Monday, December 24, 2007

The Search for Baby Jesus

As long as I can remember, my mom has had a beautiful porcelain manger scene. I can recall admiring it as a child. This year, she set it up on one of the end tables in the downstairs living room. Ace, being the stinker that he is, got into it. My dad heard the sound of porcelain hitting the glass topped end table this afternoon and went over to inspect what was going on. One of the shepherds was on the ground with a very small chip in the side of him (sorry mom!) and Baby Jesus was missing. A search for Baby Jesus soon ensued. Since the manger scene was located in the living room, we were all sure that Baby Jesus had to be close by. We searched everywhere downstairs within reasonable distance - lifted couches off the floor, etc. in search for sweet Baby Jesus. He was nowhere to be found. I felt terrible about it but my parents were completely gracious and kept saying, "He'll turn up sooner or later." I was afraid that "later" might turn into weeks or even months, but thankfully Baby Jesus turned up a few hours later. Collin just happened to see Him under the UPSTAIRS Christmas tree! How in the world our little stinker got Baby Jesus all the way up there is still a mystery, but isn't that so funny?!? Ace must know that Baby Jesus is the greatest gift of all and wanted us to appreciate that seemingly invisible gift under the Christmas tree :)

Hope everyone has a great night enjoying sweet fellowship with loved ones :) Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Update

This season seems to get busier every year! I have been meaning to update over the last 3 weeks and something always seems to get in the way. Between all the parties and events, December just flies by!

We made it to my parents house on Thursday evening and have been enjoying spending time with them and the cold weather! It's actually supposed to freeze tonight (which I am totally excited about) and we are all bundled up in sweats and wearing house shoes. When we left Houston on Thursday afternoon it was in the 80's so I am SO glad that it's cold here. It makes it feel so much more like Christmas. We have been having a blast spending time with different groups of friends and eating A TON! We went and saw our newest member of the family today, Macy Lynn (born August 30th) and it was so much fun to be around a baby! I got my baby fix :) We took our camera with us and then forgot to get it out, but my parents took some pictures so we'll have to post some soon. We are really enjoying being on Christmas break and sleeping in!

They keep yelling at me from upstairs that I am missing the Cowboy game, so I had better get up there. We are going to turn Collin into a Cowboys fan yet :)

Merry CHRISTmas!

-Kristin

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Oh, Christmas Tree...

I simply love this time of year. I am 2/3 the way done with my Christmas shopping and am totally in the Christmas spirit. I just wish the weather would cooperate and stay cold for more than 5 consecutive days!

We put our Christmas tree up last weekend. Little Ace didn't know what to think with this being his first Christmas. He's been into EVERYTHING. There have been a few times that we've heard him (we'll hear a crash/boom/bang from another room) or seen him try to jump up in the tree and it's hilarious. Today I actually saw him jump on the windowsill (our tree is in front of a window) and try to jump higher up into the tree from the elevated height. It didn't work too well for him but it was funny to watch. We've been totally expecting to come home one evening and find broken ornaments on the floor, but it hasn't happened yet. What a good little kitty!

Hope everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit! Only 23 days until Christmas!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Recap

We had a great Thanksgiving this year. We spent it in Houston, at Collin’s grandparents. It was a great time of food and fellowship. Collin’s Papaw from San Angelo was in town and it was the first time we had seen him since June’s funeral in August, so it was great to see him. It was also the first time we had seen Collin’s Aunt Cathy in quite a while, whom we love very much, so it was great to spend time with her.

I have been reflecting over the past few days how much we truly have to be thankful for. I am thankful first and foremost that I serve a sovereign God who loves me and desperately seeks to spend time with me everyday. I am thankful that He sent His Son to die on a cross for my sins despite my ugly heart and sinful nature. I am thankful for my husband, who consistently shows me unconditional love and who God uses to make me a better person. I am thankful for my parents - who are selfless, compassionate, wise, stern, complete goofballs, and love Jesus very much…everything I could have ever ask for in parents. I am thankful for my in-laws, who are also complete goofballs and love Jesus very much. You hear horror stories of people’s in-laws and what terrible relationships they have. I love my in-laws! I am so blessed to have married into such a wonderful family who I truly enjoy being around. I am thankful that I have a nice place to come home to and a dependable car to drive. I am never in need of anything that I don’t have. I am thankful that Collin and I have good jobs. I am thankful that we get to be “pet parents” to sweet Acer. I am thankful for good friends who make life so much richer. And last but not least, I am thankful for good health. That one has seemed to really hit home this year. Last December, one of my oldest and dearest friends in the world, Kristin Craig Holland, was diagnosed with Stage 2 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She was 25 and it was shocking. Thankfully, she made it through treatment and is now cancer-free (praise Jesus!!!). When you’re in your mid twenties you don’t usually worry too much about getting cancer. It was a scary reality when it happened to someone that I am so close to. Since then, I have known three other people in their mid twenties that have been diagnosed with one form of cancer or another (2 of those people are now cancer free and one is battling for his life with Stage 4 Small Cell Cancer of the Rectum – please pray for him and his family…his name is Jake and he’s 24 years old). With all of that said, this year I am very thankful for good health for us and those dear to us. God has been so good to us!

On Friday morning, Collin and I woke up at 4:15 AM (after 4 hours of sleep) to go to Circuit City to stand in line to get a good price on the video camera that we had our eye on. When we arrived, the line to get in was almost all the way around the store so we stood outside for about 20 minutes in the VERY cold weather (which we were not appropriately dressed for since we weren’t expecting to have to wait outside…we haven’t braved black Friday in a while, we forgot what it’s like). Once inside, we were told 3 different lines to stand in (there were about 6 in different spots all around the store). We finally picked one and stood in line there for 2 hours before we could check out. It was madness. We got our camcorder, though! Merry Christmas to us! We also got some other things that seemed to be too good of a deal to pass up. After that we went to I-Hop and then went home and went back to bed!

Hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving and is now getting in the Christmas spirit. Less than 1 month until Christmas!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Acer!


