Saturday, December 31, 2011

Future Peace Corps Volunteer

Honest-to-goodness conversation tonight at dinner:

F: God gives us our food.
A: Yep. God gives us our food.
F: And some people don't have food.
A: You're right. Some people don't have enough food.  What can we do to help them?
F: Give them food.
A: If people don't have enough, we can show love by sharing what we have with them.
F (to herself): Some people don't have food.  I wonder why?
A: 

My child is confronting life's injustices at 3 years old.  Watch out, world.  

Thursday, December 29, 2011

See Ya, 2011!

I'd like to thank 2011 for the following:
1. Teaching me to lose and gain and lose weight with more gusto than ever.
2. Showing me just how incredibly broken a person can be.
3. Having my husband call me "uptight" over 100 times.  Which, by the way, makes me more uptight.
4. Two rounds of a stomach virus so fierce that I was so weak I couldn't walk, hit my head on the wall, and knocked myself out cold.
5. Breaking my heart watching a family member struggle with drug addiction and feeling helpless.
6. Letting  me know how it feels to go from meeting all my resolutions to meeting none.  I wouldn't have known just how low I could get without a resolution reminder once in a while.
7. Breaking two iPhones in a month, one within 24 hours of purchasing it.
8. Losing a baby to miscarriage.
9. At least 5 cavities.


2011, you are one bitty.  I'd like to see you go far, far away.

In 2012, I will be thankful for:
1. learning to not just lose weight, but be healthier.
2. every day with the child I have, even the days that aren't fun.
3. getting the opportunity to focus on Amanda.
4. being a part of a community that focuses on Christ and loving others like He does.
5. learning to have more fun.
6. my family and enjoy spending time with them.
7. my friends and show them that I love them.
8. my Savior and spend time with Him.

2012 is going to be great.  I love new beginnings.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Housechurch


I’m going to preface this post by sharing a little about our church. Norman Community Church is decentralized church.  It is not a traditional church in the sense that there are no pews, offering plates, or deacons. Our church is modeled after the first church in Acts 2 so in a sense it’s the most traditional.   We don’t have a building- we meet in houses.  And it’s not because we are trying to save up some money in a building fund somewhere. Our kids go to class in bedrooms and we meet in the living room.  We’ve had friends laugh in our faces at the church we go to.  Ask us if we’re in a cult.  And we’ve had several people looked at us cynically because we don’t have a building.  Sometimes it’s hard for us because we miss things about going to a “regular” church.  Hymns, Christmas plays, youth group ski trips, hearing Leon sing each Sunday.  And sometimes it’s really hard for me because our church is built on being in true community with others and I have a really hard time making friends and staying connected with them.  There are some days when I feel like I’m the only one not “invited to the party,” even after going there for almost three years.  And there are some days when I know it is mostly my fault because I am not trying really hard to be connected with them.  And there are even days when TJ is working and the thought of going to church by myself and feeling like a loaner makes me cry.  Well, that was more of a heart dump than a preface, but this blog ain’t called theAragonLife for nothin’.

Anyway, just when I’m on the verge of hanging up my hat at the joint, God speaks to me through the people there in such a strong way I know it has to be where we are supposed to be.  Today was one of those days.  We read through the passage in Luke 2 where the angels announce Jesus’ birth to the shepherds.  Then we just discussed it- how all the people in that moment must have felt. God, the angels, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds.  And honestly, it moved me.  Like, really moved me.  How the angels were probably speechless until they just starting shouting “Glory to God in the Highest!”  How Mary and Joseph must have felt knowing the secret that this baby was actually God.  The shepherds gathering up their sheep and running as fast as they could to see Jesus.  How God continuously chooses the meek, the stinky, and the humble to do the unimaginable.  It settled me right in to the place where I need to be this time of year- focusing on God sending Himself to earth to rescue us from our own plans.  As we further discussed it, one guy younger than me was sharing and his lip started quivering.  Then he began crying.  A grown man moved to tears over a baby being born in a manger.  Moved to tears by God and His love.  There all of us were- crying- over a story we’ve heard at least 100 times.  Because God’s gift was so overwhelming, because His gift IS so overwhelming. 

And just when I think I’m done with that place.  God is so good to us.  He’s so good to me.    

