Monday, April 30, 2012

Thank YOU For Your Feedback!

Holy smokes, ask and you shall receive!! Thank you all so very, very much for all the feed back... From emails to facebook messages to comments on the ol' blog, my inbox was hopping! I am so appreciative to hear everything you had to say - the good, the bad and the ugly! 


Pictures for today's post are my own personal shout out to the
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER and Playoffs 2012!!
Let's Go Thunder!!
I do want to clear a few things up... 

#1. I wanted to know your thoughts 
because there is always room for improvement.

When we beat Kobe and the Lakers... 
You know how you can write a resume and proof read it a hundred times, then you hand it to your friend and they glance at it for two seconds and point out that the first word after your name, "PROFESS8IONAL" has a random number in it? 

Sometimes, because you know what you meant to write, you can't read what is actually written. I wanted a second opinion on my blog, just like I want my friend to proof read my resume... YOU are my friend and you helped me see areas I need to improve on, things I could do better! Thank you!

#2. I am not discouraged about blogging. 

Thunder game with my pretty sister-in-laws!

I probably should have better explained myself before shooting out the request for feedback, oops! I am thoroughly enjoying writing down my thoughts, feelings and random stories... I have no intention to quit anytime soon.

If you don't know me personally, I am a talker. What? You aren't surprised? Weird... I LOVE to tell a story, especially if it is about my family, something I've learned and I think would help others or just something funny that has happened to me. Blogging allows me to tell my story to all that are willing to listen! That does nothing but make me happy.

#3. I am not the LEAST BIT frustrated with my readers!

When the Thunder beat the LeBron, DWade and the Heat!!

Whether you "follow" my blog or not. Whether you write a comment on every post, or never at all. Whether I have 20,000 views or just one (my mom)... I will continue writing! 

At the end of the day, this blog is for ME. It helps me think (instead of reacting, I stop and write), it helps me process things that sometimes I struggle with (ie forgiveness), it holds me accountable (ie adoption law), and it helps me remember (20 years from now, I'll still have the details of our love story in writing!). This blog is basically like my journal, except it isn't hidden under my mattress... 

On second thought, the above paragraph is partially a lie, I am one of those people that live under the false belief hope that someday my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will want to know me... So I'm also writing for them, I plan to print this bad boy so that when I'm long gone, they can read my story in my words. Because that's realistic, right? 

With that being said, I love, love, love hearing from YOU! I mean, I much prefer a conversation to a lecture. When you comment or respond, I get to know YOU! I WANT to get to know YOU! And by no means, was I trying to guilt trip you into "following" or commenting, although it was fun! 

#4. I swear I wasn't fishing for a compliment, but...

Thundering Up with my Hubby!

I'm not going to lie, you guys made me feel sooooooo good!! Thank you so much for your kind words! It was so awesome to hear from friends of all ages that have known me my entire life that are reading to keep up with my life in "the City" and equally awesome to hear from people I've never met but have found that they relate very well to a small town girl! Your kindness made my heart overflow with joy! 

#5. YOU make me better!

My daddy has always told me to surround myself with people that make me better... This week, YOU have all made me better! YOU gave me advice, YOU shared your wisdom, and YOU made some wonderful suggestions!! (Did you notice, no mega-paragraphs?! And lots of pictures?! See, I listened!!)

YOU gave me some great ideas and I plan on implementing lots of them, so get excited for some fun new things coming soon!

Oh, and last but certainly not least, Recipe Monday lives on! I probably won't be able to post this week's recipe until Wednesday but plan on some mouth-water pork chops!!

Be blessed and know that you are greatly appreciated by,

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Few Questions For YOU!

Hey gang! As I'm sure you all are aware, I am still pretty new to this whole blogging gig. I'm trying to learn the ropes but there really isn't a Blogging for Dummies (at least that I know of). So, I read a lot of blogs (approx 25 a day) and try to learn from other bloggers. I experiment with posting things on Facebook and Twitter, but none of it really leads me to much feed back...

This is where YOU come in!!

