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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

where did this week go?

Somehow, it is Wednesday.  Tomorrow is the "Friday" of my work week.  I'm not sure where this week went, but I know that it was eventful.

Sunday, my car caught on fire.  While I was in it.  The rear light unit somehow feel out into my trunk area and the wires caught on fire.  I had a cardboard box in the back that caught on fire too.  It was ridiculous.

I was getting ready to go home and was telling my parents goodbye.  I kept smelling an electrical fire smell, but we couldn't figure out where it was coming from...  I thought I was seeing smoke, but neither of my parents could see it.  We looked under the hood, checked the temp and finally decided that it was safe and I should go ahead and leave.

We were slightly wrong.

As I was driving away, the electrical fire smell turned into a backyard fire smell.  (I think this was about the time that the box caught on fire)  The scent was getting worse as I kept driving.  I looked in my rearview mirror and all I could see was smoke.  I immediately decided that no matter what we had previously decided, things were not good.  I pulled into a parking lot and stopped my car.  I opened that back door to see my chipper little one laughing at me and semi-coughing while smoke was pouring out the door.  I was not amused.  I could see that the smoke was coing from the trunk, so I held the little one as far away as I could and opend the trunk slowly.  (It was about this time that I decided that maybe I should not have ever watched Backdraft.)  moving on...

As I opened the trunk, I saw flames to the left.  I saw and HEARD my puppies on the right.  They wanted out of the car and away from the fireball.  I sat my little one down, pulled out the crate, grabbed the box that was on fire and proceeded to act like a crazy person.  To me, it wasn;t crazy - I knew that there was a bottle of flamable liquid in the box that was on fire and I did not feel like loosing my skin to a burn.

My parents came to get us and we left my 'bad" little car in the parking lot.  Although my dad said that he found the problem and that it should be safe to drive, I wasn't going to have any part of that idea.  So, we waited for my brave husband to come get the car and drive it 1.5 hours to a city that has a shop that will repair my lovely import of a car.  My parents live in a city that prefers domestic.  Prefers, meaning they will only work on and sell parts for cars that are made in the US.  My poor little VW does not feel the love in my parents town.

So - after that as a beginning, the rest of my week has somewhat melted together.  Oh, and on top of the car issues, my husband's grandmother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and had surgery today.  The surgery went well, but due to some complications, the healing process in the hopsital is going to be longer than expected.  Thankfully, we know that God has all of this in His hands - what a great thing to have Him to lean on in weeks such as these.

Just a few of the blessings this week:

  • Melted plastic, smoke damage and expensive repairs to my car - such a blessing becuase it could have been so much worse.
  • The Orange Star plant that I bought for my husbands grandma - I'm not sure I've ever seen such a pretty color of orange.
  • Nutella.  no explanation necessary
  • Good Friday.  I love that I have the day off from work and I love that Jesus loves me enough to have gone through that awful day - and I love that He would have still done it, even if I had been the only person on Earth.
  • The Lion hat that I bought for my son...I can't wait to see it on him tomorrow.  He is just so stinkin cute.
  • My nieces - we had such fun playing at Mimi and Papa Joes this weekend.  Easter egg hunts, candy eating, picture taking - it just doesn't get much better than this.
  • Metro Volkswagen - they repaired my car quickly and they were wonderfully nice.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

quick update...

I just found out this afternoon that I will have the next 3 days off!  Wahoo!

My brother and sister had to take the little one and go to the 'ville yesterday.  I was sad that I wouldn't get to see him again until Sat, BUT now I will get to see him in the morning.

So far, working in the corporate office is going well.  I am enjoying being able to work in the office and have other people to bounce ideas off of - much better than working at a different store everyday!  My husband is still back and forth, working at the church, studying and working at another part-time job.  We are determined to get out of debt and to do it quickly!  It is amazing how being on complete bedrest and having a HUGE monthly cobra payment can send you into debt so quickly.  But, we are hard at work to reverse that debt!

I'm a little worried with how we are going to make all of this work next month.  I am traveling quite a bit in April and May.  But, I know that it will work out, so I am going to try and stop worrying and to just trust in my Heavenly Father - He know's what's going on anyway.

My little one will be one in less than a month! I can't even fathom it!  I am working on planning his 1st birthday party.  So far, I haven't figured out where is will be, but I do know the date and I know what kind of cake I will make.  I'm making this super cool cake.  You will all love it!  I know that you are all dying to know what it will be, but for now, you will have to be patient and see...

The Puddleducks are doing well - Maggie Mae is still bossing everyone around and Nelsen is still trying to hide under the bed any chance he gets.  Levi and Hosea are just busy being crazy, silly dogs.  I love watching the little one play with the dogs, he gets such a kick out of crawling after them!

