Tuesday, December 30, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things... from Christmas 2009

A few of my favorite Christmas memories from this year (ones captured on camera anyways :^)....

Christmas morning (Eve, actually) brunch, Christmas movies (and music for that matter!) , my mom's Christmas tree, being at my Grandma's while she played Christmas carols on the piano and we all sang, .......

....and the Trans Siberian Orchestra!

A few of my favorite presents given.....

We gave mom and dad a new laptop! And we gave Dev a PUPPY!!!!

A few of my favorite gifts received......

The picture and the new digital camera were from Mom and Dad, the Rachael Ray cookware were from Leigh.....

....this luggage finder from Mom and Dad is going to come in SO handy in the airport in Manilla!!!

This digital photo frame from Louise and Dirt and this very cool desk caddy from Mom and Dad will look SO good on my desk at Faulkner!

A few of my favorite ornaments.........

One of my Thomas Peconni ornaments from NaNa, "my ornament" (we get one with our names and the year on it every Christmas) from 1981, and a Krispy Kreme ornamemt that really flashes!!! :^)

Then some that have a theme :^)

It's a smore that says "I burn for you"....come on, HOW much cuter could it be???? And, the fireman snowman will have to represent my work until I find a 911 dispatcher one!

A few of my favorite decorations from the house.......


Thursday, December 25, 2008

and the stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

Ok, not exactly but all the other traditional Christmas things!

We (me and Leigh) left Saturday after I got off work and went to Birmingham where we met Mom and Dad at the BJCC and all went to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This was my third time to go and I honestly LOVE it! I am so glad that I finally got to share it with some of my family and hope next year that Louise and Dirt can go too! They did drive up there and meet us after the concert and we all ate together and Louise left with us and we all went up to Mom and Dad's. Dirt had to work so he had to come back to Montgomery.

Sunday all of us went to church at the congregation where Daddy preaches, Trenton Church of Christ. After night services was the ladies party that Mom always organizes and it was so much fun! All three of us were glad that we got to be there for that!

Monday the five of us left (in one car might I add!!!!) to drive the fourish hours to Jackson, TN to have Christmas with my Mom's side of the family. It was good to see all of them and my Grandma really hasn't been feeling well lately and I think it did her a lot of good for us all to be there at the same time. When I get around to posting pictures (I know, I know) I'll post one that was taken while Grandma was playing the piano with Aunt Beth and Mom sitting on either side of her while we are all singing Christmas carols. I know that, that picture will always be precious, just as the memory will be.

Tuesday we left and drove back to Mom and Dad's, stopping to do that horrible, obligatory, pre Christmas Eve, last minute shopping. We finished wrapping presents and that's also when Dirt came up and met us. Way too late we all went to bed. The next morning was our Christmas!!!

Santa OBVIOUSLY wasn't watching too well, as we were all rewarded MUCH better than we deserved. I'll definitely be posting pictures of some of my gifts but I will tell you my favorite three: a new digital camera from Mom and Dad (it's so nice that it almost makes up for the fact that it was replacing one I just got LAST CHRISTMAS!!! ugh), some Rachael Ray cookware from Leigh, and a digital photo frame from Louise and Dirt. If you can believe it, that's just the beginning! We were able to pull off a HUGE surprise as we bought Mom and Dad a laptop and printer!!! Surprised would be an understatement! Theirs was DEFINITELY deserved though!

I left to come back here after Christmas because I had to work Christmas night, Louise and Dirt went to Dirt's parents, and Leigh went to Nathan's. That brings us to today where Santa has brought me some sleeping pills and twelve hours with nothing to do but sleep and nothing to disturb me!!! It was JUST what I asked for and JUST what I needed!

I hope all of your Christmases were just as wonderful and filled with all of your favorite things. Please remember police officers, firefighters, 911 dispatchers, doctors, nurses and all others that don't get to be with their families today to help protect and help you and yours. ESPECIALLY, our servicemen and women who give SO VERY MUCH to keep us all safe. Please keep all of these in your prayers and if you happen to see one today (or anytime really) please just tell them thank you. At work last night I had some random citizen call in just to tell us thank you. I can't describe how rare that is or how good it made us all feel.

MERRY CHRSITMAS to all and to ME a good night! (obviously day but that doesn't rhyme :^)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving thanks....

This post is written with tears in my eyes as often happens post holidays. I'm going to work my way backwards and before I close I am going to tell the things that I am thankful for.

Momma and Daddy just pulled off to return home. They have been here since Sunday night to celebrate our Thanksgiving on Tuesday night since I have to work Wednesday and Thursday nights. Louise and Dirt left after lunch today to go to Dirt's family's Thanksgiving in Corinth, Miss. Leigh left with Nathan to go celebrate with his family in north Georgia. Now you understand the teary eyes. It's tough for anyone (no matter how much they love time to themselves and calmness!) to go from having all of their loved ones around to being by yourself to go back to work :^( Enough of feeling sorry for myself and, goodness knows, I need the rest. I may be crazy going from my crazy schedule to 4 days of being totally alone and only one little job to keep me busy!

Last night we had the Walker Thanksgiving that included the 6 of us, Nathan (Leigh's boyfriend), Rayla and Tucker Black (friends who are more like family. Rayla teaches at Faulkner and is married to a life long friend of the family from Valdosta. She also is single handily responsible for feeding us and "real food" that we ever get. Tucker is her little boy.), Devin and Kesia Jessie (Kesia works with me and Devin is her child, that I share as my "part time child" and they, too have become like family), and April (this is Leigh's friend that she used to work with at the Biscuits) If you are keeping count, that's 12. And we could have EASILY fed twice that many! My mom, being the amazing mom she is, wanted to have plenty of leftovers for me while I was here by myself but cooked like I was going to be hosting a small army everyday they are all gone! SO MANY leftovers!

We, of course, had turkey, ham, dressing (stay tuned to the end for THE cutest idea for dressing!), mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, broccoli and cheese casserole, creamed corn, home made rolls, apple pie (the very first I have ever made and it was GREAT, if I do say so myself!), drop cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, Louise's world famous pound cake, turtle pie, and sugar cookies. Earlier that day mom had made a cheese ball with crackers, cheese dip, veggie tray with ranch dip, rotel, deviled eggs, chex mix, and various cookies to munch on all day pre meal. It was so good! The diet will definitely start soon...well, after Christmas...or New Years...definitely after the Super Bowl!

Monday I only worked a few hours at Faulkner and we spent the rest of the day shopping! I'm more of an on line shopper but it was fun going and helping Mom and Dad finish (that's right finish! can you imagine?!?) and spending time with the family. They got some great deals and I got some ideas but we were all exhausted by that night! Unfortunately, I think it was just a foreshadowing of Friday!

I think my favorite times while they were here were Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings. We got up and it was just the family (minus Louise and Dirt) and we had leisurely breakfasts and some much needed, laid back family time before all the craziness of the days started. I love my family and next only to God sending his Son to die for my sins, there is nothing this season, or any other day of any year that I am more thankful for.

Some other things that I am thankful for are my family's health. This is something that other's may take for granted but I never will again and haven't missed a day to thank God since July 2004. My friends. I think it's ridiculous that I was blessed with such a good family and then with friends who are just as good as family. My house. Goodness knows it's not perfect but I have plenty of space and it's almost perfect for me, not to mention I can make the payments every month. I dare say that is something that numerous families would love to be able to say the same things for where they live. My car. It's not paid for but it's SO much nicer than my old one and I am focusing on that! How did I ever live without heated seats?? My jobs. I work a lot and don't love the hours and some other things but how many people would give almost anything for a job that they didn't hate and paid all the bills? Being born an American. This is NOT a perfect country, it is not headed in the direction that I would like right now, and things do look a little dimmer than in the past but, there is NO WHERE else I would rather live. And as I sit here and watch the news about the terrorist attacks in India and remember that day in September in 2001, I am so grateful to be on American soil and an America. I am also grateful for all of those, like Adam, who gave their lives so I could enjoy this holiday with my family without having to worry about a bomb dropping on my house or gunmen barging through the door.

I hope that you all have as wonderful Thanksgiving as I had and remember to thank God for all of your blessings!

