Thursday, July 31, 2008

Should I be offended???

Well, my newly painted big toe met with an unfortunate incident the day after my pedicure last week. Yes, I got a chip within 24 hours of having my toes all nicely painted. (This is why I don't pay for this too often!)

So, all week, I've been thinking that I need to find someplace that sells OPI nail polish and namely, You're Such a Kabucki Queen shade, so I can salvage my pedi before it's too far gone. Today before lunch, I decided to check online and found out that a Sun Tan City store on West End, not far from my office, had the color I needed. Off I went to Sun Tan City to get myself some happiness in a small bottle. I walked in, asked for my nail polish (I had just called a few minutes prior, so the guy remembered what I was there for), and made the purchase. I asked him to validate my parking ticket and as I'm getting ready to leave, he said, "Come back if you ever want a suntan!"

Hmmm! Was that I reference to my lily white skin (which is actually slightly more tan than during the non-summer months) or was he just doing his job at the counter of the tanning salon? I guess I don't really want to waste too much time being offended, but I still thought, "He didn't just say that" as I walked out the door and smiled to myself as I went to the car.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sister Saturday: Girl Time!

Jeanette's baby is due in four weeks (27 days, if you're counting, and she is!), so I wanted to treat her to a pedicure as she prepares to welcome her daughter. Of course, I couldn't let her get a pedi all by herself! I think we're off to a good start in giving my niece lessons on what it means to be a girl!
We walked into Magic Nails and told them what we wanted and were escorted to our side-by-side chairs with water basins flowing, ready for our tired feet. On the way to the chairs, we picked out our nail polish colors. Jeanette's was bright pink (don't know the name of her color) and mine was a different shade of pink, called "You're Such a Kubucki Queen" (which I hope isn't something bad!), but also bright. For the next half hour we enjoyed soaking our feet in the bubbling water, having our callouses scrubbed and smoothed away, and getting our legs and feet massaged. At the end, our pink-hued toes were happily dried off under the lamp, and we went on our way to the next stop: Las Palmas!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

They're back!

The GCC youth got back from their mission trip to NC yesterday afternoon and it's been so fun for me to get to hear Daniel's stories from the trip. I may not have heard much from him while he was gone (except for a few text messages), but he has definitely made up for it since he's been back. I expected that, and have not been disappointed. :-)

From the time I picked him up at Jeanette's house until he went to bed last night, he gave me lots of details about what they did and all the fun they had together. I think one of the most valuable experiences for him was the relationships he built with the other youth. He got to know the older guys and chaparones and formed friendships that will continue to influence his life in the years to come. They had a great week and worked hard, and Daniel is ready to go again! He's glad that he still has five more years that he can go on these types of trips with the youth group. I think this experience even surpassed Centri-Kid for him, and if you know how much he loved C-K, that's saying a lot!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I love summer evenings!

When I was a member at FBC, Nashville, back in the '90s, they used to have something called "Summer Sundae Nights," which were ice cream fellowships after the Sunday evening service. They'd set up tables in the drive-through and had hot dogs and hamburgers, as well as ice cream with various toppings. We'd all hang around eating our ice cream and enjoy the extra time to spend together outside on a summer evening. I loved those nights!

Tonight, at Grace Community Church, we had a "Summer Wednesday Night" (that's what I call it, they just called it a "dessert fellowship"). We had a church info meeting first and then everyone hung around afterward and ate yummy desserts and just had some extra time to visit on a nice summer evening. I enjoyed getting to chat with some friends, and also got to know a newer friend a little more. I watched other people's kids run around and play (my kid is on the youth mission trip), and observed lots of good, summer fun happening around me. Hopefully, people will remember these types of nights as a part of what makes our church tick, just like I have good memories of those Sunday nights at FBC.

I feel very blessed to have these experiences and even more so, to have my church family and my dear friends to make these memories special.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A sure sign you have a teen-ager . . .

