Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I've mentioned before that Trevor did not want to go on this trip to China. I may have mentioned that he has called us every morning and every night since he has been gone.


I only mention it now because if there was ever a man who hated talking on the phone, it would be my husband. We get in more fights spirited conversations over his a) inattention while we are on the phone (talking to other people, uh huh-ing me to death) or b) tone of voice and/or things he says (he thinks short and clipped is efficient and a good use of time...I think it's rude).

As you can see, the fact that he has called us so much is a true indicator of how much he misses us and wishes that he was back home. He called me yesterday morning to let me know that he had found a flight home a few days early since they were finished with all the work. He had been trying to confirm the flight since Friday, but they were all full.

So, as I am typing this, he is somewhere above Colorado and on his way home. I've been tracking his flight all morning in eager anticipation of his arrival. His mom is going to pick him up from the airport since I can't get away from work, but they are going to stop by on the way home so I can see him.

I changed the sheets this morning so he would have a fresh, clean bed to slip into when he gets home, and there is a full bottle of his favorite coffee creamer in the fridge. As I was changing the sheets, I was thinking about something Nathan said Sunday morning. He and Grace had crawled into bed with me, and as we were laying there talking and laughing he said, "Wouldn't this be great if Daddy were here with us?"

Yes. Yes it would.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday

He Keeps Me Singing

This is one of the first songs that I can remember from my childhood. It runs a close second to Victory in Jesus, but it's a close race. I can still hear my grandfather's voice echoing back through the years, singing this song in the front room of their old house while I lounged on the couch watching their quartet practice.

I could sing all the words to this song long before I could read, and remember feeling a sense of satisfaction at being able to sing them as my father lead music on Sunday morning. I was only 3 or 4, but even then music was a big part of my world and how I related to it. I was surrounded by music all the time, interwoven into the tapestry of my life. It's ever changing, iridescent threads weaving in and out of my experiences and shaping my thoughts about God and my relationships with others.

When I had children of my own, it was important to me that they hear and learn the songs that first became to dear to me when I was a child. I can remember rocking Nathan at 2 am, with a bottle in one hand and the hymnal in the other singing through it, one song at a time. When Gracie came along, I continued the tradition and she really had an ear for music. For the longest time, her favorite song was I'll Fly Away, and she would sing it all the time. Then one day, she asked me to sing "Welcome Me". I couldn't figure out what she meant for a minute, and then I realized that she meant "He Keeps Me Singing". The last verse begins with, "Soon He's coming back to welcome me..."

So we sang it, and the hymn officially became known as "Welcome Me". When Gramps passed away 2 years ago, the congregation sang it, since it was one of his favorite songs. Hearing Grace sing it today in that sweet little voice just adds to the rich tapestry of musical history in my life. It fills my heart with joy for all the things with which God has blessed me. It reminds me that no matter what happens in this life, my heart is filled with a beautiful melody of praise for Him and the knowledge that He is always with me in spirit and will one day come back for me in the flesh.

There’s within my heart a melody
Jesus whispers sweet and low,
Fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still,
In all of life’s ebb and flow.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest Name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.

All my life was wrecked by sin and strife,
Discord filled my heart with pain,
Jesus swept across the broken strings,
Stirred the slumb’ring chords again.

Feasting on the riches of His grace,
Resting ’neath His shelt’ring wing,
Always looking on His smiling face,
That is why I shout and sing.

Though sometimes He leads through waters deep,
Trials fall across the way,
Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep,
See His footprints all the way.

Soon He’s coming back to welcome me,
Far beyond the starry sky;
I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown,
I shall reign with Him on high.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Return to Me

Return to me
Oh my dear I am so lonely
Hurry back, hurry back
Oh my love hurry back
I am yours

Return to me
For my heart wants you only
Hurry home, hurry home
Won't you please hurry home
To my heart

My darling
If I hurt you, I am sorry
Forgive me
And please say you are mine

Return to me
Please come back bella mia
Hurry back, hurry home
To my arms, to my lips
And my arms

Return to me
God te mia ti amo
Solo tu, solo tu
Solo tu, solo tu
Mi amour(Return to me)

Hurry home to us......we're waiting with hugs and kisses and lots of love.

All Things Considered, We're Doing Just Fine

Well, my call Sunday morning went fine and so did lunch. Everyone enjoyed the ham and the dressing is always a hit with his family. We wrapped the afternoon up early since everyone was pretty tired, so the kids and I were able to relax and unwind.