Our child doesn’t have a Bible.  Insert Gasp! Shock! The horror!!!!!
TJ and I were just waiting for the right moment.  The moment when we felt like she was ready.  When she understood, at least a little, of what a Bible was.   I felt really strongly that I didn’t want to just go to Mardel and grab any old children’s Bible, but I also thought a real Bible wasn’t right for her either.  I mean, she’s three.  I thought the thee’s and thou’s might throw her a little.  We decided that we really wanted to get her one for her birthday so I started researching my options.  When I decided I went to Mardel and read through a lot of the Bible I was leaning toward to make sure it wasn’t some weirdo Bible that slipped passed someone. 
I think the Bible we chose is the best kids Bible out there today.

The subtitle “Every story whispers His name” is so true and the adaptor of the stories makes certain to point every story towards Jesus and God’s plan.





I seriously wept tonight while I was reading it with her. 


Anytime I can’t find her, she’s sitting somewhere around the house reading it.  If you have a young child in your family, please consider getting this for them for Christmas.  (Except Amanda because your boys will be receiving one from their god-parents.)

They have a website. Google it.  Seriously, do it. Now. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Extreme Room Makeover

For Faith's birthday TJ really wanted to get her princess bedding.  Of course, we both had to take it to the next level and switch her room to the spare bedroom, repaint the walls and woodwork and do a complete princess theme.  All while keeping it a surprise from Sis who only thinks we're painting her new room.  Oh, and have it done by Saturday when her party is!  I'm actually supposed to be wiping down the woodwork right now, but I'm gathering my ideas instead. 

Here's the basic outline of the room:

The wall are going to be pink with one wall having wide stripes.  Oh, here's a little information- Disney has their own paint colors that only match their bedding. Of course, you do, Disney. Of course, you do. 

http://candethiem.blogspot.com/2010_03_01_archive.html


Reading nook complete with cushions and tangled lanterns

http://www.sillyeaglebooks.com/2010/09/decorating-childrens-rooms-lucias.html


They aren't going to look like this, but this is the idea


http://crafty-couple.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-to-make-your-own-tangled-lantern.html

This bedding that Daddy loves and Moma tolerates

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11972016

On her bed that already is similar to this with matching hutch dresser

At then end of her bed will be a dress up area with her vanity set she already loves and a shelf of hooks on the wall for her dress up things  
(can't find a picture online of her vanity)

These in gallery type set up 

And we have those crazy 1/2 circle windows that you can't cover to save your soul so I'm going to cover it with this tangled painting just big enough to cover the size 


I'm looking for some type of rug for the middle, but I'm cheap so I'll probably wait until I find one on sale.  I also want something on the wall her bed is against.  I have 4 large canvases I think I'm going to put Bible verses on.  There are a few more personal details I'm going to add, but there's no way to really describe them without sounding crazy.

I'll post pictures when I'm finished. This should be a fun and crazy week, but that's the Aragon Life! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Book of Faith

I could write a book on my child.  She is quite a spirited one.  People would probably think I was lying, but if you've been around her, you know it's true.
-She has quite a vocabulary.  Many of the words she uses have no meaning to her, she just hears them somewhere and they are permanently embedded into her freakish memory.   She will say things are "awkward" or "annoying" just because someone on the Disney Channel said that.  After her telling me she didn't want to live with me anyone (thanks to Good Luck Charlie) we've cut out a lot of shows were were allowing her to watch because we semi-enjoyed them with her.  She will call you a "rotten codfish" or a "black hearted scoundrel" faster than you can come up with a response because she is, in fact, Peter Pan 75% of the time.
-The craziest one of all though came from her love of all shows Looney Tunes.  She keeps calling people----- brace yourself----- "silly puss!"  Is that not the most vile thing you've ever hear in your life?!?!  It makes me cringe every time she says it.  I don't want her to know it's bad because she IS the kind of kid that says things for the response, but on the other hand, I want her to quit saying it ASAP!  You try to explain to someone in Wal-Mart why your 3 year old daughter just called them a puss- not fun, people!
-The other day with the most serious face she looked at my mom and said "I just have to ask you one thing, Grandma.  Just when am I going to get my life back?"  Wow, Faith. I didn't realize nap was so tough on you. :)
She also says a few word so crazily I cannot pass up sharing them:
-Just recently we put up our Christmas decor and she was so pumped to find the "wiki natters."  Guys- she was talking about the nutcrackers and seriously was disgusted with me and TJ for calling them their actual name.
-She also pines for the day when she will be a "delote."  What is a delote, you ask?  Ummm, yeah, that would be an ADULT!

