Friday, May 30, 2008

Pretty Day

I begin to realize how lucky I am now that I'm starting to look out instead of in. It's a beautiful day today, I have plenty of very yummy food, a lovely home (okay, once you get inside :P), good family (even the in-laws), good friends, a wonderful husband who protects me from the scary/disgusting scenes in movies, a pretty secure future financially, and a mailman who brings me real mail (in the midst of credit card offers, bills, and coupons).

I was looking at our bedroom set a few days ago and pondering how we got it. Now the obvious part of the story is that my in-laws sent Dustin and me pictures of a full bedroom set they had found at a garage sale to see it we wanted it as a wedding gift. I laughed out loud when I saw them because my parents own the nightstand and wardrobe pieces of the set. What are the odds that my in-laws would randomly find a complete set of my parents bedroom furniture years after and states away from where they had bought them (we lived in Texas at the time)?

But the furniture pulls up an older, almost forgotten memory. I was probably ten or so and my parents had just brought the new bedroom pieces home. Mom was so happy, she just loved them. I don't remember what my father felt but I was insanely jealous. I sat on their bed just starring at the wardrobe with it's beautiful wood carving and full length mirror and wished and wished they would put it in my room instead. It was the kind of furniture I thought a princess would have. I was really, really working up the envy. But in the middle of my climbing jealousy a thought came to me almost in a voice of its own (I guarantee it didn't come from me). My mother was my mother, she was older and deserved to have pretty things, I shouldn't wish to take away her pretty things just because I wanted some of my own. I should be patient because God would give them to me when I was older. I prayed that God would help me be patient and that I really did want pretty furniture in my room and I though my mommy's was perfect but I would do my best to not envy her even though I wanted to be the princess with the full length mirror. And I got up off their bed and left the room.

Ten years later I was given not only the exact wardrobe my mother has but the bedside table, vanity, and bed to go with it.

Every morning I look in my full length mirror and know that I am a princess and that God does fulfill His promises and answers earnest prayers. Every night Dustin and I sleep in a bed that is God's wedding gift to us. May it always remind me.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my dearest little brother and sister (don't worry Al and Phil, you're dear, too, but they are the littlest :)). John and Valerie are all of 15 today!This is them when they were 11, awww :) They're so cute. Yeah, we're not related. Anyhow...

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday John and Valerieeeeeee
Happy Birth-day toooo yoooooooooooou (and if I recall correctly, Phillip hits the last note low, I hit it high, and John hits it purposefully off key, the Cook family choral group:)).

Happy Birthday:)


Your big sis'.


I was bored, hubby was at SPR, I was tired of cross-stitching so I created this:

It's just a square of afghan, crocheted in the standard baby-blanket pattern (I don't know what the official name for the pattern, it might just be baby-blanket :P) I found it on The Handmade Dress. All the instructions were explained with photographs (yay! crutches for us visual learners :)).

I had the sudden urge to learn it but didn't think I had any yarn :( But then I remembered that my old roommate gave me a leftover skin of teal yarn about a year or more ago that I stuffed into the bottom of my sewing box. I figured I'd never use it because teal is about my least favorite yarn color. But voila! I had yarn. When I pulled it out I discovered I also had leftover yarn from my de-stressor afghan project from my Cluster Quarter (whew, glad that's over.), which is the green/brown yarn.

I think I'm going to be one of those crafty women. You know, the ones who always have half finished quilts and sewing all over the place :D Well, okay, not all over the place because that would drive me crazy, but one of those women who have always got a project going.

Okay, back to dishes xp

Friday, May 16, 2008


I miss my husband. He's gone for the weekend on some Survival trip that's not supposed to kill him *rolls eyes, right, and his wife's not supposed to worry *sigh. Men have no concept of women at all. He's my very best friend and I'd worry even if he was going on a roller-coaster with full safety marks. He was in the worst mood I've ever seen him in this morning and admitted to being rather nervous. Well, duh, I'd be nervous, too.