Well, I'm off to bed.  I have a early morning tomorrow - I'm going to get my little one and to stick him in a sling for the next 3 days.  I can't wait.  Hopefully, Jubie will get some great pictures this weekend for me to post.

Oh, and my blog is going to be undergoing a makeover by Small Bird Studio.  Franchesca has designed some really cool blogs - I'm so excited to see my new, modern, bright, very cool design!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

home again.

Tonight, I cooked lasagna, washed and folded clothes, read a few blogs and bathed an adorable little one.

It was glorious. 

He has grown so much in the past 3 weeks.  I've been traveling for work and he has been traveling to Camp Mimi and Camp Jinon.  He has had so much fun - playing with the kids and watching Mimi run around taking care of him.  He has loved it.

Today, when the car pulled into the driveway and I walked up to the car to get my baby, I saw the biggest smile.  ever.  He was in his car seat and had somehow grabbed the box of cookies from his diaperbag.  He had then ripped the box open and proceeded to feed cookies to himself.  Somehow, he did all of this without making enought noise for Jubie or Jed to hear... When I opened the door, I'm not sure if he was that happy to see me, or if he was just proud that he had managed to find the cookies and feed himself. Either way, he was happy and grinning ear to ear. 

Oh, how I've missed that smile.

We spent the day playing, laughing, crawling and eating.  He played hard all day.  Tonight, I am getting ready to go to sleep and my baby is in the room next to me.  This is how it should be.  I love that he will be with me most of the next 3 weeks.  What fun we will have!  We will be planning his first birthday party as well - I just can't believe that he will be 1 year old in a month.  wow.

I had a great time in Barcelona.  I learned a lot. I have pictures and I'll upload them as soon as I have time.   But, as for right now, I am happy to be back home with my little one.  I've missed him so...

I am blesssed to have a Heavenly Father who loves me more than anything.  I am so thankful for the ways that He shows me His love on a daily basis...

Tonight, I read one of my favorite blogs, and as usual, it struck me. There is just something about Ann's writing that captures me.  It stops me in my tracks.  Tonight, it reminded me once again, that everything that God gives me is for joy.  I just need to re-direct my thoughts to find the joy.  It is there.  It has always been there. Are you wondering what on earth I mean? 
Visit Ann's blog and see for yourself... Once you visit and spend some time reading, you will not be the same.

Here are my blessings/joy from today:
Blessing 269 - Spiky, blonde hair on an adorable little boy's head
Blessing 270 - Bouncy, fluffy puppies who haven't a care in the world
Blessing 271 - Painted toenails
Blessing 272 - My brother's sense of humour
Blessing 273 - The warm sunshine on a cool day
Blessing 274 - A jogging stroller with working tires
Blessing 275 - Gummed teething biscuits all over the highchair
Blessing 276 - A smiling boy full from too many cookies
Blessing 277 - Sticky, gummy, chubby, adorable fingers
Blessing 278 - The crawling speed of a 10 month old
Blessing 279 - hangnails.  what a small pain, compared to what He endured for me...
Blessing 280 - Homemade garlic bread.
Blessing 281 - Travels that brought me back home quickly and safely.

holy experience

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Barcelona. part one

Well, I finally made it to Barcelona on Sunday. (blessing 265)  The flights were as great as could be - minus the massive sinus problems that I got on the plane with, and that increased as we continued to travel.

I spent the amazingly beautiful Sunday afternoon walking around Barcelona, taking as many pictures as I could. (blessing 266)  My hotel is in the same area as last time (blessing 267), so thankfully I (kinda) knew my way around.  I visited one of the Gaudi buildings and took pictures.  His buildings are amazing.  My card reader is having jet lag issues, so it is too tired to work right now.  I'm hoping that it will start working soon.

I also found one of the many Cathedrals that we visited last time.  When I walked in this time, things were much different.  They were having mass.  It was unbelievable. (blessing 268) The way the music and voices sounded in that incredibly old building would knock your socks off.  Soon enough, you will see pictures of the cathedral, although the pictures won't even begin to explain what I heard...

The rest of the week is training.  I'm hoping to slip in a little bit more sightseeing at night.  I'm still not quite adjusted to the time change.  I figure that will happen about the time I board the plane to fly home.

Will post more when I am able, hopefully next time with pics!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Not Me Monday...

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Two weeks ago, I was in New York and New Jersey for work.  I’ve been there many times before, but this was my first time to have a rental car instead of using public transportation. 
But, I have a great sense of direction, so I wasn’t worried about driving in New York. 

Nope. Not me.

