Monthly Archives: November 2011

holding hands

update: andy was upset by my previous post that he “yelled” at me to get out of bed.  i will admit he never yelled at me, but he did turn the light on and said get up.  and i said to call

i love when i least expect it andy’s hand finds mine and fits perfectly molded to mine.  i love when his hand finds mine because of a sad song or movie (or stupid commercial) even when he is mocking how emotional i can be (and have always been).  i love how his hand finds mine in the car, or watching a movie, or shopping, or on a date, or across the table.  i love that when our hands clasp there is a moment of instant comfort to know that i don’t and won’t face things alone.  it doesn’t always make me instantly happy and it doesn’t always fix the problem, but it makes me happy.  i love that when i need andy the most he is there.

just my random thoughts on my husband today…

we watch our first Christmas movie today and we laughed and held hands and it really got me more in the mindset of Christmas is coming.  my goal is to finish up some things this week so that i can decorate this weekend.  we went through the office and a box of books from my parents and put them on shelves.  it looks ok (andy doesn’t see anything wrong with it, but i am still deciding).

andy is so nervous about tomorrow.  the search team meets tomorrow night in little rock and we will know soon what is going on.  i won’t lie – im nervous too.  but right now i think i am more tired.  i think on that note i will go on to bed.

and the rains came

i woke up this morning and automatically wanted to go back to bed.  the room was cold and i was snuggled down with otis next to me with andy yelling at me to get up.  i drug myself out of bed to a cloudy, gloomy monday.  (i planned to get a few pictures of the sky around lunch since it was really cool looking, but my phone couldn’t capture it and i didn’t have my digital in my purse). 

i sat at my desk and glanced at the window watching the rain pour down.  there is something that moves me about rain.  with the crashing rain drops comes a rollercoaster of emotions.  a lot of times rain makes me sleepy and makes me wish i was wrapped up in a quilt.  sometimes rain makes me want to weep.  i imagine that God is up there weeping for some reason (usually at what is hidden deep in my soul) and so it makes me want to weep…knowing that God is crying for and with me.  it reminds me of events and milestones that have passed in my life with a gloomy, rainy day.  days when i have found out that people i love have passed away, times when childhood friendships were restored on front porches, fun dates with andy, getting caught walking with otis, mending broken hearts at montreat, seeing the beauty of God in his creation.  after the urge to weep comes the sense of peace and hope.  it reminds me of montreat and all the bittersweet memories that come with that territory.  it reminds me of a childhood spent playing in the woods, and in forts and creeks, it reminds me of waking my brother up to make a big bed out of our blankets and pillows in the hall and sleeping away from windows (in case of tornadoes – long story).  it reminds me of summers in TN playing in the rain and sleeping with the windows open with the patter of rain on the roof.  i remember running through the house in the spring to shut windows during freak storms so that it didn’t blow in.  i remember when times were simpler.

me and will playing in the rain

there are days that i sit at my desk and i want to run outside and dance in the rain like i did before.  i want to run back to those memories and be comforted by the soft, cold raindrops that fall from the heavens.  i want to escape the stresses of life today and trade them for the happy memories that come with rain, but i know that with the happy memories comes some sad ones as well.  i also know that each day it rains more memories (happy and sad) will be made and my rollercoaster will continue…

shopping, cleaning, and the vet

sorry for the lack of posts…(and sorry for the lack of pictures with this post – i will get better at taking pictures during the week).

shopping: friday we celebrated in the good old tradition of “black friday” shopping.  the first year that i made andy go with me we got up at 4am and started at walmart and drove all around town.  we saw how that was and realized that we were too tired at the end of the day to function so we slept in and left our house around 620.  (i will admit that when the alarms went off i almost begged to skip shopping and to go back to sleep).  but we went all around.  we started in matthews and ended up at concord mills came home for a break and then went to target and walmart in mint hill.  the hardest thing about this year was that we aren’t really sure what we are getting people.  we have some ideas but we hadn’t nailed down anything for anyone.  so a lot of our time was walking around stores (avoiding crazy people) and trying to remember who was on our lists and what could we get them.  it wasn’t as crazy as i thought it would be.  it could be because we got a later start.  i think most “black friday” shoppers are crazy for getting up so early (and standing in lines) and rushing into stores and standing in really long lines.  i think most of them would deny being crazy (i guess you could include me in that list because i’m not one of the crazy ones everyone else is).  anyways.  we got a TON of things and are a little closer to being done christmas shopping.

