Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hey Mambo! Mambo Italiano!

Life is full of little blessings. I try to notice them.

Remember them. Enjoy them. Thank the Lord for them.

This week has been especially full of sweet things.

Fellowship. Family. Laughter . Hugs. Pizza.

Today Kelley brought Dad, Nate and Luke to eat lunch with me!

I’m often too busy or distracted to enjoy the simple but wonderful moments in life…little things that are often overlooked. I need reminders to slow down, look around, and appreciate all that God has blessed us with.

God is good. I am blessed. And thankful.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I'm not sure what he's thinking here but this face is so quintessentially Charlie, isn't it?
Two days ago, we celebrated our first year of wedded bliss, and I’m so thankful to be married to a man who loves the Lord and desires to lead us in a way that honors Him. There are many things that most people know about Charlie. He is:
funny and witty
a great husband
a guy with a ridiculously fast metabolism
a faithful believer
a talker
a listener
easy to talk to
a quick learner
a perfectionist

The list could go on, but here’s a list of things you might not know about Charlie:
There is no middle ground when it comes to things he likes or does not like. For example, he does not like mayonnaise or mushrooms, and he will not knowingly eat anything that has one of those in it.
He doesn’t cook much, but he is a good cook. I especially like his Caribbean jerk chicken, grilled cheese sandwiches, ice cream creations, burritos, etc.
He makes up silly songs. Probably every day.
He's great at surprises
He’s great at most things, but will never admit that.
He takes about 3 minutes to get ready in the mornings.
He once beat me in a limbo contest. Ouch.
I’m so blessed to be married to him. He’s an all-around great guy. Even if he doesn’t like chocolate and whip cream together…

I'm It!

The directions - Share five random and/or weird facts about yourself, and then share the five top places on your “want to see or want to see again list, and finally tag five people.
1. Every time I look at stainglass windows that are just pretty mosaic colors, I imagine a face or object in the pattern.
2. I do not like ice tea. (Yes, I am from the south and do not like sweet tea). Never have. Except for the Mango tea from Olive Garden but that's just liquefied sugar.
3. As a child, I could not stand tight things on my arms (like elastic short sleeves). I would try to stretch them out as much as I could.
4. I never get tired of Laffy Taffies.
5. I can down a whole large pack of orange tic tacs in under 1 min.
Places to go:
1. Italy - I've been once. I would love to go back and spend more time in Rome and see other parts that I didn’t see last time. And I’d like to eat more authentic Italian goodness.
2. Greece/Spain/Switzerland
3. Africa on a safari.
4. Greece
5. Maine

If you have a blog and you just read this, then I’m “tagging” you. Do it!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Saint Grandad

Many of you may have known that Tim Twardowski passed away two weeks ago today after a two year battle with brain cancer. I know he has passed into the fullness of heaven and his pain is over but the hurt still lingers with the family. Our prayers during his sickness were for a miracle, for divine intervention, for healing.

But I have come to realize this life is not about being healed.

It's about bearing wounds for the sake of the One who bore them for us.

It is as simple as recognizing that God chose Tim's suffering for a purpose, and the splendor of His plan will be revealed as we trust in Him.

I know Christ will raise up, He will conquer, but when I read about the cross I want to close my eyes until the in-between pain is over. That "duck and cover" instinct is something I have gradually learned over the years. I remember being little and wanting to be a martyr so I could go straight to heaven. I'd like to think that I'd still have that kind of courage should I even be put into that situation but I honestly don't know. Maybe that's just part of being little and gloriously trusting. Kelley sent me a beautiful e-mail about a conversation between Trip (my oldest nephew, 6) and Chris (Tim's wife)...

"Dear Family,
I wanted to pass on a story that Chris, Travis' mom, shared with me over dinner last night.

When Tim was diagnosed with his brain tumor the boys added in their night time prayers, "God, please help Grandad get well." After Tim died, Trip began saying, "God, please help Grandad have a good life in heaven."

Chris was praying with Trip the other night and he added his usual prayer,
"God, please help Grandad have a good life in Heaven."
Chris replied, 'You know Trip, everyone has a good life in Heaven because it's Heaven, everyone is happy there.'
'I know Gramie. You know, Grandad is a saint now. Some people call him Saint Tim, but...' then Trip gets this impish, Trip grin on his face, '..but, I call him Saint Grandad.'

My heart is full of praise and thanksgiving for this boy...for my three boys who open my eyes to the joy of Heaven that is around me even now!

Much Love,

Trip's childlike faith made my eyes well up my heart long for that kind of joyful trust. We are all in the process of completing our part in God's divine plan; we are clay in His hands.

"Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message" So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him...Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand"...Jeremiah 18:2-6

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Vous et Nul Autre

Charlie and I had a wonderful pre-anniversary celebrati0n this weekend. And my mom and dad sent us our first anniversary card! It's this sweet vintage couple and quite possibly my favorite card of all time!
Since our actual anniversary is tomorrow, Monday, we decided to live it up over the weekend at the Omni Houston. From the pool to the tennis courts we really enjoyed our mini-vacation. My boss suprised us with a beautiful upgraded room with a pool view.

We had to go and check out the black swans. They are so cute and one of the mamma's had some little ducklings not too long ago!

"Stop looking at me swan!"

We also ate alot! For lunch we had some great Greek food at Yia Yia Mary's...OPA!!!
Our friends at the Omni westside even set up some champagne and chocolate covered strawberries....

Charlie had no shame showing his excitment for the suprise delivery!

Charlie also surprised me with beautiful pearl earrings from Tiffany's. Although these were beautiful I was more excited about the "infinity pearl" earnings Charlie had originally picked out.

The ones he had in mind were apparently sold out every where except for Japan so I'd have to wait a few months until the store had more shipped in. So we brought them back to the galleria this morning and the girl who helped us checked their wearhouse again (I can't imagine Tiffany's having a wearhouse...) and they had some in stock! We placed the order and I should get them by Friday; I was sooo excited!

And did I mention we ate alot? For dinner we had great steaks at Ruth's Chris. Our waiter was super nice and gave us a free desert since it was almost our anniversary.

I was able to order a new cake top from the lady who made our wedding cake as a suprise for Charlie!

...she makes really, really great cakes!

I am looking at my wedding ring as I type, remembering the night Charlie proposed to me. I stood in front of him while he opened a ring box and I knew that I loved him more than I ever thought I would love somebody. I remember the first few days after I met Charlie we were at a volleyball game and how I really wanted to "spike" the ball well so he would notice me. I remember how I waited for him to call. I remember the way he surprised me with the tulip set engagement ring I had fallen in love with. His hands were shaking and he bent down and I just kept thinking that it couldn't be real.

I've written this post before but I thought since tomorrow is our 1 year anniversary it was appropriate...
"What Our Marriage Is"

It's late night tennis games.

It's laughing hysterically at parts of a movie no one else thinks are funny.

It's me looking up from my book to see Charlie waving at me from the kitchen.

Its dragging him to one more store looking for the perfect gift.

It's burnt dinner (which he would never complain about), clean laundry (which most likely, he did), and staying up until 3 a.m. watching The Office.

It's telling the truth, even when it hurts.

It's spending your nights in a hospital room holding his hand.

It's ordering take out and singing along to terrible Kansas music....It's believing what God does with what we give Him is far greater than what we could have done with it ourselves.

It's Charlie and Kristin, and it's good.

But it's not perfect.

It's a slamming door because we've had a rough day. It's the sharp voice that comes out of you when you just meant to ask where your shoes are. It's your heart breaking because you can't fix it all. It's wishing you could rewind to a chapel and tell the newlyweds that there really is some "worse" with the "better." But through it all Christ has been the center of the ups and downs. God has blessed us tremendously with each other! And we praise Him for his wisdom in the design of marriage! And even though we cannot love each other perfectly, Christ gives us the grace to forgive, to smile, to hug, to say I'm sorry. And just like the bible verse below says, "by HIS wounds we are healed."

"But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him and by His wounds we are healed. " Isaiah 53:5-6

As we reflect on the past year and look forward to the upcoming one, I pray that increased faith in God would be manifested in us through a deeper dependence on Him in prayer so that we would be encouraged and take more things to him that way!

I love you Charlie

....You and no other!

Monday, August 18, 2008


The former Fontenot girls (well two of them former) headed out for a day of shopping this past Saturday. It is always a test of my patience when I drive out to Southwest Houston; it takes almost as long to get there as it does to drive completely to College Station, give or take thirty minutes. But I made it to Kelley's with 30 minutes to get to Blue Bird Circle before it closed. Blue Bird Circle is an awesome resale shop in downtown Houston and I do mean "serious" downtown...they have Obama murals and everything. But I do love going to that store and routing around for hidden treasures! Even though Kelley and I had less than 15 min. in the store I found some cool peacock feather earrings and a fun skirt for $8 from Banana Republic; gotta love it!

After our fun shopping trip we stopped off for some good lunch at Ninfas. I wanted to take a picture to commemorate our weekend outing but accidentally dropped my camera as I was getting out of the car. It was one of those drops you know can only end badly; sure enough when I turned the screen on it was white and squiggly. I haven't had the best of luck with my stuff lately. Last month I lost my favorite watch while visiting Kati and Adam, for some reason the diamond in my ring is loose, and then I drop my camera. Oh well, it's just stuff and although I need to be more careful I know that it is completely replaceable.
But I have to be honest, I was really upset about breaking my camera. I try to remind myself it's just the "ol devil" trying to drag me down into materialism and maybe this is dramatic but I believe that satan is real, and that spiritual warfare rages all around us every day of our lives. I don't think he has a pitchfork, and I doubt he has a long red tail. I don't think he's in the Junior League, but I do believe he was an angel once. A beautiful angel who wanted to be greater than God. A now fallen angel who rejoices in our sufferings and our regrets. Who taunts us as we try not to blow small things out of proportion and have patience in frustrating situations.
My sister sent me an e-mail about an abortion clinic that is being remodeled and after its completion it will be the largest abortion clinic in the Western hemisphere. The e-mail was encouraging us to write to the contractors working on the clinic and asking them to reconsider. Kelley composed a beautiful letter (if you would like a copy to read/mail for yourself please let me know) to send to the company. I don't want to presume to know what goes through a mother's heart when she chooses death for her child but I have heard many heart-wrenching stories of lives that have been wrecked rather than helped because of this right to chose. I hope and pray these letters will somehow make a difference and help families make a stand for truth and life.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

From Nit Noi to Laredo

So long Elliot! Charlie's BP roommate from last summer was back again this summer. We had a fun fairwell lunch for Elliot at Nit Noi's Thai restaurant. We'll miss him, his weekly visits to watch Last Comic Standing, his humorous MIT stories, and his legit use of accent!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

CP Softball

I joined Charlie and one of his weekly ConocoPhillips softball game. I was definitely outside of my comfort zone but had an awesome time and we won both of the games we played! It is so amazing how supportive Charlie is when I feel doubt creeping up on me. His supportive words encourage me and make me feel like I am the only person in the world. It is a wonderful thing to love with all of your hart and have them love you right back in the perfect way. So on top of all that love there were some really sweet and fun girls. You all know Lyndsey, who is terrific, but I also got to hang out with Amber. Both of these ladies are pretty setelar softball players and very accepting of my learners level of play. YaY for sweet people

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

4 Gals and 27 Dresses

Every girl knows the value of "girl time". After nearly a year of marriage I truly value these times with my Houston gals. Saturday night Lindsey treated us all to a yummy dinner at Johnny Carino's to celebrate her new raise at ConocoPhillips.

After dinner we headed over to Lindsey's to complete the girly ritual...a very girly movie, 27 Dresses! It was so fun and I am blessed to have such great friends!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Omni Ladies

Here are some of the great people I work with...

from the left: Katie, me, Nadira, and Amanda

Goodbye to July

...and hello to a pretty painted townhouse in College Station (I promise it looks good when it's all dry). Although it was wonderful spending time with family in College Station this weekend Charlie and I are thankful painting isn't in our full time job descriptions!

Mr. Lloyd said he needed to have "evidence" of all our hard work so here we are and I promise it looked better once it dried.

I had to steal Charlie's messy painting shirt...

so please forgive this :-)

We turned into pretty big whimps at the end of it all but at least we were well fed!

here I am enjoying my lobster tails...

And there's always time for Taboo...