Monday, October 31, 2011

We Went to the Big D

We attacked Dallas this weekend. 'Nuf said.

Except y'all know me, and that's not really enough said. Because I love talking about my weekends with Mr. Cash! But before I get into all the hype from the past few days, let me just start with some exciting news. My principal came in my classroom on Friday to tell me she had gotten official word from the U of A-Ft. Smith that I will have a student teacher this Spring. In fact he's (yep, HE) is quite a bit older than me. I'm so pumped!! And I have no doubt you'll be hearing many student intern stories as I relive my internship a few, short years ago. Ah, it was amazing.

So after 7th period my wonderfully amazing assistant principal told me I could leave since I had no meetings after school, and I didn't want to drive in Dallas while it was dark. I come from a hometown of 3,500 people--Dallas + Dark = Avery wrecks. Since I had packed up the night before, I rolled out of town without even stopping at my house. Luckily, Cash got to leave work a little early as well. I love driving when I know he's going to be is. amazing.

I got to the hotel a little before him, so I went ahead and checked in. Y'all, the hotel was amazing! We stayed at the beautiful Adolphus where even Queen Elizabeth has stayed before. Chandeliers adorned the ceilings, and the elevators were wooden. It was breathtaking. Don't get me wrong--I love the simple country life I have always had here in sweet, down home Arkansas. But the way Cash pampers me doesn't get old either. I think there's definitely a place for both!

the Adolphus--Cash definitely pampers me!
That night we went to a little Italian restaurant right around the corner from our hotel and watched the Cardinals/Rangers game. Then we just went back and passed out from exhaustion after a 5 hour drive.

We got around early on Saturday and had a quaint breakfast at the hotel. I had a near meltdown when I couldn't find my car keys, and then an even nearer meltdown when I thought I had locked them in my 4Runner. Cash just looked at me like I was insane, because I had valet parked the night before. Of course I didn't have my keys. When I finally realized what I had said, it was too late to act like I was just kidding. Why do I insist on humiliating myself?

While most of our day was spent shopping and he considers me the worst shopping partner ever, it was so nice to be with him! We had the best time looking for Christmas presents for our nieces and nephew. I wanted to get Addison the cutest little Ralph Lauren skinny jeans that were hot pink, but I opted out. Oh, I should've gotten them.

Then we went to Burberry to look around. Now, I didn't plan to go in there and buy anything. But it never hurt a girl to look. Well, it used to not hurt a girl to look. Cash and I were looking at a trench coat that cost over $2,000. That is ridiculous. Even if I was afforded the opportunity, I would hope that I would never spend that amount of money on something so trivial. However, as we were looking, the saleslady walked up to tell me this particular item had just come off the runway. She continued talking and said, "But we do have our lower end in the back...." She said that! Really!! Cash will tell you I am exaggerating the story and she didn't mean it that way, but I'm straight up telling you the truth. Straight. Up.

Okay, so it is beautiful. It's really hott. But it's not $2,000 worthy. Not now.
A few minutes later, she made us move so she could get something for another customer. Cash said, "If you're so big, prove to her you can get it. Just buy it." But I'd be danged before I bought from that lady. And I'd be danged if I spent $2,000 on a trench coat.

Then I got Which Wich for lunch and was again in a gleeful mood. Have you eaten there? Cash and his family introduced me to it while we were in Arlington, and ever since then I have craved it like it was going out of style. I chose Which Wich over Chik-fil-A on Saturday. Y'all, that is huge. I even tried to duplicate one of their sandwiches at home, but it was an epic fail.

best sandwich shop...ever
After our shopping spree, Cash took me by the field where he used to play rugby for the Quins. They had just gotten through playing a match, so I tried to get Cash to holler at someone and talk. Nope. He wouldn't.

That night Cash took me out on the town! Y'all, I cry when I think about how blessed I am. I'm not kidding. On my way home yesterday I broke down and started bawling while thinking about how good he is. Even though we had valet parking at the hotel and restaurant, Cash made sure he was the one to open my door. Every time we are walking in or out of a doorway, he opens the door for me. Every time we are walking, he stops and lets me go first. What did I ever do to deserve the respect he gives me?

