Thursday, September 29, 2016

Just for fun...a couple's survey!

What are your middle names? 
Lee and Ann
How long have you been together?
we started dating 20 years ago, married 19 years ago. we met 23 years ago.
Who asked who out? 
he did. completely out of the blue for me, but he'd been thinking about it for a long time
Do you have any children together? 
yes, six amazing kids
What about pets?
Did you go to the same school?
no. i was homeschooled and he attended a small rural public school.
Who is the most sensitive?
Where do you eat out most as a couple?
El Chile or Trudy's
Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Who has the worse temper? 
him, but he keeps it contained most of the time. 
Who does the cooking?
me. always.
Who is more social? 
Who is the neat freak? 
we're both neat freaks in different ways. he's very tidy. i'm a cleaner.
Who is the most stubborn?
Who hogs the bed?
neither. we sleep in each other's arms every night. no joke. this is why we only need a full size bed. 
Who wakes up earlier? 
i naturally do, but he's been waking up earlier out of necessity lately.
Where was your first date?
this is embarrassing - cracker barrel. 
Who has the bigger family?
me, by one sibling
Do you get flowers often?
maybe every other month. but ALWAYS when he's done something to upset me. he's been bringing me plants lately because he knows i prefer them
How long did it take to get serious? 
less than a month. we were talking about getting married about three weeks after our first date
Who eats more?
on a regular basis, probably me as i'm usually a lot more active. 
Who does the laundry? 
me, but he does all the ironing
Who’s better with the computer?
Who drives when you are together?
he does. my driving makes him nervous. my driving makes me nervous.
Who picks where you go to eat? 
we usually decide together, but he defers to me if we have different thoughts.
Who is the first one to admit when they're wrong? 
he is.
Who wears the pants in the relationship? 
so this is an interesting question. neither of us "rules the roost". i think i have a more domineering personality, but i consciously defer to him. we both contribute different strengths to the relationship. i tend to be a lot more pushy, but have learned to reign it in because i don't want to be that way. he's so laid back and easy going and doesn't feel the need to have things his way. he's definitely the provider in the family, but he's not the decision maker. 
Who has more tattoos? 
neither. we're both being counter culture by our absence of tattoos
Who eats more sweets?
it varies
Who cries more?
me, but he's not afraid to cry.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

I took a nap this afternoon. I've never been a napper. Partly because I just never stop long enough, and partly because my life just doesn't allow for those little luxuries. But lately I've just had to. I can run on five hours of sleep for only so long. Maybe I'm irresponsible, but I just tell my two and four year old to play on the ipad and stay out of trouble and I go crash for awhile.

Last night William had a football game on  the far other side of the district. I met Brian part way there and we rode the rest of the way together. Those are our little dates these days - going to kids' sporting events. We joke that we're gonna get in trouble for canoodling so much in the stands. We're going through a phase where we can' seem to keep our hands off each other. There could be worse problems, I suppose. William had several carries on offense, a few tackles on defense, and Canyon Ridge dominated Leander. I don't think they were allowed even one first down the entire game.

Brian and I didn't get out to run until 8:30. Both of us were struggling to drag our tired bones up and down those hills. It's the last week of the six week's grading period which always means much weeping and grinding of teeth. We both looked over txconnect at each of the kids' accounts to see what assignments are still missing, which tests can still be retaken, and then crossed our fingers hoping for passing grades for all. Brian stayed up late helping Margaret with her pre-AP calculus and waiting for William to ride the bus home from the football. Football nights for away games can be very long as the A & B teams both play, and then ride back to Canyon Ridge together. William usually doesn't get home until nearly 10. I have dinner waiting for him and then he's wound up and wants to talk about all the plays.

I got up at 5 this morning and made lunches and then got out for my five mile walk. I was miserably exhausted, but I'd feel more miserable if I skipped it. My mom to Mom class meets on Tuesdays, so we hurried to get ready for that after I got home from walking. This was my third week to go to Mom to Mom, and I'm so much enjoying the chance to meet with other mommies and older women for mutual encouragement.

And then I napped.

Since Bible study and Mom to Mom started I have had trouble finding time to do school with Hazel. I have got to figure out how to get it in amidst all the other things.

Monday, September 26, 2016

doing my weekly update. i had intended to blog more frequently, but life hasn't slowed down enough to allow me to do so.

margaret and samuel had an out of town meet in College Station on saturday. it was at the Texas A&M Dale Watts Equestrian Center. if it had been twenty degrees cooler, the meet would've been the best one that they've run this year, or maybe ever. but it was sweltering hot, and eve the beautiful scenery couldn't make up for that. margaret ran in the varsity girls race and did very well, though not a PR. the judging is based on the top five finishing times for each team. because Vandegrift and Kingwood were tied for first after five runners, the time went down to Margaret, the Vipers 6th runner. she ended up being the tie breaker that earner the Vipers another win. they've dominated every XC meet they've participated in this season and are marching on to state. samuel ran well, though he was disappointed with his time. he was Vandegrift's fastest runner of the day, but as a team, the Viper men finished 15th out of 31 teams. this coming weekend they have a meet at Old Settler's Park in Round Rock, a course they're very familiar with, having both practiced on it and raced on it many times in the past. it also happens to be where both the district meet and the state meet are held. 

yesterday morning Brian and i and samuel went down to town lake to run. Brian and i did the ten mile loop, although his garmin said it was more like 12.5. we'll say it was somewhere inbetween. it was rough as we had stayed up late the night before and every night before that for oh so long, but we somehow soldiered on through it. our downstairs a/c went out yesterday so brian stayed home from church while the repair man was there to fix it. the rest of us went on over to church. i am growing more and more comfortable at our new church. i miss the weekly communion and the liturgy, but worshipping together with our neighbors and not driving across town just feels right. we've always felt a conviction about passing up twenty churches to attend a church the "suits us", we just kinda ignored that conviction for many years. 

brian and i napped in the afternoon, something we used to do every sunday but haven't in years. it was delicious. a cold front came in later in the afternoon and brought torrential rain. the house was so dark even without our minimal window coverings and lights on. 

in the evening brian and i were out luifting weights together in the garage when we got a call from his dad saying theyd been in an accident and totaled their suv. miraculously they weren't injured, but needed us to come pick them up in Columbus, about two hours away. i didn't want brian to have to drive to columbus, then new braunfels, then back to austin alone, so i decided to go along. we gave instruction for margaret and samuel to make sure everyone got to bed on time and then we dashed out the door. we grabbed coffee and headed out of town. as improbable as it my seem, i still look for every opportunity to spend with brian, even if it means missing some precious hours of sleep. he's my dearest friend, my confidant, my biggest crush. we listened to 90s alternative rock all the way to Columbus, and relived where we were and what we were doing when we heard those songs first time around. 

thankfully Ben and Linda weren't injured in the wreck. the car looked pretty bad, but the "what ifs" were even worse. they narrowly missed going over a concrete barrier and dropping thirty feet. we were all praising God for their safety and deliverance. we loaded up everything from their car and drove them home to new braunfels, and then we came on back to austin. 

Tuesday, September 20

sitting here in the office eating an early dinner (or maybe it's a snack?) of spring green salad, spagheti squash, homemade hummus courtesy of margaret, and a bit of hatch green chile guacamole, listening to the girls acting out some sort of drama that involves a race a la Cars. i'll be walking over to watch william's first football game of the season in just a bit. waiting on my sitter - John - to get home from school to take over for me.