I think by the time she's a "delote and gets her life back" I'll have a head full of gray hair.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I don't plan to blog about the miscarriage forever, but I do plan to be honest about how I feel.  To find peace in what God's teaching me.  There is no other source of peace that I can find and believe me, I've been looking.

Everything I have, everything I do, everything I am  is a miraculous gift from Him.  I have no claim on how blessed my life is, except that I get to live in the blessings.

When God first really opened my heart to this, it didn't ease the pain of the blow I'd received.  Really, God?  First this, and now you're telling me even what I have isn't mine?!?!?  JERK!  But the more I walked that out, the more freedom I felt. The more freedom I'm learning to feel.

In early August TJ and I walked smack dab into the worst day in our lives so far.  The doctor's appointment that was supposed to be full of excitement and anticipation went downhill in an instant when we asked our OB nurse if we could get a quick ultrasound to see how far along we were.   Turns out we weren't... anymore.   There was no itty bitty baby heartbeat where they had once been.   There is nothing, NOTHING, that can prepare you for the feelings you have when you find out you've had a miscarriage.  And honestly, no one EVER talks about it.  Maybe because the words aren't ever enough, they never do justice to the pain, to the heartache, to the self-betrayal you feel.

We seriously had no idea what to do.  We left the office and went to the mall for some odd reason.  We walked around in a daze, bought some unnecessary items, and went home.  Zombies. Walking dead. That's exactly how I felt.  With no signs or symptoms, I had a dead baby inside of me.  How the %^(%# did this happen?  Just the night before Faith had prayed and asked God for a baby with no prompting from me at all.  One of my very close friends had confided in me that God had given her a picture of me pregnant.

In the two days between our doctor's appointment and the procedure I felt "un alive,"  not dead, just not alive. Three days later a coworker told me she was pregnant within weeks of our baby.  Not even a week later my close friend (the same one as above) miscarried.  Everything I thought about how God works was in question. I hated myself and my body for not doing what it was made to do.  People bring food to your house like there's been a funeral, which is kind and stinging at the same time.  I was so sick of people giving me sad faces, of people rubbing my arm and telling me it was going to be alright.  I told TJ that if one more nurse gave me the "poor you" look I was going to punch them.  And I was NOT kidding.

But God continued to speak to me in those dark places.  He told (and tells me, still) that everything good is a huge present from him.  And that nothing I do has anything really to do with me, but His goodness, His grace, His unending Daddy love that wants a heaven-on-earth life for us. At first I kinda took offense the whole notion because I felt like if was playing "backsies" with me He obviously breaking the freaking rules of gift giving.  But then God began re-revealing truths to me about himself.  That he takes ashes and turns them into beauty.  That only he can take sorrow and turn it into joy.  That only God can take my inferior ideas and plans for my own life and turn them into TJ and Faith and our friends and family.

I don't know that I'm getting over the miscarriage at all. I still think about it every. single. day.  When Faith sees a baby and asks if it needs a big sister it crushes me.  Just today she told me that when she's a big sister she will take care of the baby and push them around in the cart at the store; crying in Lowes isn't on my bucket list, but there I was.  I'm just trying to not let Satan have the last laugh.  He comes to kill, steal, and destroy.  God wasn't playing backsies, but He promises to take Satan's most cruel plans and come back with something Satan can even fathom.  I feel like a little kid getting antsy waiting for a parade to start- for God to come down the street with His big booming band and to stop in front of me with some amazingness that's going to knock Satan's socks off.  It might not happen that way, but however it does I can't wait to laugh in Satan's face.

More Prayers

Today Faith was sitting in her carseat talking to God.  We didn't know it at the time, we could just here her talking.  I turned down the radio to hear her talking about an upcoming party for a friend and the rain.   She told God that the rain could stop now because all the flowers were watered so they could grow.  She went on with her conversation with Him.  TJ and I were obviously floored that right there in the backseat Faith felt comfortable talking with God; He is her best buddy.

I just wish I could hear God talking to her.  I wonder if was telling her to stop bossing Him around.  :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankfullness

This morning I woke up to... silence.  Faith spent the night with my parents and TJ left at dark-thirty to go hunting.  I woke up and it was immediately on my mind.  Thankfulness.  And two people kept coming to my mind- not TJ, not Faith although they are friggin' amazing.  But two of the most amazing friends I have.  They are so inspiring and every time I'm around them I feel so encouraged by just being with them.  The cruddy thing is that they live out of state (two different states) so I only get to actually see them when they come home for holidays.  Amanda and Corrie.  They don't even know each other, but I honestly love being around them so much.  If all three of us every got together... whew, it seriously blows my mind to even think about that.  


Corrie's emails- sometimes I want to make a book out of them and read them before I go to bed every night.  They're pure gold.  And like she says, when we connect it's like a "soothing balm."  Corrie never backs down from what she really want to do, even if she has every reason to.  She loves other people's children like they are very own, taking them into her home and giving them a family, what they've never had before.
Proverbs 27:9 
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.

We sat with Amanda and her husband last night and ate dinner and I seriously was in heaven.  They are amazing parents, honest about EVERYTHING, and hilarious.  I miss them and their boys, our incredible god sons.  Amanda is awe-inspiring and a hot tamale.  Just ran her first 1/2 marathon and seriously could be a pin-up model ;)
Proverbs 17:22
 A cheerful heart is good medicine.


TJ and I drove home in silence most of the way home.  I told TJ, "Well, I guess we could just make more friends, but I don't want to."  "But they're not the same," he said.  
And he's right.  Because true friends are hard to come by.  And I feel so incredibly blessed to have a handful.
Love you guys!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Talking To Daddy

Faith prays like she's talking to her daddy.  I love it so much and I can just imagine what God is speaking back to her.  She has actually started her prayers out "Daddy..." before.  I just love that she has such a close relationship with both her dads- TJ and God.  Well, tonight she was praying at dinner time and she started on her first loooooong prayer.  She was just praising God and thanking him for all the things He's done and things He's blessed her with.  My favorite part went like this:
"And God, I just thank you for taking the bad dreams away. And when you do, just go in with Mommy next for her bad dreams.  But You have to give her privacy when she's pee-peeing kapuz that's what we do."
Both TJ and my shoulders were shaking and we were covering our faces to keep from laughing.  How in the world does God stand the cuteness He encounters everyday?!?!?

P.S.  God, I know You've already seen it, You created it for heaven's sake,  but I actually would like some privacy when I pee-pee so thank you in advance for turning the other way when I'm doing my business.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Resolutions? What Resolutions?

This is the real life story of a girl and her resolutions. Please do not shake your head sadly when you read these. I still have two months, right? Ha! 
1. Make something and give it away once a month. I honestly do not even know.  If I have, it hasn't been intentional. 
2. Learn to knit and/or crochet. This is my Thanksgiving break goal. 
3. Work out 3 or 4 days a week. FAILURE 
4. Get our pictures into scrapbook/albums. The hard drive on our computer died a painful death so now I'm just trying to gather up what pictures that I can and I've been pretty successful at finding all the ones of Faith since she's been born. 
5. Contact every immediate family member on their birthday. Actual success here. 
6. Continue losing weight until I reach/go beyond my goal then maintain my goal for the remainder of the year. This one I don't really want to talk about. As you can imagine I gained some this summer. I also decided that my give a dang was busted when the thing happened so I gained back a lot of the weight. I'm working on it again, but I won't even begin to consider this a success until I get back down to where I was before. Then I'll work from there. 
7. Enroll Faith in some kind of MDO. We love our school. We love our teachers. Ms. Andrea is the only teacher I've ever met that you can see at Sam's Club and she kisses my baby and tells her she loves her. 
8. Read more. I've read a lot of books than I was reading. And I'm in a book club. This is just a funny aside- I was talking to a woman this week telling her how one of the only resolutions I'd kept was reading more and she said her too. That her goal had been 100 a year and she was going to make it. I felt about an inch tall. I've read maybe 10. Every person's victory is different huh? :) 
9. Engage somehow (read Bible, journal, sing praise, etc.) with Christ on a daily basis. Fail, and it shows. 
10. Scout out and purchase some kickin’ furniture for our living room. Found a sectional for $50 on Craiglist! $50!!!! It's red, but we're going to recover it. Total it will be about $150 and I'm hoping to have it done before the first of the year. Next goal- large square ottoman or coffee table.
 

