Wednesday, October 28, 2009

DVRing Life

Ok, I'm short posting today. Sorry. Well, maybe you're glad! I can be long-winded, or is it long-typed in the blog world?

Today has more than 24 hours' worth of tasks.

I wish I could DVR life sometimes, you know? I feel like I've been so busy this week that I haven't had a chance to stop and relish its events. Ok, well some I do not wish to revel in such as the fact that I have a report due on Friday, the huge project that I'm in charge of is launching on Tuesday of next week with SO many loose ends yet to tie up, and I'm taking my annual staff exam next Wednesday (many study for 3-4 wks. for this and I have barely given it a glance. Can you say EEK?!). Those are the things that would be left un-DVR'd if you will. However, my parents are coming tomorrow night which should be fun. Hence I'm in a cleaning frenzy (also left off the DVR List). My brother Stephen made it to regionals in tennis and is playing in Katy. It's his senior year so this might be the last time I actually get to see him compete in a match. Oh and that project? I would like to DVR the outcome. After all, I've been working on it since May. least I'm hoping it would be on my DVR List due to a good ending, but if it's the reverse maybe not. Yikes! On this note, I might could use a few extra prayers on all the un-DVR'd items, pretty please?

As long as there are enough moments in life that are worthy of reliving, there will be plenty to hang our hats on in the dry spells.

So I'm curious. What memories would you hang your hat on? What would you DVR from your life to play over and over again?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hanging Out With The Adams

I mentioned that we stayed with Joey's family for a few days in Prescott, AZ. So, let me introduce them!
Here's the breakdown -

And lastly, Rosser, who never let us take a picture without making a goofy face!

And of course, I think you can figure out which is Uncle James. They were incredibly generous and such gracious hosts. They showed us around town, took us to their favorite restaurants, and on a hike through the Prescott National Forest. Ok, I don't think it wast the Prescott National Forest, but it felt like it! With Lindsey as our leader, we hiked to Frog Falls, which turned out to be more of a pool this time of year, but it was beautiful nonetheless and gave the Cityslickers a taste of the outdoors.

Joey, Uncle James, and Rosser went shooting while I, well basically got in the way. :)

Can you believe this is the view from their HOUSE?!

Here are a few shots from the hike:

Remnants of Frog Falls

Joey proving that you can still check on Fantasy Football in the middle of nowhere

We had the best time hanging out with these guys and can't thank them enough for opening their home to us for a couple of days! Thank you!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In From Out West

Alright, we're ba-aack! Did you guess it right? The Grand Canyon? Yup, you got it - that's where we've been. Joey and I took a good old-fashioned Griswold style vacation to the Grand Canyon. Well, that was one of the main attractions at least. Joey's Uncle J. and cousins live in Prescott, Arizona so we hung out with them for about three days while they took us shopping, hiking, site seeing, and oh my goodness eating. The eating. Joey and I have decided we will be fasting for a month due to the menu on the trip. And can you tell that we're from Texas by this picture? Geez, didn't realize it at the time.

Anyway, Prescott is absolutely beautiful. It's the kind of place that makes you wonder why we live in flat and humidity-heavy, Houston. (Houston, I didn't mean that and you know it. I know you can't do anything about lacking mountains and scenic views but, goodness could you give a girl a little relief from the humidity?)

We had a great time hanging out with family that we don't get to see very often, checked out the Grand Canyon, and ended our trip with a few days in Sedona. We had so much fun and very importantly, we just relaxed and took in the view.

Arizona is absolutely beautiful. Uncle J. let Joey and I borrow his truck for the second half of the trip so we were able to see plenty of the state up close and personal. On our way to the Grand Canyon, I fully expected to see cowboys and Indians riding over the landscape, with buffalo and teepees on the horizon. There are jagged mountains made as if chiseled out of complete rock and then there are hills that look like a giant had been playing in a huge sandbox making mountains out of sand and then spinkling his work with a light layer of shrubby trees for effect. The whole of it really is a picture right out of a movie. A John Wayne movie to be exact.

We drove past roads with names like Hell's Canyon and Devil Dog Road. By Day 3 our skin as well as our noses were completely dried out and we were panting for breath with the smallest exertion.

We tried what I have termed Az-Mex food which doesn't hold a candle to Tex-Mex. It's heavy on the chile powder and chipotle. Oh and get this. At one restaurant you actually had to pay for chips and salsa. Don't they know chips and salsa should automatically appear upon sitting down and most importantly be free of charge? I had fun watching other couples sit down, obviously not aware of the Chip & Salsa When You Show Me The Money Policy either. They would look around at all the other tables with chips and salsa, not knowing that we had paid for it to be there, and you could tell they were trying to figure out if they had just gotten left out. The waiter could have a lucrative career as an actor, as time and again when someone would ask for chips and salsa he would act so surprised as if it were crazy to expect free chips and salsa. "Oh, you want chips and salsa? So one order of chips and salsa then. What's that? Oh, you have to order it of course." As if if he were not asked this question 50 times day. Craziness!

