Update on mom

Short but sweet...

Mom had a scan on Monday and got her results back today. It showed pretty much no change in the tumor, which is a whole lot better than it growing! No shrinkage as far as they can tell, but they're going to keep doing the treatment. Two more rounds and then another scan. The doctor said as long as it's not bothering mom and mom's not bothering it, maybe she can keep on like this for a while.

So praise God and please keep praying for my sweet mama! She's such an amazing trooper :).


Baby bonanza

In celebration of Jesus coming as a little baby, I thought I'd make a list of all the friends of mine having babies! I feel like there are a lot, so this is partly to help me keep it organized in my head :).

Lindsay and Adam Dyer
Friends from college (and Lindsay a little bit in high school)... Lindsay and I became good friends the summer after we graduated from high school on a church beach trip, and were accountability partners along with Jessica for several years. We were also in Bible study together in Campus Crusade at Carolina, and lived together with 4 other girls our senior year. I was a bridesmaid in her wedding to Adam in the summer of 2004.
They welcomed Caleigh Grace Dyer on November 26th!

Susan and JJ Foster
Susan (or Ms. Cherry) taught Spanish at my high school and was the advisor for the Christian club First Priority. I was a member and leader of FP and eventually president my senior year, so I got to know Ms. Cherry through that. Shortly after I graduated, she joined World Harvest Mission in Spain, and there met her future hubby, JJ Foster!
They welcomed John Zachary (Jack) Foster on November 24th!

Lindsey and Jason deBuhr
Lindsey and Jason were leaders of high school small groups at Christ Covenant at the same time I was. They both led groups for 4 years, taking them from freshmen to seniors, and now they are starting their own small group :). Lindsey and I also got to be even better friends through the girls' Bible study we had with the small group leaders.
They are expecting a baby boy in early January!

Brannon and John David Brooks
I first met Brannon and JD at community group at church early this year. They had recently moved her from Birmingham to start a Fitness Together personal training / gym business. I've also gotten to know Brannon through our summer girls' Bible study and our periodic happy hours at Bricktops at South Park. She can't wait to actually be able to have a drink with us!
They are expecting a baby girl, Barrett Elizabeth Brooks, in January!

Erin and Josh Hall
Erin and Josh are friends of mine from Carolina... Josh was part of the Fellowship of the Forest, the 6 guys I used to cook for, and we shared a journalism class or two. Erin is just a crazy fun girl, despite the fact that she works as a school librarian :). I haven't seen them in way too long!
They are expecting a baby girl, Charlotte Marie Hall, in January!

Andy and Erin Ashley Huffman
Andy was another member of the Forest guys I cooked for, and the match-up of him and Erin Ashley was a long time in coming. She dated one of his good friends for a while, and he liked her for years and years before she finally gave in! They started dating while on STINT in East Asia with Campus Crusade, and now they are over there long term, taking the gospel to hungry college students.
They welcomed Emma Grace Huffman in June!

Brad and Elizabeth Fleming
I knew Brad vaguely from our Greensboro church, but re-met at Carolina, when he lived with another good friend of mine, Luke. I hung out with those two guys a lot my freshman and sophomore year, listening to them play guitar, getting rides to Prayer & Praise and church, and watching movies on their surround sound and screen projector. Brad and Elizabeth got married after college and worked with the Navigators for a few years, and they're now heading to Indonesia to start a business and spread the gospel.
They welcomed Aspen Fleming in June!

Jess and Matt Hoffman
Jess was my suitemate in Hinton James my freshman year...part of the greatest group of girls I could have imagined living with! She was always the one to give cautious, sound advice, and yet also had such a free spirit as she went roller skating, sang and played instruments, sketched incredible drawings and collected fall leaves. She married Matt after college, and they are now living in Columbia, SC, where she is a nurse.
They are expecting a baby in May!

There are many others who are more distant friends of mine...but I really need to get back to work. Happy parenthood!


Thanksgiving Weekend

Funny how much things change in a year...  Last Thanksgiving, I was about to close on my condo, and we spent the weekend moving some things over from my apartment and painting my bedroom.  I had just been disappointed by a brief crush I had who didn't want to be anything more than friends.  I was getting ready to bring home a new puppy and live by myself for the first time.

This year, I had the love of my life home for 5 days and got to spend that whole time with two of the most wonderful families in the world.  Thanksgiving Day, Wade and I ate turkey/sweet potatoes/stuffing/etc with his family for lunch (along with some of their family friends), and then ate it all again with my family for dinner!  My uncle Jeff and his girlfriend Martha were in town - first time Wade met them - and of course, my other Charlotte relatives were there too, Hillary & Allen, the Steeles (mom's sister & her family) and my grandfather.