Small Revelations

Last night TJ and I were having an important conversation when an earthquake interrupted us.  The conversation was the typical mom conversation about not having enough time in the day and never getting anything done and the treadmill analogy over again.  He asked me what I thought needed to change and I told him that I thought it had a lot to do with not being rooted in Christ daily.  I just feel like I don't have an extra minute to sit down, much less crack open my Bible, turn on worship music and soak. 
After the earthquake we went to bed, but I was still thinking about our conversation.  I grabbed my phone and opened the Bible app on it.  This was the verse I had stopped reading at last time. Matthew 13.  The parable of the sower: 
20The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 
I could immediately relate the the seed on rocky ground.  I am not deeply rooted right now and I was getting all worked up when trouble came my way.
This morning we went to church and God spoke to me again.  The passage this time- Mary and Martha.
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
   41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
God is definitely telling me to stop and choose the most important.  Maybe my house won't get vacuumed.  Maybe my desk at school will always be a heaping pile of junk.  Or maybe if I choose first the kingdom of Heaven all things will be added unto me. 


Maybe the treadmill won't stop because I haven't reached out and tried to turn it off. 


Rapunnnzellll, Let Down Your Haaaairrrr!

Faith was sick the entire week before Halloween and pulled out of it just in time to Haunt Main Street and Trick or Treat with some friends of ours.

She refused to wear her wig,  but she still looked adorable!  Her costume was MADE by Grandma Hope.

Let the sugar rush smiles begin!

We haunted Main Street in with our cousin!

You would not believe how hard it was to get this picture, but I love it so much it was worth it!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Perpetual Treadmill

Sometimes you've gotta put your past behind ya, right?

This past season of my life has been a painful one.  The entire summer was a blur, a horrible blur.  My family imploded one sibling at a time.  I could go through the gory details, but it would be one heck of a long blog.   It ended with a miscarriage of TJ and my's second baby.   We told almost nobody when it happened and haven't told many people since.  Not even all my siblings know because their lives are too crazy right now to add that pain to.   (If you know them, PLEASE respect my sincerest plea to not pass this along to them. I will tell them when I'm ready. Thank you so much.)  And saying that it ended with the miscarriage would be a lie- that is where it really all began.  To go downhill, that is.  
Everyday it feels like God is shoving round-bellied women down my throat.  I feel like I'm bumping into them, stepping around them, crawling over them everywhere I turn.  It is an emotional roller coaster every day- I'm happy for them, jealous of them, sad I'm not them, guilty for being jealous of them, sad that I'm selfishly thinking of me instead of them, etc. It's hard for me to rest in the peace that God cares for His children right now.  I know He does, but it's just hard.  Because sometimes God feels like love.  And sometimes He doesn't.  But that doesn't change the fact that He IS love.
The only way to describe how I feel is like being stuck on a treadmill that is going just a few paces ahead of where I am.  And it won't stop.  So I can't stop.  And I'm sweating and doubting and running and crying and making dinner and teaching and cleaning and... but it's still not stopping.  So I'm still not stopping. 
God, either please make it stop soon or pick up my pace a little.  Because I'm dying here. 


Sunday, October 2, 2011

After a long, happy life, my computer died. Hence the absence of blog posts. Blogger is blocked at my school so I have no real way of updating this besides my phone, which is what I'm doing right now. Since I last posted I started a new school year so who's to say I wouldve had the time to blog anyway.
I will say this- I've had a lot of emotional ups and downs the past few months. I thought it was going to be just a hard summer, but honestly it has continued and shows no signs of stopping. I really dont know how anything is going to turn out, but I know God loves me more than I can ever understand and I'm beginning to understand that He and I have very different ideas on, well, just about everything.
When I can actually access blogger on a real computer, I will post a lot of it. In the mean time, pray that I can abide in Christ and resist the very real desire I have to sulk and feel sorry for myself. That's ugly, I know. But oh so true.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

All I Can Say

I lean not on my own understanding
My life is in the hands of The Maker of Heaven.

