Something That We Do

Love is something that we do!


Devil burrs

Our house trained pup is house trained so well that she refuses to go to the bathroom in the hotel.  Even though she has my blessing.  Here's why she has my blessing to go potty on the floor, or on a towel, or on the tile, or even in the bathtub in the hotel.  It's not because it's not my place, but because there are evil plants outside.  We go outside, and she, at all costs, stays on the pavement..where she will not go to the bathroom.  It's gotta be grass, gosh darn it!  Not even dirt!  

The reason she avoids any grassy area is this.  Her poor little feet get stabbed with these terrible burrs every time we go outside.  It's gotten to the point that I carry her around everywhere, and don't force her to walk at all.  Of course, I do put her on the ground when she wants to be.  Here's a picture I found on the internet of one of these devil burrs.  Imagine these stuck in your skin.  It HURTS.  And, the little pointy parts (it's covered in points, although it's hard to see in this picture) will break off so you need tweezers to get them out if you're not careful.  And of course, it hurts to grab them at all so pliers are a more convenient way of removing them.  Normally though, I just yank them out of Belle's toes and let them stab me so she doesn't feel the pain as long.  Aren't I a good mom?  Haha :)


Poor little girl held it for almost 14 hours and finally peed this morning.  It took her 3 minutes, no lie.  Then she limped back to me and I pulled 9 burrs out from between her toes.

Day 2

Remember, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.  Genesis 28:15

We were warned about the Louisiana roads, but we didn't truly know what we were in store for.  Have you ever ridden a wooden roller coaster?  Those were based off of the Louisiana roads.  Never ridden a wooden roller coaster?  Okay, how about this one.  Ever laid on a trampoline while a friend bounced on it?  Yes, it was that uncomfortable.  I was literally holding Belle because she was flying out of her seat, up and down... up and down.

Along with our terribly bumpy ride (let's just say we're not sure everything is in tact in the truck anymore..) the Louisiana roads made a quick turn forcing us onto another road other than I-10, which was what we were supposed to stay on.  So, we got off of the first available exit so as to not get too far off of our path.

We pulled off the highway and wound up on little one way streets lined with cars.  We were in the impoverished section of Louisiana.  We were in New Orleans.  As we carefully maneuvered our trucks down the little side roads, children who were sitting in the streets playing with their toys were running up to our trailer and hitting it.  We got to a safer area, pulled over, and checked the map.

As Carl and Austin sat in the truck checking the map, I hopped out of the truck and took Belle for a little walk through the park.  A nice looking man was walking by with a chihuahua, so I approached him (keeping a safe distance, plus Carl was right there with me) and asked if he could direct me to I-10.

Oh lawd.... this man is Creole.  This was, no lie, our conversation.

Me:  "Excuse me, can you please tell me where I-10 is?"  
Man: "Hebedegooooooooo"
Me: "Um..... I-TEN?"
Man: "Ubagulee tosh tosh way vlay...?"  
Me: "Um..... she's a girl."
Man: "Ohhhohhh????? Ehh?? Hooooh?"
Me: "Yep....a girl.... thanks.... see ya...."
Man: "Aaaaaah....... hehehehe?"
Me: "Girl.  Good day sir."

To say the least, it was awkward.  I got back to the truck and I don't think Carl could even fathom how awkward I felt.  I did an impersonation of this stranger, and he just laughed.  Loudly.  Apparently judging by our gestures, he had no idea that there was not a real conversation that took place.

We found I-10 again, and continued on our trek.

Stay tuned for Day 3.


