Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

6th Anniversary Weekend

I think that for our 6th wedding anniversary we did the most fun thing that we've ever done as far as anniversary celebrations go. We went to the Snoopy Ice show at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, TX. Everything is made of ice that is hand carved by Chinese stone sculpture artists. The whole thing is in a tent turned freezer & they give you parkas to wear. Snoopy was one of mine & Jon's favorite cartoons when we were growing up (back when it was actually worth it to get up & watch cartoons on Saturday mornings!). What's funny is that both of our favorite was Garfield... you never know maybe they'll do a Garfield Ice show some Christmas, since they have a different theme every year. It was really fun, & we've already decided that one day when we have kids we are going to take them as many years as we are able to as a sort of family tradition.

Jon getting up from the big ice slide. He almost didn't do it, but I made him... you can tell from the look on his face I think he was glad I made him. I did it first, & being the kid at heart that I am I would have done it over & over if I could have :)

The Nativity made out of ice was enormous, and the pictures just don't do it justice! It was beautiful!

I thought the Christmas tree made out of wine bottles was really neat. It was so big!
The little house is actually made out of 800 sheets of real gingerbread baked by Duncan Donuts. It smelled so good, just standing near it!

Here we are eating our dessert at The Oak Room restaurant inside the Gaylord. I had a delicious creme brulee' and Jon had these little chocolate muffin things with raspberry and chocolate sauce.

We also got to visit the Dr. Pepper museum in Waco before we went to the OU vs. Baylor game!

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's Football time in Oklahoma!!

On my birthday weekend we got to go to one of my favorite places... Norman, OK to cheer for my Sooners. My cousin Paul who's actually more like a brother got to come with Mom & me to the OU vs. Colorado game. We had a lot of fun, & of course you know we had to eat at Ted's Escondido. If you're ever in the OKC or Norman, you've got to eat at Ted's. They have excellent Fajitas & Queso :) I've been on the road a lot lately, & we're off again this weekend. We're going to see the Big 12 Championship at Dallas Cowboy Stadium, and Jon is taking the day off so he can come too! Jon works 6 days a week, and very rarely takes off. He did take off 2 days for our anniversary, he was off on Thanksgiving day, & now he's off this Saturday... I've been very happy getting to have him with me lately.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


It's been awhile since I've actually had any time to sit down at my computer, so I haven't been the best blogger. Thank you to everyone who wished Jon & me a happy anniversary. Our anniversary weekend was filled with emotion. We had a great day, but the end of it was filled with saddness because my friend's father passed away. I have known Emily & her family since I was 3, & we went to school & had almost all of the same classes from Pre-K through High School Graduation. As an adult I had the priviledge of working in the same operating room with her dad on several occasions. My dad (an OBGYN) & her dad (a pediatrician) have worked side by side since our family moved to Texarkana over 23 years ago, & our moms are friends. I wrote a blog post talking about Dr. Burns & his pizza making skills back in June you can read about it here Dr. Burns was a Green Beret, and earned a Bronze Star & a Purple Heart for his service in the Vietnam War, but not many people even knew that side of him. I didn't even know it until 4 or 5 years ago, & I was completely astounded because he was always the kindest, most gentle, soft spoken man. Even in the midst of very stressful situations where I have seen many other doctors snap at nurses & lose their tempers, I never heard him raise his voice or talk down to anyone. Some people want their lives to really make waves, and they believe that in order to leave a lasting impression they have to draw a lot of attention to themselves. Dr. Burns never tried to draw any attention to himself, but had a quiet dependable presence that many came to rely on in ways that they didn't even realize until after he was gone. He tried to live his life in service to God and to others, and in turn has left a legacy that will not be forgotten.
Jon & I had just finished eating our dinner at one of the restaurants at the Gaylord Texan when my phone rang with the news that he had suddenly passed away with a heart attack. Somehow, sad things have a way of happening on days that are supposed to be happy. My best friend Jacqueline Poulos drowned in Galveston on Mother's day when we were very young. My cousin Catherine turned 25 & found out she was expecting her first child the same day our grandfather Papa passed away. Mine & Jon's 3rd anniversary was the last time we saw my grandmother MayMay before she passed way on Thanksgiving day, 3 days later. Right after I got the news about Dr. Burns I couldn't help but ask God, "Why do these things always seem to happen when it's supposed to be a happy day?" Over the past week I've come to understand. As a Christian God promises that in the midst of death, there is life. In the midst of sorrow, there is joy. Everything that happens in our life is meant to be used for His Glory & to reach out to others. Sometimes we aren't able to reach out to other people until we have actually been through our own valleys.