cleaning: while we had some time off work we decided to work on our “putting the house on the market” list.  we got the list off and started in the back of the house (our room) and started a deep (late) spring cleaning.  we got so much done.  but now our living room is a disaster with things that we are purging and things that we are going to pack up so that when we do put the house on the market certain areas won’t look as cluttered (linen closet mostly).  i scrubbed base boards straightened our closets, cleaned windows (they were so gross), went through files in the office.  we still have so much to do (and we will post pics of the rooms as we get them completely done) but we have gotten a lot of things off the list.  the funny thing is that even if we don’t move to AR it is still a list that needs to be completed.  we hit a few road blocks while cleaning.  i bought blinds to replace the ones in our room (from an otis attack a while ago) and i got the wrong size so we have to exchange them.  also we have glass windows on our bed and when i was cleaning them i pushed too hard on my side of the bed and it fell out.  i was lucky that i didn’t break it and that i didn’t cut my self.  (as we speak andy is in our room putting new thingys on the door to hold the glass in place – sorry don’t know the right name of them).  i normally get really excited about cleaning things up and going through things and purging and organizing.  (i think it is because i love to change the look of things – which is funny that i don’t like too much change as it is).  i got done with the base boards in the office and walked into our (disaster area) living room and almost had a panic attack.  i don’t know if it is because the mess was too much to handle because i was tired or if i realized that i could be packing things up for nothing.  i don’t want to pack things up if we aren’t going to move because that means that i will have to unpack it because i won’t live our of rubbermaids or boxes.  i hate that.  the other things is that we haven’t put out any christmas stuff and i think it makes me sad that we might not get anything out this year and i really do love christmas.  but we will see what happens this week.  still praying for God’s will and understanding and not just our own.

vet: while i was in the floor scrubbing those blasted base boards otis was running around our bedroom going crazy.  this wasn’t the pre seizure crazy this was like someone was poking him with a sharp stick and he was running from them (which make me think for a few seconds that maybe i woke up a ghost by stirring up so much dust moving the curtains around) but i got him to come to me and i saw blood down his back (it sounds really dramatic and i am intending it too – he is our dog and i can make it sound as bad i want but in reality he had a spot on his back that had blood oozing out of it and matting in his fur).  we think he was going crazy because the blood was matting in his fur and causing his skin to craw.  so andy got the dog and they took off toward the vet while i got on the phone to let them know that they were on the way (they are only open half a day on saturdays).  they said come on since they were on the way but that they might have to send him to another vet or something because they were so busy.  andy said that the vet said that it was a cyst that burst and was ok.  he is on antibiotic to make sure that it doesn’t get infected.  we can have the cyst removed for just 500 dollars or wait it out because it isn’t really bothering him.  (but that if we don’t get it removed sometimes if he hits it just right it could bleed again).  we are going to wait it out.  they shaved a little square around it (he looks so funny) and he seems to be better now that the fur is gone.  is stopped bleeding and oozing and has scabbed up.  i think it will be fine until the scab starts to itch and we have to do this again and again.  since otis had a hard day saturday i let him decide what we did this afternoon and he wanted to take a nap.  so we did!

i am not looking forward to getting up and going to work tomorrow.  i have enjoyed my time with andy and otis (and away from work).  but i am grateful i have a job to go back to.  i am grateful for the time this weekend to spend doing all sorts of things tradition (ordering chinese, watching david letterman, hanging out, shopping on friday) and not tradition (spring cleaning, eating dinner with my parents).  gotta love the season.


happy thanksgiving!

i am so thankful for my  husband.  i can’t imagine where my life would have taken me without him in my life.  we don’t claim to have a perfect marriage but what we have is perfect for us.  he is my best friend, my rock, and my soul mate.  i love you andy.

i am so very thankful for family.  i know growing up i could be a pain and moody (but really what teenager isn’t?) and my parents were always there for me (usually giving me really early curfews – thanks dad or threatening to throw my toys away – thanks mom).  but i learned unconditional love from them and for that i will always be grateful.  i love you two.