We ate at this amazing Brazilian restaurant: Texas de Brazil. Our very first dinner together was at a Brazilian restaurant in Little Rock, so it was fun to go and have the same type of meal. And if you ever need to fatten up, just go to a Brazilian restaurant. They can do the job for ya. My Lanta. I still feel like I'm going to explode from all the delish food.
Texas de Brazil-Dallas
this is why I gained 3,002 lbs this weekend
 Sunday we walked down to Dealey Plaza (in our matching outfits. Oh yes, he about died when I walked out of the bathroom in a black vest since he had one on too), and Cash gave me a history lesson on his conspiracy theories of President Kennedy's assassination. He was blown away that I didn't know much about the events at all, but it's just not something I had ever been interested in. I told him I could tell him all the tiny details of imperialism, but I never concentrated on Kennedy's assassination except for the little bit I had read about Jacqueline K-O. However, I loved hearing all he had to tell me. It was a great reminder that there is always something new and exciting to learn in history--even if I teach history every single day. (Maybe even especially since I teach history every single day.)

Then it was off to lunch at La Madeline. Again, I think the boy is trying to fatten me up. I inhaled my sandwich. I would love to tell you what I had, but to be quite frank I have no idea how to pronounce it...or spell it. Oh...the sweetest thing...we were about to walk into the restaurant, and two little old ladies were walking out. One had a walker and was a little bit slower, and Cash opened the door for her. She kept saying, "Thank you, thank you." And he just smiled at her and said, "No problem!" I love him for little things like that. It's one thing when he's great to me...but it just makes him even more amazing when he's great to other people.

After lunch we walked down to Barnes and Noble, and I got some Spanish CDs. Don't laugh at me. I desperately want to be fluent in Spanish, so I thought it would be a good idea to practice while driving 5 hours home. As much as we travel, I'll be fluent in no time!

Then we had to part ways. The drive home wasn't nearly as enjoyable as the drive to go see him, but I'm so thankful that I got to spend a few days with my favorite person!! 3 more weeks, and I'll get to see him Arkansas this time! In fact I will only see him 3 more times before the end of the year. Wow. I don't know what's more shocking: that I won't see him more than that or that it's that close to New Year's.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well!! See you on the flip side.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fill in the Blank!

1.   When I was a kid I wanted to be      a lawyer, a writer, and a WNBA star all at the same time   when I grew up.

2.   As an adult, my dream job would be   a state senator. I love politics! 

3.  W hen I was younger I wanted to be just like my dad. He was the smartest person I knew. 

4. The childhood Halloween costume that I remember most was when I was    the year I was Steve Avery, the MLB pitcher. I thought I was so cool because I wore a Braves jersey, and my mom put "Avery" on the back. Chya!

5.  My favorite childhood toy was    my basketball. I played basketball every single day of my life I'm pretty sure.

6.  The time I got into the biggest amount of trouble when I was a kid was when I    told on myself for cheating on a math test in 6th grade. Yep, told on myself. I was really disappointed in myself for not knowing the answer, so I caved on ratted myself out. 

7.  I get daily inspiration from    faith. I don't do my studies like I should, and I don't always stay optimistic. But without having that faith, I'm not sure how I'd make it.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This Week's Great Things

Today I am absolutely loving...

*that I get to see Cash in 2 days.
We are going to the Big D this weekend, and I certainly mean Dallas! Cash got us reservations at this really neat hotel, and I can't wait to tell you all about it next week.

our first play!
*that we took our students to see the play "Letters to Home" yesterday at the PAC. 
"Letters to Home"
By the end I had chills all over my body and was at a total loss for words. I totally concur with the feelings these soldiers had about the Middle East. However, I am not naive to think that my time there was as hurtful and painful as theirs. But living there, breathing that hot air, feeling that sand all over my body--it gives me a brand new appreciation for our veterans.

*that my name got drawn for a free book today from our book fair!
Ten True Tales
I was so excited all day, because I thought I got to pick out my book. I spied The Help yesterday and was going to go get it, but they laughed at me (all in good fun!). I did get to pick my book, but I had to pick from a selection. ha! Oh, well. I got a double sided Ten True Tales non-fiction book about Iraq and Afghanistan for my history lovers. It was free. I teach Social Studies. And I won---I don't care if it's dominoes, a national championship, or a book--I love winning!

