Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We are getting ready for Thanksgiving around here.  My parents and Grandmother arrive tomorrow, so all rooms are being cleaned and the rest of the house is being straightened.  I have most of the cooking done - thanks to a quiet weekend.  I know Thursday will still be crazy because throwing it all together always takes a LOT of coordinating.  Caroline will help with the table today and Cole is going to make turkey place cards/napkin holders.

Our menu includes turkey, sweet potatoes, 3 bean casserole, cranberries, rosemary rolls, roasted brussel sprouts and we will have chocolate and pumpkin pie.  Hopefully we will have something for everyone!

We don't have too many plans.  We will head to Cowboy Stadium on Saturday to watch the Carroll Dragons and see Caroline in the band. They do a great playoff show called "LIDS".  The drumline plays on trashcans while the rest of the band, cheerleaders, and Emerald Belles dance a little jig.

I am also hoping to get our Christmas decorating finished by Sunday.  We are all excited to get into the holiday season.  Heck!  We might even start decorating today!

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Fall 2009

Wow! It's already been 2 months since my last post. I don't know exactly what I've been doing with my life. I have been painting quite a few rooms... the kitchen, family and breakfast rooms, the gameroom, hallway, and Caro's room.  I'm not posting any after pics because my house is a wreck!  I have 2 sick boys and they are strewn across the family room furniture.

We've been up to our eyeballs in sports and activities...

Cole's baseball team was undefeated this fall.  He hasn't stopped talking about "run-ruling" several of the teams.  Here he is after their crazy sock scrimmage at the end of his season.  I really think his coach wanted them to wear crazy socks as a silent message to the other coach  - "just in case we lose, this is just a scrimmage.  we are already undefeated for the season!"  Yes, his coach was quite serious about the wins.

Brooks played as a Green Dragon this fall.  He really enjoys playing on his new team.  He also played flag football this fall.  He is blowing everyone away on the trumpet since he's 2 years ahead of the other kids down here.

Reed is playing soccer for the DFW Tornadoes this year.  We've had lots of fun watching his team progress as they are developing their foot skills and their communication skills!  This weekend was the coldest of the season.  We played 3 games in 40° weather.  It was COLD!

In August, we rode the lite rail to Dallas.  We stood in line for a few HOT hours to see the Disney Christmas Carol Train.

Early this fall, Reed, Brooks and I ran in the "Run in the Dark" 5k race.  It was really exciting to run in my first race and for it to be dark!  I told the kids that I was completely discombobulated at the beginning of the race.  You hear the gun go off and everyone starts running.  You have to run fast enough to stay in front of those behind you and run slow enough that you don't run over those in front.  A few minutes into it, your body realizes that you really need to find your own pace, and by that time the people were spreading out.  Brooks and I stuck together through most of the race.  However, as the finish line came closer, his competitive streak took over and he turned on the speed to try to beat a few of his friends.  It was a great night full of great accomplishments!

We had some special visitors over Columbus Day.  Our friends Joy, Hannah, Jennifer, and Borden came for the weekend.  We shopped and experienced a Texas Rodeo.  We had lots of fun exploring the Ft. Worth Stock Yards for the first time.

Caroline's Halloween costume was my favorite this year.  She created an Oompa Loompa costume on her own!  She looked really cute and had lots of fun both on Halloween and at the band's Masquerade Ball.

... and now the holidays are upon us!

We spent Thanksgiving in Union City this year with Tim's parents.  It was a wonderfully relaxing weekend.  The kids watched lots of movies, read several books, and played Canasta.  I read Shanghai Girls and Pinstripes and Pearls, and slept in every day!

The weekend we got back, Caroline and I were thrilled to host a Christmas Tea for many of my sorority sisters.  We had a great time watching the sweet little girls eat all of the yummy treats and open a new ornament.  I especially enjoyed meeting all of the "mini-me's" - the daughters of my sisters.  Here they all are with their new ornaments.

Life in Southlake is finally feeling familiar.  We are settled into our new home - so settled that I put out all of our Christmas decorations!  The boxes are long gone and the furniture is in place.  The rooms are mostly in order and almost all of them are a new color.  We love the weather down here.
 It has been cold for 3 weeks (even a day of snow), but today it was 72° and tomorrow it will be 70°!  The sun is here for and entire week and I am LOVING IT!  There is something about cloudy days that makes me want to stay in bed all day long.
Oh, I forgot to mention that my friend, Amy, and I have been on the tracks of a few well-knowns (at least they are well-known by us)!  In November we spent the evening listening to Donald Miller speak while on his book tour.  If you haven't read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, you really should.  I love his idea of "life as a story" and I am in the process of changing everyday of my own life.  I want to happen to my own life rather than letting life happen to me!

The first night of December, Amy and I drove to Dallas, through torrential rain and slowly creeping traffic, to see Pioneer Woman.  We've been reading her blog for, oh, 3 years (before she had advertisements), and we wanted to see her/meet her in real life.  So, we spent 3 hours sitting 15 feet from her, watching people bring her gifts and take their pictures with her.  We were a little slow to the party and we ended up as approximately #750 and #751 in line.  We never met her, but we did get a few up close shots of her and we got our PW t-shirt.  You might think we are crazy, but we saw more of PW than those who got her signature!  They were wrapped around the store in line for hours.  The ladies who had the same color bracelet as we did got their book signed around 1:00 am.  I even found some proof that we had the best seat in the house on Everyday Blessings.  If you scroll down and look closely, you'll see Amy and I smack dab in front of PW.  I am putting on my coat to leave in another shot.  We had fun just being part of the whole experience!

We had so much fun taking Christmas pictures this year.  We drove over to the Ft. Worth Stockyards to visit a western-wear store.  We found fancy shirts, hats, and boots and set up our tripod in the boot section.  It was an hour of fun as we sorted through our choices.  The store had beautiful clothing - I left feeling like I'd like to buy me some duds and head out to the nearest Country&Western dance hall for some boot-scootin' fun.  In fact, that is on our list for next year - we need to re-learn the art of kicker dancing.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Merry Christmas, Y'all!  I'll see ya next year.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Through the Fence

It's a bit unnerving for me to find myself in the stands while he is on the field. It's been raining and it's chilly. The mud stains won't be easy to erase from the white fabric, but the uniform is sharp with the white and green. He doesn't look cold. In fact, the pitcher continuously sheds his hat to wipe his brow. The field must rev the adrenaline to heat our boys.

He's ready for anything. I'm wondering when his dad will arrive. There's a runner on 2nd and now one walks to first. Time is called and the 2nd visit to the mound occurs. Suddenly I hear his name called from the bucket. He's up and so is my blood pressure. He heads to the mound to take the heat from another. I find that the heat in the field is spreading to the stands.

He is a novice pitcher. He is an aspiring pitcher. He practiced with our pitch-back almost every day last week. He was working on a change-up which continues to evade his hand. It is frustrating, but he won't let that stop him. We continually remind him that you have to work at everything in order to be successful. and he knows it. God gave him natural talent, but he still must refine his abilities by repeatedly throwing, swinging and catching.

Calls are being made from all sides of the field. Those on base listen to their respective coaches. Demands are made from the bucket. and from the dugout. Signs come from the plate. He pulls his leg high, reaches out and launches the ball while leaning toward the front of the mound. He's nervous but confident - I can tell because I've known him his entire life. I read the determination and optimism on his face.

Slowly his face undergoes a slight change. I watch as he releases the ball too early, or too late. "Blue" holds the range tight. Each sling must be perfectly placed along the beltline today for a favorable call. Another player makes it to first. Now the three bases are full. That face that I have kissed a million times continues to show determination but his confidence is waning. The catcher brings the ball to my boy, patting him on the back and reminding him that he can do it. Encouraging words from his friend bring back a glimmer of confidence.

I remain in the bleachers. He seems so far, but we are just 50 feet from each other. I know he can do it. Throwing strikes is the goal, but doubt has taken over and the ball hits the dirt. Another meeting with the catcher. The bucket is getting louder, with encouragement, and LOTS of instructions. He glances at me on the way back to the mound. He suddenly stops and focuses only on me. It is all I can do not to race toward him. "You can do it," I say. But he is not sure. Doubt, frustration, overload - they are there to stay.

Relief arrives as he returns to his comfort zone - just to the left of 2nd base. I know that boy. I can read the frustration and desperation as they sit on his shoulders. I know he could have done it. He was just an out away from the end of the inning. Once again, I am reminded, he is only 12. Experience tells me he will make it through the next time.

I will be ready for him after the game. Ready to tell him that we are proud of him. Ready to remind him that of greatest importance, he is who God says he is. Ready to wrap him in my arms with a hug that will fill him again with hope. Yet, for now, I am overcome with helplessness as I observe it all through the fence.

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