Monday, December 17, 2007

bruised body and ego, here I come!

David and I will be leaving for Breckenridge (seen above) on Wednesday from New Orleans. I so look forward to getting out of town and seeing great friends (Jocie and Julia) and having a few nights in a nice hotel with cable tv (I'm not that hard to please really). However, I do feel a little nervous about the getting there and back part. Catching a plane always seems too complicated and hectic...especially compared to jumping in the car. There are so many things that are outside my control in catching planes. I always have this weird fear that I will miss the plane. Another thing I don't look forward to is the holiday traffic. I never had to fight it but I hear its awful. What I think will be fun will be seeing a snowy town at Christmas with all their decor. I am expecting beauty and wonder and lots of fun hot drinks. I guess all the good things will make up for sore muscles I'll have.
Our dog, Cora, will be staying with my parents through our trip and while we are at David's parents through the 27th. New Years will be spent with my family. It is strange to think that this will be the first Christmas that I am not with my parents. I have mixed feelings about it. My parents are planning on having a new year's eve party, but other than that I am sure it will be relaxing. We decided that since we weren't going to be home for the 25th that we would postpone Christmas till we got back. Hopefully, it will be like we never missed it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

how to look like a zombie 101

This blog is a little late in coming but I just uploaded the pictures from our camera into the computer. David and I had several people over to watch a beloved neo-classic, Shaun of the Dead. I was introduced by my cousin whose taste in movies in some cases make me cringe--but he got it right this time. I introduced it to David and we both wanted to share it with the world--a gospel of comedy, if you will. Who says that just because "Dead" is in the title of a movie about zombies that it can't be hilarious? This movie beautifully combines horror, some drama, and comedy. We are not talking about a nod-in-acknowledgement kind of funny here. This is laugh out loud profoundly funny. We tried to set the mood for the mini-party with treats and wine. We relabeled the wine as poison and the skittles were spider eggs. It was a fun night and I think we made some believers out of our guests in the power of funny.
note: do not see the movie if you are especially sensitive to gore and blood or if you hit the ceiling when someone says "BOO".

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

JOY to the world the LORD has come!

This past weekend we attended the Belhaven singing Christmas tree. For those of you who are not familiar with the event, it happens every December and is put on by Belhaven college for free for the Belhaven neighborhood (and beyond). It is held in the soccer bowl where tons of people congregate to hear traditional Christmas hymns and carols from a whimsical people-tree (seen above) with lights and everything. I've always looked forward to the singing Christmas tree--it is such a festive event! This year David and I got a great spot on the ground and cuddled under a blanket with our hot drinks--so fun. Hearing the hymns reminded me of what it was like for me to hear those hymns for the first time after becoming a believer. There was one particular Christmas where I was rediscovering the beauty of hymns such as Joy to the World, O Holy Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Come all ye Faithful, Silent Night, and O Come O Come, Emmanuel. I told David that I felt sad for those who hear those songs and don't know the magnitude of their meaning. I sang these songs for years as a kid and had no idea how impacting the words were. I love that in the Christian life there is always some new truth unfolding before us as more and more scales fall from our eyes. Rediscovering those hymns was one of those sweet moments for me. I can remember singing those songs, meditating on those words and feeling an intense wonder and joy over the truth that was so plain to me starting at that point. I could barely sing through one without tears stinging my eyes. Those hymns are so sweet to me. They send a strong message of hope to the world, to the lost, sick, distressed, and overwhelmed. Well, and I am always on the lookout for anything that's growing hope. What hope there is for us in knowing that Jesus has come to conquer evil in a way most unimaginable!

Friday, November 30, 2007

class of '97

My high school reunion was scheduled the saturday after thanksgiving. I was planning on attending with david and my friend, Grace, and her husband. Both Grace and I deliberated if we really wanted to go. Our initial unwillingness to go was countered by our insatiable curiousity about how our classmates turned out. We both wished we could be flys on the wall looking at everyone. Also, I have to admit that I wanted to attend so that I could show off my cute husband and newfound sense of style (don't think I had one 10 years ago). When my friend told me she couldn't go because her youngest was sick, I decided I didn't want to go either. It cost $60/person and I wouldn't have a buddy that knew classmates that I did and could gossip with me about them. Besides, there was something in me that cared too much about what those people thought of me. I certainly cared in high school but to care now because I want to prove something to all of them seems a bit more than I can justify. It seemed like going would be giving these people (who I have had no interaction with in 10 years) too much power. Overall, I don't feel much regret from missing it. And there is always the 20 yr reunion--though I doubt I will look as good as I do now.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

random things to be thankful for

Inspired by my friend, Cristy's blog about random things she is thankful for, I thought I would come up with one of my own (not in any particular order).

