Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Week 2011: Day #5

Friday, November 25, 2011
Black Friday 2011
Today and I grateful for many things but I am most grateful that I made it out alive of the Black Friday Sales. My family and I went to several Midnight deals and got some incredible steals. We began with Toys R Us who opened at 9pm on Thanksgiving night. We noticed the parking lot was full but failed to see the 1/3 mile+ line wrapped around the back of the store. At 9pm the security officer told us that they are going to only let 15 people in at a time every 10 minutes. We thought that was crazy but we decided to get into line anyway. Well the officer did not lie to us or over-exaggerate... they really only let 15 people in at a time every 10 minutes!!! This was very frustrating since we only moved about 50 yards or so between 9 and 9:35pm. We gave up and tried Walmart.

Wow... this was an experience I will NEVER forget. We got there about 10 minutes before the 10pm toys and other deals were revealed. We got into the ticket line for a few large items I was purchasing for my family and in-laws (Cannot reveal the items since these people read my blog!!!!) As I was getting into my line a few people decided to try to take 1 of the 12 volt Convertible Cars before the 10pm time slot. All of the sudden a Walmart associate comes running screaming "It is not 10 yet". She then calls security. I lean over the isle to see about 10-20 ADULTS fighting over a Barbie Car. One guy jumped on top of the 5 remaining cars and yells if I can take one, then no one can. Tyler Police Officers came running and then shoving and pushing began. All in all, one person was arrested and there was a lot of blood on the floor. All for a Barbie Car!!! Sorry Natalie Grace, you do NOT get one of those.

I had my mom wait in the line for my sister's gift and Allison wait in line for my mom's gift. Mom's line had a ticket and so we knew we would get that item because we were #27 out of 81 people. Allison's line did not have tickets and an associate in Electronics told her "Just stand over there and form a line and at midnight we will bring them out". Well thanks lady, we knew that. Allison was the fourth person in this line. Dad and I kept going and getting all the other stuff on our lists and checking on mom and Allison. Dad and I noticed that the electronics was a little crazy as midnight approached so we left mom in line with her ticket and came to help Allison. I got there about 11:40 and the manager told us to get in line for the Electronics cashier and then tell what you want and he will give it to us. Ummm... No sir. I got up there and told him we had been in line for 2+ hours and just getting in the already 10 people deep electronic line would not work. People on the other side of electronics were in line for Ipods and they started cursing at the manager and yelling and more fights broke out. Eventually, they had the electronic cashier line wait so my line and the Ipod line could get our items! As I was leaving a large family said "I hope you are happy with your item!" I turned around and said "You bet I am! Merry Christmas!" What an adrenaline rush!! I am sorry they had to wait for us but we had been in line for 2+ hours! I got my item so all is well!

We got almost EVERYTHING I went for at Walmart and my family and in-laws will appreciate my efforts when they get their gifts!!!! At about 12:30am we left Walmart and went to Macy's. Mom and Allison got a few items there and I got another gift. I then tried to go back to Toys R Us for my small toys for Natalie. But of course, all the rest of Tyler was there at 9pm and got all of my items. I was able to get one toy for Natalie but all of the others were sold out already. Finally, my dad took me to Best Buy to try to get items for my brother and sister in-laws. It was about 1am and there was still a line outside of Best Buy so I will have to get their gifts later!

We came home about 2am and went to sleep. We left the house about 10am and got back at it today. We only lasted about 3 hours before we came home for someones nap... And I DON'T mean Natalie! Yeah... I had to take a nap too!

Overall, I got all of the gifts I wanted to get and more. I have such a giving spirit this year and I cannot wait to continue this feeling throughout the holiday season. Without the grace of God and His continued blessings on me and my family, I would not have this opportunity. As I mentioned in previous posts, I am incredibly lucky to have the ability to give back this year and I thank God for this ability.

This Thanksgiving week I have taken time to be thankful and grateful for God's blessings but I could take the rest of the year and the days until next Thanksgiving to count all of my blessings ONE BY ONE!

God is good... ALL THE TIME!!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why I LOVE my husband

Chris Davis and the Fried Turkey
On Monday I wrote my first Thanksgiving blog about my many blessings and thanking God for these blessings. I mentioned in this blog my husband and how lucky I am to have him. I also mentioned how I appreciate his sense of humor. My family immediately asked me "Are you really appreciative of that?" I have never really had a sense of humor and Chris ALWAYS does. Today is a GREAT example of Chris and his sense of humor.