we are so very thankful for our home and that we have shelter each night.  we are thankful for our jobs (even if sometimes we would rather sleep in and not go to the office).  we are thankful that we are able to cook and eat yummy food and clean and take care of the things that we have.  we are thankful for being able to get our and about and for our car.  we are thankful for being able to laugh until we cry and cry until we laugh.  we are thankful for our friends and for family.  we are thankful for the changing seasons.  and as much as he can drive us crazy we are thankful for our gee.  as i sit here and watch santa arrive on the macy’s day parade i realize that i need to make my list for black friday shopping.  happy thanksgiving!  enjoy your day and don’t eat too much!

blank stare

saturday morning we both rolled out of bed and ambled down the hall for breakfast in the hotel.  i will say i perked up when i got close because i remembered that i could make waffles BUT when we got to the little breakfast area there were about 10 7 year olds and they were surrounding the waffle maker.  bummer.  oh well we ate and packed our things and checked out of the hotel.  we sat in the lobby and waiting on our ride.  pam came and took us to look at houses in the area so that we could see what the market looked like.  i will say i was surprised at how much house you can get and for the money.  we saw several houses, some we didn’t like, some we liked, one we wish we had the money to fix it up, and one we loved.  (in this case i am assuming that andy felt the same way that i did about the houses – normal i won’t speak for “we” unless i know that it is true, but today i didn’t make sure that he totally agreed with me).  after we drove around for a few hours we went to the youth building and had pizza lunch (it was really yummy) and had doug’s first pie that he has ever made and some great brownies made by maggie (a youth on the search committee).  we watched a slide show of the past year that ken put together and had a debriefing meeting.  i will be honest i felt like i had a blank stare on my face from the time i woke up until the time i went to bed that night.  it took me a little longer to process what people were saying around me because i was so tired.  i felt like we left there with a lot of questions answered and more asked and next steps talked about.  we said our goodbyes and monica (member of the search committee) and kyle (her son) took us to the airport.  we checked our bag and went through the searches and walked to the gate.  andy got us a drink and we waited.  we tried to talk a little bit but we were a little mentally overloaded.  we had no problems on the plane ride to atlanta.  when we got to atlanta we weren’t hungry enough to eat dinner so we split a cookie and had some coffee.  we waited at the gate and waited at the gate.  we learned that we were about to board a plane that was from honduras and so they had to do a sweep of the plane for extra security measures.  once they did that (45 minutes later) we got on.  it was the biggest plane we were on this trip.  andy sat on the outside aisle, i sat in the middle, and a soldier sat next to the window (which i was glad since we were on an emergency exit he could get the door open).  i talked to him a little bit.  he was from nappa valley, ca and has lived all over.  he currently resides a few miles from my parents home.  he is getting home from 7 months away (i believe he said he was done and home for good) and is leaving in 2 weeks to see his wife (hasn’t seen her in almost a year) because she is in training etc so they are meeting in vegas while she is on leave.  i over heard the solider sitting behind us telling someone that he is on leave to see his mother that has stage 4 liver cancer and he said he hoped that he would make it to her house before she passed away.  the lady he was telling said that her mom passed away the week before.  at this point i realized that i am listening to too many conversations so i try to sleep.  doesn’t work.  we had an uneventful flight about 30 minutes and landed.  got our bag, caught a shuttle, found the car (unharmed), and drove home.  we got home to an otis free house.  it sort of makes me sad when we walk in and he isn’t wagging his tail.  but we ate (im pretty sure) and we passed out in bed.  the next morning we over slept (who didn’t see that one coming) so we got up a little in a rush and we went to church. 

we have been doing a lot of reflecting on this past weekend and have been  going crazy with making our pro and con list.  regardless of what happens with this job and a potential move we got to see a really cool city and meet some truly wonderful people.  so while we wait on final answers we pray and we remember our whirlwind weekend in little rock.