It didn't hit me until mid-afternoon (he left at 1) that I'd be alone tonight. No one to cook for, no one to play games with and laugh with over the dumb stuff. It was very saddening. I thought about finding someone to hang out with but decided that loneliness might teach me something now that it doesn't completely depress me. We'll see how many pages of story and thought I crank out this weekend...

Blogs of Note

There's a new blog of note! I have been given permission to post my husbands blog so go check it out :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Because of her...

I was pursuing articles online and found this. I don't follow tennis, I have no idea who this woman is. But after reading the article, these words struck me:

"She never lost her composure and held the microphone firmly.
But her coach, Carlos Rodriguez, broke down in tears.
"Because of her," Rodriguez said, 'I am somebody.'"

We do not live life only for ourselves. Our success is not only our success. Our failure is not only our failure. We do nothing on our own.

Just a thought.


The boy and I just rolled in from our first ever camping trip together :D It was a lot of fun. We randomly bought a tent last Saturday (well, not randomly, we're camping this summer and they happened to be a pretty decent price) and were just dying to try it out (okay, okay, I was dying to try it out Dustin just humored me).

We set out about six with a tent, six blankets, two pillows, enough chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers to make four S'mores, our P.J.s, a jug of water and his survival kit. Oh, and a roll of toilet paper, you never know. And other than wishing we had brought a couple more snacks, we did alright. Who says you need all that fancy stuff?

We most of our time starting a fire... and warding off the caterpillars who seemed to think the fire was a good place to crawl to. Everything was still wet but we had better luck than last week. I believe our fire died out twice before we got it going and even then 'going' was a very watched and tended 'going'. Dustin has mastered strike anywhere matches :D so I can rest easy about his upcoming trip. It amuses me that my absolutely briliant and creative husband, who has no trouble diagnosing and fixing computer, learning how to fix our car and just about any other mechanical thing, could struggle so much with a teeny-tiny strike anywhere match. But in the end, we had our S'mores, could warm ourselves by the fire, and laugh at how even after all those years of schooling, we still have trouble lighting a fire.

We're really happy we had those six blankets, two on the bottom and four on the top and we were toasty but one less either way and we would have gotten pretty chilly. I'm so glad we keep emergency blankets in the car. But it was really nice to be snuggled in a mountain of wool, down, and sleeping bag. I think I'm going to start leaving the curtains open at night, it was wonderful to wake up with the sun, it didn't feel too early at all. We ended up heading back about 7:40, when we had originally planned on waking up, just because we were up and ready to go.

I like camping, I hope we go again soon.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Speaking of Tomb Stones

My dad emailed this to me this morning. It's my grandparents tombstone (obviously:P) and oddly enough, it made me smile. Now, this might be a normal, run-of-the-mill tombstone, I have no idea, but it suits my grandparents perfectly.

You'd have to be totally unaware of Christianity and its symbols not to figure out that they were Christian, their tombstone, like their house, is covered in it. I love the crosses in stain glass on the sides with the ivy branches covering them, You are the Vine, we are the branches. Their names and dates, my grandfathers not yet completed, are both written in the Book of Life, something I know my grandparents don't have to wonder about.

What made me smile the most was the heart pierced by a cross in the center. My grandfather is a carpenter and he has made his children and grandchildren chairs, and I'm sure a half the people he knows, shelves, cradles, puzzles, you name it, if it's wood, he's made it, on the back or bottom of each and every one in black sharpie marker is the year it was made and and a heart pierced by a cross. I'd call it a family coat of arms but it isn't. Grandpa taught my brother, Phillip how to make pool ball holder once. He wouldn't let Phillip use the heart pierced by the cross, he said that Phillip needed to make his own mark, something that showed what he was. I'm pleased to say that Phillips is an Icthus next to a cross, and I don't think he picked a Christian symbol just because of my grandfather, that is truly Phillip.

And at the bottom, 'Parents of Wesley, Wilson, Walter, Warren.' No question, they poured themselves in to my father and uncles. No one could even begin to assert that they weren't completely devoted to their family, both their children and each other.

