Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We made it!!!

Last night was one of the scariest nights of my life. BJ and I left at 1:30 from Farmington to get to northeastern Indiana for Christmas with his family. Everything went along fairly smoothly except for a steady stream of rain until we hit Indianapolis. At 8:30, we were only an hour and a half away from our destination, we had just gotten around Indianapolis, and we were going along steadily when traffic suddenly came to a stand still. Apparently, there was a wreck about ten miles ahead of us. With traffic stopped, the rain that had fallen all day turned into a sheet of ice, and the rain that was still falling made it even slicker. Before we knew it, everyone was sliding around, including us. Realizing that we were not going to be able to go all the way, I called my brother and asked him to start searching for hotel rooms. He found one, and I called to make a reservation. It was about 12 miles down the road from where we first stopped. We pulled into the hotel at 1:00 in the morning. It took four and a half hours to drive 12 miles, and it was the most terrifying 12 miles of my life (even BJ was scared, and that is saying something). Thankfully, it warmed up today, and we made the last 60 miles of our journey in an hour.

After sliding off the road, seeing cars and trucks literally lining the sides of the roads, and fearing we would have to sleep in our car on the side of the road last night (it was an actual possibility), I feel exceptionally grateful to be in a home with family enjoying Christmas. So here's to all the warm and fuzzy feelings of Christmas. They have their purpose.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm strong enough to face the cold. I'm strong enough to face the cold. I'm strong enough...

This has become my morning chant (or you might say pep talk) while crouched in the fetal position in front of our space heater.

Eleven days to Texas (and Texas had better deliver some unseasonably warm weather.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

The silver lining to an economy in shambles

Yes. It is absolutely glum to watch the news right now. It is heartwrenching to see the unemployment rate climbing each mother, and I can't imagine knowing that Christmas at home is impossible because that home was lost to a foreclosure. These are trying times, but there are still blessings in which to rejoice.

Today I found out that due to economic reasons, Murray State will be closing a few extra days over the Christmas break. This means that instead of a week, I get two full weeks of paid vacation. And this means that I might get to see Texas our Texas after all. It has been nearly five months since I have seen Texas, over six months since I stepped foot in Abilene, and nearly seven months since I slept in my bed at home in Menard. I thought I was going to have to wait until spring break in March, but it looks like I might just have to wait two weeks. The thought of those short, ugly, shrubby mesquite trees lining a huge (hopefully cloudless) Texas sky is putting a big lump in my throat right now. I might even have to go out and buy a big yellow rose to take home with me after work.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A dog with a sophisticated palette, sort of

Being a Lab, Sienna will eat anything and everything we put in her food bowl or that falls to the floor while I'm cooking. Anything. Gus, however, is not a glutton, and he has been known to go days without eating a bite of food. After over a year and a half of trying to learn how to keep my dog from starving, I finally figured out what the problem is: Gus only likes food when it is moist and fresh. He would always eat dry food when we first opened the bag, but after a few days of it drying out, he lost interest. To remedy this, I have started mixing one can of wet food into his dry food everyday. Now, he is eating a lot, and this makes me happy.

The other day, BJ and I were in Walmart when I remembered that I was out of Gus's canned food. We went over to the dog food section, and I started throwing in cans of the different flavors Gus likes: beef, beef stew, turkey and bacon, lamb and rice, etc. Here is the conversation that followed between me and BJ:

BJ: Do you really think Gus cares if you get different flavors?
me: Of course, I don't want him to get bored with just beef or just chicken. Gus is pickier than your dog.
BJ: Yay, you know what else that sophisticated palette likes? Cat turds.

Okay, he sort of got me on that one. But I will continue to provide Gus with the best cuisine Ol' Roy Dog Foods has to offer.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Sienna's Thanksgiving dinner

Its back to work after what was a very memorable Thanksgiving. One of my best friends from high school, Garrett, and his wife, Sarah, came down to Kentucky for the holiday. They have a 17 month old daughter, Charlotte, who kept us pretty much entertained for three days. I was nervous about having a baby in the house because I am notoriously bad with kids, we have two giant dogs roaming around, and our house is basically a collection of hard edges and sharp corners. But amazingly enough, Charlotte came out of the holiday unscathed, so I'd call it a successful Thanksgiving.

As I said, this Thanksgiving had many memorable moments, all of which we can attribute to Charlotte and her tireless admirer, Sienna. However, one moment stands out in particular.

It was Thanksgiving afternoon, and the four adults were all in the kitchen either preparing for the big meal or just chatting. Charlotte was busy exploring everything within reach of a 17 month old. BJ and Garrett had done a little grocery shopping earlier, but BJ had neglected to put up all of the groceries, basically picking a choosing which ones he would put away. Unfortunately, one item he did not choose was a carton of 18 eggs. Charlotte climbed up unto one of the dining room chairs, saw the pretty green carton, and pulled up on the lid. Garrett was watching this (probably in slow motion), and I was fortunate enough to catch the look of horror and helpless that crossed his face. In the middle of our eat-in kitchen, in the middle of the Thanksgiving meal preparation, 18 eggs crashed to the floor. There were only four survivors.

Charlotte's eyebrows popped up in an adorable "oops" expression, and I immediately bent over laughing until tears came as the parents apologetically start cleaning. Of course, BJ helped the cleaning process by calling in his dog. She licked up a large portion of the mess for us.

As Garrett was bent over cleaning, he looked up at me and said, "This is going to be a blog post, isn't it? " Yep, it is.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Conversation with my mother as I was on my way to work.

Me: I am bringing a few picture frames and some pictures to cozy up my office.
Mom: I bet one picture is of BJ and the other is Gus.
Me: Am I that predictable.
Mom: Yes. I think you love Gus more than you love your father or I.
Me: Well if it makes you feel better, Gus probably beats out BJ, too.

(Not really. I love my husband, but it is a tight race. And also, for the record, there are three pics: one of me and BJ, one of our three babies, and one of me and BJ with my parents. So there.)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

So here is how you pass a cold fall weekend in the middle-of-nowhere Kentucky...

First, you buy two rakes, bundle up, and head outside to put into piles the massive amount of dead leaves that has covered you lawn. It will take about three hours and approximately forty piles to once again see the ground that was hidden. While you are doing this, a few more leaves will fall as nature laughs at man's unending attempts to control nature. The laughter will most likely irritate you.

After the piles are created, you take a large tarp, lay it on the ground next to a pile, load it with leaves, and then take it to a designated area for burning later. You repeat this for each pile. It takes a really long time and a lot of walking. By the time you are finished, you have a pile something like this one (think 8 feet wide and 3.5 feet tall):

When this is all finished, you will hurt. Every muscle of your body will be screaming at you for suddenly doing manual labor when you know you are in fact a big, useless softy. So you go to bed, allowing unconsiousness temporarily take away the pain.

The next day, when the pain has dulled a bit, you start getting nostalgic about when you where a kid and you would run and jump in the piles of leaves every fall, so when the neighbors aren't looking, you take a leap. Unfortunately, you are heavier these days, so you end up in a position something like this:

When you finally crawl out of this mess, you find your dogs staring at you with a perplexed, yet intrigued, expression as they wonder why you are suddenly acting, well, like them. Then you notice that there are leaves all over you, and they are itchy, and they should never, ever be in the unmentionables area. But they are. So you wonder why you liked it so much once upon a time, and you take note to not get nostalgic next year. Of course, by next year, you will have forgotten, and you'll probably end up with nature laughing at you and leaves in your pants again.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Life is changing these days

It has been quite a week. I got a job offer for a position at Murray State that I was really wanting, I took my GRE and got a score that puts me well on my way to grad school, and BJ and I went to Alton to spend the weekend with his parents. It was a good week, but a hectic one. Even the great outdoors seem to be busy. Leaves are falling rapidly now, and the weather is getting bitingly cold. Despite the busy-ness of my life right now, I wanted to take a few moments to appreciate the beauty of fall, so here are a few pictures of our yard before winter entirely takes over.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Just a girl and a dog on a beautiful fall day.

Just hangin' with my dog. And no, we don't care if we're dorks.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

November 4th, 2008

I've got the registration card....

...and the appropriate t-shirt (don't worry, I zipped up my hoody at the polling place so that I didn't break any laws)...

...and my lucky frog socks...

...and my favorite shoes (they've been with me through many major life events, like when I went to the political rally in Dallas and saw him in person)...

...and my mom's bracelet from when she was a kid (I don't know why, it just seemed like it could be lucky)...

...and last but not least, I winning smile. It should count for something.

Finally, mission accomplished...

...and now for the wait.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sermon Preparation

I knew when BJ became a preacher that we would have conversations about his sermons as he worked on them. However, some of the interactions that have grown out of his sermon preparations have simply not been what I was expecting.

