All I really need to know about life after marriage I learned from teenagers. Lesson #1

Thursday, July 26, 2007 at 11:34 pm (Lessons Learned)

First things first…if you want to know what I really think about the post below this go here and read #5. Okay…everybody’s moving on now, right?

So, last Thursday I took 3 girls from our youth group to Six Flags. What a day! Seriously those girls and I had more fun than words will do justice. However, I learned a few things. This has inspired me to start a series of lessons learned that will appear here periodically. Here is the first installment:

Lesson #1: It is deemed acceptable for a married woman to wear the oft-dreaded fanny pack.

I have never been put in this position before. In the past, my mother wore the fanny pack or my husband had cargo pockets. This time it was just me and 3 teenage girls. What? Did you think THEY would wear the pack? Our feminine pockets aren’t friendly to the money, keys, hand sanitizer etc. that would have to be carried around the park. What was I suppose to do? I have a dear friend (the mother of one of these girls) who graciously packed us a cooler full of bottled waters and Gatorades. She also brought me the best fanny pack one could wear. When I say the “best” I mean that it is a Nike pack and the swoosh adds a somewhat sporty look to the otherwise matronly item (Yes, I may be married but that does not mean I have to be matronly). She laughed and told me at least it was a cool fanny pack. I agreed. It is the coolest of the uncool (at least for a place like Six Flags…can’t quite wear the designer leather series here). So…what else could I do?

On the way to the park I joked with the girls about the fanny pack but they quickly assured me, in all seriousness that “It’s okay to wear a fanny pack if you’re married.” What? Did I miss the memo? Maybe it’s actually more along the lines of “It’s okay to wear a fanny pack if you’re married and you’re not my mother.” So through the reassuring voices of “cool” teenagers I opted for the pack…I really shouldn’t even word it like that since it wasn’t really a choice but a necessity. I wore that pack as it should be worn, around the waist for about 9 of the 13 hours we were there. Towards the end I realized I could just sling it over my shoulder and I wore it that way instead. Why I didn’t do this sooner I have no idea but I’m really not torturing myself over that…I AM married after all! But don’t expect to see me wearing it at the mall with socks and sandals on…cuz IT JUST AIN’T HAPPENING.

UPDATE: After a couple of demands (see comments on this post) to see pictures of me wearing the pack I have decided to post this picture. This is our “pre-park” picture…and I made DARN SURE that I took off the fanny pack prior to the taking the pic (which for the record is why my shirt is all jumbled up at the bottom…proof! I did wear it.) I didn’t take the camera in the park because I really didn’t want to take any chances with it getting wet…and it definitely would have, though it also would have been great to have more pics. The girls and I did pose for the Titan camera each time we rode it but you’ve got to be seriously impaired if you think I’m going to spend 10 bucks for a park picture. Anyway, here it is…sorry but it’s all I’ve got.




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The Liberal’s Level of Intellect

Saturday, July 21, 2007 at 1:39 pm (Seriously?)

This is what happens when you live in a socialist majority country…this shows the degree of intellect. What fascinates me is all the liberals here in America that are constantly pushing a socialist agenda. France is a beautiful country to visit but really, do we want to be more like France?

Who will you vote for in 2008?

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I think I’ve seen it all…

Saturday, July 21, 2007 at 12:50 pm (Seriously?)

…does that mean I’m going to die soon? I just wanted to tell you one thing regarding my previous post on cell phone usuage (The Pocket God Habit: A Small Sermon). I took a few of my youth gals from Allen Bible to Six Flags on Thursday (which I will blog more on later for it was a glorious day!) and there I saw what I never could have even imagined. It was night time and we were enjoying a ride on the Runaway Mine Train. If you’ve never been on this ride it is an oldie but a goodie. It’s not big but it is a classic that remains fun time after time. On about our sixth ride in a row (we didn’t even have to get off due to the lack of a line) a lady and her young child were seated in front of me. Right before the “big” hill that goes down through a tunnel her cell phone rang and yes, she answered it! About 2 seconds after she answered it we were on the way down the hill while screaming through the darkness. Well, actually there was a little light glowing from her phone but anyway…she tried to talk on it but through all our screaming I guess she gave up and hung up when we were almost all the way through the tunnel. Have you EVER been on a roller-coaster with someone talking on their cell phone? Well, now I have and now I can say that when it comes to cell phones…I think I’ve seen it all.

