Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Half My Life!

I got married October 17, 1987.

That following December, I turned 23.
Which is to say I got married at the age of 22 years and 10 months.

This October we will celebrate or 23rd Wedding Anniversary.

So, right now, this month,
August, 2010,
I have been married for 22 years and 10 months.

Half of my life!

I've now been married as long as I was single!

And next month that changes to:
I have been married even longer than I wasn't.

It's weird to think about,
and it makes me feel kinda old!

I'm not that young girl any longer.

Then I realize
I've spent half of my life with the Love of My Life!

What could be better?!

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Best Days Are Ahead Of Me

If you know me or read my Blog you know how much I love American Idol. We watch it as a family & even call in to vote for our favorites. My friend Tammy & her family are the same way. Every season we discuss who we like and who we don't like. (Sometimes it's the same, and sometimes it's very different!) A couple of seasons ago both of our favorites was Danny Gokey!

A couple of weeks ago I was on my way to work & heard on the radio that Danny Gokey was having a concert right here in Queen Creek, Arizona. Where is Queen Creek you ask, it is an eastern suburb of Phoenix, just like we are. I knew Tammy would want to know this ASAP, so even though it was early morning, I called her to tell her about it. While we were still on the phone, she got on line to the Queen Creek Performing Arts Center & ordered our tickets! We got 4, deciding we'd take our husbands and make a double date out of it! We couldn't wait.

Then the night before the concert some friends of ours from Church went out to diner & being American Idol fans themselves, recognized Danny Gokey eating at the same restaurant. They told him they were big fans & had seen him on the AI tour. He told them he would have his manager call them & set up tickets to his show the next night, including passes for the Meet & Greet before the show!

Shauna, Nancy & Barry with Danny Gokey at PF Chang's

So the night of the concert we were having diner before heading to the venue & Nancy texted me saying she got us Meet & Greet passes too! She is great at making things happen! I texted back, we're on our way & Tammy's already screaming! :) Thankfully we didn't get pulled over!

John & I!

I told him we'd voted for him & that he should have one! He thanked me. It was down to 3 contestants left, Adam Lambert, Kris Allen & Danny Gokey. I really liked all 3 of them. But, Danny was the only 1 who had NEVER even been in the bottom 2. Everyone knew he was the favorite to win. Then the unthinkable happened. He was voted off! Even the judges & Ryan Seacrest was in shock! He was robbed! Danny told John he had been a Worship Pastor (like John is) for 5 years! Guess you know what kind of guys I'm attracted to! :)

Jay & Tammy

Danny with his #1 fan!

It was so much fun to meet him. Danny is so nice & really seemed grateful to be doing what he's doing! He was sweet & funny & seemed so thankful to his fans, taking time with each one.

Barry & Nancy


Scott & Shauna

Before the Concert started Tammy goes Scott MacIntyre (another Idol contestant from that season who is from Arizona) just sat behind us! So of course, we do what any good fans would do, we got our picture taken with him! He was as sweet as he was on the show & was selling albums that night as well too. Danny introduced him from the stage & said that they had hung out that day!

Nancy, Tammy & I with Scott MacIntyre

A few days latter I was at the John Mayer concert in Phoenix & saw Scott MacIntyre there as well, I'm thinking I might just have a stalker! :)

The seats we bought were like in row 15 or so, the tickets he gave to Shauna & Nancy were in the 5th row! So guess where we sat? That's right, with them! We're not dumb! :)

In our seats!
One of the few times we were actually sitting!

And let me tell you he puts on a great show! You can tell he loves to entertain! And you know I love a man who can dance! And there aren't many of them out there, sadly! :)

After the show both Danny & Scott signed autographs, so Tammy & I went running to get in line!

I had him sign my Concert Ticket, and you can see us all wearing VIP stickers, those were to get into the Meet & Greet. I told Tammy she should have him sign her sticker!

But, I just had to tease her:
in this picture it looks like she asked him to sign something else! ;)

(And we were laughing that even Scott has a smirk on his face, and he's blind!)

It was such a great night! Just what I needed! It's easy, & so much fun, to get caught up in all Tammy's enthusiasm! We screamed and danced, like we were pre teens at a Justin Beaber concert! (And just for the record, let me state, I just don't get the whole Justin Beaber thing! Sure, he sings, dances, has hair, but come on, he's no Shaun Cassidy!) And as I told Tammy that night, I'm gonna be singing Danny Gokey's song: My Best Day's Are Ahead Of Me! At the concert Danny talked about how his young wife, who he had starting dating when he was 16, had died not long before he tried out for American Idol. And how Idol had become for him a second chance at life. It took him out of tragedy & into triumph! But, he still believes his best days still lie ahead. And all I'm losing is my job! Here are the words I've been singing everyday:

My Best Days Are Ahead of Me

Blowing out the candles
On another birthday cake
Old enough to look back and laugh at my mistakes
Young enough to look at the future and like what I see
My best days are ahead of me

Life hasn't always been a party
But mostly it's been good
There's only one or two things that I'd change if I could
I don’t get lost in the past or get stuck in some sad memory
My best days are ahead of me

Age ain’t nothing but a number
Sometimes I have to wonder
What does it really mean
But hey I’m still putting it together
I keep getting better
If I keep getting better
I can be whatever I want to be
My best days are ahead of me

I've got sunsets to witness
Dreams to dance with
Beaches to walk on
And lovers to kiss
There's a whole lot of world out there
That I can't wait to see
My best days are ahead of me
My best days are ahead of me

The whole gang after the concert!
We stopped someone & asked them to take our picture & it's kinds blurry
(left to right: Scott & Shauna, John & I,
Tammy & Jay, Nancy, Barry & Sandy)

Thanks everyone for a great and memorable night! And Keep Singing!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Abrupt Ending To Our Vacation

You can see from all the posts and pictures below (yes, I know I kinda went overboard on the pics! But you should be used to that by now!) that we had a great and much overdue family vacation! I am so very thankful for every minute of it! But not so much for the way it came to a screeching halt. Let me explain; on Monday, my very first day back to work after taking an entire week off for the first time since I'd starting working over a year ago. Getting to spend a wonderful week with my Husband & kids in a great hotel, seeing the sights of Hollywood, and spending days at Disneyland, The Beach, and Universal Studios. I was still glowing in the after affects of relaxation & fun! (Well, okay maybe that was just the Sunburn & sore legs!)

I got a phone call from my district manager. It went something like this: after finding out how wonderful my time off was, and how the store held up without me, she said something along these lines: I'm so sorry, but the company is closing. Basically we have 60 days to liquidate our entire merchandise and to close all stores and our online business. We are going public in a few days. She had just found out the week before & was letting all the managers know now. But she wanted me to know she would always give me a "Stellar" recommendation! (I love that she chose that word!) :)

I knew right then sadly, that yep, Vacation is over! :( I got a hold of my 4 employees right away to see if everyone could come in the next morning for a staff meeting. And I let them know what was going on with the company. One girl I had just hired & trained the week before I went on Vacation. One is a newly wed. One is working hard to save up money to buy a much needed new car, & two of these girls are just starting college! We had put together a great team. Everyone likes working together (and with young girls there is bound to be drama from time to time, but we hadn't really had any of that with this crew) I let them know the company terms for receiving severance & that I would give each of them great recommendations as they look for new jobs too. (I'm just not hip enough to use the word Stellar, though I love it!) They were sad, & we decided we would put together a group resume' & all get hired together! So if you know of anyone looking for a manager and 4 associates, let us know! :)

But, unfortunately it didn't stop there. That saying "when it rains it pours" comes to mind right about now! That very same day, our first day back from Vacation remember, my husband John found out at his staff meeting, that our church's finances are not doing well. So much so in fact that they aren't sure how long they can continue to pay all the staff. And John of course was the last Pastor hired, so it's hard to hold out Hope that things will turn around.

This comes after a very long & hard year for us. We walked, very painfully, through a church split, at the end of which all remaining support staff was let go, to give the church a chance at a fresh start. We prayed then to be able to stay in Arizona for Zach to finish his senior year of High School, which he was in the middle of. And God provided Life Church. Well, Zach is now out of High School, and it looks like we will be looking for a new position once again. But a move out of state means most likely leaving our boys here as they are both in College now & changing would mean paying much more for their schooling. It's doable, though heartbreaking for us all.

I'm so glad I didn't know about any of this before we went on Vacation, because just knowing one circumstance would have most likely made us chose not to go (let alone both!) & we really needed it! But it was a rude awakening to say the least. Finding out in one day that we could very well be going from a two income family to a zero. So please be praying along with us for God's guidance & provision as we seek His will for our lives. I am scared and stressed to my limit, which for me often means dealing with migraine headaches, and the blurriness to my eyes they bring, yet with everything going on with my store, still having to go to work everyday.

If it weren't for the financial aspect of this & not knowing how we're going to make ends meet in the future, I would be kinda excited to see whats next. I'm one of the rare people who actually likes change. And God has proven time & time again that He is faithful. If you know of any Churches looking to hire an awesome Worship Pastor that rocks, please let us know. (I'm not prejudice at all BTW!) You can see for yourself on John's Web site here. I will keep you posted as to what unfolds for us, please keep us in your prayers. Thank you my friends.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In The Studio

Universal Studios that is!

The last time John & I went to Universal,
we were a young married couple with no kids!

My how things have changed!

John & the kids at City Walk!

Our Guitar player, Zach, at the Hard Rock Cafe!

The Boys did a little fishing!
You should have seen the one that got away!

"Duh Dunt, Duh Dunt"

We visited Whoville while we were there!
A great place to escape the summer heat!

We took the tour & saw how & where a lot of movies are made. It really makes you want to watch them all again! The new King Kong attraction is really cool! If you go don't miss it! The Jurassic Park ride is even better than Disney's Splash Mountain! The roller coaster lovers in the family loved The Mummy & The Simpson's rides. (That does not include me!) We saw a bunch of shows, some really good & well done, & others, let's just say not so much! ;)

My Music Man, strumming along.

Welcome to Jurassic Park

But beware,
this is how you will look when you get off this awesome ride!
Soaked to the bone!

Kyle with the Transformer!

No, that's not Shaggy with Scooby Doo
It's Zach!

But I think we've found his Halloween Costume!
Wonder if the make a Scooby costume that will fit Tinkerbell,
our little Toy Rat Terrier,
she can be his sidekick!

The kids riding Jurassic Park for the second time!

And of course got soaked again!

Wet & cold when the sun started to go down!
So we got them all matching, dry T shirts!
Isn't that so cute?!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Life's a Beach!

"If everybody had an Ocean across the U.S.A."

"Then everybody'd be Surfin' like Californ-i-a"

"You'd see 'em wearing their baggies"

"Huarachi sandals too"

"A bushy bushy bon Hairdo"

"Surfin' U.S.A."

"We'll all be gone for the Summer"

"We're on Surf-ari to stay"

"Tell the teacher we're surfin'"

"Surfin' U.S.A."

I wish my life could always be a Beach! I Love being in the Sun, hearing the waves crash onto the shore. Toes warm in the sand. (Look at me waxing poetic! It must be that Ocean air!) There is nothing better in life then lying on the beach in the sun, with a good book, listening to The Beach Boys, while your husband & kids play Smash Ball & Boogie Board all around you. Perfect! We spent a glorious day on Venice Beach while we were in Los Angeles! We picked up Subway on the way & had a picnic on the Beach. I could definitely live there! Oh, if life really were a beach!