Day 1

Our adventure began.  The ride was a little bumpy, but everything was going well.  Except for the fact we were all sad to be leaving our home and families...but that's a different story.  This one is about the trip.  At the end of our first day, we stopped close to midnight.  We were in Loxley, Alabama.  We saw a nice hotel, so we pulled over and started our parking nightmare.  Just as we finally got our huge truck (towing our car) parked, the hotel night manager came out and told us we couldn't park there.  So, we started our attempt at backing up to get out of the hotel parking lot.  If it weren't for another driver ignoring our backup lights, we would've made it.  He stopped behind us and waited for us to move.  Unfortunately, we couldn't go anywhere but forward.  At the end of a long parking lot, there was a curb.  With no where else to go, we jumped it and wound up on a service road.  We figured we would just drive down the service road and turn around our car to get back out.  Ha, boy were we wrong.  We wound up with our truck wedged between a fence post and a ditch.  As long as we tried to back up the truck, we were having no such luck.  Either take out a fence and damage the truck, or drive into a ditch and flip over.  Neither sounded like good options so I finally was able to convince Carl to call the police.  Surely they'd understand our predicament... not being too familiar with a big truck, being out of town in the night, and stressed and tired.  No such luck.  The cops were none too friendly.  

One cop (we'll call him Officer John-Boy) hopped in the truck with Austin and I and started backing out the truck while the other cop (we'll call him Scary Samuel L. Jackson with a nightstick...) directed us.  Belle was not at all having Officer John-Boy back up our car and take us anywhere.  She wanted her daddy to drive, end of story.  I struggled to hold her back, but I also knew that if I were to let go, she'd just jump on him and bark louder.  Teeth were not an option.  Officer John had to direct me to, and I quote.... "Lower your pup, ma'am."

Just as Belle started settling down and being okay with Officer John-Boy giving us a hand, Scary Samuel L Jackson with a nightstick appeared in our truck's headlights.  Um, horror movie, anyone?  I don't blame her for not liking him, he wouldn't smile.  He just stood in our lights and grimaced while making sure we didn't hit anything.  It was after the half hour of incessant barking that we diagnosed Belle as a racist.  You see, in her short life, the sheltered pup has only seen two black people... and both were women.  A black man, no matter how friendly he may look or be, was foreign to her.  Add that to the first one she sees being an angry, tall man carrying a weapon, and you can see why she she has become a racist.  (Side note- she's not racist because she's learned it from anyone in our family.  Some of our closest family friends are other skin colors than ours.  She's just developed a schema of what is okay and what is not.... apparently I need to work on broadening it a bit.)

Anyway, the officers successfully and safely got us out of our predicament.  We thanked both Officer John-Boy and Scary Samuel L. Jackson, and headed on about our night.  We were too embarrassed to stay in that hotel that yelled at us, so we went to a different hotel that Officer John-Boy deemed "trucker friendly."  We now know what to ask for when making reservations.  Lesson learned.

Stay tuned for day two.


Is He Here At The Mall?

My friend, Toe-thumbs, shared this video last week.  It's apparently gone viral on the internet, so I had to help spread the word... it's a great song inspired by a 4 year old boy.  Take a listen :)


Band Performance

A week ago today, the kiddo played in his first ever concert.  He was so proud of his accomplishments on his flute.  And so are we.  Here's his section of the program....
We only had my little camera, so the pictures didn't come out so great, but here are the shots we got of the night, plus a few videos!  
Austin's grandparents (on Carl's side) came to show their support for our little flautist.  (That's a flute player, yall.  Personally, I think it's a weird word.)

Poppa K came to show his support as well!  (Momma K had a prior commitment, but she got a personal Christmas performance in our kitchen a couple days before the concert!)

And of course we were there! 

Seeing the middle school band performances really brought me back to my middle school days in band.  (Hi Ms. Beres!)  Those were such fun times!  I was actually watching an old video of my first band performance and, oh, how terrible we sounded.  But we thought we were hot stuff!  We didn't hear the squeaky notes we hit; we didn't hear how out of tune we were.  We heard perfection.  Pure bliss.  (Our ears deceived us a little bit, but it was well worth the memory!)  
During one of Austin's performances, the whole band hit squeaky notes and I couldn't help but laugh (that explains the shaking camera).  Austin, if you're reading this, you guys did a terrific job and with the amount of effort you all put into your instruments, you will be improving exponentially!  Hearing Austin's band just brought back such fond memories.  I hope Austin will carry these memories with him for a long time, too.  They did a great job.  And how the band teacher manages to teach that many students so many different instruments is beyond me.  Kudos Mr. Dixon, Ms. Beres and every other band teacher out there!
Without further adieu, I present to you... the Westwood Middle School Beginning Band!
(Please also keep in mind that the reason there are so many videos is because some family who reads my blog might be interested in watching them all. If you don't watch them ALL, my feelings won't be hurt!)