. . . is when he goes on the church youth mission trip and sends you text messages instead of calling home.

Don't worry, I am very thankful to have gotten the texts, because when I sent him to Centri-Kid with a pre-paid phone card (before he had a cell phone), the phone card came home with the same amount of minutes as when he left with it. :-)

I think I'm just jealous that he can text faster than I can (but I can type faster on a keyboard!).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

CRV and Me

I love my new (to me) car and am so thankful to God for helping me to get it and for providing me with the means to do it. After my old car had problems last week, I decided to not take any more chances and to bite the bullet and make a decision on a car. I'd had a good experience with the people up at Trickett Honda, so I found this 2004 CRV (RED!) on their website and decided to go drive it and see what kind of deal they'd give me on my trade. My uncle and aunt were in town for my sister's baby shower, so I asked if they would be willing to go with me to look at the car. I think having them there gave me the moral support I needed and the confidence boost to go ahead and make the deal. I didn't have any "sick" feelings in my stomach and have really felt peaceful about the everything that went on with the purchase. When I was driving away from the dealership, I did have the thought, "Oh my goodness, I just bought a car!" but it was not out of remorse, but just a feeling of relief and satisfaction. To all those who have been encouraging me, helping me research cars, giving me helpful tips and praying for me along this process, I am very grateful. I'm glad and thankful that I don't have to "go it alone" on this journey called life.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Good Samaritans still exist!

My car saga continues.

This afternoon on my way to pick up Daniel at the Reynold's, I noticed that the car a/c was not running up to par. It was a muggy afternoon, in-between thunderstorms, and the air inside the car was not cooling. When Daniel and I got back in the car to go home, I told him the a/c wasn't working too well and we both used the automatic buttons to roll our windows down. Daniel noticed that the windows were going very slowly, but I kind of dismissed it and kept driving. We turned onto Trousdale Drive to head home and I looked down and noticed that the numbers on the odometer weren't showing. Hmmm. I think the car is dying. Oh, now, it died!

So, there we are, a few cars back from the 4-way stop at Trousdale and Hogan, not able to even turn the hazard lights on. Thankfully, the windows were down, so we had some air, but the car would not start or even try to start. We were on a slight incline, so I couldn't see me and Daniel pushing it anywhere (especially not with me wearing my wedge-heeled espadrilles). I said a prayer asking God for some help and waited. I called my friends and got those wheels in motion (pun intended) and prayed some more. Cars were having to pass by on the left, in the oncoming lane, to get by us . . . not a real fun place to be stalled. I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw a big pick-up truck stop behind us and put his hazard lights on. When the guy got out of the truck, I saw that it was someone we knew (his son and Daniel had played baseball together). I was immediately thankful to God for His provision of a Good Samaritan who we knew!

Paul checked under the hood and decided to try to jump start the car. Our friends, Steve and Maddie, arrived about that time and Steve helped Paul with the jump-start. The car started, but only for a little while and wouldn't let me drive more than a few feet, if that far. They jumped it again. Same thing. Finally, Steve got in and coasted down the hill to the parking lot of the school while Paul directed traffic. May God bless Paul for his willingness to stop and help a person in need.

Since I'm a member of AAA, I called them so they could come give me a new battery. Robin Adams drove Daniel and I to our house to change clothes and get some things we needed (Daniel was already planning to spend the night at the Adams'). When we got back to the car, AAA had already called to say that the mechanic was on his way. Once he got there, he tested the battery and determined that the problem was not the battery. He looked in the engine and saw that the serpentine belt was broken. He said something about not leaving me there, got on the phone to the Auto Zone to see if they had a belt, and we drove to buy the part. He thought it would only take 10 minutes to replace it, but he spent about an hour working on it before he got it finished. He definitely went above and beyond the call of duty. I don't think he was supposed to have done more than check the battery, but thank God for his kindness. I learned that Nate, the AAA guy, had lost his adult daughter to a liver disease last year and has a two-year-old grandson who he adores. I pray that God would let the light of his face shine upon Nate and his family and give them peace, comfort and healing from the loss of their daughter/wife/mother.

