Chrimah in Hen'erson

Where does one begin? I had such an eventful Christmas 2008! It's always so exciting for me to go home for Christmas and just be with family and friends. Once I got home, I realized that we do things "uniquely" in Henderson... we literally make up our own fun. So, I tried to document and I'll try even harder to explain our thought process... I guess :)

Saturday, Dec. 20th - Arrive home and immediately turn around to go to Katheryn's 13th Birthday Party! This was Kat's first co-ed bday party... so you KNOW I had to go out there and keep my eyes on those crazy kids. One of my great friends from high school, Brooke Spell Butler, made Kat's cake and it was not only super cute, but tasty too! Jean, Fran and I ended up wearing peices of the cake... as you will see in a bit! So, the highlight of the party was Kat's friend, Logan, fell into the lake at the cabin. His version of the story is hilarious, so I'll do my best to make him pround... " It's pitch-black-dark and I was running down the hill. I saw that the ground was about to change colors, so I knew I needed to jump. So, I did... and in mid-air, the motion light comes on and I realized it was water I was jumping into. At that point, I just though 'oh crap, well... here it goes!' Needless to say, I did not know it was a lake at the time." Now that last line got me rolling!

Sunday, Dec. 21st - Annual Fleetwood Family Chrimah Party
Many of you know who the Fleetwoods are... but for those that don't, it's basically a big group of friends that live life together. The Fleetwoods are always coming up with fun things to do. A few years ago, Jim K. decided he wanted to build a treehouse. And we aren't just talking a little platform... like a legit treehouse. So, Jim, his wife Deb, my mom and dad all went out to their land to pic out a tree. They found the perfect tree... and so the dream began to come alive. Right before construction was to begin, Jim's brother's new house frame was blown over due to a tornado. They couldn't reuse the wood for the house, so Jim and my dad scooped it up and thus FREE lumber for the treehouse! They have all had so much fun building it... dangling off the tree and strategizing draw-bridge staircases, pulleys and *eventually* a zip-line to go to the near tree! They decided to start off our Chrimah party out at the treehouse to watch the sunset and then move it to my house for tamales and Dad's famous chili!

Me and my girls (Kat, Amelia and Eveline) went on our annual "Honkin'" trip. We basically rate the Christmas lights on houses around Henderson. The lowest rating is a left-handed salute (that's saying "thanks for playing") to the ultimate which is 5 honks. We only give out one "5 Honker" a year. We have criteria that all houses have to meet in order to receive any honks. This year, Evi decided to roll down her window and yell at the houses that were 4s... telling them what they need to do for next year to get a 5. Also, we added a new set of criteria... if you have baby Jesus in your yard, you automatically get an upgrade in your rating! Unless you are a 4... because we have to be serious about who gets our 5!! I didn't get a pic of the 5 honker this year... but it was unbelievable! They played music and all... we sat in front of the house just checking it out for a good 10 minutes. :) We've already come up with new things to do for next year!

The days leading up to Christmas were fast and furious! Taylor flew home from St. Louis, so it was fun to get to spend time with him. Blair was home too... and I always love getting to hang out with him! I got some good quality time with all of the family... and even some friends too!

Ok... I'm tired of writing... but here's a little scrapbook of my week! I hope all of you had very Merry Christmases and have nothing but hope for you and yours in 2009!

grace & peace,

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It's CHRIMAH time!!!

**If I need to explain the title of my blog, please just call me or ask any of my family or best friends or previous co-workers. They all know the story and I can pretty much say it's caught on like wildfire! Haha...**

I absolutely LOVE Christmas. Love it. Over the past few years, I've grown to just love Christmas more and more. I love the significance of truly celebrating the birth of Christ... of the precious and most awesome gift that we could ever, EVER receive! From this, it stems a love for giving, for just being with the people I love and this awesome hope and joy that surrounds me.

So with that... I give you three " Chrimah top 5" lists! ps - I love lists... but can only do lists in increments of 5... I know, random.

