Thursday, March 31, 2011

that chance worth takin'

On March 31st, 2010 I decided to send Joey a text about pictures. I thought that this may be an easy way to open the lines of communication. I wasn't sure if he was a texter so I was testing the water. He texted back and then asked if he could call me later. What? Talk? On the phone? I was more of the texting type; hardly ever wanted to talk on the phone. The thought of this kind of made me nervous. Nervous enough that I waited five hours to respond. I told him to call me anytime. He called. I didn't answer. I called him back. We talked about pictures, baseball and stuff. He was very easy to talk to. He talked me into letting Clayson and Trey play in a baseball tournament that I thought we were going to be too busy for. We talked about when and where to take Justin's senior pictures. We talked about life and how bad it sucked. (excuse my language) I have to say that I hung up with a smile. A smile that had been "missing in action" most days, most nights. The texts, the phone calls (that I avoided at times) continued until the middle of April when things started to pick up. At this time last year we were both very vulnerable, emotional, unhappy, living lives that were mentally draining, looking for happiness and in a state of uncertainty. I had people in my life that constantly brought me down so it was nice to have someone come along who could pick me up. We formed a friendship of faith and hope. Months later, the greatest of these became love.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

history in the making

It's here, the one year mark of an incredible journey. So many firsts, so many memories - all preserved in my heart and in a journal. And now, I can share with you on my blog (that also uploads to my Facebook) so that the memories are also forever written in cyberspace. One year ago today, I was at Clayson's baseball game in Terrell. I saw Joey standing next to the bleachers. (Granted, I have known him since I had his son in 5th grade and Clayson and Matt have played ball together for about 7 years.) I slid down to the end of my row so that I could talk to him about pictures. I had received a message that they were interested in me taking his son's senior pictures. I asked him if these would be family pictures or just senior. He came and sat with me in the stands, showed me his empty wedding ring finger and said that there wouldn't be any family pictures; just Justin, his girlfriend and their baby. We talked a minute about our current situations, about places to take the pictures and that was that.

For a split second, I might have thought about "us" but knew that it was way too risky because things were just starting to fall apart for him. Little did I know that sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall into place.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

down by the bay

sort of.

Joey had 9 jobs to do in Houston on Tuesday, four Blockbusters and five Denny's. I was just along for the ride. We left out about 9:00 a.m. We made it to the first job just in time for lunch, having a sit down meal in the McDonald's, where kids must have been on spring break :-). After that we went to two more jobs and realized that we were close enough to Galveston that we needed to cruise on out to the beach for some dessert and to enjoy the view. We made the thirty minute drive, went up and down Seawall Blvd. and ended up at Chili's. But, we didn't have dessert, we enjoyed appetizers instead. Joey also had to pick up some fresh shrimp while we were on the bay. Thank goodness it was in an ice chest in the back of the truck and I didn't have to smell it all the way home. (I knew that I would regret not taking pictures of us while we were there. Oh well, these will have to do.)

We left Galveston and headed back to Houston to finish up the remaining six jobs. We bypassed miles of traffic by staying on the service road and probably saved an hour of time.

Around 11:00, all jobs were complete and we were hungry and so very tired, going on 13 hours on the road. Joey was slowly fading so we stopped at IHOP to pep him back up. I was starting to get tired, too. But, I don't like to sleep when other people are driving - it's a control issue, I'm sure. I drove from Conroe to Hunstville and it was all I could do to stay awake. We stopped at a rest stop at 1:45 and both of us slept until 3:45. Forcing our eyes to stay open, we traveled the long stretch of road back home, pulling in at 6:30. 21 hours later.

Spending all this time together, in close quarters and not once did we argue. We get along so well, have so much fun, laugh all of the time and enjoy every second that we are together. I've waited a long time for a relationship like this and I know how blessed I am to have what we have.

Sometimes it's okay to mix business with pleasure.

over the river & through the woods

Joey and I had talked about taking the kids somewhere for spring break for a couple of months but just couldn't come up with any plans until all of the kid scheduling was finalized. So, at the last minute, (the day before), we made tent site reservations at an RV park in Glen Rose. We enjoyed my birthday weekend there and knew that the kids would definitely enjoy the area.

It was my kids first camping trip and I hadn't been in 14 years (I had to take camping to get the two P.E. credits that I needed to graduate from college.) I am just not an "outdoorsy/roughin' it" kind of girl, or at least I didn't think I was. Spending weekends at the deer lease was a good start to making me come around and try new things. I enjoyed those weekends and I truly enjoyed this weekend. And, I have to say, I look forward to more camping trips - next time we hope to go beach camping. I think yes.