I am so unworthy of the Grace that has been given to me. There are so many ways that I fail God, myself, & others. I'm only human, and I have a lot of limitations. I fail at a lot of things, and if I allow myself to dwell on it, then I am the world's best at defeating myself. No one knows how to bring me down better than I do! I can find the flaws in other people's accusations against me, but if I decide to swing the hammer on myself, I will hit the "sweet spot" every single time. Everytime I do or say something wrong I immediately find fault with myself. I am awful when I try to tell a lie because as soon as it comes out anyone who knows me can catch the sudden look of conflict that I can't hide on my face. I am a very tender hearted person, and I make no apologies for my lack of a "poker face." Fortunately and unfortunately I have inherited a great deal of my personality from my grandfather Papa. I have watched that man experience every kind of emotion from happiness, to gratefulness, to fear, worry, anger, sadness, and laughter. He didn't try to hide his feelings, and he'd always say, "It is what It is!" I can't tell you how often I find myself saying the same thing. I've never been able to pretend I like something, when I don't. I've never been able to conceal my delight, enthusiasm, or excitement over things that I love. We are never more than a breath away from leaving this world, so we shouldn't try to hide our feelings from one another. When you love someone, don't just say it, SHOW IT! Try to show others the appreciation you have for them while you are able, because you never know how much they may need or appreciate your encouragement!

Monday, November 15, 2010

What's going on in our neck of the woods?

I haven't really had any time to blog lately because we have been so busy. This morning Jon & I were up bright and early to be one of the first church groups to drop off our Operation Christmas Child boxes at the Rose Hill Regional Collection Center. We are so excited that Trinity Presbyterian has gotten on board with this wonderful outreach ministry. Last year was our little church's first year to put together boxes, and we had 82. This year was our second time to do it, and we had 128 boxes! I just can't tell you how pleased I am that it has been such a success!
This was my 10th year to be involved with filling shoe boxes. It has been a wonderful tradition in mine and Jon's house that we have been doing together since we first got married. Jon & I got married November 19, 2004, just a week before our church at the time collected the boxes. Like most newlyweds who are still in school, we didn't have a lot of money, but as soon as we got back from our honeymoon, we went out & bought our first Christmas Tree & 4 plastic boxes, 2 we filled with boy toys & the other 2 with girl toys.
Speaking of our wedding date, you might have noticed that Jon & I are just a few days away from our 6th anniversary. How does it happen so fast? WOW!
So, in honor of our upcoming anniversary I will tell you the best part of our marriage is the way we always have something to laugh about with each other. These are 6 of our all time funniest moments!
1. A few years ago on our way back from South Padre we had a flat tire & Jon got so sweaty putting the donut on that he took his shirt off. We get down the road about 10 miles, & come to a US citizen check point. Lots of the cars are just being waved through, but we got asked to stop. The border patrol looks at us & asks Jon if he is an American citizen (yes I know that my Italian husband looks Mexican when he is tan). Jon's immediate response, "Si!" Oh my goodness! I almost killed him! I think the officer could tell by my face that someone was about to get it, so he waved us on through. It wasn't funny at the time, but now it is one of those things we crack up about.
2. In the middle of a conversation about kid names I had a blonde moment & said, "If you're going to call a boy Dick, then don't name him Robert!" (I don't think that one needs any further explanation)
3. On that same previously mentioned trip to South Padre we were riding along, and out of no where Jon just blurts out, "Ocean fish have teeth."
4. One day I decided to take up the tile in Jon's bathroom. Without having a clue what I was doing I took a hammer & went to pounding the old porcelain tile up to dust! I had gotten about 3 square feet done when Jon came in to find me in a cloud of dust with a really bad hurting elbow. I soon learned there was a much easier way to get up tile that didn't even create a lot of dust.
5. We were looking at Christmas trees in Target, & Jon said, "I like this one, look it has Coney Maronies on it!" (pine cones)
6. On the 4th of July just after we moved in our house & we hadn't gotten the carpet up. I had the "Brilliant" idea to light a sparkler in the living room.... I'd seen it in a movie OK!! Well one of the sparks hit my hand, and I dropped the Sparkler & singed the Carpet right in front of the fireplace. Jon was watching the whole episode completely stunned because he couldn't believe what his pyro wife was doing!
& 1 to grow on...
Last night I had to stop Jon in his tracks because he was about to spray his toothbrush with Lysol! He thought that since he's been sick he needed to disinfect it. Luckily I got to him just in time & introduced him to my bottle of Listerine that I use to soak my retainer in.
We may not have it all together, but together we have it all!

