This is My "Real" Blog: October 2006

Angie's Blog!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Reunited, and it felt not-so-bad, actually

Where did twenty years go?

It was an interesting assortment of 42 year olds that gathered at Poor Richard's Deli in Johnson City, TN. The room was better lit than 20 years ago, and the big-screen TV was showing CNN, rather than MTV. The menu has not changed. You can still get bagel with cream cheese, chili nachos, or the "General." The General is a hoagie with roast beef, turkey, and muenster cheese on dark bread with lettuce, spicy mustard, and mayo. (tomatoes are available-ick) I opted for the Reuben. I didn't like sauerkraut twenty years ago. What was I thinking?

Poor Richard's, or "PR's" as we called it, offers Maxine's sweet iced tea. I have never met a tea (herbal or otherwise) that I like, so I drank a Diet Pepsi (with one refill). And yes, Melany, it did keep me up half the night.

The reviews were mixed. We enjoyed our impromptu gathering. But consesus was that the sweet tea left much to be desired. The sandwiches were okay - but certainly not what we remembered. But, our memories of PRs were just that--memories.

The remainder of the weekend consisted of small and large gatherings with the Milligan College Class of 1986.

I thought that Caroline would be the youngest child there. I was wrong. There were five children three and under--Carolyn and Tom's baby was just a couple weeks old. Whoa.

All in all, not bad for a bunch of 40-somethings. I was pleasantly surprised at our ability to age gracefully. Actually, with the exception of some leftover baby weight and receding hair lines, we looked pretty doggone awesome.

I promised my friend Roger that I would share any gossip or pictures that I discovered. I'm sorry--there wasn't much, Roger. Anything that's really worthy of sharing will be sent in an e-mail. Besides, most of it, you probably already know.

These pictures were taken Friday night at Poor Richard's.

My advice: Don't avoid a class reunion. . .even if you have gained 50 pounds since college--ahem--it doesn't matter. You are surrounded by friends and family HERE and NOW that love you. Seeing these old friends (yes, I did say "old") is good for you. It's good for them.

It's just good.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


One of my favorite scenes in "The Princess Bride" is where we meet Vizzini, Inigo, and Fezzik. Vizzini's use of the word, "inconceivable" is classic. And now, "inconceivable" is a word I understand on a whole new level.

I passed my kidney stone.

Now, mind you, the term "stone" is an overstatement. I should say the pebble, nay--the clump of sand particles that resembles a burr you'd find on a dog's coat--passed. Honestly, that tiny little creep caused me pain on a level I had not experienced since I had Edison. . . he was ten pounds, two ounces - and I give birth with no pharmaceutical assistance.

1994 note to self: Don't be a hero. If you do this again, get the epidural.

2004 note to self: Epidurals are God's gift to women in payment for years of sacrificing remote controls.

Anywhoooo, she's gone. She flew out of me like a bat out of hell last night, around bedtime. I didn't even notice. Seriously. No pain. Again, maybe God's giving me some credit for the 10 lb. baby incident.

But, after six full days of discomfort, pain, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue--it's good to be back to my old self again. I say "OLD" because the urologist reminded me today that I "am at the end of my younger years."


It really is not inconceivable that such a small object could bring about such pain when I consider the path she took.

And no, I don't know why it's a "she."

Work with me.

I just passed a kidney stone.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

No news is no news

That's right. Nothing. The stone, to the best of my knowledge, is still where it was last week. In fact, up until this morning, I experienced no pain at all. However, sometime in the middle of 2nd service, it started up again. By the time I got home from church, I was popping my first pain pill since Wednesday night.

I didn't sleep, but I was sorta loopy. In fact, as I tried to talk to Mark, he made fun of my slurred speech. Comes with the territory, I guess.

One of the things I've noticed over the past 3-4 days is that when I'm not doing the things I always do, my kids miss me. Did you catch that. . . my kids miss me! They could skip Mother's Day, as far as I'm concerned.

Today, after church, I collapsed into bed. Mark fed the kids and got Caroline down for a nap. He even took them to pick pumpkins after her nap. When they got back, he brought her into my room--and she squealed, sat on my lap, and gave me a big kiss without being asked. That, my friends, is one of the best things ever. My presence in the day-to-day stuff was missed. Made me feel like a million bucks!

That's it. I'm out of stuff to write about. So, rather than ramble on, I'll leave you with some pictures of the pumpkin adventure. Very fun. Wish I was there. But, I kind of enjoyed the quiet house while they were out adventuring in the field.



Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It's a Family Affair

There really is a pun in there.

