Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Greatest Experience a Parent Can Have... Part 2

The Natalie's Baptism
Sunday, December 7, 2014 

"This is the day.. This is the day that The Lord has made, that The Lord has made. We will rejoice... We will rejoice and BE GLAD IN IT"

Today my little Natalie Grace got baptized by her Poppy at our home church, Mims Baptist Church, in Conroe. Practically the whole family made an appearance in Conroe for this very special event. Our pastor, Bro. Gene, graciously allowed my dad to come and baptize Natalie in our home church. This was so special because dad was able to do it yet Natalie was able to proclaim her new life in front of all of her and our friends. 

Allison and D'Ann both traveled in on Saturday night and we were able to have a great time of fellowship with them and Dan and Jackie before Sunday's festivities began. Mom and Dad drove in from Arp early Sunday morning and arrived at the church around 10am. It was then that we learned from Bro. Gene that the water heater had broken the night before and the water in the baptistery was about 65-70*. It will definitely be something both Natalie and the other people who were baptized will remember for a long time to come!

I went and got Natalie out of her Sunday School class early and took her to Bro. Gene's office where he explained the whole process to those awaiting baptism. It was at this time that Natalie began to get a little nervous. What kept her going was knowing that no matter how cold the water was or how nervous she became, her Poppy would still be taking care of her and doing it all with her. Once again, it was so special and I am so grateful to Bro. Gene AND my dad for allowing it to happen this way! 

After the orientation with Bro. Gene, Natalie and I made our way to the women's changing room to get in her gown for the baptism ceremony. Natalie was so excited and could not wait to get into her gown. We met with the female helpers and even had a word of prayer with some of the sweet ladies helping us out.

Getting ready in the "ladies room". 

She was so proud and ready to go. 

The baptism service began and Natalie was the last of 4 that morning. And just as usual Bernard, our pianist, was playing my song "Great is thy Faithfulness" as the service began. This was truly a GOD thing as this is not only my favorite song but a song that has been EVER present in my life and extremely special to me. 

Bro. Gene introduced and welcomed my dad to the church and the baptistery and Natalie began crawling into the COLD COLD water. Luckily there was a baptism helper who carried her over to Dad since she was not tall enough, or brave enough since the water was so cold, to walk. Natalie was so nervous but kept saying "I want Poppy". She arrived at Poppy's feet where he helped her get settled and then he began the whole process. This was one of the most amazing, special and precious moments in both mine and Natalie's lives. I will never forget my dad and his emotions and feeling as he baptized Natalie Grace. I also remember me standing in the cold, COLD water to get a good view with tears just rolling down my face. I began bawling like a baby as I witnessed my own dad baptize my child. Honestly, even my dad began to show emotion as he called her out by name and baptized her as his "sister". It was so very special. 

I will never forget my dad's emotion during this baptism.
It truly was a special and memorable moment.
Poor thing... the water was SO cold. 

She weighs so little that dad practically plunged her beneath the water.

Natalie was buried together with Him and raised to walk in NEWNESS of life. After that I helped her get dry and WARM and we headed back into the worship service. This too was special because I was able to sit alongside all of my family members, including my dad, in MY home church. While the sermon was good... It was no "Ron Klingsick" sermon... BUT I am biased! 

After the conclusion of the worship service we all headed over to one of the Klingsick and Davis family favorite restaurants, Spring Creek BBQ where we celebrated Natalie's new life. We all had a great time eating our favorite foods and we ended the lunch with a special "Birthday" cookie cake for Natalie. 

Gigi Jackie and Grandpa!

Poppy and Gigi Shirley.

Auntie Allie and Natalie Grace. 

When we got back home Gigi and Poppy gave Natalie a baptism gift of a very special Silver Cross necklace. This too was very special because it was her first real piece of jewelry and it symbolized her new life and baptism. 

Natalie opening her gift and special Baptism card from Gigi Shirley!

Natalie and her new Cross necklace. 

This day was incredibly special and one that I will not ever forget. In recent years I have sat through the baptism services at our church and teared up thinking about how "one day that will be MY child". That day came and went and was even more special than I could have imagined. Now I will sit and cry thinking about my NEXT child becoming one of HIS and how his baptism service will be just as special. 

Thank you Lord for dying on the cross for MINE and NATALIE's sins! 

God is good... ALL THE TIME! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Near Perfect Bill of Health

December 16, 2014 

So I went into the new district Wellness Clinic this morning for my Health Risk Assessment follow-up appointment. I already had my blood drawn for the what seems like "gazillion" tests that they take the week before Thanksgiving break. This was merely a "discussion follow-up" with the doctor for him to go over all my blood and lab work and basically tell me if I am "at risk" for any health issue. To be honest, I did not know what to expect at this visit but what I got was not even imaginable in my WILDEST dreams! 

I had the very first appointment of the day at 7am because I had heard that they run far behind on a daily basis with these types of visits. I guess too many people ask lots of questions. The nurse took my weight, height, blood pressure and pulse before the doctor came in with the paper work from the lab results. My blood pressure was almost perfect at 118/80 and pulse was normal at 95 bpm. The weight was 1.2 pounds higher than 3 weeks ago but I was happy with that number since I knew I had not been faithful to my diet the past 3 weeks (honestly, this is an understatement... I have been TERRIBLE the past 3 weeks so thanks to Plexus, once again, I am only up 1.2 pounds)! 

