Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Under a Texas sky...

Julia, our budding photographer, took this photo of me in my parents' front yard this morning. After we took Chad's mom to the airport, we were on our way to Baytown for our first visit since we moved in August. Our first stop was at the home of Meagan, Julia's best Baytown friend, where the two shared a joyful reunion.

Julia is sleeping over at Meagan's tonight. From Meagan's house, we drove by Kim and Mary Lou's house and they happened to be outside so we stopped and talked for a while. Then we went on to Baytown Seafood, where we met our friend and Chad's former co-worker Bill Ehlig and his son and daughter-in-law, Eric and Paula. Then back to Houston. We're going to back to Baytown tomorrow to have lunch with friends, hang out with friends, close a bank account, hang out with more friends and go to church. Then we're going to Starbucks to hang out yet some more with yet more friends. We'll pick up Julia somewhere in there and head back to my parents' house.

NOTE to Baytown people: We were going to go to the Sneads' house after church, but now we're moving the party to Starbucks on Garth. The freestanding one, not the one inside Target. As much as I would like to go Targeting.

Monday, December 25, 2006

"For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Isaiah 9:6

Friday, December 22, 2006

Family Talent

Check out this short video starring my brother, Brian.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Christmas Miracle

This time of year, I like to reflect on family, friends, and -- most importantly -- the birth of Jesus Christ.

I also like to reflect on another cherished Christmas memory of mine. My most favorite Target purchase ever.

It was the Christmas season of 2005 and I was at my beloved Baytown Target. In the One Spot, to be exact. They had just gotten in a shipment of Christmas CDs. For a buck. I was looking through them and found Handel's "Messiah" in its entirety. I threw it in my little red cart and went on my way.

A year later, I still can't believe I scored this thing for a buck. I'll be driving around my Suburban, lost in the utter brilliance of Handel's masterpiece, and I'll think, "This glorious music cost me ONE DOLLAR." And it's not like it was recorded by some schmuck group of musicians like the Podunk Chamber Orchestra. I think it's the London Symphony Orchestra. It's in the car, or I'd go check.

I'm not strictly a "Messiah" fan when it comes to George Frideric Handel. At our wedding, I walked down the aisle to the overture from "Music for the Royal Fireworks." One thing my mom, a concert cellist, ingrained in me at an early age was a love for classical music. That's why this Church of Christ girl "just said no" to the a capella wedding.

In other Nall news, Julia has experienced a phenomenon in the abyss that is her room. This concerns her vast collection of Polly Pockets. Some Polly Pockets come with pets, and because she received two of the same set in the past year, she has two identical little poodle dogs. Well, yesterday she was going through all of her Polly Pocket stuff and lo and behold, she found THREE of these dogs. She brought them to me and announced "It's a Christmas miracle!"

"Great," I said. "Put them in a box and see if there are five tomorrow." I was being sarcastic as usual, but that sounded like a terrific idea to her and she ran off to find a little box.

She checked it this morning. Still three.

In yet more Nall news, we are leaving Saturday for Houston to spend Christmas with my parents. Then on Wednesday the 27th, we'll be in Baytown to see friends and go to our old church that night. (We were going to go to church in Baytown on Dec. 31, but out plans have changed.) After church on the 27th, my best Baytown girlfriend Lois is having a little shindig at her house for anyone who wants to come hang out with us. So come hang out.

It will be weird being back in Baytown since it's not really home now but it WAS home for such a long time before Aug. 7. So I don't really know how to think of it now. I think driving past our old house will make me sad. So I think I won't do that.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Merry Early Christmas to Us

Chad and I decided to give each other a new comforter set for Christmas. Our other one was only a few years old but we were ready for something else. I decided to go not-too-girly and not-too-manly so we got a plaid set at Sears and then we stopped at Target for me to get some floral accents (valance and pillow). I think it's a good balance. I had to pick all this out in a hurry since Chad's mom and the girls were with us -- not to mention how INSANE the West Little Rock Target was on Saturday -- so I think I did a good job, considering.

Here I am right before our Christmas service last Sunday. The service opened with a short play that Julia was in, but halfway through it, she started feeling sick and I took her to Chad's office. About the same time, Jenna started acting awful, which is hard to tell from this picture:

So then I was in Chad's office with both of them and I thought, "Why the heck am I even here?" So we went home. I heard the service was really neat and a great blessing to everyone. I'm hoping next year I can actually see it.

