Monday, June 21, 2010

First Day of Summer, First Day of Heroes Camp

It is the first day of summer, and fittingly, it is the first day of Heroes Camp. Each year our church does a week long day camp in June.  This time last year I was 9 months pregnant, about to become a new mommy.  Fun memories. 

This year our theme is Royal Heroes of the faith. We are going to learn about Josiah, Esther, Asa, Jesus, and David. We are going to worship to David Crowder and Hillsong United. We are going to dress up as the royalty we are on Friday. We are going to have so much fun.

Camp is a huge undertaking. One that I have always HELPED direct, but this year I am directing by myself. That makes me a little nervous. I am tempted to feel like it all comes down to me, but I know that is not true. It all come down to Christ. I can find my rest in Him this week, knowing he can take what I have to give (limited talents and time) and make it more than enough to make camp great. I am trusting Him for a fantastic week.

I have been meditating on Philippians 4:6-7 Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

I know this week will be wonderful. God has already placed such a wonderful group of leaders and staff around me to help and really carry out the mission of camp. All I am going to do is sit back and watch God work. I am excited to see what he does.

And when the week is over  and we have taken teh weekend to recover, I will be the mom of a 1 year old, toddler on Monday! 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sad Day

Being an adult means that some days you have to make hard decisions that don't feel good.

My husband and I have been struggling with a hard decision. What to do about our first dog, Amelia? We rescued Amelia 5 months after we bought our first house. She had been picked up by a rescue group out of a junk yard. She was about 10 months old and deaf. We loved having her and she loved having us! It was a match made in heaven. But sometimes when we took her walking she would lurch at other dogs or if she thought another dog was coming near her food then she went into fight mode. This was disturbing, but we solved the problems by having her on a short leash as we walked and not feeding her around other dogs. Pretty simple fixes. Fast forward a year or so and we rescued another dog. She was about the same age as our first dog, but smaller and more timid. The moment we brought our second dog home there was tension, but we chalked it up to them establishing the pecking order. It seemed to get better and we would have days, yes, even weeks, with no incidents, but then, for no apparent reason Amelia would attack our second dog, Cecilia. We made adjustments and managed the situation. When we found out we were pregnant we talked about how to deal with the dogs. Amelia has never been aggressive towards people, but we didn't want to run the risk with little ones around. When Little Britches came home both dogs adjusted just fine. Our house was large and our back yard was large. They spent a lot of time behind a baby gate or in the back yard. Amelia was still being aggressive towards Cecilia at times. One time while Little Britches was napping Amelia attacked Cecilia and would not stop. I could not stop her. We knew that day we had to make a decision for the safety of our family. We pursued many options: giving her back to the rescue group, training her at home, where the problem happens, using a muzzle for part of the day, finding a family for her that had no other dogs, children, or neighbors with dogs, prayer, hope, and denial. But yesterday reality hit us. She had to be put to sleep. The rescue group would not take her back due to her aggressiveness; we could not in good conscience give her to another family and something happen. We would feel so responsible. Two different trainers worked with us to understand she could not be "cured", but could possibly be better managed. Yesterday a dog that was unleashed stormed towards us out of his driveway and began to bark and try to bite Cecilia who got out of her collar and cowered, but Amelia, feeling threatened grabbed the dog by its neck. She was defending herself. BUT she WOULD NOT let go. My very athletic husband could not in any way get her to release the other dog who was now injured. We could not regain control of this scary situation for many minutes, which felt like an eternity. Once the dogs were apart, the owners of the other dogs ran into their house with their dog visible and understandably upset. My husband was upset and full of adrenalin so Cecilia and I went on a walk. While we were gone my husband had a chance to talk to the injured dog's owner and let them know that our dog's behavior was upsetting to us and we had made the decision to put our dog down, but that their dogs are required to be fenced or leashed and they were not, which created a dangerous situation. They agreed and took their dog to the closest vet. The dog had some minor injuries but is going to be just fine.

Last night we cried. This morning we cried. This morning Amelia got to stay on the chair she is not supposed to sit, eat a sausage kolache, and go to the lake for a swim. Then my very brave husband took her to the closest vet, who happened to be the same vet the injured dog had seen the night before. The vet confirmed that we were making the right decision. He was very supportive and understanding. My brave husband stayed with our Amelia until the end. My heart hurts. She wasn't sick, but she we couldn't trust her to not harm other animals and perhaps any one who happened to get in the mix. And what if that was our child one day? or someone else’s, if we gave her away? We just couldn't take the chance.

Our home feels a little less full today. We will always treasure the Amelia we knew 95% of the time- sweet, happy, energetic, intelligent (she did many tricks she learned by sign), and fun. She was our first pet. She will always have a special place in our hearts.

Amelia when she was a puppy

Amelia sleeping on her favorit ball.  Every other toy she had she tore the stuffing out of, but not this ball.  I have no idea why

Our first dog- we loved you well, even when it was hard.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Eating Local

We like do to our part to be green and reduce our carbon footprint and all that jazz.  We also like to support others who had a great idea and are working hard to execute it and run a small business.  (Somewhere deep in my heart I am aware that this might be us someday and I will be hoping there are people out there who seek out local like we do.)  Anyway, we you live in a major city it is pretty easy to find local places to support, but as you move out to the outskirts of the greater metro area is gets harder to find places that are 1) local and 2) seem like they would pass a health inspection, but on Saturday we managed to do both!  Not five minutes from our house we found Mr. Spud's.  We loved it!  Not only was the food good and reasonably price, but the staff was really friendly and glad to see us. 

My sister and I split a potato and a sub. I ordered a sub combo so we also got 2 cookies with our meal. My husband ordered a pizza and Little Britches got to use the coupon for the free Kids' meal, which included a chicken sub, chips, and a drink. I took her chips and drink. We were all stuffed! Jackie over at Jackie Hearts Movies went with us before she ran off the movies with some friends and had a delicious looking salad. All in all, we would recommend Mr. Spud’s for a alternative to your local sub sandwich chain.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

An Open Letter to Dr. and Mrs. JEU and family

Dear Dr. and Mrs. JEU and family,

Our lives have changed dramatically since we first met.

At first, when going out to dinner we needed a table for four, now we need a table for 4 and two highchairs.

At first, we were learning all about each other- you are Cubbies fans, Cameron loves racing- now we know some things about each other build a friendship on that knowledge.

At first, we seemed very different- you from other states, us from Texas, you attending a Presbyterian church with no building of your own, we attending a Baptist church in a big building,- now we seem so very much the same- lovers of baby girls, our one Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, UT, Austin, game nights, and plain 'ol fun.

At first, we could have parted ways with little difficulty, but now we part ways with tears in our eyes, yet joy in our hearts for your family- to see you following God and watching Him lead you into a new adventure.

Our lives certainly have changed, but they have been made richer because of the time spent with you. You have challenged me to enter into authentic relationships with others, to take the risk of truly loving and investing in those around me, not just serving them. You have given me a safe place to be myself. You have lovingly pointed out sin, rejoiced in my victories, prayed through my decisions, showed me how to set boundaries, shared burdens and laughter, birth experiences, a few 10Ks, a half marathon, some homecoming games, a few graduation ceremonies, and many play dates. I know most of this has occurred in the mist of EMU and my friendship, but EMU is being led by JEU as the head of their household and it is evident that she could not be in a more loving, Christ-centered home. I just wanted you to know I feel loved by our Father because he allowed our paths to cross and slowly, but oh so surely, grew our friendship deep and rich.

I will miss getting to see you on a weekly basis! (That is an understatement.) But I know we will "see" each other through the internet and phone, that I am thankful for. And you never know when I will knock on your door with my little bow head in tow. I am looking forward to the day already.

Love you much! Thank you for being my best friend!


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Moving Woes

We have been new home owners for one week today.  This time last week we had just gotten our keys and I was nursing Little Britches on the floor of an empty house.  This afternoon I nursed her while sitting in a rocking chair in her room- nice change.  The house is sitll a bit crazy- boxes not yet unpacked, lots of stuff in the garage we are not sure what to do with, and some stuff still in storage we need to go get, but all in all it is coming together.  I know the end-result will be wonderful. But the beginning of the move was not so smooth.  Last Friday my husband and I left my parent's house, where we had been staying, and headed for our new house.  He went straight to our ulitimate destination, but I had to stop by the store first.  By the time I had finished at the store my husband had moved a few things, set up the crib, showered and headed to work.

I arrived at our new house and was planning on putting Little Britches down for a nap while I unpacked a few things and got us ready to head to San Antonio to see a college roommate I had not seen in 5 years.  As I pushed the button on the garage door opener and began to pull into our new garage, this happened:

So I backed up, which is why the bike rack has no car under it.

I called my husband crying and upset because he loves the bikes and I was afraid I had messed them up, not the mention the garage door and the car.  He said, "Don't worry, it's just stuff."  And he said, "I thought that might happen today."  To which I responded, "Why didn't you tell me?!?"  To which he responded, "I asked you if you were going to take the bikes off the car before you went to San Antonio."  To which I responded, "That does not translate to 'Be careful!  Don't forget the bikes are on top of the car,' when you ask me half an hour before I get home." (insert more crying here)  All in all he was very sweet about the situation and we can laugh about it now, but I don't let him laugh about it too much.  I still feel pretty silly about the whole ordeal, though I am sure my husband hams it up with his co workers when retelling the story.