Wednesday, June 3, 2009
So I moved to Houston and live on the north side, just next to Cypress. I am finally living by myself and I would like to just say I think EVERYONE should be required to live by themselves at some point in their life. It is the BEST thing sliced bread! I have a one bedroom with a study and have filled the place already! Have been able to host one meal already for Alex and Katie, and had some girls over for a “sleepover” yeah I am in the sixth grade. It was fun though!
I then went to DC and had a great time there getting to see a small handful of folks. I was there with work so was unable to see too many and then the Lord brought me back to Texas abruptly. My step-dad Dale was in a major motorcycle accident and I flew home as soon as I could. He was totally protected by the Lord through the whole process as he was not even wearing a helmet AND they LEFT him in the road y’all!! He shattered his nose, his knee, broke his wrist and big toe. He has a few big gashes and a lot of road rash. But Praise the Lord he will make a full recovery it will just be a long one.
I was able to make it to Oregon for the first time. I saw Terri Taylor who I had not seen in 10 years!!! And then saw my sweet friend Sarah get married it was such an amazing time! I hiked to the top of a water fall that was a mile high and then hiked around Mt. St. Helens in Washington! It was awesome!
I came home for a couple of days and then headed to Jackson Hole, WY for work for a night which was amazing! Then drove across the state of Wyoming (which is breathe taking ). I then made it back to Houston just in time to see my dear old co-worker Tessie get married, and head to Austin for Memorial Day with my favorite vets.
I am home again for a bit but about to celebrate my 29th birthday! A LOT has changed in this last year but it has been amazing! I am hoping to get some pictures up soon and promise I will try to get better at this updating thing! Love and miss y’all!
Friday, April 3, 2009
- I accepted a job in Houston, Texas and will be moving there next Saturday!
- With the move I obviously needed a place to live… so after one Sunday afternoon with Jared and a Monday night with Mom and Amanda… I officially signed on my first place that is ALL mine!
- I now rent a one bedroom, with a study apartment! I feel like and adult now!
- Apartment shopping is crazy and I was glad to have both Jared and Amanda help me figure out Houston!
- I also bought an apartment full of furniture (way to go Rooms-to-Go!) as I have never furnished anything past my bedroom and I left a lot of that furniture in DC.
- I am slowly realizing the great expense it is to fill an apartment by yourself! Kitchen utensils and ware did not come included!
- Also with the move my Mom thought it would be a good plan to bring down all the boxes I stashed in her attic after High School and College…
- Going through them while funny (Dear Lord why did you my friends and my family allow me to go out dressed like that! Feathered bangs… never good…) is also tedious and VERY time consuming! AH!
- I was in the Valley all last week for Reading Rock Stars! It is a program put on by the Texas Book Festival for under privileged or rural schools that brings an author or two to the school to speak to the kids and then leaves them with a signed book. It’s a blast watching the kids faces!
- While in the Valley I attempted my long run getting prepped for the Blue Bell 10 K I am running in a couple of weeks (when did I get so out of shape I have to train for a 10k!) and almost died from the heat and humidity!
- Dear Lord protect me when I try to run in Houston or rid me of this crazy habit!
- I also got to catch up with a fun DC friend while I was in McAllen for breakfast and then have dinner with one of my craziest DC friends in Austin that night! Good times my friends good times!
- Wednesday night was a big benefit dinner I helped plan here for the Texas Book Festival it was a wild success and a lot of fun! Go to Fleming’s folks! These people were great they did an amazing dinner for over 50 people FREE of charge to us! All of the money folks paid to attend went straight to the Book Festival and it was awesome!!!
- Yesterday Heidi and I went for lunch on Iron Cactus’ up stairs patio while we were basking in the good weather and conversation the wind picked up and swept our chips up and over the ledge on the people below! It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen!!!
Okay I am sure there is a lot more random to share but I have to get back to work! If you want to come and help me pack this weekend I am turning down no lovely hands, if you want to help me move next into my awesome pad PLEASE do… oh wait did I mention my apartment was on the 3rd Floor! (its good to have good guy friends and a brothers with big friends! Whew!)
