Tuesday, December 25, 2007
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good. (But, be sure to be thankful for the times when life is fair...to you or for someone else.)
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step. (It can only get worse...just kidding. What harm can a small step be? take a risk and take a big step)
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. (Amen!)
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does. (They don't???)
5. Pay off your credit cards every month. (Hmm...this is easier said then done...I tried once and it wasn't so much fun...I like having fun. This is a good lesson though I suppose)
6. You don't have to win every argument. (Whoever said this is dumb. I can admit when I am wrong but in a sense that is still winning...sort of. that's what I keep telling myself anyway)
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone. (crying is healing...thanks oprah!)
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it. (He can also get very angry too...remember saddam and gomorrah?)
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck. (I have no choice...my work takes it out automatically...good thing too or I would be wearing my retirement on my feet!)
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile. (I love this one! If you could see my butt you would know I follow this one by heart!)
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present. (Get over it. Holding onto past mistakes or missed oppurtunties is a huge waste of time. Everything happens for a reason and if you waste your time hanging onto the past you won't figure out what the reason is.)
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry. (I don't have any children but I remember the first time I saw my dad cry...it was a very humbling experience and I think a man should cry sometimes.)
13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about. (what's that corny but true quote...something about wishing you were someone else makes you something you are not...that is not what it says at all but i tried and I do agree with the saying)
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it. (but it's more fun. just kidding.)
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks. (actually i wonder if the person who wrote this really knows if God doesn't blink...)
16. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer. (and if you hear someone say no...ask another person. you will eventually find someone who'll say yes)
17. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special. (I am bad about not wanting to use the nice things but when i have children I am going to make breakfast every day but on Saturdays we will use the nicest china we have...not just on holidays. I think they will enjoy it. And if one breaks there is always a replacement set I can buy)
18. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple. (i've never heard of anyone waiting to wear purple.)
19. No one is in charge of your happiness except you. (exactly)
20. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years , will this matter?" ( I say 1 month! Most of the time in a month it won't matter!)
21. What other people think of you is none of your business. (I just think they should be big enough to tell me what they think to my face. Cowards.)
22. Time heals almost everything. Give time time. (i hate waiting on time to heal but it really is nature's cure for most everything)
23. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. (so what you are telling me is that if it's bad it will get worse and if it's good it will get bad? i dont' know what to think about this one...they didn't put a good spin on it)
24. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch. (i am kind of bad about staying in touch...i try though)
25. Believe in miracles. (I do)
26. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do. ( i really love this one...it is not by works that you are saved but by faith)
27. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger. (sometimes...hahaha)
28. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable. (my parents made mine memorable...and so did my siblings. i hope to make my childrend's childhood a memorable one as well.)
29. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion. (they are very helpful in times of need...i like the Psalms)
30. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved. (i love this one..that's all)
31. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind. (sure)
32. If you don't ask, you don't get. (i always ask! :) and if the answer is no...read #16
33. Yield. (PLEASE!)
34. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift (how sweet)
I know, sounds depressing right? I thought, "This kind of sucks...where's the passion...where's the romance?" Okay, none of those thoughts crossed my mind but it was slightly depressing for a second to think that everyday I will go to work, run errands, come home, cook, clean and then head to bed to do it all again the next day.
So, I stood up, dropped the shoe I was holding, walked into the computer room and told Blake the thought that came to my mind a few minutes earlier and you want to know what he said? "I know! Isn't it wonderful?!"
It was then that I burst into uncontrollable laughter and I realized...yes, this is wonderful. To have the one person I love the most, the one person who can make me happiest, at home with me and two healthy doggies running around my feet, begging for my love and affection, it is wonderful. If it's what I have to look forward to for the rest of my life then I am blessed. To love and be loved is the greatest gift of all.
Monday, December 24, 2007
There are many things we are thankful for as this year has been one filled with many wonderful memories and even some sad ones. Since I have known Blake he has always "grounded me." I am a very high strung individual, as most of you who are reading this know, and Blake has always reminded me that we can't have the good without experiencing the bad. We wouldn't know what happiness is without having to experience the bad times. However, you can also look at it the other way; you can't have the bad without the good. There are always good times...the glass is always half full. It's how Blake approaches life. He is very wise beyond his years and when something happens that makes me feel like I could be upset for days he always gets me turned around and pointed in the positive direction. (I know where he got it from even if he doesn't yet realize it.)
This year these are a few things I am thankful for:
1. God for bringing someone into my life who knows exactly who I am and what I stand for and still loves me unconditionally for all the good and the bad.
2. Family. The one's I grew up with and the new family members who have entered into my life. Knowing where I came from and and where Blake came from a blessing. Blake, the official newest member of my family is also something I am especially thankful for because he's always been there for me no matter what.
3. Great friends who probably don't even know how much they mean to me. Each and everyone of you help to complete me and make my life merrier.
4. Laughter. Even though there are always days when it seems we can't or don't want to laugh being with someone and surrounded by family and friends who can always bring a smile to my face.
5. Forgiveness. I'm thankful for God's unfailing love and forgiveness and the forgiveness of others for things I do out of a lack of understanding or otherwise.
6. Memories of 2007. This has been an exciting year and a lot of fun. There has of course been some sad memories; my grandparents failing health and not getting to spend as much time with them as I like and a job loss due to reasons beyond my control and understanding, that is pretty much the extent of the "bad" times this year. However, there is always a lesson to be learned and growth that comes with change. God has blessed us tremendously and has provided for us.
There has to be more...I'm forgetting so much right now, but this year has been super from the very beginning. Thank you for sharing your lives with us and for allowing us to share our lives with you. We look forward to an exciting 2008. Blake's brother and sister-in-law are expecting thier first child, a little girl who is due in April. We are excited to be an aunt and uncle to another wonderful child. Both Blake and I will be one year closer to graduating. That will be one thing that can't come soon enough and we will be happy to say, "Wow, that really did go by fast." Also, more birthdays of family and friends and anniversaries and many things to celebrate and send us out on the road to spend time with everyone. 2008 will be another wonderful year.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Before we get to all that excitment though I had to get my house in some kind of working order. Since we got back from our honeymoon things around the house have been terrible...boxes, suit cases, laundry, mail, cookbooks, pictures...almost everything we own is everywhere but the places it should be.
You may know that I am not the most organized person...I come home and drop my purse and mail and whatever else I have on my on the kitchen table and then it stays there. Once the table is full I move to a new location. Blake's "drop zone" is the bar and the two bar stools. So, once all the spots are full it is about the time when I have had it. This week was one of those weeks so today all I did was put everything back in proper order.
Then, I headed to the garage and now have all the Christmas stuff everywhere! So, tomorrow I will continue to straighten up and take down the "everyday" decor and exchange it for our Christmas decorations. I have already re-done the mantel and hung our stockings over the fire place and put our bell jars filled with ornaments and a bunch of holly berry stuff I have all over the house. Man, I love this time of year!
Another thing I am excited about: we bought two ornaments on our honeymoon! I can't wait to see them hanging on the tree. The first one we got is from The Peabody Hotel in Mempis, it's a pewter ornament that dipicts the beatiful fountain and the swimming ducks. I wanted to get the Christopher Radko ornament that he makes for The Peabody every year but $45 dollars for something that we put out for one month a year...Blake wasn't having it.
The second ornament we got because we stopped into Wal-Mart to find a back-pack for our hike and I saw a cheap little "Our First Christmas" ornament that had holly berries on it...It was $5.95 and I didn't have to talk Blake into that one. It did say, "Our First Christmas" and it had holly berries on it.
So, hopefully tomorrow everything in the main part of the house will be done. My next goal is to rearrange the guest bedroom/office/junk room. I want to move the bed and the computer desk and Blake wants to move the treadmill that is out in the garage inside because it gets very cold in the the garage in the winter and very, very, very hot in the garage during the summer. That is my project tomorrow.
Today, Blake was very busy himself. My mom and dad wrangled him into helping them build a green house. Mom has been wanting one for a very long time and I guess now is the perfect time for it. Blake was over at his in-laws :) all day. He will be back over there tomorrow, too. I can't wait for him to come home after a long day of hard work to a beautifully holiday decorated home! :)
So, that was our first day of the second greatest month of the year! The first greatest is...November! But, that's come and gone and we look forward to next November when we can actually enjoy it. This year we were planning a wedding and then travelling and it flew by we didn't even really take it in. We did get to experience a "real" fall, which was dream come true and hopfully next year we can visit another part of the country on our anniversary trip...who knows. I guess next year around October and November will be filled with planning after all...another trip. :)
Monday, November 26, 2007
I enjoy shopping but am in and out of a store in about however long it takes to make one quick round. I don't dilly dally and I take just enough time to see what is around me. My mom and sister however can spend hours in a store though. So, the one year I went with them I knew it was going to be a LONG day. I believe the last time I went with them on Black Friday was probably 4 or 5 years ago.
