Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rest In Peace






A son and a brother...who became a husband


and then a pharmacist.....



And then a father...





and then a grandfather....



And all the while, he was a good Christian


and a friend to many.











Billy Pierce Hackney


April 30, 1929 ~ April 28, 2010


Always loved....already missed.






























Sunday, April 25, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

One Particular Bike Rider

This past weekend was the annual MS 150 Houston to Austin. The first 3 pictures are just a hint at the thousands and thousands of bike riders that participated in this year's event...and then there were the thousands of volunteers that manned all the stopping stations, the SAG vans...that are there to pick up the tired and injured, the police officers who directed the traffic from Houston to Austin, the spectators and the friends and families. This thing is huge and run like a well-oiled machine.
I am just as impressed by the organization of it all
as I am by the endurance levels of the bike riders.






Out of the thousands of bike riders, there was
one particular bike rider
that we were pulling for.


There she is....within a mile
of the finish line of Day One.




She stopped on the side of the road to talk to us for a few minutes.
Her legs felt like ground beef.
Her words....not mine.




She told us about her very sore bottom.
And how Butt Butter is her new best friend.


She posed for the camera.


She pointed out the name of my friend on the sign that we saw after we stopped at this point on the side of the road.

And then she got back on her bike and rode off to the fairgrounds to shower, eat and spend the night before heading to Austin on Day Two.



My daddy used to smoke Tip cigarillos.....so this little bit of litter caught my eye.



And as our good luck would have it, Jordan and Chris were going to be in Austin for the same weekend as the MS150 to attend a wedding. So we planned to see them for dinner and breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. As soon as Cameron rode away, we headed to Austin, checked into our hotel, then drove over to pick up Jordan and Chris.
Dinner was at The Oasis....a 3 story restaurant on the banks of Lake Travis....known for its view of the lake and the sunset.
On the way to The Oasis, the skies emptied and we drove through a monsoon. It was windy and chilly but we still sat out on the balcony and waited for the sunset.



Mr. and Mrs. Whitlach


If that was your mansion, you would be home right now.



Looking down over the rail of the 3rd floor.
This would normally be packed on a Saturday night,
but remember there had just been
a major thunder and rainstorm.





The railing on the right is the 3rd floor balcony.
The view from here is incredible.



Sunset on a rainy evening.


The Oasis. Check it out if you're ever in
the Austin/Lake Travis area.




After dinner we headed back to town
and walked around the 6th street area
and found a place that had a live band.
As opposed to a dead band.



And there they are....alive.

The next morning we met for breakfast and
then had a couple of hours to tour the capitol
before Jordan and Chris had to leave for the airport.



A Native Texan seeing the Capitol Building
for the first time.



Chuck, Chris and Jordan went and
toured around the Capitol.... after Chris stood in the
middle of the dome to hear his echo...





...while I walked around and took pictures....




...of clocks....





...and the top of the dome.....





.....and architecture....




...and door frames.



And then it was time for the airport.



Bye. Love you.
See you sometime this summer maybe?
Take care of each other.
Okay....we gotta go....
back to the bike riders.



Eye catching paint job.

And since we are Aggies, we really don't say the L word....
but I guess we could say Onghorn.



There's that bike rider.
We texted back and forth...
she could only text at the bike stops every 15 miles
....and we let her know where we were parked
along the road of the last stretch.


Number 3730.
Cameron.



On her way to the finish line....about 3 miles away.
She did it.
She crossed the finish line.
She did.


Those are our cups on the ledge....
where we waited for an hour to catch a glimpse
of one particular bike rider.




Reading and walking....
while hundreds of bike riders are passing by him.
Must have been an awesome book.


And then a very proud mama and daddy
got back in the car and headed back to Houston.
Our Cameron.
She did it.
162 miles.




A note to those with MS:


You do not deserve your illness.

You do not deserve it.

There are many, many people
dedicated to raising money to find the cure for MS.