Our little Ace is 1 year old today! He had some nice tuna for lunch which he thoroughly enjoyed. Collin tried to buy him some anchovies fillets but Ace wasn't a big fan of that. Here is Ace after he ate his "tuna cake"(this is his satisfied look and position):

I made sugar cookies today (any excuse for cookies, right?!) in honor of our little baby's birthday (the one at the top of the picture is a number 1 - it's kind of hard to tell with the number cookie cutters!).

You're probably thinking that it's ridiculous to celebrate an animals birthday, but until we populate the earth with human babies, Ace is our baby :) I will update soon about our Thanksgiving. We are still trying to recuperate from all the food! Hope everyone has had a great weekend!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Reminiscing

I was driving over by HBU today and it brought back so many memories from my college days. The campus looks different now but just driving by it filled my mind with sweet memories. Sometimes, in the midst of a crazy week, I miss those days. I miss the late nights of hanging out with my friends without worrying about being at work the next morning. The sporting events, the formals, and the endless slumber parties with my girlfriends. I miss it. I miss that so many of my friends were in one place. It’s sad how after college these people that you were so close to seem to scatter all over. It’s fun to see where God has them now and all of the things that are going on in their lives. But I miss seeing them all the time. I miss sharing clothes with 3 other girls. I miss all the inside jokes and the countless nights of eating junk food without gaining any weight (the older I get the more I notice the pounds mysteriously sneaking on!). I guess if our entire lives were one giant college experience then we wouldn’t appreciate it while we’re there.

I am so thankful that I went off to college. I learned so much, not only academically, but about myself as a person. I met the love of my life in college. Collin and I had such a fun time getting to know one another. We would sit and talk for hours about missions and about our salvation experiences. About our childhood and about where we thought we would be in 10 years. We fell in love in college. What a precious time it was. And don’t get me wrong, I love where we are now. I wouldn’t trade this time for anything. I LOVE being Collin’s wife – it’s my favorite thing! But sometimes, I miss those irresponsible college days. And I am very thankful that Collin and I both had a "college experience".

Monday, November 12, 2007

Our Bodies are a Temple – Let’s Get Healthy!

One of the days that I was at home still recuperating from surgery (I am SO much better, by the way), I was flipping channels and stopped on Oprah. She had Dr. Oz (a doctor that frequently appears on her show) on and he was talking about ways to reverse the aging process. There was so much good information that I thought I would write it down and share it. So, here it is:

THINGS TO DO IN YOUR HOUSE:

Take your shoes off at the front door to avoid tracking in pesticides and lawn chemicals that can get trapped in your carpet.

Never microwave your food in plastic containers. The plasticizers leak out and get into your food.

Lots of cleaning chemicals are toxic. You can use baking soda to clean your sinks and bathtubs and white vinegar to clean your windows. They also have a lot of “green” chemicals out on the market now that are safe and much healthier for you, your family, and for the environment. If a chemical says, “If it touches your skin, call a doctor immediately”, that’s probably not something you should be using.

After you pick up your dry cleaning, let it out of the bag (throw the bag away) and allow it to air out for 1 day before you wear it. It let’s the toxic chemicals out before you put it on your body.

Get a humidifier for damp spaces (such as garages if you live where it’s humid) because it cuts down on mold.

If you store old paints/varnishes in your garage, make sure it’s a well-ventilated area and as far away from the living area as possible.

Open your doors and windows and let your home air out every once in a while.

NASA has determined that the following plants do the best job of exchanging oxygen and removing materials that we don’t want from the air:

(WARNING – I am probably going to butcher these spellings, so please don’t laugh!)

o Spider Plants
o Golden Puddo’s
o Philindrums


Some of these are things that I already knew and some aren’t, but I thought it was all useful information. Dr. Oz talked a lot about exercising, and learning how to de-stress. He said that stress is the #1 ager. He also said that doing yoga was a good way to de-stress. That used to be something that I did but I haven’t in a long while so I am trying to get back into it. He talked about osteoporosis and showed an actual spine of someone who had it and then the spine of someone who didn’t (he brought in spines of dead people). There was a HUGE difference. The spine of the person with osteoporosis broke VERY easily in Oprah’s hand. Gross! This hit me hard because osteoporosis runs in my family. Dr. Oz said that one of the best things to do to fight this is to lift weights. I was great about this before our wedding, but since then I have been really bad about it. So, I am also starting to get back into this.

Dr. Oz talked a lot about eating healthy and being very continuous about what we put into our bodies. He had all of these nuts and weird fruits from foreign countries that no one had ever heard of. I didn’t write any of that down because I don’t plan to become fanatical about this. But, he did make this smoothie (it’s really not a smoothie although I prefer to think of it as a smoothie – somehow it makes me think that it will taste better) with normal ingredients that I am planning on trying. He says that these things combined are so good for you and he drinks this for breakfast several days a week. Oprah said it actually didn’t taste that bad – she called it freshness in a glass. I am planning on trying it soon.

Freshness in a Glass
4 stalks celery
1 cucumber
1 cup spinach
1 apple
1 lemon
1 lime
½ inch piece of ginger

Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. We borrowed Collin’s parents’ juicer so I am planning on making it in that one night this week. I’ll let you know how it turns out!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Surgery Update

I've been meaning to update this before now, but frankly it's been a little awkward sitting in the computer chair for too long so I have avoided the whole scenario. The surgery went well last Friday and the doctor was able to stitch me up (praise God). They shot me full of local anesthesia and gave me a couple of vicadin (is that how you spell that?) before I left the hospital so I wasn't feeling much until later on that evening. They gave me 2 prescriptions for some GREAT pain pills that I am still using when necessary. Being uncomfortable has been my only real challenge. I can't lay or sit down comfortably. My back and shoulders are so sore from all of the uncomfortable positions that I have had to put myself in lately. Last night, Collin said "When this is all over and you're back to normal, I think you should get a professional massage." I was so happy I started crying!

