Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I'm marrying the most fabulous man on the planet...

After posting the previous post... I noticed I had a text message on my phone. Mark sent me a text that said, "I just wanted to say I love you."

*insert sigh of relief*

How is it I am so blessed by him? How is it he is so amazing? Good grief... it continually blows my mind. He is so selfless. He is so good at seeing where people are and then helping them see that themselves. He is great with kids. He longs and seeks a personal relationship with his God. He loves people unconditionally - really unconditionally. And he's smart - he's actually intelligent. And not intelligent in a know-it-all kind of way either. He's just fabulous.

Wow. Wow wow wow.

I just love him.

By the way... a friend of his died this weekend. His name was Adam. Please pray for Adam's family and friends during this time. It's never easy to lose anybody, but especially when they're young.

from the pit of insanity...

* I need a new job. I hate this one. Hate it.
* I need to not stress about a wedding (which I hadn't really until yesterday).
* I need to not stress about money... but how can I not right now?
* I need to tell people how I feel instead of holding it all in for the sake of everyone else... which I had been much better at until recently.
* I need to not stress about my problem that I can't tell anyone except my Mom about.
* I need to not worry about money.
* Ditto.
* Ditto.

And have I mentioned today that I hate my job?

*In Those Jeans

My pants are too big. I'm not complaining. Not at all. This is a good problem to have. However, a co-worker of mine has to point it out all the time. The other day she told me that: "it looks like a mess of Mexicans moved out of your ass."


What in the world? When I have the money, I'll buy some new pants, alright? In the meantime it's not that bad. Except that another co-worker tells me I should get out my sewing machine. Yeah. Let's ruin my sewing machine with my jeans... and I can't sew and inseam well anyway! You think it looks bad now... good grief!

Leave me and my pantalones alone! We're fine, thank you! Besides, I like the ghetto gansta look anyway.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Thanksgiving Recap

SOOOOOOO... this weekend was fabulous. JUST FABULOUS. Could it have been any better? Nope. I think not. It was perfect.

First off: Grandmom Browning - the patriarch of the family! She is amazing. Roofing houses at age 70, breaking into her own house and climbing through windows at 90... mastering the art of gravy... what CAN'T she do?!?!

I made a cherry pie on Wednesday (which the uncles gave me grief about... but guess what, none of it was left to take home!!) The grief was due to the fact that I covered the top of it in hearts. Hey, I was being decorative! I didn't have enough crust to make long enough lattice strips, so I improvised.

Of course, family and food are always great. And, with Thanksgiving you get football. How can you have Thanksgiving without football? Sacriledge! A&M put up a pretty good fight against T.U. but did not prevail in the end. We'll get 'em next year! And unfortunately the Wheezer/Geezer Bowl 2005 had a dim ending as well. Claraslvr brought two of her friends from Harding - one of which was quickly recruited to play for the Geezers by Uncle Mark. Oh the shame. Amongst other shames, Kara played for the Geezers as well - so REALLY THEY WEREN'T the Geezers. They were a mixture of Wheezers and Geezers so they had the best of both sides. Mark (my fiance) played all time QB and we had a good game. The Wheezers consisted of: Claraslvr, Kandi, Beef, Trav, Ram and Little Mark. The Geezers were: Frustrated Writer, Little Mark, Uncle Kendall, Gabe (friend of Claraslvr) and Kara. The ending score was Geezers 7, Wheezers 2. Alas, despite the Wheezers efforts, the Geezers prevailed. Again. ??????? It's a mystery folks, a mystery.

Here are the winners with the game-winning football (note Kara's head bowed in shame!)

Here are the valiant losers, showing a little of their best and worst sides:

We took a timeout during the game to go see the old store that used to be open when my Dad was a kid. It was open when I was very young... I remember going in to buy a piece of grape bubblicious. Here are some pics from the store as it is now, a museum:

Friday my Mom, Dad, Beef, Mark and I went to Fredricksburg for a Texas Highschool playoff game. We went to the Christmas store (always fun!) and grabbed a bite to eat, then headed to the game. It was great! I would posts pics, but they're on my Dad's camera. Unfortunately I left mine at the house. After the game we headed out of town but before we left the Beef, Mark and I took our picture as gingerbread men (you know, the kind of wooden cut outs you stick your head through) on the lawn off mainstreet where they had some lights set up. We got several laughs! Unfortunately, I don't have that pic either.

