My Uncle Skip

I still can't believe it. We sometimes forget that we are not in control of what happens in this life. God is. And it was Skip's time to go be with our Heavenly Father AND his earthly father (who was second in line to greet Skip once he met our Savior, I have no doubt). God called him home before we planned. But, we have to remember that God's timing is not always ours. And God's timing and plan is perfect. Ours isn't.
To lose somebody is tragic, to lose them unexpectedly...unexplainable. This is what my family endured this past week. The loss of my Uncle Skip was unexpected. 44 years old. So young by today's standards. He was a good man, he loved God, he knew God. He was human. He made mistakes. He wasn't perfect. But, he knew God. And that's all that we are required. Believe. And he did.
He was rough around the edges. A man of few words at times. A country boy who loved motorcycles (Harleys to be exact) and guitars, loud music, big dogs, football...Panthers football, and kids. He had a soft spot for kids. A gentle giant. He may not have had a lot of money, but he was always thinking of fun gifts for his great nephew Austin, and Alaina. He was like that when Ashley and I were younger too. He loved his family, and though he wasn't fluent in emotions, he always let us know one way or the other. And when you were fortunate enough to recieve one of his hugs, you remembered them. I will forever remember the embrace in the hospital room once my grandaddy had passed away. It was strong and full of emotion. An uncle who had just lost his dad and best friend, holding his neice who had just lost the only grandfather she had left. I can't wait for our next hug, for that one will be a joyful, "I'm so happy to see you" hug. I sometimes just daydream about the glorious reunion in Heaven, with the ones we love so much that have gone on before us.
I am so grateful that God has given me such a close, close family. Without that, I know we couldn't have pulled through. A close family rallies around when tragedy strikes, and we had family coming from far and wide. The love I experienced during this blur of a week is the main thing that I can recall from it all. Our family has experienced a great deal of loss in less than two years. I've never had so many deaths hit so close to home. It's a terrifying and sobering event. But I can't imagine how much more terrifying it would be and is for those who don't know the Lord. I will see my loved ones again. And that is the only thing that brings me peace in knowing that I can't see them again on earth. I will see them in Heaven.
What a joyful reunion that will be.
Skip...we will miss you everyday, and forever carry you in our hearts.


A Bunch of Unrelated Thoughts

1. Jason finally sold his truck! It's such a relief. Now I don't have to worry with it for a year while he's gone.

2. I'm doing laundry today. It's my least favorite chore. No, no, dusting is. Wait, mopping, that's my least favorite. Nooo..toilets, scrubbing toilets..that's DEFINITELY it.

3. We're going to Mike's Farm on Friday. They have a country style dining restaurant that is so very yummy, then we are going on their spook trail hayride and picking out a punkin. I think it's fun to be a little scared;o) Hence the reason, I too, watch Ghost Hunters (Ash & Jenn).

4. I'm getting a new phone. It's one of those high techie things. It has a whole keyboard that slides out. Texting just got so much easier.

5. There are only 65 days left until Christmas! Where has this year gone? If only next year will go by as quickly!

6. My friend, Jessica, is coming down in 16 days. I haven't seen her in a year and 8 months. It will be a much needed reunion.

7. Jason has a "field op" coming up. He will be "in the field" for 4 days and nights. I sometimes hate military terms. Just say...you'll be camping in the woods for 4 days.

8. I'm totally stoked about our visit to Pine Ridge Church, on Jenn's invitation. Jason and I haven't been this pumped up about church in a long time, as we've had a lot of trouble finding a "fit" with moving around quite a bit.

9. Speaking of Jenn, I finally got to see her after 10 months when we went home and visited Pine Ridge last weekend. It was emotional. Boy, I missed her.

10. The military life doesn't always allow us to see our family and friends as much as I'd like. Military life is good, but it does have it's flaws.

11. I want to see snow. And not just on TV this year.

12. I talked to Austin on the phone the other day. He told me "miss you". Didn't just make my day, made my week.

13. It's lunch time. I know, because my stomach just growled like a stray dog cornered in a restaurant dumpster.

14. Since I now realize it's lunch time, this is my last random thought. I can never remember how to spell restaurant. I realize this is the third time I've used that word in this post, and each time, I have to refer back to spell it right.


I'm Done

...with all my Christmas shopping!!! Yep, that's right, it's all done and it's only October 15th. This is the earliest I have EVER finished shopping for Christmas, and I intend to thoroughly enjoy every minute of the upcoming season since Jason will be gone next Christmas. This also means that I will start putting up some of my Christmas decorations in November, before Thanksgiving. I don't usually do that, because it tends to overshadow the Thanksgiving holiday, but we are headed home for Thanksgiving and it will be nice to have it all put up when we return. All of it but the tree, that is. We'll be bringing our live tree from the mountains back with us after Thanksgiving, as it's our family tradition to go cut our own trees from the lots up in the beautiful mountains. We'll put that up and decorate it the day we get back. There's nothing like the smell of a freshly cut Christmas tree. Oh, and in all my Christmas shopping glory, I found the most heavenly scent for the Christmas season. It's called Silver Bells by Yankee Candle. It smells like an evergreen, but something in it makes it smell just a little different from every other evergreen candle I've smelled. It will live in my house a little closer to time.
Only 71 days 'til Christmas!!!


It's That Time of the Season

It's the fair! Pretty lights, kids running around, the yummy smells of food you can only get at the fair, the overpriced games, the fast, spinning rides. We're headed there tonight. I love the fair in the fall.


Star Struck Part 2

A couple of weeks ago, the USO, and the CW hosted a concert for the troops and their families here in our town. I'm a big fan of One Tree Hill, and that's who was here. Several of the cast were here, and several preformed. It was so exciting! I have been watching that show since it came on, and it's now in season 6. Come to find out, Hillarie Burton (from the show) has been doing alot of volunteer stuff for the troops with the USO. I like her even more now:)

Bethany Joy Galeotti (from One Tree Hill) singing:
Me and Jason, I look pretty stoked!
Hillarie Burton:
Kate Voegele (who also guest stars on the show as Mia):
Sophia Bush & Hillarie Burton:
Angels & Airwaves (not a huge fan, but still pretty cool):

The whole night was completely free, it really makes me happy when people do extra stuff for our heroes and their families. Oh, and then the next day, my honey took me to see the places that they film One Tree Hill, since they film out of Wilmington, and that's just a hop, skip and jump away. That was totally neat too, now I just have to go back during filming season, so I can maybe meet some of them;o)


Cookie Baking Day

So, the time rolled around to make some more chocolate chip cookies. But this time was different. This time, I had the best little helper ever. He's a short little fella with blonde hair and the cutest little dimples I've ever seen. Yep, it was my beautiful nephew, Austin. He and his mommy came for a wonderfully enjoyable week long visit last week. Cookie baking was definately more fun with my extra little set of hands.
Our yummy batter:
Cleaning the mixer paddle for me:Can I have some more?
Got the milk...check!
Time to chow down!

Yummy! That was fun and tasty!


Star Struck

So, the past couple of weeks have been full of celebrities for me down here in good ole NC. Today I'm just gonna focus on the one I met yesterday. Nicholas Sparks. He is my faaaavorite author. His books have inspired the movies Message In A Bottle, A Walk To Remember, The Notebook (my favorite), and the newest one, Nights In Rodanthe (which I saw last night and loved...of course). Nicholas Sparks is native to Eastern NC, and was doing a book signing in our area for his new book, The Lucky One. Now, you may think I'm crazy for standing in a 5 hour line, but to me, it was well worth it!
Smiling for the camera:

Picture with ME:)

Signing my book:

He even personalized it:

Yeah, yesterday was a pretty awesome day.