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Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Thanksgiving to Remember

This morning my alarm clock went off at 8:55. Why, you ask? The Macy's Parade starts at 9:00! I had no idea I would be this is excited to see it again, but I AM!! In honor of what will forever be known as "the best Thanksgiving EVER," I want to take a look back at last year.

Thanksgiving 2007-NYC
At 5am Joe and I arrived at a building directly across from Macy's, some hotel. There were lines wrapped around the corners leading into the hotel, so we found the clown line and jumped in. Luckily, this was one of those glorious fall days in New York. The previous 3 days had been cold and rainy, but not today. Clear and eventually up into the low 70s, as I recall. Once our IDs had been checked, we were shuffled into wardrobe. We donned our giant,multilayered cowboy clown costumes, and were whisked off to wardrobe. We entered a giant ballroom full of makeup tables, maybe 150 or so. A man with a microphone announces "We need a cowboy clown!" An artists stands up, and off I go. I get my mustache, red nose, etc. Then back to wardrobe to frantically look for my hubby and grab my oversized yellow hat. We rush down some stairs and onto one of several charter buses. And off we go to Central Park West. We're dropped off and pointed in the right direction. Now we are just to find our appointed corner and wait to join the parade.

So we walk down to the corner of Broadway and 82nd, passing Kermit, Mr. Potato Head and Shrek on the way. We were close enough to touch those giant balloons, still roped down in the street! Once at our corner, we spend the next 3 hours in a constant goofy grin. It was, without a doubt, the coolest thing I have ever gotten to be a part of. We saw celebrities mere feet from us (Neo, Ashley Tisdale, BIG BIRD!!!, Dolly Parton (scarier in real life), and so many more. We wandered around and saw all the floats, clowns, and balloons.

Then the fun begins! The announcer comes on and he and Matt Lauer give everyone a pep talk. "Let's make the best parade ever!" Then, as the parade starts, the announcer invites the next group to "join the parade!!!" We were in the last 15 minutes of the show, so we literally watched the whole parade pass right in front of us!! I touched Shrek's foot when he came by, cuz I was in the street!!!! When we were finally invited to join the parade, we yelled and "yahooed!" and ran down into Columbus Circle. The next hour was a blur of insane fun. Millions of people smiling, waving and taking your picture. Kids hug you as you come by, parents grab you to take a picture. I'm someone's holiday memory from last year!! You look up at the tall buildings and see faces pressed against EVERY window. And walking down the middle of Broadway, especially through Time Square is an experience all it's own. Every once in a while, we'd stop and have a bar brawl or do the cotton eyed Joe. But mostly we just laughed and waved and threw confetti. We even made it onto TV!
Being a part of such a huge event was such a huge blessing to us. It has been something we look back on and smile quite often. What a difference a year makes. Gives me hope that next year will be just as different from where I stand today.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

one week down

Today was a day I was dreading...going to church the first time since the news. I made up my mind I was going to hold it together, not cry. Too many people don't even know I was ever pregnant. So we sat down and I had a few people come hug me. I kept my mouth shut, knowing if I opened it, I would start crying. So far so good. Right before service started, my little boyfriend Mac(3) and his brother Conner(5) came running down our pew to us. **They have attempted sitting with us before, but never made it thru a whole service. Well today, Mac made it through. (conner...no...) Mac sat with me, folded his hands during prayers, stood when we sang. All of it. I was impressed. I felt like a mom those few moments and was happy to have my little munchkin to watch over. About 20 mins in, he told Joe he needed to go to the bathroom. Joe suggested he go tell his mom so she could take him. He said, "No Joe! I want Rachel to go with me!" So I did. That really makes you feel like a mom to take a kid out in the middle of church. When we came back in, it was time to go put money in the jar at the front (Coins for Christ, where the kids make their "donations"). I gave Mac a dollar and off he went. I sat back down in time to see him barrelling down the aisle, away from mom, and back to Rachel. We coerced him to go with her to BIG, but it was that breif few moments of pseudo-motherhood that was going to make this day bearable for me. I stood without singing during the invitation, konwing fullwell I would lose it after being preached to about faithfulness.
After church, I had a heart to heart with a fellow infertility sufferer and then wandered into class sniffling and teary. We said nothing during prayer requests. But my sweet, sweet friend Emily broke down in the middle of class, desperate to pray for us. So we stopped everything, were surrounded and prayed for.
The rest of the day was easier. Conner sat with me at lunch, while Mac and mom and dad were at another table. (More mothering for me). And tonight, Conner sat with us at evening services. Those boys go through spells where they love us, and thank God they did today. It was somethign I really needed. So thanks, Dills, for sharing your kids with us. We love them so much and cant wait to spend an overnight babysitting adventure with them soon.
We were singing tonight a youth group song really made my heart beat. It is something I've sung a million times, but never meant to me what it did tonight.
Lord, Reign in Me
Reign in your power
Over all my dreams
In my darkest hour
You are the Lord of all I am
So won't you reign in me again....
So won't you reign in me again