*that the school is providing our dinner.
Now, I'm being super optimistic about working until 7:00 tonight. It's our fall Parent/Teacher Conferences. I love seeing the parents, but it is a super long day in the world of education. Word on the street (or the teacher's lounge) is the Merle's Steakhouse (the finest dining in Alma, Arkansas) is catering our dinner. Hip...hip...HIP HIP HOORAY! Someone better not have been pulling my long legs.

*that my students are so pumped about Current Event Fridays.
Every teacher wants to instill a love of their subject into a child. And I would say every subject has its place in one's life. But to me Social Studies is so important because it gives us the underlying cause of why things are the way the are in the world, what is going on in the world today, and how it can be changed if need be. I love (LOVE) the fact that the subject I teach is key in changing the world. Holy cow, y'all. Holy cow!

Well, on Fridays I always have my students bring in any current events they've read, seen, or heard about over the course of the week. Not only do I have students mad when I miss work on Fridays to go to Texas because they got "ripped off" on current events that week, but I have students now petitioning for a Politics Club. My principal approved it, and yours truly is now leading that. I love politics. I love my students. And I really, really love when my students love politics and current events!

*that God has blessed Cash and I so much in our relationship and that he continues to grow us together.
I love white churches!
When Cash and I started dating, I'm not sure if I had ever met a real life Lutheran before. I knew nothing of the denomination. But I ask him questions, and I became really curious as it is so different from my Baptist upbringing. Coming from a blended family of Baptists and Pentecostal, we had some soul! You know what I mean? We clapped. We raised our hands. We even (when I went with my grandparents) got a little Holy Ghost.

But Lutherans, they don't get the Holy Ghost or raise their hands or even clap. At first this was foreign to me. I didn't know really how to worship there. But I have realized that it's not in the presentation of the service, it's in the heart of the person in the service. For Cash having traditions and taking communion is reverent and what he loves. For me it has always been praise and worship and a message that convicts you deep inside. I think both are great now, and that has been something the Lord has been working on: the art of finding a church and a belief together.

I've been attending a couple different Methodist churches. This past Sunday a young couple our age was called to the front. The preacher announced that they were getting married and had recently joined the church: she by the way of the Baptist church and he by the way of the Lutheran church. I looked at my friend with my jaw on the floor, and I couldn't help but smile knowing God was certainly doing the same thing for us. He doesn't call us to be Lutheran, Baptist, or any other denomination. He calls us to worship and love Him, and when we find that one person He made for us; well, He wants us to worship and love Him still. I'm so thankful God is proving yet again that He does take care of us. He brought Cash and I together, He'll continue to bless us as we begin to worship together.

*that election year is upon us.


*that my dad invited me to go see Courageous with him tomorrow.
so ready to see this with the parentals!
*that I got to see my niece and nephew Monday night, and we played backyard football until dark:thirty.

*that God gave me a person I love living life with. Nothing in this world even comes close.
I love this man! He is so extraordinarily handsome and has the biggest heart of anyone I know! #soblessed

I know God is blessing your life too. Hope you are getting to see the beauty in all the circumstances. Have a blessed day, beautiful ones. And be thinking about us teachers tonight!

*Avery Jane*

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Republican Primaries Part Deux

As promised (since I know you all are dying to learn about more politicians!), I have researched the other 5 candidates for tonight's Republican primary debate. This is an exciting group of candidates as we have seen spars and show downs take place amongst them. With Herman Cain rising to the top since the last debate, it is no doubt that tonight will be an eventful evening with attacks on his 9-9-9 plan and non-political resume. Without further ado, meet the other guys {the Pauls-Santorums}:

Dr. Ron Paul
Dr. Paul, also known as Congressman Paul, has spent many years in Congress and is most widely known for his view on limited government. He thinks government is too big and the best practices would include lowering (even abolishing) federal taxes. As an OBGYN he has delivered over 4,000 babies and has true experience in the field of healthcare--a widely debated topic in politics today. Currently from Texas, he grew up in Pennsylvania and attended medical school at Duke. He even served as a doctor for the US Air Force in the '60s.

