Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Tree Snobs

Alrighty my blog readers, I have something to confess: Casey and I are Christmas tree snobs!  With this year marking Casey and I's first Christmas as married folks, this brings the added pressure of starting our own Christmas traditions.  While there are ones we each bring from our own families, we also wanted to start our own for our family.  I realize not all traditions begin the first year you're married, but I want to have at least a few for us, so that way we can say years down the road that we started doing them our first Christmas together.
     When having the real vs. artificial tree discussion (I had always grown up with real, while Casey had a combination of real and artificial), we cam to the conclusion we wanted a real tree.  The perfectly arranged lights and over time the inexpensiveness of an artificial tree was very alluring, but Casey wanted real Christmas tree smell in our house (which I love too!), so real is the route we took.  To make this tradition our own, Casey and I wanted to go to a Christmas tree farm and actually cut down our tree, which neither one of us had done.  Growing up, we always went to a nursery or somewhere like Home Depot.  Saturday morning Casey and I ventured to Old Time Christmas Tree Farm in the Spring area.  Going into this, I expected the longest part of this endeavor would be the commute to and from the tree farm.  I was wrong.  It seemed like there was a couple thousand trees, which at first sight can seem overwhelming, but I was also comforted in the fact that there was so much selection that this would be easy and take no time at all!  WRONG!
     We agreed beforehand that a 7-8 ft. tree is what we wanted, which was definitely doable.  The challenge came in the fact that since this was a taller tree than either of us had ever had that I wanted it to be a little more slender and Casey wanted one that was going to last,  not already loosing it's needles, and didn't have any holes in it.  All sounds pretty reasonable, but tree after tree we looked at would be missing something one of us didn't like, so on we went to the next one.  The funny part was that we both were pretty picky, but neither one of us got frustrated with the other over their pickiness.  We walked through many rows of trees, amazed at how snobby we realized we were, but also that we didn't want to settle for just any tree.
   Even though hunger was starting to set in (and we all know that me without food in my stomach results in a much crankier version of myself) and feet were getting tired, we pushed forward in our search.
After about 2 HOURS (yes I am ashamed to admit it was at least that long), we finally found a tree we both loved and could see it taking it's residence in the Hixon House!  It's a beautiful tree and we both enjoyed spending time with each other walking among nature.  It was wonderful to see so many people out there with their families and made me look forward to the years ahead when we can share this tradition with our kiddos.
     With each tree, comes my tradition of naming the tree.  Sounds weird to some (not to many if you know me well!), but to me it personalizes each tree and the memories associated with it.  At my parent's house, I would always name it after an Aggie football player that had a spectacular game against those Texas Longhorns since we usually purchased our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving while I was home from school.  With the Aggies being in the SEC now, this complicated things somewhat.  What I ended up doing was naming the tree at my parent's house Johnny Everett (after #2 Johnny "Football" Manziel and #29 Deshazor Everett who both had great performances against Alabama and were crucial to the Aggie victory).  At the Hixon House, we decided on the name Kevin Sumlin, which was a perfect compromise being that he is the current Aggie coach that used to be the coach at the University of Houston.  Kevin Sumlin was decorated Saturday evening and looks beautiful!!!  Now I just need to get on my Christmas shopping and get some presents under him!!  Have a blessed week from the Hixon's Christmas Tree Snobs!!
On the hay ride at Old Time Christmas Tree Farm about to find our tree!!!

My handsome Christmas tree picking out partner
The selection of trees was indeed vast!
We FINALLY found our tree!!!!

Not your typical tree hugger:)

Tree is down!

Shaking all the dead pine needles out!!
Binding it up makes it much easier to transport and get inside one's house!!
May I present to you the Hixon House 2012 Christmas Tree,
Kevin Sumlin!

