Monday, December 7, 2009

Breaking back in with a great story!

I've been gone from the blogging world way too long to try to update what all has happened so I am starting from today. And, the story I am about to tell you something that has recently happened to me that has changed mine and many others lives, I pray it might have the same impact on yours.

Background: About ten years ago, I went to Mom and Dad's house for the weekend, in Lineville, where they had just moved and Dad had just started preaching full time. This congregation is small (about 75 members at the time) and Dad did the bulletin by himself on this OLD rinky dink copy machine with articles he had written and little poems, says, stories, ect. in it. Well, there was an anonymous poem in the bulletin on this particular Sunday that REALLY moved me. I cut it out and put it in my Bible. Well, a year or so later, I was writing a sympathy card. Those of you who know me well know that I AM NOT a wordsmith AT ALL. I ALWAYS manage to say the wrong thing and ESPECIALLY when I am uncomfortable (and who isn't when talking to someone who has recently lost a loved one). So, I thought of this poem I had that (and still read quite often) and thought about how it made me feel and I just made a copy and stuck it in the card. WOW! The response I received! She wrote me a letter back telling me how much it had meant to her. I had stumbled on to something here! So, I made a bunch of copies and started sending it with every sympathy card I sent out.

Fast forward about 7 years: Now, I am working at Montgomery 911 and this lady that I work with, her mother died suddenly. So, I gave her a card and put the poem in there. She came to me, days later, and told me that the poem meant SO much to her. She read it at the funeral, made copies and gave it to her family, and said she was having to read it everyday along wither her Bible, just to get through. Well, a few weeks later, her sister died suddenly and within a month of that, her aunt died. After she came back from her Aunt's funeral, she came to me and said that she had read it at all three funerals and had passed out over 1,000 copies and just wanted to reiterate how much it had meant to her and her family.

About 3 weeks ago: Obviously, being in the line of work we are, we are part of true tragedies almost daily. However, we are taught (to survive) we have to leave the situation when we hang up the phone. As cold as it sounds, this is the only way to do this line of work very long. If you get invested in every emotional call, you couldn't last a year. The best thing (I have found) that I can do for a caller is get them the help that they need as quickly and as professionally as I can. Then I always say a prayer for them and the people responding to each call. Then I HAVE to forget it and move on to do the same for the next caller. It is hard to do at first but, it does get easier. That's not to say, however, that some aren't easier to forget than others. Children calls are ALWAYS hard and hard to forget. Well about three weeks ago, we had a 13 year old from one of the private schools here in town, and a pretty prominent, well to do family here in town, hang himself. I can't tell you how glad I am that I didn't take the call from his mother that morning (she found him after my shift got off). Well, he used to have ties to Faulkner through our athletic trainers (he used to be their boss) and Ashley, our football trainer and a family friend of theirs, came in one morning and told me that she just had to tell me about something that had happened at their congregation the night before.

Here is (paraphrased) what she told me: Cole Ellis's (the little boy who committed suicide) mom and dad had come to speak and give their "testimony". His mom told her account of something that had taken place at the viewing. She said that a lady had come up and was hugging her and she figured she was a friend of Mike's (her husband) because she had never seen her before. She pulled back and said, "You don't know me, but I am the 911 operator who took your call." She then told her a little about some of the tragedies that had happened in her own life, and then handed her something. She said, "This is something a co-worker gave me during my difficult times and it was the only thing that truly helped. I read it every day for over a year and still look at it regularly. It helped me so much and I think it will help you too. Don't read it now, wait until you have a quiet moment alone and then read it." She said that later she did have some alone time and pulled it out to read it. Ashley then began to tell me what she could remember of the poem and I couldn't believe it! It was the poem I had given Liz years ago! It just happened that Liz was the one who took the call and went to the viewing and gave her the poem! Then, it had moved Ashley (and evidently most everyone who was there that night) so much that she couldn't wait to share it with me! Talk about going full circle!

Last Wednesday: Well, of course, I have LOVED this story and have shared it many times! Well, I was in a meeting with a supplier (for Faulkner football merchandise) and I started to tell her the story. Well, she started crying (happens a lot though when I tell the story) and she informed me, that the Ellis's were their families best friends and Cole and her son had been best friends! She said (and I will never forget), "Laurie, that poem changed their lives." WOW!

OK, now rewind to the Sunday after Thanksgiving: A friend of mine that was in my Delta pledge class in 1998 and her husband and 2 year old daughter were traveling home from the Montgomery area back to their home (in between Athens and Atlanta). They were near LaGrange when some one, driving WAY TOO FAST, ran up behind them, hit them, and smashed them into the vehicle in front of them. Brian (her husband) was knocked unconscious, Kristy was also but also had a punctured lung, broken clavicle, a broken shoulder, and 4 broken vertebrae, Helen (their daughter) was killed on impact. Brian, who became conscious at the scene, was rushed to the hospital in LaGrange while Kristy, still unconscious, was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center. Iwill blog more about this later, but I wanted you to know why I was writing another sympathy card.

This past Friday: I was trying to find the impossible words to say to my friend who was laying, paralyzed, in a icu unit and had just found out that her only baby, who was to turn 3 on the 23rd of this month, had died. I was sitting in Louise's office and she was helping me come up with what to write. There was one of Faulkner's dorm mother's also sitting in there and she said, I know the perfect thing you should put in there! Me and Louise looked at each other and Louise said, "We know exactly what you are going to say!" (she is a member at the same congregation Ashley is) She later told us she thought "No she doesn't!" And, of course, we did! She told us that she had been so moved by it that she had tried to find it on the Internet and had found out that it was on the memorial stone at the Oklahoma City bombing site! So, now I have sent it on to Brian and Kristy and I can only pray that it brings them just a little comfort to their unimaginable pain.