Look for a few cameos in one of these... ;)  Wait, are they cameos if the person isn't actually famous?  Ah, who cares.

Get Well Soon!

Poor baby Belle was really sick yesterday.  Really sick.  I was up with her all night while she had some sort of stomach bug, so soon as the vet was available in the morning, we were in the office.  They were concerned about her and had us wait in the cat room so Belle didn't infect anyone else.

After a shot to make the stomach bug go away, a shot to give her fluids because she was dehydrated, and getting blood from her to check her liver, kidneys and white blood cell count, poor Belle was pooped.  She was so exhausted.  

We got the results this morning that her enzyme levels were normal, so her sickness was some sort of scary fluke.  She's back to her bouncy puppy self this morning, and it's so nice to see her happy again.  Yesterday she was flat out pitiful.  Wanna see what I mean?

Those things on her arms were from where they took blood.  Poor baby was so tiny they couldn't get blood from one arm and had to have the other one stuck too.  It broke my heart when they brought her back in the room looking like this.  She wouldn't even look at the camera for the picture.

So once we got to my parents house (who's right down the road from the vet), both me and Belle were exhausted.  Belle had no interest in walking or playing, so we both cuddled up together and took a much needed nap.  Poor, sweet Belle.  I'm so glad she's back to her bouncy puppy self!


My Sisters

Sunday evening (a few weeks ago now), we spilled the beans to our small group from church.  While they were sad to see us go, they were such a source of comfort and encouragement.  We split up between men and women, and let me tell you what.... these women are amazing.  

They're my prayer warriors, my cheerleaders, my sisters, my comfort, my friends.

As tears poured from my eyes over the thought of leaving home, many hands and hugs were extended to me.  I truly cannot tell you how much I will miss these ladies.  

Each friend volunteered to take a day this week to pray for me, and for this move to go as smoothly as possible.  Each friend also volunteered to pray that this move will bring my family even closer together.  I cannot thank them enough.  I can feel their prayers working in my day-to-day life.  I've actually been getting excited about moving!  I didn't expect that to happen, but I'm honestly looking forward to it!  That's not to say I won't miss my family, and it's not to say that I'm not treasuring my moments and days here in Florida, but I am looking ahead to what the future brings.  

Thank you, my sisters, my friends.  You are unbelievable! 


The Princess and The Duke

On Thanksgiving Day,
Belle wanted to play.

Not with me or her daddy,
But with Duke and with Allie.

Allie said, "Leave me alone,"
But Duke was a doll.
Belle even wanted to give him her ball.

Allie showed Belle her teeth,
and I said, "Belle, that's not a smile...
Why don't you go play with Duke for a while?"

So Belle sat next to Duke and admired his red hair,
and we snapped a few shots 'cause they make quite the pair.


Must go!

Scene: Wintery cool day inside a warm vanilla spice scented home.  The kiddo is at school, the hubby is at work, and the puppy is laying in my lap.  We're all doin our thing, whether it be learning, working, writing, or snoozing... it's a nice day.  I appreciate days like today when the hustle and bustle just settles down long enough to recuperate.

We've been slowly preparing for our big move to California and we have decided what furniture we will bring, what we will store for a while, and what we will sell.  We found a house to live in in Turlock, and because it's smaller than the one we currently own, we've decided to sell some pretty big items.  One being Carl's car.  God is so good; with the car being for sale for only a couple of hours, 3 people have called expressing interest in it!  I know that the car will sell soon, and God is continually taking care of us.  We have enough stress, we just need to hand it over to Him.

Amid all this chaos of moving is Christmas.  Sadly, my home is not decorated for Christmas like it normally is.  I don't even have one Christmas piece out.  Last night, I just couldn't take it anymore.  I decided to, at the very minimum, hang up Christmas towels.  My grandma had a bunch of Christmas towels still stored in the furniture I brought back from her house, so I headed to the dresser and started laying each towel out on the bed.

After about ten minutes, I realized out of nine (yes, 9) sets of towels, not one of them was complete!  I either had bath towels or hand towels.  Hand towels or wash cloths.  Not a complete set!  It made me laugh that she got away with this so well!  Nobody ever noticed because they were all so well coordinated.  And each towel was in mint condition, with fine embroidery on it and not a stain to be found.  Today, I will hang up the towels and enjoy the little touch of Christmas cheer.

I'm tidying up around the house today, but I came across this old video and it just made me smile.  My little Belle and her cousin Bonnie.  I might've showed this before, but this pup just makes me smile.  I'm gonna share it with you, then back to tidying up I must go!  By the way, if anyone wants a great rear projection 65 inch television, lemme know.  This baby must go!  She won't even fit in our new living room.  Unless we want to watch her from the kitchen.  No, thanks.


Christmas Survey

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both.  Wrapping paper looks beautiful, especially the way my mom decorates the packages.. but bags so are so much easier.

2. Real tree or Artificial? I always had a real tree growing up, and it was often my job to crawl underneath the tree to water it.  Remembering the pine needles all over the floor is nice, as a memory.  We do fake ones now :)

3. When do you put up the tree? Seeing as how I've only had one Christmas married so far, we don't have a "usual" time yet, but I prefer to believe it goes up Thanksgiving weekend.  Sadly, this year, we aren't doing any decor since we're moving.

4. When do you take the tree down? I hate that part.  Do I really have to think about that?  I don't even have a tree up this year and it makes me sad to think about taking it down.

5. Do you like eggnog? No siree.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My little puppy, Peekaboo.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My mom, and my dad.  Both are hard for me to buy for.

8. Easiest person to buy for? Austin. :)

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, it was my grandmothers and I fell in love with it as a child so one year she gave it to me.  It's small, so I keep it in one of her old powder dishes.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Classic snail mail!

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? No idea.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? The Christmas Classic ... It's A Wonderful Life. Also, all the cheesy Hallmark ones. Love 'em!

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I normally start the day after Christmas to save up for the next year.  Only problem is, I forget what I buy so then I have a bunch of hidden presents throughout the year.  Ask my parents how many times they've heard, "I forgot to give you this on Christmas, happy June!"

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Opa's moon cookies.  I don't know what they're actually called but I love them.

16. Lights on the tree (colored or clear)? Color!  But last year we were blessed with two trees, so one was all colors, and one was white lights with only silver and gold ornaments.  That was lovely.

17. Favorite Christmas song? I love to sing O Holy Night... on the piano I love to play Carol of the Bells, and Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy.  And, Mary Did You Know always gives me goosebumps.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Both, as long as it's with family.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Why of course I can!

20. Angel, star or ribbon on top of tree? It was always an angel growing up, but we don't have a topper yet since we've been married.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? In my home, we opened one gift on Christmas eve and the rest in the morning.  

22. Favorite children's Christmas song? Alvin and the Chipmunks!

23. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Nothing typically annoys me about this time of year, but the saying "Happy Holidays" has been getting to me lately.  It's Christmas, y'all.  If you don't celebrate Christmas, please wish me a Happy whatever you celebrate.  I won't take offense!

24. Favorite ornament theme or color? Anything with some sort of meaning behind it!

25. Turkey or ham on Christmas day? Turkey, gobble gobble.

26. What do you want for Christmas this year? I'm having a hard time coming up with anything.

27. Does anyone in your family dress up as Santa? No.

28. Age you discovered who Santa was? I don't know how old I was but I remember it vividly. It wasn't the best of days, and we'll leave it at that.