I was feeling very happy and in control of my destiny, so I decided to go to bed early in preparation for Monday morning. I was slated to work the early shift, which meant leaving the house around 6:45 am. I had already spoken to Heather about dropping Grace off a little early, and Morgan was due to arrive between 7 and 7:15 to take care of Nathan. He had already informed me that he was OK to stay home for a little while by himself until Morgan arrived.

So I went to bed with a self-satisfied smile and all was well with my world. Sure, Trevor was halfway across the globe, but I had a Plan.


I was ripped from my dreamless sleep at 10:00 pm by the sound of the phone ringing. Since everyone who knows us is aware that we are usually in bed by 9:00, I assumed that it was some sort of emergency (or at least it had better be!). It was Heather, calling to say that her youngest son Carson had high fever and that she would not be keeping Grace in the morning.

So much for the Plan. The disruption of my Plans seems to be a recurring trend in recent days.

So, I did what I always do when my Plans are destroyed. I pulled the covers up over my head and worried for the next 30 minutes. It was too late too call Morgan to come earlier since she is 16 and still living at home. I didn't relish the possibility of waking her parents and making them angry. It was too late to call Trevor's parents to see if I could drop Gracie off in the morning so I decided to bring her to work with me.

So, first thing in the morning, I left Nathan at home with a bowl of cereal and the remote control and packed Gracie up for the ride in to work. We were the only ones there at first because it was so early. I warmed the machines up and got everything ready for the first few patients. When it got late enough that I thought Trevor's mom would be awake, I called her to see if she would meet me halfway home to get Gracie and bring her to Morgan. She graciously agreed and we set off, but not before Gracie charmed everyone with her sparkling personality and infectious smile.

The night before, the situation seemed like an unsolvable problem. I was worried about the kids, about my job and about being in two places at once. But once things got going, it all fell into place like clockwork. God knew what I needed and He provided a way for me to take care of everything. My boss didn't care that I brought Grace with me (she actually thanked me for juggling everthing). Trevor's mom didn't mind meeting me. Morgan didn't mind the added responsibility of another child, and none of it was coincidence. It was all Providence and I give God all the glory for all the pieces of my crazy puzzle of a life falling into place so neatly.

The rest of the week has been pretty smooth sailing, except for the fact that Gracie came down with a viral fever midweek, but she's feeling better now. We're all glad that it's Friday and that we have the weekend to unwind and be together. Trevor's maternal grandmother is in town, and we are going out to his parent's house on Sunday after church for his dad's world famous ribs. Well, they would be world famous if anyone outside the family ever tasted them.

I'm hoping that things slow down a bit at home and at work so I'll have time to blog more frequently. There are so many things that have happened...little milestones and sweet moments...that I intend to blog about, but then get lost in the shuffle of work, dinner, baths, housework and playing Candyland.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

Trevor left for China yesterday morning, and arrived there this morning. That's 23 hours from take-off to arriving in his hotel room. As you can imagine, he was not particularly thrilled to leave. I felt so sorry for him as I watched him walk into the terminal. I would have gladly taken his place if I had any idea what it is he does at work, but I'm pretty sure it involves math and spatial reasoning, so that was out.

I invited Trevor's family over for lunch Sunday after church in honor of several birthdays we had last week. I spent the early morning today sweeping, mopping and doing some general cleaning, and then cooked as much of the meal as I could. It's hard to get home from church and have dinner on the table without some serious prep work.

I decided to make a ham, chicken and cornbread dressing, green beans, cucumber salad and homemade biscuits. The dressing was easy to prepare, because everything can be cooked, chopped or prepared ahead of time, and then mixed together at the last minute to bake. I made the cucumber salad, and baked a cake. I figured that we would go to the early service, I would teach Sunday School and then be home around 11am. I would run home between the service and SS to throw the ham and dressing in the oven, and then whip up the biscuits when I got home.

Of course I had a plan. I always have a plan. I live for having plans and lists and rigidly adhered to schedules.

My plans were running smoothly until about 6:30 pm this evening. That was the time one of the physicians from work called. Called to let me know that I needed to be at work in the morning to treat an emergent patient. An emergent patient that couldn't wait until Monday.

I asked her if I could call her right back about what time I could get there, because I needed to find someone to keep the kids for me. Luckily, she offered to bring one of her daughters with her to keep an eye on Nathan and Grace while we do our work. Whew! Problem #1 solved.