This WAS a cute decoration Mrs. Tapp saw at a party she had gone to.  After being carted around in a plastic bag, falling apart and being recreated several times, it suffered from the wear and tear, but it's a cute idea at least :).

Aw, Wade and me next to a beautiful red tree!  

My amazing mom is STILL HERE, 3 months after we found out her cancer was back and thought the end was near.  She cooked and hosted the entire Thanksgiving dinner for 15 people, and then got up the next day and went shopping with my sister on Black Friday and visited with the Tapps at my house until 11 pm!

Sneaking a little smooch from my sweetheart :).

I am so excited about my new Christmas tree!  I decided to bite the bullet this year and buy a nice fake one, now that Paisley isn't a super little puppy and I've been in my condo a year.  She still chewed 3 of the bows off of it the first morning (because I forgot about it and let her out of my room unsupervised while I slept a little longer), but I salvaged them and put up a small deterrent in the form of a baby gate in front of the tree.

In just about 4 days, I get to go see Wade AGAIN, and this time I'm going to try to take pictures at his basketball games so you can see him in action!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Two things that make me grin

My DOG and FALL LEAVES! So because they are two of my favorite things, I decided to take some pictures of both the other day at lunch.

This just makes me say hallelujah and praise the Lord who created this beauty!

This is where I live and what I come home to every day - can you believe that?

It was such a gorgeous sunny November day, and don't you think Paisley is really starting to look regal? She's such a good girl, posing for all these pictures! The sit and stay commands from the dog trainer were put to good use.

The one thing I couldn't get her to do was hold her leash gently in her mouth folded over once. I kept trying to place it there like that, but she would just drop it. I think she was confused by the fact that I was actually intending for her to put something besides food and toys in her mouth. I got a couple pics with the leash in her mouth only after she took it and started playing with it, so they're not quite as elegantly posed as I had planned!


Fours of things

When you can’t think of anything to blog about, make a list, right? Totally copying this idea directly from Libba – thanks friend! Favorites are in blue :).

Four jobs I have held:

The Gap sales associate
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory apple dipper and fudge packer (ha, I know!)
Every job under the sun for the Mecklenburg County Bar
Girl Scout graphic designer

Four movies I can watch over & over:
Pretty Woman
North & South
A Few Good Men

Four places I have lived:
Greensboro, NC
La Plata, Argentina
Charlotte, NC
Chapel Hill, NC
Ok, I really need to branch out on this one apparently!

Four television shows I enjoy:
The Office
Dancing with the Stars
All My Children

Four places I have been on vacation:
London, England
The Grand Canyon
St. George Island, Florida
San Antonio, Texas

Four of my favorite meals:
Chicken pot pie and pineapple on the side
Beef tips over rice, Italian green beans
BBQ pork chops, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob
Grilled salmon, asparagus w/ parmesan, wild rice

Four websites I visit daily:
The USA Today
The Pine Valley Bulletin

Four places I would rather be right now:
Anywhere with Wade
Sleeping in my bed
On a beach in the sun

On a road trip with country music and windows down


Weekend on the Mountain

I'm back at work with a definite case of the Mondays after my fun, relaxing weekend with my favorite boy and my favorite adopted family :). It was so great to take off half of Thursday and all of Friday and get to see two of Wade's basketball games and hang out with his friends and family all weekend!

I rode up with the Tapps on Thursday, and we went straight to Berry College in Rome, Georgia, where the first game was played. The college had a really pretty campus, and we drove around it for a little bit just as the sun was going down. There were deer everywhere, in all the open spaces around the buildings. We pulled in just as the basketball guys were arriving in their team vans, so I got to see Wade in his cute little matching team warmup suit (ahem, I mean, large, manly, professional warmup suit) and give him a hug before the game.

The game was really good - one team would go on a run and take the lead by 6 or 7 points, and then the other team would go on a run and regain the lead... Being 6'7", Wade is a post player, meaning his main roles are rebounding, blocking shots, and some scoring inside (i.e. under the basket) for those of you who may not be basketball savvy...I'm learning a lot more these days about the terminology :). But because Covenant's team is not very deep - due to injuries, ineligibility, and just a lot of freshmen - this year he's having to play 30+ minutes a game, and score from the perimeter a little bit more. But, he did great Thursday night, with 5 rebounds and 10 points, and Covenant pulled out the win by 7 points in the end! I was so excited for them :).

Friday morning Wade had to do some homework and go to chapel and class, so I worked out and then took his car back to his house to shower and get ready and then pick him up when he got out of class. We had a late lunch with his parents at a cute little southern-cooking restaurant down at the bottom of the mountain (in Chattanooga), and then we milled around until it was time for him to go back up the mountain and meet up with the team for their Friday night game. I took a nap in the Tapps' hotel room, and woke up just in time to leave for the game (which was just a few minutes away in downtown Chattanooga). Wade's sister Whitney also drove up that afternoon from Auburn, so she joined us for the game, which was against UT-Chattanooga.

I won't go into a lot of details about that game, because, well, it wasn't the best experience they've ever had on the basketball court. It was pretty much expected though, since UTC is a Division 1 NCAA school and Covenant is a Division 2 NAIA school - vast difference in how much money goes into the athletic programs and therefore very different levels of skill and athleticism the schools are able to recruit. The UTC guys practically looked like they were in the NBA, and one of their post players was 7'1". BUT, I will brag that Wade had 14 points - 10 in the first half - and the next day there were 2 pictures of him in the Chattanooga paper, including one on the front page of the Sports section.

Saturday morning, the Tapps came up and cooked breakfast for us at Wade's apartment...mmm, banana and applesauce pancakes, eggs and sausage :). Whitney left to get back to Auburn to watch the Auburn-Georgia game, and we chilled out on the couch, watching football and Wade writing a paper and me editing his paper. It was a sad day for football, as UNC lost a close game to NC State, Auburn lost to Georgia, and South Carolina (Mr. Tapp's alma mater) lost to Florida. Oh well...what can you do.

That evening, we had a great dinner with the fam and 4 of Wade's friends at Big River...the same place that screwed up my order the last time I visited Wade, and this time, my food again took a really long time to come out, probably 20 minutes after the other food had come out. So, I'm not super impressed with Big River, but my gorgonzola pear salad with hazelnut encrusted chicken still tasted good :).

Sunday morning, we went to church and had a yummy lunch afterwards, before hitting the road to get back to Charlotte. Unfortunately, I took no pictures this weekend, so sorry I can't provide visuals for any of these events :(. That was really dumb of me, I know. I'll try to do better in the next few weeks!


A Day in the Life of a Girl Scout

So I really need to get my blogging butt in gear. Hopefully the upcoming holidays and general festivity will inspire me and give me lots of opportunities to post pictures and such!

The last few weeks, I have been dealing with a few semi-crises at work that are hopefully going to be resolved before I get more headaches from them. They mostly center around the fact that our website's security certificate expired without any of us knowing, so a security warning message pops up before you can check out at our online store or give money on our donation page. Even though our site is still secure in the meantime, it makes a lot of people uncomfortable, so it was my job to get a new certificate as soon as possible. I feel like I have gotten all these new bits of knowledge about website security and servers and hosting companies and various techie internet terms, although I doubt I could put it all together coherently. But it still feels cool to say things like "You need to check the SMTP on the server because it seems to have gotten hosed" and "I need a new CSR with the correct domain name in order to purchase the cert for our site."

The rest of my days at work have been consumed with preparing for our annual photo shoot, which is this Saturday. This is definitely NOT my favorite part of my job, but it has to be done and done well if I am going to have the pictures I need to do my job the rest of the year. Unlike other Girl Scout programs, which they register for through our experienced, knowledgeable customer service department, this event is all me. So my quiet little cube world has been intruded by phone calls and emails from all these troop leaders and parents wanting to sign 18 million people up at a time. I have an irrational phone phobia, so I usually let them leave a message, then I look them up in our membership database and email them back! Haha, I'm so sneaky.

The photo shoot also presents a difficult and very non-PC situation - namely, trying to maintain a racial/ethnic balance in the girls who participate so that our marketing materials reflect racial diversity the rest of the year. I get lots of Caucasian girls signing up right away, but I can't let the whole thing fill up with them. So a couple weeks in, I have 80-some white girls and nobody of any other race, and I have to start affirmative action measures. I have to check our database for the girl's race before emailing her mom back and saying "oh my gosh, we'd LOVE to have your daughter participate" (if she's non-white), or "I'm sorry, this is such a popular event, we have a waiting list already and I'll have to get back to you if I find room for your daughter." I feel so wrong essentially lying to people, but I can't very well say "yeah, all our white spots are full, better luck next time."

Then I also get the moms who call to register their daughter and I say ok, and then a week or 2 later they think they registered their whole troop of 20 white Junior Girl Scouts. Because of those situations, and subsequently trying to even out the racial imbalance by allowing even more non-white girls to register, I now have to manage and direct 250 girls and their parents and troop leaders during a 4-hour period on Saturday morning. Yikes.

Pray for my sanity to make it through the day. After that, hopefully it will be coasting downhill til I get to visit Wade next week and life becomes a little easier.

Also, allow me to brag on my wonderful boyfriend, who had 10 rebounds and 6 points in the Covenant Scots' first basketball game (and win) of the season last night! Way to post up, baby! (Was that proper terminology?)