My mom was here last weekend - she left on Sunday to go back to Fort Worth. Both Collin and I were SO glad that she was here and were sad to see her go. She cooked, cleaned, went grocery shopping and was just all around AMAZING. She even bought me food for some recipes that I can make in the crock-pot easily on my own over the next week. She bought this thing to help me get in and out of the bathtub (since I am required to sit in the bathtub and soak multiple times daily) and it's been so cool! It's like a rail that hooks onto the side of the tub which sticks up and you grab it to help you stabilize yourself. It's metal and really strong. Collin also bought me a really nice bath pillow and the softest tub mat that he could find. We laugh that our bathtub looks like an old person's bathtub, but who cares!

I've also had trouble not being able to do stuff. Since I work full-time, I originally thought that this would be a great time to get some stuff done around the house. When the doc said that I definitely needed to take this entire week off work, in the back of my mind I was thinking, "Hmmm, I can rearrange the pantry and organize our closet and get so many things done that I have been meaning to do and haven't had time..." Yeah, that hasn't happened. I can't even feed Ace because I can't bend over! I feel helpless. Collin is constantly getting onto me for doing more than I should, but it's not in my nature just to sit around and not do anything. That part of this whole situation has been a little hard. And I have bad cabin fever. I had a couple of things planned this weekend that I am REALLY hoping that I'm able to do, but we'll see if I'm up to it.

I finished the book "The Five Love Languages" and I loved it! I am pushing for Collin to read it once he finishes what he's reading now. I have also found that I LOVE sudoku. I had never done it until a few weeks ago and now I am addicted. Collin went and bought me a sudoku book last weekend and I am already 1/3 of the way through with it!

My fabulous mother-in-law took me to the doctor today because the pain has been actually getting worse over the last few days. The doctor put me on a different antibiotic and increased the times and duration that I have to soak in the bathtub (that I originally thought might be kind of nice but is getting old quite fast). Hopefully that will help heal me faster!

I am hoping to at least get to work half a day on Monday but at this point I don't know if I will be able to. I cannot drive so we will have to coordinate how I will get to work and get home. My office is being fairly flexible so that's a blessing. I have received some beautiful flower arrangements, sweet get well cards, dinners that friends have brought over, and lots of calls that I am very thankful for! I am so blessed to have great family and supportive friends :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Self-Proclaimed Weenie + Surgery = Anxiety

Let me preface this topic by saying that I am a weenie. I get nervous to have my blood taken. I get weak in the knees and a little faint at the sight of needles. I have to cover my eyes on every hospital related show on TV when they show the blood and guts or I will gag. I am a HUGE chicken and am freaked out easily. I could NEVER be a nurse. I have come to grips with this. I say all of this to make an impact on the paragraphs below.

This Friday morning , I (Kristin) will be having a pilonidal cystectomy. I probably butchered the spelling of that. Basically, they are going in and cutting on my tailbone. It it outpatient surgery - the doc thinks it will take an hour or so. I've had this cyst for a few years now and knew that surgery was imminent. It's non-cancerous and holds no harm to my overall health other than the fact that it's painful and periodically gets infected. The doc is worried that I'll get pregnant over the course of the upcoming years and he says that being pregnant with this would be very bad. And ultimately everyone who has this must have it removed anyhow, so he says there's no time like the present. So, we're doing it.

When I went to see Dr. Matzelle, my surgeon, yesterday about it (only because it's hurting) I was totally not expecting to be having surgery this week. Collin and I both are a little surprised by it. But I think that the Lord did this on purpose...this doesn't allow me much time to worry!!

Pilonidal cysts hurt and are annoying at times and I am glad to be having it cut out. I am not however glad to be having surgery. I don't like hospitals or the smell of surgical gloves and I definitely do not like to be "put under". Everything about anesthesia makes me nervous. I always have a fear that I won't come out of it. I asked my surgeon if he could just deaden the area and he looked at me with a sweet smile and said, "You want to be put under for this." So, I am taking his word for it. Apparantly they have to cut pretty deep so I'm sure I will be very glad to have been out for the procedure. He says the recovery could be anywhere from 10 days to 1 month, so we'll see how it goes. We are praying for 10 days (or less), of course.

When Dr. Matzelle was doing my "pre-op" check up, he found a lump on my tongue that he insisted that I have checked out before we do the surgery. I was more nervous about that than about the surgery itself. I had an appointment with an ENT this morning who said that everything was fine and that the lump is a taste bud. Who knew! So if you ever find a lump on your tongue and determine in your mind that you have tongue cancer, relax and see a doctor because it could be a taste bud.

My dad actually had a pilonidal cyst removed about 20 years ago. His was a lot worse than mine and his recovery was more extensive. So, it makes me feel better to have him to talk me through this.

If you read this before Friday, October 26th, at 7:00 AM, you can say a prayer for me. I am trying to be brave and not act like a weenie. My mom is driving in on Thursday night and my mother-in-law will be at the hospital with Collin and my mom. Thanks in advance for the prayers. This weenie appreciates them :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dave Ramsey is my hero

Shortly after we married, I read Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover. Basically, it's a book about how to get out of debt and work your way to financial freedom. He speaks truth about the awful slippery slope that debt is and gives you realistic and applicable ways to get out of debt. I loved the book. If you haven't read it, read it. It can change your life. Dave Ramsey is a Christian and he has some really cool insights.

Our goal is to have no credit cards. I wrote a check yesterday to pay off credit card #2, which means we only have credit card #1 remaining. 1. That's it. It's a glorious number - 1. I feel more financially free already :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Book Recommendation


I started reading The Five Love Languages in college. I remember liking it, but I got busy and never finished it. It was one of my rommates books and when she got married and moved out, she took her book with her. So, last year Collin bought me the book for Christmas. It sat in our book shelf for almost a year before I picked it up. Isn't that sad?! Anyway- I have started reading it and I love it! It's so applicable and so so good. It offers such insight into how to love people better and I am getting so much out of it.

The five love languages are:

Words of Affirmation
Quality Time
Gifts
Acts of Service
Physical Touch

It is especially applicable in my marriage, obviously, but that's not all. God is opening my eyes to all the ways that I should be expressing love and I am overwhelmed by the things that I sometimes do that might be hurtful to people without ever meaning to! Anyway, all that to say that the book is great and you should read it if you haven't. I've heard a rumor that there's a test in the back of the book to see what type of love language is your primary love language. I haven't peeked to see if it's true yet, but if it is I will be very excited! I think I already know what I am and what Collin is, so we'll see if I'm right!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Construction Over - Praise Jesus!