When we left for home on Sunday, the trio (Beef, Mark and I) stopped in Dublin on the way home and went inside the Dublin Dr. Pepper factory. I, of course, had to take a picture of the coolest city limits sign ever:

An engaging weekend!

On November 20, 2005 Mark proposed to me! We went to my parent's house so he could ask my Dad for a blessing to get married. Mark didn't want to ask me until he talked to my Dad. On our way out of town, in the nothingness between Artesia and Eunice, New Mexico Mark supposedly "remembered" that he'd forgotten something.

"Oh crap!"
"I think I forgot my black belt." He looks very concerned at this point.
"Can I pull over and see if it's in the trunk?
"Sure. That's fine."

Mark gets out and rummages through the trunk. In the meantime, I'm looking out the driver's side window trying to figure out what we'll do if he forgot it. Did he really want to drive and hour back to Artesia to get it? Couldn't my Mom ship it to him? Could we not buy a new one? And then my car door opens...

"Hey, I got a question for ya..."
I turn around to see Mark, on one knee with the ring in his hand, HUGE grin on his face. At this point I am COMPLETELY FLOORED. I had NO idea - I was SO suprised (which is exactly what he wanted as we discussed later). He had to ask me three times because I couldn't believe it!
"Will you marry me?"
Eventually I squeled, "OF COURSE!" and that sealed the deal.

We stood outside the car and savored the moment.
"Wow. This is big. Let's pray," he said. And so we did. I LOVE THIS MAN!!


You know, pulling over on the side of the road because you can't wait any longer to ask may not seem like such a big deal. But let me tell you, I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE EXCITED in my life. It was perfect. I was completely suprised. Mark said he'd planned out several ideas... working it into a Young Life skit was one of them. But he really wanted me to be suprised. If he'd taken me out to a really nice place to eat, I would have been wondering... and he didn't want me to know it was coming. IT WAS PERFECT. PERFECT.

The rest of the trip home was great. We called everyone we knew to share the news. Shocking news to most, but fabulous news nonetheless. I was excited to hear and see him so excited about it.

And now you guys can be exited too!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I LOVE ME some Thanksgiving. I love Lohn, TX. I love my Grandmom Browning's house. I love all the food everyone brings. I love the fellowship. I LOVE MY FAMILY. I am thankful for so much, and as Discom stated on her blog, the list of my thankfulness grows everyday. I am so blessed... SO BLESSED it's unbelievable.

Just so everyone knows, I will be posting about my proposal but I'm waiting to get my ring back from being sized so that I can take a picture! So you can all wait in anxious anticipation!!


Monday, November 21, 2005


Yes folks. It's official. I'm engaged to the dashing Mark (would insert his whole name, but not sure that would be wise...)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More details to come later but wanted to share the news!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Heavy Laden*

So this morning at around 4 (I had been sleeping on and off due to this stupid cough that decides to railroad me when I turn in for bed) I woke up and had the HUGEST sneeze ever. Yes folks, blew green snot all over the side of the bed. Spectacular! Scared my dog to death. I went to the restroom, got some toilet paper (I'm fresh out of Kleenex) and went back to bed to clean it up. But this, my friends, is only the beginning. As I'm rolling out the TP, I think of a song (yes people, I'm that much of a dork). It goes to the tune of an old hymn (can't remember the name, but the real word to the chorus are: ye that labor and are heavy laden, lean upon your dear Lord's breast, ye that labor and are heavy laden come and I will give you rest). I like my version better today:

"Ye that are congested
Kleenex heavy laden,
Be careful which way you turn your nose.
Ye that sneeze until you blow your brains out
You will sneeze until the antibiotics kick in."

And so ensued my day of relentless sneezing.