We had made a list of all of the Thanksgiving meal and who was in charge of what. Chris was put in charge of frying the Turkey. He decided to make a list of the schedule for frying his turkey. This schedule looked like this:

11:00- Check to see if turkey is thawed. If not, commence warm bath
11:30- Bathroom and Coke break
11:40- Pull turkey out of bath and commence drying with paper towels
12:00pm- Play with Natalie (I am sure she is appreciative of this)
12:10- Finish drying the turkey
12:11- Assemble the fryer
12:20- Pour oil in the fryer and heat oil
12:30- Inject Turkey with Marinade
12:40- Rub Turkey with dry rub
1:00- Put turkey in fryer
1:05- Bathroom break
1:10- Coke or tea break
1:15- Check turkey
1:20- Small break to ponder life's eternal questions (*This is why I love him)
1:30- Pester cooks in Kitchen (*Again... GOTTA LOVE HIM)
1:40- Begin preparations for pulling turkey
1:45- Pre-meal meditation (*hahaha... I am still laughing about this one)
1:50- Pull turkey out of the fryer and hang off side to let dry
1:55- Move turkey to Kitchen for slicing
2:00- Let the party begin

There is a small thing he forgot about...
4:00- Trade out my pants for Kellie's maternity pants
(Otherwise known as "THANKSGIVING PANTS!"... you know from FRIENDS!!!!)

That is why I appreciate my husband's sense of humor. He can always make me laugh! I love you honey and thanks for making the turkey!

God is Good.. ALL THE TIME!!!

Thanksgiving Week 2011: Day #4

Thursday, November 24, 2011 Thanksgiving Day 2011

Today I am extremely grateful for my job and my husband's job. The past 2 Thanksgivings we have been living off of just one teacher's salary and we were barely making it. In October of 2009 Chris was laid off from his manager job in Oklahoma City. This was just 2 months after our precious Natalie Grace was born. This was a blessing in some ways because Natalie was able to spend quality time with her daddy which a lot of children NEVER have the opportunity to do.

After 22 long months of desperately searching for a job and living paycheck to paycheck, on May 27, 2011 Chris was offered a teaching job within Aldine ISD in Houston. This happened to be on the last day of school for me at Grove and I basically had to tell all my students and teacher friends in a very short time period. It was sad and very hard on me but I knew it was the right thing to do. Chris and I began the moving process shortly after the Memorial Day holiday.

During the remaining days in May and the first three weeks in June I had to be in Houston for teaching job interviews myself. I went on about 12 interviews before I found the one God had for me. On June 30, 2011 I went on an interview at Booker Elementary in Spring ISD for an elementary music teaching position. I felt really good about the interview and had a feeling this could be the one. I had also been expecting a phone call back from another interview I went on as well and was get very nervous and anxious about the whole process. Chris, Natalie, his parents and I decided to go and eat lunch at Double Dave's Pizza in The Woodlands in hopes to help get my mind off of this process. As we were sitting down to eat, I got a call. Everyone assumed it was the New Caney ISD principal calling. In reality it was Booker Elementary in Spring. They offered me the job just 2 hours after the interview. This clearly was a God thing.

I am very blessed this holiday season to be living the life I currently do. I struggled the past 2 years with finances and just emotional depression in general and by grace and faith in God I survived and I am now capable of giving back to those in need. I am very excited about this Christmas season and I plan on giving my family and friends gifts that I have never been able to give, especially the previous 2 holiday seasons. God has truly blessed me and my family with our jobs and I am forever grateful for Him and His continuous blessings!

God is Good... ALL THE TIME!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Week 2011: Day #3

Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Today I am thankful for my family. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful mother and father who have set such an amazing Godly example for me of not only what a Godly mother and father should be but also what a Godly marriage and couple should look like. They have been there for me through thick and thin and for that I am forever grateful.

I am also thankful for my sister Allison and her never ending love for me and practically EVERYONE she meets. She really does have a heart of gold and has "never hurt a fly". I swear she could make friends with a complete stranger in 5 minutes. She is just like that and I wish I had that same quality. She loves me for me and never minds my attitude or selfishness. I am forever grateful for that as well.

I am also thankful for my extended family of my grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members who have always been there for me and love and support me. Although I do not get to see them as often as other people or as often as I would like, we are still able to keep in touch and talk to each other via email, telephone and even facebook. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful extended family and I am so grateful for a wonderful family group.

In addition to my blood line family, I am also extremely grateful for my in-laws. They too are a wonderful example of Godly parents and husband/ wife. During the previous 5 1/2 years I have seen them and watch them and learned so much from their experiences. I am grateful for my brother and sister in-laws and their eternal friendship. I feel so lucky to have a set of brother and sister in-laws that I can talk to and get along with. I know that is a coveted aspect of in-laws and I am very appreciative of their friendship. I am so gracious God has allowed me to be a part of such a great family and I am forever grateful for my in-laws.