I want to know what YOU think... YOU, after all, are the readers! YOU know what you like to read about and what you skip over. YOU know what keeps you coming back and what makes you "Delete" a blog from your favorites. So tell me what YOU think!!

I'll give you some open ended questions, but feel free to ditch those and just tell me anything and everything!! I truly value your opinion! So even if you think what you have to say is silly or maybe obvious or just common sense, SAY IT ANYWAY!!! You won't hurt my feelings, you will help me grow!

So here are some basic questions to think on...

What is your favorite thing to read about?

What topics do you instantly zone out on?

Thoughts on Recipe Monday? Love it? Hate it? Wish it was less desserts? Wish it was more desserts?

What do you wish I wrote more of?

Do you love pictures or are you sick of looking at us?

Do you like seeing random craft projects or are you already overwhelmed because you have Pinterest?

Do you follow my blog? Why or why not? Have you hit the little blue button on the right that says "JOIN THIS SITE?" (Because in case you didn't know, that's how you "follow" a blog.)

What prevents you from commenting? Do you not know how or do I not pose questions that make you want to respond?

Are you mad at me for not writing Part IV to Meeting My Match (I know one of my coworkers is...) or are you throwing up in your mouth over our little mushy love story?

If you were writing this blog, what would you do to make it better?!

Please, please, please tell me what you really think!! I want to be a better blogger, but I need your input to know where and how to improve. I am sooooo appreciative of your kind words, but I also need your constructive criticism. I have always been a true believer in this quote:

True friends stab you in the front.
                                                                                                 ~Oscar Wilde

Please feel free to stab away people! I have to know in order to grow!! Thank you all so very much for reading! If you don't feel comfortable posting on my facebook or in the comments section, please feel free to email me directly at 

Be Blessed!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Introducing Our First Nephew: Baby Brooks!

I'm pretty positive last weekend took the cake for the "Best Weekend Award." We had the most wonderful weekend! It started off with Levi, Callie and Baby Blake driving in early Saturday morning... I got to play with Blake while her momma took a test and her daddy had a little nap after turkey hunting earrrrly that morning. Blake and I had so much fun - she laughed at Rylee (first time I've ever heard her laugh), she downed a couple of bottles, she helped me fold laundry and then we rocked a really long time as I soaked in her precious little face as she napped. That pretty girl has me wrapped around her finger!

When Callie got back from her test and Brandon got home from work, we got cleaned up and headed to meet Ryan, Jaime, Blythe and Zoe for some dinner. It makes me so happy when I get to spend time with my cousins! I am so blessed that they are not just my family, but also my wonderful friends. We had a great time laughing over yummy food...

That same evening we got a text from Brandon's mom saying our sister-in-law, Ashlee, was finally going into labor! YIPPEE!! We all have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first nephew, Brooks Caleb. Well, that sweet baby decided we all needed a lesson in patience so he refused to come until Sunday morning! Brandon and I asked that we be called as soon as any change occurred... at 4:30am we got the call and we BOLTED out of bed! (If only I had that burst of adrenaline every morning, I am positive I'd make it to work on time!) We talked to B's mom as we drove, she beat us back to the hospital and reported that all was well so we decided we'd grab everyone some Starbucks and donuts. We had to go to two donut stores because my favorite one (Daylight Donuts) wasn't opened... Seriously? You know you are up early when the donut shops are still closed. Then we were on the hunt for Starbucks... FIVE closed Starbucks cafes later we waited at the door until one opened. Geeze Louise, I just knew we were going to miss it while trying to find a cup of decent coffee! But no, Baby Brooks was still making us all wait...

We all had a great time waiting on Baby Brooks... Well, all of us except poor Ashlee whose epidural had unfortunately started to wear off. She was such a trooper!! When it was close to go-time we all gathered around the door, waiting to hear that joyful little cry of our sweet nephew.

Below are two pictures that I think are so precious... Ashlee's dad quietly paced outside the door waiting. We barely heard a sound from Ash as she brought Brooks into this world, she was super tough, but once or twice we heard a little crying sound and Ashlee's sweet daddy instantly quit his pacing and went to sit away from our little group standing around the door. I think it's so true that a daddy never stops being your daddy regardless of how old you are... You could tell hearing her pain, left him worried about his little girl...