I give it all to you, God,
trusting that You'll make something beautiful out of me.

I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open.

Nothing I hold to.

Friday, July 29, 2011

One Small Request

Life is eating my lunch.  If one of you could kindly tell it to stop and it obeys, I'll make you chocolate chip cookies. And maybe I could blog again.  That would be fun.

Thanks.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In My Place

Just a warning, this is going to embarass me.  And you might think I'm gross.  But hopefully you'll laugh.

Yesterday we didn't do a dang thang around here.  We stayed home all day and hit the housework hard and heavy.  I stayed in the same shorts and t-shirt I slept in therefore I didn't put a bra on.  Yep, that's right. Reread it just to make sure; I went au naturale all day.    I even mentioned to TJ how much I love summer because I could go all day without a bra!  He looked at my like I was a crazy lady.

Today we hung out with friends and so naturally, I wore a bra.  (I'm not an animal, people!)  Tonight Faith was sitting on my lap, and with the most perplexed look said, and I quote: "Hey!  Why are these up today?"   Say whaaa?  Then she said, and I quote AGAIN: "What are these, bongos?"  When she started actually playing MY BONGOS  I couldn't help it. I busted out laughing. 

So I've officially been put in my place.  By a two year old little girl.  Never shall I go without a bra all day again, never.  It was too damaging to my ego.  And my bongos.

Monday, July 11, 2011

3 Distinct Feelings

My good friend Amanda just made me have three very distinct feelings- pride, jealousy, and motivation. I am so proud of her, definitely jealous of her, and totally motivated to feel like she feels one day. 

Game Changer

Last night at church I got more than I bargained for.  I expected to hear a message and apply something, but whoa- it was a game changer.  I wish I was eloquent enough to recap it, but I'm not.   So listen to this.  Seriously, take the time to listen to this.  I'm changed.

Knowing God- Phil Rice

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

One of Two

There are two people that I can really be myself around.  Two in the whole ding dang world people!!!!  One would be TJ and the other...Corrie.

She is my very best, best, best friend.  I cannot describe the relationship we have, but it is rivaled by NO OTHER relationship I've ever had or will ever have. Her birthday was last week.  And about, oh, 5 years ago I wrote this little book of memories about us and never gave it to her.  I didn't want her to think I stalked her, but now I don't care if she thinks that.  Here they are.  They probably won't make sense to anyone but us, but maybe you'll catch a glimpse of what true best friends look like through these tiny memories that make up the happiest days of my life.



The George Strait concert where we won the big karaoke contest and met the man himself. I really think we could make it big someday.

Me, you, and Amber lying on your bed just talking waiting on our “gentlemen callers” after a short weekend in Tulsa with Emily. We looked through your clothes and I just loved that so much.

Riding bicycles around Norman.  My freakin' wrecking my bicycle on one of our night rides to OU and we just kept going.  By the time we got there, there was blood all the way down my leg.

Remember when TJ and Brent were playing tennis at OU and we were sitting on the sidelines talking and the bugs were eating us alive and we still just talked and talked and talked all night.

Remember when we were at Marble Slab and you knew it was Cheesecake and you wanted Sweet Cream. I love a girl who knows her ice cream flavors.

Remember when we went to the park and had a picnic when you first got Chapel and we ate chicken and potato wedges and talked to the lady with the fancy llasas who spoke with a British accent.

Remember when we went to Tarahumara’s to eat dinner and you told me you guys got the house and you said, “And God is working things out because we’re expecting a baby.” And we started crying and laughing. And it was good. And then we watched them make my chimichanga on the TV screen.

Remember when we went to Tonkawa to see Emily and she was talking about this great little diner and then took us to the E-Coli Cafe and it was so nasty and those girls were there and that guy and…boy, that was weird.

