Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our First Christmas Together

Just for starters, our first Christmas together was wonderful.  I remember thinking to myself, "I wonder what it will be like, will it be good, how will it turn out?"  It turned out better than I ever thought it could!  We had a blast and it was as memorable as it could possibly be!  We had so much fun and got everything we could have wanted!

It started at my grandmother's house where we got smaller gifts, and our large gift.  Mine was a beautiful soft leather pair of brown teacher boots!  I love them!  They were beautiful!  I didn't expect to get a pair because it was something I didn't specify the exact type I wanted, but these were exactly right.  Mark got a nice peacoat from American Eagle.  He had been wanting a coat that he could wear to church as a nice coat and that he could also wear somewhere casually like to the movies.  He tried one on at American Eagle and really liked it, so I relayed the message onto my family.  Then we went to my parents house that night and got our annual Christmas Eve Jammies!  Then it was back to our house to begin our Christmas.  

We knew we were going to have to be up extra early, and we still had to pack to leave for Tyler
 the next day so we decided to pack and then do our Christmas to each other.  We packed and 
then set up the video camera so we could video tape our first christmas, which we did!  It was so fun getting to open the presents I had been looking at for weeks now, wondering what they were.  First we did our stockings and in mine Santa had brought me snickers, some new fuzzies (socks I have now come accustomed to sleeping in since our house is sssoo stinking cold at night), a Sims computer game,  another copy of Redeeming Love because Mark had broke my other one.  In his stocking he had some Gap undies, a workout shirt, a magnet/canpunch/bottle opener, some guitar pics, a new spring thingy that he keeps his keys on, and some snickers!

Then it was onto the presents.  We took turns opening each other's presents.  I got a watch that I had really really wanted.  He opened up a longhorn football shirt he had been wanting for a while that I had Adam get from Austin while he was at a game.  I then got a new Ralph Lauren red vest that I saw half off at Bealls and really wanted, but Mark said no at the time.  Little did I know Santa would bring it.  He then opened up a hotsauce gift set that I found at Wal-Mart.  The boy loves hot sauce and goes through it like none other.  This had five different kinds with recipes on the side and fun facts on the back.  After this it was my turn again, in which I opened up a justice of the piece building for one of those little towns.  I have always wanted one of those towns, and so he got me that one because it was the year we got married.  It even had a little sign on it that said "Weddings $2".  It was so thoughtful.  He then got to open a brand new  leather Guess shaving kit.  The zipper on his other one was broken.  My next present was two more outfits from target.  One was a pink shirt with an argyle sweater to go over it, and the other was this black shirt that looked like the dress I got on our honeymoon with a converse button jacket!  Both so cute!  When I told him he spent too much he said, "No I didn't, I shopped on the 75% off rack at Target!"  I said, "That's my man!"  His next present was his big present which were a pair of Toms.  These are really cool and comfy shoes that if you buy a pair they will also send a pair to a child in a third world country that has no shoes.  After all of this we cleaned up a little and then went to bed for about oh  5 hours before it was time to wake up for Christmas day.

We headed out and got to my parents' house around 6:30 that morning.  Here we got to open presents with Adam and give our presents to mom and dad.  I got a few things I wanted from Pampered Chef such as a tea pitcher, kitchen shears that can cut meat, a stone cake pan thing, and some bamboo spatulas.  There were also king size pillows that I asked for for our bed, mad gab, a scene it game that was men vs. women, and much more.  Mark got a longhorn hoodie, a portable diskgolf basket game, a Shane and Shane shirt from Adam, 3 other shirts, a chin-up bar and much more.  It was great!  Then we ate a light breakfast and headed off to Tyler with our Gizmo!   

Gizmo rode in the console on his bed and slept pretty much the whole way.  We got to Tyler and began unpacking the car when I realized that we left a big part of Scott's present at our house.  I felt awful!!  I couldn't believe we had done that.  It was set over to the side because it was too big to go under the tree, but that is also where all of my gifts ended up and so we just didn't put it by the door!  Anyways, we unpacked the dog, which stole everyone's heart, ate and then opened presents.  Blake ended up having my name and had to be the first one of everyone to buy for a girl  He did very good though, getting me a manicure, sweater, and a wire serving set type of thing.  I also got a thing to go right inside the door, to hold coats and keys, a necklace, money, gift cards.  Mark got a trunk to go as a coffee table, movies, money, gift cards, and many more things I cannot think of right now.  All in all it was  a great Christmas!  

Monday, December 22, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree. . .

Well Christmas is drawing nearer and I am excited about it.  I am so ready for it to be here, I keep asking Mark if we can please just open one present and of course he says "no" which is a bummer, but a good thing!  I feel like time is flying by and standing still all at the same time!  I also feel like I should be doing more, making my own traditions and celebrating Christmas in my own independent way, but the thing is I just don't know how to do that or what to do.  Should I bake cookies, make my own candy, take more pictures, drink hot chocolate while walking down the square. . . what!?  I dunno.  Mark is just fine chilling which I guess is ok with me, but still you only get your first christmas once!!!

Christmas will be a whirlwind for us this year, which is mostly my fault, but hey lol, what can I say?  We will be seeing both sides of the family on Christmas day, all by hopefully 10 that morning, needless to say it will be busy.  There are plenty of Christmas traditions in my family, all starting in the wee hours of Chirstmas Eve.  My mom played this game when she was little and so consequently we did as well growing up.  How you play is the first person that wakes up on Christmas Eve and goes and wakes up everyone else in the house saying "Christmas Eve Gift!!" gets to open a special gift on that morning.  Well we used to open a special gift until one year someone decided we should all head out to Ihop and eat then go to Wal-Mart and the winner get like a $5 something.  It is always great fun to see who wins!

After that growing up we would go to my Noni's house, where when I was really little we had to wait until "dark thrity" to open our presents.  That was until one year my noni decided to shake things up a bit and make us do little activites to get our presents.  We call it the "Amazing Race" because that is the show we got the idea from.  One of the annual races is teaming up and going to find as many candy canes as we can that are hidden by my Poppy all over is land.  One year we had a marshmellow shooter and we saw who could shoot it the farthest, and another we had a bubblegum blowing contest to see who could blow the biggest bubble (I won that one)!  After all the fun at Noni's we head back over to our house and get one Christmas present early, which is always new pajamas!!!  Then Adam and I would watch "The Santa Clause"  until we fell asleep, only to wake up extra early to open presents!  Then after we opened presents we would head to my Ballou's and Pawpaw's to eat breakfast (Pawpaw's waffels we get only once a year) and open presents.

Needless to say things are going to be slightly different this year, but in a good way.  Mark and I are going to do all the Christmas Eve festivties, and after the night is over we are going to head back to Marshall and go to sleep, only to wake up EXTREMELY early on Christmas morning to do our Christmas together.  Then we will head straight out to Harleton to do Christmas with my family, then to leave there and head to Tyler to do Christmas with his family!  I know it is going to be absolutely nuts, but worth it that is for sure!  

Friday, December 12, 2008

Day out of school

So today is my first day out of school to where I don't have to think about anything that has to do with school.  However, the downside to that is there are PLENTY of dirty dishes in the sink that need to be washed, a dirty house that should be cleaned, Christmas presents that should be bought/put together/ wrapped, and what am I doing, but sitting here blogging away.  But since I got tagged, I had to do this. . .

The rules are you have to list 5 addictions and tag 5 people.

1.  I am addicted to Jesus.  I am falling in love with Him daily, but am no where near where I should be in my walk with Him.  I am sorta embarrassed about where I am really, I want to be deeper in love with Him, to know Him so much more than I do right now.  

2.  I am addicted to Mark.  I love that boy!  I love being married to such a wonderful man and getting to experience life with him.  I love our quiet hours at home, or the rowdy ones with friends and family.  I cannot believe how blessed I am to be with him.  

3.  I am addicted to text messaging.  I love texting!  So sad, but I cannot help but do it in class, at home, in bed. . .

4.  I am addicted to facebook.  This is so sad considering it is the biggest waste of time ever invented.

5.  I am addicted to reading.  It is one of my favorite things to do and I wish I could do it more.  I want to get more books for Christmas.

I forgot to tag 5 people.

I tag:
1. Lee Ann
2. Misty Stires
3. Lauren Shuman
4. The Goswicks
5. Jon and Jen

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Done, done, I'm DONE!!!

Woohoo semester done and out!  Well sorta/almost!  I took my last final today from this 18 hour semester!  Done, done, done, no more tests, papers, meaningless projects, I am finished.  Ok, so I have one last thing to do this semester, I am going to the schools tomorrow to finish up interning.  Stinky!  I don't want to go, I want to be done, but I need to finish up and get the grade.  After that though, nothing else!  My teacher had actually forgotten about me being sick and not being able to go, and asked me about why I didn't have my papers in yet!  Oh well.