face to face

so i left you guys in the airport trying to find baggage claim…

it was one of the longest walks of my life…we got off the plane and started walking to where the people picking us up would be.  we knew they would have a sign but this was the first face to face meeting and first impressions mean a great deal (no matter how many times you try to deny it).  we expected to see a sign with our names on it next to the baggage claim but we were surprised to see 4 people standing as close to the terminal they could get without having to go through the security gates.  as we approached we say a sign welcoming us and 4 people: cathy, eric, ian, and lindsey.  i honesty thought i would have a few more feet to compose myself and prepare myself for our first face to face impression.  we shook hands and andy grabbed our bag off the conveyor belt and we walked to the parking lot.  eric and lindsey went to their car and we got in the car with cathy and ian.  before they took us to the hotel we drove around little rock and saw things at night since everything was beautifully lite.  we drove by the clinton library, heifer international’s head quarters, the capital building, the river (and saw the pedestrian bridges), and the church.  we drove by the church but an event was just letting out so we didn’t pull into the parking lot.  it was such a beautiful city and i was really surprised by it.  i don’t know if it was because i was expecting something much bigger or if i was expecting to see crazy monsters behind trees.  but it was beautiful.  they drove us to the hotel and we unloaded our stuff and checked in.  when we got to our room and went in there was a beautiful basket made by the search committee.  there were shirts, bracelets, cards, candy, fruit, rice (local), bbq sauce, and a lot of other things with a sweet letter.  it really made us smile after the long plane rides to get there.  we talked about the next day a little bit and were asleep before we finished our thoughts. 

friday morning we woke up and had breakfast at the hotel.  it was really good.  we met eric and cathy in the lobby and started a long day of never stopping.  *side note: to get everything done in 1 and a half days we had to go go go, we knew and expected that and i thought that i was trained and prepared for that, but we were both wore out when we got home* we drove out to the beautiful camp ferncliff and had a brisk tour.  we flew around in the solar golf cart and saw the camp.  it was completely evident that they care about the campers with the attention to detail that they have put into the camp.  after that we drove around a little more and saw more of little rock and went to lunch at bosco’s.  we met doug and debbie there.  we had a great lunch and time to talk with more people on the search committee.  after lunch we had to rush to the church so andy could meet with the staff and i had a meeting with howard for potential job leads.  (he is the dean of social work program so we also talked about that).  after my meeting and half of andy’s meetings we had a tour of the church (it was beautiful).  after the tour cathy took me back to the hotel and andy had more meetings.  he came back to the hotel in time to change clothes rest for a minute and then we went to dinner at debbie’s house.  (have you noticed that food plays a lot into our days?)  it was wonderful!  andy went with a few of the youth to get yogurt and i stayed at debbie’s house and talked to the rest of the adults.  we had a good time and laughed a lot.  it really amazed me how comfortable i was (sometimes it takes me a while to warm up to new places and people).  andy got back and we sat around and talked and laughed a lot.  we went back to the hotel and crashed….

good ole mississippi river

*disclaimer on little rock trip: i failed to take many any pics so i will break up the trip into several post so it isn’t so much to read*

andy picked me up at work on thursday afternoon and we went to the airport.  we checked our bag with no problem and went through security gates with no problems (i didn’t realize that you had to take the 3 oz liquid things in the baggies out of your carry on, so i had to un-organize my bag to dig those out).  i did look at my purse as it was going through the x-ray machine and say the guy digging around.  i don’t know what he saw, but i would assume it was my wad of keys. anyways we got a drink and waited for our plane (that was the size of my first car a geo metro – maybe not but it wasn’t too much bigger).  when they called zone 3 we got on the plane and walked all the way to the back of the plane in row 20.  i sat aisle seat on one side and andy had the window seat on the other side.  i was sitting next to a middle age business man who kept falling asleep and jumping waking himself up.  it was really funny (in my opinion).  andy was sitting next to a middle-aged man who wanted to talk to everyone.  the plane was so small that the flight attendant sat in between me and talkative guy she was really nice.  i read the entire trip (about 2 hours maybe) and had a diet coke.

as we were taking off the sun was setting and it was beautiful.  the sky was full or pinks and oranges with the lights on the ground.  i see things like that and am fully reminded what an amazing God we have and how spectacular his creation is.

we landed and walked really fast to find out next gate.  once we had it in sight we found a place to eat and had dinner (back yard burgers – where you put in your own order on a touch menu thingy) and we ate and went to the gate.  we were excited to be sitting next to each other so that we could talk about our trip.  we got on the plane and looked out the window to see that we right on the engine.  once the plane started we realized we weren’t going to be talking.  it was so loud.  this plane was a little bigger (had 6 more rows) and we were on row 25.  we looked out the window and as we were flying over the mississippi river i started to laugh.  i looked at andy and couldn’t believe we were doing that.  i couldn’t believe that we were flying to another state that we had never even considered and we were 30 minutes away from landing.  surprisingly i felt very calm (after my initial laughing fit) and we landed in little rock.  when we deplaned we entered an airport that was dead.  it seemed that the only people were the ones getting off the plane.  we started to follow people (and signs) to baggage claim…

*check back for more after we landed in little rock*

treat for santa

this year we have decided that we aren’t going to just put out milk and cookies for santa’s visit up on our roof.  we are going to change it up and make things a little more interesting…

1. we are going to leave egg nog instead of milk.  (we got a letter that he prefers it – in this house at least).