Governor Rick Perry
Hailing from the 2nd largest state in the union, Governor Ricky Perry has resided over Texas since former President GW Bush left for DC in 2000. He has never lost a political race in his entire career and is the state's first governor alum from Texas A&M. While growing up in a small town, he graduated with 12 classmates and lived for 5 years without indoor plumbing. It goes without saying that his background is vastly different from that of his counterpart President GW Bush, but you won't find him voicing any concern over the former president due to their direct ties. As governor of Texas, Perry has had superior ratings in job growth and energy dependency. His governorship has led him to see the problems facing our border, although it is only one country in which he has had foreign diplomacy. Perry has also served in the US Air Force. Lastly, he was the latest candidate to announce his running and has been in the top-tier since the announcement, sparring often with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

Governor Buddy Roemer
One candidate that may have the biggest tendency to work across the aisle with Democrats is former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer. Roemer served as governor as both a Democrat and Republican. Having graduated from Harvard in both undergraduate and graduate studies, he has held many positions. He has been a congressman, governor, and recently a bank CEO.

Governor Mitt Romney
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is the longest running candidate in this year's election. After losing the Republican primaries to John McCain in 2008, Romney has been on the campaign trail. His experience has both private and public sector qualifications as he graduated from Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School. His degree and resume landed him at the head of a highly stressful winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City. As a devout Mormon he has faced many remarks about religious diversity, but he has remained a top-tier candidate throughout the election process.

Senator Rick Santorum
 In 1990 Rick Santorum found himself as the newly elected representative for Pennsylvania at only 32 years of age. He went on to become a US Senator for 12 years and worked with now Speaker of the House John Boehner as a member of the "Gang of Seven." During recent debates he has talked frequently about immigration as his own father was an Italian immigrant to our country. He and his wife have seven children which no doubt prompted his 2007 book It Takes a Family.

Don't forget to watch CNN tonight at 8/7 central. You may be surprised with how unique these candidates are...and the fact that politics can be fun! As former President John F. Kennedy would say, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." So turn on that television set tonight and get enlightened by the nation's leading Republican candidates.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Election 2012: Republican Primary Debates

For those of you who know me {at all} know my absolute love of politics. While I realize it's not the number one interest on most 20 year olds' minds, I have always been fascinated with our country's government since I was a little girl. My freshman year in high school I even won the Civics Award from my teacher, because I was in crazy infatuation with the presidential election, constitution, and laws surrounding us. Now I teach Social Studies, and my principal will even recognize that current events and politics are the main reasons I love teaching. (Of course I love my kiddos, but that's a given.)

Considering my hobbies and the fact that my graduate studies are in Public Administration, it's pretty obvious why I have been following this year's Republican primary election. During almost every debate I go to my parents' house and analyze what each candidate says with both my mom and dad. Then I spend days talking to Cash about each candidate, who would win the primaries right now, and who might have a chance at beating President Obama.

So it blew my mind the first time I mentioned the debates in the teacher's lounge at work. Everyone just kind of looked at me like I was mental, and each person told me they had no interest in watching the debates. Now I recognize that politics are not on the forefront on most people's minds; but it's the future of our country! We are in the biggest recession since the 1980s, a war in the Middle East, and healthcare reform. Whether you are Republican, Democrat, or just plain American, it blows me away to think you seriously don't care about what happens--->or you'll just let others decide, and you'll make your mind up later. Later you might not get a voice.

Therefore, I decided to put together a post for you about each Republican candidate. Since President Obama will be the Democratic nominee (and I feel we all know about him), I am concentrating on these candidates that we do not know much about.

My post isn't to pull for one candidate over another. I want to be in politics myself one day, so I don't intend to blast my own chances! haha. Seriously, though, I just want people to be aware...and to maybe care just a little. So here goes. Meet the first 5 candidates in alphabetical order:

Representative Michele Bachmann

Representative Bachmann is the lone woman on the campaign trail as she vies for the office that no woman has ever held before. Being a voice of the tea party, she is strongly conservative and is an advocate against the current tax code and size of government. Rep Bachmann received a law degree (JD) from Oral Roberts University. Since then she and her husband have been foster parents to 23 children. She started very strongly, but with the additions of several other candidates she has decreased dramatically in the polls.

Herman Cain

Meet the newest top candidate! Mr. Cain was just one of many on the campaign trail until recently when he soared into rapid popularity due to his 9-9-9 tax plan and down to earth mentality. As the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, Cain feels that his tenure in the private sector separates him from the rest of the polished politicians in the field. Also, he is known for his point blank answers, off handed jokes, and politcally incorrect comments. Besides being a corporate executive, he has also been a Baptist preacher, on the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank, and a radio talk show host. To top it off, he is the only African-American candidate for the Republican party and comes from very humbling beginnings.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
Most Americans remember Mr. Gingrich for his stint in the House of Representatives. While President Clinton was in office, Gingrich was the Speaker of the House and helped balance the budget. Under President GW Bush, he was on the Defense Policy Board. Plus, he is an author with 23 published books. Much like Cain, he has straight answers and point blank comments. However, he differs in that he is more polished and political.