Problem #2 was figuring out how I was going to cook a 9 pound ham without actually being here. It needs to go in the oven around 9 to be ready for noon, and I'm not sure I'll be home by then. So I pulled out the owners manual for my oven to see if there was a cook delay feature, and lo and behold there was!! Whoo hoo! Problem #2 solved.

So I'm back on track with my plans, and now it's time for me to go to bed since I have to get up stupid early.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Living in the Moment

Well, it's that time again. Trevor is leaving for China tomorrow. We have high hopes that this will be his last venture in that general direction, but I'm not holding my breath. His division was bought out by a Russian company, so even if his trips to Shanghai are curtailed, he will still need to travel to Russia. As a matter of fact, he his going there for two weeks at the end of August.

So, today is going to be a rush of preparations and early goodbyes. He took yesterday afternoon off to run some last minute errands (which included buying me this...he so totally loves me!), and pack his suitcase. I'll pick up his last bit of clothing from the cleaners on the way home, and then we will begin the routine.

Of course, the bright side to all this traveling, is that he is really racking up the frequent flyer miles that I'm going to need to go see Courtney in New Zealand! Actually, I'm going to need a few to go to Denver one more time to tell her goodbye, but then the saving really begins in earnest.

As we prepare for his departure, we are surrounded by all the notices and forms necessary for the new school year. It's hard to believe that Grace is going to be in preschool and that Nathan will be in 2nd grade. I watch them playing and notice the sturdiness of their bodies and how tall they have grown. They are both children now, not babies. Neither has even an inkling of the baby fat they once had at the elbows and knees...you know those sweet little folds that linger even after infancy is a thing of the past? Gone are the chubby hands and the chunky, square feet.

They have been replaced with long, lean tanned limbs and strong hands. I can put Nathan's flip flops on. My heel hangs off the back, but I can still put them on. They have ideas of their own that have merit and they show me day by day that they are gaining their independence from Trevor and me. They are bright, imaginative children with a great propensity for love and affection, and I am filled with pride when I look at them.

The funny thing is that I don't really want to go back. I mean, it would be fun and nostalgic to hold them again as babies, but seriously, do I want to be responsible for a human being whose only function is to eat, poop and sleep? I think not. The sleepless nights of feeding, crying and changing diapers. The carefully balanced nap schedule that precludes any notion of leaving the house. The frustrating months when they couldn't quite talk, but did plenty of whining to let us know what they wanted.

Good times.

And they were, in their own right. Those days had their sweetness as well, but given the choice, I'd rather have my kids the age they are right now. And the truth be told, I hope that I feel this way with each passing year as I see them grow and mature. I want to be content with my memories and the knowledge that I did my best through the power of Christ to raise them to be a Godly man and woman. I don't want to feel like I want to do it all over again...I want to do it right the first time and enjoy my children in the moment.

Of course, we'll see how I feel at the end of these two weeks. I might be briefly longing for the future date of an empty nest just to get a few minutes of peace and quiet!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Dangers of Summertime Fun

Trevor recently purchased an above ground swimming pool for our personal summertime enjoyment. The kids have had a blast swimming and playing out there and so have we. They both swim like fish and spend most of their time underwater.

When we went home for the 4th, we went swimming and Trevor got an ear infection after the fact. He's on antibiotics and steroids now, but Gracie was very concerned about his ears. We told them that the reason we make them wear ear plugs when they swim, is so that they don't get swimmers ear which can lead to ear infections.

Gracie marched into the living room this evening and announced:

I have an ear confection.

Wow. That explains so many things.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Guess Who's Coming to Lunch?

Guess who made my day Wednesday by meeting me for lunch? OK...here are a few clues:
  • She has a blog.
  • She loves to read.
  • She's on my blogroll.
  • She's been to my house before.
  • She's a wonderful, intelligent, Christian woman.
  • Sadly, she calls UT her Alma mater.
  • She secretly wants to be an Aggie.

Although it would be cool to offer a prize to the first person to guess Linda, I'm not. But if I were, it would be something really great, like an all expense paid trip to Aruba.

Or not.

It probably would have been more like a $10 gift card to Barnes and Noble, which is just enough money to get you in the door, but not enough to actually buy anything that you want. It would be like a teaser gift.

But since I'm not giving away a prize for guessing, no one has to worry about getting into a bathing suit for the trip to Aruba or being disappointed at how little $10 will buy you at Barnes and Noble. I'm so glad that I cleared that up for everyone.