Yes, in the assessment of their granddaughter, this tombstone is a perfect representation of my grandparents and I am proud of them and proud to be their grandchild.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Starting Over

I just threw out my journal with a large chunk of started stories. I decided it was time. Some of those stories are six years old, some of them are only six months old, but it was time. I've spent so long jotting down bits and pieces that there was really no hope of going back through them all and resurrecting long dead plots and characters. I finally admitted that they were all false starts and what I really needed was to let them die and move on. I've almost thrown it out several times but never did because of that nagging feeling of 'maybe one day'.

It reminds me of the day we helped clean up Paul's basement after it flooded. I have a dim memory of him standing in his garage looking around as we brought in one soaked and ruined possession after another. I felt sorry for him because the water damage was pretty substantial. I forget exactly what he said but it was something to the extent of, "it's amazing all the things we keep and store because we think we need them but really, when they're ruined, we find out we don't. I keep looking at this stuff and being amazed that nothing really important was ruined."

So I've voluntarily thrown out my half stories. They're not important, I just keep them and move them around with me because I think I need them, they make me feel like I'm productive even though they don't really prove that.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Fire in the Rain

Dustin and I were out buying some chocolate and he got the sudden craving for S'mores. So we brought them home and were planning on toasting them over the stove when I suggested that we go to the local park and make a camp fire. Now, for those of you who don't know, it's been raining the past few days, not good for a camp fire, which my husband kindly pointed out. Also for those of you who don't know, Dustin is in a Wilderness Survival class this quarter and has spent the last few weeks creating a survival kit. This would be perfect, I replied, to test out all those petroleum covered cotton balls in survival conditions. He agreed. We spent probably half an hour to an hour tromping out in the woods trying to find the driest stuff we could as the rain sprinkled down. The good news is, the cotton balls do indeed burn for a really long time, the bad news is, my husband can't light strike-anywhere matches or start a fire in the rain.

We'll go practicing again sometime :P

The microwave is good for making S'mores.


People keep asking me if I'm ready to move and if I'll miss this place when I'm gone. Yes and, probably, no. I keep telling people that I've moved all my life and I suppose a friend of mine said it best when he responded, "So you're used to missing places." Yeah, I'm used to missing places. Some times I feel like Mary Poppins when the little boy asks her if she loves them and she responded, "And what would happen to me, may I ask, if I loved every child I cared for?"

Other people cry when they move, I might a little, some are emotionally distraught, not me. Every move brings a new town, new people, new plants and new reasons for why people get up in the morning. It's not that I don't like the people I've shared life with for the last four years, it's not that I won't wish for them to be with me in the future. Four years is about how long I've lived in any place and moving has rung all the emotion it can out of me, I simply accept it. Besides, all the people I'm leaving this time are Christian. It's much harder for me to leave non-Christian friends because I truly don't know if I'll ever see them again. My Christian friends I know will share life with me again so I don't worry.

I feel sorry sometimes because I know I come off as callus and not caring. But that's not true. If I really didn't care I would lie and tell them that I would miss it here, that I was afraid of moving to a new place, that I didn't think I could ever be as happy somewhere else (which would be an obvious lie to the people who were privy to my college experience). But how can I lie to the people I love? I've moved, I know none of that's true.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

New Apartment

We signed for our new apartment on Tuesday. It was really exciting, I think it triggered the realization that we're actually moving in five weeks. We drove up and got there by 3 PM. Sarah, our new apartment manager, showed us the apartment we'll actually be living in. The floor plan was flipped from the two bedroom she showed us before, which threw me off a bit, and the girls who live there now had all their blinds closed so it was rather dark (I thrive in sunlight) but I was pleased. Dustin was, too, but he's not too picky :P We meandered around the grounds for a while and were really pleased with them. They have a stream running along one side of the grounds with lots of plants and ducks. We saw three male mallard ducks, one female duck, and lots of little baby ducks :) So adorable. They also have a 3 1/2 foot deep pool that looks really nice. It should be up and running by the time we move in.

When we returned home, I drew a to size diagram of our floor plan and made to size cut outs of our furniture so I could start arranging the furniture :X It was so much fun! My original plan didn't work out but it's a lot easier to change your furniture layout when they're made of construction paper, not the real thing. It is a testament to my husband that he didn't even roll his eyes.