I've got quite a bit to show you so I'll post more on our adventures including pictures this week. As much as we had fun, we are glad to be back!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Where are we?

All right, are you wondering why you haven't gotten a blog from me in a few days? I've got a few moments to check in right now, but that's it and then we've got to get back to our current adventure. I'm going to leave it up to your imagination where we are and I'll be sure to fill you in on Monday.

Ok, I'll give you a hint: Paul Bunyan supposedly created this by dragging his axe along the ground. If you guess right, I'll give you...ummm well, just kudos for looking it up on Google. :)

Be back and blogging soon!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dad Meets Bart

I've mentioned before that my Dad is a cat person. He doesn't care for dogs. That's my Mom's phrasing. Don't say you don't like something, say you don't care for it. It's softer and more polite. So in my family you didn't not like creamed corn, but rather you didn't care for it. We were one big, happy, caring family I guess. Well, growing up we knew that Dad didn't like dogs. We believe this ties back to a negative experience in childhood, but he won't give us the details. Must be too painful. I would ask for a dog and we'd get a cat. That's just how it worked. Dad said cats were smarter than dogs. Remember Robert De Niro's character from Meet The Parents? That's my Dad.

One day, a stray dog started hanging around our house. Of course, the reason he was hanging around was because everyone but Dad was secretly feeding him. But he didn't know that. Mysteriously, this dog showed up every day. We all looked at each other and exclaimed out loud how strange it was that he kept coming back. Dad would come home from work and say "Get on outta here!", but there he'd be the next day. He became such a fixture, that he acquired a name: Bart.

Bart was an old mutt. A shaggy, long-haired, junkyard dog, of a mutt. He was the kind of dog you were endeared to immediately due to his completely pitiful state. Everyone loved our new dog. Everyone, it seemed but Dad, who referred to Bart as "that dawg",furrowed his brow, and narrowed his eyes whenever Bart walked by. Bart sure was courageous because despite Dad's body language he would still make an attempt at a relationship. He would nudge his shaggy head against Dad's hand showing him that he wasn't going to give up.

I had pretty much put Bart down for the count with Dad until one day I made a discovery. I heard a noise from the window that looked into our garage. It sounded like someone talking softly so I peeked out the window. It was Dad. Talking to....Bart?! Dad was talking sweetly, smiling, and petting his head. I couldn't believe my eyes! This whole time he'd been holding out on us! I tried to catch Dad in action several times, but he never would own up to it. He secretly liked Bart, he just had to keep the tough guy exterior. Dog's get to your heart you know?

Bart was only with us a month or two. He just didn't show up one day. I don't really know what happened to him. We were all heartbroken because of course we all thought we had a dog of our own. I think Dad was probably sad too, though he didn't show it. I learned a few things about Dad from Bart. Some of it I already knew, but some of it was new stuff.

So guess whose watching our dogs next week? That's right, Dad. Of course, he makes a big fuss and puts on a show, but secretly I think he's excited that they're coming to stay. Mom tells me so. Maybe Mom's phrasing on it was right. Dad doesn't care for dogs, he prefers cats. BUT, I no longer think he just doesn't like them either. We now know better.

P.S. I still don't like creamed corn.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My husband's home!

Joey's back! Thank goodness! He's been in New York since Saturday morning for work. Sometimes it's good to have a few days a part just so you realize how much you've incorporated someone so completely into your life. It's not the big things as much as the small ones that carry such weight. They make you stop and wonder how you ever lived life as just you. Did a time exist when he wasn't in my mind? Just to share, here are a few of my small moments missing the one I love:

I had great news that I wanted to tell my best friend and he wasn't there.

Watching a scary movie and not knowing when to turn my head and totally missing what was going on, usually I watch him watch these movies and he gives me the narrative.

Only one football game on versus flipping back and forth to five.

When I found his socks in the freshly washed sheets all balled up.

When I realize I haven't had a kiss in 4 days.

Watching the dogs sniff around expectantly trying to find him.

When I push in his dresser drawers and they actually stay closed for a few days.

Not having him to give me the thumbs up on an outfit before wearing it. He'll usually tell me if I'm way off. :)

When I forgot to take out the trash and it was apparent. My job is to refill the bag.

When I put my hand on the other side of the bed and I couldn't find his shoulder.