Monday, November 1, 2010


This is a little Eurasian girl that was adopted this year from a an orphanage in Russia in the arms of her very proud papa. Isn't she a doll!

How do I follow my previous post? What can I share with you that would be of any value in comparison to the lives of so many children? It isn't easy to answer that question. If the information I shared caused one person to think... "Wow, I had no idea! If I could, or if I can in the future I want to adopt, or help someone else that is adopting one of these children," then it made a difference that I am proud of. Adoption has a lot of expense on the front end, and I don't know of very many people that have enough money in their checking account to pay for it at once. Some good news is, there are lots of places that make low or no interest loans to help pay for adoption. Also, part of the money that is spent adopting a child is given to help those that are still left behind in orphanages.

In my previous post I mentioned people with infertility issues because for many years they have been the main group who ends up choosing adoption. Any adoption agency will tell you that the number of people trying to adopt since IVF and surrogacy has dropped dramatically. The only problem is that the number of children that need to be adopted has not changed.

After speaking with the President of Grace International Adoption Agency last week, I discovered that right now there is no waiting time to get a child through foreign adoption. Once a couple's paperwork and home study is complete they will typically be home with their child in 3 to 5 months. They also caution couples to be aware that they may be referred a child that they must travel to see in as little as one month! Those of you who have been following my blog know that Jon is adopted. His parents applied to two or three adoption agencies, and waited for him for 3 1/2 years! So there are a lot of things that have changed.

I have nothing but compassion and empathy for couples that want to have children, & have run into an unexpected dip in the road. I know I have referred to the movie before, but completely fell apart watching Up when Carl & Ellie are daydreaming and making plans to have a baby, then she discovers that she can't, & goes out to sit in the backyard alone. I can't tell you how many hours I spent in our back porch swing thinking, "What are they chances?" "Why am I going through this?" "What should we do?" I finally stopped feeling helpless when I quit asking myself these questions, and I turned all of my fears, frustrations, hopes, and questions over to the Lord. Can I just tell you right now, that what ever IT is that you may be struggling to deal with, HE is able to take care of IT? I have complete peace that whatever is supposed to happen is going to. I don't feel defeated, and because of that my life is just as complete right now without a child yet as it will be when we get one.

Some people may think that I am completely against medical research and infertility advancements. As someone that has completed Institutional Review Board certification (to oversee & review doctors, scientists, and others who wish to conduct medical experiments on humans) I can promise you that assumption is the furthest thing from the truth. I love research, not only is it necessary, but it is interesting (yes I've admitted that I'm a nerd on more than one occasion). I've had a couple ideas of my own that I've researched, and would like to have a qualified person conduct further experiments on.

My 27th birthday was on Sunday, and it meant a lot to have so many people send me their best wishes on facebook, through cards, & on the phone. I hope everyone is getting that inner excitement for the Thanksgiving & Christmas season. I know I am!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Babies That No One Ever Hears

Do you ever have something very heavy on your heart, that try as you might, you can't stop thinking about? There are things you learn growing up with a nurse for a mother, and an obstetrician for a father that really impress a knowledge that pretty much anyone can have a baby, but not everyone has what it takes to be a real parent. There are approximately 9 million known children in the world that have been abandoned or placed in orphanages. Out of those children fewer than 1 million of them will ever have a real home and family that cares for them. I know that most couples want to have their own biological children that have their father's eyes, and their mother's nose, but is that what really matters? A shared gene pool doesn't make you more of a family. I'm not saying that people shouldn't have their own children, but I know many people who claim that they "desperately want a child", so they shell out the big bucks for all sorts of infertility treatments and procedures. Don't get me wrong, modern medicine is amazing, and if that is the way God calls you to create your family then that is awesome. I just think it would be awesome if instead of using things like IVF, more people actually looked around and said, "With so many children in need of a home, why don't we spend our money on adopting a child that already exists, and desperately needs us?"
I believe part of the reason more couples don't consider adoption is because they aren't aware of what is happening to children in other parts of the world. I know that children in many places are enduring hardship that we can't imagine, but I want to share with you some of the things I have learned about Russia while I was working on my master's degree in Interprofessional Health & Human Services, and through personal research so I can give more specific examples. Did you know that right now in Russia there are 1.5 million children that are available for adoption? In Russia the primary birth control treatment is abortion. Yeah, you read that right. Most people can't afford to pay for oral contraceptives, and condoms aren't in every 7-11 on the corner, but abortions are provided for free through their health system. It isn't uncommon for doctors to see women who have had over 20 abortions. If a woman doesn't realize she is pregnant early enough for a D&C then they carry the child to term, and leave it at the hospital. From the moment a mother abandons her child, they are automatically labeled by the government as disabled. In Moscow a new mother recently walked to the nursery to check on her newborn. Across the hall from the regular nursery was another room with at least 20 other newborns that were completely naked laying in their own waste with tape placed over their mouths so that no one would hear them cry. She had her camera phone, and was able to capture what we find unbelievable. It is actually a common practice for nurses and orphanage keepers to tape the mouths of infants and to tie toddlers down on their beds so that no one will have to see or hear them. It doesn't take more than a couple of weeks, and suddenly the child no longer cries, no longer tries crawling, or walking around. Completely healthy children are completely neglected, and allowed to become what their label indicates "Disabled." There are many kind hearted Russian people who are trying to help these children, but the problem is so enormous that there aren't enough facilities, resources, or people that can take care of them. In St. Petersburg there are currently 16 baby homes (for children under the age of 3) the smallest one houses 80 babies, and the larger ones average close to 200. In Moscow there are 25 baby homes that are the same size. This is just 2 cities, there are countless other baby homes across this vast country. This doesn't even take into consideration the orphanages for older children. Many of these children will experience some sort of sexual or physical abuse while living inside the orphanages. Right now 3 out of 10 of these children commit suicide before their 20th birthday. These aren't just statistics. These are children whose hardships we can't even begin to comprehend. As someone that is seriously considering the options of adoption, I wonder, "What if Jon & I could change life for just one of these kids" I'm reminded of one of the last scenes in the movie Schindler's List when the Jews present Schindler with a ring that is engraved in Hebrew with they Jewish saying, "He who saves one saves the whole entire!" Most people never hear about what these children live through. I can't drastically change the world, but I can write, and I can at least raise awareness. I pray that God will lead me in whatever way He wants to do something.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Early to Bed - Early to Rise

Early to bed - early to rise... starving! with a headache! & a half inch long ulcer in my mouth that is making it really hard to eat or get rid of the headache! Ok, I'm sure you weren't even remotely interested to hear why I'm up & at it this morning. While I'm typing my sweet baby Zipper Cat just crawled up in my lap, and has proceeded to "make biscuits" (kneed my leg). He's purring up a storm, and sends his kitty cat love to all of you guys this morning.

My birthday is this coming Sunday, so I've gotten a couple presents from family that live out of town already. My cousins Catherine, Andrea, & Rachel got me the coolest OU Scentsy warmer with a Cranberry Muffin wax bar, and it smells so good. I have it plugged in my kitchen, & it is strong enough that I can smell it throughout the house, but not so strong that it gives me a headache (which is very important because I'm one of those people who can't handle strong smells). When I say that, lots of people give me that, "Uh, oh you're pregnant" look, but I can assure you that is not the case. I've been this way since I was really little. I even had to leave yoga several times when I was taking it in college because the instructor would always burn this candle that made me throw up, and since I'm not a big fan of bulimia I decided I wouldn't sign up for that again. So, anyways I'm loving my OU Scentsy warmer. They have quite a few college teams to choose from, but I'm sad to tell all of my Razorback friends they don't have Arkansas. They do have Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, OSU, LSU, Alabama, & a bunch of others. If you want to get someone a nice Christmas present that they will use all the time, it's a winner.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mixed Media Madness

Welcome to my office-studio-screened in back porch!

So, I've been trying out a new kind of art, and I'm really enjoying it. Mixed media involves using more than one medium. It isn't as easy as you might assume just by looking. Most of the time when I start out on a picture, I have a mental picture of what it is going to look like when I'm finished. Mixed Media pictures involve a lot of spur of the moment decision & improvisions. I may have a general thematic idea when I start a mixed media picture, but I don't know what it is going to look like. I've always thought, "Gee that looks easy!" Believe it or not, there are a lot of rules involved to keep it astetically pleasing. It takes a lot of time, layers, & supplies to make it look right. There is a lot more to each picture than what you'll ever see!

This is the first Mixed Media Picture I did at a workshop here at my house with Deeann Rieves. She is a very accomplished artist from Texarkana, she attended The Memphis Art Institute & is currently a newly wed living in Atlanta, Georgia. You can check her out at

Since the workshop I've set off on my own mixed media discovery journey!

A pastel Cross

A Dark Colored Cross

It is not easy to work on a strange shape like a Fleur De Lis!

I had the background started for an abstract flower picture, but decided to make it a mixed media. I realize I may have gotten just a little bit busy-carried away on this, but it's really cool in real life! It would have been awesome in my bedroom when I was a teenager! It's everything girly & fun!

I call this one "Til There Was You"

I call these two Rest & Relaxation

I had originally done an abstract picture that I just wasn't pleased with, but I recycled it and added mixed media to it, and Voila! I'm thinking I may call it "Who Would You Love To Sit With"

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in having me doing a piece for you. This type of art can be personalized with family pictures, newspaper clippings, & other small items to create a lasting family heirloom.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Think Pink

October is a very special month, not only because my birthday is on Halloween, but it is a month that we are all reminded of a disease that has caused so much pain, suffering, and death for women of all ages & ethnic origins. I spent almost two years working full time at my father's OBGYN office, and I can't stress to all of you ladies how important it is to do self checks & go to the doctor every year. While I was working for him, he diagnosed a couple women that I'd known all my life with this disease. I can't tell you how difficult it is to be in a room with someone when they get that kind of news. Every time I'd think to myself, this could be My Mother, My Sister, My Grandmother, My Aunt, My Best Friend... this could be Me.
To all of the special ladies out there... Be on your guard. Early detection is the best way to keep from joining the list of breast cancer casualties. I recommend that you check yourself at least once a month while standing and while laying down. There are things you can feel laying down that you can't feel while standing & vise versa. It is also important that you pay attention to checking the pits of your arms because they are full of lymph nodes, and many "breast cancers" are actually found under your arms. If you have questions about whether you are doing your self-exam right, ask your doctor to take a few minutes to show you, and explain what sorts of things you are checking for. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, call your doctor right away. It is always best to be safe than sorry.
On the day of Race for the Cure I took some pictures of cute pink stuff... Enjoy :)
Couldn't get a decent picture without the flash... I was in Sam's & you know how the lighting is in there.

My Wallet
Me & my fabulous pink ring!

Magenta & Hello Kitty

Pink Yankee Candles

Pink Ribbon Tea Cups

I saw this dog with the pink collar at Canton this month. It is a Micro Tea Cup Chihuahua in a snuggy bed the size of a coozy!

Hello Kitty Cupcakes
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