Oh yeah! Per Rachael Ray and Jamie Walker, put your dressing in a cupcake tin for little individual servings! It is SO cute and was quite a hit here this year! Thanks Rachael for the idea! Pictures posted soon!

Monday, November 10, 2008

50 reasons that I am the worst niece ever....

1. In the last two months I have missed not one, not two, but three Aunts or Uncle's birthdays without so much as a phone call or e card.

2. Do I really need 49 others? What could be worse than number one?????

September 5th was KaKa's 4* birthday and I missed it. Louise, being the perfect niece that she is, tried and tried to get me to make time to do a blog and I totally just never made time to do it.

Saturday was GinGin's 50th birthday!!!! (Do you think it would help if I put in here how if you saw her you would not believe she is 50???? Well, I'm trying it anyways..... NO WAY she could pass for 50 :^) It was the first thing I thought of when I woke up and thought twice during the day that I would call her and even reminded Daddy to call her and I just never made the call.

Sunday was Uncle Ervin's birthday. This is the least of my sins, not because his birthday is any less important, but because he could care less :) I guarantee he was not checking my blog to see if I wrote about him nor was he checking his phone to see if I called. None the less, I didn't acknowledge it so just add it in to the "Laurie's the worst niece ever" list.

Happy Birthday to all three of you, some later than others! I can't imagine any niece having better aunts, and even if I was the best niece ever it wouldn't be what you two deserve for all you've done for me! I love you and will try to make it up to you at Christmas!!!!! :^) :^) :^)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Here it comes....50 things about the best Mom ever!

So....50 years ago today (well minus a little time difference) a beautiful little 8lb, 21 inch long baby girl with a head full of dark hair was born. Jamie Diane Garner made her debut to her missionary parents at a hospital in Manila, Philippines. That is where the story began. I don't know the end to the story but I know the first half and, believe me, it's worth reading. Here's the tricky part, I don't exactly have the time or talent to write it out like a story. So, I am going to steal an idea off of some other blogs and give you 50 Jamie facts that, if I do ever write that book, will most definitely be included.

1. She was born in the Philippines to Charlie T and Jenet Garner, who were doing their 2nd of 3 missionary tours there. They already had two sons, Ted and Tom and after Jamie was born they added one more girl, Beth. Now she has 2 sister-in-laws, 1 brother-in-law, 8 nephews, and 3 nieces.

2. She claims, that with all of those siblings, they never fought. She enjoyed sharing, moving a lot, and having her dates hang out at her house and never got aggravated with them or disrespected her parents. Although, I have never bought the "never" term (sorry, Mom, I haven't ;^), I do know that they had an exceptional time growing up and she was a great daughter and a great sister.

3. She love playing games! Card games, board games, car games, anything competitive. But, she is definitely not competitive to a fault (like some others that will go unmentioned) she just loves spending the time with her friends and or family. She has passed that love onto all of her daughters. No matter how corny it sounds, our family loves to play games together!

4. Although she loves playing game such as mentioned above, she would not, could not be defined as an athlete. She doesn't enjoy sports, playing or watching, unless (and this is a big unless) someone she loves, specifically one of her children or husband, is playing or coaching.

5. Another favorite pastime of hers is singing. She had a beautiful alto voice before and has worked really hard to get it back to where it is today. When we would take road trips we would all take part in Mom lead signings. Since my dad didn't get to go a lot, guess who always got stuck with the "boy" parts of the song? And, I don't know what kinds of songs you had in mind but we sang, 'church songs', 'camp songs', 'fun songs', 'Christmas songs', and songs we would hear on the radio.

6. She loves the holidays, especially Christmas time. She goes all out, doesn't leave one square inch of a tree or house for that matter, uncovered. There are ornaments and nick knacks everywhere. I've never seen a Christmas tree done up better than she does it.

7. She had a massive stroke on July 15, 2004. The doctors said that if the clot that caused it had been 7/38ths of a mm bigger she would have died. She couldn't walk, write, could barely even smile or talk. Now she walks, talks, drives, does pretty much everything that she did before. It's actually pretty amazing.

8. I weighed 10lbs 6oz, Louise weighed 9lbs 15oz, and Leigh was 10lbs 15oz. I only tell you that because my mom is 5'3" and weighed barely 100lbs before she got pregnant with me. All natural too. Pretty impressive, huh?

9. She graduated from high school in 1976 and left that fall for college at Freed Hardeman University in Tennessee. It's where both of her brothers went and where her baby sister would go too.

10. Over her Thanksgiving break 1978 she visited her grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins in Jacksonville, FL. While going to service at the congregation where her Uncle's family worshiped she was introduced to one of her cousin's friends and their new youth minister. She saw him again that Christmas and he came and visited her at school over Valentine's Day, 1979. That's when he purposed and she accepted. They got married that August and had their first baby (that's me!) the following July. How's that for fast moving!

11. Her favorite movies are old musicals.

12. Her children were never bored when they were little. During the summers she would take us to every single vacation Bible school in the county and every surrounding county. We went to every reading and special thing at the library. Picnics at the park and just going to the playground, anything that was free she packed us all up and carried us all there to keep us busy and having fun. Now, looking back at how busy she must have been and how tired she had to have been and how little people do like that now, it's pretty amazing.

13. She was always a full time mother and wife until her youngest was in high school. But she would take part time and seasonal jobs that didn't interfere with her family to make sure that we all had the most amazing birthdays and Christmases.

14. We were really, really barely, maybe considered the lowest of middle class but somehow her and my dad always managed to pay for, not only private school but anything extra curricular that we ever wanted to even try. Example, I played t ball, softball, basketball, the saxophone in the pep band, and sang in the chorus at different parts of my childhood.

15. Me and my sisters all played athletics (for the sake of time, I am considering cheering as athletics) and she never once missed a home or away game that any of us dressed out for even if we never made it off the bench. She has always been our biggest fan.

16. She loves to have her nails done....by a professional, or one of her daughters.

17. She sold Mary Kay for many years when we were growing up. She would take us along to her parties and every now and then we got to play in the makeup.

18. She has always made every friend of ours feel extremely welcome at our house, whether it be from middle school, high school or college. They always talk about how they were part of our family.

19. Mom always cooked enough food for everyone! You never knew who would end up at the table with us but there was always plenty and everyone was happy.

20. We ALWAYS held hands while we prayed around the dinner table. It was a rule!

21. Mom would be a millionaire if we really did pay her every time we said crap, shut up, butt, etc. That was a rule too!

22. When we were small, Mom and Dad were the dorm parents for the boys dorm at Georgia Christian. I still don't understand how she managed all those boys and the three of us!!!

23. Mom sang in the chorus at Freed Hardeman and now anytime any chorus calls for former members, she loves to go up and sing "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" with them.

24. When Mom was a teenager, she was a CandyStriper.

25. Mom was the youngest patient on her floor in the rehab hospital after her stroke but probably the most loved. It was the best example of making the best of the worst situation. A few visited Church with her and we still take goodies by to our 'Siskin family' sometimes.

26. She LOVES to teach class at church and she always does such a good job! She puts a ton of time and work into making her classroom look great and her kids feel great about coming to class.

27. She is one of the most giving people I know. Maybe tied with my dad. Together they would literally give you anything they had. For that matter, they would find a way to get whatever you needed if they didn't have it.

28. Loves candy and loved passing her love of it on to her children!! :)

29. She and Dad are really excited about becoming grandparents one day!

30. When we were in high school and would go out on dates, she was always up when we got home, no matter what time it was. It was never discussed, she was just always up and we always knew she would be.

31. Loves Coke. Scratch loves and insert addicted to.

32. When we were younger and would get to go to the movies, she would let us buy candy at the gas station or Dollar General and then she would take it in in her purse.

33. She made a great scrapbook for Louise's wedding events....and I think it was her first one!!

34. She always comes up with the best presents! She just always seems to know!! I think it a combination of her love of the holidays and her love of others over herself.

35. Whenever we were sick and would have to stay home from school, she would do whatever we wanted....watch the same movie over and over or play the same game over and over!! When we got sick at night time she would come in our rooms and read the Bible to us until we fell asleep.

36. Hand and Foot is a game that I think her family invented and she is practically a pro at it.

37. She was VERY hesitant about letting Louise and Leigh go to their high school proms....even though she and Dad could and did go. But she really enjoyed helping them pick the perfect dresses and getting them ready to go.

