Friday, October 30, 2009


Last night we carved pumpkins.

I spent the day with Lindsay Keene Brown and her mom in Canton Christmas shopping before carving. I got most of my shopping done!!! We had a blast!!! My arms hurt from carrying all of the heavy loads. I was so excited about all I bought for the family!!! I even got me some pickled popcorn!!!

Nick, Geoff, Rebecca and I all got our pumpkins!!! I told them how people carve a pumpkin shows your psychological state. Like Nick's pumpkin had huge features... a huge mouth and huge eyes... Meaning he likes things larger than life. Geoff and Rebecca had perfect little cut-outs meaning they like things cut and clean. Mine was a Texas Tech sign because I didn't want a normal face... but, as I stepped back I saw it was pretty small and it reminded me of my handwriting. It was neat, but there were a few imperfections. We had a really good time carving and laughing at ourselves. We made a huge mess, too!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009


We left Friday night to venture towards the Texas Tech vs. A&M game. The trip was sloooow and long so Nick and I entertained ourselves with music and comedy shows on the Ipod. One thing that amazes me about West Texas is something I forget quite often. The stars. Growing up sometimes I'd catch a sunset and remember I could watch it every single day. The stars would always light up the night sky. Not in Dallas. When we finally reached Sara & Brandon's house I got out and stared at the stars. It was cold so I couldn't stare long, but they were just so beautiful.

Sara & Brandon had a houseful of family and friends so I got to sleep on a lovely futon. I am such a princess at times... I should be excited just to have a pillow! We got up bright and early and ate an amazing breakfast. They wanted to get out to tailgate early so we got there before noon! I decided I wanted to Black Out the Aggies so Nick and I ventured over to the Tech store for a black t-shirt. We all threw around the football and hung out for a few hours before the game. I got to visit with one of my sorority sisters, Megan Hennigan Walterscheid as she and her bunch came over to play with us. It was so lovely to catch up with her and meet her husband.

Sara, Brandon, Vanessa, Brandon, Nick, Me & Sara's Parents


The game wasn't so great. We got killed... Nick was not happy at all. I was mad I had to stand the entire game. I grew up with a boy that plays for the Aggies, Ryan Tannehill so I was actually sort of excited for him. I remember him when he was four years old! I'm old... It was just a sad game as we just didn't play very well and the spirits were pretty down. At halftime I ventured to the concession stand to get away and ran into another sorority sister, Tara Metcalfe White. It was so wonderful to talk to her and just catch up on life yet again. We took our time knowing our men were not too thrilled up in the stands! After the game Nick and I walked a million miles back to the car and talked about the game strategy. I think I had some valid points... Football is football and there is always another game in my eyes. It's just a team and next year we may forget the scores of this year.

On our way home Sunday I was so excited to run by Snyder and see Grandmommy and Uncle Mike. My uncle was a tennis pro in Dallas the past like ummm twenty years... well, he left this summer due to the economy and is loving working in Abilene. He amazes me with his sports knowledge and his athletic ability so I love to talk to him. It drove my mother crazy because Mike can make you feel pretty dumb that he knows everything in the world about every player in the world, but it has always just amazed me. So I took Nick to meet them for the first time! We talked and just hung out for a bit at Grandmommy's house. I always love to see her. It does sadden me a bit that Nick can meet Grandmommy and Mike, but he will never know my mother even though he knows a part of her in them... It's weird. We talked about Mom and Dad growing up. Well, they met in high school.... Mike says Dad was pretty straight and narrow and Mom was perfect all of her life... I always thought Dad was a little wild! Grandmommy says Mom kept him away from the wild life... haha... I love to hear old stories!!! I could have stayed there all day.

And today it has rained all day. It's sort of peaceful actually and it doesn't bother me. I love Halloween. I love dressing up... I guess we all have to wait for that blog as it nears the weekend... Maybe the stars will be out?

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I looked like Madonna last night. I'll leave it at that for a few paragraphs.

I am loving the Autumn air. It is so quiet and still, yet so welcoming. Friday was my day off so I spent the day at a physical, shopping for my Decades outfit and eating dinner at Nick's parents' house. I hate physicals because I am always sure he will tell me I am dying. They gave me immunizations and took my blood... my gosh... and, you know what, with my mother's bad health they already watch me for so many things! Grandmommy is kicking it in her 80s, but they sure do worry about me. My mother passed away of a heart attack at 48 so I understand following my cholesterol levels. She also had a hysterectomy at 33, pancreatitis, diverticulosis, gastrointenstinal disease... She was not blessed with the healthiest system... I never really knew because she didn't let it slow her down. I thought it was normal she couldn't eat past 5:00 or she would get sick because this is how I grew up at dinner. I feel so badly for her to have had to go through all of that at such a young age. So far I am a healthy horse... Yes, we all know I don't eat enough so I'm underweight... but, I like it that way and I am not stupid about my dieting... I jog a lot so hopefully that will help my cardiovascular levels... even though my Grandaddy Bill was in tip top shape and fell over dead after jogging his daily mile... God doesn't really weigh in on the fact we are heart healthy at times!