1. The Office on DVD
2. David wanting to hold the leash while we walk the dog.
3. car heaters
4. remote controls
5. church starting at 11am
6. decaf coffee with half n half
7. barnes & noble
8. garage sales
9. my fingernails
10. inside jokes
11. computer keyboards that have the right amount of give with each key.
12. when it gets dark at 8pm rather than 5pm
13. the word "eclectic"
14. scotch tape
15. catalogues
16. coffee rani (you would have to be from covington or mandeville, la to understand this one).
17. calm hot tea from starbucks
18. my new last name being as simple as 'Hogue'
19. hot baths
20. Baby Blues comic strip

Friday, November 16, 2007

mistletoe marketplace, part 2

Last weekend, my parents and I attended the mistletoe marketplace. I don't know if there was a parking space further away from the entrance as ours but that was how crowded it was. We paid to get in ($10/person) and got going. My impression of the event was different than a few years ago. I didn't feel out of place or think that people were ridiculously overdressed which probably means that the attitude of the event has changed or that I've lived in Jackson too long. Anyway, the dress code was no big deal. However, what did grab my attention was how packed it was. You could not walk a straight line. To get anywhere you had to weave in and out of folks and then stand in line(!) to even get inside any of the booths to shop. We spent a total 15-20 minutes inside and decided that it wasn't worth it and left. I was feeling claustrophobic and wondered why everyone else didn't mind being packed in like sardines. I find no joy in fighting the crowds and will probably never venture to the mistletoe marketplace again--at least not in the next 3 to5 years.

Friday, November 9, 2007

mistletoe marketplace

I am attempting to go to the mistletoe marketplace again this year. I have gone once before and enjoyed the idea of having all these vendors in one spot. However, I was completely surprised to see women dressed to the nines (high heeled shoes, nice clothes) to go shopping. Comfort would seem important since you are walking around a huge floor for several hours--but not to these ladies. I have this rebellious streak that wants to walk in there with jeans, tennis shoes, and my LSU t-shirt just to fly in the face of all the froo-froo, ole miss lovin', haute couture wearin' ladies. I think I would do it too if it were not too cold for me to wear a short-sleeved shirt. We'll see how it goes. I may have a different impression this year.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

some observations...

Has anyone ever noticed that presbyterians don't like to use the word "Jesus"? I will hear "Lord" and I will hear "Christ". If I use "Jesus", I see people begin to pale and look uncomfortable. Perhaps they believe I speak too familiar of our Messiah or perhaps they think that I'm a baptist (the worst of crimes for some presbyterians, unfortunately). Sometimes I will use "Jesus" just to ruffle unspoken feathers. This is His Name after all. Isn't it silly that some presbyterians will not use "Jesus" because it sounds less elegant than "Christ"? Is this just me? I get the same expression, by the way, if I speak too emotionally about my relationship to Jesus. If I were to say "I love Jesus" to some presbyterians, I would get a funny look and probably misjudged for someone who is not theologically bent. They would be wrong.

Also, here is another observation of Christian culture down here in Jackson. There are some people who don't talk about God at all. They start to look weirded out if I mention the role Jesus plays in my life. It is almost as if they think it is uncool to talk about things like that--as if it should be taken for granted. These people claim to be believers and I give them the benefit of the doubt (I have seen some fruit) but I can't have a spiritual conversation with them for anything. What is up with that? They seem to think that to talk about it would overspiritualize an issue. I get that there are Christians who will overspiritualize and that is not a healthy way to go, but must we move to the extreme opposite? Huh?!

