Saturday, December 31, 2011


Well, these 12 words sum up my 2011.  Hope you have a blessed 2012!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Griswolds Got NOTHING On Us

So 10 years ago (exactly 10 years ago, to be precise), my family took a vacation. 

Or to be more detailed.  They took THE VACATION TO END ALL VACATIONS.  Atleast, that's how it's been described to me over the ensuing years. 

My mother, father, and sister drove the 10 hours from central Kentucky and met up with my cousins Barb, Robert, and their son Tyler in that play pit most of you refer to as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  I stayed home to attend a wedding.  (And do some entertaining at the reception, but to the best of my knowledge only three pictures of that exist and I own one and know the owners of the other two, so life is good...)

So last summer Barb'n'Robert (as they are most commonly referred to by my people) wanted to do Best Vacation Ever: Part II, but Daddy had to up and get sick on us, and in general make life difficult.  Hence, the title of this post. 

While many of you will try to arm, leg, or thumb wrestle me for the title of the South's version of the Griswolds (see below), I will humbly submit why my family has flat out earned the title after not even one full day.

  • The Power of Positive Thinking Parent.  While one parent really wanted us to set out for the airport by 4:00, my mother had us loaded up and pulling out of the driveway at 3:11 a.m.  I know this because I was the fool behind the wheel.
  • The What'd He Say? Parent  In my entire 30 years of traveling with my mother and father, we had never taken an airplane trip together.  You have to know my father-he's known for saying pretty much anything.  And this was before the stroke.  I was on pins and needles about him getting through security because it'd be just like him to try and be funny and have it taken completely out of context.  Case in point:  I was trying to prep him for security.  "Daddy," I said, "they're going to ask you if you've been asked to transport any strange luggage or anything you don't know.  Now what'd you say?"  Without missing a beat, "Only by my family."
  • False Alarm So we made it 70 miles to the airport.  We're about to go through security and my sister's phone starts ringing.  Slightly odd, since it's 4:45 a.m. and we hear her trying to explain everything away.  As we start through the line, she announces, "I'm turning my phone OFF!! That was my boss.  She thought I'd been abducted."  (Now tell me what had gone on while I was parking the car to make that woman think that?)
  • We finally arrive.  Our first day is marred by headaches, vomiting, and other unmentionables.  Some people just don't know how to pace themselves. 
And the best part-that was just day 1.  Watch out Clark-we're gaining on ya.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Walk In The Park

So today I went to King's Island. You know, the amusement park that was what I lived for during the summers as a kid.  Only a few things had changed:

  • The tram that ever so kindly and briskly escorted you from your vehicle to the front gates?  Nada!  (And let me tell you, I mourned that loss.)
  • Hanna-Barbera Land has been renamed Planet Snoopy.  Now I love me some Snoopy, Smurf ride, no Fred Flintstone greeting you, and no Hanna Barbera character themed carousel.  Oh..My..Goodness...can I even tell you what this generation is missing out on by not being able to take a spin on Scooby?
  • I was no longer interested in making friends with the people in line. (Then again, it may have had a little something to do with the sun poisoning I received.)  I had to restrain myself from informing a UConn fan wearing a 2011 NCAA Basketball Championship shirt he had no business wearing it.  I attended that game, and believe you me, there were a whopping 50 UConn people in attendance (and weren't 13 of 'em wearing jerseys?). 
  •  The end of the day was accompanied by sunset and a suntan.  Today, it ended at 2:30. With sun poisoning.  That required steroids.  
Just a couple of differences.  Both days were very different ways.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Why I Heart Brenda Leigh Johnson

Tonight marks the opening of season 7 (and the FINAL *sad sigh*) of The Closer.  If you're not acquainted with it, the main character is a woman named Brenda Leigh Johnson and here are several reasons why she is one of the few shows I make a point to watch.

  1. She is deeply, irrepressibly, southern.  (Okay, so her accent is not exactly true to Georgia, but she's the only modern character I can recall that has an accent that thick and she's not the brunt of a joke.)
  2. Her sweet tooth.  I love how she tries to hide her candy from everyone-her husband, her squad, and Chief Delk.  (This is coming from a woman who kept a well stocked snack cabinet at work and if you are on my good side, you know where it is.)
  3. Her ability to get to the bottom of something.  Us southern girls like to know what's going on.  Brenda Leigh knows how to wrangle a confession out of a suspect by using sugar coated words or a little bit of heat.
  4. Introducing herself as, "I'm Brenda Leigh Johnson, L.A.P.D."  Who else makes introductions by their full name?
  5. When quoted in the paper, she was not miffed by the unflattering quote.  Rather, she was miffed, "Because they misspelled my middle name."
  6. While she can solve the trickiest of murders, she cannot tell if her pet Kitty is male or female.
  7. She is unfailingly polite.  Whether asking for overtime or simply in line at the Atlanta detention center, she never forgets to add a, "Thank yew...thank yew so very much."