I arrived at Laguardia around 9pm.  I picked up my luggage and headed off to the rental car counter. No worries involved. Just another day at work.  I picked up my car, asked the guy how to get to the highway, got in my car and left.
Once I started driving, I realized that things were a little different in New York.  The streets were a little bit less lighted and quite narrow.  But, I wasn’t the least bit concerned.  
Nope. Not me.
As I continued driving, I recognized some names that I’ve heard in TV shows.  Namely, such shows as Law and Order SVU and Criminal Intent.  When I was on 4 months of bed-rest, I watched a lot of TV.  Although, I admittedly watched a lot of TV, I had it under control. I did not obsessively watch theses TV shows, knowing that my poor little mind was going to remember these awful stories. 
Nope. Not me. I know better.
I absolutely did not allow my mind to wander back to those shows as I was driving through New York.  I was not worried about my safety or if I was in a “bad’ part of town.  I did not contemplate what would happen if my new rental car died and I was stranded in the middle of the Bronx. 
Nope.  Not me.
I am an educated adult who realizes that there are "good" and “bad” parts to any town.  I understand that I should always be aware of my surroundings, but not be paranoid. 
I did not allow my imagination to get the best of me.  I did not question if there was someone lurking in the parking garage, stairwell and closet of my hotel room.  
Nope.  Not me.
Instead, I spent this time, contemplating the fact that I might have watched too much television while on bed-rest.  Not because I was slightly frightened, but because while driving, I had time to reflect on my life and the quantity of TV watching I did while on bed-rest.  I told myself that I really shouldn’t watch so much TV and that I really shouldn’t watch any more Law and Order.  (Again, not because I was scarred, but because I know I shouldn’t watch such violence.) 
So, when I got to my hotel, safely made it inside and checked all of the nooks and crannies of my hotel room, I absolutely did not turn on the TV to find it playing Law and Order.  And, if I had found that show playing, I definitely did not plop down on the bed and continue to watch.
Nope.  Not me.

Like I said, I know better.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

sometimes, technology frustrates me

Technology and I are not getting along today.

My cell phone decided to be on the fritz.  I've been doing so well at keeping my phone charged and at answering it when it calls.  It has been a miracle to all who know me.  I guess my phone feels that it has been overworked.

My laptop has joined the team.  Tonight, whenever I leave a comment on a blog, it leaves the same comment 3 times.  I'm thinking that 1 time is sufficient, but my computer disagrees.  Maybe it is because the little one was using it as a drum earlier.  Who knows.  Hopefully the poor people who received the same comment multiple times won't think I'm crazy.  Actually, I am crazy, but that's a totally different story.

I'm going to turn everything off and go to sleep.  I'm praying that technology and I get along tomorrow.

Oh, and here is something that does not frustrate me.  He's just too cute to frustrate anyone - even when he thinks that your closed computer is a drum.  ha.

and yes, those are 2 shiny, happy, little teeth.  (just in case you were wondering)

Monday, March 8, 2010

I don't enjoy (anyone) being sick

After missing my scheduled flight on Saturday, thanks to some beautiful traffic in New Jersey, I was able to get on a later flight.  The later flight did not get me to Houston until after midnight, but at least it got me there.  I finally got to the house around 1:30am.

The little one was sleeping, but I could hear his coughs.  Deep, icky coughs.  It made me sad.  When I heard him start rustling around, I went and got him and put him in bed with us.  I had missed that squishy little kidling.  He slept and coughed and nursed and coughed.  Minus the coughing, it was pretty great.

Sunday morning, the little one and I stayed home from church.  Didn't think that my little hacking one needed to contaminate the building.  It seems that my lungs were concerned that the little one was feeling left out.  So, some of those little green creatures that you see in the Mucinex commercials moved into my lungs.  I think that they have decided to take up residence.  I'm not very happy about that plan.

There we were, the 2 of us, coughing and laughing and tickling and coughing.  Singing and sleeping and coughing.  Coughing and coughing and coughing.  You get the point.

Today is Monday and we are still home with the icky coughs and low-grade fevers.  It makes me so sad when I can't "fix" his sickness.  He plays and crawls around, but you can see in his eyes that he just doesn't feel very well.  It is just not fun.

 This is absolutely how I wanted to spend my 2 days home and off from work.  Well, I did want to spend them playing with the little one, I was just hoping that we would not be sick.  Oh well, I guess I would prefer to be sick and together than to be well and apart.

I leave Wednesday for Colorado.  I come home late Friday.  I leave Saturday for Spain. I come back 7 days later.  To some, it sounds like fun.  World traveling looks fun, until you realize that you will be far away from your family and will be working long days.  I'm so ready to spend an entire week working in Texas.  Sleeping at home with my family.  Cuddling with my little one every night.  That week will come, I just pray it comes quickly.

I know that this is the plan God has for us right now.  I also know in my heart that this is not His long term plan.  I will be able to be home with my kids.  I will be able to teach them at home.  These things will happen, I just need to be patient and continue working hard.  To help get our bills paid.  To help get us to a place that we can afford for my husband to continue working at the church and for me to come home.  Again, I know it will happen.  I just wish I knew when.

