Sunday, June 29, 2008

Waiting for the Rain to Stop

Happy Sunday, everybody! Are we all excited about beginning this FOUR DAY WEEK! I think it is super fun that Friday is the 4th of July and therefore we don't have to work. I think it is slightly annoying, however, that husband gets Thursday off too and I don't. Rude.

We had a really great weekend. Friday night was date night and we went to a new restaurant (well, new to us) called Crappito's. Very yummy. We spent most of the evening eavesdropping on a conversation taking place at the table next to us. It was hilarious, I'm sure we looked like the most uncommunicative couple but we were both really intrigued but the conversation at the adjacent table. It was really above our level of intelligence and we both felt like our IQ level was at about a 43 after we left there. :)



Saturday I spent my morning cleaning the house and relaxing while Grant played golf with a guy from church. I also watched a french film called "The Young Women of Rochefort". It was made in the 60's and it's this adorable comedy/musical starring Gene Kelly. He does pirouettes up and down the streets of France and I adored it.


Last night we went to Tyler and Laura's wedding. Grant met Tyler while working in College Station. The whole staff came and getting together with all of those people was like a big, big reunion! We hadn't seen most of them since our own wedding and we had so much fun. Tyler and Laura looked so happy and it was a beautiful, God honoring ceremony. However, we kinda sat near the back at the reception and I never could get a picture of the happy couple! I'm just too short, and they had quite the posse around them. I did get some pics of us at our table....Here's a few pics...

We had the iPod goin while we were getting ready to go. Grant was singing some Phil Wickham to me.





Here we were at the reception.... such a pretty venue!Grant and his good friend, Anthony. We love him!This is the point in the evening when husband was really over the picture taking.


We had a great, great time. We got back pretty late and slept through first service (oops!) and headed up to church for second service. I'm tellin ya, we are liking this church more and more every week!

After church, 2 of Grant's friends who were at the wedding last night had lunch with us. It is so cool to see how God changes and leads everyone through all these years. Those are two awesome, solid guys and we hope they come to Houston to visit us more often!

I have been trying to go to the grocery store for awhile now but just can't seem to get a window of time without any rain! It sure has been rainy here!

Meanwhile, I found 2 giftcards for Linens N Things for $125 and am seriously considering purchasing a new comforter! :) Maybe I can swing by and pick that up on the way to the grocery store.....

**UPDATE** :) :) :) :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I've Made My Decision

I was deleting some pictures from my computer this evening when I came across some photos from the night Grant proposed. The pictures are of my hand, proudly wearing the beautiful diamond ring that Grant picked out especially for me, with no help from me at all. It was then that I realized that when I fix my ring, I need to get it as close to the original setting as I can. It's my ring! And for the sentimental value of it all, I am not going to get a new setting. I am going to make sure that the ring is stable and will not damage again, but I am going to keep it as close as possible to what Grant chose for me.

I realized in the middle of all of this that I don't think I've shared my engagement story with you all! If I have, I apologize. (Many of you were there, aka Linds, Jo, Sally, Jaclyn, Ronda, the list goes on and on and on...). Here is a pic of us at lunch the day he proposed. I had no idea at this point!

I was performing in Anne of Green Gables in downtown Houston. It was my 21st birthday and I had coordinated for my friends and family to come to the 8:00 performance that night and then afterwards we'd go out for drinks and dessert at Birraporetti's.

That night was hands down the best performance of my entire life. I knew I had everyone near and dear to me in the audience and I was just on fire with adrenaline. I wanted the show to end so we could all go out!

Grant and gotten permission from the director a few weeks earlier to come onstage after the final bow. As the cast and audience sang Happy Birthday to me, my now husband walked onto the stage with roses. I will never forget looking down into the 3rd row and sharing that look with Lindsee and Joanna. We all looked at each other with this face as if to say "This is really happening!". My darling husband had an adorable little speech prepared and asked me to marry him. It was perfect and wonderful. My "birthday party" at Birraporetti's was transformed into an Engagement party behind my back. There were about 50 people there and it was perfect. Special thanks to my sweet sister Jaclyn for thinking ahead and bringing a black cocktail dress for me to change into. Sister knew I wouldn't wanna be wearing JEANS at my ENGAGEMENT party!!! (Too bad I was wearing a horrible white costume with horrible 1906 hair when he proposed!) Check out my gorgeous puffed sleeves in the video below! :)



video

When I got home that night, I took a few pictures of my beautiful ring.