I really, really wanted to share this with you all because we most all have experienced the loss of a loved on and it is very easy to recall the terrible pain that inflicts.

Before you ask, I pasted it below :)

I said, "God, I hurt." And God said, "I know."

I said, "God, I'm so depressed." And God said, "That's why I gave you sunshine."
I said, "God, life is so hard." And God said, "That's why I gave you loved ones."

I said, "God my loved one died." And God said, "So did mine."
I said, "God, it's such a loss." And God said, "I saw mine nailed to a cross."

I said, "God, your Son still lives." And God said, "So does your loved one."

I said, "God, it still hurts." And God said, "I know."

(on the original copy I had Psalm 121 is quoted right beneath it.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Remember...

...I hope you do too.
I will always remember getting ready in my Faulkner apartment for my 8:00 a.m. (CST) Anatomy and Physiology class and watching Headline News while I was getting ready. Robin Meade broke in with a breaking news alert and showed the pictures of the first building that had just been hit. I thought, momentarily, how sad. The pilot probably had a heart attack or something and then said a prayer for all the people affected. I then went on to class.
When I walked out of that class a kid, Jack, ran up to us and said, "The whole world is under attack." We asked him what happened and he started to tell about the planes hitting the WTC. I stopped him and belittled him a little for being so melodramatic (he was a theatre major) and told him that I saw it this morning before I went to class and no one thought we were under attack.
He then took us into the Nest, where there was a tv (and a crowd gathered watching it) and we saw for ourselves. I quickly went back to my apartment where I met up with my roommates, Lisa and Kelly, and we watched the footage. I just remember thinking that I needed to talk to my family, for some weird reason, to make sure they were all ok. They were all in the south, far away from NYC, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania, but, somehow, it didn't matter. Daddy called just about then and I cried for the first time.
(This isn't really a "blog" nor was it intended to have emotion attached, I just wanted it to forever be saved what my account was from that horrible day.)
God bless America.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I know these pictures are small but since I don't have a scanner I had to bootleg them off of Summer's blog. The first one I think just describes Matt more perfectly than any words could and the second one is Matt with some of his best friends from GCS. From left to right, Adam (who was killed in Iraq a few years ago), Matt, Blake Hunter, Mike Johnson, and Matt Malone in front.

I am well aware that I haven't blogged in a month and can't even remember the last time I read a blog. There are a lot of things that I have not had time to blog about in the past month, my birthday, Dirt's birthday, my vacation, Mom and Dad's anniversary, and going back to work at Faulkner. And, I will eventually. But right now I have got to blog about how I am feeling because, thank God, the feeling fades into something different very quickly.

I believe that grief is kind of like child birth. God made us to where we can't REALLY remember grief because we would never be able to go through it more than once if we could. You forget the the way you hurt so badly that you can't concentrate on anything else. You forget how you feel like someone is in your head screaming "WHY?" making the rest of the world sound like Charlie Brown's teacher as they try to carry on conversation with you. And how you even have to remind yourself to breathe. You can't remember that you can drive four hours and make seven turns and never remember any of them. Or that you can drive by yourself for two hours in the middle of a hot summer day in south Georgia before you realize that you haven't turned on the radio or even the air conditioner. I also believe you can never pray like you do when you are consumed with grief. And I believe that even when I look back and read this and try to remember how I really felt I won't be able to understand my use of the word 'consumed'. I thank God that the feelings fade and that the memory of them fade.

After I worked at Faulkner yesterday I drove down to Valdosta and buried my friend Matt today before driving home to work tonight at 911. Matt is the second classmate that I have buried and I just can't believe it. My school wasn't like other schools. There were only about 100 people in the high school. If you weren't a part of it you can't understand that it is less like schoolmates and more like family. Of the 100ish people that were in school with Matt some 10 years ago, probably about 50 were there to bury him today.

I have been to some very hard funerals and, the reality is, I will probably be to some more in my life. None have been, and I can't imagine any being, any sadder than this one because of the facts. The most important of those facts being that Matt leaves behind three little boys fatherless, ranging in age between 7 weeks and 6 years old. If you have read this please say a quick prayer for my friends family and especially those little boys. This family has more healing to do than I can fathom, I can only be grateful that God is in charge of that healing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I know I am terrible about doing this on time but I can't go without celebrating my baby sister's 24th (I know! UNbelievable!) birthday! Without further ado, here are 24 things about one of my favorite people in the world!

1. When she was little she was always too short and skinny for her age but she NEVER has had a problem defending herself!

2. Boys have always loved Leigh! It's funny that she now works over Cornerstone when, it wasn't too long ago, that she was practically their little mascot.

3. She once got suspended from middle school because the teacher walked in and she had a little (punk!) boy up against the wall, completely off the ground, giving him the business. Her excuse to mom and dad? She had told him if he did it again that she would beat him up. He did it again. Well?

4. She has had more "best friends" than anyone else you know.

5. She is almost a perfect mixture of high maintenance/girly girl and tom boy.

6. She shares a birthday with will Ferrell.

7. She has inherited a love of Fox News from her big sister. Bill O'Reilley is her favorite.

8. She absolutely LOVES Disney and ABC Family movies.

9. She was the most accident prone kid.

10. Her first "accident" happened before she even turned one, when she broke her collarbone, trying to break out of her crib.

