Wednesday, March 24, 2010

10 things

I am utterly stoked about our upcoming trip to Florida!

There is just something about South Florida in the spring time-not quite that humid yet, spring breakers, riding around town with the sunroof down and those pesky New York and New Jersey drivers go home for the warmer months (they are truly the reason why Florida is given such a bad name for driving, hence "South Jersey", but I digress =) AND Easter. I always thought Christmas was my favorite holiday, but all it is now is just bittersweet and a reminder that 2 of my loved ones aren't here. Maybe in a few years it will become a favorite again.

So, here is my top 10 things (not in any particular order) that I CAN'T wait to do while in Florida. Incidentally, most of these things have to do with eating =) What can I say? I'm pregnant!


1.) Eating (at least twice, or maybe three times) at CR CHICKS! There are only 7 locations, all in South Florida. The bread is amazing, chicken is slow-roasted, and oh, those potatoes! Chicken breast sandwich, no tom with a side of fruit or smashers is calling my name =)

2.) Pollo Tropical~Chicken on the Grill! Love this dose of Cuban food. Chicken or Ropa Veija, black beans and rice, and plantains. I must give credit to my high school boyfriend for the love of Cuban food (since he is Cuban after all!)

3.) Andy~ his 28th birthday would have been next Tuesday, March 30th. However, we are still celebrating at his favorite karaoke and german restaurant, Little Munich. Little Munich, also known and called the Dirty Dwarf, has been the venue where many celebrations and events have occurred for both Andy and Shannon. Andy first took me (as well as Shannon, Brianne and Kelly) there for some karaoke (and no, I didn't sing=) He would and could belt out the lyrics of any Frank Sinatra song and then put on his backwards cap to rap to the infamous 'Rapper's Delight', which put the original artist to shame. If you've never heard a white boy rap, you've missed out on Andy's unique talent =). At his and Shannon's Bachelor/Bachelorette Party in Dec. 2008, he surprised our Aunt Beverly (who came for the wedding!) with his amazing voice, as he belted out the classic Christmas song, 'It's the Holiday Season' by Andy Williams. I will never be able to listen to 'Night & Day', 'Rapper's Delight' and 'It's the Holiday Season' the same ever again. He also worked there when it was called the 'Dirty Dwarf'. So definitely lots of history for Andy. Celebrating at Little Munich would be honoring him. Although I would give anything I had to see him there singing, one last time. On the down side, I'm not looking forward to visiting Andy at the cemetery.

4.) Beach Time~ the last time Ethan was actively at the beach was when he was 7 months old....he is going to go WILD when he sees the waves, but will probably be more interested in the seagulls and the occasional blimp flying by (as his favorite thing to do now is looking into the sky at helicopters, airplanes, and flying creatures=) As for me, I hope to be bringing my tan back =)

5.) Pedi's & Mani's~ this is relaxing time with Mom =) It's almost a tradition with us to get our nails did while visiting each other. When she would come to CO, we did the same thing too. It's a real treat! Plus, my feet look awful. I certainly won't go into the details but...YIKES!

6.) Easter~ my mom's church (Lakeside United Methodist) is putting on it's annual Easter Egg Hunt, which I'm happy to say that Ethan is participating in for the first time this year. I can't wait to watch him find the eggs =) It's so neat to relive your childhood years through your kiddos! Also, LUMC Easter Cantata, Maunday Thursday Service and Easter Sunday. There is nothing quite like good ole' hymns to celebrate Jesus Resurrection. I can just hear it now, ......'up from the grave He arose. With a mighty triumph or His foes'....... Don't get me wrong I LOVE contemporary christian music, but sometimes there is just no comparison. Nobody writes or talks like that anymore, it's a shame. Pretty powerful. Although, going into the sanctuary and not seeing Andy behind the sound booth will cut like a knife.

7.) Party~ I'm so excited that my friend Brianne is hosting a Gold Canyon party for me. A party filled with friends, candles, good food and wine (not for me, of course) is just what this girl ordered!

8.) Family~this goes hand in hand with Andy, but we will get to see family! Mom and Dad, of course, Shannon, Debbie, my Aunt Vicki and Uncle Jimmy, and if I'm lucky, my cousin Melissa and Rob and their two children (one of which is Ethan's age!). And of course this will encourage us to eat even more meals together. Eating=family time =)

9.) Date Night~finally, a date with my husband =) This just makes me happy. I love when we visit grandparents. They get to spend a little extra time with E-man and J and I get to have a warm meal and eat slowly with no E-man. I love my boy, but at times really long for those carefree and spontaneous outings with my hubby.

