Monday, August 25, 2008

Ladies Banquet and Skyline Drive

Well, our weekend was full of fun....

It started Friday night, when we went to the Ladies' banquet. Ronnie was one of the waiters, and of course, I just went to... well... be there:). This event was how we really started flirting back in Jan 2007 - - this was the third one we have been to together - - and although it was the first time that Ronnie wasn't the waiter of my table. It was still a wonderful time. This was the largest of our Ladies banquets to date... there were 180 tickets sold... I think more than that actually showed up!

Saturday morning we woke up without a plan. Usually, for us, a lack of plan means that we end up wasting the day away asking each other 100 times "what do you want to do?"... "I don't know... what do YOU want to do?" etc.

Thiis Saturday morning was different. We went through a few options, but ended up decided to drive about 3 hours up to Skyline Drive. A part of the Shenandoah National Park in VA. It is also an extension of both the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian trail that travels from Georgia to Maine.

The first attempt to get to skyline drive - we were following our trusty GPS... (who apparantly is NOT completely omnipotent) ended like this...

We turned the Echo around here... drove back down the dirt road - found two men mending their fence (we were SERIOUSLY in the middle of nowhere!!) they disagreed on the best way to get to skyline drive from where we were.... we followed instructions that included statements like this:

"when you see two houses across from each other turn right."

"when you get to the store go straight... don't turn there!"

Anyway - those directions - in that area - - since there is NOTHING there.... got us there. We were finally on Skyline Drive!

Ronnie had been there before when he was in college - so we started out going to a familiar location for him. BlackRock. The walk here started with this warning:

I should have turned around at this point.

I didn't.

5 Minutes later, I was INCHES away from stepping on one! If I had not heard it move I would have hit it right on the tail!!

So, needless to say, the rest of that trail was an adventure for me.... and for Ronnie - who then had to carry me on his back through portions of the trail that were too grassy, too close, or if I just got scared. He also had to go ahead of me and "check out" all the rocks to make sure nothing was hiding to "get me."

Here are a few of those pics:

After a while of climbing on the rocks, we decided to take a second hike to a waterfall. In theory, it was to be a 3.4 mile round trip hike. This was the warning before embarking on this hike.

No biggie.

After the snake incident at Blackrock - I was a bit nervous about this one!

This trail also dropped 915 feet over the course of the 1.7 mile one-way trek to the falls.

This was the "waterfall" we worked so hard to see....

A bit disappointing huh??? Anyone see the water???

Descending 915 feet one way means that you CLIMB 915 feet over the return 1.7 miles back to the car....

Climbing 915 feet, over 1.7 miles, watching for bears, mountain lions, snakes, and wild hogs the whole time... yep - definately "a good time was had by all."

We weren't done yet. We pulled into the little roadside store and saw this....

Yep - those deer would just about come right up to us! I was not using zoom on my camera!

Leaving the deer - we drove around the corner and ran into this guy:

Luckily - our only encounter with the bear was from INSIDE my car. But knowing how young he must have been - I have to be honest, I was a bit nervous that "mama bear" would be coming behind me as I had my camera stuck out the window getting the pictures. I kept an eye on the rear view mirror. I mean, seriously, the echo is small.... a Large bear could throw it down the mountain... I am sure of it!

Finally, the sunset looked like this:

And we headed home... it was an amazing day of adventure -

I think next time we will go shopping:)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Weekend help

First of all, thanks so much to those of you who have been encouraging to me over the last couple days. I can't explain it... it doesn't make sense... but it was just so dark Friday.

For an update of the weekend - after I started feeling better.
Saturday night we went to an event in our city - someone gave us tickets to "Mandolins and Magnolias" - a fund raiser for our museum. It was a bit stuffy at first - a lot of people that have too much money sitting around sipping the selection of drinks.

We had taken 3 friends with us. 'H', a new friend in our city, her husband had to work, so this was good for her to get out... and then two kids - the two that I teach piano lessons to. The advertisement said they would have kids games, and, not having kids of our own - we decided to adopt two for the evening.

When we got there, some other friends from the church were there too. So, the 7 of us, amid the stuffier variety, had a lot of fun, watching the dog show, touring the museum, playing badmitton and croquet. It was a wonderful night to be out of the house.

a few pics of the evening:

Then, on Sunday evening, when we didn't have church responsibilities, Ronnie and I went to Roanoke to the Star on the mountain and watched the sunset from the top of the mountain. It was some good 'quality' time with my man.

a few pics:

Now, I am supposed to be cleaning now - so I will get back to work - that laundry that I didn't do Friday - also didn't do itself... so it has to be done today...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Another Day Update


I am better tonight.