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

Thanksgiving Blessings

I LOVE Thanksgiving!!!  In many ways, I like it better than Christmas (though I still love Christmas too), but as I have gotten older my love for this holiday in November has increased.  I like to think that people are less materialistic and concerned about getting gifts, and are more focused on being thankful for the many ways God has blessed their life.  The point of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, which gets lost easily, but with Thanksgiving it seems that even those who aren't religious have their attention drawn to being thankful for what they have, not looking to things of this world they think will bring true fulfillment and enjoyment to their lives.  You still have the opportunity to eat incredibly delicious food and spend time with loved ones.  The only shopping you really have to worry about with Thanksgiving is that of grocery shopping, which seems much more manageable when compared to Christmas gifts plus Christmas dinner.
      In the Hixon house, both Casey and I agreed that we are not going to have any sign of Christmas decorations or lights inside/outside of our house until after Thanksgiving Day (contrary to our neighbors that have their lights and decorations out in their yard beginning the week before turkey day.  Thanksgiving deserves to have it's day to celebrate it's purpose of being thankful for our blessings and not be considered another day closer to Christmas.  I will admit though I started decorating our house with Christmas decor the next day after Thanksgiving.
    This year was Casey and I's first Thanksgiving as husband and wife.  He might drive me cray sometimes, but he also makes me laugh, I love him more each day, and he is definitely my most treasured blessing after our Lord and His Son.  Since we have yet to figure out how to be in 2 places at once, Casey and I decided the easiest and fairest way to do the holidays with our families is to flip flop.  Since last Thanksgiving we went to Kerrville and spent it with Casey's family, that meant this year we stayed in town and spent Thanksgving with my side of the family.  We went about 15 minutes down the road to my Uncle John and Aunt Regina's house and had a wonderful meal, great time with family, and of course watching football!
   After spending most of the day there, we went to over to my in-law's house to bring my father in-law some Thanksgiving food since he's unable to travel to Kerrville to be with the rest of Casey's family.  We had a nice visit and then headed home.  Combined with some vacation days he used along with the Thanksgiving holidays, Casey had the whole week off work and I only went to work on Monday.  We were able to get a lot done around the house. I cleaned/cooked while Casey made much progress on the hole in the floor upstairs.  Even though my job is great and I love the people I work with, I enjoyed not having to wake up early, dress up super nice, and the way my house looked after me having time to clean it. 
  I hope and pray your Thanksgiving was as blessed as ours!! To close a Thanksgiving 2012 picture!

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34

Monday, November 12, 2012

We Graduated!!!!

     So for the past couple months Casey and I have been going to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class at our church on Wednesday nights, but as of the end of October we graduated!  While I have missed going to Bible class and eating a relaxing dinner with mi familia, the Hixon House has already begun to see blessings from this class that if we stick with it and follow the lessons we learned in the course we truly will have financial peace.  One of the things I loved most about this class is how spiritually minded and focused Dave Ramsey is.  Each lesson includes numerous scriptures, and the end result of the class is to set you up to be financially secure so that you will be able to give to others like never. He really emphasizes the importance of helping those in need and remembering where our treasure is, how it's not the material things of this world, but about the wonderful God we serve/follow who is the owner/creator of all things.
     I also enjoyed the common sense-ness of it all!  Even though I have a finance degree and might know a few more facts about all that crazy financial stuff, I still felt like Dave Ramsey explained it in a very simplistic and basic way, so that those whose talents are in other areas still know what to do.  Planning for the future and evaluating how the money you receive is spent can be very overwhelming and stressful, but this class did a great job of breaking it down into manageable steps.  Casey and I thankfully both were more on the frugal side (though he will be the first to tell you I have a immense weakness for clothes/shoes/jewelry) and did a pretty good job of saving before we were married.  I'm so thankful we took this early on in our married life together because it really made us get on the same page together and get us financially off to a great start.  Taking this class made us tell our money where to go versus it telling us where it went.
     There have definitely been some adjustments the Hixon house has had to make, such as saying so long to my monthly massage membership at Massage Envy and less eating out, but you know we are still making it with food in our stomach, clothes on our back, and a roof over our head!!  It amazed me that once you are forced to really look at your spending with a fine tooth comb how much of what we buy is a want versus a need, which results in a lot of wasteful purchases.  It's nice to see so much $ going to savings and being able to pay off that nasty debt.  I highly recommend this class to anyone and a nice perk is that once you take the class, you have a lifetime membership so you can back at anytime and do the class for free!

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Luke 12:34

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Living Bank

    This past Friday night Casey and I were invited to a "Celebrate Life" event for The Living Bank.  The Living Bank is a nonprofit organization that began in 1968 with the mission to raise awareness of the critical need for organ transplant donors through public education and advocating for donors and their families.  Now it's really hard to believe that this January will mark 2 years since I began my life as a mono-kidney gal and Meredith began her new life.  Seriously, where did the time go?  When we had our surgery, Casey and I had only been dating 3 weeks and this Sunday we will be married for 6 months!  Anyways, this post is ais supposed to be about The Living Bank.  I became associated with them during the screening process of my kidney donation because I was appointed a living donor advocate that is independent of the hospital who serves to advocate for the best interest of a potential living donor.  Here are some interesting facts:

  • Organ donation can occur with a deceased donor, who can give kidneys, pancreas, liver, lungs, heart, intestinal organs, and with a live donor, who can give a kidney or a portion of the liver, lung, or intestine.
  • Over 112,000 people in the United States are waiting for life-saving transplants, of that figure; over 90,000 are waiting for a kidney.
  • Every 18 minutes another name is added to the transplant list.
  • Every 24 hours, eight people die because suitable organs are not available.
     They honored Meredith's surgeon who is such a wonderful lady and has become quite renowned for her success in transplantation.  I saw our transplant coordinators (who I know worked tirelessly to answer our questions and make sure everything was set up), Dr. Lappin and my surgeon Dr. Katz (who happens to be her husband).  Hearing Dr. Lappin and various other speak that night reminded again of what a wonderful organization The Living Bank is and also what an indescribable blessing it is to be an organ donor.  I look back at my journey to be an organ donor, which is something I did not plan to do in my life, but one of the best things that God put in my life and chose me to be a part of.

     My story of donating a kidney is one of faith.  If you would’ve told me at the beginning of 2010, that I would be having major surgery and giving a kidney to someone I barely knew , I would probably have looked at you like you’re crazy.  I’m so thankful that God is in control, allowed me to be a part of this experience, and that my family instilled the importance of helping those in need, because it has done nothing but bless my life.  My recipient Meredith and I grew up at the same church, but because of the almost 5 year age gap our paths didn't cross and therefore, never had a conversation with one another. I knew Meredith was in need of both a kidney and a pancreas because having diabetes for over 20 years had taken its toll on her body.  Unfamiliar with the whole donation process, I figured it wouldn't be a difficult or long process for her to find a kidney donor (the pancreas was going to have to come from a deceased donor), but because both of her pregnancies resulted in more antibodies in her blood, finding a match proved to be something much more difficult. 

     I was at the point in my life where I was in a state of transition.  My life had not worked out quite like I planned, which left me lost and feeling like I needed to do something in my life. At the time, I was reading "The Generosity Factor" by Ken Blanchard and S. Truett Cathy  which talked about leading a life of significance rather than what the world would call “successful”.  So I prayed to God, please use me to do something significant that would make a lasting impact.  I didn’t specify a particular area, but left it completely up to Him to decide.  I then learned at church of the difficult time Meredith was having in finding a match and that her kidneys were failing and she was very close to having to go on dialysis.  I told myself that there was nothing more special about me than anyone else, and with the increased difficulty to find a match, that I for sure would not be, but rather than live with the regret of not knowing I could have done something and didn’t, I decided to go for that blood test and find out, so I could know for sure.  When I received that first call notifying me that I was a match, I was in such shock.  I knew then that this was the something significant I had asked God to use me to do, and when I found out that around 40 people had been tested and I was the only one to make it through the entire process, that further confirmed this is what God had planned for me. 
     I gained a new sister and another "wonderful" family from what to me was just the simple act of helping someone in need.  Not all of us I realize can be organ donors, but we can all help someone in some way.  To you it might not seem that important, but to the other person you could be changing their life.  I know that every time someone tries to help or do something nice it doesn't always work out.  If you at least tried to make their life better, isn't that the point to try to help and share God's love?  Obviously, I am very passionate about organ donation and The Living Bank, so if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.  For more information on The Living Bank, take a look at their website:  Be blessed blog readers and help someone out this week!

" 'When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  'The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ " Matthew 25:39-41

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hixon Is My Last Name?

Let me first of all apologize to my readers (the many few that there are).  Time has gotten away from me once again!!!  I have been going nonstop it seems.  From work being busy, taking care of a sick husband who had a sinus infection and virus ( no worries he is better now and the huge mounds of tissues seem to have dissipated as well), Greek festival, choir concerts, I have had no time to blog!Back to the content of today's post is a thought I have been pondering for some time.  It is something that affects many females in the world (to any male readers I have do not worry it has nothing to do with the letters PMS)

How long does it take for a married lady to get used to her new last name (assuming she takes her husband's name)? It's like the well sought out answer of "how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie roll pop"?  How much time does it take for you to say your new last name and let it roll off your tongue?  I do a pretty good most of the time saying my last name is Hixon, but I will admit that I still want to default to Adcock sometimes.  I know Casey and I have been married for less than 6 months, so it's still new.  I had been saying Adcock for a little over 28 years, so it takes time.  I wonder when I will go straight to the H's at the registration table of whatever event that is now somewhere near the middle rather than the first stop at the A's.  Where in the classroom will my kids sit if the teacher assigns seats based on alphabetical order?  I realize that when it comes to the church potlucks, I will still be with the A's most likely and not have to adjust there.  I'm not going to lie and say I wasn't excited to move further down the alphabet just to compare my experiences at the front of the ABC's.  I've learned that whatever your name is people will still mispronounce and misspell it,but such is life.  So far I'm enjoying my time in the H's. You're not at the end and you're not at the beginning still, but situated in the middle. It's beautiful!

"Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 
I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you." Psalm 63:3-5

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wedding Weekends

So the past 2 weekends, we have gone to weddings.  (Casey was beyond thrilled and excited let me tell you.)  Acutally, while he loves his friends and wants to be there on their special days, I think he just didn't like the getting dressed up and wearing a tie part.  The first wedding was in town and it was a friend from his church growing up that Casey and his family knew.  The bride was from Romania, so the ceremony was spoken in Romanian and it was an Orthodox ceremony.  While I had never been to an Orthodox wedding or one that was in Romanian, it was a lovely ceremony and interesting to see the customs of another culture and religion.  We also got to spend the evening with Casey's mom, his brother David and his wife Taci, so that was nice to combine some family time with the wedding.  Casey wanted to leave before they cut the cake, but I really wanted some cake.  It's one of my many favorite parts of a wedding, but I compromised and told him if I could have a cupcake/cake coupon for another time, then we could leave right then.  We left right then, and I still have not redeemed my coupon:(
     I can say with 0% doubt that my favorite role in a wedding is the guest.  After being in several weddings and planning my own, I seriously love being a guest! I loved being in the weddings I have been in and was honored to do so, but after planning my own wedding, I have truly come to appreciate the role of the wedding guest.  Here are some reasons why:
  • You don't have to get there until about 15ish minutes before the ceremony starts.
  • Getting ready is way easier and faster.
  • You can leave whenever you want and don't have to stay till the bride/groom leaves to help clean up. (which also means you don't have to deal with a cranky husband who wants to leave as soon as the I do's are said!)
  • You don't have to write thank you notes.
  • You don't have to worry about any wedding stresses like rsvp's, flowers, caterers, dress, etc.
     This past weekend the wedding was in Victoria for a couple of friends that we were blessed to meet at church and then moved back to the Corpus Christi area.  I should have read the invitation more closely and refreshed myself on the geography of Texas better because I thought Corpus Christi and Victoria were closer than 2 hours apart and also that Victoria is only 2.5 hours from Houston.  Casey's youngest brother is living the life of luxury in a condo right on the beach there and was nice enought to let us stay with him.  Originally I thought Victoria and Corpus were closer, so we would get there Friday and leave Sunday, but once I looked up everything on google maps, I realized we would be doing way too much driving back and forth if we did that.  We hated to tell his brother we weren't coming since he was nice enough to open his house and not make other plans and we also wanted to spend some time with his brother since we don't get to see him as often.  The happy compromise we came to was to go down to Corpus Christi Friday night, stay with Joel, drive from there to Victoria and go to wedding, and then head home to Houston late Saturday night.  And by late, I think we got home about 12:30 in the morning.  The wedding was lovely despite the downpour that came that day.  It paused long enough for Kevin and Elizabeth to say their I do's, so all was well.  Casey and I got to spend some time with Joel fishing and watching football, so all in all it was a wonderful trip!  I am thankful to be done going out of town for awhile though.
  This past Friday marked 5 months of marriage for Casey and I.  I know everyone says that time flies, but it really does!!  I would say the first month went by more slowly, but after that it picked up and seems like the next time I blink, another month has gone by.  I'll leave you with some pixs from the weddings we went to.

"Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another" John 13:34

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Home Construction


     As you can see, our home is in the midst of a  destruction construction zone.  When we were in the process of purchasing our home and did the routine inspection, the inspector discovered that in between the two levels of the house that there was a very small sag in one of the bedrooms.  Now most people probably wouldn't notice it all and by no means was it a severe problem that was causing any further issues to the rest of the house.  Once I knew it existed though, I wanted to fix it.  I told Casey that I had this fear that our future children would come crashing down on us since the sag is between the master bedroom and one of the upstairs bedrooms (by no means was this going to ACTUALLY happen, but leave it to me to over dramatize it).  It was definitely still perfectly safe as it was, but I hated knowing my house had this problem that we weren't doing anything about.  We figured if it laying in our bed at night looking up at the ceiling if that's all we were going to think about, then we needed to fix it.  It was definitely going to be easier to fix now than it would be later. 
     Casey and I had planned on buying a new bedroom set for our master bedroom before we got married, but with craziness of wedding planning, we just weren't able to cram this into the busy schedule before the I do's.  Initially, Casey was going to fix the sag going in from the bottom, which would also be the ceiling of our master bedroom (scary!).  Since this involved cutting holes in ceilings and dust/debris everywhere we figured it would probably be best to wait to purchase this furniture until after the sag was no more.  So since Day 1 of living in this house and Day 8 of marriage, we actually have never slept in our master bedroom (Sad!).  Look for an unbelievably excited post from me the day my dream comes true of sleeping here (hopefully in the not too far distant future, and don't worry I have bigger dreams, but sometimes they're just the simple things in life!)  Based on some extremely helpful feedback from my wonderful construction-guru uncle he suggested it would be easier to go from the second story to fix the sag.
     Okay, cool.  The main reason we didn't want to do that in the beginning was that meant ripping up the carpet, which we didn't want to do.  You would think this would mean since the incision was going to be on the second level, we could move into our master bedroom.  Ha!  Think again!!!  After getting annoyed at the too numerous to count pee stains the previous owners pet(s) had left and even after getting the carpets cleaned, still looked not that great, we opted to make the investment and replace the carpet in our house (which is not the whole house, only the master bedroom/closet, stairs, and second floor).  Once the sag is fixed, then comes the carpet, we have to go shopping and purchase a bedroom set, and finally we will be able to sleep in the master bedroom.  No more will it be a room I have to walk through to get to get to our clothes in the mornings or to take a shower, but it will have a beautiful bed in it, the planets will all be properly aligned, and life will be good.  If you have any recommendations on where to go for getting the carpet replaced, let us know!
     After the new carpet is in, I can finish decorating the house and actually invite people over!!  Could this actually come true??  Now that there is a hole in my floor, I am beginning to think so.  There have only been a small handful of friends and family that have seen the insides of our house, but not too many because I do not want your first introduction of our house to be the state it is currently in ( and no, I do not mean Texas).  In addition to a bedroom set, we also need a breakfast room table, and a china hutch.  We'll get there one day.  My hope is just that this happens before Jan. 13th, which would be a year exactly since we purchased our home.  Sometimes, I'm not the most reasonable person, but this seems pretty do-able.
   Like most things we want to do in life, a struggle for us is finding the time to do it.  With both of us working full-time jobs during the week, we only have a few hours each night, when there is not church or something else going on or frankly just plain exhausted from working all day long.  You try to devote some time of your weekends to this, but you also want to do something besides being stuck inside your house.  You want to spend time with friends and family, and then there's other times when you have to go out of town and don't get any housework done at all.  Then there's the nerve of us to want to relax some on the weekends!  So selfish I know.  I feel like we are finally making progress rather than just trying to maintain and keep clean from your basic every day use.  Until next time, my blogger readers...

