Thursday, September 27, 2012

For the Cure...

Following yesterday's pity-party-post, I received some very sweet and encouraging messages.
Which made me feel 10000 times better about not having friends out here. 
It was so encouraging in fact, that I washed my hair AND went to the grocery store!
See what uplifting words can accomplish?

A few weeks ago, one day apart, Brian's grandmother and my dear friend's mother were diagnosed with breast cancer.  Two of the strongest, sweetest, most giving women I know, which makes it all the more clear that God has a plan for their journey through it.   

Race for the Cure in Charlotte is right around the corner and Anni has set up a team.  I feel strongly that when you give to one team, you are giving to all teams, and I want to encourage you to make a donation -- big or small -- to this team or another one -- and hopefully we will see a cure in our lifetime.

Donate to Diane's Destroyers!

Thank you :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Too Many Boxes, Not Enough Friends

A bit dramatic of a title I know.
I wish I had a good excuse for my blogging disappearance. 
Such as, "I've been busy hanging out with all my many friends in Arizona!"
Or, "I have unpacked all the boxes and organized everything!"

I've really just taken up shop on the couch and spent hours watching anything that comes on TLC, including but not limited to:
  • Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
  • Secret Princes
  • Breaking Amish
  • Abby and Brittany
  • 19 Kids and Counting
I could now tell you anything about conjoined twins, the Amish, or how to homeschool 19 children at once.  That's what happens when your husband goes on business trips and you work an east coast schedule that has you ending midday.

And you're lazy.

Thank goodness Jennifer Tal came to town and took me to dinner.
I haven't even made it to the grocery store yet.

I am in need of an intervention and FRIENDS.
This will be the first time Brian and I have been on our own to make new friends without any "help" from anyone.  It actually is quite ironic...

In 2009, a young couple moved into the condo beside ours in Charlotte.  They were not from the area and moved without knowing anyone at all.  I reached out well in the beginning, and really enjoyed our coffee and dinner dates.  But as time went on, I got more and more comfortable not extending an invitation, going about my business, and hanging out with my college friends.  I really dropped the ball on developing that friendship, because frankly, I didn't need it.  That sounds horrible I know, but it was the truth.

They moved out in 2010, a couple of months before we left for NYC.  I was sad to see them go and regretted the poor job I had done at making them feel at home in CLT.

Well guess where they were from, and moved back to?
Phoenix, AZ.

They are now the only people we know here.
And I can't help but want to laugh and cry at the irony.
I was not a good friend; can I expect them to want to welcome me with open arms out here?
I would give a lot to be able to go back and make the effort to be kinder, welcoming, and better.
But, no can do unfortunately.
So, I will have to say a prayer that they will show me more kindness than I showed them.

Funny how things work out, huh?
It's a good reminder to reach out to others when they are new, don't feel comfortable, or don't have friends in a situation.
You never know when the roles will be reversed :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Please Excuse My Absence

I disappeared this past week to celebrate weddings and engagements (pictures to come) and to enter into WWIII with the common cold.  I also thought it seemed like a great time to watch the movie, Contagion, which may or may not have had me thinking I contracted a rare and deadly virus.
Don't worry, I didn't.  It was just a cold. 
Note: I am really sorry if I gave this to you! But I will deny it was me, blog post aside. 

Fortunately, I happen to be in Kernersville where there is no shortage of pampering or soup.
I've gone through roughly 10 boxes of tissue.
Mom says I waste them. 
I say I have a really bad cold.

On more than one occasion, I begged Dad to revisit the pharmacy for the "right" kind.

Do you see a difference? To the layman, these boxes may look equal (ugly pattern excluded). 

They are not. 

Kleenex/Puffs PLUS LOTION are the absolute only tissues your face should experience. 
Otherwise, just go to the hardware store, pick up some sandpaper, tell your nose you hate it, and have fun with your cold. 

I don't consider myself one who cares much about name brand things.  I don't buy expensive shoes and any nice purse you see me with is either fake or courtesy of my mother-in-law.  But this is important.  So important that I spent time writing about it and posing those boxes to attempt a decent picture with my Zach Morris phone.  Don't cheap out on your tissues.  Even if your husband makes fun of you.

Extraordinary Coincidences

     I was walking down a dimly lit street late one evening when I heard muffled screams coming from behind a clump of bushes.  Alarmed, I slowed down to listen, and panicked when I realized that what I was hearing were the unmistakable sounds of a struggle: frantic scuffling, the tearing of fabric.  Only yards from where I stood, a woman was being attacked.
     Should I get involved? I was frightened for my own safety, and cursed myself for having suddenly decided to take a new route home that night.  What if I became another statistic? Shouldn't I just run to the nearest phone and call the police? I prayed that the Lord would tell me what to do.
     Although it seemed like an eternity, the deliberations in my head had taken only seconds, but already the girl's cries were growing weaker.  I knew I had to act fast.  How could I walk away from this? No, I finally resolved, I could not turn my back in the fate of this unknown woman, even if it meant risking my own life.
     I am not a brave man, nor am I athletic.  I don't know where I found the moral courage and physical strength -- but once I had finally resolved to help the girl, I became strangely transformed.  I ran behind the bushes and pulled the assailant off the woman.  Grappling, we fell to the ground, where we wrestled for a few minutes until the attacker jumped up and escaped.  Panting hard, I scrambled upright and approached the girl, who was crouched behind a tree, sobbing.  In the darkness, I could barely see her outline, but I could certainly sense her trembling shock. 
     Not wanting to frighten her further, I at first spoke to her from a distance.  "It's OK," I said soothingly.  "The man ran away.  You're safe now."
     There was a long pause and then I heard her words, uttered in wonder, in amazement.
     "Dad, is that you?"
     And then, from behind the tree, stepped my youngest daughter, Katherine.

-- a story from the book, Small Miracles

Monday, September 10, 2012 ALL circumstances...

Audrey Hepburn grocery shopping with her pet deer.

Doesn't this picture warm your heart?

I am feeling sorry for myself because today is going to be unpleasant. 
I can tell already.
It's going to be hard -- complete with difficult decisions, painful tasks, and no shortage of challenges.  Challenges of patience, attitude, and finding joy in what I'm doing. 
The kind of day I would pay someone 1 million dollars to take my place on.

For me and anyone out there facing one of those days ahead:

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

It's easy to give thanks on the good days, when things are going right.
Anybody can do that.
But these are the ones that really count.
The times when it isn't easy to give thanks, but we do it anyway.

Wishing you a day of thanks ahead :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

KoRn, Corn, & a Casablanca Cab Story

I bet I got at least one new reader, solely because they were curious what type of whackjob was behind this operation.  Well friends, these three things will be connected -- poorly maybe -- but connected none the less.  I will also learn whether or not my mom and Aunt Genny really read my blog (they claim to, but I have my doubts).

Last month, our final day in Morocco was spent in Casablanca.  We were greeted outside a Mosque by a very nice cab driver named Zakaria.  I will never forget him as long as I live and hearing his stories of travel, days in Morocco, and views on life left you with the taste of what it is like to truly feel at peace with who you are, decisions you have made, and what you have...not what you don't.  We spent an hour with him, riding around and visiting the places he recommended.  Eventually we exchanged well wishes, bid him farewell, and parted ways. 

A few hours later, Brian went to our hotel while I decided I needed a snack.  I made my way across the street and lo and behold...there was a kitten.  Now there are cats EVERYWHERE in Morocco, but this was different...he was alone and clearly in need of medical attention.  I was desperately at a loss for what to do and just as complete confusion swept through my body, guess who came waltzing by from the bakery? Zakaria! He found a box, helped me get the kitten, drove me to my hotel and waited with me while Brian came down so we could take him to the vet.  Two hours later, three closed vets, a pharmacy, and a pit stop to pick up another kitten (failed attempt), and we ended up finding a place for him to live.

After our cat adventure, Zakaria being the kind host he was, invited us to dinner at his home.  And this is where I learn if Mom reads my blog because.....we went.  Sometimes you just have to trust people.  This is also a good way to wind up in someone's trunk, so I am by no means advocating that you go home with men you don't know.  But we felt peace about the situation and I had my strapping husband with me, so what was there to worry about? 

It was one of the best experiences of my life.  His family was beyond welcoming, and so kind to share their Ramadan dinner and home with us.  I sat in the kitchen with his wife and daughter while the men retreated to the living room.  We ate with our hands from a delicious selection of fish, bread, and things I don't know the name of.  Brian has long been encouraging me to be more adventurous with food, and I think I satisfied this request.  The whole evening was one I will carry with me through life.  It will serve as a reminder that people are truly good, that God is always good, and that stepping outside your comfort zone is usually good.

Speaking of being adventurous with food, I learned to eat corn on the cob a few weeks ago.  Literally on the cob.  I have spent 27 years cutting it off, and boy have I been missing out.  The flavors and juices are completely absent from corn cut off.  It's totally worth excusing yourself to floss in the washroom after.  It's so good you might not even want to floss.  So if you have been avoiding the cob, do yourself a favor and welcome it.

Speaking of corn...I heard a KoRn song in a store last week in Memphis.  It popped into my head yesterday and I felt the need to Wikipedia it on my phone after it got washed away by a wave.  Then I decided to Wikipedia Brian "Head" Welch, who was a co-founder of KoRn.  In 2005, after a long bout with alcohol, drugs, and legal troubles, he found Christ.  He gave up KoRn and left to sing for Jesus.  He locked himself in a hotel room and kicked his addiction alone, with God's help, and he has been recording Christian music (that sounds like KoRn music) for the past seven years.  You should check him out if you ever liked KoRn.  Or even if you didn't, maybe you will like this.  He recently changed his band name to 'Love and Death'.  Give it a shot.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fantasy Football is Not My Fantasy

My taking an interest in football is Brian's fantasy.
And that is the only fantasy football that's been happening in my world.

Until now.

I joined a league! I cannot wait to beat EVERYONE!
I love to gamble, love having something on the line to lose, or in my case win of course.
If I lived in Las Vegas, it would not be good for anyone, so it's a good thing I am now a whole four hour drive away.
Maybe I can hang out with Prince Harry?
Oh I'm married, that's right.

I participated in an automatic draft last night, because let's face it...I would have had Tim Tebow on my team and the rest of the squad would have been anyone with a name I liked. 

And guess who I got??

Michael Vick.

I would get Michael Vick on my team.
I think this means I have to want him to play well?? I don't know all the rules yet, but having good players seems to be a clear strategy to winning the game.

So, what do you do when you don't agree with someone's choices/values and have to support them?

You use it to make a bigger point and blog about it.

But for the record, I do think he has done some great things for the world of dogfighting through his plight with the Humane Society. 

People can change.  Right?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hope you resisted from labor yesterday

Welcome back to normal life!

Hope you had a lovely Labor Day weekend :)

We spent the time at Ocean Isle and Myrtle Beach hopping between families.
Brian flew in and everything.

The DNC is in Charlotte this week, so we are doing everything in our power to avoid being there.
I would do the same thing if it were the RNC, so nothing to read into here.

Most pictures are on the camera and will have to wait to make an appearance,
but here is a video of Miss Evie checking out the sunset last night.
Please excuse my voice and outdated cell phone cam.