Top 5 Favorite Things to Do at Chrimah Time

5 - Eating the Hershey's Kisses out of this dish that my mom ALWAYS has out at Chrimah
4 - Decorating the house, the Church, the office with all of the pretty decos!
3 - Looking at all of the awesome Chrimah decos in Austin - Congress Ave, Trail of Lights, Zilker Tree... and this year... I'm finally going to do 34 1/2 street or whatever street that is!
2 - Church... I love love love going to Church during Christmas... especially on Christmas Eve!
1 - Honking! Me and my little girls (who aren't so little anymore!!) in Henderson like to rate Chrimah lights with honks... 5 being the "most incredible light display" we could find all season (we only give out one 5 a year), 1 being "thanks for playing, but try again next year" and the left-handed-salute to those houses that are really classy and need some kind of shout out! So much fun... we literally pick one night when I am home and go "honking". :)

Top 5 Favorite Christmas Hymns/Carols
5 - Go Tell It On the Mountain
4 - Hallelujah Chorus
3 - Silent Night
2 - O' Come All Ye Faithful
1 - O' Holy Night
(this song even goes on my top 5 favorite songs ever.)

Top 5 Christmas Songs
listed from #1 to #5
And just for kicks... I added in the most precious song I've heard on the radio yet this Christmas... It's by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir -- Happy Birthday Jesus.

Merry Christmas to you all!!!


Giving of the Thanks...

Thanksgiving in Austin was definitely a little more quiet than in Henderson... but with me needing to work around Thanksgiving, the parents were awesome and decided to come to me! We had a low-key, but really good time. We cooked and feasted just like we were in Henderson. We for sure missed the rest of the family, but I think it will make Christmas even more special!

Now for random story time: My mom refuses to eat any big Holiday dinner with paper anything. No paper plates and paper napkins are absolutely out of the question. My aunt and I always laugh at her and say "it's just US... real napkins don't matter!" But, mom still refuses. So, to my mother's horror, I had no real napkins to eat our meal with. I also didn't have any place mats. I mean... that stuff is for married people, and I guess I'm still just holding out for that awesome thing called a wedding gift registry. At any rate, I called my aunt to tell her, so we could laugh via phone together. We were getting in our jokes, and then we made the mistake of telling her that Wal-Mart is open on Thanksgiving day. Oops... you guessed it, Mom and I get in the car to go buy some napkins AND placemats. I do admit that it makes the meal feel more like home... so thanks mom, for the napkins and placemats... I'll pull them out next time I'm entertaining. :)
Mom - making some gooood fruit salad!

Dad - proudly displaying the Greenberg turkey

Layla - eating... as always...

Maggie girl - just kickin' it...

The Spread

The happy and stuffed fam!


Fires - Graffiti - Church... what a combo!

What a fun weekend! The 2 things that Linda and I were absolutely certain we would do this weekend, we ended up not doing... oh well... we had a blast in the meantime!

On Friday night, we decided to get stuff for smores, some firewood, a few girly movies and put on the sweatpants! Our friend, Emily, came over and we had a fun night!! Next time you have smores, you HAVE to try them with Cookies 'n Cream Hersey's bar instead of the normal chocolate. Sooooo good :) At any rate, we were super hyped to have our first fire at 731... it was successful and no one was injured!

Saturday, we got a late start but ended up over at the East Austin Studio Tour (E.A.S.T.). There are over 100 art studios in East Austin... so this was the designated weekend that they opened their doors and invited all of Austin in! I really, really wish I was able to take pictures of some of this "art"... interesting to say the least. I think our favorite discovery was this block-long wall of graffiti on East 4th Street (in between San Marcos and Medina). This wall was incredible! Awesome photo ops... which we certainly took our fair share of pics! We then went to Uncorked over on the East Side... and sat out on the patio. It was chilly, but they had heaters AND blankets for us to wrap up in... nice. The patio has an AMAZING view of downtown... you have to check it out! We decided to get a flight (roughly 1 full glass of wine combined) of 3 different kinds of wines. I learned that I'm not a fan of wines from Chile... too bitter I say! Mom and Dad are going to have a little mini trip to Uncorked when they get into town this week.