Ambassador Jon Hunstman
Not being in the top-tier candidates or a renowned politician, many people do not know much about Ambassador Hunstman, although he has held several important offices in our country. His family owned a private business where he held an executive office. On top of his private sector background, he served 2 terms as governor of Utah. President Obama (Democrat) named him as the US Ambassador to China in 2009. His credentials for that office came from knowing Chinese Mandarin and Taiwanese Hokkein. Personally he and his wife have raised 7 children: 2 of whom were adopted. However, don't expect to see him at the debates tomorrow as he is in New Hampshire boycotting the Western Republican Presidential Debate despite being the only candidate hailing from the western states.

Former Governor Gary Johnson
Rising to popularity in New Mexico after turning his 1-man business into a multi-million dollar company, the former governor served from 1994-2003. He's known to be "the most fiscally conservative governor in the country." As of recently, he became known for his punch at President Obama, "My next door neighbor's two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than the current administration." He is firm on the private sector's model of cost-benefit analysis when it comes to economics. While researching Johnson, his website gives little detail of his stint as governor--only noting his strict economic policies and use of his power of veto. On a personal note he is an avid outdoorsman and has even reached the peak of Mt. Everest.

And that, mi amigos, is the first 5 candidates of the Republican primary. Tomorrow I will introduce you to the remaining 5. I must say that I'm pretty excited about several of these candidates, and I think the Republican party has some very strong candidates, both conservative and moderate. Don't forget to watch Tuesday at 7pm (8 ET) on CNN!

Happy election time!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Decor

I want to preface this post by saying that in no way am I a style connoisseur. Nor am I an interior designer. However, I have loved reading others' blogs about their decorations. And since I just spent yesterday morning at War Eagle (yes, I did!), I wanted to share some of the few--very few--fall decorations I had up.

living room with new centerpiece

Welcome to my living room! This couch has to be the most comfortable place in the universe. It's so sad to me when I talk to Cash about the possibility of merging our two houses one day, because it will kill me to part with this golden piece of Heaven. What you give up for love...and dogs who drool. :)

But the new, exciting part of my very monotone living room is the new centerpiece on my coffee table. I have been seeing pictures on Pinterest of pops of turquoise or red, so I went out on a limb at War Eagle yesterday and bought a distressed turquoise dough bowl to add some color.

new dough bowl

I love how it turned out! For the fall I decided to put some acorns in with the rose thips I bought yesterday. It'll be so fun to change every season what I put in the dish. I've already been planning for winter and spring, but you'll just have to wait and see! I wish you could smell this picture, because walking into the house is now like walking into the best smelling coffee bean. It adds more Heaven.

rose thips=nose love

How fun  are the acorns?! My mom gave me the idea, so I conned my nephew and his little friends to pick them up for me yesterday when I went out to camp. They were the best acorn pickers I had ever met..and the cutest too!

Also on the recently done list is a new storm door in the front of the house. I had to call on my ol' friend Ryan (I actually bought my house from him-ha!) to put in the door. Since he rebuilt pretty much every single aspect of my house already, I figured he would do a good job with the storm door. He was so awesome for spending hours at the house with Amy and me last week, so I promised him we would go over Tuesday night and cook for him. I think the door really adds to the house, and it's so fun to pull up and see little Bequette in the front door.

new storm door
A couple years ago I got into making wreaths. I haven't been able to make any lately, but every fall and winter I love pulling my wreaths out. Being artsy was not on my passion list growing up, but I have loved decorating my own house. Honestly, I think decorating the fireplace every season has become my favorite place to decorate.

fireplace decor

Mom and I love Hobby Lobby, especially when what we love is on sale that week. Also, Cash's sweet mom gave me this beautiful picture frame for my birthday back in May, and I had not been able to figure out a picture to put in it. Finally, we got a fun picture at the Ranch Party, and I knew it was the perfect color combo for the frame. I loved it on the fireplace with my new little scarecrows.  