We loaded the truck up Sanford and Son style on Friday night and headed out around 8:00. (Please note that Joey wanted to leave around 6 ... Joey time is always the hour plus two.) We made it to Glen Rose just before 10:00, backed the truck in, unloaded, set up tents and about 11:00 we were airing up air mattresses. As if the kids running around playing wasn't enough to make the neighbors angry, this process brought them and their dog out of the tent. They sat around in their chairs, giving up on sleep at this point. Everything was finally calm and we were settled into our tents by midnight. It was a sleepless night - my feet felt like they were buried in an ice chest, had to pee all night until we finally got up around 3:45 and went. It was then that Joey turned on the heater and we fell fast asleep until the birds started singing at 6:45 on Saturday morning. I guess camping is not the kind of vacation that you go on in order to get some rest.

Here we are on Saturday morning: cooking breakfast and the kids playing.

We spent the first half of the day at Big Rocks park where we journeyed a mile down the river - through slime, rocks and grossness. I made it safely there and back with my camera and my phone. Lisa, not so much. She slipped and her and her iPhone4 went into the river. (It started working again the next day, thankfully.) The kids played in the water, tried to catch fish, explored and had such a good time.

Saturday afternoon we made sandwiches for lunch and headed to Dinosaur Valley State Park to spend the rest of the day. The girls took off one way and the boys another. We eventually got everyone together and decided to take a hike up the "mountain". The injury report for this would include: Ashlyn - stickers in the foot (twice), scraped up knee; Trey - stickers in both feet; Kayla - a huge blister and a cut on the bottom of her foot. The hike was slow going at times, until we finally convinced all of the kids to stay on the main trail. It was quite a journey but had some great scenery along the way.
Here is Trey chasing the deer ... because Billy said he could.
We left the state park and went to eat BBQ for dinner - ten very tired and hungry campers.
We got to camp to find a huge fiesta going on and on and on until 3:45 a.m.

(our friends - The Posey's: Billy, Lisa and Dawson)
Sunday morning we let the kids go back to Big Rocks Park, loaded up and headed back to Crandall for showers and a good night's sleep.

a camping we will go

We kicked off our spring break with a camping trip in Glen Rose, Texas. This first blog is pictures of our bunch while on this memorable weekend trip.

Matt (13 years)

Ashlyn (7 years)

Kayla (10 years)

Clayson (13 years)

Trey (11 years)

We had a great time together. The kids are starting to act like brothers and sisters , bickering and picking at each other but that's okay, it's just part of it.

I plan to add more collages and more words soon but I get so bogged down with details that I am breaking the blog up into parts. Stay tuned for part 2.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

thank goodness there were only 28 days

February was just plain crazy. Theres nothing like four ice days and two late starts in just ten school days to throw you off balance. It made for a hectic month at school. You can only coop kids up inside with no recess, because it's too cold, for so long. Then, throw in a full moon the third week of the month and you have been granted three weeks of chaos - controlled chaos, of course. And, it's the time of year, we teachers refer to as "crunch time" - how many days until the TAKS test, what concepts do I still need to teach and how are we going to get it all done. You take away four days and that disrupts the timing that was all perfectly, well almost perfectly, planned out. It is time to step up our game.

Speaking of game, Dallas (Arlington) hosted the Super Bowl this year and we tried to give the kids a little taste of Super Bowl fever. Joey and I took our kids to the NFL experience one night; my kids and I went with my parents to Cowboys Stadium the day before the Super Bowl to try to "get in the game" a little bit - just being amongst fans, tourists, security and the stadium in all its glory; and then (apparently I got wrapped up in the hoopla) date night with Joey was spent cruising around it again. We wrapped up the NFL season by watching the game and eating some good grub at Sharon and Brian's house with lots of friends.

It was a month filled with basketball practice two nights a week and Saturdays revolved around three games. Ashlyn and Trey both enjoy this sport a lot. Clayson's baseball season started with Saturday practices. We are thankful that his elbow has healed nicely from surgery and that he is back in the game. Between all three of my kids and Matt playing and Joey coaching, life as we know it is about to get crazy busy(er). We wouldn't have it any other way. Batters up!

Joey spent nine days of the month out of town - two trips to Austin and a trip to Houston - for work. I was reminded that "absence makes the heart grow fonder" each time. It wasn't so bad on days that I had my kids but days without all of my loves were long and lonely. (I know, I am such a sap these days.) We did manage to have some fun when he was home - we had a Poker night with friends; a night out at Pete's Piano Bar with Jason, Megan and another couple; and dinner and a quick shopping trip after school one Friday. We spent Valentine's weekend and the day together - he made it one I will never forget. It's these times together that I am reminded how blessed that I am.

My weekends with the kids were filled with fun. We saw two movies, they had friends over and went to play with friends. We spent an afternoon with Mamaw and Papaw and they spent time with their Mimi and Pawpaw. All is well in their little worlds. A month later, I can see that the new schedule has improved their stability and consistency and it has created a lot less drama in the family. I miss them when they are gone but since I work where they spend their days, I still see them often.

February was a rough month, glad to see it become a part of history. I am glad it wasn't a month with 30 or 31 days.

Another six weeks has come and gone, now we're down to two. Another sports season has ended, now we are all involved. Another month has ended, now we are approaching spring. Bring on the sunshine.