Monday, October 25, 2010

~ A Friend for Thought ~

How often in a day do you talk to a friend or family member? Every day, twice a day, twice a week, once a month? When you are working every day, taking care of your family, with grocery shopping, cooking dinner, and kids to school do you talk and visit with your friends? When your family lives close by, when your friends are only a coffee shop away, or you see them at church each Sunday, then you don't always think how important they are to your everyday living.

When you move 2,000 miles away from all of that you appreciate everything a lot more. The Sunday lunches at Grandparents house, and mexican restaurants, yard sales on Saturday morning, birthday dinners, trick or treating  at family houses, coffee or dinner an Panera Bread with friends, Sunday mornings at church, and many many games of Settlers.

This past weekend I have been feeling more homesick and missing family. I wanted to take a moment to remind everyone to appreciate the family and friends around them and tell my family and friends that I miss you all very much.

Family crowded around the stove ~ Cooking? 
Family together at the Palmers
My Family at Christmas
Bek ~ Nothing else needs to be said ~ 

My Parents ~ love mom even in her ugly shirt

My oldest 2 nephew ~ I could just pinch those cheeks

Me and My Granddaddy
Mom and Sisters ~ Great Road Trip & fun with family ~ 
Thanksgiving with Gingerbread houses

Me and Jen

(I miss everyone even if I don't have a picture of you up on the page)

Friday, October 22, 2010

One Week at a Time!

Nate took the job at inXile Entertainment last Thursday. He is now working his 14th day in a row and has at least 7 more days to go. I am so proud of his hard work and willingness to work two jobs during this transition time. He is loving this new gaming job and doing very well at it. He is working 5 days a week at the game studio and the the weekends at Maggiano's. 

Since Nate is leaving Maggiano's in a couple of weeks, then Nate put in a recommendation for me to take his place. I went on two interviews this week and found out yesterday that I have the job. I will find out later this week when I will start. I am super excited to work for this company. They do double or triple the amount of business that King's does and they will let me work 5 - 6 shifts a week instead of 3-4. Times and finances always get tricky when people start changing jobs. We are taking it one week at a time, and back to eating sandwiches to make sure we can get through the next couple of weeks. We know this is God's will for us and that he is showing us his love and care each day. We just have to keep our eyes on him and let him take care of us. 

Last Sunday the kids and I went to a new church, Beach Cities Community Church. The kids had a blast and really enjoyed going to their classes. Of course, Joel was impressed with the donuts and Wii projected on the wall. He also enjoyed the sword drills they did. Both kids are really excited to go back and also get involved in the weekly meetings. I enjoyed the service as well, and made it all the way through the service without crying. One of the hardest things for me in this move has been going to church and it not being like the services and churches I have been to in Alabama. I think for me it is a big reminder just how far from home I really am. God is helping get through this and being in communication with family and friends. 

I went on Wednesday with the kids to find Halloween costumes. After 4 stores and 2.5 hours we found all that we need to make Cori a witch w/ broom and Joel is Snake Eyes from GI Joe w/ sword. Special thanks to my mom for buying the costumes for the kids. Cori took her costume to school today because there is a Halloween after-school dance. This is Cori's first dance. I will have all the details of the dance tonight. One of the boys at school asked Cori to the dance, which I told her she could meet him there and still ride home with her girl-friend. The boys are changing daily so it is hard for even me to keep up with them. Boy, we are going to have our hands full. Glad I only have one girl, don't know how my parents did it. 

This morning I had to take something to Nate at work. He is working in Newport Beach about 20 mins south of us on PCH. It was my first time to Newport Beach and I can't wait till I can go back and stay and see the beach and Balboa island and pier. My favorite author wrote all about Christy Miller and her life in Newport. I can't wait to see it. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Baby and New Job!

~ Nate's New Job ~ 
Monday afternoon Nate was offered a job as a QA Tester for inXile Entertainment. This is a great opportunity for Nate and the job we moved out here for. Nate will start work tomorrow morning. He is going to try to work both the gaming job and the restaurant job for a little while. We will have to see how the whole 2 jobs things works out. We are just taking the nest step in God's plan. He is taking care of us and we are trying to follow His will for our family. 
Nate has applied at a bunch of different gaming companies in the last 3 months but not had any success with interviews. I had the worst sales job ever, and worst job of my life the first couple of weeks we lived out here. I only worked at the job for 3 weeks but my manager's best friend worked at inXile Entertainment and asked for Nate's resume and then the company called Nate in for an interview. Nate interviewed with this company the end of July and was just now offered the job. So through my worst job Nate will get his best job. Amazing how God works everything out for His good in His time. 