I just can't do something that drastically different. As fun as it would be to design a new ring, I just can't let go of something that was so personal.

Thank you all for your advice and input! And I think we all agree that cheaper is better! :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Joanna Sue!

Tuesday, June 24, is my darling Joanna's birthday.

I'll tell ya why I love that girl:

1. She may be the most quotable person I know. Whether it's "Oh, father Abraham!", or "Jenny, am I gonna be okay?!", she never fails to make me laugh. (Also, when in Vegas, we walked by a billboard that was advertising a show starring Donny & Marie Osmond. Joanna asked me if they were comedians.)

2. Her heart is pure gold. I mean pure, solid gold. She cares about people and prays for them. Just a few weeks ago we were on the phone and I mentioned a certain situation and asked her to keep it in her prayers. She replied, "Girl, you know I will! Jen, does your prayer list ever get so long that you think you may need to take the day off work?". She is that kind of prayer warrior!

3. She feels the need for you to share in experiences with her. One day I was at work and she called my cellphone. Jo is not one to call me much during the work day, so I got a little worried and answered. "Oh! I didn't expect you to pick up since you were at work! I was gonna leave a message, but Jenny, I am at a stoplight and this pedestrian just walked across the street in her business suit and Aqua socks. I just had to share". It really brightened my day!

4. I am so proud of her. Jo is a home-body and when she fell in love with her John, she knew that that could mean living far, far away. I will never forget the moment when I was standing in Payless Shoes with my mom and Joanna called and said, "Well, I have something to tell you. I'll be living in Montana". Could that BE any further?!? But nonetheless, my Joanna has made me so proud. In the last year I have gotten only a few phone calls that begin with a shaky voice saying "Jenny, I just need to talk a minute". She has been strong for her husband and has found comfort in the constant that is our Lord Jesus.

5. For some reason, she likes to call people names that aren't really their names. Martha, Bertha, Shelita, you name it, we've all been called it. She calls me Jenny Beth, which is not my middle name. But, I love it. (Joanna Sue is not her name either, for the record).

6. Not to embarass her, but I love that when her now husband emailed her for the first time years ago, and kinda stated his "intentions", she read me and Lindsee the email, and the 3 of us decided that she needed to break up with her current boyfriend, and she needed to do so immediately. (They had only been together for a few months, and honestly, that was just altogether a mess). Joanna calmly went into the other room and made a phone call. When she returned, she opened up her laptop and the 3 of us carefully replied to John's email. Sitting there typing that, I knew they would get married. I just knew it :)

7. I love the sound of her laugh.

8. I love how much she loves John.

9. I love that a few months before John proposed, she said to me and Lindsee, "If ya'll know when he is gonna do it, can you make sure I have my nails done?".

10. She is an encouragement to me. She is beautiful inside and out. She is a precious friend, and I do not know what I would do without her in my life!

I LOVE YOU JOANNA FAY! Happy Birthday, I can't wait to have some Olive Garden with you!! You are a treasure!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

That Ring is Just Smashing!

I did something bad.

I was helping someone at work rearrange their office, and in the midst of it I smashed my hand between a desk and a brick wall. The result of this is a very bruised finger and a very MESSED UP DIAMOND RING!!

AGH! I am SO MAD! I bent 2 prongs on my engagement ring and the centerstone is all crooked and the setting is all messed up. The centerstone is wiggly and I am keeping the ring in a little envelope for the time being cause I don't wanna lose my stone. It is so weird though. Grant proposed to me on August 13, 2005, and yesterday was the very first day since then that the ring has not been on my finger.

We took it to a jeweler today, and it isn't gonna be as easy to fix as I was hoping. We have some decisions to make, including the possibility of putting the stone in a different setting.

What ticks me off the most is that right before the smashing of the hand, someone offered to help me move the table. And I said, "No, no, I can do it". So prideful! So I am wearing my wedding bands, and that's all fine and good. If I could just rewind! My poor ring!