And then we heard that sound we'd all been waiting for: Baby Brooks!! I was watching Terry's face and it instantly switched from stress to joy! Isn't that the cutest picture ever!?

On April 22, 2012
at exactly 8:47 in the morning 
our lives changed forever as


made our world a little sweeter.

He was welcomed with great joy by:

His momma Ashlee and daddy Caleb

Gramma Karen and Nana Judy
Papa Terry and Grandpa Larry
Uncle Brandon and Uncle Chris
Great-Grandparents Helen and Jerry

one verrrrry proud Aunt Raegan... (But I was too busy taking pictures to get in one!)
and many, many, MANY other friends and family from near and far.
He is already one blessed little boy!

Mr. Brooks had a full set of dark brown, almost black hair.
He weighed a healthy 7 pounds, 5 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.
There is no doubt that he is perfect in every way imaginable!
And already so handsome!!
(Ashlee, Annia and I all agree that those Kings make some pretty boys!)

Blessed Grandmother"
Did I mention he has a VERY healthy set of lungs?
That boy knows how to get some attention!
Uncle Brandon is excited about his new fishing buddy.

Sweet Baby Brooks,

I don't know what your little future holds but I know this... You come from a long line of very good men and you have the responsibility of carrying on their good name. There are few things more important than a good name little Brooks, you'll understand this someday. You will see for yourself how you were given this good name... See, it comes from your Daddy, your Uncle Brandon, your Uncle Christopher and your Grandpa - they all have this amazing gift. It is uncommon, it is rare, it is precious and because you will grow up with these wonderful men as your role models, you will have it too... Each of these men are special because they have generous hearts. They are givers. They devote their time and money and talents and THEMSELVES to helping others. Your Daddy and your Grandpa are firefighters - they volunteered to run INTO the burning building to help others. Your Uncles are doctors - they sacrificed years of their lives to learn medicine so they could help others. These men are givers and it's not just in their job descriptions, they give when nobody is looking... I've caught them! When your Uncle Brandon was studying for his Boards, I saw your daddy sneak over to mow the yard in the middle of the hottest summer in Oklahoma history. When they see a need, they try their hardest to meet it, regardless of the self-sacrifice it takes. Little Brooks, you have very big shoes to fill.

We all have very high expectations for you, little guy. You were blessed before you even arrived because your mom and dad are some of the most wonderful people in the world. They are going to teach you many important lessons and you will grow to be a great man - full of strength, wisdom, integrity and love. You have the opportunity to see first hand what it's like to love God first and your family second... Those two things above all else... Your mom and dad are really good at that, they will show you.

Sweet little Brooks, know this above all else, from the moment we learned that you were joining our family, you were immensely loved. Our love for you is one thing that no matter what, will never, ever change. Your Uncle Brandon and I will cover your sweet little life in prayer daily. We are going to try our hardest to be the best Uncle and Aunt in the whole wide world... We'll probably jack that up some time down the road, but know that we love you and we're doing our best!

Happy Birthday Precious Brooks...

You are hugely loved by,
Aunt Raegan

Monday, April 23, 2012

Easter Overload Part 4

This is the last of the Easter posts... which is good since Easter was weeks ago! But I didn't want to do every day leading up to Easter but then never post the actual day itself... I'm going to knock this out pretty quick because we had a super exciting weekend and I realllllllly want to introduce you all to my first ever NEPHEW! So let's do this Easter things so we can talk baby...

Are these roses not a-mazing?! My sweet and super talented mom has been arranging flowers for the front of the church for about as long as I can remember. In the dead of winter, she can arrange twigs of nothing and it turns out fabulous! She very sweetly says that God blesses her flower beds each week by making things bloom so she'll have something to work with. This Easter God gave her some of the most magnificant roses ever - their colors were so beautiful! She had a small arrangement sitting on the lobby table and I honest to goodness thought they were fake! Thanks mom for so selflessly sharing your beautiful flowers with Crossings Church each week!

