Archive

Archive for November, 2009

Weekly Winners (Nov. 22 – 28)

November 29th, 2009 6 comments

Holiday Cheer has begun, making it hard to choose Weekly Winners! I broke my self-imposed 5-photo limit this week, but still tried to keep it to a happy minimum.

Visit the beautiful Sarcastic Mom for more Weekly Winners participants.

TN State Capitol decorated for Christmas

TN State Capitol decorated for Christmas

TAMU Muster glasses for Thanksgiving

TAMU Muster glasses for Thanksgiving

Craig and Sully

Craig and Sully

Make a wish!

Make a wish!

sup!?

'sup!?

Grand Entranceway (Opryland Hotel)

Grand Entranceway (Opryland Hotel)

Me, Dad, Mom and Craig -- I love timers on cameras!

Me, Dad, Mom and Craig -- I love timers on cameras!

Nativity Panorama (Opryland Hotel)

Nativity Panorama (Opryland Hotel)

All of my photos (and especially more from Opryland Hotel!) on Flickr.

Categories: photos, weekly-winners Tags:

Giving thanks for my favorite Fs

November 28th, 2009 No comments

A little late, but pausing to give thanks…

Family

My parents and my husband at Thanksgiving dinner

My parents and my husband at Thanksgiving dinner

I have the most awesome family. Ever.

My husband is wonderful. I seriously married my best friend. We regularly joke, “Its just too bad we never have any fun together” as we’re doubled over with laughter as we crack each other up. Or if there is something wrong, we can always pick it up in just a few words. It’s… something I am so lucky to have.

And even days when I am PMSing, and I know he feels like he can’t do anything right. And maybe deep down I wish he’d go find some gig to do for the night. (But, you know, if he did, I’d probably get upset that he’s not home. LOL!) I’m sincerely thankful for him every single day, and I really don’t know what I’d do without him.

He’s stuck with me.

My parents are in a word: incredible. I am blessed with parents that are my teachers, my friends, my cheerleaders, and my psychiatrists. I could never begin to say “Thank you” enough for all they’ve done for, and with, me in my life. I am so, so, so lucky. They are without a doubt the coolest parents ever.

Ever.

My brother and sister-in-law probably have no idea how much I admire them. As a couple. As indivduals. Especially as parents themselves. I look up to them, and I’ve been taking lots of notes. They are an inspiration to me.

My nephew and niece are just cool, cool kids that are growing up WAY TOO FAST. My nephew is in junior high. HOW did that happen already?? I was just putting him to bed in a crib yesterday, I swear! And my niece has better fashion sense than me. And I am okay with this. I think. Maybe. Hmmm… But in all seriousness? Those two kids have no idea how much they make my day every time I see them, and how they cross my mind daily.

My in-laws are awesome as well… and I really wish we could see them a lot more often than we do. If I could ever say I have any regrets, it would be not seeing my husband’s family far more often. Miles and money always seem to get in the way. We are very blessed to have them in our lives, and I am grateful to at least have internet and telephones to keep in touch with them.

I also have really rockin’ (albeit dysfunctional at times – LOL! – I say that very lovingly) extended family, that make me smile. And I know I could lean on them at a time of trouble. And for this fact, and for so many more, I feel so blessed.

Surrounded by friends

Surrounded by friends

Friends
Old Friends! New Friends! Acquaintences!

If a person’s wealth were to be measure by the friends they have, I’d without a doubt be a millionaire.

Friends in Texas. Friends in Nashville. My Aggies. My fellow writers. My friends around the country. I couldn’t begin to list them all, but I also do not take a single one for granted. Not a single friend taken for granted… and I am deeply thankful.

Faith
I’m living a lot of my life these days on sheer faith. My motto has been, for many years, “Everything happens for a reason.”

Within the last couple of years, that fact has shown itself to be true time and time again. And sheer faith and belief that it’ll all be okay has come true. I truly and strongly believe in a greater being. I believe in God. And he’s stepped in and held my hand a lot. And for that… I could never say Thank you enough. All I can do is give credit where credit is due… and God and my faith in Him has been a big part of getting through the trying times we all find ourselves going through today.

So this holiday season, I take a moment to focus on three things:

- my family.

- my friends.

- my faith,

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Categories: faith, family, friends, optimism Tags:

Weekly Winners (Nov. 15 – 21)

November 21st, 2009 14 comments

I think I can say that as of this week, the habit of taking a daily photo had been broken. I’m not happy about that, really, but it was bound to happen anyway. A mixed bag of shots this week…

See many other’s Weekly Winners over at Sarcastic Mom!

A birthday gift that rocks the planet... and also Bewbs.

A birthday gift that rocks the planet... and also Bewbs.

The Spirit of Aggieland -- Never forget

The Spirit of Aggieland -- Never forget

Veins

Veins

Light Up

Light Up

Alley away

Alley away

All of my photos on Flickr.

Categories: photos, weekly-winners Tags:

Remembering Aggie Bonfire, 10 years later

November 18th, 2009 No comments

There’s a saying about Aggies and Aggieland: From the outside looking in, you can never understand it. From the inside looking out, you can never explain it. That’s precisely what makes this blog so very hard to write. Because if you aren’t an Aggie, you probably will never truly understand.

Ten years ago, I was a freshman in college. I’d opted to attend Temple College for two years before transferring to Texas A&M University, despite having being accepted at TAMU. So, when I say Bonfire collapsed my freshman year, I have to give you that little bit of disclaimer. As I was not there to watch the Bonfire being built prior to that fateful night. I would, however, occasionally check in on a live webcam someone had set up to document the growing stack.