This past semester has been crazy, fun, new, hard, busy, and much much more.  I am sorta sad that it is over and all my friends are leaving to go home, while I stay here.  I am happy to here, and wouldn't want to be anywhere else, but I am sad to see my friends leave.  I am also nervous about how the next semester will play out, since I will not really be with them, or be doing what they are.  I hope our friendships stay the same and grow even more.  I think they will, I have made some amazing friends and love them very much!  

I have so much I need to be doing right now, the holidays are getting much much closer, and I have yet to really really prepare for them.  I've still got to order pictures and presents and wrap, sssoo much!  I really just don't know where to begin haha.  I need to finish up Mark's Christmas as well, so if anyone has any ideas, I am ssoo all ears!  Anyway, that is about all for right now, though be looking for an update, because I am sure to get bored.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Oh finals. . .

 Finals week is now upon us!  Yay!!  After having all my finals, all TAKE HOME, I got straight to work.  Well basically I got straight to work because I thought I had three finals due today, (two of which were take home) only to find out that the one I had worked the hardest on is actually due on Wednesday!  Thanks to my good friend Lee Ann I found out her and Traci were laughing at me through text messages and not telling me what a doofus I was for freaking out about how they hadn't started on there final the entire weekend.  Don't worry, I forgive you guys!  So before I go and finish the rest of my math homework so I can go take that final later on today, I decided to steal an idea for this blog from Miss A-Lynn (aka Lee Ann).

December 8, 2008

Outside my window:  I hear the leave rustling against the concrete being blown about on a crisp December afternoon.

I am thinking:  I have a lot to do before 4 o'clock today, and I hope Mark is actually able to get into this stinkin' class.  Praying for that one really!

I am thankful for:  Finals being done and that I am going to go back to work at The Financial Aid Office again!  I missed it!

From the kitchen:  Dishes definitely need to be done and dinner needs to be made pronto aka, the things I have to get done before 4 o'clock.

I am wearing:  A thermal with a polo shirt over it and my favorite jeans from Target!  Yay for Mondays!

I am creating:  A new blog entry!  I want to be creating something else by either crocheting or knitting, of which I am going to go and get a teach yourself kit when I am done with finals.  I need a stress reliever and I have the desire to make something.

I am going:  To finish my last math homework ever!  That makes me excited!  I am so ready to be done with math!!  

I am reading:  When I Don't Desire God by John Piper, and it is really good.  I want to read other stuff too, but I need new books!

I am hoping:  Mark gets into this class!  He really needs it!  Also, that this last math test is easy!!  I don't wanna do it!

I am hearing:  What Not To Wear coming from my T.V.   What a funny show!

Around the house:  It is messy!  I need to do some major cleaning, also to be done by the end of the day. . . may not get around to that one today!

A few plans for the rest of the week:  To finish finals, turn in books, go Christmas shopping, clean the house, try a new recipe or two.  So much!

This is from:  www.thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com


Update for everyone!  I just finished my last math test ever!!  Woohooo!!  Also, Mark got into the Fast track course!  He HAD to have this class for his PTA venture, and a hold kept him from it first, and today a spot opened up!  However, that darn hold came back, and almost kept him from getting in!  However, after many MANY phone calls to Kilgore and TJC, and a trip up to Kilgore, he finally got the okay to go ahead!!  YAY!!  Praise God for this blessing!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Not Wanting to. . .

I am sitting here in Channin's house, procrastinating  about doing my stupid take home finals.  Can I say how much I stinking hate take home finals!  They are so much work, especially at teh end of a very long and tiring semester.  Makes me wonder what my professors are thinking sometimes.  Either way I have a lot of work to do and not a whole lot of time in which to do it in.  I would be farther along than I am right now, but I became deathly ill earlier this week.  
Ok so perhaps I am slightly exaggerating, but I did become very sick earlier in the week, and now it seems like I have a whole weeks worth of stuff to make up, even though I only missed two days worth of classes.  I missed interning and teaching my last lesson, which in turn puts me behind filling out a bunch of papers to turn in for that, I missed doing my chapter responses for Dr. Vickers, and turning in a math notebook and taking a math test!  Yeah, I know, I am totally swamped and I shouldn't be at all!  Oh well, this is how the semester would end wouldn't it?  
Mark and I did put up our first tree!  It was a lot of fun, and a lot of work.  It is cute and small just like where we live haha.  It is fun doing all these firsts with each other.  I am excited about our first Christmas with each other as well.  Ok well I better get back to attempting to do these take home finals so that way I make my life just a little bit easier. 

Monday, November 24, 2008

This Crazy, Tragic, Sometimes Almost Magic, Awful, Beautiful, LIfe

Welp, it is finally here, Thanksgiving Break officially began for me today!  WOOHOO!! I finally made it to this stinking long awaited week!  Like Lauren said in her post, I don't know what the school was thinking when they made us go from August to November with no break, just to give us a week off, before we have to go back to school for just one stupid (and pointless) week before finals.  Oh well, I am just happy to have a break and to take a "play day" today as I told mark I would have if only for today. . .

Today I just went out to see my Noni, and supposedly help her wrap a few Christmas presents, but she had already done it!  So I just went out and saw her and got a chance to play with our NEW PUPPY!!!  Yes you read right, we do have a dog!!  It is a miniature shih tzu!  He is adorable!  Pics to come soon I promise!  I love him, he is just so small and fiesty!  We had a good time just talking, eating, watching t.v. and being together! I am excited about this first big holiday as a married couple, it will be good to go and see family (and possibly meet a few new ones) that we haven't seen in a while.  I am happy to just get a chance to do this, and to really take the time to thank God so much for how much he has blessed me and Mark!  Well I better get going and dressed, Mark and I have plans tonight. . . he is playing at a retreat for his friend Eddie with Patrick as well!  It will be fun!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Star light, star bright. . .

Well it is past midnight at the beginning of this weekend and I am up in my living room blogging.  Mark is asleep in the bed, and has been for about an hour and a half, but I just wasn't ready to go ya know. . .

Mark and I went on a date night tonight to dinner and a movie.  We went to Texas Roadhouse which was AMAZINGLY good.  It has been such a long time since I have had a steak THAT perfect.  Then after some mall walking (not buying haha) we went to catch Fireproof before it went out of theaters.  I must say it was so good.  I came out of there so thankful for my spouse who is a leader, kind, loving, supportive, and I wanted to make sure I always remember, notice, and tell him that.  The movie was so genuine and such a message that needs to be told to our generation, that marriage is a COMMITMENT for life, not just for when it is convenient.  I know I am a newly wed, and hey what do I know, I'm still in "the honeymoon phase," but in the words of Warren Barfield "Love is a shelter, in a raging storm.  Love is peace, in the middle of a war.  And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door! No love is not a fight, but it's something worth fighting for."

On a completely different note, can I also say how INCREDIBLY THANKFUL I am for my girlfriends.  Seriously, God has so blessed me this semester by surrounding me with girls that are so amazing.  The relationships I already had going on throughout college are still strong, even after not living together, and for that I am which I am SSSOOO thankful.  There are now also the bonds made stronger mainly in  this semester of being in the education program.  It is amazing to see how much one program is able to bring people from all different walks of life together to not only learn, but to also  depend on, rely upon, and  trust each other so much.  I have received so much encouragement from not only my best friends I have had since I came to ETBU, but from those who have I have gotten to know only by being an education major.  As much as I complain about the work load, as much as I hate having to go to sometimes pointless classes, and as much as I don't like what all it takes to become a graduate from the school of education, there is something special about it.  It takes a small specific group of people, puts them into a program, works them, molds them, teaches them, and in the end produces not only an educated individual, but a bonded group of them.  I am now so happy to say that I am glad to have been an ETBU education major (sadly a far cry from when I first started the semester) and I have come away better for it.

Well that is about it for tonight, its been a pretty good blogging time for me I would say. . .

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Finally Able to Breathe Again

Well this semester is winding down to a close . . . There really is only this next week left as far as classwork is concerned.  So what else does that mean, but teachers are going crazy getting in last min assignments to drive us crazy, all due before Thanksgiving Break!  Oh goodness!  I am happy to say that I did make it through this semester, no matter how scared I was of the work load and being married all in one.  I am not going crazy, I am actually doing so much better than previous semesters.  All in all, I can really say I am proud of what all I have accomplished and how I have handled it for the most part.  

Well, couple of things of news on the plate. . . First of all I completed and turned in my unit on Monday!  It was a semester long project me and 3 other girls worked on all semester long!!  I can honestly say I think I got into the best group ever!  We all got along so well and I think actually got closer and got to know each other better as a result.  We were all pleased with our work as well. . . We will see how we did, but I did enjoy putting it together, if only because of the other girls. 