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy B-day America!

A repost, but it's all I got...

"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you....You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.' But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today."  Deuteronomy 8:10, 17-18

We all know how blessed we are to live in the United States. While the U.S. has its problems, and we are all aware of them, I still cannot help but feel gratitude that I am an American citizen.

And much like the Scripture says, whcn I look at my possessions, at our great nation, sometimes I am tempted to pat myself (or collectively ourselves) on the back and take credit for a job well done.

Then, conviction creeps in. And I realize that all I have has nothing to do with me. It has to do with the sacrifices of others, from the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives and their occupations so that we can live, work and play with freedom and security. It's about family members who sacrificed self so they could help form character and help make sure their families had all they needed. It's about the founders of our who valued worship so much they were ready to venture to an unknown.

Above all else, the reason why America is great is because God has put His favor on it. We have done nothing to deserve it, which is why it's called favor. We don't need to delude ourselves into thinking that we earned it, it's simply His grace.

So I humbly ask you this long weekend, as we celebrate America's birthday and contemplate how very fortunate we are to live in this blessed nation, to do exactly as Moses instructed the Israelites a long time ago. Eat, be satisified, be thankful! Just be sure and remember to whom those thanks must be given.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Final Thoughts on the Final Four, Part 4

If a picture's worth a thousand words, here's a couple hundred thousand...
Our tickets.  I was really nervous before we got scanned in they might be fakes, but they were real. 

Even the Galleria was decked out for UK!

Standing in front of the best candy store EVER.  In fact, one member of our party even did a victory dance upon realizing DCB was at the Galleria.  I'm talking 'bout you, LF!

Off to the game!

Enough said.

I got chills every time I saw that!

The photoshopped picture I mentioned in Part 3.  It's the desktop image on my computer at work.  All the third graders believe I had my picture taken with the team in Houston.  Priceless!

I saved this one for last because it's my favorite.  If you look at this pic, you can see how happy we are, and not the trials of the past year-which is why I love it.  You can see the friendship that encompasses 10 years, three states, and countless basketball games.  Back when Melissa's dad passed away, she mentioned she wanted us three to try and go to a basketball game together sometime.  Her daddy loved UK ball.  And of course, I said yes, not knowing when or how we could finagle a ball game with her in Texas and us in Kentucky.  If you had told me back in December the game we would attend would have been the Final Four, I would have called you crazy. 
But sometimes, crazy is just plain wonderful.

Final Thoughts on the Final Four, Part 3

Continued reflections of the highest order and spiritual nature regarding how I spent half my spring break.


Y'all, if Fayette Mall were like the Houston Galleria, I would get nothing done.  For sure.  In my thirty years, I had never set foot in a Neiman Marcus.  I made up for it in Houston.  Because some members of my party were a little discouraged when they saw the prices of the items, we didn't spend much time there.  There are two regrets I have of this whole trip, and they both involve shopping.  (While out of town, this is my normal mantra: Buy in haste, repent in leisure.  I borrow it from the late, great Erma Bombeck.)

I am utterly devastated, crestfallen, heartsick there is no photograph to document the $1,000 hat I tried on at Neiman Marcus.  If you have ever seen my classroom on Kentucky Oaks day, or seen me on Easter, you know I have no problem prancing around in a big 'ol hat.  I tried on a hat in NM that would have made the perfect Derby hat, except that outrageous price, and no one took my picture.  I think they were the slightest bit intimidated by the four digit numbers?  Meanwhile, I am in my Mecca of big hats, but alas and alack, there is no physical proof that I tried on those hats. 

And our wonderful hostess, Emily, lived in a neighborhood with three, yep I wrote three, Starbucks within walking distance.  One night, we walked to Starbucks and got coffee and sat out in the humid Texas air and talked and talked.  It is one of the fondest memories I have of this trip. 

They say to not focus on the things you can't do on on a trip, but the things you can do.  Therefore, I will focus on all the stuff I did manage to purchase and try hard to not mourn the loss of a perfectly good Derby hat.

Odds and Ends

We came.  We saw.  We conquered Bracket Town. 

For the uneducated, it is not enough to host the Final Four.  You must have something to do in the largest city in the state for your visitors on the off days.  Enter Bracket Town.