Just a few of many moments. I'm so glad he's back!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Over The Top Award

Danielle was sweet enough to tag me with an award and to accept, I need to answer the questions below and pass on to some of you guys! This is great for a light blogging kind of a day. So here you go...

1. Where is your cell phone: lost in my Mary Poppins purse
2. Your hair: is failing me, I'm getting gray hair!
3. Your mother: Supermom
4. Your father: can always be depended on for a hug...even if he's not sure why I need it :)
5. Your favorite food: toss up between Mexican & Italian
6. Your dream from last night: something about my teeth turning chocolate brown - I take no responsibility for the the content of my dreams. But I did check my teeth this morning just in case.
7. Your favorite drink: water with lemon or a caramel macchiato
8. Your dream/goal: write for a living
9. What room are you in: living room
10. What is your hobby: reading, writing, and music (I bet you thought I was going to say arithmetic, not a chance)
11. What is your fear: Death by fire - ohh, I don't mean to be morbid, but that's really what comes to mind. Failure would be a more abstract fear.
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years: enjoying kids and family, refer to #8
13. Where were you last night: At the casa
14. Something you are not: well-traveled :(
15. Muffins: banana nut
16. Wish List items.: watch from Sundance, a few pairs of shoes I've had my eye on, dining rm table....hmm...this might be an important post for Joey to read...
17. Where did you grow up: Livingston, Texas
18. Last thing you did: talk to my hubby on the phone
19. What are you wearing: jeans and t-shirt
20. Your TV: is never watched in real time, only dvr'd
21. Your pets: We have His and Hers dogs: Gus & Bogart
22. Your friends: multigenerational
23. Your life: an adventure, maybe not the hiking Everest kind, but more like the everyday life kind of adventure
24. Your mood: reflective
25. Missing someone: Joey, he's been out of state for several days on business.
26. Vehicle: Honda Accord - If I drove a Porsche, I would've still said Honda Accord - who knows who might read this? Casing the Joint virtually, you know? No really, it's an Accord. Really.
27. Something your not wearing: I feel like they're fishing for a sexy answer but this is all I got: I've been sans-earrings all day and I feel like I'm missing an arm or something.
28. Your favorite store: Anthropologie
29. Your favorite color: red sometimes, green sometimes, blue sometimes....I don't have loyalties
30. When's the last time you laughed: a half second ago when I posted the answer below in this blank by accident. You guys would have thought I'm so cold!
31. When's the last time you cried: a few days ago I think, listening to the new Steven Curtis Chapman song Heaven is the Face about seeing heaven through the face of his little girl who died this past year.'s awful, it's wonderful, it had me balling.
32. Your best friend: my husband, Joey.
33. One place you go over and over: HEB - what does this say about me?
34. One person who emails me regularly: Joey
35. Favorite place to eat?: Ruthie's Mexicana

Alright, I'm passing this onto some folks who I enjoy knowing what they have to say and I'd like to hear more from!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Book Hugger

Saturday I was sitting in a coffee shop reading a book when my ears picked up a news story on TV. You can read the story HERE. There is actually a school that is getting rid of the books in the library and going completely digital. What? Sad news. I understand what they're getting at in embracing technology and all, but no books in a library? Nothing but cold computers?

There's more to books than just information. Books are an experience. The joy of opening a book for the first time, the spine cracking, the feel of slightly textured paper between your fingers as you turn each page. The different colors, shapes and sizes. I could spend a whole day in Barnes & Noble just looking. It's like going to Marble Slab and being allowed to sample every flavor. You open books with expectancy, ready to be enveloped in some new adventure and to take a short reprieve from reality.

There is something private when you open a book that's just between you and the story that unfolds. It's almost as if upon it's opening you are automatically insulated from the rest of the world. At least that's how I feel. For me, in more awkward years (yes, I was much more awkward than I am now) books were a way to forget about the fact that I was a shy, tall, skinny, knobby-kneed teenager. Books were almost a defense at times. When Beauty & The Beast came out, I dreamed of having Belle's Library.

Maybe I'm just being nostalgic, but I don't think a computer screen will do the trick. I can see the convenience of carrying a Kindle, but again it's because you can't have the real thing. Just now, I'm imagining reading Jane Austen on my computer screen. Yuck! Something is all wrong about it. If we're headed in this direction, I will refuse. I can just see myself in Fahrenheit 451 fashion hiding my books and reading by flashlight to prevent them from being replaced by a Kindle. I'll take my grand kids to a Book Museum to show them what a book looks like, explaining to them that their Grandmother used to read from books, while memories of Reading Rainbow flash through my mind.

Ok, ok, so I really don't think it'll get to this point, but I couldn't help but think on it. I don't think I'm the only one that thinks that there's nothing like curling up with a good book.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Birthday To My Mom!!

I love you so much and hope you have the best birthday today! My Mom's pretty amazing. I think I told you in a post last year. You can read my ode to Mom HERE. I will be going to visit the Birthday Girl tomorrow - YAY!

Happy Birthday to you, Mom!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Temporary Housing

On my way home for lunch today, I got a reminder of how blessed my life is right now. I was probably a few miles away from our house just driving, listening to the radio, and miles away in thought when I saw smoke billowing over the road coming from the direction of our house. My mind immediately went to our house. Oh my gosh, what if it's our house? What did I leave on? Iron, curling iron, fan? Oh no the dogs, they're in their kennels! About the time my mind had enough time to swirl these thoughts around a bit, a police car swerved to a stop up the road blocking the lane completely. Smoke covered the road and a thick curtain came down between me and my house. I had to turn around.

Thankfully, my sense of distance is as usual, incredibly impaired and it wasn't our house. It was several neighborhoods away from house in fact. Like I said, not gifted in spatial orientation. I could never be the one to guess how many pennies are in a jar. I came home, loved on my dogs, breathed a sigh of relief, and then...I forgot about it.

Driving home from work I passed the house. It is in a beautiful neighborhood with other large houses, next to a golf course. From what I could see from the road and looking past the fence, there is not much left of it. I could just see charred timbers and what remained in the back of kid's playground equipment, also blackened. Somebody lost their home today. Possessions, investments, pictures, keepsakes, memories. How could I have forgotten? Easy. When it's not happening to me, I can put it away in my back pocket and forget about it. Leave the scene and it's gone, you know? It's good sometimes to have a little insulation and not to hold on to things, but sometimes when we forget the scene, we forget the lesson.

So I'm writing this down so I can think about it. Think about how temporary material things are in this life. How things that I tend to collect or hold on to can quickly be disappear and be reduced to ashes. I guess it goes along with the post below, but not intentionally so. Maybe God's trying to teach me something in this area. He's asking me to get my claws out of my stuff and into the stuff that matters. What am I holding on to that's only temporary? I think we're right to be devastated about a house burning down with all of our wordly possessions. It's probably like losing whole chunks of your life in memories. I can't even begin to imagine how that would feel. For me, as an onlooker, it's a reality check.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Terracotta Warrior

So this past week Joey comes home really excited and says that one of his customers gave him the coolest gift. He starts digging around in the back seat of his truck with his back toward me. "Oh really? What is it?" I'm thinking his customers, hmm, he's in the lumber industry so what could it be? Some kind of furniture possibly. Or maybe something to do with our bathroom that we are working on. He turns around with this:

Yikes! Oh my goodness! Joey says "Cool, huh?". Umm yeah,! So...what is it? "It's a Terracotta Warrior." Oh I see...pause not really seeing...What's a Terracotta Warrior? "Back in the 70s they uncovered thousands of lifesized statue warriors like this in Asia circa 200 B.C. They believe they were constructed to protect the Emperor and the kingdom in the afterlife." (Yes, he really said this. It was like I had turned on the History Channel complete with dates and references to the Ming Dynasty...or something like that) Oh. Slightly frightening don't you think? (the Terracotta Warrior was giving me a fierce eye at this point). "I love these things!" Oh ok, well I'm glad you love it! And I followed Joey and the Terracotta Warrior inside.

I have to tell you something. The Terracotta Warrior frightens the heck out of me. The Terracotta Warrior is less Mulan and more Last Samurai. You know the scene where the crazy scary warriors charge in the forest? That, but frozen and in our study. Staring at me. Now in fact. I can feel it over my shoulder. Let's look.

Yup. Still there. See how he's clenching his fists? A smile is the last thing on his mind. Shudder.

Sometimes the Terracotta Warrior ends up like this:

It's very mysterious how this happens. I don't know who would turn a small harmless statue around like that. It just happens. And then equally as mysterious, the Terracotta Warrior is facing me again the next day....but closer. Hmm...funny, I just looked over and he has his back to me again now. Like I said, it's very odd.

I must say, I am glad I have Heaven to look forward to in the afterlife and God to guard our kingdom. I don't have to rely on legions of Terracotta Warriors to give me peace or rest. I don't have to spend my lifetime building Terracotta Warriors. But the question is do I? That's something I can take away from the Terracotta Warrior. A daily reminder of where I need to put my hope and comfort. Maybe I'm not building physical statues, but I'm sure I have Terracotta Warriors of my own - places other than Christ where I'm putting my hope. It could be material possessions, relationships, status, success, recognition. The possibilites change day to day. It doesn't matter, they all fall short in the end. There is only one Hope to which we can hold fast and which will watchover us for eternity. Are you putting your hope in Terracotta Warriors?

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and
where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and
steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21