We ended our Saturday at Dominican Joe's (www.dominicanjoe.com) for a fundraiser for Makarios (makariosinternational.org). Makarios is a faith based non-profit that focuses on education development in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Dominican Joe buys all of their coffee beans from Makarios, who gets them from the Dominican. So... it's a really cool way to support an incredible mission by buying a cup of coffee!

I guess I'll end with Sunday... a day of cleaning, watching movies and Church. I absolutely LOVE my church, the Austin Stone (www.austinstone.org). Literally every single week I am challenged and grow more in love with Christ. I love the vision of our church... that we are missional in the city of Austin... we want to be a church FOR the city. I truly couldn't feel more blessed to have been led to this church!

I hope that all of you have an incredible Thanksgiving... filled with family, laughter and being thankful for the many blessings in our lives. Be safe and love to you all!

grace & peace,


Don't talk smack when you're 4-7...

I've been trying to think of something totally random to blog about... and I was just reading an article in the Statesman that gave me all the reason to just announce my opinion on some comments made by 2 Aggie football players about UT's Colt McCoy.

Now... I am an Aggie. I love my school and I always want my team to win. Always. We have upset Texas for the last 2 years... and who knows, we may actually show up and attempt to play a game on Thanksgiving night. Anything can happen... anything.

So, I'm reading this article about the 2006 game when Michael Bennett sacked McCoy in the last minutes of the game and McCoy was carted off of the field. Apparently Bennett still receives hateful emails from UT fans... ok whatever... it's football. But, to my point of this blog...

Maybe it's because I don't like conflict or maybe it's because I dated a former baseball player or maybe it's because I just love sports... but I've learned that you NEVER EVER say anything that your competitors can hang up in their locker! NEVER! It only gives them ammo to go out and absolutely CRUSH you. For example, at the Olympics a few months ago when Michael Phelps had quotes from his French competition that totally just motivated him to go out and make him eat the water from his path. (Ok, lame attempt to make "eat his dust" into a swimming analogy...) And Phelps certainly made that happen. At any rate, Aggie football players, Michael Bennett and Matt Featherston, have opened their mouths and given ol' Colt something to put up in his locker...

Bennett: "I think he [McCoy] gets a little spooked sometimes"
Featherston: "I wish him all the best for the Heisman, but I hope he has his worst game against us."

This is my message to Bennett and Featherston... shut your mouths and actually ATTEMPT to play defense next week. If you say anything to anyone, it needs to be to your fellow teammates to get them pumped up and motivated for the game! Arg... I'm rolling my eyes right now...

This one will be interesting, kids... very interesting.

Happy Friday all... hope you have a great weekend! :)


The Deckers invade Mother Frances... get ready!

So 1 am on a Tuesday morning... not the typical time slot to see Sarah Decker blogging about anything. But, the truth of the matter is that the Decker clan is setting up shop in the hospital to be with my Granny in her final hours. It's been a long, hard week on all of us, but we are all at peace in knowing that she will soon be among the angels singing! I, for one, am personally very excited for her... to the point where I just want to give her a little pep talk in her ear! (That's not weird is it??) She is sleeping right now and that feisty red-head we all call Granny is just refusing to give up... I can tell you that I admire her strength! I would have been plum worn out by now...

Ok, so to the point of the blog. During our past 6 days here at Mother Frances, us Deckers have certainly provided some laughs. I can thank my PawPaw for passing down the "when things get rough, you just say stupid things to make people laugh" gene. So, here are the top 10 things that have come out of our mouths over the past few days...

