Thursday, January 29, 2009

Happy Birthday

Today is Michael's birthday! Happy birthday, honey!!! I have no birthday photog to post because my husband and my camera are STILL in Kentucky! It's okay, he's still as cute as ever just one year older!

We'll be celebrating next week - when he hopefully makes it home.

In the meantime, I'm going to bask in the joy knowing Michael's healthy and aging gracefully (as graceful as Michael can be - ha!) and is TRULY my better half!

Celebrating birthdays in my family has always been a major event. After all, it's YOU! It's the celebration of your life! Isn't that awesome! And a life well-lived is a beautiful thing to celebrate.

I'm so very proud of my husband. And what makes me laugh is that the things he does/is about that make me nuts are the same things that I love the most about him! My husband makes up for my shortcomings and I'd like to think I do the same for him. I love his passion, Mike is extreme in everything he does. I love that there's no gray area in Mike's life - ever. I love that he works very hard to shelter me from "ugliness" and stressful situations. I love that he thinks I make the world a better place. I love the way he loves Brandi. I love the way he remembers little things about his mom. I love the way he tells his father he loves him. I love the devotion he has for his Wildcats!! I love that he plans every trip we make - all I have to do is show up! I appreciate how hard he works to be sure we have a nice home. I love the way he loves the D-O-G (and am a little jealous of the way she loves him more than me! Ha!). But most importantly, I love God for making Michael my friend first and my partner for the rest of my life. There's no one I'd rather be making this journey with.

Happy Birthday, honey.

I love you to the moon and back!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Heavy Hearts in Kentucky

...and one in Virginia Beach and one in North Carolina and a couple in Northern Virginia.

I am reminded regularly that God is in control of all things. I don't know why I sometimes think I'm following my own plan, I'm simply on the route He's laid out for me, as are we all. And I also believe He puts where we're supposed to be when we're supposed to be there.

My husband left for Kentucky this past Sunday for a much anticipated week long visit with his family. Nothing strange about this. What is a little "off" is that Mike would normally never travel to Kentucky in January. It's a rather dreary month and the weather from West Virginia into Eastern Kentucky is dicey at best and makes for risky roads at times. But before Christmas we talked about it and decided that this was as good a time to go as any. There were many birthdays in December and January that Mike's always missed so we thought it was a good time to be together and celebrate.

This morning it was made evident to me that the purpose of Mike's trip was not for celebration but for reflection and support. You see, today Ermal Petit's life on earth ended and she has begun her eternal life with her Savior.

Ermal is my father-in-law's mother-in-law. I guess she was my husband's "step-grandmother"? I've ALWAYS hated that term "step"... Regardless, I wanted to share a little about this firecracker of a lady that I had the pleasure of knowing, if only for a brief time.

I don't' think Ermal was even 5 feet tall. And when Mike and I were in town, it was as if we were the forest and she was a mere waif among us! Ha! I don't think anyone was ever fooled by her size, however. She could keep that group in line with ease. She had the respect of all of us. In my opinion, Ermal was the epitome of a strong, "farm" woman. She was always up early and ready for the day. She was very active up until about a year ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ultimately, that dreaded disease would be her demise. Ermal could cook, I mean really cook. And she ironed a lot, too! She was there for her family in so many ways. And I'm so glad that Alyssa, Ermal's great-granddaughter, had all these years with her. Alyssa will have sweet memories and isn't that wonderful for a young girl? And I'm so grateful that I got to spend time with Ermal just this past summer. She was still in pretty good health and getting around fairly easily. I'm glad I have that nice memory in my mind and heart.

Losing a loved one is never easy, I know. But our hearts hurt a little less, I think, when we know that loved one was a child of God and was not afraid and was ready to see their maker's face. It almost brings a comforting warm over us, huh?

