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 :)