Wednesday, November 30, 2011

1/2 way through the work week!

Technically, we are a little over halfway through the work week since it's past noon. What What?!

I'm loving that...

*It's basketball season, y'all!! I know you are downright amazed that I'm loving that. Pretty soon my {2} favorite coaches will be dueling each other, perhaps here in grand ol' Alma! Never a dull moment in the fam when it's basketball season.
my cousin Brad coaching his former team

my brother-in-law Dustin...must be nice to be a coach!

*I get to spend NYE with Cash. And I found some awesome dresses to wear, which I'll probably not buy and not wear. But it's fun to look and pretend I'm going to be in the big city celebrating, right?

*Our new friends from Romania are hanging out with us when I get back to Midland over the holidays.

*We have less than 3 weeks before Christmas break. Thanksgiving was such a tease!

*I haven't shriveled up from the cold....just yet.

Have a great hump day!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

LSU Who?

As much as I'd like to really not know the answer to that title, I think the entire Natural State was jolted awake with that reality on Friday afternoon. It was not an enjoyable game for those of us who adore calling the Hogs. But as much as I hate watching my Razorbacks lose, I found out a couple things that could be worse...

I made a bet with Cash's brother Aaron that Arkansas would beat LSU. Whoever lost had to buy their own shirt of the opposing team and put it as their facebook profile picture. Well, after church today I roamed the streets of Fort Smith for over {2} hours to find a Tigers shirt. Nada.

In those couple hours, I went to:
  • Champs
  • Spirit Zone
  • Foot Locker
  • JC Penney
  • Target
  • Wal-Mart
  • Kohl's
  • and one more store that I can't remember the name of
After getting dirty looks from all but one sales associate, I realized that there are worse things than losing to LSU...having to ask for an LSU shirt in Razorback country 2 days after a bitter loss...that tends to be worse. The one and only guy who smiled when I asked for an LSU shirt worked at Champs, and he began to tell me how much he loved the Tigers..Geaux this and Geaux that. I finally snapped, "I lost a bet, okay? I don't like LSU!" Then he laughed. Whatevs.

Wal-Mart was my last stop on my way home, and I was empty-handed. Then it hit me that I could maybe make my own shirt! Did you know Wal-Mart no longer has a material section? Alma Wal-Mart does...but apparently not FS Wal-Mart on Rogers Ave. No siree bob. So I went to the clearance rack, and the only thing they had were these hideous pedafile tank tops in red. Taking my chances that big bro would accept this red material in place of a purple shirt, I hid the tank under my arms and went to the check-out line.

The problem with Wal-Mart is that it's so busy. And everyone and their dog can see what you're buying. Pretty sure I was labeled some inappropriate words as I purchased that men's XL red tank top. I wanted to throw up on my own self.

Got home, cut out the {3} mortifying letters from the tank top, serged around them. Have you ever serged the letter "S?" 1. I almost sewed my finger off. 2. It's really, really difficult.

After I had my letters ready, I found some adhesive and ironed on my home-made letters. I sent a pic to Aaron, and he said it'd do. I guess he was feeling some sympathy since I had actually made my shirt. He did say he wanted the word "Tigers" on there as well as "#1." But he got LSU...and that's all!

I held up to my end of the deal, and I put it as my profile picture. Thankfully, I just got a new facebook this past week so I have about 30 friends right now. To get a good quality facebook picture, though, everyone knows you have to have a good quality photo shoot in your bedroom...

obviously couldn't use this one. my eyes look their normal size. (and why, yes, that is a bear head in my bedroom.)

obviously couldn't use this one. i look like a meth head.

obviously couldn't use this one. i look like i have the stank eye.
obviously couldn't use this one. i have an even bigger stank eye. seriously, i have a problem with that!

finally, a picture with both eyes the same size but not too big.