Friday, November 2, 2007

I am not pregnant

Ok, now that I've stated that I can freely tell the world that I hate feeling nauseous which I am at the very moment. Blech!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

you can't beat free

I gotta call last week from some guys from "Specialty Brides" (so they said) telling me that I was signed up for something or so and won. Ok, I am really skeptical about this voice message and I don't call back. They call again and this time I answer. This very charismatic (too much so) tells me that I can have a condo for 7nights free if I go to listen to this sh peal (sp?) about some cookware and that if I want to get the free condo I have to bring my husband. I get the time, place, and date. I tell David about it knowing that he will feel as suspicious as I had. But at this point, I think that I could at least try it out. I was told that I didn't have to pay ANYTHING and we would get some free food too. David did feel suspicious and begrudged going (understandably since it seemed we were letting ourselves get duped). We walked into the hotel where the showcase was located telling each other that no matter what, we will not buy a thing. We will take the vacation if they give it as freely as they stated but that we weren't really expecting it to be as straight-forward as all that. We listened to a hyper guy talk about this cookware. It WAS really neat cookware and a very convincing demonstration. If I had not had cookware and was engaged and needed to register for it, I would have chosen this stuff. Nonetheless, that was not in our pact. We got the free condo. We get to choose from a variety of spots as well as get some great discounts for a year--like 50% off a cruise, or all-inclusive resort, or 4 or 5 star hotels. I'm glad David was with me because I would have bought something. I felt so guilty walking away with this vacation and not buying even a knife (which by the way cost over $100). I imagined the salesmen being disgruntled. David didn't feel bad. He was quite ready say, "We are not interested. Give us our vacation now, please."

If you get a call like this from Specialty Brides you should definitely go and acquire a free condo. I can't yet attest to what it will be like but I do have a list of great places to go like Gatlinburg, Lake Tahoe, Colorado Rockies, Orlando, Daytona Beach...etc. I guess I was less suspicious about it overall (not that I didn't have reservations) because growing up we took many free vacations through timeshare companies trying to get us to buy their stuff. We would enjoy a nice place and maybe spend a few hours with a sales rep as he/she shows us their property (with no intention to buy). You just can't beat free.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Yesterday morning I dropped off Cora at the vet so that she could get spayed. I felt terrible when I had to put her in one of their cages and walk away. I could hear her thinking, "Where are you going, Mama?" and "Come back." I could hear her crying and barking while I was in the lobby. When I picked her up in the afternoon she was still out of it because of the anesthesia but I still thought in the back of my mind that she just was forlorn. I interpreted her look as a you-betrayed-me look. I know this is good for her and the population of dogs, in general, but I still hated that I caused that pain. She kept us up a bit during the night because of her pain and restlessness. Poor thing.

This morning she is feeling much better. She was happy though she still felt pain and was moving slower than usual (which was a nice change of pace, actually). All the same, we are glad to have her back!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

at a loss for words

I don't have anything to say so I thought I would post a bunch of random pictures. How's that?

On a big boat in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico watching a song and dance show while we waited for our bartender to take our order for some yummy drinks.

My wonderful, fabulous God-send of a prayer group. We've been meeting together for a year now and I am so thankful for their friendships. Old picture though, because lady with the baby, Katie, has moved to Maryland and girl to the right of her, Megumi (Meg for short), is 6 mos. pregnant. But Laura Christel and I look the same.

Yes, I realize that this picture requires some explanation. Somewhere in that explanation are the words Harry Potter and book release and fanatics.

Cora's surrogate grandparents enjoying her rambunctiousness.

Cora at about 4 mos. old. She refused to pose for the camera.

Monday, October 8, 2007


David informed Twin Lakes on Saturday that it was time for us to move on. So, it is official that after almost 3 years I'm not going to be spending one weekend a month there anymore. I feel very sentimental about it. I have a strong feeling of loyalty to that place and those people. As I mentioned on another post "they are my kind of people". I feel so at home there. It was a good job AND I met my husband there. Don't get me wrong, though. I am sad but I am not sorry that I won't have to spend winter nights on a golf cart with no heat and freezing winds in my face to all hours of the night while we wait for guests to go to bed. I get cold just thinking about it. Since I am making more money through the long stint of substituting I have been doing we are covered financially. Also, David was asked if he was interested in tutoring a Veritas student. So, that may come to fruition as well. The timing for leaving TL is just right it seems from both ends.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

rose-colored glasses

Some of you may dispute what I am about to write by stating that I have rose-colored glasses on. Maybe so. It doesn't matter. In the words of Jack Black from the movie "Shallow Hal" (paraphrased): if i think i am dating a hot chick and you don't see it, why should i care? I still see a hot chick.

I believe that Bono, the lead singer of the world-famous band U2, looks like my beloved David. And happy am I since I have had a crush on Bono for years. I admit that when I first met David I didn't see Bono. It was after some time of dating that I could see similar characteristics. Here are some pictures of Bono and you can decide for yourself. I see similarities in the nose, shape of the head, teeth, crinkly wrinkles around the eyes, mouth.

