Thursday, October 30, 2008

Decisions Decisions

Time is ticking for me to make a decision about my weekend plans. I hate decisions. And the weekend will pass and I will feel dumb for even wasting time making decisions.

I can go to Lubbock with the rest of the world for Tech vs. UT. It'd be a very unique experience as it is like a Tech Reunion as so many Raiders are returning... Most of my friends from college will be there. Jana is even flying in from Phoenix. Chandra and her entire group are reuniting. My cousin, Galen has his own little tailgate. Man... oh man... what good times to be had! My worries are sleeping on a couch... or a floor... and not having set plans. This drives me insane.

Or Lauren's trolley party is tomorrow night. I bought a gothic punk rocker outfit. I love to be gothic!!! A bunch of friends from high school are going to downtown Dallas for it. It'd be a blast as well. I've seen most of them lately though... I could stay and go to First Monday Trade Days to Christmas shop knowing I might not find a thing. I could apartment hunt, but I really doubt I will do that with so much football excitement Saturday.

What holds me back with my fears?

Nick is giving me until noon tomorrow to make a decision. He is so pumped about the game. I might not even see him very much as he is actually going to the game, but that's fine with me because I can hop from tailgate to tailgate visiting old friends.

I want God to make my decision. He always knows best.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Told You She'd Run

She walks today. I said one day she would walk. One day she would run. Four fractured ribs, four fractures in her pelvis, compound fractures in her tibia and fibia of her left leg, a shattered left ankle, twelve "wings" broken off her spinal column and a level four lacarated spleen. SHE MADE IT A YEAR TODAY.

Sometimes I feel it's borrowed time. I feel as if there is no way she has made it to be sitting on the phone with me and I am living in a dream world. Today she made it one year. A year that she often crawled through... a year of surgery after surgery, triumph after triumph and tear after tear. Stephanie Suzanne Stewart Harrison stands today as one of the strongest women I know. She says the same about me. That is why we are sisters.

Last year on that fateful Saturday Stephanie went into a diabetic coma causing her small car to flip many times breaking a telephone pole and flipping end over end in the process throwing her out onto the land of farmers near her work. I got the call that morning and immediately went into shock mode. I was so far away and there was nothing we could do. She had flown so many feet in the air. No one would return my phone calls. Everything about my mother's death flashed through my mind as I prepared for the worst. There were no calls for what seemed like hours upon hours. I remember Dad calling me around 2 PM to tell me her baby had not made it, but Teffy was fighting. Still fighting? What did that mean? No one had told me she might die. I remember praying and calling many friends. I remember trying to keep busy. There was nothing we could do.

The day my mother died Stephanie and her mother went to the hospital before my Dad could get there. Mom arrived there by ambulance, but she was already gone. They were family. That day and always. I screamed at Stephanie when we were viewing the body when she quizzed me on how I felt. I cussed and screamed at her because she was my little sister and she was there. We had grown up in different crowds, yet were always close. She was an elite gymnast trying to get to the Olympics. I was a socialite trying to make Homecoming Queen. I was in she and Jason's wedding. I should have been the Maid of Honor! To see her that happy warmed my heart. I've seen this girl break her nose, her eye socket, ankles, teeth - all in gymnastics... well, teeth when she bit the trampoline railing doing flips... Stephanie is a severe diabetic so maybe it isn't far from my mind that yes, things go wrong and yes, medical situations will arise. This wasn't real.

High School Days
Stephanie and Jason's Wedding Day July 7, 2007

I found out later Dad and Brenda told me she was going to be okay so I wouldn't drive to Lubbock. I was in my mode of getting things packed and letting the world stop to get to West Texas. I ran around the apartment doing everything in my power. I drove to Tyler that night to a church event. I cried the entire time. Funny, I never cry. Brenda tells me now that they didn't know she would live until later that night. I did find it strange when Dad called me at 11 PM to tell me she was stable. I thought they already knew that!
The first time out of her room on a stroll with her brother.

Stephanie and I have been friends since we were three and four years old. Our parents spent their weekends together meaning we were thrust together in good and bad times! I smiled last weekend as Dad told me the Stewarts were coming over. It is not my own mother, but now Brenda and no "kids" - just them having a good ole time watching television and hanging out. What a blessing. I yearn for that type of friendship with another couple. God knows His stuff...

They forced Stephanie to have her child though he was stillborn. They buried him down the road. She had a long time to deal with the mental aftermath during her hospital stay and time at home. She has always been such a strong willed young woman. I remember the first time we spoke as she was in her hospital room. I felt as if I was in a dream. We cried together and it was surreal to hear her voice.

Surrounded by cards of support and love.
This photo was taken a month after I lost my mother in March 2001. I love it because it shows how laughter and love truly prevail... tears will see laughter again.

We flash forward to today. Stephanie has had multiple surgeries to fix her ankle, but she is about 100 percent better. She told me the other day she wanted to go skiing. I was in shock... and she is serious. She told me she is glad she doesn't remember much of today last year. She has had a year of supportive family and friends flying around her giving her love. She is a blessed young lady. And she knows it. Sometimes it takes a life changing event to make us change our lives, but Stephanie knows each day is a gift and she is just happy to be living and breathing. She told me one of the best pieces of advice the other day about life. She said, "Don't play the game. Just live life." She says this to a woman always striving to be one of the best in a crowd of sharks. She says this as she sits there with a lovely little family and two dogs on a happy little farm in West Texas. She is living her life not caring about the game... it didn't take the tragedy to make her live this way; she just always did...
Able to walk.

I flash back to the year after losing my mother. To the day that I stood on the mountain of a year. I broke knowing I had faced the mud and been drowned by the waves, but I stood on top with my hands raised above my head in thanks to God for allowing me to keep breathing through the pain. Today Stephanie stands on that mountain after wading through the mud and being drug through the crashing waves. Each day a battle. Each day a victory. One day at a time.

You made it, Teffy. Here's to many more mountains...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Texas Tech Kills KU

Texas Tech Alumnae Group Watch Party at BlackFinn in Addison -

Chrissi, Anna, Kathryn, Andrea, Kacie

Andrea, Erin, Kathryn

Kacie, Anna, Andrea, Scott, Kathryn, Nestor, Chrissi

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pre Weekend

Technically it's tomorrow, but it's still Friday in my book.

I had such a blast tonight. After work on the way home Hayley called me and wanted me to come have a pomegranite martini on her porch. We sat on her porch for a few hours and just talked and laughed. It was a really nice time. Then I go over to get Keele since she is in town for the week and we go sit up at Northpark and have some nachos. We hadn't gotten to catch up in quite a while so we had way too much to talk about! When I took her back to the hotel we chatted with her mother (they are in town because she had breast reduction surgery after a breast cancer scare)... We talked about the olden days of high school and hometown life. She asked me a lot of questions about my dad remarrying and our old house. It was strange to bring up those memories to me.

So needless to say I am very sleepy!

I need to get up bright and early to go apartment hunting. I am tired of paying almost 1,000 k to live in my apartment. Ridiculous. Then all the Tech alumni are going up to BlackFinn to watch the game. I might be late, but I really want to see everyone! Nick and his buddies are camping tonight. I know he will be so tired tomorrow night and going to the engagement party makes me tired even thinking about it. I sure wish he'd just rent a movie and chill out with me, but that boy is the Energizer Bunny.

We figured out flights for me for Thanksgiving to San Antonio and Christmas to Midland. Thank the good Lord. I'm so ready to spend time with my family! It's so very precious. Lately in small things that fit together like tiny pieces of a puzzle I am truly seeing God's work. I could name them one by one, but I just see it. I wish I was the type of Christian that just took everything with blind faith, but I am always seeking more and more... I was just reading a blog of my good friend from Tyler. She began chemo today and in one of the photos her sister in law is standing there in scrubs... she got a temporary job at the chemo place... I believe this is too much to be a coincidence. But... by tomorrow I will somehow forget these small acts of God and keep searching. Blind faith...

Tomorrow afternoon last year at 11 AM is when I got the call Stephanie had the wreck. Around 2 PM I got the call her baby died, but she was still fighting for her life. It's been a year and my, how we have grown. We all have as a family. It has been a tough year. Wow. I told her it's a triumph. I just remember in that instant being eight hours away and feeling the same I felt when Mom passed away. Feeling helpless and hopeless. That feeling haunts me to this day and evermore. I guess we will all feel it in our lives. That's why we have to have blind faith.

Night night.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

La La La

It's a big weekend.

Lindsey begins chemo tomorrow for her breast cancer. She is so joyful in the Lord through it all. She amazes me.

Stephanie's one year anniversary hits. I will write a long blog on it. I still feel the nightmarish in my veins remembering that day. It makes me sick. She says for her it's easy because she doesn't remember much of the day. I remember every tiny sickening detail. Just waiting to hear if she was going to make it out alive. My sister almost died.

Texas Tech vs. KU with the s in Addison. Kevin and Jessica's housewarming party. Dinner with my good pal, Mike. New church visit. Visit with Keele and her mom while they are in town tonight. Sounds good to me. And the Cowboys with Nick and the boys.

Last night we watched "Saw." So romantic...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Cold Hits

I hate being cold. The funniest thing though is the fact I have actually been anxiously awaiting colder air. I either enjoy it stifling hot where I can bask in the rays or very cold where I must cover up with many blankets. I do not like the in between. So today it finally turned cold and I am here just staring at it outside the office window. Tonight Nick and I were going to celebrate our six month anniversary by going out to dinner, but truthfully I enjoy just cuddling up inside anyway. We decided we both didn't get to work out last weekend and we didn't really plan well so it might be better to work out then get in a blanket. How exciting we are!!! I cannot understand how I have kept anyone for six months... I know I'm a catch, but I'm also an impossible onion. I find myself hard to understand so God knows everyone else must be confused! Dating is hard. I thought it was supposed to be this fairytale or supposed to be this drama tale, but truthfully it's just life. I don't get a rose every day and I don't slam a door every day. I guess in my mind I had this contorted view. Maybe I watch too much television. If I did get a rose every day I'd get very annoyed and start throwing petals at him. Believe me, I once dated a guy that showered me with gifts. I have all of the gifts, but I thought he was a pansy. Nick says it has taken so many months to dig through my layers. I don't understand why I have so many walls. It might be some weird subconscious thing from losing my mother, but I believe I have been like this forever. My parents had the perfect marriage and I had the perfect life so somewhere in the middle of it I grew onion layers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Brenham, Texas

I was in Heaven last weekend. My own version of Heaven actually. I sat outside staring into the fields of sunshine and thought if only people I loved were surrounding me this could be Heaven.

I went to Brenham with Nick and his family for his cousin's wedding. His grandmother lives in the country right on the edge of the hills and valleys of Texas. She rented a small house down the road thinking there would be lots of family coming in for the weekend. Turns out Nick and I got the entire house to ourselves! This home was built in the early 1900s. It was AMAZING to say the least. It was stocked with food, alcohol, big screen television, IPOD, games, pillows... It had a great screened in porch that allowed the rising sunshine to beam right into the room. It was beautiful. At night the sky was pitch black and you could see every single star. Nick thought it was scary upstairs with all of the boards and creepy toys, but I enjoyed every single moment in the house.

All of Nick's three aunts came in for the wedding. I got to meet the entire Polka side of the family. They were all so nice, all very blonde people! We had the best time just hanging out and enjoying conversation.

Nick's mother, his Aunt Annette and I all went to the Brenham Antique Rose Garden before the wedding. It was GREAT! The flowers were everywhere and just lit up the air. I took many pictures for my entertainment of God's beauty.

I didn't want to leave and get back to the real world. Yesterday was Nick's grandfather's funeral so to come back for that seemed surreal. To come back for anything seemed surreal. It was great to just be cut off entirely from the world. At one moment I sat outside talking to Chandra on the phone as I watched a girl riding a cutting horse as a tractor whirled by her. I smiled from ear to ear. I'm beginning to think my grandmother's life growing up may have just been the best life to live.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fireplace Time

It's been a long and hard week. Professionally and personally. I realized at one point I was trying to carry everyone else's burdens and forgot I had my own. We are all fighting a battle. This weekend I have a wedding then a funeral. Weird combination. I got out a beautiful red dress that I bought a long time ago and never wore for the wedding. Not sure what I will wear to the funeral. It's Nick's grandfather. I was unable to go to his other grandfather's funeral a few months ago. He met me the day before my own grandmother passed away. I always shake at funerals. I believe it is my subconscious from my mother's funeral. I was in such shock that I don't remember much of it except as if it was in photographs flashing in front of me. Feeling nothing at that time broke parts of me forever.

The air outside is getting crisp. It always brings me back to my days of high school. I remember coming home from basketball practice to a fire in the fireplace. I yearn for those days at times. Nick laughed at me as we took a walk the other night and I told him sometimes I peer into windows looking into others' lives as I walk. I watch them cooking and laughing around the television. I absolutely loved sitting in front of the fireplace with my parents. It's just all about a sense of family. That same night Nick and I had dinner with his parents and his brother came as well. For one moment I forgot we were in our 20s just enjoying a visit. It felt like we were back home like those times growing up. I pray one day I have my own little family and I can make memories like the ones I cherish so much.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Little Piece of Heaven

My Little Piece of Heaven

I ventured to Midland and Big Spring to attend Chandra & Michael's engagement party this past weekend. The majority of the weekend was spent spending precious time with Dad watching football and with Brenda cooking in their new kitchen as well.

As I drove into West Texas this weekend the sun was setting gently across the horizon. I felt a wave of warmth sweep over me and I felt like I was home again. I love the city lights and the everchanging opportunities of my life in Dallas, but peace is so often found in the sunset and the bright stars that light up the skies of the life I knew for 23 years.

After a day of football Dad, Brenda and I headed to Big Spring. Poor Dad was deathly ill with allergies, but he has known Chandra since we were in daycare so he sacrificed to be there for her.

The party was beyond imagination for me. I did not have one drink of alcohol, yet felt like I was walking on air with personality and having the time of my life. It was as if old friends and good conversation were my drug that night. Many of our Dallas friends came in. It is funny we all live here and went to hang out in our hometown!

I was standing talking to Lauren and Tara when I turned around to say hello to Chandra's aunt and in walked my dear friend, Heddy and her husband! I was thrilled! Heddy just had two babies... she is living a wonderful life.

We had a heck of a time getting all of the bridesmaids together for a picture! It takes a lot of poses to find one with perfection with eight women!

Overall being there with my best friends and with my family meant the world to me. I was standing in a little piece of my own Heaven.
Blair, Me, Cody

Chandra's Future Sister in Law, Tonia

Dad and Brenda were thrilled to get their kitchen fixed... seven weeks of construction. It is beautiful. I walked in and felt as if I was in a country home. It was just immaculate and spectacular. They beamed with excitement at their creation. Ever since I was little my Dad loved to build things on to our home...well, build as in hire someone skilled in building! He helped make a beautiful master bathroom and a dining room. Always making things better. He is so talented! I didn't really care what it all looked like. I just wanted to be there with my family.

I drove away out of the stars and sunsets, but with a feeling that some day I would find my own sense of peace in my own place to call home. I do rest in the blessings that God gave me in my hometown, my friendships that span decades and my amazing loving family.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ramble On

My media diva life tonight consists of cooking some weird chicken casserole for my boyfriend then playing tennis. I have played twice this week! My uncle is a tennis professional at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas, my mother and grandfather were coaches... so I should have it in my blood!... I played for a few years, but Nick thinks he can beat me. He's had a hard few weeks with the economic crisis so I figured he needed a home cooked meal... well, or maybe I figure he needs me to be nice.

I am so ready to visit home this weekend. I get to see Dad and Brenda's new kitchen! More importantly I get to visit with them! I miss them so much!!! And I get to go to Chandra's engagement party and see all of my Big Spring folks!!! It should be a lot of fun!!! It's weird that Hayley, Tara, Lauren and I are all going "home" - but, our parents don't live there anymore. Big Spring is just a different place than where we grew up. Things change...

I'm tired of the presidential debates. I'm tired of the crazy economy. I just want some things to go right in our political world. I'm one of the least political people I know, but I am getting fed up listening to lies and just leaning on the hope things will get better. Sarah Palin does make me smile though. Tina Fey's impression makes me smile even more.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Texas State Fair

I have truly lived now that I attended the State Fair of Texas! Last night Nick, his parents and I all set out to conquer the Fair. I had all of these envisions of fried smores and corn dogs, but since I have not been feeling too great with allergies nothing seemed to sound very good. I sadly ate a frozen chocolate banana... how boring! We began with the pig races. Those were so much fun. I LOVE pigs... always have! I always swore I would buy me a pig. After that the boys went to look at all of the cars while Dianne and I sat to watch the parade. It was a really neat parade!

The laser light show had some really great music and fire. It was such a nice night to just lay back and watch the fireworks and laser lights. After that Nick said I had to ride the ferris wheel. I have never enjoyed heights, but it was such a neat experience. You could see all of Dallas from way up there.

We only had time to ride one ride, but it was so worth it. I had such a nice time with Nick's parents. They are so neat and sweet. I look at them and see the couple I want to be with my husband after 30 years. They are adorable! Overall... such a good night. Nick says we are going back one more time... YAY... this time I will have fried snowballs or alligator!!!

In other news... Today my company was a sponsor at a CCIM commercial real estate clay shooting event. I actually got to shoot a shotgun! It was so neat! I loved the power behind it, but I was also scared to death. I don't think I will be Sarah Palin anytime soon.

Lindsey had her mastectomy and everything came out clear. She is now looking towards chemo. She is facing this with such a strong heart. I am so blessed to have her as an inspiration in my life.

Chandra is coming in this weekend and I am excited to see her again!

Allergies are eating me alive and I just feel terrible. I know now why I had three allergies shots every week as a child.
That's it. I'm so ready for the weekend!!!