Saturday, December 01, 2007

6 Days to 10 Years !

Ok, 6 days to go until our 10-year anniversary. If you missed any of the last posts (that started the 10 day countdown), scroll down to read them.

This one will be a shorter post but it's truly a great memory as I reflect over the 10 years of marriage. We have been truly blessed with some great anniversary date memories. It's fun to think about some of them.

I remember going to an Amy Grant Christmas show at the new American Airlines Center. How can you go wrong with that, huh??!!!! That's the fun of having your anniversary around Christmas. I also remember going to a Vocal Majority Christmas Show in Ft. Worth.

One year we decided that we would start marking our anniversaries by going to Frisco to begin alot of our Christmas shopping. Monica had volunteered to watch our boys and that would free us up to have a good afternoon of shopping while topping it off with a great dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. We did this for a couple of years in a row.

I'm looking forward to our 10-year celebration in a few days!! Can't wait to start a new decade of memories.

Blessed be your name,

7 Days to 10 Years !

I apologize to all those who were looking for a Friday update... day just got away from me. So I'll post "7 Days" and "6 Days" both today.

It's difficult to reflect over the last 10 years without thinking of how the Lord has blessed us with great laughter. There have been many times that Kendra and I have laughed together, whether in our first townhome, this Emerald Street house, in the car or just anywhere.

One of the reasons I fell in love with Kendra is her laugh. She may not even know that. Anyone who knows how to laugh on a regular basis is high on my list. And Kendra is the highest. We have found a way to make each other laugh, found a way to laugh at ourselves and from time to time even laugh at the expense of others!! HA (sorry to all of you out there who we laughed about!! HA)

I think over the last 7 years, we've probably laughed more than ever because of our kids. It may be something our kids say or more than likely something they have done. They truly make us laugh. The other night we had a great laugh together (Kendra and I) after what began as a tragic scream from our son Tyler. Tyler had gone into the bathroom to get a tissue for his nose but the light was off. The tissue box sits on the back of the toilet. He thought he could navigate safely to the box of tissues in the dark but he got more than he bargained for. Shortly after entering the bathroom, we heard a horrible scream and shrill come from the bathroom. I'm not sure I've reacted faster in my life as I ran to the bathroom. Kendra had beat me to it only to find....

Well, apparently Tyler had not realized that the toilet lid was up and not down. So in his effort to "climb on the toilet to get a tissue" (as he explained his thought process), he managed to step directly into the toilet. The event scared him so much that he screamed like crazy!!!! I think after we got Tyler to bed, Kendra and I had a great big laugh over this event.

It's stories like that which I have cherished over the last 10 years. And I can't wait for many more laughs to come.

Blessed be your name,

Thursday, November 29, 2007

8 Days to 10 Years !

Ok, 8 days to go until our 10-year anniversary. If you missed any of the last posts (that started the 10 day countdown), scroll down to read them.

This post may be a bit shorter due to time constraints but that in no way reflects upon my true feelings for this topic: In-laws!!

I've been extremely blessed with wonderful parents. Ronnie and Judy Vaughn are the best parents in the world and I'm extremely fortunate to have been raised by them in a Christian environment and many of the parenting skills I have, I've learned from them. So kudos Mom & Dad!! When a guy as fortunate as me can add another set of "parents" in the case of my in-laws, then I'm certainly considered double-fortunate. Larry and Brenda are great in-laws. Having a father-in-law and mother-in-law who are Christians and who love me as if I was their own, well I'm just extremely blessed. I come from a great family and married into an equally great family. So as I reflect over the past 10 years, I can think of many fond memories and experiences with my in-laws and I know some who would struggle with that reflection. Again, I'm richly blessed.

I wouldn't be completing my thought if I didn't add that I have 2 wonderful brothers, Gary and Randy. I was one of three brothers in my house growing up. So, when Kendra and I got married, I received the blessing of gaining a "sister" that I never had. My sister-in-law Monica is truly the best sis-in-law around. She's been nothing but supportive of me (at least in front of my back!! HA) and is always fun to be around. She's been a great friend and an incredible Super Aunt to my 3 boys. The way she loves and treats them causes me to hold a special place for her. I love you Aunt Moni! And of course, now, I have a great brother-in-law now that Monica and Aric got married over 2 years ago.

So here's to all of my in-laws. Wish I could have more time to devote to sharing how you've encouraged me over these 10 years. I've very blessed by you all.

Blessed be your name,

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

9 Days to 10 Years !

Ok, 9 days to go until our 10-year anniversary. If you missed the last post (that started the 10 day countdown), scroll down to read it.

Another great memory of our 10 years together actually involves 3 special trips we've taken since we've said "I do". Allow me to comment on each of these:

Honeymoon: We had a great trip right after we got married. We spent about 4 full days in Colonial Williamsburg which was quite a treat. Very fun to go back in time. I've always wanted to go back there and maybe some day we will. It was fun walking around together in the cold and I especially remember sitting and listening to a concert of sorts singing old carols with colonial style music going on. I remember feeling very far removed from the world at that point and I was happy to be sitting "alone" with just my bride. The 2nd part of our trip involved making a 180 degree turn in terms of settings. We left Colonial Williamsburg on what I remember to be a Thursday morning. We arrived right before lunch in downtown Manhattan... that's right... smack dab in the middle of NYC during Christmas time!! Wow - cultural shock. I think I ended up paying an arm for our cab ride (partly because I panicked and overtipped our driver!!HA) and then paid a leg for a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches (and we had to share our fries). I remember putting down a $20 bill and Kendra saying "don't we need to get change" and I said, "uh, no, all of this was about $20!!" Yikes - reality had set in. It was almost sleeting and very cold there. We got lost looking for Rockafeller Center because we should have been looking for Rockafeller Plaza and besides that our hotel room was the size of a closet and we paid about $220 a night for it. At one point that evening, we retreated back to the hotel room (probably b/c we were sad and scared!! HA). From there, one of Kendra's cousin who lived in NYC at the time wanted to see us. So she came to our hotel. She saw the room, asked us how much we spent and said something like "you guys got a steal!!". I was thinking "What?". But then it was clear that we weren't doing all that bad after all. So our mindset shifted, we found a familiar chain to eat dinner and then made our way to the Plaza to watch the ice skating. At that point our fun time in NYC was just beginning. It was a great couple of full days and I actually go on the Today Show. You would have had to stop the tape in order to see me if you recorded it but I was there. It was a great memorable trip that also included a great time seeing the famous Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Christmas Show. Very fun for us both and we had great seats!! Well, I could go on and on ...

Oregon: A year or so after we were married, Kendra and I went to see a college buddy of mine in Portland, Oregon. It was a great trip for us to see Chris and Diane and their kids (I can't recall if they had one or 2 when we were there but now they have 2). We got to visit with alot of their extended family, took a tour of the Nike plant and went up to Mt. Hood and saw the hotel where they filmed the movie, "The Shining" with Jack Nicholson. It was the summer but at the top of Mt. Hood, we go to throw snow/ice balls at each other so that was a fun experience. Chris and I have always maintained a good friendship over the last 17-18 years that I've known him. It was quite a treat to go visit the Northeast and spend time with a good friend and his family and be able to do that with my favorite person in the world!! (I love you honey!!)

Benin, West Africa: Well, this post wouldn't be completed with the biggest trip of my life. My brother, Randy, and his wife were missionaries in Benin, West Africa for 8 years from 1999-2007. I believe it was the fall of 2004 when we went but I could be off a year. We had wanted to visit them in Africa but we knew it would be costly and challenging since we had 2 little ones at that point. But thanks to the Lord for providing (as He ALWAYS does!!) and to some great family members and friends, we were allowed to leave our kids in good hands and take off for an incredible adventure. It was so fun for Kendra and I to take this task on. If you've never flown like this to a foreign country, then you should ... it will make your relationship stronger. You might kill each other along the way (HA) but it all is good in the end!! We grew stronger together and had fun experiencing all that Africa had to offer. On the way back from Africa, we were fortunate to spend a night in Paris, France. I thought there might never be a time where I would say "Hey Honey, I want to take you to Paris". Since we had to fly through there on the way home, we decided to spend a few hours one afternoon and then get up the next morning and head back home. It was quite an experience going through the Paris airport and having to navigate together so we wouldn't get lost. We saw the Eiffel Tower and some other cool landmarks. And we ended our evening by having a great pizza dinner on a street side table with creme' brule for dessert. Very fun!! This was definitely one of the highlights of our 10 years together.

Ok, I wish I could tell you about all the family trips to Littlefield (my hometown), Midland (Kendra's hometown) or even trips to Canada/Prince Edward Island or trips to the mountains of Colorado for Christmas but I just don't have time. Don't forget to check back tomorrow!

Blessed be your name,

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

10 Days to 10 Years !

I can't believe it but Kendra and I will be celebrating 10 years of marriage on Thursday, December 6th. I wanted to find a way to reflect back on those years and just try to highlight some favorite memories of the last 10 years. This is going to be difficult because I know I will miss something along the way. But it's going to be fun as well as I think back about a great marriage. Think of this as a "12 days of Christmas" format so you'll have to check back each of the next 10 days.

One of the great memories for us was back in the spring of 2000 when we bought our first house in Bedford at 3228 Emerald Street. I think about this significant event because it's where our family time was born as each of our 3 wonderful kids absolutely complete our family. It's actually hard to imagine when it was just Kendra and I. Even when we get the privilege of going out on a date without our kids, it's only a temporary great feeling. That is in no way reflective on the order of importance for me. Kendra is it !!! These poor kids don't hold a candle to my sweet kiddo!! They can smile, laugh, cry and whine all they want but they will never have my heart the way Kendra does... no question about it. However, thankfully the Lord made my heart big enough for 3 little guys who I absolutely adore and I think they think I'm kinda fun too. Our house has so many memories already from the first time we brought Tyler home from the hospital in 2001 to getting a new roof in 2007 !! HA My favorite memories involve how we've personalized this house. We spent almost a month when we first got it in order to paint almost every inch of this house. Of course, we did it all ourselves with help from family and friends. It was a bonding time for us. And then there has been alot of repainting and re-doing over the last 7 years which have certainly supplied a lot of fun and funny moments of house repair. We enjoyed the pool time with the kids and watching our 2 oldest grow up so much to see them swimming and playing so well without our constant assistance. They love that pool and it's provided great relief for us during the summer... we are blessed.

We are fortunate to have a great house but obviously I'm not as excited about the brick and mortar as the fun and love that lives between the walls! (sounds like a greeting card) We've talked about moving in the next year if it's the Lord's will. If it is, I will always have great memories of this house.

More to come so check back tomorrow !!

Blessed be your name,