Thursday, April 29, 2010

Our Picture Perfect Family

Hubby and I were recently contacted by a local magazine about doing profile articles on both of us because of our careers in agriculture. We were beyond surprised and honored to have been asked - although we're pretty sure they were just running low on copy and needed some filler!

Because the reporter had a short deadline and a limited staff they asked if we could send in a few pictures to go with the pieces. One of myself at work, one of hubby at work and one of the family. No problem...right? Wrong!

Let me hang my head in shame and admit that we have not had a single (professional or even semi-professional) family photo taken in the 18 months since BuddyRoe joined us! I know, I know, I am terrible! And work photos? Please, I'm the one behind the camera for work, not in front of it.
I contacted one of the sweet girls that we go to church with who is an awesome photographer, but unfortunately because of our short timeframe she wasn't able to help us out. So I decided I would set up my tripod and get them myself (disclaimer: I am NOT, I repeat NOT a professional or even a "good ameteur" photographer)!

We started out Tuesday morning in Hubby's office to get some of him "working." Whoa Nelly. That's all I can say. I haven't been in his office since he first started, and well he's done a little decorating on his own. I have only three words...70s. Tweed. Recliner. Enough said. Here's a couple of those shots, minus the recliner... After a few minutes there we moved in to a grove to get some family shots. I wanted to take advantage of the early morning light (yeah, so I have no idea how to REALLY take advantage of it, but it sounds good) so I took the kids out there before school. I have only two words this time...Bad. Idea.

BBug has a few little quirks that she deals with. One of those involves her feet getting wet/dirty. As soon as we got out of the car the dew still on the ground soaked her shoes, letting all of the sand and dirt stick to them. It led to a bit of a meltdown, which led to our family pictures looking something like this... To get my own "at work" photos I set my tripod up in my office and did my best to hit the timer and then run and jump in my chair without moving anything before the picture took. Needless to say, I had a few outtakes on that effort as well...
At the end of the day I had a family shot and an individual shot of myself that I was happy with (and don't worry, it's none of these) but remember Hubby's office shots? Well, I just couldn't let those go to print. So I made him drive back out to the grove and let me take some more...
These were definitely better and I was able to get something that I was willing to let the whole world (or atleast our little corner of it) see in print!

I've learned several valuable things during this process:

1. Don't leave the decorating up to Hubby. I'll be visiting his office on a weekend in the near future to work on that.
2. Don't take BBug into a grove before the dew dries.

3. Make sure that we take professional family pictures on a relatively regular basis so I'm not in this fix in the future (not that I expect this particular situation to come up again any time soon...I mean Brad & Angelina we aren't, one magazine profile is probably our limit.)

4. My family may not be "picture perfect," but I sure do love them!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So Many Prayer Requests

Do you ever have times that you feel like you're just surrounded by heartache and grief? That if you didn't have Him to turn to you wouldn't be able to make it through another day? Well, that's how I've felt lately. It's not so much that I, personally am having problems but I seem to hear story after story, a lot close to home.

We spent this past weekend in Atlanta visiting my grandma who is "actively" dying now (that is the term her Hospice nurses are using).She had another heart attack/stroke early Sunday morning before we came back home and has been without food or water since then, as she struggles to swallow now. According to my mom (who she lives with) she is having alot of difficulty with talking; but can still communicate by blinking her eyes to answer yes and no.

We're so glad that she was able to see and visit (before the heart attack/stroke) with all of her children and grandchildren, along with half of her great-grandchildren on Saturday. As my mom said in an email to friends and family earlier, we're just praying for God's will to be done now. Only He can ease her into comfort and peace now.

While we were in Atlanta visiting with her, my cousin got a call from her sister-in-law back at their house in Missouri. Lightning had struck her (my cousin) house and it was on fire. At the time of the first phone call that was literally all they knew. My cousin had her youngest son with her in Atlanta, her oldest was in town with her sister-in-law at the time of the fire, but her husband and three other children were in the house. Luckily a neighbor saw the fire and alerted them. Everyone got out safely and that's really all that matters. Luckily the damage was contained to one end of the house and what I'm hearing is that insurance will cover it, but it's still alot of stress and heartache for them to deal with. I'm just praying that things can be resolved quickly and smoothly for them and that they can get back in to their house.

Last week my other cousin (the sister of the one mentioned above) found out that her brother-in-law has cancer. He is in his mid-30s and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Further tests showed that it had spread to vessels beyond his pancreas, and an additional "spot" of some kind was found on his lung. If I understood correctly they are going to surgecially remove what they can and then begin chemotherapy. My cousin said he understands that it's a tough diagnosis to beat but that he told her he just doesn't want people to write him off yet. He's another fighter! I'm praying that with his determination and God's healing he'll be cancer free soon!

Hubby's grandmother (his dad's mom) also found out last week that she has breast cancer. We don't know very many details yet, and they haven't determined a course of treatment but we're praying for guidance and wisdom for her and her physicians.

