Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Our Wedding Day in Pictures

So I haven't posted a single wedding pic on this blog until today. Is that weird? Yes, it probably is. To be honest, after all the hurricane madness when we were done with the wedding we were DONE. Finished. Worn out and tired of wedding stuff. So I didn't run around posting my wedding pictures. I had been living and breathing wedding and I was ready to take a few breaths of something else, anything else, but Wedding. I know this is not typical girl behavior, but it is what it is. As we just celebrated our 1 year anniversary, I decided that I should post a few wedding pictures. It was an absolutely beautiful night and the weather this time was perfect. So here ya go, even if it's a year late, I hope you enjoy!

My Mom and Grandmother, oh yeah and I'm in the white

My beautiful bridesmaids praying over me before the wedding

Last few moments as Daddy's Girl Only

And we're married!

Did we actually just get married?!

I loved my wedding cake! I put this pic on here because I always love looking at wedding cakes. For some reason, The Wedding Cake has achieved near wedding dress status today and I'm all over it. I thought about this cake from the moment we got engaged and it was yummy!

I will blog more on the marriage in the next couple of posts. I can't put Joey into one blog. It's impossible I love him so much. I'm looking at these pics just now and I still don't have a clue how I caught that him. He's my one and only catch in fact. Maybe I will in a few posts to come say more, but until then I'll just leave it to the joy that's plain in pictures.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ike: Wedding Crasher

This weekend I'm in Livingston with family. This has brought up a lot of reminiscing about what we were doing this time last year. We were working like labor camp workers to get the backyard wedding reception ready after Ike decided to crash the party. All purely on faith that a wedding would happen in two weeks. My Mom and I were looking through the pictures that she had and I decided they needed to be posted along with the stories that go with them.

Here's the picture I was referring to in the last post:

Yes, this is our front yard and yes, we are hillbillys. My Mom had this urge, that's the only word I have to describe her strange determination, despite my wishes, to spray paint this for all the world to see. I can only make sense of it by thinking that maybe as an artist skilled at painting and drawing, this was her expression of anger at Ike's plan to rain on her baby girl's Big Day. Instead of raising her fist skyward, Mom, like an Indian warrior putting on war paint before battle, chose spray paint as her medium of defiance. Ball of emotions that I was, this made me so mad at the time as I just wanted to keep it to myself, but for whatever reason she just had to do it. Most of the time it makes me laugh to think how upset I got, most of the time. It was like Clash of the Titans, me and Mom over this plywood "work of art". In the end, Titan Numero Uno won and we have this masterpiece to remember it by.

When we were all huddled in my parent's hallway the night before the 13th when Ike came whipping through, I really thought we weren't supposed to get hit that bad. Houston, yes, but Livingston would just get some major wind and rain. I was upset of course that the wedding was postponed, but I was banking on the calm after the storm. When we walked outside for the first time, my heart sank. And I know now that north of Houston was one of the worst hit areas.

Friday, September 12, 2008 - Pre Ike:Our Almost Wedding Day, Saturday, September 13, 2009 - Post Ike:
Here are a few more pictures of what Ike left us to work with:

A limb that stabbed a hole in the roof leading to flooding in my parents' bath and bedroom

The transformer - one of the reasons we were unsure if we would have power in two weeks.

I have to tell you about this one. Like I said, when we walked outside, we were all heartbroken - every single one of us. We had worked so hard on that yard all summer. Before the hurricane, Joey had joked, "Well, if we can't get it together, we'll just go to the Justice of Peace!" It was a joke, but I knew their was a bit of true sentiment behind it. When we walked outside for the first time he wasn't saying much, but I knew that's what he was thinking we were going to have to do. And I was thinking not after we had spent months in wedding labor. I was not going to give in. I was going to walk down the aisle in my wedding dress so help me God. So I was scared that he was going to tell me this and I didn't know what I was going to do. What if we couldn't get the wedding together in two weeks? It didn't seem right to postpone it again, but at the same time month's of work going to waste?
There was so much work to do and it did look grim but, I was defiant. It was an hour or so after the hurrican and still raining, I picked up a rake and started raking leaves and debris in the drizzle. It looked ridiculous I'm sure, to be raking leaves when there were huge trees and limbs down all around, but I had to prove to Joey that we could do it. I had to show him that there was green grass under the mess. I told my Mom what I was doing and she picked up a rake too. The picture above is of our neighbor Sherry. She came over and saw us raking and wanted to know what we were doing. I'm sure she thought we were completely crazy, obliviously raking leaves in the midst of huge fallen trees. When we explained that we were trying to avoid Joey making the call to get married by the JP, she picked up a rake. Her own yard and house was probably hit worse than ours and there she was, raking leaves with us. She was an absolute angel. She and her husband put our needs above their's constantly and unselfishly day after day until we got married.

It turned out that we had people come by with their chainsaws, bulldozers, and rakes to help out. Here are a few pictures of people who with their help made our wedding really happen.

As bad as all of this might look, we were blessed. Many of our neighbors were hit hard. Here's a quick look of around the neighborhood:

We were really blessed that we did not have huge trees on top of our house like some of our neighbors. We had the most kind and giving people come to our aid and unselfishly give their time and physical effort, all the while knowing that they had work just like ours to go back home to. It was a time for Joey and I, mostly me, to check our priorities and be thankful for what we have.
And if you are wondering, yes, the Ike Wedding Crasher piece survived, in fact, that part of the house narrowly missed being crushed in by a huge tree. Makes you wonder... :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Birthday Gift from My Girls

The girls at work threw me a surprise birthday party today a day early for shock value! My desk was completely covered with party stuff. They really go all out. A little birdie who's name I think might be Joey (I'm sure he'll love being referred to as a "birdie"!), told them what I might like. I have been circling a necklace with this lotus engraving on Sundance's website for a while which getting the earrings makes me suspicious. Here's what my lovely peeps got me:

My girls are the best. Did I mention that my "girls" are all over the age of 40? Yes, and they are beautiful and couldn't be younger at heart! There is a "girl" or two for each decade, 40s, 50s, and 60s. I want to be one of them when I grow up.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Our Almost Wedding Anniversary

I have to post on this day.

September 13th, 2008. That was the day Joey and I were supposed to be married. That was the date that I had been planning toward for about 8 months. Well, it didn't happen. If you will recall, that is also the date that an uninvited guest came to town: Hurricane Ike. I think about this time one year ago I was most likely doing one of a few things, picking up hurricane debris, crying, raking, crying, picking up more sticks and oh yeah, did I mention crying? I literally remember doing both types of activities at the same time. Picking up limbs while a tear would slide down my face. I was a pretty pathetic emotional basket case at this point and completely drained. It was upsetting enough to have the wedding postponed as it was, but then on top of that to walk outside to a wreck of a backyard that we had been working on for 8 months, no power, no water, and complete chaos in Livingston was too much. But, thankfully I have an amazing family along with their friends who pulled together and helped to pull off a beautiful wedding two weeks later, same time, same place and with A LOT of physical labor. The road up to the day may not have been perfect, but The Day itself was perfect in my mind.

Something I learned from this after looking back on it now and maybe it's surprising, is that it all didn't matter in the long run. Well, I guess it did and it didn't. Now, I would not advise saying this to someone in this situation because you can't see that when you're in the middle of it. And I also wouldn't have done it any other way except maybe picked another date. It's a HUGE day, don't get me wrong and it's an absolutely beautiful picture of the bride of Christ, BUT nothing compares to the actual marriage itself. And that would have happened one way or another, with a gorgeous wedding or without it. I love that I got to wear The Dress, walk down the aisle, be the center of attention for a day and not be looked upon as selfish, and the whole experience of it, but nothing truly mattered except what took place at the end of the aisle when Joey and I both said "I do." God taught me about what was truly precious and it was a great reminder how much I can get tied up in the decorum of the wedding day and in life in general and totally miss what's important. Lesson learned, but I'm sure this is a lesson that I will learn again and again along the rest of the journey.

In reflecting on this day I looked back at September's posts and thank God for the reminder. Since I really didn't go into all the drama in this post, the details are in these posts if you didn't get the scoop back when:

And for a few pics of September 13, 2008 what we walked out to on our Wedding Day location, my parent's backyard:

Gus, completely oblivious

What you can't see are the 2 huge trees that were down in the back. Behind the garage it was like you walked into a treetop jungle.