The second thing is that I figured out on Wednesday that I will definitely be here an extra semester. . . I found a class and was on my way of getting it approved to take over the Christmas Holidays, but another class that was ALWAYS at 3:30, after school hours, is now, this upcoming semester at 1 instead. . . and there is absolutely no way I can slip out early 1 day a week to take it. . . It's ironic, because had it been offered at 1 ANY OTHER SEMESTER, I could have taken it and then gone on and student taught, and had it been at 3 just this NEXT SEMESTER I could have done it, but of course everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong, and I am here.  I am glad to be able to breathe knowing my decision is made, I am just sad because I worked so hard and it still ended up being out of my hands, like it has been for a year and a half.  But at the same time, I do have a verdict, for the first time in a year and a half, and that feels good. . .

The third thing is that I passed my Generalist EC-4 test that I paid $120 to take on Tuesday!  I am now certified to teach any subject early childhood through 4th grade!!!  WOOHHOO!!!  It was sssoo hard though.  Traci and I went to Nac together and took the same test.  Both of us came out and we were like "oh my gosh!"  I know at one point I laid my head down and was like "God please do not let me waste $120, please help me remember some of this stuff."  We just had to recall stuff that we hadn't had in years and infer a bit. . . all in all it made for a scary 48 hour wait.  However, that is one $120 test down the drain, two more to go!!  At least I have a year to get them all taken and paid for, not to mention the finger prints (about $50) and the registration fee to SBEC ($75 I think). . .  Yeah, going to be broke before we go into a profession that we come out still broke lol!!  

Last night I also wen tout with my unit group LeeAnn, Traci, and Kelli to celebrate our unit being done!!  It was  BLAST!  We all just sat around, talked, laughed, recapped, and just enjoyed being unit free!  We decided we could write a soap opera based on our lives and what all we are all going through.  We are all at different stages, going through different phases and problems in life, but are all tied together by one all consuming load of work.  It is great!  I really wished I was going to student teaching, in part just to stay close to them!  I am really going to miss them this next semester.  

So all in all, these are just some of the ways and reasons I am able to take a few steps back, unwind, and unload in order to breathe again.  And you know what?  It is all good. . . and so refreshing.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Finishing Strong!!!

The pictures above are from the halloween party with our sunday school class.  Mark and I carved a mummy!!

Well tomorrow (or today depending on when you are reading this) our Nation as we know it could potentially change.  It is without a doubt the biggest election we have seen!  I have already voted though and so now all that is left to do is to pray.  
Canton was a lot of fun, but had so many people there on Saturday it was ridiculous!  I couldn't even walk through some places!  I was glad to be done and to have an extra hour of sleep on Sunday!  It helped my tired body be able to be out the door at 7:30 just like every Sunday!  The church had a fall fest that night and it was a lot of fun!  Everyone was just so excited to be there whether they were working, playing, performing, it was just great.  Afterwards we came back home for a bible study we do here with a couple of other couples.  And then it was time to start the week all over again.
I cannot tell you how ready I am for Thanksgiving Break.  It cannot get here quick enough.  It will be so wonderful to have a week just to chill out and not worry about so many things.  I am trying to decide what I am going to do about this next semester.  It should be exciting to see how life pans out.  Mark finds out if he gets into this fast track course at Kilgore for his PTA thing on the 6th so please be in prayer for that.  It would be great if he could get in that and knock out A&P 1 and 2 in one semester.  Ok I have babbled long enough, time for pictures.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

ohh a car ride with the family. . .

I am currently on my second Canton trip and can I just say this one is STARTING OUT much different so we will see what the day will bring! In Mom's little Ford Escape there is Mark and me, Mom, Dad, and Adam. Oh my goodness it is CRAZINESS!! I have not had this many "MOVE", "YOUR ON ME!", "HUSH I AM TRYING TO SLEEPS" since I have gotten married. Geez louise! It is just a complete contrast from Mark's family of girls who were all prim and proper and this is definitely NOT! Needless to say, it is something I have missed. For instance what is happening right now is Daddy (who is in the back with me), is putting his foot over the front seat to bother Adam, who is currently looking for a weapon to stab him with. There is always something going on. . . Ooh Adam just found and pen and is throwing it back here at us! Mark is just sitting here giggling at it all.

Yesterday Canton was alot of fun, I got a few things and didn't spend too much money. I got something for the house, something for my classroom, and some Cajun nut mix for Mark. Pictures to come I promise. Today will be fun at Canton, I am hoping to get a roasted turkey leg, some corn, and maybe a Christmas door hanger. Either way, it will be fun just to be with family, and we will all enjoy the "closeness" of the atmosphere :-).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I need a VAY-CAY

In the words of my good friend LeeAnn, "I need a vay-cay!"  So what is a girl to do, but take one!  It is going to be a a weekend full of early rising and fun.  I am going to Canton tomorrow with Mark's mom, grandmother, and aunt!  It is going to be fun stuff.  My Noni is already there camping so that is going to be good to just see her too.  I will be getting up early to drop Mark off at work about 15 min early and then head to Tyler from there.   I don't know what I am going to get, if anything, but it is fun to just go and look.   When I get back I am going head straight to Mark and to a Halloween pumpkin carving Sunday School party!  I have an idea of a pumpkin, so there will be pictures of that to come as well.  

Saturday I will be up early again and at Harleton by 6:30 A.M.!!  Mom and I will be heading to where else but Canton again!  We are going to go and meet Noni there, and possibly Edith, Mark's mom, too!  I know, I know, Canton twice in a weekend?  But a girl has to do what a girl has to do!!  I am hoping to maybe find some decor things for the house or a few Christmas gifts that I can go ahead and get out of the way.  

So, with the looming vacation,  this week became extra long just because I wanted it to be over so soon!  Today I had to take a practice PPR test that I had to pass for the school before I would be allowed to take the real one (for $120!!!).  I was sorta nervous about this because if you don't pass, you have to take it all over again!  Stinky!  However I ended up getting 67 out of 80, and needed to get 60 in all.  That was a load off for sure.  Now I just have to pay to take the real one and pass that!  

I also had to go out to intern today in Harleton ( I know my list just keeps getting longer and longer) after the test.  I was driving out and enjoying the scenery (It's about to be my favorite time out of the whole year. . . NOVEMBER.  My mom will vouch that just about everyday in November I will comment on how much I love it!) and decided to listen to a CD.  The CD that I found was My Geoff Moore and the Distance live CD.  It is one my parents used to just blast in the mornings to get us up and ready for school.  I just drove down 154 singing at the TOP of my lungs to these songs I love!  I got to thinking as I was driving and singing at this is probably something other people do, but I don't know how many do it to "Homerun".  It just made me really happy for the upbringing I had and the fact that those ARE the songs I love and know by heart!  So yeah, pictures to come I promise!!  

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Life in general

Life in general is still going on here at good ol' ETBU. I am still in classes and sadly I have found out I will be there until this next December. It was a long time coming and no matter how hard I worked, how many hours I took, how hard I tried, it all stopped when a dean in the english department refused to go and ask the higher ups above her to help me out. Such is life. . . So it is looking like one more year at ETBU rather than just one more semester. It is sometimes kind of hard to swallow as I sit in all of these senior classes with all of my senior friends and I realize as they are literally counting down the days until graduation (and believe me it gets announced every week how many are left) I will not be walking with them this May. I wish I would have known how inevitable this was because I would have done my scheduling alot differently. Oh well, there is a reason for everything.

I have a couple of prayer requests. One prayer request is for me. I am trying to figure out where I would need to work this coming up year. I have about 3 places I am thinking about, but all of them have their pros and cons. I am planning on talking to about all of them to see how well they would work with me. . . I hope it all works out. Please just be in prayer that I would feel God's guidance, that I would know which one to do, that they would work with my schedule, and that it would fit into my busy life and I would not be oevrwhelmed this rest of this first year of marriage.

The second is for Mark. . .I don't remember if I have told this or not, but he is looking at going back to get his associates as a PTA (Physical Therapist Assistant). He is looking at Kilgore or Mt. Pleasant to do this at. Tomorrow he has an appointment with the head of the department at Kilgore to see if he can apply and start the program in the fall. Long story short, if they don't let him, he will have to wait an entire year until he can apply to be accepted in the program and start it. Please pray for God to just soften their hearts, for the higher ups to see how hard of a worker he is and recognize he knows how to do college with already having a bachelors and all. So yeah there are alot of changes. One thing that will happen if he gets in in the fall is that I will be student teaching (a.k.a. busy all day with no pay and no time for a 9-5 job) and he will be taking classes full time. We will both be needing a job that is flexible and that will sustain us through that time in our lives. We already have given it to God, but it has never hurt to ask for other prayers.