Thursday, November 20, 2008

rock bottom

This year has been hard. In fact, the hardest I've ever had. Good ridance 2008. Farewell 29th year. And as of yesterday, so long 3rd year of marriage. that's right, Joe and I have been married for 3 years as of yesterday. Who knew at our 2nd fabulous NYC anniversary, we would be at such a low point today? Everytime something hard has come our way this year, we feel like we've hit bottom, but sadly, each next blow knocks us even deeper. I have to believe that if we haven't hit bottom yet, we can't be far from it.
I have been back and forth with my doctor this week and finally have made some tough choices about this pregnancy and future possibilities. It's not something I want to face or am ready to deal with, but....one day at a time, right?
My friend Kara came to see me the other day and brought me a book of short devotional thoughts. Her instructions? Read one every night and feel the peace and plan God is trying to give to me.
I opened it at random last night and this is what it said:
God does not ask you to do things that are humanly possible. He does not fill your heart with goals that you could easily achiever on your own.
Rather, God gives you dreams that are far bigger and more wonderful than you could ever aspire to, dreams that can only be accomplished if he is actively involved in your life.
Why? Because God want you to know that the good that happens to you is from him- so that you will rely on him.
He is bringing the hopes that burn in you into being. So tonight trust him to make all those impossible dream come true.
"With God, all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

Monday, November 17, 2008


We kept it quiet...but I found out I was pregnant from cycle two on November 2nd. Last week I started spotting a little. Had a sonogram to hear the baby's heart today...and there's no baby there. Just an empty placenta.
I am so devastated. I am so scared that I will never have a baby now. We need prayers so badly. This year has been agonizing and just when we have a ray of sunshine, the darkness rolls in again. Pray hard for us.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


There are only a few things left....

Any takers??

Thursday, November 13, 2008

at long last

At long last it is time for the craft fair!!! I have been working on furniture for about 4 months now and am finally finished and ready to sell. If you live in Lubbock, come by Monterrey Church of Christ on Saturday and check it out!

Giraffe dresser for future baby varneys
giraffe rocker for baby room (couldnt part with those two peices...someday there will be a baby for them!)

Zebra teacher chair
Kids table and chair set
paisley teacher chair
personal favorite....RAINBOW teacher chair

Black and White end table

leopard side tables

coffee table

console table
zebra lamp

red raider lamp
leopard lamp

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Brace yourself

On November 4th we elected a new president. Regardless of your view, Republican or Democrat, it was a day to be remembered. I haven’t spoken much about my views for this election, due mostly to the fact that I don’t follow politics much. But I also choose to stay quiet because I live in a red state where most people begrudge the fact that I have a different viewpoint.
But in light of what is being said on tv and radio, and sadly, amongst our Christian brothers and sisters, I feel like I need to voice it now. I read Allison’s blog earlier about standing together for change in our country and communities, embracing the fact that we live in a country where we get to CHOOSE our leaders and keep them from absolute power. That’s a great thing, and something to be proud of.
I have had a significant interest in Barak Obama for a good while now. I really believe he’s a good man, a good father and husband, and that he wants what’s best for our country. What he sees as best may not be what you do. And at times, what he votes for and stands for are not what I think is best either. But since when can you please everyone all the time? And…is there anyone besides yourself you can agree with always? I mean, we chose our husbands, but we don’t always see eye to eye with them either!
While I can’t argue with you Newsweek reading republicans who know all the ins and outs of every vote and issue, I can tell you why I am proud that America has voted OBAMA and why I was among those who did.
1. He stands for change. I have no problems with McCain. I think he is a good man and God bless him for what he has done in service to our country. But we have spent 8 years with a president who has been less than great, and while McCain supported him most of the time, Obama did not. He is ready to make a change. Change for the good? We hope so. Change is scary. No one likes it. Most of us would rather go on living our lives with no twists and turns. But it’s time. Our country is low right now and we need someone to lift us up.
2. He’s inspired a new generation to vote and care about its leadership. I’m always shocked when people don’t vote. I know we live in a red state that will never be blue, but how awesome is it that I have a say in who the most powerful person in the world will be? Every time I hear Obama speak, I am on the edge of my seat. He’s a powerful speaker and knows what he’s talking about. He has definite ideas and goals. He’s decisive. I could hear him talk about dirt and still applaud his fervor.
3. Race. Some will admit it’s an issue. Some won’t. But it is. And for me, if I’m really honest, it was one of the biggest reasons I voted for him. As Jeremy said on election night, “Yeah, you love black men. We get it.” (that I do…my cute husband in particular). But here’s the reason having a black president is so huge in my life.
a. I work in a school with mostly minority children. They have hard lives. Parents who don’t want them or can’t take care of them. No money. No food. No shoes sometimes. Their view of America is very different from mine. They see it as a place where white people make the rules and we have to try and find a way to live within them. They can’t see how they will ever be better than what they are now. It is such an amazing gift to them to be able to see the highest office in the land being held by a man of color. They are so excited. It’s one thing they can rally behind and their families can be proud of for once.
b. It DOES affect my family. Joe and I sat and talked as Obama gave his speech on Tuesday about how our children will live in a country where there is no question “can I be president when I grow up?” The answer will be yes undoubtedly. They will never know a time without a black president. I’m so proud to be able to say that years from now when my kids ask me about that night in history, I can tell them I was thinking of them.
Now, sadly, some of you are going to think less of me since I voted Obama this year. I’m sorry we disagree. But I won’t apologize for exercising my right to vote. I’m proud to live in a country where we now have a black president. Let’s pray for him and that he is able to do wonderful things for our country these next 4 years.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008