Okay, so yes we might be in our late twenties... and yes, we have real jobs... and yes, we are definitely married... and yes, the Easter Bunny still visits our house!! I am so not ashamed or embarrassed. The Easter Bunny is awesome! Instead of dolls, he now brings cute clothes! I LOVE THE EASTER BUNNY!

Easter picture with my handsome hubby.
Brother was having none of it, some things never change.

We had Easter lunch at the Ranch house with all the cousins! Unfortunately I some how failed to get my camera in the mix when we took the group shot, so you only get to see Mr. Kason! One day I was playing with Kason at his "Gpa's" office and I ended up taking him over to the park. We were having soooo much fun running from the swings to the slide, back to the swings, back to the slide... Then I had this genius idea! I taught Kason this fun little cheer where I said, "Kason, who is your favorite?" and he jumped up and down and yelled, "Raegan is! Raegan is!!" It was a really fun cheer and I made him say it everytime he got on the slide or the swings (shameless, I know!). Well, go figure, here we are MONTHS later and I see the little squirt and say, "Kason, who is your favorite?" and he remembered!! And therefore, little Kason got whatever he wanted from me for the day. His requests were pretty easy - the rock he has in his hand, ride in the back of the truck and go fishing. Done, done and done!

Fishing got old pretty quick so Kason and I ended up throwing rocks, sticks, whatever we could find in the pond and he was adequately pleased. Finally Levi caught a fish and Kason just grabbed it and went down and threw him back in! What a little cutie! The look on his face completely cracks me up!

One of my favorite things to do at the start of Spring is pick flowers from the meadow. The high meadow at the Ranch is always COVERED in jonquils (also known as daffodils or buttercups) and paperwhites. Unfortunately I missed all the bright yellow jonquils this year but the paperwhites were still in bloom, so I grabbed up a quick bouquet before heading back to the city. They brought me such joy in the few days after I got back... It's always nice to bring a little small town home with me!

Be Blessed!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Easter Overload Part 3

This is the next to last day of Easter, I told you... I took a lot of pictures!

After the whole gigantic-soaking-wet-dog-in-truck episode, we gave up on catching any fish and headed to the very best, most amazing, crazy delicious, hole in the wall EVER... If you are ever completely lost and stumble upon Cookson, Oklahoma you MUSTTTTTTT stop at the little convenient store that is home to the Cookson Diner. There is only one room with maybe five tables and you have to walk through the kitchen to get from the front door to the seating area. During any hunting season, there will be a wait but it'll be worth it. Many times I am the only person in the place NOT wearing camo. It's been redecorated a bit since last time I was home, they have cute little antiques sitting on a tall shelf. It's almost guaranteed that the waitress will call you "honey." And I'm not positive (because I always go with my dad and he buys) but I'm betting you better have cash...

It is so ridiculously delicious! We go there every single time we head to the Ranch. They are only opened for breakfast and lunch and to be perfectly honest with you I've never ordered anything except breakfast because it's so stinkin' amazing. (But I have seen other people order gigantic juicy burgers!) I fully intended to take a picture of our food but then I was starving by the time we got the Duncan situation under control and I didn't think of it again until my plate had been completely cleaned. Sorry about that, you'll just have to trust me.

I always order the ham and cheese omelet and it comes with hashbrowns and toast. The omelet itself is pretty big and it's oozing with melted cheese and about a pound of ham. It. Is. Heavenly. Brandon always gets pancakes, so we split both our orders in half and share with each other. My dad is particularly fond of their biscuits and gravy and my mom ordered their new breakfast scrambler and it looked awe-some! It had scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, potatoes and cheese all mixed up. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. It's located in the middle of nowhere but it's definitely worth the drive!