Thanks so much and I hope yall are all having a wonderful day!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

New Attitude

So I am laying here on a Saturday morning typing this because Mark is still snoozing right beside me. . . It is homecoming at ETBU but we have slept through almost all the festivities.  The parade I am sure has already started and ended (oh goodness he just rolled over. . . and now he is awake oopsies), and he game will start in half an hour.  Hopefully we will make it to that one.  

Jammishia is over right now in the living room sleeping too.  She came and spent the night with us.  I am so glad she feels comfortable enough to do that.  It has been a long time coming and a far cry from the way it was when we first started dating.  Mark and her have a great friendship and I am glad it can continue through marriage.

I felt a change in myself yesterday as I was running last minute errands before heading out to Harleton. . . I went from being completely stressed with school and everything and what not, to just feeling good for the first time in a while.  Like I didn't care about that and I was going to focus on something else besides how stressed I was for a change.  You know what?  That was the best feeling ever, such a unique difference.  I remember feeling this way before and I just didn't know how to get back there again.  

So yeah that was my random babble for the day.  Mark is up and I am trying to talk him into making me some breakfast.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Still here. . .

Once again you find me sitting the library working on what else but school. The library has now become a home away from home for me because I have been here sssoo much this semester. I am constantly working on something. The good news is I got the majority of one notebook for a class knocked out. The unit is still looming over my head, but at least it is getting closer to being finished. I hate doing all these stupid little projects, but I have made it halfway, there is no turning back now.

Mark is at Conclave, a showcase for youth ministers is one way to put it. The Cliftones set up a booth there and show what they have to offer. It sounds pretty cool, though I have never been able to go, but he always comes home with cool stories. I am ready for him to come home tonight, he has been gone since Sunday afternoon and I miss him alot! Especially at night, when everyone is settleing in for the night. I went to my parents house last night for some good supper and to get laundry for me and my brother. Yeah I know, I have wonderful parents. It was fun to see them and nice to have someone cook me a meal lol.

I then went back to my house and ended up staying up watching my wedding video! I love that thing, I mean I love home videos, but my wedding will always be special. I just remember that day as being such a happy and exciting one that I love to go back and relive it. Yeah I know, I am a dork, sitting in the dark, watching my wedding, but what else is a girl to do? Well, I guess to should stop taking my break and get back to work. I have two article reviews I have to do and I haven't even found the articles yet. I never feel caught up. . . never. Maybe thats because it is neverending lol!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Getting it accomplished

So as of right now I am sitting in the library where I have been for hours on end feeling very accomplished and proud of myself. I just got done 3 WHOLE unit lessons. Like pretty much all the stuff for them and everything! I just lack 2 little things that I am going to ask about tomorrow, but for the most part those 2 are DONE!!! WWOOOHHHOOOO!! Now I only have like 6 more to go lol!! I have ideas for them for the most part, it is just time consuming and tedious to write them all down. This is why I needed the blogging break because I knew I needed to start and get ahead on the next few that I have coming up, but I also needed a break from the tediousness of it

Today has been ok. Mark is at downpour and wont be home for like another hour and a half which is probably why I have gotten so much done lol. That and I just sat down and went to work actually. It feels so good to be marking things off my little list on my post-it note in my planner. Though there are a million more projects such as finishing my children's book that I have been writing for class, doing 10 more book reviews out of the 50 I have to finish over the semester, making 8 writing center lesson plans and one real one, finishing the rest of my unit lessons and a billboard, teaching two lessons in my internship, writing refelctions on how it goes, writing chapter reflections before tests for a class, tests in general, typing an observation (which I probably should do next), and well you get the idea. It sounds like so much, but what I have already finished looks good too. I am just trying to stay on top of it all, but sometimes I just get so tired of always doing work.

This day was pretty good. Despite me being stupid at certain points I have enjoyed it. I opened my car door and the edge of it caught my head, so that didn't feel to great, but other than that nothin major. Tomorrow we are going to a Magnet school in shreveport so that should be exciting. Well I guess that is about all for right now, plenty of things to do and not enough time to do them!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Don't know a good title really. . .

Well I am up here at the church right now for our longest day of the week, Sunday. We pretty much stay gone from our house from 7:30 AM to 7 PM, which can make for a long day to say the least. Mark is around doing something musical and I sit here in his office doing homework, though today has been my least productive day so far. I have done just what I need to do to be ready for tomorrow and nothing more, which is not good. It is just the mood I am in right now sadly. I am getting worn down and that is not a good thing when this is only the halfway point of the semester.

Today I was going back through and reading all the previous blogs I had written. So much has happened in my life the past 4 months or so, I cannot believe time has just flown by me. I miss the lazy days of summer, when nothing called my name when I got home for the day, I miss just being able to get away, I miss my Sundays being a day of rest sometimes, I miss alot of things. But a lot of things are so good for me, I am so blessed. I have amazing friends who love me, put up with me, and just are a great support. Mark has a job he enjoys and he is a wonderful husband to me. I got to hold a sunday school members newborn baby girl and she was so beautiful. I am alive and well, I am staying on top of my school work, I am happily married and surviving which is cool. I have many blessings to be thankful for, and for the most part I am not,

I tend to think towards the negative, get stressed out about issues I shouldn't be stressed about, and am tired more than I would like to be because of it all. I am trying to make a change to not go to bed with my mind full of all these negative things that keep me from falling asleep and give me nightmares that I wake up from and cannot go back to sleep from thinking about what all I have to do next. No, life is good, and it is too short and precious to be living it the way I have been.

Tonight at church I think I am going to go and help with the children's choir. Our sunday school teachers (the music minister and his wife) are in charge of that, so I am excited for a chance to get to know them a little bit better and work beside them as well. I truly do enjoy working with kids, a fact I have to remind myself as I swim through the miles of paper work I am having to do so that I am able to work with them for the rest of my life. Hopefully tonight goes good, the kids like me, and I am able to help Bob and Janet out some.

Mark also has some new things happening. He might possibly be going back to get an associates degree in order to be a Physical Therapy Assistant. It has been something he has been thinking about quite a lot for the past couple of weeks and is looking into pretty intensly. He has always like the body and learning about how it works and what all it does, and he loves people, so this really does seem like a perfect fit for him, both to him and to those who know him best. I am excited about this because it is going to be something he wants to do and will enjoy as a career.

So yeah, I think I have babbled on long enough and really should go and do some homework.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Long Long week

It has been one of the longest weeks and it is only halfway over.  School problems with stupid classes and just the amount of work has been the name of the game, which can make it very trying.  I spent ALL DAY Tuesday trying to iron out things, but only time will tell.  It just made for a really really long day.  I even drove out to Mark at one point because things just got way to overwhelming for me.  Babyish. . . maybe, but at the time I didn't care.  Please just be in prayer for the school situation, more information will come later on what is really going on.

Then today, it started with classes, homework due, lectures, and a trip to attempt to go and get ice that resulted in a ticket.  Not for speeding or reckless driving, but for a registration sticker being out!  I also didn't have a current insurance card, but I keep all of my old ones in my glove compartment so after giving him around probably 8 of them, he said "I reassure you Mrs. Clifton I believe 100% you have insurance" so that was good.  Anyways, I thought he was going to let me go with like and "okay go do it", but sadly thats not what happened.  He ended up writing me a ticket, which then ended up as a crying phone call to Mark for the second day in a row.  Poor Mark.  He was so great about it though, telling me it was ok, he should have noticed it too, it was just one of those things.  

I really do have the best husband in the world.  He encourages me, is level headed, helps me out with stuff more than words can say, just is constantly selfless, God blessed me over and above with him.  

Well I guess I should stop putting off unit lessons and the lesson I am supposed to teach tomorrow and get to work.  

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Well it is about time. . .

Ok I know I know it has been sssoo long since I blogged.  Believe me I have felt it too.  My friend LeeAnn told me on thursday night while we were supposed to be doing homework "You need to blog!!"  So LeeAnn this is for you haha.  

Right now I am sitting at the in-laws house in Tyler watching some hum-drum football game on the T.V.  I am glad we were able to come this weekend, it has been a while since we were able to be up here and see everybody.  I enjoy weekends here, nice and relaxing, and just a change of scenery.  I wish we didn't have to go back so soon.  

School, oh school. . . To say I am tired of it would be an understatement.  I am just ready for this whole semester to be done with and know I have only one more to make it through until I graduate.  I can do it!!  LOL . . . we are almost into our 6th week of school, and that is just crazy!!!  And I was talking to one of my classmates who said there were only 9 weeks of school left!!  Wow, that is so quick!  For all of the things I have to be doing, and everything that is due, I need more time!  Yikes!!