So you see, Michael's exactly where he's supposed to be today, this week. He's there during this difficult time to offer love and support to his family. God put him where he was supposed to be. It's really that simple and I'm really not surprised...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Heavy Hearts In North Carolina

(Photo courtesy of NC State website)
She'd been battling the fight since 1987. I wonder how many rounds that would equate to in a boxing match...too many for any one person to contend with, wouldn't you agree?
I don't care where you live in North Carolina or what college or university team you pulled for, you know Kay Yow. This was a woman who was respected by the entire faculty, staff and student body of North Carolina State University to say nothing of the collegiate level sports teams, both men and women, nation wide.
What I think speaks volumes about Kay's character is that, while she'll certainly be remembered for her coaching skills on the basketball court, her faith in God and love for mankind will stand one court's length above her winning stats.
I personally will miss hearing Coach Yow's pep talks and her health updates that she shared with the public periodically. I can only imagine the void that's been left in the hearts of the young women on her '08-'09 Lady Wolfpak team. My heart is full for these girls. But I'm confident that she told each of them what they meant to her and that they, too, needed to press on with their lives and do something wonderful with what God has given them.
I'm also confident that Coach Yow is comfortable and pain free in the arms of our loving Father.

Friday, January 23, 2009

An Unexpected Gift

When my boss got to the station this morning he popped his head in my office and said, "Here, I have something for you." and handed me "The Wizard of Ads".

Those of you in any form of marketing know that this book is the "bible" of advertising. I accepted it graciously and with a warm heart.

And it didn't hurt that the inscription reads "To Joyce, a future "wizard of ads"".

Wasn't that thoughtful?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How Appropriate

On this historic inauguration day, Carolina has a SIGNIFICANT inaugural snowstorm!

Looking off my front porch about 8:45 this morning.

It's beautifully peaceful, a perfect sentiment for such a special day...

Monday, January 19, 2009

When It's That Cold Outside...

Snuggle up with someone you love... or at least someone who will tolerate you...

That Sim...he's such a good sport.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Look What Honey Did!

I'm so proud of Michael! And so upset with myself! I will never again let fear dictate a decision I make! Because I allowed myself to be intimidated by the words "10 Miles" and "Trail Run" in the same sentence, I procrastinated and, as a result, registration was closed when I finally decided to participate in the Little River 10 Mile Trail Run this past Saturday, January 10. (Go here to learn more about this great event and facility).
But Michael committed and never looked back. It was a BEAUTIFUL day (just look at that Carolina blue sky). Cold and brisk but bright and sunny. I've never been a spectator at these events before so this was a new role for me. I have to say, you stay a lot warmer as a participant! Brrr....

Here's Michael getting psyched up for this challenge!

The runners set off promptly and on schedule. Here's Mikey (#183) in the pack making his way into the woods...

And an hour and 56 minutes later, he crossed the finish line. He says the expression on his face speaks clearly as to how he felt - BEAT UP! Michael said he thought he'd mentally prepared himself for this but knew about 2 miles into it that he was facing a greater challenge than he could've ever expected! He told me I had a right to be afraid of this run! It was scary!

He's not told me he's planning on doing it again next year. I think I'll wait another day or two until I'm sure all the kinks are out and then pose the question to him! Ha! He was smart and scheduled a sports massage for himself yesterday - which he thoroughly enjoyed and totally deserved! Way to go honey!!

Oh yeah, and then there was this! While picking up his race packet at Fleet Feet in Carrboro last Friday, Michael decided to buy 4 $5.00 tickets for the drawing they were having race day for the Garmin 405 Forerunner runners watch (a $350.00 value). For those of you who don't know, this watch is a virtual GPS on your wrist! It opens up a whole new world for runners. You simply take off running and the watch monitors everything for you; your distance, your pace, your heart rate - everything. You even have a virtual running buddy to keep you honest! Mikey was fortunate enough to get one of these babies for Christmas but he thought, what the heck, I'll buy a couple tickets - it's for a good cause, the upkeep of Little River Park.

The only stipulation on race day for the drawing was that the winner had to be there to claim the prize. As the crowd began to dwindle we got more excited - better chances of winning! They pulled out the knit cap, the announcer said "and the winner is Mike...(insert long pause here)...Mineer"! I think they heard us yell back in Chatham County!! Me especially because I knew that baby was mine since big daddy already his!! Yes! All mine! Isn't my hubby the best? And he told the group that I was getting the watch because he'd gotten his already for Christmas. Of course, there was the collective "AWE"!

A great day...a really great day.