I get to work and I'm sitting in my holed-up corner... and here comes another sneeze. Like the first, I didn't expect it to blow green snot everywhere, but alas I couldn't have been more wrong. I turned my head to the right (so as not to sneeze on the left side of my desk... it's L shaped, you getting the picture?) and SNEEZED so hard - and that's when I heard the *SPLAT*. My green mucous decided to land happily on the plastic mat with a HUGE *SPLAT* sound. I started laughing. Oh yes - laughing. Then I realized that at any moment my boss could come in and see this hideous ameoba of snot on my floor mat and I quickly dove for the Kleenex box (I have two boxes of Kleenex on my desk, on to the left and one to the right) so as to clean up my nose's mess.

All's well that ends well... unless you still have a sinus infection even after you sneeze your brains out.

HA! You guys just read a story about snot!! HA! That's hilarious!!!

I will fight the good fight... I will run the race with perseverance...

Yesterday it seemed I battled Satan all day long. Most days I would have handled it better, but being sick didn't help my situation. Satan told me lies all day and I was tempted into believing him. He is so crafty and so good at his deceit... yesterday it was overwhelming. But this morning I am renewed and find strength in the arms of the Father and from those that love and support me. Praise God for His surpassing goodness... surpassing goodness. How great is His love for us! How can we help but praise Him all day long?

Psalm 103
Of David.
1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-

3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,

5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

6 The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.

7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:

8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;

10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;

16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.

17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children-

18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.

19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.

21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.

22 Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Monday, November 14, 2005



To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

A Trip to the MD's Office (and other tales from the crypt)

This morning I went to the doctor. Have been feeling like crap since last Wednesday. Pretty sure it's a sinus infection... but had to wait til I had some money to go to the MD.

It is inevitable that the question of whether or not you could be pregnant comes up. Arg. And I love it when they ask when your last period was cause when I answer it ALWAYS throws them for a loop which then requires further explanation.

MD: "When was your last period?"
Ram: *insert my answer
MD: "Is it always like that?"
Ram: "Yup. For as long as I can remember." *insert more explanation
MD: "Is there a possibility you could be pregnant?"
Ram: "No."
MD: *looking at me like I'm and IDIOT... "Are you sure?"
Ram: "Yup. Pretty sure."
MD: "Do you take precautions?"
At this point, I really want to LAUGH out loud, but refrain.
Ram: "I'm not sexually active."
MD: He looks at me for a moment and says, "Well I guess that's the best kind of precaution then, isn't it?"
Ram: I look at him wanting to say about 50 different things, but once again, refraining.

When I had foot surgery a few years ago for the first time (did both right and left feet... right one first, it was the worst) I was in the out patient surgery area just waiting to get it over with. Before they would put me under though, they had to "verify" that I wasn't pregnant. Thus ensues this conversation:

Nurse: "Is there any possibility you cold be pregnant?"
Ram: "No."
Here's the funny thing, J and my grandmother are sitting in the room with me. I don't have my contacts in, can't see squat and I've had to sign about 50 different papers already and the frustration is mounting.
Nurse: "Are you sure?"
Ram: "Yeah."
Nurse: "We have to get a urine sample to be sure."
At this point I'M PISSED. How am I supposed to pea in a cup when I can't see? And they want me to walk half way across the room to do in a hospital gown. NO THANK YOU.
Ram: "I'm not pregnant."
Nurse: "We have to be sure."
Ram: "Lady, if I was pregnant it'd be the equivalent of the next virgin Mary."
So we trek over to the restroom and she hands me a cup.
Nurse: "I know you're grandmother is in there, so you may not have wanted to answer honestly... but we need to know if you're pregnant."
At this point I'm wondering what in the world it is I'm not saying to her to make her understand the situation.
Ram (loudly): "I'm not pregnant cause I'm a virgin!"
This is where all the people at the nurse's station and all of everyone STOPS TALKING AND TURNS AROUND TO STARE AT ME the big idiot.
Nurse (like she's talking to a baby): "O.k., sweetie, we'll get you taken care of."
She takes the cup from my hand and voila! No peeing in a cup for me.
From that point on, the surgeon and the anethesiologist all treated me as if I was... well, "special." Good grief Charlie Brown!

I just hate it that it comes up every time. Anytime you go see the Doc, they're going to ask and then it becomes a huge fiasco.

And here's the crazy thing: it's not like I couldn't get any if I didn't want to, it's that I'm crazy enough to have the will power not to. Because at some point in my life I decided to make a commitment to God and take what he said seriously (even if it does make a person insane from time to time.)