If I gave David some "bono-shades" and maybe a cowboy hat you would see what I mean.

Friday, September 21, 2007

a letter to a loved one

Dear Tony,
You are gone. You left your body this morning. All that is left of you is the shell of a body that was too weak for this world. It will return to the dust from which it came, but not you. You are in a place where you can run and not grow weary. You can't be tired, sick, or sorrowful where you are. I laughed when I thought of you in your new home mountain hiking, and playing hockey, and having way more life than you've ever had, even on your best days here on earth. The tears of sadness have become tears of joy for you. You walk with Jesus. You can see Him, touch Him, talk to Him. Your time of suffering has past. I'll miss you here. I look forward to laughing and eating with you on that great day. We'll rejoice and worship our Savior together. I'm thankful, so thankful, that you are home. I love you.

Ten thousand times ten thousand in sparkling raiment bright
the armies of a thousand saints throng up the steeps of light
Tis' finished, all is finished, their fight with death and sin
Fling open wide the golden gates and let the victors in.

What rush of alleluias fill all the earth and sky
what ringing of a thousand harps bespeaks the triumph nigh
O day for which creation, and all its tribes were made
O joy for all its former woes a thousand-fold repaid.

O then what raptured greetings on Canaan's happy shore.
What knitting severed friendships up, where partings are no more
Eyes of joy shall sparkle, that brimmed of tears of late.
Orphans no longer fatherless, nor widows desolate.

Bring near they great salvation, Thou Lamb for sinners slain
Fill up the roll of thine elect and take thy power and reign
Appear Desire of nations, thine exiles long for home
Fill up the heav'ns with thy promised sign;
Thou Prince and Savior come.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

they grow so fast...

well, I've finally downloaded into my computer some recent and not- so- recent (too cute to leave out) pics of our little girl-pup, Cora. Here they are. I feel sad that I can't pick her up anymore (heavy and a bit awkward to tell the truth).

Monday, September 17, 2007

I fixed the link to the elizabeth's world race blog for those of you who tried but failed to get onto her website. sorry about that.

autumn, pumpkins, hot drinks, crisp air

It's only September, I know. In Mississippi, that means that we have a good month of heat before I will even think about dragging my sweaters out from under the bed. But the cool front this weekend stirred my blood. I didn't want to waste it so I convinced David to go to the reservoir with me and we took Cora along for her first visit. It turned out fun for her and for us as we watched her. She loved the open spaces and she was delighted to make new friends with EVERY stranger we came across. So much for hopes of having a guard dog. However, the fun soon turned ugly as Cora and her wet self decided to jump on innocent passersby. We were constantly taking turns to get her and apologize profusely to those with paw prints stamped on their pants. Because of said incidents we did not read much of any of the books we brought. It didn't matter though, I still loved it. These are the days when things just feel right. I felt a strong urge to go to Wal-mart to buy school supplies, decorate the house in fall leaves, and drink a pumpkin spice drink from Starbucks. I'll save that for October and November, however. This is the beginning of the anticipation of the holidays. I love this season. I hope to enjoy it to the max--go camping, long strolls through our neighborhood, maybe even go to the state fair, or a football game.

As soon as I can, I will post pictures of sweet and devious Cora. We got her when she was 3 lbs and now she is a whopping 36lbs!!

Friday, September 7, 2007


Life goes on as usual in the Hogue household. Cora leaves destruction and laughs (and sometimes groans) in her wake. She found cork board that I had lying around and the next time I went upstairs bits of cork covered our floors. What's sad was that we were both so busy that we left it there for a couple of days- we just stepped over it. I'm teaching 5 extra classes lately to cover for a faculty member whose been out because of health issues. But as life carries on for us in the normal way our hearts go out to my cousin Tony and his family as they deal with some of the best and worst things life can hand you. He is on hospice care after almost two years of battling an aggressive and rare cancer of the kidney (which has spread to several areas, including the lungs). Those of you who don't know him--I wish you did. He is a fun loving guy, with a safe and corny sense of humor. He's never afraid of making fun of himself. But at the same time he has heart. He listens to people with interest and care. People feel loved around him. He is also very sensible and resourceful. He'll do the craziest things but at the same time he has pragmatic way that tells you his craziest risk is calculated. He's a great mind with a great heart. He is the guy that plays a fierce game of rollerhockey, that will quit his job to travel in a van (BETSY!!!!) to see the last frontier, that will buy a homeless man a sleeping bag b/c it is getting cold outside, he'll write letters to our government to help open eyes about injustices going on around the world. I've never met anyone like him. I admire him for so many things. As he suffers, he speaks of the blessings he has been given. He is thankful for time (he got way more than anyone thought-Praise God), for his wife who has been faithful, persevering, caring, and wonderful, and his kids who are the apple of his eye. He has been given a beautiful family, caring friends and coworkers. Had he not suffered from cancer, I don't think he would have known how much people loved him (its sad that it takes disaster to see how much a person is valued).