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”  Matthew 7:24-27

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Home Sweet Home

     I have quickly realized how it's possible to not update your blog, because time flies by so quickly.  Sorry for my delay in getting the next post to you for your reading pleasure, but the Hixon house has be on-the-go literally!  The last 2 weekends in August we were out of town in the Marble Falls/Burnet area.  The first weekend a sweet couple in our Sunday school invited our class up to their family's ranch house in Burnet.  Since Casey and I are new to the Honeymooner's class, we thought it would be a great opportunity for us to meet some new people and make some new friends.  I love being home, but I love going away to this part of our state because it's so relaxing and so pleasant to look at what God created.  We headed up there a few hours early and stopped by to visit Casey's sweet grandfather.  This man is so wonderful and easy to love, and always calls me "granddaughter" when I see him.  We visited with him for a few hours, which included dinner at the lovely Bluebonnet Cafe (on a side note, the peanut butter pie is delicious!) From there, it was off to the ranch house! We both really enjoyed getting to really know the couples that were there, such a blessing to meet such great people and to know that your faith is what has brought you together.  The weekend included shooting guns (first time my SUV has transported weapons/ammo in it), playing dominoes, swimming in the pool, singing, spending time in God's word, and just a lot of good, fellowship time together.
     Then there was that whole work thing in between, but it wasn't too bad since we only had to go 4 days!  Casey and I both took off Friday, so we left to go out of town again to Marble Falls Thursday evening.  I tried to unpack as little as possible out of my suit case since most of it was going right back in there.  This weekend, which was also Labor Day weekend, was very laborious for us!  We helped Casey's Pawpaw paint his garage and well house.  The plan I had thought up in my head was that we would paint all day Friday and that way on Saturday we could just relax, go fishing, etc. before we left to come back to Houston on Sunday.  We ended up painting both Friday and Saturday because there was a lot to paint and it took longer to paint than what I first thought it would, the lovely summer heat forced us to take more breaks.  Even after painting for several hours each day, we still didn't finish, but we got most of it, and Pawpaw told us we could stop because that would give him something to do later.
     Now, the main reason for us to go that weekend was to paint Pawpaw's house for him, so it would save him some money from hiring painters and also so he wouldn't fall off a ladder and hurt himself trying to do it all himself.  Ladder and elderly person is an instant recipe for a broken hip in my book.  The almost 86 year old man doesn't fall off the ladder, the youngest person (@ 28 yrs. old) painting does!)  I only fell 3-4ish feet I'm guessing, and there was not any permanent damage.  Though I did get to sport about 5-6 bruises on the side of my leg:)
     Needless to say after my fall, my husband restricted me to ground duty, but I kept on painting!  Casey's mom, his brother David and his wife Taci also came up to the lake house that weekend too, which was wonderful!  I LOVE Casey's family!  I've never had a bad time with them ever, and I always wish I could spend more time with them and reminds me of my own wonderful family!  We celebrated David's birthday with a DELICIOUS home-cooked meal by my mother-in-law and topped it off with my favorite, Great American Cookie Cake!! I'm thankful for both my brother-in-laws for the wonderful men that they are, but I'm almost equally thankful that they choose cookie cake to have as their birthday cake each year!  After church on Sunday, we headed back to Houston again and did some stuff around the house on Monday.
    You would think I could put the suitcase up wouldn't you?  But no.  I went on a business trip to Philadelphia to tour some of the refined products facilities my company operates.  Thankfully it was just a 2 day trip, so I left on Wednesday morning and came home Thursday night.  I was thankful Thursday night that I came home to these things/people:
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." Matthew 7:24-25

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Let's Celebrate!!!

  So I've been wanting to blog and share the good news with everyone (like the good book aka the Holy Bible tells us to do), but Casey wanted to make sure everything was finalized before doing so, which was a wise move.  CASEY GOT A NEW JOB!!!!!!  PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!(Can you tell I'm excited?!) Now let me start off saying, that his current (but soon to be former job) was a job, which we know that alone is a blessing that so many do not have, and it gave us enough money to eat and help pay our monthly bills.  I will always be grateful to God for that, but his job and work environment are not what they were when he first started there 7ish year ago, and the direction it has gone has not been in the positive one.  When we first started dating in December 2010 some nights he would have to work till 7:00 at night (when he would get there at 7:00AM) and then go in on some Saturdays without being compensated for the extra hours since he was a salary employee.  Needless to say this was hard to only see each other for a couple hours on weeknights if we saw each other every day, which we did not.  Plus, when we did see each other, he was exhausted.  Casey really didn't complain (I took care of being irritated for the both of us).  It looked like the only way for things to get better and for him to progress his career any, he was going to have to leave this company.  
     Once we got the resume updated, conditions improved somewhat with such things like him getting off at 6 and the Saturday's he had to work decreased.  So he had hope that maybe he could stay with this job because of the positive changes we were starting to see, but after awhile it just got worse again and clearly Casey was not happy.  We got engaged and began the craziness of wedding planning, merging two lives into one, buying a house,etc.  Given all that chaotic-ness and stress, we decided it probably was best for Casey not to look for a new job because there was just too much other stuff going on.  He actually had an interview with another company during this time, but for reasons it did not work out and that was okay.   The wonderful man he is kept going to this job Monday through Friday (and yes Saturday's again) and it would break my heart when he would tell me on Friday night that he was sad he had to go back there again on Monday morning.  
     Meanwhile, very steadily some of Casey's coworkers were quitting for various reasons, such as going back to school, but there were many that were just moving on to other places.  Now that we were married and living in one house, it was time for the search to begin again.  We prayed very diligently that God would show us where Casey needed to be, and we knew he would answer us, but God's timing and our timing rarely coincide. so we were trying to do our best to prepare ourselves for the long road.  Casey tried looking online for jobs, but he couldn't do it while he at work, and with being there most of the day , he didn't have much time to look on his own. One of his former coworkers who was one of the first to leave this company gave Casey the name and number of a recruiter he had used to find him his next job. Casey contacted him, and after several phone calls back and forth, the recruiter found a job that seemed to match what Casey was looking for.  The recruiter submitted his resume and on July 31st Casey went in for the interview.  (Funny sidenote here:  Casey has to get his boss to sign a form whenever he wants to take vacation, well the morning of his interview that was later that day, this form to take the afternoon off still had not been signed.  Casey went in his boss's office and asked him to sign the form, and his boss jokingly replied back "I'll sign it unless you're going to an interview".  While his boss can not really stop him from interviewing, we also didn't want him to know Casey was looking to leave, so Casey recovered nicely and told him if he was, that he would bring him back something nice!)
    Casey said the interview went GREAT!  He even texted me when he was in the Human Resources area filling out paperwork by himself that there was putt putt outside.  He said everything there seemed really laid back and people seemed like they enjoyed working there, which was a very nice and welcomed change.  This company was very family oriented (YAY!), it's the kind of place where they work hard, but also play hard too.  They told him they had interviewed at least one other person, but were looking to fill the position sooner than later, so at least the waiting game wouldn't be forever, as I am definitely the less patient one of us.  We kept praying that this would work out, but knew if it didn't God had something better planned for Casey.  The following Tuesday his recruiter called and gave us the good news that he had gotten the job!  YAY!  While Casey would have loved to just given his 2 weeks notice then, we decided to wait till we had everything finalized with his new company (background check, drug test, offer letter and other paperwork signed) until he gave his 2 week notice, which he did today.  We are grateful for all that his soon-to-be former company taught him and for the friendships he was able to make over the years, but are looking forward to this wonderful new opportunity God has blessed us with!!

