Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Random Observation

I’ve found myself becoming increasingly observant of random things lately. Not sure what sparked it, but here it is. And I do mean random things.

For example; Driving. I never pay attention to what I do when I drive. It’s all habit. But, today on my way to work, I was noticing all the things I do by habit. Like glancing in my mirrors every few seconds. I can clearly remember learning to drive 10 years ago and having to remind myself to check my mirrors. Now I do it without thinking. Weird observation, I know. Braking too…I use to consciously think “I need to start applying my brakes now”. Not anymore. I just know when to stop. Haha.

Speaking of driving to work…I also ‘observed’ that I was one of few who were actually going to work today! The morning commute that usually takes 35-40 minutes took me 25 today. And the parking lot at my office was practically deserted. I notice these things because, until I joined the work-force, I was blissfully unaware that some people actually have to work on the Eve’s of holidays, and the days after too! I grew up in a household where my Mom was a stay-at-home-mom and my Dad, being with the same company for close to 20 years, was able to use vacation to be home at the same time Frankie & I had our school breaks. Therefore, it didn’t even cross my mind that people with office jobs had to work on said holidays. Allstate calls insurance “retail” but the two weeks of Christmas & New Year’s are the slowest of the year. Anyway, I am at work until 3pm today, with a smile on my face because at least I have a job!!!

Well, I hope you all have a safe and fun New Year’s Eve and I’ll talk at ya in 2009!!


Monday, December 29, 2008

A Day in the Life of Chloe!

A Day in the Life of Chloe - What a spoiled kitty!!

Here is Chloe, after a bath. She does not enjoy them, but she smells and feels so good after!!

All snuggled up in the blanket she stole from Mommy for nap time!

Chloe watching her boyfriend, Wall-E. She goes crazy when we watch this movie!!
And after a long day of bath time, napping, and watching Wall-E, she falls asleep on the couch with Daddy!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Perfect Story for Christmas Eve

I did it again. I went days without posting. Shame on me.

But, Merry Christmas!!!! I read this article today and it brought tears to my eyes. THIS is what the Christmas spirit is all about!!!

There are some games where cheering for the other side feels better than winning.
by Rick Reilly

They played the oddest game in high school football history last month down in Grapevine, Texas.
It was Grapevine Faith vs. Gainesville State School and everything about it was upside down. For instance, when Gainesville came out to take the field, the Faith fans made a 40-yard spirit line for them to run through.

Did you hear that? The other team's fans?

They even made a banner for players to crash through at the end. It said, "Go Tornadoes!" Which is also weird, because Faith is the Lions.

It was rivers running uphill and cats petting dogs. More than 200 Faith fans sat on the Gainesville side and kept cheering the Gainesville players on—by name.

"I never in my life thought I'd hear people cheering for us to hit their kids," recalls Gainesville's QB and middle linebacker, Isaiah. "I wouldn't expect another parent to tell somebody to hit their kids. But they wanted us to!"

And even though Faith walloped them 33-14, the Gainesville kids were so happy that after the game they gave head coach Mark Williams a sideline squirt-bottle shower like he'd just won state. Gotta be the first Gatorade bath in history for an 0-9 coach.

But then you saw the 12 uniformed officers escorting the 14 Gainesville players off the field and two and two started to make four. They lined the players up in groups of five—handcuffs ready in their back pockets—and marched them to the team bus. That's because Gainesville is a maximum-security correctional facility 75 miles north of Dallas. Every game it plays is on the road.

This all started when Faith's head coach, Kris Hogan, wanted to do something kind for the Gainesville team. Faith had never played Gainesville, but he already knew the score. After all, Faith was 7-2 going into the game, Gainesville 0-8 with 2 TDs all year. Faith has 70 kids, 11 coaches, the latest equipment and involved parents. Gainesville has a lot of kids with convictions for drugs, assault and robbery—many of whose families had disowned them—wearing seven-year-old shoulder pads and ancient helmets.

So Hogan had this idea. What if half of our fans—for one night only—cheered for the other team? He sent out an email asking the Faithful to do just that. "Here's the message I want you to send:" Hogan wrote. "You are just as valuable as any other person on planet Earth."

Some people were naturally confused. One Faith player walked into Hogan's office and asked, "Coach, why are we doing this?"

And Hogan said, "Imagine if you didn't have a home life. Imagine if everybody had pretty much given up on you. Now imagine what it would mean for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you."

Next thing you know, the Gainesville Tornadoes were turning around on their bench to see something they never had before. Hundreds of fans. And actual cheerleaders!

"I thought maybe they were confused," said Alex, a Gainesville lineman (only first names are released by the prison). "They started yelling 'DEE-fense!' when their team had the ball. I said, 'What? Why they cheerin' for us?'"

It was a strange experience for boys who most people cross the street to avoid. "We can tell people are a little afraid of us when we come to the games," says Gerald, a lineman who will wind up doing more than three years. "You can see it in their eyes. They're lookin' at us like we're criminals. But these people, they were yellin' for us! By our names!"

Maybe it figures that Gainesville played better than it had all season, scoring the game's last two touchdowns. Of course, this might be because Hogan put his third-string nose guard at safety and his third-string cornerback at defensive end. Still.

After the game, both teams gathered in the middle of the field to pray and that's when Isaiah surprised everybody by asking to lead. "We had no idea what the kid was going to say," remembers Coach Hogan. But Isaiah said this: "Lord, I don't know how this happened, so I don't know how to say thank You, but I never would've known there was so many people in the world that cared about us."

