Category Archives: little rock

random little nuggets

I keep a running list of things I want to blog about….not that I can always find that list and not that I always use it…but I have a list.

this post is about some of those little nuggets that don’t really need their own post.

  1. little rock: we dodged a bullet there.  at the time it seemed like a great idea to move to Arkansas but we have been talking a lot recently about places we have been and where we thought we were headed and we both agree that we dodged a bullet by not going to little rock.  I think I can honestly say that I would have been miserable and thankfully we never loaded up the u haul and moved!
  2. computer clean up.  I have a mini laptop (so it is not meant to house a ton of pictures and videos) and my storage is running low and my computer is running slow.  (a little rhyme maybe?)  anyways…I have been in the process of “organizing” my photos so that I can easily transfer them to an external hard drive and hopefully that will solve the running slow issue and I will be able to store it in a safe place in case of mother nature or stupid mean people that could potentially break in.  on night it was late and i had been working for a few hours and went to stop for the night and DELETED all of my photos…ALL of them.  i dealt with it like any normal mature adult and started sobbing.  not the cute tears welled in my eyes threatening to spill over my eye lids but the ugly crying with snot bubbling and incoherent shrilling.  andy came to my rescue and restored them.  i decided i needed to just go to bed (andy i only work a few minutes at a time so i don’t get tired and stupid).
  3. while doing the computer clean up i found several attempts of some photos that i took of jasper on the windshield.  it made me laugh.  i remembered sitting in the kubota taking the pictures (there had to be about 15 of them).  all of them taken the same distance from jasper…all of them same lighting…all of them the same angle…all of them the same perspective…all of them the same view….each and every single one of them blurry.  i would take the picture look at it and sigh and try again.  it made me thing of the saying: insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. (Einstein).  proof that maybe i am a little insane….?
  4. we got Otis a lobster costume for Halloween (and when i say we i mean that i pestered andy in the store for one and to prevent a scene he caved).  it was too small and andy refused to get a bigger size (i think it was premeditated)!  (so you can officially blame andy for a lack of AWESOME photos of Otis as a lobster).

so there you have it.  now you will be able to sleep tonight.

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.

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.

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*

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.

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!

weekend things…

well this past weekend was great.  in an earlier post i mentioned that this weekend would be “clean and get the house more ready to go on the market” well we did clean but we didn’t do more than just a normal cleaning.  BUT we did make a list of things that we need to do (we went room by room and made a master list).  i plan on starting the list as soon as we get back from our weekend visit to little rock.  we leave in 3 days and i am a little nervous but still really excited. 

i have been having really weird dreams.  i think because we have been talking about moving and packing i have been dreaming about moving and packing.  yesterday afternoon i took a nap after church and dreamt about living in the mountains and when i woke up it took forever for my ears to pop.  it was the strangest thing. 

i am loving this weather and this time of year.  it is cooler and the leaves changing are just beautiful.  we really enjoyed our weekend with the patio door open (otis loved sitting by the open door eating his treat – i hope to upload the short video soon) and a perfect date night on saturday night.  we went to a movie (tower heist) it was great.  we laughed a lot.  and dinner at firebirds.  that is one of the restaurants that we know little rock doesnt have so we used it as a date night before we depart.  it was so yummy but i had so much left over that i will eat it for lunch today and tomorrow. 

work will be a pain today i am sure because friday was veterans day (happy belated) and since the mail didn’t run i know i will be slammed in a matter of minutes.  so hopefully it will keep my mind off my growing to-do list before we head to the airport thursday.  speaking of airports and planes i would like to say i am very nervous.  our youth sunday school teacher was on a plane that lost an engine last week and it is the same airline we are flying with so tons of prayers for a safe flight and tons of praise for pilots who knew what they were doing and got chad and the rest of the passengers on the ground safely. 

This is what fall is all about