Nick and I got geared up in our 80s outfits for Sarah and Richard's Housewarming Party at White Rock Lake this weekend. So fun!!! I had a blast getting all dolled up. Nick threw together an outfit that was insanely perfect... I had the most fun with make up and hair! The outfits were hysterical. Their house is soooo neat... It was built in 1961 and is modern era. It has all tile flooring with weird cuts and twists throughout the house. It looks like something out of a space movie for the future. It is just really neat... and huge. Stephanie came in from Arlington so I was so happy to see her. Stephi and Cohen were my first two friends at Tech... When we get together we can chat for hours. We were all in 80s for some reason... that was the easiest decade... we figured!

Stephanie, Cohen, Julie

Chad runs 20 miles each day. Motivation or insanity?

He likes football a lot more than me.

I guess it is now time to iron. I wish I could wear my Madonna outfit to work so I didn't have to iron.
And... this is why we always take photos in the same position... We have a few more, but these are my favorites! Now... I feel like Madonna... Old like the 1980s...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pennies from Heaven

As we walked into the store my stepmother knelt down and picked up a penny. "Pennies from Heaven," she said. As we walked into the house she found another penny as the rain gently fell upon it. "Pennies from Heaven." "But, it's not heads up," I said. "This side means, Trust in God," she replied.

My flight was delayed until 9:30 PM. I didn't even know planes flew that late. I decided to purchase a magazine and chill for the two hour waiting period knowing in the end I would happily be in Midland.

Nick asked me if I had to choose being in Hawaii for a week or being home for a week which would I choose. I explained if he had been through all that I had the world would understand why I choose family. Truthfully I was like this all my life. I have never taken family for granted. Maybe it is due to the fact I am an only child. Maybe it just the way God made me.

Saturday we enjoyed a leisurely morning of shopping. We ran to the mall and to the Halloween store. Brenda and I had a grand time trying on different disguises and choosing outfits. I am going as a sexy ladybug... It seems I can never be a princess or a fairy. I must let the inner goth roam free. Even as a child I loved dressing in fun masks and being a punk rocker. My whole life has been lived as straight laced so it is fun to be a little crazy at Halloween. Brenda chose a masquerade ball mask and a boa with a blonde wig! Dad is boring and does not dress up. He needs to be a Harley man or a punk rocker.

We took the journey to Stanton Trade Days. I have never been though it was only fifteen minutes away growing up. We saw a few people we knew and browsed the fun booths. I ended up collecting a beautiful rustic Texas Tech candle holder and another candle. There were so many homemade items, but I know next month when I get out to Canton it will be closer to Christmas and easier to buy at the time.

When we got back Dad and Brenda began cooking a feast of chicken and homemade sausage. I went outside to their garden where Dad showed me some green peppers and we picked them for eating. It's always a feast at home... enough of a feast to make me run a bit further today!

I wanted time with the kids so we picked up my "step" niece and nephews and brought them back to the house. I hadn't seen them in two years and I noticed so many things about their growth. Malachi is obsessed with the Army now. He wants to serve his country at nine years old. Aaliyah is creative and enjoys being imaginative. Xander is now three and is incredibly sweet and calm. I try to relish each and every minute with them because their lives are not the most ideal and they are so close, but I always feel it is best to be a mentor and always be there for them. Their mother works two jobs and is a single parent. It blows me away to be our age and do it all. Half of the time I don't give my cat enough food... half of the time I give him too much food... She has the weight of the world on her shoulders, but she gets it done and those kids know Jesus and they know goodness and they know true family values at a young age.

I didn't go to church with them on Sunday, but we did attend the church of football. I donned my new Troy Aikman jersey and we watched the Cowboys. I enjoy watching television with Dad just being there and hanging out with one another.

It was sad to return home as always. I look to a day where I can go to West Texas and not be a plane ride away... I remember a good friend told me there came a point when she went to the airport that she decided that was the last ride. There comes a point we know what makes sense in the world. I came to Dallas for a career, for a husband, for friendship... but, as we mature we realize we make a community wherever we are. My best friends each have their own circle of other friends. It's a hard lesson to learn. It's getting stuck in the middle somewhere not knowing where you truly belong at times. I would love to be in Lubbock one day maybe back on the news... if they offered a normal schedule... Who knows... I miss the camera. It is also not easy being home... People forget that. Though they live in a different house so much reminds me of my Mom. Her trinkets... her old letter jacket... It's incredibly difficult to not pinch yourself and just remember the way it was... Not living in the past, but just knowing once it just was so different. As a family we are all as one now in a sense and we don't feel as if there is a hole without her when we are all together... but, as me... it's always going to be difficult to be home and remember going to those Arts n' Crafts shows in Midland, going to the mall with her in Midland... this... that... maybe it is a good thing to never forget those things. They make me smile. I saw a cow with a sunflower dress and I pointed and began to laugh. Mom would have loved it and it just made me smile even bigger.