If you're athletic, this was your cup of tea.  If you count yourself fortunate to walk to and from your car without spraining your ankle, you might have been underwhelmed-like me.  Except for one booth that allowed you choose one of the Final Four teams, suit up in their jersey and photoshop you in their team pic.  Awesome!  And then they were looking for people to upload their photo on facebook to show how easy and simple it was.  Because I was doing something fun for once in my life am a technology fiend, of course I volunteered to do it.  And it didn't hurt there was a camera there recording everything.  (I've been accused of being a show off, but if you know me, you know I'm shy.)  So of course I did it in about sixty seconds, and then they interviewed all three of us.  Except I talked so much they told me to let my friends talk.  And Laura and Melissa informed them that I was kinda the mouth piece for the group.  But it was funny.

Another Saturday Night and I Ain't Got Nobody

All jokes aside, other than funerals or September 11th and the immmediate aftermath, the saddest crowd I've ever witness was the slow cattle herd out of Reliant Stadium that Saturday after they lost.  It was awful.  However, we did see one Butler college couple who atleast had the decorum to walk a steady pace behind, giving us room to mourn.  One soul looked up and saw them and yelled, "Butler!"  He gave a solemn nod, raised his fist, and we all understood they would defend our honor come Monday night.  (On the lighter side, you wouldn't believe how many people wanted us to go drink with them.  It was hysterical.)

Big Blue Fever

I've talked before about how this past year has been hard on me.  My friend Melissa, with whom we stayed, lost her father and grandfather two weeks apart in December.  The wounds were still pretty fresh in April when we were there.  She teaches school as well, but had hardly taken any time off.  Her principal kept urging her to, but she didn't.  Texas schools do this thing where they ALL (college and public) have the same spring break, so she'd had her break a month prior to our visit.  She was also missing two days of work.  She hadn't had a chance to speak to her boss, so she put them in as sick days, because personal time had to be pre-approved, and did I mention this trip was very hastily thrown together? Once we found that out, I politely offered to telephone in and inform him that she had contracted the Big Blue Fever, which she declined.  That was on Saturday, and we had a good chuckle.

Fast forward to Monday night, and we're on our way to the championship game.  Melissa and I are in our UK blue shirts, because we're not going to let Butler and UConn forget.  Laura is disgusted and refuses to wear UK, so she goes with pink (fashion is a big deal to us).  We're on the Light Rail, and Laura is sitting while Melissa and I are standing, laughing and defiant amidst the Butler and UConn fans.  (All two of them.)  Who do you think is on that train?  Nope, not her boss-that would be funny.  There is a lady with a ginormous camera snapping away.  She loved the contrast of us and our royal blue versus the dark blue, so we got in a ton of pictures.  Turns out she was from the Houston newspaper.  We got our picture (and names) in the paper.  Good times.

Final Thoughts on the Final Four, Part 2

I had such a big time at the Final Four there is no way one post could contain it all.  So to beat a dead horse...

Best Performance

Yeah, I know Kemba Walker was there. I know. I know Brandon Knight had a big night, as did Shelvin Mack. However, the absolute, hands down, most incredible performance I saw the entire three games did not occur on the hardwood but on the sidelines. I don't even know this fella's name, so I'll just call him the VCU's band director. Dude was into it. For real. When it was his band's turn to play, not only did he use his baton, but he used his entire body. I got such a kick out of watching him I was seriously sad when play resumed and the band had to be quiet.

Best Fans

As if I'm going to say anything bad about my people. Kentucky showed up in DROVES. Or as the locals around here would say it, "There were gobs of people there." There was a small contingency of VCU peeps (cue the "Black and Yellow" chorus) and Butler fans, but Kentucky came to watch. You could not go anywhere in Houston without seeing someone proudly sporting their blue. Even at the title game, there were more UK fans than UConn.  Which brings me to...


Okay, the people in yellow are the VCU fans. Their team had just lost. Right next to them are the UConn fans whose team are about to play for the chance to get the title in two days. Kind of a big deal, right? Not to these folks. This was as full as it got that entire night. Then on Monday night they made both of those areas UConn student sections. And UConn kids decided they'd rather stay home and wash their hair. The student section was so sparse Monday night they gave tickets to the Rice kids to help fill up the UConn student section (and it still wasn't anymore full than what it is in this pic).
Star Gazing

So the notables were out in full force. Ashley Judd was there (which we all expected), standing in the student section. Saturday night George H. and Barbara Bush were there in support of Butler, and they came Monday night as well. Dennis Rodman was there, as well as Leeann Rimes, who sang the national anthem Monday night. She brought along her now husband, Eddie Cibrian.