new scarecrows and picture frame

As you can tell, the decorating isn't over the top or extravagant. I just try to work with what I have, make what I don't, and rearrange every season to liven the place back up a little. I have found that decorating can be fun..and cheap! You just have to find a few foundation pieces and learn to mix, match, and reuse. Hope you all have happy decorating this fall...and eat some candy corn for crying out loud!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Claytie Turned 80, and We Partied Like It Was His Birthday

After the flight down, I was ready to just relax and enjoy the weekend with Cash. And relax and enjoy the weekend we did! Friday he worked half a day, but all afternoon I was feeling really sick. So he actually got to enjoy his afternoon without me talking the whole time. And mwha enjoyed a nice little nap.

That evening we met our friends Kelli and Dean at Osaka's for some pre-game Japanese food. Then it was football time! I was pumped to watch my first high school football game in Midland; I had heard so much about it! Yes, I cheered for Midland High. But the Friday Night Lights lover in me had to smile when I found out they were playing Permian.

Loved it! Came down to the last 9 seconds of the game.
 I was blown away by the grande-sized stadium. At Alma School District we take our extra-curriculars pretty serious. But I had never witnessed anything of this magnitude for high school. 

excuse my nasty face--I have the disclaimer that the wind made me look creepy.
 Of course I just loved having an evening of watching football with Cash! Usually we just get to tell each other about a game we watched or something we did. But to actually be TOGETHER and do something TOGETHER, that was awesome!

Then Saturday morning we headed to Ft. Davis to meet his parents and co-workers for Claytie's Ranch Party and 80th birthday celebration. We stayed at the Hotel Limpia, which was fabulous! It was like staying in an antique house. The town was really neat with some little gift shops. I bought my niece a very minor part to her Christmas present, and I bought my mom some Texas playing cards. Big spender.

But the event of the weekend was the Ranch Party. We got there, signed in, had our pictures taken; then we went down to enjoy the first entertainment: a mariachi band.

mariachi band to welcome guests
Finally, we got to meet up with Ross and Barbara. She is by far the best friend I have made in Midland. We just have had so much happen the same in our lives, and it doesn't hurt that our boyfriends are great friends and the 2 young geologists at work. Our relationships started at relatively the same time, and we both have fallen in love...crazy, knock your socks off, can't imagine life without someone kind of love...with these two hotty patotty guys!

the perfect life
Ross and Barbara!

When Clatyon got on stage, Cash explained to me that he recognizes his employees that have worked for 20 or more years. It's not just the Clayton Williams Energy employees; he recognizes all of his farm workers too. Anyone that has worked for any company or property he owns, Claytie recognizes them. I thought that was pretty amazing. How many people that have such a successful career in pretty much every major type of industry remember the people who feed the cattle on their farms? (If you don't know much about Mr. Williams, you can purchase a copy of his biography. Yes, I just made a plug for my boyfriend's CEO.)

Clayton recognizing his staff
Another awesome thing about Claytie is that he loves politics, in particular Republican politics. After his prayer, he exclaimed, "And piss on Obama!" Then he received a sun visor for his truck that had "CWI" on one side and "Piss on Obama" on the other. His dislike for the current president isn't kept a secret. But if you read about his own Texas gubernatorial race, you would find out he doesn't keep a lot of things low key.

You could tell by the amount of people there to celebrate Claytie's birthday that they love working for him. In fact, I heard a lady at lunch Saturday afternoon say, "I've had so many people call and ask me to go to work for them, but I wouldn't go anywhere now. I finally work for Clayton!"

loving life with my sweet friend
Barbara and I love Claytie too! He pays our fellers...and they buy us lunch. haha. But seriously, even though I'm an old country groupie and she hates any country, we both had the time of our lives at the concert. Yep, Claytie brought in a just wait for it!
singing "Elvira" with my sweets
 Cash even got into the concert, but I think he was just itching for the 2nd band to come on so we could dance. That boy loves to dance! ha---only kidding, of course. But he had promised he would dance once the first concert was over.