As if all of that wasn't enough, my mom sent me an email today asking for more prayers. From what the email said, two brothers (Ross and Sam) that my oldest brother taught in years past were playing ball outside yesterday (I believe). Ross, the older boy (12, I think), threw the baseball and it hit Sam in the chest in between heartbeats. It caused Sam's heart to stop and he went quite some time without oxygen (3minutes?). He is in the hospital in Birmingham ( I believe I am right in saying that he was sent there from Auburn)and is in a coma right now. Please, please pray for both of the boys, their family and friends.

See what I mean about being surrounded by heartache? So, please if you have an extra minute in your day just say a prayer for these folks - and then go give your kids, husband, mom, dad, grandma...whoever...a hug.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Match Made in NASCAR Heaven

Kelly, over at Kelly's Korner is hosting her Show Us Your Life series again and today's theme is How You Met Your Husband.

Well, let's just say hubby and I were a match made in NASCAR Heaven.

The summer of 2003 I was going in to my final year at the University of Florida. A friend of mine called me in July to see if I would be interested in going to the Pepsi 400 (NASCAR race) in Daytona with him.

At the time he was doing his senior internship at a large agricultural operation down in southwest Florida and his boss had 4 tickets to the race. Two of the tickets were being used by the boss and his girlfriend, so that left two for my friend and I. Let me explain that we were strictly friends - he actually had a girlfriend, but she was doing her internship out west somewhere and couldn't make it so I got to go.

The first time I met hubby was when I showed up at the hotel the day before the race. I won't repeat what his first comment was, but let's just say it wasn't the greatest of starts. We all had a good time at the race, but by the time the weekend was over I had a very definite opinion of him - and it wasn't good!

I went back to UF and told one of my friends "I just met THE RUDEST guy ever! I would NEVER date someone like that!"

A couple weeks later he apparently broke up with his girlfriend and a mutual friend gave him my Nextel number. He started calling and we started talking, and he was actually very nice and polite. I was supposed to be in a friend's wedding in August and needed a date to fill out the head table. I knew he was going so I asked if he wanted to meet up and be my "date" to fill the seat. And that was the beginning of our story.

We started dating shortly after that, we got engaged (for the first time) in March of 2004, we broke it off in July of that year (that's a whole other post!), got back together and got married in November. We celebrated five years this past November and I wouldn't have it any other way!

I like to pick at myself and remember when I said, "I would NEVER date someone like that", I just married him!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Busy Birthday Weekend

We have been busy, busy bees around here the last couple of weeks! Easter weekend was no exception - we had two birthday parties, egg hunts, church and lots of visitors!

As I mentioned in my last post, BBug turned 4 recently. A couple months back when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday she surprised me by responding "I want to give presents to a little boy or girl who doesn't have toys."

Now, she was quick to clarify that she still wanted a couple things for herself too but I was still impressed that she even thought of that at 4! A friend from the new church we've been going to (and still love!) suggested that I contact the Florida Baptist Children's Home to see what we could work out. Well it turns out that one of their residents has the same birthday as BBug. After finding out a few of the items on her wish list BBug, Daddy, NahNah and I went to the FBCH cottage on Saturday morning (of Easter weekend) and had a party for this special little girl complete with a homemade cake and gifts. We also took a few board games and puzzles that NahNah got for her cottage mates.
It turns out that each cottage at the FBCH has a "home" church, and the cottage that this particular girl lives in just happens to go to the same church as us! As a matter of fact, we noticed in this week's bulletin that she had made a profession of faith at some point in the last week! Talk about a God moment!!

After that birthday party we headed home to celebrate BBug's birthday Strawberry Shortcake style! Around 40 of BBugs admirers (aka friends and family) joined us for some fruit, cake and bouncehouse fun! As always, she was spoiled beyond belief with love, friendship and gifts.

Saturday evening my parents - who had driven down for the party and then took BBug home with them for a week - and Uncle M. and Aunt A. hung out and we grilled steaks for dinner.

Sunday morning NahNah and PopPop joined us for Easter church services. We tried to get some good family pictures, but we were having a few minor difficulties. If one of us didn't have an attitude, another one did!

After church we all came back to the house where Grandma, Aunt Sheri, Uncle Chris, Papa Pat and Kyler joined us for ham and all the fixings.

After lunch we dyed eggs and had a quick egg hunt before loading everyone up for their long journies home.

It was a very, very busy weekend, but it was also jammed packed full of love, family, friends and blessings!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Four Years

It's hard to believe that it's been four years today.

Four years since Hubby and I planned to run to the grocery store real quick to pick up what we needed for a cookout with all of the family coming to help us celebrate BBug's upcoming arrival (I was supposed to be induced the evening of the 1st).

Four years since my water breaking on its own changed those cookout plans!

Four years since my loving husband and amazing OB so sweetly asked me if I could possibly hold off on labor and pushing just long enough for the Florida Gators to finish their win over George Mason (they would go on to win their first ever NCAA Championship two days later, and I did hold off for them!).

Four years since my beautiful baby girl came in to this world and changed it forever!

I've had four years of amazing memories with this little girl and I could never express in words how much I thank God for her each day. She is my daughter, my helper, my comedian, my friend and my heart.

Happy 4th Birthday to My Best Girl! Mommy (and Daddy & Buddy) loves you so much!!

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