It was quite an experience to say the least. People's elbows, arms and carts ramming into you from all sides. People yelling Instructions to their friends and family who are half way across the store to grab whatever sale item is in that part of the store. It is madness. I am also quite easily agitated by bad drivers, impolite people and most pushy people. So, I encountered all of those types of people on my Black Friday adventure. I believe we headed out around 5:30 AM and got home around 10:00 PM. Yes, like I said, they are a little crazy.
This year we spent Thanksgiving with Blake’s family and so I knew I wasn’t going to be approached by my sister and mom about shopping on Black Friday. I was in the clear. Then, I started browsing the WWW for all the sales and saw how much savings could be had. I started to get excited. Then, it dawned on me that I had to open at work at 7:15 AM so any plans for shopping flew out the door.
But then... another light bulb came on; stores open at 5:00 or 6:00 AM! I could get up, get ready, head into San Antonio and then be back in Boerne for work well by 7:15. Remember, I don’t dilly dally. I chose the stores I wanted to visit and made a list of names and gift ideas and went to bed around 10:00 PM so I could wake up at 5:00 AM. But, I was so excited I couldn’t sleep. So, I got a tiny bit of sleep and then the alarm went off. I laid in bed thinking what in the world was I doing but then I thought, well I am already up. If I go back to sleep I will only have another hour and a half, probably an hour because it takes me a while to get back to sleep, so why not just get up and go through with the shopping plan. So, I did.
I made it to San Antonio exactly at 6 AM. This was so exciting, but crazy at the same time. My sister and mom would be so proud! I went into a couple of stores, bought my gifts and a few gifts for myself, more savings though right, and then headed back into Boerne to go to work. Everything was perfect! I had enough time to shop for about an hour. Bought about 6 gifts, 8 or 9 including the one’s for me, and saved almost $85 with all the door busters, coupons and special savings for Black Friday. So, this is why my sister and mom get so excited!! It is an exhilarating feeling knowing that by just waking up a few hours earlier than you normally would you can accomplish so much and save so much money!! What’s a few hours of sleep anyway?
On the way home I called my sister and she and mom were out and about too. They were telling me about the great deals that they already snatched up and I was telling them my shopping adventure stories, it was almost like we were together! But, this is where the story gets a little crazier…on my way home from work at 4:30 I get a call from my sister. She is still out shopping…almost 12 hours of shopping!! Then, I had a question for my mom and called around 7 PM…they were still out shopping!! Now, that’s what you call shop-o-holics! I am sure they had fun and saved a ton of money but my intsy-wintsy hour of shopping was perfect for me! Maybe next year I will make it 2 or get really crazy and try for 3…we will see and I guess it depends on if I go with my mom and sister.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
We had a wonderful first-as-a-married-couple Thanksgiving. We spent the day with Blake's mom and Wiley and also his Aunt Mandy, Nana and Moose and one of Kathy's friends. It was a very fun day. I contributed to the meal by making mom's sweet potato casserole (A huge hit) and my sweet cream corn casserole. I also made pumpkin pie truffels...yummy! I mostly cooked and prepared all Wednesday night so Thanksgiving morning we got to relax and hang out before we headed over to the in-laws around 1PM.
So, that was our first Thanksgiving...fun times!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
On the way home from our roadtrip my sister called asking us what our Thanksgiving plans were, if we were going to her house for the big day, and I thought, she's apart of my family so why in the world is she asking us our plans so far in advance: our family is NOT an advanced planning type of people. Then, it dawned on me...when we get home we will go back to work for three days and then it's Thanksgiving! Craziness!
Then, what has been the best day in November until this year, my birthday is on the 25th. It's always been really exciting for me to celebrate well, me and my birth, but this year our wedding day of course moves into the number one position, but still the 25th will always be great. Because I'm great. (Super saturation of sarcasm of course...) Also, my friend Amy is getting married on Saturday which is very exciting as well! This is going to be a great weekend...
So, tomorrow I have a pot luck at work, it's Blake's late night at school and then the next day will be Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on tv, turkey's roasting in the oven and a plethora of food on the table. Along with family and friends to spend time with and ejoy each other's company.
There is a lot to be thankful for! We hope you and your family have a super Thanksgiving too! :)
Sunday, November 18, 2007
The drive from Gatlinburg to Lynchburg was the prettiest scenery yet. We went through Chatanooga but didn't have time to stop and ride the choo-choo train. We actually left Tennessee for about 30 minutes and drove through Georgia, see the photo of "Welcome to Tennesse." It should've said, "Welcome BACK to Tennessee." :)
The Lynchburg Welcome Center...an old gas station. We got to Lynchburg an hour before our lunch reservation so we got to stop and shop. Blake was thrilled. :)
This group of men played in one of the shops on the sqaure.