God created the family and I know he has chosen the perfect ones for me. I know there are people out there in the world that do not have the wonderful family I have and I thank God each and every day for all of the people in my family.

God is Good... ALL THE TIME!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Week 2011: Day #2

Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Today I am grateful for my husband and children. I am so lucky to have married such a wonderful, humorous and friendly man. He is an amazing father and always has such a great sense of humor and makes me laugh. We have had a blast the past 6 1/2 years together and this coming January will mark our 7th year of being together. I am so lucky to have found my beau and live with such a great person.

I am also grateful for my beautiful Natalie Grace and what a blessing she is to me and Chris. She is a true gift from God and I thank Him for her each and every day. I can remember back to our first Thanksgiving with her and how small and tiny she was. Now I look at her and see a young lady. She has grown up so much and I know she will continue to grow and it will pass faster and faster.

Just this October, Chris and I found out we will be having our 2nd child in June. We are so thrilled and blessed to be able to continue our family and have the opportunity to expand our family by one. We never dreamed it would happen this quickly but we are ready for him or her and cannot wait for Natalie to have a playmate.

These are just a few of my many blessings that God has given me and I am going to "Count them ONE BY ONE" the rest of this Thanksgiving Week 2011. Thank You Lord, for your continued blessings!

God is Good... ALL THE TIME!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Week 2011: Day #1

Monday, November 21, 2011
"Count Your Blessings"
Today I am most grateful for my salvation in Jesus Christ. Without Him and His sacrifice, I would not be here today and I would not possess the many, many blessings I have. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour on June 5, 1988 at the foot of my parents waterbed in Ulysses, KS. My dad is a baptist pastor and I was at church as often as its door is opened and around 6 years old I began to ask questions about God and His Son and His sacrifice. My dad was always quick to respond and one Sunday evening after Sunday night church services I prayed a simple prayer and asked Jesus to come into my heart. Ever since then I have been trying my hardest to live for Him and let others know about His unfailing love and sacrifice.

Through my salvation the Lord has blessed me with so many blessings and this week I am going to give thanks for these blessings and His willingness to bless them upon me even when I do not deserve them. This time of year always makes me think of the familiar Christian Hymn "Count Your Blessings". This hymn's words are so beautiful and speak to my heart:
Count your blessings name them one by one
Count your blessings see what God has done
Count your blessings name them ONE BY ONE
Count your blessings see what God has done

For the remainder of this Thanksgiving Week 2011, I am going to Count My Blessings and Name them ONE BY ONE. If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, pray the simple prayer today and you too can start COUNTING YOUR BLESSINGS!

God is Good... ALL THE TIME!  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Prenatal Visit #2

Tuesday, November 15 I had my second OB visit with Dr. Markos. This was the 1st "official" visit in their books since the 1st visit was an ultra-sound confirming the pregnancy. They asked me alot of questions and medical history stuff and after about an hour they decided to check for the fetal heartbeat. Now I knew from previous experience with Natalie that it is very uncommon to hear the fetal heartbeat at just 9 weeks. They tried to find his heartbeat with the Doppler but no luck. I did not get too anxious and all seemed well.

Later when Dr. Markos did an internal exam he said the baby was "Retro-verted". He says this with such a voice of worry (Well at least that is the way it sounded to me.) He then told me that the uterus was just backwards and that is why he could not get a clear heartbeat on the Doppler. I immediately went into "OMG" mode and started to worry. He looked at me and said "Are you OK?" I leaned over and told him "You don't know me but I worry alot and I tend to get a little nervous when I get news like this". He smiled and made a note in the folder (LITERALLY.. I was laughing) He then said that a retroverted fetus/ uterus is common and it corrects itself during pregnancy, usually around 11-12 weeks. He said that in a month during my next pre-natal, he will check for a heartbeat on Doppler again and check internally to make sure everything is fine.

He did inform me that when the uterus does flip around that I should have really bad cramping for a few days or so. This was great information for him to tell me because if he did not tell me this and I was experiencing cramping... that is when I would REALLY freak out. He also told me that a retro-verted uterus is a VERY common issue for infertility. That made me wonder if that could have been the cause of the 15 months of waiting for precious Natalie Grace. Of course, it looks like I still have the issue and this baby came right along at only 5 months of trying so... you never know. I guess that will just be another question I ask Jesus when I get to Heaven!!