11. She works with the prison ministry at our home congregation and does an amazing job!

12. She loves Disney World like a little kid does.

13. She is definitely the bug killer at our house!

14. We have lived together in Montgomery for three years.

15. Her favorite color is green.

16. Just as always, she LOVES green dinosaurs!!

17. Her arrival was the reason that I was shipped off for my 5th birthday! (her birthday is just two days before mine)

18. She once put together an amazing scrapbook for my Mom's 50th birthday.

19. She always gives the best presents!

20. She could eat Mexican food every single day of her life.

21. She will not try "new foods"

22. you ALWAYS want her on your side!

23. Funfetti cake is her favorite.

24. She is one of my favorite people in the world and I feel so blessed to have her in my life!!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009


These are the things that I am super frustrated about today!

1. That no one else but me will move the rug in front of our door when it slips to the side. TWO other people live here but they just step over it instead of pushing it back so no one trips over it!

2. My face is peeling! For the love!

3. Bad drivers in Montgomery! YOU are going to cut ME off and then give me the finger when I give you a courtesy honk?!?!?

4. Jon and Kate's getting a divorce.

5. Last but MOST important, I was just at Wal Mart and got in the shortest line (FOUR people in front of me) and it was obviously WIC day! All four people in front of me used WIC and one bought TWENTY FOUR individual servings of Ramon Noodles and FOUR packages of steaks!!! THEN, while I was gathering my bags, the cashier asked the lady behind me if she was using WIC and she said YES! I am ALL FOR helping those in need! Really, I am. However, there is SOMETHING wrong when I am in the minority by NOT being on WIC AND more wrong when I leave Wal Mart thinking, "I need to either quit working or get knocked up!"

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tonight me, Kristen, and Barry went to the Biscuits game. I was so excited because I had taken the night off (night sleep!!!!) AND it was fireworks night! I REALLY love fireworks and was extra excited because it was Military Appreciation Night. Our section had to race the section next to us by passing a huge Alaga syrup down the entire section. We won and all of us got these tiny bottles of syrup. As you can tell, Barry and Kristen were REALLY excited to get theirs! I wish that I had pictures of the people sitting in front and behind :^) It was a super fun night and I am just loving having Kristen here! Next post will probably be from our family reunion....I'm SO EXCITED!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

VBS 2009

Let me just start by saying, I LOVED VBS as a kid. I had one of those great mom's who took us to every VBS within a 60 mile radius and it makes up some of by best memories as a kid. Now, I had to preface with that so I didn't sound like such a butt when I said I HATE VBS as an adult (and I use that term lightly!) Look, I actually think all sane adult humans do, there are just a very few who are brave enough to admit it out loud. I always am involved only because I want these kids to have the same good memories that I have and I know that for me to have those memories there were a lot of adults who had to endure through volunteering at VBS so I choose to also. I love the idea of VBS. But me, Louise, and Leigh along with only five other adults were responsible for all THIRTY-TWO 1ST AND 2ND GRADERS! What can I say, there are only a very few "bad apples" but it's like the fighting in Vietnam was, they all look alike so it's hard to tell which ones are the enemies! Actually, there were some pretty fun times and the whole show was UNBELIEVABLE! The teachers that taught the class and decorated everything were amazing! however, I am glad it's over :^)

The older kids getting ready for the last night!

Cannan Field

Noble Field

The locker room at Noble Field

Noah's Ark/ the boat Jonah was thrown off

The "adults" that took on the 1st and 2nd graders. From l to r front to back. Kristen McCants, Leigh Walker, James Powers, Leslie Adams, me, Louise Jones, Lance Tucker, and Chrsi Brodie

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Football Camp!

Me after two fun filled days of football camp!

Coach Baker helps Lee show em hot to get it done!

Ryne is well over six feet tall, Cameron is pushing three!

Maybe a future Eagle?

Yeah....what can I say? I love them!

Faulkner Football camp 1st-5th graders

Cameron was one of our favorite campers!

That's Dev's mean face! "THERE'S NO SMILING ON DEFENSE!!!"

Dev studying how Parker is getting it done!

This is Lee, Coach Baker's nephew. SO STINKIN CUTE!!!!!

That's me going down our own home made slip n slide that ended camp!!!! SO FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The boys having some fun after the kids left!

I really wish I had video of this!

Cam volunteered to get things started...such the heart of a servant! ;^)

Not much to say about football camp that these pictures don't already say except that I never imagined how cute and fun it would be! I also underestimated how very sore you are the day after you slip n slide! WOW! If you want to see more pictures
there are over 50 here! Also, I posted some more super cute videos on YouTube!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Days AFTER Memorial Day

So, we got home from Nashville at about 1:30a.m. Tuesday morning. At appx 3a.m. Kristen woke up sick. She woke us up a few minutes before six saying she needed to go to the Dr. PriMed doesn't open until 7a.m. but we were there when they unlocked the door. She got in about 7:30a.m. and by 8:45 we were on our way back home with the diagnosis of a stomach virus and she was high on drugs. The Dr had given her a shot of phenergan and demerol so she was pretty out of it. However, NOT out of it enough to not tell me that she was about to be sick in my car.

