Showing posts with label Just because. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Just because. Show all posts

Monday, February 29, 2016

Proposal Details

Since so many of you have are the details...with some guest writing by Jim as well :)

Jim's Side:

A few weeks before Valentine's day, I told Melissa I was going for a long run on a Saturday morning with my friend Joseph, who was training for a marathon. Thankfully, she didn't ask where we would be going for this long run, because we were going to Brazos Bend State Park to scout potential locations for the proposal to take place. Melissa and I had tried going to Brazos Bend last year, but the park had been closed due to heavy flood damage. This time was going to be much different. Joseph had casually asked if I had any Valentine's Day plans, and I let him know that I had him and his wife Lauren in mind for helping me carry out my plans.
The spot I picked was a dock on a small lake, not far from the observatory, within the park. I knew we could watch the sunset next the observatory and then take a short walk before she would stumble onto my surprise for her.
My plan was for our walk around the lake to take us right past the dock, just after sunset. Seemingly out of nowhere, the dock and the table would be romantically lit and have a table for two ready for us to walk up and have dinner.
That afternoon, we tried looking for geocaches at the park for the first time, but were unsuccessful in finding any. We did have fun just hiking around the park, climbing trees, and crawling through brush off the trail. And a little bit before sunset (which research told me would happen at 6:10pm) we sat on a bench by the observatory, enjoying the peace and the sounds of birds overhead.
While we were out, I'd left instructions for Joseph to send me texts updating their status - not that I'd show myself getting distracted by my phone (how unromantic!), but that I could feel it vibrate in my pocket - one buzz for all clear, two for potential issues, and three for big problems. I got the first text at 4:00 - the dock was clear. But signal in Brazos Bend is a bit questionable. At 5:00, I got no update that they were setting up, nor at 6:00 that things were ready. At 6:05, my phone battery ran out, and so I would not receive the last text scheduled for 6:10, right at sunset, that we could walk over to the table.
So I asked Melissa to keep an eye on the clock. And at precisely 6:10, while she was still enjoying the sky and the view, I gave the word that we needed to move out. She didn't know it's because I worried our food would be getting cold, and that someone walking by might take an interest in the scene, while nobody was at the table. I prayed that Joseph and Lauren were on schedule.
So we started walking, at first in the direction in the car, until we got to a fork in the road, and I said we'd take the long way around the lake. And five minutes later, as we came around the corner where we'd be able to see the dock, I saw Joseph and Lauren leaving the dock, taking with them the empty bags. Melissa saw them too, and turned towards me, full of questions. And in that turn, she also saw the dock and the table, lit under the dusky sky. Joseph and Lauren went above and beyond my plans with the decorating, adding touches of flowers and petals. And so, as they cleared the area, we sat down to dinner.
Melissa's Side:
Jim had told me a few weeks before Valentine's that he had the day reserved. I wasn't surprised by that because he put together a really sweet dinner surprise on our first Valentine's together the year before (our 4th date :) ). The day before, he emailed me a pack list. It was hugely varied - from a star chart, head lamp, colored pencils to dancing shoes and a coat that I would consider "cute and nice." I was thinking we were doing something outside and then going somewhere for dinner. 
After church we headed out and after a little bit (Jim was driving) I realized we were headed to Brazos Bend State Park. I pulled out my Texas State Park pass. He just grinned and played all innocent. We parked and he pulled out his GINORMOUS backpacking backpack...I was starting to think that maybe we would eat in the park. And then he pulled out his GPS watch, a compass, and a list of geocaching sites. We had both mentioned that activity before but had never tried it. So we went on the treasure hunt. We climbed through a lot of bushes and trees and found all of the coordinates we set out to find, but no actual geocache. 

We headed back to the Observatory where Jim said we would watch the sunset (it did flash through my mind VERY quickly, "is he going to propose!?" but I quickly squashed it because I had been working really hard not to try and guess when he would since I really wanted to be surprised. We sat at the observatory and chatted and talked about the past year together. 