As everyone in Texas knows, Houston is notorious for traffic (and terrible mean drivers that sue you if THEY hit YOU, but that's neither here nor there). We deal constantly with construction and backed up freeways. It's a way of life. I am used to the fact that it takes me 25 minutes to drive the 5 miles to my office. It takes Collin 1 hour to drive the 18 miles to his office. You get the picture. They have been doing construction on an intersection very near to our home for the last 2 years. We had gotten used to it. We drove around it, always talking about how glorious it will be someday when they finish it and it only takes us 10 minutes to get to the freeway. Then we would joke about how we'll probably move before that happens and will never get to use this fabulous new ramp that goes up over Hwy 90. WRONG. As we were driving down Hwy 6 on Friday night at about 10:00, we notice that we're approaching the new ramp they have been working on for what seems like an eternity. It's not making us get off. All of a sudden, we realize that our car is tilted upwards and that we are on the ramp! We are driving up over 90. There was no traffic. We were sailing along at the posted speed limit, maybe even a little over, but hey- we were excited. We squealed with giddiness - well, I squealed. Collin just laughed and smiled. It took us like 6 minutes to get to 59. This is HUGE. It made my whole weekend. I know that sounds sad and maybe you are thinking that I need to get out more, and maybe that's true, but regardless, this is exciting. I am almost excited to see how long it takes me to get to work in the morning. OK, maybe not that excited...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

'The Office' Season Premiere is TONIGHT!!!

We are so excited about this! There are 3 shows that we watch and get really excited about. LOST, 24, and THE OFFICE (I also watch and get excited about Law & Order SVU, but as long as it's DVR'ed I'm not as obsessive about it). Since LOST and 24 don't start until 2008, THE OFFICE season premiere is the only one that we can get excited about right now. And I think that we would be most excited about it anyway. It's the only one out of the 3 that's a comedy and we love to laugh! The other 2 are so intense that I feel like I could pass out by the time they're over (especially 24)!!

Have you seen this show? It's FABULOUS. You will laugh until you cry or pee on yourself...or both. It's witty and wonderfully written...the actors are amazing. You NEED to watch this show. We own all 3 seasons on DVD if anyone wants to borrow them. It's one of those shows that you can watch the re-reuns over and over and over and still laugh. THE OFFICE Season's 1-3 are by far the most watched DVD's in our home. We find new things that we didn't pick up on the first time we watched it. We simply love this show.

Like any good girl, I am especially excited about what's going on between Jim and Pam. They have had a love connection ever since the beginning of the show and there has always been some obstacle keeping them from being together. Well, last season ended with Jim asking Pam out on a date! So, I'm VERY excited to see what's going on with that. And excited to see the drama between Jim and his now obviously ex-girlfriend Karen, who works in the office as well. No sitcom is complete without a complicated love triangle, right?!

We have been looking forward to the Season Premiere all summer long. And tonight's the night! I even put a stew in the slow cooker this morning so that I wouldn't have to worry about making dinner when I get home from work! So, don't call us from 8-9 PM tonight - if you do, be prepared to leave a message :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Thank You Jesus for iced-tea

Collin and I both grew up in Texas, drinking iced-tea with virtually every meal. So, needless to say, we have become adults that drink iced-tea at almost every meal. About a month ago our ice maker went out. It's hard to make iced-tea without ice. So, for about 3 weeks we were without tea. Some of Collin's family had mercy on us and brought us tea a couple of different nights, which was glorious, but we were so thirsty for tea that it didn't last long. It's easy to take something like tea for granted, especially if you grew up with it your whole life.

Last week, a sweet man sent straight from Heaven came and fixed our ice machine. I cannot tell you how much iced-tea we have drank in the last 5 days. I have been so tea deprived that I drink it with breakfast. I can't seem to get enough. Collin will walk in the door from work in the evening and say, "I'm gonna make some tea!" Some nights we make 2 pitchers- just for the 2 of us. And it's gone before we go to bed.
Thank You Jesus for iced-tea. And thank you for Mr. Coffee iced-tea makers that make it easier on working women. We will never take the precious gift of iced-tea for granted again :)

P.S. We drink de-caf, in case anyone was worried about us bouncing off the walls from all the caffeine!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I LOVE Fall


It is officially my favorite season- fall. I got my fall stuff out this afternoon. I love decorating for fall. All the weird shaped gourds and leaves...it's my favorite. I adore this time of year. Although the temperatures in Houston, and really most of Texas as a whole, don't drop much below seventy degrees, I still love it. I love the idea of leaves changing colors and crisp fall mornings. I love the smells of fall and drinking apple cider (with red hots in it because that's the best) while wearing sweats. And although I might have to have the air conditioner pumping full blast to be able to do that without dying of a heat stroke, that's what I'll do. Because I love it that much.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Advanced Apology

As some of you know, I dropped my phone and broke it about 2 weeks ago. It managed to crack in just the right spot so that my flip phone would no longer flip. Well, it would flip but then the top part would come unconnected from the bottom part and the phone was no longer functional. It was not pretty. For a week I drove around talking to people on the speakerphone in my car, holding the phone together in pieces with one hand while driving with the other. By the time I got out of the car, I felt like I had carpal tunnel in my right thumb from putting so much pressure on the phone to hold it together. It was not a good scenario. (As a side note, isn't it so sad how dependant we've become on technology?)

We have a "connection" with someone at a phone company and got a great deal on a blackberry pearl. I normally would not need a phone like this- I am not a high-powered business person (nor do I have the desire to be) who needs to have a phone that can send email or download excel documents. But, as I said, we got a good deal. And the phone is red. I am a lover of just about anything red. It's my favorite color. And it has a pretty good camera. And it also has a game on it that I really enjoy, thanks to Collin who found that for me last night.

Anyway, I just got the phone working yesterday, so it's still brand new. I am just warning you right now- if I hang up on you, don't text message you back, or call you at 6:00 AM because I'm trying to turn off my alarm and somehow dial your number, I am sorry. It's nothing personal. I am just a total newbie with new technology. I used to know what I was doing with gadgets. It seems like at the age of about 23, all of my common sense where technology is concerned went out the window. I seem to know nothing about anything that's out there now. I feel like I should take one of those classes for senior adults on how to use their computers. Except mine would be in all things i-pod and blackerry! Ha- hope everyone's having a good week.

-Kristin

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Cheap Clothes and Cat Hiccups


This weekend was one of those great relaxing weekends for us. We went to eat at our favorite Mexican restuarant for lunch yesterday, went to the movies, went to Rice Village, went to get some ice cream at Cold Stone, and then stopped at the Old Navy Outlet in Stafford before heading home. They were having this HUGE blowout sale. It was a bargain hunters paradise. Everything in the store was 50% off- EVERYTHING. This is on top of the already fairly low prices because it is an outlet store. Collin got several t-shirts for $4.50 a piece. I was so excited. We spent just under $120 and got what you see in the above picture (don't judge me- our bed's not made!). It may not look like a lot- but trust me, it's quite a bit. Definitely a lot more than you would get for $120 just about anywhere else. I was so happy with us, being such savvy shoppers, that I laid everything out on the bed to see it! So, if you live in the Sugar Land/Stafford area, head over to the Old Navy Outlet in the Fountain's. They are turning the store into a regular Old Navy (I'm SO sad...I should start a petition) at the end of this month, so the sale only lasts until the stuff is gone. Hurry- it's a great deal!

I didn't know this, but cats can get hiccups. The other night, I was sitting at the computer and Ace, who always wants to be near one of us (he is a dog in a cat's body I sware...the cat LOVES people), was sitting on top of the computer desk. He's laying there sleeping and I am typing away on the keyboard. All of a sudden, I see his body convulse. I immediately look at him. His eyes are now open, but he's still laying there completely motionless. I assumed he was dreaming and just jumped or something, so I go back to my typing. About 30 seconds later, he does it again. I look at him again, this time determined to watch him for the next minute to see what's going on. Sure enough, about a minute later I see his entire little cat body convulse and I knew instantly that he had the hiccups. I was amazed. I called Collin over and we both just starred at Ace in awe. I don't know why we were so shocked that cats can get hiccpus. Humans get them frequently and we think nothing of it. But for some reason, to see Ace with a case of the hiccups was mind boggling. Did anyone else know that cats did this? I had 2 cats growing up and I don't remember them doing this. I think we just got a special cat. That's what I'll choose to believe anyhow :)
-Kristin

Friday, August 31, 2007

Collin aka "The Sports Maniac"

For anyone who doesn't know Collin very well, let me tell you that the man loves sports. He loves watching sports on TV, talking about sports, but most of all, he loves playing sports. He plays fantasy football every fall and fantasy baseball every spring (right now he's in 4th place and is a shoe-in for playoff's!). He's the type of guy that cannot lay around the house on a pretty day- he HAS to be outside, running around, throwing and catching, and sweating. I love that he's active and I love that he's a guy's guy.

What I don't love, however, is when he gets home at midnight from a soccer game after he fell on his head (ON HIS HEAD) during the game and goes to bed, while I am already asleep, completely oblivious to the fact that my husband could have a concussion and is climbing into our bed for the night. Well, this is exactly what happened on Tuesday night. When we awoke the next morning (yes, he awoke...don't worry!), he told me what happened and then proceeds to tell me that he has a pretty bad headache. When he gets out of bed, it only gets worse. Being the caring, loving wife that I am (and paranoid and over-protective), I urged him to go into work late and at least call the doctor, and thanks to some encouragement from my oh-so-wonderful-mom-in-law, he obliged. He told our doctor what happened and she worked him in that afternoon, saying that he needed to come in. Well, the visit itself went well and the doc ordered a CT scan. He went and had that done that day and it turns out, he had a concussion. There was no bleeding, praise Jesus!, but there was definite bruising and it confirmed my suspicions all along. So, maybe I am paranoid (who am I kidding? I'm totally paranoid), but I am right (or at least this time) and feel a little more justified in my paranoia.

Under doctor's orders, Collin stayed home from work yesterday and is back today, feeling almost back to normal. He still has a slight headache, but the worst of it seems to be over. Praise the Lord that He watches over the ignorant and that everything worked out. I don't know if it's really fact that you shouldn't go to sleep right after the onset of a concussion, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Jody, if you read this, ask Victoria if that's true or not. I would be interested to know.

Knowing Collin, he'll be back out there in his soccer jersey at his next game in several days. As much as I would love to make him stay home where I can be sure he's safe, I don't want that for him because that's just not him. He would HATE it. And I would too because he would be unhappy. It gives me a TINY glimpse into how God must feel- wanting to protect us, His children, from all of the harmful and hurtful things in the world, but choosing not to out of love because we have to learn on our own and make our own mistakes. Wow- what a hard, loving choice!

Thanks to everyone that called to check up on Collin. We love you!

-Kristin

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Deposition

Most of you know that we are in the middle of a law suit. Collin was served papers back in April and it feels like we've been on a rollercoaster since then. For anyone who happens to stumble across our blog and doesn't know the story, here's the short version. It was a beautiful Friday morning in May of 2006. Collin was driving to work at approximately 8:00 AM (rush hour) and was hit from behind on Hwy 59 while trying to merge onto Loop 610. For anyone who knows Houston traffic, you know this is a horrible area and is notorious for backing up a LONG ways in the mornings. Collin had put on his blinker and slowed down to try and merge onto 610. There was a BMW behind him who saw him slow down and slowed down as well. There was an F150 truck behing the BMW pulling a tractor-trailer who rammed into the BWM, who in turn hit Collin. The man in the BMW is suing Collin and the guy driving the F150 for compensation of "lifelong physical and mental damages" (even though he was walking around the site of the accident fine - gag me).