. . .that song was recorded by Sly and the Family "Stone" right?

. . .and a couple weeks ago, my dad had a kidney "stone" right?

. . .and I went to the ER last night in excruciating pain, right?

I have a kidney stone. It's a family affair.

My mom and dad took me to the ER while Mark stayed at home with the kids. Good plan. . . trust me. Mark's not a huge fan of all things medical. It's cool.

I feel some better. Have to wait for it to pass. sigh.

Here are a few of my observations:

1) At no point, during our 5-hour stint in the ER did a bus crash occur.
2) All of the doctors had both limbs - none lost appendages in a freak helicopter incident.
3) George Clooney was nowhere in the vicinity (much personal sadness)
4) CT machines have a dual function: scan your CT and destroy your body image.
5) CT machines are probably more fun to go through once - not six times. (It wasn't working properly the first 5 times!)
6) Barium tastes like watered down Elmer's school glue with berry flavoring
7) Pain-killing medicines are quite yummy at 4 a.m., when you feel like Joel Gray is tap dancing on your abdomen.

Family is good. Life is good. Relief is good.

. . .when the relief part gets here, you'll be some of the first to know. Until then.........

Monday, October 16, 2006

Okay, this is weird. . . .

As I was driving to a funeral tonight, I hummed the song(s) from my previous post, "I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues" and "Momma Can't Buy You Love." For some strange reason, I decided to turn on the radio. And yes, you know what's coming. That's right. . ."I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues" came on the radio at that very moment. And I heard the whole song--from the very beginning. In fact, I determined that I would circle the funeral home parking lot in order to hear the whole song, if necessary. Fortunately, the light is long at the intersection, so I had a chance to really listen to the song. I think I know what resonates with me in that song. This line:

"I simply love you more than I love life itself."

Deep words when you're driving to play for a funeral.

Then, I got to the funeral. I was not privileged to know this dear woman, but her brother and his family are part of our church. They have been such beloved friends and prayer warriors of our Caroline. Tonight, I learned why.

His sister's name was Caroline Joy. And, from what I learned about this lady, she lived up to her name to its fullest. You see "Caroline" literally means "song." That was a big part of our decision to name our little girl Caroline. And this woman's middle name "Joy" was apparently the name she lived up to the most. I learned that she loved the Lord with everything she had. She loved her family. She cherished her friends. And she lived every day with praise on her lips and a song in her heart.

One of the ministers challenged us with this question: "What is your song?"

That took me back for a few minutes. What is my song? I hope it's an uplifting song that screams the love of God. I hope that it's a song that echoes for days and months and years. I pray that it's a song my children will sing when I am gone. And my deepest desire is that in some way, I have taught you the melody to that song.

My challenge for today. . . .What is YOUR song? It may be an actual song, or it may be a rhetorical song echoed in poetry, art, or prose. Regardless of the media of your song. . . it's your song, so SING IT!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Beans, Bunco, and the Blues

One of my favorite Elton John songs is, "I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues." I don't know why. Maybe it's the chord progressions in the verse. I'm kind of an "R & B fused with gospel" girl.

Come to think of it, there are many others of his songs that I love. But, that's an entirely different blog entry. (note to self: when there's nothing else to blog about, list my favorite 25 songs)

Our church celebrated its 32nd anniversary this afternoon. It was not your typical, run-of-the-mill anniversary celebration, though. Of course, you couldn't call our church "run-of-the-mill" ever

This year, we decided to host a chili cook-off--hence, the beans. We also had a Bunco tournament. I was in charge of the chili part, and our children's minister ran the Bunco tables. (sounds like something you'd hear in an old B/W gangster movie, but I digress)

Wow! Bunco is flat-out fun! Of course, I wound up at the winning table, so of course I'd think that! But, it was a fun for just about eveyrone. The chili cookoff was a hit, too. I'm just glad they're behind us. And yes, I see the obvious pun with chili and "behind" but what's a girl to do?

Have I mentioned that Fall has arrived? Thought so. But, Caroline wore a wool jumper to church today. It was soooooo cute. Unfortunately, Mark and Edison changed her clothes before I could take a picture in her church clothes. The jumper is red and black - very classy - and she looks so much older in it. Scares me, actually.

I want to leave you with a new digi-layout that my wonderful friend, Melany did of Caroline. This was another one of the pictures I took last week, when it was sunny. Our rocking chairs on the porch aren't as old as they look. We've had them since we moved here - so they're really only about 10 years old. But between the aged chairs, the bricks, and her blue dress, it's the perfect combination.

