Wednesday, April 29, 2009

One Year

Today I've been with Nick a year. We met at the end of March 2008, but didn't make it official until the end of April. I'm a huge commitment phobe and I do believe he was at one time as well. I was awoken this morning with freshly cut roses from his bushes. I was off today so I helped Nick with a new client of his doing some business, then I cooked a scary looking omelette for Nick filled with green chiles and chicken... hey, it tasted yummy, then we went to Sprint where he surprised me with a new Instinct I-Phone! Then we went to Humperdinks for a nice little dinner. We rented some horrible movie called, "Yes Man." No, man. What a wonderful day.

Dating a year you learn so much about yourself. I know Nick has qualities that drive us insane. They say we marry our fathers. Not that I am getting married soon, but Nick is a lot like my Dad in his ambition to succeed, his faith, his kindness... as well as his impatience and stubborness! I have learned a lot as well to work on myself like spending money, selfishness, Only Child Syndrome, stubborness... we all have our pros and cons. In one year we have been through so much. We have both lost two grandparents each, I've lost a best friend to death, I've lost a job, I've gained a job, He's gained a career almost to lose it to the economy, I've gotten a new car, My Dad has gotten new teeth, We've been to five weddings, We've traveled all over the place and we've tried to find a church home. All of these things are huge things to me. I kept wondering if maybe God was telling me if I didn't leave this kid He would keep striking me... but, a wise woman told me maybe God was showing me if we can face this stuff and make it then we can walk through fire into the sunshine.

These are some of my favorite moments of the past year of just us:

This was one of our first dates. I like how you can just see our innocence.

July 4... I was so sick that I could hardly talk, but we had a blast.

One of the first days by the pool. Cool shades, Nick. He stole those from Diane.

Christmas photo. Shiner doesn't look too excited.

Chandra's wedding. We are pretty much an Easter basket. What a great night!

Is he being sweet?

We were both laughing and caught in the act of laughter. Love it.

Totally going out of my comfort zone to float the river. Best time of the summer.

I like the look in Nick's eyes here.

I dragged him to my family reunion. This just reminds me of the fun we had with my young cousins on the porch.

I had never been to the State Fair.

Dancing... Did I learn to dance this past year at weddings? Ummm no.

I get tired of the Guns Up pose, but it was a true Texas Tech vs. UT game!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

One Glass

One glass of wine please.

Oh... it's been a great weekend, but I want a glass of wine.

Friday I made the trip downtown for Andrea's surprise party to Fuse. I don't usually like to fight downtown and park a million miles away and I hate to valet and this and that... let me complain some more... But, it was for Andrea! So we all crammed into this room and jumped out at her! She began to cry! It was just grand! They had free mojitos and sushi so that was yummy. I must say it was an overkill of gay men and I do love gay men because they are so funny. There wasn't enough sushi for me and I was very hungry... let's just say free sushi only comes in the very small handful... so I left and made a trip to Nick's and made him feed me. Sidenote... He didn't go to Andrea's party because it was his dog's fifth birthday. Some people might laugh at him, but he truly loves his dog more than life itself so he spent the night playing with him! Andrea hasn't forgiven him yet!

Raelyn, Kacie, Kathryn, Andrea, Erin, Julie

This week is Nick and I's real one year anniversary. Is Hell freezing over? Today he gave me some freshly cut roses from his yard. Is he dying? I'm looking back and just realizing in one year we have faced what most married couples don't face... the death of four grandparents, I've been to six funerals, we've been to six weddings, a job loss for me, a career change for him, a job gain for me, trips to many places, frustration of both of us never being in a real serious relationship, my selfishness, his impatience, an economy trying to eat us alive, striving to find a church home by attending different places almost every week, two new cars, my new place... my gosh... the list could go on and on. He has changed my life and driven me nuts at the same time... isn't that a man's job? The hardest part with all of those things was keeping God in the middle... and it's always a struggle, but as long as we fight to put God first then things should go smoothly no matter the rough waters.

Diane came in town for a wedding and I've barely been able to see her while she has stayed at my place. Her tiny dog has scared my devil cat under my bed. Kerkyn came out for a few seconds, but once the dog barked he was right back in hiding. I hope he does not starve to death. We are just watching television and chilling out tonight. She made a trip to get me wine. This makes me happy.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saige Emery Corn

I have a new niece.

You ask how an only child has a niece.