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Monday, August 6, 2012

100 Days of Marriage, 100 Things I Love About My Husband

Today marks Casey and I's entrance into triple-digit days of marriage!  To celebrate the occasion and also do something nice for my husband, I made him a list of 100 things I love about him.
  1. I LOVE that he loves the Lord!  
  2. He puts a :( on his calendar at work when it's that "time of the month" (Definitely a long week for both of us!)
  3. Knows so much about cars, because we will say my knowledge is VERY limited and that is being VERY generous!
  4. He makes me laugh!
  5. His smile!
  6. He cooks dinner pretty often, always a nice treat to see when I walk into our house!
  7. He still asks me on dates!
  8. He's a fantastic husband!
  9. He's a wonderful son, brother, brother-in-law, son-in-law, friend, etc.  It warms my heart to see him care so much about others!
  10. He kills bugs!
  11. The look on his face when I am more sensitive than usual and start crying for no reason.  The look on his face when this happened the first time was absolutely priceless!!  
  12. We read the Bible and pray together every night before we go to bed!  His prayers are very thoughtful and genuine, and how can you not LOVE hearing someone read you God's word?
  13. He is very handy!  This boy knows how to build things, drill holes in walls and connects wires so your television can be mounted, and so on!  A huge plus when you have a home of your own!
  14. That he knows I must be fed before we start any long road trips, because a hungry wife is a cranky wife!
  15. He will take time off from work and then spend 20 hours in a car in one weekend to go to a friend's wedding.
  16. He doesn't mind that I talk so long at church.   I have been educated on how to turn out the lights, and usually am the last if not close to the last person to leave.  He told me if I were an Olympian, I would be in the sport of "gab-nastics" and would win the gold easily!
  17. He takes care of the lawn! I despise mowing the grass and my brief stint at doing to make some extra money as a child did not result in a very pretty yard by any means!  Even when he has worked hard all day, he will take care of our grass!
  18. He remembers anniversaries and my monthly birthdays!
  19. He gives excellent massages!
  20. He gets me flowers for no reason sometimes other than to say I'm an awesome wife!
  21. He is so involved at church from saying prayers or reading Scriptures in Bible class or worship to helping do the podcasts each Sunday at church!  Such a servant's heart! LOVE it!
  22. His heart!
  23. He tries his hardest to make me happy!
  24. He loves ME so much even when I drive him crazy!
  25. He works hard at a job that's not the best, but continues to go every weekday and some Saturday's (Ugh!) because he's trying to be a good provider.
  26. He's my best friend!
  27. He ALWAYS prays before his meals!
  28. He LOVES giving!  Whether it's a donation to a charity or buying school supplies for a child at a children's home, he ALWAYS wants to help in some way.
  29. He holds me accountable and isn't afraid to stand up to me when I'm wrong!  I don't usually like it, but I do need it!
  30. He calls me at least once a day when I'm at work to see how my day is going!
  31. He will watch some of my girly TV shows with me!  Not too much, but some is better than none!
  32. His favorite day is Sunday because we get to go to church to worship the Lord together!
  33. He's very genuine.  You can tell his actions and words are heartfelt and sincere, and that's he not pretending to be something he's not.
  34. How much he cares and loves me.  Since our first date, I have never doubted or had to question how he feels about me, which is so wonderful!
  35. He tells me I'm beautiful even when I have just had surgery and look like a semi-truck ran over me.
  36. I always wish I could spend more time with him!
  37. He takes care of me when I am sick.
  38. He walks an insane number of steps in the warm Hawaiian sun just to get a sno-cone for his wife!
  39. He gets in the freezing cold water late at night just because his wife wanting to go swimming and wear one of the three swimsuits she brought for their honeymoon.
  40. He is super laid back, which is a great balance for me!
  41. He is overall a very clean boy, which is much appreciated by his wife/roomie.
  42. He is extremely patient.
  43. He gets along with everyone!!!
  44. He asked me to be his wife!
  45. He likes to hold my hand.