38. She makes the best homemade yeast rolls ever!! I think her son in law is her favorite person to make them for.

39. She loves to play Dominoes....they even used them as part of her rehab and she STILL loves to play.

40. Speaking of rehab.....she HATED it. There is no lesser word that could be used.

41. She has lived in the Philippines, Texas, Oregon, Florida, and Georgia.

42. She can cook anything and I do mean ANYTHING with the exception of instant Jello. I know....I don't understand it either.

43. The favorite job she ever had was working at the make up counter at JCPenney's. If I ever had the money I would buy her her own make up store. Even if it didn't make much money she would LOVE it and is SO good at it! Hard to believe I'm her daughter, huh?

44. For our birthdays every year she makes your favorite meal. The great thing is, is that the meal doesn't have to go together (i.e. fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, rolls), it can be your favorite stuff. Mine usually is broccoli and cheese casserole, chicken casserole, asparagus and cheese, cheese potato's, and yeast rolls. Oh yeah, baby. I don't ever ask for jello :^)

45. She had two miscarriages. Just another thing that amazes me that she went through and still has the sunniest disposition of anyone I know.

46. She puts the funniest things on her cell phone voice mail. You'll just have to call her. It's always changing and it will always make you smile.

47. She loves 3 Dog Night, America, Michael Bolton, and Billy Joel just to name a few.

48. She is a die hard pack rat. Don't try to change her or organize her, believe me we've tried! But if you need something I made in VBS in 1986, I'm sure she can find it for you.

49. There is no one in the world that I could post 50 things about who would love it and appreciate it more than she will. Or who deserves it more.

50. I have saved the most important one for last. She is the absolute epitome of the Christian woman described in Proverbs 31. She takes the J-O-Y song theory to heart and as far as I can tell, always have. In turn it has made her the best daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend that I have ever met. She has done the Lord's work her entire life and we are lucky, no blessed, to have her as a mother. I tell people all the time that she absolutely couldn't have been a better mother or made for a better childhood. But, I honestly don't think she could have been a better person. You too are blessed if you have met her.

Mom, we love you and wish we could be with you today but can't wait to celebrate with you all weekend long!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Heavy Heart...

...that is what this post is written with. Yesterday I had a big date with my "boyfriend" Peyton and his sister Gracie. They are the kids of Coach Nichols and his wife, Haley, whom I wrote about in my last post. I was watching them while their mom had her "baby doctor" appointment to find out what the sex of their baby was going to be. I received a call from Haley (who's Dr was in Auburn, about an hour from Faulkner) from there and she told me the Dr was not able to find a heartbeat. As I write this I just received a text from Coach Nichols that Haley has just gone back for her surgery. I covet your prayers for this family. As Haley told me yesterday, "This baby is ok now, no one has to worry about it anymore" but the family obviously has a lot of healing to do. Please keep them in your prayers and just let me know if you would like their address to send a card.

Also, while I am asking for important prayer time, I have 2 other quick requests. I have also spoken before about Melissa, whom lost her sweet baby on the same day she was born last year, will give birth to another beautiful baby girl, Brecken within the week. There have been a few concerns with this pregnancy as well, so everyone involved will be so happy to meet this baby and make sure that she is healthy. Please keep, Melissa, Brecken, the Dr's, and the family in your prayers. Hopefully, the next time I post about them I will have a picture of a healthy little Brecken!!!

Last but certainly not least is Avie Dawkins. Avie is about 5 1/2 months old and was born to Audrey and Donald with a cleft pallet and is scheduled to have surgery to close it later this month. Audrey and Melissa both were at my very first birthday party so have known me longer than anyone else, excluding family. I love them both like sisters and miss being involved in their daily lives. I hope they both know how much I do care about them and I will be constantly praying for thir little girls over the next few weeks.

I feel so blessed to have you (whoever you are reading this) in my life. It is so reassuring when things seem to be spiraling totally out of my control that I can turn to all you over cyberspace and ask you to join me in prayer. Thanks so much for listening to my rambling and, in advance, for your prayers.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Important Things

So, ever since last Wednesday I have been planning to blog on Monday (today). I "bought" a car that day and knew that I would be picking it up today and had planned on putting pictures and such telling all about it, ect., ect. This is not going to be that blog. That blog will probably come, just not today. Today, I am blogging about something much more important. Actually, just something important. New cars really don't even fall into the "important" category.

Last year (I wish that I could remember exactly when or how but, I can't. No surprise to those of you who know me :^) I met Haley Nichols. Before I tell you about her and their family, I need to tell you a little something about myself. I am, as most of you know, 28, single (never married), and have no children (please try to contain your sympathy sighs and no need to rack your brain on who you can set me up with....it's not as bad as it sounds :^) I grew up like most other girls thinking that I wanted a house full of children, a husband, of course, the whole 9 yards. Then I turned 22 and saw all my friends get married and start to have children. My blinders came off and reality hit of how hard it actually is and how wonderful having the freedom of no children, husband is. It's almost intoxicating and addictive. I am well aware of how selfish I sound here but not just that, I just started too see parenting from the parents perspective instead of the child's and it left me having two good reasons that I probably wasn't cut out for parenthood.

First, I love my family, especially my sisters, way too much. I worry about them way too much, I care about everything in their lives too much, I am way too overprotective and defensive of them. You may be saying that this isn't possible, but I assure you that my sisters would disagree. I just got to thinking that if it was this hard just to be someones sister that the mother/child love might put me over the edge. I still feel that way but have been convinced that if God can send me someone that I would actually be willing to give up all that I have for and want to have children with, He could keep me from going crazy with love for that child. Literally, crazy.

The second point (and the one that is eventually going to lead me back on point) is that I am not like other parents. I am way more laid back about things (clothes, hair, ect.) that seem to drive parents. No knock here, I just don't care. I mean it might change but, I honestly don't need my kids initials embroidered on everything from their socks to their hats. I don't see spending more on a rambunctious 4 year old's dress, that she may wear for one season that I do on one for me that I may wear for five years. I have no desire to be a parent who freaks out anytime a speck of dirt comes near my child or they get a hole in their pants. Like I said, this could change, I just wouldn't count on it. In comes, Haley Nichols (and from the best I can remember, my mom. But like I said, now I see things from a parents perspective where all I remember is from a child's) She is the coolest, most laid back mother. Not that she never disciplines her children or that they run around covered in dirt and in rags. Quite the opposite actually. Her kids are always cute, very well behaved, and clean. Her whole attitude towards parenting is just so much like I figure mine would be and I see how happy and wonderful her children are and I think, "Oh! I COULD raise a happy, healthy child!" And, not just her attitude towards parenting, but her attitude towards life. I just really love her. Back to point.

Haley is married to Coach Jim Nichols the head football coach at Faulkner and also my boss. As I stated in my last blog, I love them and their kids. She is in between 3-4 months pregnant and does have a history of miscarriages. She started having a few complications last week and now is on bed rest and things are not looking good. I remember when GinGin (my aunt) had Jessica (who has down syndrome and was born with a lot of problems that come with that) and Melissa (one of my best friends from home) found out about Janey (she found out in her third month that she had anecephely and Janey died, just a few hours after being born) really having trouble sleeping and just waking up in the middle of the "night" thinking about it and spending countless hours praying. That was again where I found myself at 5 o'clock this morning. Awake and praying.

I write all this so you will have a little understanding of the situation and, most of all, to beg of you to pray. Haley has 2 very big Dr's appointments this week and I KNOW the power of prayer and so do Haley and Jim. Please pray that things will turn out for the best for this family and that God will find a way to keep this baby healthy. It is not to me to question why these things happen and I won't start now but this is a Godly family who is raising Godly kids, the kind of kids this world needs more of and I am praying that it is His will that this baby be born and born healthy. Please also pray and ask anyone you know to pray too. I know that it is mostly mothers in this world and weather you have ever had a sick baby or a unhealthy pregnancy or not, you know how traumatic this can be. If you or your ladies class, ect would be interested in sending Haley a card of encouragement that would be great, just e mail me at Laurierwalker@yahoo.com or lrwalker@faulkner.edu and I'll be happy to give you their address. Thanks for reading through all of my rambling to get to this important point.

Monday, September 15, 2008

So much to blog about.....

