Thursday, December 20, 2012

Be Kind...Rewind

This afternoon yours truly is undergoing the knife laser. I've had glasses or contacts since I was about 10 years old, so it got me to thinking about all the new things that have developed (or I've come of age for) since then. And thus, all of the fun things I've never done without corrective vision.

I've never...
  • driven a vehicle
  • seen my husband
  • used a cell phone
  • played on a home computer
  • hugged my niece and nephew
  • had a job
  • put on make-up
without some sort of help from the ol' eye doc. I wonder what the world is going to look like when I don't have to put on an extra set of eyes to see it.

That being said I wanted to do a little "Shoutout to 2012" post before we leave for A-R-K-A-N-S-A-S on Saturday!

They say what you do on New Year's Eve is a precursor for the rest of the year. On Dec 31, 2011, I was in Midland, Texas, with my then-boyfriend. So...statement considered true! Since then...

**We got engaged in March!! Ruidoso, New Mexico, has been my favorite place on Earth since then!!!!

one of the happiest days of my life!
**Bobby Petrino wrecked his motorcycle, and after that all bad things broke loose for Arkansas football.
Oh, Bobby
**In April my parents and I took Cash turkey hunting for the first time in his life. He didn't see one but heard a few. It's a start! (And I think he's kind of hooked now!)

Arkansas turkey woods=love

**Throughout the summer we celebrated with wedding showers--for us and some of our friends! Wedding bliss abounded.

**My sister threw me a baseball bachelorette party in July. Go NWA Naturals!

my little Katie bug <3 td="td">

**In July we obviously got hitched. Best choice I've ever made. Ever.

Calvary Baptist Church, Ozark, Arkansas

**I moved to Cash's hometown of Midland, Texas, after the honeymoon. Here I've met the greatest friends a girl could ask for. They've helped me more in a new town than they'll ever know.

Savannah, Kellye, me, and Heather at Ross and Barb's wedding in Santa Fe

**After President Obama famously said to business owners, "You didn't build that." my husband's CEO had signs made that he placed outside the ClayDesta Center.

'nuf said

**Clayton also threw another ranch party in October, this time with Clint Black as the main entertainment. These have become the most anticipated weekends of the year for me!

Happy 81st birthday, Clayton!

**We also went to the Midland County Women's Republican ball in October right before the election.

MCRW Pink Elephant Ball 2012

**The first weekend in November Cash and I hosted our first Thanksgiving dinner with both sets of our parents. Check that off the "done" list. I don't know if I've cooked since! ha.

First Thanksgiving

**The day of the election we were anticipating celebrating with friends. Friends still came, but we didn't celebrate anything but the right to vote.

**Also in November John L. Smith officially became the worst coach in Razorback football history. Well, I think it's official.

In his words...SMILE

**Earlier in December I got to surprise my family with a little impromptu trip to Arkansas since I wasn't working. I hung out with all my grandparents, some of my cousins, and of course the immediate fam. I even saw my great-great-grandfather's moonshine still, which makes me itching for my own piece of history.

**Simultaneously, Cash went on two hunts in the same week: springbok and aoudad. We've eaten both, and we have loved them!

Cash and his springbok

**Arkansas hired former Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema who better be flippin' good and help us win some games in the SEC, or I'm signing him up for a motorcyle of his own. Good news is he already has a young, hott blonde wife. No need to hire one from the volleyball team.

I'm a Bielemer. haha

**And of course, last but not least, I just accepted a job with a local bank. I could not be more elated. After interviews and phone calls and applications and considering all things "banky", I wanted this bank more than you can imagine. After my second interview, the bank president took me into his office for about 10-15 minutes and talked with me. I had already been through questioning and analyzing and knew I wanted to be there. But as professional and kind as he was, it made my half of the decision even more solid. The next week they called and offered me the job, and I literally just hit print on the final paperwork.

**January 2 I'll be glasses-free and a banker, which makes Cash and I possibly the most hated couple in America: banking and oil. As one man told us last night we should expect a lump of coal for Christmas. Cash pointed out that as a geologist and oilman, coal might actually be a great present for him! Win-win!!

I hope you all have a MERRY CHRISTMAS, and wonderful New Year, and a blessed 2012. From our little house to yours...

Yeah, I spelled "Christmas" wrong on the first try. hahahaha


~Avery Jane~

Monday, December 17, 2012

Need To Breathe

I don't really need to breathe anymore than usual today, but their CD is sitting next to my computer and it made me think how much I love jamming to "Washed by the Water". It steals my heart. And my rhythm.

So a few weeks ago Cash was invited on a "safari" (I say safari very loosely here-more later) hunt in South Texas. He was also supposed to be at his work's deer camp the following week too. When he told me, I was elated for him, but he said he wasn't going since I would have to be here all alone for a week. Bahumbug. I told him I had no problem missing him from Arkansas like I could Texas, "Go and have fun!!!"

That's how I found myself in Arkansas for the first time in 5 MONTHS!! Eeeek. I was so excited.

My mother-in-law was heading to Dallas, so I rode with her. Then my sister (and a surprise to me--my mom!!) met me there. We shopped and ate our hearts out (La Madeleine. What!) then headed back to the A-R on Sunday morning.

When we got back, we had to stop at Wal-Mart real quick.

Mind you: my first trip to Arkansas in 5 months.
First stop: Wal-Mart.
First visual: a family taking a group shot out front.
Not a joke. You can't make that stuff up.

Then we went to pick up my niece and nephew, and I HUGGED AND HUGGED AND HUGGED Addison and bawled my eyes out. Braeson? He ran from me and wouldn't let me get near him. Ugh.

Mom and I headed to their house later, and once we got in and changed we went on a squirrel hunt!

most of the new pups

The day Cash and I got married my mom's female had a litter of pups! I hadn't even seen them! We took about 8 or 9 dogs out on the hunt, and it was awesome to just walk around the woods. I don't know the last time I had even seen a tree! ha.

The next day I ate lunch with my grandpa at the Senior Citizens' Center. All the old ladies would say, "Oh, are you Milburn's granddaughter? Are you Avery?" I just said yes, ma'am...yes, ma'am...repeat. Grandpa finally told me, "They'd be shock to hear I had more grandkids!" Old man---how much do I love him?! I kind of felt bad for my sister and cousins since they're non-existent to his friends, but what the hey? He loves me the most. :)

We went to my grandma's cousin's house later where I tried to buy my GREAT-GREAT-GRANDFATHER'S moonshine still he used back in his bootleggin' days. I just thought it would be the neatest piece of history to have, but the old man wouldn't budge and said NO WAY is it ever for sale. Jerk.

great-great-grandfather's moonshine still

One day. One day.

Later in the week Mom and I went to NWA to my brother-in-law's basketball game but stopped in Fayetteville/Springdale to shop a little. Guess who I got to see?! Seriously my best, best friend whom I haven't seen in FOREVER!!!! She lived in Budapest (yeah, HUNGARY!) this summer, and then I moved to Texas before she came home. It was so great to see Les and hear about how life in NWA is for her and Zach. Gah, love them!!

love her!!

At the game I started hollerin' at the refs, just because it's fun for me to holler. My niece started elbowing me in the ribs and said I was "embarrassing" her because "no one else in the entire gym is yelling." I informed her she was a 6 year old liar. But in the end she won, and I quit. Figures.

The two rugrats had Christmas programs 2 days later, so we got to go back up to NWA for that. This time Braeson actually came within 10 feet of me. :) How cute are kindergarteners and 1st graders in Christmas programs?! Awwwwwww.

my heartbeats, my loves, my everythings <3 td="td">

Oh, yes, Cash had his hunts. The first one they dubbed a safari hunt? I call it cheating, but nonetheless. I guess you can hunt on a high fenced ranch in Texas and equal it to a safari hunt in Africa. Same animals I suppose.

Cash bagged this springbok the first night he was there! (A wildebeest, red stag, and impala were also taken within 24 hours of Cash's springbok. This is why I call it cheating.)

Look at scruffy mcgruffy with his trophy!

It was awesome for him though! The company is mounting the head and tanning the hide for us. I actually am pretty pumped to get those back, but it'll be about a year. The meat has already come in, and we had springbok steak for dinner last night. He also had some made into "slim jims." Oh. My. Goodness. Delic!

The next week at deer camp he ended up getting a female aoudad instead of a deer, and he had a lot of it made into sausage. I made breakfast with it yesterday morning, and it was really good too. This is why I love being married to a hunter! What a man--hunts the animal and feeds his family with it. Ain't no wastin' in the Pullin house fo' sho!

As much as I loved visiting, I couldn't help but smile a thousand smiles when I saw my husband a week later. It felt like we were dating all over again when he picked me up at the airport on a Friday night!! Lol.

CWEI Christmas Party 2012

We had four Christmas parties last week: book club, Clayton Williams Energy, Young Republicans, and a dress-up one. I loved seeing all the friends I've made in the past 5 months!! I love this town!!!!!

And of course for the costume Christmas party I had to dress up as...

Ohhhh yeah, baby!!!

Can you guess?!? No one at the party had any idea whom I was. A friend back home and my niece and nephew figured it out in 3 seconds. So...good luck! ha.

We did our first married Christmas yesterday! My husband way way way spoiled me! He even spent 2 hours after church yesterday watching Anne of Green Gables, part 1 with me. Although I'm not sure he would admit it, I'm pretty certain he liked it!

Cash and Jett
Jett, that spoiled boxer, loved his Christmas presents too. But he and Bequette fought over the new stuffed squirrel all day. That thing is going to be chewed to pieces before we leave Saturday to...GO. BACK. TO. ARKANSAS!!!!

What?! We have a new head coach!!!!!!! BRET BIELEMA, BABY!!! WOO PIG SOOOIEEEEE!!!!!!!!! One more party first though! Woot!!!! Here's to another awesome two weeks awaiting us! Love this time of year!!!


~Avery Jane~

Monday, November 19, 2012

Learning to be Domesticated

So I'm a housewife domestic goddess now (thanks to my buddy Seth for that new lingo). And as I tweeted a week or two ago, growing up on a farm in rural Arkansas did not really lend itself to being a "housewife" in West Texas. I am a little lost as to how to be good at this new role. Hopefully, it will only be through the holidays.
On Tuesday of the election, Cash and I threw what we had meant to be a Victory Party. It turned out to be just a party with red, white, and blue.


We just got our new bar in recently, and Cash is the most dynamite home bartender a girl could dream of. We aren't big drinkers, but it's a fun little place to sit at and drink a glass of wine. And the night of the party Cash invented his own drink which we dubbed the "Romney Rouge."

I found that flag in Fredricksburg, and it reminded of all the homes in Maine that had them hanging off their porches. It was beautiful!

We had Fox News blaring from tv's in the living room, bar area, and I even put on the guest room TV so if someone was waiting to use the bathroom they wouldn't be behind! ha.

One of the bakeries in town made me a red velvet cake with the Republican elephant on top! Not even half of it was eaten, but when I went to toss it a few days (okay, maybe a week or so) later, some little rat by the name of Cash had eaten the icing off! Apparently, it was good.

GOP 2012

I'm pretty novice when it comes to hosting a party, but Hobby Lobby and a crockpot never let a girl down. We found some streamers and straws and even kids' tattoos that represented America. It was fun to host a party full of patriots. I made so much pulled pork that I have nightmares about it flooding our house. We even had a couple there originally from Zimbabwe who had just become citizens and voted in their first election. That was so neat!

yes, I did eventually put dips in there!

So even though our man didn't win this time, it was fun just to feel the spirit of America-the freedom, the privilege, the right to vote. Oh, I love this county.


The next Friday Cash was in another clay shoot. This time the money went to the area firemen, oh yeah momma!!!! So. I went with him.

they just need 1 more gator

My mom and I had just been talking that morning about their new gator. (I know they're not all gators, but that's my generic name.) I said how much I wanted one, but I didn't have a place to ride one way out here. Then I went to the shoot, and lo and behold it was like a used lot of gators at that place. Apparently, that's what everyone drives at shoots out here.

riding around at the clay shoot

If you look closley, you can see my ear plugs. So attractive. This I know. I didn't do a whole lot that day except eat way too much, because Rosa's catered. And I talked to Les via texting half the time I was out there. I shot like 2 or 3 times. Missed every time. And my arm hurt.

I am turning into a city slicker out here. Someone stop this madness. Get. Me. To. The. Country.

handsome little shooter

Cash was in the 70 something percents on his shooting. Which is very good! But he was even better looking while doing it. Yowza!

That Saturday the Young Republicans and Young Professionals of Midland hosted College Gameday. It was so fun to sit around and listen to everyone cheer for their respective schools. Arkansas lost. Again. Thankfully, I wore some UCA purple and gray!! My new friend Hutton was there too, and you know--we went to UCA together!

Huton and me--UCA all the way!

Even though I had to hear A&M and UT and Texas Tech fans screaming all day, it was good to be in company of those our age. Sometimes, at church, I forget people our age live in this town. Love my church. LOVE IT. But we do bring down the average age a significant amount.

Okay, sisters and misters, time to get some lunch on the stove. Or the microwave. Or just brush my teeth. Any of those would probably make my husband happy, happy, happy. Love y'all!

Avery Jane

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

And With Thanksgiving

This past Friday my parents flew to Midland for the first time since Cash and I have been married. What an awesome feeling to pull up to the airport, jump out, and hug your momma! Oh, and your daddy too.
We met Cash for lunch at Graham's Pharmacy, one of my favorite nooks in town since it's so cheap and unique. It was there that I realized even more that I married a man just like my father. So much alike in fact that you can SEE the resemblance. My lanta.
 Then I showed them around the best I could. Y'all, I still can't get it down how to get around here. Just yesterday my MIL asked if I had any luck at Sam's. All I could was I was still looking for Sam's!!

Anyway. They got to stop at Suzie's and stock up on the most amazing chocolates. Then I showed them the real shabang of this town: HEB. I have been boasting about HEB since my first trip to Midland almost 2 years ago. Let me tell ya. It lived up to the hype. Mom found some fresh Sushi rolls to take to the tailgate that night.
Yes, we tailgate for high school games. We live in TEXAS, y'all!!! Luckily, MHS won. It wasn't even close. And although the stadium seats 18,000 people (!!!!!!), they knew it wouldn't be close so not near that many people were there. Two weeks previous at the Midland-Lee game, you couldn't find a seat! (Well, you had to have your season tickets to find a seat. Amazeballs.)

Texas High School football tailgating!
The day before my parents got to town I sat for my Series 7--the most stressful, the hardest, the most stomach-problem-indulging test I have ever taken. And although I studied 40 hours/week for 2 1/2 months for this one test and my average score on practice tests was 12 points above passing, I didn't pass the real one. Yeah. That was crushing.
I didn't expect the words "fail" to pop up on the screen when I was done. After getting my paperwork, I ran to my vehicle, called Cash, and just bawled. I knew what it meant--and it meant I not only lost the dream I had of being a financial advisor for an amazing company. I also lost my job entirely.
It was a blow to my ego for sure. I prided myself in my ability to test and learn finance. Perhaps it was a good thing I did not pass as I have been so much humbled in the past several days.
That afternoon my parents sent me flowers--for the first time ever in my entire life!!! My mom just put the verse "Jeremiah 29:11" on the card. And how true is that but much harder to believe when times are tough. It's the only peace I've found though, and I have ran with it.
Jeremiah 29:11
Luckily, I have a husband who supports me to the ends of the earth. He took the entire afternoon off even though he had a golf game set up with a vendor. Instead he came home, took me to Chick-fil-a, and just hung out with me like I had just hung the moon itself.
What I'm going to do now is still undecided. I cleaned out my office Monday night, and by then I was at such peace (maybe because I felt it would be hard to be a FA over the next 4 years! ha). I know God has a great plan. And while I'm anxiously awaiting the results of that plan and looking at every bank's website for jobs, Cash has been an angel telling me to be patient, find something I love, and enjoy holidays with our families.
In 4 months I haven't spent a lot of time being a great wife. I've been a wife, but I'm not sure a great one. So I'm trying to find joy in relaxing, cooking dinner for my husband, being the support role. Lord knows I've never done any of those things, but right now I'm getting that opportunity. Know any good cookbooks?!
Oh. My parents were in town. Yes.
Mom had this brilliant idea for us to do Thanksgiving together this weekend since we wouldn't see them until Christmas. It was a great blessing! I was able to learn how to cook a Thanksgiving meal. Well, except green bean casserole. And we won't talk about that.
first Thanksgiving table, new Pilgrim apron, and pumpkin pie made with my new mixer!

A couple years ago my best friend Leslie and I were hosting a banquet at our church. She taught me how to fold napkins in the fanciest of ways, and I've always wanted a reason to do that again. I sat the table Saturday all by myself, fancy folded napkins and all! I even incoporated the flowers my parents had sent me as they were the most beautiful fall colors. (Colors we don't get to see in the desert!)

My MIL had given me this pilgrim apron Thursday night, and she even had my name embroidered on it for my first Thanksgiving to cook! It was such a treat! I sported that bad boy all day. It is no lie I have an obsession with aprons, and my collection is getting close to hitting every major holiday.

sporting the aprons and holding down the kitchen

My husband also likes an apron--a very manly apron. We bought him this in Kennebunkport on our honeymoon as it reminded us of the crawfish boils we like to have. This time, though, it was whipped cream he was making. Yes, my man can make homemade whipped cream with a hint of bourbon. Scooch on over, Paula Deen, we are taking over the kitchen!
After the meal my mom, my MIL, and I went to the community theater to watch the Pickwicks' production of Anne of Green Gables--my all time favorite story!! And side note about the Pickwicks. Ever seen Twilight? Know Jasper? He's a former Pickwick of Midland!! We are full of famous presidents and vampires 'round here.
The play was fabulous. The girl who played Anne was brilliant, and a boy from my in-laws' church had a few parts. It is so fun to watch someone you know!!
Sunday we hit up the Anglican church. It was a first for my parents, but they were great sports and even went up to take communion with us. It is much different than my Baptist upbringing with the tradition and communion and wine. But one thing remains the same--the love of the Lord. 

Missing my parents already!

That afternoon I was sad to take them back to the airport, but we got this picture in right before we left. Only thing missing is my sister's family. And while we're thinking about it, do you mind saying a quick or long or medium sized prayer for my nephew? He's been sick the past several months, and their much anticipated visit to Arkansas Children's Hospital is today. I pray for great results and a healthy little Braeson. And I pray for a calm mom for him. I know she's nervous.

Thanks a million.

Missing all my folks back in Arkansas but loving on some Midland! Until next time...

Avery Jane

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hello, Out There!

Well, HELLO! I have missed the ol' blogging world!!

So last Friday I was supposed to take my first big test for work, and I was super stressed out. Why? Glad you asked. Because if I don't pass this test, I lose my job. Ya, fo' real.

I've been studying for over 2 months now, and since my test last Friday was canceled I have it rescheduled for next Thursday. My nerves are shot, and I don't think I can be any more anxious than I have been for the past 3 weeks. But be anxious about nothing, right? I am reiterating that to myself as we speak.

The great news is that my parents are flying into town next Friday. HIP HIP HOORAY!! I haven't seen those cats since we were in Ruidoso. We're going to tailgate at the MHS football game that Friday night (Texas High School football, y'all!!) then have Thanksgiving with them on Saturday. I'm stoked!!

A few weeks ago Cash, his parents, and I joined Claytie to celebrate yet another birthday and another ranch party. It was fa-reezing! It was different this year than last because I didn't have the same amigos to hang out with. Nonetheless I got to meet so many neat people and enjoy some great food and entertainment.

Ranch Party 2012
 As always, it was great snuggling up next to this guy! He even looks like a cowboy with boots and a beard. I always knew I'd marry a cowboy. *sigh*

the in-laws
My in-laws are so much fun. Cash's dad works for Claytie too, so we get to hang out with them at the Ranch Party every year. I wouldn't know a soul in this town if it wasn't for them and Cash. My MIL is the closest friend I have here. When I hear people talk about their in-laws and stresses they have, I am just thankful I have in-laws I am so close to and who treat me so well. I honestly can't say enough wonderful things about them. (Plus, they raised some amazing sons!!!)

mariachi band
 As always---the mariachi band when you first arrive. I mean, that's just cool.

Clint Black
Last year it was the Oak Ridge Boys, but this year Clint Black took the stage. He did a GREAT job. Probably not as entertaining as the wonders of Elvira, but that guy flat out sang some tunes! At one point he sang "Desparado" and some guy looked at us and said, "I knew he'd sing that. It's like one of his biggest hits." Cash looked at the guy and said, "Funny, it was also a big hit for the Eagles."

Learn something new every single day!

Back in September we also got to attend the Pink Elephant Ball with the Republican Women of Midland County. I was a little nervous as I had never been to a "ball" before, but my mentor at work told me it was not what I was thinking. Some people would have on gowns, some cocktail dresses, etc. can guess who picked out my dress from the pictures below.

I need that big elephant to go with the rest of the decor in our house!

Gosh, I have a sexy husband. I do!
It was a fun night, and Cash was really working his arm during the auction. I thought we were going to come away from there with this elephant statue with different autographs on it. It was cool. Super cool. Laura Bush, Karl Rove, Mitt Romney, all the TX delegation--tons of politicians had signed it. Congressman Conaway's wife ended up buying it, and I stopped her a few weeks later and asked if I could buy it from her b/c I felt so bad I made Cash quit bidding. She said yes and for me to call her, but actually pulling out the checkbook was making my stomach turn. I really should have though.

We went to their house a few weeks later to help during the VP debate. They had a watch party/fundraiser for the congressman. It was so much fun, and we met a couple from Oklahoma who had just moved to town. The man actually went to undergrad with me in Arkansas!!! We have become pretty good friends now, and they even met us at the Midland/Lee game last Friday night.

I also ran into a high school friend in the grocery store the other night! Here I am 600 miles from home and see a guy I went to HS with. Such a small world..and so stinkin' exciting!!

Well, my pretty little nieces are in town and I want to go see their faces. I have so many more fun things to share--including the hunting equipment pieces I've recently obtained, our new book club, and so on!! How much do I love working in the finance world all day then come home to talk politics and hunting (holla, Duck Dynasty). That's life, y'all, and I love it!!

Good luck to all the scenes up at Contran in Arkansas this weekend. Have a fun and safe hay ride!!! Miss that gang and wish I could be there with y'all. Send me pics! Much love.

Happy happy happy Thursday!!

Avery Jane

Monday, September 24, 2012

We Did!

Now that my unplanned sabbatical from blogging is over, I just want to give a big HEY Y'ALL from Texas!!! Cash and I have been so busy. Excuses, right?!

We have been meeting with Women's Republican club and Young Republicans here in town. I study 8 hours a day and have been since I've started back to work. Cash bought me a new bike while we were in Santa Fe, so we've been riding (we'll use that term loosely) as many nights as we can. We even went to Ruidoso this past weekend for a race!

Post-Race: Tour de Ruidoso
One weekend we spent down at the hog lease putting up feeders and blinds. We went to South Texas during Labor Day weekend to see his extended family. I've spent the past 3 weekends also in tears watching the Razorbacks. It's going to hit even harder this weekend when the game is actually in Texas.

hog at feeders..maybe the only hog I care about seeing the rest of the year!
I was out of commission with using a computer for almost an entire week because of the big crash I had on my bike...right on the boulevard in front of one of the biggest country clubs in this town! So embarrassing yet so funny.

Oh, and if that wasn't bad enough, I wasn't watching where I was walking last weekend and ran head first into the bike rack on the back of the truck. It literally knocked me on my behind in the middle of the road. Cash felt the truck shake and looked back to realize I wasn't in his line of sight. When he got out, I was getting off the ground laughing so hard I was crying. We've had some wild few weeks!!

I meant to do an entire wedding post of just the wedding ceremony, but I failed. And quite frankly at this point we've done so much that it just seems pointless to dedicate a whole night to feeding you with 40-11 pictures of our wedding. So...a few highlights:
walking with my dad!!!!
ceremony--notice the Methodist preacher marrying a Lutheran to a Baptist!
"Wedding Crashers" our bluegrass band for the night--they were amazeballs

cake topper in honor of my husband who played rugby for 7 years

Braeson asked me to dance to "Wagon Wheel"..and he rocked it!

my mom's side of the family
 I could've put so many family pictures up, but I chose my mom's side of the family. Until the past couple of years, literally, we all lived in our hometown. Every aunt, uncle, and all but 1 cousin graduated from Ozark High School. Every single daughter and granddaughter was in OHS homecoming. At some point in the past 5 years, eight of us have worked for the Ozark School District in some capacity.

I love being married, but it's hard to leave that when it's all you really know. I love my dad's side of the family equally..and in fact I was the 7th generation born and raised in North Franklin County. It's just harder for me to go back through that picture without my grandmother here.

being married is the best
The love I have for my family is why this picture meant so much when I saw what our photographer did. Of course I love Cash, but she also put the handkerchief I carried around my bouquet in the background. It was my granny's grandmother's handkerchief that my granny attached a penny to. That penny is the one my granny wore in her shoe when she married my pa over 50 years ago. I seriously draw tears when I think about it.

I hope one day our grandkids want just a little something from our wedding.

The past 2 months have been the best, hardest 2 months of my life. My sister texted me a picture last week of my niece framing a picture of me because she was missing me. So we skyped until our hearts were happy. I hadn't seen my parents since the night we flew in from our honeymoon, so they drove 12 hours to meet us in Ruidoso this weekend. When they left I wanted to cry so hard knowing I won't see them again until November.

It's hard, but I can honestly say I feel I'm right where I'm supposed to be. I've grown a lot being away from my parents, yet I've grown so dependent on my husband as he's the only deep friend I have here. I've made friends and enjoyed company, but nothing will ever compare to the smile I get on my face when I see his truck pull up and him walk in with that brown leather briefcase he carries back and forth every single day.

I love lunch with him. I love brushing my teeth with him (gross, I know). I love Sunday afternoons when I don't have to go catch a plane. I love when I'm hurt and how he takes care of me. I love seeing his e-mails pop up the moment I log in to my computer at work. I love the little stamp he bought with our names and address on it so I can stamp letters I send to my aunt back home. I love that he lets me read my hometown newspaper's 40 years ago column to him like he really is listening. I love that he puts the dogs out and feeds them so I don't have to get my dress dirty. And I love that he takes me to eat Chick-fil-A or King & I because I didn't even think about if I should cook supper that night.

So that sting of missing my family hurts, but I'm not too far removed from that deep pain I felt leaving Cash for weeks at a time. I do feel sorry for myself at times, but I would never go back to 4 months ago. I love my family, but now I have my own family. It may be me, a man, and 2 self-absorbed dogs, but it's my family--and leaving that would be even more painful.

Okay...gush gush gush. I think you get the point. I just had to catch you up in case you had forgotten in the weeks since my latest post. :) And Toi--I'm so sorry I haven't responded!! I got your message and have been meaning to e-mail you, but I am in a whirlwind. Thanks for it! I will catch up with you soon.

As I say everyday in the elevator at work...Hope y'all have a good one.

More next time.