Oh, and remember when we were in line to graduate and those people asked you to take that group pic and your main squeeze, John McCain was coming through and their camera wouldn’t work and you were getting so mad. That was so funny for two reasons 1)because you were obviously wanting to quit, but the people didn’t care and 2) because you told me you wanted to walk up to him and said I love what you’ve done with so-and-so policy.” It was then that I knew you’re were going to rock whenever you get the dream job and you’re going to have someone come up to you one day and say “Mrs. Roberts, I love what you’ve done with so-and-so policy.”

Remember when we came over to you guys’ apartment (it was almost right after you got married) and we sat out on your little porch and talked about girlie things. And I thought, “I can’t believe I actually have a friend and that she’s this cool.” I learned a lot about you that night.

Remember then first night we came over and the electricity was out and you guys had like a jillion candles lit. I thought, “Geez, did we come over for a séance or something?” Not really. I actually thought “they must have gotten a lot of candles for wedding presents.”

You know how you never order the same things as others, even if you really want that? That cracks me up!

Remember when we realized that we’ve never gotten in a fight. Do you think it’s because we cherish this so much and know it’s just not natural.

Remember when TJ and I were going to New Mexico and you and Brent made us a care package and set it on our door step. That was so thoughtful.

Remember when I was texting you all the way from Santa Fe. I wanted you to come down there and get me.

Remember when your family invited me over for dinner. We were at the table and your dad looked at me and said, “Do you want the bread?” I said, “No.” Then he said, “Then wudda you lookin at?” I laugh, and am still laughing about that. I just think it’s so funny. I just love your dad.

I wish that I could be like your family. That my brothers and sisters would rather die than miss one choir performance or drive 45 minutes just to spend the day with my aunt and cousin. I just love that about you. I just do. I wish that for my family. And I’m glad you’ve extended that love to me. Thank you for that. If nothing else, thank you for that.

Remember when we would go to weight watchers, then go out to eat afterwards. You’re kidding me, right?

Remember when you guys moved to the house on Haddock and we were worried about not staying friends. Boy, that seems crazy now.

Oh, one of my favorites. We went to the doctor and heard Brendle’s heartbeat. I thought, “Wow, it’s so beautiful that I get to share in this moment. And that this baby has such a beautiful family to be born into.”

When we would go over to Brent’s apartment when he lived in the Charleston’s and would go in his room and all of us would just talk and laugh and giggle all night. I loved those times.

I remember the day after you and Brent’s first date when we met at Fazoli’s and talked about it. It was a great time. And we saw Jason and I thought, “Ha ha. I’m sharing this moment with her.”

Tuesdays with Corrie.

Having those special days when I would get on the bus and see you when we were poor and forced to ride public transportation to OU. It would actually change the rest of my day.

Remember when I saw Brent at OU and you had walked home in your cowboy boots and he had walked to OU to meet you. You guys had just been married like a month and were going to the State Fair. I just thought that was so great.

I remember coming to the hospital to see you after Brendle was born. I walked in and you said, “Don’t EVER let TJ touch you again!” You might have been too drugged to remember, but you just cried and I cried and I wanted to make everything better for you, but I couldn’t. Then you and your amazing husband actually allowed us to go and see your perfect little one in NICU. And I prayed, Jesus, I know Brendle’s going to be fine. She has the greatest family ever. I pray for Corrie. She needs your compassion. I learned so much about strength from watching you through those days.

Remember when I was too scared to ride a bike and you helped me. I know you just wanted to say, “Suck it up, you baby!” but you didn’t. Wow, I didn’t realize how great you were til just now.

Remember when we went on our first camping trip. That was so great. It’s never been rivaled and, unfortunately for us, probably never will be.

Remember when we went to Chelino’s for the first time in Bricktown, then we started going to all Mexican restaurants in the greater Oklahoma city area. I still think we could write a monthly (or even bi-weekly) newsletter.

Remember when you came to my apartment and told me you were getting married.

Remember when I told you I was getting married and we screamed through the church parking lot.

Remember when we went to the Cross Canadian Ragweed concert and were drinking lemonade and Suzy thought we were drinking a beer and you were pregnant. She left all our stuff completely alone in a huge crowd and stomped over to us and it was still just lemonade. Then we saw people with a crack pipe. Cross Canadian Ragweed- they’re rockers.

Remember all the mission trips.