This would be my brother in a pond. Remember that time I wrote a really sweet post to Zac on his birthday and I tried to sneak in the fact that at times he can be a little bit redneck? This would be one of those times. Here's what happened: We were fishing after breakfast and he cast out in the pond and the fishing line went over a tree branch but still landed in the water on the other side. Zac somehow managed to catch a fish and then while reeling it in, got the line stuck in the tree, which in turn left the fish dangling in the air. Somehow the fish squirmed around until it fell out of the tree but left Zac's favorite lure even more stuck. So my precious little redneck got the bright idea to wade out in the water, grab the part of the limb that was hanging down and break it so that the he could save his favorite lure. (In case you aren't up to speed on how much a lure cost... well it differs, but this particular lure couldn't cost more than $2.50... In other words, not near enough to wade out in a pond over.) His plan was working decently... he rolled his shorts up so they weren't getting wet, he had on flip flops so nothing too disgusting was on his feet, I'm not sure why he needed to take his shirt off but he did... The thing he hadn't calculated was how hard he'd need to pull the limb to break it. Apparently it was a little less attached then he expected, so he pulled as hard as he could and it snapped like a twig (Technically, I guess it was a twig) and Zac went flying backwards into the water! Soaked from head to toe! That, my friend, was really fun to watch.

That would be my dad fishing. If dad doesn't catch something in the first five casts, prepare to switch ponds immediately... Patience is not a virtue he finds important when it comes to fishing.

While the boys were catching fish, mom and I caught some sun in the back of the truck. I guess Zac isn't the only one with a little touch of redneck... I took this picture while we were driving from one pond to another. I wouldn't recommend riding in lawn chairs in the bed of a truck, but we were staying on the Ranch so there wasn't any risk of wrecking.

Mom and Dad had to head into town for the afternoon and B wanted to stay so while he continued to fish his little heart out, I played with... 

Baby Blake!! She and Callie came and sweetly sat with me and talked for hours on end! It was so good to catch up with Callie and Miss Blake was a completely content baby the entire time. We talked about everything under the sun and it was great fun!

Saturday evening we joined my parents at my mom's parents' house for some delicious pre-Easter dinner. My Grandma is a fabulous cook and dinner was great, but dessert... oh, dessert was even extra delicious! I'm not even really sure what it was - light and airy angel food cake with some type of wonderful sauce and whipped cream! We had a great time sitting around the table visiting with my sweet grandparents... I so wish I got to see them more often!

Be Blessed!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Easter Overload Part 2

Thanks to everyone who prayed for the Williams family yesterday! The service was truly wonderful and uplifting! The funeral took place on one of the three state parks that Steve was the director of and it was a packed house if I've ever seen one... There wasn't an empty seat in the lodge and they opened all the windows and set up chairs and speakers outside and there were STILL people left standing everywhere they could find an empty space. What a testament to this wonderful man's life! The weather could not have been more perfect - sunny with a breeze! The family had asked different people that Steve had been close with to speak and what started as a sad, quiet occasion quickly escalated to a happy, joyful celebration! Story after story was told that left everyone in the room laughing hysterically. It was truly a wonderful day...

Please continue to pray for his family as they adjust to their new normal... They have a lot of big decisions to make and things to get lined out, pray that the Lord shows them exactly what to do and that the process is as painless as possible. Continue to pray for their strength and comfort. Thank you for helping make a difference in this difficult time.

Now, back to Easter weekend!

Friday the minute we got off work we hit the road to my beautiful home town! We rolled in just in time to watch The Passion of Christ with my parent's church. The movie depicts the story of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and being resurrected... It is terribly difficult to watch as they beat, bloody, and break the body of my Savior, but that is exactly what the Easter holiday is about - God sacrificing his son for each one of us. Brandon and I agreed that watching this movie would become an Easter tradition for our family.

We ended up spending the night at the Ranch on Friday so that dad and Brandon could do some turkey hunting earrrrrly Saturday morning. They didn't see a thing but they still had fun!

These are just a few random pictures from around the Ranch - above is my MASSIVE yellow lab, Duncan. He typically weighs between 100-120 pounds and he is the sweetest, most cuddly big ol' teddy bear you've ever seen. (I'll tell you about this weekend's Marley moment in a second.) Also, are you seeing how insanely green everything was?! That picture hasn't been edited a single bit... Spring has sprung in Eastern Oklahoma and it's b-e-a-u-tiful!

