Sunday, July 27, 2008

My dear friend, Kasey, needs your prayers and thoughts tonight

I have a very dear friend, one who is always quick with a joke, a great anecdote, a hug, a pearl of wisdom or just the perfect amount of silence.  She is not only a great friend, but she is also an artist.  She takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary.  She takes the mundane and turns it into something beautiful.  

I think a large part of what she sees through a lens is that beauty recognizes beauty!  She is Kasey Marsh of Monkey Tree Photography.    And she is my friend.  

My friend lost her dad tonight.  

When I think of people who have touched my life... I am sometimes overwhelmed.  And I know that in my heart... each person has come into my life for a reason.  Kasey... well, I am just so darned blessed that she came into my life.  As I mentioned above some of her traits...  :)  ... she is sometimes my voice of reason.  She can always snap me out of a funk.  She is an amazing family woman. She values her family above ALL and she always puts them first!  She loves her husband with complete abandon and she couldn't adore her children any more if she had birthed them herself.  I believe fully that their hearts chose each other.  

So, to hear tonight that her father has passed away, just tears at my heart.  As my mom said, we are at the age where our parents start getting sick.  I remember exactly where I was when I heard that my dad had gotten sick and what we thought was a stroke.  It turned out not to be... but I remember that drive to the hospital.  That horrible long unending drive.  I wouldn't wish it on anyone!  

And to know that there is absolutely nothing that I can do for her...  or for her family...  helpless.  I do know that I can pray for her.  I can pray for her family.  I can hope that her family gets some solace in knowing that so many love her and are sending healing thoughts their way!  If you have a spare moment... could you do the same?  

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Conversations ... with God?

Sometimes it's hard.  I think that the longer my husband and I are away from each other, the harder it is for us to communicate with each other.  He has been up in Fort Worth for almost two month's now... and I have been here "holding down the home front".  He drives home every weekend and I eagerly await his return.  All the while, I am packing up our house, taking care of our toddler, pretending to work (I am a fraud and don't know what I am doing right now)...  and facing the fact that I am leaving everything and everyone that I know right now.  

I am falling into my routine, he is falling into his routine and on Wednesday of this week, our routines merge.  With all of this upcoming *stuff*...  our worlds collided last night.  We exchanged words.. rather heated words...  some stuff was said...  some stuff wasn't said...  a cold shoulder was turned (by me) and eventually, after much stewing and much time...  I got over it.  

I always remember someone telling me that with fighting comes passion... so that is good, right?  We definitely have passion.  But, it's hard.  We fight ... we communicate...  we exist... totally differently.  He says things that he needs to get off of his chest...  and once they are said, he automatically feels better and then it's forgotten.  Me... I am an elephant (well figuratively speaking) ha ha ha...  and I remember everything.  I hear it over and over and over and over again.  I will hear it at some totally random time when things have completely blown over.  So, he feels better but I feel worse every time I hear it again.  How do we change that?  How do we change who we inherently are?  

I awoke last night, or rather this morning, at about 4:00 am.  I came downstairs and read some of my sites...  checked my mail... and then went to the blog Bring the Rain... the author is an amazing woman who truly inspires me to be a better woman, a better Christian and a better mom.  So... I was reading her blog about snapshots we take with our mind.  And I was reading about her faith.  And the snapshots she takes in her mind for Jesus.  Amazing.  

So, I sat here, at my kitchen table, and prayed.  I prayed for God to talk to me and give me the answers I most needed.  Why were my husband and I fighting so much?  Why didn't he get it?  Why didn't he want to?  And you know what I heard God telling me?  He doesn't get it because I don't let him.  He doesn't know me because I don't let him.  He told me to give him a chance.  Give him a chance to understand my feelings.  That in time...  we would *get* each other.  That in time, we would have the marriage we were destined for.  We *talked* a bit more...  but eventually,  finally... I fell back asleep.  

This morning... I very calmly, very gently, told my husband what I was feeling.  It didn't go great.  But, it didn't go badly either.  And with the day's passing...  it got easier.  Tonight, I am back to looking forward to the move, our future and am feeling much lighter.  I know that Jesus has lightened my load.  Thank you!  Thank you for believing in me.  

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I am NEVER drinking again... EVER

like, no really...  I am done!  I spent the better part of the day being hungover... not just a mild headache... I am talking one wham doozy drive over my head with a tractor while punching me in the gut hangover.  

What was I thinking???  I am so not in college anymore!!!  I don't stay up past 10... okay, maybe 11 on most nights.  I just don't have the stamina I used to...  that said...  we partied like ROCK stars last night.  :-D 

It was my going away party here in Houston...  all of my online Nestie friends... well, most of them.  (A few couldn't come because of being pregnant, tired, working etc).  We started out at Zake...  which is an amazing sushi place here in Houston that has one kick butt happy hour!  :)  There were fifteen of us there...  and it was so great to get to catch up with some (Almond) that I hadn't seen in forever.  The sushi was abundant and the sake was flowing!  :-D  Life was good!  

