Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!!!

I hope everyone has a great time tonight! I know I am totally looking forward to it. No big plans except for grabbing some takeout and sitting on the couch waiting for kiddos to ring our doorbell. We have tons and tons of kids in our neighborhood and we're one of the only families that doesn't have needless to say, we are very popular! I love seeing all the little kids dressed up in their costumes.

In the past we have certainly had Halloween parties so I've included a photo of us from last year when we both dressed as Nerds. I've also included some old photos of myself from Halloweens' past.

The Happily Married Nerds!

Carving pumpkins with my kitty at home (age?)

One of my favorite Halloween costumes. It was really for a dance recital but my mom had made it and we also used it for a Halloween costume. I love being a unicorn!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Shack...Wow!

Have you ever read a book that in some ways changed how you looked at life? or one that truly made you reevaluate everything you had always believed and clung to? or one that made you want to laugh and cry, and fall to your knees and ask for forgiveness? or or one that made you run outside to appreciate everything you have been blessed with? or even one that has made you thank God for all those unanswered prayers that were honestly answered by God but just not in the way you had hoped at that particular time? Are you overwhelmed yet? Well, I sure am. I mentioned a few days ago that I was in the process of reading The Shack, by William Young...and man, did it knock me on my butt.

I don't want to say too much regarding the actual plot of the book, but let me tell you right now...if you know someone who is going through an incredible trial, or someone who has turned their back on God, or even someone who is a devout Christian who thinks they have it all figured out. I urge you to recommend this book to everyone you know. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not sure everything in this book is biblically accurate, word for word. However, I do know that the ideas and thoughts brought about by this book will truly change the way you look at God forever. Like I said before, I can't say too much about it because I want everyone to read it for themselves and experience it individually.

In the past few days so many things have come up that have gone back to ideals that I read about in this book. It's about love and forgiveness, grieving and mercy, power and grace, beauty and friendship. One of these days I'll sit down and explain exactly what this book has done for me...but right now I'm really just trying to process everything that God is and everything that he isn't.

Has anyone else read this book? I hope you will, because even if it's not completely is a work of fiction and I believe it has truly brought me closer to God.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Outdoor Dog with Indoor Visits

I have always grown up with outdoor dogs...always. However, my mom frequently would let our pups in for visits during the evenings and they would be rowdy for a few moments but then calm down and simply lay in the floor and sleep. When it was time to go to bed, we would let them outside and they would be perfectly fine. This is also the plan with Bogey, he will be an outdoor dog that has indoor privileges when we are at home. He doesn't really have much experience with being in our house except for maybe running from the backdoor to the door leading to our garage to go for a walk. So, the past few nights it has started to get very cold outside (lows in the lower 30s and upper 20s). We have brought him in the past few nights and he has actually started to calm down. Last night he actually just laid down in our bedroom floor and went to sleep while I was watching television. I did feel terrible when we booted him out into the cold; however, he is just a dog and he will be fine with his camoflauge pet bed we bought him from Bass Pro.

Bogey lounging outside in the sun...I just love it when he lays on his back all sprawled out!
Me & our outdoor dog with visitation privileges. (please ignore the shiny, oily face--it had been a long day)
In other Bogey news, Nick took him to the vet on Saturday because he had been limping on 2 of his 4 legs. It was really quite a sight! Well, the doctor couldnt' really find anything wrong. He has a bad shoulder on his front, right leg and a bad hip on his back left leg. The doctor isn't too concerned and honestly says it's probably just growing pains (65 lbs for a 7 month old dog is a lot of growing in a short period of time). We go back to the vet in 2 weeks and hopefully he'll be better. Otherwise, x-rays are in the picture and that means sedation for Mr. Bogeyman.
Oh, and on the work front...this is the conversation I had with myself this morning as I unpacked the printer my dad bought as a replacement:

Hello Mr Ginormous Printer, I hope that I don't hurt you or make you mad because in addition to causing me serious grief and frustration by not working properly, you are quite possibly the largest desktop printer I have ever seen and you might be able to cause me serious physical harm. I do hope that we can be friends and that we can just get along. I am so glad that you work and provide beautiful print outs of documents for me and the rest of my office. I am so happy we are able to share workspace each day!