We only had to cut over three lanes of traffic, run one red light, and do one u-turn before we were at the closest gas station. I helped her in and right as we got in the door she told me she couldn't make it in the bathroom. I tried to encourage her in but to no avail. So, I turned around for, I PROMISE, no more than twenty seconds to call Leigh to come help us. Didn't matter, when I turned around, there was Kristen out cold on the floor of the Circle K. Oh geez.
The people working at the gas station were kind of freaking out. I just kept calling her name with absolutely no answer. Ok, calm down gas station employees. Leigh, hurry up. Laurie, maybe you should call the medics. Kristen, for the love, answer me.

By the time Leigh gets there Kristen is still down, the medics have been called, and the gas station attendants still kind of freaking out. Before the medics get there we half way rouse Kristen and get her to the bathroom. When the medics get there we sit her in a rolling office chair provided by the oh so helpful gas station attendants and they start checking her out. Blood pressure is obviously low but everything else checks out. She's pretty dehydrated so we get her a Gatorade and she takes two sips and somehow throws up about 64 ounces. I'll bet you're thinking that we are at the worst part of my day, huh? Not even close.

We do finally get Kristen perked up after the medics give her an iv and I get her home as Leigh goes back to work. About 1:00p.m. Kristen is resting on the couch and I have cleaned my bathroom (in anticipation of the stomach virus that is inevitably coming my way) bathroom and am going to try to rest for just a second. (Insert phone ringing here) "Hey, La, I don't feel good. I think I'm going to come on home." Awesome, Leigh is sick. She comes home and lays on the other couch. An hour later she has her face in the toilet. BACK to PriMed. Luckily, the same Dr is still there. I'll bet you think you know were this is headed, huh? Bet you don't.

We get to PriMed about 3:40p.m. and get back in a room about 6:15p.m. Nurse and P.A. assume she has the stomach bug. Medical school for that, huh? Can we get her shot and go? Nope. Pee in a cup and we're going to take blood. Awesome again. Leigh LOVES needles. This just keeps getting better. After all of that fun the Dr comes in and says how he;s surprised she isn't in the hospital already. Huh? Yep. A severe kidney infection. The good news? there is a 50% chance that you'll get better from today. Bad news? 50% chance you'll end up in the hospital.

Oh wait! Speaking of the hospital. Wondering where Louise is in all of this? She should be helping, right? No can do, my friends, she has taken Dirt to the ER for what appears to be an appendicitis. Good day, huh? The Dr gives Leigh the same shot he's given Kristen and now is going to give her an iv of antibiotics. Yay! Another needle experience. Nothing makes an exhausted, unshowered, big sister feel better than to watch her baby sister have another go round with the needle. So, a round of antibiotics and THREE bags of fluids later, the doors of PriMed are locked and me and Leigh get to leave.

I get her home and in her room and go to check on Kristen. Leigh calls. I run in there just in time for her to throw up on me, herself, her bed, and her floor. Oh. Huh. I've never cleaned up throw up before. In fact, I've never actually been thrown up on before. Did I mention that it's like 10:30p.m. now and I'm EXHAUSTED?!?!? SO FAR beyond tired. One new round of sheets and one more round of throwing up and by midnight they are both in bed. I literally fall asleep thanking God that I don't have children and letting Him know that they have to be better by tomorrow or I WILL have to call reinforcements in. Leigh only woke up twice and Kristen none but I woke up at EVERY little sound! WHAT a HORRIBLE night's sleep!

Anyways, Kristen was feeling better the next day and it turned out Dirt had kidney stones. By Thursday Leigh was eating solid foods, no one had been sick in 24 hours, and I amazingly hadn't gotten sick! Praise! Kristen went to school on Thursday, I went back to work Thursday night, and Leigh is going to work today, Saturday! WE MADE IT!!!!!! YAY! It wasn't pretty and there were DEFINITELY times when I didn't think we all would but WE DID! Hope your week was better than ours!!!!

p.s. there was one bit of AMAZING news from the week......I'M GOING TO BE AN AUNT!!!!!!!
Don't run over to Louise and Leigh's blogs just yet, it's Lisa that is going to provide me with a little niece of nephew. She drove in town to tell me in person. Unfortunately, that was Tuesday and I was at PriMed :^( Please keep her in your prayers and I'll keep you updated!!! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day!

Me and Leigh with the Stewart boys! Maybe Braden should move closer!

Me and Leigh with the Cameron Stewart family!

Hayden, me, Julia, and Leigh!

me, Leigh, and Hayden with the BRAND NEW Gavin Stewart family!

Me and my new favorite Stewart boy!!!!!

That's a funfetti cake and a Little Debbie "cake"!

Me and Lily were having a moment......

...and so were Leigh and Barrett!

After the showers, the show got under way!

That's the bride sitting in her carriage, VERY patiently waiting out the rain!

Sunday night my supervisor asked me if I wanted to work Monday night. NO! It's Memorial Day and I have plans!!