I'm not writing anything this week. This is good since Chad's mom is here and taking care of her AND Jenna all day is pretty much a full-time job. Speaking of which, it's lunch time for everyone so I better run.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I lost five pounds in two days!

And you can, too! With the amazing "Stomach Virus Diet." It's so easy! Here's all you have to do:

1) Have a family member come down with a stomach virus.

2) Catch it.

You will nearly waste away to nothing within 24 hours! And you will have absolutely no appetite -- guaranteed!

Here are some other benefits to this amazing diet:

- You will wake up in places you didn't go to sleep in!

- You will see visions of dead relatives!

- You will add new words to your vocabulary, such as "$%^*#" and "@#$&*%!"

- You will watch your husband run around in a frenzy trying to take care of you, the kids, AND his ailing mother!

Try it today! You'll be very, VERY sorry you did.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Some things you'll never hear me say

1) "Oh, honey, don't change it yet. I haven't quite had my fill of Sports Center."

2) "Do we HAVE to go to Target? AGAIN???"

3) "I'll take mine medium rare."

4) "Jenna must be our easy child."

5) "I know exactly where Mike Cope is right now."

6) "Moving was fun! Let's do it again!"

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Continuing Saga of Sick Family Members

A couple of weeks ago it was Jenna with bronchitis. Today it's Julia with a sinus infection. I took both of them to Julia's doctor appointment today. We got a built-in Target trip since that's where our pharmacy is. Anyone else ever notice how friendly Target pharmacists are? We loved Carmelita at Baytown's Target, who was always giving us coupons for free popcorn. And the pharmacists at our new Target here are also so nice and helpful. When I was filling out Julia's info, I accidentally put Jenna's birthday and the pharmacist called the doctor (the girls and I were busy across the store at the 75%-off clothes), wondering why she had prescribed something so strong for a 2-year-old.

And the pharmacy was a 1/2 bottle short of Julia's antibiotic, and they were so terribly sorry, but could I by chance come back to Target within the next several days to pick up the rest?

Well, Mr. Target pharmacy man, I guess I can work it in.

Then Chad came home from work sick, and I'm not feeling so well myself. I have two deadlines Wednesday. Then Chad's mom, who's not entirely self-sufficient, will be here Thursday.

I might run away. Hot Springs sounds nice.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sleeping is for wimps

I haven't been blogging this week because I've been up to my eyeballs in deadlines. I've slept maybe five hours since Monday. You know it's deadline time when you email your editor at 2 a.m. and he emails you right back. I have two interviews and another story to write tomorrow and then I'm done until next week.

Julia has become a Southern Baptist. At least on Wednesday nights. She's going to Awana at Geyer Springs Baptist, which is a big old honkin' church between here and Little Rock. Awana is kind of like Scouts except it is Christ-focused and co-ed. They wear little vests that they can sew badges onto. I wonder if they can earn a badge for "praying Jesus into your heart?" Hmmm... Anyway, several of Julia's friends from school are in Awana and Julia seems to really like it.

I just ordered our Christmas cards online from you-know-where. It was the easiest thing in the world and I just need to pick them up tomorrow. Which means I won't need to make up a reason to go to Target this week.

I was going to ask for a new toaster for Christmas because ours is from our wedding shower 13 years ago. But Chad said that was pathetic so I'm asking for a new comforter set instead. I tend to agonize over these decisions so I may post a few I like and let you guys vote on them.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Can you tell me how to get...

Last night several of us went to Sesame's in Little Rock to celebrate the birthday of our friend Tracy. Sesame's is a very nice place where the servers dress in all black. They look like the people who change out the sets between scenes in a play. We had a great time and Chad and Jeff, one of the other ministers, decided to have a pepper-eating contest. I'm pretty sure they both lost.

You know, being a youth minister's wife can be trying. It requires patience, understanding and constant prayer. Like today. The youth group girls and I are going out to eat and then to the mall for Christmas shopping. Somehow, I'll manage.

TRUE CONFESSION: Jenna had a bath Thursday night and Chad put her Winnie the Pooh nightgown on her. Well, it's Saturday morning and she's STILL WEARING IT. Hey, life happens fast -- sometimes too fast for us to change our children's clothes.