Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hanging with the girls

This week I've been playing "big sis" to the Holmes girls while Genny and Jeff have been out of town. Paige and I have been tagteaming - she hangs out with them while I'm at work, then I go over and stay the evening and night with them, leaving around 7 each morning to get ready for work. We've had a lot of fun, spending a good bit of time in the pool in the evenings to try and keep cool in the 100+ heat.

Wednesday evening, after a hard rain, Rebecca looked out at the pool area and said "it's a really wierd color outside." It really was. These pictures have not been enhanced in any way. Every color just seemed SO intense and vibrant, and there was a really warm glow over everything. Look at the sky, such an interesting color! Facing west, it was a bright yellow, but I couldn't get that to show up on my camera.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye

So today, I said goodbye to my trusty Jeep, known as George (named George Washington because its a Patriot blue Jeep Liberty with an American flag spare tire cover). My three year lease was up, so it was time to turn old George in to the dealer. Thankfully, I've already replaced George with my new (to me) Mazda Tribute, so I'm not car-less. I love the new Tribute. It's automatic (George is manual), drives SO smoothly, gets better gas mileage (a must in this day and age), and is lots of fun to drive. I'm not 100% settled on its name yet. I thought about The Tide, since it's crimson (get it, The Crimson Tide), but that just doesn't roll of the tongue like George does. I also thought about Al (i.e. Big Al, Alabama's mascot), but that sounds like I'm naming my car after Brother Al! So, any suggestions would be most welcome.

I took a few minutes this morning to take some pics of my two cars together so I can remember George. So long, old friend! It's been fun...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Happy Christmas?

I got in the car to head to lunch today and started flipping radio stations to find one that wasn't all talk. When I got to 103.7, I did a double-take. Was that really "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" I was hearing? Yep, because it was followed by yet another Christmas song! Turns out they're playing Christmas music all day for Christmas in July. Right now they're playing "It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas" - I wish! It would be a nice change from the near 100s. I must say, I can't help but smile hearing the Christmas music. It made my day!

Everything they're doing is Christmasy, down to the weather forecast - high of 45 today, low of 28 with a 20% chance of flurries tonight. They said it would be a perfect night to drive around and look at Christmas lights. Anyone game?!?!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Texas Living

Last night I was looking at the pictures from two events I was a part of this week, and realized that it's very obvious I live in Texas!

On Thursday night a small group went to "Stars in the Stars" to watch Spiderman on the big outdoor screen in downtown Fort Worth. It was quite warm out there, but it was a lot of fun. We got Marble Slab ice cream and just hung out, chatting until the show started at dark.

Last night Wedgwood's singles department hosted a "Hip to be Square" Dance as a fundraiser for the August mission trip to San Francisco. The CLC was decorated with white lights and all sorts of western fun. We had a professional square dance caller, and did several square dances, line dances, and even had a few swing dances. It was really fun to hang out with new friends that I've met since I rejoined the singles department.
my date, the cowboy
the "white girls" - Missi, Amanda, me, and Amy, new Wedgie friends

Friday, July 11, 2008

New Cousin

Though I don't have any nieces or nephews, I do have a lot of cousins who are having children, so I get to celebrate with them and love on the kiddos (I now have eight "little cousins"). My cousin Heath's wife just had their first, a little boy named Easton Anthony Ritch. I haven't seen him yet, but he looks adorable in the pictures they send. I'm so happy for Heath and LeeAnn - they didn't think they were going to be able to have children, so little Easton is truly a blessing.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Another year has gone by...

It is hard to believe that a year ago today, I was enjoying/ dreading my last day in Scotland before returning to the States. In some ways I was ready to come home - to see my family and friends again and to return my church. In other ways I wasn't ready for my time in Aberdeen to end - I did not want to leave the good friends I had made, and I definitely didn't want to return to my 40-hour a week job! But, as is usually the case, the last month in Scotland flew by, and the last days were there before I knew it. Here are a couple of pictures from my last few days in Scotland (the first 4 pics), as well as a couple with the people I miss most from my time there (in no particular order, of course).

Me at King's College, University of Aberdeen

toes in icy North Sea, last day in Aberdeen

saying goodbye to Amie, my best buddy in Scotland

farewell to Amie and Kristianna

with my flatmate Emma from Isle of Man

with flatmate Anna (from England), my chapel choir pal

with my Scottish flatmate Judie

Jason and Erin, friends from TX who were lifesavers while I was in Scotland

the "theologicans" - Lois, me, Amie, Kristianna, Laurie, and Carolyn

with Amie, Laurie, and the Beckers (Scot, Carrie, Matthew, and Adam)

with Laurie, the other female NT student and frequent travel pal

Now here I am, one year later - back in Texas, still in my 8-5 job, finished with PhD seminars, preparing for comprehensive exams and anxious to begin writing my dissertation, back at Wedgwood and loving all the ministries I get to be a part of. Yes, it is good to be back home, but I definitely have my days when I wish I could return to life in Aberdeen (not the cold, rainy part of it though!). Ah, Scotland - it definitely captured a piece of my heart in 6 short months.

Monday, July 7, 2008

4th of July Afternoon and Fireworks

After we got home from the parade, we were all hot and sweaty, and ready to spend the afternoon in the pool. We played "horse," threw the frisbee, lounged and relaxed, and had a good time for most of the afternoon. Uncle Alvin and Aunt Kay came over late afternoon, and we grilled out hamburgers before heading to the lake to watch the fireworks.

Mom was laying out on her chair until Harley came over. The pavement was too hot for the pads on his feet, so he joined mom in her chair. After this, though, mom was all too happy to give the chair up and let Harley have it - LOL!

After dinner we went to watch the fireworks with Alvin and Kay, Alex and Adam, and Ben's girlfriend Katie and her mom. We had a great spot right on the bank of the lake, though the ground was rather rocky and uncomfortable. We were there for over an hour before the show started, so we just hung out and talked and tried not to sweat to death - it was hot!

I took Dad's tripod and set it up to try and get some good shots of the fireworks over the lake. I think I succeeded. Here are just a few of the pics I took that night! It was a great fireworks show - the only thing missing was some patriotic music.