Monday, October 20, 2008

Tribute to Uncle Larry

Sorry, I took the pictures off because they were causing the whole page to jump. Maybe I can put them back later...

Todd's Uncle Larry passed away last night, and Todd is driving as I type to come back to MS so we can all ride to Dothan, AL, tomorrow. I expect he will sleep most of the way there since he didn't get back to Buda until 11:40 last night. I hope you enjoy the pictures from our cousin Kristy's wedding. They are just a little taste of Larry's incredible handiwork, and I thought it would be nice to share their beauty. Ironically, the wedding was over a year ago, and I just ordered these pictures yesterday which were ready for in-store pick-up today. I was just cleaning out my emails and realized that I had never ordered any of these great pictures that cousin Patty took. I'm so glad that I did so that I can post them tonight.

The wedding was absolutely beautiful, but my favorites have to be the lemon topiary trees. Once the sun went down, all the lanterns, candles and luminaries were lit, and it was even more amazing - truly a dreamland.

I would have posted some snapshots of our wedding from eleven years ago which Larry also did, but those are all packed up along with tons of other books and pictures so that our office doesn't scare people who come to see the house. Someday really soon, when we're all settled, I'll try to remember to post those, too.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Perfect Fall Day

We had a surprise visit this weekend! Todd called on Wed. morning and told us he was headed our way. He got here early Thursday morning (like 1 am early) and was able to stay almost all weekend. We didn't tell the younger two that he was coming home because I wanted to see their reactions when they woke up with him in the house. Before I knew that he was coming, I had told Jessie that she could sleep in the bed with me. I warned Todd that if/when she woke up during the night not in Mommy's bed, that we might have a visitor. Sure enough, at 4 am she comes to our room wanting to know why she was still in her bed. Finally, I got her attention so I could show her that Daddy was in the bed. She climbed up there so fast and was the cutest little cuddle buddy. I don't think we could have pried her from that bed if we'd wanted to. We didn't want to, of course. Aubrie joined us later that morning, and her reaction was equally as precious. Emma had made plans to spend the night with a friend, but we got in some special time with her Thursday afternoon.

We crammed in as much "Daddy Time" as we could. It was so wonderful to have him home for a while and so hard to say good-bye today. Since we weren't with him on his birthday last weekend, we had a little party of sorts today. Jerry had been home in Dothan, AL, and came back with one of our favorite things - oysters. Now, one of the things that Todd claims sealed the deal in our relationship was that I ate oysters on the half-shell. We love them, and so do the girls. Well, Aubrie hasn't quite made up her mind, but Emma and Jessie are on board. Todd and Jerry shucked them in our backyard, and we couldn't have planned a better day for an outside meal. The weather was so nice and cool and no bugs! It was great to not have to spray the girls down before we went out.

We got some great pics of the afternoon including Todd's "cake" which consisted of his favorite cookies (oatmeal chocolate chip) made into a sandwich of sorts with whipped cream in the middle. If you are grossed out by oysters, probably best to skip the pictures.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bunko Night

I had never heard of Bunko until I moved to Mississippi and was pregnant with Emma. I subbed for a friend of mine, and I have to be honest, I thought, "This has to be the silliest game ever." You sit around a table with your partner and another team and try to roll sixes. That's it. No strategy, no skill required. Which, as it turns out, is a good thing since I'm doing good to count how many sixes I've rolled. Seems I can't talk and count at the same time, go figure.

Anyway, we've had some turnover and some babies born so we made an executive decision not to have Bunko last month. I was so disappointed! The girls I play with are so much fun, and I really look forward to spending time with them. Since I'm more home bound than usual, it was really sad to not have my time with them. Most of the girls are in my Sunday school class, but it's just not the same as our time together every 2nd Monday of the month. For instance, I don't think our SS teachers would be too thrilled if we decided to talk about the woes of nursing babies for half an hour like we did tonight. It's just that kind of group where we can talk about quite a lot. I also love this group because, aside from a few rare exceptions, we are gossip-free. It is just so great and makes me really proud of our little group.

So, in the midst of missing Todd and being stretched really thin, tonight was just what I needed. Some really good food and great atmosphere (Thanks, Lori.) and wonderful friends. Just the thing for what ails me.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Down in the valley, the valley so low,..."

I have tried not to blog much about Todd being in Texas for fear that I would run off anyone who regularly or randomly reads this, primarily because it would mostly be whining, and who wants to read that all the time?