(Ok, maybe just a little bit of exaggeration, but not having a printer really cramped my day yesterday and I'm so glad to have a printer that actually does what it's supposed to, no matter how big it is!)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Last night for dinner, I made my favorite soup recipe of all time: Chicken Tortilla. It is a super easy recipe, makes plenty for leftovers and is actually fairly healthy. So, I thought I would share it with everyone else. I certainly can't take the credit for this, it came from my good friend Jennifer. We lived together in college, were in each other's weddings, attend the same church, and I just love her friendship!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

8 cups water
3 chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Rotel
12 oz. Velveeta Light
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Seasoning Salt
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 cup milk
3 flour tortillas

Bring the water to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Boil the chicken breasts until full cooked. Remove chicken from the boiling water and cut into bite size pieces (I normally cut the chicken into pieces before I cook it just because then the chicken cooks faster). Return the chicken to the water and add in all of the remaining ingredients except the tortillas. Bring mixture to a boil and cook for around 10 minutes. Tear the tortillas into small pieces and add to mixture. Boil an additional 10 minutes or until the tortillas are soft. (I normally add around 5 fajita-size tortillas because this is my favorite part of the dish.) Serve with tortilla chips for dipping and enjoy!

A few personal notes:
1. Make sure you keep stirring the mixture because I have trouble with it sticking to the bottom of my pan--even with my expensive Analon.

2. The soup is pretty thin even with the tortillas. If you want a thicker soup I would add some flour or corn starch/water mixture.

3. This soup is great for freezing and warms up really well. Just make a batch and put half of it in the freezer for another cold, autumn/winter's night.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Curse of Computers, Printers, & Fax Machines

Well, today continued on the plague of the computer equipment surrounding me. As you might recall, a few weeks ago I managed to single handedly wipe out our entire companies' mailing list. Last week, the fax machine/copier managed to stop working (not my fault, but an inconvenience nonetheless). And to top it all off, this morning I come in to work...turn on my computer--which was actually already on so in reality I was turning it off--turn on my printer, and I get 2 lovely error messages. #1-Improper shutdown, to avoid permanent damage please use the power button to turn the printer on/off. (Well thank you Captain Obvious, I'm so glad we've clarified what the power button is used for). Error message #2-Ink system failure, printer will not copy, fax, scan, or print. Please turn the printer on/off and try again. Lovely, just lovely. I have a gazillion things to do and the ink system has failed?!? So, after turning the printer on/off about 5 times or so I decide to uninstall and then reinstall the printer. Well, guess what...that doesn't work either. I also try to unplug the printer from everything imaginable and it still will not reset. So...needless to say I am extremely frustrated by this point. My dad comes back to my desk as I am about to literally pull my hair out. We've only had the printer since Oct. 1 so it's getting packaged back in the box and is headed back to Best Buy. Hopefully we'll have some luck and I'll have a new printer tomorrow. Why can simple things not go my way?

Oh well, back to updating the mailing list since I have no printer....;o)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The end of a long, but exciting week!

I am finally able to sit down and relax after a seemingly very hectic, and busy week. It feels so nice to just relax, watch some football, and maybe, possibly take a nice nap. ;o) Monday started with our last puppy school lesson and Bogey go high marks on all of his tasks. The only thing we really really need to work on is "Staying." I mean who should really expect a 7 month old puppy to sit still for longer than a nanosecond anyway? We really enjoyed the class and we learned lots of things we can use with other dogs. Plus, it was just plain fun!

Tuesday-Today we had events for the Global Impact Conference. It was such an interesting and eye-opening experience to meet with missionaries from all across our state and all around the world. God truly is doing some amazing things and how exciting to hear it first hand! Yesterday, we went and had a service project at a local elementary school (which is actually where our church first started meeting when it was just a brand new congregation). We helped do some landscaping work and just general picking up around the school. At the end we did a simple prayer walk through the halls of the school and just prayed that God would bless the teachers and administration and that His light would shine brightly to all of the students. What a mission field our teachers have each and everyday...but it's such a battleground at the same time. I have so many friends who are teachers, administrators, and counselors in the public school system and the issues they deal with everyday are extremely stressful and at times disturbing. We truly need and should pray for Christian influences on these children because it may be the only love the get during the day.

Last night we had Hubby's whole family over for dinner (Mom, Dad, Sister & her husband, and their 2 adorable little boys). We had a great time just being together and enjoying each other's company. Nick & I love being with our family and we are so grateful for the times we get to spend with each other.

Today was our final service of the Global Impact Conference and was considered the commitment service when we all committed to Pray, Give, & Go in regards to Missions in our church. Nick & I are committing to pray for some specific missionary families, we're having faith in God to allow us to give some additional monies over and above our normal tithe, and we are hoping that God will open the doors for us to go on some short term mission projects. Our worship band played a song a couple of times during this conference and I'm sure most of you have probably heard it before but it really touched my heart in what is possible with God's power in regards to missions.

“God of This City”Chris Tomlin
You’re the God of this city You’re the King of these people You’re the Lord of this nation You are
You’re the light in this darkness You’re the hope to the hopeless You’re the peace to the restless You are
For there is no-one like our God There is no-one like our God
Greater things have yet to come
Greater things are still to be done
In this city
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things have still to be done here

Friday, October 24, 2008

Preparing for Spring in the Fall

Earlier this week my mom comes into the office and hands me this huge cardboard box with a very sly, smirky grin on her face. I wonder for a few moments what it is that she has and then I remember...a few months ago, my aunt offered to order a bunch of bulbs for me to plant so that I would have beautiful tulips, lilies, crocus, and daffodils pop up when Spring arrived next year. I knew at the time that by ordering bulbs, this meant I would have to take time to plant them (individually)...but I had conveniently forgotten about this.

Well, the time has the midst of my crazy week with church, I now have to find time to plant about 30-50 bulbs. What great fun!!! (sarcasm intended) So, Sunday afternoon that's what's on my schedule, I'll sit down in the front yard with my garden spade, some work gloves, and I'll spend a few hours getting my hands dirty. The work will be long and tedious, but I know in the end it will be beautiful. I mean who wouldn't go to the extra work to have these flowers bloom in their garden?

Maybe I can convince dear hubby to help me out just a bit!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Going Global

As I've previously mentioned, our church is hosting a Global Impact Celebration this week. For those of you who have never been involved in one, it's basically a gathering of missionaries (both local & international) and local agencies who serve the people of our area. I am/was in charge of helping get all of the booths set up and making sure that everyone had what they needed. All of the booths were set up yesterday afternoon and last night we had our Opening Celebration. Let me just tell you, the first night went very well. We had a good crowd from our own church and the missionaries & agencies are all just fantastic. I love learning about them, their lives, and how they are living for Jesus and spreading his word.
This week is also a time for us to refocus on how important it is for us to spread the word of Christ locally, but also to be willing to travel to remote locations and tell those about God's love. I know that God is going to do some amazing things this week and will move the hearts of many people to go on short term missions projects and hopefully even some who might join ministry full time. I have never been one to have a calling to any sort of full-time missions...however, I love to join in on the details of bringing this event to Northbridge and to experience serving others in our area. Serving others is needed everywhere, in our hometowns, in our states, in our country and even to the ends of the earth.

Acts 1:8: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

On another quick religious note, has anyone read the book "The Shack?" I am currently reading it and what a powerful book, it's definitely a quick read but will open your mind to so many things you might not have ever thought about when it comes to God, his love for us, and how truly screwed up we as humans are. Humans are so quick to put God in a box and to create our own visions of who he is and how he sees good and evil. When those are really just self-serving ideas to make life easier and more comfortable for us. Tonight we are having dinner with our small group and a missionary family from Senegal, West Africa. I am super excited to learn more about them and what God has been doing through them and in their lives as they serve in such a different culture.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Birthdays, Shopping, Football & Loads of FUN!

Well as previously mentioned, this weekend did not disappoint in being jam packed with fun activities. A great time was had by all, but we were certainly ready to relax for a couple of hours once we finally got home last night.

Friday night we headed to our nephew's 3rd Birthday party, it was certainly chaotic as all childrens' parties are. Hunter was very excited for his party as it was themed after the movie "Cars" which he loves. We made the mistake of allowing him to pick out the first present he could open and unfortunately it was a group of 3 Hot Wheels cars based on the movie. Well, all the rest of the presents might as well have been canned vegetables because he wanted nothing to do with them and he was not going to open another present. We tried everything, we had cake & ice cream and tried to convince him that Uncle Nicky & Aunt L would be very sad if he didnt' open his presents. In the end we all ended up opening the presents for him (just so we could all see what he had gotten). He couldn't care less that other people were opening up his presents. Note to self & rest of the family: at Christmas he gets to open the "fun" toys last. ;o)

Hunter modeling his gift from Uncle Nicky & Aunt L--a St. Louis Cardinals jacket just like Pujols!He also found it more entertaining to play in the bag and hop around then he did opening presents. Man, we could have saved a lot of money!

Uncle Nicky with Baby Jackson and Hunter (that's his version of saying "Cheese!"). Nick also tried to teach him how to show people how old he was. I'm not sure if he completely caught in but he sure worked hard at it.

Saturday we left around 10:00 and headed to St. Louis with my parents & my brother and his wife. We hit 2 malls and I managed to find some great deals. A pair of jeans at Nordstrom's for $25.00 that I absolutely love and some adorable polka dot tees at Anthropologie that were in the clearance room! Yeah for Anthropologie sales! I love that store but it seems so expensive at times. We also had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory--can I just say heaven? We had calamari and nachos as an appetizer, my mom and I shared an amazing pasta dish with bowtie pasta and a roasted garlic cream sauce, and Hubby & I shared a piece of their 30th Anniversary cheesecake: Creamy cheesecake layered with rich, moist chocolate cake & topped with chocolate icing and whipped cream. Very health, I know. ;o) We finished off the night by heading to the new casino in downtonw STL. Hubby & I had $40 to spend--we lost $20 on the slot machines but then he made about $50 on the Roulette Wheel. So, we ended up $10 ahead. Not bad for an hour's worth of entertainment.

Sunday we headed to the Edward Jones Dome for the St. Louis Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys. It had been a long time since I had been to a NFL game and they are so much fun. We were there as Dallas fans and we were certainly not in the minority. It was crazy how many Cowboys fans there were at a St. Louis Rams game. The Cowboys lost and it was a crappy, sloppy game, but we had a good time anyway. It's always a bonus when grown men get into a fight and end up getting escorted out. ;o) As you can see below, everyone but Millie & I participated in the throwing competition. My mom was the first to give it a try. There really wasn't a big prize, just a free Arby's t-shirt, but I got some good pics anyways.

Mom & Dad giving it a try! Good technique Mom!

Hubby on the left and my little brother on the right!

We headed home immediately after the game and I've never been more happy to make it to our house. We encountered a major detour due to a fatality crash and then due to the sun and some not very smart people, we were almost in a very serious accident. Kudos to my mom for seeing the problem and to my dad for having some amazing driving skills. I'm so glad God had his angels travelling with us.

Nick & I inside the dome. We had really good seats and certainly enjoyed ourselves!

I'll probably be fairly absent from the blogging world this week---we have our first GIC (Global Impact Conference) at our church and that is going to take up Tuesday-Sunday. I've very excited, but I'm on the committee heading it up so it will certainly be a very busy week! Hopefully I'll be able to post here and there, but until then--have a great week!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fun Halloween Packages!

I'm going to start this post off by saying that Hubby & I are the luckiest people on earth. We both have fantastic sets of parents and to top that off we both get along incredibly well with the in-laws. It truly is like having another set of parents. My parents live close by and I work for my dad so I get to spend time with them all the time. My mom is my best friend (next to my Hubby) & I love the fact that we are so close and so much alike. Hubby's parents live in Michigan so we certainly dont' get to see them as much as we'd like. However, when we do get to see them we have a great time and enjoy them so much! They are planning to move back here once Hubby's dad retires so we're certainly looking forward to that. Because of this, my parents have certainly taken Hubby in and treat him as if he's their own. Like I've said in previous posts, my parents mean the world to me and I could never ask for anything more! But, how God has blessed us with fantastic in-laws. Trust me, I know other situations are not nearly as great as ours.

