Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Madness

This weekend means the summer has officially started. The first glistening of red upon my shoulders that isn't spray tan must mean the sunshine means business! We had the best weekend and enjoyed every minute!

Friday Nick and his roommates had a barbecue to celebrate Tony's birthday. We all just hung out around the huge amount of food and chatted the night away.

Saturday Shyloh was in town so the gals went to Jana & Andrea's to lay by the pool. We had such a great time doing the girl chat thing. Nothing is better than a day full of girl gab! After we baked ourselves for a bit we got the dogs and took them to Mi Cocina on the patio. Shyloh lives in Lubbock and doesn't to get visit often so we love when she comes so we can entertain her with the "city life." After all of that action I was beat so Nick and I went to see the coolest movie of the year... Scream 4... at the dollar theatre. Ummm no... horrible movie!!! (Though I must admit I checked all of my closets last night before bed!)...

Sunday Anna had some tickets to the Byron Nelson Golf Tournament so Nick and I met Jana, Andrea, Jason, Shyloh and Anna for a day of socializing... errr golfing. While the girls did another gab session we sent the guys to watch golf. We hung out in the pavilion and enjoyed the sunshine.









Today on Memorial Day Nick's roommate from college, Brandon and his wife, Sara were in town so we went out to their parents' house in Wylie and played by the pool. They are a blast and it's always so much fun to hang out!

Dad and Brenda spent their weekend working on some yard projects. Every time I talked to Dad he sounded out of breath, but he was so very proud of his accomplishment! The only thing that would have made the weekend better was to hang out with family! One thing Dad taught me is how great it feels to stand back and admire something that you put hard work into. They worked so hard on removing this large planter in their backyard among other things this weekend. When it's all done you are covered in dirt and sweat.... but, you feel AMAZING!!!





I feel a bit like that right about now even though I haven't accomplished much this weekend. Being around good friends is the best dose of medicine. That laughter and love is pure addiction. God has always blessed me with angelic friends. After a day by the pool and playing games I am covered in sweat and dirt, but it's a peaceful feeling.

Memorial Day is not forgotten in the fun and games. I am thankful for all that the military men and women do for us on a daily basis. It is so easy to be so far away from it all in my mind. I do not know many military men and women on a close level so sometimes it is far from my understanding. But, to truly understand what they go through and what their wives go through is something unfathomable. The families as a unit are such true heroes. They protect us on a daily basis putting their lives on the line. Both of my grandfathers were amazing veterans. Grandaddy would tell many stories about his time in World War II. So young then I didn't understand the depth of his stories. Sometimes when I sit and think about it I am overwhelmed. These heroes go to another country leaving everything they know... to protect us. They know they might not come home, yet they know it is their calling from God. I remember covering many military stories in the news - their homecomings and when they got to first chat on the phone (Skype now)... I was always moved to tears with their emotion. We would cover deployments in Abilene and that about made me sick watching them hold so tightly to their husbands and wives before having to leave. Yes, we all fight our own battles, but their battle is one of a different caliber.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Embrace

As Mother's Day approached each year I usually just buried my head in something else. I wasn't annoyed at the day, but I chose not to look at it. This year for the first time since my mother passed ten years ago I decided it was time to get my head out of the sand. A part of me always felt as if I was doing her a disservice by celebrating the day with other mothers. As if I was cheating on her as my own mother. The problem with this philosophy is that it simply cannot be true. We are given one birth mother, but along this journey as I have written for year after year I have been blessed with amazing mothers all around me. Amazing how many people step in to take care of you when you still need a mother... which is practically any age. I do know deep down they have their own children and of course, those children come first... but, I also know love has no boundaries.

I've commented before how Mother's Day was our day. You must remember I was a teenager when Mom passed and therefore I was a bit of a brat to her. I was the typical teenager who didn't think Mom was "cool" and I believe I only started to realize she ruled the world when I went to college. We always got along and we were always close, yes, but I also looking back didn't take enough time to sit with her and just enjoy her. What teenager does? If I could tell my teenage self something I would sure tell her to absorb her parents more! My parents were always my heroes and I loved them deeply, but I just didn't show it enough at that time. On Mother's Day I recall Dad was usually working weekends back then so we would go to church and then we'd go out to eat at the Steakhouse in town. I would always make her fun little cards and gifts. It was just a special day always. So I must continue that tradition!

People that love us give so deeply of themselves. It is something that cannot be measured and no gift can ever be enough. I've always seemed to show a part of my affection with gifts. If I gave you 80 gifts then it must show my love... that sort of thing! I love to give people gifts to see their eyes light up with excitement. It seems that is the easiest way personally for me to show my love.

I still can honor my mother's legacy. She was amazing at parenting. She knew how to put me in my place, yet love on me at the same time. When I would pity myself she would make me laugh. I remember a lot of laughter in our household. Another fond memory is walking down the hall from my church classroom to hers where I would often find her playing the piano and singing along. Dad and I loved to tease her. She would fight back and blow us out of the water. I always felt loved and protected by my mother. The best thing I can say about her and even that I dream about her is that she is the best teacher I have ever seen. She changed lives on a daily basis. She loved to teach with all her heart. The kids loved her, too. She was once my cheerleading sponsor which didn't work out so well because I was just too cool for Mom to be my teacher... ha... but, I loved to watch her work her magic. She taught me how to love and by looking at my parent's relationship I knew what I wanted one day. They were perfect because they laughed and talked and just enjoyed life. I never heard her say one negative thing about my dad... even if they got in a fight playing Nintendo!!! It had to be hard to be the parent of an only child... to create that balance and teach me not to be selfish... they did so well. My mother never missed a basketball game, tennis match or theatre play. I had the best home experience growing up and I am so thankful to my parents for this.

I come from a line of amazing women. I thought about this on Mother's Day. The apple just cannot fall from from the tree, can it? Grandmommy and Granny Jac were two of the strongest women I have ever known. Grandmommy followed Grandaddy Bill's coaching career throughout Texas and she was always in attendance at Mike & Mom's tennis matches. She was feisty and full of love. She was their biggest supporter and from what I hear she was the best cook on the block! Granny Jac was tough as nails, but had a soft heart. She fought her way through some things in her life and came out stronger on the other side. She loved my dad more than anything in the world. She was the cleanest neat freak I've ever known as she was often known to clean on a daily basis. To me she was the 1950s housewife with her hair perfect in place as she hung clothes on the line... except the housewife part because she worked hard and always told me how important it is to have your 401k in order! She knew what she wanted and you better get out of her way so she could get it!

My dad has pretty good taste in women... you would know by his wife! Brenda is an amazing mom! She is always thinking of us and sending us little gifts and Bible verses. She is just a very sweet person. She is quiet when you first meet her then as you begin to know her she is very open and just puts you in her heart. Don't let her seemingly shyness fool you though; she is a firecracker! As in she is tough. She was single many years before meeting Dad because she said she was not going to just marry anyone! She took this time to just enjoy herself and her children. She grew in Christ and loved life. I watch her now that I know she lost her father at the age of twelve and helped her mother raise her two younger brothers. I find amazement in her true character and strength. She is just such a neat lady. I thank God every day that He blessed Dad and Brenda with one another.

If my mother were alive I know she would fall in love with Dianne. They are both teachers at heart so they sure would have a lot to talk about, too. Brenda and Dianne get along so well and they just love one another. One thing I keep saying about these women is that they are strong. She is a feisty one, I tell ya. Dianne is the portrayal of a woman who can do it all. On her days off you can find her working in the yard pulling weeds by hand all day then whipping up a feast for her hubby and taking the dogs on a long walk after dinner. Before all of this she has probably taken a walk to the grocery store, shopped for the biggest bargains because this woman can find a bargain in a gold shop and, oh yeah, done some charity work in between. Her heart is beyond words. I watch Nick with his mom and just smile. They play with one another and joke around all in love. He is in love with his mama... no, he'd never admit it, but he doesn't have to! She is always finding things here and there for Nick, Justin and I. She showers us with kindness and it baffles me as I never knew I could deserve such a special lady in my life. She also puts us in our place and tells us the truth of life. She stands up for herself and if you mess with one of her boys you'd better watch out.

As I put together this slideshow below I found myself smiling. Not only did I not just do pictures of my mother, but I had to research and find pictures of five different women and their children! It was overwhelming and I LOVED IT. Life is such a journey. Love is around us every single day. We just have to embrace it and not hide from it.

Oh... and how did I celebrate the day? Dad and Brenda came through town so we went to breakfast at Dream Cafe... Ahhh soooo wonderful and good chat. Then Nick, Justin and I cooked dinner for Dianne and spent time with her! Priceless. I took a jog in the park and felt a tear trickle down as I laughed that it's pretty impossible to cry when you are sweating. Ah, yes, it's an amazing day to embrace love, but I don't have to lie that it's still just a little painful to see all of the amazing Facebook status updates directed to their moms and see all the pictures... hey, ya still gotta feel!!! Such a priceless day...



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