In case you've forgotten (because I momentarily did), I was posting about my lunch date with Linda. She picked me up from work and we went here. Their chicken fried steak with jalapeno cream gravy is truly magical. We had a good visit, although it was too short for my taste. It appears that I actually have to be at work in order to get paid.


It's been a joy getting to know Linda. If you've never read her blog, you should head over there. I promise...you will be blessed.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I Believe a Do Over Is In Order

As I mentioned in my last post, we went home to Louisiana for the 4th of July. Courtney, Chris and Jack were visiting from Denver and so we got to spend some time with them as well.

When we arrived Thursday night, Courtney and Chris announced that they were moving to New Zealand. They have always wanted to live abroad, and this was a great opportunity for them to do just that. We were all a bit stunned, but excited for them nonetheless.

We spent Friday morning getting ready for the midday celebration at Uncle Tellius and Jan's house, and then the rest of the afternoon eating BBQ and swimming with the kids. Amber and I resisted getting into our suits at first, but after about an hour of watching the guys swim while we sweated in the heat, we gave in. I borrowed a suit from Jan, and Amber changed into the one she brought.

As a general rule, the only person who sees my thighs without fabric encasing them is Trevor, and this time was no exception. I wrapped the biggest towel I could find around my waist, and then left it there until I made it to the pool edge. Then, and only then, did I quickly drop the towel and dive in at the same moment.

I don't have body issues or anything, ya'll.

We had a great time swimming, and then we packed up and headed back to Mama and Daddy's for an evening of Canasta and spades. Chris is an excellent card player, and although he had never played Canasta before, he picked it up incredibly quickly. Usually Chris is pretty quiet. He's the newest member of the family, and since they live in Denver we don't all get together very often. But this trip, he was all over the smart aleck remarks and witty comebacks for which my family is famous.

Or infamous. Whatever.

I enjoyed getting to know him better, and feeling like he was really part of the family. We stayed up way too late playing cards and then we had to get up early for the sailing trip that we had planned with Amber and David. We met in Mandeville at 9 o'clock in the morning, and went sailing on Lake Pontchartrain on their 27 foot sail boat. It was the first time the "kids" had been able to get away and spend some time together without the constant stream of kids tugging at sleeves and needing a drink.

We stayed out all morning and leisurely sailed around the lake while we talked and laughed. Trevor was a little green around the gills in spite of his patch for motion sickness, but he made it through the morning okay. We were having such a good time that it was a little disappointing to have to turn around and head back in, but it was starting to get hot and we were glad to get into the air conditioned car.

We spent the rest of the day doing pretty much nothing, which was fine with me. Courtney and I had lunch with Uncle Chuck and an old friend of his, but beyond that we just laid around and looked at each other. Sunday morning we decided to forgo church services so that we could spend some additional time with Courtney and Chris before we headed back to Texas.

Courtney and I spent the morning preparing lunch in between packing to go home and dealing with the kids. When Mama and Daddy got home from church, we sat down for burgers and 4th of July leftovers. As is our custom, when lunch was over Trevor and I began to say our goodbyes so that we could get on the road for our 4 hour trip. I made the rounds to Amber and David, and then found Courtney for a quick hug goodbye.

Mid-hug, we both realized that this was really goodbye. As in "Courtney is moving halfway around the world and it might be years before I see her again" goodbye. We had been discussing the move all weekend. We talked about web cams and email. We reviewed the cost of plane tickets and how often we might be able to see one another. But I forgot one important thing.

We would have to say goodbye.

As we stood there and hugged, we both cried and just couldn't let go. We both wanted to comfort each other and kept patting each other on the back and saying things like, "I'll come visit" and "It's going to be okay", but we were still hanging on for dear life. We pulled apart and then started hugging again. I felt like a little part of my soul was being torn away, and the only way to get it back was to not let go of her.

But since we are not physically joined at the hip, we eventually had to let go and finish our goodbyes. I hugged everyone else, and then gave her one more quick squeeze before I got in the car, holding back the torrent of tears that were threatening to fall. I made it just out of the driveway before they came. My heart was breaking at the thought of this being our last time to see one another for an undefined amount of time.