The doctor came in and explained all the tests and told me that all of my vitals were great and everything, literally EVERYTHING, was in the "normal/good" range and in some cases, they were "exceptionally good". My cholesterol was especially good and he seemed very impressed with that. He explained the red blood counts, white blood counts and you name it. At the very end he continues with "However, you could stand to lose a few pounds". The rest of our conversation went like this: 

Me- Well actually, sir, I have lost over 80 pounds since this time last year so I am happy with those 80 pounds lost. 

Doctor- Well that is good but you are still (brief pause for him to look up chart) 23 pounds overweight and will be classified as "over-weight" until those 23 pounds come off. AND it looks like you gained some weight since your blood draw. 

Me- (With jaw on the floor mind you) Well, sir, like I mentioned before I am happy with the weight I am at now and will continue to work towards my goal weight in January. Plus, it is the holidays and I am glad it was only 1.2 pounds gained. 

Doctor- Almost rudely interrupting, yes but that is a gain and you need to go in the opposite direction (laughing as he said that). Would you like for one of our wellness dietitians to call you about your diet program? 

Me- No sir, I lost those 80 by myself and I am confident that I can lose these 23 pounds so I will not be (making the quotes in the air) "23 pounds over-weight". 

Doctor- Ok ma'am. It is just my job to tell people of their health issues. 

Me- (cutting him off with an attitude I'm sure) Well you do it well, sir! 

I'm just glad the nurse took my blood pressure BEFORE this conversation because afterwards would have surely been high since I wanted to punch the guy in the face! The follow-up then ended and I made my way out the door. The funny part had only begun as Natalie then was asking why the doctor kept saying "23". It was like that number would haunt me for the rest of the day! 

I am so excited about my clean and near perfect bill of health. I was not expecting such a good report from this follow-up. I didn't know what to expect but not this good. I knew Plexus was helping me with my weight loss but despite reading all the fantastic testimonies of lowered blood pressure, cholesterol and so much more, this was the first time it became apparent in MY life. I think I was dancing on CLOUD 9! And despite the rudeness of the doctor, I was excited about being ONLY 23 pounds away from my target/goal weight! Just a year ago I was 103 pounds away! Thank you Plexus... I know I say it all the time but THANK YOU FOR CHANGING MY LIFE!  

80 pounds down and ONLY 23 to go! 

God is good... ALL THE TIME! 

All is Well

December 2014

Peace. This is a concept that is not easily reached or managed. It seems like in today's day and age we are constantly wanting "more". Something bigger, something better. We are not content with what we have and who or how we are. In some cases it is not about things and more about ourselves or our conditions.

My paternal grandmother, "Grandma Pat", has been ill for quiet sometime and her overall health condition has taken a decline in recent years and especially months. My paternal grandfather, "Grandpa", died on November 15, 2005 and he and I were very close. He was my only living grandfather my entire life and I worshiped the ground he walked on. When he died, it was the first real experience I had with death and it was incredibly hard on me. It was also very hard on Grandma Pat, obviously, as she lost her husband of 53 years.

In the 9 years since his passing Grandma Pat and I have shared many memories of Grandpa together but the one that has stuck with me more than others is a saying he used to say "All is well". He would say this when asked "how are you" or "How is your day going". He always had a great outlook and attitude in life.

About a year ago when Grandma Pat was visiting my parents in Texas she was not doing so well with her health and my parents figured this might be the last time she would be able to come and visit her family in Texas. I remember we had a fun day filled with shopping and family fellowship and ended the evening with Texas BBQ at Spring Creek BBQ. Natalie sat in her lap and told her all about her school and her friends. Grandma Pat and I shared stories from her past and experiences I was going through at the time. That night as I said my "goodbyes" I came to terms with the fact that it might be the last time I see my grandmother of whom I loved so much. I remember the tears just flowing down my face as my parents pulled out of the parking lot. Natalie said "Mommy, are you ok?" and of course even more tears came rolling down my face as I was not ok. I remember we just sat in the parking lot of Spring Creek BBQ for nearly 20 minutes while I cried on Chris' shoulder.

Grandma Pat, Natalie and I- Christmas 2013, Conroe, TX

Natalie loved sitting on her lap and looking at her pearl necklace! 

We ALL loved the day of shopping!

This is a picture I will cherish FOREVER!

4 generations of Klingsick blood- Spring Creek BBQ, Christmas 2013

Christmas of 2013 came and Grandma Pat was still with us. She had made some improvements and her health was gaining. In fact 6 months passed and she was able to come to Texas again.

Grandma with Allison and her "other" granddaughter Amanda!

During this visit she was able to see my cousin, her oldest grandson on his graduation day from Air Force Boot-camp in San Antonio. On their way home from graduation, my parents and grandmother stopped by our house for Luke's 2nd birthday party. This was so special for all of us because since Grandma Pat lived so far away in Wichita, KS she was never available to come to either of the kids birthdays of birthday parties. It was so much fun to have her with us as we celebrated little Luke's life. Afterwards, I was able to sit and talk to my Grandma Pat about her life and experiences for about 3 hours while nearly everyone else napped. It was the best talk we have ever had. She relived events with her and Grandpa, told me stories about my dad and his brothers (my uncles) and so much more. She even compared Luke to all 4 boys, which was hilarious to say the least. I think Luke will be much like his Poppy, my dad, honery and into sports. While Grandma Pat was in good health during June 2014, as we said our goodbyes once again I came to terms with it could be the last time that I saw her.
Grandma Pat eating lunch with Nicholas, the Air Force graduate, and all the family!

This will forever be one of my favorite pictures! 

I love my Grandma Pat so much! 

Grandma Pat with Chris and I after Luke's Party!

My kiddos love Grandma Pat too!

Grandma Pat with my man!
I hate so much that Grandpa never got to see the love and beauty of Chris and our marriage!

In November of 2014 Grandma Pat took a turn for the worse and the doctors discovered that she had pneumonia in a lung that was removed (I know, this sounds crazy but somehow it is a real medical thing). She was admitted to the hospital in Wichita the 1st week of November and oddly enough, I was headed north to watch an OU Football game. I decided if I was only 3 hours away in stead of 9.5 then I would make the extra trip north to see her. It seemed like the honorable thing to do and I fully intended to honor my grandparent in this way. My mom was nice enough to meet me in Dallas to drive Natalie and I to Norman, OK to watch the OU football game and then even further north to Wichita to take both Natalie and I to see my Grandma Pat in the hospital. 

Grandma Pat did not know we were coming so when we arrived at 6pm with flowers which Natalie insisted on buying her she broke down in tears. We stayed the rest of that evening in the hospital with her and then came back the following morning before leaving and heading south for Houston. Despite it being in a hospital, I was able to see my grandmother yet ANOTHER time. And more importantly, Natalie was able to see her one more time.  Once again, we talked about her life and her past as well as Natalie school and what was going on in our lives right now. Natalie was even able to sing her a song called "Happy Birthday Jesus". I am so glad that we took the time and effort to go and see her. I walked out of the hospital yet again in tears knowing it would be the last time I saw her. She had reached the point of no return as far as traveling goes and with us living 9.5+ hours from her, I knew it would take a real miracle for me to see her again. I explained to Natalie, as best I could, the situation and had her tell Grandma Pat goodbye too. That was probably the hardest part. Well that and trying to explain everything once again to my 5 year old for the next 9 hours.

Grandma's surprise when we showed up at the hospital. 

Natalie and Grandma Pat!

Natalie giving Grandma Pat the flowers she chose! 

I love you Grandma!

I'm SO glad we made this trip to Kansas! I love and miss you Grandma! I know you will be back in Texas SOON!

One last picture before we leave and head south! 

Since then Grandma was release from the hospital and returned to her assisted living apartment, then transferred to a rehab facility. During Thanksgiving my parents and sister traveled to Wichita to visit both sides of the family for the holiday and it was during that time that my dad said that she had just "run out of gas". She was not able to go to Thanksgiving dinner with my family so she just stayed in the rehab facility and ate cookies (this seemed beyond sad to me and I so wanted to just be there with her). In fact, the last day in Wichita both my parents said she looked the worse they had ever seen her. My parents said their goodbyes and headed south to Texas not knowing what Grandma Pat's future would look like. I know my sister took it especially hard. 

On Sunday Morning, November 30th Grandma Pat was rushed to the hospital via ambulance and was admitted to the ICU for a UTI. It was then they found out that she had pneumonia in her other lung. It went from bad to worse and the doctor even prepared the family for "weeks not month" and "holiday funeral". I personally think he needs to work on his bedside manner but it is reality. On Monday, my dad took off for Wichita once again. During this week my Grandma has made some improvements as well as a few steps backwards, however she is looking better with each text I receive from my dad. 

Monday night it seemed as if she might only make a few days or even hours so once again I prepared myself. We were listening to Christmas music and "All is well" came on. The words are about the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ but they ring true in Grandma Pat's situation as well. As Grandpa used to always say "All is well" the same is true right now. Grandma Pat's spirit is high and she knows that soon she will be able to see her husband again and live rejoicing. 

I have never been good with death and even more so on grief but I too am ready and "All is Well". I know where my Grandma is going and I know where I am going and now I know where Natalie is going. I think I have a peace about it all and I know God is in control. Our choir and orchestra are performing this song for our Christmas Concert in a few weeks and I know it will be hard to get through, especially since Natalie sings a solo on the same evening but I know these will be tears will be tears of peace. 

All is Well (Michael W. Smith)
All is well all is well

Angels and men rejoice

For tonight darkness fell

Into the dawn of love's light
Sing A-le
Sing Alleluia
All is well all is well
Let there be peace on earth
Christ is come go and tell
That He is in the manger
Sing A-le
Sing Alleluia

All is well all is well

Lift up your voices and sing

Born is now Emmanuel
Born is our Lord and Savior
Sing Alleluia
Sing Alleluia
All is well

I love you Grandma Pat and I thank God for you each and every day! I know Grandpa is looking down right now and saying "All is Well". 

God is good.. ALL THE TIME! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

We Will Remember

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 
The Best is Yet to Come 

Remember Your Past
God has been so good to my family and I and as this Thanksgiving season approaches us I am reminded of just how much He has done for us. I remember times at OU when I thought I would die alone and never have a family. I was a young and naive 22 year old who thought the world was going to end because all of my friends has a boyfriend and I did not. Then in January of 2005 God sent Chris Davis my way to help me keep control of my 3-6 grade Children's Choir. He was the perfect "bouncer" for this group of boys and girls and his sense of humor really struck gold with me. We started dating in January 2005 and in July of the same year we were engaged to be married. About 7 months later I became Mrs. Kellie Davis and started down this amazing journey called marriage.

During the past 8.5 years Chris and I have had our ups and downs and lived through some amazing trials and tribulations but through it all we have grown closer to each other and more importantly closer to God. We have suffered through the lesson in patience of trying to conceive a child and those were the hardest 13 months of my life. I remember thinking "Why God? Why me? Will I ever be able to have a family?" Chris and I prayed and prayed for God to bless us with a child and eventually after many prayers and many tears in November 2008 we learned we were expecting our 1st child. For those of you that know my pregnancy/ birth story know that 9+ months later, Miss Natalie Grace was born. Thank you Lord for Natalie Grace. I cannot even imagine my life without her.

Shortly after Natalie's birth we learned that Chris would be laid off from his Management  Job in Oklahoma City. When Natalie was 8 weeks old Chris became a stay at home dad. We expected this to last for a mere 3-4 months but it became 15 months far too quickly. We were suddenly faced with the decision of moving to Texas to pursue a teaching job for Chris. During that 15th month we learned that Chris was offered a full-time teaching job in the Houston metro area. We took the plunge and moved to Conroe, TX with 1 full-time job and hoping and praying I could find a job as well. During the summer months of 2011 I searched the Houston metro far and wide for a band job with no luck and eventually decided to look into the elementary music field. Sure enough, in late July I was offered an elementary music job in Spring ISD and so began the new road in my teaching career. Thank you Lord for these jobs and new life opportunities.

Later in 2011 as we were living with my in-laws we discovered that while it took 15 months to conceive Natalie, it didn't take but 2 months to conceive child #2... Ooops. We thought it was an Ooops at the time only because we were living with my in-laws but it turned out to be anything but an Ooops. Through that we received David Luke in June 2012 who has completely turned our lives upside down and I could not have asked for more of blessing. He is exactly what I wanted and so much more. Thank you Lord for "Lukey"... I love him more and more each and every day.

In September 2012 we closed on our new home in Conroe, TX and were blessed beyond measure. We never in our wildest dreams thought we would be able to afford the size and quality of a house that we ended up in. Thank You Jesus for our house that we now call home.

Reflect Your Present
We have been through a lot and it has brought us to where we are now. This year Natalie started Kindergarten and was able to come to school with me. She has also accepted the gift of Jesus Christ and has asked Jesus into her heart. Chris and I both are striving at work and enjoying our jobs and careers. Despite not being in the band room I am still enjoying what I do and I know that right now I am supposed to be the "mom" not the "band director". Luke is growing as fast as ever and developing into an honery little boy.

Rejoice in Your Future 
Through all of the ups and downs we have always managed to land on our feet and we have maintained such a wonderful life. This is not luck but the hand of God at work. We are so blessed and we are continuing to count our blessings and name them one by one but I am continuously thinking about how the BEST IS YET TO COME. Looking back at all the blessings He has given us I cannot even imagine how much better it will be but I know... my future is in His hands. I cannot wait to see what is on the horizon.

On Sunday, November 23rd during the worship service at Mims Baptist Church Pastor Gene Kendrick brought these simple points and reminders to our attention and then had the 120 member choir and orchestra move the congregation to sing a moving rendition of "We Will Remember". This brought tears to my eyes as I remembered my past, reflected my present and rejoiced in my future. Great is thy Faithfulness has always been and will always be my all-time favorite hymn but the words of "We Will Remember" have really hit home this week. The words of this song speak to even the hardest of hearts:

We will remember, we will remember
We will remember the works of Your hands
We will stop and give you praise
For great is Thy faithfulness

You're our creator, our life sustainer
Deliverer, our comfort, our joy
Throughout the ages You've been our shelter
Our peace in the midst of the storm

With signs and wonders You've shown Your power
With precious blood You showed us Your grace
You've been our helper, our liberator
The giver of life with no end

When we walk through life's darkest valleys
We will look back at all You have done
And we will shout, our God is good
And He is the faithful One

Hallelujah, hallelujah
To the one from whom all blessings flow
Hallelujah, hallelujah
To the one whose glory has been shown

I still remember the day You saved me
The day I heard You call out my name
You said You loved me and would never leave me
And I've never been the same

We Will Remember

Thank you Lord! I will STOP and give You praise for GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

PRIDE Restored... October 2014

Welcome Home
October 23, 2014

As many of you know, I attended the University of Oklahoma for my undergraduate degree in Music Education. I knew when I was only a freshman in high school that I wanted to become a band director and help students like my 2 band directors helped me. In fact, I have said numerous times before that my high school Head Band Director, John Standridge, has truly helped shape me into the person and especially the teacher I am today. However, there is also another mentor in my life who has helped me become who I am today. 

One of the many performing opportunities I had as a high school student was an annual All-Region band clinic at Stephen F. Austin University in Nachodoges,TX  just 1 hour from my house in Arp. While at this All-Region Band clinic in 1998 I was able to be under the direction of Mr. Brian Britt, who at the time I had no idea who he was. He was the associate director of bands at SFA and had grown that band from the bottom up. He was the clinician for this All-Region Band my freshman year and I was able to see him in action. He was so encouraging and uplifting to us all and even when there were times of great distress in our ensemble sound, he would encourage us while he helped us correct the problem. Despite this being an honor group, we had issues with the music and he treated us like we were in his own college band. It felt so cool as a high school freshman to be treated like a real adult. That years' All-Region Band concert was the moment I decided I not only wanted to teach band, but that I want to be Brian Britt. I wanted to teach college band and help young students grow in music and help them become ambassadors for music. 

As the years in high school progressed, I had countless other opportunities to be in Mr. Britt's band at SFA; rather it be for All-Region or All-Area band and even SFA Summer Band Camps. In 1999, my junior year of high school, Mr. Britt left SFA to teach in Round Rock. I remember thinking "Well, now SFA is out of the question (for college)". In all reality, I did not want to go to SFA because that is where 70% of the graduates from Arp High School went and I just always felt like I could do more and go elsewhere. It was during my junior year that I began looking at colleges and auditioning for scholarships. I traveled the state of Texas and the Southwest United States in general auditioning with my saxophone for major universities' saxophone studios and Music Education departments.

During the following 12-15 months I was offered numerous scholarships, including offers from the University of Texas (God forbid... Ha, He knew what He was doing), The University of North Texas, Ohio State University, The University of Michigan as well as full ride offers from Texas Tech University (I hated Lubbock) and Stephen F. Austin University. I knew I wanted to "Go Big or Go Home" so I decided to venture out to  and audition at The University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. 

My grandpa played football at OU in the late 1940s and my family and I were Sooners through and through; however, I do remember going through rebellion phases for a little while! My parents and I headed to Norman and ventured around the campus and town. It was an amazing place and the people, ALL THE PEOPLE were such a joy and were so kind and friendly. Literally, everyone we talked to or had any interaction with treated us like we were one of them, even though we were from "Texas". 

I audition for Gail Hall and other members of the audition panel and left Norman thinking this is where I belong. At this time, in late 2000, Mr. Britt was still teaching in Round Rock, TX and I thought I would never see him again. In February 2001 while I was playing in the ATSSB All-State Band at TMEA, I ran into Mr. Britt at one of the music exhibits. I approached him and before I could even say "Hello, Mr. Britt" he was already saying "Hello there Kellie. How are you?" I could not believe that he remembered me. Wow, I wasn't even one of his students. I was merely a student in the honor bands where he was the clinician and he remembered ME by name. Wow! I was in total awe! 

It was March 2001 and I was having a real hard time deciding where I wanted to go to college. I had received numerous offers as stated above and really felt like OU was where I was supposed to be but the money and the full-ride offer was in Lubbock at Texas Tech. My grandfather, father and family members in general kept pushing for OU and I eventually decided that Lubbock was too far, and too boring, and decided to go to OU. I began the long process of paperwork and scholarship acceptance and it was during that time that I learned the OU's longtime Band Director Gene Thrailkill was retiring and OU decided on hiring an alumni of its' own, Mr. Brian Britt. That sealed the deal... I was going to be a SOONER for sure now. 

In the fall of 2001, I packed up my things and moved to Norman, Oklahoma to begin my journey as a Sooner. I had high hopes of being in the Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band as well as all of the many other amazing adventures I would have while at OU. I had to report nearly a week earlier than the other college freshman for the Pride of Oklahoma Marching camp. It is here where my life would truly change forever. This camp took 2-3 days as I recall and I made great friendships with other freshman and sure enough, on the very 1st day Mr. Britt once again called me by name and remembered me as if I was one of his own. I was at home! 

It was a Thursday night around 6:00pm and I headed over to Catlett Music Center where the results for the 2001 Pride of Oklahoma auditions were being posted. I remember waiting outside in the dreadful heat for the sign to be posted. Finally, feeling as if it took hours, the large white sign with 280+ names became visible. I looked down the Alto Saxophone line and I didn't see my name. "Kellie Klingsick"... I was silently saying as I continued to look for my name. I skimmed down the list about 4 times before stepping back and realizing I was NOT ON THE LIST. I then looked for an "alternate" category and didn't see my name there either. 

The walk back to the dorms was perhaps the longest walk I can remember in my life. I cried and cried AND CRIED. The dreams I had for myself and for my college career had been blown up and I was left in the midst of the pieces. I remember telling my parents "Forget it, I will just come home and go to TJC with the rest of the people in Arp". In fact, I began packing the little amount of stuff I had unpacked and got settled in before my dad said what would shape the rest of that year at OU; "Kellie, why are you giving up? This is just an audition... just one person's opinion. It does not define who you are. If you want to be a band director and go to OU then stay. Who cares if you are not in this band. You can be in other bands." I'm sure I rolled my eyes in disgust but in the long run I decided to stay at OU. And it was one of the best decisions of my life! 

I spent the remainder of that weekend going to the Freshman Orientation that I would have missed if I was in The Pride because of the rehearsals. I was able to get the true freshman experience that I would not have been able to have otherwise. That fall semester was very difficult for me because I felt left out and excluded, especially in my Music Education classes because all of the others knew each other better and were in The Pride getting to share all of the amazing experiences with each other. 

That semester I was in the Symphonic Band, which was under the direction of Mr. Britt so I was still able to have the experience I had dreamed about, which was to one day be in Mr. Britt's band. Sure, it was not the band I wanted it to be but it was a band... of his! I remember a Monday in October after OU had just come back from a road game in Lincoln, Nebraska where The Pride took a small pep-band and Mr. Britt came up to me that Monday in Symphonic Band rehearsal and said "Hey Kellie, I talked to your uncle Mike this weekend at the game. He was so excited for you to be at OU and for you to be in the band. I told him I was excited for you to be at OU too". Later that day Mr. Britt came up to me and said "Kellie, I know you are disappointed at the outcome of this semester but trust me this will make you a better teacher. And isn't that what you came to OU for?" (I can only imagine there was another teenage eye roll at this point too)

But his words have never been more true. That audition and that disappointing semester have made me such a better person and teacher. I have been able to share in students heartaches as they, too, have fallen short of their hopes and dreams. I now have been teaching for 10 years and during those 10 years I have been on many interviews, many of which did not work out in my favor, but I cannot forget the words both my dad and Mr. Britt shared with me; "This will make you a better person". 

The remaining 3 years at OU were some of the best of my life and I eventually was able to live the dream I had so desperately wanted to live. In 2002, I was selected to The Pride of Oklahoma playing tenor saxophone and then again in 2003. I was able to perform and travel with this Nationally renowned and prestigious band at numerous events and games including a National Championship game, 2 BCS bowl games and march in the Rose Parade on New Years Day. The experiences I had during these 2 years were some that I would NOT trade for the world and some I still look back on today as I tell my 2 children these great stories. I spent these 3 years learning from the man I so desperately wanted to be like and I graduated OU a year early thanks to the intense dedication that I gave my freshman year since I did not make The Pride in 2001. 

I left OU in 2005 and hit the ground running, so to speak, in my career as I became the head band director of a small school in Southeast Oklahoma called Bowlegs. I then became the band director at Grove School in Shawnee where I was able to take the band program from a dying 50 students to over double its' size to 108 when I left in 2011. The past 4 years I have not been teaching band and once again not living the "dream" I created for myself but I am living a different dream. My "New York Yankees job",as Mr. Britt calls it, was and will always be teaching band and eventually college band but right now I am serving in a different type of "Yankees" job... I am a mom!
And isn't that the best job anyway! 

Mr. Britt left OU in 2012 to serve as a Fine Arts Director in Richardson but during his leave from OU, The Pride felt major turmoil and this brought down everyone from the students, the School of Music and The College of Fine Arts, the fans and especially the alumni of The Pride of Oklahoma. Finally in October of this year, this turmoil came to a stand still as OU President David Boren finally came to terms with how bad it really was and the former Pride director stepped down. At that point Mr. Britt was re-hired and The Pride of Oklahoma was restored. This made me especially happy because I, among hundreds and thousands others, am a life that was touched and changed by Brian Britt. It really hits home because one of my very 1st students I worked with while at Grove is now a freshman at OU and in The Pride. It brings a smile to my face EVERY TIME I think about him being able to have the same type of experiences and life-changing moments as I did. 

Mr. Britt, 
Welcome Home! It's great to have you back! I will never forget you and I thank you for the 4 wonderful years I had at OU! You helped me become who I am today and for that I am forever grateful! You are an amazing teacher, leader and mentor and overall just a class act! BOOMER SOONER! 

God is Good... All the time! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The First Day of the REST OF MY LIFE

June 12, 2012

The day has finally arrived! My delivery Day is here!
I cannot believe it is time to meet Baby Luke! I have waited for this day for a LONG time. I have always dreamed of having a little boy and today I will meet my new prince charming!

Last night my sister drove in from Dallas for the big day and she helped calm my nerves a LOT! I was a little frazzled before she got here but once she arrived I was able to settle down and really focus on the task and event at hand! Thank you Allison for your comfort and support!

I had to do a DEEP cleaning of MYSELF last night since I will be having surgery. The doctor gave me a special soap to use to help get rid of any bacteria. This soap, called Hepiclense, is supposed to kill any bacteria on your skin prior to surgery. I had to take a long shower last night first using my own soap and then using this hospital formulated soap. I had to turn off the water and scrub with a NEW loofah for 5 minutes to prevent rinsing off the soap too early. Let me tell you.... it got REALLY COLD, REALLY FAST! I had to have Chris sit in the bathroom with a stop watch and time me to make sure I scrubbed for the whole 5 minutes. I also had to use a towel that had been washed in special detergent the day before.

In addition to cleaning myself, I had to clean my sheets and bed linens as well. I had to wash them in the special detergent as well. In fact, the nurse who gave me all of this information and performed my Pre-Op appointment told me that it was best to sleep alone the night before this surgery. So I was not even able to sleep in the same bed as my husband the night before our child was born. This was a little MUCH for me and I was a little disturbed by this aspect but we followed the rules anyway and slept in separate beds! In fact, poor Allison had to sleep on the couch! Sorry Allie!

I woke up and was not able to eat or drink ANYTHING until after the surgery! It was so tempting to just drink a sip of water but NO... I followed the rules! I was so excited about the whole thing that even though I was hungry and thirsty, I just wanted to meet my SON!

Chris took Natalie to Mother's Day Out and Allison helped me prepare for the hospital stay and get bags into the car. I had a well prepared checklist and Allison helped me make sure EVERYTHING was accounted for. I had to be at the hospital at 11am so at 10:40 we left the house. Of all things to encounter on this day, we ran into a funeral procession crossing I-45 on our way to the hospital so I was actually about 7 minutes late getting there!

As soon as we arrived my nurse, Becky, took us to our room and immediately started prepping me! I got into the boring hospital gown and made myself comfy on the hard hospital bed that would be my home for the next 48+ hours! She poked and prodded at me for what seemed like hours before she found a vein and hooked me up to an IV. I had to get 2 FULL bags of fluid before the surgery and this took some time so she got me started ASAP! After this the Anesthesiologist came in and went over the procedure with me. I was a little nervous about getting a "spinal" but this young doctor, who we all called "Skippy", reassured me it was not a big deal!

The "Before" picture...

At about 12:15 they double checked Chris' blue sterile linens and had me walk down to the Operating Room. I waved at everyone in the hall and walked to the OR!

Here I am about to walk down to the OR!

Chris waited in the hall of the Or while they gave me the "spinal". Well, let me tell you, "Skippy" was WRONG! The "spinal" WAS A BIG DEAL! It began with the head Anesthesiologist poking me in the back trying to get the right spot in my spine. He did not have any luck so he tried again... AND AGAIN... AND AGAIN!

Dr. Markos arrived and had already "scrubbed in" and was waiting so he came around and had me lean in his chest to better help push my spine out. Let me tell you, this was AWKWARD and a little uncomfortable! I had my head in my OB/GYN's chest for nearly 10 minutes... just starring at his grey chest hair! Yeah... a little weird. After 5 pokes, the head anesthesiologist called for the department lead to come and try to find the right spot. I had been in the Or for about 30 minutes now and no baby! In fact, I didn't even have the drugs yet. Finally the Department lead arrived and tried to poke me. He tried and tried and finally after another 2 pokes (IN MY SPINE) he found it! After 7 pokes I was hooked up to the good stuff and the process FINALLY got underway.

Dr. Markos asked me what kind of music I liked and I said JAZZ so he plugged in his iPhone and so it began! They did the usual "pinch" to make sure the drugs were working and then went and got Chris. He was anxiously waiting and wondering why it was taking so long! Chris came in and they began. "Skippy" told me they had begun at about 1:18pm. I was so nervous, scared and ready ALL AT THE SAME TIME! Chris was right there holding my hand! I began to tear up just thinking about God's Amazing Grace and blessings on me and my family!

For what seemed like hours they kept cutting and getting closer to Baby Luke. Finally, "Skippy" told me he was coming out! I didn't hear crying so I immediately got a little nervous! But then low and behold... Baby Luke entered the world. He was not near as loud as his sister was but he was loud nonetheless!


At 1:30pm David Luke Davis entered the world! I was so very happy and grateful for this gift God had given me. Just like his sister, he was greeted with doctors and nurses commenting on his "big-ness". Dr. Markos said "Wow, he is a big boy!" Dr. Young, who was the C-Section Assist Doctor, said "Wow, he is healthy and big". This was a shock to me since at 36 week he only weighed 5 pounds 14 ounces. We expected a 7 pound baby! Yet again, God had other plans! Luke weighed 8 pounds and 12 ounces and was 19 inches long!

They continued to sew me up and Chris was able to go over to see the nurses work on and clean Baby Luke! I was anxiously waiting to see and hold him. I just kept laying there helplessly singing "GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS" to myself. Poor "Skippy" got me a Kleenex and wiped my tears while Chris was away looking at the baby! After a few minutes, they wrapped up Luke and Chris brought him over to me! I reached over and kissed his cheek and just cried and cried.
"Wow, He's a BIG boy", Dr. Markos said.

At about 2:00pm they wheeled me out of the OR back to my room where all of our family was waiting. They all took a look at Baby Luke and then waited in the hallway while I got cleaned up and then nursed Luke! Around 2:45pm everyone came back into the room to hold and touch Baby Luke!

Daddy holding Luke for the 1st time! Makes me tear up a bit!

