Category Archives: clayford ridge

best of intentions

please let me ramble about what i should have done and what i intended to do….

1. i have been meaning to post some pics of some very special Christmas decorations (and of our Christmas house).  i will admit i have taken most of the pictures (i just haven’t down loaded them on the computer).  but i will tonight. maybe.

2. i have been meaning to post everyday.  oops.  once i get better at downloading pics i hope to post everyday (sometimes i feel like i have too many words and not enough supporting pictures).

3. i have been meaning to give an update on our Christmas tree situation.  andy won.  he doesn’t win much so i am sure he is gloating in his victory.  we have a real live tall tree to put up.  but it is still on our patio.  my intention is to put it up tonight.  i am happy that our house is all decorated but i am ready for our tree to be put up.  we will have 3 trees this year and i will post pictures of all 3.

4.  my intention was to be done with shopping by now.  we are going to wrap the last of the gifts tonight so that we can shop tomorrow if need be.  i am thinking next year we will get done early again.  i hope.

as they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  but i promise i really am trying…

bitterness party of 1

ok wow look at me 2 post in one day…but this isn’t a good post this is a post that i need to vent and why not write (since this might be a new thing for me).

right at 5 (our time) andy’s phone rang and it was little rock.  this was one of those phone calls that he had to wait on (he got an e-mail to expect the call) so  all day we have both been praying like crazy and our minds have been going crazy with what happens next.  well, the call came and it wasn’t good news.  i mean i guess in a way it was good news because that means that we can fully decorate for Christmas (we are still deciding if we are going to do a big tree or a little tree) that makes me happy.  it also makes me happy that we won’t be leaving and trying to move over the holiday.  it makes me happy that maybe we can find something a little closer to our families.  it makes me happy that we got to fly together and see part of the states that we haven’t seen together.  and it makes me happy that we were able to go through this together with little bickering and a lot of love and support.  it makes me sad and mad also.  it makes me sad because we have to stay in our current situation which doesn’t make us feel warm and fuzzy.  it makes me sad because we don’t get to buy a new house right away and we don’t get to “move” together (with a moving truck and everything).  it makes me sad because i know that the church was really cool and the people seemed really nice while we were there.  it makes me mad that they said no.  it makes me mad because i know that andy could have done a great job and that he was qualified to do the job.  it makes me mad that we flew all the way there and gave up a weekend (my mom’s birthday weekend) to go there and spend time apart instead of taking an “us” vacation.  it makes me mad because we have to start back at square one.  it makes me mad because i feel like we were led on.  but when i sit back and think about it we did pray that if it wasn’t right that it wouldn’t work.  and we prayed that it would be clear if we were meant to be there and obviously we weren’t.  with the rollarcoaster of emotions that we are both feeling right now we know that we are in this together and that there are possibilities out there and that the right thing will happen.  we know that we love each other very much no matter what happens.  andy is my hero and i am constantly amazed with his strength and love and passion in all that he does in life.  we will close this door and not dwell on it and not let it ruin our holiday season or dictate who we become.  we will let it shape us and we will move on.  in my honest humble opinion little rock is missing out (but we still pray that they find the right fit for them).

dinner and a panic attack

now doesn’t that sound like a fun date?  dinner and a panic attack?  ok well no i don’t guess it does…i will start with dinner first

in middle school i gained a new friend (we didn’t go to elementary school together) and her name was carol hill.  we used to have sleep overs, call the radio station at all hours of the night, hike on her grandpa’s farm, play with her brothers, and she even went to TN with me one time.  in high school we didn’t have many classes together but we kept in touch and in senior year we had biology together.  we had a blast sitting in the back (not really listening) and since it was the first class of the day we would take turns bringing in chick-fil-a for breakfast.  she helped me through that awful year of school.  she is not carol hill anymore because she married her high school sweetheart (awww’s would be appropriate now) she is carol miller.  we have always been those types of friends that can not talk for a few months and pick right back up, but we know that during the times we aren’t in constant contact that if either of us needs something we are right there.  all that to say that last night was a me and carol dinner night.  we try to meet and have dinner and catch up on life.  well carol didn’t bring q-ball but we still had a great time catching up.  (she adopted a sweet boy see how cute he is?)

