Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Miscellaneous Life Updates

Ready for a whirlwind collection of miscellaneous life updates?  Ready, set, go.

First of all, it's a Wednesday night and we are not with the youth group.  This past Sunday was our last day at the church that has been our home for 6 years and Trent's employer for 3.   It was a wonderful, bittersweet day.  We are excited for this new phase of our life but are so sad to be leaving our kids.

Trent begins seminary in less than a month.  Baylor and school related events are starting to show up in my calendar, including "Financial settlement due".  

Our crappy boat actually works.  Redneck yacht club, here we come.

On the foster care front, we are still whipping our house into shape and will begin our training classes on September 12th which will be Tuesday and Thursday nights for about five weeks.  I know I said in this post that they would be in August, but that was never certain.   We are beginning to think that when DFPS tells us when something will be, we need to plan on it actually being a month later than that...   Our training classes are now in the mix of tax deadlines for me and after school program for Trent at Mission Waco, but we are gonna make it work, by golly.  We ain't puttin' this off any longer!

I began working overtime in July for the fall tax deadlines.   First time for everything I suppose.

Trent informed me this afternoon that he would "be up all night smoking".    .....'scuse me??  "Brisket...smoking a brisket for Mission Waco program tomorrow."    Oooooooooh.

I had my annual evaluation at work and my company appears to appreciate me and wants me to stick around.  Who knew?  (Hint: I did.)

We are going to go visit my family this weekend and are going to visit Trent's at the end of this month.  And we get to stay through Sunday for the first time in three years.........whoa.

I've been fighting a cold or allergies or something since Friday.  Therefore I am going to bed.  Night night.

Monday, July 29, 2013

4 Reasons I Wouldn't Mind Living In The Hood

Every city has a "hood".  It's generally known as the rough part of town, full of poverty, violence, drugs and folks just barely scraping by.   Most people avoid it at all costs and think nothing good can possibly happen there or come out of there.

For most of this past year, Trent or I or both of us have driven a route in the church van each Sunday to pick up some of our youth for church and take them home after.  One of these kids lives in our city's version of the hood, East Waco, in a Section 8 government housing complex that is one of the more notorious, Estella Maxey.   These weekly trips have reminded me that hood is just short for neighborhood and I've gotten to see a whole lot of the neighbor part.  You see, people in the hood...they're just people.  As the wheels on the church van went round and round, I learned that there is indeed good that comes out of this hurting area of our city.  So, I hereby present to you: 4 reasons I wouldn't mind living in the hood.

1. Kids play outside together
If you drive through the hood...go slow.  Sure wouldn't want you to hit one of the many kids playing outside.  Xbox, iPhone, Tivo?  Nope.  Siblings, neighbors, bikes, balls, chalk, garden hose, hula hoops, and creative ways to have fun with them out in the sunshine?  Yep.

2. Adults sit outside together
In the hood, you'll see adults of all ages sitting outside together, enjoying each other's company and enjoying the evening.  Some may haul out a small table and play some dominoes.  Some may be tending a BBQ pit or getting their hair fixed.  Some just sit and talk to each other and some just sit. When was the last time that you sat on your porch for an evening with some neighbors or family members?  Or a more appropriate question for today's society...when was the last time that you just...sat?  

3. Sweet rims to look at
So, um, the thing another life where unnecessary things were free and I didn't have a professional, Volvo driving persona to maintain, I would have some sweet rims on my car.  I haven't confessed this to many people, but now I suppose the chrome is out of the bag.  I love me some swag rims.  And in the hood...they are all over.  Now, notice I said "sweet rims to look at", because if I was living in the hood, I wouldn't need to be spending money on blingy wheels.  But that wouldn't stop me from staring at the shiny ill-spent money holding up other peoples' cars!

4. Church vans criss cross the hood
One Sunday when I was nearing Estella Maxey in our own church van (aka Whitey Bear, aka Ninja Van), I counted four other church vans within my line of sight at one time.  Another time on a Wednesday night, I noticed I was the first of three church vans in line at a red light on JJ Flewellen.  Well, one was a full on church bus.  During another span of several Sundays, we noticed the Greater New Vision M.B.C. van in a parking lot with its hood up and a large puddle under it, then the next week it was in the same spot but turned around at least with some tell tale mechanic supplies around it, then the next week as I was driving that way...I saw that old, tan, Greater New Vision van traipsing down the road the other direction and hollered "it's alive!"  You see, there seems to be a camaraderie among church van drivers.  I don't know how many complete strangers I have waved at or received waves and nods from just because we encountered each other while driving very large, sometimes beautifully beat up vehicles with a church name slapped on the side.  If you live in the hood and want to go to church but have no ride, no need to look very far.  For those of us who don't live in the hood, how many people would be able to come to our church if we would simply go get them?

The hood is a hurting area for sure.  There is struggle there.  There is poverty there.  But there is also good there.  Lots of good.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Dear Women, Real Homes Have Dust Bunnies

Dear Women,

I'm taking a break from cleaning our house to write about cleaning our house.   Also to eat hummus.  Where has this stuff been all my life??  

Last night I bribed myself with snippets of my fave show, So You Think You Can Dance, as a reward for longer snippets of cleaning.  Work 30 minutes, allow myself to watch one dance routine, repeat.  That's what it takes sometimes to get me to clean.  A bribe...from myself...involving tv time...  Am I six?  No, I am in fact twenty-six and generally a capable adult.  But man, sometimes our house is yuck.  As in, you may not want to sit on the sofa because the dust bunnies under it might chomp on your toes and good luck playing pool on our pool really, there's a pool table under all that junk, I promise.