The People

Can I just say I adore me some Texas men? Because the parking was super expensive (and there were just a measly 75, 458 people there), we rode the train to stadium. The trains were packed, with lots of Kentucky fans, because where the Cats play, it's our second home. We will go to a war zone. We will go to the ends of the earth. We will go to Louisville.

However, I was impressed with the young men (i.e. college guys) on the Light Rail (monorail). And on our train there were a blue million people. Most were Kentucky blue, but there were a couple of UConn blue shirts as well. There were some Texas frat guys on our train who were leading the UConn cheer. Even though us three girls were wedged in the middle of a bunch of men, and the seating was limited (there were just a few Houston people who were trying to make their way home from work-the poor things), the moment there were seats available, who were the guys saying, "They should have those seats!" Was it our fellow fans? No. It was the Texas frat boys who were our opponents that night. At least their mamas raised 'em right.

Final Thoughts on The Final Four, Part 1

Okay, so in April I got to recognize a dream: actually attending a Final Four.  One in which my alma mater had a one in four shot in winning.  (Don't worry, I'm the rare UK fan who can handle defeat-this is not a whiny post.)  I'm still trying to process everything that went down over the five days I was there, and the only way I know how to do it is to ramble so here goes:

The Actual Trip
If you know me at all, you know I'm not big on long drives.  My best friend just bought a car and wanted to drive, but I dug my heels in and refused.  I don't like my blood relatives after three hours in a car, so 18 hours in a vehicle with one person?  I would have been put in the pen by Memphis at the very latest. 

Because my life is what it is, our first flight got delayed out of Lexington by 90 minutes.  Of course, we chatted with the other UK fans in the Lexington gates (one girl on another flight worked with two girls I had graduated high school with-you can not convince me it's a big world out there).  The delay wasn't so bad, because they bumped us up to first class on the flight from Atlanta to Dallas.  However, because Laura Faye and I must cause a scene wherever we go, I told her we were in first class (our tickets read 1A and 2B).  She informed me no, we were still in economy, there were just two rows.  I (foolishly) listened to her, only to start turning around and heading back up to first class.  It en route to first class I was asked semi-politely by a very built Marine if I was trying to deplane.  (This just cemented the fact that I knew what I was doing and let others lead me astray.)  My next thought was, "Is he an incognito air marshal?"  Being put on the "No Fly List" was not on my list of things to do over spring break.  We were watched closely, but once they realized we were just exuberant fans, it was all good.  Needless to say, I felt very safe on the plane.

We flew into Dallas to meet with one of our college friends and drive down to Houston for the games. Because I don't do normal well, the stomach bug that necessitated us calling the health department (my complex alone had 23 kids out) hit halfway between Atlanta and Dallas.  By the time our plane touched down, I'd been up 20 hours, was pale faced and ready to puke my guts out.  Because when you see your friend's house for the first time, it's always best to drop your bags and ask, "Where's the bathroom?"  I slept two hours that night.  (I told you, I don't do normal well!)

The road trip was good because it gave us some much needed time to catch up (even if someone spent Saturday morning nursing a stomach bug her sweet, precious students gave her and zonked out in the backseat on Tylenol PM).  On the first flight home, the flight attendant on the plane in Dallas took one look at my blue and white checkered purse and asked if I were a UK fan because she could take one look at that pocketbook and tell.  Turns out the Big Blue fans stick out like sore thumbs and we don't even apologize for it.  We sport it like a badge of honor.

You can see the aforementioned handbag in this pic.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Walking Home

It was one of those days.

We started our state mandated testing, and it was a typical Monday.  Except I got to see something in a new light.

I have to walk any students who walk home outside.  I have one little girl, who is precious.  Some days she walks home with her older brother.  But other days, like today, her father stands at the edge of the school property and waits.

As I am taller, I can spot him before her.  "There he is," I'll say, pointing.  She hugs me good-bye, and off she goes.

Nothing deters her on her sprint to her daddy.  Not her satchel, not the people in the way.  She is single minded in her purpose.  And her dad stands there and waits patiently, knowing she's missed him and will stop at nothing until she reaches him.

I wish that my relationship with my heavenly Father mimicked what I witness.  However, many days I'm tired, or whiny, or just plain busy.  I am not single minded about spending good quality time with my dad.

But like this little girl's dad, my heavenly Father waits patiently. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sunday's Coming

Yesterday was Good Friday.

And it was anything but that.  (No discussion presently about why it was.)

Which is why this sermon I've read and heard before is that much more powerful:

Praise God that Sunday is coming!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


For some reason-maybe it's the crazy weather, getting back into the routine, the fact we have state and national testing in less than a week, my infection that refuses to heal, my phone completely dying beyond my help and I haven't sent out my parent conferences for the spring yet-it's been a difficult last two days.  Which may explain why I've been the slighest bit more sensitive.  Which is why stuff (i.e. words) that normally would go through one ear and out the other have taken root deep in my heart and deep in my spirit.  They are sprouting there, and they are not words that need to be taking up residence.

I truly think after an inconclusive survey (okay talking with friends and random women wherever I happen to be) that all women compare themselves to others.  (If you need further proof, go read Tina Fey's chapter in Bossypants titled, "All Women Must Be Everything".)  And for the life of me, I can't recall one place in the Bible where God has compared one person to another.  He didn't ask David why he didn't part the Red Sea.  He didn't ask Lydia why she didn't give birth to the Savior.

But I do know that God has given me a task and a plan each day.  When I spend my time comparing  what others say (or do) that I do not, it wastes valuable time.  I am to take whatever God has given me and use it.  Not compare-God doesn't do it, so why should we?


Friday, April 8, 2011

This One's For The Procrastinators

It's important that you know a couple of things about me:
  • I'm the eldest child.  Therefore, I burden myself with responsiblities that sometimes aren't even mine.
  • I am responsible.  For me, getting to work at 6:30 a.m. instead of 6:00 or 6:15 a.m. (when we're required to be there at 7:15) is my idea of being late.
  • I don't live beyond my means.  I have to be in a mood to go shopping, especially for clothes.  I'm not a big shoe shopper, but if I don't have a cute purse (that matches the season nonetheless), watchout!  You never know when you're going to be sick, need car repairs, going to lose a job, etc. so it's important to save your pennies.
All of the above illustrates I don't spend a dollar without thinking about it.  I go to work each day, do my tasks, and act like a responsible citizen.  Every now and then I may leave my desk cluttered, but that's the extent of my procrastinating.  I don't wait until the last minute to do something. 

Which is why I started looking at spring break destinations back in November.  I thought about going to Sanibel, but then saw the price.  Being the responsible woman I am, that was out.  I looked at South Padre, and it was half the price of Sanibel.  I mulled it over, then finally decided against it.  I love Texas, but just wasn't feeling it this spring break.


(If you've ever been to UK Basketball game, you know they have an enormous blue flag and pyramid they use during this song.  All of us UK fans honor this sacred moment by not recording it.  Seriously, you can't even find it on Youtube.  Try.)

So after UK whupped UNC in the Elite Eight, I had spring break plans. 

And even though Saturday's game didn't turn out quite the way we wanted (or Monday's-go Butler!), it was fun for once in my life to procrastinate and have something work out in my favor.

Now I just have to get my taxes complete before next Friday!  I think I hear the EZ form calling!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nine Months

So the last nine months have been hard.

If you would have told me last June that over the course of the next nine months I would deal with my father having one pretty serious stroke (plus two mini-strokes), summer classes, training 100 teachers, teaching a new grade for the sixth time in seven years, three family members dying, two illnesses of my own (one of which I'm waiting to find out what exactly it is), and some more stuff that just won't make it into this post.

I wish I could say I've been the model Christian.  That I've trusted God at every turn and humbly accepted every single day as a gift.

Mostly, it's been a lot of questioning.  A couple of tears, and many, "Are you certain about this, Lord?"

Thursday evening I came home with what soon turned into a migraine headache.  I went to bed at six pm, hoping that turning in early and taking my medicine would end that headache.  I awoke at midnight, where I spent a half hour throwing up.  Then my other sickness kicked in and I was awake until about six a.m.  Friday was not a pretty day for me. 

I serve a big God. One who still loves and forgives us even when we are less than perfect. And one who knows our every need.

Last night, sitting in my bed, in the midst of just trying to recuperate, I felt God speak to me.  And he told me, "You're right where you need to be."  I turned off the tv and just sat, trying to soak in the moment, making sure I wasn't imagining things.  And I really felt assured it was God.  It reminded me of Zephaniah 3: 17, "The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but rejoice over you with singing."

I felt like I was being rejoiced over.  And I do know, according to Romans 8:28, that God will work all this together for His glory. 

I once read a read a quote that said, "One of the kindest things God ever did was put a curtain over tomorrow." 

And for that, I am thankful.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Did Someone Say Newsboys?