10.) The Lake~mom and dad's house is right on Lake Osborne. In the summer and spring you can usually spot water skiers, sea-doos, and fisherman on their boats. It also has a great walking/running path right next to it. You just have to watch out for those hungry alligators =) All I need are my Nike's, Ethan and BOB. And of course, Jeremiah =)

Gosh, I didn't realize how long this post was until now...oops!

On a more serious note, our family could really use prayer next week. It's a big week, being Andy's birthday and Easter. Please cover us in prayer with traveling mercies, as we are driving to FL, for my Mom and Dad, Shannon, Debbie, and us for continued healing, comfort and peace, and for realizing that Easter is about what Jesus did on the cross for us who believe, our sins and our redemption, to forever be with Him, and to also remember that Andy is with Jesus and oh, what an Easter he will have this year! (Ephesians 1:3-14)

Thank you, dear friends. You are loved.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sunny Days & Bubbles.

Aw, finally some warmth and sunshine! I love being outside and in our backyard-it's the perfect "get a tan on your white self" backyard. Although I won't be tanning my belly, my legs, arms, and face will thank me =) I'm sure in a few more months I will no longer like the sun and humid weather that Texas brings, but I'll get over it! For right now, sunshine is good.

We decided that on every "pay" weekend that we would drive to Round Rock or Austin to eat lunch, goof around and shop, if our bank account allows =) Round Rock is closer than Austin and has many of our favorite lunch spots and stores-Jimmy John's, Mimi's Cafe, TGI Fridays, etc AND the shopping, oh the shopping-IKEA, Jo Ann's, REI (which thrills Jeremiah=) and the RR outlets (which thrills me=) It's so nice to get-a-way, even if it's only 45 minutes from our home. At least it gives us a chance to get out of Killeen for the day=)

Today (Sunday!) was an awesome day. It was a nothing special planned day, but spending time together as a family, bubbles with Ethan and a marriage bible study to top off the evening. I caught a few pictures of Ethan and his fun with the bubbles. He is getting to be such a little boy and not a baby. I just LOVE him! He will make an excellent Big Brother!



Ethan's Spiderman pose!


Sporting his new aqua socks in preparation for Florida in a few weeks!







video

Saturday, March 6, 2010

3 months down, FOREVER to go.

(I meant to write something on March 3rd but the week got away from me.)

It seems like it's been forever since I last spoke to my brother. This past week was 3 months/13 weeks since he first saw the glory of Heaven and our Maker, face to face. At times I get so excited about something that I just have to tell him. For a brief moment everything is fine, and calm, just like it was on December 2nd. Then the pain of knowing Andy is not here will come flooding back, and I realize once again I will never get to hug him again or call him for the heck of it, in this life. And the grief sets in.....again.

How did this happen to Andy? Why did this happen to Andy? Am I supposed to get used to this? How in the world am I, my parents and Shannon supposed to go on? These questions have been rolling around in my head since December. Sometimes I feel like my grief is easy-oh, we will see Andy again in Heaven, He is with Jesus, We should be rejoicing. Really? Rejoicing? I'm sorry but I don't feel much like rejoicing that Andy is gone. And then sometimes grief rears its VERY ugly head and wreaks havoc in everything-Andy is really gone. He won't ever get to have a McDonald's coke again (I know it's silly but Andy LOVED McDonald's coke-and I remember actually saying this too), He will never get to be a father. How is that fair? Grief and losing someone you love way too young is just not fair, it just isn't.

Between losing Charlie and now Andy, I consider myself an expert on grief, unfortunately. The one thing I do know is that I will be longing for Charlie and Andy until I see them again. I often compare losing Charlie to losing Andy. And just like my relationship to each of them is/was different, my grief is different for both of them. My feelings for Charlie have been really transparent the past 4 1/2 years. But my grief for Andy is different. It's hard to describe. Andy is/was my brother. There is a longer history there, almost 28 years. Andy was not only my brother, but my best friend. We would get into trouble together, be each other's worst enemies, and then be each other's confidant. No one can every replace him. I will never have an earthly brother again. I'm am now an only child, physically, to my parents. I will miss never being an Aunt to his children, I will miss him never knowing or holding this child I'm carrying, I will miss him not physically being a part of Ethan's life, I will miss never celebrating any birthday or holiday with him. I will miss not knowing him more as an adult. I will miss my brother. forever.



We were so blessed to share in his last birthday on earth.
March 30, 2009