My wonderful husband made me go out - - he prayed one of the most amazing prayers I have ever heard him pray on the way to town - - then he made me get some Chick-fil-a - - walk around Target, the Mall, Lowes, etc.

PS. Did you know that for 25 cents more, you can get chocolate added to your cookies and cream milkshake at Chick-fil-a?? A CHOCOLATE COOKIES AND CREAM MILKSHAKE!!! It was amazing.

I feel that it isn't like a solved problem. This afternoon, I felt more than ever, like I was walking down a dark tunnel - I didn't even want to come out of it. I knew in my head that most of what was echoing in there was not Truth... but that didn't seem to matter in my heart.

Anyway, maybe I will be able to figure this thing out sometime. I have never been one to truly battle depression. I know the Truth... that I am blessed beyond measure... that I am loved, and that I love others. But today, for some reason, none of that mattered...

Anyway - thanks so much for the prayers! Keep them up. I will keep you updated.

Another Day

Well, I have to be honest today. I know most of my blogs are up, pushing funny, happy-go-lucky, life-is-a-bucket-of-roses, blogs.... if that's what ya came for... this ain't it today... sorry

I don't feel like blogging.

I don't feel like doing laundry (this is normal though.)

I tried to work on my newest adventure - - a new bedside table - - but my drill battery was dead... and requires 16 hours to charge.

I don't even feel like watching the Olympics.

Even worse, I don't even feel like going shopping as Ronnie and I had planned to do tonight.

Ya see, I am usually a 'do-er.' I do things. I really like to do things that help people - - but even when that can't be accomplished - I still 'do.' I have never been one to be lazy day after day. Oh sure, there are those rainy Saturdays - - but honestly, the reason they are special is because every other day is NOT like that!

Right now, for the last two weeks of my life, I can not come up with ONE productive thing I have accomplished. Until a couple weeks ago, I still had classes going on that I was teaching... before that, I was still working at the church... and doing Tupperware parties... Now, since we are preparing to move... and yet not yet moving... all that is gone - and we are still here. I could pack... but honestly, I just feel like doing nothing.

The worst part is that it is a beautiful day outside! I don't even want to go out there.

So many 'un-true' statements go through this little mind.

- you aren't qualified for those jobs that help people out
- you can't do it anyway, why try.
- you won't be able to finish anything you start, so why try?

it even goes so far as.... - you are just useless.

Useless?? I don't want to be useless.

I was listening to a Matthew West cd that I got back in the Spring - Some of the lyrics include:

You got something to say
If you're livin', if you're breathin'
You got something to say
And you know if your heart is beatin'
You got something to say
And no one can say it like you do
God is love and love speaks through
You got it, you got it
You got something to say

Listen up, I got a question here
Would anybody miss you if you disappeared?
Well your life is the song that you sing
And the whole wide world is listening

I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking,
"What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?"

Basically - - those are from two of the songs... it should encourage me to get off my tail and get busy doing something.

I also saw this morning where a lady won $50,000 worth of K-mart gift cards. She lives in a poor area of the country. Instead of doing what we all would first do with that money... she went and bought school supplies for 9,000 students that live in her neighborhood. They all got a full backpack of school supplies. WOW! I cried.

I don't usually cry at things like that.

Probably because used to.... I participated in that stuff... I wasn't sitting at home watching it on TV.

But in the back of my head, it echoes... "what if I had given everything?" and "would anybody miss me if I disappeared."

Now, don't say stuff like "I would miss you..." What I mean is that my questions are real. Honest. What difference has my life made in the last few days? Weeks? Months? I haven't helped any one get school supplies, Haven''t been able to show love in a way that impacts people.

So, I look online for jobs... in order to get a job helping people, making a difference, you have to already have 5-7 years experience in doing that. Here comes the qualification thing again....

My heart is just kinda empty.

There is so much I want to do.

There is so much I feel I need to do.

Yet, I am here waiting. For what? I simply don't know.

So, I sit here. On my couch. Empty.

Comments closed. Please spend that time praying for me instead.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lake Day

So, Saturday Ronnie and I went to the lake with his parents. It was a wonderful day - I got sunburnt - Ronnie jumped off some rocks that he has wanted to jump off of for a long time - we found some golf balls next to a golf course (they were in the water) - but the real stories of the lake day came before and after.

We were supposed to meet Ronnie's parents at the lake at 11:00. We were right on track when we saw this...

These two cows - mom and child - held us up for 5-10 minutes. Then we had to stop to tell the local farmer that they were loose. SERIOUSLY!!!! Where do I live??? When we saw them and I started taking pictures, Ronnie asked if it was going to be my blog this week - I said "YES!! I haven't had to stop in the road for cows since I was in Belize.... a third world country!" He said I have had more blogs about animals than any other one thing since I started this about a year ago...


I live in Southern VA... enough said:)

Anyway - The second big story for the day has to have a bit of introduction. Ya see, coming from Alabama, carries with it some stereotypes. I can't tell you how many Virginians get funny looks on their faces when after an intelligent conversation, they find out where I am from. Apparantly, most of them think we are uneducated losers or something. I even had one lady - a school teacher - say "Well, I guess you are GLAD to get out of there then!" after hearing my homestate was the heart of dixie. I get redneck jokes, accent comments (this coming from some people who don't even pronounce their 'r' in words!), etc. etc.....

As we were leaving the lake... having already been delayed that morning due to cows in the road... we saw this:

A DUMPTRUCK PULLING A BOAT TRAILER!!!! This was parked at the boat ramp! I was amazed! After all the comments, jokes, and funny looks.... I am so happy to see something more redneck than the things I have seen in Alabama!! :)

I do like my new home - its nice most of the time - and it provides PLENTY of blog material... It's just nice to know that although some places in the US carry more stereotype, 'redneck' is nationwide!

And for that teacher.... while VA is fine... I am PROUD to be a Bama girl:)

I have some serious thoughts developing in my head... maybe they will come into a real blog soon.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I may be WAY behind the times - this made me cry!

I don't know how to imbed yet.... WAY behind the times...

Our church just got back from a mission trip to Uganda.... so it hits home... there is also a final verse that he added that is not in this video... he added it after his daughter was killed... here are the lyrics.

I’ve walked the valley of death’s shadow
So deep and dark that I could barely breathe
I’ve had to let go of more than I could bear
And questioned everything that I believe
But still even herein this great darkness
A comfort and hope come breaking through
As I can say in life or death
God we belong to you.


Here I am.... I have tried to blog a couple times this week, and it just hasn't happened. So sorry. I even posted one - but decided to pull it. Maybe something legitimate will come out soon. Until then... a survey.

Bloggy Survey...10 years ago: fall 1998 I was starting my Jr. year at the University of Montevallo. I do believe this was the first of several times that I would consider quitting music all together.... That Jr. year was a PAIN!

5 years ago: fall 2003 - I did a mission trip to Venezuela... my sister was getting married... I was getting ready to go to Germany

5 months ago: March - nothing amazing happened that month that I can remember.

5 things on my list of things to do tomorrow:
1. run
2. laundry
3. dishes
4. budget
5. unpack

5 bad habits:
1. saying yes to too much
2. always looking for 'what's next'
3. holding my feelings inside till i explode
4. exaggerating my emotions
5. letting people 'get to me' about silly stuff

5 places I’ve lived:

5 things people don’t know about me:
1. There isn't much that I won't tell if someone asks... or... maybe you DO know that!
2. I am much more emotional than I want you to know.
3. I don't like to dry my hair
4. I usually feel guilty when I spend money... even when I spend it on stuff I need - - I still have guilt! I know!! what's wrong with me??
5. I think it will be fun to be an old lady... one day... later... not yet.

ok - - i will get ya stuff for real soon.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Jon's big day

Well, tomorrow is the day we have all waited for... My little brother... the one that has made the subject line more often in my blog than anyone else probably... is getting married.

He is the last of the three Warren kids to go through the wedding... umm... excitement. The first time mom and dad have been "mother and father of the groom."

Being at mom and dad's house this week has been exciting... but there is NEVER a dull moment here! I am reminded of how different my "life-pace" is in VA whenever I visit here. Its crazy here!

Since being here... here is a general list of the things that have happened to those of us already permanently attached to theWarren clan... this does not include what the bride and her family have been doing... because I dont even have time to get to that list... I am talking about less than 72 hours for us....

4 haircuts
2 eyebrow waxings (the haircuts and waxings have a long story in them too.... WAY too long for this late night blog)
4 pedicures
3 manicures
8+ hours decorating the church (Wednesday night till 1:30 am)
1 hour exercising
1 car accident - Jen had someone pull out in front of her Thursday - not her fault - totaled her car - she is ok - just sore... go to her page for more info.
1 day babysitting Aubrey
2 hours of normal Wednesday night festivities at church
1 trip to Hobby Lobby, the mall, Best Buy, Bruno's etc.
1 counseling session
3 trips to Starbucks
2 trips to Target
3 trips to Wal-mart
1 computer repaired (mine)
1 family dinner
1 rehearsal and rehearsal dinner

Ok - that's all I care to think about now.

The bottom line... tomorrow, in the evening, my little brother will be a married man. He is marrying a wonderful, godly girl. I have never seen my brother so excited about something in his lifetime. I am praying already that tomorrow is the day my soon-to-be-sis-in-law dreamed of. I am also praying that their marriage will be blessed by God.

For the random day that Jon and Brantley read this.... I love you both so much!