I have tried desperately since I gained a stepbrother and sister in 2005 to make them my immediate family. Thus, I now have Malachi Alan, Aaliyah Nell, Xander Raylon, Rylie Morgan and..... SAIGE EMERY!!!

Saige Corn was born on August 24 around 2 AM! I would post a photo, but newborn babies remind me of salamanders. Maybe after a few months... or maybe I just don't have one except on my phone.

Babies scare me. I worry they will wiggle out of my grasp like garden snakes. They are so small.

Brenda is so excited. I think Dad shares the same fears as me with children so I bet he stayed in the corner and smiled and waved to the new child. He is just ready to shoot some hoops with her... or play tea party like he does with Rylie.

Next up my "sister" throughout my life, Stephanie is having her baby boy. We have toyed with so many names. Right now she likes Conrad Glenn or Ayden Glenn... ummm... I'm all for Trooper or Tucker... we think he will be a red headed fireball so he needs a name to go with his hair! Or he could be bright blonde like Teffy! He's my nephew to me because we grew up in one another's houses every weekend and beyond. I'm so very excited!!! Her first baby boy, Howard Rex passed away while while not yet born during a tragic car accident. God blessed her with another baby boy.

I think for now I'll just stick with my devil cat. Being the corruptive aunt is always just too much fun!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Little Laugh and Love and Tussle and Hug

I look at two weeks ago and it feels like a year has already passed... I know I am always a block of ice, but these ups and downs have about eaten me alive. A best friend passed away, a best friend got married, a new family member is born this week, a perfect undercover test at work, a bad day of one thing after another at work... and it all just keeps tumbling in the wind.

My Dad used to say when Granny Jac's mind was ill that her day was perfect and she could function... until one thing slipped up in the day. Until the milk jug wouldn't pour correctly. Until she couldn't find her favorite earrings. Until she took a wrong turn. And the whole day fell apart. I feel like that right now. As long as I work, workout, hang out with Nick, take a shower, sleep... as long as the day seems to be normal then I am okay. I think God made my day weird today to prove a point. It was just a day where those little things happened all day... peck peck peck. I couldn't find my make up. There was a wait at the tanning salon. My sandwich had salami on it and I didn't like it. My Dad's cell phone reception just didn't work. Little tiny things that peck pecked.

And it isn't those tiny things... it's the entire two weeks.

I don't remember when I began grieving for Mom. It was a looong time. It might have been a year even. I didn't melt. I've lost a lot of acquaintances. I've been to so many funerals I've lost count. I realized I try to detach because it's easier. I know Sarah was one of my best friends in the world. I know she was different and we were night and day. But, I also know when I looked at her I felt a sense of love and friendship through tested time. But, if you sat beside me at that funeral you saw a girl with a smile and laughing outside talking to old friends. It's just me. I'm pissed off. I am. Maybe I didn't do enough for her. Maybe I didn't answer the phone when she called EIGHT times the night before she passed away. Was I being selfish because I had to wake up early? Or was I just being rational? I had answered before... why not now... Now I cannot remember talking to her last. Chandra kept asking what we could have done to be better friends. I'm so pissed off. I loved her and she knew it. She hated it and she pushed me away when I gave her bear hugs... but, she loved them deep down. I couldn't help at Chandra's wedding just wishing for Sarah to walk up and make fun of us. I wanted her to make fun of my deep tan. Just be there to laugh. Just be there. I told Chandra the hardest thing is to delete the e-mail address, the phone number... I couldn't do it yet. Not the phone number... I reread our texts. She didn't even meet Nick. She wanted to and we talked about it... I know we will lose people. My gosh, I have so many friends that I love... I will lose a lot. And it's almost easier to hold them all at arms length because it just plain sucks. I can say it. It sucks.

Then we fast forward to the joyous weekend. We had such a wonderful time at Chandra's wedding.

We laughed all day and enjoyed one another. Standing there watching my best friend get married made me smile from ear to ear. Having my dad, my stepmother, Nick... all of our old friends... all in the same room... ahhh... And flashing back to her first boyfriend in third grade. I kept flashing back laughing wondering if she ever thought this day would come. It's interesting to watch true love. They laugh and love and tussle and hug. It's so fun to watch. We didnt' dance enough, but we sure had a great time just talking. Nick got to know a lot of my old friends and I got to catch up and entertain Dad and Brenda.

Chandra and Michael left the beautiful wedding and we all stood there with sparklers. Her little cousin danced around the sparklers as if no one in the room was watching him. Again I smiled. We forgot we ever had sadness in our lives. For a night everything was perfect.