I need to get with the program and I have plans to do just that, but for now I want to comment on the pressure and expectation that all moms/women/couples/families out there are supposed to live in a constantly cutely decorated, uncluttered, perfectly clean, modern, blog-photo-worthy home. LIES I tell you, LIES!  I blame Pinterest and DIY blogs.

Real homes do not look like that, people.  Real homes with pets and kids and toys and baby food and any type of masculine being in sight...don't look like that.  If they do, it's because having a blog-worthy home is their job, like these people.

Real homes, lived in homes, beloved homes are not perfect.

Real homes have dust bunnies.



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I Stink At Being Alone

The only time I have lived alone was sophomore year of college.

I have seen my husband one day out of the past fourteen and will not see him for another three.

Those statements do not go hand in hand very well.

Maybe it's because I grew up in a family of seven (plus whatever neighbors or cousins were hanging around).  Maybe it's because I lived in dorms and then with roommates.  Maybe it's because I got married before I even finished college.  But y'all...I stink at being alone.   I was never the type of girl who "needed a man in her life", as evidenced by the fact that I dated, so to speak, only one guy before I met Trent.  But now that I have a man in my life...I need that man in my life.  Oh do I ever.

I don't really have a lesson to convey or a thought to provoke in this blog post.  No witty writing.  No slew of entertaining pictures.  Just sharing a piece of my heart, which is ok too sometimes.  And that piece is this: I am so, so blessed to be able to live life with this crazy boy and I thank God daily for him.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Small Matter Of Vacation

Oh, hi there.  Remember me?  Oh, where have I been, you ask?  Everywhere.  Including Mexico.

I don't tend to take my vacation time in big week long chunks.  Instead I tend to fritter it away with a day here, two days there.  In fact, the only times I have taken off an entire week were our honeymoon and a mission trip.   But over the past month I have had a little over a week off, plus two holiday days, it was just all very spread out.  I have also not worked a full week in said month, which means this week is gonna be looong.

Anna Pie's Travels began with a trip to San Antonio + Fredericksburg in the middle of a week to go to the airport with the family and fetch Katy who returned home from being in Hong Kong for almost a year.  So wonderful to have her home for a little while before she begins her new job in Seoul, South Korea.

 After a wonderful 24 hours with the fam and a few more work days, it was off to the beach with our other fam for the July 4th holiday.  We spent a few days in a big beach house with some of Trent's extended family.  Lots of sittin', lookin' and relaxin'.

And then, just when it couldn't get any did.  I went on a cruise.  No biggee.  Just four days sailing to Cozumel and back with a girl friend, without a care in the world besides applying sunscreen and deciding what drink I'd order next.  Not to mention the Cozumel excursion by catamaran to a private island.  Again, no biggee...

And then, to round out the month o' family, friends, fun and not being at work, there was Sauer Sister Weekend 2013 in San Antonio.   We had so much fun chatting, giggling, watching silly youtube videos, making pepper poppers and drinking french press coffee that I didn't take any pictures.  Whop whop.  Despite the lack of photographic evidence, a good time was had by all, I promise.

I'll be around more now that my Texas/world travels have ceased for the time being.  :-)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Flashback to Theater - The Music Man

In the summer of 2002, I spent a bit of time in River City, Iowa.    Ok, not really.  Actually I spent time on stage as a River City teen in Fredericksburg Theater Company's production of The Music Man.  This is a wonderful, classic show with lots of fun musical numbers and I had a blast.   I think this may have been my favorite show I did with FTC, although South Pacific is a very, very close second.

Hair bows, sash bows, petticoats, toe pinchy character shoes and ringlets, which meant I had to use hair glue to get my hair to stay curled. Yes, hair glue. It's a thing.

Quickest costume change of our life out of this costume back to our dresses.  No time to even get to the dressing room, we four just did a switcheroo in the wings and formed a line to zip zippers and re-fasten sash bows, with the nice curtain lady bringing up the rear.

Can you find me in the middle in green?  And that's my brother John on the left in orange.  FTC shows tended to be a family affair.

Oh we got trouble, trouble, trouble, right here in River City...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

If You Disappeared, Would The World Miss You?

Trent and I attended a memorial service a couple weekends ago for a young man named Seth who passed away suddenly.  He was the oldest son of Trent's boss at Mission Waco and was the director of the Mission World portion of the organization.  He was the brother of our friend Josh who we have gotten to know through Galveston Urban Ministries. There were so many people at the funeral that we were seated in a separate room with a television showing the service.  But the folks honoring and remembering him were not confined to our city.  There was a memorial service to be held in Ferrier, Haiti, the community where he lived and worked and ministered for some time.  There are people in Philadelphia and Mexico City and India who mourn his loss, people he lived with, worked with and loved.

This young man made a difference in the world and the world will miss him.

The far reach of grief and celebration of life I have witnessed in these few weeks surrounding his passing got me to thinking about the potential impact we as Christians/living human beings can leave on this world...if we choose to. 

If I disappeared, would the world miss me?  If you disappeared, would the world miss you?   

I don't just mean friends and family.  Of course they would miss you.  But how much further does the impact of your life go?  How much further beyond friends and family does your love go?   How far do you extend yourself beyond the four walls of your house or your business or your church? 

Friends, let's endeavor to make an impact on the world for the short time that we are living in it.  We don't have to be famous or well known.  We don't have to travel the world.   But we can choose to live a life, day in and day out, that loves others, serves others and therefore...changes the world.