Monday morning I came home and got ready and about 11 me and Leigh headed north on i65 towards Nashville! We got to Murfreesboro about an hour and a half before the wedding and decided we didn't like what we were wearing so we stopped by Target and picked out new dresses. So we checked out two dresses, one new nail polish, one new pair of shoes, and a bottle of Downy Wrinkle Release. We changed in the bathroom and off we went.
The wedding was on the front lawn of a old mansion there in town and as the singers started I whispered to Leigh that they really couldn't have asked for better weather. That, as they say, was the kiss of death. Next, as Barrett and Lily were wheeled down the aisle by the other flower girls, out of nowhere, there was a big clap of thunder. We smiled as the cantankerous old ladies behind us opened up a umbrella, whispering (well, I think THEY thought they were whispering) to each other how they didn't care if the people sitting behind them could see or not. They had just gotten their hair done and their blouses would shrink! Well, as the groomsmen came down the drive and jumped out of the old pickup truck they had rode up in and the bridesmaids all filed out of the limo they came up in and met to walk down the aisle the first raindrops started falling pretty hard. Then came the horse and open top carriage down the drive riding down the drive with the beautiful bride. And then came the rain. I mean the literal bottom dropped out of the sky!
The bride borrows an umbrella and just sits there and smiles. How great is that? A few minutes later the rain stops and we all migrate back towards the lawn to watch Gary and Kimberly get married! Everyone was drenched and make up all ruined but it was a GREAT wedding! And the reception was even better! It was so good to catch up with old friends and get some good quality time with Lily and Barrett.
Me and Leigh left the reception and Kimberly and Gary and went to Baskin Robins where we met up with Cameron and Stacy and I finally got to meet Hayden. Cameron was long considered my "favorite cousin" (which is weird since we are actually 5th cousins or something like that....his grandmother and my great grandmother were sisters), not because I liked him better than any of my other cousins, we just always clicked. If I thought about it hard enough I could probably count how many times we've actually seen each other since he grew up in Texas while I grew up in south Georgia, then he went to college in Arkansas and I went in Alabama. Now he has ended up only five hours north of me in Nashville. Things were always just easy between us. It didn't matter how long it had been since we had last seen each other there just never was any awkward (which is obviously quite out of the norm for me!) Now I love his wife Stacy and now I finally met his son Hayden! I already love him! We also got to meet our newest cousin, Deidre, who just married Gavin! We already love her too! We also got to see another cousin, Jeannie. It was SO fun and we got to eat Baskin Robins (little did I know how much we should be enjoying that meal!), it was just a GREAT NIGHT! I really wish we could have spent more time with them but it made us look forward, even more to the family reunion next month.
Me and Leigh got back home about 1:30 Monday morning. The story picks up pretty soon after that but this is the end of the happy chapter so you'll have to wait for the next post to find out what went down next! However, the entire Memorial Day was wonderful and SO much fun! It was good to get to see friends and family that I hadn't seen in a while, meet new family members, and get to spend some much overdo one on one time with Leigh.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

100th post, 100 things

So, according to "blog etiquette" (a.k.a. Louise), your hundredth blog should be one hundred things about, here you go 100 VERY random things about me...(don't worry, I don't really think anyone will finish all 100...except Momma...I didn't even write them all at once!)

1. I had some things that happened that I wanted to blog about but didn't, just to put off this 100th blog.
2. I always return the buggy to it's rightful place in the parking lot.
3. I am super awkward and seem to live with a foot in my mouth.
4. When watching live tv, my tv is only on Fox News and ESPN 2 (Mike and Mike in the morning)
5. I think the dvr is the most amazing machine ever invented. It has changed my life.
6. There is a 5 year old living in the north of the Philippines that is the son of my heart. As corny as it sounds, it's so true and I miss him so much.
7. The boys at the office call me "Mother Hen"....if it's not obvious, they think I mother everyone too much.
8. I am by no means a animal lover.
9. I'd take the beach over the mountains any day.
10. I hate cold weather.
11. I love the rain!
12. I love sweaters. Not cute dress sweaters or pretty cardigans, old, comfortable "grandfather sweaters"
13. When I read a good story in SI of watch something on ESPN about a player or team, I am immediately a fan of theirs.
14. If I were a pair of shoes I would be a pair of Sperry bluefish. They are everything I perceive myself to be...classic, comfortable, dependable, and tough.
15. I HATE to hear people clip their nails! I believe that it's like pooping, it should only be done in a bathroom, with the door shut!
16. I have visited Greece once and I definitely want to go back, maybe even to live.
17. I love to eat. Maybe better said, I love food. Love is the correct word there.
18. My mom was born to full time Philippine missionaries and now much of my family, including myself, are actively involved in the work over there. I would love to do some full time work over there.
19. I have been a 911 dispatcher for over 6 years now and all but 6 months of that have been on night shift.
20. I love both of my parents equally and think that they are both the best at their respective jobs but, except when I was sick or heartbroken, I was always a Daddy's girl.
21. I wear a size 11 shoe. I know!
22. I have this weird sweet/salty thing when I eat. I have to eat them equally. If I have some popcorn, I have to follow it up with something sweet like some chocolate and vise versa.
23. I have this ability to make people feel really stupid and uncomfortable, without even saying anything. My sisters and the guys call it, "Laurie's look" The worst thing about it, I don't know when I'm giving it!!!
24. To go along with number 23, I have NEVER been able to hide my emotions. ANYthing I feel shows up IMMEDIATELY on my face! I hate that.
25. I am very, very patriotic.
26. Even though I can be a hot head, I very rarely stay mad very long.

27. I can go an amazing length of time on no sleep.
28. I LOVE the Atlanta Braves!

29. I really just LOVE baseball!

30. I have a very loud voice and the more excited I get, the louder it gets.

31. My favorite foods are asparagus, chocolate, chicken casserole, fried cheesecake, sourdough bread, peanut butter cookies, broccoli and cheese soup....I could really go on and on.