Brian and i had a fabulous time away thursday through sunday. linda came thursday morning so we'd have plenty of time to get to Jefferson in time for dinner. the six hour drive was so pleasant. we put on some john mayer and didnt think to change the station the whole way. didnt think it was possible to listen to him straight for six or so hours, but we did and didnt seem to mind. i read to Brian from my old journals just for fun. there were lots of things we'd forgotten about and we had some good laughs. it was surreal seeing life from my twenty five year old perspective now that i'm 15 years down the road. 

we had dinner at the Stillwater Inn, one of our special places. we've been celebrating things there for nearly twenty years. mama and mike had given us a gift certificate last year for our anniversary and we never got around to using it then. we stayed at the Excelsior Hotel, the place we stayed on our second night as a married couple. it's a quaint, spooky place that has been in continuous operation since 1850. 

friday night we went to the sabine high school homecoming football game. sabine is the high school brian went to, and about 45 minutes to an hour from Jefferson. we saw a few familiar faces : mont and suzanne roper, mike simpson, a few of brian's old teachers. after the game, we drove back to Jefferson and had a couple of drinks at Auntie Skinner's while we watched a little football and listened to karaoke. 

our main reason for going up to north east texas was for the Sabine Class of 1991 reunion. there were two events on saturday, a picnic at the park in Liberty City, the town where the school is, and a dinner that night in Longview. for a class of only 61 graduates, i guess the events were fairly well attended. the last reunion i attended with Brian, his 10 year, he was voted Graduate Who Has Changed the Least, and if they had given awards this year, i'd say he would have got it again. i guess the only difference is that he has a little less hair, and he's smaller than he was in high school. i enjoyed meeting his old friends, most of whom still live in the area. he's in the minority of students who moved away after graduation. 

we went back to Auntie Skinner's after the dinner in Longview and watched most of the Longhorn vs. Cal game. we gave up and went back to the hotel around 1 am. we just arent night owls.

sunday was my birthday morning. brian gave me a small purse from Anthropologie and a bottle of Dulce + Gobanna (sp?) perfume. he gives the best gifts!

we enjoyed a leisurely drive back to austin and came home to a clean house full of the lively products of our love. Margaret made a delicious indian fusion meal and the kids gave me some thoughtful gifts - a Herschel backpack that i've been dreaming about for awhile, lots and lots of chocolate, and a large cosmetic bag. i could tell that margaret was the ring leader in picking out the gifts. she knows what i like. what wonderful people those kids are!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tuesday, September 13

Sitting here in the office helping Hazel work through her phonics school work. It's sometimes painfully slow, but she's making progress and loves "doing school".

After sixteen and a half years at the same church i think we've made the switch to another church body. It has been a gradual change. We kind of eased into it. We have struggled with the 40 minute drive to RPC each week since we moved out to this neighborhood. We aren't able to connect with people very well because we're so spread out over all parts of central Texas. We've found a sweet church that meets nearby, one we can walk to. It's quite different from what we've grown used to, but I kinda think that's a good thing. I've joined a ladies Bible study as well as a Mom to Mom group. It is so nice to be going to church with the same people that I see at my kids' schools and HEB and when I'm out walking! Brian also joined a men's Bible study. We've both desperately needed fellowship and accountability and it seems the Lord is answering our prayers. 

Sunday night we made brownies and dropped them off at the fire station in the neighborhood. It was just a little way to honor those who have served and those who have lost there lives serving. It being 9/11, I expected the firemen to be a little tired of receiving gifts since we came by at the end of the day. Instead they seemed genuinely grateful that we had come by to thank them.

Brian and I are ramping up our marathon training. We did an 8 or so mile run to Lake Travis and back Sunday evening. We were just in time to see the sunset. We hadn't done that run together in a long time, probably nine months. It's one of my favorites! This is my eleventh year running marathons. I have this little goal to be a runner the rest of my life but try not to look too much like a runner. 

