Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Coming to an End

Well, this will probably be my last post of the year, as we are going to try to head to Memphis tomorrow for the big ball game on Saturday.  The past few days have run the whole gamut of emotions from happy sad, worried, but I have spent a large chunk of it in prayer.  Here's a quick recap:

1.  Christmas Eve-Mike and I drove to my granny's close to Mountain View.  Spent a few hours eating, hanging out with the fam, and playing with my favorite (also my only) 5 year-old second cousin.  Had a blast!  It was my first time to play with Bendaroos and Barbies in a very long time.  :)  We left just in time to make it home for Christmas Eve service at church.

2.  Christmas Day-We got up early to open presents since we are just like two five year-olds.  We had Christmas with my mom, watch "Up"(which I totally loved and cried because it was so sweet) :), ate, napped, ate again, and then went to Little Rock to watch Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at The Rep.  Again, I totally loved it and still find myself humming or singing the songs from. :))

3.  Christmas Day ended on a sad note, though, because when we got home from the play we found out that one of my mom's best friends was in the hospital with a very serious infection in her leg.  We have spent the days since Christmas going back and forth to the hospital in Batesville.  Things still aren't great, but the doctor's haven't mentioned death or amputation since Monday.  Hopefully, things with her will continue the gradual, almost painfully gradual, improvement.  Depending on her status, we are going to try to head Memphis for the game tomorrow after we make a stop at the hospital.

4.  Mike and I are still preparing for our impending time apart. God had blessed us with this Christmas Break to spend together.  His mom was her for a couple days so he spent Monday with her while I was at the hospital.  We were both able to have dinner with her last night after our visit to the hospital.  Hopefully, it will be easier to visit with her next time she is in town.  But, she totally understood the dire situation at the hospital.  Thanks be to God for giving her such an understanding heart about these matters.

I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!  2009 has had its ups and downs, but overall was a good year.  I am excited to see what 2010 has in store for us.  I can't imagine what the future holds especially with Mike making a career change!  :)  But, God knows and that will always give me comfort!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


*  First, I wanted to show you a new treasure I found at Mardel's on Tuesday.

I know most of us have heard of the Serenity Prayer at some time or other.  But, I had only see the first few lines.  I honestly don't think I have seen the whole thing.  It moved me to tear up right there in the store.  I really wanted it, but it was a little more expensive than I wanted to pay.  Turns out it was like 60% off.  It is pretty large, but I have the perfect spot for it.  I am going to hang it on the wall right in front of the bed, so it will be the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning.  I am going to repeat it to myself everyday, especially while Mike is gone.  I think God knew I needed this prayer right now in my life.  I know it's a little hard to read so I am going to include the whole prayer for those of you like me that have never heard the whole thing.

God grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; 
Enjoying one moment at a time; 
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it; 
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life 
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

*  Second, I wanted to share some pictures with you that I took today when Mike and I were on the way back from my Granny's house.  With all the rain we have had today and yesterday, we spotted some beautiful waterfalls.  Really, it is just extra water that the natural springs in this area just couldn't hold.  Nonetheless, it was spectacular to see on our drive.  Enjoy!

This water was coming straight out the side of the mountain.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

I always feel a little bittersweet this time of year.  Christmas is almost here, which means that it is almost over.  The Christmas cheer is almost gone.  But, this year I am really happy.  I have had a great past couple of days.
*School is out for the year!  I love my new job and new school, but there is always something refreshing about Christmas break.
*  Mom spent Saturday and Sunday with us in Fayetteville!  We saw a few flakes of snow and some of the most beautiful Christmas lights I have ever seen.  We even went to Pea Ridge Military Park on Saturday afternoon and basically had the park to ourselves.  It was so peaceful and we saw so many deer out enjoy their lunch on a cold day.
*  On Monday, Mike and I finished up our business in Fayetteville and headed to Greenbrier feeling like we go a lot accomplished.  I returned my textbook from last semester and bought my books for the Spring. I also signed up for my personal trainer, which I will begin when I get back in January.
*  On each of the past three evenings, I have had little Christmas parties with friends I haven't had the opportunity to see since the summer.  I love how connected we see to stay.
*  Yesterday, Mom, Mike, and I saw the World of Pharohs exhibit in Little Rock.  It was amazing.
I am so blessed to live surrounded by so many dear people that love and care for me.  I am truly feeling the warmth of the season that was made possible by a little baby born so long ago!  I hope all of you are having a Christmas full of blessings like I am!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