This afternoon, BJ was researching the history of Ephesus in preparation for an upcoming sermon and series of classes. I peeked over his shoulder while he was busy researching on the computer, and this is the picture I saw:

This is the short conversation that followed:

Me (shocked): Are those boobies?
BJ (matter-of-factly): Either that or buffalo testicles. She's a fertility goddess, so it's hard to tell.

Yeah, there is just so much wrong with that.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Politicians aren't all bad

I have always striven to put my faith before my country. In my mind, this is the proper ordering of priorities. This has lead to a resistance of the culture we find in the "religious right" in which patriotism and godliness coexist dependently on one another, and therefore, one must seek to shape the social agenda of the country within narrowly defined moral statutes. Most likely, I have at times gone polar in the opposite direction to my own detriment.

What has me thinking about this is a short clip I saw on the news Friday night. Obama, who was visiting his ailing, and perhaps dying, grandmother in Hawaii, was walking alone down a street that could easily have been in any part of the nation. It looked like a worn down area, perhaps home to the lower middle class. He looked uniquely and significantly alone.

This image immediately jolted me back to a year and a half ago when I was losing my grandmother. One moment in particular stands out in my mind. Grandma was extremely ill in the hospital in San Angelo, and my family was gathered there, but I was driving back on a Saturday night to Abilene after a week of being in Menard because I had to return to school, a new husband who needed me, and a church where I was learning to be a preacher's wife for the first time. I felt extreme lonliness, and despite Grandma saying I needed to return to Abilene and to life in general, I felt like I was doing the woman who had helped raise me a horrible injustice. It was a long drive home.

The image of Obama walking in his childhood neighborhood also sent my mind in another direction. It occured to me that there must be a moment near the end of every presidentail campaign when a canidate asks himself, "Do I really want this?" And if this question hits a man at the same time he is struggling with the slipping away of a loved one, how must that hurt? How must that shake the man who is known for his coolness, for his steadiness?

At this glimpse of vulnerability in the man who might inherit our fragile country, I prayed. I have always prayed for our leaders (even the ones I don't like), but this time was different. This time I saw the humanness of the leader, and as the "politician" tag fell away, I was able to realize anew why it is we must pray for the men and women in our governement.

I do not know who will win next Tuesday, but I do know that each man is asking to acquire a daunting task. As hard as it is at times to see the humanity in the midst of the mud fight that is our political process, John McCain and Barack Obama are both men in need of our prayers. It is the habit among many of my fellow Christians to call Obama a terrorist, Muslim, socialist, etc. Of course, he is none of these things. What these labels do is simply to strip the humanity from Obama's persona, and believe me, it is hard to pray for someone you no longer see as human. So although I fully realize that the opinion of an unemployed artist in Western Kentucky is worth very little these days, I am still going to call out in my quiet little voice for awareness on Nov. 4 of the humanity of whomever wins. This is essential if we are to do what is perhaps the most patriotic act we can do: that of praying for our country.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A few observations following a wonderful week

My parent's returned home this weekend after a very wonderful week visiting me and BJ in Kentucky. Here are a few observations I have had about our week:

1. Job interviews aren't that different from the first day of kindergarten: it is less nerve-wrecking if your daddy takes you there.

2. Mothers never stop enjoying picking out new clothes for their little girls, and that fact just gets more and more fun with age for the "little girls."

3. Sawdust and Derby pies are both good, but Sawdust pies are better.

4. When a person's church greets that person's family like they are in fact family, it makes for a giant, mushy smorgasbord of hospitality. It's actually pretty fun.

5. I like showing off my husband's preaching chops. Might as well admit it.

6. My life is one giant love triangle: I miss Texas, but I love Kentucky, too.

7. Mom has become a political junky. What an election.

8. I now know more about snuff than my dad who has been spitting it for forty years.

9. No matter how old I get, I still cry like crazy when it's time to say goodbye...

10. ...and I still call my brother when I'm crying like crazy so that he can make me laugh.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Family in KY

My parents have traveled 15 long hours to Kentucky over the weekend. It is their first time in this state, and so far, they love it.

I have been looking forward to the moment when my parents would see my house and experience my life here with such anticipation that it is almost surreal to actually have them here. Tonight, we set in my little country kitchen that I love so much and ate a big bowl of Dad's homemade chili. It was the perfect meal on a perfect cloudy fall day. Mom and Dad will be here for the rest of the week, so we are passing our time watching the fourth season of the Office (they were behind), eating, shopping, and playing games. It is looking to me a very good week.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Good friends. Good food. Good times.