I had made plans with my best friend since Kindergarten who was already at TAMU to attend Bonfire with her, and then go to the big game: University of Texas vs. Texas A&M. I was more excited about it than I could possibly ever tell you.

I still remember, though, how numb I felt when my mom told me that Bonfire had collapsed and that there were fatalities. I had classes that day, and I went on to school. I tuned in to KAGG 96.1 FM… Aggie 96… all the way to school, and I sat listening to the reports in my truck prior to going to class.

Eight days before, I’d come far too close to losing my own brother in an auto accident. And here I was listening to reports of my Aggie family having lost members, and I felt the sharp ache in my heart.

Me & Lindsey at the game in 1999

Me & Lindsey at the game in 1999

A week later, I went to the candlelight memorial at the site of stack, the night it was supposed to burn. We made the trek over to Kyle Field, where a video of a previous Bonfire burning was being shown on the jumbotron. I will never forget how quiet it got, nor the way groups huddled together for comfort. I will never forget the feeling of unity. The way everyone leaned on one another, not afraid to show the hurt, sadness and weakness that permeated everyone’s souls.

The next day, we went and witnessed “The 12 Man’s Finest Hour” when the Aggies took the win over the Longhorns: 20 – 16. I also witnessed one of Texas’ most classy moments as well: when the Longhorn band held Texas A&M flags and performed “Amazing Grace.”

Bonfire’s collapse had not only affected Aggies, but it had brought in an outpouring of love and respect from even our greatest rivals.

I know that in the years since, lawsuits and studies, finger pointing and fear have all mired the memory of Bonfire and what it truly meant to so many Aggies: a time to gather in camaraderie prior to the biggest game of the year. It wasn’t as much about UT as it was about being an Aggie and experiencing a tradition that was 90 years in the making.

Ten years later, on what would have been the 100th Anniversary of Bonfire, Aggies came together to remember that fateful night in which 12 Aggies were killed, and many others injured. The place where Bonfire had once been built, and today a beautiful memorial stands, thousands gathered at the moment of collapse in a candlelight vigil.

Nashville Aggies gathered tonight

Nashville Aggies gathered tonight

I was able to watch part of that memorial thanks to a live feed from KBTX, the local CBS affiliate. I clutched my husbands hand, and as I expected would happen… as the images flashed in front of my eyes, and I listened to the stories, I felt the sobs build in my chest and the tears fall. My heart was very much in Aggieland at that moment. I can never in a million years explain what this meant to me… what this means to Aggies everywhere.

I was blessed this evening to be surrounded by Aggies locally. I invited Aggies to join me for dinner, and to my delight several came out. We poured over a recent Texas Monthly, and the day’s Battalion. We shared a good bit of good bull from our days in Aggieland, and about our days here in Nashville.

In this one night, friendships that had begun over time at Game Watching Parties and Happy Hours seemed to truly solidify. By the end of the night, plans for Christmas were being made, and once again, hundreds of miles from where the Bonfire once burned, its true spirit was sparked once again. Aggie camaraderie stood strong and shined. It burned brightly… just as it was always meant to do.

Categories: memories, middle tennessee, tamu, texas a&m Tags:

Weekly Winners (Nov. 8 – 14)

November 15th, 2009 10 comments

My first entry into Weekly Winners as begun/run by the one and only Sarcastic Mom!  Fall seemed to explode in my yard this week, so I went a little crazy with the leaves and bright colors of November.

Fall Leaves Covering the Ground

Fall Leaves Covering the Ground

Baby Pumpkin

Baby Pumpkin

Fire Tree

Fire Tree

The Mighty Hunter

The Mighty Hunter

Looking out my window

Looking out my window

All of my photos on Flickr.

Categories: photos, weekly-winners Tags:

Another year older, but am I wiser?

November 15th, 2009 No comments
Blowing out the candles on my birthday cake

Blowing out the candles on my birthday cake

Twenty-nine. That’s me now. My birthday was this week, and I am now officially knocking on the door to my thirties.

I’m not bothered by this fact! Really! I’m not! Believe it or not, I’ve actually looked forward to my thirties for years. I have always felt like they’d be some of the best years of my life, so as I pass through this next year staring down the barrel of three-oh going, “Bring. It. On!”

But, as I look back on the last year, I have to ask myself if I am any wiser than I was when I turned 28. I’m far more fabulous, that’s for sure. But am I wiser?

Considering the fact that in the last year we’ve watched the economy tank, its pretty hard not to answer that question with a great big resounding YES!!

Celebrating my birthday

Celebrating my birthday

With every year that passes… every day that passes… you gain knowledge and wisdom about the world you live in, and it molds you even as you mold it. In some ways, the world has left me very cynical about many things. The fuse on my temper has gotten a little shorter in direct relation to the amount of patience I have these days. I also am slower to trust people, things and situations.

However, in that very same breath, the amount of faith I have has not only doubled but quadrupled. A higher being — I say God — has stepped in countless times at that last second to catch me before I fell. Just when I am ready to throw my hands in the air, a hand reaches out to pull me back up.

I don’t take that for granted, of course. No, I always do all I can to pull myself through. I strive to make things happen for myself. But I’ve had plenty of things happen that make me go, “That has to be God talking to me.” I’m listening!

I’m listening to my heart and to my gut. I’m listening when someone gives me advice, and I take it to heart. I am growing wiser by listening and having faith. I’m preparing for my 30s and beyond.

So do I know what the next year will bring? Not at all. I don’t even know what tomorrow will bring. But I have my dreams and goals, and I am running towards them at full speed. How long will it take for me to get there?

Only time will tell.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: