Monthly Archives: May 2013

weekend highlight: pow, wow, and holy cow

something we have done with different youth groups (usually in sunday school or back home group meetings at camp) is to list your pow (worst thing about the day/week), wow (best part of day/week), and holy cow (time that you felt closet to God…like holy cow that was amazing).  since this weekend was a long one with a lot of things going on i think that this is the best way to do this past weekend update.


wow: got to see 7 youth graduate from GHS (2 of them spoke at it) and the graduates got to throw their caps and spray each other with silly string!

pow: wanted to get to bed early so we could be on the road early – but still got in bed really late.

holy cow: the moon was amazing as we were leaving.  we saw it coming over the mountain and it was a simply beautiful reminder to me that God is good. 

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wow: we got to go back to charlotte and left on time (for us).

pow: it was a long drive because otis didn’t want to ride in the back and because he wouldn’t lay down on my lap.

holy cow: being surrounded by family and friends. 


wow: got to hang out with everyone at the track and had a great breakfast. 

pow: didn’t win the race pool and made cj (our niece cry) – she was tired and ready to leave and i messed with her anyways.  😦

holy cow: two of the youth from monroe came to eat with us and see us and it was a great reminder of the time we spent with them and the faith journey we all went on together.  


wow: hung out with sandy and ginger, otis slept in the back of the car the entire way home, stopped at montreat and black mountain (got a new pair of sun glasses), no work which means a short work week! 

pow: traffic was bad and a ton of police were out and i was nervous (but thankfully we didn’t get pulled over or that would have been worse) and i helped andy make his to do list for the week and his pack list for his first summer trip and it made me sad (even though i love lists).  also on this trip there was little time to get together with other people. 

holy cow: going through the gates at montreat.

the rest of this week is going to be crazy.  there is so much to do with andy’s summer ramping up.  we had the pool party (end of year) with the youth and the rest of his nights are full of meetings.  we had a great weekend in charlotte and safe travels and great conversation and visits so even though my post isn’t full of fluff it was still wonderful. 


so a while ago i wrote about unexpected friends and have really been thinking about those friends and about circumstances and have been really mulling that over in my mind the past few days/weeks.  sometimes you don’t have to meet someone face to face to be inspired by them and let me tell you why…

one of my new, unexpected friends (APF) has a blog and i have been reading about her life and the things she is doing now.  one of the things that she has been talking about is a line-a-day journal.  (i had to look it up because i had no idea what she was talking about – it is a journal that you can buy (or make your own) that has 25 lines on it and a place for the years.  each date of the years gets a page with five entry slots and over the years you write on the same page.  so you can look at the same day from 5 different years and compare).  she had marital problems and said that the journal was a place where she could see turning points in her marriage and in other relationships.  she was able to keep up with her milestones outside of the relationship (on a personal and professional level).  i e mailed her to find out more about this journal thing and she said it was really neat to go back and see where she has been and where she is going.  i thought i want to do that.  i had my reservations because what happens when i have boring days?  do i want to read a journal that says

” went to the grocery store and bought soup, cut my toe nails, tripped over the dog” or more like what it would say “got up, went to work, came home, watched a little tv and looked at the computer, read a little and went to bed”

i asked her about the boring days…she laughed at me and shared some of her boring days and it didn’t seem so boring to me (i guess i need to get a life).  i felt inspired by her dedication and how much she is learning and decided i wanted to do it.  i ordered a journal for me and one for andy.  i hope they get here soon so maybe andy can start his at summer camp and i can start mine while he is away.  i think it will be fun to read them together one day and see the different things that highlight our lives.  i was inspired to have less boring days and to do something each day that will make me want to get out and do something (like walk around the farm, sit on the porch and watch fireflies, read more, write more, visit more, explore more).  i am inspired and can’t wait to begin this process.

one of my old (not age) friends is traveling the world (or south america) with her boyfriend and another couple.  she has been on so many adventures the past 7 months and has been posting her pictures and experiences.  i have been so blessed to see where she has been though her eyes.  she has such a sweet soul and compassionate heart and i am so lucky to have her as a friend.  they decided they had so many wonderful experiences that they want to give back so they decided to use the rest of their visa to work on a farm and learn.  she is posting pictures of them gardening for the village, milking cows at sunrise, learning the trades of the people (making jewelry etc).  she is a constant inspiration to be a better person and to have faith and leap with reckless abandon.

thank you ladies for a dose of inspiration i needed today.

rambling thoughts: clouds storms and long drives

a smell, sight, touch, or sound can take me down memory lane in a heart beat.  or hearing a phrase that makes me think of things from the past can take me back.  sometimes it is a time of year that sends me tumbling off the trail with former memories.  these certain things put me on a path of wild and random (sometimes incoherent) thinking and i play the what was and what is and what if and what’s to come game.  sometimes my brain feels like a little hamster running on the wheel you think and think but really it gets you no where except stuck in a loop scared to get off and wondering how long have i been at this….

this time of year i think a lot about leslie (i think about her all the time as it is but as we get closer to the heart of summer i find my self thinking more and more about her).  i remember the trips we took and the things we bought.  i remember the last encounters that we had and the conversations that we had and the profound effect that she had on my life and how much impact her family has made still in my life.  something about this time of year makes me miss her more.

i think more and more about old friends and about relationships i have had and the adventures that we have been on.  some thoughts and memories make me incredibly sad and others made me laugh out loud.  i think about all the summers spent playing with will and vicky outside until after dark and our “bat club.”  i think about all the summer camps that i spent with katie and the youth group and making sure that katie and i shared a room and coordinated our outfits and packing list and that when we weren’t at camp we still had to be together.  i think about summer crushes (one that turned into love and marriage).  i think about all of the things i thought i would have done and wished i did and actually did.  i think of the person that i hoped to be and the one that i actually am.    i think….

the other day andy was at a meeting so i decided i would go feed pancake alone since it would be too late when andy got home.  it had been raining (i think we got 3 inches in about an hour – water was rising and roads were flooded).  i loaded the dog up and off we went to feed pancake.  for once i wasn’t punching a clock.  so i drove.  i only know 3 or so ways to get to the farm and as i was driving i kept getting derailed.  i would go as far as i could and have to turn around because of flooding in the roads.  i went all the ways i could to get to pancake but i couldn’t get to him – so i just drove.  it made me think of a time (when i could fill my tank up with gas, take seven dollars into the gas station and walk away with change) when i would just drive around to clear my head.  i used to drive to process thoughts and clear my head a lot.  i blame my dad for that.  (sorry dad).  driving to the farm already made me think of dad and driving around made me think of the times that he would come ask if i wanted to go to dairy queen for a blizzard.  i would think: ice cream?  sure!  we would go and instead of going the direct route we would drive down towards albemarle – typically turning around at the same gas station.  some times we would go just to go…i don’t know the real reason we were driving just that ice cream was involved.  other times we would go because i did something wrong (that was never stated but i knew) – we would get past the point where i could jump out of the car and walk home and dad would talk.  or if he wanted to have my attention to mull something over he would say what he wanted to say and we would ride in quiet processing everything.  once we got to the gas station we would turn around and go get blizzards and everything was forgiven and forgotten and processed.  i thought ice cream healed all…but the older i get the more i think that it was the drive that healed.

when i realized i couldn’t get to pancake because all my options were gone i headed home.  as i was driving home i saw lightning and black skies and i was headed right for it.  i was driving into the storm.  i couldn’t help but think that life was completely like that having to “drive into the storm to go home”.  i couldn’t help but think of the times that i have known about a storm and could see it from the distance and driven straight into it.  confrontations with friends that i knew had the potential to turn out horribly but they had to happen.  conflict with different people at different jobs.  fights with andy or my parents or brother.  situations that the skies were so black and hopeless but i had no choice because i had to get through them to get home and to a resolution.  when we have no choice and we see the lightning and hear the thunder and know that things are going to get messy we have to drive on and we do…we go through the storms and end up at home – sometimes a little battered and bruised and sometimes our homes aren’t as stable or sturdy as they were…but our foundation is strong and we make it.

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when i got home.  i had battled rising waters and thunder and a spectacular display of lightning and a spastic dog.  i dealt with my failure that pancake wasn’t getting treats from me before bed.  i struggled with wrapping up my disjointed racing thoughts about driving and storms, hopes and dreams and failures, memories and life in general.  physically i was exhausted from a long day and mentally from processing so many thoughts and memories in such a short time.  i pulled the shivering dog out of the car and unlocked the door.  before i stepped over the threshold i looked at the sky.  the blackness was breaking up and the clouds were moving on except for one…

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i laughed and thought how fitting that i drove straight into dark weather and made it home through the storm and waiting for me was a cloud with a silver lining…

(some of us are just going through figurative storms but remember those who are dealing with literal storms in moore, ok)

wellingtons and rock stars…

i don’t know if i posted anything about the video contest at church so to catch you up if i didn’t…there was a video contest at the church.  (the groups had to create a video based on their interpretation of a scripture).  the grand prize was star treatment for the night.  the group that won had 5 people in it so the night went something like this.

we met at the church and took the church bus to johnson city.  (we looked into a limo and that was WAY too expensive so church bus it was – and they always beg to go in the bus).  we got on the bus and told them their two choices for dinner and the chose wellingtons.  as we started our trip to jc i gave them all a beverage (like on a plane but without the rolly cart and the peanuts/pretzels and the pink cocktail napkins smelled like old people).  we had left over drinks from another event so they had limited options and small cups – so just like a plane.  instead of a salty snack all we had to offer them were skittles.  holden made our reservation while we were driving down the road – did you know they had an ap for that?  we got to the restaurant and parked down the street because the bus was too big (and like stars that have to walk everywhere – or something).  they weren’t ready for us so we sat in the lounge area and had some waters and sodas.  we got seated at the table and ordered.  i had the filet and it was wonderful.  seriously the best steak i have had since we have moved.  i think it compares to the ones at firebirds.  (side note: we had firebirds when we were in charlotte last weekend and i almost cried because it was so good and i missed it).  when the check was paid we looked out (because the lights flashed and realized that it was storming like crazy).  andy ran to get the bus.  we treated the kids to starbucks and then headed home.  (we were nervous that the dog was going to need a bath since it was raining and storming…but he was good – and the power even flashed).

it was a wonderful night celebrating their victory and finding a great fancy place to go eat and celebrate birthdays.

recap of the past weekend…

we had an over all good visit to charlotte this past weekend.  we were able to spend time with andy’s family friday night for dinner and just hanging out.  it was great to be able to visit and hang out with them.  it was good to see katie graduate and share in that day with her.  it was wonderful to spend time with my family and friends at the race track.  it was fun to continue the tradition of going to the race….it was one of those weekends where i wish we would have had more time to see more people…but i feel like those weekends are more often than not.

after the all-star race we had to race home (haha see what i did there?)!  andy had to be at church sunday morning.  so before the race i took a nap and after the race we waited around a little for traffic to calm down and started our trip home.  andy and otis slept and i was left with my own thoughts and the sounds of early morning radio.  my drive home was ok.  it rained most of the way and was foggy for the majority of it.  (there were only a few times that i couldn’t really see because of pouring rain and fog so that was nice).  we stopped once so i could get out and otis and andy got out and walked around too since stopping the car woke them both up.  on this drive i think i saw more deer then i have seen in several years.  i saw several packs (is a group of deer called a pack?) and they all made me very nervous.  i could tell that one group just crossed the road and was ok but two different times they were running parallel to the road and i just knew they would run out in front of me – but thankfully they didn’t.  i saw several fresh dead deer in the road.  apparently it wasn’t a good night for wildlife.

as i turned out the road we live on i the sun was coming up.  it was beautiful despite the rain and the clouds.  the sky just glowed.  it is moments like that, when i witness that beauty, that makes the journey worth while.

*this is the part where i admit that i went inside jumped in bed and didn’t give it a second thought that i was going to finally get some sleep and andy had to go to church.  this is also when i could confess that i might or might not have slept until 1.

allstar race 5/18/13

ever since i can remember i have been going to the all-star race with my dad.  i remember being little and getting locked in the women’s restroom because the door was too heavy and my dad and will making fun of me.  i remember dad writing our seat information on our arms incase we got lost.  i remember running to the car (parked at texaco) after the race was over.  i remember counting out winston cigarette foil packs to get discounts on tickets and the smell of stale cigarettes.  the memories run deep.  i have always loved the all-star race (aka winston).  i don’t know if it is because i used to get a frosty (before they moved the stand) at each race, or if it is because it is short enough to hold my attention span or because it was the race that we all went to (mom too).  it was just fun.  i still love going and andy does too.  things have changed a ton over the years but it is still fun.  this year they changed the stage up a lot and the way they did the driver introductions.  they changed the rules of the segments this year (again).  here are some pictures.  (i didn’t include the pictures of the drivers so that i can save space…let me know if you want one e-mailed to you or something).

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we have a pool and i never win it…i can remember a time when i was going to win (i was maybe 10) and my car got black flagged on the last lap so i didn’t win…but anyways this year we had a great chance of winning (we actually had good driver’s) and yet they all did horrible!

graduation: 5/16/13

we were very excited about this past weekend.  we were glad to be able to come home to charlotte for the race but also because we got to go to katie’s graduation.  we got to see her walk across the stage (the pictures didn’t turn out) and we got to see an old friend, ron graduate.  we sat behind the grads so most of the pictures i have are of the back of her head (and her messing with her hair and cap) but i was able to get some of her face when she was looking for us and after graduation when she was waiting to walk out. 

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flap jack aka pancake

do you know how small a 6-9 month old baby donkey is?  not very!  my mistake.  dad said that he was going to get a donkey for the farm and i was so excited that i decided that we needed to “tame” it and it would be like a second larger pet that we would see when we went to the farm.  i knew that it would grow up to be big (not like a miniature breed) and i was ok with that.  i knew that if we got him when he was young we could work with him to be a nice donkey.  i thought that i would be taller than the baby donkey.  i was wrong.  this past weekend we went to mark’s farm in bristol to pick up pancake and bring him home.

**side note…mark’s farm is really like a zoo.  he has cows and donkeys and goats (even an earless one) and pigs and chickens.  we had fun looking at all of his animals and telling mark’s dad that we did not want any other animals**

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we got there and i was staring up into the huge round eyes of our newest pet and thought to myself – he is going to stomp me to death the first chance he gets.  but he is my dad’s pancake and i love him.  loading him proved to be a traumatic experience for him (and me) but he was loaded up and went to the farm.  i held his lead for a few minutes and he almost tried to pull me down once but i knew it was coming and he tried to take down maime stomp attack hug dad twice.  we have been working with him to get him comfortable with being touched and with coming to us.  when andy and i went on sunday night to put him to bed and give him one last treat before bed time he came to us (was hesitant) and took a treat from andy (the little snot took mine from me, made eye contact, and spit it to the ground).  yesterday when we went he was waiting at the door and didn’t hesitate at all taking the treats from andy and eating from the bucket and from being petted (now i know he still has a ways to go – but we are making progress).  dad is delusional and believes that we will be able to put a lead on pancake and lead him through the church for the Christmas play…andy has jumped on that delusional wagon and we will see what happens in the upcoming months.

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what is with the name you might ask?  dad has a jack on the farm and he is called black jack (because of his color – not a gambling habit) or just jack.  he is so sun faded that he is no long black – he is more brown now.  when we found out we were getting a jack i wanted to name it and dad asked what was wrong with lil jack.  my answer…he will get big.  (after seeing him now i know that he is already big and not lil).  i was thinking of things that have jack in them (that would be ok to scream across the farm) and suggested flap jack.  i was so excited and said he would be pancake.  it stuck.  so when he is in trouble he is flap jack and when he is sweet he is our pancake!

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pancake is limited to a stall for now until we get him ready to have some more freedom and so across the stall from him is a horse that has wanted nothing to do with me from the moment we moved over (and before) – that is until he saw that we had treats for pancake.  now he sticks his head over the stall and talks to us while we are there making his case on why he needs a treat too.  we don’t know the horses name so andy and i are calling him luigi.  (it is the best sounding italian name we could come up with when we were both really tired).  why italian?  the farm is named after a place in italy so we have decided (after we named pancake) that everything needs to have italian names.  there is a little calf that hangs out in the breeze way of the barn (it got hurt when the cattle were worked so it needs some extra love and attention).  he doesn’t have a name but stromboli comes to my mind and tortellini came to andy’s mind.

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we hope that pancake will be happy with his new home and that he will adjust quickly.  i am so excited to have him even if he is larger than i had expected him to be at that age.

test = fail

so i tested out a theory i had on pictures earlier…and it failed the test.  SO forgive me if i have anymore test posts that i am trying to figure out what to do!

also…i am working on adding categories for my posts (something i should have done all along but didn’t).  live and learn i suppose.

happy mother’s day

i was blessed that i got to spend the day with my mom for mother’s day (as well as my grandmother, aunt, cousin, and friend).  mother’s day is a special day that we should set aside time to remember our moms and everything that they do for us.  it is a time we should really show our thanks and our love and appreciation.  it is a day we should honor them! (shouldn’t we be doing this all the time?)  i am so thankful for everything that my mom (parents) does for me.  over the years the support has been unending and the love unconditional.

in church it was talked about how mother’s day wasn’t just for moms but for all women who have helped in your life (faith journey and life journey).  i know that there are several women in my life that are instrumental in my faith life and life in general.  they have been there for me during various times in my life and i have great respect for them and love for them.

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happy mother’s day mom!  i love you!