Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It Feels Like I'm All the Way Back to Where I Belong

I wish I could show you pictures, but I failed to pack my cord and Cash's doesn't fit my camera. So next week I'll put some up.

It's ugly here. It's dry. It's windy. It's a long way from where I grew up. But it's perfect, because I get to spend time with Cash. I always thought Arkansas would be home; now I think wherever he is is home.

I feel like a little kid sometimes always gushing about my boyfriend. And I can't help but laugh at myself when I just go on and on about him. I act like I've never dated someone before. ha! But to be honest, I've never dated anyone like Cash before.

For example, I don't like to drink soda without a straw. He went to the store Sunday night to get us some popcorn, and he brought back a plethora of goodies. On top of the regular popcorn he went to get, he also bought kettled popcorn, tea packets, Dr. Pepper, and straws. Now, that might be minimal to you. But Cash doesn't like any of those. Well, maybe the tea but nothing else. And it was extraordinary to me. I love my Cash.

Jett and I have gotten along fairly well. In fact Jett and I might be tighter than Jett and Cash now. (Cash, don't hate. You know it's true.) Cash put new sheets on his bed the other night, and apparently I wasn't making the bed right, because I got to hear allll about it. So I just sat my little self in the corner while Jett came over to console me. Although he is griping at me right now from outside, because I made him go out after Cash left this morning. We may not be BFF's at the end of the day.

I took my first communion in a Lutheran church Sunday morning. Someone, whose name may or may not be Cash, failed to mention it was real wine. Okay, so he mentioned it was wine. But I didn't think he meant REAL wine! I thought maybe fake wine...I don't know. I took the glass and tilted it up, and when it hit my tongue I realized I was drinking wine...IN CHURCH! It's a small glass, the same kind we Baptists take communion with, but I didn't finish my wine. No way. No how. When we went back to the pew, I looked at him and mouthed, "I think I'm drunk." He laughed at me, but my throat was on fire. I could just hear my Baptist preachers in my mind. And it wasn't happy thoughts. (Most of this is hyperbole of course, but it skims the truth...)

I've been fed more in the past few days than ever before. Goodness these people can cook! Saturday night Aaron and Jeanne cooked us steak, grilled corn on the cob, okra, mashed potatoes, etccccc! It was all so good. Cash liked it too I guess, since he enhaled my leftovers.

We've eaten at so many restaurants already, and each one is so good. My favorite was this Thai restaurant we ate at yesterday with his friend Ross and Ross's girlfriend. I love Thai food, and one day I will wake up and find myself in Thailand. I might be 84, but I'll make it there.

So after lunch yesterday Cash showed me this shopping center by his house that I could walk to. When he was dropping me off, I just started crying. It hit me that I don't know a single person here. I don't have friends to call and just go shopping with (or swing dance with). I don't have a mom to come keep me company. I don't have a sister to sit with at basketball games. But I do have Cash. As much as I miss home, I miss him more. As much as I love home, I love him more. I think reality hit me yesterday afternoon that I'm going to have to start over with friends. It'll be hard at first, and that reality hasn't escaped me. At the end of the day, however, it's all worth it be with him.

I am super lucky though to have one friend in Midland! Jeanne left work early yesterday, and she showed me around some shopping centers. It was the nicest thing anyone could have done for me, because I was pretty down about not having friends or family here. And Jeanne is both, maybe unofficially, but it still counts!

After we stopped at a couple stores, we went to pick Lena up from the sitter's. I used to say I have the cutest niece and nephew in the world. I take it back. I have the 2 cutest nieces and the 1 most handsome nephew in the world. When we got there, I thought she was actually going to let me pick her up. She put her arms out and started walking towards me, right past Jeanne. Then she stopped and let her mom pick her up instead. Well, maybe next time...haha.

Cash will hurt me (not really, he doesn't really hurt me) if I'm not ready for lunch when he gets here in an hour. Then it's off to an afternoon at the spa! No wonder it's starting to feel like home...now if I could only find my teeth and cousin to date...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Today's Gonna Be A Great, Great Day!