But, since this is one of the most difficult times in our lives, I feel a need to share it, or at least a part of it. I think it will be good for me. Tomorrow marks the eighth week that Todd has been away from us. That I've been without my best friend. That the girls have been without their daddy. That I've had trouble sleeping because I hear every little sound and because Todd is not in the bed next to me. I'm truly running on fumes, and the tiredness I'm experiencing ranks right up there with taking care of a newborn.

This is a time I'm full of questions and doubts, not about the big things since I know and have seen many times before that God's plan is always the best and is always worth waiting for. I hate waiting. Really. I think that it is probably the hardest thing in the world. To trust in what we can't see ahead, for what we want to happen, especially when we want it to happen sooner rather than later.

Last week at our church we had our Global Impact Celebration. I normally love this time when I get to visit with missionaries and see what they're doing, but to be really honest, I couldn't even make myself go. I think, for one, that I could not have held it together long enough to have a conversation with anyone, and once I break down, it's all over. So, I skipped the stuff I normally go to, but, alas, I was not out of danger. The speaker from the IMB chose to focus his attention on one country Sunday morning. You guessed it, Mozambique. To my friend, Tiffany, who was trying to see if I was holding up, thank you. I'm glad you couldn't see my grief from where you were!

Then, on to Sunday school where we were one of the classes chosen to have a missionary speaker come and tell us about their work. More Africa. This time tears I could not hold back. More loneliness at not being able to have Todd sitting beside me squeezing my hand.

I truly do not know what God's plan is for us, where we'll be down the road. Isn't that kind of stating the obvious? No one does, not really. I pray that by His grace we will still be seeking Him and wanting all that He wants for us. So, if we cross your minds, do you mind praying for us, most especially for a speedy family reunion! Thanks!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

35 Odd Things About Me

My friend Chelsea emailed this to me, and then another friend, Mer, had this on her blog, and it looked like fun especially after my ranting the other day.

35 Odd Things About Me - and this doesn't even scratch the surface!

1. Do you like blue cheese salad dressing? yes, with really big chunks of blue cheese

2. Do you own a gun? I personally don't, but if we're counting Todd in this, I'm not sure how many we have!

3. What's your favorite drink at Starbucks? caramel frap

4. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? water or coffee

5. Do you do pushups? only when I can't get to the gym and am feeling completely flabby

6. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? my engagement and wedding rings

7. Favorite hobby? reading and drinking coffee (at the same time!)

8. Do you have A.D.D? no

9. What's one trait that you hate about yourself? quick temper

10. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: Why won't Aubrie go to sleep, why won't Jessie go to sleep, why won't Emma go to sleep?

11. Name 4 drinks you regularly drink. water, coffee, coke, and chai - only in the fall and winter, though

12. Current worry right now? When will our house sell, when will we find a new home?

13. Current hate right now? being w/o Todd!!

14. Favorite place to be? on a date with Todd

15. Do you like to travel? Yes, yes, and yes!

16. What color shirt are you wearing? khaki

17. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? no, too slick!

18. Can you whistle? not at all, sounds terrible when I try

19. Favorite color? red

20. If you could would you be a pirate? nope

21. What song do you sing in the shower? Actually I usually don't in the shower - sing lots of other places, though.

22. Favorite girl's name? Emma, Jessie and Aubrie!! I also love Elizabeth, but it got shot down - twice!

23. Favorite boy's name? John, actually is the only boy's name we ever had picked out, just in case.

24. What's in your pocket right now? nothing

25. Favorite bedsheets as a child? Raggedy Ann and Andy.

26. Worst injury? Due to quick temper mentioned above, I ran my bike into a tree when I was seven, and pieces of it got stuck in my eyelid. My second grade pictures are lovely. I'm sure mom was so proud...

27. Do you love where you live? yes, and I love where we're moving, too

28. How many TVs do you have in your house? Two

29. Who is your loudest friend? Brenda and Sharon, and when we're all together, we're pretty unbearable. If it happens to be in public, our husbands want to hide! So glad to be closer to you two!!

30. How many pets do you have? None, for now, but we're hoping to change that pretty soon.

31. Does someone have a crush on you? What kind of question is this??? No, and like Chels said, I wouldn't want to know about it if they did!

32. What is your Favorite Book? Ever? So hard. Most life-changing that I can pretty much re-tell w/o looking is The Hiding Place.

33. What's your favorite candy? anything dark chocolate with mint

34. Favorite Sports Team? Don't really have one, but I have a new-found love for the SEC; the competition is pretty fierce, and I definitely prefer college to pro.

35. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Can it really be time to get up already?