Cash and Ross enjoying the show

My boyfriend and my friend make such a pretty couple! Luckily, she's taken. haha

posing in front of the stage...jamming out!
Who is that behind us you ask? Besides Carrie Ann in the little (way too little) black dress? That's the one and only OAK RIDGE BOYS!! Yep, a private concert with the Oak Ridge Boys. Life doesn't get much better than that!

ready to sing "Hey, Claytie"
 They even were gracious enough to sing a birthday song to Claytie written specifically for him to the tune of "Elvira." We were a little iffy about it at first, but it turned out to be an awesome song...but darn the luck I have had it stuck in my head all week long!

During the concert this girl umm lady...girl-lady kept staring at Barbara and I. I even saw her sneak in a picture of us. Finally, she walked up and started talking. Cash was pretty excited-HA. If you know my boyfriend, you know he's the shyest, quietest, most modest person you could ever meet. However, he thought it'd be super awesome to get up there and have his picture taken with Black Dress Woman. This is as close as he would get. haha.

She told me that she and her husband are looking for geologists ALL the time and proceeded to give me her business card. That's where I had to draw the line. I was like, "Okay..thanks. Cash does have a job." But she said she was cold, and I felt bad. So I had Cash go grab my other fleece jacket and let her wear it. I do have a heart afterall.

In case you haven't noticed, she wasn't the classiest lady of all time. It was no time before she left, and the 3 of us started cracking up. By no means were we making fun of her; but she was trying so hard to promote her business. And at times we wondered what all that business entailed. In the meantime...the Oak Ridge Boys were still singing away...

And I must admit that I was singing away too. Cash told me later that he didn't know who had the most fun at the Ranch Party: Claytie or yours truly. It was a pretty close race.

Everything about these pictures reminds me of how great the weekend was. However, during the entire concert I kept anticipating the next band who was going to play in order for us to dance on the tennis courts. Don't get me wrong; the Oak Ridge Boys were phenomenal. And part of me never wanted it to end. But a part of me was ready to dance with the one person I would travel around the world for. However, it wasn't Avery's Ranch Party. It was Claytie's. And Claytie was having fun with the ORB.

So Claytie went up on stage and dropped a few K's, a few Grover Cleveland's if you will, and conned the coolest band in America to play for an extra hour. Towards the end they said it was the longest concert they had ever played, and they literally were running out of songs. But none of us would have cared had they replayed some songs. We were having a blast!

However, all good things have to come to an end. The concert was over. Rain started. The dance never began. The Ranch Party was done. And within 24 hours I had gotten on a plane back to Arkansas. What a brutal ending to one of the best weekends on record!

My trips to Texas are my favorite weekends. Coming home has just become one more thing to make me want to get back down there. I hate being away from Cash, away from Midland. I try to keep reminding myself to enjoy these moments. Enjoy missing him and then jumping in his arms when I see him after several weeks. Enjoy being 30 minutes away from my parents. Enjoy my friends I have grown up with. Enjoy my job with the most amazing students in the world. But it's getting harder. Because every single day I miss Cash. And I'm going to end on that sappy little love note...

G'night, and I love y'all!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Plain ol' Plane Failure

We travel a lot. Just not to a lot of destinations most people are itching to go to. We go to Midland, Texas and Alma, Arkansas. That's how exciting it gets around here.

But it gets quite pricey going from the middle of nowhere to the middle of nowhere. While I have made it known that I think it'd be a wise investment to purchase a small plane and become a pilot, I have to convince Cash to do that. Lord knows I'm not becoming a pilot. I close my eyes on the take-off and landing.

This weekend is Claytie's annual Ranch Party!! Cash and I have been planning for months on where we were staying and what the weekend plan was going to look like. So I took off half a day of work yesterday and a full day today. For the first time I was flying from Ft. Smith instead of Tulsa to save on time (but definitely not money--why are small airports SO expensive?!)

the entire FS airport with pretty much all of FS in view--yep, 2 runways

Anyway, we were so excited!! I got to Ft. Smith and through the 1-man security operation. Okay, they had thrice as many people as that. But still they wouldn't let me go through security until the 1 gate on the other side was open. That's hoaky. I love Arkansas, but that's hoaky.

the 1 thing that FS airport has going for it

So I got on the plane and was having a good time listening to this guy in front of me try to talk to the kid sitting next to him. We started to take off, and the plane was literally all over the runway. I kept thinking to myself that I was exaggerating the problem...that it was just me being tense since this was the first time I've flown since the tragedy this summer. I had even driven to Midland twice in order to not fly. To say I had been anxious about this flight was an understatement.