** Disclaimer... we are all going without sleep, therefore we are dillusional. Please don't take offense at anything I'm about to type. We dearly LOVE this woman, we're just trying to make a hard time a little easier...**

10 - Dad to the family in the room with Granny: "Dang Kristal, was that you?!" When the oxygen mask on Granny fluttered to make a farting sound.
9 - Kristal, when telling me about the #10 situation, said "flagellated" instead of "fluttered".
8 - I was trying to look-up how to spell "flagellated" decided to look up "fart" in the thesaurus... "Fart isn't in the Thesaurus."
7 - The night Security Guard at the front desk, checking me in... "Dang! How many of ya'll are there? Is it sad that I already know all of your grandmother's information by heart?" Me: "Why no, we are that annoying..."
6 - My cousin, Kristal: "Man, I shouldn't have just eaten that Honey Bun. I have acid reflux and that pregnant nurse with the TUMS isn't here tonight..."
5 - Not necessarily a quote, but just the story repeated to EVERY single new nurse that came into the room... that my dad was told, by his 2 older brothers, from a very young age that he was adopted and that they gave him power of attorney to make him feel like he was really apart of the family.
4b - Dad talking about my diabetic PawPaw "I just bought him a dozen donuts... He's gonna 'ride with top down', but I told him that if he pulls a fast one I'm gonna kick his butt."
4a - PawPaw has manipulated everyone in the family for a donut for the past 5 days. We finally all figured him out and put our foot down. So when Sister Irene asked him if he needed anything today, he said "well, I'd like a donut..." and she brought him TWO... and he didn't even say "God bless you"...
3 - When sharing old stories, my dad decided to bring up the Pin-Up picture that my Granny took for my PawPaw when he was in WWII... offering to make copies for anyone who wanted one...
2 - My PawPaw, a Navy Veteran who has something against the Army, looks at my cousin, Gary, who is IN the Army, and begins to read Gary's shirt. And I quote, "What does that say?? Army... Dipstick???" I laughed out loud, Gary did not.
1 - When Sister Irene came into the room on Thursday to offer prayer and comfort, my PawPaw proceeds to say, "I have a cousin that's a nun in California... you wouldn't happen to have a list, would you?" Really PawPaw, a list of nuns?? Oh my...

Well... none of those things may be funny to any of you. But, the laughs have certainly been helping us through this tough time. My Granny is such a wonderful wife, mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend... and she will truly be missed by all that know her. I love her dearly and pray that she feels the love in this place... because it's here... in the BIG Decker kinda way.

grace & peace,


goodness with gravy

When Linda and I first became friends, we instantly connected on the simple fact that we LOVE to eat. What a way to kick off a friendship, huh?! I was so glad the first time we shared a meal together that both of us refused to order a salad. It's just good to have those friends, you know? Well at least for me it is! :)

One of my favorite places to eat in Austin is Hoover's on Manor. It is home-cookin' goodness on a plate. This place has THE BEST (and those are very strong words) Chicken Fried Steak I have ever put in my mouth. So naturally, being the creature of habit that I am, every single time I go there, I have to get the CFS. Luckily, Linda now loves the Hoover's as well. There is not much in convincing either of us to make a little trip up 35 to fill our bellies.

Last night, Linda got home from a weekend in Laredo... and we were both HUNGRY. So, I just suggested that we have our inaugral, official first-time-as-roomies trip to Hoover's. Like I said before, not much discussion was needed... so we hopped in the car, getting totally HYPED along the way.

Needless to say, the CFS did NOT let me down. It was soooo dang good. Linda even got it this time! Here are some pics of when I was in town last year for ACL and we made a trip to Hoover's... Linda - don't kill me for posting these pics :)

Can you tell that we were hyped?!

Yes... it's that good...

Sorry... I promise I won't blog about food too often! I just couldn't resist it...