So my BFF went to Winter Jam yesterday with the youth.  Due to the fact that we live in different towns and if you're over eight, I generally don't know what interests you, I had no idea the event was taking place or who was even there.  She rattled off some good people, people I've seen before, but the closing act brought back memories.

Yes, friends, she said, "Newsboys."

Let's take a stroll down memory lane...

It's the spring of 2003(?) and a certain ex-Newsboy (for the sake of this post, we'll just call him Phil Joel, because that's his name) was coming to lead worship at UK.  This would occur at Memorial Hall, in the evening. 

Now at the time I was residing at the UK Wesley Foundation, which presented me with friends and a slight dilemma.  Memorial Hall was a mile away and I walked to class all the time.  I didn't feel like walking, so in a fit of laziness I just decided to drive my veryownself and anyone who cared to traipse along.  Laura and Trevor came with me. 

It was a beautiful evening as we walked toward Memorial Hall.  I don't know what time we arrived, but you had the three of us walking toward the building.  As we are walking, the following conversation occurs:

Laura: "So who are we seeing again?"
Me: "Phil Joel."
Laura: "Who's that?"
Me: "You know that group the Newsboys?"
Laura: "I think so."
Me: "Apparently he used to be in the Newsboys.  That's all I know." 

In the midst of this discourse, Trevor turns around and starts motioning for us to stop talking.  For the life of me, I couldn't understand why.  There was one guy headed toward us-one long haired, hippy looking dude.  Who was on the phone.  Why was Trevor wanting us to hush?  It's not like when Laura and I get together we're loud.  (If you know me at all, you know how noisy I am on my own.)

As soon as the Mystery Dude walks by, Trevor shakes his head sadly and hisses through clenched teeth, "That's him!"

"Huh?"  (Evening is not my most prolific time of day.)

"That guy who just walked by-that was Phil Joel!"

15 minutes later, sure enough, the same guy on his cell was the guy leading worship.

This is why you can't take me anywhere!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lesson From The Treadmill

It's a cause-an-effect relationship.

Due to the cause (eating whatEVER I've felt like for the last three months), there is an undesirable effect (you're not stupid-you can infer).

So, I headed back to the gym this month after some serious procrastination.  (January meant the gym would be full of all the New Year's Resolution folks, and February is was just too cold to get out of the house unless it was completely necessary.  I sat around this month for ten days trying to figure out how I could procrastinate, and couldn't think of anything-then it snowed the next day.  Thanks a lot, March.)

To help get my muscles warm, I always start off by walking on a treadmill.  It's not much, but it helps get me ready before I move on to an elliptical.  The longer I walk, the faster the speed gets until I'm almost running.  The other night, I was almost jogging and thought to myself, "Wow, this feels good.  I haven't run in forever.  Maybe I should keep running."

Then the other side of me kicked in, "Don't do it.  You burn more calories on the elliptical.  It's easier on your joints.  You haven't been on an elliptical in forever."

I had an internal battle for 90 seconds until I hopped off the treadmill and discovered all the ellipticals were taken.  Thinking it would be no big deal, I went and lifted weights, certain once I was finished one of the machines would be available.  No such luck.

So I did what my mind had been telling me-got back on the treadmill and started running.  Only this time, it was much more difficult.  And I wished I had just stayed on earlier.

This incident reminds me of 1 Thessalonians 5: 19, "Do not suppress the Spirit."   When you feel like God is calling you to do something, do it then and don't put it off.  If I had done that, it would have been much easier to keep running.  I'd already found my pace, so it was just a matter of distance from that point .  Also, while the other choice was the more logical one, it turned out not to be the right choice for me at that time.  And last, when I did choose to obey, it was much harder to complete my task.

To make a short story long, when you hear God speaking to you, do it-whether it's running on the treadmill or speaking to your neighbor, just plain do it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Can You Hear Me Callin'?

Today, the Kentucky Wildcats left for Atlanta for the SEC Tournament. 

What's a good Bluegrass girl to do? 

See below.

We're ready to bring that title home!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


So the nurturing side of me is still apparent even in third grade.

Last year, I had some of the youngest kids in the school, so whoever the line leader was often held my hand.  Even now, in third grade, I'm finding that these kids still want their hands held.  (Even the boys.  Funny, huh?)

While we're waiting to go to the bathroom, sometimes kids will randomly walk up to me and want to hold my hand.  Because we're still in the depths of winter, I affectionately call these kids who hold my hands my mittens, because they keep my hands warm.