O Christmas Tree and Other Stuff

*I have finally finished my first semester of school!  Yippee!  I didn't know if it was going to happen with all of us being alive, but I can say no one was injured in the making of my finals :).  The ten page paper turned into an 11 1/2 page paper, but hopefully it was good enough for the "A".  Not that anyone else in the world cares what grade I make, but for some reason, I would just freak out if I didn't get an "A".  Then, I got the best present a girl can ask for during finals, a take home final.  It wasn't due until Tuesday, but I have already e-mailed it back to my professor and now can enjoy a month break from classes!

*This week I realized how dependent on TV and internet we are.  Mike and I went to work Wednesday morning after watching the news like we always do.  When we got home, our TV and internet were out.  Mike called AT&T and all the tech person on the phone could tell us to do is reset everything.  After we did that like a hundred times, he said that someone would have to come out and check it out.  I'm starting to become hysterical at that point.  It was finals week.  My final was on my e-mail.  I can't access my e-mail.  I think you can get the picture of my thought process.  Then, the guy was telling us he had a morning appointment.  Well, I guess people aren't supposed to work.  Mike convinced them we needed an appointment as late as possible.  Their solution:  someone will be there between 4-9.   We waited and waited, and finally he showed up at 8:30.  Thirty minutes later.....I can't fix it, the fiber optic guy will have to come out tomorrow and look at it.  Thank heavens I have internet at school I could use to complete said final.  We came home friday and the darn stuff still wasn't completely fixed! :(  After Mike had another 40 minute phone call with AT&T, we have TV and internet.  And guess what?  We don't need it now.  I needed internet to finish my school work and I needed the TV to entertain Mike while I finished my school work.  I guess that is just how life goes.

*Last story about how our week went and this one is about our Christmas Tree in Greenbrier.  We put our tree together down here a couple weeks ago and said we would decorate it later.  Turns out we had one row of branches with all the lights out.  Mike worked on the row for about two hours this morning.  He pulled out and tested ever bulb and then tested all the wires for electricity.  I don't really know what all this entails, but he was really working on it for a long time.  Bless his heart!!  After all of that nothing.  So, he unstrung our pre-lit Christmas Tree lights and now we have lights after two trips to town to get enough lights to work!  I am thankful I have such a patient husband because if it was up to me, we probably wouldn't have a tree.  God knew exactly what I needed when he gave me Mike!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Things On My Brain

I haven't written a post in a while, but things have definitely been on my brain lately.  I'll try not to get to long, so I will just list a few things I've been thinking about.

1.  Thanksgiving in Chicago- We had a wonderful time.  First thing that happened is I overcame my fear of small, cramped spaces and went to the top of the Gateway arch in St. Louis.  It wasn't the most fun thing I have ever done, but it was a great view from the top.  We spend Thanksgiving day with my extended family on my mom's side.  That is always a hoot, especially the men deep frying a turkey.  The meal was great, and the company was even better, especially since we only get to see each other once or twice a year.  On Friday, we went to the Museum of Science and Industry.  This is one of my all time favorite museums.  They exhibits are fantastic and they always have something new to see.  This year we saw an exhibit on the White House.  It gave a little of the history and then had a replica that was amazing.  We met up with Mike's brother, Matt, and his girlfriend, Jessica.  It was our first time to meet her, and can I just say that we love her.  I hope she is a part of our family for a long time to come.  She is amazing and is really good for Matt.  I can't believe we managed to get away and not get any pictures of them.  What were we thinking?  I feel blessed that Matt has someone that matches up with him so well.  That has been a prayer of mine for a while.  I hope she doesn't think I'm psycho, but, I hope we become great friends, even if we do live many miles apart.

