Thursday, March 18, 2010

Other Stuff

We did do other stuff last weekend....non-Randy Travis stuff.  And I mananged to pay attention during most of it.  We visited Gainesville (where we lived before we moved to our current digs) and Devil's Milhopper State Park, which is basically a huge sinkhole.  It's a lot more interesting than it sounds!

This was our best attempt at using the delay function on the camera...I'll spare you the reject shots this time!

Taking a break from all the stairs...we felt the effects of all that stepping the next day!

The closer you get to the sinkhole, the more humid it gets...which it why my carefully styled hair has turned into a big hot mess.  You'd be devastated too if you knew how rarely I actually style my hair!

One cool thing about Devil's Milhopper is that it's full of plants you can't find elsewhere in North Central Florida.  A lot of the trees there are typically only found in South Florida.  But oddly enough, the landscape reminds me of the Appalachians!

There were stairs....lots and lots of stairs...

And, oh the humidity!  I am a Florida native, but even I could feel the weight of all the suspended water in the air!

With humidity comes moss and lichens!

We walked around Silver Springs for a few minutes before claiming our VIP seats for the concert.  We've had season passes in the past, so we've seen it all, but we still like to walk around!

Mr. Flamingo!  I sometimes wonder if captive flamingos are given something to color their feathers artificially through their just doesn't seem like they would be that brightly colored in the wild!

These Sandhill Cranes weren't captive...just freeloaders.

Oh no!

I love the expression on Mike's face!

At least it wasn't the real thing!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I Have a Job for You...

Last year Mike and I had the vacation of a lifetime when we went to Germany.  There is just no way we could ever plan to top that, but we still would like to go somewhere this summer...but WHERE?!? We're already planning a trip to Kentucky meet a certain little niece of mine once she arrives, but if you have any suggestions for our summer vacation, please feel free to leave a comment.  Just keep these criteria in mind:

  1. It must be somewhere in North America, but out of the Southeastern U.S.
  2. It must be a city where we can get by without renting a car, except to make a day trip outside the city.
  3. It must not be hotter than Florida in July.
  4. It must be awesome.
Forever and Ever, Amen...

That is how long I have been a fan of Randy Travis.  Literally as long as I can remember.   When I was little my family went camping in the Smokies and he was giving a concert in an outdoor arena close to our campground.  We sat outside the arena and listened to the concert, and ever since then I have wanted to go to a Randy Travis concert for real.  So yesterday when we went to his concert at Silver Springs, I was more than a little excited.  And I wasn't disappointed - what a great concert!

He really was an excellent performer.  And I am happy to report that his jokes have improved over the last 20 years....marginally.

His band was awesome, too - he seems to have a great relationship with all of them.  The shortest amount of time he had worked with any of them was 7 years!

As great as the band was, the songs he played all by himself were amazing.

Probably my favorite picture.

What a great day!  I really am so blessed to have been able to share such a special day with my husband!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Musings - Life in 2010 So Far

These last few months have been weird.  I feel like I've been determined to just live a normal life - get a decent night's sleep, go to work, make dinner, keep the house relatively clean, and wake up the next day and do it all over again.  I've been doing a pretty good job of just living, but I don't feel like I'm doing much more than that.  Countless times I've sat down at the computer to update my blog, only to stare at the blank screen and eventually give up.  But then again living a normal life can be a blessing!  Since Terri passed away I've been walking around in a cloud and the reality of what happened hits me all over again sometimes - last week at church I just could not hold it together when the first worship song came on.  But while life is returning to a somewhat normal state for me, I am so saddened when I think about how the Fordham family's new journey is just beginning.

Lent is going pretty good.  It's not as hard as I thought it would be to eat at restaurants, and I don't miss meat as much as I thought I would.  The family has been very supportive, especially Mike.  I feel bad sometimes because this was my decision, not theirs, but it affects them too because they love me and want to accomodate me.  But what I love is the feeling I get when I leave a restaurant and I have stuck to what I believe in.  I've also noticed that I very rarely overeat now, whether at home or out.  Maybe it's because I pay that much more attention to what I'm eating now.

Mike and I are going to a Randy Travis concert this weekend at Silver Spring, and I am way more excited than any adult should be.  I told my family at dinner tonight that if I get to meet him, I will wet my pants.  I got the concert tickets for Christmas and the VIP passes for Valentine's Day, so it's safe to say that I've been looking forward to this for awhile!  I'm determined that I will get a picture of myself out of this weekend, thought, whether or not Randy Travis is in it with me.  I was going through my pictures taken so far this year, and I noticed that I have taken all of maybe 20 pictures in 2010, and I am in NONE of them.  Photographer syndrome strikes again!  So hopefully after this weekend I will be posting some pictures of myself...from the waist-up, so the wet spot on my pants won't show!

Friday, March 05, 2010

On February 28th, our pastor's wife, Terri, passed away unexpectedly.  She was a beautiful, vibrant woman - a mother to four children, a much-loved wife, a teacher to special needs kids, and passionate worshiper.  Mike and I attended her service this evening, and I wrote this as soon as we came home.  To say that Terri will be missed is the understatement of the year.

Dear Terri,

I went to your funeral tonight. I’ve been dreading it all week. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve been trying to pretend that it wasn’t going to happen. I’ve been walking around in a daze, forgetting where I was going in the car, in disbelief that this has happened. Whenever I stop long enough to think, all I can think is, “this sucks.” Church last Sunday was awful. People walking around with bloated faces, repeating over and over, “did you hear?” The collective exhale when Reverend Charlotte told us the news. The 8-year old boy wiping his eyes after church, communicating what the rest of us were too stunned to express. I don’t ever want to live through that again, yet I would not have rather been anywhere else.

I will always remember you, in a church full of white folks, keeping us all on the beat with your clapping. We are going to be so off without you!  I will always remember you seeking me out to ask me how school was going, and listening as someone who has been there when I poured out way more information than you needed to know. I hate the idea of you not being in church this Sunday. I promise that I will help take care of your family and surround them with love and support. You are part of my cloud of witnesses now, and I hope that I will make you proud.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. -Hebrews 12:1