32. A good pun OWNS me, every time!

33. One of my dirty little secrets is that I love reality tv. Not the ones where the actually do something, the ones where they just follow people around. I know.
34. I detest dress shoes.
35. I love Sperry's and flip flops, but I prefer to be bare foot.
36. I am a die hard University of Tennessee Vols/ Lady Vols fan!!
37. I love milkshakes even though I could live without ice cream.

38. My two vices are food and the sun/tanning bed. It is very, very hard for me to say no to either one.
39. My favorite color is blue.
40. I can't have caffeine or tomato products due to stomach problems but, sometimes bite the bullet when it comes to chocolate and Italian food.
41. I am addicted to Lipton's Green Tea...Mixed Berry.
42. I store up beauty products (i.e. face creams, wrinkle lotions, face wash, ect.) like a grasshopper preparing for the winter.
43. Mr G's is my favorite restaurant. It's worth a trip to Montgomery.
44. March is usually my favorite month.
45. When I was a kid, the doctors all thought I would be really tall because my hands and feet were so big. I'm 5' 7 1/2" and don't see a growth spurt in the near future.
46. If I ever have kids, I definitely want all boys.
47. Italian is my favorite food with Greek coming up a close second.
48. I hate to run and think it's crazy people doing it for "fun"
49. I do not believe that a salad constitutes a "meal" unless it has meat in it and then only for lunch.
50. No one has ever accused me of being a chef or a baker.
51. I am quite possibly the least crafty person you know.
52. I hardly ever wear make up.
53. I have two sisters, Louise and Leigh and one brother in law, Dustin "Dirt", and we are about as close as siblings can be.
54. I have the utmost respect for firefighters, policemen, military, and heath care workers (and 911 dispatchers...obviously!)
55. I LOVE seafood!!!
56. My favorite part of a man's body is bone structure, particularly, his weird is that?
57. I sing in my car with the same intensity that Beyonce sings at a concert. Usually with the windows down. Let's just say that I provide a good amount of entertainment for those lucky/unlucky enough to be sitting beside me at a red light.
58. I will wear a phrase into the ground..."For the love" "Touche"

59. If I could start over I would be a women's basketball coach.

60. I cannot sleep in socks or in pajamas or with someone else in the bed. I used to be able to sleep anytime , anywhere, in any conditions. I'm definitely getting fussier in my older age.
61. For that matter, I cannot sleep under a top sheet or on printed sheets. Look, I know.
62. I rarely use my a/c in my car because I didn't have it for over three years, plus I just love riding with the windows down!
63. I think heated seats are the second best invention ever.
64. I have a horrible short term memory!
65. I usually wear my hair up because I don't like the feeling of hair on my neck.
66. Although I really like grapes and cherries, I don't like things cherry or grape flavored.
67. I'm not totally sold on the idea of getting married but if I ever do the only things that I know for sure are that I want him to be a faithful Christian and I want him to make me laugh all the time.
68. I live with my sister Leigh and my cousin Kristen. I loved the time when it was just me and Leigh in the apartment but now am loving Kristen being here, just as much!
69. I dated a guy that was 19 years older than me for three years.
70. I am deathly afraid of roaches and preying mantis's.
71. I have had seven colonoscopy's. Fun stuff, huh?
72. Andrew Copeland of Sister Hazel is my cousin.
73. I really hate shopping.
74. I gained something close to 80 lbs the first semester I was in college.
75. I have never lived in a house where we had a scale.
76. Even though I have really, really thick hair, it amazes me how much hair I lose every single time I wash my hair.
77. I hate and always have hated brushing my hair. I have a very, very tender head.
78. I definitely have always had a boys name picked out, just in case I ever have one.
79. When I was little I honestly believed that cats waited until we left and went to their own church service in their own little secret cat church building. I can even remember what the cat church building looked like in my imagination.
80. I also believed that when I dug out in our yard and hit the roots that I had to stop digging because I was at the top of hell. I mean, I would be really scared. I have no idea where I came up with this stuff.
81. I had to wear braces on my legs when I was little to make me walk straight.
82. I have scoliosis.
83. I'm pretty much a homebody.
84. You have never met a less coordinated, more awkward person then me and I'm ok with it.
85. I am absolutely terrified of the birthday after this year. For that matter, I'm not really stoked about this one coming up either.
86. I also am terrified of wrinkles. They are so horrible.
87. I do not like spicy food.
88. I hate drama.
89. I love fresh flowers!
90. I have a freckle in my right eye.
91. My eyes change colors with what I wear.
92. I get really attached to characters in tv shows/ movies/ books.
93. I take my family really seriously.
94. People (Leigh) say that I am cynical but the truth is that I am just a die hard realist and have uncommon sense.
95. I love the water. I love going to the lake, the beach, the pool, really anywhere there is water. I love to swim, ride jet skis, ski, lay out, really anything that you do at/in the water.
96. I really wish that I knew how to play the piano and I plan on learning one day.
97. I am really attracted to a guy that can play the piano or the guitar.
98. I dig the cookie dough out of cookie dough ice cream and then throw it away when all the cookie dough is gone.
99. I hate the way lotion feels on my skin. Yuck.
100. I am very loyal. I have a lot of less than desirable qualities about me but even though some off my people would probably say I take it too far, no one can ever accuse me of not being loyal.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

K5 graduation

Not sure why everyone but Leigh has crazy looking eyes in this picture.