We have a lawyer who seems highly competent and extremely optomistic about the case. The first thing he said to Collin when we met with him was, "For the life of me, I can't figure out why the h*** you're being sued!" That helped to put our minds at ease a bit. Everyone that we've talked to says that this is ridiculous and that we won't have to pay anything out of pocket. Obviously, that's our biggest concern. The insurance companies went through arbitration to determine who was responsible for paying for damages to the BMW and the guy in the F150 was found 100% liable. Praise Jesus! Unfortunately, that has no bearing on our lawsuit since it was only for damages to the vehicle.

We recently received papers stating that if the case goes to trial, the trial will be around May 12, 2008 and that we shouldn't make plans to go out of town around that time period (I feel like a criminal who has been told not to flee the country!). We are hoping that it doesn't go to trial and our lawyer seems to think that it will settle out of court, but there's always that chance. They're preparing for it like we're going to trial and we keep getting things in the mail stating that fact...it's weird!

Collin is giving his oral deposition today (he's already done his written one) at 1:00 PM. If you happen to read this before then, please pray for him. It's a little nerve-racking.

Obviously, we are freaked out but are trying not to think about it too much. Our lawyer has told us to live life like normal and told Collin, "Tell your wife to calm down and not to lose any sleep." Ha! So, that's what we've tried to do. But, that doesn't take away from the fact that we're a little scared and in need of prayer. So, please be praying! Our lawyer's name is Neil Levin - you can pray for him, too. Pray for all the people invloved (the plaintiff's name is Benjamin and the other defendant's name is William) and that Collin and I will react to this situation in a way that brings glory and honor to the Lord. Pray that we won't have to pay anything out of pocket! And pray that we learn whatever lesson God is trying to teach us through this so that we never have to learn this lesson again!!!

-Kristin

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My husband rocks...


For those of you that know Collin, you know that the title of this blog is so true. I have noticed just over the past year how much he has really grown. Since we recently celebrated his 25th birthday (side note on this topic below), I have been thinking about many of the qualities that make me so lucky to be his wife. So, below are several of the billion reasons why I love Collin so much!

1. He NEVER complains no matter the circumstance. Since we have been married over the past 1.5 years, and even in the 3 years that we were together prior to marriage, I cannot think of 1 time that he has said anything to me resembling a complaint. It's not like he is so lucky that nothing bad ever happens- we've had our share of crappy things -but he is so positive. Sure he will tell me what's going on and express his sadness, hurt, or disappointment to me, but he does not take on the attitude of "why is this happening to me?" He recognizes that despite our trials, God has blessed us tremendously and he chooses to focus on that. I LOVE this about him! I have a tendency to do the opposite, so it's refreshing that I have him to balance me out!

2. He is so stinkin' much fun! He is one of the only people that I can count on to consistently make me burst out into laughter and I adore him for that. He is so random and silly...we have a blast acting like complete goobers alone in our apartment. It usually takes me a while to get comfortable with people and many people don't see that side of me, but it's definitely there, and I am so glad that God gave me someone with a sense of goofiness and that we can be silly together!

3. He is very humble. In a world that teaches young men to be arrogant, gloatful (is that a word?), competitive, and conceited, Collin will be the last one to brag on himself. He is successful at work, is way smarter than he takes credit for, I could write 500 words on all the things that he is good at and doesn't give himself credit for, but I won't. Just know that he is humble. What an attractive quality!

4. He is slow to anger. This is a big one. This is one that I struggle with (yes, you can pray for me- I need it). I can get a little hot-headed at times and he is always there with calm words and a sweet spirit. When we first got married this would frustrate the crud out of me. I wanted him to get mad, to be angry at people or situations, or to at least understand my anger and brew over it with me. But God has since opened my eyes (thank goodness!) and shown me that I am the one who's thinking is off. I am slowly learning that lesson. But more than anything, I am thankful that I have a husband with this quality and that God is using him to grow me.

5. He is a very hard worker. This is such an attractive quality. When we were still dating, he worked construction and several other manual labor type jobs while going to school full-time so that he could afford to buy my engagement ring. I won't go into all the in's and out's of how hard he worked, but trust me, it was awful. I love knowing that he pours his heart and soul into what he does. I love knowing that he isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. He has an office job now and thankfully doesn't have to work manual labor, but I love knowing that he will always do whatever he has to in order to take care of me and someday, our children.

6. He has a considerate heart. This is not a quality that most men possess, but Collin's considerate nature is one of the things that caught my attention before we even started dating. I watched how considerate he was with his friends and his family and it totally drew me in! This is one of the many qualities that I prayed for in a husband. I am so attracted to that beautiful heart of his that is always concerned for others.

7. He loves Jesus. I am so thankful that God allowed Collin to be raised in the Christian home that he was raised in. I am thankful to Aunt Cathy, who God used to lead Collin to Christ in Glorietta, New Mexico when he was a child. I am thankful that God has revealed himself to Collin and in turn that Collin has a true picture of Jesus. I am thankful that the Lord placed people in Collin's life that have loved him with agape love. I am thankful that Collin grew up in church and that he has a strong foundation in Biblical principles. I am thankful that Collin applies those principles to his life. I am most thankful that Collin loves and fears the Lord. It governs everything that he does. This fact was evident when I got to know Collin over 4 years ago. It is what attracted, and ultimately captured, my heart. And he in turn loves me so much better because of it.

So, with that said, my husband rocks! He will probably be embarrassed that I even posted this, but I just wanted to brag on him a bit. And I want to brag on God a bit- for being so infinitely wise and just stinkin' cool for placing me with a spouse that challenges and encourages me to grow and that compliments me so well.

About Collin's birthday- he turned 25 on August 18th. We were really excited for this milestone since you always hear that your insurance goes WAY down when you turn 25 (if you're a male, that is). So, I excitedly called our insurance lady a couple of weeks ago only to learn that it doesn't go down all that much. It goes down some, don't get me wrong, but it's not the per month savings that I was hoping for. Oh-well. On a more positive note, we went to Perry's Steakhouse to celebrate Collin's 25th birthday and it was oh-so-good. I had a pork chop that was the size of my head. OK- not really that big, but it was by far the biggest pork chop that I have ever seen. Not to mention that it had been marinating for 6 days and that the meat literally was falling off the bone. If you're going to Perry's Steakhouse anytime soon, I highly recommend it.