Mama came yesterday and took me and the little girls to lunch at Kerbey Lane Cafe and then shopping. She bought me a couple of large Yankee Candles and a pair of Chuck Taylor converse. She hung around a little while after we got home so she could see some of the kids when they got home from school, and then she took Margaret to work so I wouldn't have to. Margaret wont get her license until next month. We got her a car for her birthday in April (a cute little black Beetle with a sun roof - so HER!), but she's technically still taking driver's ed. While she was nannying this summer and living with friends we let her drive around their small part of town as it's pretty much closed in and safe. She's been such a good driver that we let her drive short distances without us even though she only had her permit. Once cross country practice started at the beginning of August, Brian let her start driving her and Samuel to their 6 am practices every morning. Well, once morning in early August she was heading to practice with Samuel and the boy from down the street that is also on the cross country team. She was on 2222 and failed to yield when making a left turn and hit another car. Thankfully no one was injured and the airbags didn't even deploy. I think the body of the car wasn't even damaged, just one of the bubble like front fenders. She's been without her car for a month and a half now. We're hoping to get it back this week. She won't be punished for driving without a valid license other than the fine and will still get to take her test in October as planned.

 Brian and I are going to NE Texas to his 25th high school reunion this weekend. Twenty five years! He went to a small school with barely 60 kids in his graduating class. He's pretty excited about seeing them, and I'm excited about getting some time away with him. And it's my 41st birthday this weekend. I don't feel like I've been around for 41 years, but I'm so grateful I have.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Brian and i went to the Vandegrift game on Friday night. We took William because it was middle school night and the 7th and 8th grade football players from the two middle school that feed to VHS got to run through the viper tunnel with the varsity players. It's strange to think William may be a viper football player next year! He's done so well in football. It's funny to think we had him in golf lessons when he was you get because we thought him too fragile for contact sports. Now he's our strongest boy and one of the best players at CRMS. Brian and I got up at 4 am to take Margaret, Samuel, and Nick from down the street to VHS to ride the bus to the cross country meet in southwest Austin. Both of us were so tired! We tried to sleep a little in the car at an Einstein Bros. Margaret had another phenomenal race. She has continued to improve her times. I'm so glad we convinced her to stick with XC for this her final year. She's one of our fastest girls, in the top seven varsity. Very impressive for a team that's ranked one of the best in the state. Samuel had a good race as well. He almost let Anthony Monte, the freshman Viper beat him, but turned it on in the final yards and won. He's determined to stay the fastest viper. Vandegrift girls win the meet and our boys placed fifth. We came home and had a pretty unproductive day, at least on my part. Brian repaired the boys' closet shelf and put in the new back deck steps, so his day was productive. I've felt weepy for many days, but it has been a good kind of weepy: a broken, sorrowful for sin kind of weepy, the kind that leads to repentance and renewal. Brian and I went walking tonight and I read to him from my journal from 1999 - 2000. A few excerpts....

 Monday, December 6, 1999

 Exciting news - I may be pregnant! I'm going tomorrow to Dr. Love's office to get a bloodtest.....

Tuesday, December 7, 1999

Today I will find out if I'm pregnant or not. How wonderful it would be to have another child!.....

The results from the pregnancy test were inconclusive. My HCG level was only 6, meaning it is probably very early in the pregnancy. I'll go back in 2 weeks to get another test done. We're excited!

....I am still having trouble believing that I'm once again pregnant! Children are such a blessing!

I have been so emotional lately! Last night I broke down crying. Brian has been very patient with me. I've been meditating on Dueteronomy 6. I've also been crying out for avid to change me as o my He can.

December 23, 1999

It has been several days since I last wrote and so much has happened. I found out that I AM pregnant! I will be six weeks along tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 28, 1999

We are leaving east Texas now and are headed back to Austin. We've been up here since Saturday night. We told Brian's parents about the new baby and I guess they're excited. I had an allergic reaction to the progesterone injections Brian was having to give me, and I broke out in red whelps all over. I had to go to Good Shepherd Hosptial in Longview on Sunday. My doctor wants me to come in today when we get back to Austin.

