Archive | November, 2012

Helicopter Ride

30 Nov

This past Saturday, Joseph’s Uncle Charlie and Aunt Marcie came to the lake house to visit the family for the day.  The drive for them is somewhere around 5 hours.  You may be thinking, “Now why on Earth would they want to make a trip like that only for the day?!”  One word:  Helicopter.

Uncle Charlie's Helicopter

Uncle Charlie’s Helicopter

The helicopter ride is exponentially shorter than driving and obviously a way more awesome method to travel.  Charlie has his license to fly helicopters and has his very own that they use to make trips such as these.  It is amazing!

Charlie has taken us up several times in the past: at their house in the Hill Country, over Lake Jacksonville in the Summer, and even over the Texas A&M Campus (which was my very first trip and probably my favorite).  This was the first time he has taken me up in the Fall – I say Fall instead of Winter because the trees are still changing.  We all know the trees are changing colors and it is gorgeous from land, but I had no idea how stunningly beautiful it would be from the bird.  Charlie and Marcie told us about the gorgeous views they saw on their way over and even showed us pictures but the pictures can’t even do it justice.  With that being said, I took some to show you anyways 🙂

Isn't it gorgeous?!

Isn’t it gorgeous?!

I find myself in awe each and every time I go up in the helicopter.  I don’t think it is something that you can ever get used to.  The different view points of God’s work just take your breath away.  It truly makes you sit back and appreciate the world around you.

Their helicopter is a 4-seater.  This ride, I went up with Charlie (obviously), Joseph, and Joshua.

Me, Joseph, and Joshua

Me, Joseph, and Joshua

Charlie and Marcie have always been willing to take people up in the helicopter to share the experience with people.  They are probably two of the nicest people I have ever met.  They always welcome everyone with open arms and share so much love.  One time at the lake house, Charlie spent basically an entire two days taking people up and around the lake because when he and Marcie originally landed, the neighbors and all of their friends, kids and kids’ friends that were there ran outside to see what was going on…it’s not everyday you see a helicopter land in someone’s front yard.   I would probably think something tragic happened and life flight was there if I saw it.  Charlie never once turned anyone down or complained if they wanted to go for a ride – even though he had to fly to the nearest airport and refuel two times!  You can tell it is a hobby that they both really enjoy and it’s amazing that they are so willing to share that with the people around them.

Charlie and Marcie – Thanks again for taking us up!  It is always an incredible experience!  Love you both!

“…pure randomness.”

29 Nov

Whelp, sad day everyone…I didn’t win the lottery.

In fact, out of the 5 tickets I had, I only had one number correct – out of 30 numbers!  Luck was not a lady to me yesterday.  Oh well, what can you do?  Good thing I still know how very blessed I am to have the things in my life that really matter like family, friends, good health, and a stable job.  Of course half a billion dollars wouldn’t have hurt to win, but still.  They say there’s a curse to winning the lotto anyways.  I don’t need that kind of stress. ha


The other night, Joseph and I grilled duck from some that he had shot this season.  I thought it was really delicious and tender.  Joseph had a different experience…

Joseph duck and the birdshot he “discovered.”

While we were eating, Joseph took a bite of his duck and chomped down on something hard.  He swore there was birdshot (aka a shotgun pellet) but when he looked, he couldn’t find anything.  I thought he was nuts until I went to give the scrap piece to Duddley and just happened to notice the pellet.  Apparently that is why there are warning labels on the boxes of birdshot about chipping teeth…


I have a lot of files at work that I have to go through on a pretty regular basis.  When messing with files, paper cuts are inevitable, at least to me.  And it’s never the regular paper cuts…it’s the big, thick, file-folder paper cuts that bleed and feel like you have for sure severed your finger.

As some of you may know, I use hand sanitizer quite often.  And as ALL of you know, hand sanitizer and paper cuts DO NOT MIX!!

Somehow, I forget this EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.


You know how I said the people at my bus stop call me the Jinx?  Well, the Jinx struck again Tuesday.  It never fails that if anything ridiculous is going to happen to the Woodlands Express buses, it will be while I am on one.

After my bus got onto the HOV lane and drove maybe 5 miles, the door randomly opens and then closes.  Then it did it again about 30 seconds later.  And again about EVERY 30 seconds – for the whole ride.  Our driver had to slow down every time it opened and he even pulled over at a double-lane section of the HOV to try to fix it…which worked for all of 2 minutes before the door was back at it again.  It took us way longer to get home that day…so exciting.

Oh! And did I mention, a man on a motorcycle decided to pass us on the HOV!!  He decided to pass a bus. in a single-lane HOV. with barriers…why are people so incredibly stupid?  Was it really worth the risk of killing yourself and traumatizing the 50+ people on a bus if you were to get hit to get to your destination 5 minutes sooner??  I just don’t get it.  Here’s a real shocker – he didn’t even have on a helmet.  It’s always the idiots that decide they are invincible.

I bet he is one of those super cool guys that does wheelies in traffic, too.  Dumb fool.


Today, November 29th, is a pretty difficult day each year, now.  In 2009, my friend, Lauren Baker, was killed in a car crash on her way back to College Station after spending Thanksgiving with her family (the 29th was the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2009).