  46. He puts the worm on the hook when we go fishing and will take the fish off for me.
  47. He texts me a bible verse every day.
  48. He will wash dishes and do laundry without complaining.
  49. He knows how to use our BBQ grill and knows how to use it well! Yum!
  50. Even after working 10 hour days and being tired from that, he goes to church to work at VBS.
  51. He makes me want to be a better person!
  52. He is a dog person like me.
  53. He cares enough to send the very best with a Hallmark card, and even reads more than one now to make sure he picks out the best card.
  54. After God, I am his top priority.
  55. He doesn't mind going to preschool graduations, company Christmas parties, college graduations, or choir concerts to support those friends/family members he loves.
  56. He constantly tells me I'm the best thing that happened to him!
  57. That I get to hopefully grow old with him and then spend eternity in heaven together!
  58. He works hard to surprise me, which is something I love, but I know is hard to do!
  59. He doesn't mind going to marriage retreats or relationship seminars at church to make our marriage even better.
  60. He makes sure we stay in touch with our family and friends and don't go too long without seeing each other.
  61. He has taught me to appreciate and enjoy quiet evenings at home.
  62. Even though we had only been dating about 3 weeks and he didn't really know my family, friends, or even me that well, he came up to the hospital to visit me every single day but one (which I told him to stay home).  This was not a short trip from work to the hospital, but he was so sweet to visit and scored many points with my family and close friends!
  63. He makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world!
  64. He always can see the many blessings God has given him in his life.
  65. He is thoughtful!
  66. He doesn't complain when I come home late and tired from work that we have frozen pizza for dinner.(Definitely not a proud culinary moment here.)
  67. He spends some of his Sears card reward points that he has accumulated over many years to buy his wife a deep freeze.
  68. That he ALWAYS gives me a kiss and tells me he loves me before he leaves for work.
  69. He opens doors for me and is always the gentlemen!
  70. He is willing to apologize if he is wrong.
  71. He is very intelligent!  I definitely married a smart one!
  72. His skin tone!  He's not pasty pale like his wife, and if he spends some time in the sun, the result is a very nice tan!
  73. He comes from such a wonderful family, who I have the blessing of calling my family now!  They seriously are the BEST!!!
  74. He makes me smile!
  75. He makes me breakfast pretty much every Saturday when he's not at work or we're not out of town.
  76. He really does try to listen and understand his wife, which is not an easy task most of the time!
  77. He is willing to learn new things.
  78. That I get to have a home with him and we get to share our lives together.
  79. He is really good about thanking me for all that I do and showing me in return how much he appreciates me!
  80. He is really easy to please and appreciates the simple things in life!
  81. He always offers to pump gas in my car at the gas station.
  82. He gets over being angry very quickly.
  83. He's my hero!
  84. He's very wise and conscious in how he spends the money God has blessed him with,  He tries to be a saver and doesn't have to spend it just because it's in his wallet!
  85. He wants to go to heaven!
  86. He's very trustworthy. 
  87. He's very good at explaining things.
  88. He's very supportive of me and helps me to reach my goals and achieve my dreams. 
  89. I always feel safe and secure with him. 
  90. He's mine!
  91. He offers to help his wife clean the house.
  92. He is such a wonderful Spiritual Leader and always willing to serve!
  93. When I get into bed, he lets me put my freezing cold feet on his legs to warm them up.
  94. He spends 7 hours at Bed Bath and Beyond registering for wedding gifts without too much complaining.
  95. He's super sweet!
  96. His beautiful brown eyes!
  97. He sends me random email, texts, or calls me just to tell me that he loves me.
  98. He takes out the trash/recycling pretty much all the time!
  99. His commitment to me and making our marriage something that is great and pleasing to God.
  100. How much better my life is with just him being in it!
Happy 100 Days of Marriage Casey!

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love" 
1 Corinthians 13:13