Which brings me back to the "blues" and that song that's annoyingly playing through my head as I type. If the blues were as wonderful as this layout, it'd be a blessing to have the blues now, wouldn't it?

Thanks, Melany! You rock!!!

I'm sorry if' you're stuck humming "I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues." How about a different song. Say, "Momma Can't Buy You Love?" (it's another personal favorite!)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Want S'More? Yes!

It's finally here. Fall.has.arrived.

I awoke this morning to a frosty backyard. There was so much frost on the deck railings, I was able to compose a little "message" to send to Melany in Ontario. Here I thought I was being cute, and she was dealing with 5-6 inches of white stuff, and snow angels in her front yard. Sorry, Melany!

After lunch, it was naptime for Caroline. I had the long-awaited shower and obligatory leftover pork fried rice for lunch. Then, it was potato salad-making time, and a chance to get caught up on e-mails and blog writing

No internet connection. No explanation. No resolution. Change of direction.

Caroline's nap ended just before we needed to leave for my staff party/bonfire tonight. We bundled her up, loaded up the car with food and two small quilts, and headed for Bob & Sue's house. It was still daylight when we arrived, and although it was in the low 60s, there was a chill in the air. As the sun went down over the horizon, the temperatures began to plummet.

Suddenly the "just for ambience" campfire in Bob's driveway became the communication center and sole source of warmth for everyone. Edison and a few friends played in the yard. I think they kept warm by creating kinetic energy. The rest of us huddled around the fire - and made s'mores.

The s'mores were my idea at Wednesday's staff meeting. I have good ideas from time to time. This was definitely one of my better suggestions.

Caroline enjoyed her first tastes of melted, gooey marshmallow. I found myself saying, "Do you want s'more?" over and over. I realized that I may just have connected myself with the actual word origin of this delectable treat. She wanted s'more, and when mine was gone, she started begging from Mark.

Grandma fed her a marshmallow of her own. Rock on, Grandma.

At some point, Sue, my boss's wife decided that I needed more warmth than my little fleece pullover and dinky baby quilts were offering me. She brought me the most wonderful old hand-tied scrap quilt which I kept around my shoulders--even when just feet away from the fire.

After Caroline got sleepy, I cuddled her under the blanket, and she drifted off to sleep, too.

That, my friends, is the definition of a fabulous fall evening. Good food. . .rockin' good conversation. . . . a blazing fire. . . laughter and fellowship. . .and a precious toddler cuddled in your arms--breathing evenly and slowly as she falls asleep and acts as a little radiator for your frontside.

I still smell a little like smoke. And, although I'd really enjoy a warm shower to wash it away, I think I'm going to stay this way, and cling to this evening just a little bit longer.

Happy pumpkins, gourds, haystacks, bonfires, and flannel shirts, ya'll. Around here, it's finally FALL!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Finding Time (and space) to Breathe

I really thought that Monday would signal the beginning of some much-needed rest. I was wrong.

Monday was full. . . I was asked to participate in a funeral for one of the sweetest men I've met in a long time. He lost a battle with Alzheimer's Disease after about 7 years. His wife and three daughters (along with their families) celebrated his life, love, and delightful sense of humor on Monday evening.

One of the special aspects of my job in Music Ministry is participating in funerals. I'm usually the first in tears, but playing the piano, and leading singing at funerals is a part of my ministry I cherish. Monday night was no exception. God is so amazing--and His grace being extended to grieving families through simple "clay pots" like me is something I cannot grasp. But, I'm grateful for those opportunities to serve.

Anyway. . .Monday was busy with the memorial service and then Tuesday was spent in orchestra and choir practices, and the last round of auditions for our Christmas Musical. Tuesdays are long days. There's no two ways around it.

Wednesday - staff meeting (2 hours) and further preparation for mid-week service and this Sunday's upcoming service and Church Anniversary celebration. (Chili-cook off and Bunko tournament) Are you seeing the pattern. . .?

It doesn't stop with preparing for church on Wednesday, however. We accidentally left the deep freeze open on Sunday, so the beautiful pork loin roast that had partially thawed had to be cooked or discarded. I made a pork roast and vegetables. YUM!

After Church, the gorgeous McIntosh apples which my in-laws sent from NY are starting to turn. Note: we're not yet into fall, so warm temperatures are rough on fresh produce.

So. . .two batches of Apple Crunch muffins were made around 10:30 last night. They also served as refreshments for the Down Syndrome Awareness Group board meeting this morning at 8:30.

That's right. . . two days - two meetings. Yesterday: 2 hours --- today: 3.