Kayla and Darby drove down this weekend to spend some time in Kentucky. We had a really great time doing pretty much the same thing we do most Saturdays, but with good company to share it with. We woke up to a nice breakfast, drove around the country for a while, had a tasty lunch, watched a movie, took a nap, had a wonderful steak dinner topped off with warm apple pie, and then played a game of Risk in which Kayla walloped the rest of us. It was a good day. My favorite quote of the weekend was when Kayla was heading to the guest bedroom for an afternoon nap. She said, "We've got to do something to past the time until we eat again." That pretty much sums up a lazy Saturday in the middle of nowhere. And Kayla and Darby, thanks again for coming.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Super Me!

My brother tagged me on his blog to do this post. Basically, I'm just supposed to answer a few questions about my "super powers."

1. What is the most powerful thing you have done in the last 5 years?
I survived dating BJ and his baggage. And after over two years of marriage, I'm still crazy enough about him to confidently say, "I'd do it again."

2. What is your super power?
Sensitivity - I feel everything deeply.

3. If you could choose another super power now, what would it be?
Dog whisperer - mainly so that I could effectively communicate the command "stop whining" to Sienna right now.

4. Describe your superhero outfit.
My freckles are my superhero outfit. They protect me and my many gaffes against the scorn of man. Here's how: I can say or think almost anything, and people still think I am adorably naive. As someone who has always lived in extremely conservative corners of America, this has been invaluable.

5. What is your kryptonite?
It takes very little offense for me to hurt, and when my feelings get hurt, I absolutely deflate. So meanies are my kryptonite.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Rusty fields

I've done really good on the homesickness front ever since we moved to Kentucky. Despite being a life-long Texan and being very close to my family, the beauty of Kentucky and the kindness of everyone have kept me going pretty much tear-free for nearly two months. But yesterday, something happened. I was driving by a field of dead soy beans (a few farmers lost their soy crop this year). The normally bright green crop had turned a dark rusty red. Immediately, it reminded me of the beautiful barley fields along the drive between Eden and San Angelo that turn the most gorgeous shade of rust around this time each year. And suddenly, that color, one of my favorite colors, made me homesick. Out of nowhere, I felt I needed to see a short squaty mesquite tree, or eat a pecan while standing in the same spot it fell, or get really full on chips and salsa before my food comes out, or read a book in my pretty yellow room, or just see my family in person. No more pictures, the real thing.

This isn't the kind of homesickness that debilitates. It doesn't depress me all day, or take the joy out of the things I love here in Kentucky, like the smell of tobacco being smoked in the tobacco barns and my cute little home. It just creeps up on me ever once in while, like a sharp pain that quickly recedes. And it always comes with a little bit of relief. I am relieved to know that Texas isn't fading in importance and that I won't forget the things I love about it. I just have to make a home somewhere else for now.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The road to my crazy life part 2

A while back I did a post on some of the different search terms that led people to my blog through search engines such as Google and Yahoo. Today, I was shuffling through my site meter when I saw a particularly interesting search term. Apparently, someone found my blog when they searched "inherited paranoia." I believe this leads back to a post I once did on the craziness of my dad, my dog, and myself. But anyways, I'm just pleased that something that strange leads to my blog.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What I love about my house

Speedy cleaning. We have downsized in this move about 700 sq. ft. from our last house, and I can't believe the difference it has made in cleaning. I did my weekly dusting and bathroom cleaning Tuesday. It took about 30 minutes as opposed to the 2 hours of last year.

Tony has his own level. One of my favorite features of this house is that there was a kitty door going down to the basement long before we ever moved here. This means I am able to keep Tony's kitty litter box and food out of sight (and out of nose range in the case of his litter). Also, it means that Tony has his own level to the house. BJ, the dogs, and I take the ground floor and up stairs. Tony has a full basement. Seems fair enough.

The pool, the pool, and the pool. It never really occured to me to have a pool, but now that we ended up with one, I love it. Yesterday, I was walking/jogging around the backyard for some much needed exersice, and of course, I got hot and sweaty. This is when it occured to me that I could also work out in my pool, so I put my swim suit on and hopped in. It made for a much more pleasant work out routine.

Sunlight. The house has enormous windows everywhere, and they are fabulous. I never have to turn on a light during the day, and the house looks beautiful with all of that natural light streaming in.

Atmosphere. There is something about this house that just feels comfortable. We had company last night, and one of the people walked into my kitchen and said, "Oh, you have a real country kitchen." I think that is it. I think it is that feeling that people get when they come in and the old crickety floors sound out each step. It is like that they could just as easily be stepping into their grandmother's house thirty years ago.