This day just keeps getting better, and it's not even 9:00.

1. It's blue jean day if you pay $5.00. I wore black slacks making myself feel like I saved $5.00. :)
2. It's Friday, and that's just an obvious reason to smile.
3. I was hungry when I got to school. When I went to fill up my water bottle, I noticed someone had brought in brownies to the teacher's lounge with a note that said, "Happy Spring Break!"
4. I remembered last night that I had some flavor packets for my water bottles. Pink lemonade on an almost Spring morning...I think yes.
5. Last day of the 9 weeks means all this missing work will get wiped away on Monday with a new slate for all my students I KNOW will turn in all their work 4th 9 weeks!
6. We got a bonus today. I kind of want to scream happy things right now. Deposit that into my summer fund.
7. We are doing the geography and history related to the NCAA tournament. I have a serious excuse to watch March Madness in my classroom. And I'm not even a coach!
8. I have a much needed nail appointment after school.
9. I'm sitting here at my computer with my shrine of Cash and me on the wall next to me. Who knew that God would ever bring me such a wonderful, handsome man?
10. Last..but not least...more like first...I get to pack tonight to leave for Texas in the morning. A whole week and a day with my favorite person in the world--it couldn't make a girl one bit happier. My man makes every single day a whole lot better. It's hard to believe it's been 2 months. Wow, we've come far in that time!

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Ever After...

I have thought for 24 years that building my resume and career would bring me the most joy. Even though I dated different guys through high school and college, they never really completed my happiness. I always strived for more by myself, despite anyone else in my life. It never occurred to me to work with someone. I had never met someone that taught me that.

I've known for almost 2 months that I had the most amazing man in the world, and I got to spend another wonderful weekend with him the last few days. Now everyone else knows how wonderful my Cash is!

Thursday night I drove to Tulsa to pick him up, and it seemed like forever before his plane got there. Finally it did, and no words can describe how it feels to see the man of your dreams walk through the security gates to spend the weekend with you.

Friday morning my mom had breakfast cooked for us, so we went to Ozark to meet up with her and my grandpa. Then Davey Joe said for us to go up to Contran, so we went up on the mountain to look around. I love that place!

Here is a picture of us by the water clock. It dumps into this creek, which Cash explained to me was green because of the algae. Oh, my smart little geologist! I caught him several times bending over looking at the rocks like Supernerd would do. (Seriously, Cash, don't deny that. You know you did it! But it was so cute, so it's okay!)

We picked Dad up at the Bank and headed to Rivertowne for my favorite kind of bbq. Then Dad gave us the grand tour of the new operations building, and we visited with the ladies I used to work with.

Once we got back to Mom and Dad's, Rocky Joe called to let us know Cody was about to ride Mom's horse. So we drove down there and got to meet them. Haha--just thinking about Rocky Joe and his stories make me laugh.

That night we met my best friend Lindsey and her husband for dinner at Wiederkehr's. I got to show Cash the Weingarten, and we both agreed it's the perfect place for people to..you know, go and hang out, maybe have dinner and dance, after things like, uhmm, a wedding or something.

Our German potatoes were delicious! And again we saw about 319 people I knew from growing up there.I do have the best looking boyfriend of all time, don't I? Awww.

Saturday morning we met back up with Linds and Jared for a trip to Hot Springs. The races were packed that day as it was a beautiful day in the Ouachita Mountains. Although my coveted betting techniques were not displayed that day, Cash did an awesome job. Beginner's luck! ;)
Cash is now adamant that he needs a race horse. I never thought I'd want a thoroughbred nor did I think I'd race around a track verses barrels. However, if Cash wants, I want it. The races have become much more exciting for me than rodeos anymore, so I'm okay with it. In fact I think it'd be pretty cool to be around horses again!