And it was a good thing everybody's heads were bowed because they might've seen Hogan wiping away tears.

As the Tornadoes walked back to their bus under guard, they each were handed a bag for the ride home—a burger, some fries, a soda, some candy, a Bible and an encouraging letter from a Faith player.

The Gainesville coach saw Hogan, grabbed him hard by the shoulders and said, "You'll never know what your people did for these kids tonight. You'll never, ever know."

And as the bus pulled away, all the Gainesville players crammed to one side and pressed their hands to the window, staring at these people they'd never met before, watching their waves and smiles disappearing into the night.

Anyway, with the economy six feet under and Christmas running on about three and a half reindeer, it's nice to know that one of the best presents you can give is still absolutely free.


Hope, indeed. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. And a happy and HOPEFUL 2009.

"Pray for Peace, people everywhere. A child, a child, sleeping in the night; He will bring us goodness and light..."

Friday, December 12, 2008

Things I've learned...

I have sucked at keeping up with my blog. Sorry :\ To make up for it, I put a lot of thought into this one. I will add to the list whenever I can.

Things I have learned…

I know, I know. I’m only 25 years old. The list can’t be that long. You’d be surprised the things I picked up along the way…and the list is growing every day. And isn’t that the point?

· I’ve learned that relationships take work, but when you find “the one” it’s worth the effort.
· I’ve learned that the one person who is never supposed to break your heart, might.
· I’ve learned that a Mother’s Love is possibly the only thing that never changes. [I’ve learned this being a daughter. I can’t wait to learn this from the Mother’s side, too.]
· I’ve learned that earning your own money makes the things you buy feel more important.
· I’ve learned that being responsible does not mean you can’t have fun.
· I’ve learned that you never stop missing your Grandparents when they are no longer around.
· I’ve learned that you should never take yourself too seriously. I’m still working on this one.
· I’ve learned that a woman’s strength is unmatched.
· I’ve learned that sticks and stones can indeed break your bones, but words can break your heart.
· I’ve learned that every single person I’ve ever met has touched my life in some way.
· I’ve learned that we are not promised ‘tomorrow’. Each day is a gift, and should be treated as such. Say ‘I love you’ often.
· I’ve learned that life carries on, whether you are ready for it to or not.
· I’ve learned that family in an amazing thing.
· I’ve learned that my brother is priceless and irreplaceable.
· I’ve learned that even though we grow older, some people never grow up.
· I’ve learned that I’m still learning. And that’s a good thing.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Time is Here...!!!

Yay!!! Our favorite time of year has finally arrived!!! Although the weather is way to warm still, in our opinion. We have had only a few days colder than 55. :( This makes it a little hard to get into the Christmas spirit, but we put up our first Christmas tree together and decorated the apartment, in and out! And, of course, Chloe has found her new favorite place...right under the tree!! We haven't put on our tree topper yet, and it's missing about 50 of our ornaments, but once we pick those up from our parent's houses it will be complete!

We also started Christmas shopping today. This will be our most 'budgeted' Christmas to date, and our list of who we will give to has gotten significantly smaller. None the less, we had fun shopping today. I LOVE finding 'that perfect gift' and I think we've succeeded so far!

The Christmas cards are all ready to go out tomorrow. It was a team effort and ended up being much more time consuming than it should have been, thanks to glitches in the technology we love so much! ;)

Anyway, here are some pictures of our tree and Chloe under it!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Chloe - Our Furbaby

We don't have kids yet, obviously, but we have a fur-baby. Little Miss Chloe Leigh Naslund. Yes, she has a full name. What does that tell you?...You guessed right. She is spoiled rotten. [Ryan started it - for the record. ;) ]

We "oooh" and "aaah" over her daily. Ryan carries her around the house like she's a baby. She sleeps right between us every night. And, we take a ridiculous amount of pictures. Ryan's parents and my Mom have embraced her as their "fur-grandbaby". Ryan's parents even 'babysat' her while we were in TN for Thanksgiving. Anyway, back to the pictures. I thought I'd post a few of our favorites, just cause we think she is cute and want to share her with the world.

We present to you, Our Furbaby - Chloe:

Tell me she doesn't have the sweetest face ever!

This WAS my it's Chloe's. Passed out in "Daddy's" lap.

Chloe is obsessed with my laptop. Whenever I use it, she has to be right next to me. She loooves to watch TV [and yes, she actually watches it] and I think the laptop screen has the same appeal. Ironically, her favorite thing to do is chase the "mouse".

Every morning, "Mommy" checks her email while watching the Today show and drinking coffee in bed...and every morning Chloe falls asleep with her head on the laptop.

This one is a little fuzzy, but she does this all the time. Like she is claiming the laptop as hers!

And your eyes do not deceive you, Mom, our bed is not made in any of these pictures. Ha ha.

Anyway, that is our little "Chlo-Chlo" or "Chlo-fur" as Ryan calls her. And until we have kids, this is our 'child'. Expect more Chloe-related blogging in the future.



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's been a few days...

Well, I haven't blogged in a week. We went to Tennessee for Thanksgiving. We drove and it was a loooong trip but so worth it. It was great being with my my aunts and uncles on my Mom's side and being able to just hang out. Plus, the food was amazing. ;)

So, now I'm back home. Started my new position at work and love it so far. The clients are really high maintenance but the location is excellent and I'm really excited about it.

Ryan got an iPhone. He's obsessed with it. It is pretty cool, but takes too much work to use, in my opinion. :)

Well - that's all I've got for now! Pretty boring these days...