About 45 minutes into the trip, Courtney sent me a text saying that she had tried to send me a picture, but forgot that my iPhone doesn't do multimedia messages. (It is so tempting to insert a rant here about the stupidity of Apple for not including sending pictures in text messages as part of the software for a $400 phone, but this post is not about my iPhone) I texted her back to tell her that I was not adequately prepared for our goodbye, and that I wanted a do over.

So, as soon as I find out when they are moving, I am going to use some frequent flier miles and go see her one more time. This time, I'm going to be prepared for the goodbye.

I'm Still Here

I can't begin to count the number of times in the last 2 weeks that I have sat down to blog. Every time, it seemed that I had something more pressing to do and I never got around to it. I had approximately 327 topics floating around in my head that I wanted to write about, but it never seemed to be a good time.

The lack of blogging time all started with an increased patient load at work. Normally, I have time throughout the day to check email, read my favorite blogs and what have you. But due to the elevated number of patients Every. Single. Moment. of my day was spent trying to treat them and/or play catch up. And just for the record, I would rather be spoon fed my own vomit than get behind at work. Well, maybe not, but you get the picture. I don't like making my patients wait, and I don't like to work through lunch and after my day should be over.

So, all the things that I normally do on the computer during the day, got pushed to the evenings when I got home. That is after I cooked dinner picked up pizza, fed the kids, cleaned up the dishes, watched them swim, dried them off, got them ready for bed and sat down. As you can imagine, the time left over for blogging was drastically reduced especially after I checked my email and tried to read and comment on all of my favorite blogs. Then there was the issue of preparing my Sunday School lesson and doing the homework for my Bible study. I am pleased to report that those two items took precedence over blogging, but didn't change the fact that I wanted to blog.

It's been a whirlwind of activity since the last time I was able to post. Nathan and Gracie both had well child visits on Monday the 23rd, and were both in great health. Nathan is 58 lbs and 49 inches tall, and Gracie is 36 lbs and 38 inches tall. Am I the only mother who lies about can't remember the number of servings of the different foods groups that their children ingest? Does ice cream count as dairy? How about the 10 calorie juice packs....fruit or not? I find myself mumbling the answers to the nurse, just waiting for the look of disapproval. I think I'm going to have the food pyramid tattooed on my palm so I can give her the correct numbers next time.

Then Trevor's brother Will and his wife Charly had their second child on the 26th. His name is Alexander Carl, and he looks just like his older brother Nick. Several evenings were spent visiting them in the hospital, and mother and baby are doing fine.

Gracie had to go back to the doctor on Friday the 27 to get her immunizations because she had a fever within 24 hours of her original appointment, and they didn't want to give her the shots on Monday. Trevor took her to the appointment and she got FIVE shots! He said that she didn't even cry until the 5th one...I telling you people....she's going to breeze through childbirth one day. This child has an incredible tolerance to pain.

I can't remember for the life of me what we did that weekend, but I do know that I had a hard time using the computer because there were two keys on missing on my keyboard. Apparently, one of the cats had been sleeping on my open laptop, and when Trevor discovered her, she jumped off so quickly that one of her claws caught in the keys and broke the "m" and the "k" off. I was so irritated at the weird feeling of typing without all of the keys, that I refused to use my computer.

It didn't last long. By Sunday, I was making nice with the keyboard and trying my best to use it without complaining to Trevor every 30 seconds about how strange it felt. But I wasn't up for trying to blog. I just checked my email and (you guessed it) read my favorite blogs.

Trevor went to Oklahoma City for a business trip on Monday, so I was busy with the kids, and then the week sort of slid into the Fourth of July holiday. I spent every night washing clothes and getting the kids packed for their week long stay with Nannie and Papa. (Oh yes! Don't worry...it's a topic for another day!)

Then we made the trip to Louisiana for the long weekend, and had a fabulous time hanging out and relaxing. I was sort of glad that my computer access was restricted, because it was quite liberating to not be worrying about checking my email, etc. That is, until I finally checked my homepage, and I had roughly 4598 blog posts to read on bloglines! I am slowly making my way through each one, so if you are wondering why I haven't commented in a while, now you know.

So, here I am at work on my lunch break trying to put it all together in one post. I have received so many emails checking up on me to make sure that I hadn't fallen off the face of the planet, which seriously gave me a case of the warm fuzzies. It's always nice to be missed, even if my little corner of the blogosphere is small and hobbit-hole like. It just reaffirms my belief that I have made some very dear friends as a result of my blogging addiction. So thank you for your emails of concern...it's good to be back.