Friday, February 25, 2011

Hello, Emergen-C

It's game day. And I'm sick. What is new? Ugh.

I planned on going with my mom tonight to watch my cousin Brad's basketball team play in the 2nd round of regional tournament. He's the greatest coach (along with every other coach in my family)! But when I woke up with a pounding headache, scratchy throat, and watery eyes I instantly thought back to another game with Brad just a couple years ago. Bless my heart. Just sayin'.

So Brad and Uncle Travis asked me if I wanted to go with them and another coach to watch some basketball games in northwest Arkansas. Since I love my family and basketball more than any other earthly thing, I jumped on the idea. I got home that Friday night, and they picked me up at Mom and Dad's.

We started making that fateful trip up the Pig Trail when I felt it coming on. Since it's a curvy ride up Hwy. 23, I thought I was a little car sick and some fresh air would cure me. We were standing next to the bleachers talking to some other coaches by a side exit when I couldn't stand there another second. I bolted out that door and barely made it to the concrete slab outside when my entire menu that day erupted into a pile of digested matter onto the ground. "Great. Now I smell like throw up," is all I could seem to think.

I sat in that stuffy gym while Brad was scouting over the course of a few more ballgames, and nothing was really phasing me. I didn't need to throw up, but I didn't feel like playing my own game either. I was just blah.

Blah is how I remained not just that night but for the next several weeks as my doctor diagnosed me with mono. So while student teaching (and no sick days to spare), I learned what it meant to work and be sick. Not the adventure I was really going for.

Regardless, it seems as though every time I want to watch basketball with Brad, I get sick. Every. Single. Time.

Whatever. I'm over it. I'll go home and put on my orange and black. Because if I'm going to be sick, I'd rather be sick in a basketball gym. At least I won't be sick for missing the game too.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Because Cash Is Probably At Work Reading My Blog

I could sit here and tell you all about life right now, but that would consist of 3 things: work, grad school, boyfriend. The first two would bore you, and the third would take too long. So I decided to just do a few questions I found since I know my 6 followers are just dying to see my answers. Okay, actually it's just because I know my boyfriend is probably sitting at work reading my blog, and I want to give him a new post to read. Because I'm a great girlfriend like that. haha.

1. Who/What Inspires You?

Esther, you know, from the Bible. A high school student asked me that same question last year, and I told him the same answer. He looked at me in confusion. What I told him was that Esther completely followed God for her direction in life. It was radical; it was out of the box; but it was her plan. That's what I want to be like. That HS student wrote me a thank you card, and in it he said, "Good luck with being more like Esther." You never know what people will remember about you.

2. What is your favorite season and why?
Turkey season! I love the opening weekend of turkey season: the smells of a campfire, the sounds of a turkey gobbling, the laughter, food, and company. Not to mention it's baseball season...and I do love my outdoor sports after a long winter in the gym.

3. What are you most looking forward to this year?
I don't think I can choose one thing, so I'll give you a rundown of my T-5 (top students and I use the "T-5 scale" in class).
5. Watching Braeson and Addison play t-ball.
4. Going to Anne Frank's house.
3. Meeting Cash's family.
2. Every moment spent with the most amazing boyfriend in the world...
1. This summer.

4. If you could write a book about anything, what would it be about?
Someone's life. I'd love to write a biography or historical fiction account of someone in the Holocaust. I'm a little obsessed! Any history fascinates me, and I'd love to write, even fictionally, about events that took place. My goal is to one day write enough books/short stories to give my students for every unit we study.

5. What is your greatest passion?
My relationship with Christ. I know, not original, but it is the foundation of my life. Nothing would be built if not for that.

6. If you could change one thing about your life or yourself, what would it be?
That I could be with Cash everyday and stay in Arkansas.

7. Lastly, what is your favorite novel?
Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. That book made me feel like such a daughter of the King. It inspired me to lead 2 Bible studies, host a banquet, and pour into the lives of young girls about the special qualities they are made with. I read it over and over and over again.

Monday, February 21, 2011

This Is Why My Parents Gave Me a Curfew

I need to start sleeping. (Right, Cash? I know you're reading this.)

Last weekend Cash and I set a curfew for ourselves. We were going to be off the phone by 10:00 every night. I seriously don't think we've met curfew since its implementation. In fact Saturday night we talked until about 2:00 in the morning. Last night we talked for 6 1/2 hours and went to bed at 3:30. That is ludicrous...but sometimes I just can't get off the phone.

Tonight's the night. It has to be, or we'll both be out of jobs in no time.

I just really miss my boyfriend. He hung the moon. Just check out these flowers he sent me for Valentine's Day.

I love them. I do. They're beautiful. But I'd rather have him here everyday.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Life's So Sweet

I am so lucky. And blessed. And overcome with joy.

What words describe you today?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Romans 12:12

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." --Romans 12:12

My whole life I've been told I'm too picky when it comes to relationships...that no one is perfect and I can't expect a guy to really be everything. I've heard it all during my dating experiences, and sometimes I must admit that I started believing people. Maybe I was too harsh on guys. But a friend of mine once told me, "It's better to wait on God than wish you had." Right this very moment...sitting on my couch after a 2 hour drive from the Little Rock airport...I'm glad I waited.