Day by Day, Prayer by Prayer

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. - John 15:1-2

I absolutely love this verse. It especially speaks to me during this time in my life. But... you know, I ALWAYS want God to be pruning me to be better and more fruitful. Not just when the times are tough in my life. I've always believed that everything happens for a reason, but to add to that, I believe that you have to learn from life so that you can be a better person and depiction of Christ. It's so hard to not be sour and bitter and angry when faced with something you don't want... but there is hope in Christ... hope that He is only making you better and also using you in the process. I can only hope that He just continues to mold and shape me into the godly woman, daughter, friend, wife and mother I hope to be.

And I just had to share... in the words of my Granny, "God promises you a garden, but that doesn't mean there won't be thorns in it." Well said... well said...

Words cannot express how much I appreciate all of your prayers and words of encouragement. I know that God's "got this"... and I'm SO comforted by that! :)

On to more exciting topics...

I got a letter from Wo today! I was really excited to actually get my first bit of contact from her. Very cool that I got it today, because I am just mailing her letter today to her! There were a lot of big words used, which makes me think that her translator was "spicing" up her letter a little bit... haha. It was super cute though... she told me about where she lives in Ethiopia and about the landscape around her. She lives in a house with her parents and 2 sisters... who are both older than her. And apparently they have lots of animals! They don't have electricity... so they use a kerosene lamp for lighting and firewood and animal dung for cooking. Wow... how BLESSED we are to live in the US. She really wants a letter from me... which is good... cause she's got one coming!

The past few weeks, I've been traveling a LOT for work! We had our Annual Convention at Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop a few weeks ago. If you've never been there... you HAVE to go and at least stay one night. It is BEAUTIFUL and so incredibly peaceful. For all of you Austin love-birds, it would be a great weekend get-a-way for you and the hubby! The convention was great... my friend, Milton McGee from Henderson, (the one that gave my resume to my boss for this job) was inducted as our new board chairman... so there were a TON of Hen'erson folks there! It made it a lot of fun to spend time with them when I was able to get a chance. Jennifer (a good friend from growing up) and Trey McGee came in with their little baby girl, Meredith (who was born on my birthday!) from Nashville... so I got to hold her and savor that time for a while! Derek (one of the best buds from HHS) and Kathryn McGee were there too... so good to see them all happy and newlyweds! And then there was my Fleetwood family (long story that only some of you know and actually understand)... David and Fran Alford and Jim and Deborah Kangerga. It was a great time had by all... and I was so glad to have a piece of my past present at my new job! Very cool!

So last week, I attended another conference in Corpus from Sunday to Tuesday, flew to Amarillo for Tuesday to Thursday, drove to Oklahoma City for Thursday and Friday. Yep... that's called from one end of Texas to the other! And... to make it even more tiring to read, had lay overs in Houston and Dallas! Needless to say, my bed and couch looked GREAT this past weekend!

This weekend, I'm off to Hen'erson for a long weekend... thanks Christopher Columbus... to chill with the fam and friends. And... I'm bringing Layla back!! Yes... some of you may not remember that I do actually have a dog! I'm excited to bring her to her new home... and hope that she likes it! Linda and I are hyped!!

Isn't that face precious?? Don't let her fool you... she is a pistol!!


Hope Now

So, I'm an official fan of this band Addison Road -- www.addisonroad.com. They sing a song called "Hope Now" that is totally speaking to me. They are a Christian band, but in the 3 Doors Down kind of way. At any rate, I L-O-V-E this song. As most of you know, I'm going through a bit of a life change now... and my focus is just turning to God for all guidance and direction. I want Him to take over my heart and just mold me as He pleases. I know He has an awesome and huge plan for me... so I'm just praying for patience as He does His work on me. This song has kind of become my theme song over the past few weeks... I wish I knew how to attach it, but I'm not that tech saavy! So, the best I can do is share the lyrics. Seriously, they're a great band, kind of punkish and acoustic all rolled into one. They definitely have a few "Since You've Been Gone" type hype songs!! :)

