Friday, September 24, 2010

Red Raider Roadshow - Texas vs Texas Tech

We had a blast at the Texas Tech vs. Tech game!!! We did not win, but we had so much fun! Check out Nick making a cameo in this version with his football knowledge!!! This is the best one yet!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Magic Eight Ball of Ten Years

Casie, Me, Emily, Chandra & Landry at the pep rally

There was once this little group of teenagers sitting on a dock on their summer vacation. They were talking about the future and where they would be when they grew up... I remember writing five years after we graduated about what we had all become at that time. I was a news reporter. Lauren was in Marketing. Tracy was a teacher. Tara was an interior designer. Emily was an optometrist. I could go around the whole circle of each that sat in that conversation, but the point was we all grew up... Somehow. Maybe I still don't know what I want to exactly be when I grow up, but here I am... sort of... somehow... Some got married. Some had kids. Some just lived. We lost Sarah. Sarah who sat in on that conversation at the lake talking about her dreams of owning a bookstore, but somehow she ended up saving lives as a nurse... And there we went...

....flash forward ten years...

I must say before I even begin this journey that I cut my weekend into two parts. I did not attend many of the reunion festivities due to my commitment to Texas Tech...

I was very excited to show Nick the town I grew up in. My Dad moved away a few years ago and I don't go back too often. We flew in late Thursday night and got to spend time with Dad and Brenda just talking on the couch. Friday we got up and after a lovely breakfast headed to Big Spring. First I took Nick to my childhood street. It still looks the same. I pointed out my home... and that was it there... I wanted to break in and look around. I took him to meet various neighbors and enjoyed catching up with them. I then drove him far out to the cemetery. Quite awkward as she is not really there. I walked over to Mom's grave and pointed it out. Really... what else was there to do with it? He was very kind, but I didn't want to stand there and think about it... so I pointed out a few friends who had passed away and we walked around a bit...

The pep rally was a lot of fun. Chandra is a teacher so she had to go so she brought her baby girl up there so I got to hang out with Landry! There was a small turnout of us which I knew was going to happen, but it was good to see those that were there. Of my group of girls only about four were in attendance. Out of the guys there were only about three! That's okay... Then we all went to the float to ride! Too much fun!!! I saw a few people in the crowd so that was fun to wave and yell at them. Afterwards Nick and I met Casie, Ashley and Emily at Carlos to eat... yummy. We went to the football game, but it was not too eventful... We visited with a few people and sat with Brittany, Lance, Scott and his wife... One person I did see was my mother's best friend, Joy who lives in Austin... this is going to sound insane, but I kept having dreams of Joy and her daughter. Joy's daughter is on Facebook, but she is not so I prayed that somehow God put them in my life. It was her 50th high school reunion and she was back in town. We hugged for a long time and talked... Nice time.

Casie and I

Let's flash back... ummm... twenty years?... Chandra McBee Brooks

One thing that blew my mind is seeing a t-shirt made for the reunion. The names were of those we lost... And then I saw my Mom's name... and Brittany's dad's name... I was in awe... How kind... My gosh, how kind. See, going to Big Spring for events like this brings Mom to the surface. She was a legendary teacher and everyone knows me because of her. She was everyone's favorite teacher... and going back just brings that all out. I enjoy it and it hurts a bit, too. Everything in that town is her. Everything is my childhood with both my parents in my happy little life. We live a different part of the journey now, but when I go home to that place it is all still there. It's neat in a sense. She would have loved hearing the stories of everyone I saw ... Gosh, she would have been right in the middle of it!!!

Scott & Claire

We ended the night by visiting with my dear friend, Stephanie who is my "sister." A few years ago I wrote on and on about her horrific wreck where she was thrown from her sunroof after a diabetic coma and she lost her baby... Well, she is now working out and able to almost jog... My gosh, time does heal wounds. After crushing her ankle in pieces and breaking her entire body she is able to jog. God is there.

Saturday we headed to Lubbock for the Texas Tech vs. UT game. I was going to report for the Red Raider Roadshow so I was excited! We met up with Sarah and Brandon and their family so that was fun. Emily and Ashley came up to hang with us, too... After a bit Mitchell and I went into the crowds and did our interviews... We had a blast with the soundbites. We had so much fun with different people!!! After that Nick and I went into the game... We did not win and it was a long haul, but it was fun. For some reason we drove home to Midland afterwards... that was a brutally long drive.

Stephanie Brown Tettleton

Sunday we hung with Dad and Brenda all day. It was so nice. Dad took me for a ride on his motorcycle! Brenda cooked some gourmet food!!! Gosh, I didn't want to leave. I love being home with my family. We got to the airport and had a large delay and I was so excited to see one of my childhood neighbors, Suzanne who I had visited her family, but she was not there yet... We got to catch up and it was just wonderful.

