Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Story Canvas-Hand in Hand

Trent and I have a motto for our marriage. Teams and organizations have slogans and such, why shouldn't a marriage, since a marriage is supposed to be a team? Here's our motto:

Hand in Hand

It means more than just that we like to hold hands. Which we do, don't get me wrong. There's a whole lot wrapped up in that phrase. I'm not really sure how it came to be our motto, but somewhere along the way it showed up and has stuck. We even included it in our wedding vows.

It means that we are committed to facing this world as a team, a unit, a partnership. To hold someone's hand, you are usually beside them, meaning neither one of us is ahead or behind the other. Kind of reminds me of that country song: "I want a man who stand beside me, not in front of or behind me."

Sure, we may both have different skills that cause us to lead in various areas of our marriage. Money management? All me. Spiritual leadership? All him. I don't really like when people ask "who wears the pants in that marriage?" because it implies somebody is dominating in one way or another. And that's not cool.

We sure thought we were a unit when we were dating and even when we got married. But getting to know someone is a never ending process. We're almost three years into our marriage (holy cow, time flies when you're having fun) and we are still figuring each other out. It's an adventure, that's for sure, with ups and downs, mistakes, successes, wrong assumptions, correct guesses, middle of the night conversations, but overall a whole lot of love.

I love this man so much and I am so grateful that I get to walk hand in hand through this life with him.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chronicles of the Kings

Last summer, after I finished my last section of the CPA exam, I borrowed a whole bunch of Lynn Austin books from my coworker Ashley, who owns almost all of them. Part of that stack she lent to me was the Chronicles of the Kings series.

This is a five book series set in Biblical times that tells the story of King Hezekiah. I read one or two other books after my exam before diving into this series. Honestly I was a bit wary of it. I had read several other Lynn Austin books and absolutely loved the way she effortlessly intertwines characters, pasts, history, fiction, love, romance, drama, and a tasteful Christian tone. I actually asked Ashley if this series was just a remake of Bible stories, and was there really a love story and were they really that good? She assured me they were, so I gave them a chance.

Fast forward to me reading the first book in the series.

Trent: How's your book, babe?
Anna: Well, they are throwing small children into a fire as a sacrifice.

Trent: How's your book, sexy pants? Still burning small children?
Anna: The Assyrians just turned Judah into a vassal nation and showed King Ahaz a whole bunch of chopped up other kings as a threat.

Trent: How's your book, gorgeous one? Did any more kings get chopped up?
Anna: They just killed Hezekiah's mom because she stood up for the Lord.

Trent: How's your book, morning buns? Have you found a love story yet?
Anna: No, they just imprisoned Hezekiah's grandfather in the temple for his entire childhood.

Trent: How's your book, dork? Any better?
Anna: They just poisoned King Ahaz, and Hezekiah is king. I guess that means he needs a wife. Come ooooon love story.

End Book One of series. Begin Book Two.

Trent: How's book two, Mrs. Pie?
Anna: The story switched to an Israelite girl named Jerusha who was just raped and captured by Assyrians.


I do not deny that these are very well written, very historically sound, very detailed accounts of this story. But they just had too much action, blood, killing and doing evil in the eyes of the Lord for what I wanted to be reading at the time. I read something else light and cheery in between book one and two and trudged about halfway through book two when I gave up a few months ago. I kept my place, I kept the books on my shelf. I plan to one day finish the series. But for now, for someone who wasn't able to read books for fun for a year and a half, there are plenty other more pleasant books out there that I want to read. Sorry Lynn, sorry Hezekiah. I'll be back later. :-/

P.S. Yes, those are all nicknames that Trent calls me on a regular basis... :-)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Remember that time...

Trent and I have lots of silly games and sayings. For example:

~whoever puts their thumbs up last when we sit down to a meal has to pray and if it's a tie we rock, paper, scissors for who prays (I'm pretty sure that's in the Bible somewhere)
~"dork" is interchangeable as a term of endearment or just "hi"
~we often switch the first letters of syllables around in words, so honeymoon is moneyhoon and Whataburger is Batawhurger, etc.