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The Game of Life…The Goads of Life

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 at 12:18 am (Murmurs from the Future)

Did you ever play the Game of Life when you were a kid? My friend Angie and I played it all the time. I remember a couple of things in particular about my strategies…

1. I wanted to be and/or marry a doctor or lawyer. They made the big bucks ($50K! WOW!). Is anyone else laughing about that?

2. I wanted to have so many children I needed two of the cars. I loved it when that happened! I mean com’on…if I’m making $50 grand I can afford as many children as I want, right?

Other than those two things I just wanted to win I guess. In reality I think most people have a general idea of what they want in life. Whether it’s fame, wealth, happiness, or health we all want the best. Some of us are born leaders, some born servants. It takes all to make this world happen. I know I have had many ideas of what my life might look like over the years.

Throughout elementary school I felt I was destined to be a movie star. I could see myself on the big screen and loved the thought of living in Hollywood. I shared this vision with a good friend, Stacy (see #51). In fact, I’ll never forget what she wrote in my 4th grade yearbook, “We’ll always be together-in Hollywood that is!” We truly felt that we could be discovered and that we would make it in the industry. I starred in every play possible growing up and to this day I dream of being in just one movie. Just one. Who knows, maybe someday…

Besides the dream of fame I always knew I wanted to be a mother and wife. (Although if I had never married I believe I would have joined the FBI or CIA…truly. I would have rocked at it too, but that’s another story.) I have always known that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mother, just like my mom was. She influenced every aspect of my life and was always there. Fresh cookies after school, being the home-room mom, gentle awakenings in the morning to great breakfasts, and home-cooked dinners every night…this was my wonderful childhood and what I have always planned on giving my children. Ahhh…my children…that’s where this story is going.

Yes, I’m ready for kids…that’s nothing too new and we are finally in a good place to have kids and that is something new. However, the method of which our family comes has been on my mind. My husband was adopted and we’ve always known we wanted to adopt someday. It was pretty much a given for us. We had a tentative plan to have a few kids, probably 3 and then adopt 1. (Yes, I still want that large family.) But now I’m wondering if that is what God has in HIS plan. You see the topic of adoption keeps coming up at every turn. It seems like every blog I click on is about a family who is adopting or just did and every other person I meet is adopted. This is been going on for a couple of months now and has been constantly on my heart and mind.

It just seems like I’m being goaded more and more in this direction. If you aren’t familiar with the word ‘goad’ go here. The Bible says that the words of wise men are like goads (Ecclesiastes 12:11). I’m not saying I’ve been advised by the wise on this subject but I do believe God uses goads in our lives. And for me I’m wondering if He isn’t goading me since this has been brought consistently to the forefront of my mind. Could God be using all of these occurrences to change my heart? I think so. Tonight we talked about having 1 or 2 kids naturally and then adopting the rest. I have to admit though I’m a bit scared. What is God is preparing me in case we can’t have children the ol’fashioned way? What if this is what it’s all about? I’ve gotta tell you that I’ve always dreamed of being pregnant and how much I would love it and of breastfeeding and what a special experience that is. I don’t want to miss these things but why is my heart being pulled on so strongly? We have no reason to believe that we can’t have children but the thought just keeps invading my mind. I just don’t know what He’s doing but I do know I will give Him praise in all situations (easier said than done, of course). Here are a few things that could possibly be considered goads.

1. Husband is adopted.

2. Nannied for adopted girl. (This was a really defining moment for us as a couple and probably one of the solidifying reasons we have chosen to adopt at some point, besides the fact that Mr. N is adopted.)

3. One of my dear friends gave up a child for adoption at age 14. I met her about a year and a half ago. The day she told me her story I located her daughter within a few hours (both had searched for one another but to no avail). They now have a great friendship and are quite close. It was obviously a “God thing” that I found her daughter, but why did God use me?