Here are a few pics from Reading Rock Stars!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
They were always filled with amazing food, and the women of the family usually gathered in the house trying to work the maze that was casserole dishes and trying to figure out the jig-saw puzzle of getting all the desserts to fit on one table and the food on another… and where are the drinks going to go! The men in my family usually gathered outside and talked about the latest rifle on the market, the cattle on the ranch, the new truck someone got or something manly you know… The kids we ran around in the open field in front of the house, or we would walk to the creek and shoot cans or sticks as they floated by, or take the dune-buggy to the old gravesite that was on the property and try to scare each other. It was always good times and always we would sleep the whole car ride back because we were zapped from the day!
During Easter the adults would always hide eggs all over the field in front of the house and then the kids would be set loose in waves pending on ages to grab what ever they could. Sadly sometimes the men thought it was funny to hide them in dried cow patties, but usually those had money in them so we sucked it up and lifted them up looking for the “golden eggs”. Gross now, but it was a small price to pay for that dollar bill in those days!
So since I moved to DC I have had to spend every Thanksgiving in DC and almost all my Easters as well. If I was home for Easter I was here for a wedding and could not attend the festivities at the Farm. But this year there is a turn! I am home in Texas and looking forward to Thanksgiving and other holidays with the fam! But this past weekend my Cousin Christina organized a Family Reunion in New Braunfels. I was so excited to be able to attend and the food did not disappoint, neither did the desserts! The funny things was all of the sudden it was my cousins, sisters and I in the kitchen organized to jig-saw puzzle of dishes, and getting everyone to line up. We were now the ones hiding the eggs for the hunt, and making sure the kiddos stagger properly so the littlest ones have a chance. We were not at the farm so we did not put any under “cow-patties”, but we did put a few under the guys hats… It was an awesome day of catching up, eating and playing with the kids, but just another sign that we are growing up… STINK!
Missy did not like hers... so she just ate her plate!
Friday, March 20, 2009
Brian going in for a lay-up
So as you all know for the last 6 years I lived in Washington, D.C. and for the last bit over 4 years of that I worked with the college ministry at my church on American University's campus. It has been one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had in my Christian walk working with these students and I have been blessed to know many of them since their first year in college. Well one of the best ways we have been able to work to impact this campus is through the student athletes. Many on our leadership are also on leadership within their teams. We have Kira the Captain of the Lacrosse team, Cynammon the outstanding Volleyball player, Irene former captain of the Soccer team, Mike the captain and Olympic hopeful Wrestler (which by the way he is in the NCAA tourney for wrestling and knockin them out... literally! He is still undeafted this whole year!) the guys on the Basketball team have stood out amazingly from the beginning. They started a study with the other guys on the team and have poured into their team like no other. And I am constantly amazed at the heart these guys have for their campus and their sport.
It's March Madness people! And unless you live under a rock you are aware of ALL the College Basketball going on! Now playing basketball most of my life makes me a lover of the sport... not "good" but a lover lets clarify... And I love March, I love watching these guys and gals battle it out to be the best! I wish every sport had a Championship run down with as much hype as College Basketball! But lets be honest if they did I would NEVER get any work done... just like I am not now ;)
So when they made it to the NCAA Tourney for the second year in a row I was ecstatic for them! I went with friends to a restaurant to watch the games... Our boys were a 14 seed up against a 3 seed... no one thought they could do it... by half time they were up by 10 points!!! And into the start of the second half they had a 14 pt lead!!! By then I had my whole table routing for them and against their brackets... it was funny as everyone else was watching the TU game and my eyes were glued to our boys. So I would yell out and clap when the rest of the place was silent and everyone would look at me like I was crazy. I wish I could say our boys pulled out an upset last night but I can't. What I can say is those guys faught the entire game and never gave up. According to the polls they should have been walked all over... and they weren't. I was sad Brian and Frank could not get a W their senior year, but still so proud of the game they played and the season they had, I only wish I could have been there with them in Philly.
Way to go guys! I am in awe of what you accomplished this year! Not only on the basketball court.