It was amazing to see all the grandparents hold him and just glow from EAR TO EAR! Dan and Jackie compared him to Chris and his siblings and even Dan's siblings while my parents just starred at his beauty! Everyone was so grateful for a healthy baby and delivery!

Grandpa Dan holding Baby Luke for the 1st time. He is very proud!

Poppy holding Luke for the 1st time. He has always wanted a boy!
It took a grandchild but HE GOT IT!

Gigi Jackie holding Baby Luke... She thought he looked like Chris as a baby!
(More on that in a later post)

Gigi Shirley holding Baby Luke! She immediately starting singing to him! I loved that!

Auntie Allie holding her future Yankees Fan! (Wait... he is ALREADY a Yankees fan!)

God is so AMAZING and GRACIOUS and I am speechless at his mercies. He has blessed my family and I so much and I owe it ALL TO HIM! It brings to mind one of my favorite verses of all time, Jeremiah 29:11- "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

The "After" picture!

May we NEVER forget...


Patience is a Virtue

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's official... We own the house. After 15 months of being homeless Chris and I are finally able to say "we own a house" again. I haven't even made it back to the house yet and I already feel like a totally different person.

My parents came into town this afternoon to help us move this weekend and they stayed at Dan and Jackie's house with the kids while Chris and I went to the title company to sign the closing papers. While we were at the title company Dan and my dad loaded my dad's SUV, my SUV and even Jackie's SUV with more boxes of small things from their garage. When we got back from signing the papers at the title company we ate a quick bite and then we all took all the vehicles down the road to start unloading at the new house. Fortunately it wasn't raining and it wasn't incredibly too hot and steamy so the men were able to do three complete loads in Dan's truck before dark. By 8PM that that night we already had our new garage a third of the way full with stuff from our old garage. At this point it was very organized and I was directing people where to take the boxes they came inside and I was trying to tell them where to put them in the garage if they were supposed to stay outside however; these boxes have been sitting in Dan and Jackie's garage for 15 months and since a lot of them were very dusty and dirty it created an extra step that Allison had to do by using the shop vac to clean out the boxes before they came into the house. My mom, Jackie and Natalie helped do some of the minor cleaning inside the house like vacuuming and cleaning the baseboards while the men unloaded and I directed traffic. Poor baby Luke basically just set there and cried. I'm not sure if he likes the new house at this point. Around 8:30 we called it a night and everybody went back over to Dan and Jackie's house to get some rest.

Around 6 AM everybody was "up and at em" and ready to do a whole new day of unloading at the new house. Allison had developed a cold the previous week so she wasn't quite up to par but she did an amazing job the whole day of still helping as much as she could. Through most of the day my mom and Allison worked on unloading and preparing the kitchen. This was an amazing help to me knowing that they would get all of the kitchen supplies out of the boxes, clean them and put them into their cabinets. At one point I had to leave to go and finish up some work with a consignment sale I was a part of and when I came back mom and Allison had the entire kitchen put together including some of the decorations. It was amazing!!! It was really beginning to feel like "home"!

By 3 PM on Saturday all of the boxes from the garage had been unloaded and a lot of the large furniture including our king size bed from upstairs in Dan and Jackie's house had been brought over to our new house. However the new house looked like a war zone. There were boxes everywhere...some of them were labeled well, some of them weren't labeled at all, some of them were open and some of them are still taped shut. I felt like I was walking on broken glass just coming in and out of the house. I just wanted to be able to come into my house an go right to something.

Before Allison left for Dallas we were able to organize the remaining boxes in the garage. This really helped me to know where stuff is and how I could get to it if I needed it.

I know it will take many weeks and months for me to get my house ready for friends and family to come and visit and even longer to host the party I so desperately want to host, but I know with patience and trust in God it will happen. I have been able to wait patiently for the past 15 months to be able to have this gift from God that is my house so I know I can wait for it all to come together.

I am so very blessed and thank God for His continued blessings each and every day. God is AMAZING! Thank You Lord!

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

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Transformation... From Empty Space to "Learning Space"

August 25, 2013
Nearly 1/3 of my life... And many more to come!  

For the past week I have been a Wildkat and it has been FABULOUS! This is my 9th year to attend "Teacher In-service" days and my 4th year to have to attend the "New-Teachers In-Service". While I have not been "New" or a "Rookie" 4 times, I have changed districts (Or in 1 case, STATES) and been "new" to a district 4 times.
I have worked for countless hours the past 10 days to get my room, mind and even heart ready for a new school year and I think I am ready. This will be a whole new experience for me, yet somewhat of a "Second Verse" type of thing at the same time. It is always hard to tell how the year will be just by judging the "Teacher In-Service" days! I have much to learn as a teacher and I think this year will be a "Learning Experience" for everyone involved!
Wednesday, August 14th
Very First Glance of my classroom

Friday, August 16th
The end of the 2 "New-Teacher" workdays

I did A LOT of organizing these two days... Now it is time to decorate and make this room come to life!! 

Friday, August 23rd
I am ready... I think!

the OU "No Sooner Left Behind" tradition continues...

School starts in a few hours... Prayers are appreciated!
God is Good... ALL THE TIME!