Are you losing faith in our sanity yet?

Well, one little game/saying we have is "Remember that time..." Each of us often randomly asks "remember that time we [fill in the blank]" As in:

Remember that time we got married?
Remember that time we bought a house?
Remember that time we went to Shiner?
Remember that time we went to Chicago?
Remember that time you passed the CPA exam?
Remember that time I lost 12 pounds?
Remember that time my kitty was theeees biiig?

Remembering the time we got married is by far the most popular. They are all obviously big things that happened, that we will not soon forget, so asking the question "Remember that time..." is not really a reminder but rather a "Hey, I was just thinking about our wedding", or "Guess what, I was just thinking about our first anniversary trip." Sometimes it's things that are still very current and present. Like "Hey remember that time you kicked tax season's butt?" Oh, that was last week. It's a fun way to keep these great memories at the front of our minds and share them over and over again.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Story Canvas - Ivy Ave

Trent and I got married on 5-18-08, went to Chicago for our honeymoon, then came back to Waco and got settled in our first little apartment. 400 Ivy Ave, #155. We had a 6:40 am flight out of Chicago and were back to our apartment by noon. I had managed to move all of my stuff out of my previous apartment and into the new one before the wedding but Trent wasn't as successful, so we had handed Caleb and Trent's parents keys and said "have fun, please move Trent while we are on our trip." :-( I still feel bad about that. So we got back to our little home, tired from getting up at 3 am that morning and traveling, and found wedding gifts in the dining room, an entertainment center in the kitchen, clothes on the sofa, my keyboard leaning against a wall and on and on. We stared at everything for a moment from the three feet into the doorway that we were able to move. Then we decided to take a nap before tackling it all. That was our first few minutes in our new married home. After napping, and letting select people know we were back from our trip safely, we tackled our apartment, got it all in order, got rid of a LOT of stuff, and slowly made it our own.

It was a wonderful first home. 805 married square feet. Little bitty washer and dryer that barely fit three pairs of Trent's work pants in one load. Two stories with upper and lower porches. And the closets. Oh the closets. Closet under the stairs, outdoor closet upstairs off the balcony, book nook around a weird corner wall upstairs, a closet at the top of the stairs, two small closets for Trent which we used for separating work and nice clothes, and a lovely large walk-in closet for me. So. Much. Closet. Space. Loved it.

Here are a few pictures from our little home:

Our front porch, decorated for fall.

Our dining room, which was used as my office more than a dining room, as you can see. I was finishing up my masters degree in taxation during the first summer and fall that we were married. (nerd alert, I know) That big, fat red book is the internal revenue code. We hung that mirror in an effort to make the room feel bigger. Trent would not let it be centered because there were no studs in the center... I believe this picture was taken pre-water leak from the tub above.

This is our ghetto-fabulous lamp shade, a slight view into our tiny kitchen and the awesome shelf that my husband built to fit the dining room wall. This shelf now hangs in our home office in our house, and I often look at it and think "wow, our dining room was small." But I got a lot of studying done in that dining room and appreciated the space.

Picture wall in the stairwell!

For our first married Christmas in our little home, I insisted we have a Christmas tree. We looked at small artificial ones but they were all pre-lit and flippin expensive, and we just didn't have room for a normal sized one. So we went on a pilgrimage to find a small tree of some sort and ended up at Lowe's. There I spotted it. And flipped. out. There sat a little bitty live tree that was $15 and sooooo cute and perfectly perfect. I'm pretty sure I squealed when I saw it. Trent can vouch for that. We brought it home and I set to decorating it and hung our stockings.

Yes that is a rifle leaned in the corner next to it...Trent was refinishing the stock at the time. We named our little tree our "Christmas Shrubbery" and just loved it. It was the perfect size for our space and for the amount of ornaments we had at the time (or lack thereof). I shoved a red plaid blanket around the bottom in place of a tree skirt and called it perfect...perfect little Christmas Shrubbery in our perfect little apartment.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Tax Season in Facebook Statuses

January 24th
Hello tax season...