If everything comes down to love Then just what am I afraid of? When I call out your name Something inside awakes in my soul How quickly I forget I'm yours I'm not my own I've been carried by you All my life Chorus:
Everything rides on hope now Everything rides on faith somehow When the world has broken me down Your love sets me free When my life is like a storm Rising waters all I want is the shore You say I'll be ok And make it through the rain You are my shelter from the storm -Chorus- I'm not my own I've been carried by you All my life
You've become my heart's desire And I will sing your praises higher Cause your love sets me free Your love sets me free Your love sets me free

Also... check out their song "What Do I Know of Holy"... this girl has such an amazing voice... and this message just hits home to me!

Hope you are all inspired... you have all been wonderful over the past few weeks, and I just thank you so much for your prayers and support. God has truly blessed me with wonderful family and friends...

grace & peace,


Takin' it back to the Old School...

Thanks to Trog's awesome blog... I, too, have jumped on the YearbookYourself.com train...

SKD... Back when I would buy hairspray by the bulk...
Class of '66

Jake... I mean, Mr. WHS... Class of '52

My B... before she had surgery to shorten her neck...
Class of '68...

Beashy... she always did have beautiful hair... Class of '76

Ber... when she thought that looking 30 was actually cool...
Class of '56

3 Words: Miss Autumn Trails
Class of '90

Lil' Linda... all she wanted was for her hair to look like that
flower in her perfectly polished hand...
Class of '82
(Linda - This made me laugh out loud... It looks like it could ACTUALLY be you!! Haha!)


Fallin' for Fall

So... it's college football season... which also means that Fall is on the brink. I'm one of the few people in my life that absolutely LOVE the Fall. This is my breakdown of the Fall...

college football (esp Aggie Football... don't let me down Ags!)
cool nights on the porch
stick-to-your-ribs food (soups and chili, casseroles, etc)
ACL Festival (even though I can't go this year :( )
fires in the fireplace
bundling up with blankets on the couch
getting to wear my fun scarves and jackets
crisp air outside... and the sunshine just seems to much clearer
campfires and hayrides (don't really get to do this as often as the days of old!)

Ok... that's about all I got... hopefully I pumped some of you up about the pending coolness upon us! Of course, we live in Texas and it really doesn't get to be this kind of weather until November... but I'm a firm believer that if I really want to enjoy something, I need to start enjoying early... kind of get myself into the mind set! :)

I plan to take some pics of the new place this weekend... so stay tuned!

grace & peace,


I know about 10 people who deserve today off...

I'm officially an Austinite again! I don't have pictures just yet of the completed new place, but I will have some this week. The move this weekend was a FAST one! Jake and I stopped and Lance and Lauren's on our way out of town Friday night to get some furniture packing supplies... that came in SUPER handy! A quick dinner in Waco with Jake's cousin, Bess... and we were on our way!

We got up to Dallas around 10:30 and I immediately got overwhelmed with everything on our plates. After assessing the territory, I got straight to work while Jake taped up boxes and help me pack. Had a super late night and early rise... we got to working and my parents came up from Henderson to help us out. Mom packed up the kitchen, while Jake and Dad loaded up the moving truck. I was packing more boxes and just trying to clean up while doing that! Jake's mom came over from Waxahachie to lend a hand and then we all went out to a good lunch. It was fun to finally have my parents and Jake's mom meet!

Literally had everything packed and ready to go by 1:00 in Dallas... and Jake got on the road a little after 2:00 to head back to Austin. I got on the road at 4 and waved to Dallas in the rear view mirror... even though I couldn't see a thing because my car was packed!

I rolled into the apartment complex at 7:00 and to my surprise, Jake and our friends Dave, Erica and Chris were almost done unloading! What great friends!!! Do you ever have that twinge of guilt when people are sweating beads because of you?? Definitely felt bad, but was so thankful for all of their help... especially helping Jake load things up 3 flights of stairs! By 8:00 we were all in the apartment pool!!! Yes, LESS than 24 hours after getting to Dallas to pack up, I was all moved in in Austin! Dave and his wife, Jennifer, helped me and Jake arrange furniture and figure out where things should go. Jennifer is an interior decorator... so Linda and I were so thankful that she was willing to help us figure out furniture placement in the living room!!