Remember on our trip to Canada when the worst thing we did was wear flip flops when we weren’t supposed to and thought we were so bad.

Remember when I met you and told you my name is Jolene and you called me Jolene half the night. Ha, that was funny.

Oh, I remember the first lock-in at church and we were sitting by the kitchen and laughing so hard about your cows and how they would “dance” when the bus stopped to pick you up.

I love the fall festival. The witches brew and the scary movies. I remember the first one. I could barely sleep that night because those people on Wrong Turn. You’re the only one who can get me to watch scary movies. I know you go easy on me, but I still like to think of myself as a daredevil on the night of the fall festival.

For like two years, just you, me, and Brent would get together and watch The Grinch. That was our tradition. TJ’s lucky we ever let him in.

Remember when we made gingerbread men and decorated them like the four of us. We could be famous bakers, if we wanted to anyway.

We love ANTM! Remember when Shandi almost won. Remember when Lisa should have won? Yeah, I said it. Lisa got robbed.

My bachelorette party.

Your bachelorette party.

You know that song you sing with all the books in the Bible? That’s a good song.

Remember when we saw the Sober Boaters in Bricktown and we thought we’d found the next big thing.

(There were actually a ton more, but I didn't want to incriminate anyone!:)
Corrie, I love you with all my heart.  You have been, are, and will be one of the most special people in my life.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dormant

When you move into a retirement village housing addition like ours, you never know what you're going to get as far as vegetation is concerned.  I mean, yes, you can see the trees, the rose bushes in the back, and the non existent grass, but you never really know what you're going to get... or not get.  And we quickly realized that our previous owners cared little about grass and that we had the worst looking yard in the entire neighborhood.  No joke.  But, we have been pleasantly surprised by some plants that have come up that we didn't even know were there.  They had a round flower bed of nothing in the big middle of nothing that just baffled us.  But come Spring beautiful Easter lilies in various shades or bright orange and black cherry bloomed.  We decided to move some of the bulbs and they have multiplied incredibly in the two years we've lived her.  I love seeing the green sprigs emerge from the ground and watch daily for the blooms, not really remembering which color we transplanted to where until they bloom again. 
Maybe the reason I root for those lilies so strongly each year is because I feel like we're kindred spirits.  When we moved into this house, I felt like that empty flower bed; sun-bleached chip mulch surrounded by nothing but cheap edging that was brittle and cracked.  To make things worse, there was NOTHING inside of any use.  Sure there were things deep down in me, desires I knew had once been there, but none of it was evident.  Honestly, I didn't even know if it had been real.  But slowly, green began to push itself out of the ground.  Against what I had even believed for myself, God began growing things in my heart that I really didn't think were possible.  Forgiveness, understanding.  Then when it was evident that there was, in fact, fruit, God transplanted me to a place where I could be taken care of, multiplied, and nourished.  I might have been dormant for a season, but I wasn't dead.  I wasn't useless, I was simply changing. 
One of my friends likened it to this- between the time a caterpillar builds its cocoon and when it emerges a butterfly, it looks like neither.  The transformation process isn't always what we think it is.  That's where I was- in the middle of the transformation.  And just like you can't just glue wings on a caterpillar and call it a butterfly, God couldn't have just added something else to my life without transforming what was already there into something new. 
Did it hurt? Yep, even sucked at times.  Did I probably make it last a lot longer than it needed to.  Almost certainly.  I'm as stubborn as a mule.  But I just have to believe that there can't be house renovations without a little demolition.  And I am definitely happier about the remodeled me than the one before.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nothing Better...

Than your asking your daughter what she wants to thank Jesus for tonight and her blurting out two of her friends from church.  It melted our hearts.  And made me think maybe we're gonna get through these crazy toddler years after all.

Than your child calling her father "Daddio."

Than text chatting with two good friends in a day and being thankful for technology.

Than making it through the first night of Paci-caust 2011 without any tears whatsoever.

Than Adele's new album. Seriously.

Than weeding my mom's garden with her.

Than having a bow shooting contest with your fam and you being the WORST shot.

Than creating an impossible to-do list and checking off every single item in one day. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.

Than homemade chocolate chip cookies warm from the oven.

Than just sitting in the yard and the sprinkler cooling the air around you.

Than summer time.