Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas in pictures

It is now 3 days after Christmas and most of you are probably still cleaning up from Christmas or getting ready for New Years. I have been relaxing the past couple of days. Christmas Eve we went to my brother's house and celebrated with them. Brian had to work, but he was still able to come by for an hour to spend with us.

The top picture is my nieces. They are 9, 7 and 5 years old. They all got robes/snuggies for Christmas form their grammy.
This year was my turn to make my daddy cry (in a good way). My brothers have gotten him something in the past that has always made him cry because it is special to him. This year when I moved back home, I found some of his dads medals and patches from the air force. His father passed away when my brother was a baby. I got a shadow box and created this for him. He cried whenever he opened it and loved it.
My sister-in-law Marci and I also made a shutterfly book for him that had a bunch of pictures from when he was a baby until he got into high school. It had lots of different pictures and quotes inside of it. He loved it and cried whenever he opened that too.
My mom made my brother JoVan a grilling machine apron for whenever he grills outside.

I was very excited about this. Marci got me an underarmor jacket. I would never buy anything like this for myself, because it is so expensive! I have worn it the past 2 times that I have ran. I LOVE it! It even has the thumb holes on the end of the sleeves.
I also got a luggage bag. It is awesome. I have been wanting a new one for a while now. My other one is just about ripping at the seems!
Brian was able to come by for his dinner break to spend time with the family! I love him so much!
Now, the picture above has a little story behind it. My nieces were saying ewwww, ewwww because Brian and I were hugging and so because of that, I said, ya'll wait and see this...then I started laughing but I kissed him and all my nieces covered their eyes and turned away! It was funnier in person, but still funny.
JoVan was messing with me, so I went and jumped on him and Brian snapped the pic. I love my brother though! Don't we look alike!
Christmas Day, Brian's family came down to celebrate at our house. 
Yummy desserts and Jason giving me the pinky. haha
Yummy Christmas food with my new Christmas dinnerware. I love it. My mommy got it for me for Christmas!
My sweet baby girl Milly! She had a little shirt on that said "Holiday Princess".
PawPaw enjoyed opening up his presents too!
I gave Brian a head scratcher because he always wants me to scratch his head.
 Brian being silly in a picture as usual.
Brian's Family.
Merry Christmas from Brian and I to all of you! I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and a great new years. Now, of for a 4 mile run sporting some of my new running gear! 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Walt Disney World Recap...

2 weeks ago Brian and I went to Walt Disney World for our Christmas vacation. We probably won't be going on another vacation for a little while, but we wanted to go at Christmas time to Disney really bad. I am going to recap our vacation in pictures mainly, so I hope you enjoy. These are just a few pictures that I picked out. I took over 2,000 pictures though.

All our bags are packed and TJ too. Milly (my dog) left that Wed. before with my parents. We decided to drive to Disney instead of flying. We actually saved a good bit of money driving vs. flying.
We made it to Disney and we stayed in the "Love Bug" section of All Star Movies. It was really cute. This was the trophy that Herbie earned in his race.
We got to Disney on Sunday and after we turned our luggage in and was all check in, we headed to EPCOT, which my husband calls EGPOT and always has.
It was so cold that day, but it was supposed to be getting even colder. We found Mickey and Minnie in a bunch of poinsettas.
Brian and I waited in line to see Mickey, Minnie and Goofy. We also got a free 5x7 from waiting in line to take this picture.
We went around to many of the different countries and we found Santa and Mrs. Clause. I think we were the only adults waiting in line to see them. When Santa asked me what I wanted I told him...a new house. He then asked me where he needed to send it and I told him the state that we lived in. haha

It had started to sprinkle (thank goodness that is all it did), so I put on my disney raincoat and found a Cookies and Cream ice cream sandwhich. I love these and have gotten one each time I have gone.
Brian and I ate at Garden Grill and it is our favorite place to eat. When Mickey came around, he took a picture with me and started to pull me away with him and waved goodbye to Brian.
After we ate at Garden Grill we had reservations for the Candlelight Processional with STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN!!!!! He is my favorite all time artist. I was so excited that the week we were going he was going to be there! It was the most incredible production I have ever seen. They sing many different Christmas songs and during that the speaker reads The Christmas Story.
The next day we went to MGM (Holywood Studios). Last time we went, we didn't get to see The Incredibles because the line was to long, but this time we decided to wait in line to see them!
Brian found one of the toy soldiers from Toy Story 1,2, and 3 next in the Pixar/Disney area.
After that, we went and saw Lights, Motor, Action. We did not get to see this last time and now we did. It was a very cool show and I would definetly go watch it again.
For lunch we ate at 50's Prime Time Cafe. It was good food, but I was not impressed by our waiter. He wasn't horrible, but I liked the lady on the other side better. He just was not as outgoing as what I was expecting. If I had to eat there again I would, but I would not sit in his section. It was a really cute restraunt. What they are supposed to do is basically be like your old fashioned mom and dad. They tell you to keep your elbows off of the table, and you don't get up without excusing yourself or ask to go to the restroom, etc.
That night after some Fantasmic (pictures to come from that later) we went to the Osborne Spetacle of Dancing Lights. It was fabulous! They have millions of lights here covering the buildings and on top. When they play different songs, the lights light up to the music. It is amazing!
I know it is hard to see, but we found the umbrella from "Dancing in the Rain", so we had to take pictures with it.
It was simply amazing and I have never seen anything that compares to it! Hopefully one day I will be able to go back and see it again!
I will leave you with a few pictures of the next couple of days to keep you curious. 

I know it is a lot of pictures, but I just love taking pictures so much. I hope you enjoyed my recap so far. Stay tuned for more pictures to come. 

QOTD: What is your favorite Christmas vacation or traveling spot?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas Disney Style and another Half Marathon

Merry Christmas Everybody!! Brian and I just got back from Walt Disney World and we had the most amazing time. The last time we went in May 2009 it rained the ENTIRE time. It would be clear while we were sleeping and as soon as we would wake up it would start raining. This was our honeymoon when we went so it was a great trip, but kind of miserable because of the rain.
Needless to say when we went this time, it was INCREDIBLE! We went during Christmas time and went to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and the Osborne Spectacle of Lights and so much more. I promise I will load more pictures then the one I am about to put up here, but I just finished uploading all of my pictures on my computer and need to go through them all. Here is a sneak peak of the Osborne Christmas Lights in Hollywood Studios at Disney.....

This was only part of the lights on this street. It was incredible. They danced to all kinds of music. It is something that I have never seen anywhere before.

Half Marathon Training

I decided to take a little bit of time off from running because the last half marathon that I ran really took a lot out of me and my knees. Also, I have been super busy teaching school and usually would not get in until late in the evening, so I really did not have that much time to train. I started yesterday training for my 2nd half marathon. I am going to be running the Rock N Roll Mardi Gras race and am super excited about it. I only have 9 weeks to train for it, so I am a little bit nervous about that, but I have tweeked my schedule and I am going to be doing a lot of running during the week. I am probably going to be running 4 days during the week and then one day on the weekends. So that means I will only have 2 days off, but I want to be ready for this race.
I ran 2 miles yesterday and I am a little sore today, but it is not to bad. I am ready to run this race and can not wait for it. I do not have any races between my half marathon and now, so I will have plenty of time to train.
I am going to be following 2 different kinds of plans. One is from a family member and the other is from Runners World. So hopefully I will be good and ready for this race.

"Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts."

"I always loved was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs."Jesse Owens

When I read these two quotes from above, I found it very inspiring and very true. Many people run for competition, WHICH IS FINE, but I run for myself, for my body, for my time, for ME! I have seen tons of people compete against each other just to say that they got one more minute faster then the other person and then they kill themself to finish faster than the other person. I do not think you have to compete against anybody but yourself and the goal that you have placed in front of you. 
Just like the quote above says, running is something you can do by yourself (if you choose too), under your own power. You can go as fast or as slow as you want to, finding the strength to finish the goal you have put in front of yourself to accomplish! 
What exactly is it going to prove if you run a race just to beat somebody else? Nothing! As long as you have accomplished your goal. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Beyond Busy

Sorry everybody. I have been BEYOND Busy with school, teaching, planning and church. It has been pretty crazy around my house! Last weekend we had game night, Eclipse Movie night and Birthday lunch with a bunch of great friends!
Here are a few pictures from those days....
We ate lunch at the new Saltgrass that we have in town! I was so excited about this, because I had not been there since April!!
We had an Intense Ministries Team come to our church and they were fabulous! They all had their own unique testimony and was able to reach out to some of those people who normally would not come to church. There was one guy who was covered in tattoos from head to toe, but his testimony was fabulous! This was just one of the things that they did.
 We had game night at my house on Friday night and it was so much fun (as always). We played boys vs. girls and guess who won.......Well go ahead and take a guess.....

THE GIRLS of course! 2 different times in a row. We won by one game so it was a close call, but it still counted!
This past week and this week I also took some family pictures for some of these same friends in the picture above. By no means am I a photographer, but I enjoyed taking their pictures for them.
This couple is amazing and I love them so dearly! They have two little boys that are so much fun. I loved being able to get some of these shots of them.
This little boy is such a cutie and so easy to take pictures of. The sun was setting just right and I was so happy with this picture! I just know he is going to be a little heart breaker whenever he gets older.

This week is super busy with Christmas coming up. I am taking a vacation next week and am so excited about it. Brian and I probably will not be taking another vacation like this for quite some time.

I hope everybody is getting excited for Christmas. I know I am!

Question: How often do you take family pictures....even if they are not professional?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Faith and Fighting

*****Warning******  This is pretty long. If you read all of it, Thank you! 

A little more than 2 weeks ago, I ran my very first Half Marathon in New Orleans and FINISHED IT!! I had been training for this run since August, but even before that. I started running right before I got married in March 2009. I built my way up from not even a mile to 13.1 miles!