However, they're still kids.  The other day one of my mittens said to me, "Miss, your hands are cold.  Your hands are very cold.  In fact they're so cold they feel like vampire hands." 

Which leads me to several points:
  • I love kids and their honesty.
  • You understand why I like having mittens.
  • This Twilight thing is out of control.  Vampire hands?  Seriously?


Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Can I TELL You Something?"

The question, "Can I tell you something?" always proposes a conundrum for me. 

It's nearly always asked by a child, which means there will be something possibly... unnerving on the other side of it.  So in the spirit of taking lemons and making them into lemonade, I'm putting them on the blog, hoping you will find them as hysterical as I do. 

But this first one (and it's a doozy) comes courtesty of those wise, aged people we fondly address as adults.

Wednesday afternoon it began snowing in Central Kentucky.  Apparently I am the one person who watches the accurate weather forecaster because of the three other women in my complex I was the only one who had seen the possibility of one to two inches of snow on the news that morning. 

And the entire city of Lexington must have slept through the 5 a.m. news cast because the city did not pre-treat the roads.  Which is why when Jennifer said to me at 3:10, "It's sticking-you better get home," I got.

A normal commute takes me an hour on a slow day.  30 minutes after leaving school, I still hadn't made it out of the county.  And that's where the drama begins.  The orange wrench came on, signaling my car needed service.  This happened last month on a snow day-I took it to the local Ford dealership, they took one look at the code, were buffaloed as my daddy would say, cleared the code, and it fixed my car.

So I did what all good girls do when you're driving a convertible on snowy roads worsening by the minute: I glowered at my dash, knowing full well it wouldn't do any good, but I had to do something.  Then traffic began to pick up a little, so I did something that actually made sense:  

I called the good people at Ford. 

Since I have a Blackberry, I was able to look up the website of the Ford dealer in my town.  And there were two numbers listed: Sales and Service.  Being not a complete idiot, I called the Service number.  When the receptionist answered, I explained (patiently) my plight. 

"Well, honey, I'll have to transfer you over to Service.  This is the front desk."  Okay, then why are you answering the number I dialed for service? 

Then Michelle at the Service desk picks up.  I calmly explained my situation, to which she replies, "You need Lee.  Let me transfer you."  Since I'm still trying to navigate my vehicle amidst a ton of snow and bad drivers, I wasn't listening when a gentleman answered.  Since this was the third person with whom I had spoken, I was growing slightly more desperate as I recounted my predicament.  And what was HIS response?

"Hold on a minute.  You need Lee."

By now I'm ten miles from my house, tired and irate.  The phone rings again, "Ford, this is Mike.  How can I help you?"

"Mike, you can't.  I need Lee.  I've had the last two people tell me that." 

"Are you sure?  What's going on."  So for the fourth time, I recount how this wrench is on, it comes on after 30 minutes, they've cleared the code once, but it's come on again and if it happened again I should bring it out there and how I KNOW it's 4:00 but is there anyway they can get a chance to look at it today?

Do you have ANY IDEA what Mike's next words were?

"So what do you want us to do?"

I credit my my mother and her southern values for me not raising my voice.  I politely informed him I would like them to clear my code today and then get an appointment made for when they can diagnose what's causing the wrench to appear.

Can I tell you something?  It's no lie when I say people say the dumbest stuff to me.  

Monday, February 7, 2011

iPhone: The New Millenium's Charm Bracelet?

I'll say it: the iPhone is the new Millenium's version of the charm bracelet.

As a child of the 80's, I had a charm bracelet.  Granted, it was a cheap one, plastic and pink, with clip on charms.  But boy, how I loved it!

And as I see more and more iPhones-okay, I'll 'fess up.  I was watching 30 Rock and Danny was showing Liz the iPhone app where it sounds like an empty can when you shake the phone and I realized we have now entered the new version of the charm bracelet.  Except for 10 or 20 charms, this one has 300,000. Wow!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

1000 Gifts #155-

  • #155-Sparkly blue Christmas ornaments
  • #156- Blue Christmas trees#
  • #157-Helping a sick family member
  • #158-Seeing your workplace support one who lost their spouse
  • #159-Snow days
  • #160-Unexpected friend requests
  • #161-Excellent spellers (though you try to keep a secret from 'em)
  • #162-75% off sales
  • #163-Settling back into the routine
  • #164-Three day weekends
  • #165-Seeing growth
  • #166-Reflection
  • #167-Laughing with a friend 'til your stomach hurts
  • #168-Finding just the right gift for someone
  • #169-Realizing "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13)
  • #170-Christmas parties
  • #171-Belated Christmas gifts
  • #172-Frozen yogurt (with a friend!)
  • #173-Chocolate cupcakes
  • #174-Heartfelt thank-yous
  • #175-Knowing you've truly helped someone

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Because It's Funny

So I heard this song on the radio yesterday while driving to work.  And proceeded to have a conversation about it with a friend who said she'd heard the title, but not the lyrics.