Leigh and Tucker's little sister, Gracie Kate

Tucker led the class in a poem

Congratulations to Tucker Clifton!! He graduated from ACA's K5 yesterday, which happened to also be his 6th birthday!!! I remember when Tucker was born but I can't believe how much he has grown in the three years since I moved here!
The graduation was nice but there was a slide show of the three K5 classes that lasted through SIX entire songs!!! They played a entire CD! I do understand that I am not a parent but can't we have a one or two song slide show and then all go to our respective homes and watch pictures of our own kids? Geez.... I am glad that I go to be there and am SO proud of him and all the other graduates!

P.S. I REALLY wish I could have been at GCS for Amelia's graduation! I also remember when she was born and hate that I have missed so much of her life! I AM SO VERY PROUD OF HER and she looked SO beautiful!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

better late than never....again!

On April 21st my Dad turned 53! So....without anymore ado...

1. Donald Frederick Walker was born to Carl and Martha Walker on April 21, 1956 in Nashville, TN.

2. He now preaches and lives in Trenton, GA, right outside of Chattanooga, TN.

3. Before ending up in Trenton he had lived in Lineville, AL, Valdosta and Lake Park, GA, Jasper, FL, Jackson, MS, Lubbock, TX, Knoxville, TN, Charlotte NC, and, of course, Nashville, TN.

4. On August 3, 1979 he married Jamie Diane Garner Walker, his wife of almost thirty years now. He had just met her in November of 1978 and proposed in February of 1979. If you're doing your addition....I was born in July of 1980.

5. He played football while in Jr High but when he transferred to Georgia Christan they didn't have a football team.

6. He played basketball and baseball at Georgia Christian.

7. He played baseball at Lipscomb.

8. Until I was 11 he coached basketball, taught high school, and him and mom were dorm parents at Georgia Christian.

9. He then was a realtor.

10. Then he sold advertising for a cable company.

11. Next, he went into business with my NaNa and PaPa and they owned the first Alltel store in the Valdosta area.

12. When my PaPa got cancer they sold KLW Sales and that's when he finally gave in and became a full time preacher (he had been doing it part time for years!)

13. He has three daughters, Laurie Rene' Walker, 28; Louise Elizabeth Walker Jones, 25; and Donna Leigh Walker, 23. He now has a son (in-law) too, Dustin "Dirt" Jones.

14. He bleeds Tennessee orange (as all good people do!)

15. He always talks about how much he hates to shop but NO ONE enjoys finding a good deal more than him!

16. When he smiles big it looks like he is missing a tooth.

17. He has a numb spot on the side of his chin from a slip of the knife during a root canal. It's pretty funny because if food ever drops on it, he will go forever with it on there if no one tells him.

18. He is VERY MUCH a morning person!!! Unfortunately, NONE of the other four people in our house were or are!

19. He loves the Atlanta Braves.

20. He is the voice of the Dade County Trojans. He calls the football, basketball, baseball, and softball games on the radio.

21. He also has a morning radio show on local radio.

22. I don't think he has ever worked only eight hours in a day or has ever only worked five days in a week.

23. He is almost a clone of his dad!

24. Since he didn't have any boys he passed his love and knowledge of sports on to his daughters.

25. He cannot just sit down and watch a tv show. He changes it at the very hint of a commercial.

26. He is an amazing evangelist.

27. He is on the board of directors at the Philippine Theological College.

28. He was always very good at math and sciences. Even though NO ONE would have accused him of being a good student, he never had any trouble with school work.

29. He was engaged once before he met my mom.

30. When he was at Lipscomb, the social club he was a part of got disbanned and had to remain banned for ten make sure the members were all gone!

31. He is the hardest worker of anyone I have ever met.

32. He doesn't chew gum.

33. We have been able to find nothing that he dislikes enough not to eat.

34. He has a special place in his heart for prison ministry.

35. He shared and still shares that love of prison ministry with Louise.

36. He lives on his cell phone. He shares that love with Leigh and PaPa!

37. He can go on very little sleep.

38. He gets knocked down once a year, every year for as long as I can remember, with a stomach virus. Besides for that, I can hardly ever remember him getting sick.

39. He loves the people of the Philippines.

40. He loves to fish but I've never heard of him hunting.

41. He met my mom while she was visiting family in Jacksonville and he was the youth minister where his uncle attended.

42. He has two sisters, Ginny Holton and Karen Sloan. They come with two brothers in law, Kenny Holton and Ervin Sloan, respectively.

43. He also inherited a sister in law, Beth Giselbach and two brother in laws, Ted and Tom Garner when he married mom. Since then he has gained another brother in law and two more sister in laws, Brian Giselbach, Patty Garner, and Peggy Garner.

44. He has 18 nieces and nephews.

45. He loves Hootie and the Blowfish.

46. He can't play any musical instruments.

47. He can't sing either but (and I absolutely LOVE this about him!) that has never stopped him from getting up and leading singing in a church service.

48. He loves to mix different kinds of cereal.

49. He has a facebook and a myspace account.

50. He loves watch how to shows on the Discovery Channel and historical based shows on the History Channel.

51. He now blogs!!!

52. He was absolutely amazing when Momma had a massive stroke just before their 25th anniversary.

53. He has never met a stranger. Ever.

These are just some "things" that when you put them all together make the most amazing man and one who has been my best friend through my entire life. Me, Leigh, and Louise are so blessed to have him for a dad and, if you have ever met him, you are lucky to have him in your life.