I'm so thankful for the ways God protected and provided help for us today. My car is running again. I didn't go hungry (thanks to Sherry and Steve and their pizza supper). We were in a familiar neighborhood close to friends who could come help. And I gained new insight into the hearts of people in this world.

"The LORD will protect your coming and going both now and forever." Psalm 121:8

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Thoughts I'm pondering

I don't usually take time to really let people inside my head, but here are a few things that I'm pondering and will be watching to see how God uses these various experiences to grow me this summer.

First, I am doing the Beth Moore Bible study called, Stepping Up, this summer. It's a journey through the Psalms of Ascent (Psalm 120 - Psalm 134), with an expectation of moving up to the next thing God has for us, into a deeper relationship with Him. Beth challenged us to "go someplace we've never been" and to take steps of faith in this study. I'm committed to doing that and have been experiencing some really practical application in my studying and relating to God so far.

Second, today in Sunday School, John Kramp taught from Acts 10, about Peter obeying God by going to the Roman Centurion, Cornelius' house, and ended up preaching the Gospel and experiencing the Holy Spirit being poured out on the group of Gentiles. John's question that is resounding in my head tonight is, "When was the last time you were astounded by God?"

Finally, our pastor, Scott Patty, returned to the pulpit after a month-long break, and began a new series from the Book of Exodus, and today gave a summary of "The Exodus" and why we are returning to it as a church. The points I'm pondering from the sermon tonight are:
  • The Exodus is the account of the nation of Isreal in Egypt (they spent 430 years in slavery there)
  • The Exodus is the account of God remembering His covenant with Isreal (God always remembers and always acts in time).
  • The Exodus is the account of the Lord's delivering (He is our Deliverer).
  • The Exodus is the account of a new phase of the relationship between God and His people (He is our God and we are His people).
  • The Exodus is the revelation of God (He is the great I AM).
  • We are returning to the Exodus to do some remembering.

I am not sure how all of this is going to work together, but I know that God will show me as I go.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Fun 4th!

We had a fun day on the 4th of July relaxing at home, going to the pool, spending time with family and friends, and of course, seeing the fireworks. We are blessed to live in the USA and to have so many people who we love and can love back.

Here are a few photos of the highlights of the day:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I survived the invasion!

Last night, my house was invaded . . . by a group of teen/pre-teen boys! Daniel had four friends over to spend the night for his birthday (would've been five friends, but one was out of town). If you've never been around a group of boys of this age, here's what you have been missing:

  • Getting to be the only ones in the theater to watch a summer hit, "Get Smart" (I actually enjoyed the movie more than I had expected)

  • Having your kitchen stool confiscated to use to help get one boy back over the neighbor's fence after he went to retrieve the basketball. At first, the boy got out, but the stool stayed behind.

  • A dining room table full of snacks: Chex Mix, Cheese Puffs, Doritos, Double-stuff Oreos, brownies, peanut butter pretzels, Reese's peanut butter cups.

  • Nerf gun battles throughout the house (I had to escape the living room where I was reading to avoid being caught in the crossfire).

  • A collection of no less than 20 (and that number's probably off) empty soda cans in various stages of collapse (some were even torn in pieces)

  • Getting to get up at 2:00 a.m. to go tell everyone to keep the noise level down.

  • Waking up at 8:00 a.m. to find the house very quiet, but the fridge door left open (thankfully, it was probably only since about 4:00 in the morning, so everything was still cold inside).

  • Finding the following on the dining room table in the morning: my kitchen sink soap dispenser, a tub of cream cheese, a bottle of mustard. I'm sure it had something to do with the game of "Dare", but haven't figured that mystery out yet).

