Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Open arms

Ok, so I have heard that when you are pregnant, you are very emotional. Well I have discovered that there is no need to be pregnant for this to happen. Just move 8 hours away from your family. Vuala. Emotional roller coaster without the morning sickness. Take tonight for instance. I started bawling while painting the words "apple cider." now, one of two reasons why I am crazy things just popped into your head.(side note: ignore any misspellings and/or punctuation errors-I am typing on the iPad. I just fixed popped from pooped...) The first is "why in the world are you painting apple cider?" the answer to that is...it is a project for my cousin's wedding. The second thing would be "why did apple cider make you cry?" I won't scare you with my thought process but it went from apple cider is what we had at our wedding to this is has been and is going to be the hardest phase of my life, I think. Somewhere along the way Kari Jobe was singing in the background about Healing Hands and I just lost it. Thankfully my cryfests have decreased in numbers but they still come...and they come out of nowhere (like I saw a principal in the hallway with a kid last week and it was all I could do to keep myself together through that therapy session because the principal reminded me of my dad with the way he was calmly getting on to him). The last month has been nothing less than chaos surrounded by chaos. The busyness has helped with the homesickness, but has added to the feeling of not being settled. Between work, praise band, choir, weekend trips, and apartment hunting there just hasn't been time to get into a routine yet. We did, however just get the keys to our new condo today! :) pictures will come soon and probably an entire blog devoted to it, but for now let's just say it is a blessing to finally have a place to call our own here. To get to the point of this rambling mess(what's new)... As I was sitting here trying to get finished with the words "apple cider" before my paint dried up without washing it all away with the Rio de Emilio, I was overwhelmed with God's comfort and warm embrace. My wandering thoughts that always lead to unanswered questions and tears were interrupted; my aching heart was stilled. What a joy it is to serve a God who cares about insignificant me. I am worth nothing....most people on this earth couldn't care less if I was crying or not. But the God and Creator of EVERYTHING cares. Woah. And he has a plan. As hard as this phase of life is for me, I can get through it with His help because this is His plan for me. Even though I have the audacity to question His reasoning, He loves me enough to carry me through and wrap a surreal comfort around my heart that cannot be found elsewhere. I know people constantly go through worse situations than I. I am so extremely blessed. My prayer tonight is that if you are going through a difficult time, I hope and pray that you have the comfort of Christ to run to. If not, please know that it isn't because He isn't there. He loves you and wants nothing more than to welcome His child into His open arms where a peace that you cant even begin to imagine is waiting.

Monday, September 12, 2011

one week

Well, it's been one week since we have been official residents of Texas.  OK, technically, it's been one week and 1 1/2 days, but this is the first time I've had the chance to sit down and write, so it's the best I got.  Life has been a whirlwind since we got here! But I thought I'd make a list of the top 7 things I've learned so far (one for each day of the week we've been here). Here is it:

Day 1 - Saturday --> Texas has some stupid rules.  The story: I had to get fingerprinted for my new job.  A set had to be given to my company and a set had to be given to the State Dept. of Education.  Well, they gave me the option of doing it electronically inside the state of Texas or they could mail me a kit.  At this point, we still had a month to go in Mississippi, so I figured the mailing was the best bet.  BONK. wrong answer.  I never received the kit in the mail and a week before we moved I called and had to set up a time to get it done electronically once we got there.  I say I called.  I did call - 27 times - but they NEVER answered. And 27 is not an exaggerated number. So I had to do it online.  Apparently everyone and their mother who lives in Texas likes to get fingerprinted because there was only one time slot open on Saturday and it was in Houston at 1:40pm.  Therefore, we had to LEAVE at 630am to get there on time.  Not to mention the fact that we had to drive through a Tropical Storm the entire way.  SOOO, we get there right on time after almost getting blown off the face of the earth and Tanner has to walk Maverick around a parking lot while I go inside.  Turns out - they would only do one set because I only had one appointment. And something about she couldn't type in the code that was on the piece of paper I handed her.  Sheesh. Let me get there at your computer and I'll type in the stinkin code! (I was not a happy camper, might I add) But, I kept my emotional breakdown to myself and yelled at her calmly asked her what I needed to do because without this fingerprint I could not start my job on Tuesday. and Monday was a holiday so they were closed. and we were from MS. and our new home was 1 1/2 hours from Houston. Ends up, we just had to drive back down there Tuesday after work (I just wasn't allowed to service kids) and get it all done. So, first memory of Texas = you have stupid rules.  But in all honesty, the lady was very nice and genuinely wished there was something she could have done about it - she even called her boss to make sure!
Day 2 - Sunday -->  First Baptist Church Bryan, Texas has some amazing people.  We really already knew this, but Sunday was just amazing.  We were overwhelmed at the opening of hearts and homes to us.  A sub-lesson under this one is Everyone needs a MeMe.  This lady at church, known as MeMe (she says she used to have another name, but has forgotten it), immediately (in the welcome line after the service) invited us over for ice cream Sunday afternoon.  Of course, my husband cannot pass up an opportunity for ice cream! While there, we had a wonderful visit getting to know a little about her and she offered to be our grandmother away from home.  I had to fight back the tears.  She reminded me so much of my great aunt whom I was named after and miss so much.
Day 3 - Monday --> Bryan has really good parks.  It's apparently a rule here in town that for every new neighborhood, or few blocks, or something like that, they have to put in a public park.  Best rule ever. (Ok, so maybe not all Texas rules are stupid) They all have a walking track, playground and splash pad! Since we both had the day off, we went and found a pretty large park and walked Maverick around and swung on the swingset.  Not kidding. =)
Day 4 - Tuesday --> I'm not good at new jobs. I am not the outgoing personality that is good and starting a new job and automatically feeling plugged in and comfortable.  I like having a history there and knowing everyone and everyone knowing me.  Or at least having SOMEONE i know to ask stupid questions like Where's the bathroom? or What in the world am I doing here?
Day 5 - Wednesday --> I take my GPS for granted.  Our phones had been all out of whack here since our carrier is a regional company (Cellular South) and had NO service whatsoever.  Well, this was the first time I drove straight from work back home.  Should be easy enough to backtrack, right? ummm, not when you are new to town and directionally challenged! Duh, Emily. Our phones are our GPS and it just so happened that mine had no service when I took the wrong turn - all 4 of them. But I eventually found my way back home =)
Day 6 - Thursday --> apparently my brain died on this day because I remember nothing
Day 7 - Friday --> I started functioning again and learned that the food options are overwhelming. Tanner's parents came in town to visit and trying to decide where to eat was so nervewracking! We had eaten at someone's house every night so far so we hadn't had a chance to try any of the restaurants.  Looking at the map of options I just couldn't handle it.  We chose a Barbeque place called Rudy's. Good choice. Definitely had the college town feel to it and made me miss those days (sort of).

All in all, it's been a good first week.  Even though I am terribly homesick, I am looking forward to what the weeks ahead hold for us.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blessings and cryfest

I am writing this from my new blogger app on my phone since my husband took the computer and internet router...so...sorry for random spellings and typos. I will try to correct them but im sure I will eventually give up and just leave you to decipher. If you are someone I text frequently you are used to it already :)
I  am sitting in our house by myself with no tv and no internet and no dog. I should be incredibly happy because our realtor and future tenants just left after signing a one year lease for our home! Again, God's perfect timing as Tanner left ten minutes ago for Texas and I leave saturday. Everything has just gone so smoothly and it is just overwhelming to think about how all of the details have been meticulously ironed out for us. However, right now, what is more overwhelming for me is the sadness. (and the aggitation at my phone). Our first year of marriage was spent in this home. I know it is just a house...a structure that wasnt even built by us. But it was a home for us.. Our first one. And there are so many memories here. We will never have another movie night with a pallet on the floor or game night with hot tea and settlers. Yes we can have all that in our new house but will it be the same? The silence and loneliness is overpowering. And my family is still just ten minutes away. What will it be like when they are eight hours away. .? In just one week this will be the case. I am constantly praying for peace and comfort. I am always asking God to just let me keep in the tears for a few more minutes so I can get to seclusion before they all come pouring out. I put on a brave face but inside I am trembling with fear. There is no doubt that we are following God, so why the fear? I know it will get better with time and once we get there and settled my fears will ease. And I know it could be so much worse. I mean, we are only going 8 hourse...its not like we are leaving the country.But you dony know our family. (ok, maybe you do). If you dont...our family is amazing. I used to think they were normal but I realize now theu are an exception. We are extremely close-knit. For the past 12 years I have gone to visit my grandparents at least once a week. We have monthly birthday dinners to celebrate whoevers birthdays are that month. We sometimes just have random sunday lunches because there are no birthdays that month. And now I am leaving all of that. My grandparents arent getting younger...they arent going to be around much longer. My heart literally aches just thinking about leaving them. My family is my world.  They are always there when we need something...and even when we dont. This week is going to be a killer. I know I cant do it alone. Please pray for us whenever you think to do so. Pray for Tanner as he travels this afternoon and again this weekend to come get me. Pray that his firsy week at work will go smoothly for him and the rest of the staff. Pray for us as a couple amd a family that we can grow closer during this time of transition and change. That we can learn to depend solely on one another and God. Everyone says its the best thing for a marriage to live away from family for a while. And while I believe them and am looking forward to the time we can grow even closer, I am still scared out of my mind. Please also pray for my licensure situation. I have to get state licensure from dept of health and dept of ed. So far they are both proving to be slow and tedious processes. I know God is in control amd he has shown us that multiple times in this process. He has provided us with so many blessings and we deserve none of them. I  thankful that we serve a marvelous and caring God who wraps us in his love and peace during times of fear.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Ok, sooo....I've got some really big news!!! ya ready for it?.... We're moving! I bet you thought we were having a baby, huh? Nope. Just moving to Bryan, Texas...sorry for the disappointment. =) Anyways, I figured it was time to let everyone know.  It has been in the works all summer and we finally set the date for Labor Day weekend.  I'll start from the beginning and tell the whole story - it's really an amazing one. In April, Tanner gets a phone call from some random guy at First Baptist Church in Bryan, Texas.  They are creating a Media Director position and Tanner's name came up in conversation.  And while my husband is AMAZING at what he does, no, he's not famous enough yet to be that well known. =) Notice I said "yet" because one day he will be! Tanner's dad is a music minister and was on staff with the pastor who is now at FBC Bryan.  Just from meeting him once, the pastor remembered that this was Tanner's line of work and had heard that he was really good, so he put his name in the hat.  Hence, the random phone call.  At first, we were both kind of on the fence of whether or not we wanted to even consider it.  We were just getting settled in our new home and jobs and we are really comfortable in Hattiesburg.  My family is here, so of course I am biased to the area.  But we both agreed we shouldn't close the door immediately.  So, Tanner skype-interviewed with them and began the process.  Throughout it all, we fervently prayed that God would show us His will and open/close any necessary doors.  We even thought maybe it was God just telling us we need to look elsewhere...not necessarily Bryan, TX, but that it was coming time for us to move on from Hattiesburg.  Well, in time, God closed every other door we tried to open.  Except Bryan.  The process continued through the summer, with God slamming all kinds of doors in both of our faces.  It was a rough process, but we finally said, Ok God we get it...Bryan, TX it is.  I mean, seriously...why could it not have been Colorado or Tennessee...? If we were going to pick up our lives and move 8 hours away, couldn't it at least be to an outdoorsy town that wasn't even HOTTER than where we live - I didn't even think that was possible! But, God's plan is perfect =) and he continues to show us that every day.  We had the opportunity to meet some of the staff and members of FBC and can I just tell you, they are amazing! From the very beginning they have been MORE than helpful and continuously shower us with God's love.  So - we put our house up for sale.less than a year after buying it.and it's still there.and it looks like it will be for a while. And I started looking for a job.  I put out my resume for every facility, school and hospital, in the Bryan/College Station area.  I had some possibilities, but nothing was panning out.  I was hoping for a school job because of the holidays and schedule, but I would take anything that meant income.  Well, last week, a friend that we had meet in Bryan, who happens to be a speech pathologist also, got a call from a company saying they had a position in a nearby school.  She told them she wasn't interested, but had a friend that was.  So the next day I called them - I had never heard of them before, so I was kind of nervous about that and the job was 50 miles away.  I just didn't think I could handle that.  Well, the same afternoon, the company I used to work for - and love! - called me.  I told them I had an option but wasn't happy with it because it was so far away.  So, they got on the phone and called every school within 50 miles of Bryan! What a company! And they found something...turns out, it's the same job! EXCEPT...it's only 30 miles from town AND it's only 4 days a week! But the same salary - can you say thank you Lord! This amazing school district just outside of Bryan, had hired someone to fill this position last May, but LAST WEEK, the girl got accepted to graduate school out of state so it suddenly opened up.  Another door God swung wide open for us. And since it's through a contract company, and our house hasn't sold yet, I will get a tax-free stipend for the job being so far away from our "home address" I love how God makes the best out of bad situations! And so, here we are.  This is Tanner's last week of work at Temple and he begins his new adventure the last Monday of August. I will hopefully join him Labor Day weekend (they have to fill my job at school before I can leave). Our house will stay on the market - for sale or lease - while we are able to live at the mission home for the church. Yet another answered prayer and opened door.  Please keep us in your prayers.  Even though I know God is all over this situation, it's a very scary thing.  I've never lived away from my parents except for my freshman year at college and even then I came home every other weekend.  I hated it with a passion.  My family is extremely close and my grandparents aren't going to be around much longer.  Not to mention my precious niece that has stolen my heart.  I struggle daily, even hourly, with putting my complete faith and trust in God to fill the hole in my heart.  Everyone says that moving away from family is the best thing that can happen to newlyweds. And I AM excited that we are going to be slightly closer to his parents - they are wonderful and I can't wait to hopefully spend more time with them.  However, I know the next few months are going to be extremely tough - as individuals, as a couple and as a family.  So, please join us in continually praying that God's will be done in this situation. That we would continue to give complete control to Him and not try to control everything within our comfort zone.   I know Tanner's gift is going to be used in a mighty way to exalt Christ.  I can't wait to being our new life in Bryan even though I'm going to miss our life here.  Well, sorry if I disappointed you about our news not being a baby, but maybe one day =)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Love for Orphans

Who can hold the stars AND my weary heart? 
Who can see everything?
I've fallen so hard, sometimes I feel so far
But not beyond your reach.

I could climb a mountain - swim the ocean or do anything
but it's when you hold me that I start unfolding
And all I can say is 

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Whatever's in front of me
Help me to sing Hallelujah

The same sun, rises over castles  
and welcomes the day  
spills over buildings into the streets where orphans play

And only you can see the good
in broken things.
You took my heart of stone and you made it home
And set this prisoner free.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Whatever's in front of me
Help me to sing Hallelujah.

I dearly love these lyrics by Bethany Dillon.  Life is scary, sometimes...scratch that, life is scary all the time - we just are more aware of the scariness sometimes.  You can talk to a handful of people and at any given time, more than likely, at least one of them will be going through something difficult.  Praise God that He is there for us.  He knows the outcome - he knows what we need - he knows how to comfort us. 
Sometimes, I stop and ask God "why me?" and today when I did that, he sent me this song. =) And while listening to this song, I am reminded that what I am going through and will go through is nothing compared to what the children I saw in Ukraine go through every single day. and it is absolutely nothing compared to what Jesus went through to save me, so that I have the opportunity to live this life that I sometimes find "hard." so...now that God has wrapped his arms around me and comforted me - I can share with you about those orphans in Ukraine =) Which was my primary purpose for sitting down at the computer before that song came on.  This may take a while, so just sit back and relax!

This is on our first full day. We were in the town of Sevastopol, Ukraine.  It is considered the tourist destination of Ukraine since it is on the Black Sea.  It truly was a beautiful town and area. 


Above are some pictures from the orphanage the first day we got to visit.  The outside areas were very run down and dilapidated.  There are two orphanages in this one city and the one we were at - "Orphanage #2" is the one where the "bad kids" get sent and so it receive minimal care and funding.  We got to spend some time with the younger girls there.  They all share one bedroom with a bunch of toddler size beds and one community room right outside of it. As you can see from the picture, maybe, only one of the girls even resembles a toddler and she actually isn't one.  I do not know how they sleep in those beds.  The bedroom pictured is one of the older boys rooms.  Once they hit a certain age they move into a dorm style room, only about 1/4 of the size of a dorm room.

The next day, we got to work giving the play equipment and little tlc.  The kids were constantly coming and taking the paint brushes out of our hands and copying us.  Despite the language barrier, they were quite efficient at letting us know they were going to help! See that paint can in the far right picture? Take a gooood look at it.  Memorize what it looks like.  If you ever see it, turn around and run the other direction.  It was pretty much colored glue that will make you high.  And stick to everything it gets close to. Including hair. A month later, I still have memories of that backboard in my hair. 

 ok i'm giving up on trying to put these pictures in any kind of format! That afternoon, the kids put on a play for us and then threw a party afterwards.  Apparently, this is a once a year kind of deal and all of the kids look forward to it.  They had a blast! Pure joy was on everyone's face as they danced and sang and dragged us in to join them.

One evening, we got to meet up with some girls who had aged out of the orphanage.  They took us to this little town right on the Black Sea.  We hiked up to the top of this "hill" following these ruins that date back to 100 A.D.  Don't ask me what they are ruins of - haven't a clue.  And apparently neither does anyone there.

No matter what they are from, the view was gorgeous! This is the Black Sea. How beautiful.

Since my wonderful husband was our photographer, he didn't make many shots; but we had to take one in front of this view!

 The next day, we went to the donkey farm. Yes, the donkey farm. It was a wonderful day spent with the kids, eating, riding donkeys, making crafts and hiking - more hiking. No wonder these kids are so skinny. Notice, the older lady in the picture just standing on the cliff like it's no big deal - no 5,000 ft. drop there behind you or anything. And then there's me. glued to the side of the rock as far away from the edge as possible.  In my defense, my shoes are old and have hardly any tread on them...
 This poor little girl has the same hair as me. She was a precious thing who wasn't afraid of anything! And who obviously isn't fond of pictures. She was so cute - she would turn around and give me her hand to help me up the steep parts. ha. sad, i know.

 And here is the last day.  the kids love their new playground equipment! The younger ones went straight for the swings and the older ones loved the volleyball net.  Something so small for us, yet is probably the best thing they'll get all year.

Crying. That pretty much sums up the last day.  Saying goodbye to kids we had only met a week ago, yet who had opened up their lives and hearts to us simply because we were willing to spend time with them.  They had no idea why we were there.  They didn't know we were simply sharing God's love with them.  I pray that the Holy Spirit will move in their hearts so that they may know Him and His love, that is so much greater than any joy we could give to them.  That was probably the hardest part of the whole week for me.  Spending this time with them, only to turn around and leave without sharing the gospel with them.  The language barrier and politics stopped us from verbalizing God to them, but hopefully our  service and love sparked their curiosity and planted a seed.

Friday, April 22, 2011


I don't know why, but this morning a heavy burden has been placed on my heart.  I cannot stop thinking about the babies, children, teenagers and even adults who are without earthly parents to love on them and guide them through life.  When I say I have a heavy heart today, I mean I'm shedding tears. And I'm not totally sure why.   I've already mentioned that we are going to Ukraine in May, so this place is especially in the forefront of my mind today.  I want to be there now. Like, yesterday now. And it's so frustrating because there's nothing I can do about it. I cannot wait to love on the children there and hopefully show them a glimpse of God's love for them.  I pray that God is already preparing their hearts like he is mine.  Our purpose for the trip will be to paint the orphanage, but I know God has bigger plans than that.  And I pray that we continue to share God's love with spiritual orphans every day until then and every day after.  The children stuck in an orphanage may not have hope that they will physically be adopted here on earth one day, but EVERYONE has the opportunity and the hope that they can be adopted through Christ and have an eternal Father who will love them more than anyone ever could. They have a Father, they just may not know it yet. And it's our goal and purpose to tell them.

Monday, April 4, 2011


I'm just going to start off this post by saying how blessed I am to have such an incredible husband! Saturday was the 6 month mark for us in our marriage, and I am daily blown away by this wonderful gift God has given us.  Sometimes, it just overwhelms me to think that I get the honor of spending the rest of my life with him!! It just makes my heart so happy!!!
Saturday was also a big day for us in another way...we had our first ever garage sale! It was not so fun to get ready for, but we had a great turnout.  The proceeds are going to help pay for my ticket to Ukraine and thanks to the sale, we have about 1/3 of the cost down! My grandmother and mom gave us a ton of stuff, which made up for most of the profit, so I'm extremely thankful for them.  My mom tends to keep things oh, for FOREVER, so it was a win-win situation for both us and my dad =) They have been cleaning out their house for a few months now and mom has been making a "garage sale pile." I'm pretty sure, in my dad's mind, it was a "throw away when she's not looking pile." Anyways, we are going to Ukraine at the end of May (the week after I get out of school/work) and I cannot wait! Tanner is going as "work" so all we have to pay for is my way. We will be spending the week in an orphanage, so I've already given fair warning to my parents and Tanner that my suitcase may or may not be moving on the way home due to a small child being smuggled home ;) Not really, but in all seriousness, I am already asking God to prepare my heart for the overwhelming sadness that I know is going to hit me when I have to leave there.
On another note, I have recently started my own business! I am a consultant for Arbonne International.  If you aren't familiar with it, it's a Health and Wellness company that sales  health products, such as energy tablets, protein shakes, immunity boosters, and all sorts of other stuff along with makeup, face products, etc. What I love about these products, though, is that they are all-natural, botanically-based and Vegan certified! If it doesn't grow from the ground, it's not put in the products.  And, all products are clinically tested, dermatologist tested, ophthamologist tested if it goes in or around your eyes, and pediatrician tested if it's for kids. So far, the business is going great! I have learned this month, that God not only provides for us, but he rewards us.  I started selling Arbonne at the end of February.  Well, over Spring Break, we went to visit his parents in Texas.  On the way home, in our 3-week old car...only brand new car I have ever owned, by the way....a car in front of us knocked over a construction barrel and it rolled in to the middle of the lane...OUR LANE...as we were going 65 mph on the interstate.  Needless to say, our new car is not so new anymore.  Thankfully, our premium on the insurance didn't go up, but we did have to pay our full deductible.  Not fun. However, through Arbonne, the cost of the deductible will be paid for through my check from them...so we won't have to dip into our savings, which is wonderful! PLUS...we were a little late paying our tithe, thanks to the car mishap, but the day after we paid it...we received a check in the mail as a late wedding gift! AND I just got a call from my pharmacy saying that back in February, they had owed me some pills (didn't have enough to fill my prescription) and they have never been able to get them from their provider..so they are just going to refund me my money! Turns out, like two days after I got them filled, my doctor called and told me not to take them anyways because I didn't need them after all.  So I was pretty upset over having to pay for them in the first place, but now, I get it all back!
I know this has been a bunch of rambling, but the main point of all of this is, God is awesome =)

Friday, February 11, 2011

New Creations

The past few weeks have been super busy for us! I have been working on a lot of projects (which I love) and Tanner has been having to work some conferences at church. We finished up our Upwards season a couple of Saturdays ago.  I cherished the time I got to spend with my cheerleading squad and I'm thankful for the experience and can't wait until next year - but at the same time, I'm glad to have our Saturdays back.    The most exciting thing that has happened since my last post is that we became an aunt and uncle!! Meet Larisa Ryan Lott

She has not even been here a week and already she has stolen the entire family's heart! How could she not with those chubby little cheeks! I cannot wait to spoil her rotten =) I am starting early by doing a painting for her nursery...

Jennifer, my sister-in-law, requested this pattern because it goes with her room.  I'm also in the process of making a dress for her.  Or should I say TRYING to make a dress for her.  At the same time, I am learning how to sew...soooo she may or may not receive the dress...ha.

I've also been working on a TV cabinet (a once white kitchen hutch turned TV cabinet because it was the only thing in our house that the TV would fit on). I'm extremely excited about how it turned out.  The inspiration for the finish was an end table that my mom gave us for Christmas.


It was really simple to do, just time consuming.  I painted the entire piece black then did a layer of brown over it using the dry brush technique so it looks somewhat distressed.  Then, on the doors, I glued broken mirror and fogged it by using a mixture of baking soda/water.  Finally, I poked a hole in the back to fit the Wii cords through and sprayed it with a finishing gloss! I'd say it goes much better with our decor and best of all we didn't spend a penny! I already had all of the supplies on hand from other projects. It's a secret dream of mine to one day own a shop with redone and unique pieces of furniture and art. Not so secret anymore, I guess. Hopefully, this dream will be a reality someday =) But for now, I guess I will just have to stick to household projects.

In my spare time (3 1/2 minutes a day), I have been reading a book that my friend gave us called "Sacred Marriage."  I HIGHLY recommend it and want to share some things I have learned from it, but supper is calling at the moment, so it will have to wait for another day. Hope you have a marvelous day and thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Run Forrest Run!

Recently, I decided that I want to train for a half-marathon. Go ahead…laugh…I know you want to.  I’ve always thought it would be fun to participate in some sort of race – my body tends to disagree with me, however, when I actually get around to running in the afternoons.  I’m pretty positive I have the knees of a 92 year old due to participating in pretty much every sport available when I was growing up, but I decided I am going to suck it up and actually do it. A friend told me about this website www.marathonrookie.com where it tells you all about what you need to do to become a marathon runner. I’m starting off with the half-marathon training and if I can survive that I MIGHT do the full marathon training. I’m loving this website because it gives you a schedule to follow, which I’m all about. I was able to write in my planner how many miles to run on what days (I even put it red ink so it will stand out and hopefully motivate me!) I’m the type of person that if it’s in my planner, I’ve GOT to get it done so I can mark it off (I love checking things off of a list ;D – you can add that to my love of math that makes me a total dork). So I’m hoping that this method will prove to be more successful than the “I need to run today but ….” method that I’ve been following lately. I also like the schedule that it gives because you aren’t running every day…you run short distances 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday) then a longer distance on Saturday.  This is what hooked me because I have to fit it in between getting home from work and cooking supper – which isn’t long enough for long distances. I am also a fan of the days off to recuperate! Tanner SAYS he’s not much of a runner (but he’s better than me) so I’m not sure if I can get him to join me in my endeavor but hopefully he’ll come around. =) I’m starting the schedule next Monday so if anyone wants to join in here’s the link to it… http://www.marathonrookie.com/half-marathon-training.html. I’ll keep you posted on progress…that is, if I’m still alive after the first week! 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Something Worth Celebrating

It’s a new year so I figured I should probably write a new blog. I failed miserably in 2010 at my goal of blogging - hopefully I can do better in 2011. A lot has been happening since my last (and first) post. We had our first Holiday season together – and I’d say we passed through it with flying colors! It was somewhat of a worry of how we would split the time up since we have family so spread apart. Thankfully, we were able to see both families for both holidays.
 For Thanksgiving, we had lunch with my family at my grandparents’ house and then left and went to Texas and had dinner with his parents and stayed for a couple of days. It makes it harder when grandparents start getting to the stage of “this may be their last” and I feel like all of my grandparents are at that point.  I don’t want to miss making memories with them while I still can. When I went back to work after Thanksgiving, I was already counting the days until Christmas! I love Christmas and everything that comes with it. Even the crowds…somehow they are included in my “what do you think of” about Christmastime. We worked hard on our house to make it feel like home before the holidays.  We painted the last major room (all that’s left is the foyer and bathrooms! Yay!) and refinished the molding in that room – it is our music/reading room. Now THAT was a project – and I am very proud of how it turned out. Below are some pictures of the process. We took down the molding, sanded it and refinished it with a darker stain then nailed it back on. We did the chair rail as well, but this shows the difference in looks just to give you an idea.

Speaking of projects, I have come to realize how wonderful of a handyman my husband is. He fixed our blinds that Maverick chewed up with some string and saved us the 40 dollars it would have taken to replace them, he fixed our garage door (the motor decided to go out and trap me inside on a day when I had a dentist appointment!) and saved us about $500 by installing it himself!, and other little things that come up all the time. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful and hard working husband!
Ok, back to the Holidays (sorry for the ramble – just so much to catch up on!) Christmas: what an incredible first Christmas we had! We went and picked out our tree after Thanksgiving and had so much fun getting it up! It was an absolutely gorgeous and massive tree and our few ornaments looked pretty puny hung on it, but it was ours =). 
My aunt gave us an entire set of St. Jude ornaments so we used my old artificial tree and put it in the dining room (so it could be seen from the street) and made a St. Jude tree. The week before Christmas, we took a trip to Boston and had such a wonderful time.  It was our first vacation together since the Honeymoon and we enjoyed making memories that will last us a lifetime.  I surprised Tanner with Celtics tickets as his Christmas present and I think I got some points for that one =). I loved watching him during the game and seeing how much fun he was having. 

We flew home on Christmas Eve and attended our first Christmas Eve service together.  Even though he was “working,” I got to sit up in the booth with him so we could enjoy it together.  After church we had Christmas with my family. Christmas day, we made a big breakfast, opened presents and headed to mom and dad’s for lunch. The next day we went to Jackson to meet up with his parents and aunts and uncles. It was wonderful getting to see them during the holidays! Tuesday, we drove to Texarkana and met back up with his parents at his grandmother’s house. This was the first time I had met her and I really enjoyed the time we got to spend there.  The next day we drove further north (I think) to Hot Springs to see his other grandparents. We did a little touring of the actual hot springs and bath houses and spent the evening playing a new game we gave his parents. The scenery was beautiful and the company was heartwarming. Family means everything to me and I’m so blessed to have extended mine over the past few months. 

Once we got home we had 2 days to relax before going back to work (loving the school system work schedule!) and spent that time putting up Christmas decorations and getting the house back in order. It was nice to just be at home all day with my husband and not have anywhere we had to be or anything we HAD to do. Now, it’s back to the real world and my countdown to Spring Break is already on =) For now I am just going to sit back and enjoy the ride, though!