This past week has been ok.  Mark and  I have both had touches of colds at points, that really didn't help my motivation factor in the slightest!!  I just didn't want to get out of bed, my head felt heavy, my nose was runny, my eyes were itchy, it just wasn't good.  Mark had an itchy throat so we were just done for.  

I got in our wedding photos, and am going to try to get a slide show on here going so yall can see them!  I am excited about having these and being able to put them up.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Been a While

Well it has been quite a while hasn't it?  Hurricane Ike came through, and left us with no power and no internet for a couple of days.  I am happy to say it is all now back to normal.  I guess I can tell you about this past weekend though, it was eventful.

We started out on Friday night having 3 different offers to go do things!!  We had already committed to going over to our Sunday School friends' house Thursday night, and were ssoo excited about it.  We went to Philip and Nicole's on Friday evening to play games and hang out.  We ended up staying out there until 1 AM!!  We had a blast just talking, laughing, competing, and learning new games!  We enjoyed getting to see their house and dream a little bit outside our tiny one bedroom. We left Longview with Ike on its way and settled down into a good sleep. 

Saturday morning, after a late start, we got up to the beginnings of Ike.  The winds were picking up and the clouds were moving fast.  We walked outside to find out neighbors, Channin' and Brad standing outside evaluating the storm like we were.  We all decided after breakfast to go over to their house and watch a movie they had rented.  After the movie was over we played on the computers for a little while then went back home for lunch.  They also let us borrow "Sleepless in Seattle" which I have never seen, so Mark and I watched that (can you tell it was a slow lazy weekend).  By this time, the storm was really starting to pick up.  It was raining and the wind was howling!!  We stepped outside again, and decided along with our neighbors (Channin' and Brad, along with Trent, Michelle, and Jodie Trent's brother) to go outside and play in it!  This was so much fun!  We ran up to the football field where there is this steep hill, grabbed a football arm pad thing, and started racing!  It was awesome!  The boys brought a football so they got dirty doing that.  An ETBU staff member drove by and laughed at us saying "I thought married people were supposed to be more mature."  

By the time we decided to head back the wind was so strong that it was making the small rain drops sting our bodies!  When we reached our house we realized we had no power!  So what does that leave us to do, but get together and play more games.  We played Mad Gab until we couldn't see anymore, tried to go and find something open in Marshall (which there wasn't anything), and then headed out to my grandparent's house which had a generator and my family.  

Sunday morning Mark didn't have to go to work, which meant no church, because the power was out there as well.  We began hanging out with family, making breakfast, playing games, that sort of thing.  I got started on a children's book I have to make this semester, so that felt good to get one of my long term projects going.  My parents' electricity finally came back on so we all packed up and went over there until around 9 when we heard our power was back up and running!

Macedonia's power was not back up and running, so as I got up at 7:30 to get ready for class, my husband got to stay in the bed and sleep away the day!  He got the day off that day and was able to spend it running, working out, doing laundry, things of that sort.  I love it when he gets days off, they are just good to have every once in a while.  That night I got invited over to LeeAnn's room to watch a movie around 10.  Adam had just come over and all, but when I told Mark he was like "Kristen go, you are still in college go and have fun."  He was still up waiting on me when I got back!  Isn't that romantic?  Tuesday there was still no power which meant he was home again!  One great thing was that I was home all day as well!  We just got to hang out and sleep in, work out together, have a picnic, just fun stuff!  

That now brings us to today!  I am not feeling so hot as of right now.  I was kept up for most of the night with a hurting stomach!  I concealed my discomfort from Mark until he woke me up this morning before he left to tell me goodbye.  If I remember right I rolled over and went "I'm sick."  He asked me what hurt and I told him my belly did.  He was genuinely concerned and said he was sorry.  He then rubbed my belly until I fell back asleep!  Isn't he just the best man ever!  So caring, loving, compassionate!  I couldn't ask for more, I have far more than I deserve.  I am now going to work on the homework I didn't get done yesterday because he was here.  I think I will be able to have everything done though!  Tomorrow I take the practice Generalist test, a test preparing me for the one I have to pass to get my certification.  Hopefully all goes well!  Congratulations if you made it all the way through without getting board, sorry if this was long and not really entertaining lol.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Almost there

Well we are almost there, almost to the weekend!  I am so happy that Wednesday has now come and gone! This semester is flying by in a flash and I am struggling to keep up with it and keep my head above water.  I am teaching my first of two lessons tomorrow at Harleton in Mrs. Brown's third grade class.  We will be learning subjects and predicates and I am PRAYING  I do ok, I really don't want to screw these kids up for life!  I don't think I can do that much damage, but I really do want to do well.  Pray all my activities work like they are supposed to and the children are receptive to what I have to say. 

I am in the bed right now blogging before I go to sleep because as I have said before this is a release to me of sorts.  Even if I have nothing to say I feel as if I should write something down, if for no reason than just to get the itch out of my system.  Mark is turned away from me snoring away, Wednesdays are LONG days for him and he comes home around 9 exhausted!  He had a throbbing headache when he got home, so he went to sleep earlier today.  I am not tired yet, so this is my something to do.

I always feel so guilty when I write these things though.  I don't know if my friend LeeAnn, who is also in my unit group feels the same way, but I always think I could be doing something more productive for school.  In a way, I am right, but then again not.  It is like I told some friends the other night when they asked if I had any homework I needed to be doing.  I told them "Sadly, there is ALWAYS something I can be working on at any given moment" and it stands completely true.  I should always be doing more lessons, writing more reviews or reflections, doing my technical writing that I have yet to complete, writing lessons for a dumb unit, heck even thinking about lessons for the thing lol.  However, I have come to learn that sometimes you need to just put those things aside (even if just for the 20 minutes it takes to blog) and not think about them at all.  I find that the more I dwell on those things that I have to do that are due later on in the semester the more nervous and stressed I become (duh).  So yeah, sometimes I just have to make that choice.  

Just in case you're wondering, Mark and I are doing well, still loving being married and getting to know each other the longer we are together.  It is so fun to just become accustomed to another completely new person.  There is something to laugh about everyday.  That is what I tell him off and on "I never thought I would laugh with you this much!"  It is such a joy to find joy in one another and it makes me sad to think that some couples don't anymore.  I want to always laugh together, at each other, because of something on the T.V., just laugh.  By the way, Mark is still loving his job at Macedonia Baptist being the assistant (or associate, I never can remember the correct term) worship pastor there.  He has relaxed some about the whole find a job thing, which I really think he needed to do, even if only for a little while.  He loves the kids and enjoys his co-workers so we are blessed.  The latest thing he really wants is a motorcycle!  I am certainly not to keen on the idea, and mind you he wont get one anytime soon, but that is the latest development here.    

So now that I have bored you with absolutely nothing, since nothing has really gone on today, I guess I will let you go.  Please pray for me tomorrow as I teach the same lesson 3 times to the third grade throughout the day!  I think I am going to need it!


Monday, September 8, 2008

Wonderful Weekends

I have got to say I LOVE weekends!  I cannot tell you how much I look forward to them!  I am sure I have said this in previous posts, but it is so true!!!  This past weekend was a doozy to say the least.  It started with Mark and I going back to Harleton Baptist to help with a little messy back to school bash for the youth!  It was fun, gross, messy, crazy, and everything in between.  I think the kids had a good time so that is always a good thing.  Anyways we left there maybe around ten or a little before, came back, got showered and ready for bed, and were eating a late night snack when my mom called.  

It was around 11 and she told us that Adam had flipped his truck, he was alright walking around, but they were taking him to the hospital just incase.  They had been putting new gravel on the road, and it hadn't had oil put on top of it or anything yet so it was loose.  He had set his cruise control to 55 or so and was 100 feet from the end of the loose stuff when his back tires fishtailed, he over corrected and flipped once into a ditch!!  So we left and went to the hospital where they were all there in the waiting room.  They called him back and mom came out at 1 and told us it would be a while and Adam said to just go home.  They ended up getting back around 4:30 after a CAT scan and x-rays that revealed a broken vertebra in his back (it isn't on the actual spine it is just the little wingy thing which is good).  He is so blessed that it was not worse than that.  He has no scratches or anything, just a swollen back with a strawberry on it.  God kept his hand over him for sure.  

We went out to Harleton to my parents' house Saturday to see everyone and check on bubba.  He was doing good, just sore!  We ate supper and all out there, went and saw my grandmother, uncle, and cousins.  I hadn't been out there in at least a month so it was nice to be there again.  Mark and I looked at each other and said we needed to go out there alot more than we do!  We enjoy being there and regret we doin't go out there more than we do.  I love my family, and I am so blessed to have them!