This is the tree Brandon carved our initials into after proposing LAST Easter! (I will eventually get to the proposal in Meeting My Match, promise.) It's finally starting to brown and we liked the new color changes. This tree means so very much to me! I was so thankful to get to spend Easter at the Ranch with my family. I haven't been able to go home since Christmas and it felt like forever!

This would be Duncan in time out... Sweet Duncan loves when we go fishing, the problem is that nobody loves taking Duncan fishing because, well, you can't catch a single fish when he's around. However, I made the mistake of talking Brandon into taking him.

See the problem is that when you cast your plug out into the pond, Duncan thinks you are playing fetch so he runs full speed, throws his massive body in the water (usually this is not done gracefully... think tsunami like waves and splashing everywhere), and chases after your plug until you reel it entirely back in and he's back on the bank shaking water all over you and waiting for your next cast. My father insists that if we let him catch the plug (with a hook in it) one time, we wouldn't have this problem anymore but none of us have the heart to teach him this lesson the hard way. He's just too stinkin' cute, even when you are mad at him.

So Brandon is dying to go fishing, he's been talking about it non-stop for weeks and I insist we take Duncan. The agreement was that Duncan could go but I was in charge of keeping him out of the water. I let the tail bed down and grab his collar while he jumps out. I tell him to sit and stay, which he does even though his eyes are darting all over the pond and his giant tell is wagging excessively... He wants to go sooooo bad, but he minds me. Brandon is putting the lure on his pole and I ask him if he'll go ahead and put mine on as well and that's when we make Mistake #1 - Brandon says "Okay" which happens to be the word we use when Duncan no longer has to stay. He bolts into the pond, Brandon just glares at me, I start using my best "scary dog owner voice" and insisting that Duncan get out of the water immediately, which goes over... not at all. Finally I resort to waving a stick and throwing it away from the pond. He bounds out of the water after the stick. Success!

I entertain Duncan with fetch while Brandon does a little fishing. He hollers up to me that he caught one on the second cast! I tell him good work, just make sure not to... Mistake #2 - Brandon throws the fish back in the water, to Duncan this is like the ultimate fetch! He bolts back into the water, splashing everywhere as he rapidly runs back and forth in the shallow part of the water trying to find the fish. Brandon. Is. Furious. I'm pretty sure actual steam was coming out of his ears. I do what every sane person would do, I start screaming at the dog (because clearly that worked so well five minutes earlier). "DUNCAN!! GET! IN! THE! TRUCK!" over and over and over. I think Duncan sensed B's anger as well because miraculously he ran towards the truck and I'm chasing him and then we commit Mistake #3. When we finished putting the lures on the fishing poles, we left the back door of my dad's truck open so we'd have easy access to the tackle box. Stupid. Duncan is running full speed, I'm chasing him and screaming like a wild banshee, Brandon's head is about to blow and I see Duncan's eyes dart towards the open truck door as he runs by and you know where this is going. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO (think slow motion)!"

All hundred and some odd pounds Duncan, soaking wet from head to tail, sees the window (in this case door) of opportunity and he takes it! He jumps straight into the back seat and he's just running back and forth across it when I get there, still screaming. When I reach in to grab him, he of course jumps into the front passenger seat and proceeds to sit, like he owns the place. I run around to the other side, so of course he just climbs right over to the drivers seat... the passenger's seat literally has standing water. FINALLY, he realizes this is getting him in more trouble by the second and so he ducks his tail and climbs out of dad's seat. He is promptly taken to time out in the back of the truck and isn't released for quite some time... So he pouted profusely.

I attempted to take him back up to the ranch house but the drivers seat was so wet that I couldn't sit in it... Luckily dad pulled up just in time and Duncan was transported to time out in the back of Zac's truck. We went on to breakfast, leaving dad's truck by the pond with every door open, hoping it would dry.

I'll be back with more Easter fun tomorrow! Thanks again for praying for our friends!

