Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Husband - The Amazing No Hands Driver

Joey has a new game. When driving home, we get within one mile or so of our house, and suddenly my husband becomes The Amazing No Hands Driver! That's right, folks. He navigates the Katy suburbs with AJ Foyt intensity all WITHOUT the use of arms! Look Ma! No hands! The entire rest of the way is sprinkled with comments like "Oh baby, you see how I handled that turn? I hope our children inherit this gift. Oh no, coming up on the neighborhood turn in, It's going to be tough, but oh oh - yeah! Perfect execution! Does your husband have talent, or what?!" Hmmm.... I'm just wondering what's going to happen when we get pulled over for veering to a certain side of the lane a few too many times. That's where the real talent will come in. The explaining. Sorry, officer. My knee lost control of the wheel. That's probably not going to take us any further than I walk down the line and a breathalyzer test. I don't know whether I should encourage his talent in order for him to perfect his skills for our safety OR whether I should completely discourage it. If you tell a husband to drive with hands, will he rebel when he gets out on the road and on his own and drive with no hands? Maybe a more seasoned wife would know the answer to these questions...

By the way, at this point, I have told Joey that I'm blogging about his driving skills and he asked that I make the following amendment for accuracy: it is not one mile from our house, but three. And on that note, I have answered my own question. I think I will let him perfect his skills.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, Superwoman!

Today is my Mom's birthday. First, I love you. Second, thank you. Third, happy birthday!
Growing up, if I had to put Mom in terms of moms, she was the combination of the quintessential mom Carol Brady, creatively fun science lady Mrs. Frizzle, and what I would imagine Ruth Bell Graham to be as a mom. Quite a combo, right?

The word "bored" was not allowed in the Hanks' household. This was Mom's rule. She wouldn't allow it. And she never told us to just go play outside and left it at that. She actively taught us how to use our imagination and discovery skills. Because we were homeschooled as children, this made her an incredible teacher. From building a walk-through model of the ear, to raking leaves into a to-scale replica of the U.S. flag in the backyard (yes, we actually did this), to building the coolest living room tents made out of couch cushions and sheets; she kept us busy and always learning. She also taught us how to seek God within His Creation and that only God can make something so beautifully complex yet equally beautiful in its simplicity and elegance of design. Mom is also the reason why at the end of writing this, I will go back through and lip-bitingly analyze my use of punctuation as well as the reason why I have purposefully omitted any use of the verb form to lay, lie, have lied or oh wait, is it lain? - this is why I am stopping now. She was a stickler in teaching grammar. (DISCLAIMER FOR MOM - some of the writing may not be complete in its grammatical accuracy in order to capture the thought and wording in my mind as is and is no reflection on your supreme grammatical instruction. :-) )

I remember as a child waking up and walking into the kitchen in the morning and there Mom would be - at the table with her cup of hot tea and laying in front of her was her open Bible. She showed us everyday where the importance of life was and in Whom it was to be found. She taught us that it was ok to ask God questions, even the hard ones, and to let Him show us the answers. She taught us the value of marriage from a Biblical perspective and what it means to love in a never-failing, undending way as God does. She had patience when we may not have always gotten all of these lessons. She had patience when when these lessons were tried.

Nancy Reagan said "A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Mom's a strong cup of tea! Life changed for our family when my Dad had a bout with illness. Dad was in the hospital in the neuro-intensive care unit for several months and Mom left his side during the entire time only to research his illness in the hospital's library and to grab a quick nap in the lounge area. When he was released we began the next long journey to full recovery. I went to public shool and Mom continued to homeschool my three siblings. During this time Mom, who had been a stay-at-home mom since I was born, got a part-time job in the evenings. She took care of Dad and taught during the day. I can't figure when the next feat was slipped in looking at the timeline now, but that's about the time she started going back to school herself. These were tough times. She was so strong. By the time I was a freshman in college, Mom and I were taking the same core science courses, me at Texas A&M and Mom at Stephen F. Austin. I got to come home on the weekends to "Oh, didn't you love that chapter about pH? How did you do on your test? I made a 102!" Don't ask, Mom - just don't ask. There really just are no excuses that seem valid to a woman who is working full-time, raising three kids, and taking classes at night and still maintaining a 4.0. Mom went on to earn her degree with honors. She became a high school biology teacher. She won Teacher of the Year her first year of teaching.

Mom, you have given us all something to which we should aspire: a life that holds no place for limitations. This is the gift you have given me among many. Thank you to my Mom, my role model, my teacher, the Birthday Girl, and most importantly - my friend.

Happy Birthday!



Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sometimes it rains...doggies from heaven?

Gus needs a friend. If you're not familiar with Gus from previous posts, Gus is our dog. He's Joey's original dog that has been staying with Joey's parents until he bought the house. While he was at Joey's parents house he had two other little dog playmates and needless to say now he is, well, lonely. I have been wanting a little dog so bad! My Dad was a Cat Guy growing up (very similar in cat/dog opinions to Robert Deniro's character in Meet the Parents) and was not a dog fan. Mom and I have hypothesized that it has to do with a puppy he had as a little boy that barely made it past puppyhood, hence childhood trauma. He denies this, but this is the only plausible reason for a guy choosing a cat over a dog we can come up with. Anyway, this all being mentioned just to establish both my reasons for being 27 and never having owned a dog and also to say that it's about time I get a dog of my own! We're in the process of choosing the type. I've really been pulling for a miniature Yorkie, but Joey's been a little concerned about the size and that he might step on it. He has not nixed the idea completely, but he's just not sold. Well, tonight I thought I got my wish. Joey and I were walking Gus around the neighborhood and no kidding, were just talking about what kind of dog to get when what comes up to us but none other than the cutest miniature Yorkie I have ever seen! He was just out in the road all alone. So with Hugs in tow, that's his name, we asked some of the neighbors if they had ever met his acquaintance. Nothing. He had numbers on his tags so we took him back home and left mesages at the owners' number. And waited for a call and while this little bundle of cuteness hopped on the couch, rolled over, gave us kisses, and basically completely endeared us to him. At this point I'm thinking, is it possible that my little puppy prayer for a Yorkie was signed, sealed, and delivered at instant prayer gratification warp speed? Even Joey was starting to think that Hugs might be at least an over night guest. My mind is instantly spinnning away thinking of Hugs as a permanent member of our family. "Where will Hugs sleep?, Hugs and Gus, Hugs in a little dog suit, Hugs" - and then the owner called... :(

So I guess we're still on the dog search...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ginger Snap to It!

I'm generally a Tween Season kind of person. The heavy hitters like Summer and Winter with their drastic temperatures have their high points, but overall, I love the gradual changing seasons of Spring and Fall. And for Texans these are the two smallest slices of the Seasonal Pie. So we relish them. There is just something about Fall! A change for the senses that gives Fall a tangible quality. A crispness in the air and a slow ripening of the landscape into reds and golds. I am ready! I have changed my desktop wallpaper to a fall scene to match my mood. I drank orange pekoe hot tea along with a few ginger snaps for my mid-morning pick-me-up. Ginger snaps taste like fall, full of spice. Joey is excited about fall too, but I think it has more to do with football season. So we are both excited about the season. We just show it in different ways. I would put a fall wreath on the door and he would post a football schedule. :)

Oh and the roast turned out great! We were both impressed! Tonight he cooked for me and it was delicious!

Monday, October 6, 2008

We're back and more married than ever!

Success! Joey and I were finally married September 27, 2008 at 6pm. He looked soooo cute waiting at the end of the aisle and I could not and cannot be happier! The night was absolutely beautiful! And although not on the original date, it was obvious that God knew this wedding would take place on September 27th. Here are just a few blessings in the timing:

- the weather, ironically due to Ike, was Beee-utiful! It was an uncharacteristically cool September night in East Texas
- No mosquitoes or love bugs, the latter due to Ike and the first I still can't put a finger on other than that it's divine!
- our flower girl, who's only 1.5 years old, was given two extra weeks to perfect her walk and made it all the way down the aisle!
- several of our friends who were unable to come on the 13th were able to come with the new date!
- our original photographers were unable to cover the wedding so their main office called in a team that became unexpectedly available from the Baton Rouge team and I loved them so much more than the original photographers!
- extra time for a few little projects like making the candy bags during the hurricane
- getting to see the family pull together to make all of this work. They worked so hard. I'll have to post a few pics later of the before pictures of my family's yard. It's incredible to see it after all the hard work. Doesn't even look like the same yard! I am so blessed to have such a sacrificial and loving family!
- lastly, a cool story - maybe in a few years :)

And we had an a-mazing time on our honeymoon! I will be posting pictures and stories from all soon. Many many stories. Today is our first "normal" Day-in-the-Life so to speak. A new normal. And I am trying to be extra wifely on my first day out and have actually cooked a roast! This is my first attempt at using the brand-new-out-of-the-box crock pot. New crock and new cook. I'll let you know how it goes. Now to have dinner with my husband... :)