Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Good news!!! We have renters!

Unfortunately, our renters are one of the displaced families from the Hugo tornado, and our hearts go out to them. I hope our house is a place they can find comfort as their home is being rebuilt.

On the brighter side, everything seems to be working out well for all parties involved. Their insurance company is paying the rent, they will have a home to stay in after a week of being displaced, and we will finally have our home rented. Also, they only agreed to a 9 month lease, but our minimum lease term is for 12 months. So the insurance company agreed to pay for a full 12 months over the course of 9 months, which means we are getting $350 more per month than we were asking!

The background check is in progress as I write, and assuming approval, they sign the lease on Saturday! Please pray with us that everything shows up okay on the background check!

We are rejoicing in the Lord's provision for us through this whole circumstance. He protected our house from extensive damage during the tornado, and is providing for us financially in unforeseen ways, just when we needed it.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Jared and I drove up to Hugo this evening to survey the damage. The two developments that were hit the hardest by the tornado on Sunday (May 25th) were Creekview Perserve, and Water's Edge. Our house is in the Water's Edge development. Here is what we found...

Our next door neighbor told us she saw hail the size of grapefruits

Most of the siding in our entire development looked like this, or worse
Holey siding, dented gutter

Hail damage on the siding and gutter

Hail damage on the gutter

Little pieces of siding littered the ground everywhere you'd look

Hail damage

Hail damage

These houses had their roofs torn off, and one had the whole front of the house ripped off
Another view of the torn up homes near us

You can see this same water tower looking out our kitchen window
To give you an idea of how close these houses are to ours, you'll see the torn up houses on the far left, the water tower in the middle and the school on the right. Anyone who has been to our house will realize that we live just across the street from the school. I'd say this damage was less than 1/2 mile away from our house.

Tornado path from aerial view. Our house is circled in red.

We were very lucky. God was watching over our house. We have very minimal damage compared to many people. We were not able to get close to any of the totally destroyed homes, but we do know they were less than a mile from our house. We have taken walks in that neighborhood on several occasions.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Love Hate Relationship

I have a strong love hate relationship with the airline. I won't mention any names, but a picture is worth a thousand words...

One of the incredible (so it would seem) benefits of working for the airline is the free/discounted standby travel.
Most people just hear the word free in this sentence.
I just hear the word standby.

If you have ever traveled standby, you know what I am talking about. If not, you simply have no idea.

Standby means that you only get a ticket if there is an extra seat on the plane. This means that you have to show up at the airport an hour early, just like everyone else. You must check in, check your bags, go through security, and wait at the gate, just like everyone else. (The only difference is that you are an employee, which apparently gives the gate agents license to treat you like s***.) Then the moment comes when they start boarding the plane. You wait. You wait for the gate agent to call your name and hand you a ticket. But more often than not, it seems, that call never comes. Then you get to sit at the gate and watch the plane fly away. Bye bye plans. Bye bye plane. Bye bye bags.

Then you move on to the next available flight that could possibly get you to your desired destination, even if you have to suffer layovers in Detroit, Atlanta, and Indianapolis to get you there. And repeat the whole story again. And again. Until you give up and go home. Then you have to track down where your bags ended up, as they often get put on the flight you were hoping to get on, and don't get pulled off again.

These are the joys of free standby travel.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Business or Pleasure?

Apparently both.

My dearest husband left yesterday morning to catch a week of Florida sunshine with his BFF Richard. This was the cause of much excitement, and anticipation, as Jared needed a vacation reeeally bad. He deserves a week of carefree relaxation.

They are staying with Rich's dad. When we talked on the phone last night, and he was recounting his first day of glorious vacation, I almost puked when he told me that he and Rich spent most of the afternoon fixing some one's boat engine. Today, they went back to do more work on the boat. They were also asked to fix some one's car.

I'm sorry but, WHAT THE HELL?? Give Jared and Rich a freaking break for just 5 days!! They have been fixing things for people non-stop for weeks, which is the whole reason Jared needed a vacation in the first place.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Much Needed Girl Time

Game on!

Playing silly games

Janna won!

Lioness and her cub

I love all these girlies!

Friends for almost 13 years!?

Best friends since 1910(jab, why are you like a foot taller than me!?)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

I woke up at 4am this morning to Sophia whimpering in her crib. When I went back to check on her I found a beautiful orchid with a big banner that said

"Happy Mama's Day! I was trying to get your attention so you'd come back to my room! I picked this out for you, Dada helped a little. Thank you for taking such good care of me. You are the best mama ever! Love, Sophia"

Isn't she sweet? My first Mother's Day was wonderful!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Day to Remember

I woke up this morning feeling happy and refreshed after an amazing date day yesterday with my dearest hub. We started the day by meeting our newest miracle, Poppy, along with both of our parents, my sister, and the proud big sister, Sophia, who was the only one allowed to look when the sonographer viewed Poppy's nether-regions. But I'm sorry, she's not telling. She is very good at keeping secrets.

After the ultrasound, Anna babysat Sophia while we enjoyed an amazing breakfast at IHOP (one of our favorites)!! With bellies full, we made a quick stop at McD's for our favorite caramel iced coffee drink to share, then to Victoria's Secret to pick out a new strapless bra to replace the one I've worn since I was 18. Jared was quite the man walking around in VS by himself with my purse slung over his shoulder, while I was in the dressing room. I like him;)

We returned home to Sophia, and the three of us spent the afternoon playing outside. For dinner, we had grilled steaks, corn-on-the-cob, and coleslaw. (YUMMYYYY.) After dinner, we went on a nice long walk in the warm evening. We closed the day by watching Top Chef together (one of my favorites).

It was an amazing day that was much needed. We have been so busy lately that we hardly have time to say hello to each other. I love my husband so much, and love spending as much time with him as I can!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Five Minutes

My mom read a story to us when we were little called "Five Minutes Peace" about a mama elephant and her quest to find five minutes of peace from her three rambunctious children. She seeks out a quiet place to sit by herself for a few moments, but every room she enters, she is awaited by a new interruption. Finally she escapes to the bathroom with her cup of now-cold tea, and enjoys a few moments before re-entering the chaos that is her life.

This book has recently taken on new meaning for me.

Not that I have the craziness of a 3-child household, but sometimes I do feel like I can't escape from the constant demands of a stay-at-home-mom's life. Every room I enter holds another chore I have neglected. There are always dishes in the sink, laundry waiting to be folded, clothes strewn on the floor, toys scattered everywhere, and let's not even get started on the dust covering every surface. Of course, Sophia demands most of my attention (which is the best part of my day, don't get me wrong). I just feel like when Sophia is in the care of another, I should be working on the lists of neglected household tasks.

That's when I think about this book. Mama elephant's house was a disaster, but she knew the importance of taking five minutes to herself.

So when Gary comes down and wants to rock Sophia to sleep upstairs, I'm going to kick my feet up and enjoy the quiet pitter patter of the rain on the window and relax for a minute.