we always have fun on girls night.  🙂

ok panic attack.  i applied for a few jobs last night and it was very stressful for me.  i guess i don’t really feel qualified for anything else since i have been here so long.  but i filled one out for the children’s hospital.  it makes me a little nervous that i haven’t heard anything from another person that i e-mailed but i am sure it will be ok.  at least i hope.  andy hears today in about 30 minutes if the job is a go or not.  i am just praying that if it is a go we will know what the right thing is and that things fall right into place.  after i cried crocodile tears into my computer (because the application was so annoying) i felt much better and have been fine all day.

in other news.  my living room is still a disaster and i will work on it tonight and this weekend.  we also got the insurance money for the roof.  we are going to call the roof guy tomorrow or saturday and get moving on that.  wish us luck.

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!

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.

hood update

so yesterday i was on facebook checking out comments from our neighborhood drama and realized that no one had answers.  no one knew what actually happened.  we had some really creative stories flying around but no truth.  (some of the fun stories was a mass murderer was hiding in our area, a traffic stop gone bad, a drug bust gone bad, armed robbers hiding out waiting on police to clear the area and my favorite a serial killer that we just haven’t read about in the paper).  i realized that it was my duty as a resident of this neighborhood to find out what happened (plus i had neighbors texting me and facebooking me that cops were swarming the area and were pulling people our of their cars). 

i called the police department (non emergency and got transferred to our neighborhoods division) i asked the lady what was going on in our area, she said nothing.  i said nothing?  she said nothing has come across the police scanner so there isn’t anything going on in your neighborhood.  i said so the cops pulling people over (she said before i could finish) that it was routine traffic stops to check for valid id’s (so i interrupted her and said) that includes asking people out of their cars and frisking them?  she said yep.  i was like really? she said yep they target some neighborhoods for these checks.  i said they have the dirt bike patrol out looking for something.  she said that is normal they just check things out sometimes.  i said ok what about the helicopter last night.  she said oh that was normal too.  i said it was normal for them to shine their spot lights in people’s back yards and in their windows?  she said yep – totally normal.  i said ok what about the police officers clearing each back yard and houses and looking under cars and decks, and checking on residents?  she said yeah they do that sometimes.  i said ok what about the k-9 units tracking something through people’s  back yards etc? she said k-9 units???  yep that’s normal too.  i said are you kidding me.  you expect me to believe that nothing is going on.  she said ma’am hang on.  she came back to the phone (after 5 minutes) and said i asked my sargent and nothing is going on.  i said so everything that i saw yesterday and today there is nothing going on.  she said yep everything is fine.  i hung up.  i failed as a good neighbor to find out information.  BUT there was one neighbor who is family friends with higher-ups at the police department and she found out the truth…

two calls were made to 911.  the first from an 8 year old home alone that heard gun shots.  the second from a man who was robbed at gun point in front of his home.  they shot at him but missed.  everyone is ok except for the obvious emotional trauma, but physically everyone is ok.  the k-9 units tracked the guys (3 of them) through the neighborhood but lost them (when they reached a car they are sure) and they hadn’t been caught so they were doing extra patrols to see if they could get any leads.  NOW that is the truth.  it wasn’t normal it was a reaction to something that happened.  i slept better last night knowing the truth. 

and truth be told i didn’t want to get up this morning…i love my bed.

tis the season

We got him to sit long enough last year to get this.

i am a little concerned about this holiday season.  it seems that we are decorating and promoting christmas before we even cook a turkey.  on the way to work today we saw our little town of mint hill with the christmas wreaths hung on the lamp-post, the tree was being decorated with lights on the outside of the town hall, i have seen houses with lights all over the exterior, i have heard rumblings of people decorating the inside of their houses already, stores are playing christmas music while you shop for christmas accessories (that have been out since september).  i wish that we could slow down a little bit and enjoy thanksgiving (my favorite part is the dressing and green bean casserole).  however seeing the wreaths this morning made my heart smile just a little bit more.

i love holidays and if i had to label one as my favorite it would be christmas.  i think i love christmas the most because it was and is one of the few times i get to see family during the year.  we don’t do family reunions we do christmas.  in my memory it has always been a collective effort (even more so today).  i love the decorations and the history and stories (biblical and secular).  i love the food and i love trying to find everyone the perfect gift for the holiday.  with the perfect gift comes shopping.  we went to the mall last night and there was barely a soul there.  it was wonderful.  i like shopping and walking around and finding the best deals, but i can’t stand shopping when you can’t move in stores and everyone is bumping in to you.  i will say that next year we might do all of our christmas shopping 2 monday’s before thanksgiving.  as for this year we will put our hesitation about bumping into people at the mall and will join a ton of other crazy people on “black friday”  the past few years me and andy have gotten up early and ventured out.  we have found some great deals.  andy some sperry boat shoes for $6.00, a printer/scanner for around $20.00, coffee maker for $5.00, great dvds for $1-3.00, ins and outs for under $10.00. 

we haven’t started decorating yet (we usually do the day before thanksgiving or thanksgiving night).  we are waiting to see what happens with our weekend trip to little rock before we make house decisions for this holiday season.  even if we don’t go all out like we normally do i will dig through our christmas totes and get out a few things to remind us of the season and the hope and future that it brings. 

Just incase here is our tree from last year (and otis rolling around looking at gifts)

 happy shopping and getting ready for the season even if it is before turkey day!

going down in the hood

we like our neighborhood.  sometimes i would even say that we love it.  it has been a great starter neighborhood for us with a cute little starter house for us (pictures to come in the next few weeks).  we love being close to 485, we love that we have a “big” lot for our neighborhood, we love that the price was right, we love that our neighbors aren’t really nosey, we love that we have high ceilings in throughout the house, and we love all the natural light that we have (in the summer we don’t turn lights on until 7 or 8 (we save a lot on power bills that way). 

we don’t love that we have a HOA (now i am sure some are good but ours – not so much), we don’t love that we wave to certain neighbors and they look right through you, we don’t love that they re-did the entrance to our neighborhood and spent millions of dollars doing it, we don’t love that now when it ices no one will be able to get out of said new entrance, we don’t love that we have to pay dues on stuff that we don’t use, and we don’t love that we have to jump through hoops to get things done around the house (it took us almost a year to get “approved” to paint our house).  last night we can also add that we don’t love when the police helicopter (snoopy) flies over our neighborhood for hours and police go house to house with a k-9 unit looking for an armed and dangerous man. 

we were watching tv (i was pouting because one of my favorite shows wasn’t on) and i realized that we had been hearing snoopy for the past 20 minutes.  i got on-line and started to research the neighborhood facebook page for the neighborhood (oh wonderful technology – maybe this explains why neighbors don’t communicate anymore face to face).  anyways i found that the police were looking for someone armed and dangerous.  they didn’t know all the details except shots had been fired and to stay indoors.  so we locked all the doors and i did what every normal person does and dug out my pepper spray.  i am hesitant to tell you that the pepper spray is about 6 years old and i am sure has lost whatever stops people, but i tell you i felt good.  otis was on high alert and was barking at any sound.  after about an hour of listening to snoopy and chatting with my neighbor on-line i decided i would take my pepper spray and my gee (who at this point in time lost interest in protecting his home and was sound asleep on the love seat) and we went to bed.  when we woke up this morning i was surprised to find that no one broke into our house and was sleeping on the couch.  (i was very glad that we didn’t have a house guest) but i jumped on the computer to learn that they never found our armed and dangerous “friend”.  hopefully he fled our neighborhood never to come back and hopefully they will catch him and take away his gun!  we still don’t know what went down in the hood but we are all ok.