Hey...if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NWA Weekend

What a beautiful Thanksgiving in Jethro, Arkansas! Although our holiday was spent a wee bit different this year, it was still relaxing. We've always split our Thanksgiving day into halves with my dad's side of the family and my mom's side of the family, and we've never had Thanksgiving with just our immediate family. This year my mom decided to make dinner for just us on Wednesday and spend all day with my dad's side of the family on Thursday. I missed going up on Mountain Top and having dinner with our {large} and in charge family. (By that I do not mean for all my cousins potentially reading this post, I do NOT think you are fat. haha)

I've always been closer to the cousins on my mom's side, because we all went to school together, played ball together, and hung out together. They were truly my best friends. We all have so much in common and the majority of us graduated with a degree in some sort of education. So you can imagine what holidays used to be like growing up--jammed pack full of basketball, football, made-up-on-the-spot games. Yeah. I missed that this Thanksgiving. But we have Christmas in a month!

On to much more serious news, Cash flew in last weekend from his home out west. Another best weekend ever. And this little gal needed some Cash time. Friday it was so late by the time we got back to Alma from the airport that we barely even spoke once we got to my house.

Saturday morning we met up with my friend Sara so I could get fitted for my bridesmaid dress for her wedding in {December}. Y'all, that is just 1 week away. And that means Christmas music season is officially here!! Anywho...since Cash and I had tickets at noon to see Twilight (numero cuatro, part one) (all HIS idea. please don't hurt me, cash), I was going to drop him off at the movie theater to get good seats then go get fitted for my dress.

Wellllll...I wasn't thinking about how pedafilish my boyfriend would look standing in a line for 30 minutes with a bunch of 12 year old girls. So he opted for the lesser of 2 evils, and he decided to go with me to my dress fitting. Then we made a beeline for the theater and got 2 of the last seats in the whole place! It blows my mind how many people eat this stuff up. I get that I do too...but a) I read the books and b) I'm old enough to watch a PG-13 movie. Sorry if I'm stepping on your toes, but I just don't get how a 7 year old girl could like Breaking Dawn. How does a 7 year old understand that? I felt so awkward watching it with screaming girls sitting next to me. Basically--note to self: from now on stay at home to watch adult movies that for some odd reason little children enjoy.

After the movie we made it back to Alma just in time for Cash to call his beloved Hogs! Actually, his version of calling the hogs is with a gun in one hand and a hog dog in another. *Tears tears* I am finally coming to terms with the fact that we will have a broken house from day one.

My parents stopped by to pick us up to head to Northwest Arkansas for a fun-filled evening. First on the ol' agenda was getting some AQ Chicken in that boy! Cash's friend Nick has been telling him for 10 months now about how AQ Chicken is THE restaurant in NWA. I disagree. I'm a Penguin Ed's kinda girl...but that's the old school, Saturday lunch, pre-tailgate for nighttime Razorback game girl in me.

Can you inhale chicken? Yes you can. I saw living proof of it Saturday night. Oh-and yes-Cash already knew what he wanted BEFORE we even got to Springdale. He had been scouring the online menu for a week trying to find the best choice for him: the sampler platter. I think he was in Heaven. Or as we would say in The Natural State, he was in Hog Heaven. (Sorry, that was very ridiculous, wasn't it?)

He and my dad loved the chicken to the very last crumb, of course, then we finally hit the road to Bentonville. We saw some ice skating (time out--Cash, you have to laugh so loud about that) and walked the overlook trail to check out Crystal Bridges. All the tickets were sold out for this weekend, so we just looked from afar. However, I can't wait to get up there and spend some time once it's completely finished.

Crystal Bridges-view 1 

Crystal Bridges-view 2
 We stopped at the overlook to snap some pictures. Nothing in the world makes me happier than being with Cash and my family. I was so happy to have an entire evening of just fun things! Nothing elaborate. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just plain life.

Cash dressed nice as always. Me dressed in basketball shirts as always.

We were also on our way to the Gravette basketball game. Basketball season is by far my favorite of all sporting events, even though I love football, baseball, and track (yep, track too..oh, and I think I'm supposed to say rugby now as well) more than I probably should. Basketball just brings up so many good memories for me. It was my way to de-stress growing up, and I spent countless hours on our homemade basketball court shooting, dribbling, defending, and running. I wish I had the motivation to keep myself as in shape now as I was back then. I was such a goob--I would actually shoot free throws then make myself run redlines on the front porch for however many shots I had missed. I did that. And now I am lucky to walk 1/2 a mile.
my main man! I have no idea why my eye looks like I just threw back 13 shots. But I didn't.
I can't tell you how many pick-up games we have played on the court my parents spray painted for us as children. This post seriously wasn't supposed to be about basketball, but I love everything about it: the sights, the smells (gross, I know), the comraderie, the Cinderella stories. I remember my mom and aunt always taking my sister, cousins, and I to NWA to watch the district finals of the district opposite of us in regionals. We would go every year, and I loved sitting by the coaches and listening to them as they scouted the other teams.

Most kids were running under the bleachers (that should date me--this was before the modern era of fancy gyms. don't get me started), but I stayed next to my mom and was fixated on the game. My first love was Ozark High School's star basketball player Brent Brooks. He was in high school, and I was in 1st grade...but I loved him! haha. Man, every year at this time my heart just starts skipping beats remembering the good ol' days.

Back to the story at hand: we were at Crystal Bridges and headed to a basketball game. On the trail we spotted a pig statue (only in Arkansas, right?), so my mom conned Cash into taking his picture next to it. The kids just couldn't stand not being in the middle of the picture too. What a good sport!

Cash, Braeson, and Addison with the pig!
The game was the best I have ever seen Dustin's teams play!! I mean, what a first game of the season to watch! They went into halftime down by {1} to Siloam Springs, who is 2 divisions larger than Gravette. In the third quarter Dustin's star point guard fouled out, but his other players stepped up and really shined. He had one kid go 10/12 in the field for 30 points all while tying a school record for 8 three pointers in a game. He was unstoppable that night, and Gravette ended up defeating Siloam by 4!! After the game a man who grew up in Gravette said he thought that was the first time they had beaten Siloam in 20 years. I was so proud of my brother-in-law and his team!! He has worked so hard the last 3 years getting them ready for games like that. Great job, Gravette!

Sunday Cash and I went to Goddard UMC in Ft. Smith. I have been there several times lately trying to learn about evangelical denominations since Cash and his family are Lutheran. He's so proud that this weekend I'm starting my first advent! It's amazing to me that you can grow up in church your whole life and not even understand the traditions of another church. We are both learning, though, and want to find the best fit for us. But at the end of the day, we both just want to love the Lord despite the church.

He thought the church was gorgeous, and it is. Having mostly always gone to small, Baptist churches I've never experienced the magnificence of a church like this. So. Beautiful. And I'm really loving the tradition in these types of services.

The sweet, little Methodist ladies were selling baked goods after the service, so Cash bought us some sugar cookies and chocolate covered pretzels. We smothered our faces in that on our way to Market Place, one of my favs! Afterwards, it was all prayers heading back to Tulsa in hopes that his flight would be canceled. No such luck. So I sent him off with a first-class ticket, which he was so proud of! He thinks he should only travel first class now. *rolling my eyes*

But poor school teachers like myself will still be seeing y'all in coach...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Things that have slowed the ol' heartbeat

So proud of myself for my first week of being positive and loving life again. We may or may not have had a "Come to Reality" meeting last weekend, and I may or may not have been on the receiving part of that. Just like Cash's sister-in-law told me, it didn't seem like it at the moment, but I can already see why it was so important. This week I've been much happier with myself than I have been since...well, since I can remember.

It's not like I've been feeling bad about weight or hair or clothes...I just haven't felt myself in so long. I was stressed to the brink with work, because I allowed myself to feel that way. I was snapping at my friends and family for everything they never did wrong. And I was spending excess time "socializing" on media outlets instead of really spending time with the same people.

But in order to de-stress and allow myself to have fun in everyday life like I used to have, I decided to start letting it all go. Work isn't perfect? Let it go. My kids say something that hurts me after spending countless hours pouring into their lives? Let it go. I don't get to see Cash the moment I want to? Let it go. Because at the end of the day, I have a good job and great kids and an even more wonderful group of friends and family. I wasn't seeing any of that, because I was spending too much time picking out the small things.

Anywayyyyy, this week I started trying to find the humor in those things that just last week would have sent me over the edge. Like...

1. One morning the first period bell rang, and I turned around to walk into class. I ran face first into my cabinet. I just looked at one of my girls and started laughing.

2. My boss wanted to have a meeting, so instead of stressing over anything she might say...I went in with the biggest smile and positive attitude knowing that I have been working to the best of my ability. And the meeting ended up being really positive, and she was never mad at me in the first place. Saved myself a lot of stress. And, honestly, I felt much more professional when I left knowing we had accomplished so much.

3. Bequette needed a haircut something fierce. The other night I grabbed the scissors and took a couple chunks out of his hair. Oh, my. It was ugly. Last night I was at my parents' house and decided to get out the horse clippers. I couldn't get it close enough, so I took the guard off. Whoops. I have a mullet dog. Good thing we live in Arkansas.

It has been such a great week and not because of anything special--because I've just allowed myself to have a great week. And to think...I did it all without Zija. ;)


Friday, November 11, 2011

Memory Lane Up in the Headlights

I have been so lazy lately to blog about anything of importance. I've done some fill in the blanks and what I'm loving at the moments and weekend trips, but I haven't spent much time concentrating on any real issues. Not like I used to.

When I started thinking about the issues I used to write about, I started reading old blogs and e-mails. So much of it is irony; so much of it God's plan being unveiled---and not one bit of it did I recognize.

On January 10 last year I wrote a blog about the phase of life I was in at the time: single, living alone, enjoying life. I talked about savoring that moment, because I had no idea how long I would have it. To say I wanted a relationship with the person God had for me is an understatement, but at the same time I was trying to live the life I dreamed about and let God bring him to me.

Within 2 weeks God had done just that.

That's crazy to me! Here I was writing all about this phase of life, enjoying the moment, and appreciating singleness--and within 2 weeks I was being torn from that phase. Nearly 10 months later I now find myself in the most intense, exciting, passionate, real relationship I've ever had. I spend all my extra time (and money) going to Texas, a place I could've given you a dime for last year. I have found a love for the desert despite being a mountain girl my entire life. But one thing that hasn't changed--I still praise the Lord for every single moment He has placed along my path. I honestly don't feel I'd appreciate the relationship Cash and I have had I not been through the circumstances God placed me in before.

Maybe one more thing is the same--I still love the Razorbacks. And Jake Bequette is still my favorite player!

I scoured through old e-mails too.

         From:  "Pullin, Cash" cash's email address
         To:  "
         Date:  Wed, 01 Jun 2011 19:20:56 -0600
         This message is not encrypted, and is not digitally signed.

         Miss you already.  I hope you have a wonderful time this summer and I can't wait to see you in a couple months, it really will fly by.  Please be careful over there and come home safe, love you.

       Connected by DROID on Verizon Wireless

That was on Wed, June 1 and I had just boarded a plane headed for the Middle East. One week and two days later I was calling him at 4:30 in the morning via Skype to tell him I had just encountered the biggest tragedy of my life. I came home within 3 days.

Isn't it crazy to look back at our lives...think about the times we thought we were alone and lost with no direction...then realize God had every single moment of it planned out?

I didn't fully realize why God had me single for so much longer than my friends. I didn't know why I wasn't getting to meet the love of my life. Not until I met him.

And I didn't, for the life of me, know why God brought him into my life right before I left for a mission trip in a war-torn territory for 2 1/2 months. That is, not until it took every ounce of his love to get me through the tragedy I faced. I don't think I could've made it through that without Cash. He was the person I thought about while enduring that trial--the reason I fought for my life. I wanted to get home to him. To love him. To hug him. For crying out loud just to live life with him.

God's divine plan is so outrageously beyond us that it's inconceivable to understand His plans. Thank Him, adore Him, and praise Him for that.

Fill in the Blank Friday--It's Getting Cold Out Here!

1.   My favorite new blog of the moment is     Whitney of Washington--girl loves her some Washington, D.C. Holla!  

2.   Something I am thankful for is   my electric blanket and fireplace      .

3.  Something that made me laugh this week was   when one of my students said, "We heard that guy ask you a question, and you said something about your boyfriend. so then he ran off real fast." I tried to think so hard about what they were saying then realized a guy friend of mine asked about mine and Cash's trip to Dallas as he was walking by at an assembly. Oh, children, and what they think they hear  .

4. An item that is currently on my wish list is    to be with Cash everyday instead of once or twice per month   .

5.  I am excited about    election year 2012 .

6.  If I were a color I would be     pink. It's feminine, and I love being a woman!_

7.  My favorite way to spend a chilly fall day is by    having a bonfire in the backyard with smores all while watching Bequette play in the yard  .

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WILW--Debate Week!

I thought it was a rough week until I realized all that I have to be thankful for this week...

*I'm loving that I met with my grad school advisor and get to take Politics in America this Spring. I can't tell you how excited I am about this! (Can I just throw in a WOO PIG SOOIEE here for the U of A?!)

celebrating a Hog victory with my uncles--We are a Razorback family!!
*I'm loving that my parents are going to be here in about an hour to watch the next round of Republican debates with me. 
Gov. Rick Perry
*I'm loving that Cash gets back to Midland tomorrow. I haven't been able to talk to him since Monday evening with the exception of a few texts Tuesday morning, because he's been hunting 30 miles from the Mexico border. Due to my overseas tragedy this summer, I've been a little ansy about him being so close to the border. But he'll be okay. And he'll have fun. I'm just ready for him to get back.

We took this picture the weekend before I left for the Middle East.

*I'm loving the storm door Ryan put up for us. I absolutely love coming home and sewing, cleaning, whatev and getting to see out the door. Especially when it's been raining this week, I've loved watching the storms. Bequette loves watching the kids play outside too. He just sits there and watches them play football game after football game.

BQ likes watching the culdesac football squad!
*I'm loving that although we had tornado warnings yesterday, we have a state of the art storm shelter at the middle school now. It was actually kind of enjoyable yesterday talking with my friends and letting the kids just chill instead of having to keep them quiet with their booties in the air around the library walls like the old-fashioned way.

*I'm loving that my amazing roommate gave up so much of her time to put her expertise into our Veteran's Day slideshow for tomorrow's program. The kids brought pictures of family and friends that have or are currently in the military. I even got one picture from the Civil War!! Yeah...I didn't stutter. Civil War. As in the 1860s. I plan on trying to upload it soon, so be ready with your tissues! 

me and my AMAZING roommate!
*And of course I'm loving that the week is almost halfway over, and I get to see Casher next weekend. PTL!

Love you'ins! Don't forget to watch the debates tonight!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fill in the ________ Friday

Shout out to the weekend! Glad you are finally here...I've been waiting on you since Monday!

1.   My favorite thing about this week was/is     using my persuasive techniques to convince my dad to drive to Alma and take me to dinner last night since I'm a teacher and "get little monetary compensation for changing the face of our country and tomorrow's leaders." Yes, I pulled that card. 

2.   Colder weather makes me   hunchback. HA! It does. I get so cold and literally shrivel up. 

3.  Three things that make me terribly happy as of late are    having all my lesson plans done for the rest of the semester, getting a student teacher in January, and my new Vera Bradley sunglasses. 

4. If I could only wear one kind of shoe for the rest of my life, I'd choose    Nine West pumps. Although I prefer no shoes (and yes, I'm from Arkansas), my feet are a little tender and my boss says shoes are necessary. ;) 

5.  My personality type is     plan, plan, plan. I have to have a plan and a few sticky notes, or life becomes one big stress ball. 

6.  I have a serious problem resisting     up and moving to Texas right now. I can barely stand missing Cash so much. 

7.  My favorite color to wear is   black and white. Classy. Elegant. Easy. And it's very own store. What more could a girl want?