Photo with the BBQ Flyer...
Photo with Gentleman Jack
The white picket fence and yellow leaves in front of Miss Mary Bobo's
Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House has been around since 1908. It is a beautiful old home that sits just down the street from the tiny town square. I was told about this by my mechanic when I took my car in for service about 2 months before our trip. His brother lives in Nashville and he was full of usefull information for our trip. I called after I left the service station to make reservations, he told me I should, that they fill up fast, and he was right. I called at the end of August and the receptionist said that they were booked until the middle of October. I am glad I didn't wait.
There are about 8 dining rooms at Miss Mary's. Some are the actual rooms that boarder's stayed in that they put a dining table in. All the rooms are named after a person who was influential in the town of Lynchburg. We dined in the Parks Room. There is a table to sit 12 people. You are taken to your room and the food starts coming out. Traditional Tennesse/southern food graces the table.
For lunch we had pork tenderloin, fried catfish, cheese hominy casserole, fried okra (THE BEST I've ever had), turnip greens, cornbread, Jack Daniels baked apples, tea, black eyed peas and coconut cake. Everything is passed to the left, so you pick up whatever is in front of you and pass it along. It was so good, especially the apples. I bought a cook book in the gift room and invite anyone over for a good southern meal!!The room that we ate in is the one that the guy is coming out of...
This is a picture of the orginal check written WAY back when, I forget the date, for room and board for one week. It was $5.37
Jack Daniel's Distillery...One interesting and very ironic fact about Lynchburg is that it is a dry county. After prohibition it became a dry county and there is not enough people in the city to have a vote to make it a wet county. However, everyone that works at the distillary are given, you can give alcohol just not sell it, a bottle of Jack Daniels the first Friday of every month. They call it: Good Friday.
We went to the distillery to take the tour but it takes 1.5 hours and we didn't have time. Neither of us really drink the stuff anyway so we weren't too upset. We got to walk around and see the saloon and the outside of the distillery which was good enough for us.
Outside the Ryman Auditorium
In the months of November through January the Opry returns to the Ryman, the original Grand Ole Opry location. When I made reservations back in August I thought it would be at Opry Land and I was still very excited. When I found out it was at the Ryman, I cried. So many legends of country have played and sang on that stage. It is a piece of living history. I enjoyed the whole night and Blake enjoyed it too.
We both liked how there were so many different acts. Each act had different styles of music and each would only play 2 songs so it wasn't one person singing for two hours. There was bluegrass, traditional country, new (not) country, old country and some cajun.
We were on the second row which was very exciting. However, I now know why preachers got so many people out of thier seats back in the day of revivals...the people were probably a little convicted to step forward or stand but honestly it was because the people's butts were killing them!! Just kidding...
But, the old beautiful wooden church benches weren't very comfortable for two hours.
The little old lady was precious. She asked us where we were from and we told her we were from Texas and that we were on our honeymoon. She gave us her best wishes and said that she hopes we will be as happy as her and her husband, who was a doll as well, after 63 years. She told me that June 14th was the best day for her...
After the 5 minute intermission she reached over, grabbed my arm and told me congratulations again and that she wished the best for us and that after 64 years we would be as happy as her and her husband were. She told me that June the 18th was the best day for her...
It was absolutley adorable and I think after that amount of time it doesn't matter, they were still in love and holding hands and as sweet as can be...
Jim Ed Brown
Daryle Singletary made a surprise appearance. He was on the program for Saturday's Opry but Bill Anderson couldn't make it so he replaced him. I love Daryl Singletary..."I let her Lie" "I'd Love to Lay You Down" and more...
Chris Young. He's a new artist on RCA and I've never heard any of his music but he was good.
I forget this guys name but the girl in the middle and the guitar player on the right are his grandchildren...
RESTLESS HEART..."The Bluest Eyes In Texas" "I'll Still Be Loving You" "Why Does It Have to Be Wrong or Right" etc... I was really excited about them!! :) I used to listen to them when I was in elementary school and loved singing with them! :) My parents had an old 80's brown radio they had in their bathroom. I would shut the door and blare the radio and sing in front of the mirror. My parents thought I was in the bath but I would sing away for about an hour and then rush to get rinsed off so I could make it to bed on time.
Dinner time...After the opry we went to the famous Merchants Restaurant. It was yummy...
A pyramid in Memphis (This was on our way out of Tennessee....) I am not sure what it's for but I thought it was cool.
Tennessee in my rear view mirror...