2. we are going to leave some homemade chocolate chip cookies and cookie dough truffles.

3. since santa’s safety is so important to us we are going to replace our roof. 

a lot of people in our neighborhood have gotten new roofs over the summer and early fall.  people have been walking our neighborhood trying to get our business and we have said no thank you and closed our door.  well we have heard of more people getting roofs and we watched the neighbors across the street sign contracts, so we decided in the event that we do put the house on the market a new roof would be an added bonus (and everyone has been getting them done because of hail and wind damage).  so we consulted some people in the neighborhood and went with meridian construction group.  we got word while we were in little rock that we have been approved for a new roof.  we are really excited that santa will have a safe place to land this christmas but a little sad that our roof had hail and wind damage.  when we drove up last night we had white marks on our roof from the adjuster. 

you’re welcome santa

calm like a duck in a pond

i love movies.  i don’t know why but one of my favorite movies is “the replacements” when andy was still in school and i would put a movie in to clean to on saturday mornings (having no cable leaves a lot to be desired for saturday morning tv), i would find myself putting this one in week after week.  there are some great moments and speeches throughout the movie.  (i love the one about fear and quick sand and the closing lines are great) but one that sticks out to me this morning is when the coach is talking to the replacement quarterback before the big game they talk about being calm and the coach makes reference to being as calm as a duck in a pond.  the quarterback looks puzzled and the coach explains.  on the top of the water the duck looks like it has everything under control and doesn’t have a care in the world just gliding over the pond but underneath the water his little legs are going at a frantic speed…

i love the imagery that this story creates in my mind especially on days like today…

we stayed up late last night checking and re checking our pack list and what we actually packed.  i went from head to toe trying to recall everything that i would possibly need in the days that we are gone.  we were selective in what we packed to wear, selective in what we packed in the carry on bag and almost shed a few tears because i can’t take my pillow and blanket (which deserves it own post later on).  we also were trying to get things ready for my parents to come over (which means just picking up and getting clean towels out and getting the plan for clean sheets and most importantly getting things ready for them to take otis to tn this weekend).  we got to bed and the moment that i woke up i was wondering what i am forgetting?  we are so excited about having someone drive us around on our visit (so we don’t get lost, but also so that we will have time in the car to look around at where we are going and see more of the city), but it is hard when you are at the mercy of other people.  it isn’t like if we are in the hotel tonight i can say drat i forgot (name something) and jump in a rental and go to walmart.  we are at the full mercy of our wonderful hosts.  i am nervous because i like to be in control and this is a new experience where i don’t have full control of things and because i will be alone with church members while andy is in meetings and doing some other things.  i like to think i am nice (most of the time anyways) and able to make conversation etc but sometimes it takes me a little bit to warm up to people i don’t know.  while i sit here and write this i am sure i look calm (and maybe like i am actually working – if im lucky) but my mind is going a million miles a minute while i panic about forgetting something, what these meetings will bring, if we can find a house while we are gone, what it will do to relationships that we have here, if people there will be ok with my sarcastic attitude, what their weather is like, will we be ok on the plane, will we have time to eat dinner in memphis when we switch planes, will we have a comfortable bed with a suitable pillow and blanket, will otis drive my parents ok, should i have gotten his pills refilled, and most of all at the end of the day will this still feel like God’s will for us?

all of those questions being on a million other questions about timing and what will happen when we put our house on the market and so many things i feel like my head is going to explode…but it still feels right, it still feels like where we need to be.

i will glide around this weekend hoping to cover any quiver in my voice, or hands quieting my brain so i can enjoy their company and hoping to appear as calm like  a duck in a pond.

side note on friends

over many years i have heard a lot of definitions about what a true friend is.  i have seen a lot of examples of good friends and not so good friends. 

 it has been my experience that a true friend is one that you can sit down with at dinner after 6 months and just pick back up right where you left off. 

those true friends are a gift from God.