I should credit all the action shots I swiped from ESPN's website...
Brian fighting hard all the way till the end
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The other best thing about Allie, was she did not just do these things for me but so many others. Her house was the center of most of our entertainment, she hosted us for anything and everything under the sun. She was very intentional about hanging out with folks and connecting people. So her wedding brought everyone back together and it was another fun Allie event. I have now officially been gone from DC for a little over a month and a half, but it seems like forever! So it was a complete blast to see so many faces I was used to seeing just about everyday, when we all worked together it was some of the most fun I have ever had in a job and I do not think I could ever replace that experience with another. We were blessed to watch history take place before our eyes and every person I worked with was grateful for the position the Lord had blessed them with. We worked long hours and rarely saw daylight outside of the office, but it never seemed to bother any of us because the work was meaningful and the people were amazing. Allie and her roommate Carrie decided once to go above and beyond and “advance” my surgery for me a couple of summers ago. Basically Allie talked Carrie into letting her wrap her from elbows to shoulders with an ace bandage and made her perform a series of tasks and then sent me a report telling me how I could accomplish these after surgery. My favorite line of the e-mail was “Carrie found it hard to answer the phone, even when I threw it at her”… and the sad thing is that was not a joke people!
Well I could go on and on about each and every person I was able to spend time with this weekend and why I think they are some of the most amazing people I will ever know. But I will sum it up in this, they were my family when mine was far away. The fed me, clothed me and looked after me for many years. They were the people who helped me through some hard times and people I knew and still know I could trust with all and any of my secrets. They are giants in my life and I am so blessed the Lord brought each of them to me. It was a great weekend and I am looking forward to many more in the future.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Kirby (the road manager) and I watching the show
Thursday, March 5, 2009
This is a WAY overdue post! But I wanted to get these two pics before I did so. I was blessed to be recruited onto Team Dickerson in October and the months that took place afterwards were a lot of fun! I already told Joe that my future husband was going to have to go through some sort of training with him before we got married as he is one of the biggest servants I know. And having Ashley around was a lot of fun because she is one of the funniest people I know as well. Together they make a great pair and were so generous in opening their home up to me in such a crucial time of their life. They were prepping for a new edition to the Team and their first baby edition. it was a blast living there and they were so patient with the hours I kept and all my traveling. It was very sad to leave but after I had been home I while I received the above picture in the mail, framed and all!
See this was their Christmas card and one morning when I was leaving I saw them there and was shocked and appalled I was not on the card! I left them a post-it telling them no worries I had helped out and inserted my face on all the cards. So after I left Joe took a pic of me from Philly actually and superimposed it onto the Christmas pic. (I promise I am not hiking my leg up on Ash!) And sent this to me! So the whole team was in the pic! It made my night and made me miss them more! I Loved every day living with them and will miss them a lot. But they have a new edition to the team. They traded me out for a newer and cuter model. Little Grayson is in the world and he came at the right time so Kyle never had to bring that boiling water! ;)
Love y'all and congrats!!!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Ash SO upset with the ending she decides to eat her rose in protest!
And one last note I just had to add in here, was as I was walking in this morning from my car (we park in a church garage) I saw one of the art of multitasking moms walking in to drop her kids off… I really do hope it was one of the mother’s day out things, she had one strapped to her in some sort of carrying case, and one in each hand, who I think neither were more that three years old (which please take that assessment with a grain of salt as I do not know how to judge kids ages, I was shocked this weekend that Jada was only two, y’all she talks and runs around and everything…), and she was carrying a bag full of stuff! I lifted my mocha in her honor and took a swig and thanked the Good Lord I was single!