When I get home and have my other pictures in front of me, I'll add some of the races. Mostly it displays how lucky I am to have such an incredibly intelligent and attractive man to live life with, but maybe I'll find one or two that get my mind off of it!
Sunday we went to Sunday school and service at my church in Alma. Of course we went to lunch with Phil and Dee Ann afterwards, and it was so nice to sit and relax with them before we headed back to Tulsa. In fact when I got back to Alma that night and went to Malia's birthday dinner, I got so many compliments about how wonderful Cash is. I mean, I know that, but it is also so appreciated for my Alma family to not just approve of him. They adored him.

Driving back to Tulsa I was fine, because I knew it'd be less than a week before I saw him again. But for some reason when we reached the security gates, I melted into a pile of tears. They just kept streaming as he hugged me and told me he'd see me in less than a week. It kills me leaving him.
I've missed people before. I miss my niece and nephew all the time! But I've never felt so lost without someone. When Cash has to leave, I feel like half of me is going back to Texas, that I'm being completely torn apart. He's so wonderful to me, and I hope I'm as wonderful back to him because he deserves it.

I adore him!!

I've never been really good to someone before. I tried; but I failed. I want to be good to Cash, and most of the time I don't think about it. He's such a wonderful person, and I feel the most peace and security when I'm with him. In fact when I had to walk away from him yesterday, it felt like my heart was being ripped out and put on a flight back to Texas.
I could go on and on about how handsome he is, but that's not what I love about him. He has the best heart and is so genuine and so intelligent and so kind...he does everything for me without even asking. I got sick Saturday night as we were talking and ran to the bathroom. He came in there and just held my hair as I hung my head over the toilet. Not attractive. At all. haha. But he does it, because he takes care of me.

So even though he doesn't love the Razorbacks or live in Arkansas or even really care about Hogs, he's still the single most amazing person I know. I'm so lucky to spend my weekends with him and weeks missing him.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What I Gave Up for Lent

Ugh. This day is taking forever!! I just want to see my boyfriend. Seriously! But I decided to give something up for Lent, although I'm Baptist.

Some people look down on traditions in churches. To me we've had this wave of "change" in churches, and for the most part I think it's good. However, I think we've hit this point where we think if anything is ever repeated then the person partaking in the event (we'll call it that for now) is simply religious, which is considered wrong in many American Christian homes today. I think that's bad of us. I think some things are meant to be sacred, and that observing those is not religious (when did this word get a negative connotation?) but instead growing you closer to God. Of course anything can be taken out of context. But let me explain.

In my church we observe Easter and Christmas every year. I hope that never changes. Is that too "religious?" Well, no. So why do we slap down Catholics and other denominations for observing Lent the 40 days before Easter? It is most certainly true that Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. It's symbolic. Some people find their relationships with Christ growing while partaking in this.

For me I feel closest to God when I'm actually singing praise and worship songs. But that's me. My boyfriend feels that partaking in the Lord's Supper is the best thing for his relationship with Christ. Are either of us wrong? I would certainly not think so.

The argument is that too many people "boast" about their relationships with Christ or are too "work-oriented" if they observe Lent. What have we done to Christmas though? Or even Easter for that matter? I love attending Midnight Mass (or other versions within different denominations), but I also love watching my niece and nephew's eyes light up on Christmas morning. Is this wrong?? Is it wrong to hide Easter eggs? I don't think so. Others might, but I don't think so. But I also don't think it's wrong to observe Lent. I know, call me a liberal Baptist.

Anyway, I enjoy traditions. I enjoy contemporary thought as well. But I do have a soft spot for tradition, and in no way do I think that takes away from my relationship with Christ. Maybe we need a little "religion" in our churches these days and quit being too accepting of what can happen in the Lord's House. I believe the church walls should be kept sacred. Again, that's a pretty liberal thought for a small town Baptist girl, but this is our Heavenly Father's house on Earth. We go there to learn of Him, praise Him, pray to Him. Why are we accepting of anything people want to do to make it more mainstream America?

So here's what I have given up for Lent: texting and driving. Yes, I should have given that up when it became illegal. And my mom always tries to pin me down for me to sign the Oprah pledge. However, in my 9 months of text messaging I made myself used to texting and driving. People get used to driving 5 miles per hour over the speed limit or driving without a seatbelt. My bad habit is texting and driving. That's probably not a typical thing to give up for Lent, but I'm using it as somewhat of a New Year's Resolution. Hmmm..does that make me too religious to have a relationship with Christ?