My Garmin had its maiden voyage this past Sunday. I L-O-V-E it!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

First Day of School

Well, it was...different. And I have to remember that community college is, well, different. The class consists of about 18 women of all shapes, sizes, ethnicity, backgrounds and intentions. And then, there's the instructor (I'll try and sneak a photo before the class is over). The teacher is an experienced RN, a nurse with over 20 years of experience. A male nurse named Stacey standing just at 5 feet tall with bleached blond hair and eyebrows (he said he did it to play Santa Clause for his grandchildren), a scruffy beard and...NO TEETH!! What HAVE I gotten myself into? Well, it IS Harnett County!

My classmate sitting to the right of me looked at me with fear, true fear when we figured out who he was. She actually mouthed to me "I'm afraid"!! I took a deep breath, promised God I'd keep an open mind and stayed for the entire 4 hours. In the end I concluded that, no matter how goofy this guy seems, he has compassion for people and seems to enjoy sharing his knowledge. I do not, however, care for his teaching "style" - reading me the text book I paid $69.00 for. If he's simply going to read it to me, I'll return it and buy a new outfit with that money!

I did learn, however, that I did not have all of my information correct or all information I needed (wow, really should've gone to that orientation...). The class runs through May not March and the classes in April are clinicals running from 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM. Not sure how I'm going to work that out with a brand new job!

It was a late night for me last night - not in bed until 11:30 and up again at 6:15 this morning. I keep telling myself it's only for a short time and will pay off in the long run, right? Won't it?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Catch Up

Hello! 'Tis me :)

Seems like I'm ALWAYS catching up...catching up on the laundry, catching up on my note writing, catching up with my blog posting...AAAHHH! It's been one month since I started my new job out of the house and I'm still catching up on trying to figure out how to make that work! I always new how fortunate I was to be a telecomuter these last 3+ years but's really hit home these last 30 days. But, the holidays are over and my immediate supervisor is back from vacation (and he's a big proponent of being on the road and out of the office) so I'm sure we'll work on making a more relaxed schedule. I'm just not quite sure how to take the owners of the as a result, I stay put in my office there and try to make deals via phone and email. But, again, I'm looking forward to starting the week off fresh tomorrow and I hope you are, too.

But, speaking of catching up, I thought I'd share the last of the Christmas photos with you. It really was a treat being with my family and enjoying their company. Since Bran and I have moved from the DC area, it's been a bit of a challenge trying coordinate the holiday gatherings. And while we may not all be together on Christmas morning, we do make the effort to be together just shortly before or after and for that we're all grateful.

Let's see...on Saturday December 27 we spent the evening at my grandparents house in Rockville, MD. That's me, Bran and my dad.

And here I am with my grandmother - the famous "Ma"! I like this photog...

Oh, and here's Daddy and me again!

And this is Christa sporting her new official country concert accessory.

Christa and her Papa...

My brother, Charlie, intent on opening another gift...(he did VERY well - a new Canon digital camera that, if he's not careful, could suddenly come up missing...and they NEVER suspect the little sister...hee, hee, hee...)

And Christmas would not be Christmas - or any other day for that matter - without that little schtoogy giving us a stylin' and profilin' shot!!!

So, I think that catches me up for December '08. I suspect January '09 will be action-packed, too, especially since I start my CNA program this Tuesday! Yep, it's back to school for this middle-aged chick! When I was having such difficulty finding a job, I decided to jump on the bandwagon with Brandi and go back to school. Our community college here is awesome with some cutting edge programs that aren't offered anywhere else in the country (we're very proud). And one of their CNA programs is geared for full-time workers, which works wonderfully. I signed up and paid for the class and then was fortunate enough to be hired by the radio station. The owner has been more than cooperative with me in working out a schedule so that I didn't have to cancel the class. I don't know that I'll ever be a full-time CNA but I'm all about education and learning something new. And, if nothing else, I could do home health care at my convenience or try to get on with UNC hospital a couple weekends a month. We'll see. The program only lasts for 3 months so two late nights per week I think I can handle. And besides, once you have the knowledge, no one can ever take it away from you.

It's been great being with you all in 2008 and I'm looking forward to sharing my 2009, all the ups and downs and in-betweens, with you, too!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

A quick post to say Happy New Year! No pics as I'm at work and sneaking this little message in quietly...

New Year more diligent about posting - despite 9-5 thing...