....so little time to do it in!!! So little time seems to be a running theme in my life lately! Whew! Where to even start? I'll just have to do this chronilogically.....
Thursday (September 11) was a very sad day in my life and not just for obvious reasons (see previous post). Thursday one of my most loyal friends died. My wonderful, most faithful car (a.k.a. "ol girl") died. It wasn't completely unexpected but, as most of you know, you are never really ready. I just didn't know that on that faithful morning when I left work and went to the Chiropractor in Millbrook, that I would never drive her again. {insert sigh and sniff here} So, now, not only do I have to worry about her final arrangements, I have to be on the hunt for a new car! And, the worst thing about that is....a new car payment! That is something I haven't had in over SIX years! Boo!
Friday (September 12) I was just in a all together rotton mood, made even worse by NO sleep, the before mentioned loss, and working in a office full of boys who love to pick when you are aggervated! So then what did I do?? I went to a used car lot. Let's just say that it started out with the car salesman (who is about my age and three times my weight) walking up to me (at this point I am by myself), sticks out his hand, and says "Hi, Sweetie" Now, don't get me wrong, I am by no means some hard core "women's lib" psycho but when you (a used car salesMAN) walks up to me (a seemingly young female who is by myself) and calls me "Sweetie", he is just saying to me "Ok, little lady. I am the big man who knows all about cars and I am in charge here and about to take you for way more than you're worth. Unfortunately for him, I was in no mood for it. This was my response (after giving him a look that I feel certain made him regret it before I even opened my mouth), "Hi. And, don't do that. Don't call me Sweetie. You don't know me, you're not some sweet old man, and you have no idea if I am sweet or not. Therefor, you are just trying to intimidate me and it is really just ticking me off more than intimidating me. Now, my name is Laurie, let's start this over." Needless to say he quickly got too busy to help me and handed me off to a salesman named "Rooster" and it was all down hill from there! Thanks Louise for your backup, sorry about that two hours we're not getting back!
Saturday (September 13) was the first Faulkner home football game and my debut as a sideline reporter! Whoo! It was our cross town rival, Huntington, a school not much larger than us and literally only eight miles away. Also, with a relatively new football team (I think this is thier 5th or 6th year). OK, well they won and it was heartbreaking, made more so by the fact that I am getting to know the players, coaches, and everyone else involved more and more and I know how much time, heart, and energy they are putting into it! My "reporting" is probably not going to get me a job anytime soon but it was fun. Sideline reporting probably just isn't THE BEST job for someone with such a bad case of ADD as I have (LOL made for some interesting moments!), there is a lot to take your mind of the voices in your headset when you are down on the field!
Sunday (September 14) I went to class and then to "late church" since I had not worked the night before. (I am just going to insert here, not dwell on the fact of how ridiculosly happy I have been having four days off and staying here in town but I will tell you that I had NUMEROUS people notice the difference in my personality and energy level.....I LOVE sleeping at night and not going to 911 Communications Pkwy!!!) During the service I had quite a little surprise when my boyfriend, Peyton, walked back durin the song pre-preaching to sit with me! Peyton is very tall (for his age), beautiful curly, blonde hair, blue eyes, and the sweetest personality in the world. He has a smile that absolutely makes everything in the world better. OK, OK, whatever, he's three. But I LOVE him! I told him that Ol Girl had died and that I was getting a new car and he said to make sure I got a blue one :^) His siter, Gracie, who is 8, gave me the thumbs up and said, "YES!" when I told her. Some people..... Anyways, after service, since I didn't have to run off to bed, I was able to go out for lunch! It was me, Louise, Dirt, Leigh, Nathan, and our visiting friend Barry (who received a Bible for leaving our congergation that morning! I mean, I knew we were having problems outgrowing our building but whille most congergations give Bibles to NEW members, we are now rewarding people for leaving???? ;^) all went out to O'Charleys. I decided to forgo the old diet and stick with my new nutritionist advise to eat serious red meat twice a week....I had prime rib :^) I LOVE that new Dr! Here, is where I made my biggest mistake, Dirt asked if Iw anted to go riding on his bike with a group that goes riding from University CoC. I said no, that I still did want to ride but that I was taking a nap that afternoon. Wrong choice. I am going to start a new paragraph for the coninuation for this because it is it's own story.....
After Dirt's long ride he came to my house to pick me up for p.m. service (another luxury that I don't get when I am working) and I rode his bike with him for the first time since he got it. I have kind of been avoiding it because of my notorious lack of need for speed. The one time I was taken for a ride on one I DID NOT love it and I don't like that general open air, fast feeling. Not a roller coaster girl. So I put my big girl panties on (not literally, obviously...), strapped the helmet on and hopped on. I LOVED IT!!!! I mean LOVE IT! So, here's the big announcement.....I am TOTALLY getting a motorcycle! I don't mean I'm dropping 40k on one nor am I now a biker chick who will be wearing chaps to work everyday but I am getting one and soon. I really, really LOVE it! And what a gas saver!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

"On the day when buildings fell....."

"....hero's rose." I write this with tears in my eyes and no great insight or thoughts to share. I just couldn't allow this day to go by without mentioning it. I hate that I lived during this time in American history and I hate that my children or nieces and nephews will never know the kind of America that I grew up in and that kind of (albeit, false) feeling of safety. However, I loved the feeling of patriotism that I received that day and still hold onto today. September 11th will always be a day that breaks my heart and I hope that I NEVER forget what that day felt like. I wish that so many others had not already, especially after such a short amount of time. I thank all of the patriots and their families who lost their lives that day and all that have fought for our continued safety and freedom since that day. I will never be able to remember this day or almost any other day without thinking about Adam and his family. As always, I beg your continued prayers for Erin, his girls, and the rest of his family. Most importantly...................

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Politics, Religion, Football, and other politically incorrect social topics!

Politics.... I love Sarah Palin and I am learning to love John McCain. Here are my reasons why, and quite honestly, I don't care if you agree or not. As was pointed out in another blog (shout out to Audrey) it's my blog, my thoughts, and my memories. I am pretty sure that my blog is not set as the home page on your computer so, feel free to navigate away if it is too upsetting!

First, I am a fan of smaller government. It is fine if you like the government sticking it's nose into every aspect of your life and would trust them with your checkbook, I just do not and would not. That is why I choose to live here instead of China or some other communist country. I also do not believe that throwing money (especially MY hard earned money) at problems makes them better. Here, you may also have a different opinion and my opinion on your opinion is that you are wrong. Also, I love that we try to work problems out diplomatically but I love more that we have the world's GREATEST military to back up those pretty words and that we are not afraid to use it and the world knows it. I love that we are not a country of pansies and if you think I am wrong about this you might want to quit reading here and google some history lessons. I think experience is not the most important thing you can look for when choosing a president but I think that experience, a clam head, good history of making good decisions, and patriotism are some of the most important things! It's obvious who I am voting for and I am just praying that we are not really just a nation of stupid sheep who can make the most important decision for our country based on pretty words and well written speeches!

Second, religion....OK, I don't really have anything to add to this but I needed it for my title ;^) I think most of you know how I feel on this topic and I would be more than happy to debate or talk about anything relating to religion by e mail :^)

Third, football.....for the love. Let's just say that it was a TOUGH weekend. I did my first radio broadcast for Faulkner and loved it (even though I was in terrible pain thanks to a small "surgical procedure" that I had on the Friday before) and must have done ok because I'll be back on as the sideline reporter this Saturday for the big Huntington game under the lights! I am very excited and as a note concerning this game, if you are in town you should definitely come out and support these boys! AND wear black!! We are previewing our new black uniforms (VERY COOL, if you have ever seen Ga's or So Carolina's!!) and we want to "black out" the crowd, meaning everyone wear some form of black shirt, so spread the word! Back to this past Saturday, it was, er...tough. Well, let's just say that we knew going in that we were playing a much bigger, more experienced school that plays in a much tougher division and has lots more experience and scholarships. These are not excuses, just facts. Here is the last fact I am quoting from that game and then I am moving on, we lost 62-0. I know, girls from the "old days" at GCS, it brought back a lot of bad memories! Moving on, I am also trying my hand at fantasy football this year (you know, in all of my spare time...HA!) For those of you who don't get this it is basically where you take real players and their real stats and put together your own "fantasy" team and compete against others and their "fantasy" team. The way that you win is by your players doing well and earning you more points than the other teams in your league. You have to keep up with their stats and make sure that all of your players are playing (not hurt and their teams are not having a bye week) and put in the players who you expect to do the best that week. My quarterback for the first week was Tom Brady. For the love. He was the best (statistically) quarterback last year and seemed to be a good choice. He went down in the first stinking quarter with a season ending knee injury. Just my luck. With the shellacking (sp?) that Faulkner took and Tom Brady going down in my fantasy league I was just SO thankful that Tennessee had a bye week! I am still hurting from last weeks game from them!