4. Consistently (I’m talking about a near-daily basis here) I’m coming across more people who are and or have adopted. This is happening through blogs as well a few in person.

I don’t want to read into things that aren’t there but it has just been a pretty strong weight on my heart. I discussed it for the first time with my husband tonight over dinner. Other than that I’ve not mentioned it to anyone until now. I really wanted to wait a while before broaching the subject, even with him. He’s all for it either way, he just has a lot of love to give to kids. We did decide we’d like to adopt from several countries if possible. We have always talked about China (that’s where my former charge was from) and feel pretty strongly that China is one of the countries where we will find one of our children. However, we think it would be pretty amazing to have some children from a few places. A rainbow of skin. That’s what our family may look like.

And while I get very excited thinking about all of this there is a HUGE part of me that wants at least 1 natural child. I have some health issues but none that I know of that would prevent me from conceiving and/or carrying to term. So, I’m left with a mix of fear and excitement. Fear of the unknown (and perhaps many if not most women have the fear of being unable to have children) and excitement for all that the future holds. I know that if God’s plan does not include natural children He will change the desires of my heart. After all, Psalm 37: 4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart” This leaves only one answer for me; to pray for His will. I pray I will find my joy through His plans alone and I know that He will change my heart if need be. At the end of the day I just want to do my part to love people like Christ loves us.

I remember telling my father when I was younger that I really felt God was going to use me to do some amazing things in the world. This didn’t mean I’d be well-known or looked up to by multitudes, it just meant that I knew God had a very unique plan for me. I still believe that. Perhaps this is one of the amazing things God has laid out for me to do. To adopt is a great and noble calling but the praise should be given only to God. For He gives us the love to do this and He set the example when He adopted us into His family. Maybe this is just another way in which I can try to become more like Him. Maybe my fears are unwarranted. Maybe I can’t even begin to see His plan.

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The Pocket God Habit: A Small Sermon

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 at 5:15 pm (Seriously?)

Well, my time in paradise has ended and I’ve been thrown back into the realm of the real. Exuma was absolutely amazing and I do plan on sharing bits of it from time to time. I actually took over 700 pictures (close to 750 I believe) and will share some with you soon. Right now they are on a computer in North Carolina waiting to be burned onto cd’s and mailed to me (Thanks ever so much C and E!). So until I can provide you with visuals we’ll go about our daily business and come back to the trip as soon as possible. I will say it was fabulous and I’m a bit sad to be home.

Traveling is always interesting to me. I love to watch people. Sometimes they crack me up, sometimes they break my heart and sometimes they just simply annoy me. That is the case in which I am going to tell you about today. You may be one of these people and if so, I will apologize in advance for offending you.

As we boarded our plane that would take us from Atlanta to DFW I was seated beside a younger woman, probably in her early 20’s. (We flew on a 757 so there were 3 seats on each side of the isle.) She was busy texting away on her phone until the flight attendant announced that it was time to turn of all electronics. No big thing. This didn’t bother me. However, as soon as our plane touched down she and about 50 others on the plane whipped out their phones and started in on the calls. Mind you, we had only been on the plane for 2 hours and it was 10:30 at night. 2 hours…that’s it. By the speed at which this people were grappling for their phones you’d think we had lost touch with civilization days earlier. Did I mention it had only been 2 hours?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my phone. Well, let me rephrase that: I love having my phone though I hate talking on it. I love the security of knowing that I can call whomever whenever. I love having technology that enables me to keep up with friends that are far away (although I’m horrible at it; see earlier statement). But people, please! Can’t we have a little balance here? I find myself wanting to scream out and ask these folks how they survived before cell phones? What did we do when we were unable to be in constant contact with the rest of the world? And who must be called the second the plane’s wheels touch concrete? Can’t you wait 5 minutes for decency’s sake (or mine) before falling at the alter of your pocket god yet again?