I witnessed it myself this weekend.

Hold on.
Take care of yourself.
Stay in the day.
Hope.
Pray.
Believe.
And next year...I hope that you can go see those bike riders....
riding over 160 miles....for you and new treatments and a cure.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Across the pond....

Jordan's sweet, talented friend and wedding photographer just sent me a link to a blog where some of Jordan's wedding pictures are featured....well, it's really Caroline's work...but Jordan and Chris' wedding was the location. This blog is a UK blog...and somehow that just seems a little unreal....all the way across the pond, as they say.

The months leading up to Jordan's wedding, I spent countless hours pouring over wedding blogs. One thing I know now. No matter how great the wedding, you need a great photographer to grab it in a photograph. Especially if you're in the wedding. The day goes by so fast that there is no way you can see it all....much less be in every corner at every moment. Future brides out there....put a chunk of your budget towards the photographer.

Caroline has plans to feature her work from Jordan's wedding on a couple of more blogs...so if that happens, I will link them on here.

Another thing I now know........somebody needs to do a Mother of the Bride blog. Many of those countless hours I spent looking at wedding blogs were looking for what mothers of the brides were wearing....and those pictures are nowhere to be found. Occasionally, there would be a glimpse of a mother in the background of a picture......but I needed some serious help and it was not out there. If you google "mother of the bride dresses" you get a couple of hundred websites selling hideous pink dresses modeled by MeeMaw. There's a market out there not being targeted....just saying.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What'd I just say?

Today.....after witnessing the same kid bulldoze over another kid twice. And by bulldoze, I mean he grabbed her and pushed her out of his way because he thought she was trying to cut in line.

Me: G, come here.

Him: What?

Me: G, you're very tall and much bigger than K. so you need to be more careful.

Him: But she was trying to cut.

Me: Then you say, "Please don't cut".......you can't just shove her.

Him: .............(starting to stare at something besides me)

Me: You need to calm down and keep your hands and feet to yourself.......so you don't keep hurting your friends.

Him:.....................(staring off right past my face)

Me: Do you understand?

Him:.........(barely nods his head)

Me: What'd I just say?

Him: You said TO STOP IT.


Uh, not exactly, but I think he summed it up. And something tells me, he gets the lecture a lot.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Remember Me


Go see it.
Cameron saw this movie on Thursday and insisted we all go see it last night. She warned us it had left her crying...but it was so good....she wanted to see it again. So we went.
It was a worth our time and money and I am still thinking about it this morning. A very well told tale full of twists and turns and believable characters and dysfunctional families and beautiful cinematography. And the ending?
Go see for yourself. Take some kleenex.
And Robert Pattinson? He can really act....not just another pretty face. This guy is going to be huge. Not just for Vampire movies anymore.
I may just have to see this one again.

The Prize

As I told you in the last post, I was the winner of a gift basket valued at $50 at JCPenney. We had to go to The Woodlands Mall....about a 35 minute drive....to pick it up. While there, we ate a very late lunch or early dinner at The Cheesecake Factory....and brought a couple of pieces of cheesecake home for our late dinner.

The prize? Valued at $50? Here it is.........



After the cellophane was removed....

Lots of smell goods.
And hair products.



And a little eye candy.

You're welcome.

Listen to your messages.....

....because you might be a winner!

Answering machines, cell phone messages, text messages, home emails, work emails, US mail, facebook updates.........grrrrrrr...sometimes it's just too much. I can't even imagine living out in the prairie in the 1800's and waiting for that one day a year when the US Postal Service would send a man on a horse to bring you your mail.

But on the other hand, we are way too connected. Chuck has our answering machine connected to our email now so when I get home and check my home email, I am notified if someone left me a message. I usually scroll through the caller i.d. to see if it's one of my kids. Or a family member. Or a good friend. After that it's usually just sales calls and unidentified...or unrecognized numbers. If it's one of my kids, I call them without even listening to the message.