I also wish I knew when the Mucinex spokescreatures will move out of my lungs.  I'm contemplating giving them an eviction notice if they are still there in the morning.

Friday, March 5, 2010

you need to look at these pictures...

 but, they aren't on my website.

They are beautiful.

It is worth the time to click...

In them you will see love.

You will see happiness (even under adversity)

You will see joy.

You will see hope.

You will see kids who need YOUR help.

It doesn't cost much.

But, the rewards are totally worth it.

How do I know the rewards are worth it?

Because for the past 3 years, we have benefited from letters from a sweet girl named Ayu.  Letters of joy, happiness, love and hope.  Letters that I anxiously anticipate the arrival of and can't wait to read when they do arrive.  Letters of how her life is going and how she loves to play, learn, work and how she loves learning about the Lord.

If you know us well, and know how tight money is, you might wonder how we are able to afford to do this...  Well, it was an easy decision - we gave up Starbucks.  After the decision was made, the actual giving up was a little bit harder, but seriously - did we need Starbucks more than she needed to be sponsored?

uh, NO.

Hop over to MckMama's blog to see what I'm talking about...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Texas, that's where I'm from...

Today, my list of blessings comes from my customers.  It involves quiet laughter, in my head.  And lots of it.

I started off the morning watching Walker, Texas Ranger while getting ready for work.  It was about some bad guys who were digging up old Indian burial grounds and stealing the artifacts.  They were not putting the artifacts in a museum, but selling them.  It was mean and awful.  I was so sad to see them do it.  Thankfully, the bad guys were caught, but you probably knew that, right about the time you read Walker, Texas Ranger.

Yes, I know it was just a TV show.  But, I'm alone in my hotel room and that just tends to bring whatever I am watching to life.

Anyway - it got me thinking about what people must think about Texas when they watch this show.  I know it is an older show, but it still had quite a bit of cowboy boots, hats, horses, Indians and pow-wows.  I laughed to myself thinking that it would be funny if people outside of Texas thought that was normal.  But, I'm sure that they don't.

Then, I got to work.

My first customer was a delightful girl.  She talked about the weather being crazy, and I figured today was another normal day of conversing with customers at work.

Then, the next customer arrived.

My second customer said that she was SHOCKED to hear that I was from Texas.  I capitalize the letters because she was very loud when saying it.  She really couldn't seem to believe that I was from Texas.  She was sure that I must have just moved there, as I do not have a southern accent.  To her defense, I did a short stint as a nanny in Chicago and I did lose a little bit of my accent.  I guess that I should said the words; pie, eye, and ice during the facial.  Those tend to sound very southern when they leave my mouth.  (blessing 261)

My fourth customer actually asked why I didn't have boots on - she said that she figured since I was from Texas, I "would for sure wear cowboy boots."  Then, later in the facial, out of the clear blue, she asked how many horses I had.  I didn't have the heart to tell her that not all Texans have horses, so I told her that I had one.  My parents have a few, so I'm claiming one of theirs. (blessing 262)

And my favorite:

My seventh customer asked me how I liked New York. She asked if it was different to see so many buildings.  Seriously people, I live in HOUSTON.  The fourth largest city in the US.  Although it is not New York, we do have a building or two.  And, some of them are even tall.  Then, at the end, came my favorite quote of the day.  When she was leaving, she said "Have Happy, safe travels.  Oh wait, you're from Texas.  Happy Trails, then." (blessing 263)

Yep.  I rode on a stagecoach all the way here.  I even paid for my ride with gold, cause that's the currency we use in Texas.

Oh, and another blessing from today?  For some strange reason, my favorite groceries at Whole Foods are cheaper here in New York.  I love strange, little surprises.  (blessing 264)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Oh, what a beautiful morning

Beautiful, serene, sunny, crisp, and calm are just a few words that could describe my morning...

Today, I spent the morning playing with my little one and accomplishing quite a bit of work - all at the same time.  I love it when we are able to hang out together!  He enjoyed climbing into my suitcase and pulling everything out just as quickly as I was able to pack it back in...  oh well.  His giggle and smile made packing over 15 times totally worth it!
I am so happy to see the sun today - it has been cloudy and cold for too long.  I live in the South, near the Gulf of Mexico, it is not supposed to be sooo cold.

In addition to playing and working, the little one and I walked around outside.  We laughed at the ducks, and I enjoyed listening to the boats chime as the water bounced them around.  
There is just something about the sound of the marina (blessing 258), mixed with the sound of my wood chime (blessing 259), to make me forget that I am leaving for a week.  

For just a few moments, it was perfect.

And, now I am off to finish packing before he wakes from his nap.  I am leaving today for a trip to New York and New Jersey.  I am going to try and eat dinner one night in CT,  since I will have a rental car! (blessing 260)  
Just to say I've been there...