Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Year 33 - Week 12

There are LOTS of pictures this week. Being with family you don't see often necessitates MASSIVE photo taking.

Day 1 - Y'all. This is a long story, but it cracks me up! 
I was using new makeup this morning and it went wrong. I had black eyes and the more I tried to fix it, the worse it got. I couldn't stop laughing. 

Luke and I began the road trip to Illinois today. We both worked and then drove 6 1/2 hours to Springfield, MO where we spent the night. 

Day 2 - Look at the grand-girls with Grandma (we are missing Hannah - tears).

Uncle John and Aunt Brenda came (my dad's brother and his wife).
So so sweet of them to drive a few hours, stand in line - just to be present. 

Aunt Pat and Uncle Terry drove up also for the visitation. So sweet! It was such a treat to be able to chat with them, even for just a while. These two have played a PRO-FOUND (read that as two separate words) role in my life and had a tremendous impact on our family. 

I love this picture! Grandma was being hilarious and making Luke laugh hilariously. 
She is a hoot! Perk of getting older - getting older and being able to say whatever you want. 

Day 4 - I love Grandma. I can't express the sweetness of being able to spend time with family and especially with Grandma. She makes me laugh and has so many neat stories. 
She has taught us so much and I am so grateful for a matriarch who loves Jesus and loves her family.

One of the crazy family photos. It was a tough week saying so long to Kate, but also one filled with stories, memories, and life. 

Day 5 - In a way only the Lord could ordain, I was able to go to IOWA and see more family! 
And apparently the whole state welcomes you when you visit Iowa, so says the sign. 

These people. Love them! 
It was the best way to end the week, being able to spend time with them. 
And I get to meet Baby A and run around with big boy, M. 
It was so surreal for us all to be together, but amazing! 
AND I got an Amber hug, which just thinking about it makes me cry. 
I love my people. And that little boy, Melt. My. Heart. Why did I not bring him back with me? 

Day 6 - Amber made AMAZING breakfast before the long road journey back to Dallas. 
She is incredible.  Have I mentioned her hugs? And her joy? 
So much more to learn from her! 
I got in the car after leaving their home (yes, there may have been tears) and I marveled at the grace of the Lord. He was so sweet for this incredible gift to be able to have those memories and share life together. AND I got to see their life in Iowa, which was so fun! 

It was a long trip back to Dallas, but the Lord painted up the sky. It was amazing! 
I took so many pictures of the sunset, but am only posting this one, but it was incredible. What a great way to end the first 6 hours of driving. 
Also, thankful for podcasts as they helped pass the time away. 

Day 6 - I saw the mail from this past week today and had two cards. 
I LOVE mail and having two fun pieces of mail was the highlight. 
One of the cards was from my sweet Bible study ladies. So so sweet. 
The thank you note - Michael Hale. That man - so sweet. 
Also, his thank you cards are some of my favorite I've ever read. 
So fun! 

Day 7 - Are you even still reading or looking? If so, GOLD STAR FOR YOU!!!! 
After work, I did my run in the parking lot on the roof part. A little PSA for you, if you choose to do this, one will realize during the workout that one side of the office faces the lot. Then when you walk back in to get your things, people will comment on the fact they just watched you. Awkward. 
BUT I was reminded with this view - the hospital - what a blessing it is to be able to be outside and to walk/run. It is a gift. 

I have to mention this. I love how the Lord will take such sweet care of us in VERY specific ways. 
Yesterday, I was cooking and what I wanted to make was not thawing in time before I needed to sleep.
I made some haphazard things for lunch/dinner today and was planning to use these remnants until I can cook for real on Wednesday night. Tonight just "happened" to be the night my small group at Bible study cleans up. And the clean up crew just "happens" to get the leftovers. AND there just "happened" to be MANY leftovers. I now have food in my fridge ready to eat for the next couple of days. Thank you, Lord, for providing this incredible gift. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Year 33 - Week 11

* This was all completed, except for Day 7. Then I was off house-sitting/pre-teen sitting prior to heading out for Illinois for Aunt Kate's life celebration. So thus, this is being posted late.

This week has been FULL! It is starting to get busy at work, semester events started off, some of the "extra" things on the agenda met this week, and started a new workout routine with a friend.

Here's the photos...

Day 1 - I mentioned this in last week's post on day 6. 
This week I got to actually start it! 
It has been SOOOO helpful already in thinking about 2014 and dreaming about this year. 
And wanting to be realistic, while also pushing for something more and wanting the Lord to stretch me. ALREADY, I've seen the Lord putting opportunities in front of me that He and I were talking about in filling this out. So grateful! 

Day 2 - Posting two pictures today - this is my workout buddy! SOOOOOO grateful she asked about working together. It's been a sweaty fun time! 

Let's talk about BRILLIANT marketing for a sec. I am a big fan of White House Black Market. I really like their clothes and their jeans are some of my favorite EVER! 
So I went to their outlet store last week and the sales person, PJ, was SUPER sweet and we had some fun conversation. 
So I filled out the survey on the receipt (yes, I'm one of those) and I got this card in the mail, FROM PJ! It was a hand-written note thanking me for the survey and giving me a COUPON in written form. 
Y'all. First of all, very few people write hand-written notes. Secondly, how many sales associates write you a thank you note? And thirdly, how brilliant is that? 
You know how much that boosted my desire to go back (even though the outlet isn't super close)? A lot! 

Day 3 - My favorite day this week -  KARA HAD HER BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Y'all, this woman and this baby and this story - overwhelms me with the amazingness of the Lord. 
Last night, Kara had a group text going with our heart friends giving us constant updates on her progress. 
I literally woke up so many times during the night to check messages to see what was happening. 
I had just gotten finished showing and got THE message that Baby Girl was here! 
So many tears last night and today rejoicing over the Lord's precious gift in this baby. 
We got to Facetime tonight and doesn't she look AMAZING for having just given birth???? 
She is already rocking it as a mom. 
Our heart family is growing! We now have two nephews and three nieces. 
Who's next???? 
Love you, dear friend! So proud of you for walking this journey the Lord has laid before you and for your walk forward in obedience. HUGS!!! AND I  can't wait to get my hands on and snuggle with your little peanut in 10 weeks! 

Day 4 - Photo fail day. Not really an angry face. I was on the way to Luke and Abby's to hang out and I wanted to put my hair back. So I was putting the hair in pig tails at red lights. Clearly only one was done at a time. 

Day 5 - Spring came to Dallas this weekend! It was GORGEOUS! 
After lots of cold-for-us weather, warm weather was amazing! 
Kristin and I went and played tennis! She was such a patient teacher in showing me what to do and chasing my horrible returns all over the place! 
It was a LOT of fun! 

Today was Aunt Kate's home going. (She is the sweet lady in green in this photo). 
She has been such a beautiful picture of life, perseverance, and joy. 
While we are sad she is gone from this earth, my heart rejoices that she is no longer experiencing pain, but is sitting at the feet of Jesus. Please continue to pray for those left here - especially her husband and boys. 

Day 6 - This chick. She cracks me up! Girl had her pjs on and was pulling them up like old man pants and I was cracking up! 
Love her. 

Day 7 - Ronnie came to visit the office! He is one of our guides in Israel and has amazing stories! 
We had a great time having lunch, listening to his life story, and hanging out. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Year 33 - Week 10

Another week! How is this year already flying by?

What a fun week! Having Roo here was such a treat and I could write pages and pages about our time. Lots of laughter, incredible conversations, and marveling at the goodness of the Lord in the gift of this sweet friendship.

Day 1 - The sweetness of hanging out. AND Roo made her amazing oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. 
Sigh. Delicious! These were on request often for family dinners and snacks! 

So where we were house-sitting, Belle (the dog) LOVED Roo. She would go sit next to her and put her paw on her knee and just hang out. 
So Cheryl thought it would be funny to do "Senior picture" poses with her. Hilarious. 
This one is for Jess!

So fun! 

Day 2 - Steak night!!! Medium rare all the way - I don't know that the photo does it justice.
First time I've ever successfully cooked a steak medium-rare. Bam! 

This night is a memory more than this photo. It was one of those nights when the Holy Spirit moved in our conversation. One of those times when I so clearly sensed His moving me to share something very specific and I think it blew both of us away. Only the Lord can orchestrate things like that. Treasured memories. 

Day 3 - And that quickly, Roo's visit was over. 
Words cannot describe my delight at her visit, though I cried saying goodbye and in the car on the way to work.
Her visit was such an encouragement and a reminder of the hope of dear heart friends. 
We are truly family, these heart friends. Full heart. 
Now, if I could just get her to move here and be my roommate again. 

Day 4 - Dream boards!!!! Sucy and Kristin's works of art - seriously, they are so creative!!! 

This is a HUGE throwback to the first time I ever did a dream board and it was with these ladies in Panama in January of 2007. Rachel (in the red tank) had the idea and we spread out our posterboard, glue sticks, and magazines to dream about what the year would hold and what we would like to see the Lord do. 
We did it for a few years in a row and I haven't done one since. 

It was such a good exercise for me to dare to dream about the year. 
I realized how risky I find it to dream - fearful of disappointment, dreading the missing of something great, and concerned about wasting time. 
Instead, I chose to dream and to ask God to remind me of His hope (my word for the year) and to live Hope Every Day. Holding to that! 

Day 5 - Terrible photo, but one of my most grateful things during cold, rainy days - SEAT HEATERS! 
Quite possibly my favorite car feature! 

Day 6 - I don't know how to summarize this photo. 
I went to lunch to work on my 2015 Dream Guide (Jennie Allen put this out and it is available as a free download here.
Instead the Lord knocked my socks off by these ladies. Helen (in the purple) I had met at the Jennie Allen retreat we had, but didn't know her well. 
Long story, but Rhonda (next to me) started chatting with me in line and thought she had seen me at church (turns out it was someone who had hair like me because I was in kid's min during the service they were attending). And I found out through our conversation, she is a missionary in Honduras! How cool is that? 
Anywhoo - I was blessed to share life and lunch with these ladies and hear their passions, their hearts for Jesus, their dreams and I was so inspired and encouraged. 
Only the Lord knew how I had been discouraged in driving to church that morning, how I was asking for a sense of hope (see, there's that word again). 
All three of these women lived Jesus beautifully! 
I walked away having met three new sisters in the faith and was spurred on through their stories. 
Rhonda, Debbie, and Helen - if you are reading this, Thank you. You will never know the encouragement your time was to me. 

Day 7 - C25K
Kristin and I have made a workout plan and are doing it together. We started today - the Couch to 5K program. 
I'm not a runner (see post here.)
But as we started today, it was actually a lot of fun! 
Excited to do this with a sweet friend. 

Who knows what the Lord is going to do in this coming week??? Can't wait to see! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Year 33 - Week 9

The week after Christmas. Perhaps not as many photos, but this week I definitely missed some photo opportunities. Some of it due to complete exhaustion and lack of brain power and others simply because I didn't think about taking the photo until much later. Bummer!

Day 1 - This was AM. The time I finally was crawling in bed after a very delayed flight from Nashville. (My clocks are on 24-clock or military time, so while it is obvious to me this is AM, I felt the need to clarify). The alarm went off 4 hours later to prepare for work. Whew! 

Day 2 - I was all alone is our amazing and big office for New Years Eve and FREEZING! Literally had this amazing blanket wrapped all around me and could have used more blankets, gloves, and a hat. Brrrr! 

I may have gone shoe shopping (I need some flats for work). Wow! I hit the jackpot! 
Five pairs of shoes for $64 dollars (including tax). Four pairs of the shoes were 70% off of the clearance price. I will admit, one pair is a gift.

Day 3 - New Years Day 2015! 
It was so nice to chill and enjoy relaxing.
My feet were freezing and I had forgotten to take socks to the place I was staying. So sock shopping at TJ Maxx was in order. 
My feet are a weird size, so women's socks are too big and bunch up. Boys socks can be just right or a little too small.
The good news: childrens' socks are cheaper! Bam! 
Then as I was leaving, the restaurant next door had this sign and I thought it was hilarious! 
Well done, restaurant. 

Day 4 - It was another freezing day in the office! The three of us were there and wrapped up in the cozy blankets. We walked out in the hallway where the building manager was and he asked if we wanted the heat turned up. HURRAY!!!! 

That night, Sucy and I finally got to catch up. We went to have dinner and then saw a movie "Night at the Museum." Fun times! 

Day 5 - Card night! So much fun! I feel like we are little old ladies who love card playing and I love it! So fun. 
Good conversation, popcorn, junior mints, and cards - excellent. 

Day 6 - ROO IS HERE!!!!!!!!!! 
This is so exciting and the highlight of 2015 so far! 
As soon as she came, the dog escaped at the house I'm housesitting/pet sitting for, so Roo went to chase her down. 

It has been so fun cooking, laughing, telling stories, etc. 
I know these days will fly by, but I'm soaking it up as much as possible. So grateful she is here. 
Missing my other heart friends. 

Day 7 - Today is The Tiny's birthday is today! I can't believe she is three. This girl is full of life and such a joy. I love her dearly and am so grateful to be her Tia! 

Roo cooked tonight and made her famous chicken tacos per request! Delish!!! 
So fun to be cooking with her again and meal planning - grateful and so thankful.
Another day full of laughter, sharing life, and catching up.