Eventually we got off the ground and started ascending. I closed my eyes and could just hear all these sounds you don't really think you should be hearing in a plane. Mind you it was a little prop plane (even a more uneasy feeling), but it was still a little unnerving. At this point though, it was just a little unnerving.

an AA prop plane just like the one that ruined the afternoon

We weren't in the air for 5 minutes when I looked out the window and started thinking to myself, "We should be higher than this. Really, I think we should." And it was at this exact same moment when that same man in front of me looked out the window and said, "We are going down. Yep, we are going down. WE ARE GOING DOWN!!"

These aren't words a counselor-seeking scaredy cat with a terrible summer experience needs or wants to hear while in the smallest plane in use.

It was at this exact same moment a lot of beeping started coming from the cockpit to the stewardess. She then came over the speakers and said, "The landing gear will not come up. Please make sure your seatbelts are fastened securely and as tight as they will go. Please do not get up or unfasten your seatbelt. Please prepare for an emergency landing."


I felt the blood rush out of my face, and my hands grew numb. I clinched onto the closest thing to me, even though the man sitting next to me wouldn't let me hold his hand. He was mean. Then I started praying, and my prayers grew louder. I just kept repeating aloud, "Oh, Lord. Oh, Jesus. Oh, help us. Oh, Lord."

The man in front of me? Remember him? Yep. He took his hat off and started praying too.

After all of that we did land back in Fort Smith, but they couldn't get us back to the terminal. We had to walk. I was bawling the whole way.

I tried to call Cash twice, but I knew he was playing golf with some of the VP's from work. So I called my mom to tell her to stay in Ft. Smith and called Cash's mom to tell her I wouldn't be at the airport in Midland at 6:00. I was freaking out with both of them and crying hysterically.

Eventually I got to the ticket counter where they offered to get me on the same plane...yes...I just said the SAME PLANE! in a couple hours. They were going to "strap up the landing gear." I looked at the lady like she was crazier than Obama'a economic advisor and told her in no uncertain terms that I wouldn't step foot back on that plane. Seriously?! I am not a pilot nor am I am a mechanic, but I am pretty certain that at some point in the flight you need landing gear. Reason #2 it was quite hoaky.

Well, I thought I was going to just drive, but I couldn't imagine driving 10 hours back on Sunday. Not happenin'. So they rerouted me to fly out of XNA to DFW then from DFW to Lubbock...2 flat, dusty, windy hours away from Midland. I was to get in at 11:30. Basically, Cash would be getting in bed at 2:00 in the morning and having to get up and be at work by 8. I felt terrible, but he said he'd rather me do that than drive the entire trip.

So Mom and I headed to XNA. When I get there, I realized many more people and planes were there, and I started feeling much better. This is the point where I should mention that we couldn't use another plane at Ft. Smith because that was the only (yes, the ONLY) plane at the entire airport. Ohhpp...hoaky moment #3.

XNA...a little bit busier than FS

 XNA was nice though, and although they couldn't get me on the earlier flight to DFW they were nice enough to check the flights from DFW to Midland for me one more time. Luckily there was 1 seat left for a 9:15 flight to Midland...and I took it!

an AA regional jet
Instead of having a 2 hour layover in Dallas and flying into Lubbock, I had about 45 minutes to sit and be so so so excited to fly straight into Midland and see my honey. Plus, I was on a regional jet on both flights instead of 2 prop planes like I originally was going to fly on. Perhaps it was all worth it just for that. I do NOT like prop planes. 

Wouldn't you much rather be on a regional jet too?

Long story short I got into Midland a little over 4 hours later than expected and missed the play I had taken a half day off work to see with Cash and his parents. But I was safe. And I was in the Permian Basin. And that's all I really cared about at that point.

Cash stopped and got me some Whattaburger (we are fancy eaters) and came home to finish up some work. And I played with Jett. Sleep never looked so good after such an eventful day! Tonight he's taking me to my first ever Texas high school football game: Midland vs Permian! I am so excited and even brought a purple shirt to cheer on the Bulldogs in honor of Cash's alma mater. Tomorrow is the big ranch party!! Can't wait to see Barbara and Ross...and have a great time with Cash!!

Prayers for safe travels home Sunday would be awesome. See you guys next week (hopefully ;) ) and can't wait to tell you all about my weekend with my favorite!