Saturday, January 1, 2000

It's the new millennium and so far nothing unusual has happened. I guess everyone expected something to. I've been very sick with the flu since last Wednesday. My temperature reached 103.4 at one point. Dr. Love had me to go the emergency room yesterday to get checked out.....

Monday, January 3, 2000

Mama came over today to take care of me. She cooked, cleaned, and watched Margaret. It was such a big help to me!....

Tuesday, January 4, 2000

Today I was feeling some better. I went to my first OBGYN appointment for this pregnancy. I'm 7 weeks and 5 days pregnant and weigh 103 lbs. my pulse and blood pressure were good. Dr. Love gave me an inhaler because I was so wheezy. I did some shopping and then came home and rested....I've been very congested in my chest and feel like I'm drowning.

Sunday, January 9, 2000

Margaret is growing up so fast! She is able to do so many things now, and it's so much fun to watch her! She's adorable, too. She's very petite with tiny hands and feet, and has her daddy's olive skin.
We haven't yet talked about names for the new baby.

January 20, 2000

This morning I spent a lot of time studying Scripture. It was very refining and I felt myself draw near to my Savior. I met Brian for lunch and then ran some errands. Tomorrow I'm going to Brenham with Dad and Mama racist it's Grandpa Davis' birthday. We'll be back in the afternoon. Brian and I are drawing closer to each other and are learning to be gentler with our words. When we do err in our words or actions towards each other, we're learning to quickly make it right. We're getting past some of our selfishness.

January 23, 2000

I lost our precious baby. I began bleeding on Friday and it got worse. Today I bled terribly, losing big clots. It was rough to go through that, but we feel the Lord carrying is through.

Monday, January 24, 2000

This morning I saw Dr. Love. He was sorry to hear of the loss and confirmed to us that, yes, it was indeed a baby, something that the ER Doctor had told us was not the case when we went in on Saturday. The ER dr. said that the sack was empty and that there probably was never a baby there. I called Nancy McCasslin on Sunday for some advise and told her what the doctor has said and she also confirmed that there had to have been a baby there, but that it just didn't make it very long.
This evening we had a little service and gave our little ones back to God. Brian brought home a floral arrangement with a card attached that said "In loving memory of Baby Wells, January 23, 2000". Brian said some words and we shared our thoughts about this baby that we never knew. He then read some of Psalm 139 and we sang It Is Well With My Soul, and prayed and wept. We both cried so much! We then went for a walk up and down the long driveway and we had out margaret to bed. We shared our thoughts and the deepest things of our hearts. I've grown so close to Brian over these past several days. We've been through a lot since Friday. He has shown so much love and tender care for me, cleaning up my blood from all over, holding me when the tears began to fall, cleaning the house for me, and keeping up with Margaret. He's such a blessing!

Tuesday, Janaury 25, 2000

Neither Brian nor I thought we'd be hit so hard by the lost of a baby at this early stage of its life as we'd still not grown attached to it. But I guess we had. This evening we went on a date and it was good to have time to ourselves.we didn't have much to say. I guess we said everything yesterday and the day before. I felt cranky and irritable and we continually fighting an urge to complain.
I bought a charm for my charm bracelet for the baby. It's a heart and inside is a charm of a mother holding a baby. We're going to have "baby 1-23-00" engraved on the back.

Wednesday, January 26, 2000

I was so emotional today. I cried so much! I longed to be in Brian's arms because only he knew what I was feeling (besides the Lord, of course), and could understand my tears. We've grown very close. I asked him if we could just stay at home and not go to church. So we did. We had a good evening together. We cried some and laughed a little, too.