January 26th
Did tax returns in my dreams last night, and it's only day 3 of tax season. Uh oh...

7:00 - 6:00 Work
6:00 - 8:00 Youth Group
8:30 - 9:00 Work out
9:00 - 9:15 "Oh, hi husband"
9:15 Bedtime

January 27th
6:57 am: rockin out to Flowrida and David Guetta in the parking lot. "The office can't event handle me right now!" Gotta get pumped up for these long days. :-/

February 1
Aaaaand cue the abundance of statuses about the weather. Here's mine: gonna drive slow to work and hibernate in my cube with some tax returns for company.

Just received my first surprise vanilla latte delivery for this tax season from my hubby!

February 4
I literally cried a bit on my way to work on account of not being able to play in the snow. It only snows during tax season.......


February 5
Why am I so sleepy????

February 7
Between tax season and Baylor baseball, Trent and I aren't going to see each other much this spring...

February 12
Training the new interns this morning then probably sleeping/relaxing/doing nothing for the rest of the weekend.

February 14
Oh my gosh it's 10:00...why am I still awake?!

February 15
My macaroni mug is missing. This is not a good thing...

I filed a one hour extension on my bedtime to go on a date to 3 Spoons with my husband who I have barely seen since Sunday...

February 17
The overtime schedule I decided on doesn't work so well when I don't stick to my bedtimes. Exhausted. Can it somehow magically be Friday evening so I can sleep all weekend?

February 20
But I don't want to go to work tomorrow...rawr.

February 25
Oh dear. Is it April 15th yet? We are going nuts already. No, this is not my desk and I did not do it.

February 26
My eyeballs are not working very well today.

February 28
Call up mama when all else fails...

March 3
I am so frumpy during tax season... :-( Oh well.

March 6
Dear sinus junk, please go away and come back after tax season. Or never. Thanks.

March 7
Ugh, not feeling well during tax season is not fun.

March 8
Excited for a fro-yo date with my husband who I haven't seen since lunchtime yesterday. And Caleb.

March 9
My lil cat brings me so much joy in the early mornings when I'm getting ready for work. She follows me around and does silly stuff. :-)

March 10
I miss my husband...

Yay :-)

March 14
11.25 hour work day, made dinner, went on a family walk, did a load of laundry, and watched a movie. I win.

March 15
It's March 15th. Make sure your corporate tax returns are filed or extended.

March 18
She says "I will help you get ready for work mama...zzzzzz..."

March 22
Macaroni tiiiiiiiiime.

March 24
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

March 25
Everything about yesterday felt like it was Friday. Too bad it wasn't. 11 hour day today and probably 4 tomorrow, then I can chill.

March 26
Got to sleep in till 6:45 today, yay. Gettin ready to head to the office. My goal is four hours...we'll see how long I last.

March 29
In exactly three weeks...I will not be at the office.

March 30
Ugh, super pouty this morning.

I wonder if this is what zombies feel like...so zapped.

April 4
I worked 12 hours today. 5 of them were spent searching for $1056.51 error in a giant, handwritten ledger book with almost $14 million net worth. I didn't find it. Oof, will try again tomorrow.

April 6
I think I get a bit bipolar during tax season. Determined and positive, then crying from frustration, then dead tired, then bonkers hyper.

April 7
Dinner. It's been a long day.

Trent just asked if I was going crazy. I told him I wasn't sure. Also, I need to replenish my emergency supply of macaroni...

April 8
Feelin' so fly like a G6. Not. Feelin' so frumpy like a person who just got to work at 6...

April 12
Whoops. I guess that is Italian for "extension estimate". You know you are brain fried when your typos come out in an imaginary language... :-(

Today, I worked 14 hours and my hubby taught me how to make grilled cheese. Pretty great day.