Friday, September 5, 2008

So happy for the weekend!

So TGIF, thank goodness it's Friday!!  I am sooo happy it is the weekend I cannot even tell you!  I woke up Wednesday thinking it was Friday and I really wished it was!!  This week was ssoo long it felt like it would never come to an end!  Alas, it has, and there is no one here that is happier than I am!  

It seems so funny that the busiest time in my life is the time I actually take to sit down and blog more.  I think I need it as a type of therapy haha!  I have really enjoyed it, I don't know how many people read this, how exciting our lives really are, or anything like that, but I guess I have figured out it is more for me anyway.  

I have been not feeling well this entire week, and let me tell ya, when I don't feel good, I let you know.  So poor Mark has been having to deal with me all week!  He has been so great though, fixing me dinner, telling me I will be ok, telling me I am pretty when I feel horrible!!  He just does sssoo much for me, I have been so blessed by him, so so blessed!

I went out to Harleton to intern again for the second time.  I was alot of fun, and I am really liking being out there for interning as opposed to Marshall.  It is so nice to be in a place were most people know you, you work with people who taught you, and it is just a much nicer and more open school to be in and around.  The kids are great and I really enjoy the third grade.  I have already planned the lesson I am going to do this coming up week, and I think I am ready to do it.  I have to get some other things in order to get it all complete, but not right now, not today I am taking it easy!  Well I feel as if I am babbling so I am going to go and get some rest!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Yours God. . .

I should be doing a slew of other things, working out, homework, cleaning the house, but I knew I had to blog about this before anything else happened.  

I hate how life gets sometimes, especially mine now that I am back in school, with a full 18 hours worth of make up classes!  I will be the very first to tell you I have the absolute worst case of senioritis known to man right now.  I am bitter about having to be in stupid classes, where I don't learn anything, feel like I am wasting my time, and doing meaningless busy work.  I am bitter about having to play catch up because of one bad advisor meeting my sophomore year.  I could probably continue, but you don't want to hear it, and I do not need to dwell on it anymore.  

I was sitting in my car about to get out after a long day of classes and dreading how it hasn't ended yet and everything else I had to do that day.  Then I tuned into what was on my radio at the moment and heard the voice of Steven Curtis Chapman singing the chorus to his song "Yours".  He is saying over and over again "Its all Yours God, Yours God, everything is Yours.  From the stars in the sky to the depths of the ocean floor.  Its all Yours God, Yours God, everything is Yours.  You're the Maker and Keeper, Father and Ruler of everything."  And although the actual song has nothing to do with my tired worn out academic mind and body, it spoke to me.  I realized that no matter what was going on, marriage, how many mountains of homework, tests, clothes, and everything else that is happening in my life right now, none of it is mine.  All my circumstances belong to Him, why am I worried?  

It also sorta echoed what I looked at in my quiet time today too.  It was 1 John 2:28- 3:3.  3:1a says "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God and so we are."  What a huge blessing that is, and I have been guilty of not abiding in it!  How silly of me to do something like that!  No matter how stressed out I get, or busy, or crazy, or anything, it is all His and I am His child, a gift like nothing else.

Sorry I wasn't meaning to preach at yall, I just had this revelation, and had to document it and get it all out!  

Monday, September 1, 2008

September Already!

Yep, it is already September! Where has time gone? Seriously, the year seems to be just flying by so fast!! I am afraid this semester is going to do the same thing! I was telling one of my classmates last week that there seems to be so much work that is due during the semester that it is making it seem shorter than it really is. I am afraid I am not going to be able to accomplish it all! I think that every semester it seems like, and somehow I always end up pulling through, but still it is scary at the beginning.

Today is labor day, a day when everyone should be off of work and out of school, but no, ETBU is gay and classes are happening! Right now I am in the library because Mark and Matt are at my house enjoying their day off playing nintendo! So jealous! I just cannot believe that we have to be here! I'm a little bitter about it if you can't tell! Anyways, so any plans for the holiday went right out the window. However, I am so blessed by an amazing husband, who between the time I left and came back from class (roughly an hour) he had put ALL the laundry in the wash, was hung up our shower rod, and was hanging the closet rod for the rest of our clothes! Talk about being excited, I was sssoo happy!

Yesterday was a great day. We didn't have to be at the church at 8 AM, nor did we have church that night, so we didn't have to be abck at 3:30! We took a LONG nap which was SSSOOO GOOD, at were just lazy for a few hours. When then headed to Longview to a Sunday School get together at Nicole and Phillip's house. We had a blast at our first married Sunday School thing. Mark was talking about it this morning and how this is something we will be doing for the rest of our lives, being at married socials, and how it was a blast!

Saturday we had a great day too! I cannot tell you how much I look forward to the weekends! Seriously they are like gold to me. We woke up late, went over to eat breakfast at Matt and Sarah's, came back and just layed around I think, then got ready to go to Jefferson. We went with Matt and Sarah, and had a great time. I never really think about Jefferson being a tourist town or whatever since I have lived around here all my life, but it really is. I was excited to tell them all about it, what little I knew, and just go and have fun! I got a flat wallet, something I had been wanting for a while, so that was a nice little treat! I will try to remember to posts some pictures later today of the outing! We then ended the day by watching our wedding (my idea of course) and reliving that wonderful day! It was so neat to go back and look and see some of the things we missed!

The looming storms from Gustav are heading our way. ETBU is housing evacuees in one of its gyms, ones that have medical needs. There was also a family of five move in right beside us Saturday night. It made me realized how blessed we are to live where we do. I also got scared and was like "Mark what would we do, what would we take, what would we leave?" I cannot imagine loading up in my car with as much stuff as I could and leaving everything else! I guess I have more of an awarness about it now than I did with Katrina, because I am on my own and older. Sorta one of those, I just now realized I have sorta grown up moments.

Anyways, well chapel hour is almost up and I probably should print out my homework and head to class! Please pray for all those misplaced by the hurricane, especially as it hits today!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

School, School, and more School!

IT is officially underway!  Summer is really over, sadly!!  I am sitting at home right now finishing up homework, watching a John and Kate Plus 8 mini marathon (currently my favorite show), and waiting on Mark to come home from his Wednesday night duties at the church!  I haven't seen him since 7:40 this morning, and I miss him!  They haven't even begun church yet though, so it will be another 2 hours until he's here.  

Tomorrow I begin my last internship before I start student teaching.  For this internship I am actually out at Harleton Elementary which is cool!  I am excited about it, though dreading being there for all day.  I am there before 7:45 then leave at 2:30.  However, my day is not done there.  I have a class that I didn't know about from 3:45 to 4:45 then one last one (and my only class on Tuesday) from 5- 6:20.  So yeah, I have a feeling I am going to come to DREAD my thursdays just because they are non stop!  It will be ok though, it will be all worth it in the end I hope because I will end up with a degree!  

So yeah, that is our life right now, settling into a busier, more tiring, more work to do kind of days!!  It will become a routine, some days harder, somedays easier, but all worth it!  I have to admit I was very scared about this school year and being married during it!  I had a little mini breakdown with Mark while we were at the cabin actually, just relating my fears about what this year held and if I can do it.  He did very good, reassuring me everything was going to be ok!  He is actually allowing me not to work this next year in order that I have more time to accomplish all my classwork, housework, and everything in between and not be stressed out!  Yeah I told you he is a really amazing husband!   I don't know what I would do without him, I am so happy to be living everyday life with my soulmate!  Well I better get back to my homework.  

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Last First Day

Well today was my last first day of school!!!   YAY!!  Sorta cool to think about.  I don't know when I will go get my masters, but to think I will be done with college in a year is crazy!  Sadly to say this semester is not going to be an easy one for me!  I have lots of classes that require a lot of just redundant and tedious work!  It will be okay though I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am going towards it as fast as I can.  

Blake, Mark's twin, came in to spend the weekend with us!  We had a good time with him, just catching up and seeing what all was going on in his life.  He lives in Dallas right now and is working at Enterprise for the time being and enjoying living with their other brother, Scott.  We went and chased the duck at the pond that chases other people and bites them, ate dinner together, just chilled.  We watched the last of the olympics and the closing ceremonies, which made me sorta sad.  I love the spirit the olympics send off, a unified nation for one cause, and a world tuned into the same thing at the same time.  Just sorta cool if you think about it.  

Well Mark is busy browning meat for dinner tonight with our next door neighbors, so I guess I better go and help him.  

Friday, August 22, 2008

Major Brownie Points

So can I just say I have the best husband in the whole wide world! He earned some MAJOR brownie points this past week. Not that he really had to, but he definetely poured it on thick with all he did for me!