The same thing can be said for restaurants (and theaters for that matter). I like to dine in peace and with the person that is sitting across from me. I don’t bring my network to the table and I don’t appreciate you bringing yours. Can’t you converse with your present company? If alone, can’t you enjoy a little solitude and quietness? The old saying, “Dance with the one that brought you” should be reworked to account for modern times. “Talk to the one you’re with.” It’s just rude to do otherwise. Now, we all have exceptions to the rule so if yours is valid, stop sulking. You’re forgiven. However, if you’re just jabbering (or texting) away because that’s what you do, you need to check your technology at the door. I will never forget the time that Mr. Nixon and I went for a romantic date at a small restaurant in Dallas called The Grape. (It’s off lower Greenville and is fabulous. It is a wine bistro that features a changing menu every two weeks.) This bistro was quite intimate and the tables were very close to one another. The prices alone should have lent for a little extra class to be shown. However, sitting near us was a couple who appeared to be on a date. I don’t know if this was a first date, a relationship or a marriage. But, just guessing by the looks of it this date was not going well. While the poor gentleman sat across from his lady, she sat rambling on and on and on into her phone. I’m not talking about a 5 minute conversation. I’m telling you that this lasted throughout our dinner. I was so tempted to go say something like this, “Excuse me sir, but I was wondering if you would care to join us at our table since your date seems to be enjoying her dinner with someone else?” I wonder if that would have shut her mouth. Would she even have noticed if he left her table?

While I’m no stickler for following all guidelines of properness (apologies, Miss Manners) I do feel that common sense should guide us. I think people need to feel free to escape the bondage of their technology for at least a couple of hours. Enjoy what is in front of you and tune out the rest. Sit and relax at dinner; go to the movies and forget the outside world; wait until you’ve gotten off the airplane to get back to your old habits. While on the island I didn’t once think about my cell phone. How lovely it was. What a fuller experience I had because I was 100% there.

And while I’m sure that cellphone etiquette may never be fully observed I challenge you to consider what conversation you’re engaging in while in the presence of strangers. Are you ignoring the relationships that are in your presence to foster another? Can you quit the pocket god habit and replace it with something healthy…like face-to-face interaction? Can you be in one place with you body and mind? Talk to the one you’re with. It’s that simple.

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Leaving on a jet plane…

Monday, July 2, 2007 at 12:05 am (Get outta town!)

Well, it was beautiful while it lasted…but…my time here is short. Yes, I just got back into the groove of things on this fabulous blog but I am having to leave you. Again. BUT, please don’t fret because I’m ONLY going on vacation. Yes, it’s that time of the year when a sunny little island in the Caribbean is needing to get a party started. So…they called in the big guns (that would be me and possibly Pink). Hubby and I are about to jet-set outta this land of concrete and more concrete to a one of plush paradise, otherwise known as Great Exuma. Small, enchanting and neighbor to islands owned by Johnny Depp, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Nicolas Cage and other poverty stricken stars. The occasion? My brother is getting hitched. That’s right ladies…he’s off the market. Josh and Meredith will be joining the rest of us who are already experiencing wedded bliss but they will be doing it island style. July 6th is the date for the blessed affair. Four Seasons is the place. Sorry you won’t be there. You can however, have almost as great a week as I just knowing that I will be back next Monday with pictures and stories! Okay, maybe your week won’t compare to mine but let’s just get over that fact.

For those of you who know my brother or his soon to be wife (or those of you who are just nosy (I prefer the word curious, myself…)) you can follow along on through their wedding website. And can I just ask one thing before I go? WHEN did wedding websites become “the thing” to do? I personally think they’re great but there are some out there who just got jipped when it came to my wedding. There was no website…no island…no week-long vacation (well, not for them anyway)…ahhh, but wait! It was in a glass chapel, I did have an amazing dress, my father performed the ceremony, my loved ones were there, I did surprise my husband with a wedding song (see #38 of 102 Thing About Me), oh and I did mention that I married the man of my dreams? No? Well, that too…so…who I am kidding? It was my favorite wedding, hands down! (I feel a thank you is most appropriate right now…Mom, Dad…thank you for giving me every little girl’s dream.)

Well, on that happy memory I’m saying so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night…have a terrific week, darlings!

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