I think one day I'll expand on my hatred of the negative connotation religion has gotten. For now I'm going to go pick up my boyfriend in Tulsa. And I'm NOT going to text and drive! :)


My boyfriend is coming in today. And I'm elated. That's all I can think about, so I really can't write a whole post today. My mind is concentrated.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Home is....

Since Kelly so graciously introduced me to the man of my dreams through her SUYL Friday's, I thought it was time I actually link my blog to hers. I love my family I grew up in; so this seemed to be the perfect one to write.

It was hard to find pictures that I didn't have to scan from pre-USB days. Every single picture has a grandkid or two in it. That's okay. I love those kids, but I never realized how much our lives have changed. Regardless, I found some (not 1 of just the 4 of us) of my parents and sister. Bless their hearts.

My dad: the brain. the banker. the Sunday school teacher.

I loved this picture from last winter when I look like I'm completely dominating him in a snowball fight!
My mom: the beauty. the farmer. the best sweet tea and salsa maker.

We took this picture last fall at a wedding in Little Rock. She just makes my heart feel better by seeing her picture.

My sister: the protector. the tormentor. the school teacher. (That last nominative could be expanded upon, but I think I'll just stop there.)

This picture of us from Christmas 2010 cracks me up!! She always beat me up as a kid, and I finally had the nerve to get her back...with broccoli casserole on the nose!

And one final picture of the ~girls! Mom had to be in the middle, because this was right after our fight...but notice we still love each other! :)

Ah-Oh Summer Nights!

I'm tired of the cold weather. So stinkin' tired of it! Sometimes I just find myself sitting here letting my mind drift off to those blissful summer days when I was a kid and wishing that for just a solitary minute I could go back. I'm not wishing away my career or friends or anything of the sort; I'm just wishing away the cold...and of course responsibility!

I found out last week that west Texas doesn't have lightning bugs. I've had a time trying to deal with this. That is probably crazy to you, but I guess I never realized how much the little things of Arkansas really matter to me. In the summer we used to catch lightning bugs all the time. In fact I still act as a child and try to catch them when I'm at my parents' house.

One year my mom bought me a little bug barn with my name on it, and I would catch lightning bugs to keep as pets. I loved watching my room light up (if only for 30 minutes), and I would try to feed them with whatever seemed appropriate at the time. Inevitably they would die, but the light display in the mean time was astonishing. Now I get to help my niece and nephew do the same thing, and it's so much fun to hear them shriek with laughter when we catch one.

Another thing we used to do in the summer was catch June bugs. My mom would cut us a string, and we'd tie to onto a leg of the June bug. It was like a homemade kite! Mom and I still do it, even when the kids aren't there!

And summer camps...always a favorite past time! Whether I was with my church, a single camper, or a counselor, I LOVED summer camp. When I went to Kanakuk, I had a friend named Stephanie whom I got to be pretty close to in those 2 weeks. Of course we lost touch over the years, but we became friends on facebook a year or so ago. She's from the same hometown as my boyfriend (that's still so weird to me), and we've gotten to catch up over the last few weeks. It brings back some good memories of nightly themed dances when we would get all dressed up in some little outfit (like cowgirls, Hawaiian, etc.). But every ounce of confidence we had in the cabin was thrown out the window when we saw those boys on the tennis court in their costumes. The only thing I knew to do then was get an icey-juicey and hide.

It sure is nice to reminisce sometimes and think back to those days of ease, but it didn't seem to be going by fast enough when I was there. My mom always told me I was wishing my life away. But I guess a part of me knew that down the road new and exciting things were sure to come. As much fun as my childhood was, I don't think I'd really want to go back...even for a day. Nothing compares to the life I have now with the people I have in it.

Summers hold a lot of memories, and it's nice to look back on them. But I'm willing to bet that the next couple summers might just top them all.