Sunset was at 6:10pm (it didn't surprise me that he knew that, he always looks up sunrise and sunset times when we are outdoors). A little before 6pm, he was getting his phone out to take a picture (or so I thought) and he worriedly said "oh no, my phone died." I was like, no big deal, I have mine to take pictures. And then he proceeded to ask me what time it was about 4 times in he next 10 minutes. I was thinking "why is he being so weird about the time?". Right when it hit 6:10pm, he said "okay, let's go." I kinda just stood there for a few seconds as I watched him walk away thinking "but the sun JUST set, the colors are still pretty, why are we going?" but I figured that he wanted to get dinner started before it got too dark (even though I had brought my headlamp ;-) ).
Instead of walking back to the parking lot, Jim turned me onto a trail and said we were going the long way around. We walked and chatted (or I chatted...) and then I saw what looked to be our friends Lauren and Joseph ahead. I turned to Jim to ask if he saw them and that's when I saw the table and chairs and lights and flowers. I started crying. I couldn't believe someone would do that for me! I was so blessed by his attention to detail and thoughtfulness. He had cooked the dinner the night before and our friends had reheated it. It was all gluten and dairy free! 
We chatted and even though I was still a little weepy, I realized this was a nice dinner and nothing more. And I was totally okay with that and just enjoying the moment. AND THEN he turned the conversation serious by mentioned the book we had been going through "101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged" and asked me how God had grown me since we started dating. So I shared, and then he shared, and then he wrapped up by saying "I want to be your husband." And he got down on one knee (I was totally crying at this point) and asked me to marry him. And then I ugly cried into his shoulder...and I think I said yes then, but neither of us can remember! A bit later, I gasped and asked "Did I say yes? because YES!" - he laughed and said he had taken my tears as a yes :).
After some emergency battery charging at the car and some time for me to fix my twig-filled and humidty-frizzy hair and put on my "cute and nice" coat, our friends came back and took pictures.
Perfect, perfect, perfect proposal! I am so thankful that God allowed me to trust Him and be surprised and for all the time and thought Jim put into planning the whole day.

"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope." Psalm 130:5

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Two Months of Maizie

So I've been a dog owner for two months today.

I know a lot of people were surprised I got a dog. I've always been a cat person (Bacon and Eggs are almost 10 years old!). I didn't grow up with dogs. But, for the past year, I have been thinking about getting one. And then, for about 2 months prior to getting Maizie, I was seriously thinking about getting one - desiring the companionship that all my dog owning friends kept talking about.

I fostered an awesome Austrailian cattle dog named Maggie at the end of April that I really liked, but she was 2 years old and had a past and I wasn't sufficiently versed in dog to be able to figure out how to correct some of her behaviors. Plus, she was 45 pounds of muscle that did not want to listen to me and my joints were wicked sore after just two days. She also tried to eat the cats. So, at the advice of my dog-training friend, Abby, I started looking for a smaller dog, and a younger one so it would grow up with cats and hopefully not try to eat them.

I didn't want a puppy. I had heard about how much work they were and I already knew there were going to be some sacrifices to be made in my schedule to accommodate a dog and I didn't think I could shift things around enough to get a puppy.

I ended up with a puppy.

A ~15 week old Yorkie and maybe Border Terrier mix puppy that I named Maizie. A friend shared a picture on Facebook from a local rescue group of her and I thought about it for two weeks and then emailed them. A week and half later, she was in my car, headed to my house.

Good night, puppies are a lot of work. I am now a pro at ducking june bugs at 2am as they dive-bomb me as I tell Maizie to "do your business". I can also duck them pretty well at 3am and 4am too, depending on the day and Maizie's bladder. And sidestep Texas cockroaches that skitter across the deck. And I tackled replacing the broken light fixture out back because the flashlight wasn't cutting it with giving me ample time to duck the bugs.

The Lord knew I needed a dog that was mellow and obedient. Maizie is just that. She has her quirks (apparently, my animals all need to be vocal…she doesn't bark (yay) but she does whine and whine-talk (don't ask me to make the sound, 'cause I probably would, but it would be kinda awkward)). She cracks me up with her clumsiness and cuteness. She's super friendly - loves dogs and people…and the cats (although they would prefer her not being in the house.) And I've gotten more exercise in the past two months than this entire year due to running around with her in the yard and taking her for walks.

So, yeah, I think this dog-owning thing is going to work out. It's been major adjustment for me (just ask my officemate who has put up with my dog drama very sweetly and helpfully, being a dog owner herself - thanks Jaime!), but it's getting easier. And I have amazing, generous friends to help watch her when I have to work long days or weird hours.

Instagram is very familiar with Maizie. And now, you will be as well.  Here's a summary of Two Months of Maizie. Don't pass out from the cuteness.

Monday, January 20, 2014


I’ve mentioned this before, but on New Years Eve and New Years Day, I like to read/skim through the year’s worth of journal entries and see how the Lord has worked in my life and the lives of those for whom I have prayed. Last year started out with learning a hard and crucial lesson – not to fear. To commemorate the blood, sweat, tears, and time that went into the start of learning that lesson (still in progress, in case you were wondering :)), I worked with one of my favorite Etsy shops, Celebrate Today, to design this necklace:

Two charms:  “Be” “Fearless”. On the back of the “Fearless” charm, “Psalm 56:3-4” is stamped.

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”- Psalm 56:3-4

I work to be fearless not because I am strong, not because I am in control, not because I have all the answers, but because He is strong, He is in control, and He has all the answers (whether He chooses to reveal those to me remains to be seen ;-) ). In this, I am pursuing fearlessness, while cultivating fear of Him. Sounds contradictory, I know, but fear of Him is recognizing His power, His presence, His worthiness. Fearing Him is giving Him praise, honor, and glory.

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death” – Proverbs 14:27 
“And His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation” – Luke 1:50 

“The end of the matter, all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” Ecclesiastes 12:13 

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, all who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever” – Psalm 111:10 
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised!” – Proverbs 31:30

So, when you see my “Be” “Fearless” charms, it’s not in any way saying “I rock,” but rather, it’s saying, “He is my rock.”

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Creepy crawlies

This is a random post, but my experience last night made me giggle, so I figured I would share it with you all. :)

Anyone ever have bug dreams? Like dreams where bugs are attacking them or crawling on them or anything like that?

I had forgotten my history of spider dreams until last night. I woke up convinced that a giant spider had just descended onto my pillows. My reaction was to scoot under the covers to the end of the bed and crawl out and run to turn on the lights. My two cats stared squintly at me as I rustled the covers around, my heart-pounding, pretty sure it was just a dream but not completely convinced. There was no ginormous spider of course. But the dream reminded me of a funny moment from my last year in college.

I shared a townhouse with my bestie, her sister, Katrina, and her brother, Anthony. I woke up, dreaming that a momma spider had her babies on the ceiling, which then all fell down onto my bed. I did a heebie-jeebie dance to brush them off of me as I ran to the lightswitch and flung open my bedroom door. Anthony and Katrina looked up from their video game playing as I half screeched- half gasped "there are spiders in my bed!" Bless their hearts, they both came into my room and helped me rustle the covers to search for the culprits. Talk about good roomies :).

I had several more spider dreams in that townhouse, all of them resulting in a panicked rush to the lightswitch and rustling of covers to make sure it was really a dream (seriously, these spider dreams are very real!). After a ten-year hiatus, the spider dreams are back.

Blah. Spiders.

Feel free to comment with your bug dream experiences :)

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Plus four, minus four
Two months to creep up
Four days to plummet down
Hope sags

No rest, constant alertness
Procrastination is not a word
Carpe diem or nothing
No margin for error

Just once to be normal
The rope so thin, dare not stray
Perfection desired but humanness wins
Just be content. Content. CONTENT.

Frail flesh, strong heart
Jaw set, the thorn in
Press on, press on
By grace alone, by Him alone

I see a roadblock, but He sees the whole race.