Remember that "him" story I mentioned?

You're going to think this is crazy. I mean, really really crazy. But it's such a cool, fun story that I have to share it with you!

A little over three weeks ago my friend Sara messaged me a link to a blog. One right after another she was sending these links, faster than I could read them. They were all about these boys that I had never met: each one single.

In short has a Show Us Your Life blog every Friday. That certain Friday happened to be about singles: guys, girls, young, old. Periodically throughout the day Sara and I read through the blogs as she prompted me to comment on someone's. "No way!" I said. "That would just be weird!!"

Not taking anything away from the guys on the blog...they all seemed great...but that just wasn't my typical way to talk to a guy. But never say never...

Later that night I was reading along and clicked on a blog about some guy from Texas. When the picture loaded, I said outloud to myself, "Dang! He's hott!" I sat there for an hour trying to con myself into saying something, but I kept talking myself out of it. Thank goodness I give into my own peer pressure.

I left some comment that only made sense in my mind, because sometimes I don't think things through.

After I thought about how ridiculous I had been, I decided to go ahead and add this boy's sister-in-law on facebook, because again I don't really think things through.

To make a long story short, she messaged me...then he did the following day. We started sending messages on facebook, which lasted a whopping 3 days before he asked for my phone number. According to him this was the most nerve racking time of the entire experience. He says he was so nervous he literally got sick to his stomach before he called me the first time. Maybe he would have been even sicker to his stomach had he known how much I would talk his ear off! ha.

I guess it just worked considering that first Wednesday night we talk for 2 1/2 hours. The next night we talked for 5 hours...and the next, and the next, and the next...until we decided we just couldn't stand not hanging out. So the following Monday he ordered tickets to fly into Arkansas this past weekend. I just got off the phone with my sister, and I spent half the conversation trying to stop crying because I already miss him so much.

It seems an inevitable task to limit what I tell you about this weekend. From the moment we saw each other until the moment I dropped him off, it was perfect. We had such a wonderful weekend spending time with my friends and family, going to my sweet little church, having a "first date" at this delicious Brazilian restaurant, touring small towns in Arkansas, calling the Hogs. Okay, we didn't really call the Hogs. But I tried.

Cash and I before I dropped him off at the airport.

I'd hate to get all sappy on you, so I'll give you an overview: I cried twice at the airport, found a way to sneak an I miss you note in his book, sat in my 4Runner and tried to dry my eyes, and was halfway okay until I got a text that read, "I just got your note. I already miss you too." Finally, I quit crying and made it home. Then my sister called to ask about the weekend, and yet again the tears started rolling. However, this time I couldn't regain myself as quickly, and she told me it was okay to cry...that it was a good thing I missed him so much. Looks like I need to invest in Kleenex.

Without writing out our schedule through the summer, I'll just tell you that many more trips are sure to be made between Texas and Arkansas. I can't explain to you what it's like for me. You'd have to stand in my shoes to really understand. But I can promise that I'm so thankful I didn't listen to all the naysayers who said I was too picky. The ones who said no one would ever fit my ideal. The critics who thought I should just settle into my life where I was. The judges who believed my perception of a relationship was skewed. The commentators who said my 3 week dating habits didn't give anyone a chance.

When we were sitting at the airport tonight waiting for him to go through security, we were playing a game. We were making up stories of people as they walked by and he said of a young man, "He loves the ladies, and he thinks the ladies love him."

"Just like somebody else I know!" I jolted at him.

"No, I know the ladies love me..."

"Yeah, all 48 of them that commented on your blog!" I get pretty riled up when it comes to these girls that want to talk to my man! :)

"What's 48 ladies when I have the one lady that I care about?"

That's what I had to leave tonight, why I cried half my trip home, and the reason I waited.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Like Baby, Baby, Baby, OH!!

Can I just say I don't know what's gotten into me? A month ago, I would have told you I never wanted kids. Ever. It was nothing I ever dreamed about growing up, and it never really even hit me when I watched my sister go through the process. Maybe watching my niece be born set me back farther. It was definitely a miracle I am so proud to have been a part of, but it definitely made me realize what delivering a child was all about.

I stood at the foot of that hospital bed with a midwife coaching my sister along. My brother-in-law was up talking to my sister, and she was really doing a great job. But I wouldn't have wanted to trade places with her in a million years. It seemed like an eternity, and my niece finally arrived as I watched the entire process unfold. My mom looked at me with tears streaming down her face, "Avery, what'd you think?"

" looked like a calf being born."

So a month ago I would have said never on the whole kid thing. Two weeks ago I would have said never! ha. But this past Saturday I went to the hospital to see my dear friend Kristen, and my heart just melted.

the proud parents!