Other than that, things with us are good. They asked me to start working 8:30-5:30 daily instead of getting off at 4:00 PM. I started that new schedule this week. It's been a transition and I miss the old schedule, but I keep telling myself that it's only for a season. Thankfully I read The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey a while back, so I am trying to look at this as an opportunity to make more money and not as another 1.5 hours a day at a job that I don't really like! Thanks Dave Ramsey!
Oh, and don't you just love Collin's work pic at the top of this blog! He is going to kill me for posting it, but I think it's cute :)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You...

Well, maybe! The lease on our current apartment is up the end of this month and after debating what to do (get a house now or wait), we have decided to extend our lease another 7 months. Which means, that come March 2008, we will (hopefully) be moving into a HOUSE! This was a hard decision because we are basically throwing money away living in an apartment, but we are trying to get out of debt first (thanks to Dave Ramsey and his Christ-like teachings about finance), so we will stick it out in our 872 square foot apartment for a while longer! It's still a little early to be looking at houses (since everything that we find now most likely won't be available when we're ready to move), so we are "in the market for neighborhoods", as Collin says. We are planning on staying in the greater Houston area to be near Collin's job and we have a few areas in mind. We have several neighborhoods that we really like but we are trying to stay away from certain freeways (mainly 290 and I-10), so that cuts down our options. The most realsitic possibilities now seem to be Pearland, Katy (Cinco Ranch), and Sugar Land. It will be an interesting few months to see how everything plays out and how God reveals to us the neighborhood and house that He desires for us. We are really excited about this, but the thought of being homeowners is a little scary at the same time!!! If anyone knows of any great deals on buying or building or has any advice for us, we would greatly appreciate it since we are both total newbies at this! We covet your prayers over the upcoming months and we'll keep you updated once the real fun begins!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Reflection and Rejoicing

Hi everyone! Collin here, giving you up to the minute reports on what's going on in our lives (not really up to the minute...but close enough). Well, it has officiallly been one week since my wonderful grandmother June passed away. I have been very fortunate in my life to have lived 25 years and, up until last week, still have all 4 of my grandparents. I know that is a rare thing, and I feel so blessed. I have heard many people say that nothing can prepare you for losing a grandparent, and boy were they right. In this particular situation we knew it was going to happen and I really thought I was prepared, but there is no way you can prepare enough for actually getting the call. The tears I have shed over the past week are a reminder of two things: one is that I, as a human, am selfish for wanting grandmother to still be here; the other is that my grandmother is no longer in any pain and is experiencing the awesome presence of our Heavenly Father.

The funeral was done very nicely by my great-unlce H.A.(one of June's brothers), and a dear friend of the family Russ Gibbs. There were so many beautiful flowers and June looked absolutely gorgeous. Over time, when I have thought about my grandmother, I can always remember certain things: like how she always had candy or gum to give me in church or how when we would go visit them she was always calling everyone she knew that had kids my age to see if I could come over to play. I remember on many occasions her asking "Collin, did you get enough to eat?" I would respond "Yes ma'am, I am so full", and she would reply "Let me make you some more eggs". She was always making sure everyone was taken care of. And while some of these things were mentioned at her funeral, there were many things about her that I learned that day. Like how she used to be a volleyball player - I'll bet she was great at that. I have always known what an amazing Christian lady she was, but I had no idea of some of the things she said to people and did for people with such a servant heart. It was really great to see her through other people's eyes. I also learned that almost all her life she was sick in one way or another, but you would have never known it when you were around her. She was so tough. As I was looking around her kitchen while we were there, I saw a small wooden sign hanging in the corner with writing on it. It said "When you reach the end of your rope.....tie a knot and hang on". She must have coined that phrase.

We are so grateful for all of the support and prayers from family and friends. Thank you for the cards and flowers/plants. We appreciate it so much!

We love you and we will miss you, Grandmother. You left a great legacy...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Today's a sad day...

It's only been a few days since my last post, but it has seemed like a lifetime. We have felt like hermits lately, leaving the house only a few times so that we can be home and near a phone to get "the call". Everytime the phone would ring both Collin and I would just about jump out of our skin. Sweet June, to everyone's surprise, made it through the weekend. We thought surely that we would get a call yesterday, but we didn't. At work this morning my boss told me a story of his wife's aunt- they called and said that she didn't have a week to live and she ended up lasting almost a month. We had started thinking that June might linger on for a few days more. Hospice kept us updated with small signs that the end could be coming, but the ultimate truth is that no one really knows. We got the call late this morning that she is now with the Lord. They estimate that she went home at about 10:46 AM.

We were so baffled that June held on for as long as she did. Obviously, God had a reason and I know personally, it was a sweet reminder that we really are not in control of our lives. As humans, we so often think that we are in control. Let us never forget that the good Lord is the author of life and death and that nothing is truly in our control. As my parents pastor, Dr. Al Meredith, always says, "If you want to make God laugh, just tell Him your plans!"

It has been an emotional morning. We felt as "prepared" for the news as you can be, but it has hit us hard. We are sad to see her go- our hearts are heavy...she will be so missed. But more than anything, we are overwhelmed with relief. Collin and I talked about how we have images of her, gorgeous and glowing in beautiful robes, with a huge smile across her face, and FEELING GREAT. We imagine all the people that were there to greet her and love on her. We think about the beautiful reunion that she is having with Mama Nete and Herman Daddy (her parents) and so many others. I even had the thought last night...what if her and my grandma will become friends?! What a beautiful thought. And the most amazing thought- today is the day that June comes face to face with her Heavenly Father. I get chills just thinking about that. How awesome.
The funeral will be Friday morning at 10:00 AM. The plan now is that we will leave tomorrow. We will be getting a room in San Angelo at the retirement high rise that Collin's grandparents are members of, so we won't have to get a hotel. We still aren't sure what we'll do with Ace, but we'll figure it out. We will most likely be gone until Saturday, but we'll update when we can. Thank you so much for the phone calls and prayers. They are so greatly appreciated.