For the record, my husband has been absolutely precious and sweet about all this. He knows it was an accident, and he is just glad the stone itself isn't ruined.

So what do we think ladies? Should I put the stone back in the current setting with the possibility of this happening again? Or should I put it in an altogether new setting? This would be kinda fun to change it up a bit, but also I would be kinda sad, since that is the ring that was given to me when Grant asked me to marry him.

What do you think?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rainy Days and Tuesdays

It sure is thunderin' and lightnin' out there! Goodness gracious is this a storm!! I haven't seen rain like this in awhile... but it sure is pretty. I've always been a storm lover. I kinda like it when the power goes out. Unless it goes out when I am getting ready for work, because in that case I am definitely NOT a fan of my hair when it is not blow-dryed and flat ironed. And trust me, you would not be a fan of my hair in that case either. It is just precious.


Katie and Mo came to see us this weekend!! All four of us squished into our one bedroom, one bathroom apartment and had ourselves a ball. Friday night we went to Taco Cabana since they have never been and therefore have never experienced true happiness. It was just yummy and cheap which is always a plus!

Saturday morning we went to the Galleria. Katie and Mo had also never been to the Galleria and I was pretty sure that I was showing them a whole new world. We were on a magic carpet ride, and Katie and Mo were just like Aladdin and Jasmine :). Katie and I both bought many things from the Gap, and we both agreed that it has improved exponentially in the last year or so. Agreed?

Saturday evening we had a fabulous dinner at Birraporetti's downtown. The food was delicious and the conversations were amazing. It is conversations like that that make me realize how much I miss those two darling people! They really are our favorites.

Sunday we went to church and listened to another GREAT sermon. I got all teary eyed at the end. I just felt so much passion in that room and I totally felt the Lord's presence. It moves me every week...

Sunday lunch we went to my parent's for Father's Day, and Katie and Mo came with us. It was fun to show Katie my old house and for her to meet my parents and Jaclyn, Jeremy and Grace. We took a few shots before they headed back to Baton Rouge....

Isn't she just a Barbie Doll?!

We decided to take a picture in front of the mantle... and the guys thought it felt like prom. Hence, the husbands decided to pose like highschool boys. Katie and I are darling as always. Okay, now a real one, guys!The Moxie was just glad to have some visitors :)

So now we are just going about our week. Dinner is in the oven and after that we plan on headin' over to the fitness center to get our work out on. Ya'll know I love me a treadmill, as long as there is a tv in front of it :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Communication

Grant is intently watching the U.S. Open on the Golf Channel. He is in his zone.

"Babe, did you talk to Chase today?

No response. Stares at the television without blinking.

"Grant, did you talk to your brother today?"

Still no speaking. No blinking.

(slightly raised voice) "GRANT".

Grant snaps out of it, turns to me sweetly and says:

"I'm sorry baby... did Tiger do what?"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Longest Week

I'd like to lift up my dear darling Jo in prayer, as it is June 11 and it was SNOWING today in Great Falls, Montana. I know you ache for that sun, precious girl! I would GLADLY send you this 100 degree weather for a few days if I could!!

I got my haircut tonight. It's pretty cute. Nothing drastic, but something a little shorter for this HOT summer weather!

It has been a slow week. The work days have not been quite as busy and there is nothing to watch on TV. We are now avid fans of The Bachelorette. I pick Jason to win it. Some people think it is Jeremy, but I am not so sure. Besides, his eyebrows are questionable.

This week is dragging on so much, I think mainly because KATIE & MO ARE COMING TO HOUSTON THIS WEEKEND TO VISIT!!!!!! I have not seen Katie in one month and 12 days and that is just entirely too long. Friday just can't get here fast enough!

I have been bored this week. And semi-sad. There has been alot of bad news and sad friends and lots of prayers for comfort and peace. Blog-land has been eerily quiet lately, unless someone has something tragically heart breaking to share, and then I just get all teared up when I read it.

Right now Grant is laying on the couch, watching the 1,367th thing about Tiger Woods. The U.S. Open is this weekend. It lasts Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I am thrilled. The first tee pairs up Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Adam Scott (three of the top players) and Grant is so excited. Apparently he thinks that this may warrant taking a half day. I thought that Brad Pitt being in Houston Texas today warranted a half day for me. Grant disagreed.

Rude.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

For a Faith that Doesn't Fail

Have you ever had one of those Sunday sermons that just kinda grabs you by the shoulders, looks you in the eyes, and speaks so directly to you that you think that just maybe you are the only person in the congregation and the Lord is speaking just to you?

That was me today. Can we say conviction?!?

Grant and I have been going to our new church for about a month now. And let me tell you, I could listen to Pastor Gregg for hours. That man has been blessed, that is for sure. And he spoke to my heart this morning. I thought I'd share with you a little bit about what I learned today....

1. God's Will is ALWAYS accompanied by God's Power and God's Provision.

2. Our FAITH is often weak and forgetful. However, in our most disappointed moments, we tend to think that our God is often weak and forgetful. He is not. He is incapable of that. It is our FAITH that fails us at times. Never our God.

Pastor Gregg used the illustration of Exodus 14, as the Israelites were preparing to cross the Red Sea. They had just left Egypt, where the Lord had miraculously delivered them from Pharaoh. He had sent 10 plagues and Pharaoh had released them. However, Pharaoh changed his mind and pursued them with his armies. Immediately, the Israelites became terrified, questioned Moses' decisions, and had resolved to the fact that they were going to die. It wasn't God that failed them. He was about to perform one of His most incredible miracles of all time! It was their FAITH that was weak and forgetful.

3. Exodus 14:14 says "The Lord will fight for you. You need only to be still". Ladies, (and the few gents out there), how often do we fight our own battles? Why do we do this? We need only to be still, and KNOW that HE is GOD! WE are NOT!!

Pastor Gregg also talked to us about COMPLAINING. Lord knows that I am a bit of a whiner at times. But what he was referring to is people who complain about where they are in life, how much money they have, how much they hate their jobs, why this guy got a promotion before me, etc. But he told us that complaints often have FEAR at a deeper level. If you are complaining, you have to ask yourself what it is you are truly afraid of?

He said that complaining projects power and achieves short-term results.

(Here's the one that really got to me): Complainers focus on the problem, not the provider. A great quote: "The one who says 'It cannot be done' should not interrupt the One who is doing it".
God provides protection. Simply, God provides.

How quickly do we forget all He has done for us? How quickly to do we complain to the Lord?
How often do we forget to praise Him when we come to Him in prayer? We just come to Him, list our requests, and say "Amen".

My friends, praise Him in all circumstances. That is what we have been called to do. He is in charge, and He knows what He is doing. He has never failed you, ever. Praise Him because He is good. He is love. He is comfort. He is peace. He is not weak. He is not forgetful. He is right, not wrong. He is wise. He is perfect. He is God. He IS.

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
Blessed be your Glorious Name!
You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, Blessed be Your Name!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Whole Lot at Once

Warning: This post has alot going on.

May was a crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy month. I mean absolutely crazy. We moved May 2, started new jobs, took 3 vacations, found a new church and had Moxie in and out of the puppy emergency room. This was a very very stressful month, but God has been so so good. He has provided. He has brought my husband closer together because we have become closer to Him. He has blessed us. There have been so many answers to prayer. Just today I found out that our old apartments mailed us a check for $550 to reimburse us for our security deposit!!! GOD IS SO GOOD!

Something else we really have been enjoying is our lunch hour. Grant and I work close enough to home that we are able to come home and meet at our lunch break. It has been so nice to have that little break in the day.... to have a meal with Grant and to talk about our mornings. That is a simple pleasure that we are soooo thankful for!

Now, I am not very good at bringing my camera places. And sometimes "picture posts" overwhelm me. But I had alot of time on my hands this evening so I thought I'm upload some events from awhile ago that I never got around to posting. This post is very ADD. Shall we begin?

The day after moving day, we went to visit our niece, Grace Parker. She turned one years old and we wouldn't have missed it for the world. Her mommy gave her a hot pink and zebra party that was just too cute for words!

Here is our 1 year old big girl:

Her cake was just so sassy! (And it tasted great too!)



LOOK AT THAT FACE. Lord have mercy.



What a precious little display my Jaclyn made!



Mommy helped the Parker open her presents. She totally knew that they were for her. I do love that baby girl so much.



VEGAS! Girls Weeked 08 was in Vegas this year. To see a much more elaborate, well done picture post on Vegas, check out Lindsee's post here. But here's what I got...


The Bellagio Gardens are BEAUTIFUL. I thought these thingys hanging from the ceiling were so pretty....



Here's our sweet Lindsee with the President of our great nation.


Jo with the M&M's. I don't know why we were doing this.....



Jo with her camera. She and Linds pretty much looked like this the whole trip! :) You girls know I love you with my whole heart!!



Caesar's Palace. Please excuse the nudity.

Annnnnnd last but not least..... last weekend was spent in Austin, for the twins' 2nd birthday party! My Juliet and Scarlett are 2!!!

It's too bad that none of my nieces are cute.


My sisters and me (in reverse birth order)


Shannon's bunny cake. (Didn't she do such a great job?!?)


Look at them..... so big! Talking so much!


It feels like it wasn't all that long ago when they were just like this.....



Tuesday, June 3, 2008

i

i am: more organized than I ever have been.

i think: about the future more often than I should.

i know: that I will never be tan.

i want: macaroni and cheese.

i have: the most amazing friends in the whole wide world!

i wish: Jim would propose to Pam.

i hate: politics.

i miss: theater.

i fear: God.

i feel: like dancing. yeah.

i hear: the air conditioner.

i smell: nothing.

i crave: Bowtie pasta in a cream sauce with chicken from Johnny Carino's.

i search: google

i wonder: if i will have boys or girls or both.

i regret: the perm. i mean honestly. for the love.

i love: my nieces.

i ache: for those who lose a child.

i care: about celebrities. I don't know why. but I do.

i always: talk too much.

i am not: shy.

i believe: that Jesus is the only way.

i dance: to certain TV show theme songs. I'm not saying which ones.

i sing: with my whole heart.

i don't always: dust.

i fight: rarely.

i write: sweet emails to Grant while he is at work.

i lose: my marbles sometimes.

i never: feel like I got enough sleep.

i can usually be found: with a big comfy blanket.

i am scared: of losing someone I love.

i need: Jesus.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Laundry, Seafood, and 2 Year Olds

Our new apartment came with a full size washer and dryer. Praise His Name! But apparently, full size in this apartment is the equivalent of two shirts, a pair of socks, and a wash cloth.

Which means..... I do laundry every single day of the week.

Also, the dryer takes 3 1/2 hours to dry the two shirts, socks, and wash cloth. I love it.

Anyhoo, I am waiting for clothes to dry while Grant is watching a nail biting episode of Deadliest Catch. In case you haven't had the pleasure of Deadliest Catch, allow me to fill you in: Very cold men catch crabs in the ocean for days at a time and apparently are on the verge of their death with every hour that passes. I'm on the edge of my seat.

We've had a good weekend. Friday night my parents took us to Red Lobster to celebrate Grant's birthday. Grant loves Red Lobster. He always gets the Ultimate Feast with an extra 1/2lb of crab. I get the Shrimp Linguine without the Shrimp. :) I am not a seafood lover.

Saturday I spent my entire day in Austin celebrating the twins' 2nd Birthday! Juliet and Scarlett are so big! They got a swing set in their backyard which they love, and Grammy and Pops got them tricycles. They are adorable. Juliet's motto in life is "My do it". That child can do anything on her own and that is how she intends to do things. If Aunt Jenny is reading a book to Juliet and it's time to turn the page, Juliet grabs my hand and says "No Jenny, my do it!", and then she turns the page herself. Such a big girl. And our little Scarlett is speaking in full sentences and is very polite. If Shannon says "Scarlett, finish your lunch please", Scarlett will very kindly say, "No thank you, Mommy!". :)

Today we went to church again. We are loving our new church community and are thrilled to be meeting new people. We are joining a small group on Thursdays that is just starting up. Praise the Lord for new friends!

I am actually kinda motivated to start this new week. I am a fan of fresh starts. His mercies are new every morning. Remember that this week, my friends!