Thursday, April 29, 2010

Two Years

I don't have time to write much... Tonight Nick and I celebrated two years. We went to Mi Cocina and sat in the wind then I surprised him by taking him to Paciugo for ice cream. I cannot even begin to express what I have learned about myself and about life in the past two years. We have been through a lot of growing up as I have said many times before. In the first year we were together I lost two grandmothers, he lost two grandfathers, we both lost and gained jobs... my gosh... come on... Jesus sure did test that strength. I thought after two years life would suddenly click because it did with my parents. I thought you dated two years then got married... Not truly... It is all depending on the couple. Nick and I have a few more things to accomplish... Knowing me I would get married tomorrow, but knowing my heart and the world... that isn't possible! I had one or two serious boyfriends... oh if even that... I always dated and dated... but, never let anyone into my heart. Nick did the same thing... so to have one another is just fine for now. We move like turtles. So much of the past two years was about God. God had such a hand in all of it. We are always growing and changing for the better thanks to God. For Nick and I we need to always work to put God first in our relationship. We have a church we enjoy, but we aren't sure if it is really home and this is something I do want to focus on because it's so important. Wow... a toast to this journey... I wrote two years ago about taking chances and I was jumping in head first. I was scared to death and I cried so many nights at first so scared he would break my heart like the ones before. I decided to stop living so scared because it was better to let the heart love. Sometimes love is painful as we all know... Love of any kind... in families... with friends... but, it is also the best feeling in the entire world to know there are those out there that truly love us. I took a chance and guess what... here we are... Thanks to God.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Nick & Andrea's Birthday Barge

Last weekend we celebrated Nick and Andrea's birthday with a party barge on Lake Lewisville. It was such a blast. We just all got on the boat and they take you in the middle of the lake and anchor it. We had some people that swam... they were insane... I mainly just hung out with everyone and we danced a bit. We have such fun friends and I am so happy we could all get together. After the party Nick, his friends from Houston, Jana, Britt and I all went to Sneaky Pete's to hang out. I love that place right on the lake. It is such a glorious time of year!!!

Next up... Well... in two days is Nick & I's two year anniversary... He took me to Patrizio's for Italian today... yummo spinach ravioli! He greeted me with freshly cut roses from his garden. Two years!!! Wow... It's been a journey.

And next up... this weekend I am in TWO weddings... sort of. I will first go to Paige Hundemer & Danny Maher's wedding to be a greeter... Then once the ceremony is over I will fly down the road to Keilly Shelton & Matt Milantoni's wedding as Nick is a groomsman and I think I am sort of in the house party, but not officially... Then we will play there all night... I'm really excited about it. I LOVE WEDDINGS!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


It is 4 AM. You wonder why I am up at this time? I have been coughing and feel so horrible I cannot sleep. The pollen has been driving me mad for a few weeks, but this is insane. Growing up I took three allergy shots every week. It is that bad. And now I cannot sleep! The doctor gave me some samples, but I don't feel like they work. Shoot me.

I had such a wonderful night. Jana invited me to have a girls night with her friends from high school. I've known them from visiting during the holidays and such coming to Dallas during college. Brittney is so sweet and she travels the world working so I love her stories. Sandy was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader and is married to a Christian music director and they have two children. She is quiet and good natured. Jordan is tall and thin and talks 90 miles a minute. She is amazing. We all brought food and just sat around and talked and ate way too much. I love nights like that. Being with good people is wonderful medicine for the heart at all times.

I've felt so weird this weekend... Get this... Dad and Brenda went to Oklahoma to celebrate Saige's first birthday and I am working so I cannot go. Nick's parents went to Ruidoso for the weekend. Nick left for Vegas for Matt's bachelor party. These are the closest people in my life so it's weird to have them places all at once while I am just "here." I wanted so badly to see my Dad because my weekends are so booked until June... Nick is having a really good time with the boys. He told me he wouldn't call me... he should know better... but, he has called when he was laying by the pool and in the gift shop. I just called him at 3:45 AM because I knew they'd be out. I spoke to Geoff and I think they were in a casino? Sounded like a good time! Friday night I had to dogsit Nick's parents' dogs so I rented me a movie and just had me a night to myself. I hadn't done that in forever. It felt pretty good!

Next weekend Andrea and Nick are celebrating their birthdays with a party barge. I'm so excited and ready for some sunshine! If it stops raining!!!... Maybe the rain will take away the pollen?

I'm going to get back in bed and make myself fall asleep!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Brenham Bluebonnets

We spent the weekend in Brenham at Nick's family reunion. It was so beautiful in the hill country. Nick's cousin, Erin, me and Nick all spent the night down at the "haunted house." The house is not really haunted... It is historic and rickety... beautiful inside. It has these dimensions and rooms filled with twin beds from the 1920s. It is a little scary upstairs, but so much fun. We all slept in the same room downstairs! This home has a wraparound porch and a pond right beside it... I loved it.

We got up early Saturday morning to begin the festivities. Nick's mother has three sisters. One lives in Hawaii, one lives in Colorado and one lives in Houston. They are so funny in the same room. Ruthie is the youngest and very serious. Carrie is hilarious and always cracking a joke. Annette is quiet and sweet. Dianne is very smart and nice. Their mother, Merle... we call her Granny... is a spitfire. She makes me laugh. She is feisty as all get out and tells it like it is. Everyone came together and we all just hung out and ate way too much. I got to listen to old stories and hang out with the seven labradors everyone brought!!! Nick, Renee, Erin and I took the dogs for a walk down the long road... It was so beautiful. The bluebonnets and wildflowers are everywhere!

Dianne, Erin and I headed into Chapel Hill for the Bluebonnet Festival. It was a really neat little arts n' crafts festival. We roamed around and found some cute things. Then we headed back for the night. Nick and I planned to go to Houston that night to meet up with friends, but we all got to talking and we didn't want to leave... I love family outings... Of course, I love every minute with my own family... but, in a sense I felt a part of their family as well! They made me feel very welcome. I love hearing old stories of people growing up and sitting talking to Granny about her days growing up. All of my grandparents are from West Texas where they lived on farms. Granny is from Houston and never milked a cow until she was 55 years old. I guess again it's back to the real world!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sarah Smith. One Year.

A year ago this weekend I lost one of my very best friends. The way I deal with things is always in reverse. When Sarah first passed I was in such shock that I just went through the motions. We called everyone and we told friends and we went to the funeral. It wouldn't be until months later that I fell apart. I missed my friend so much. I talk about my dreams a lot. In the dreams Sarah is never gone. She never really went. So many dreams like this. She has just been hiding. And maybe this is what my mind wishes. She is always so vibrant and full of life in my dreams. She has long curly hair and a bright smile... just like I remember her. It isn't strange to miss my friend or to dream about her... it's how I deal with things. Some people lose people to death and hit it hard and move on. Not me. I deal with it in my own way.

Sarah meant something to me and to the world that some cannot understand. She owned the room. People were always following her because she had that magic. She was special beyond words. We would call one another and just talk for hours about life. She listened and she enjoyed just talking. This year I found an old e-mail she wrote in memorial of my mother. I felt the tears stinging my face. My mother loved Sarah so much. She loved to sit and talk to her because Sarah was interesting and Sarah was fun. I haven't watched the home videos yet... the countless ones we all made in high school... I just cannot yet. It still makes it all too real.

When Mom passed away she was the first friend I saw in my house. She said she expected me to be so different than I was at the time. I remember passing her at the funeral and telling her to stop crying. Don't you see? She was always an integral part of my life. I try to block it all out. She was just someone that would always stick by you and just always be there. She didn't drift because that wasn't Sarah. She would be a traveling nurse in California... but, she still called once in a while.

We were all at Horseshoe Bay one summer sitting in a circle talking about what we wanted for our lives. Sarah said she wanted to own a bookstore and read all the books and collect old ones to sell. She told me even when she was a distinguished nurse that deep down that would always be a dream. I believe she would have done it if God had let her live a few more years. She touched so many lives in her short life. She made friends with everyone in her path and somehow changed their life as well. I was always so envious of her because she could wear a t-shirt and silver lipstick while I worked for hours to wear a perfect dress and perfect hair, but people still loved her more than anyone in the room. She had that magic.

Sarah Smith will live on forever. I will forever miss her. When I travel through Big Spring I plan to visit her grave. She would sometimes go visit Mom's grave and call to tell me about the flowers that were put on it... Now, I want to do the same for her. Maybe I need more closure from missing my friend... I don't know? She's an angel, I do know that. She always was...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Christian Candy

The remnants of chocolate Easter candy seem to loom around my living room. I find the packaging in random places. No more chocolate. We had a wonderful Easter weekend. Saturday night we all went up to Shops at Legacy in Plano and I met Jana and Sarah Cohen at Gingerman. Then some of Nick and I's friends also came up. I spent most of my time sitting with Jana inside since we were so cold outside. Then Sarah and I stayed after everyone had left and just talked for a long time. Jana and Cohen hadn't hung out in a very long time. They are two of my dearest friends so I love hanging out with them.

Nick and I met his family for 8 AM mass on Easter morning. The Easter story is the same everywhere for me, but truly I probably would have rather go to my church... but, it's about being with family. I haven't gone home for an Easter in ages. When I was a reporter the news never stopped so I never went home. I didn't think too much about it, but since it is a family holiday I did miss my Dad a bit. As long as they had a good time in West Texas that is the most important thing. The Gray family had Mr. Bennett and Libby over for breakfast after church. They are so inspiring. Mr. Bennett and his wife... who are Nick's godparents... had eight children!!! I love to hear his stories. Libby is the youngest of the eight at 32... She is married and lives in Houston. I was asking her a million questions since I'm an only child. It is so inspiring to hear how they lived and how they are so close now. They had one brother who had been quarreling with another and was sent to his room. Somehow he accidentally hung himself on the bunk bed... It's surreal to hear these stories of survival and to hear how they all live today. I just love it!


Anyway... So we came back for dinner with the Gray's best friends... and ate way too much of that Easter candy. When I got home I was beat! It had been a long and glorious day. Nick and I had a long talk about religion. Sometimes I get in these places where I want to find scientific answers... and yes, that is wrong... but, it's logical at times. We spoke about wanting to be blind believers, but how hard it can be at times. I told him the times in my life where I know it could have been nothing but God. Then on the other hand we think of my grandmother who lost her husband at age 50 and her daughter twenty years later... but, there must be some reasoning in it from God... We struggle in a sense with our backgrounds of his is Catholic where he doesn't know Bible stories. I'll tell him things and he makes me look it up and explain it. It's sort of neat. I'm Baptist and there are things I don't know that he does... There is no right or wrong answer. We both want so badly to just walk in that blind faith like so many that we know. As Christians we can be good Christians and we can share that faith, but we also must stand outside ourselves and truly know what we believe. Do I believe the burning bush spoke? In a sense, yes, but I also believe it could be a parable. Nick told me the basis is that we believe Jesus died and lives in our hearts... We know the most important part. What makes us both cringe is that my cousin, Bryce went to Christian private school and then Yale and knows the Bible through and through, but is Agnostic. We don't want to be quizzed by someone like him and not know the answers. I want to stand strong and KNOW what's behind the words and the stories... It's not about rehashing the stories as he does.

Easter isn't about the candy that I love. It is truly about what I spoke about above. Jesus died on the cross for US. That's a biblical story that we believe through and through as Christians. There are no questions. He ROSE for us as believers. No parable. Truth. So as I nibble on the remnants of my chocolate candy I thank Hallmark for giving me commercialization on Easter, but I thank Jesus Christ for giving me life on Easter.