Monday, March 2, 2009
So Friday afternoon we took off around noon and headed for the Promise Land. I dropped Kyle off for the beginning of his weekend long interview conference and I headed out to meet friends of mine. I stayed with my friends Leah and Brad and their little guy Will. They were shocked to see that Will’s crying in the morning did not even stir me… I told them this was yet another reason the Lord had not called me to the motherhood… my child could be screaming bloody murder and I would just be soundly asleep in my bed dreaming of who knows what. I had some great time with them and it was just fun catching up. I also got to see my old roomie Steph and her little lady Jada. Who has to be one of the most adorable ladies I know! We had a lot of fun shopping at Target and getting all the basic necessities of life. But I will say one thing I learned from both of these ladies, was the art of multitasking. Now before this weekend I would tell you that I was one of the best multitaskers out there… I had it down and was seamless in the juggling act of putting on an event or running an office whatever the tasks that day might be… but when you see a Mom (and I have seen it before but I think back to back Mom incidents made me appreciate it more) juggle life and a one or two year old little guy or gal, you see it as a true art form. My favorite was when Steph and I were praying and the entire time she knew exactly where Jada was and how she needed to be corrected, without ever breaking her concentration on the Lord. I had to chuckle to myself as I have never seen it done before… I confessed to both Leah and Steph that part of the adjustment to life back in Texas was babies. THEY ARE EVERY WHERE! It is so different than DC where they are few and far between. Luckily I have 5 nieces and nephews or I would be ALL out of sorts! So I tip my hat to all you Mom’s out there for all the work you do! I could never do it to say the least!
I also got to hang out with some fun college gals too. I have been blessed this year to work with the current Phi Lamb officers and have loved every minute of hanging out with these ladies. They are a sweet group of gals and a lot of fun to goof off with. This weekend of the many things they taught me they taught me about the importance of a Starbuck’s name… as someone who should hold stock in the company and someone who has been successful to cut herself off the daily Venti, Extra-Hot, No Whip, Soy Mocha’s (mainly because my salary can no longer support it) you would think I would know about the Starbuck’s name. But I did not, I think the reason I did not is because my Starbuck’s ladies and gents were always SO good in DC always knowing my drink and having it ready for me as soon as they saw my car pull up every morning. Ah… I miss my ladies… But anyway, here they ask for names as you order your drink, and thus the Starbuck’s Names were created. It started with the idea they should be one syllable and easy to spell but that is no fun so they switched it up to just fun names. When it came time to decide what my name would be Courtney looked deep into my eyes and came up with Jackson. Jackson? I immediately said this would have to be a pending name until we had approval from Jackson’s mama that it was okay to carry as my Starbuck’s Name, a few confusing text messages later with Amanda and I was set to go. I am working on the nick name Jax and will let you know if/ when Courtney allows that to happen but so far she is pretty set that the Lord has shown her Jackson… so Jackson it will be.
So what is your Starbuck’s name… you may need to call Courtney in to help, its one of her spiritual gifts… discerning your Starbuck’s name… that’s biblical right?
Michelle “Jax” Jackson signing off…
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I turned Jenn onto racquetball when we were in college and we started playing at our hometown rec center. I had taken a class at A&M to learn and Jenn just bought a racquet and some glasses from Academy and whipped me the first time! Really, Really! I thought for once I could take her but alas she is forever the better athlete. But then the clouds moved to my favor and the Lord shown His light of blessing upon my racquet. I met Zain, he stumbled into my court in DC when I was at the gym just hitting the ball around by myself. On a side note, Zain is one of the most amazing people I have ever met, when he was 16 his parents took all the money they had and put Zain on a plane from Pakistan to America by himself people! He was going to attend college! He landed in NYC only for a layover, then he jumped on another plane that took him to Beaumont, Texas, he says it was the craziest experience of his life, to have his first American experience be NYC, and his immediate second Beaumont? He was VERY confused! But I digress…
Zain is also an amazing racquetball player and through the year or more we played together he kicked my butt often! The only times I beat him was after he had come back from traveling and we played the games where I was handicapped 10 points (FYI you only need 11 to win). So anyway through Zain’s training I got better, then I got to play with Ben and Alex, both two amazing racquetball players as well who always kicked my butt and taught me a few tricks of the trade!