Anyway, I hate the Dr's office. They're never fun.

Blessed are the what?

I feel my blog has been compromised. What should I care, right? Shouldn't I just write and say whatever it is I want to? Sure. That's Christ-like, right? What in the world. I can't even say what it is I want to say without worrying about what someone else will think or feel. But this is my space, right? If you don't like it don't read it.

Sorry. Had to vent.

I was thinking this morning on the way to work about this verse in Matthew 5:

8Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.

And what is it to "pure in heart?" Purity can be associated with the physical state or the mental state I think. Am I of sound and pure motive? Am I thinking pure thoughts? You get my drift.

But this is worrisome. "Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God..." And what of those who aren't?

We live in a society where impurity reigns. REIGNS. I'll go so far as to say that it has become a god. This is greatly disturbing to me and what's more disturbing is that we go to church and do our thing and most people have become desensitized to the impurity that surrounds them. The impurity in their own lives!

I had all these thoughts to right down and now that I'm here at work they escape me.

God help us.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Stupid Sticker renewal... I HATE government crap

So today I took my lunch break and went to the Texas Department of Transportation. That's where the lady yesterday (talked to someone twice) told me to go to get my sticker re-newed. So I get there, wait for about 10 minutes only to find out when I get to the counter that I'm supposed to be about 6 miles somewhere else. This actually isn't the place to get my sticker renewed. In Dallas, 6 miles at lunch time translates to 20 minutes worth of drive time. Ug. So I drive over to Valley View (let's just make a field trip out of it, shall we?) and to my joy there is only one person in line. When it's my turn I give the lady my info, she asks for payment, I hand her a debit/credit card.

"We don't take those."
"We don't take those. You can go to ATM or bring cash."


So I leave, having treked half way across Dallas to get the stupid sticker renewed to come back empty handed. Which means I get to do it all again!

This wouldn't be half as irritating if I wasn't under such a time crunch. But my boss has established this new rule (one of many) of if you take over 1 hour for lunch it automatically counts as 1.5 hours and if you take 1.5 hours it counts as 2.

And that's only the beginning of our "New Structure" as she calls it. Please, don't get me started.

Praise God I have a job and money to pay bills but stuff like that SUCKS.


Monday, November 07, 2005

"Love is..."

Virda used to save the "Love Is..." cartoons from the newspaper and give them to me. Anytime I see one, I can't help but cut it out. I have a small box full of them at home... all cartoons Virda gave me. It was one of our things.

Here's my own list of "Love Is...":
Love is...
* wearing his college hoodie
* calling to let him know you're home safe
* driving 45 minutes to see each other
* praying together
* calling just to say "Good morning!"
* when he says, "Hey beautiful..."
* when he buys dinner for your family
* watching a movie together
* eating at Wendy's!
* amazing!
* spending time with his parents
* when his friends know who you are
* planning ahead

Thursday, November 03, 2005

These are a few of my favorite things...

I tried to get to 100... Discom has me beat! I'll have to do an addendum later!

1. the smell of autumn (chimney smoke and cold air)
2. a good football game
3. when he says, "hey, beautiful"
4. going home
5. getting home
6. being home
7. hugs from kids
8. being told "I love you"
9. baby animals (sheepies, cowies, puppies... all of them!)
10. cruising while listening to motown with the Beef
11. knowing my other brother has made a good decision
12. watching people, kids have their "Ah ha!" moments
13. the smell of rain
14. Dr. Pepper
15. fried okra (especially when eaten at Memaw C's house)
16. knowing that someone loves you
17. hugs (the kind where my feet leave the ground)
18. a good book
19. talking about biblical stuff with people who enjoy talking about it too
20. a good back rub
21. a good calf rub (yeah, sounds weird but I enjoy it)
22. catching up with good friends
23. laughing til my sides hurt :)
24. Slurpies
25. making cookies with my bizzle the Great Beef
26. talking to my dad
27. drinking coffee with any of my grandparents
28. those HUGE twisted lollipops you get at places like Six Flags (those are SO cool)
29. kisses
30. kisses than make your knees weak
31. re-reading scripture and discovering something new
32. Wendy's :)
33. biscuits and gravy at Grandmom Browning's house... THAT is living the good life
34. star gazing
35. watching sunsets or sunrises - how amazing!
36. quilts made by Grandmom
37. dialing Memaw C's telephone # - been the same one for my whole life (and longer)
38. talking with Bekah
39. hanging out with Tocarro
40. going to bed with my down comforter and baggy pajama pants with Maggie Moo Cow on them!!
41. wearing M's college hoodie :)
42. singing with Bekah, Ronica, David and the crew at the Case's house while Ronica played piano... good times... good stuff
43. flowers... all kinds but especially calla lillies and prim roses and magnolia blossoms (flowers never cease to amaze me... they are so fragile and yet so relentless... God is amazing isn't He?)
44. wild flowers on the side of the highway
45. taking pictures - I just really enjoy it
46. I love to listen to how my grandparents grew up - the stuff they did and thought was cool
47. sleeping with my dog curled up beside me (and the fact that if I move over she moves to get closer to me so she ends up nearly shoving me out of bed!)
48. walks in the evening
49. the time in the morning right before the sun rises when it seems you're the only one awake and it's just you and God's creation - I love that time of day
50. I enjoy kind words - whether they're told to me or if I over hear them being said to someone else
51. kindness - I love kind people and we seem to be in short supply
52. thoughtfulness - whether in a thoughtful gift or phone call or email - I LOVE thoughtfulness
53. I love random "gifts" - the "I saw this and thought of you" kinds of things. They make things interesting!
54. I love finding money in a coat pocket from last winter
55. rocking babies to sleep
56. good music

Ok, here's the rest:

57. causing trouble with Beef and Discom
58. making new friends
59. when you get some credit
60. road trips with my uncles... and Jasmine!!!!
61. the smell of a newly sharpened pencil
62. the emails from my prayer group... I LOVE to hear from my girls and I love our commitment to pray for one another
63. swinging!!! I LOVE to swing! I don't know who invented the swing but whoever it was is a genius in my book.
64. getting compliments... I used to hate it but I'm working on it and I've decided I like it. :)
65. hugs from my Mom & Dad
66. when M kisses my forehead
67. helping my Dad at the clinic
68. working a full 8 hours - feeling accomplished
69. bonuses at work because I always stay late!!!
70. the smell of cinnamon
71. laughing with my family!
72. even though it drives me nuts, I do love him for it: when Dad doesn't finish his sentences and you have to play the "guess which tool Dad wants" game with him til you get it right! :)
73. when my Dad takes the time to burns CDs and sends them to us
74. talking with my Mom
75. being in the outdoors
77. sweaters in the wintertime and shorts and tank tops in the summer
78. swimming! I LOVE to swim
79. acoustic guitar... I don't care who's playing, so long as you play something
80. good friends who call just to "check in" because you both enjoy each other so much
81. when my 2 year olds remember what we talked about the next week!!!!!
82. reading scripture and realizing, for the millionth time, that God is amazing
83. those "God things" like when he TOTALLY provides what you need, when you need it
84. writing
85. looking at artwork... whether you like it or not, there's always something to be appreciated about a piece of art
86. goofing off with the Beef
87. a clean house
88. my dog!
89. memories like: Mom singing "Trust and Obey" to us as kids
90. hanging out with a good girlfriend like Lori or Ashley
91. knowing someone is praying for you...
92. that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you know something or someone has been done right
93. when Vanessa calls to ask me to hang out
94. being redeemed... being reminded of my salvation and God's grace and mercy
95. a Snickers bar and a Dr. Pepper (cause that's what Mom used to get me after basketball games)
96. thinking about Thanksgiving!
97. visiting with GOOD people who love the LORD
98. laughing just because I can...
99. the smell of clean laundry
100. a good pair of jeans
101. catching up with someone I haven't talked to in awhile
102. thinking about all the good times with Virda
103. being at Grandmom's for Thanksgiving!!!
104. BEAR HUGS!!!!!!
105. that perfect picture opportunity when you have your camera with you!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

That's it... I'm just going to be a photographer and marry a missionary!

The Fam

Wow. We haven't had a family picture since I was in the fourth grade. Mark took this for us on Saturday after the funeral. It was good to have us all together.