So...on to the point of this post. Since my in-laws live in Michigan they have always made certain that we don't forget that they care about us or love us. My MIL spends more in shipping each month than I want to know...she sends packages to all 3 kids and their families. Hubby & I receive fewer packages but only because we don't have any kids for her to spoil! ;o) This week we got our annual Halloween package & we're not just talking about a plain cardboard box with our address. I present to you exhibit's A & B:

Fully decorated with stickers, Trick or Treat ribbon, wrapped in a black plastic table cloth, and a fantastic ghost outline!This is what our packages always look like...completely decked out for whatever holiday or purpose they are being sent. I don't know about you, but I love receiving gifts in the mail! It can be something so simple, but I love it! This package contained a milkshake mixer for Hubby that he had been asking for since our wedding registry and then a cute set of orange Halloween prep bowls for cooking (or setting candy out on the counter).

I only hope the rest of you are able to have relationships with your in-laws like Hubby & I have with ours! Thanks Mom & Dad, & David & Susan for loving us so much and welcoming us both into your families! It certainly does not go unnoticed!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hard at Work

Well, I hate to admit it but I have been failing miserably at this blogging thing...maybe it's the fact that I've been incredibly busy the past few days, or maybe it's that work has been crazy busy and I haven't had any time to waste while sitting at my office computer, or maybe it's the fact that dear Hubby has to use the computer during the evenings for CPA prep work and thus I am unable to blog even when at home. Regardless of the reason...or maybe excuse, I've kind of fallen off the wagon the past few days. Please know I've been reading all of your blogs as best I can and I love keeping up with all of them, I just don't seem to have time to comment. I realize I'm new at this; however, perfectionist is my middle name. ;o)

Life has been busy, but fairly uneventful in the past few days. I had to sit through 6 hours of continuing education yesterday on the "Best Practices of E & O." Can we all so BOORRRINNNGGG???? Oh well, at least I was out of the office for the day.

We do have a fairly exciting weekend coming up. Hubby's mom is finally going to be in town to see the baby. We are celebrating Big Brother Hunter's 3rd birthday on Friday night and I always enjoy good birthday cake. My mom & dad, my brother & sister-in-law, and me and hubby are headed to STL on Saturday for some shopping and to catch the St. Louis Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys game. My brother is a diehard Cowboys fan, and it kind of spreads over to the rest of us. I'm super excited to hang out with all 6 of us, we haven't all been together in quite some time. Not due to distance, just due to schedules.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Where has the time gone???

Tonight as Nick & I were eating dinner, it occurred to me what day it was: October 11. When Nick & I were dating, we actually semi-celebrated 2 anniversaries. The day we were set up by our friends, and the day we officially became a couple. ;o) Well, October 11 was the day that we were set up by our friends and so it has been exactly 5 years since we have been together. So, I thought this might be a good time to explain how we met. However, our story actually starts long before October 11. Bear with me, this could get a little long and keep in mind this is how Nick says things happened (I swear I do not remember this early event).

One of my favorite engagement pictures
It all started in the fall of freshman year in college. One of my roommates went to high school with Nick and was dating one of his good friends. Nick went to school in Bolivar, MO (to play golf)...about 30 minutes away from where I was in Springfield. However, his parents had just moved to Michigan and he didn't really know too many people at all in Bolivar. So, several weeknights and weekends he would drive down to Springfield to spend time with people he knew. I knew almost no one at college either so we all ended up hanging out in the same dorm room. Well, I have a very sarcastic personality and after seeing Nick in Spfd several times I supposedly said "Why are you always down here? Don't you have any friends?" This was taken as being very rude and Nick went back to Bolivar that night and told his roommate "You know that cute girl I told you about, well she's very rude." We saw each other, but didn't ever really talk again.

In Destin, FL with my family

Fast forward about 2 years to our junior year of college--I'm still very good friends with that same group of people, but I was out of town at Fall Getaway for Campus Crusade for Christ--the organization I had become very involved in. We had no cell phone reception at all. When I get back into town I have a message from one of my good friends (he was very intoxicated as it was his 21st birthday party) that had something to do with the fact that they had figured out who the perfect guy would be for me. After several phone calls and explanations, they set up dinner and a night of bowling just so Nick & I can spend some time getting to know one another. However, one small problem...the same night I find out I have to be at this ceremony for a Christian group I am joining. So...I head to dinner and eat with all my friends (I'm seated directly across from Nick), I head out for about 2 hours to this ceremony and I promise I'll meet them later at the bowling alley. By the time I get to the bowling alley, the game is almost over and I spend the rest of the time just mingling with Nick and the rest of my friends. Afterwards, we are about to go home when I ask Nick if he wants to come back to my apartment to talk. Looking back, this was incredibly irresponsible since I didn't know Nick at all--however, God must have had his hand in it because we ended up talking until 4 a.m. when he finally left to go back to Bolivar. I think he only left because he had to catch a bus at 6 a.m. to play in a golf practice round. Have I mentioned Nick is a golf fanatic and played in college? Anyways, we hit it off incredibly well and have been inseparable ever since. We have certainly had our ups and downs, but there was never a doubt in my mind that this was the man I was to be with forever. The thoughts of being without him weren't scary because they weren't an option to me. He was mine and I was his and that was all there was to it.

In St. Louis at a Cardinals game

We have both changed so much from the people we were 5 years ago--definitely for the better & I know I fall more in love with him each and every day. I had prayed for a sky-dropper (a wonderful man who practically fell out of the sky) and God certainly answered my prayer. In ways that I could never have imagined, God made all of my wildest dreams come true.

Friday, October 10, 2008

5 hours till the weekend...

So I'm not sure about anyone else, but what a week it's been! You can look back over my last couple of posts and realize that this week has been anything but uneventful. Monday started with the vasovagal episode, Tuesday I destroyed our companies mailing list, Wednesday involved starting the process of recreating the mailing list, Thursday was fine except we were very shorthanded at work and made the afternoon much more stressful! Ahhh!!!

So needless to say, I'm so ready for the weekend--even if nothing special is planned. Today has been fairly calm and has actually involved a huge answer to prayer. My father-in-law found out medication, diet, and exercise are all that's going to be necessary!!! Can I just say "Praise Jesus!" Hopefully they'll both be on the road soon to come meet their newest grandbaby!

We do have plans to head down to Branson. The 417 Idea Home is finally finished and is located in the same subdivision where Nick's parents plan to retire once they move back to good ole' Missouri. The setting is beautiful and on a golf course and the home involves most of the best contractors in the area. So, we're planning on taking a tour of the home and then heading to Branson Landing for a nice dinner. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Married over 11,000 days

"Can you believe you've been married to me over 11,00 days?" My dad asked my mom this question today as they discussed their past 32 years of being husband and wife.
Today is my parents 32nd wedding anniversary. They were married on October 9, 1976 when my mom was 18 and my dad was 20. They are seriously the most amazing parents a girl could ask for. God has blessed me so much with such amazing role models for my own marriage and I can only hope that Nick & I can love as each other as much as they do after 32 years, 2 kids, and endless ups and downs. They have always followed after God and have instilled in us to trust in him for everything--no matter how small or how big. Congrats Mom & Dad! I love you and I can't wait to see what happens in the next 11,000 days!

My mom and dad at our wedding in May 2007

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bye Bye Mailing List

Today was going along just swell until around 3:00 pm this afternoon--that's when I discovered that in my attempt to be proactive about losing a large amount of data saved on to a computer I had managed to delete the entire mailing list for our company (about 2,000 customers). YIKES!!! The details of how I managed to do this are too long and confusing...the point is that it happened and our most recent mailing list is GONE! (To be completely honest, I'm still not sure how it happened, I think the flash drive I was using just decided to eat it. ;o) Anyways, after a lot of panic and having to admit to my dad (who's also my boss), and the other ladies in the office what I had done...we decided it was for the better and we would just start from scratch and create a much better, new and improved data base of our clients. I do have a copy of the list from 2006 which is remarkably still fairly current. So, tomorrow that's what we'll start doing. Redoing the mailing list. What fun!

In much more exciting other news, I went to the gym and worked out tonight --probably to work out some frustration--and had a really good time. That sounds so strange to say, but I actually enjoy the idea that I'm doing something good for myself. Hopefully I'll be able to keep up the routine.