Other politically incorrect topics..... something that was brought up on a friend of mine's blog is mothers that either stay home or working while raising children. Her point was that some mothers who have the choice and make the choice to stay home with their children should not make those who can't and/or don't make that choice feel like their children are any less loved. I am not going into her details but I am going to offer my opinion. My mom (through choice or the simple economics of how ridiculously expensive it is to put three kids in day care and all of my in town relatives worked full time) stayed at home with us but took many part time jobs. She worked at many retails stores part time and seasonally to make sure we had great Christmases and birthdays, could not only attend private school but participate in whatever extra curricular activities that we wanted, and sometimes just to make the stinkin ends meet and put food on the table! Her, not only working but saving money by being a good, sensible shopper enabled my dad to teach and coach and a Christian school and impact many other young lives besides the three of ours. The thing that her hard work gave us was much more than just great presents, parties, educations, and basic necessities, she gave us the knowledge that as mothers and women we can do whatever we want but that you DO do whatever you have to, to do the best for your family. I know that this is what she did and most of the mothers I know do. So, to all of you mothers, who work outside the home and otherwise, thank you. You all have made sacrifices in one way or another for your family and children in order to make this a better world for them and for all of us.

Last thing......


and what can I say, I'm a die hard, glutton for punishment, non bandwagon fan.....

GO VOLS!!!!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


dis·gust (dĭs-gŭst') dis·gust·ed, dis·gust·ing, dis·gusts

1. To excite nausea or loathing in; sicken.
2. To offend the taste or moral sense of; repel.

n. Profound aversion or repugnance excited by something offensive.

adj. Filled with disgust or irritated impatience

Just wanted to make sure that everyone understood how I felt. This is how I feel about first of all, the way that the main stream media is treating Sarah Palin. They are out of control and all of these women's lib groups, Democratic and Republic should be making a call to arms! How dare they not only insinuate, but out and out say that she cannot be a good mother while being a good mother at the same time! How many people criticized the democratic VP pick for leaving his very recently motherless, small, injured children for a Senate job and he was THE ONLY parent at home? I am not criticizing him for the decision he made I am just pointing out the EXTREME sexism and bias! If elected, her children would live with her, in a house just a few miles from her office, and her husband has already agreed to be a full time stay at home dad! Speaking of her husband, the media has been very critical of his DUI from 22 years ago (before they had any children). Now, I am obviously not condoning the behavior AT ALL, however, I need the media to focus on the fact that at the same time that this VP nominee's SPOUSE received a DUI another PRESIDENT nominee, HIMSELF, admits to doing illegal drugs!! And, on a matter that is VERY CLOSE to my own heart, if you are any part of a rumor involving a BABY, especially with any special needs, you are the lowest kind of human being and don't deserve anything good. I could use lots of different words to define how I feel about the main stream media's treatment of Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin but for now I will stick with disgusted!

The second thing that I am disgusted with is the Tennessee Volunteers (also with obnoxious AL and Fl fans, but that goes without saying) The way that they looked Monday night was embarrassing to all Vol fans. I am not sold on not a fan of this new "offense" (even calling it that is a stretch) nor am I am fan of our quarterback (never have been). But the way that they looked like they were giving about 20% during that UCLA game was hard to watch as a Tennessee fan. I would have been disgusted even if they had found a way to win at the end, they just looked like a team with no heart. I hope that this show was not indicative of the rest of the season and the best thing that came from that game was that we don't play again for almost two weeks!!

On the same note of football but away from being disgusted, today is the first Faulkner football game. Most of you know that I am working in the Faulkner football office part time so I know how much hard work these guys have been putting in and I am so excited that game time is finally here for them. Also, I am working with the Faulkner Radio Network this year and will be splitting my time at the games between color commentator, side line reporter, and on site producer. Today, at the game against Samford, in Birmingham, I will be having my debut as color commentator. Depending on how it goes, it could be my final presentation so you better listen in! :^) GO EAGLES!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year!!!


I am so excited! I have to be honest, if my family could all get together to watch the game, this day would trump Christmas to me! I LOVE the beginning of football season! I hope the next time I blog it will be about how excited I am about our first win. This will be my last Tennessee Vols game that doesn't conflict with Faulkner Eagles game, I wish I could be in California! Instead we are hosting a Hurricane/Tennessee party at our house and that stinkin Gustav DOES NOT want to mess with my power or cable until that game is over!

Before I go.....

a couple of prayer requests....

1. All those who are preparing to be impacted by Gustav.

2. Doug Amos's daughter Reyn. Doug works in the Faulkner athletic dept and Reyn was born with a lot of complications and now they have taken her back to Children's Hospital in Birmingham and they have diagnosed her with even more problems.

Hope everyone stays safe during the storm and keeps a good attitude (that's me!) during football season!

One more thing.....

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

An End to The Games

Well, I am stuck between that time between the end of the Olympics and a few days before college football so here are my thoughts on the Olympics before this turns into UT football blog of the year :^)

Trampoline. Rhythmic Gymnastics. Equestrian. Field Hockey. Table Tennis. Handball. Power Walking. I'm going to try not to sound too "Americanized" here but is are these REALLY Olympic caliber events?? I am not about to join the ridiculous debate on if these are sports, they are obviously not. I'll give them "skill" or "game" but "sport", no way. I am also not going to join in the debate on what qualifies as a "sport" (even though I am thoroughly amused, if not in total agreement, with radio personality's Rick and Bubba's theory on the "Big 3" being the only real "sports") The point I am trying to make is are these things really worthy of Olympic sized glory? Especially, in light of the fact that the I.O.C., in all of their infinite wisdom, has now dis banned baseball and softball until, at least, 2016.

I understand their reasoning that the MLB not allowing any of it's players to participate keeps baseball out because, obviously, the best in the world are not competing, which is what the Olympics are all about. I said I understand not agree. Taking away softball, however, I haven't even heard a real reason! The closest "reason" I heard was because of perceived "American dominance." Of course, it has to be pointed out that we won....THE BRONZE, just last week. And, if this is the case for removing "sports" then I'm sure all the Chinese will be sick about the removal of DIVING!!!! Sure. Lest I get off point, none of these reasons (excuses) hold any water when the facts are that you let things like power walking in! Am I the only one that realized that this is a "sport" where a majority of the training and practice takes place in a shopping mall!!! The absurdity of it all makes me wonder if the same who run the U.N. are now running the I.O.C.

The last negative thing that I cannot overlook about these games are the ridiculousness of the Chinese government. I mean this as absolutely NO knock on the Chinese people. By all accounts I have heard, seen, and read they were as hospitable as any host country's people have ever been or ever could be and I appreciate that. I certainly don't hold them accountable for the actions of their government, I certainly wouldn't want to be held accountable for mine sometimes. However, I would have loved to have seen the Shawn Johnson, Natia Lukin, and the rest of the American gymnast in their locker room after getting their silver medals. I'm sure you are all curious as to what I would have said ;^) "They may have their gold medals, but you all get to take your silver's home and do whatever you would like. You can go to college and become a Dr, lawyer, Coach, politician, housewife, or anything in between. You have the option to train to come back to the 2012 Olympics or never step foot in a gym again. these are options that none of these Chinese girl's will ever have and, undoubtedly, would trade all of the gold medals in the world for. Be proud of your silver and even prouder of the country that you earned it for." Then, possibly, the bad sport in me would mention that they take these kids from their homes at 2 or 3 and make them train all day for 365 days a year and they can still on barely beat us and, not without "alleged" cheating and shady judging. What does that say??? I can't mention the Chinese and not give my opinion on the age controversy. Those girls very well may be 16. Of course, I too, may be 16.