First of all he took me on a surprise day and half get away thing before I started school. He was supposed to be (and still is) getting away with a bunch of boys for half of a week, but when some of the days fell through, instead of just going to work until they could all get together, he went ahead and rented a cabin out at lake Tyler for me and him. He called me and told me to ask for Thursday off because we were going to get away! We left on Wednesday to spend our first night there, and so I am home doing the last minute packing before we leave and he comes walking in the door. With him he has brought me a pot of flowers! It is beautiful! He said he knew I liked them and had been wanting some so he picked some up for me! Yeah, he is smooth.

So after finding the perfect place to put them, we load up the car and head out there. We stop at Wal-mart to get supplies and he also gets me a book! I know he is sssoo awesome! Anyways, then we head out to the cabin, get all of our stuff inside, then walk down to the dock and look at the moonlit water. Then it's back up to get all settled in, which we do, and then we read for like 2 hours! Yeah and let me just tell you that is my favorite thing in the world to do, curl up with a good book and just read!! We felt like a bunch of old fogies because we both read and then went to bed hehe!

After a slow morning and waking up late, we ate a great breakfast, read somemore, and then decided to go swimming! Since it had been raining all week the water was a little cold, but that didn't stop us from having fun. I stayed in there for a little while, but then got out and laid on the dock and took pictures of him. We both layed there and just talked and relaxed for a good hour and a half. Once we had our fill of the sun we headed back up to the cabin to do what else, but continue to read our books, of which I was able to finish mine (it was ssoo good)! Then we took showers and got ready to go out for a nice dressed up dinner.

He took me to this really neat place in Tyler called Julianne's! It is a different kind of food, beef slices, rice, and all of that sort! It was really good and somewhere different to eat. We got to try Edamame, something I had heard about on Regis and Kelly, and had been looking for but could never find until now. After that it was off to see his parents and brother for a short visit! It was great to see them and to just chill out for a little bit! To finish off the date we went to Andie's and got some icecream! Yeah I know, he is doing amazing, but it isn't over!

If anyone knows Mark, they know he DOESN'T stay up late. He can't really, he just ends up falling alseep, unlike me, I am a night owl for sure! Well we get back and get ready for bed, but instead of going to sleep he sets up a movie to watch on my computer. We both stayed up and watched The Pursuit of Happiness, and Mark actually made it through the whole thing and then some! We talked until we both were delerious lol!! He also got up with me early this mornign because I had to be back at work, and packed up my stuff and put it in the car while I was getting ready! So yeah, that was my great get away with the best husband in the entire world! He is amazing to me!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sunny with a High of 75

So I was informed by my mother that I don't update this thing enough, so I am going to make it my goal to update it more. I would say I would try to update everyday, but that probably isn't logical. My dream would be to do that, but I am sure once school starts I will be very busy!

Today is the day that freshman move in! Only problem is, outside is dark, and windy, and STORMY!! It is a horrible day to move in! Sadly our admissions friends are out there getting soaked to the bone! I feel so bad for them. Because freshmen are moving in today that means our office will probably become very busy with first time students and worse, first time parents!! It is funny because the parents are so worried they are forgetting something, there is something they havn't done, and they just want to be perfect their first time, which in all reality no one is. They just tend to freak a little bit more!

Today after work Mark and I are heading off to the lake in Tyler for a one day get away thing before I begin school! He was supposed to be going up there with just boys (which the boys are coming still), but they are coming a day later, so he surprised me with setting us up to be there the day before all his buddies come. I was and am so excited to just get away and relax, even if it is for only a day! It was really the thought and actions that counted, the fact he thought of me and set it all up! I have the best husband in the entire world, I just know it!

I am so sad this summer is days away from being over. I don't want it to end. I am not ready to go back to school and be stressed and tired and just everything else in the whole world! Hopefully it will not be so bad, and all I have to tell myself is "get through to May and you're done, make it to May!" That is a nice feeling knowing I am a senior and I am almost done! I don't feel like a senior in college, I can't believe I am actually to this point in my life. I know I am supposed to be a grown up and to the outside, I probably look like more of one than ever (what with being married and all). In reality though, I feel as if I am like still a sophomore or something, like I am stuck in the middle, waiting to grow up. It is happening before my eyes and even I am not noticing lol!! Oh well! Hope to have some pictures up soon!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Life In General

Welp, it is at the end of yet another week! Summer is sadly drawing to a close and I am sssoo sad to see it go! Lots of things have happened this summer, and it has been probably the best one ever for me so far. I've got things done that I have wanted to get done and yet some things are still not where I would like for them to be. I got married and have had a fantastic first two months, they have been fun filled, blessed, and just so refreshing! I have been able to sorta learn how to do this wife thing and how to enjoy it a little bit. I have learned more about the man I now call my husband, which is one of the coolest things. I have done a lot of really cool things that have made this summer so special.

The thing I have not really done good at keeping up with is this dumb class. I wish I were further along in it than I am and that I had more gumption to actually do it. Sadly I don't have either! It would be so much easier if it was just a regular writing class, but it isn't (fooey), it is business memos and analyzing business procedures and junk, none of which excite me. It is ok right now because I have until March to complete it, which I can do!

Mark is enjoying his new job at Macedonia. We have met tons of people and have even made friends in our Sunday School class, which is good because now I have someone to sit by in church while he is up doing his music thing! Speaking of which he got to lead the entire church on only his second Sunday there last week! The music minister is on vacation for 2 weeks and so Mark is responsible for the music! And he did SSSSOOOO good last week! Everyone we spoke to had such nice things to say and enjoyed it! I was so proud of him! He leads again this next week, which will be fun and I think his brother and parents will be there then too! I am really excited about it.

So yeah, the new things coming up in our lives. First of all for me school is about to start into full swing! The semester I am going into is supposed to be one of the hardest and most intensive semesters yet and I am going to have 18 hours! Two of those classes I am supposed to have already taken, and shouldn't be in this semester so that is a little nerve wracking. Plus this other class that I am working on! Not to mention I am now a student and a wife! So all in all I am just a little nervous about going into it! I don't want to over do it, and I don't want to be miserable all semester either! It will be ok..

Mark is still in the beginnings of this new job so that is something to be praying and thinking about. He is also starting some guitar classes which are going to be really good! I don't want him to spread himself to thin either. Yeah, life is about to pick up real quick! Should be a fun ride!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Our Little Home

Not a whole lot has gone on this past week, which is actually kinda nice, since everything changed at about this time last week! It will be nice to have a weekend to ourselves again, especially since school is about to start. I am SSSOO not ready for that to be here! I am still working on finishing out this other stupid class I am taking! I hate having homework during the summer, especially when I know it all could have been avoided! GGRRR! It is ok, I just wish it were different.

I am excited because tonight my Noni and Poppy are coming over to eat with us! Noni is going to help us put up some stuff around our little house to make it looke decorated more like a house instead of a dorm. It really isn't so bad, I actually think it looks decent for it being married housing an all, and really cramped! I am so ready to be in more than a one bedroom, but God has really blessed us with a place to live, so it is good to be there right now! It will be fun to host my grandparents too, and to feel grown up just a little bit more! hehe!

I am also trying to figure out how to put a thing a pictures on here for everyone to see them. Pics from the honeymoon, wedding, first days at the new house, and all in between. There are also pictures from camp that I was able to go to with Mark and the Cliftones. Anyways, I better get back to work! More to come soon!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Changes. . .

Soo, once again there have been changes in the lives of Mark and Kristen. God has been so good to us, answering prayers in BIG ways! First of all there is my one year of school left. For about the last year and a half, I have been in the process of trying to graduate on time after a schedule mess up from an old advisor. Anyways, there was a problem with classes and I was scared, if my new dean didn't allow me to take this one class simultaneously with the another one, I wouldn't graduate on time. Luckily, the new dean was VERY compassionate and overrode the system to allow me to take the class! I will graduate one time!! It will be a hard year, 18 hours instead of 12 in the fall and 12 hours istead of 6 in the spring, but I will be out of here!

Another blessing is with the cost of school and all. My financial aid package was phenomenal! The government realized how poor we were and gave us ssooo much help it is unreal. We are only going to have to pay $181 to the school, and get this, our rent is PAID FOR! From the aid given to us, my school, and our rent (except for the $181) is taken care of! WITHOUT LOANS!! HOLY COW, what a blessing!! God is sssoo good and providing for us in major ways!

Another way He has provided is with another job opportunity for Mark. He is now the Assistant Worship Leader at Macedonia Baptist Church. He will work with the youth praise team and something else, play the guitar in their morning service and lead the service when the music minister is absent! They interviewed him Thursday, offered him the job that night, and he started today (the Monday right after). It was all so quick, something we had been praying for earnestly for a while, and so completely God orchestrated! Please pray for him as he begins this new adventure.