I'm a little nervous waiting in line to go up the Arch!

Some of the family chilling to a 3-D movie. That's my great-uncle in the back.

The men watching the turkey fry, thinking that will make it cook faster.  Mike was right in the middle of this, he's the one taking this picture.

2.  Finals- Thank goodness they are almost here because that means the semester will end.  In class last night, our professor told us about our final.  It turns out we are having a take-home final.  Translation:  By next Thursday, we need to have a reflective essay about our experiences and assignments over this past semester.  This essay should be a minimum of 10 pages!!!  This about gave me a heart attack.  Normally papers don't scare me.  It's just the timing of this one and the fact that I don't really know if I can talk about this course for 10 pages.  On top of the paper, I have another assignment due for this class and an assignment for my other class that is due Tuesday.  I also have 6 conferences coming up at work. As a special ed. teacher that means lots and lots of paperwork.  I'm going to kill a whole forest with how much paper I'm going to use.  I know I need to quit whining about it, and just get on with life.  I can do that now that I've had the opportunity to vent a little. :)

3.  One month-That's right, one month from today Mike and I will begin our lengthy separation from each other.  This is something that neither of us is looking forward to or are preparing for very well.  We know it's happening, and it's just making us sad.  I know I should be enjoying every minute we are going to have together until the dreaded January 4th, but that is easier said than done.  I just can't get the thought out of my head that he's leaving.  I can't seem to get past the countdown and really enjoy living in the moment.  This is a constant prayer for me.  I know I have to let go and give control over to God.  He will protect us and our marriage while we are apart.  Not that we are in any real danger, I just tend to be dramatic at times. I want to find joy in the Christmas season and not see it as the end of our time together.  I know if it's God's will, we will have a lot more time together in the future.  So, I need to put my worries and fear aside and relish the time I'm going to have with Mike over the next month.  Then, tuck these memories we make away so they will sustain me until March 20th, when we will be reunited!

I know I had a lot to say, but I feel better getting it out!!  :)
May God bless you like he has definitely blessed us!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Last Sunday in church, the sermon was about how we are to be thankful for everything and in everything. So, I am really going to take that to heart today!  I am thankful for a wonderful husband who loves me no matter what my mood is and supports me in meeting all my goals.  He is more selfless than I ever realized. I need to be more like that.   I am thankful for my mom who has always been there for me and stood by me.  She taught me how to love others by making me always feel loved.  That is a priceless gift that I will never forget.  I am thankful for all my friend and family members.  I know that someone has always "got my back."  I have so many great people in my life.  I know I am never alone.  I am thankful for the United States Army, even though it is forcing a separation for Mike and me.  That is a hard one for me to say, but I know it's true.  It is giving Mike an opportunity to further himself and to find fulfillment in a career.  It will allow us to be settled financially and have a family.  I am thankful for my job.  I am blessed to not dread going to work everyday.  I know I am helping children and there's nothing better than that.  My job also allows me to live comfortably and not "need" anything.  But, most of all I am thankful for GOD.  He has given me all the other things I am thankful for.  He sees me worthy of having all these blessings.  I know He won't give us more than we can handle, so I am thankful I can realized how blessed I have been in my life.  I hope everyone will take the time to count their blessings today.  I am going to spend the day remembering all I am thankful for.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Reaffirming Our Vows

We have been taking a class at our new church for the last 9 weeks.  It is called "Growing  a Healthy Marriage."  It has been one of the best things we have done since we moved here.  There were ten wonderful couples in our class.  At the beginning we had to take a Couple's Check-Up.  This showed us our strengths and weaknesses as a couple based on how each of us viewed things.  We have spent the classes working through each aspect of this check-up like communication, conflict management, finance, family, etc....  This class has been so reassuring to me because it showed that we are just like a lot of other couples.  Our biggest problems have been our differences in communication.  We don't really "fight" or have disagreements.  We just aren't always on the same wavelength when trying to communicate.  Since we realized this, we have made an effort to work on our communication skills.  It has really paid off.  We are communicating with each other better than ever!  We are not perfect by any means, but we are working on it.