More pictures would have been taken, but the camera ran out of batteries after these quick shots and of course we didn't have electricity to charge it back up. I wish I had more showing the back part of yard - it was about as bad as the front yard and you couldn't see the ground for the debris. Another thing that I wish I had a picture of was the plywood boarding the front windows. Mom, to my angst and horror, spray painted "Ike Wedding Crasher" in white letters that could be seen from the road. Classy, I know. Thank you, Mom. I still to this day, do not understand why she did it. I was actually pretty mad about it, but now it's borderline humorous. You can imagine both mine and my Mom's emotions at the time.

Anyhow, here's to September 13, 2008, The Wedding Day That Almost Was. Happy Almost Wedding Anniversary, baby!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Revelation Revelations

I am so excited! Tuesday, Beth Moore started her new study on Revelation! I didn't think I would be able to go due to commitments, but God made a way for me to attend so He must want me to be there. That's an exciting thought in and of itself, huh? God wanting us to be in the specific place that we're in down to the moment. Lovely thought and completely comforting. But I digress...which is easy to do when the topic is comprehending the Creator of the Universe...!

So back to the Beth Moore study itself. Amazing! I have never studied Revelation on its own in a Bible study before so it'll be a first for me. Yes, it looks like there will be a lot of prophecy explanation and study, BUT it seems that the main gist is in our memory verse:

They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings - and with Him will be his called, chosen, and faithful followers. (that's us!) my insert not John's btw :)
Rev. 17:14

I think a lot of what we will be studying rests heavy upon the revelation that he is Lord of lords and King of kings. Did you get the emphasis on who the true Lord and King even in its contrasting capitalization? I had never really paid attention to that in the phrasing before. Comprehending the Creator of the Universe in all His glory is what we're going to be into.

I loved how she explained the power of Revelation in that we cannot possibly understand or fathom what God has planned for us or how the history of the earth and the rise and fall of kingdoms has been knit together since before time began and is all ready to unfold before our eyes. Our eyes couldn't handle it and our mind couldn't wrap around its depth so Jesus, our intercessor, gave it to John in a way that we could handle. In larger-than-life pictures and symbols. It's not something we would get in words and more than any earthly tethered being could grasp. Beth said Revelation is like God's big Sunday School feltboard to get across the meanings of great concepts to spiritually child-like minds. This makes sense to me. Jesus made it make sense for us. I'm sure a lot of folks think Revelation all sounds like some out-this-world story, but that's just it: It Is.

So I'm ready. I'm going to try with all my heart, earthly-tethered body, and narrow mind to grasp who He is. A study like this reminds me of the Addison Road song, What Do I Know of Holy? I am so far from understanding Holy it hurts sometimes, you know? Like it says in the song "I think I've made you too small." - that so speaks to me. I find myself limiting God all the time. Probably in ways I haven't even thought about yet and will never know until confronted with the truth face to face.

Anyway, to say I'm excited about this is an understatement. If anyone is interested in going, please just let me know and I'll save you a seat. As for now, how about I leave you with Addison Road?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Crying Over Spilled Artichokes

I am frustrated. It's Labor Day. We have people coming over to our house in t-minus 2 hours and counting down. I still have to vacuum, clean the bathrooms, finish laundry that I started this morning, prepare two dips to have ready when the guests come, and oh yeah, I haven't showered yet. With much to get done, you must be asking, why are you sitting around blogging?

Ask the can of artichokes. He knows what happened. Joey and I got up this morning and relaxed at Dunn Bros. Coffee had fun talking and people watching and generally the morning was off to a great start. Beautiful Day. We hit the grocery store to get all the stuff we would need for this afternoon. Ran into a friend. Joey and I split the list up and things were off and swimming! We met back up together and there was one item remaining on the list. The can of artichokes. I picked up the can to put it in the basket and that's where things went into slow motion. My basket full, the only room left was in the children's seat. As my hand set the can down, my brain had just enough time to say "Hey, this isn't a good idea. There's open spaces in the front of the cart." Too late. The can of artichokes fell out of the cart and landed right on my big toe at the bed of my nail. It was the kind of pain that radiates throughout your body and you feel it in the pit of your stomach. I couldn't even say anything it took the breath and to be honest, thankfully the words out of my mouth. It was the kind of pain that just makes your tear ducts well up and you can't help but let them spill. And besides the pain, the next thought was horror upon horrors to me, I'm going to lose my toe nail. I do not handle flesh wounds very well. Give me an internal injury or a disease and I'm all over it, but not a smashed finger or a cut that I can see. Especially to do with fingernails or toenails. I couldn't even look at my toe. I made Joey look at it and assess the damage. Not broken. A little bleeding. He doesn't think the nail will fall off. Anything, but the nail falling off. I wanted to throw that can of artichokes across the store.