If it's family, I call them soon. Without listening to the message. Or tell Chuck if it's his side of the family. Same with friends.

Point is? Point is I don't listen to my messages.

But the other day, I did. Mostly to delete them. Because there were alot of them. And JCPenney called. And I was half-listening to the message by then. Because there were several before this one.

The nice voice on the phone said I had won a gift basket valued at $50. I could pick it up at the catalogue center at the JCPenney at The Woodlands Mall.

Only then did I remember that after I had purchased those Flexees (JCPenney's knockoff of Spanx) for the wedding, the kind lady checking me out asked if I would like to fill out this card to win blah, blah, blah.........

Honestly, I didn't hear what she said after "win" because I was tired from shopping and at that point, it was easier to fill it out than to say no. Go figure. I never win....so I usually never even fill this stuff out.

The only other time I won something like this was in my single days. I had been taken to lunch on a week day by a guy. We went to a barbeque place ....the kind where you stand in line and order as you go. The line was long and probably as a diversion to an awkward moment of no conversation, I started filling out a card ......it was to win something from a radio station. Didn't read the sign, didn't read the card. Just acted busy.

Fast forward a month or so later (boy no longer in the picture), I returned from my lunch hour and all my co-workers were asking me if I had called in to the radio station?

Me: What? Why?

Them: You won a trip to Vegas!!

ME: WHAT?

Them: You had to call in within 30 minutes of your name being called!

ME: WWAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!

So that was what I was signing up for that day with that boy in that line at that barbeque place.

For all you people that were not even born when I was in my 20's........... we did not have cell phones and there was no way any of my friends could have called me to tell me. They had to hang on until I got back from lunch to ask me.......and of course, it was way past the 30 minute time frame. And if I had heard my name, I would have had to pull in to a Stop 'n Shoot or a gas station to use a pay phone......if I had had a quarter.

Would have been a free trip to Vegas...if I had read the card, and listened to that station and heard my name, and had that quarter.

Anyway...the good news is I won this time. And I didn't even have to do anything. But listen to my messages. Which. I. Never. Do.

I am going to call this one a miracle.

We are headed back to The Woodlands Mall to pick up a basket full of who knows what that is valued at $50.

Being us, that basket valued at $50 is going to cost us way more than it's worth....because we will surely have to go into Barnes & Noble, and then get a Starbucks........and then perhaps eat at The Cheesecake Factory.

I'll be back to show you the basket.

Good Friday

Friday is always good for those of us who work a 5 day week. But it's the best when it's Good Friday......and we have the day off. This should really be called Best Friday.

Good Friday is the day that Jesus died on the cross......3 days before Easter Sunday.....which is the day the tomb was found empty. Good Friday should really be a very sad, somber day if you think about what happened on this day.

But to me Good Friday has always felt like a gift. A day off in the prettiest time of year to just spend however you want to. With your family, by yourself. Sleep in or wake up early. Eat out or eat in. Travel or stay home. Spend it outdoors or in a mall. Easter has a calmness about it...unlike what we've done to Christmas.


Cameron....Easter 1988


And that bunny thing? And those eggs? That just adds to the delight of this most religious holiday. It's springtime.......there is new life. The bunnies are hopping. The eggs are found in abundance. The bees are spreading pollen. The birds are chirping and building nests. The flowers are blooming. New Life.




He died. On that cross. For you. For me. For our sins. So that all who believes in HIM. May have an everlasting......new life.

Try to grasp that. Send up a quick prayer of thanks. Ask HIM for his help in your life.

Eat a chocolate bunny.



Yesterday was the big egg hunt in kindergarten. It was anticipated all week....which just makes it all the more exciting. And it was April Fool's Day. So as I went through the classrooms at the end of the day gathering all the "car riders".....this is what was said in one class....



ME: Happy Easter!




Them: Merry Christmas!




ME: What???




Them: April Fool's!




ME: Got me!



Five and six year olds have a sense of humor. Silly........but still humor.