Paige Hundemer has asked me to be in her house party. I am also involved in Keilly Shelton & Matt Milantoni's wedding on the same day... It is going to be an insane day. Paige is like my little sister while Matt is Nick's best friend and Keilly is my sorority sister. Such a blessing to have such a fun dilemna.

Lauren and Blair got engaged this weekend as well. I have been friends with Lauren since first grade and Blair since tenth grade... We never thought in high school they would EVER date... but, somehow last year they tried it. They are two of the best people in this world.

Yes... all of these weddings... four of my friends having children this year... I must admit it is highly strange. People keep asking me about my own wedding. I know I am nowhere near it. As much as I want to be married and I yearn for that life... I am just plain not ready. Or maybe I am scared. I'm scared of not being a good wife and not being able to do everything I feel a wife should be and do. I know I'm not a good homemaker, but I do know I'm a great caretaker and I love deeply. I hope love is enough. I can cook and clean... maybe not that great... but... I will never be able to be Mom, Grandmommy or Brenda. I need to realize that. I cook Nick chicken and corn. I clean his room. I mow his lawn. To me this is my way of being that person. It's just never going to be perfect. My chicken will have too much spice. I will miss a spot on his dresser. I will mow the lawn wrong. I want to be Donna Reed! It does make me a little jealous as these others get married and I wonder if there is something wrong with us... But, I guess we all move in our own time. I have it set in my head my parents dated two years then got married. What happens when two years comes and goes?

So... pennies from God. All of these things. All. Blessings thrown at us in weird directions and found in strange places. God says to trust in Him on all of the pennies.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Club

It's called THE CLUB. It's not a club you want to be in. But, God forces you and you might just become a better person for it. I was introduced to this concept a few years ago when a friend wrote me talking about the loss of my mother. She explained what we have all experienced as a club. You don't truly understand until you've been through it. This can really venture out for many people for any traumatic experience. It divides life into Life A and Life B. A friend's home burned down when we were little and she kept explaining things as "Life before the fire" and "Life after the fire." You don't want to explain it like that, but life changes and there is no other way to explain it. Life begins again that day. The minute my mother passed away my life changed in so many ways that will forever impact me. We all have some sense of this. Whether it be losing our first love and remembering where you were when it all ended, tearing my ACL the third game of my senior year ending my basketball career, losing one of my best friends to death last year, losing grandparents... And so many others must endure certain things for the club like disease, divorce, diagnosis...

I remember sitting in my chair when Stephanie got in her wreck. She wasn't supposed to live. I was so helpless just praying. Her life began again that day. She lived. And sometimes I feel as if it is borrowed time and I have to pinch myself that she DID LIVE.

One of my good friends has Stage Four Follicular Lymphoma. We talk and she knows the extent of it and I know the extent of it. It's a fight. A very hard fight. It sickens me as I think about it and think what is ahead. I get angry with God. I told her the journey begins now. We just lost her college roommate to a heart attack last month. My gosh... She kept talking about being at the top of her career right now... But, we both know deep down the true things in life and work is just one small bit of our lives. She knows when she comes home to see her parents, her beaming nephew and her siblings... That is real life.

I watch as people get so angry about these small things. Small obstacles. And they are just so small to me. I try to love hard and live hard. I do live too cautiously and I do feel too much... but, that is okay with me.

It's about going through a journey and it molding you as a person. This club is about learning and growing. Oh, it's horrible and I hate being a member. If I could just tell everyone all I have gone through and learned in nine years since losing her. If I could explain what Dad and I went through... and no, we will never be done. You might never truly be done with the journey... but, what matters is that you do it. Dad once told me not many people can say they faced their greatest fear AND GOT THROUGH IT.

For me it's an understanding that I am emphathetic to the point of such pain... sometimes I say it is either empathetic or just plain pathetic. I don't like it. I just want to save people from hurting in such a way. Just like now... Tamara is okay and she is happy and she is ready to fight. What about when she gets scared and is so ill from the chemo and hates the light? I always worry for people when shock fades. I say shock is the best stage. You feel nothing. What about when you do feel? I guess that is when other club members step in and swoop you up and help you know this journey is going to be okay. It's going to be just fine. No matter the ending... as long as you make a difference along the pathway.