Newest Nephew Bryce
 ~ New Nephew ~ 
Last night, Nate's sister Jennifer gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Bryce Matthew Dillard was born around 8:30pm weighting 8 lbs 12 oz and 21.5 in. He has a really cute birth-date, 10-12-10. Nate and I were able to keep in contact with Nate's Mom through the whole day. We kept getting the status updates as things changed. Jen had to have a c-section after being in labor all day. So while Jen went to have the baby, the family went to dinner. While eating at the restaurant down the street, Matt text a baby picture to the grandparents and to let everyone know Jen and the baby were fine. There was some drama with the cell phones as everyone was trying to send the picture out to family members in other states. It is hard to be away from family on a regular basis but even harder to miss the BIG events like this one. We are so super excited for Matt and Jen and SO excited to once again be Uncle Nate and Aunt Val. I have already decided his nickname from Aunt Val will be the little iceman. I don't know where I get the nicknames for my nephews but they just seem to fit. 
(All pictures courtesy of Aunt Betty Palmer, the best aunt who is always around with a camera, love and a helping hand)
Grandma with Bryce (grandchild #3) 

The family after Matt told them that Bryce was here!

Proud Grandparents

Proud Grandparents with Bryce

Monday, October 4, 2010

Boyfriend Talks

Every girl remembers the talks from their dad about boys and boyfriends. My dad always asked the same question "Is he a Christian" and "where does he go to church?". At 12 I did not care, neither was it the first question I asked a boy who thought I was cute. I would tell my dad that I had a boyfriend and we are "going together". He would always ask "going where"....It was a frustrating round of questions and answers of me having to explain the concept of boyfriend/girlfriend and "going out" when you could not "date" yet. I heard Nate and Cori having the same kind of conversation today. I caught most of it on video. The video is not the best because I did not want them to know I was recording them. It is still a funny video and a true passage for a girl to get this conversation from her dad. It will not be the last of these conversations.

Thankfully I listened to my dad and started asking those 2 important questions. By asking those questions, I weeded out some possible bad boyfriends and found a few good ones. My dad became my "go to" guy for dating and keeping the bad boyfriends away. Anytime I did not want to date a guy, I blamed it on my dad and his rules, which dad had no problem backing me up with. It meant I spend a few more Friday nights at home or with girlfriends but it kept me safe. I know Cori will be able to depend on Nate for her boyfriend backup too.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Goodbye Shoes!

Today, I said goodbye to my favorite pair of shoes. They were Clark slip-on shoes that use to be my mother-in-laws. She gave them to me for my birthday 4-5 years ago. I loved these shoes but they have finally fallen apart and can not be repaired. I will have to go to the outlet stores and find some new ones.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Love is Showing it All Year Long!

Hoover Homecoming Dance

15 years ago this Sunday, Nate and I started dating. Our first date was a Hoover High Football game and then Waffle House after the game, oh yeah, and because my parents had not met Nate yet, my brother got to come along on the date. Our first date without siblings was the Hoover Homecoming dance and then the game the next night.

October 3rd, 1998

12 years ago this Sunday, Nate and I got married. It was a fun day of family and friends with lots of great memories. There was a misplaced flower arrangement, Alabama lost to Florida, lots of tears, and an emergency run to Burger King for a burger for the bride. 

Our Wedding Day 
Love is not what you do, give or get on your anniversary but how you treat each other the rest of the year. Here is one of many examples. On Wednesday I was feeling sick and yucky. After getting the kids off to school, I went back to bed. As Nate was leaving for a lunch shift, he made me go to the living room. He had the recliner (since we don't have a couch) set up  with tv remote, vitamins, glass of apple juice and some snacks for later. When he came home from work he took care of the kids and their homework, took a walk with me to get me moving, and let me get a good nights sleep. I was feeling much better by the next morning. 

Our most recent picture ~ From Nate's Mom's Deck 

12 years, 2 kids, 3 dogs, 2 gerbils, fish and many, many puppies later, we are happier now then when we first got married. Everyday is an adventure and I am looking forward to many many more! I love you Nate. Thank you for everything. I love you more each day. 

Life Comes At You Fast!

As the week was going by, I was thinking I did not have much to tell about but as I sit here and think back over the week, funny stories keep popping up. 

Cori lost a tooth early in the week and came to me and asked for money. She said she did not believe in the tooth fairy but still wanted the money. I passed this one off to Nate. Then Cori took the tooth to Nate and asked to trade it for money. Nate gave her $2. She was so excited. 

On Tuesday, Cori came running home from school with her 1st official boyfriend. She was so excited and talking a mile a minute. I was so happy for her. Then on Thursday after school she came home to tell us that she broke up with him. The boy was using her and only asked her to be his boyfriend because his friends all have girlfriends. Cori took it like a trooper and was glad to "dump" him. 

Joel is learning more and more about playing older age video games. Nate and Joel have started playing the Halo games together. They have beaten the first halo and started on Tuesday with Halo 2. Joel is getting much better than he use to be at these games for older people. 

Last night everyone was home for dinner. Nate and I made mexican, which was homemade guacamole, homemade salsa (hot for me and mild for the boys), and chicken fajitas. We had the music going in the kitchen while Nate and I cooked and Joel sat a the high-top counter testing the food. Then we ate dinner at the high-top counter and had fun chatting and laughing.