Be Blessed!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Please Say A Little Prayer

Today I'm headed home for the funeral of our friend Steve. Please take a minute to pray for his wife, Sandy, and their kids, Jenn and Bryan. This is an incredibly hard day for all of us, but our sadness doesn't even begin to compare to their pain. Please pray specifically that God gives them STRENGTH through this nightmare day, COMFORT as they see an entire community come together to honor their husband and dad, and finally PEACE in the understanding that today Steve is celebrating in Heaven with our King. Thank you for helping me cover this precious family in prayer. Raegan

Monday, April 16, 2012

Easter Overload Part 1

When I say "Easter Over Load" I am not complaining one single bit. I named this post based strictly on the insane number of photos included!! We had an eventful Easter weekend and I wanted to share every frilly little detail, of course! (I am a bit embarrassed I just stooped to that level of cheesiness. Oh well.)

So let's get started with the Easter festivities...

We kicked off the fun on Thursday by doing some serious egg coloring with Blythe and Zoe! Growing up, decorating eggs was a really big deal at our house. Zac and I spent hours drawing designs, dipping them in the color and decorating with glitter and stickers. (Zac didn't really partake in the glittering... His eggs usually ended up looking a lot like basketballs, shocking.) We continued our egg decorating tradition up until about a year or two ago... Apparently it's like a rule that once you are both in college and/or married, you don't get to color Easter eggs anymore. Who knew?!

So, I did what any smart person who is too old for Easter egg decorating would do... I invited Blythe and Zoe over for an egg extravaganza! What an interesting night it was - not exactly the experience I expected. It started off with, Miss Zoe (who is 3) asking where the eggs came from. I want to be the "cool aunt" but I'm not that cool. My parents still haven't had that talk so in my head, I panic - "Please direct all questions concerning reproduction to your parents." For some reason that didn't satisfy her... "Why?" she said in her little whiny voice. 

Big sister Blythe quickly informs me that we shouldn't tell her because it'll make her sad. Huh? What's sad about an egg coming from a chicken? Now I'm the one wondering why. I quickly and simply tell Zoe that eggs come from chickens, easy enough, conversation over... Then Blythe drops the bomb, "There are baby chickens in the eggs but they are dead." Ooooh, so that's why Zoe would be sad. This prompted many questions such as why would we eat dead baby chickens and who killed all the baby chickens (I started saying that nobody killed the baby chickens because they weren't chickens yet, they were just eggs... but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense if I believe that babies are babies the minute an egg and sperm meet... I'm pretty sure BK was reading my spinning mind from across the room because he instantly perked up and said, "Babe, keep it simple, I really don't want to have to explain to their parents why we laid out the different beliefs on a-b-o-r-t-i-o-n to their three year old." Good call husband, good call. I'm so glad I've got him for back up.)

Somehow we ended up diverting the conversation back into normal three year talk, chickens lay eggs and then they sit on them and keep them really warm and protected and finally a baby chicken breaks out of the egg when it's ready to be born... what I didn't consider was the fact that I had just handed the poor kid an egg that had cracked while boiling. "This one is still alive!! My chicken is being born!!" Oh geeze. I've got a LOTTTTT to learn, glad my sweet nieces let me practice on them.

Even though we weren't super successful on the egg Q&A, we did dye, shine and glitter two dozen extra large eggs... The girls had so much fun, almost as much fun as I did! Brandon on the other hand was somehow designated "glitter slave." It's not as glamorous as it sounds... Poor man was covered in sparkles by the time it was over! He's going to be a very good dad someday (but not for a few more years - don't get any crazy ideas).

When I told the girls it was time to start boxing all their eggs up Blythe showed me her "best one." She said she made it just for me. 

"I love you" 

Those precious girls can cover my house in glitter, spill egg dye all over everything and terrify my dog any time they want... They both have my heart. 

Be Blessed!

Friday, April 13, 2012


Last night, Brandon and I didn't get home until about 10:15 but I stayed up until 11:45 working on a blog post that explained (read: whined) about the rough week I've had... Work has been a phone-ringing-off-the-hook nightmare, we've been tied up every night this week until late, I have yet to finish the laundry from last weekend's trip home, I've had zero time to blog, blah blah blah.