April 13
Went to Focus for a bit to see my hubby, the youth and hear Jimmy Dorrell speak. Now back to the office for some more fun. Tired.

Aprill 15
We are going a little bonkers up here..

Had a client tell me that I ruined their day. I don't have control over how much tax they owe. I like nice people better.

April 16
Slept 12 hours, got breakfast, seriously considering going back to sleep.

April 18
Happy tax day everyone!

Tax season is over! Now back to normal life. At Savannah's softball game. :-)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Story Canvas-Navy Pier

Trent and I went to Chicago, IL for our honeymoon. Or, as we like to affectionately call it in our stupid switch-letters-around-in-words game, our "moneyhoon." I know, not a very typical honeymoon location, but we were having such a hard time deciding where we wanted to go. We aren't really beach people, cruises weren't an option since we got married on a Sunday and most cruises left on a Sunday, and we overall didn't want to spend a whole ton of money. My Baylor, roomies, Delicious and Roo, are both from Wheaton, IL so we had heard plenty about Chicago from them. (No their names are not really Delicious and Roo, they are Steph and Rach.) Trent's aunt and uncle also used to live in Aurora, outside Chicago. So we figured, why not? It. Was. Great.

Chicago is home to Navy Pier, hence the title of this post and the entry for it on our story canvas.

Trent and I at the Pier.

Navy Pier from a distance. I wanted to so badly to ride the ferris wheel but it wasn't open for rides when we were there.

Somewhat successful self-taken pic on Lake Michigan. I love this photo.

John Hancock building

The Bean!!!! Very fitting since Trent's middle nickname is Bean. Trento Bean.

When I posted this picture on facebook after our honeymoon, this I think was the first time I referred to Trent as my husband on FB. "Trent immediately started trying to figure out how it was constructed...that's my husband for ya." :-)

Our married reflection in the Bean.

Sears Tower

Up in Sears Tower. Tired from walking ten bazillion miles.

The top of our cute hotel.

Mmmm, Chicago style pizza. Yumm.

So there are a few photos from the most wonderful trip we have every taken together. We plan to go back to the windy city someday, probably stay in the same hotel, eat at Burrito Beach a million times across the street from the hotel (oddly one of our favorite memories of the trip), drink coffee from Dunkin' Donuts, walk until our feet hurt, then realize we could take a bus tour of the city for only $35 instead of walking. Just kidding, we learned that one the hard way and will remember it for next time. Someday we will return to our "moneyhoon" city.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Miss Everything

Feel free to sing the title of this post to the tune of "I Hate Everything" by George Straight, because I have been all day, but switching out "miss" for "hate". I haven't managed to get anything to rhyme yet. Not enough spare brain cells. I miss my cat, my house, my husband, sleep, free time, cooking (whoa, yes, cooking), my youth girls, my family.

I had a mini pity party by myself as I went to sleep last night. Ok, not so mini. :-( It is now the end of Thursday and I have worked 53 hours already for the week. I only get to see my husband at night and since he broke his arm, the sofa is better for him to sleep well on because it is firmer and the back of it supports his arm and shoulder. So I don't even get to see him in my sleep.

Yesterday morning I texted my mom that I was pretty sure there is such thing as adrenaline angels (kinda like guardian angels) and that I thought I had some on my team. I was totally rockin' and rollin', had energy, was determined, was knocking out the returns... Then I guess I hit a wall. Four days before the deadline. Oof. I blame the fact that we started overtime a couple weeks earlier this year. So I pouted my way to sleep, pouted my way to work this morning at 6:00 am, and pouted till mid-morning. Then the rock and roll came back, even though my eyes didn't want to stay open. I think the adrenaline angels came back from their coffee break (hey, I'm the one that needs the coffee) and I got a lot done. Nice clients and helpful stock brokers sure make my job easier. By hour 13 today, it kinda felt like my head was detached and was just sort of floating above my body. I was really thirsty. I have decided I don't drink enough water when I am rockin' and rollin'. But I did intake a vanilla latte, a green tea, a regular tea and a frappucino today. Does that count for hydration?