 So reads a portion of my journal. I've read through those pages several times in the last day or so and cry every time. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's a longing for the baby we never knew, the one who would've turned 16 this past August. When I picture it, it's always a boy, but we don't know for sure. Or maybe I cry out of pity for myself. I was so young. It had taken nearly a year to get pregnant with Margaret and then she was born a month early. Nine months later I was losing my second child. i was barely 24. I hadn't experienced five super easy conceptions and pregnancies, some "planned" but most of them not. We wondered if Margaret would be our only child. I wondered if I had permanently damaged my body from years of an eating disorder. Or maybe I cry for the beautiful simplicity but depth of faith that I had, something that's lacking in my life now. I thank God that I came across that journal. after I read to Brian last night we sat at the picnic table near the cul de sac and held each other and cried. He prayed for us and we thanked God for our children. Life is beautiful.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The latest

Once again I"m determined to start blogging again. So much to catch up on. I'll do my best. Let me start with the kids. Margaret is a senior now! She is fabulously juggling waiting tables at a neighborhood restaurant, taking mostly advanced classes at school, and running cross country. I think she's finally learning to enjoy school, and has been participating more in the social life at VHS. This year she holds a solid position on cross country and is running her best times yet. She is a joy to be around. She is also so helpful! I don't know where I'd be without her! Samuel is in his sophomore year. He is also running cross country and is Vandegrift's fastest runner. He trains with a local elite runner, David Fuentes. Samuel has improved so much in his ability to juggle all of his classwork and homework, as well as keep up his training. He's also taken up an interest in guitar and is actually quite good. He is quickly able to pick out songs he hears on the radio. William is in 8th grade. He has grown so much since last year. He's not the same kids who spent much time in the principal's office the last year. He's determined to do well both academically and athletically. He's playing football and ( according to him) is one of the best players. We have yet to see him play, but their first scrimmage is Tuesday. John is in 6th grade now. He seems to much prefer middle school to elementary, but I miss that he doesn't come home as early. I enjoyed having a little time with him while the others were still at school. He's in the Quest program for gifted students. We thought he would be our one band student, but at the last minute he chose to do art & theater arts instead. He shows great interest in architecture and is fascinated by sky scraper. He's already decided he would like to be an architect. Over the summer he did a little work up at Brian's office, even going out on job sites with the architects. He's a voracious reader and it's hard to pull him away from his books. He's still my faithful babysitter and is so good with the girls. Hazel is nearly five years old. She is dreamy and imaginative. She loves to be beautiful and changes clothes several times a day. I'm homeschooling her using Horizon's kindergarten curriculum and also making up some parts on my own. She just eats up the special attention and is already attempting to read all the words she sees. Olive sits in on our little lessons until she loses interest and then goes off to play with ponies or princesses. We're memorizing The Sermon on the Mount for our scripture memory, and are currently reading the original Winnie the Pooh by A.A.Milne for our read a loud. We are incorporating a few Charlotte Mason ideas, doing nature walks and creating nature journals. Id' like to add art to our lessons eventually. Olive is a funny little girl. She's much different from Hazel, so feisty and witty. She teases Hazel quite a bit. I don't want her to grow up. I'd be happy for her to stay a chubby, curly haired cutie forever. Brian and I are just picking up our marathon training, and I'm feeling it. We run together almost every day. The days we don't run I make up the distance in walking. I got a Fitbit this year and am pretty addicted to tracking my steps. I aim at 30K a day, which is around 16 or so miles. When I hit that goal for many days in a week I'm just beat! We're registered for the Houston and Austin marathons again. I'd love to get under 3:45 in either, a goal I've been chasing for a couple of years now. That would qualify me to run the Boston Marathon, something on my bucket list. I guess that's all the updating I can do today. We were at a Vandegrift football game late last night and then had to get up at 4 am. for Margaret and Samuel's cross country meet, and you know what? I'm so very tired. Gonna try to slip off for a nap before I need to fix dinner, and before the Longhorns play tonight. Samuel is going to the game with some buddies, and John is going with Thomas and Tommy. Maybe someone will ask me to the game sometime. =)