This morning my mom called to tell me that one of our very good family friends had had an accident last night. At the exact time that I was was sitting in bed whining about being busy, my friend's mom was frantically calling 911 as her husband went to meet Jesus in their kitchen floor. This morning I wish God didn't use such powerful illustrations to remind me that I need to have a little perspective. The whining post has been deleted, it's been replaced with this:

Steve and Sandy quickly became friends with my parents when we started attending their church. They are the type of people that are always smiling from ear to ear and you know it's legit, they aren't pretending. They are happy people, lovers of life. 

With Steve, things are always black or white, right or wrong. In the years that I've known him, he never tried to walk the line, he never tried to make a gray area... He always stood for what he believed was right. He loved Christ and he lived his life accordingly.

Sandy and Steve were high school sweethearts. Their love for each other was so obvious. Rarely ever did you see one without the other.

Their kids, Jennifer and Brian, are a year above and below me. You couldn't find two more proud parents. They loved having the kids home (Bryan and Jenn currently live in Dallas) and Steve would gush about his next hunting or fishing trip with Bryan.

Steve and Sandy love, love, love spending time on the lake and many evenings we would meet them heading out on the water as we were coming in for the day - they especially enjoy spending the night on the lake... They are the reason behind #2 on our Pre-Baby Bucket List

They welcomed our family with open arms the second it was established that we were Sooner fans... later they came to accept my mom, overlooking her ties to her orange alma mater. The picture below cracked me up! Steve was one of my dad's friends who showed up, without being asked, the morning of our wedding to help anywhere help was needed. I knew I had a picture of him working and I wanted to find it... I should have known he would have been working on getting the cable set up so that we wouldn't miss the OU v. Florida State game that happened to fall on our wedding night!! The cable never ended up working so Steve and Sandy left immediately after we were announced husband and wife, we weren't offended one bit... Steve was a loyal Sooner fan.

Steve is the guy on the far right working hard! 
Today, my dad's buddy is in Heaven. Even as I type this I can't truly fathom it. My head just cannot wrap itself around how quickly life can take such a drastic change. My heart breaks for sweet Sandy, Bryan and Jenn. Words can't accurately express my sadness. It makes my heart hurt and my head spin and my knees weak. I wish I was there to just hug on them... 

I don't know how to end this post. There are no answers, accidents happen even to the very best of people. I have no wise words. Nothing I can say will comfort this precious family. Nothing I can do can bring back Sandy's husband, Bryan and Jenn's dad, my parent's dear friend. What I know without a shadow of a doubt is this: Steve is rejoicing in Heaven today. God knew exactly what He was doing, I don't understand it right now and I might never get it, but I will not question Him. People in my community are mourning the death of this amazing man, but we will also celebrate his life. We will find the positive in our heartbreak. We will be there for his family - day and night, today and tomorrow, and the days, months and years ahead. 

You may not know Steve, you may live far away from my small town, but this post still applies to you. Everyone knows someone that is grieving. One thing I love about blogging is that people tend to answer questions you are too afraid to ask... How do you ask someone that just experienced a terrible loss, "So, what were the helpful things people did for? What made you feel loved? How can I be of more help next time someone is grieving?" Even if you were really close, it's just awkward. BUT in blogland, people feel comfortable sharing... I think it's because you kind of feel like you are just writing a note to yourself. I began reading a blog called An Inch of Gray over a year ago. Anna was a dumpster diver, funny mother of two, who always had a fun story. This September when the crazy flash floods hit, her elementary school son was in an accident. The blog now focuses on dealing with grief, trying to stay positive, the pouring out of emotion. Sometimes I read her words and I'm emotionally drained - she writes straight from the heart. I want to be her cheerleader, her friend. Recently she wrote a long post, What You Can Do To Help A Grieving Family. Click on it. Grab a pencil and paper and write down a few notes. Her words are her real experience. She gives great suggestions for how to help. She writes powerful, powerful things that make me sit still and ponder... My favorite came from this post - 

Love is a verb. 

Please help me love on my sweet friends by praying for peace and comfort and hope for their wonderful family. Pray that God gives them that "peace that passes all understanding." Pray that their faith is strengthened through this unbearable trial. Please pray... it's the most powerful thing we have to give.

Hug your family today. Keep things in perspective.

Be Blessed.