29. Eggnog, hot chocolate, or apple cider? Hot chocolate!

30. Traditional colors (red and green) or other colors? Love the reds, greens and golds, and silvers!

31. Do you have any Christmas decorations on your roof? Can't say we do.

32. How does Santa get into your house? Chimney or magic key? Chimney

33. Do you prefer gifts or gift cards? I love gift cards, but gifts are nice too!

34. Favorite children's Christmas Cartoon? The Polar Express... what a magical story!



In 2010, in July to be precise, I started my blog.  I originally started posting and pretending that nobody is reading it.  It gave me a sense of freedom to express myself, and if nobody was reading it, I could say what I wanted.  Then came the followers.  Oh wow, now I have an audience.  No pressure.  Still, nobody that I know in "real life" was a follower, so I was still free to say whatever I chose.

One day, I posted my blog to facebook, and all of my friends and family were free to look.  I felt as though I had just opened up my front door, opened all the windows in my home, and said, "Come on in y'all!"  People came rushing in, much to my surprise.  I never thought I would feel that people were visiting me when they were simply reading what I wrote!

Alas, I welcomed them in my home blog and made them some sweet tea kept writing.  It amazed me how many people were checking up on me on a daily basis, and I felt so loved!  The only problem?  They were still all strangers to me.  I didn't know who these people were, unless they clicked the "follow" button or ran into me in public and mentioned my writing.  As much as I appreciated them "following" me, I was surprised at who some of the people were!  And that's when I did it.  I took the "Followers" off of my blog.  No, I didn't kick them to the curb.  I simply chose to not look who the people were.  I like the feeling that I'm entertaining my best friends and complete strangers all at the same time.  I'll admit, every now and then, curiosity does get the best of me and I go behind the scenes to take a looksie at who my followers are.  And I appreciate that they have chosen to reveal themselves!  (If for nothing else, I'm not caught off guard when they bring up my blog in real life!)

I've felt that I've created a sense of community here, and that people are constantly popping in to visit me.  And, you're always welcomed here.  I want you to feel as though you can come in, kick off your shoes, and sit on my patio with your feet dangling in my pool.  Or, at this time of year, you may want to sit by my fireplace.  Either way, I'll either make you sweet tea, or hot cocoa, and we'll have a good time catching up.

In 2011, I hope to continue growing this community.  What I would really like for Christmas (cough cough) is.......I would like to know more about who you all are! I see my page counter increase daily, but I don't know who my lovely readers are!  Don't get me wrong, it can be fun entertaining strangers in your home, but I just love it when strangers become good friends.  If you'd like to reveal yourself, please click "follow" on the side of the page.  It's really easy to set up an account and you never have to log in to it.  But, if you choose to remain anonymous, I'm okay with that too (I suppose).  You seem to be a shy bunch, though... I can tell that about you!  Hehe :)

Also, since we'll be moving across the country in a matter of days, I hope to really create a community in California.  It's a little bit nerve racking to move across the country and not know anyone, but you know what?  I already have a whole family over there.  No, I haven't met them, and as far as I know our blood is not from the same family tree... but I know that the church members that I will be meeting the very first Sunday I visit will be warm and welcoming brothers and sisters to me, and my family.  Because that's what we all are: family.  It is our duty and privilege to welcome one another with open arms and make sure we are loved.

So, please.  Come along with me on this journey.  Stay with me as I change homes.  Keep me company and in your prayers throughout this crazy ride!