As he suffers, I wonder where his heart is. I wonder how the Lord is making Himself present to him. I wonder what I could say, if anything, that could add comfort. What do you say to someone who has experienced something that you haven't yet? There is something in me that wants to go on and on to him about how wonderful and beautiful life will be when he is reunited with Jesus, his Savior (yes, he is a believer) but is that what someone wants to hear? needs to hear? Does he need to know that his kids will be taken care of and loved? Do I tell him that I am praying for them? Do I give him space? All I really feel safe to do at this point is pray and love on him from afar. I think doing anything else might be intrusive or exhausting for him. I wish I just knew, like I know how to walk, how to make it better, easier, smoother for him as he walks this road. Words seem like never enough. I want hug him and just sit there with him. Listen to him. Serve him.

I have my own emotions that I am wading through. I wonder why the Lord is doing it. And though I have theories, I am sure that what the Lord is planning is a far more superior work in progress--a far more complex plan than I can imagine...yet I hate it. I hate seeing so many people, not just Tony, hurt. I've talked often with the Lord about it. I don't understand it, and I worry a lot about how Tony's illness and possible death would affect my family. I know the Lord to be a loving Father who watches over his children with tenderness and gentility. I want my family to know Him this way too. A big fear that I sit with is that this cancer that plagued such a great person (that is highly regarded member of our family) will harden people's hearts against the Lord who loves them dearly. I can't instill in them the kind of faith I wish they had. All I can do is pray that this will draw them closer to Him, that they can be comforted by Him. Ultimately I can trust that the Lord knows what he is doing. "Trust the Lord and lean not on your own understanding...."

All of this has caused me to meditate on suffering a great deal...but that is another blog. May the Lord be blessing you through whatever trials you are enduring.

Monday, August 6, 2007

sweet summer

I'm not sure I am looking forward to this season ending. David is starting back at Prep soon and I will be following suit. I am loathe to think about any adjustments to having him gone most of the day again. I had SO much fun with him these past few months. It really is such a wonderful thing to be married to your bestfriend. We've accomplished most of what we hoped to this summer (the fun stuff and the stuff that just needed to get done i.e. car tags). It was relaxing and when we got our puppy it was just exciting (and tiring). I am so thankful that the Lord has given us a quiet season after a couple of years of just plain craziness, if you know what I mean;).

Despite how much I will miss my beloved, it will be good for me to have my own schedule. I get more housework done when he's not around. Not to mention, I will see more friends. I have become a friend hermit with the exception of my prayer group. So, you may be getting a call from me in the near future, friends out there.

This summertime experience has made me want him to continue teaching so that we'll always have the summer! David and I both like the slow and simple pace of life. It's so appealing (although David will admit it is difficult to not have a schedule when he's off).

Well, my thoughts are all over today. I hope you've made sense of it. Just think of it as a field trip through my mind.

So, here's looking to another year of school, marriage and whatever else the Lord puts in our path.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

a truly amazing race

One of my bestfriends, Elizabeth Scaife (pictured above), left at the beginning of the summer to become a part of a ministry called the World Race. It functions much like the show on primetime called the "Amazing Race" but instead of beating each other to a goal destination they spend 4-6 weeks in each country ministering to the people there. Right now, her team is in Swaziland, South Africa. They will continue on to so many exotic and yet hurting regions. She has always had a heart for missions and, appropriately, a talent for foreign languages. Prior to this adventure, she spent more than a year in New Orleans organizing teams to help bring native folks get back on their feet after Katrina. I love this girl. We've been apart of each others lives since elementary school. She is gone for a year and she is the second friend that is leaving this summer for long term missions. (The others are the Slawsons and can be seen on their link at the top right called 'Siberian Grits'). I admire their calling but am sad that they aren't close to home for awhile. I am going to add Elizabeth's new website for the world race.

Elizabeth, if you are reading this: I pray for you often! Love you!

cora's first bath

This poor thing hates taking baths. She whined her little heart out as we bathed her and David thought it was SO funny that he wanted to remember it with pictures. After her bath, the ONLY way she would be comforted was wrapped in a towel and held like a baby. She continued to whine (which sounded so much like a human cry--it was hilarious. Enjoy the pics!

PS. Can you tell we are proud parents? We've taken SO many pictures of her. We're smitten. Thanks for humoring me.

PSS. I wrote this when she was about she is almost 20lbs. :)

puppy love

The new addition to our family is chocolate lab appropriately named Cora Godiva Hogue. When we brought her home she was 5 wks old and a precious lil' thing. She pulled at all my motherly heartstrings. She pulled at David's first, who didn't originally want a big dog. But when she came out from under his parents' house and walked right up to him as if they were old friends, David fell in love right there. And well...anyone who knows me knows that I was an easy sell. We took her home and had a taste of babyhood. She kept us up, tired us out, and yet we couldn't help but love her. I was surprised to learn how much of a softy I became and how much David became the primary disciplinarian. Have I become a pushover? Perhaps. Another revealing facet of myself that was uncovered-or at least made more clear-is that the burden of being responsible for caring for someone or something is overwhelming for me. I think that is why marriage scared me so much--it is a big deal. I know enough of how fallen and selfish I am that I could potentially destroy even the best of relationships. I got over it with marriage, especially as time went by and David and I worked through our conflict and remained close. I got over it with Cora after I realized that she would eventually not wake up 3x/night and need constant attention (as an aside, I don't do well without sleep!). I assume I will eventually be ok with babies too, but that I will have an initial response of burden, fear, and helplessness. My friend, Rachael, tells me that she felt that with her two children too, but that the love you feel far outweighs the overwhelming sense of responsibility. I assume that all mothers and fathers feel it to some degree. It is such a discipline to surrender these fears to the Lord whose promised to care for us. He's promised to care for the generations of those who love Him. We can't protect our loved ones from everything. We are without this power but we are united with One who does. Praise the Lord.

Monday, June 25, 2007


That's me...missing in action. I am sorry (to the few who may be wondering) that I haven't been posting. The reason is I am internet deprived. We thought we were going to get the internet. So, I was going to put off posting until we got the net....and then post to my heart's delight. However, we did some pricing and realized that the internet is expensive. So, here I am feeling overwhelmed and a slave to my blog. So quickly, too. I have about 5 posts planned in my head but don't have the pictures with me to post. So, I just thought I would post about my dilemma. When I am behind on something (bills, emails, prayers, friends) I just procrastinate in bringing it up-to-date. The task seems more and more daunting while putting it off seems more and more attractive. I learned at some point that chronic procrastinators are, in fact, perfectionists. I buy that notion. I have seen it in friends and roommates and certainly in myself. I am awed by those, husband included, that work to get things done immediately. I don't have that kind of drive (in other words, I have a lazy streak) but with that comes parts of me that fear the uncomfortableness of catching up. This is VERY true of people. Dear friends of mine, who I haven't seen in awhile and I want to be connected with, I put off contacting because it seems like so much work to catch up on each other's lives. It feels like such a feeble, feeble attempt. I walk away longing for regularity in those friendships where it seems impossible (because, afterall, each of us has to eat, sleep, and bathe). I feel so richly blessed to have the incredible friends that I do. And I love that when we do get together it is usually such a great time.
All that to say, that is why I haven't posted lately. I will recap: Parts of me procrastinate, are lazy, dislike getting a taste of connection with friends without the completion, are perfectionistic, and love my friends. I will make an effort to post more frequently.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Moe is gone...woe to me

David and I have mourned the loss of one of our dear friends, Moe. Moe fed us great food at great prices. If you don't know what I speak of, it is the restaurant where you can build your own burrito, nachos, tacos, or quesadillas. It is much like Subway but for the mexican gourmet lover. Out of nowhere, the two locations we had in Jackson closed--I mean--no warning...NOTHING! I felt abandoned and betrayed. I should have seen it coming when they announced that they were under new management and ownership. Since their sad parting I have missed and longed for a burrito that can stand upright. Taco Bell just doesn't cut it.

Here is the hope in this story. David and I had a divine appointment on Friday. We were trying to decide where to eat and I said that I wanted Moe's. But we couldn't so we went to the new location of Roly Poly (a wrap place--but fyi, burritos can kick a wrap's butt) but the restaurant was not open yet. We had to find another place and I suggested we eat somewhere we haven't before so we tried (drum roll, please) Taco Del Mar!!! Which David tells me means "Taco of the Sea". I fear that they would try to serve me a taco with a smelly, scaly fish inside it. However, to my great joy they served similar butt-kicking burritos! Too bad the name of the place is misleading--apparantly it is referring to all the surfing/beach paraphrenalia on the walls. Welcome to Jackson, Taco Del Mar, you are my new friend!

Friday, May 11, 2007

no more pencils, no more books...

no more David's dirty looks (just kidding, love). David and I are gearing up for a summer o' fun. Not exactly sure of what "fun" will entail but we are looking forward to it all the same. We are also about to make some big purchases like a puppy, a bed (or sofabed-not sure yet), and perhaps a vacation. Each of these items, I might add, are way more expensive than I think they ought to be. I'm keeping my eyes peeled for good deals.

Other than the purchases, David will be writing his bestseller (you can do it, babe) and I'll be being crafty as I learn to sew curtains, and scrapbooking, and maybe writing some stuff myself.

By the way, scrapbooking has become my favorite new hobby. I am sure this sounds as if I am old and lonely. I'm neither! I love that scrapbooking requires creativity yet it is also something I can get immediate gratification with. Like mowing the lawn, I get to see the fruits of my labor right away. I wish other things in life were so easy to love....if anyone has any ideas on how to make doing dishes gratifying, let me know.

Oh, one last thing, I'm sure that in our "fun" plans we will be coming to a town near you. So, we hope to see you. Also, come see us. We would love it.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

ode to twin lakes

Here I am again, at Twin Lakes. David is here too. We are working here this weekend, as we do one weekend every month. I started working here as a host two and a half years ago. I realized that after I started a full time job in therapy that I still needed a little more income and Jenny, my sweet friend from RTS, introduced me to this opportunity. It was a perfect fit. I got to be outside using my hands while the rest of the month I worked in an office. It paid just the amount I needed. The people I met on the job are irreplaceable. I can't explain it except to say that these people are my kind of people. There is an instantaneous comfort and camaraderie that I experience when I cross the gates. It's been a faithful job that produced faithful friends that I truly enjoy. I'm proud of this place. I want family and friends to see what a special and beautiful place this is (consider that an invite! and yes, it is as beautiful as it looks in the pictures).

About one and a half years ago, I met the man I was going to marry. Outside the very building, I'm sitting in (the main office). I was sitting on the front porch swing enjoying the last bit of warm weather in November when David walked on the porch and we introduced ourselves. That was the first day we worked together at Twin Lakes. We talked several hours that day and just as I was about to go home, he asked me out. I went home wondering, "did I just get asked out?"and "has that finally happened?"

I love twin lakes. I hope our children become a part of this place. I hope that through the years they make the great friends that I know David has through the 5 yrs he worked at sumer camp This is where he found his niche and came out of his shell, among such loving people. When we started dating, everyone here knew about it--it was definitely like living in a fishbowl. What I loved was that I could tell how beloved he was here. People saw him grow up and just doted and respected him. A very good thing for me to see. Everyone was so supportive and excited--which was contagious.
I admit it is harder to work here as a married couple. But we are loathe to quit because of the loyalty we have to this organization and to the people that we would not regularly see, otherwise.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Spring is here and my nose is runnin'

I LOVE SPRING! There are lots of reasons to love it: Christ defeating the grave, flowers, weather that is not painfully cold or suffocatingly hot, the promise of summer vacation, spring break, my birthday--do you see what i mean?! However, with every joy there is a burden and my burden has been my allergies. They've knocked me off my feet this past couple weeks. If I could scream at my body and say, "STOP IT!!" i would. But, in response, my body would just give me a bladder infection or somethin'. It just doesn't mind me like it used to! I don't have fever anymore, but my sinuses are producing enough yucky stuff to fill the bathtub.

David has been sympathetic except for when he thought that my misery should be commemorated in pictures. Here are the pictures he took of me in my (self-imposed) pitiful state. Also, I've included a picture of david and i at millsaps college campus when the azaleas were in bloom....just to show that i'm not throwing a complete pity party. I hope ya'll are enjoying the great weather!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

a birthday well-spent

What do you do when the world is at your fingertips as it is on my birthday? The only logical thing, of course, is to buy a bunch of junk food, pull the couch close to the t.v. and play video games all day long. This idea started when I told him that I used to always tell myself that i would rent a game system for the weekend and play to my hearts content. When you've spent a lot of time with guy cousins who were infinitely better at these games than you are AND you are outnumbered 7 to 1 than you don't get many turns and the turns themselves aren't very long (didn't take long for me to die). I have to say, though, that i was a bit disappointed that i would have to share with David who turned out to be good with video games. So, I had to wait...again. But, I did get my fill when he took a nap. :)

The experience led David and I to consider whether we should invest in a game system. It was a moment of weakness we both agree because our stronger sides know that we will be enticed and wooed by the video games and in a month we will have turned into a couple of overweight, jobless, pale people who only move to reach for the soda or pizza or the cup we'll pee in. So, for now we will settle for the occassional day of video game bliss. I'll post pictures soon!

two babies born 9 months after our wedding--coincidence...i think not!

Congratulations to Troy and Erin who welcome a beautiful and perfect baby Jack (above). Baby Jack is born to a born momma.

Way to go, Askews for bringing 'Norah' into the world. She's precious. This is #2 baby for Lauren and Chuck, so Charlie has someone to play with in a few years. I tried to post a picture but i am having technical difficulties with the pictures i received. But trust me...she's pretty!

Friday, March 30, 2007

counter-intuitive spirituality

That was the title of one of the sermons i heard last week at redeemer church. I admit my mind drifted in and out of the visiting pastors talk but i did catch some important points. As a therapist, my job is to foster an environment safe enough that the client feels free to "let down his guard" and tell me about what's going on. Well, i ask? How did "the guard" get there in the first place? There are numerous reasons but one i am sure exists is the persistent and unhealthy idea that we (in this world) are supposed to AND have the capability to have it all together. Oh and sure, all the presbyterians in the world will give you the reformed, catechism, memorized scripture answer that the world is fallen and we are all sinners--we all fall short. Amen! I am with you, my fellow presbyterians and lovers of Christ. But that knowledge does not penetrate into our daily lives. At least not in mine.

I had a really good talk with my parents a while back. It was probably the most vulnerable talk i've had with them in awhile. in this discussion, I was able to tell them how much seeing them struggle through losing their house in hurricane katrina affected me. What was interesting about this was that they had no idea! Why? Because i couldn't show how hurt i was. I had a strong part of me saying I had to be very strong b/c I needed to be a support or at least a witness to them. I really struggled not to cry around them. This back-fired of course b/c i found that it was too hard to be around them and not i stayed away. My self-made gospel steered clear of vulnerability and pushed me down the "safe" road of pretense.

What is so great and attractive about the gospel of Christ is that he knows my weaknesses. I cannot not nor would i chose to color who i am before him. I want him to know all my junk so that it can get His Healing attention. But when it comes to loving others, i usually have it all wrong when i think that showing others how strong i am will speak loudly of who the Lord is and why I love Him. However, what speaks more loudly is that when I am weakest (devastated, hurt, tearful, insecure, and afraid), the Lord's strength shines all the more brightly.

So, I will admit that I am not a super-Christian and in the same breath confess that I am a wanna-be. Life is just so much more black and white without uncovering the messes that people really deal with in themselves and their lives and their past. I want to believe that life is uncomplicated if i follow rule a,b, and c. That my marriage is safe b/c i have read so and so book or that i will be a good therapist b/c i subscribe to the "right" kind of theory. I can still catch myself trying to live in denial of that truth. I must only remember the theme of my year (and the theme of the pastor's sermon), "My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." I Corinthians 12:9.

i could go on and on but i am feeling self-conscious that i've lost all of your attention by the 2nd paragraph. (how's that for weakness and vulnerability?!)

Friday, March 23, 2007

in the beginning...

I would like to think that I could write down my blogs like those who masterfully pen (or type) their thoughts as though it were a well-written editorial. However, I know that my laziness will keep me from such lovely soliloquys (it takes some time to find the precise word) and what you will be left to read (if you are desperate) will be my ramblings...ramblings of an over-analytical therapist who from time to time fails to submit her thoughts to reality, much less the Most High God. You will be on the receiving end of sanctified and not-so-sanctified thoughts about anything on my mind.

I don't want this blog to be just a peek inside the mind of Guitta (as riveting and perplexing as that is) but also want it to be a means of keeping our beloved family and friends updated on our lives here in Jackson. When I say "our" I mean of course, my husband David and I. As soon as I figure out how to post pictures, I will put some on the blog of us (in case you forgot what we look like) and our place. I hope, in return, that you will be a regular visitor here and let me in on your thoughts as well.