Yesterday was spent just unpacking and trying to get back into a normal way of life! Pretty much all we have left is just hanging pictures and organizing the study.

Linda's room is super cute... and mine is slowly but surely coming together. We are already having a blast and we've decided that we are going to have a game night at our place... because we have seating for 13 people!

Thanks to EVERYONE for their help, whether physical, loaning us stuff or humor support! This was a super easy move... and one that I was so excited to make! Austin is my town... and I thank my God for bringing me back!

Hope all of you can come see the new place soon!


Movers, take your marks...

Ok... so it's been a few weeks... life has been crazy, but, none-the-less, interesting! Prepare yourselves for quite possibly the longest blog update ever...

So a month ago, Linda Arredondo and I decided that we were going to save some serious cash and move into an apartment together! We settled on this sweet deal at this apt complex in South Austin. We looked at 2 floorplans, and oddly enough, we liked the smaller plan better. So, Linda began preparing her first move in 5 years and life with a roommate... and I, well I started packing up my few belongings in the ATX and preparing mentally for the massive move back to Austin from Dallas! Oh... I'm tired even thinking about it!!

Now for a little picture painting -- this past Tuesday around 10:30 in the morning, I get a call from our new apartment complex, telling us that there is a "maintenance" issue with the apartment that we had picked out. After digging a little and probably annoying the guy a little, I found out that apparently the last tenants were so disgusting that they have had to call in pest-control to get rid of furry-4 legged friends not once, not twice, but now a THIRD time... mind you 2 days before we are supposed to get the place! Umm yeah!! GRODDY! At any rate, they offered us the BIGGER apartment for the same price of the smaller one... therefore we are sooooo bankin' on this apartment deal!! And... to top it off, I got the apartment manager to throw in a free accent wall, as if they already weren't doing enough! Hey... never hurts to ask, friends...

Our move began yesterday!! We both spent our first night in #731 and had us a little Chuy's for our first roomie dinner :) Unfortunately, no pics from last night... but I promise to document as much of this crazy weekend as possible. Linda and I both got our bathrooms and closets pretty much taken care of... so that's good. I figured that seeing as how people were going to be in and out of the place all weekend, they could at least find a little bit of normallcy in el bano...

Now... for a few pics, discoveries and comments on the new place...

where it all goes down...

yes... that's the FREE accent wall... to the largest APT living room I've ever seen in my life...

Jake's room... jkjk it's just the pantry... But it is HUGE! And knowing our eating habits, it will probably be full at all times...

Our loverly kitchen... complete with island, complementary pot rack and DEEP sinks w/ sprayer!

This is the view from our study... Yes, I did say study. First of all... please notice the lovely non-paint job on the built-in shelves. I guess the painters got a little tired, poor chaps...

My bathroom... I decided to stick with the red and brown... but one new shower curtain and a few new rugs... it's ALL new to me! A few things to notice... all of the freaking cabinets! I am seriously racking my brain as to how I can fill all of these cabinets! Another thing you probably can't notice is that I'm currently without a door to my bathroom. This indeed causes a few challenges. For example, last night when I was getting into the shower, Linda had to stay in her room with her door closed until I yelled that I was in... funny, none-the-less...

Ok... the huge challenge so far has been my closet. It goes back really far on both sides, but the biggest obstacle is the fact that I have sliding doors. It's nice I don't have to go buy a floor length mirror... but I'm going to have to train myself to a) move the doors to find anything and b) not run into them! I got a little confused last night and literally almost face-planted! It's hard because if you are looking at the bottom of the mirror, all you see is carpet... and THAT can get a little confusing!