-Kristin

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bittersweet News

Well, it has been a sad 24 hours. As many of you know, we learned in May that Collin's grandmother, June Day, has stomach cancer. We have been praying for her, for Collin's Papaw, and for God's perfect timing to reign down in her final months. Her cancer is fairly aggressive and we knew she didn't have much longer. Yesterday morning we got the call that hospice doesn't think she'll make it through the weekend. Over the past several weeks she has become bed-ridden and can no longer eat anything and Thursday night she became unable to even take her medication. Hospice is usually fairly accurate at predicting things like this, so we feel fairly certain that she will go be with the Lord soon. This is a bittersweet revelation. We love her so much and are so sad to see her go. There are memories that we still wanted to create with her. Collin and I sat on the couch last night and talked about how we want her here for Connor's (Collin's little brother) high school graduation and wedding and how more than anything we want our unborn children to get to know her-- she truly is a remarkable woman. At the same time, the thought of her suffering is heart breaking. We want her to go be in the most beautiful place, where she will feel no pain and get to be in the presence of the Almighty. There's a part of me that's in awe of the fact that June will soon be face to face with our Heavenly Father!!! What an amazing thing. And what peace it brings us, her family, to know where she's going.

June is a very strong Christian lady and one of the sweetest people anyone will ever meet. She is selfless and compassionate and has many, many qualities of the Proverbs 31 woman. Last night, we got a phone call from Charlotte, Collin's mom, who said that Thursday evening some women from their church and neighborhood had been over to June's house to sit with her and to read scripture to her. Charlotte said that despite everything, June was laying in the bed reciting the scripture along with the women. What an amazing Godly woman...

We have been reading the book 90 Days in Heaven. It's a book written by a pastor in Alvin who says that he legally died and went to Heaven (he actually did legally die in a car accident and then came back to life 90 minutes later). It sounds weird, I know, but you should read it nonetheless. Regardless of whether you think this guy is a quack or you believe him, the way that he depicts Heaven is biblical and has really helped us in this time. He says that when he got to Heaven there was a HUGE crowd of people there to greet him. They were people that had been spiritual influences in his life--either they had touched him in some way or vise-versa. His "Heaven Welcoming Committee" if you will. He describes everyone's jubilance to see him and the overwhelming love and joy that he felt. He goes on to describe the glorious music and noises that he heard, the pearly gate that we so often hear talked about, etc. When I think about June and what a strong Christian lady she is, and how many lives have been influenced for the greater good because of her, I cannot help but think about her Heaven Welcoming Committee that is getting ready to greet her in this very moment. There will be so many people that will be overjoyed at the sight of her and it makes my heart smile to know that she will be welcomed in such a way and loved on SO MUCH! What indescribable peace we have as Christians knowing where our loved ones are going.

We have spent last night and will spend today getting ready to leave. We aren't sure exactly what the plans will be, but we are trying to get ready to go and then will just play it by ear. Collin technically gets 3 days off for bereavement so we're trying to time it right. We have already looked into hotels in San Angelo, we're trying to figure out what to do with Ace (we still aren't sure!), and now are just waiting for the call.

Even though we knew this was iminent, it's still such an emotional time. This is the first family death that Colln's experienced and it's a really difficult thing. It was 13 years ago this month that I lost my amazing grandmother and it brings back emotions from that experience for me, as well. We aren't sure what will happen in the next several days, but please keep our family in your prayers. Please pray specifically for Carrol, Collin's dad, and for Randy, Collin's uncle. This is their mother...I cannot imagine losing my mother. Thanks for the prayers- we will try to update when we can!

-Kristin

Monday, July 23, 2007

Baby Shower

My cousin's wife, Diana, is pregnant and due in early September. This is a big deal for my family because this will be the first baby on this side of the family since my cousin Jason was born (he turned 24 yesterday), so needless to say, we are excited. She is having a girl, who will be named Macy Lynn. My mom and I helped throw a shower for her on Saturday. I did the invitations and mom and I did a diaper cake together as the centerpiece. I was pleased with how the invitations came out and I was so proud of the diaper cake! You can't seem to get one of these online for less than $90, so I was proud that we made it ourselves and it turned out cute! I think it turned out cute, anyway...if you don't think so please don't tell me because I am quite proud of my masterpiece of diapers!


There was a small part of me that was quite nervous to go to this shower because I knew that I would get about 10 people asking me, "Well, when's it going to be your turn?" A question that every young, married, and child-less girl seems to get at any baby related function (or at any function, as the case may be). I purposefully wore a fitted shirt as to not give anyone the assumption that I could be expecting (I originally wanted to wear a "maternity looking" shirt but decided that would encourage the questions so I decided against it), but as luck would have it, I had several people ask me about babies. It's such an awkward question and I'm sure I stumbled up my answers pretty bad. Even though I was expecting it, I still had no idea what to say. "Ummm, yeah- I don't know. We're just enjoying life right now...we'll see what happens." Ha! The shower itself went well. Diana got quite a bit of stuff that she needed for Macy. It's always fun seeing all the sweet clothes- she got this pale pink Nike stuff that I knew if Collin would have been there he would have loved.

It was a very short weekend for Collin and I. We were at my parents for a day and a half and then got back in the car to make the 5 hour trip back home. Ace did pretty well in the car (yes, we took him with us). This was his third car trip to Fort Worth, so he's becoming a pro. I am happy about this because I have heard from friends that they have had to resort to drastic measures when traveling with their cats (one friend actually sedated her cat so that he would sleep in the car!). Collin's birthday is coming up (August 18th) and I went ahead and gave him his birthday present early. He's been wanting a PSP for a while, so I went ahead and got it. I got him that and 2 PSP games. He's been like a kid in a candy store-- he loves it! Hope everyone's having a great week!
- Kristin

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

We are on the web!

I have succumbed to the pressure of blogging! Last summer we both made myspace accounts and this summer we are creating a blog...watch out technical world- here we come! Despite the enormous sense of pressure that I am feeling to write something profound, inspirational, or stinkin' hilarious, I am excited about the idea of keeping up with family and friends this way. It's not like our lives are extremely exciting or anything, but we thought it might be fun and a good outlet of emotion! If nothing else, this will be a shrine to our "baby", Ace (some would call him a cat). We adopted him in January and love him so much! Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure: