Tuesday, February 28, 2012

If I Call on Jesus...

Most of you probably know, but for those of you who don't I'll let the cat out of the bag. I do, afterall, hate cats.

Last summer I went on a mission trip to an undisclosed location and had the single most horrifying day of my life. I honestly do want to share it one day, but it's not the focus of today. I tell you of this horror so you can walk with me in the months following.

Once I *finally got home I had hoards of friends and family call, email, text, visit for support. I am so thankful to each and everyone of you for your kind words and time through that trial. No way could I have made it without you.

In saying that I had several people suggest to me I should start seeking the help of a psychologist. At first I absolutely refused. My initial thoughts were that I would be perceived as crazy...or that I'm giving up on God helping me through this. But after weeks and weeks of absolutely no sleep, I gave in. Since that time I've learned to not just be okay with going to my appointments, but I LOVE seeing my doctor.

The road has still been rough. I get down often because I'm not where I thought I could be. I'm not as strong mentally, emotionally, or spiritually as I once assumed I was. And she has uncovered so many more demons that I ever wanted to fight. However, I know every moment of the pain is just the stripping away from years of negativity from myself.

Since I faced an extreme circumstance, I assumed that it was the only thing my doctor would find that was "wrong" with me. Instead I've had to face past relationships, deep fears, and generational curses all within the confines of her office. It wasn't long after I started seeing my doctor that she diagnosed me with PTSD. That hit me kind of hard, because I thought it was only for military personnel. How did I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? But when she sat me down a couple months ago and said, "Avery, does anyone in your family suffer from depression?" I began to worry.

"Not that I know of...why??"

"I think you have depression."

That hit me like a lightning bolt. What? Depression? Me? I have the perfect parents, the perfect upbringing, the perfect boyfriend. My job isn't THAT stressful. I've built a career, paid off my own vehicle, bought a house. I have investments. I've been on some neat excursions. I love the little things in life. How do I have depression?

My dear friend, who is also a pastor I might add, went to dinner with me shortly thereafter. I was having a hard time dealing with this verdict, and I said, "Carter, how crazy am I? I might have depression." He assured me it was more common that I thought; that it is not something I can control. It's a condition people get just like diabetes or heart disease.

Then a month or so later I told Cash's sister-in-law about this and told her, "Jeanne, I can't bring myself to take medicine. I feel like that's giving up on God." She helped me understand that it's not giving up on God...just like taking medicine for the flu was not giving up on God. Friends like these two sure have made the road easier and less worrisome.

I will tell you I've yet to begin medicine since it hasn't been confirmed that I am for sure dealing with depression or just having to go through a lot of turmoil and change right now. Either way it's led to a lot of soul searching and understanding for me. And it's made me think about what I can change..or have changed...

For starters, my mom told me awhile back that she's seen such a difference in me since I've been home. She pointed out that my church and faith didn't perpetuate from me like it once did. I wish I could say that broke my heart when she said that. But at the time it didn't.

I was never angry with God for what happened. I knew he saved me in that circumstance for a reason. However, I did just want to run away...run from my job, from my friends, from my home. I wanted a fresh start and surely pouted that I wasn't with Cash everyday.

It took a lot of recovery for me to be okay with right now. Many times I still get upset, and most of you know that I am constantly wishing to be in West Texas. But to just be...I'm trying to get back to that in the life I have now.

So that leads me to things I hope I can learn to change as I continue to grow from this experience.

First and foremost I miss my relationship with God in the sense it was before I left. I miss my daily devotionals, getting ready while jamming to "Washed by the Water", standing by a student's desk and silently but relentlessly praying for them. A student once wrote me a letter sharing with me that my undying faith gave her the courage to be a better Christian. That sweet message never left me; and I pray I'm coming back to the woman of God I was then.

Next I just want to find a good, healthy schedule full of choices that lead to working out and eating right. I've been talking a lot lately about starting to lift vigorously again, and I know the diet needs to be much healthier. I fully believe that having a healthier mind starts with having a healthier body.

Last (for now) I'm really concentrating on being okay with me. I think as women we struggle with this but hate to admit it. My psychologist explained to me one day that there is a fine line between pity and envy. Afterwards I began thinking about this and have noticed it so much in day to day life. I've tried to control those emotions within myself, but I think it's even more than controlling it.

A blogger friend of mine had a devotional today talking about not measuring ourselves against each other. It only leads to pride or doubt. How true! I feel like the more I compare myself or my relationship to other people's, the more I get down. For instance, I complain to Cash that since aren't engaged yet after a year we must not be as in love as other couples. Yes, I realize that sounds crazy once I verbalize it. But don't we all have points in our lives that we compare to others...and then get depressed about it although in the end it wasn't worth it and was a little absurd? Well, I do. And I've really got to control that and just be okay with myself..exactly how I am and exactly where I am at.
via Pinterest
Anyway, I just felt like being open and honest with you all tonight. Maybe it's easier to be open with y'all than it is with myself. Or maybe you can keep me accountable. Or maybe all of this was a bunch of mumbojumbo and you are so glad it's almost over. Whichever way, I hope you can glean something from my experience...I sure am trying.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rewind, Relax, and Read

I feel so productive. I've already dropped my beau off at the airport, gotten home, read my portion of grad school chapters for the day, listened to a baseball game, and started blogging. Also, I've read through the integration article in the Press Argus a few times..because I'm so proud! :) All that in a day's time.

Friday Mr. Wolfe let me skip out after 7th period since I have 8th period conference (PTL), so I got to the airport right as Cash's bags were coming off the baggage claim. It was nice driving to XNA verses Tulsa this weekend. So nice.

We hustled back to Alma for me to get out of my work clothes and into ballgame clothes and drove to Ozark in order to get to the Gravette/Berryville game during the 2nd quarter. Unfortunately, my favorite team squandered their lead a few times and lost by 1. However, that meant my sister and the kids were going to stay at Mom and Dad's that night as well; so I call it win-win. (Plus, we didn't have to play Clarksville the next night. Holy toledo. Can you say ballas?)

After the game we ran and got some Thai food (yes, can you believe Ozark has a Thai restaurant?!) and went back to the gym to watch Clarksville/Waldron. BTW...Thanks, Maranda, for coming over and meeting Cash!! So sweet!! I've talked about one of my best friends, Leslie, many times on the ol' blog. Because she and her husband are both in school in Little Rock, she has yet to meet Cash. Seems unreal. But her older sister Maranda came over at the game Friday night to meet him, which I thought was just so sweet. When I was in high school, all of us girls had a crush on her husband because he was one of our football coaches. I remember us always telling him how pretty his then-fiance (now wife) was...and we were super jealous! haha. Now it's funny, because it's Leslie's sister and brother-in-law. Anyway, it was fun to see Maranda and it made me miss my BF even more than I already do.

That night we spent in Jethro with my entire family, and I thought the kids were going to wear Cash plum out. HA! He still doesn't know quite how to handle the 2 rugrats running around screaming. It probably didn't help that I egged (or "agg" if you are Southern like yours truly) it on and tackled them until they cried uncle aunt.

Mom made an amazing breakfast, as always, and we went back to ballgames on Saturday afternoon. Originally we said we were going to Hot Springs to gamble away 50 cents at a time on horses, but both of us were exhausted from all the recent travels. Therefore, we decided to relax and enjoy the weekend in Western Arkansas instead. Luckily we got to watch Gravette beat Waldron in the 3rd place game, and we ended the regional tournament with a W.

Cash says of this pic, "This is how I REALLY feel about all your pictures." bahumbug.
Saturday evening Cash and I decided to just hang out with each other. Honestly, that happens so little that I kept wondering all night how long it had been since we had spent an evening just the two of us. Before dinner we stopped at my great aunt and uncle's house to visit with them. Uncle Charles and Aunt MaryKaye are by far the sweetest people in the world. We found out that morning that Aunt MaryKaye had been in the hospital the night before, but Uncle Charles knew I wanted a Press Argus so he went to town and got me several of them despite her not feeling well. That's just the sweet-hearted people they are.
They were telling me that they had been to my Grandpa Kuykendall's house recently and how much he beamed when he talked about Cash and me. Y'all, I love my Grandpa Kuykendall. LOVE HIM. I love calling and just chatting with him or going to dinner or church with him. It tickles me pink when someone tells me that he has been bragging about being my grandpa. I seriously want to cry when I hear that; I just adore him. Aunt MaryKaye told us that Gpa K has been bragging on Cash, and that just made me even more proud.

It just still blows my mind that God brought someone to me who is such a good, good man. To have my Gpa K brag on how good he is, well, that's the biggest compliment I could ever get.

Anyway, we headed over to Frank's for some Italian. Oh my gosh. It was delic! Then we decided to watch an early movie with all the 15 year olds in the area (holla, 7:25 show time). Cash actually picked a chick-flick knowing how much I love them. We watched the new movie with Reese Witherspoon, and we both agreed it was really good! Enough chick-flickish for me...enough comedy and action for him. So...go have a date with your honey. You won't be disappointed.

Today we decided not to rush to church and the airport. Instead we took our time to get to Northwest Arkansas and ate at Hog Haus on Dickson. I got to show Cash the U of A campus for the first time! Not sure he was that impressed and he kept saying, "Yep, looks like a school." But nonetheless it brightened my day! GO HOGS GO!!!!!!!

Speaking of...I think I FINALLY came up with a topic for this semester's literature review. I'm still waiting on approval from my professor, but I'm hoping to do it on how religion affects voting behavior. As interesting at this is to me, I won't subject you all to it. But I will say my mom and dad signed me up to go with them to a traditional Jewish holiday celebration in a few weeks. I. Am. Pumped!!

Okay...enough random talk about the weekend. I hope y'all have a great week! And someone read this book for me and tell me if it's worth the buy: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie by Christie Leigh Mueller.

Uhm, yes, I think I need this book.
Avery Jane

Thursday, February 23, 2012

AMS Celebrates Black History Month!

This week has been very exciting here in Alma, Arkansas! I got home safe and sound from West Texas, and school hit me like a lightning bolt Monday morning. After work we had a faculty meeting, and I was ZONKED by the time I got home.

Tuesday I had guest speakers come in for Black History Month. Originally I had asked Coach Grant if he would come talk about his involvement as a guard for the Arkansas National Guard during the crisis at Little Rock Central High in 1957. When he said he would come, he also decided to research the integration of Alma schools.

Well, he called a city council member here in Alma, Rev. Perry, and asked what he knew of our district's integration. Rev. Perry's response? "I was one of the sixteen integrated." So Coach Grant asked him to present along with him. In fact they met up for breakfast one morning at our local Cracker Barrel and hashed out who would present what. Now this is just precious.
Rev Perry and Coach Grant
The kids were intrigued with their presentation. Rev. Perry talked about being escorted into the school by the Alma Police Department on his first day in an integrated school in 1964. Integration here at Alma was a lot smoother than that in Little Rock, but you know the children had to be nervous. In fact Rev. Perry told the kids he had wanted to go to the all black school in Ft. Smith to meet more girls, so he was actually disappointed initially to be integrated. Later my principal told me this was the first time we've ever discussed our integration at school and how glad she was that it was taking place. I felt so blessed that this had all landed in my lap!
Rev Perry speaking to the kids
Rev Perry's teacher from the all black school he attended from 1-6 grades still lives in the area. She will be speaking at his church in a few weeks, and I'm elated that he's going to call me so I can go. Won't that be an amazing experience?!

Coach Grant (we call him that because he is a retired coach/principal from AMS) discussed being a guard at Central High. If you recall, the Arkansas National Guard was brought in by Governor Faubus to keep the black students out of the school. The 101st Airborne Division was sent in by President Eisenhower to then guard the students and escort them to class. So both the state and federal troops were at the schools but for different reasons. Coach Grant was just a senior in high school when he was deployed to Little Rock. He was armed with a long, wooden stick and a gun with no bullets. As he talked he told the kids how much he didn't want to be at Little Rock at that time. He wanted to just go back and practice basketball with his team and finish his senior year. It would not be until January of 1958 that he would get that opportunity.

Coach Grant speaking to the kids.
As a kid Coach Grant was just following his orders. I think that hit me really hard. In front of me stood 2 people who had such different and distinct roles in integration, neither of whom wanted to really fulfill them but did as they were told anyway. Incredible.

I had a great time listening to them that day and getting to eat lunch with them as well. During the afternoon our local paper came to do an article on their talks of integration, and I absolutely cannot wait until that comes out on Saturday!!

My dad was excited to hear what all my speakers shared, so I went down to Ozark that evening to eat with my parents and see my niece and nephew who were in town. :) After some fierce backyard baseball and cheerleading, we headed inside for...
the good life
...popcorn and a pallet. Oh, the good life at Nana and Bumpy's, huh?

Then last night we all met in Ozark again to watch my brother-in-law's team win by ONE {1} in overtime during the first round of regional tournament. The Gravette Lions are STATE BOUND!! Tomorrow I get to go pick Cash up from the airport...WAHOOOOOO...then it's off to the semi-finals of regionals and the horse races. Does life get any better? Negative, co-chief.
I say that. Let's just hope this is a different "Cash" whose article I found in the paper today. ;)

Until the next boring week when I want to recant all my great memories from this weekend, hasta la vista chicas bonitas! Have a safe one!

Avery Jane

Monday, February 20, 2012

I Huffed and Puffed and Sneezed My Way to Texas

In case you didn't get the hint from the title. I'm sick. And I went to Texas. Thy cup overflows with mucus and love.

All last week I was sick with...well, I don't know because I chose not to go to the doctor. My students were competing in our local National History Day competition, and they've worked all year long on these projects. I couldn't abandon them the week of NHD, and I definitely couldn't take off Thursday since it was my job to get judges from around the state. In fact Thursday morning I was explaining to the judges what they would be doing that day, and I could barely get out the words as my voice was failing me.

After all the hard work, the kids did great (of course) and impressed me with their knowledge. I really have the greatest students on this planet. Sometimes I wonder what it will be like one day when I'm not teaching, and I have a hard time rationalizing that.

Thursday night I ran up to Fayetteville for class and finished packing. I was feeling terrible by the time I got home, and I only got a few hours of sleep. My alarm sounded at 2 Friday morning. The initial thought that ran through my mind was, "No way in the world will I be able to get to Texas today." And that thought stayed with me until I actually made it there.

I took a long, hot bath in hopes it would make me feel better. Then I poured meds into my body. The drive to the Tulsa airport was brutal, then I had to stand in line for forty-eleven hours feeling dizzy. Finally I got to the gate, and I just sat with my head in my lap until we boarded. Yes, it was miserable. But one thing was certain: being sick in Texas with Cash was better than being sick in Arkansas by myself.

By the time I got to Midland, I was feeling a bit better; I just had no voice whatsoever. When I walked in and couldn't speak, Big Russ said, "This is going to be our best weekend yet!" Baaaa.

Lunch Friday was right down my alley: King and I!!! Then I got to lay down and take a long nap with Jetter while Cash went back to work. That evening we went with his whole family to Osaka's for his brother's birthday. Can I just stop right here and say how much I love Big Russ? Seriously.

The guys were doing sake bombs, and when I looked up Big Russ was pouring the rest of his sake straight into the glass. He said, "Well, I had some left over." You know, there are starving kids in Africa. No need to waste.

Since I was so sick, I wasn't going to play with Lena and Toby very much. But at one point Lena said, "I want Abee!!" So I let that precious little one sit right between me and Cash as long as she wanted to. She is a doll...a pure doll. I love that child.

After brunch and shopping with Cash the next morning, I went with Jeanne and Andrea to find new shoes for Lena. We walked in the shoe store which glittered with tiny toddler shoes and Lena said, "Oh my goooodnesss!!" It was adorable!

Saturday evening we had reservations for Fat Saturday, a night of celebrating Mardi Gras and eating crawfish. I was upset that I couldn't eat much and had looked so forward to this evening for such a long time. Nevertheless I got to suck on the head of some mud crawlers and therefore was a happy girl. We also got to see Matt and Pam which was awesome considering I had just put two and two together over Christmas break that their aunt and uncle live in the same community as my parents. Small world.

My little buddy the whole weekend sat with me and just melted my heart. Cash snapped a quick picture after he told the bug to make her "goofy face."

me and the bug
My heart just melts all over itself when that precious baby asks for Abee or climbs in my lap. As we sat there at dinner, she would just put her arms around my neck and squeeze as tight as she could. I sat there thinking about how much life had changed in a year; how I couldn't imagine life without this family now.

And I thought about how much I missed my family too. My brother-in-law's team was playing in the district tournament finals while I was gone. My mom would send me updates every quarter, and they actually beat the #1 ranked team in their conference. I was so excited and wanted to scream from a rooftop of how proud I was of him and his team. But no one there knows my BIL. It pained me a little to know this was my first taste of missing out on home; then I looked around and saw all of the friends I have made in a year. I looked at the bug and her little sister whom I've fallen in love with. I looked at Cash, the very reason all of this has happened. And I knew it was worth it.

That evening we all went back to Cash's house to celebrate Aaron's big 3-1 (yes, VERY old). It was so fun to see so many people our age that I hadn't seen since Christmas or even last summer. The neat thing about being in Midland is that we have the chance to hang out with people our age all the time. Here in Arkansas I have very few friends my age around here, and we certainly don't hang out on a regular basis. My sister is my best friend, and I've been staying with her a lot lately; but as far as a friend my age, well, it's pretty null.

Sunday morning we headed to Cash's sweet little Lutheran church for an hour of service. Then it was off to Wall St for brunch cinnamon rolls. Afterwards we hung out and watched Cinderella (guess who picks the movies around there--yep, the grandkids. I think that's a universal language.) until I had to go back and pack for my flight home. With a 3 hour layover in Dallas and 2 hour drive back from Tulsa, I was glad to be back in my bed. I was exhausted. Coughing. And just dog tired.

When I got up this morning, I did notice a few things though:
  1. My hair always ALWAYS fixes better in the dry Midland air. Ugh...nasty hair on Monday after having pretty hair all weekend.
  2. Even though I get to see Cash again in 4 days, I miss him still.
  3. It's not fair that everyone I love is so spread out. 
  4. I get to go to Midland in 4 weeks. Yeehaw.
  5. My bro-in-law has his first game of regionals on Wednesday in Ozark, and I get to go.
  6. Spending time with Lena and Toby makes me miss Braeson and Addison even more. I love all those children.
  7. Tomorrow I have 2 guest speakers coming in for Black History month. They are discussing the integration in Little Rock and Alma. The local paper called me this afternoon to see if they could come tomorrow to do an article on this. I. Am. Elated. 
So coming back home wasn't the end of the world. We have several things to look forward to this week, and to top it off Cash is coming to town. Now if I could just get rid of this cough and runny nose before it runs a marathon on me...

XOXO (don't touch me, I'm sick)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Blog Game

I know it's been quite stiff and serious around here lately, so I decided to play a blog game. Ya know, lighten the mood. No, it's not good ol' Oregon Trail or Free Ski (holla 1990s), but it's not politics. Can I get an amen?

Here's how the game goes:

~you must post the rules
~post 11 fun facts about yourself
~answer the 11 questions that the tagger posted for you & then create 11 questions to ask the people you've tagged
~tag 11 people and link them in your post
~let them know you have tagged them
Basically, someone loves the number 11 and made a game of it. I saw this on a fellow Kelly's-Korner-Turned-Me-Into-A-Mrs. blog and thought it sounded a lot more fun than reading American Public Mind right now. All right. Let's get at it.
Fun Facts
1.  Even though I've been teaching for 4 years, I still have no idea where I want my career to eventually take me.

2. I once ate a wasper...because my sister forced me to. (aka a wasp for all you non-rural Arkansans)

3. Keeping up with the Kardashians is my favorite show. True story--even above political shows. If Cash calls during a new episode, I say, "Oh my gosh, I'll have to call you back. The Kardashians are on!!" sigh

4. When I was little, I hid under my parents bed every day during the summers because my sister told me people were on their way to kidnap me.

5. No one ever gave me a mixed CD, and I feel like maybe I missed out on something there. haha

6. My high school mascot was a Hillbilly. The preacher at the First Baptist was our mascot on Friday nights, and he would shoot a shotgun when the football team scored a touchdown. This is all true.

7. Praise and worship is my favorite time during church. If I can't stand and raise my hands, I'm probably not going to be a member of that church. It's just my time with God.

8. I adore senior citizens. Adore.

9. My worst habit is constantly checking my bank account. I'm OCD about it.

10. If Zack Morris would have me, I might jump right in that time machine and go have myself a burger with that hunk. (I'm really reminiscing of the '90s today, huh?)

11. I would be mad if you took my sports away; but I would never get over it if you took my politics away. 

Leslie's Questions

1. If you could raid any celebrity's closet, who would it be and why?
 Kim K, duh, because I am obsessed with all things Kardashian. (side note--Cash, I really would like to go to a Mavs game. I love you.--end side note)

2. If you were a shoe, what would you look like?
I big a red stiletto, c'mon now! 

3. What is your biggest pet peeve?
incorrect subject/verb agreement--That's not just the English teacher in me talking. That's the nerd in me talking.
4. Favorite song of all-time?
"Young Love" by the Judds
5. Are you a dog person or a cat person? And why? (If you don't like animals, we can't be friends.)
Dog. I hate cats. I hate looking at them. I hate how they try to rub on my leg. I hate how mysterious they are. I hate them.
6. You're queen for a day. How do you spend your royal 24 hours?
I'd wave, wave, touch the pearl, wipe the cheek, switch. And I'd take 3,096 pictures to post them on social media. ;)
7. What's the most delicious thing you've ever eaten?
my brother-in-law's baked beans
8. What scares you the most? (This can be deep and complex or shallow...whateva you feel like!)
men who break into my room when I'm in the Middle East--I mean, not really a tough question for me. ha.
9. Which celebrity do you wish would drift off into obscurity?
Courtney off the Bachelor. I guess she's a celebrity now.
10. You're 16 years old again. What advice would you give your younger self? 
Don't date him. Study for Chemistry instead.
11. What's your Starbucks order?
Tall Caramel Macchiato
My Questions
1. What is your biggest goal in life?
2. If you could vacation to any place in the world with unlimited means, where would you go?
3. What is your best childhood memory?
4. What is your most embarrassing moment of all time?
5. Do you have a phobia? If so, what is it?
6. What's your morning routine?
7. Not counting a movie made from a Nicholas Sparks book, what is your favorite?
8. Who is your favorite president?
9. What is one quirky habit (or event, party, celebration, etc) your family has?
10. If married--what was the best thing about your wedding? If single--what is one thing you dream about for a wedding one day?
11. What is your best mom advice for a sick person? (And you can't say gargle salt water...)

And now I'm supposed to tag 11 people. I probably won't even have 11 people read this post (ha), so feel free to play along if you wander over this way. If you do play, let me know. I want to read all your interesting info...and I need to see your answer to #11. :)


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

...that's what it's all about *clap*clap*

Y'all know me...and you know I love Cash more than anything in this world. But right now I'm utterly sick of the lovey doviness going on at school, on social media, etcccccc. If you have a great relationship, it's daily. It's not one time a year.

One of my students asked me what Cash and I got each other for Valentine's Day. Uhmmm...excuse me? It's not Christmas. Nor is it a day we are supposed to show off our love to everyone else. And it's definitely not a day I share with 13 year olds.

I'm blown away right now with the amount of  gift exchanging going on between middle school kids. I'll go ahead and say it--I think it's ludicrous. If you are 12 years old, you don't need a dozen roses from your 2 day boyfriend. You'll change boyfriends within the month. Nor do you need a bouquet of flowers from your parents. What is that??? Why are kids getting presents on VALENTINE'S DAY from their parents? Why do we have to send these to school so that they think life is all about them. (and to further enhance the gap between those with means and those without--that makes me so sad)

A few weeks ago I was at Target, and I overheard a little girl tell her parents that it was HER holiday. They both laughed and said, "Little girl, you are badly mistaken." I was so glad to hear them say that, because this isn't a day about kids. It's about two adults who are in love...and that shouldn't be commercialized.

When I was single (which wasn't THAT long ago..I still remember how I felt), it really hurt to be reminded of how single I was with no possible candidate in mind. I promised myself during all those lonely years that I wouldn't show off on this day when I was in love. I love Cash...more than you can imagine. I talk about him all the time. He takes me on dates as often as we can possibly see each other. We got each other a Valentine's Day present. And don't get me wrong---I've been so excited for today. Any chance I get to tell Cash I love him, I jump on it. But I stand by my conviction that I don't want to throw my relationship in the faces of the people who don't get to celebrate. I remember that pain, and I would hate to know I caused it for someone else.

I just encourage you to focus today just on you and your love. It doesn't have to be announced to the world. Just try to put yourself in someone's shoes who doesn't have a Valentine. And bottom line...if you have a great Valentine, it will be evident tomorrow and the next day and the next day and and and...

That being said, I don't want you to think I don't appreciate what Cash does for me. I do..1. because I remember life before him and don't take him for granted 2. he's an amazing man 3. I could go on forever. I just think today is between me and Cash (or whomever and whomever); not me, Cash, and facebook. That's all.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Few Randoms and a 7 Year Olds Brain

Two weekends in a row I've spent hanging with my sister and her family in Bella Vista. #winning

My niece and nephew are wild ones; they are. But they melt my heart! The past several months Braeson has clung to me every second he could when I've been around. Yesterday he even kissed me goodbye in front of all his teammates after his basketball game. I'm trying to soak in every moment of our BFF time!

Braeson has also become very interested in politics. He sent the picture I showed you the other day of Abraham Lincoln speaking behind a podium. The next day he sent a picture that read, "I love going to the Lincoln Memorial." He was AMAZED that today would have been Lincoln's 203rd birthday. Speaking of presidents and their birthdays, I'm crossing my fingers that they have rallied behind the fact we aren't getting off for President's Day; I'm pretty certain we might get out of school tomorrow since we don't get next Monday off. C'mon, snow!! Just 1 snow day would be a nice break right now!

Anyway, so Friday on the way to Dustin's basketball game I was telling Braeson the difference in Republicans and Democrats. Of course I was generalizing and saying that ideologically Republicans don't believe in higher taxes for the wealthy, abortion, or homosexual marriages and that largely Democrats do. I tried my best to put it in terms a 7 year old could understand. When I finished I said, "Do you know what President Lincoln was? He was a Republican." Brae thought was awesome. I said, "And President Obama is a Democrat." He stared at me with big eyes and said, "Soooo...President Obama married a man???"

Absolutely not. Sis and I explained that to him. We said that just because many Democrats vote for gay rights does not make them gay; they just believe in passing that form of legislation. To each their own; no debating social topics on the ol' blog (just actual political agendas like tax reform and healthcare and education). Regardless, it was comical how his little brain was working. He really was trying to put together political ideologies; he was just a little confused!

And to give balance to my explanation, his paternal grandfather quickly tried to erase everything I told him. So it's good that he's getting to come to his own decision starting at an early age. Regardless of what he decides as he gets older, I'm just PUMPED that he does want to come to a decision! So to all of you political naysayers out there, seriously get informed. If my 7 year old nephew can do it, you can too.

All right. Besides brainwashing a kindergartener, what else have I been doing?
  • watched 2 Gravette Lions games, both coming down to the last second
  • found out that I can get a 15% discount at Ann Taylor LOFT since I'm a teacher
  • got a new Vera Bradley wallet from my beau for our anniversary (holllaaaaa)
  • started working out again thanks to my friend Tracee who gets me in the gym and my friend Drea who inspires me with her Facebook pictures of her abs
  • made 2 new friends in grad school, 1 girl who seems really cool; we're so excited to hang out as she and her boyfriend might go with Cash and me to a Hog baseball game in 2 weeks
  • received an e-mail confirmation that Cash is coming in 2 weeks from now; he totally surprised me!!!
  • woke up to a UPS text this morning that I was getting a delivery tomorrow; Cash was mad that the surprise was ruined, but I was thrilled to know I had something coming!!!
  • watched The Vow; kinda disappointed now
  • bought Cash's V-Day present and 2 new pairs of shoes over the phone, all 3 being in Midland; ready to pick them up FRIDAY!! (Check out Pink Tumbleweed on Facebook; they rock.)
  • shaved Bequette (well, Sis did)
  • listened to my nephew describe all the differences between my sister and me: I have bigger eyes, a longer and flatter neck, a skinnier nose.
  • cleaned my house top to bottom
  • discovered that everything I need for dinner can be found in the $1 aisle at CV's
  • landed the Chief Deputy Secretary of State as a History Day judge
  • made 2 canvases, 1 for my guest bedroom and 1 for my cousin Brad (I do have to throw in the fact that I made one for Cash this summer, and he has it up in his house...right when you walk in!! Not even in the very back closet!! haha)
    "Go Hogs Arkansas Woo Pig"
    my new canvas above my guest bed
    Y'all remember the LeAnn Rimes concert Cash took me to in Ft. Worth? This weekend I was on the DFW website and found these pictures. CASH AND I WERE ON THERE!!!! I was so absolutely stunned and excited. Granted many people are on there, but seriously...I am still excited. 
    LeAnn singing like no one else in the world
    with my fav at Bass Hall
    holy cow I'm lucky!!!
    I know I say Cash is handsome a lot. So I'll refrain. Instead I just want to say that he looks really, really great in these pictures! Wow. I seriously can't believe I get to date him. Before I change his mind, I better jet. Hope you all have been enjoying life as much as we have! Have a great week, lovelies.
Avery Jane

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Braeson's Insight

My 7 year old nephew Braeson had my sister send this to members of our family tonight. I received it while watching the news, and some things really hit me.

1. A child has innocent eyes and can see true fairness. That's not just a political dig. That's just a reality of day to day life.

2. Liberals can scream at conservatives for not being open-minded on issues like gay marriage, abortion, taxes, etc. However, when a conservative gives his/her viewpoint and a liberal doesn't want to listen, then that's completely acceptable. Few things make me madder than that hypocrisy. Don't tell me I am close-minded but not listen to my perspective.

3. Fair: free from bias or injustice. It absolutely cannot be fair to people who make more money to have a higher tax rate. If the tax rate was a flat 10%, then the wealthy would be paying more anyway. How do people not get that? The tax laws currently punish people for making more money. Those of us who make less money shouldn't be griping that wealthy people are paying 10x our salary in taxes while we pay such a minute amount comparatively speaking. If I was someone who worked hard to make a lot of money, paid tens of thousands in taxes, then was told I didn't pay enough despite paying more than most...well, I'd be ticked. It's intolerable to keep putting people on social programs and slowly creating pure dependence on the government. Karl Marx would've like it though!

4. President Obama and Vice President Biden campaign for higher taxes for those nasty, nasty rich people. Aren't they so kind and giving? They run to the aid of people who just can't help themselves, right? Well, unfortunately, they gave less to charity (combined) than did George W. Bush when Bush made less money than either of them. Biden in particular is very selfish with his money. Just a thought...if they wanted to help the poor so much, why don't they do it with their own money instead of forcing that on tax payers?

5. My nephew said his picture is of a president but not Obama. He says it is of Abraham Lincoln. Rock on, little Braeson. He's truly a kid after his aunt's heart. I'm so proud!

Just wanted to get that rant off my chest. Be informed. Do research. Go vote.