Since this looking more like a rant instead of my closing thoughts. Here are my non negative thoughts.

I'm pretty sure I will never forget jumping up and down and screaming at my tv (home alone, of course), watching Jason Leezak chasing down that stinkin French, smack talkin swimmer and the feeling that made me feel like I had just won gold. I won't forget how my heart stopped during that 3 second period of time when it looked like Michael Phelps had been out touched only to find out that all eyes were wrong! Nor will I soon forget seeing these multi millionaires, most of whom have been part of high school, college, and even NBA championship teams pumping their fist up in the air and having tears in their eyes on the medal stand after bringing the Men's basketball gold back home to the USA. These Olympics and triumphant moments and tragic moments and even those that encompassed both like the moment after the US men's volleyball team beat the Brazil team in a gold medal match they were never supposed to be in and all of the emotion was just too much for coach Hugh McCutcheon, who's father in law had just been murdered in front of his wife the day after the opening ceremonies. All he could do was cover his face with both hands and walk off the court and all we could do as spectators was watch with tears in our eyes. In my humble opinion these Olympics, although full of flaws, achieved their gold. They were a nice break from the war, politics, and horror that so often fills our tv time. As previously stated in another post, I love athletics and competition and I love this country so, as long as those things hold true and the feeling I get when watching that beautiful red, white, and blue flag being raised with my national anthem being blared over the loud speakers still gives me a feeling that can't be replicated, I will always love them. Who knows, maybe I'll be in London in the summer of 2012!

Monday, August 18, 2008

hodge podge of a blog

I love the Olympics. I don't mean that they are just entertaining or that they have filled a tv void. I mean I love them. No kidding, I honestly found myself during prayer time last night, thanking God for them. I know, what a nerd. But, as previously discussed, it has just been a rather crappy time in my life and they have been a highlight! If you know me very well at all you know three things, I am very patriotic, I love sports, and I am VERY competitive. The Olympics touches on each of these!! Add on top of that, I also appreciate very nice looking swimmers/divers/water polo players/beach volley players (need I go on :) and it just all adds up to a GREAT thing in my life! I am already having post swimming depression, I am glad I will have college football right around the corner when they are over! This past weekend Louise, Dirt, and Leigh all went out of town and me and Titus stayed behind to keep up with the Olympics. Obviously, from the above picture, he was more into the gymnastics than the swimming but he IS a boy! Last thing about the Olympics (for this post anyway...) if you can watch any athlete from any sport stand on that medal stand while our national anthem is playing in the background and not get a tear in your eye and goosebumps, you are a stronger person than me. I actually swell with pride!

Next on my list of hodge podge issues.... Is there much worse feeling than when a friend experiences something horrible and there is nothing you can do about it? I'm not sure if I have blogged about it but a lot of you have heard me speak about it, heartbreak is the worst thing in the world a person can go through. Whether it is breaking up with a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife or death of a loved one or the loss of a friend, the actual heart breaking is way worse than any physical pain. A few of these are friends of mine who's hearts are breaking that I ask of all of you to keep in your prayers.

1. Shanon Rice. Shanon is a few years younger than me and is married to the preacher (Brint) in Alex City, AL. They have a little girl, Lily, who will be 2 in September and a baby, Barrett who was born July 16th. Lily had the worst case of colic that I have ever heard of a baby having and now Barrett has it too. For anyone who has ever had a child have colic you know how exhausting and horrible that can be. Sunday her grandfather (Shanon was raised by her grandparents and although her mom is in her life, her Grandfather was her "dad") suddenly had a massive stroke and died. She is obviously crushed and having to handle all of this only a month after giving birth and on colic deprived sleep.

2. Reagan Mckenzie. This is Coach Dean Briggs (that I work with at Faulkner football) little grand baby. She was born Friday with a lot of problems and is now in the NICU at the Children's Hospital in Birmingham. She is his first grand baby and obviously already owns his heart. She is currently hooked up to a machine that takes out all of her blood, cleans it with oxygen, and puts it back in her (all very technical terms!) I know this family would appreciate your prayers.

3. The Hick's. Most of you are familiar with their story and know that they just celebrated what would have been Janey's 1st birthday and they are getting ready to deliver their next baby. Please continue to pray that they will find peace and for a very healthy delivery and baby.

4. I have two friends who are going through major marriage problems. They will, obviously, go unnamed but, please keep them in your prayers. I'm not married and even I know how tough being married can be and both of these are married to non Christians and both have children in the picture, which complicates it even more.

5. The Gee family. I'm not sure how many are familiar with them but they are missionaries to Africa. They have 5 (I think) natural born children and now three adopted from over there. They are some of the most amazing people I know and I am going to copy their e mail explaining the situation because I can't condense it. Dear Family, Friends and Supporters:
We desperately need your prayers concerning our daughter, Naomi. As you may remember back in June, she was in an orphanage (had been there 13 months) before she was relinquished to us by her 75-year-old father (her mother is dead). Now, the mother’s brother is challenging the father concerning his relinquishing her to us. Things are much different in Africa concerning parental rights than they are in America.
Because this uncle is family, the court could rule in his favor and he could very well take her away from us. The court will not care that she almost starved to death in his care when she was young or that before we showed interest he was willing for her to spend the rest of her life in an orphanage. But now for some reason, he wants her. Masai girls are sold into marriage as young teenagers...the family gets many cows from the prospective groom.
We love Naomi and want her to remain our daughter. Please remember her in prayer...ask everyone you know to please pray...that the best for Naomi will be decided.
With our deepest gratitude,
Jimmy & Trina Gee & family

6. Last, I ask you to keep me and my family in your prayers. We are going through some tough, personal things, like all families do at one point or another and we are all doing our fair share of praying about it and ask that you will too. I know and believe with everything in me that "all things work together for good" but also know that there is no time promised of when they will work out and getting from here to there can be rough.

Lastly, I hate my job! I do not speak of this lightly and it is hard for me to believe I am saying it because just a couple of months ago I loved it and had loved it for the past five years. There have been a few things that have contributed to my sincere misery there and I have made the decision not to be there by January. I am too young to make myself miserable going to work everyday! I am now actively looking for something where the benefits and pay are as good as they are there but that doesn't contribute to making me a miserable person.

Oh wait! One more thing.....Only TWO WEEKS until the first Tennessee football game!!! GO VOLS and GO TEAM USA!

Friday, August 8, 2008

those times....

So, as most every adult knows, there are times in life where things are just not so great. Not so terrible, thank goodness, just not so great. Things at work are not so great, things at home are not so great. Seems like the devil is taking cheap shots every chance he gets. That is pretty much where I am at. Things have been worse and I certainly don't need anyone telling me how much worse things could be, I know that. If you are one of those people who actually does feel better by hearing how much worse off others are or it could be, please don't assume that everyone is like that. Hearing that things could be worse doesn't help make things better. I am not depressed and really it just one of those times that just makes you ready for it to be over. Of course, a great thing about these times is the powerful knowledge that it will be over. Plus, this time has made me grateful for the past couple of years when things have been so good in my life!

On a much lighter note....the Olympics start today!!! I LOVE the Olympics, always have and am SO excited about them! I know I'm a nerd but there's something to be said about finding the joy in small things and I definitely do that! Also, I need to admit....I have a little crush on Michael Phelps! So, go USA!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Does it ever slow down?

Holy cow! It is crazy how intense and hectic the three weeks have been since I got back! I have definitely been as busy and stressed out as I have ever been! AND IT SHOWS! I have gained 12 pounds in three weeks (those of you who knew me durin the college years aren't shocked by this but for those of you who didn't, I realize how shocking those statistics are!), I am more broken out than a 14 year old, and (if possible) the black under my eyes are a whole shade darker!

Today I started my new part time job at Faulkner. Although not exactly what anyone would define as challanging, it is fun and gives me time to catch up on my blogging! All I need to know now (ironically as on another tab I am registering to start classes, on top of everything else) is does it ever slow down??? Got to run now....15 things to do tonight!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Louise got her packing taken out today and is feeling much better! She can actually sit now! Thanks to all of you who prayed, e mailed, called, and brought food! Weeze, glad things are getting better! Dirt, you're a great nurse!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Busy Days

Whew! Last Thursday I was visiting with Louise when she complained about pain in her lower back. She didn't mention it much and she's not much of a complainer so I didn't think much about it. Friday I was at thier house eating when she mentioned it again. Dirt asked her if she had fallen on her backside or bumped it because she said she thought she might have broken it. By Saturday she and Dirt went to PriMed where they told her that she had some swelling and it might be tendinitis (sp?)....idiots. Saturday night Lisa had come into town and Sunday morning we went to early service and then by Louise's to check on her. Wow, she looked rough. She was in so much pain and the worst part was that the pain meds were making her sick to her stomach. After that me and Lisa were on our way to Jacksonville, FL. We arrived at Lisa's parents at about 6 and pretty much just rested that night. Monday we rested some more and then did a little shopping. Tuesday was our beach day. Wednesday was shopping at the outlets in St. Augusting before church that night. I went to Lake Forest where Granddaddy had been the preacher and it was SO GOOD to get to see all of the people down there who are so like family to me! Thursday we were back on the road to Montgomery where Leigh had picked up the Nichols kids that I was supposed to babysitting and I took them back to their house where they both kicked my butt at Wii bowling before work! I also came by and checked on Louise whom, while I was gone, had ended up in the emergency room having a huge cyst removed! It has been a miserable week for her. Thursday night was tough at work, first of all because I was exhausted and second because I am just going through a terrible time at work. I always said that I wouldn't ever work somewhere that I hated going to everyday and for about the past three weeks I have been. One way or the other things have got to change soon. Anyways, that brings us to today (Friday) When I got off work this morning I went straight to the chiropractor, then brought Louise breakfast, went to the dr, came back to Louise's to help clean up a little, then off to Wetumpka where I am housesitting. Did the stuff I needed to and slept there and now am back for supper and visiting with Louise before work. Dirt is out of town this weekend so I am her stand in nurse! Tomorrow I am taking her back to the doctor, going back to Wetumpka, and then babysitting in the afternoon before coming back for supper with Louise and back to work. Sunday in church of course and then after I get off work Monday morning I go to Faulkner for my first day working at the football office! I get to do a week or so of that before I start school again. We'll see how it goes....another job and school on top of football season being a busy time of year for me anyways!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

28 Things

Friday I turned 28, which is extremely hard for me to believe, it sounds a lot older than I feel. Here are 28 things that I have learned in the past 28 years....

1. If you want most things done and done right, you really do need to take care of it yourself.

2. No matter which lane you decide, when you are stuck in many lanes of traffic and move over to the lane that seems to be the only one moving, it will almost immediately stop and you will not be able to get back into another lane.

3. Leave your windoes down and it will definitely rain, even if there is 0% chance according to the weatherman.

4. People change when they get married. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst, sometimes for neither but they always change.

5. It's almost impossible to stay in a bad mood when you are around someone in the 2-6 age bracket.

6. It's also almost impossible to go into Wal Mart or Target and spen less than $50. Even if you only have $10 worth of things on your list. And, forget that list, you probably won't even to remember to get the three things you have on that list.

7. Cell phones are the addiction that no one talks about. Ever try being without your for even one day?

8. If you want to change something about your life, you have to change it. The stories you hear and see about someone coming along and magically change your life and make it better usually doesn't doesn't happen. In fact, the odds are so low of it happening that you will waste a lot of years waiting and still not have anything changed. Just stop wasting the short time we have on this earth and change what you want changed!

9. Tivo or DVR will actually change your life FOR THE BETTER!

10. A great black dress and a perfect pair of black pants are worth almost any amount of money.

11. Spring for the room service breakfast when vacationing, it's totally worth it!

12. The $40 spent to have someone come cut your lawn is about the best $40 bucks you can spend.

13. Don't refer to anything in your past as "the best days of my life" always assume that your "best days" are in your future.

14. What they say about the sun is true. At 28 with the wrinkles of a 38 year old, I am wondering what good it did me to look so cute and tan at 18.

15. Cleaning is over rated. Don't miss out on anything that will create permanent fun memories to mop your floors.

16. Enjoy the little moments in your life. The really big moments are pretty rare....that's what makes them so big, so really most of your memory bank is filled up with the "little ones"

17. Your family is the most special. There will be a few friends who will become like family but most will just come in and out of your life, your family is always in. Don't make the mistake of waiting until it's too late to realize this.

18. There are no appropriate words to describe how blessed we are to be in this country. Everyone should have to either serve in the military for a time or go visit a third world country. Our history classes just don't do enough to make us understand or appreciate what we have.

19. Tip well. If you haven't ever had to be a waiter/waitress there are good odds that your children or someone else that you love will be. Tip like you want people to tip them.

20. Cry more. Laugh more. Sounds easy but it's not.

21. Keep your secrets to yourself. It is actually true that as soon as you tell anyone, they are no longer secrets.

22. Take risks. It's taken me the entire 28 years to learn this one. Not taking risks because you are afraid to fail just skips a step, you just go straight to failing.

23. Give the eulegies for the ones that you love now. Write them, call them, e mail them, somehow think of what you would say at their funerals or about them when they died and tell them. The best bet would be to write or e mail it so they could keep it. It's unbelievable how much more they will appreciate it alive than they will when they die. Actually, we have it all wrong the current way that we do it. Start doing it the right way.

24. Read your Bible. Seriously. It will actually change your life for the better.

25. Think of telling your children/grandchildren about your life. Now live it the way that tells a great story that you'll be proud to tell.

26. They're right about excercising. I mean it took me 28 years to believe it and I still haven't mastered it but I am now sure that it's true.

27. The few minutes that it takes to write a card, call, or visit an elderly person are the apsolute best that you can spend.

28. If laughter really is the best medicine then happiness is really the best prevenative medicine.

Thanks to all of you who have played a major part in the last 28 years of my life!

I do have to tell you about this particular birthday. I was just coming off the "downess" of the post Philippines trip and I was real stressed out about work. Not to mention, no one jumps up and down over turning 28! It started off by me cleaning my house, running errands, and going to the dr. Later though Ashley, Daniel, and their kiddos came from Mississippi (this is ecspecially important since they are leaving in less than a month for England for 3 years!), Brooke came from Phenix City, and some freinds from around town came to celebrate my birthday! I didn't get to enjoy it too much because I was SO tired (I had been up for almost 48 hours!) but lucky for me they were still here the next day! Thanks to all of you who helped make this birthday so great! The best of all probably came from the Philippines though! When I left earlier this month, I secretly left enough pasos for them all (the students, staff, and faculty)to be taken out for Halo Halo (the dessert that actually makes me want to throw up but they all LOVE!) and by the time I got up I had lots of emails from them talking about how much they loved it and how happy they were! How great is that! It was definitely the best birthday party that I never went to! Thanks to all of you who made the past 28 years so great for me!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


For those of you who don't know, Leigh is my baby sister that lives with me. Today is her 23rd birthday and I just couldn't be any prouder of her than I am. She is 23 years old and that is almost impossible for me to believe. Leigh and I fight harder and more than anyone in my life but there is not one single person who I love and am better friends with than her or appreciate more (even though I don't tell her enough). The following are 23 things that I love about Leigh:

1. She never minds being woke up if I need her. She wakes up when I am sick, sad, or just can't wait to tell her something. she never cares what time it is or how much sleep she has had, she just scoots over and listens or gets up and takes care of me.