Typically, I drive myself...  but this time, I decided to have a designated driver...  Delia...  so I suppose I let my hair down a bit more than usual.  (insert duh duh duh music).  We decided to go ahead and go to the Wine Bucket for an after dinner drink!  ha!  I called my mom to make sure that she didn't mind...  and she said to go ahead.  :)  

We arrived at the Wine Bucket and ordered our drinks...  well, bottle... go figure.  We did lose a few of our people but quite a few kept up with us.  I was probably feeling no pain at this point... (Probably?) And we shut down this place and stupid stupid stupid me... agrees to go to a place called Bittermans.  Now, this last more place is a bit hazy in my memory banks...  or I just decided to kill off those brain cells fist... either way...  very little memory of this.  Does that mean it didn't happen???  :-D  

I realized that my tummy was getting squirrely...  so Dee and I headed home.  Now's where the I am never drinking again part comes in...

I get home (way past my bedtime!!!) and release my mom (who should probably have stayed with me)...  and crawled, no really... quite sure that I was on hands and knees...  okay okay, I might be exaggerating that part...  up to my room where I promptly ...  well there's just no way to put it delicately...  tossed my cookies.  I flung my drunk butt into bed where I unceremoniously passed out.  

I awoke to Joey's gurglings at 6:30 am...  and I would have bet you the farm that it was only 3 am.  I would have lost.  MAN...  today was rough rough rough rough.  

I took Mr. Joey to daycare and came home and called in dead to work.  

I think about 1:30 I started feeling human again...  please please please remind me of this if I ever decide to have a cocktail or 15 again!  

And on a serious note... I was at least responsible enough to have a designated driver (although I wouldn't have gotten schnockered if I was driving myself... )...  I am way too old for this kind of partying.  That said... it was so nice to have a night out with my girlfriends.  I am going to miss them horribly!!!!  

good thing I have to visit!  

Pictures to follow!!!  gasp!  

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Europe Part 2

We finally made it to bed the first night in Amsterdam...  and to say that we made it until 8:00 pm... it was a miracle.  That said... by 3:00 am, I finally asked the room (yes we all stayed in one room, just like old times)... is anyone ELSE awake?  
They all replied... yep, one at a time.  :)  

Sleep evaded us all for awhile and Dutch television consisted of boobs, boobs, and more boobs.  Go figure... us Americans are rather prude.  I settled on animals over boobs and finally fell asleep.  We all awoke at 10:00 am... we were so sleeping on Houston time.  :)  

After a delightful, albeit, expensive breakfast, we hit the road for Cologne, Germany.  Dad had his heart set on some time in the Kolnerdome and dinner at an Argentinian Steak House he used to love.  It was about a four hour drive and off we went.  We decided to take some back roads though instead of all highway and I ended up navigating.  

We ended up going through some of the CUTEST towns...  the pictures of the windmills and the beautiful house with gardens are in Elst.  I was just struck by all of the flowers!!!  Everything was so manicured and clean.  You didn't see the garbage on the sides of the street... you didn't see the pollution...  it was just... clean.  

We made it through another town which was alongside the Rhein River...  and there were pleasure boats and roadside french fry stands.  Vegetable and fruit markets and we even saw a kangaroo... yep, you read right.  A kangaroo...  :::::scratching head::::  and a cannibus farm.  Now THAT is not something you see every day.  :)  

We stopped at a German restaurant for a snack...  we sat outside, the weather was gorgeous.  We also got directions to Cologne and headed out.  

The first thing we noticed upon arrival was the hordes of people lining the street and reveling in the streets... beer, German flags and some inebriation.  We quickly found out it was the DAY of the European Soccer Championship and it was Germany against Spain.  If a restaurant did not have a television... they were closed.  

It was quite a sight to behold all of the people...  and quite fun to be a part of it all even if they did lose.  :)  

We also had the chance to see and walk around the Dom... which is this gorgeous cathedral...  they are always working on it and it did have quite a bit of scaffolding up...  it is just spectacular though and for some odd reason, my dad who is the most UN-churchy man you will ever meet has fallen in love with it.  Has always been in love with it... and I do believe we walked around the Dom more than once...  maybe even 100 times.  :)  

Dad's favorite restaurant was closed for the night so we settled on a little German restaurant and Kristin, my sister, had the chance to have her Weinerschnitzel.  :)  

It was a fun day... and none of us could quite get over how well we were traveling together.  :)  

really want this picture as my heading

but I don't know how to do it.  :(

Friday, July 18, 2008

New Face... New Beginnings

So, I realized that my old blog, although easy for ME to update was difficult to get published... so I have been working at moving them over to blogger.  This way, I can update it anywhere and can maybe be better at keeping it up to date.  

That said... it's a whole lot harder to do some things and one of them is adding pictures...  I suppose that I will get used to it.  I don't like change.  Coming from someone who always has change in her life... that is a terrible thing.  I can't think of one thing in my life that ISN'T changing...  so you would think that I would be used to it.  NOPE.  I hate it.  Well, I don't hate it...  I am just uncomfortable.  

I have scheduled the movers to come.  It is official.  We are moving.  You would think that closing on our house would make it official.  You  might think that the fact that my husband has been working there for over a month might make it official.  The boxes residing in my house... all over my house making it an unbearable mess would help it sink in... NOPE.  Scheduling the movers makes it all come crashing in!  In two weeks, I will be gone.  I won't have my mom.  I won't have my Mimi.  I won't have my daddy.  I won't have my friends.  But... I will have my husband.  

So... now, the craziness has set in even further.  And, the more confusing it is, the more I want to bury my head in the sand.  Packing...  eegads.  Makes me want to throw it all away and start fresh.  :-D  

So, welcome to my new blog.  These gypsy feet are headed North to Fort Worth.  Come on along!  :)  

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Europe Part One

I think I could probably do more telling through pictures but then,... what would be the point of the blog? right? :) I will include lots of pictures though.

We had a fantastic time! Like seriously... a great time. We decided that it had been about 10 years since the four of us had traveled together. I had dropped my son off on Thursday with my Mother in law and it really made Friday much easier. We dropped off the cats and the dog, we finished our last minutes stuff and mom and dad picked me up and off we went.

It wasn’t until I got to the airport that I realized I had left my cruise tickets on my kitchen counter. Well SHIT! (sorry for the language, but really... it fits). We were going to run home to pick them up when we decided it would be much smarter to just have Lyndia from the office go and pick them up and overnight them to my aunt who was going to join us in Rotterdam. :) GREAT idea.

We board the plane... Kristin and I are sitting together and Mom and Dad are right behind us. It’s nice because we each have our very own television screens and a choice of six or so channels. Kiki and I get our game plan going and figure out what we are going to watch... cause of course, we have to watch the same thing. ;) And the plane ride goes marginally quickly... EXCEPT for the fact that I ate the Beef Lasagna... and..... got food poisoning. UGH. Threw up once (sorry for the TMI) in the bathroom and again as we landed... my sister luckily blocked me from my parents as the whole sympathy vomiting thing is an issue with my mom. I never knew that having those little barf bags would be so handy!

We landed in Amsterdam at 8:20 in the morning, which was 1:20 AM in Houston. We gathered our luggage and off we went to get our rental car stopping to take a picture, of course.

We quickly realized that our rental car wouldn’t fit all of our luggage and switched to a volvo. The guy at the rental car place gave us several places we should go to.. and off we went. We decided to go to our hotel first as we wanted to drop off our luggage... and we got lost. We drove around the city looking for the correct way to get up on the highway and all of a sudden, we look up and THERE’s our hotel. How does this happen? :)

We check in, go to our rooms, drop our stuff and head back out for Amsterdam proper. We find a nice side street, park and walk toward the canals.... and they were GORGEOUS! I wasn’t prepared for the architecture and the flowers. It was all just so stunning. And EVERYONE, like EVERY SINGLE PERSON rides a bike over there. :) So healthy they are.

We stopped and had some breakfast of panini’s and coffee (I stuck with plain grilled cheese which was wonderful) and people watched. There were young families riding by on their bikes. A father with a brand new baby girl in their fashionable Stokke Stroller (I stopped to admire the baby which made my heart twinge). Business meetings and couples strolling by aimlessly on this cool Saturday morning.

We headed for the Centrum of town... and found ourselves in an open air market with everything from mushroom lollipops to antiques. We saw a young boy with a dog on a leash smoking a joint... random, I know. There were headbands, t-shirts and purses... cheap dresses, leather jackets and cannibus seeds. Each aisle had something different.

I wanted to see the flower market, Kristin wanted to see the “coffee shops” and Dad was just happy to be with all of us. :) We managed to accomplish it all. Postcards were bought, coffee was drunk, miles were walked!

Cost of a plane ticket to Amsterdam: $1000

Calories burned walking all over Amsterdam: 600

Seeing your parents sit in a “coffee shop”... taking it ALL in: PRICELESS

HA! I know I should probably not advertise that... but c’mon... we were in Amsterdam! We didn’t see the Red Light district... we had to visit a “coffee shop”.

We had the opportunity to meet an American lady now living in Amsterdam who gave us a recommendation for dinner... and we headed back to our car. After getting hopelessly lost AGAIN... we found ourselves on the correct street and in a moment of frustration parked... we looked up and we were in front our restaurant. Whoda thunk it! We had a delightful dinner at a traditional Dutch restaurant and although exhausted.. thoroughly enjoyed it!

More to come... :)