Tonight was the last night of class.  One of the pastors came in to lead all the participating couples in reaffirming their vows. I felt like we were back on June 23, 2007 and saying those vows for the first time.  The words were the same.  We looked at each other the same.  I got all teary-eyed the same.  I feel all refreshed and totally blessed to have  such an amazing husband that supports me in anything I do.  I wish I could be half as good to him as he is to me.  I'm going to work on that!  I know that God will lead me through the difficult times (aka: separation) we have ahead.  But, now I will have the memories of us saying our vows to each other....twice.  That is completely priceless.  I am so thankful God has brought this amazing man into my life and I pray that I never forget how lucky I am.

Saying our vows at our wedding.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Am I Scrooge?

We have about 5 weeks until Christmas and I'm not getting even a little excited.  That is totally unusual for because I am always so anxious to decorate and get our trees up.  This year I'm just not feeling it.  Maybe it's because Christmas comes earlier and earlier every year.  I couldn't believe it when I started seeing Christmas lights up and turned on the first week in November.  An apartment complex down the street was already all lit up, as well as several sorority houses on campus that I have to go by to get to class.  I am even getting annoyed when people write on Facebook about having their decorations and trees up.  For crying out loud, it's not even Thanksgiving!!!!  What happened to being Thankful?  Is everything so commercialized, that we have to skip over this holiday that is about being with family and counting your blessings?

I've decided to not even think about Christmas until after next Thursday.  I want to enjoy my holiday.  We will be traveling to Chicago with Mike and my mom.  Since my Granddad passed away in 2004, Mom and I have been going to spend the holiday with our extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, etc in the Chicago area.  Mike's brother, Matt, also lives in Chicago so hopefully we can spend time with him, too.  Maybe after being able to enjoy family, I will get in the Christmas spirit.  I'm really hoping I will find a cure to my "Scrooge"ness next Friday.  We are going to the Museum of Science and Industry.  They have annual Christmas Around the World festival, where trees are decorated by various ethnic communities.  I'm hoping to return home refreshed and in the holiday spirit.  There is always hope, right?    I welcome any other suggestion on how to return to my normal Christmas-loving self!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

So This Is Blogging

I finally decided to jump on board and start blogging.  I guess it is a good way to keep everyone up to date with what is going on in our lives.  We made the big move from Greenbrier to Fayetteville at the end of July.  We have been here almost 4 months now and really enjoy living up here.  There is so much to do an not enough time to get it done in.  I desperately miss so many people from back home, but am doing my best to stay in touch, usually through facebook.  But hey, it's better than nothing. :)  I am almost through my first semester at the University of Arkansas.  I must say it is the most challenging thing I have ever done.  The classes here are much more difficult than anything I took at UCA.  I guess there is a big difference between research institutions and non-research institutions.  I really enjoy it though.  I am going to end up getting a second master's degree because of all the classes I need.  Then, I will get a specialist and finally my doctorate.  I also love my job in Springdale.  I haven't been this happy teaching since I first started.  I am in a great environment with kids who really need me.  Mike applied for many teaching jobs without finding success at landing one.  After much soul-searching and praying, he has joined the Army National Guard.  He is an Officer Candidate and will be leaving for OCS (Officer Candidate School) in January.  This will be a very trying time for the both of us.  Beginning January 4, he will be stationed at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock.  Then, on January 22, he will be at Fort McClellan in Alabama until March 20.  We have never been apart for more than a few days, so I know these two months will be difficult, especially with the limited communication we will have.  So, we will definitely be needing prayers!  I am so very proud of him, though.  He has already served six years in the Air National Guard, but felt very strongly that this is the right move for us as a family, and for him as an American.