Happy (VERY LATE!) birthday, Daddy!!!!! ILY

Monday, May 11, 2009


A few hours late but I wanted to get a post in about that crazy lady who I gave the opportunity to be celebrated on Mother's Day :^)

My mom HATES the following things:

*getting up early
*flat dress shoes
*physical therapy
*her family not living close

Things she LOVES:

*everything about Christmastime
*Mexican food
*reading novels
*spending time with friends
*her family!

Momma (a.k.a. "Mudge") has more qualities than I can possibly list on here but I did want to let anyone knows who reads this how incredibly lucky I am to have the mother that I do. I don't know what I did in Heaven for God to put me in such an amazing woman's womb but anything good that you think about me can be attributed to her. She was the definitely the "law" when we were growing up but she was also the "love." There is no way that I could have had a better mom!

Momma, I love you and I REALLY wish that I had been there this weekend! Thanks for everything you do and have done for me!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Always an Eagle

Some of the boys watching the slide show of Ryne and T.

David Jones, one of our quarterbacks, sitting behind me and Ash during the service.

Donald Johnson, a coach, speaking during the service.

Todd Oliver, a player and also Ryne's roommate and T's roommate last year, hugging T's dad.

"Even young youths shall faint away and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."

Isaiah 40:30-31

This verse, for obvious reasons, has always been the team verse for Faulkner Football (for anyone who doesn't know, we are the Faulkner Eagles). Friday during Ryne's funeral in Mississippi and yesterday during the memorial service here on campus we heard a lot of different verses used that are supposed to make you feel better at things like that. I'm sure that I will hear some more Friday at T's funeral. But, yesterday after everyone had left I was sitting in the locker room in one of the lockers and I pulled my feet up and kind of hid myself in there. When I looked at the back of the locker that verse was hanging up and as I read it the most amazing thing happened. It made me feel better.

I thought of County Fair (for all of you x GCSers this is like a three week "Gut week" for anyone else, you should be getting a pretty clear picture by now) and Spring practice and watching these boys work SO HARD. I would see them just fall down from being so tired and exhausted and August seemed so far away even to me and I was nice and warm and comfortable, certainly not running until I threw up! That memory is what jumped into my head and, for maybe the first time I really smiled when I thought about them. I just love the thought of them flying around like Eagles all full of life and looking down.

Anyways, Friday morning, after a VERY long week me, Ashley, all the coaches, and some of the players loaded a bus for the five hour trip from Montgomery to New Albany, Mississippi. We arrived at the church building for lunch and got to spend some time with the family. The people from the congregation there were just amazing and there was so much wonderful food. Even with all the football boys there, there was still food leftover! Next we went into the sanctuary where the service was going to be and spent an hour sitting there watching the family have their last moments with Ryne and watching a slide show. It was a very emotional hour and we were already pretty exhausted by the time the funeral finally started. The service was very nice and then we all loaded the bus again and we followed a police car to the cemetery. After the graveside service we went back to the building and they fed us again before we got back on the road. i just can't say enough about how nice they all were.

Skip ahead to Sunday night (after what, at best, would be described as a horrible weekend) and I went out to eat with Ashley (our trainer), Doug (our asst. AD), and Ryne's mom, step dad, brother, aunt, uncle, and cousin. We had already met his dad, step mom, brother and sister, and the Hollis family at the hotel, but none of them were feeling up to going out to eat. It was a wonderful dinner but I was so tired and emotionally drained that I just couldn't go to work and make it through all that had to be done the next day. Sunday was about the hardest day so far.

Monday morning was so busy, I didn't even have time to think about anything or be sad. By the time I had arranged everything and met up with the families in the President's Dining Room for lunch with the coaches, I was already exhausted and hadn't had A SECOND to think about anything else. Lunch was very nice and then we took the families over to the gym. It really looked so good, if I do say so myself, and it was nice for the families to have a little while in there by themselves.

There were about 600 players, coaches, students, faculty/staff, media, and people from the community that filed in the gym. First, President Hilyer got up and spoke and said a prayer, then Cornerstone sang "I'll Fly Away", then Aaron Greenwood, the SGA president spoke, and then four football players spoke. I am SO PROUD of Sean Thom, Bobby Britton, Todd Oliver, and Paul Adams that I can't even put it into words. They did incredible and I know how hard it was for them. I honestly don't know if I have ever been more proud of anyone ever. Next Cornerstone sang "It Is Well With My Soul" before Coach Baker got up and spoke and my pride (and tears) continued. He did so good and had even written a poem for it!

Remember Us
To the living, we are gone.
To the sorrowful, we will never return.
To the angry, we were cheated.
To the happy, we are at peace.
To the faithful, we never left.
We cannot be seen, but we can be heard.
So as you push through the tough times, remember us.
As you celebrate life's victories, remember us.
As you cheer our Eagles, remember us.
Remember us, in your heart, your thoughts, and your memories.
The times we've shared, the times we've cried, the times we've laughed.
For if you always think of us, we will have never gone.
Ryne and T, We will never forget you.

After Coach Baker spoke, Heath Stripling, another coach led the entire group in "Amazing Grace" before Donald Johnson, another coach, led us in a closing prayer. All the parents were presented with a honorary degrees for the boys, their jerseys, and footballs signed by the entire team and staff. It was just an amazing day. The links I posted at the bottom take you to a recording of the entire service, a clip from the newspaper, and local news links. The story did make it on ESPN, FOX News, and many other major news outlets, but it was all pretty much the same.

Please, please keep these families, friends, and this team in your prayers. There is an unbelievable amount of hurt to fit in such a small field house. There is so much healing that needs to be done that only God can do it.