Christian was a day old when I got to meet him, but his sweet little face changed my whole self. I got to hold him and adore him and just sit there in amazement. It was such a miracle to have watched my friend grow from this young bride into a mother. She would stare at him for a while and just smile. Then she'd be up changing him or getting medicine for him or just holding him. At one point she asked a question about some medicine, and the nurse looked at her and said, "You're his mom. It's your choice."

That blew my mind.

helping Christian...such good parents!

Here was one of my dearest a mom. My sister is 4 years older than me, so it never really hit me that she had undergone such a change. She was "supposed to" in my mind since she was older. But Kristen, she was my age. We've had game nights and American Idol parties. We work together and have the same friends. We have spent late nights on the phone and driving down the road. When did my friend become old enough to be a mom? And a darn good one at that!

I held back the tears at one point, because I was just so in love with this little baby...and I wasn't sure where that love had come from. I had never before wanted kids of my own. God sure can change a heart in a mighty big way in a mighty quick time frame.

Devin was taking pictures, so I had him take one of Christian and me on my phone.

I was so proud!

I was just so happy to be at the hospital, and it took hours for me to leave. I just love my friends, and I am in love with their little bundle of joy! Words can't express how happy I am for both of them, and I know they're going to be the best parents to Baby C. Although my heart has changed, and I'm okay with the idea of having kids of my own one very far away day...I'll just be an aunt for now. After all, I have a few things going on in life, and none of those are setting me up for kids. Plus, I have the following babies to look forward to all by the end of the year:
my co-worker Kim
my sweet friend from high school Brooke
my Bub's wife Manda Mac, or Amanda to her central AR friends
my floating buddy KJ, otherwise known as Kendra
my swing dance comrade (I don't know if I can announce this yet!!)
my Hub sister Heather
MY BEST FRIEND IN THE WHOLE WORLD LINDSEY!!!!!! I'm going to be the most proud aunt that day!

With the new babies coming due and the just born babies growing oh-so-fast, I'll be sure and have my fill of babysitting. I'm so lucky to have such amazing friends who are turning into the world's greatest moms. Now, if I could just con my sister into having just one more, it'd hold my parents over for a few more years. A really great sister would do that for me.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow meansno Geocaching...get it? HAHA

I went outside to take pictures of the oversized snowflakes, and my hands inadvertently got numb. Ahhh...snow. After reading depressing facebook statuses about everyone ready to be back at school, I had to share my rebuttal. Akunamatata! Who really cares? We're off work! Enjoy it!!
And for those who didn't want to be off work, they shouldn't have left work so soon today. We had a great time on parent pick-up. It's not Thursday, not my duty day. But it was the most fun I've ever had on duty. I was standing in the lobby directing kids this morning since we dismissed at 9:30. Mr. Spencer walked by and thanked me for helping out, and so I asked if there was anything else he needed me to do. Well, duh, we just dismissed school an hour after we got there. Of course there's something to do. So I walked outside braving the snow to help with the 6th graders when I realized I didn't take a coat to work. "That's okay," I thought. "No big deal. I'll stay through the rush then go back in." Hahaha. Joke was on me. Rush lasted 45 minutes. Thankfully Mr. Spencer had an extra coat in his office, so he let me borrow it. He's only the tallest man in the world (slight hyperbole), so it was a perfect fit (even slighter hyperbole). Warm nonetheless.
picture I took once I got back to Ozark
Standing outside talking to the kids as the snowflakes fell...I'm not sure where else I would have rather been. Cold? Sure. Miserable? Not a bit. The kids were so excited, and to watch them jump into warm cars and head off to enjoy the day was a highlight for me.

Mom and Dad's driveway--definitely not having visitors soon!

After about 45 minutes of this, most kids were gone; so I went home to pack up my weekender for another night or two in God's country. It was a long, beautiful drive...especially up Hwy 23: rustic barns covered with white, mountains hidden behind snow clouds, giant flakes melting on my windshield. After a warm bowl of soup, I ventured out into the yard. Haha..not far. But hopefully after the snow finishes, I'll be able to get on the 4wheelers and run around.

I took a picture of this tree Mom and Dad have next to the front yard. Looking at it makes me wish it was Spring so I could...GEOCACHE!!

Look, I know that is a really attractive outfit. But no, you can't have it. Pink New York Yankees cap. Green Alma Airedales sweatshirt. Purple Ozark Hillbillies sweatpants. Brown Ariat cowboy boots. Shut up...I know you are digging it. Mom took this picture a few weeks ago when we took my aunt and uncle geocaching for this first time. In the National Forest I get sporadic 3G coverage, so it was hard using my geocache app to find the cache. I climbed on this rock to find that it gave the best service I had had since we had hit dirt roads. As for the cache, it's still hidden somewhere at Grey Springs. I hate that stinkin' cache...I've tried to find it two different times now, and I have yet to conquer it. Ridiculous.
Nonetheless, I am in love with geocaching. If geocaching was a guy, I'd marry him. But he's not..and I'm not really even sure why I'm calling "it" a "him." Anyway...I need to start going to bed earlier since I'm obviously delirious due to lack of sleep. That's a completely different "him" much more interesting. But you'll just have to wait for it! It'll be worth it...promise!