Let's back up about 23 years though, before I was even thought of.  If it had not been for these number of events I would have never made it as far as I have. My brother James was three years old and my grandmother and him had gotten in a car crash going through an intersection. My grandmother died instantly and my brother died a few hours later after he had gotten to the hospital. This was a hard time for my family, because my parents were finished having kids, however after this terrible thing, my mother said she wanted another child.
This is where I come in the picture....
Somewhere around a year after my brother passed away my mother found out that she was pregnant with me. This was supposed to be almost impossible because of my parents age, but I still came to be. My mother's pregnancy went great up until right before I was born.
The doctors wanted to stick this HUGE needle in my mothers stomach to find out if there was going to be something wrong with me or if I was going to be Mentally retarded. My mother asked what the risk were or if they found out something was wrong with me if they would be able to fix it. What did they say...NO!

Since it was such a series procedure, my parents decided not to have it done.
I was supposed to be born on May 11th, however that did not happen and I ended up coming a little less than a month later. My mother went into the hospital and they knew something was wrong, so they started to get me out. As I was born, they realized that my lungs were not fully developed and that my mother and I had also FLATLINED!

They were able to revive us, but they knew I needed to transferred to a hospital that had the resources that I needed. One of those resources was an ECMO Machine for Infants....

 The $60,000 ECMO machine acts like a set of lungs, taking carbon dioxide out of his blood and putting oxygen back into his blood.  “In the past, babies who had severe heart or lung diseases couldn’t get enough oxygen into their system, and 90% of them died.  The ECMO machine puts the oxygen into their blood so their hearts and lungs don’t have to work as hard and can heal.  Now, more than 90% of them survive.”

 I was transported to Lackland AirForce Base in San Antonio, which is exactly where my brother ended up working as a surgeon years later.
I was transported by plane and one thing that was weird and completely an act of Faith was that the person that flew the plane did not want my parents to pay her. My parents felt horrible because they wanted to give her something, so when they got to the hospital in San Antonio, they asked one of the nurses to find the lady who flew the plane and that nurse said that she did not know who my mom was talking about. They ended up never figuring out who it was that flew the plane to San Antonio. Some people say it was just a nurse nobody knew, other people say it was just a stranger. In my heart and soul, and my parents know it was an Angel watching over my family and me. I like to think in my mind that it was my brother or grandmother watching over me.

I was put inside of the ECMO machine immedietly, however at that time it was under EXPERIMENTATION! Which means that my parents were taking a huge risk putting me under this. It ended up costing my parents nothing to use it, since it was still being tested, where now days you are paying hundreds and thousands of dollars to use it. That was a huge blessing. I am not sure how long as I was in there, but on Mother's Day, I was able to come home. At this time my lungs had developed some more, and I had tubes put in my ears.

I had a scare on my neck that stretched from my ear to the lower part of my neck. It was very noticeable at that time, but now, unless you look closely or my skin has gotten a little bit darker from being outside in the summer, you can not really notice it.
It is hard to tell in this picture, but I am the the little girl in the right picture. The little boy with the cast on his feet is my husband when he was a baby. If you look at me, I look completely normal, and I like to think I came out normal, however my parents were told that I would not be able to speak, hear, see or even move correctly. My parents have never given up on me. When I first came home, only my family was allowed around me, but nobody else could come near me. They would have to stay in another room.

Needless to say, those doctors were all WRONG!!!!!!!!!!! I have perfect vision, can speak normally (although I have trouble with my r's, but most people do not even notice after they have talked to me), I can hear perfectly fine and I grew up playing all kinds of sports.


The pictures above are my Senior year in cheerleading, high jump in track and Drill Team/Band.                                                                      
I grew up tumbling for 13+ years being able to do full twist in the air, playing volleyball, basketball, track, weightlifting, cheerleading, dance and band. Now if you were to ask any of the doctors if they thought I would be able to do any of this when I was born, they would have told you NO!

Needless to say, my brother passing away allowed me to be alive and I wish everyday that he was still here, but I also am grateful that he gave me the chance to be here. God always has a plan in his mind, even if it does take somebody amazing away from people who love him. I am grateful that God has given me the life that I have and has allowed me to do the things that I have done despite everything that happened to me whenever I was born. There was so many things that happened that could have stopped my parents or I to not achieve the things that I have.

After finishing my first half marathon (see the picture above. This is right before I crossed the finish line), I know that know matter what doctors or anybody else says, you can do anything if you put your mind and heart to it.
The picture above shows how I felt and every emotion going through me after I finished my half marathon! I could not believe that I had finished it, even though I was told by some people that it would be impossible, I FINISHED! It was one of the top 10 most amazing times in my life! This shows the true spirit of somebody who has trained for and finished something that they have worked for in their life!
Somebody once told me something that I found pretty funny. "If you want  to prove somebody  wrong, tell a Texan they can not do something.  They they will show you that it can be done."

If you made it to the end, thank you for reading. I hope that I inspired at least one person to complete something that they may be struggling with. I am now training to run my second half marathon. On top of the one I am training for, I have 3 more that I am planning to run...hopefully!

My question for you: 

Have you ever had anybody tell you that you would not be able to do something and you proved them wrong?