I will have a new niece tomorrow. Her name is Saige Emery and she joins Rylie Morgan. A new life brings so much life to our world. Dad and Brenda cut their Florida trip to only three days to see Saige be born. It touches me to see Brenda's eyes light up and she talks about her new granddaughter. My stepbrother and his wife are some of the best parents I have ever seen.

Life is always a rollercoaster and maybe always a soap opera in some ways. I look back and in just two weeks there is life and there is death. I look at myself in the mirror and even when I've been selfish that day or done something dumb I know I am a strong woman. Dad told a story yesterday about after Mom passed away he threw out his back and I was helping him put on his shorts. It was a simple story, but a story that shows just an inkling of the valleys we have traveled... a young girl taking care of her dad. Sometimes the mask I wear is so tight that people forget I have been through a lot and I have learned a lot. It's easy to be the 20 something young woman having fun and being selfish and jumping through life. It seems easy for all, but in reality I'm still trying to figure it out. I'm confused by the way I deal with things and I'm confused by growing up just like the rest of the world.

So in two weeks just like that month where I lost my job one week and my grandmother passed away the next and then I got a new job... and that month I met my wonderful boyfriend and my grandmother passed away the next day... A cycle... And we all learn each time. So today it's tough. Today I say I'm a little angry. Today I say I'm a little joyous. And today I say I'm blessed. Because no matter the valleys and no matter the mountains I know God is weaving the quilt of my life. I know I don't understand half of the things He does, but He didn't make me wallow in Sarah's passing forever. Yes, I will think of her and it is going to hurt, but He also let me feel the joy of Chandra's wedding a week after Sarah's passing... He dipped me in the scalding water only long enough to let me get a little tan. Isn't that life... a little
laugh and love and tussle and hug.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sneak Peek

I do promise... I really do... to get everything up about Chandra's wedding. I'll give you a hint in photos. More to come...

Cheesy... Love to cheese...

My Dad is too cool.

Who's that handsome fella? We look like an Easter basket!

The most gorgeous bride in the entire world.

Hey, we are squishing Chandra. Where is the bride?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Weekend

It was a wonderful day to spend Easter. I know right now my mind is just spinning and cannot stop thinking of Sarah's death... It seems surreal and it seems like she is going to call me and ask me why I am telling everyone she is gone... I want it to be a nightmare. I am flying home tomorrow for the funeral and flying back tomorrow night so I don't miss a day of work. I have just been sick about this the past two days. One of my best friends is gone. How do you really ever understand that?

Anyway... this morning Nick and I went to Easter service with his parents, brother and Granny. Then we just enjoyed the day watching the Mavs and Masters. Everyone joined us for dinner and it was just amazing.

This will be funeral number six since last April. Sarah will be buried near my mother. Just a few minutes ago I was looking through one of my prom photo albums and I was wondering where were some more with Sarah in them, where were our group shots and I thought, "I need to call her and yell at her for not being in more of my photos!" Yes... I haven't yet erased her number. Not yet. Ouch ouch ouch. This hurts!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

First Big Sale

I got my first big sale today and I felt as if I was walking on clouds. It is not about the money at all... it's about the feeling of accomplishment. I have had a couple fall through, but I knew in my heart each time it wasn't real. So when it finally happened I just knew and I will forever remember the person and remember their circumstances and remember the wording. As he left my co-workers were jumping up and down so excited for me. They knew I wanted to get my first one out of the way so I could focus on the many others down the line. I am still new in this world and yes, I am a good marketer, but no, I am not a salesman. I sell with my personality... I don't cut to the core and that can be both good and bad for me. The best part was feeling the excitement of the whole office. Everyone was actually thrilled and they knew it wasn't about me being a shark, but truly caring and truly loving my job and my community. I went to a meeting this morning at the headquarters and just smiled because the room was filled with amazing people... they just exuded professionalism and wonder. I was eager to meet them and excited to be with such an amazing place. I miss news every day, but I know for now the best thing for me is to be in this wonderful place with such a wonderful company.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Love The Sun

Today I remembered how much I love the sun.