So this is why I am sitting on the couch with my swollen toe propped up on a pillow when I have so much to do. The only thing that makes me feel better is that I can crank open that can of artichokes and cook them into oblivion. That's what they will get. So I've gotta go. I'm going to hobble over there and show those artichokes who's boss.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I HEART Cherry Garcia

My name is Jenny and I am addicted to Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia Ice Cream. I really wish there was a 12 Step Program for this. I feel the need to fess up after my post on P90X progress. It has planted its little carton stubbornly in the way of ultimate success. The weird thing is that I don't even usually like cherry flavored stuff. Chocolate covered cherries? Not my favorite. And we hardly ever have ice cream in our refrigerator so it's usually not a temptation when I'm walking down the frozen food aisle.

I remember when it all first happened. I was walking by a stand-alone freezer kiosk and saw these little mini ice cream cartons that I thought were really cute. What is it about miniature stuff that is just so stinking cute? They were 99 cents. Joey and I both had long days at work and so I thought why not? They sensed my weakness. I picked up three different mini cartons and then spotted the It. It was as if all the other little flavored cartons of ice cream stepped aside and to pave the way for me to see the Cherry Garcia. I'd never tried it before and thought what the heck! And the rest is delicious history. I have for the past few weeks, craved Cherry Garcia ice cream and have given into my new found addiction several times since. They even include a mini spoon under the lid. Pure evil! At least with regular cartons of ice cream you have to be in the vicinity of a spoon to take advantage of it, but not this. Talk about eliminating customer's obstacles!

Anyway, I was just thinking about how good it would be right now. Cold and creamy, flavor of heaven ice cream with chocolate chips in that little itty bitty cute carton. Ok. Stop. Yes, I have a problem. So I've decided to write about it instead of eat it. I hope I have not caused anyone else to run to the store right now. My apologies. Maybe you should write about it. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wabbit Workout

This is my third week into P90x. I have come to have a love/hate relationship with Tuesdays. Reason being, this is the day that I do the plyometrics workout. I have mentioned that it's practically an hour of pure jumping. It's like Skip-It on steroids, which given the fact that I could never truly "skip" it that long, it's a challenge. Tony says that this is the "X" in P90X. For encouragement and elimination of all excuses he has a man with a prosthetic leg in the video doing the workout with us. Yes, a one-legged man doing a jumping workout video. I'm dying with two legs and I look up and see this guy jumping higher and further than me with one leg. He's so good at it that I have analyzed his leg and wonder if it is real or if Tony just painted it to look fake and guilted us all into shamefaced performance. I wouldn't put it past him. I should introduce you to Tony.

Meet Tony. I like Tony. Sometimes I get frustrated with Tony when he tells me to land softly like a cat or better, like Spider Man. Spider Man is not really what I'm channeling at this point and my landings are more in line with The Hulk. I'm trying Tony, promise.

One of the things that Tony has incorporated into the plyo workout are a few moves that are excercise's way of playing make believe. I'm going to let you in on the few of the main moves, but WARNING, you should only try this at home and away from the general public. One involves jumping side to side with a Heisman pause for effect, another has us role playing as football players doing tires, another passing a basketball and shooting it, one pitching a baseball and coming down into a squat. And of course, my personal favorite...the Rockstar. Oh yes, this one has us playing our air guitars. Joey has come in a few times while I'm doing this one and I think I've stopped the movement before he's caught on to what I'm actually doing (nonchalant whistling through my huffing and puffing, hands by my side like nothing's going on), but I'm sure it's suspcious. Have I mentioned that my husband's super athletic, coordinated, and strangley flexible for a guy who's 6'4? I don't think he'd relate to my awkward clumsiness and lack of flexibility. I might show him when my flailing has calmed down a little, but for now I just feel like an idiot and I'm going to keep it to myself...and you.

I keep asking Joey if the diameter of my biceps seems to have gotten larger or if possibly a few veins are beginning to stick out in my neck. He hasn't noticed anything yet. Maybe tomorrow. For now the only result I have is a cramp in my toe from all the jumping. Well, that and my air guitar is quite improved since last time.