With this you think I would be unstoppable, but people you do not know Jenn, she is stinkin super human when it comes to sports. And I am a bit out of shape… so she had been kicking my butt since I got back. And I warned her things would change if we played in the morning… and change they did! The first game was brutal! She slaughtered me 11 to 3! What 3 points that’s it… I think I had to wake up though because I went on to win the next 4 games! WHOOP! And now the record stands at Michelle: 8, Jenn: 7! So we play again Tuesday morning bright and early! And I will let you know how it goes… I mean if it goes in my favor of course!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
- As I said I get to wear jeans in the office everyday… so naturally that meant I needed new work clothes and since work clothes were now jeans I got to buy new jeans… this is my favorite thing to shop for next to athletic equipment! LOVE IT!
- Also while I may still have to sit in traffic driving into the office, it’s a whole new experience then in DC… now if I put my blinker on 9.5 times out of 10 the person in the other lane will slow down or stop so I can get in! WHAT! REALLY! I can come in just because I signaled! I am so confused!??
- And I love that when you let someone in you get the standard Texas Wave saying thank you! I’m sorry what! You are waving to me just because I did what I should be doing… Weird!
- Its stinkin 70 degrees outside on its way to 80! WHAT! Its still February! WHOOP!
- Because of the point above, I now get to run outside… this is another one of those favorite things of mine, and not only outside but my new office is just a few minutes from town lake! So I get to run around Town Lake!!! NICE!
- Well while runnin around Town Lake is fun… I will say I have to adjust to Texas bugs again… not that DC did not have bugs, but there are nats everywhere! I swear half my dinner at night is those stinkin nats I inhale while running. YUCK!
- And while we are on the subject of running, I now have my old racquetball buddy back. An old high school teammate who may be a better athlete than I am hands down but with the training Zain, Ben and Alex gave me in DC, I now give her a run for her money on the court! While she may be up on me at this moment in games won, 5 am Wednesday morning will change her fate, see I am used to getting up that early! HA!
- You may be wondering all this running and racquetball… well Michelle has gained a few too many pounds since surgery a couple of summers ago… going from 30 or so miles a week to NONE for a year was very painful on my tummy and then we had the sad news strike in November and I turned to chips and salsa and all the sorts to cope… Not so good… So anyway! I am on a losing weight kick! And in a week and a day I have lost 3.5 lbs!!! WHOOP! Now I know you are thinking Michelle some of that is water weight, and I know, but its weight non the less and I do not discriminate in my pounds, and neither should you! NICE!
- And loosing weight in Texas is HARD!!!!!!!!! Losing weight in DC, not that hard because there is not AMAZING Mexican food or Southern food on every corner! OH my weakness! Seriously people losing weight in Texas should be listed as cruel and unusual punishment… why when I have been deprived of so much good food for so long, can I now have it right in front of me and I can’t take a bite! I feel like Eve in the garden! (And FYI after this experience I don’t judge her anymore) WHY!
- Well the other day driving back to my office I saw Leslie on a bicycle… it was enough to not make me want to eat for the rest of the day… so thanks for serving Leslie! AH!
- My home church! Oh how I love my home church! Its so good to be able to go any Sunday I want and be surrounded by people I have known forever and who know me. I love sitting under our Pastor Mark’s teaching and having good ol Allen around. PTL!
- And last but not least the friends! I love being able to see so many of your faces in person when we talk now… And we are not even on Skype! I love the hugs and signs of affection people give and no one is weirded out by them. I love being able to just decide I want to see someone and then be in driving distance to go and do it… Its awesome! LOVE Y'ALL!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
So once I got back from Mexico, I packed my car (after a HUGE ordeal of getting it fixed which led me to walking over 7 miles to my car because everyone I knew had jobs and I did not and thought I would save myself the $30 or so in a cab fee…) My Step-Dad drove up to DC (talk about awesome) And we packed his trailer and started the two day drive to Texas. It was good, I got some solid time alone in my car where the Lord help to prepare me for the major life change that was coming. I decided to play through my entire “Purchased” play list off my ipod… which got me to Waco!