So yeah, that has been the happenings so far in the Clifton household! Can't wait to see what the next couple of weeks holds!

Monday, July 14, 2008

One Month.

Well it has been one month to the day since we said "I do" to each other. I cannot believe how quickly time seems to just fly by! I can honestly say this has been one of the most fun months I have ever had and I cannot wait for the many more that will follow!! As far as what is new with us, well there are a few things happening.

First of all, we are getting a new bed!! We started out on a full size one, but were expecting a bedroom suite from my aunt and uncle sometime right after we got married! We are acutally going to get all of it tonight so that is exciting!!! It is a king size bed, complete with Mattress and all!! I cannot believe how blessed we are. The stuff is GORGEOUS, mahagony colored wood, and just beautiful. Mark said it is probably what we would have picked out for ourselves if we had gone shopping for a brand new one! I absolutely love it!! And the best part is it is free.

The second thing is that I got my schedule worked out to where I will acutally graduate on time!! And I will not have to take a ridiculously hard course this summer! I am so happy!! God has blessed me with an amazing dean who has helped me so much my 3 years at ETBU! I cannot tell you how excited I am about this!!!

Lastly, I am going to camp with the Cliftones! That was another surprise Mark had up his sleeve for me. I didn't think I was going to be able to go, but Mark pulled a few strings and I am now going!! Don't I just have the most amazing husband in the entire world. We leave Tuesday night to go to dallas, and then leave early from Dallas to drive six hours to the Sky Ranch camp in Quaw Paw ( I know I totally just messed that one up royaly) Oklahoma. We will be coming back on Sunday night!

We were both in Weddings this weekend as well, and say two sets of good friends get married away to the loves of their lives! It is all so exciting what God is doing in this time in life, I am absolutely loving it! God is good!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Woah. . . We're Married!!

Yep, that's right we actually did it, everything worked out, and on June 14, 2008 Mark and I tied the knot! It was so amazing, everything I could have ever wanted my wedding to be, and oh so much more!! The decorations looked great, the wedding party looked phenomenal, everything went off without a hitch! Mark sang to me as well, and for the first time in one of his songs to me I cried!! Or better yet, "bawled" according to Best Man Blake! It was ssoo sweet, so romantic, the perfect wedding, I am very very blessed.

We honeymooned in Shreveport for a couple of days, because Mark had to be back at work later in the week. It was so relaxing, I know one day I fell asleep for 3 whole hours! I didn't really know how exhausted I was until I actually stopped long enough to rest!! A wedding can really do you in! Another thing neither one of us really realized until after it was all said and done, was the amount of stress we both were feeling and how nice it was to now not have any. We were so amazed that we never fought ONCE on the entire honeymoon, sadly a far cry from the week or so before the wedding! We were able to stay in the Elderado Hotel and Casino, thanks to my Uncle Mike and Aunt Lori, and we were just lazy. We watched movies, I slept, we went out to the Boardwalk and bought new clothes, it was just nice!! We didn't want to come back!!

Come back we did though, to a group of friends and family waiting to see us and hear all about what we thought about the wedding and honeymoon etc. It is so wonderful to have both friends and family who will love and support you, especially in a such a big change as this one was. They have really helped easing into this whole marriage thing much easier to take and more fun.

Marriage life has been so amazing! You get to live with your best friend and find out so many new and exciting things that you didn't know before. You develop and even deeper love, trust, and bond than the one you had before the wedding. I didn't think it could happen, but it did. I loved Mark before, but I love him even more and in a slightly different way now that we are making our two lives one! I have never laughed so much with him, spent so much time, enjoyed his company, before now. I am really loving being a wife and having a husband. You just know it is so right and God really did pick you out for each other.

So what is coming up for the Cliftons? The band is playing at a camp this next week and I am getting to go!! I am so excited!!!! I didn't think I was going to, but Mark pulled a few strings of his own and now I am able to go!! I am also working on trying to finish as many lessons in the two distance learning courses I am taking this summer. There is just SSSOO MUCH WORK involved in both of these classes it is taking me alot longer than I expected! My brother and some others from my church are in South Dakota on a mission trip, they are having a blast and working hard, so that is another thing!

If you want to read more about the pre-wedding planning, you can go to this site and catch up on all my thoughts and things before the ceremony! Also I am going to try to get more pictures posted very soon! I have some, but am still waiting on others!

Friday, March 28, 2008

It's getting closer!

The wedding seems to be slowly, but surely creeping up on us as we speak!  I think we are both now beginning to see the reality of what is really about to happen.  We had our first marriage counseling session with Bro. Scott yesterday and that went really well.  I am excited about getting to know Mark a little bit better and learning how to work through things with one another, and hopefully some tips and tricks of the trade so to speak.  I think for us though, that night was like a reality check in a way, though it wasn't until much later after the counseling session that it really all came around.  

I believe we both just realized what a huge deal this is going to be and what an undertaking it is to combine and blend two different people from two different families and live together in harmony as one.  The way his family does things is not the way my family might do a certain something so it can annoy him, which is perfectly reasonable.  I'm the same way with certain things that he does that I notice is different in the way we perform daily tasks.  It is going to tak a lot of work, we already knew that, but the reality of it being 2 and a half months away is beginning to sink in fast!

Another thing that I think contributes to this feeling of being overwhelmed and nervous in a sense is the fact that the job I was talking about in the previous entry didn't work out.  They lied to Mark about certain things, neglected to tell him really important points, said they didn't say certain things when they did, and was almost asking him to lie in a sense and so he wisely decided it was not for him.  I cannot tell you how happy I am with that decision to walk away when he did.  He was not happy at that job, and I knew that, so because I knew that I was not happy with it either.  Now  however it poses a new problem such as what is he going to do for a job, especially with it being so close to the wedding date.  

The reality of the matter is I think God is preparing him for something in his life, something that is solely just of Him and much more than he and I are even thinking about.  God has equipped him to be at this time in his life, given him a place to stay at my grandmothers, where he doesn't have to pay rent or anything of that matter until we are married which will be nice.  My uncle has allowed him to work for the technology department at Gilmer ISD for the time being, but that work ends next week.  There are some prospects in mind, so please just keep praying God's will is displayed clearly to Mark as he decides what this next step in life is.  This adds to the scariness of it all I think, but I am also excited to see what God has in store for him and for us as we journey closer to being husband and wife. 

Well I think that is about all for now!  Hopefully I will be able to update you soon with more good news on the next turn life has taken us on.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Oh nothin. . .

So um not a whole lot has been going on, and everything has been going on all at the same time!! School for me has been pretty easy going this semester so far. Compared to last semester it is amazing! I don't have a different project to do every night and I find myself concerned by the lack of homework I am doing. I feel as if I should be doing some, but there really is nothing to be done!! I am not going to complain though, just count my blessings that it happened this semester while I am trying to plan a wedding and all!!

Mark started his new job this past Friday. . . His first full time job, and steps into the adult world!! I am so proud of him. . . He has done amazing even though I know he is overwhelmed at times. He handles these types of things so easily and calmly, it just amazes me. Please be in prayer that this job is everything he thought it would be and it continues to go well. He has been at a conference for it the past two days, but comes back tonight and I am so ready for him to get here!!!

Like I said not a whole lot going on, but hey you never know, that is always subject to change!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

First Blog

Isn't technology wonderful. . . People are able to keep in touch so much easier and stay connected in ways like never before. That is exactly the reason for this new blog, to keep in touch. I wanted a place where people could just put in an address and up came the web page and they could start to reading. I am hoping both Mark and I will write in it consistently and let everyone know what all is going on in our lives as we begin this journey together in a few short months.

As of right now, we are in the process of planning a wedding!! We are going to be married on June 14 and believe me, this is both exciting and scary all at the same time. Planning has gone amazingly well and has actually been alot of fun. I knew it would be tedious and time consuming, but thanks to my family, my mom, and his mom it has been relatively smooth and easy. The little things sometimes get me though. . . like what color light pink will I need for this, how will this thing set into this bucket, how will the flowers be tied together, and with what color ribbon will I wrap this stake in. . . lol so yeah I will stop there.

The flowers of choice are going to be calla lillies, hence the picture at the top. . . these are what the bridesmaids bouquets are going to resemble. I am really excited about it. Our colors are Chocolate Brown, light pink, a hint of hot pink, and champagne . A vintage feel is going to be the theme I believe, so if anyone sees any decorations or has any ideas on what can be done, please let me know!!! I want pictures to be everywhere as well. . . There are many things to still get done, but for the most part we are looking good!!
Hopefully Mark will update on this too and it will not be just me!! We shall see haha!! Hope everyone has a blessed day!