Lauren with me before Fish Camp 2009

Lauren was one of Joseph and my counselors in Camp Nafstad in 2009.  I only knew Lauren for less than a year before she passed away but she stays on my mind a lot.  She was one of those people who made the world a brighter place, not only because she was absolutely beautiful but also because she was such a sincere person and a great friend.  Lauren’s status on Facebook the day she died was, “Count your Blessings – Not your Troubles.”  That was the kind of person she was, always seeing the bright side to everything.  It’s hard to accept that someone like Lauren has left this Earth but God called her home for a reason.  She touched many lives throughout her short 20 years here and she will be forever in our hearts.

Lauren, I love and miss you so much!

Lauren with her younger sister, mom and dad

For those of you reading my blog right now, I ask that you please take a moment and pray for Lauren’s family today and ask that God holds them tight and comforts them.

I want to let you know that I love each and every one of you!  Thanks for being a presence in my life.  You have no idea what it means to me to have friends and family like all of you!

Always remember:  Count your Blessings – Not your Troubles.

Thanksgiving Weekend

28 Nov

Did everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving?  I know I did.

Thursday, my parents, brother and his girlfriend, Joseph and I, and my Uncle Bill all went to my Grandma’s house.  This year, my parents cooked the food and we took it to Grandma’s rather than having her do it because it has become a lot harder for her to handle a lot of things.  For only eight people, we had enough left over to feed a small army!  My parents prepared a turkey, a ham, dressing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole (Mom did a new recipe with brown sugar and pecans on top instead of marshmallows = delicious!), corn casserole, pea salad, deviled eggs, giblet gravy, and two homemade pies.  Uncle Bill brought some awesome pasta and rolls and Grandma made cranberry sauce (because what is a Thanksgiving feast without a little cranberry sauce?).  Everything was SO good.  I ate entirely WAY too much!  But I kept telling myself it was okay because that is what you are supposed to do on Thanksgiving…my thighs did not appreciate it.  When we all got up from the table, I attempted to move along to the couch but sadly didn’t make it…I just lied down right on Grandma’s living room floor feeling miserably full.

My Grandma is a hoot.  She is one of those people who tells you like it is, regardless of how you are going to take it.  She is a very independent person (having been a widow for the past 45 years, that comes naturally).  Grandma is an incredible person and someone I really admire.  In her life she taught herself how to do everything from cooking to plumbing, all while raising 4 kids (my grandfather passed away when my Uncle Bill, who is the youngest, was only a few months old).  Grandma is remarkable.

Grandma – I love her to death!

But back to her saying exactly what is on her mind…Dad loves to cook so usually when my family brings any food to Grandma’s, it is something that he has made; however, this year he made the turkey, dressing, and green bean casserole – Mom made everything else.  While we were eating, Grandma said, “Bill (my Dad), you made a wonderful dinner!  Everything is amazing!  I don’t know how you do it!” and Mom was like, “Excuse me!  I made the majority of everything! He only did the turkey, dressing, and green bean casserole!”  Grandma looked at her and said, “Oh whatever!  Don’t go taking credit for what he cooked!”  We all cracked up because Mom really had made everything else this time, Grandma just wouldn’t believe her.

Friday, after we went shopping and Joseph and his two older brothers went duck hunting, we headed up to Jacksonville to Joseph’s family’s lake house to have Thanksgiving with his family.

Joseph, Jeremy (middle brother) and his girlfriend Ashley, Joshua (oldest brother) and his wife Lori and their little girl Chloe, all drove to Willis to pick me up on the way to Jacksonville.  We had a full load with the 7 of us along with all of our luggage.  I didn’t mind though because I got to sit in the back with the girls.  Chloe is almost a year and a half and she is quite possibly the cutest thing in the whole world.

Seriously. Look how cute she is. Eat your heart out.

She entertained us the whole ride so it made for a shorter trip!

Joseph’s mother, Gwen, had been cooking Thanksgiving lunch since 6am and it was definitely worth it!  Everything was great!  We had turkey, ham, dressing, green beans, sweet potato casserole, cranberry relish, gravy, and rolls – not to mention every kind of pie/dessert you could possibly want!

After we ate, Lori, Ashley, and I went to the store to pick up some wine and a few things we needed for the rest of the weekend.  It was nice getting to catch up and bond with these girls because it definitely isn’t something that we get to do very often.  When we got back to the house, the boys and their younger cousins – Kaitlyn and Brendan, were out on the jet skis!  It was 50 degrees outside!  Of course they were bundled up but I thought they were still all nuts but Lori and Ashley decided to join them while I watched from the warmish, dry dock!  It would be my luck to be the one that fell off and froze to death!

Absolutely lost their minds.

They all made it back to land safe and dry but they still couldn’t convince me to get on it in that weather!  I am a wuss when it comes to cold weather already, much less when freezing, cold water is splashing on me!

Did I mention how cute Chloe is yet?  Maybe, but in case you weren’t convinced here are more pictures 🙂

She is too cute!  Look at her Daddy throwing her high into the air – she was loving every second of it! She also crawled into the dog kennel and shut herself in it…thinking it was hilarious, which it was.  Chloe also tried riding Duddley, threw leaves in the air while she squealed and hung out with Grandpa Jack and GiGi.  She’s just too cute.

Family Picture

It was a great holiday full of love and family – and also great food!  What more could you ask for?

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