Our bedroom is a million miles away. The upstairs is just our bedroom and the lavender bathroom. Everytime I take someone up there, they say something along the lines of, "I can see why you fell in love with this house." When I go up there, the new found stress of being the main support system for a new preacher melts away. I hope not to jinx anything, but I can honestly say I haven't had a night yet where falling asleep up there was difficult.

Old house smell. When I walk into the house after being away for a while, I am always greeted with a breif wiff of that old-house smell. And everytime it happens, I think of the million times I walked into Grandma Farr's house.

After only two and a half already feels like home.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

In the pulpit

Farmington is blessed with several talented song leaders. Today's song leader is a man who not only leads in worship, but in all aspects of the congregation. He is a man that one immediatly respects because there is this sense that he is truly, deeply, sincerely a Christian. I noticed today at the morning service that the song leader said something to BJ as he walked to the pulpit for the sermon. Tonight, he did the same, so I listened carefully. The man said, "The lord be with you, brother." I thought that was a really beautiful thing to say.

I think my new role as "preacher's wife" has made me particularly atuned to the significance of that little sentence as BJ steps to his podium. Everytime BJ starts a sermon, I get this sense that something extremely important, something much bigger that us, is about to happen. I realize I am hypersensitive to the signifigance of the sermons now that I am the "preacher's wife," but it is still a sobering feeling. BJ pours hours each week into his sermon, and I spend my own fair share of time readying them for showtime. He brings me a rough draft Wednesday or Thursday, and I try to proof them and make sure that BJ's message will come our clearly to his audience. By the time we get to Sunday morning, we have thought about every nook and cranny of the text, tweeked nuancing and swithched words around, and (in my more anal retentive moments) corrected grammar and spelling. But I still get anxious that we might have missed something, that some sentence may have a double entendre we never foresaw, that someone will be offended, that we'll find people don't agree with us and resent us for it, or worst of all, that the happiness of the past month will turn out to not be real. And every time the fears start darkening like the red storm clouds that blow over Abilene, I have to remind myself that it is in God's hands. And, yes, that the Lord is with BJ. He is with BJ because people in the congregation like our song leader pray that it will be so, because BJ prays that it will be so, because I pray that it will be so. And it is so. Week after week, it is so.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Meet my new house

We have finally moved in! After a very long month of anticipation, I got into my house last Tuesday. We painted the living room Tuesday and Wednesday, and moved in our stuff Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. On Saturday afternoon, BJ's family came in, and we spent a relaxing weekend in the swimming pool. I haven't totally finished with wall hangings, but here are some pictures of the house.

These are some pictures of the living room. It was originally a light sage green, but we felt that would clash with our olive green couched, so we painted it this "aqua smoke" blue. Notice the new entertainment center from IKEA!

Next, these are a few pictures of the guest bedroom. If you come to see me, which I hope you will, you will stay in this lovely room.

This is the down stairs bathroom. Are shower curtain couldn't have matched better with the existing colors and fixtures.

We haven't finished with the office, but this is the work space I have set up for myself.

Our kitchen is one of my favorite places to be. It is a bright, happy yellow, and all of my red stuff looks fabulous in it.

Upstairs is our bedroom. The setting of the room makes it feel a million miles away from everything else. It is our own little oasis.

Also upstairs is this precious third bathroom. All it has is this beautiful tub and a ton of closet space. It's kind of like a walk in closet with a bath tub.

Lastly, here is a back yard. We have 1.8 acres of property, so the back yard is enormous. It has fruit trees, and lots of shade. And of course, our new favorite toy, the swimming pool. As a side note, if any of my friends get married while I'm living here, I fully expect the wedding and reception to be in my back yard. It is set up perfectly for the occasion.

Hope I didn't overwhelm anybody with this many pictures. I guess I'm just really, overly excited about my first home.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm a home owner!!!!

We closed Tuesday morning. I've been busy ever since. Think eight year old girl. Christmas morning. Really cool dollhouse under the tree. Yeah, think that.

P.S. More pictures to come.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

you what?

Something happened yesterday that has never happened in my marriage. Actually, it's never happened in the nearly four years I've known BJ. He walked in the house after a long day at work and said these four miraculous words: "I love my job." I was stunned. And really, really, outrageously happy. So the boy who was never going to be a preacher loves being a preacher. I don't pretend to know what God is thinking, but I like to think he's having a chuckle over this one.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


The other day, I was sitting out on my front porch talking to one of the men from the church when I had an absolutely priceless preacher's-wife moment. He is a Harley Davidson sort of guy, gruff when he talks but extremely charitable. He's is a little older than my father, and he has a daughter about my age. I've been trying to think of an alias for this man, and for some reason BJ is insisting that I call him Pookie. So for the purposes of this blog, we'll call the man Pookie. This is the moment when I decided I really liked Pookie, but I'm glad he isn't my father:

Pookie: So how old are you?
Me: Twenty-three.
(Long silence while Pookie thought this over)
Me: (know what he was thinking) BJ is six years older than me.
(Another long silence)
Pookie: I would o' shot him.

Friday, August 08, 2008

I'm back

It's been a long stretch for me with no blogging, but please be understanding all you devoted readers (aka Mom). I am currently living in the middle of no where with no internet, no TV, and no (scary horror film music) Target. That's right. BJ and I have made it to Farmington.

It's been a good, though busy, first week. We've gotten to know countless people, and they have brought me an ice box full of fresh vegetables from their gardens. BJ has survived his first Sunday, and his sermon is pretty much ready for the next. We walk in the evenings on the most scenic walking routes I have ever seen, and the weather is pleasant with the highs in the 80's. All and all, we are getting off to a good start.

The only draw back is that we are border-line homeless. Financing on our house is still up in the air, so we are living in an extremely small rental home on a road that would freak the bageebees out of Erin (wink wink to my Fat Tuesday girls). I'm trying to stay positive, but I have to admit it is extremely difficult not having a place where I feel at home. As an introvert, I desperately need a home and everything that is involved in that word. I need a place that has my things scattered around it where I can cook and do whatever crazy art project comes to mind and lay on my bed (not air mattress) to read. Hopefully, it won't be long before we will know where that place will be. Until then, we appreciate your prayers that God will put us in the best possible place.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Living out of boxes

I hate packing. I get really, ridiculously stressed out, everything seems like an ordeal, and worst of all, my things become suddenly unreachable in those taped up boxes. I've avoided packing up my art room because it is where I go to de-stress. Throughout the packing of the rest of the house, I would sneak to my art room to work on finishing up some projects. Just before packing up my art room, I did one final painting. Here's a picture of it if you are interested:

We will be heading out Thursday, and, needless to say, I am really nervous. My parents got me a huge Texas star with Texas written around the edge to take with me. This way, there will never be any confusion when people come to our house about where I'm from, and I will always have a piece of home with me. Also, Cary Gay (Mom's boss and my other mother) got us a Texas shaped hummingbird feeder. It is fabulous. And believe it or not, BJ is actually finding all of these souvenirs humorous. I guess he is finally coming to terms with the fact that he married an irreversible Texan.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How to buy a house in the middle of a nationwide housing crisis (or why I keep crying every five minutes)

Due to the fact that I am married to an old man, I am the first in my circle of friends to buy a house. Needless to say, I was totally unprepared for what a hassle the whole process is. A couple of weeks ago, BJ and I went to Kentucky to find a place to live come August. We went through about a dozen mediocre homes before we walked into our (ta-daa) dream home: a small, older two-story cottage that epitomizes the word quaint. It was love at first sight, and to make things even better, it was across the street from the church, so they were really happy about our choice. Our real estate agent (who I love) immediately took us back to the office to write up an offer. The offer was accepted, everyone was gloriously happy, and then money had to get involved.

Basically, two weeks of nail-biting and tears have passed, and we are still in limbo. Things are looking slightly more promising, but it is all so ridiculously complicated. BJ and I are surprised at how attached we feel to this little home we've never lived in. Not so deep inside of me, there is a little girl stomping her feet and screaming "It's my cottage!!! I don't care that there is a housing crisis and our economy is in shambles. I want my cottage and I want it NOW!" (She's a wordy little brat.)

With the stress of the house situation coupled with all of my belongings being in boxes that line the walls of our current house, I am a wreck. I keep crying over crazy things. For example, I was packing our kitchen towels earlier, and I came across some that were my grandmothers. They are decorative towels, so I've never washed them. I held them up to my nose, and to my surprise, they still smelled like Grandma's house. Of course, this sent me into a good long cry, because, as we all know, Grandma would have loved my little cottage.

I say all of this to say that we would really appreciate some prayers. Not necessarily that we will get our cute little cottage (although that would be nice), but rather that we will be able to accept whatever happens. Being an adult is such a drag.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fat Tuesday Meets Again

My best friends from college met this at the end of last week for a weekend in the hill country. We were at a really great resort in Lago Vista, and we spent most of Friday in Austen. Here are a few pictures of our really awesome trip.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Farmington Church of Christ

I think if we members of the Churches of Christ are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that our buildings are generally ugly. I mean, if you want to have your wedding in the church you grew up in, you might as well plan on a background of ancient paneling, tiny windows, grape-juice stained carpet, and badly upholstered pews (and lets not even get started on the subject of the outside of the building). This is why it was such a surprise to see the Farmington Church of Christ: it is beautiful! While we were there last week, I took the liberty of taking a bunch of pictures of the interior. I forget to take any of the outside, but just think cute white church with a steeple. It is adorable. Here is the newly re-vamped inside of the church:

This is the entry way.

These windows line each side of the church.

I love how simple the baptistry is. Anyways, I just wanted to post some pics (especially for you, Mom). And let us all rejoice that there are a few pretty Churches of Christ out there.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Proud flesh

Tomorrow is mine and BJ's two year anniversary. It has been an interesting two years. We've finished college, BJ has found his calling, we've lived in the big city and discovered we're meant for the country, and we've had countless other adventures, many of which were a little bit painful and some that were bend-over-laughing funny. I can honestly say that I can't wait to see what the third year brings. Here is a poem for BJ. It's a love poem.

For What Binds Us
by Jan Hirshfield

There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,
nails rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they've been set down -
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.

And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
more strong
than the simple, untested surface before.
There's a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,

as all flesh
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest -

And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend.

Monday, July 07, 2008

150 Posts

Its hard to believe, but this is my 150th post on this blog. I started this blog the day I changed my name to Gensic nearly two years ago. I can honestly say, the first two years of marriage have flown by. When I look back on this time, I see a frenzied blur of hopes, anxieties, joys, and pains. And this coming month is shaping up to be just such a blur. After are time with BJ's family this past week in Branson, we now have to find a home three states north of where I'm sitting right now, pack, and move in time for BJ to start work August 1st. In addition, I have a Fat Tuesday girls weekend (yay!!!), and I am hoping to get a little time with my family. Today, we are going to Winters to retrieve our dogs and cat from their uncle and grandparents where they stayed while we were gone. Needless to say, its all a little daunting.

Last night, I looked at countless houses in the area we are moving to. It is so much fun to see the homes and imagine moving into one. With each photo, I try to picture what life would be like in those hallways. It is hard to get a clear image, because everything feels so unpredictable right now, but I am hopeful that we can build a good life in our little corner of Kentucky. As always, we appreciate prayers as we embark on yet another crazy month.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Off the unemployment list again

BJ received an official job offer last night from the Farmington Church of Christ in Farmington, Kentucky, and I am happy to say that we accepted the offer. We will be moving at the end of July, so we have a lot to do in a very short time. I'd appreciate all the prayers you can spare as we enter ministry. We're both intimidated and excited at the prospect.

I'd love to write more, but we are heading out in 15 minutes for a week in Branson with BJ's family. I'll write in a week when I get back!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gus's new haircut

If you will remember, Gus's previous haircut (which was the first he had ever had in his life) went disastrously. Basically, in resulted in a week of starvation, moping, and living in a state of fear every time BJ (aka the Barber) walked into the room. Thankfully, the little guy seems to have taken it better this time. He is eating, playing, and although he still has a healthy amount of fear towards BJ (as all dogs do), he isn't hiding under beds or running from the room.

I've recently started playing with the video feature on my camera. It turns out I'm extremely talented at making stupid, pointless short documentaries. So here is the night after the haircut. You can see for yourself what a happy dog I have.

I'm going to be one of those mothers who irritates people by constantly talking about how cute her kid is when it does weird stuff like spit up or poop. I should probably consider investing in a life-time supply of birth control.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

We're back.

We arrived back from the hole yesterday. It was a great week in Menard. We played games with family, ate good food, and me and Mom redecorated my room. So I was busy constantly, but it was all in fun.

My room was still looking a lot like the habitat of a teenager prior to last week. But after a fresh coat of paint, new bedding, a little rearranging, and (perhaps most importantly) carrying out to trash bags full of junk, it is looking pretty good.

Thankfully, it wasn't all just hard work. We also ate lots of food...

played games...

opened presents...

watched movies...

played entirely too much XBox...

and slept...

All in all, it was a good week.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Life in a hole

I am about to leave any moment now for Menard. I love going to Menard because it is entirely peaceful and cut off from the chaos of city life. The only problem is that going to Menard means I'm entering the zone of no internet, and therefore, no blogging. You see, my parents live in a hole. Literally, Menard is a valley. Somehow, living in a hole has had the effect of cutting them off from the modern world. When BJ and I tell people about our childhoods (we both grew up in isolated areas) we get quaint little comments, like "That's so colonial." So I guess I'm going off to a "colonial" existence for a week. I'll catch y'all later.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The road to my crazy life

Today I visited my Site Meter, a resource that keeps track of how many visits this blog receives, where people are located who visit the blog, how long they stayed, what pages they viewed, etc. Pretty much the only thing it does not tell is the name of the visitor. I like to check up on these things occasionally out of curiosity: how many hits am I getting? Do people find my blog interesting enough to stay for a while? and so on. But my favorite tidbit of info is how people found my blog. Site Meter shows the exact source that lead the visitor onto my blog. Most of the time, people find my blog because they were reading one of my friends' blog, and a lot of people come directly to my blog because they are regular visitors. But occasionally, people find my blog by random searches done on Google or Yahoo. I started looking at the search words that lead unsuspecting web surfers into my domain, and I found that is was telling as to the randomness of the content of this blog. Here is a sampling of search terms that direct people to my blog:
  • over consumption of water in dogs
  • boy and dog praying
  • I got peed on
  • at our house we have a dog named gus
  • we pretty much make our living on crazy
Just knowing that the words "I got peed on" lead people to my virtual front door makes me happy. And also a little disturbed. I think I do indeed make my living on crazy.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Inherited Paranoia

I'll never forget the time I was sick as a child with some minor ailment, and my mom took the opportunity to teach me something about my father. He was, as always, freaking out about all the possibilities this ache could be, and it was in turn freaking me out. Mom took me aside, and whispered to me, "Don't worry about all that. He's just like his mother. He thinks everything is cancer."

My grandmother was an extremely paranoid person, so my dad did come by this quirk honestly. Unfortunately, despite being warned at a young age by my mother, I, too, have inherited this gene, and it is a burdensome gene. Six months ago, I had a constant pain in my lower back. I stayed up night after night worrying about all the types of cancer or terminal illnesses that might make themselves known through back pain. Finally, I went to the doctor. It appears I had kinked up a muscle by worrying too much. That's right. I was suffering from a severe case of irony.

This compulsive worrying is not limited to just worrying about myself. I also manage to worry about my friends and family. For the past few weeks, my dad has been crippling around with a sore toe. I managed to get in quite a fright over this. I'd never heard of toe cancer, but who knows for sure, right? The pain finally got too much for him, and he went to the doctor. Turns out he had a planter's wort. As pathetic as this sounds, I slept better last night knowing my father just had a planter's wort.

In mine and my father's defense, we really had very little chance of coming out well. My Grandma Pierce was a nut. She actually got herself into a panic once because she thought her San Angelo Standard Times horoscope was telling her she was a lesbian. Yay, I was doomed long ago.

Friday, May 23, 2008

30 hour road trip + intense interview = exhaustion

Well, we're back. Actually, we got back four days ago, but I am just now catching up enough on life to actually sit for a moment and write. Kentucky was a good experience. They were good, loving people, and we really enjoyed the trip. Look how beautiful Kentucky is:

Interviewing for a preaching job is an extremely intense and stressful process. Here is a quick run down of how this interview went:
  • Saturday afternoon: arrive and play games with the youth group.
  • Saturday evening: have dinner with about twenty people who make up the hiring committee and participate in a small group prayer time.
  • Sunday morning: BJ did the Bible class for all adults, and , of course, he delivered the sermon.
  • Sunday lunch: we ate with about 50 of the members who had not had the opportunity to meet us yet.
  • Sunday evening: instead of the regular service, they set up two microphones: one for BJ and myself and the other for the current minister. Church this night was just one big interview in front of the whole congregation.
  • Sunday evening after church: we went to Dairy Queen with several of the people we had gotten to know the best. It was really nice.
So if you ever are thinking about going into ministry, here's what you have to look forward to. It is extremely challenging, but also very rewarding when things go well. We always end up learning a little about ourselves and about God's church.

After thirty hours on the road in 4 days, we are pretty much exhausted. As always, pictures of our dogs speak more clearly that I can. This is Gus and Sienna as we pulled out of Frisco Thursday afternoon:

And this is Gus and Sienna around the time we crossed the Texas border Monday night:

Yep. That pretty much sums it up.