2. She introduces me to great music.

3. She can forgive anyone for anything. And does all the time.

4. She loves junk food and is never judgemental about eating :)

5. She is the "fun sister", always has been.

6. She is always happy to tell you what she thinks.

7. She loves Tennessee athletics!

8. She is always willing to share her clothes.

9. She never minds being the "big sister" sometimes and taking care of me.

10. She always remebers special occasions and makes sure they are special.

11. She loves baseball!

12. She will always join in a "car concert"

13. She is a great sharer.

14. She defends her friends and family to the death.

15. She gets over fights pretty easily.

16. She loves green dinasours.

17. She is probably the best friends to her friends that I have ever seen.

18. She is great at almost everything she tries!

19. She really is always willing to laugh OR cry with you.

20. She can almost always make me laugh until I cry whenever she wants.

21. She is one of the hardest workers I have ever seen

22. She is as stubborn fighting for you as she is whe she's fighting with you!

23. She has a HUGE heart.

If youdon't know Leigh, you're missing out on one of God's great gifts! I love you Leigh and I just know this is going to be your best year yet! I can't wait to see what great things you do! ILY!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My Dash

So, my sleeplessness seems to be over for the most part.  I think the after trip blues have passed and I have returned to work and apparently to my life.  I'm not the same person that I was three weeks ago and that's ok.  The person I was three weeks could use some improvements and now I have that chance.  It occured to me that the person that I want to be isn't actually that far from the person I am.  I don't think anyone ever becomes exactly the person they want to be.  If they did, there wouldn't be much living left to do.  You just always try to stay as close as you can and always keep trying to get there.  That's what the dash is.  Everyone has heard that poem about how it's not the first day on your headstone nor the last, but the dash between them that matters.  From here out I am going to try to make my dash a little more meaningful, not so that at that last moment of the dash, right before that last date I can look back and think about how meaningful it has been but because of another saying/poem that everyones has heard.  "Life is our gift from God, what we do with it is our gift to Him."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Let's see, I last wrote on the day I left Dagupan.  That night me, Daddy, Josie, and Roger went out to eat in Manila.  Let me just say, Manila IS NOT like the provinces where we had been hanging out!  On the way in we saw a Wendy's, a Dairy Queen, an Outback Steakhouse, you get the picture.  Well we went straight to Bubba Gump's where we ate for Roger's birthday (which was actually the next day)  How happy was I to see mashed potatos on the menu!!!  Whoo!  I don't want to even see sticky ol white rice until the next time I am over there!  Maybe that is my new rule, I only eat that when I am there since you have to eat it so much over there!  Ok, I'm straying but it is only 6:50 a.m. and just got home and was reminded another reason I wish I was still over there!  

Daddy dropped me off at the Manila airport and they wouldn't even let them in so I was thinking that Roger and Josie were going to drop the van off and come in and tell me bye but they weren't even able to!  So I didn't even get to tell them bye!  I had to take all my luggage in alone and buy the tears were streaming down my face!  After I had checked in I still had over an hour long wait before we could board so I put my Zune on and put it on shuffle.  The first song that came on was "Heart Half Full or Half Empty" by Stephanie Bently and Ty Hernden.  The song is obviously about something completely different but I thought that it was very appropriate sentiments.  Don't get me wrong, I was so excited to come home.  I really missed Leigh and Louise, the rest of my family, and my friends and I love my job and my church and my house.  On the other hand, everything I have ever done here doesn't even come close to being as important, in the grand scheme of things, of things that I did there.  And I love the people there!  I really felt so torn (and I do know how corny this sounds) but I did feel like I was leaving half of my heart in the Philippines and was on my very long way home to the other half.  It was actually a terrible feeling.  The ride to Tokyo wasn't that bad, it is about 4 hours and I had a window seat right by the wing (which I found out that I hate by the way, all the sounds and feelings are magnified...I won't keep you in suspense....guess where I am on the long flight from Tokyo to Chicago?!?!?) and was seated next to an engineer from Nashville who is married and has a child with a Filipino.  It made the flight go by pretty fast and it was nice not to just sit there and dwell on things as I had been doing for the past two hours.

Tokyo was nice, I got some candy and rented some time on the internet and caught up on my e mails, myspace, and facebook. I then watched Music and Lyrics on my portable dvd player.  When we boarded the plane I was thrilled to see no kids behind me this time!  I watched Horton Hear's a Who and Definitely, Maybe on the plane and a couple of episodes of The Office.  I do love those little personal tv's that let you choose from a good selection of movies and tv.  This time I did have a horrible time trying to sleep, I hate airplane seats!  I got off in Chicago finally and had to get my luggage and go through customs, which sucked up and hour of my 6 hour layover.  Then I spent close to the best twenty bucks ever by getting a twenty minute massage!  Next I was off to get a water, apple, and some deep dish pizza!  I killed a lot of time there talking on the phone and texting.  It was so good to have use of a cell phone again!  Before too long (and after TWO gate changes AGAIN...what is it with the people at O'Hare??) I noticed that they moved our boarding time from 7:45 to 8:15.  Not that big of a deal, huh?  Yeah, you can think that because you haven't been traveling for over 24 hours and in the same nasty clothes!  Then it moved to 8:30, which, of course, was later moved to 8:45.  Now it gets really fun because after we board and taxi out to the runway we get to sit there for an hour!  So, we don't leave until 9:45, which is 10:45 in Chattanooga where I was being picked up, which was ironic since that was the time we were supposed to ARRIVE!  Ugh.  And did I mention that our plane was the size of a medium size toy plane?  Lovely, I survive the food in a third world country, flying over half the world and the entire Pacific Ocean only to die flying over Kentucky in a toy plane (ok, obviously since I am alive to write this and I can only assume we flew over Kentucky, but that's how I felt sitting on this tiny plane on the runway in Chicago!)  When we finally got there Mom was waiting for me and we got my bags and were off to the most logical first place you would go after being out of the country for 2 1/2 weeks.....Wal-Mart and then IHOP!  Yay for home!  We arrived here at home at about 5 a.m. 

Now, since it was appx 35 hours since I had left Manila so you are probably thinking that the shower and bed was my game plan.  Well, it was.  Until I walked in my bedroom and saw everything from my bathroom sitting in my bedroom!  I really try to leave my bedroom and bathroom as clean and neat as possible because it makes coming home a lot less stressful.  This time I didn't get all my clothes put up but Leigh was washing my sheets and taking my comforter to the cleaner and I had taken the times to scrub my bathroom and wash the mats in my bathroom.  Of course, that doesn't mater much when your bathroom floods!  That's right, ladies and gentlemen, that's why all of my bathroom stuff was sitting in my bedroom, Leigh had taken it out to dry since it was soaking wet from the leaking pipe in my bathroom!  Ugh!  Life is grand!  Want to guess my next step?  I'm sure it's obvious....I walked into the living room, turned on tivo and watched the last three episodes of The Bachelorette, of course!  I don't know if you watch it or not but I almost died!  Holy cow!  I can not believe she ended up with Jesse!  It SHOCKED me!  And successfully kept me awake until 7:30 when Leigh got up.  I
Which is where we are now.

Actually, that was all I made it to because I got distracted by Leigh and Jon and Kate Plus 8 and finally went to sleep around 11 a.m.  I slept pretty hard until Mom came in and woke me up when they got home from church service.  Louise and Dirt came over and I gave everyone their presents and we watched the Braves while I told them stories from the Philippines.  It was good to be with all of them

Now, I am sitting here and talking to this stupid computer, which seems to have become my only constant companion for the past month.  I need to get this down so I can remember this feeling.  I remember, years ago, my Grandma telling me about what a depressed like state my Granddaddy would be when they had to come home from the Philippines.  It only came back to me when last year my my mom said almost the same thing about my Daddy.  I couldn't possibly imagine.  I mean, sure they did great work over there but how could you be sad to come back to all the great things Americans have in their lives and your friends and family?  Now, I am back and have loved having things such as toilit paper, papertowels, air conditioning, and mattresses.  And, even though I haven't gotten to send very much time with them, I have loved being back around the rest of my family and am looking forward to seeing my freinds.  However, since I got back I always seem to be on the verge of crying.  What in the world?  I wonder if it would be this bad if I hadn't had to come back before Daddy, Julia, NaNa, and PaPa?  It is almost amazing to me that I can miss and love people so much that I hadn't even met three weeks ago.  I know that my family is happy to see me and my friends will be to, but those people thought their lives were better because I was there in them.  I was teaching people about Jesus that had NEVER even HEARD about him!  I did make those peoples lives better, not great, but better.  They need me over there and I am pretty sure I need them.  Don't get me wrong, I know that my family loves me and wants me around and I have never been someone who had the need to be "needed" but maybe t was because I never really had been.  I have only been home for a few hours and have already (in my moodiness and exhausten...is that even a word..if it is, I surely didn't spell it correctly!) gotten on Leigh and my Mom's nerves.  Not that they weren't happy to see me, because I know they are and it has been my fault, I have been so tired.  Before this gets to pathetic and I start crying again, I am going to unpack, clean my bathroom, and going to go sleep on my huge, wonderfully padded, mattress!