Also, one quick praise to father-in-law had some heart issues with some results from his physical and he had an appointment with the cardiologist today. The good news is that open heart surgery is not on the list of remedies at this time...hopefully just a stint or the best option is just medication. We'll know more on Friday. Definitely keep him in your thoughts and prayers--he and my mother-in-law are really just wanting to get down here to see that new baby since they live in Michigan.

Finally, this is simply a technical question for someone new to the blogging world. My dear friend Joelle, gave me an award and I'm not sure how to tag someone new to give the award to. Can someone fill me in on how to do this?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Vasovagal Reaction

Vasovagal reaction: A reflex of the involuntary nervous system that causes the heart to slow down (bradycardia) and that, at the same time, affects the nerves to the blood vessels in the legs permitting those vessels to dilate (widen). As a result the heart puts out less blood, the blood pressure drops, and what blood is circulating tends to go into the legs rather than to the head. The brain is deprived of oxygen and the fainting episode occurs.
So ever since my sophomore year in high school, I have been terrified of giving blood, terrified to the point of passing out or vomiting because I make myself so nervous. This is not something I'm proud of and I realize a small vile of blood is not going to kill me; however, my body and my brain seems to think so. I have passed out once, vomited once, and every other time I have become so hot and clammy that I have to lay very still with several cold compresses in order to avoid one of the previous mentioned reactions. Nurses have given me all sorts of advice from laying all the way down with a cold compress behind my neck, to having something to drink to force me to keep breathing, to the obvious of just looking away and relaxing. None of these have helped, no matter how much I tell myself that I'm going to be ok and it's no big deal, I still manage to have a similar reaction. Thus, I loathe the idea of having any blood drawn. Shots are one thing--blood being drawn is another.

Today was the most recent experience with my wussy (yes I just used the word wussy) like tendencies. I had my annual exam...YES!!! (sarcasm intended) They always want to draw a tiny amount of blood which I certainly think is an excellent thing. I had my glass of Dr. Pepper and I even warned the nurse beforehand. She sat me in the only chair that can recline and the reaction started...chest tightening, cold get the idea. She then asked if I wanted her to do the finger prick instead of the vein in my arm. "Can you do that?" I asked. "Of course," she said. "Fantastic" I think; only to be proven wrong in the next 5 minutes. She proceeds to prick my finger and everything is going fine. Until she puts the band aid on my finger...I can then feel my finger throbbing. Uh oh, more tightening, more sweating. To make a long story short, I end up with the chair reclined, my shoes off, a curtain pulled around my chair, a cold compress on my stomach, in my left hand, on my right hand and on my forehead. Wouldn't I have been better off to just pass out? AHHH!!!! I hate this feeling and it makes me feel terrible for the nurses. What if I keep doing this? Having a child will be such a traumatic experience.

Apparently, or so the nurse tells me, I have a problem with vasovagal reactions. Thus, the reason for the definition at the beginning of this post. Vasovagal? Really? Regardless of the term I hate the reaction my body has. Does anyone else have these problems? Any suggestions for getting over this reaction? At least I just have to have my blood drawn once a year...until I decide I'm ready to start a family--then I'm doomed.

Sunday=Lessons from God

What a wonderful Sunday we had! We started out with church on Sunday morning where our preacher talked about the economy, how we had gotten into this mess, and what we could do to fix it. He had some amazing points which of course I can't remember at this moment; however, the most powerful part of the sermon was when he discussed

2 Chronicles 7:14
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

That's really all we have to do, just bow before him and ask for forgiveness & he promises to heal our land. So that's what we did, our entire congregation knelt down and bowed before God and asked for help with our nation. What would happen if all Christians would simply bow before God and confess our wrongdoings instead of making excuses for this and that? I hope you'll join me in adding this serious and important issue to your daily prayers.