We made great time on the first day so I asked if we could stop in Nashville for dinner, since I had never been to Nashville I thought it would be fun… So I sent a text to a few of my friends who spend a lot of time there to get a good recommended local place to eat. My friend Mica who I’ve told you about texted back and said she knew the best place for dinner… Her House! She said they just got back in town that afternoon and would love to see me, so I told her only on the condition she did not cook for us and I would pick something up. So I grabbed some Bar-B-Q and we headed over to her place. We ended up sitting at that table and talking and laughing for a good 2 and a half hours. It was such a blessing to get to catch up, Mica was mad we were not staying with her, but I had already booked a hotel room about and hour from there so we continued on. The next morning I thought we should leave early so we could stop in Memphis and go to Graceland… weird but I got shot down! So we made the long drive back to Round Rock and got home around 9:30 pm.
So I have been home now for a couple of weeks and to say its been an adjustment would be an understatement. It’s a major change in life, and pace and all that jazz. While I am super excited to be home, and time with my family whenever I want it practically is such a blessing. It takes a lot to unwind you from the daily life of DC. To start I no longer get up at 4:30 am… now my alarm goes off at 7 am and I get to hit snooze once… I also no longer wear suits to the office, I am in jeans and a relax button down shirt as we speak. I no longer get off work anywhere between 7 pm and 9 pm (or later), I am usually done by 5 pm or earlier. Rather than getting home between 10:30 pm and later, I make it home most nights anywhere between 5:30 pm and 7 pm (if I had dinner with a friend) and I am in bed by 10 pm or 11 pm. It sounds good on paper, but it actually has been a tough adjustment… But I know the Lord has something for me here, even if it is to teach me how to rest… so I will do that I will rest and figure things out. The job I am working now is a contract position so I am looking for my next move, I am praying the Lord will show me what it is and what I am to chase down soon, so this Lost Texan is home for now, but we will see what is on the horizon next…
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Well I have been in Cozumel for a few days now and including today have two days and a half left! Whew its a hard knock life here. Every morning I have to get up, have breakfast brought to me, then lay out at the pool till I decide its time to sit in my hammock by my private pool! This morning we went snorkeling through the Cozumel reefs (some of the best around we are told) and when we got back a European couple stole out LOUNGERS! What! We marked them with our stuff and all as we were told but alas it did not hold. So now I have to stay in my private pool till another lounger opens... y'all my life is HARD right now!
I am totally kidding obviously and know I am so blessed with this awesome vacation. I have relaxed and done a lot of nothing but sleep, lay out eat and run... We did not get the water slide from our pool because our room is level with the hotel pool, so our private pool just bleeds into the hotel pool. (The picture above is taken with my computer from my hammock...) But this is awesome because the folks in the slide rooms let everyone use them if they want. And but luck of the Lord we have the BEST room number ever!
43 ... We worked for the 43rd President of the United States
12... We are friends from A&M and thats the 12th Man!
So HOW could we in our right minds switch rooms! All is well and I will update everyone later... funny thing I am so relaxed that I have literally only take like 3 pictures! So unlike me!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Yes, tomorrow is my last official day of work, I then head out to Cozumel for vacation!!! What what! And then back to pack, attend my old roomies wedding, then start the long drive home back to Texas! I will be working in Austin as the new Director of Operations for the Texas Book Festival! A non-profit Mrs. Bush started when she was the First Lady of Texas!
But did you catch my vacation in there! Can I tell you how stinkin excited I am to head to the beach! My friend and I are calling it our Funnymoon. (That stands for Fake Honeymoon) because we are heading to the Wyndham Cozumel Resort and Spa for 6 days of an all inclusive vacation!!!! Since prices are so cheap right now, we upgraded to the private side of the resort and then upgraded within that to their nice suite. The room description on the hotel website stated it had a terrace with a hammock and then direct access to the pool. So I thought walk out side have our hammock and then walk a few feet to the pool... OH no folks! Direct access to the pool at the Wyndham rolls like this.... You walk out to your terrace with you hammock then you have your own PRIVATE pool out which then has a WATERSLIDE into the main hotel pool!!!! WHAT!!! Yeah you heard me right! A water slide from my room into the pool... people this is AWESOME! I have no words to describe how much I am looking forward to this trip!!! I will post pictures later to make you all jealous!!