a certain simplicity that comes from them. I feel like I can invest emotionally in the movie, knowing that there will be a peak in the movie, as well as, a great "feel good" ending.

So, you may be wondering which movies may I be referring to- we'll to list a few...Teen Wolf, Back to the Future(all 3), Big, Breakfast Club, Karate Kid(my favorite) 1 and 2, Say anything, Pretty in Pink, Weird Science, 16 Candles, Baby Boom, Girls just wanna have fun, Mannequin, I could go on and on...I guess I stay pretty close to the romantic/comedy genres in the 80's movies. My husband always makes fun of me about this, but I just love getting lost in them and feel almost like it is biting in to a piece of decadent chocolate- just kind of yummy and satisfying.
I do remember growing up,, my mom always watching movies from the 50's and 60's and I thought that was so strange- the movies seemed so outdated and even looked grainy on the screen, but now I get it- there is just something about certain experiences that just takes you back...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Farewell, Old Friend

As many of my dear friends know, I have a problem.  It's a love affair that has been going on for years and years.  I can't even remember when we first met.  It's one of those relationships where you know that it's not necessarily the best thing for you, but it's just so hard to give up the one that you love.  Dr. Pepper, I will miss you.

A couple of months ago, I told God that I would stop drinking Dr. Pepper for one entire year (that's 365 days, people) if He would provide a buyer for our old house.  Now looking back, I should have told Him I would do that if we got a certain price for our house, plus a nice and cooperative buyer.... but I wasn't thinking about those things at the time.  God provided a buyer, and we finally closed last Friday...10 months after listing it.  What a relief!  But what a sad, sad loss.  If you read this post, you know I love my DP.  But you know what?  I needed something to help me stop.  Nothing before has been able to do it.  Sure, I've gone off the stuff for a week here or a month there, but this is serious.  I promised God that I would do it, and now there's no going back.  I will miss the DP, but I'm looking forward to a healthier me!

So who wants to meet me for Happy Hour at Sonic on February 27, 2011?  :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I have a Facebook page that I seldom use. They block it at work, and I don't get on the computer much at home. Overall, I find Facebook interesting but overwhelming. I have to stay away lest it suck me in to its black hole-ness :)

Anyway, it's late and I've slacked on my blogging duties. I'm basically stealing the following post from other blogs. I hope they don't mind! It's a list of funny Facebook statuses. Some of them really made me laugh...
  • Emery scratch here ▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒ to reveal today’s status.
  • Theresa C. is OCD and gathering her thoughts in alphabetical order…
  • Zoey Joy – Today, I saw a commercial for the Snuggie. I thought it was stupid idea, but I couldn’t change the channel because I was under a blanket and I didn’t want my arms to get cold…
  • Julia I am so ecstatic but why is nothing sticking to me?
  • Matthew C. thinks finding a job is like playing "Where’s Waldo?"… except Waldo is looking for a job too.
  • Ernie says to never play leapfrog with a unicorn
  • Matthew L. A good pun is its own reword.
  • Ernie wonders why the frisbee is getting bigger and then it hits me
  • Brittany F. was complimented on my driving today. Someone left a note on my windshield that said "Parking Fine"
  • Alan B. Tomorrow I’m gonna write a blog post about procrastination.
  • Ted C. became a fan of not becoming a fan of everything on facebook.
  • Alex R. Can mute people burp?
  • Ernie to err is human, to arr is pirate.
  • Alex R. Shin: a device for finding furniture in the dark.
  • Alex R. couldn’t find a decaf coffee table at IKEA
  • Tim H. Weed smoking and turkey pulling today. Oops…reverse those verbs. Sorry.
  • Ernie says don’t you wish there were a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence? There’s one marked ‘Brightness,’ but it doesn’t work.
  • Dave feels like getting some work done...and so he is sitting down until the feeling passes.
  • Katie used to play sports. Then she realized you can buy trophies. Now she's good at everything.
  • Dave says my computer just beat me at chess...but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
  • Katie is cle'a] he'r ke]yb29oa;rd
  • Dave is wondering why his daughter's diaper holds no where near the 22-37 pounds it promises.
  • Dave is wondering where noah kept woodpeckers on his ark

And for those of you looking to up the ante on your own Facebook status-ing, here’s a short tutorial:

Erica Sweeney hopes the last five minutes of your Tuesday are rad.

Monday, March 1, 2010

What the media doesn't show you...

We all know that the mainstream media is left wing biased (with the exception of Fox news), but why don't they ever show positive things going on in our world. Why don't they show the good things that our troops are doing for the Iraqi people, or major victories that we have over in the middle east? Because that would damage their agenda! Several friends posted this youtube video over the weekend on Facebook and I wanted to share. Very powerful stuff! And a good reminder that God will get the glory!!!

Unfortunately you would never see that on the news!!