Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It has been a long time since I have blogged. We have been busy, busy bees as of late. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving (I fully intend to do a thankful post sometime this week.) and a great "Holding Party" for our friends Mike and Casey and their new baby, Abby Kate. It was so nice to see everyone. The weather has been amazing. Warm weather that isn't supposed to occur always stirs something inside me....I find myself thinking back to all of my summer memories. Summer is such a great time of year. All the seasons are great...but summer seems the most alive. The most energized.
My mom came to visit last week and we were able to mark a huge item off the ol' to-do list...WINDOW TREATMENTS. She was there for moral support (even though she always says I have crazy ideas) and together, I am more than pleased with the outcome. I'll have to post some pictures soon. I had to dust off the old sewing machine. The last thing I had sewn, prior to the window treatments, was my half-finished sorority t-shirt quilt. Might want to finish that project soon. Seems like a waste of my parents' money to have all those $20 arrogant t-shirts cut up into squares....serving no purpose at all. I'll have to be sure and put the "You better watch your boys cause your boys are watching us" tee in the very center. Yep....hard to believe I ever wore that. But I did. And I probably had it tucked into some very flared Abercrombie khakis complete with the darkest pair of running shoes (not that I ever really ran) I could find. Maybe even a sorority hat to match....IF I was running late to class.
Proofing lots of holiday and baby photos lately. I have moved all photos to here.
(Holy cow, I made a link. Thanks, T.K.) I have to stop and remind myself that I am actually doing exactly what I have always wanted to do. I am photographing people....and their relationships.....and their love....and their bonds.....and I couldn' love it more. I certainly have lots of improving to do...especially with tiny babies (they are so hard) but I am truly enjoying the process. Tommy says that I say, after every photo shoot, "those are not going to turn out." Well, I get nervous. I can't help it. And....with lighting, the moods of your subjects, the clothing, etc....you never know! Thanks for always believeing in me, babe. I think I could take a picture with a disposable and he would say something like...."Now.....that is AWESOME! They are going to LOVE that!" Ahhhh, the eternal optimist.
Looking forward to putting Christmas up around here. It is usually up in early November---but I am just now getting regular decor situated...haven't had time for holiday stuff. We need to pick a night this week to drag it all out. I will make Tommy turn on the Harry (Connick) for the Holidays CD and sing along and drink wine even though I will be fully aware that he'd rather put on a football game and scream along and drink beer. Hey, marriage is about sacrifice, right?

Speaking of love and marriage and inspiring things....something has been weighing heavily on my heart since June and I want to share it today. The internet is a crazy thing, isn't it? I know it has it's dangers (You're talking to the most faithful watcher of Dateline "To Catch a Predator Volume 467" here) but I have found blog reading to be such a blessing in my life. I have a collection of about 30-40 blogs that I read weekly. That number could be way bigger if I didn't have a job and other interests. I am an avid reader and find that blog reading is like a giant, ever-changing edition of something similar to Chicken Soup for the Soul. There are a myriad of different genres, topics, emotions, etc. I have learned, and changed, and laughed, and grown.....all from reading tiny snippets of other lives. Many of whom I will never know personally. None have touched my heart quite so much as this one. I first ran across this blog from another way back in June and I vividly remember sitting at my desk (which was actually more of a card table at the time) and just sobbing. I went to Tommy and sat in his lap at his desk and just fell apart. I tried to tell him, through heavy tears, and he listened and offered his faith and optimism. Since that day, I have prayed for this girl, who is so close to my age...who is so full of life....who is so in love with her husband...evey single day...multiple times a day. Perhaps I have prayed for her more than I have prayed for anything. And I don't even know her. Yet I check on her at least 5 times a week through her blog (or her husband's blog, as he updates for her) just to make sure she is still fighting. This has scared me....but this has shown me strength, too. The courage of this young woman....and the love that she and her husband share have changed me in a way that I will never forget. I encourage you to go to her site. And to his, too. (It is linked on her sidebar under "My Love.") I am certain that it will touch you the way it has touched me. You will have t go back into the archives for the whole story. But it will be well worth your time. Just yesterday, her sorority sisters created a fund for her benefit. In this, the season of giving, I can think of no better cause to give to. Check it out....and then please, please join me in lifting this girl and her husband up in prayer. It would mean the world to me....and I'm sure it will to her, too. They need a miracle.

Edited to add....her husband has added a section on his sidebar that gives you links to their journey. This will make it easy for you to be brought up to speed on their story without searching through months and months of posts.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

perhaps the longest blog post in a while...

Well, well, well...it has been a busy couple of weeks. There are many things to catch up on! Lots of pictures, too! And...since blogger is so wierd...they are posted in the wrong order! Anyway, most recently...we traveled to Chicago with 3 other couples. We had such a wonderful time. It was my first time to visit that city....and it was beautiful. Cold...but beautiful. We had a blast and hated to see the weekend come to an end. It's always too short!

The view from our room. Such an amazing thing to wake up to. It didn't even seem real to wake in the middle of the night and see the city still all lit up...as though it never sleeps. It's one of the aspects of city life that I am positive that we would love. The aspect that we wouldn't love? No yard for our pups. The rest of the home was just as great. So much to read and look at...an interesting lil something in every corner.

Here we are proving to Justin and Libby that it isn't just Virginia that is for lovers....Illinois is, too!
Here we are behaving ourselves! from l to r..jason and becky....justin and libby...tommy and me....allison and chris.
We took care of some wedding details while we were there. Here the guys model part of their wedding attire.

Chris and Allison at Libby's birthday dinner on Saturday night.

J & the birthday girl

Us girls...celebrating!

The boys have longer legs and always seem to walk faster! Could this possibly be a NorthFace ad?

And we back up a bit here....this is us at Jerry's surprise Halloween birthday party. I was a cat with a sinus infection and Tommy was a tourist. (We are lame costume people.) The party was so much fun. There were some great costumes and lots of great toasts!

Chris and Brigit are not lame like us. They go all out. Aren't these cute costumes for expecting parents??

And here is the birthday boy himself...with his cavewoman.

And here we have the event that has been in the works for several months now! Mom's surprise birthday party. It was a complete success. She had no idea and was totally shocked to see 38 of her closest friends and family all gathered to celebrate! It went better than Tommy and I ever imagined. We all enjoyed ourselves to the fullest. I think Mom had a wonderful time. Below is another of my cake creations! Again, couldn't have done it without my co-chef, Janae.

Some party-goers enjoying the food and company.

Mom opening gifts by the fireplace.

Mom and me.

Awwwwwww....aunt Tracy gets a kiss from uncle Alan.

My other co-chef for the event...my future sister-in-law, Libby.

Mom with two of her best friends, Karen and Patty.

Some decor...

Pictures and memories...

Overall, a great party. We felt blessed to have pulled it off and relieved that we could stop lying to mom every time we talked to her. We spun alot of tales trying to keep it from her!
We love you, Mom and we couldn't have given a party for a more deserving person!

How is it Monday again??