July 31, 2009

The Wild, Wild West

I have been very neglectful of this blog this summer! I just realized that this is blog entry 101 which means that number 100 went by with no fanfare at all. Hmmmm....I'll have to rectify that very soon!

Tomorrow I leave for California to celebrate my Grandmother's 90th birthday with all my siblings and my parents. This is very exciting because we are usually all together for about 24 hours, once a year. I can NOT wait.......I have packed every pair of heals I own because I'll be walking in the land of giants where my height won't be a novelty next to my 6'8" brother! There promises to be lots of conversation, laughter, one or two disagreements thrown in to keep things interesting, and a frenzied attempt to catch up on each other.

Oh, and remember this post? My big confession of the week.......we totally fell off the bandwagon on that one. Seems I am not nearly as hard core as I thought I was!

July 27, 2009

Austin City Limits

The boys and I headed West on Friday to Austin for a quick overnight getaway. We were going to visit a dear friend of mine since college. Dayna lives very close to some super cool caverns in Austin and we had to go explore! Since Scot just got home from China Thursday night, this gave him the opportunity to recover from jet lag in a quiet environment so when we got home Saturday we would all be in a good mood.

The caves were incredible....the best part was paying the extra money for the Explorer tour where we got to separate from the group at the end, grab flashlight, and go exploring on our own. The boys LOVED this and it didn't take long for them to find a sweet little bat on a particularly low part of the caves for an up close and personal look. It was a lot of "How sweet" and "He's looking at me" while my statements were more like, "At the first sign of flight, I am out of here and you guys are on your own!".

Dayna and I had both read Stephanie Myer's "The Host" this summer so we were reliving the book the entire time we were in the caves. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.....one of my favorite reads of the summer!!

Dinner that night was at the Hula Hut on Lake Austin. Yum, Yum, Yum!! An hour and a half wait was totally worth it to eat out on the pier over the Lake. By this picture you can tell that N was not happy with the amount of food he got and was asking for seconds. Miss Dayna saved the day with the promise of cookies when we got home! Dayna, I'm still thinking about your Tubular Taco......very soon we'll be visiting Hula Hut again! Thank you so much for a wonderful time and for your hospitality!

An added bonus of the weekend was getting to see some dear friends Saturday morning! My friend of 30 plus years, Christie, has a wonderful friend named Becca that I have heard about for a long time, but have never met. They used to be neighbors until Becca and her family moved to Austin a year or two ago. Because of blogs and Facebook, Becca and I have now become cyber friends......you've gotta love that!

Anyways, Becca and I were chatting on FB Thursday night and unbeknownst to me, Christie was headed to Austin for the weekend. We quickly devised a plan where the boys and I would stop by Becca's house and surprise Christie before we headed home to Houston. Becca, who just added to her crew two months ago with sweet Ian, was gracious enough to have my not-so-quiet boys and myself show up at 8 a.m. and add to the madness of a Saturday morning.

The surprise was everything I could have hoped it would be.....screaming, crying.....it was so much fun! I got to meet Becca and her family for the first time and she was as wonderful as I imagined she would be. It was a very fast hour and a half full of bacon cooking duty, rushed and unfinished conversations, baby holding, and lots of "I can't believe you are here" exclamations. It was not nearly enough time!

Christie, I loved seeing you even for a moment!

Becca, thank you for being so hospitable and gracious!

July 23, 2009

Grace and Barnes

Falling in love

Loving her very cute and trendy bed

Grace died this morning and my heart is very heavy. Two very different dogs have turned my world upside down these last two weeks. I have to believe that big 'ol Barnes and sweet little Grace are running around together in heaven.

But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air,
and they will teach you........In His hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind. Job 12: 7 and 10

I was hit hard this morning while I was holding Grace, bawling into her fur. I am mourning the loss of a puppy I knew for less than a week, wanting assurance she is in heaven, and yet people come and go in my life on a daily basis and my concern for their final destination can be very miniscule at times.

Lord, give me a heart for people who need to find You. I pray that people will see You through me and that I will have a heart for all of Your creatures.

July 20, 2009

Puppy Mill

Well, the drama continues....

Sweet Grace the puppy was not feeling well at all yesterday. She was very lethargic and didn't eat anything...it was pathetic! This morning I took her to the vet just to find out that she has Parvo. Since I have never taken any sort of animal science course, I had no idea what this was. Come to find out, it's a virus that is potentially fatal in puppies.

I had an immediate flashback to one week ago today when I was at the same vet office with Barnes getting very bad news - a visit that ended with me leaving without my buddy. I just couldn't take it again.

I called the breeder we got her from and couldn't get through. When he did call me back, he cried on the phone the whole time because his brother died in a motorcycle accident yesterday.

Seriously?? Could my life be any more dramatic?

He told me when he got back into town he would refund me the money I paid for Grace.

After much consideration, I decided to go ahead and leave her in the puppy hospital for some intensive treatment to see if they can save her.

I feel bad.....I spent 3-4 days after getting her regretting that I had rushed into the decision to get a new dog. I also was very taken aback by the amount of money it's going to cost for her hospital stay (over $1,000) and I'm still in unemployment mode where no money is spent unless absolutely necessary. It also stinks that Scot is still in China.

But, one look at that sweet little furry face and I knew that I had to try everything I could to save her. So now I wait for news on her condition and all I feel like doing these days is staying inside my house and withdrawing. I know that sounds dramatic....

Oh, did I mention that my sister who lives in Isreal is here? She will be living with us until after Christmas and I'm thrilled!!!! More on her and her amazingness later....

July 16, 2009

Happy Place

Have you ever been in a situation where someone tells you to go to your "Happy Place"? Usually this is used as a sort of distraction for something very unpleasant or as a means to relax us......like before you get stuck with a big needle.

Every time I had to go to my "Happy Place", my mind would start jumping all over the place. How do you pick one? I knew the expectation was a bubbling brook, big oak tree kind of image, but as much as I think that's beautiful, it never induced the emotion it's supposed to.

I am happy to report that I now have a "Happy Place". Believe me, I have gone back there many, many times in the last week! Yes, the ocean was incredible. Yes, we had some gorgeous weather. Surprisingly, what I miss the most? The quiet of it all. For three weeks there was absolutely nowhere I had to be. No commitments pulling me in different directions and nothing to distract me from my kids.

On the 4th of July, it was just the boys and me. We spent the day at the beach and then went back for fireworks that night. It was interesting sitting there by myself being completely surrounded by large groups of families and friends celebrating our country's independence, as the boys ran around and played. The moon was almost full and was shining on the ocean like a spotlight from heaven. There were fireworks all around me with lots of laughter and conversation as background music. I found myself soaking it all in with a resounding feeling deep in my gut.

It is well with my soul.

A situation that could easily prove itself to be lonely, was instead one of the sweetest times I had with God. Fireworks were going off much like I believe they do in heaven when another soul is won and God has worked miracles in someone's life. I believe that there have been some fireworks lately in our honor. We did get a new job, but more importantly we learned that God's promises are true when you let go of your own expectations and plunge into a life of faith and trust in Him.

I could go on and on, but would love for the pictures to do the talking instead.

Scot surprised me on the beach with the news of his new job and a bottle of champagne. It was a sweet moment and I was glad to share it with friends!

G and N working on an incredible sand castle with new friends.

My friend Michelle and I.....she is the one that made the vacation possible! Thank you Michelle for opening up your home to us!

Loving on the dogs! Everyday at 4:00 we went for a "wienie walk". I think the kids loved that more than the dogs did.

July 13, 2009

Running with Angels

**UPDATE** This is our new bundle of love, Miss Grace. Yes, it was very fast, but totally a God thing. The look on G's face when I told him we could get her was priceless. She will be a whopping 6 pounds fully grown.......we never thought we would be small dog people, but seems we could all use a little cuddling these days.

Yes, I am home from Florida. It was an incredible trip in a ton of ways. The entire 10 hour drive home I was thinking about all the insightful, witty things I wanted to share with all of you on this blog when I got home. It was surprisingly refreshing to be forced to break up with my computer for 3 weeks.....but we are back together now. Sweet Mac, how I missed you!

All the witty, insightful entries are being usurped after the morning I had. Scot left for China on Sunday (back into the swing of things around here) and today started VBS for the boys at our church.

I was up every 45 min. last night to let our dog out and was getting pretty irritated as my chances at a full nights sleep were slipping away. This morning I realized he had messed quite a bit in the house last night as well. I was scheduled to start back at Living Proof this morning, but called and postponed so Barnes and I could go for a visit to the vet.

It was obvious after about 10 min with the vet that Barnes was an old guy that had too many problems to fix and it was time to let him go. I was crying uncontrollably........how in the world do I do that? How do I sign on the dotted line?

I called Scot in China and he talked me through the decision and was hating that he wasn't here for us. My sister high tailed it to the vets office to be there......she loved Barnes as much as we did. He used to sleep with her in his younger, more sprightly days when Lisa lived with us. We were a mess........hugging him, adding our tears to the many we've shed into his coat in the past when we just needed some non-judgemental comfort. He knew he was very loved.

Hands down the hardest part was telling my boys. They do not know life without Barnes......my tender hearted 10 year old has openly wept for the last hour. I feel helpless....completely unable to take that kind of pain away. Honestly? I'm not handling it much better, myself.

I want to click my heels and go back to Florida...........

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