In addition to the sermon, we also went to see Fireproof with our small group and some other friends from church. What a powerful movie! The acting could definitely use some work; however, these are real people portraying real problems that marriages are facing today. Anyone who's happily married, has a struggling marriage, or is thinking about getting married should go see this movie...if for nothing else than to be able to tell others who are hurting about it. Nick & I were able to have some great conversations on the ride home and this is such an amazing resource that God has given us. Our theater was completely sold out on a beautiful Sunday afternoon--I know God is going to teach others amazing things and hopefully save many marriages with the help of this movie.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Beautiful Day

Today was just beautiful here in the good ole' was an absolutely amazing day. We tried to enjoy it as much as possible, I actually had to work this morning and then we spent some of the afternoon trying to prevent Bogey from digging in the same certain place near a precious sprinkler head. Later in the afternoon we headed down to see the baby and provide some assistance in babysitting and organization since Lauren & Jackson got to come home today. With Jackson coming about a week early, and some unforseen circumstances keeping my mother in law in Michigan for a few more days, we volunteered to come and help. I did more helping while Nick did more babysitting and entertaining of Hunter. However, I think that assistance was priceless! I love watching him with children, I know he's going to be an amazing father one day. Jackson is just beautiful and perfect, I cannot believe how small he is. Even the smallest of clothes seem to be falling off of him. I hope everyone else had a beautiful Saturday as well, tomorrow we're going to see Fireproof with our small group. I'm super excited about seeing the movie and just enjoying some time with good friends. What a blessing they are!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Welcome to the world...Jackson Layman Lee

Yesterday afternoon at 2:44, my wonderful Brother & Sister in Law Lauren & Dustin, welcomed a perfect little bundle of joy...Jackson Layman Lee. He weighed 6 lbs, 13 oz. and was 20 1/4 inches long. Everyone is doing just great and Big Brother Hunter has been great with him. Hunter will be 3 on October 17 and seems very excited to have a baby brother at home. Nick and I are known as Uncle Nicky & Aunt L..I'm so glad to have another little one around (that I can send home when they get fussy!) God is so amazing and little babies remind me of what a powerful and awesome God we serve. There is almost nothing more precious than a newborn baby.

Jackson Layman Lee

Big Brother with the new little guy & the whole entire happy (but very tired) family

Proud mom with her first born--having a little heart to heart on why he needed to go home with Aunt Amy; followed by having a precious moment with her newborn son.

Proud Uncle Nicky with his new nephew & the flowers brought to the hospital by Uncle Nicky & Aunt L.
We can't wait to spoil this one as much as we do Hunter, Congrats Dustin & Lauren!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

All things Fall

So as promised, last night I was able to dive right into fall with an apple pie and some decorations for the front porch. I also planted the mums and fall grasses. We tried to split the grasses from a bigger pot, so we'll see if they survive. Apple pie has always had a place in my heart because some of my most favorite childhood memories come from making apple pie with my Grandma for our town's fall festival, Applefest. There was always an apple pie contest followed by an auction. I would always go to my Grandma's house, and she'd supervise (and help a little) me making the pie. We actually won 1st place one year-- $100 prize! It was always a great time and I think about her almost everytime I'm in the kitchen. What an amazing cook!

Wonderful Apple Pie--served A La Mode of course! Oh how I love you hot apple pie!

The centerpiece on the dining room table, a collection of fall goodies on my kitchen bar, & our mantle decorations.
The two mum pots I planted with the fall grass and our fall porch decor. I'm super pleased with how it turned out!
In other news, the hubby and I actually had time to watch television last night and we chose to watch the season premiere of Chuck (which we had DVR'd)--I'm so glad this show is back, does anyone else watch this? It's such mindless entertainment, I just love it!
Also, some exciting news in the Layman family, Hubby's sister (who's first name is also Lauren) has gone into labor with their second little boy. I'm definitely pumped to have another nephew to spoil rotten! Have a great Thursday, because tomorrow is Friday!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fall is in the Air!!!

With temperatures finally beginning to feel like fall and it being the 1st of October, I'm getting super excited about doing some "fallish" things. So...on the schedule for tonight, baking a homemade apple pie (Mmmm...most definitely ala mode--I'll try and post pictures if I remember before digging in), planting some fall flower pots with mums and fall grass, & finishing up the front porch with fall decorations. Hopefully I can accomplish all of this before the sun goes down, but we'll see. Check back for pics of my creations! Happy Fall Everyone!