Yes, I survived and will live to have the guys all over to our house again and again over the next few years (I hope). These guys have known each other since they were babies and it would be a blessing to have them all still be friends after they have graduated from high school. That would make this mom happy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It's a special day in our family

Happy Birthday, Daniel! I can't believe that it's been 13 years since I gave birth to my son, but it's true! July 2nd became a very special day in our family back in 1995. It was a Sunday. And it was hot outside! I remember wearing my favorite pink maternity shorts set to the hospital. Thankfully, I didn't have to give birth outside, but in the nice, air-conditioned, well-equipped hospital room at Centennial Medical Center.

I woke up early that morning (probably 4:30 or so), needing to go to the bathroom. When I took care of that urgent need, I realized that my water broke and it was going to be the day that my baby was born. I went back to bed and told Cary that I thought my water had broken (it's hard to be sure when you are taking care of other business and have never had a baby before). He's not a morning person, so it took him a couple of minutes for my news to sink in, but then he sprung into action: Are you sure? Should we call the doctor? Are you feeling any contractions? We decided to wait a little while and see how things progressed. Around 6:00 a.m., I called my mom, who was living in NJ at the time and had a plane ticket to come to Nashville that afternoon. When I described what had happened and what I was feeling, she told me that I was in labor and that she'd be there to meet her grandbaby that afternoon. Somewhere in there we called the doctor and were told to go to the hospital. We arrived around 7:00 a.m., just in time for the shift change for the nurses, so we had to wait a few minutes for our nurse to come on duty and get me settled. Then the waiting began.

My contractions were getting stronger, but I wasn't dialated very much, so they wanted me to wait to get the epidural. Cary tried to "talk" me through the painful contractions by helping me to remember fun trips we'd taken. One of our main activities when we'd travel would be to find good places to eat, so he'd start telling me to think about such-and-such restaurant, or some particular food we'd eaten. I couldn't handle thinking about food, though, and had to say, "No food, no food!" Poor guy was then hard-pressed to help me think of other images to focus on. Thank goodness for beautiful Santa Fe sunsets to set my mind on.

We hadn't told a lot of people we were at the hospital, since it was Sunday morning and everyone we knew would be at church, but the word started to get out and we had some visitors right after church. I was still pre-epidural, so I wasn't too social, nor did I want any food, which friends brought to Cary. My dad had some down to TN early, hoping to be there for the birth of his first grandchild before he headed to NC for a conference all week. Since my due date had been June 30, he got to spend a couple of days watching and waiting with us. He and my sister arrived at the hospital after church. Soon after that, I finally got the epidural and life/labor was much better. In fact, I called one friend who had come by when I was being unsocial, and told her that I felt like a new woman!

Labor progressed pretty well the rest of the afteroon and it was finally time to get that baby outta there! I don't know how long I had to push, but at 5:10 p.m., Daniel Lane Ryan came into the world. During pregnancy, we didn't know if we had a boy or a girl so it was exciting to hear, "It's a boy" and to be able to give Daniel his name (I don't think he would have appreciated being called, "Emma Joy" which was our girl name). I think that my dad was the first family member to see Daniel, and Jay Smith holds the honor of being the first friend. My sister was off at the airport picking up my mom when Daniel was born, so she used to joke with Jay that she held a grudge with him for getting to see her nephew before she did. I think she's over it now. :-)

So, there you have it, Daniel's birth story. I will always remember when they had gotten me moved to a regular room and had given Daniel his bath. They wheeled in the bassinet and inside was a little baby swaddled in a blanket. All I could see was his dark head of hair and his big brown eyes looking around and blinking. He had already captured my heart while in the womb and when I had seen him and held him right after he was born, but that scene will be forever in my memory as the defining moment of when I realized that I was a mommy and had a beautifully created son.

Thank you, God, for Daniel. Thank you for giving him life and for allowing me to be his mom. He's your child, Lord, and I give him to you once again, as he turns 13 and moves into this new phase of his life. Have mercy on him and bless him beyond anything he could ever ask or imagine. Thank you, God!