In conclusion, I have no conclusion. Other than I am very much looking forward to my day off on Tuesday. It can't come soon enough. First of all, I will sleep in. Then I will clean my house, do laundry, relaaaaax, actually see the sunshine... It'll be great. Come oooon Tuesday.

On that note, I'm going to sleep.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Story Canvas - Shiner

This is Shiner, Texas, part of the story canvas from Steph. It is a sleepy, little bitty town where Trent and I went to celebrate our first anniversary:

Trent was still working for Waco Habitat for Humanity then, and heavy rain that Saturday allowed him to call it quits at the work site and we were able to hit the road earlier in the day than we planned. We love road trips so the 3 hour drive was no biggee. We checked into our lovely B&B, then set out to explore the town. About an hour later...we were done. There's not much to see! But it was perfect. When we go on trips together, we like to just relax, mosey around, be together. And Trent had always wanted to make a pilgrimage to the home of Shiner beers so it was all very fitting for us.

We spent some time at this place and chatted with Beverly, the owner

We found a pretty park.

We toured Spoetzl Brewery, home of Shiner Beers.

After the brewery tour and some free beer!

I'm a Shiner girl.

Our fridge after we got home....

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Knitted Camera Case

A while back, (aka last October...eek) my coworker, Angela, asked me to knit a camera case for her. Well, I focused on knitting hats prior to Christmas, took a sabbatical from knitting altogether after all that, then tax season kicked in which kicks my whole life off track for a few months. BUT, I have finally finished it and it's cute!

That's my camera in these pictures which is a bit bulkier than hers so it won't look quite so stretched when she uses it for her own slimmer camera. And the button is indeed centered, it just doesn't look like it from the angle of this picture.

Now on to complete her matching Ipod case!

Story Canvas 5.18.08

The next story canvas installment is "5.18.08" and is a big one for us. Our wedding day. The day I said "I do" to the love of my life, for the rest of my life. I'll use any excuse (or none at all) to look back through our wonderful wedding photos, by the very talented photographer, Abigail Criner. Here are just a few of the many pictures we have from the day that marked the beginning of happily every after.

Love him.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Story Canvas-Brazos River and Waco, Texas

Continuing the story canvas saga, I shall now elaborate on Brazos River and Waco, Texas.

The Brazos River runs through Waco and is part of my history with Trent. Part of the river runs through Cameron Park, which is where Trent and I first met. "Our" steakhouse is on the bank of the river, across from the spot in the park where we first met. Trent proposed on the front of the Spirit of the Rivers boat that used to dock at our steakhouse. Then we had our rehearsal dinner on that same boat, as a dinner cruise. All a surprise from his parents.

The Spirit of the Rivers (RIP)

Me with the love of my life, on the top deck of the Spirit of the Rivers.

My girls with me on the lower deck.

Love them and miss them

We got married the next day and headed to Chicago the day after that for our honeymoon. As we turned our cell phones back on when we landed in Chicago, they were flooded with texts from our friends telling us our boat had sunk that morning! Our group of family and friends were the last ones to ride it. Some say it was a maintenance malfunction. Some say the owner did it on purpose for insurance money. But we all know what caused it to sink:

RIP Spirit of the Rivers!

On to Waco, Texas. Trent and I both came here for Baylor University and managed to go a whole freshman year without meeting each other. Although he swears we were in the same dinner group at the dining hall one night and he thought I was cute. I do not remember this... Also, I noticed the cute guy running a camera in chapel that year that turned out to be him!

So Baylor brought us together but Waco itself made us stay. We really like it here. We have great jobs, a good church, and close friends. It's a great city!

The suspension bridge where he asked me to be his girlfriend.

Can't talk about Waco without a picture of the Alico building...

So that's the story of the Brazos River and Waco, Texas, albeit brief and mostly just pictures. But who doesn't love pictures? The next post about the story canvas, 5-18-08 will be almost all pictures. :-)