Recently, I have begun cultivating wonder in my life.  I've been welcoming it, embracing it, and becoming good friend with it.  You see, up until two months ago, I honestly thought I would live in Gainesville for years and years to come.  When Carl was offered a job in California, I was really hesitant to go along with it, and I downright refused.  I dug my heels in and said "Nope, we're staying here.  We have plans here."
But then, I realized that my life was not only my life, it was my husband's life.  This was something that he wanted really badly, and to see him happy I would do nearly anything.  So, I let go and said "Okay, looks like we're moving to California."  There are days that I still don't think I've actually realized where I'm going, but the whole process of finding a new place to live, planning our journey across the country and looking into a new life out there has caused my brain to go every which way.
People frequently ask me what type of job I will get.  I have no clue.  I'd like to work in the school system, and I'd like to work with hard of hearing children, but I don't know if that's where I'll end up.  I'm a planner, so for me to have the ability to let go of all certainties is a big change for me.  However, there are a few certainties that I will never let go of, and these are what help me stay grounded while also cultivating wonder:
My husband and I will be married till death due us part.  It's our choice, and we're sticking to it.  That's why we made a commitment.
I have the unconditional love of my family, and some of my friends.  I know they're there for me no matter what.
What more could a girl ask for?  I'm about to go set foot on the other side of the country and start a new life, but at the end of the day I know I can always come home to my husband and our family.  Although I am nervous about leaving my hometown, I know that no matter where I go, we will be okay.  I'm going to have fun trying to find a job, setting up a new home, and meeting new friends.  And all these things make me wonder in a way I never knew was possible.


Reverb Begins

Well, I have a confession.

I feel like I've run out of things to write about.  Sure there's the news, politics, music, family, our kiddo, school, our move, friends, church, our pup, Christmas, and on and on it goes.  But, I just feel like I'm lacking.  And seeing as how blogging is an outlet for me, that's not so good.  Blogging relaxes me and provides me with a little escape.  Luckily, my friend Tiffany has jumped on the bandwagon of Reverb'10, so she has introduced me to it.  Scoot over and slow down, I'm hopping on that bandwagon too!  

Reverb'10 is an annual initiative where a specific topic is assigned for each day of the month.  I'm a little behind seeing as how it's December 2nd as I write this, but I shall catch up.  We'll just pretend that today is December 1st.  That won't throw you off, right?  And so we begin.... prompt number one.

"Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?"

Wow.  That's really got me thinking.  This year has been crazy, stressful, fun, encouraging, and at times, saddening.  But, what's just one word to encapsulate the entire year?  One word.  One...word.  I asked Carl what his one word is, and here's his answer: over.  Gosh I love my husband.  I might also add that when I asked him, he leaned his head back and stared at the ceiling for a good 45 seconds before coming up with that word.  What can I say though; he's right.  I asked for a more serious answer, and he simply said, "Change."  (Insert any Obama joke here.)

I have to say, he's spot on with "change" but I'd prefer to use a word that has a bit more sustenance.  For me, this year has been illuminating.  I've personally learned so much this year.  I've learned about giving more and taking less.  I've learned more about graciousness.  I've learned more about being a mom.  I've learned more about being a good wife.  I've learned more about being a daughter.  There has been so much that has changed in this year.  And it's all been for the better.  And, thanks to amazing audiologists, I've learned about tympanometry and it makes sense.  (I just had to throw that in there.)

As for 2011, there is one word that I hope... no, I pray, that will encapsulate my year.  I want 2011 to be full of edification.  I want to lift up everyone in my life and help them (not in a save the world kind of way, 'cuz that's every 9 year olds dream..right?).  I don't have all the answers, and I won't pretend that I do, but it sure would be neat if we can edify one another and cultivate in each other the man or woman that God created each of us to be.   

As my reader, you can help edify me, and I hope that I can edify you.  I know you're already illuminated a lot for me, and I thank you for that.  From the bottom of my heart, each and every one of you are very special to me.  Even those of you whom I've never met.  And a special shout out to Emily... word's going around that the Stork visited you.  Congratulations to you and your husband!  And I want to personally thank you for having the guts to believe in me before anyone else did in bloggy land!

Stay tuned for prompt number 2.... just one day late, hopefully.