The last thing I found out at this prenatal visit was (drum roll please)... I can do a gender-check ultrasound at only 16 weeks!!!! YEAH! So on January 2, 2012... I will be finding out the sex of this wonderful baby! I cannot wait!!! Only 6 1/2 weeks til then!

God is good... ALL THE TIME!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Optometrist Failure

Earlier this past week one of my contacts tore and I was without an additional pair. I searched frantically through the garage of boxes hoping to find them but no such luck. I have glasses and they work fine but I just prefer contacts. I decided it was time to go ahead and go to the optometrist and get my yearly exam done. I would say I am faithful to my yearly exam but I consider them to be about 18 months apart instead of 12. (I try to make it stretch if possible!!!) Since this was a new doctor for me there were lots of test and additional steps taken that I was not used to. As I was sitting in within the doctor she mentioned how I have an Astigmatism and the prescription seems to be the same and has not changed from the current one in my glasses. I figured this was good since I am pregnant and change in vision happens to some women during this time. After nearly an hour of doing "Is it better in 1 or 2" and "Which is clearer 3 or 4" she offered me a chance for her to look at a picture of my eye that the tech had taken while I did my pre-liminary tests. She told me

"We look at the back of the eye and try to see if there are other health issues going on. Things like glaucoma, cancer, even brain tumors. Alot of young people just think it is a waste but it can really tell rather or not a person is truly healthy. It is only $39 and insurance does not pay for it. Would you like for us to take a look?"

I am a little dumbfounded at this point and I am curious as to why she wants me to do this. She continues, "Well perhaps your old doctor did not do this but it has been around for 11 years so it is reliable". I told her no and that I really just came in for contacts. She went through her "YOUNG PERSONS" part of the speech again and I decided to play the "Money is tight" card and get out of that situation. I was getting a little upset at this point and just wanted to get out of there. Her response was: "I cannot tell you that you are healthy unless you let me see your eye". I told her I did not have time and she said "Oh we already took the picture, I just have to look at it" So she is going to charge me $39 to look at the picture she already took. WOW... I was so speechless. I could not believe it.

Later she tells me that her office does not have contacts on hand she would have to order some for me. She took the prescription of my glasses and then basically guessed the contacts prescription from there. She told me I needed to be wearing these "TORIC" lenses which help people with Astigmatism. I have worn these in the past and I HATED them... not to mention they are outrageously expensive. She told me that was what she was going to order and she would not prescribe the contact brand I was currently wearing because the are not best for people with Astigmatism. Then after checking on the computer she told me I would have to order the "TORIC XR" which are even more expensive. These are about $120 a box/ per eye! I was still speechless and very frustrated.

In Shawnee, I liked my optometrist and he was very understanding in my dislike of these special lenses and allowed me to get other ones and they seem to have worked just fine. Not this woman, she was just too pushy. I had to pay the co-pay for the exam and it will be billed as my one exam this calendar year but I am not going to go to her again.

So I basically got told I was going to HAVE TO BUY the expensive lenses, tried to get scammed with a looking at a picture of my eye AND I still walked out of there without any contacts! AHHHHH.... So frustrating.

Just another reason I miss Shawnee!!!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

"A brother or a sister?"

Chris and I found out we are going to have another baby about a month ago and since then we have been trying to inform Natalie about the upcoming changes in both her life and Mommy's life. We have been informing her how she will no longer be able to jump on Mommy and play rough with Mommy and how soon mommy will not be able to hold her as often. Just this past week we were able to explain how Mommy has a baby in her tummy. The previous weeks she would say "baby in Mommy's tummy" and then go over to Chris, Gigi and Grandpa and say the same thing. At one point she even lifted her shirt or dress and said "Look, baby in Natalie's tummy!" We thought that was too funny and we took time to explain that the baby is only in Mommy's tummy.

This past week after she realized the baby was in Mommy's tummy, she would come up to me and say "Natalie hug baby" or "Natalie kiss baby". Since then she has given the baby a hug and kiss every night before bed. It fits so well into our nightly routine and it makes me smile seeing Natalie react this way to our news and family changes.

The only thing that makes me a little nervous and laugh is her reaction to the question:
"Natalie, do you want a brother or a sister?"
Her response is ALWAYS "Natalie want brother AND sister!" We have to stop and tell her that it is EITHER a brother or a sister! She says "No brother and sister." She is insistent on one of each. We will not be able to know if we are having a boy or a girl until January but for Natalie's sake, we need to know NOW!

I love my Natalie Grace and my growing family! God is Good.. ALL THE TIME!

Friday, November 11, 2011

1 year and 7 months

This time last year, Chris and I were just starting our major life overhaul and completing our 1st round of HCG diet drops. I had several teacher friends at school that had been taking them and had lost a lot of weight so Chris and I decided we would try them. That was the best decision we ever made. I had tried other diets in my life such as: The Atkins diet, the ever-popular "low carb" diet and even a grapefruit diet of some kind (Yeah... that was a JOKE) but none of them really fixed the problem of putting the weight right back on after I completed the diet. All of these were at best good for about 20 pounds and then my body would be come immune to their effects. The most weight I had lost prior to this HCG diet was 33 pounds on a low carb "Curves" diet 6 months prior to my wedding. I was able to keep that off for about 4 months of marriage and then the newly-wed weight gain came pushing right on in. (my poor husband is always blaming his weight gain on me... I hope that is because I am a good cook!!!!) Needlesstosay, I had not found a diet program that really worked, worked quickly and was able to keep it off... until HCG.

We started our weight-loss journey in October of 2010 and by Thanksgiving we had lost about 40 pounds together. Each of us lost about 20 pounds on the 1st round of the diet aide. Chris obviously did better than me (Because he is a MAN) but I did really well and lost 23 pounds. During the 2010 Holiday season we were on the maintenance phase and despite all the delicious holiday treats we ate, neither of us gained any holiday weight. In January we started our 2nd round of treatment and by the beginning of February we had lost another 60 pounds. Together we had lost over 110 pounds and felt better than we EVER had. I got down to my lowest weight in my adult life (As long as I could remember) and I felt so young and beautiful again. Chris was back down to a healthy weight and looking fabulous.

Chris continued and did another round of treatment while I tried to maintain the 55 pounds I had lost thus far. Over the matter of the spring and finishing out the school year, I had lost another 10 pounds and was down to a healthy weight and had lost 65 pounds over all. Then the summer hit and we were bombarded (LITERALLY) by a life change and a move. We started to slip off the diet track and on to the "easy" and "Convenient" track as far as eating went. Since June I have gained about 7-10 pounds and I still feel great but feel as if I could have done a better job of keeping it off. I still have kept 50 (at least) of those pounds off.

So in 1 year's time I was able to drop 65 pounds, 3-4 dress sizes, and overall become a new person. Now in only 7 short months all of that will hard work will have to happen again. Because in 7 short months, I will have a baby and will need to lose another 65 pounds to make up for this new little guy (Or gal) in my life. That is right... I AM PREGNANT!
Chris and I found out on October 12 and it has been crazy ever since then and I am sure the next 7 months will only get worse. We finally told my parents now so it can now officially be public knowledge. Chris and I are very excited and hope we can be the best parents possible to this new little bundle of joy. Yet again, God has continued to bless me and my family and I am forever grateful.

In my husband's words: In June we are going to expand the LSU population by 1. (OF COURSE... he/she will really be an OU fan but I am not going to burst Chris' bubble!)


Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Little Tinker Bell

Halloween 2011

This year for Halloween Natalie was "Tinker Bell". She loved being able to dress up in princess clothes and she especially liked her tiera (Well at least for the 1st hour or so... after that she kept taking it off). We dressed up and went out into our neighborhood and went from door to door "trick-or-treat"ing. Natalie did not really understand this concept and insisted that we go up to the door and ask for the candy. She really got that sassy "No, mommy... YOU do it" attitude and it was cute. Once more and more kids started to go up to the doors, she realized what she was supposed to do and got better at it but I could not help but laugh at how she would make us hold the bucket of candy and then tell us to go up to the door.

At alot of the houses, she would go up and say "Please" and then "Thank You" but she NEVER really said trick or treat. I would keep asking her "What do you give the dogs when they come in?" Trying to get her to say "Treat" and she would never do it. As a parent it just felt a little awkward and weird. Some of the people would ask her to reach in a get her favorite and she would always get the "nasty" candy or the DUM DUM suckers! I was thinking "Natalie... really honey, please pick the better kind". I guess that just goes to show that it really is about the kids and not the candy the adult can eat afterwards.

When we got home she wanted to sit outside with Gigi and pass out the candy. She was eating a sucker and she would yell "Kids" and try to get them to come and get candy from her. She would grab a handful of candy and throw it in their bag. At one point, she did not have any candy so she took the sucker out of her mouth and threw it in a kids bag. The poor kid didn't notice and I was proud of Natalie sharing so I just laughed and went on. As the darkness came in her and her pal Drew decided it was time to go in and take a bath so the night was over! I know she had fun!

Overall, I think we will try Fall Festival next year. It seemed as if the one at our church was geared a little more towards the older children and not to the toddlers so that is why we tried staying at home. Either way, we had a fun day!