I love going "home." Ten years... My gosh, I could write a whole book about this journey the past ten years. I thought as the young girl at the lake I would lead the same life as my parents. I thought I'd be married and have kids... it isn't like that as we all see. In ten years I graduated college, I lived in four cities, I changed professions, I lost my mother, I lost a best friend, I gained an entire family, my Dad moved from my childhood home, I went to countless churches... but you know what... I made countless friends, I grew up, I gained perspective and I walked with God... We don't know the journey ten years at a time. I have been through so much in a little time, but I am not a planted flower. As we stood in that gym ten years later and we looked around at everyone's lives we smiled... for we knew somehow we all had helped one another through the journey. Some of us had been friends since kindergarten. Though our lives took different paths our hearts were all planted in the same place and we had an understanding. As ten years has come and gone and I look back on those girls sitting on the lakeside I just smile as they are still some of my favorite people and though we are ten years older our spirits are still those little girls laughing and giggling about their magic eight ball of plans for the future.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Red Raider Roadshow - SMU vs Tech Game Watch Party

My photog, Mitchell... He was a photographer and I was a reporter at CBS 19 in Tyler when we met!!! He is amazing!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Update on Hamilton

As I mentioned previously my good friend since fifth grade, Hamilton Hartfield was electrocuted on Sunday. He works for Oncor and was working in Carrollton on a call. I spoke with his girlfriend today and she says the doctors tell her 38% of his body is burned - most of them third degree burns. He went in surgery this morning as they had to electric saw his left arm trying to save the nerves. The nerves could not be detected before the surgery and they want to save the hand. His arms are severely burned as well as his face and neck. One of his ears is pretty much gone. They do believe he has hearing as he was conscious upon arrival and was talking to them... They will have to wait to see if it affected his eyesight. As of right now he is heavily sedated and is on a ventilator to help him breathe. His girlfriend's brother says this could be one of seven to 23 surgeries. His face is very puffy and basically unrecognizable at this time, but the doctors are awaiting to see what the body does to heal itself. Any reconstructive surgery will come last on the face. His legs were not burned so this is where they will take the skin grafts.

Forgive me if I am not 100% on the details. I work where Hamilton lives so I spoke with his girlfriend this morning and I know Kyle has been relaying information to the guys so I have been getting some hearsay... The family says sometimes they are not quite sure of all the details as well. He is at Parkland in Dallas in critical condition at the burn unit. They say we are welcome to visit... I will go up there either later this week or next week... Maybe he will become more coherent as right now they are heavily sedating him as well. I will continue to pass on information.

Ennett, his girlfriend, asks that we pray as much as possible. Spread the word and just keep praying.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

The holiday weekend is quickly coming to an end. It was so nice and actually too short.

Saturday we went to Shanna and John's wedding in McKinney. It was a very beautiful outdoor wedding. Nick's entire family was there so it was good to all hang out. Shanna had everything in pink decor. I fell in love with the wedding cake... I took a picture somewhere... hmmm... might need to find it.

Nick has a signature pose during football season so this is sort of a joke... Guns Up... because I get very angry when he ruins my posed pictures with this!!!

Sunday was the first Texas Tech game of the year! Since I am hosting the Red Raider Roadshow we went up to the Addison Alumni Watching party... We interviewed some crazy folks and got some really really good answers. I hope it all turns out well! Tech won... which I wasn't too worried, but Nick was about to flip his lid. He is very serious about football!!!

Today I spent the day entertaining myself by cleaning and getting ready for Fall. I got new patio furniture so I sat outside and chatted on the phone for a while. Nick's mom and I hit up some sales and came out with some good things. She is a true bargain hunter and I sure don't know how she does it! She can find the sale item in a heap of things!!!

Dad and Brenda are still on their two week roadtrip leaving Yellowstone tomorrow headed into Idaho and back down. They are truly enjoying it. I think they've about covered the entire US in their five year marriage!!! They sure do love to travel! We have barely gotten to talk due to cell phone reception so our daily chats might be three minutes!

I'm trying to smile, but one of my best friends might be going to Heaven. I thought about not mentioning it because it is easier to just "not" talk about it and I don't want to seem a gossip that "knows" everything... My friend, Hamilton went to school with me since Gifted and Talented Class in fourth grade... he now lives at one of the properties my company manages... He often comes up to the office and hangs out with me... Well, he was electrocuted on the job with Oncor and is in critical condition. His insides are burned and his face and body have third degree burns... He is having surgery tomorrow, but they are unsure he will pull through. He is one of the nicest guys I have ever met... my gosh... sickens me... I guess at this point all we can do is pray. I remember in high school Hamilton's dad passed away and I remember asking him about the funeral... I said, "So, how was it?" I didn't know what else to say... He taught me a life lesson right there when he gently laughed and told me there was no way it was... it was a funeral... I have a lot of good memories up to this day with him and I just pray for his entire family as they face this storm.

As the weekend comes to a close we get ready for that Fall weather to hit... I guess I'm in the mode already... Let it begin!