So being the good/bossy friend I am, I youtubed it and sent the link to her.  While doing so I found this:

C'mon.  You know you laughed.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wide Eyed and Bushy Tailed

So my sister finally made good on a promise to herself this week.

She adopted a kitten.

And he is precious.  He was found on the side of the road with his sister, so the people named them Bonnie and Clyde.  He was scheduled to be put down next week and Kel couldn't bear that.  Kel adopted him,  decided Clyde didn't suit him (probably after the Gillespie debacle) and renamed him Tiger.

Which brings me to my post.  She brought him to my parents house the other day and she was so proud to show him off.  Tiger, being accustomed to living on the side of the road or in an animal shelter, was not yet comfortable with all of us.  He was, indeed, wide eyed and bushy tailed. 

Kel said he had spent the night in her apartment mostly away from her.  Somehow she'd left a bathroom cabinet door open, and he spent the night nestled under a pile of folded towels.  He hid under her bed, and only came out to eat or use the litter box, not even to play with the toys that were just for him.

Tiger didn't understand just yet that he had been adopted into a family.  And while we held him and cooed over him and told him he was safe and wouldn't have to worry about anything again.

Isn't that just what our God has done for us? 

We, too, have been adopted into a family. (Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ.  Ephesians 1:5, The Message).

Even if we turn away and hide (be it under towels, in workaholism, alcoholism, success, or whatever), He does not love us any less. ("I've never quit loving you and never will.  Expect love, love and more love!" Jeremiah 31:3 The Message)

He saved us from death.  ("For God so loved the world that He gave his only Begotten Son that who ever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." John 3:16-17 NIV)  

Even though some days may be difficult or scary, God is still there.  ("Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Dueteronomy 31:6 NIV)

Since this is a new relationship, it will take time to grow.  They will need to spend time together to learn to that Kel can be trusted.  But it will be an exciting journey for them both. 

Make that two of 'em wide eyed and bushy tailed. :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Workin' On A Building

"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." Proverbs 14:1

Reading this verse last night struck me.  I knew that the words did not mean that a wise woman literally built her house with her own hands, but figuratively, so it got me to thinking:

How does a woman build her house?  And how does she tear it down? 

And I feel like the Lord spoke to me and said, "With words and deeds." 

So I am now examining my life, trying to make sure that the words that exit my lips and the actions of my heart and hands build my house and do not destroy it.

(Because like all good Kentuckians, I think Bill Monroe is awesome!)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Sweetest Gift

So I made no bones about the fact that Christmas Break 2010 was two weeks spent being ill. 

So ill I only left the house to go to the doctor.  No Christmas shopping, no present swapping, in short, no fun.

However, that did not stop a very sweet gift from making its way to my very bedside.  Before I tell you the gift, let me give you a little exposition.

You have to understand, my father ended his role as a bachelor at the ripe age of 39.  I came along when he was 41.  Daddy was the last of his brothers and sisters to get married, so my grandmother and grandfather on that side were already old when I came along.  Case in point:
I was two weeks old in this picture.  My grandmother was 76.  By this point, she already had 34 other grandchildren and had gone blind.  This is how I remember her.  An old woman.  She was smart-even though she was unable to see, she could play the piano and knew the Bible backwards and forwards.  She also knew all the grandkids' names what we liked to do.  As I got older she lost a little weight, but I will always remember her like this.

Until Christmas Eve 2010.  My parents drove to Tennessee, where this grandmother lived and many of my relatives still call home.  Upon returning, Mama came in my room and presented me with this:
The first time in my entire 30 years I have ever seen my grandmother as a young woman.  She was born in 1904 and no one knew when this picture was taken.  We all guessed she could be no more than 18.  The picture I have is a copy of the original, but the original must be somewhere around 100 years old.  My aunt had it and made a copy for my dad.  It's embarrassing to admit, but I had never even tried to imagine what she looked like-I had assumed some people were just born old in my childish way.  And looking at this photograph, I see so much resemblance of my father and my cousin Judy.  This photograph ties together generations.

I've seen plenty of pictures of my other grandmother as a young woman, but none of my daddy's mother.  Of all the gifts I received this Christmas, this was the sweetest gift.