The great view from my bedroom...

The even better view from Linda's window... We've already investigated our neighbors, and it looks like we have some gross boys on the second level...

Their momma's obviously don't live there...

Of course... the first piece of furniture brought in was Linda's hammock... don't worry, I've already tried it out and thought about sleeping on it, but alas, it was too hot outside...

Well... finally... the day has come. Linda's movers are packing her up as we speak and Jake and I are going up to Dallas tonight to get me packed up and moved in tomorrow! All I have to say is we have this to look forward to... at least we don't have to worry about any furry friends...

duummm da dum dum...



An interesting fact about Sarah is that I really want to adopt one day. Of course, I'd love to have my own children, but in the mix, I'd love to give a child in need a home. I want a brood of kiddos! Well... seeing as how I'm not married and not quite ready to be a mom, I felt God laying on my heart to give to a child in need. Jake took me to a Casting Crowns concert right before I moved back to Austin and they talked about World Vision. World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization that’s dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. (Yes, I got that from their website!) Their ultimate goal is to spread the love of Christ to the world!

In early June, I decided to officially "go for it"! The cool thing about WV is that you can go through this database full of kids all over the world... search by birthday, age, country, whatever. I decided that I'd pick a little girl with May 21st as her birthday... that way I'd always remember to send her something for her birthday! (For those of you that don't know... my bday is the same day!) At any rate, I chose a cutey-patootie, Woliya. (Or Wo as I call her…) She lives in Ethiopia

I’m going to try to get a picture of her to put up here… so bare with me. I pray that she will feel God's love everyday through knowing that a random girl in another country cares deeply for her.
I think what drove me to give to Wo was the fact that these precious kids have so many unknowns. They don't know if they will have meals everyday, what a weekend is, how to escape from the life they are in and who God is. I just felt so blessed to be born in the US, with parents and family that were able to provide for me... to know about the hope in Christ from such a young age. We are so very lucky. I know I’m kind of preaching to the choir here… but my whole outlook on material possessions have changed since I started to give! It’s been a very cool journey so far.
with her parents and siblings. She isn't in school right now (my prayer is that she will get to as soon as possible!) and carries water for her family everyday. She lives in a community that is extremely affected by the HIV/AIDS crisis. World Vision is in the process of working in her community through tangible prevention and care programs. So, I'm very comforted that the little money I give a month is going to great use!

At any rate, having Wo in my life, ever so distantly, has been such a blessing that I really haven’t shared with anyone! So… I just wanted to share with you!

If you are curious about World Vision… what they are about… and other things they do around the world… check them out… http://www.worldvision.org/worldvision/master.nsf/


Hello old Blog friend...

So I used to blog a lot when I was on Myspace... so since I canceled that, I figured I'd find another outlet for my thoughts I'd like to share. Hopefully as I get the hang of this thing, I'll be able to make it pretty and all of that fabulous stuff... So for now, I'm going to be boring...

My first official blog is going to be about hair and babies...

So, after growing my hair out for the past few months, I just decided to chop it all off today! Yep... gone. My question is... WHY in the world do I do this?!?! I have this whole idea in my head that I'm going to have this long, beautiful hair and then, within a matter of a few days, I just go off and change my mind. I think it's all a matter of function. At least that's what I'm going to believe it is. For some reason, when my hair is shorter, I spend less time working on it... which in the grand scheme of things is what it should be! Short hair = less time in the bathroom which means more time connecting with God every morning. At any rate... I've posted a pic of the new 'do... I'm sure I'll change my mind about it tomorrow and not cut my hair for another year! Ohh me oh my...

Also wanted to share with all 2 of you that yesterday some of our good friends, Lance and Lauren Ralston, welcomed their precious baby girl, Kendall Elise, into the world! She is absolutely adorable and Jake and I were all smiles when we saw them at the hospital last night. Uncle Jake is super hyped... so below is the first pic he has with Miss Kendall...