I was off today so I took the morning to run errands for Chandra's wedding next weekend... you know, spend a billion dollars for one day for my very best friend! I love weddings! How many have I been in now? Nine?! Then I decided to forego cleaning my own apartment stuffed inside and go help Nick in the yard. I ended up sitting with my feet propped up on the patio furniture just enjoying the sunshine. Gosh... it felt so good. It just makes me smile and makes me want to just hit the day! Nick and Geoff hit some golf balls in the field by their house so I chilled in the sun and just absorbed every amount of Vitamin D possible. Tomorrow I'll be in a Sales meeting. I will just look outside at the sunshine and it'll give me a smile.

So in the next three weeks I will have a new niece and a new nephew. But, Julie, you are an only child... sort of. My stepbrother's wife, Ashley is having their baby girl, Saige Emery in two weeks! She joins Rylie Morgan, my baby girl at age 2. They say from the 3-D sonograms Saige looks like Steven! I am so excited for them! And Stephanie, who is pretty much my sister as we grew up together every holiday and weekend... every holiday still... she and her husband are having their baby boy soon, too. We have thrown around so many names. She won't tell us. She was thinking Trooper or Parker. Stephanie is a severe diabetic and lost her last baby when at six months when she went into a diabetic coma wrecking her car which threw her 25 feet out of the vehicle when she was pregnant... So this baby is a "trooper." Yesss... Auntie Jules reigns again! I'm never having kids... I swear, I just found out last week they don't eat baby food for a few months... formula?... I need a dog first. I cannot keep plants alive.

I'm over at Staci's as she is lowlighting and highlighting my hair to prepare for Chandra's wedding... and life in general! Staci is a genius at hair... It's also almost Easter and I am excited. I am sad I dont' get to spend time with my family, but I will see them next weekend. I am spending it with Nick's family, Granny and our friends that live too far away from home. I am excited for church and a big meal and just a wonderful time. It will be my first time working a weekend... all alone... I am a little scared, but so ready to tackle it and make some good money!!! I love sunshine!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunny Weekend

The sun went down as I hit my knees begging for another hour in the weekend.

Friday we planned to have the first BBQ of the year. Ashton, Donna, Kristen, Geoff, Nick and I all gathered at the boys' house as the meat was neatly set upon the grill. Geoff left to run to the store and somehow we all went inside chit chatting. Ashton says... "Why is there fire shooting out of your grill?" Yes... Nick did not watch Geoff's meat he had slaved over all day... and it went up in flames. It was hilarious to see them try to "salvage" it. I think they got some ribs and the middle of a piece of chicken out alive. Needless to say we were all still hungry so we made a trek to Blue Goose and made Nick buy us a pitcher of margaritas.

Saturday Nick and I joined his parents for a day at the Sandy Lake Chili Cookoff. It was so much fun. There was music and great ribs! I don't like meat that much, but I don't turn away ribs or bratwurst! We had a blast just walking around and enjoying it.

Give me one of your ribs, Nick. No, Julie, go away.

We then went out to Sneaky Pete's on the lake. It was gorgeous. We walked down by the docks and sat in this chair... I just stared quietly at the lake. Some of the best times of my life have been at the lake. It was just such a perfect day to enjoy the sunshine and have a good chat.

Nick's mom then took me to SteinMart for the twelve hour sale. She bought me Easter gifts... I was just in awe. Friday my boss gave us Easter gifts, too! I am just so blessed and in awe when people are so kind.
This is the duvet cover Dianne bought me... I have a red and khaki one, but this is much more summery!

We got this end table for dirt cheap! It is just perfect!

Today was church so we went to The Heights. Nick doesn't understand a lot about Baptists and I get confused because I never knew another way. I'm not stuck on being Baptist either, but I am stuck on a finding a good church. It was a great talk about the Tug of War between us and the Devil. Perfect love comes from God so I must know when I have negativity it is not from God. It's so hard to always find the good and always be moving forward. Sometimes I just want to disappear when it is a bad day, but I have to remember that is the Devil. I do believe in evil and I just want it away from me. Perfect love... casts out all fear...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Chandra's Bachelorette Party

We had an amazing time at Chandra's Bachelorette party last weekend. We began at the Gaylord Texan and ate dinner downstairs... then we headed over to Glass Cactus for the 80s cover band. We ended the night staying up until 4 AM just talking in our hotel room at the Gaylord. Such great memories with wonderful friends.

Chandra likes to make fun of me in pictures. I pose way too much.

Julie, Lauren, Tara

Chandra's future sister-in-law Tonia

Julie & Brittany - Friends since birth

Julie, Lauren & Jennifer on the trolley

Big Spring girls