Caroline's naptime today was cut short by reasons known only to God. But, that brief, sacred hour was something I'd longed for all week. After she awoke, it was time to pick up Edison, go to the grocery store, return roasting pans from the Buddy Walk, and come home and make dinner. (Pork Fried Rice.......does it get better?!)

So now, it is Thursday evening--8:45 p.m., I finally feel the relief of a busy week slipping behind me. Do I have things to do? Of course.

I still need to:

Sent Buddy Walk thank you notes
Mail t-shirts to some very special people
Slice, preserve, and freeze those apples before they go bad
SCRAP some pictures (digital AND normal)
Read a book
Clean my bathrooms
Pluck my eyebrows

Oh, and I nearly forgot, I have to make potato salad for a staff get-together tomorrow night at my boss's house.

Really, when it's all said and done. . . I love my busy, crazy, non-stop life!

I just need to take time to stop and smell the roses. Wait, did I say ROSES?! Could this be a blatant segue to some pictures of the most beautiful girl in the world? Do I really need to answer that?

That's right, it's October, my dear friends, and my gerber daisies and miniature roses are in full bloom! I figured that I wouldn't get many more chances this fall to capture such beauty. . .the flowers, that is. Happy October!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Long-Awaited Update

Okay. . .

I realize it wasn't that long-awaited. But, it's pretty cool knowing that some of my friends have been asking for pictures and updates from the Buddy Walk.

We had an awesome time. I am still tired, but it was so beneficial for our family and families from all over our area.

Our team "Caroline's Crew" was over 120 people. Lots of t-shirts with her cute little face. . . and lots of hugs and pats on the back. And yes, she walked across the "finish line" with Mommy & Daddy. Pretty emotional day for us all.

Caroline was definitely "on" for the entire afternoon. She was charming, precocious, and generous with waves, hugs and kisses for the masses. She even charmed the socks off of her cardiologist who spent part of the afternoon with us.

I'm inserting a few pictures--these came from our camera. There were lots of other cameras snapping pictures all over the place. I'm certain that there are some better pictures out there. But for now, I hope these give you the "flavor" of the Buddy Walk, and of our team, "Caroline's Crew."

Mind you, the picture of Caroline and me is not the most flattering, but I'm so proud of her, I don't mind. The other photo is Grandpa (my dad) pushing her stroller along the walk. Mark was taking pictures--so sadly, this batch of pictures does not include him.

Oh, and the fundraising totals. . .that's good news, too.

Our family was able to raise over $2,100. And Caroline's Crew raised over $2000. Overall, the Buddy Walk, we believe, brought in about $21,000.

Good day. A very good day.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

so tired. . .

i can't even use the shift key.

but, the buddy walk was a success. lots of great kids. lots of good food. lots of pictures. lots of stories.

lots of sleep. . .is needed.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Just Checking In. . .

I was just reading my friend Jules' blog. I'm sorry, I don't know how to link inside the text. (Help me, Melany!?)

Julie makes a great case for stepping back, and taking life in smaller portions. She's right--and I definitely need to take a lesson from her. Only, this is not the weekend for me to start. . .Buddy Walk!

Anywhoooo, her blog link is on the right column of this page - "Julie Brock." If you go there, I can promise you some thoughtful insights and lots of beautiful pictures of her two gorgeous boys. (You're cute too, Randy) She's actually my friend by proxy - her husband's parents are members of the choir I direct. The younger Brocks and the Aubreys have only met in person once--when Drew & Caroline were very small (especially Caroline). Through Julie's blog, I've gotten to know her and I've had a blast! She's actually one of the first blogs I ever read. . .and now look what I'm doing!

I've written about this before, but it bears repeating. I can't get over the online community/world that exsists out there in the great "webosphere!" In the past six months, I have met and become friends with so many people. I feel like I've known them for years. And, not a day goes by that I don't wonder:

. . . is Cooper walking yet, and did you win at BINGO? (Melany)
. . . where they are--literally (Jamie)
. . . how Maggie's play is going? (Christy)
. . . what's for supper? (Beth)
. . . how's life down under? (Helen)
. . . how's homeschool going? (Vicky)
. . . how's my favorite super-hero? (Jeannette)
. . . any fun new layouts? (Heather - and all my SB friends)
. . . how's my favorite former piano student in Turkey? (Laura)

I literally check in on these, and many other friends every day. I look for dinner ideas, new pictures of beautiful kids, scrapbooking inspiration, exhortation from scripture, updates on family matters, and the occasional tidbit of gossip.

I have been blessed in my life by many friends. I am surrounded by a loving family. I have two great kids and a wonderful, supportive husband.

But I still scratch my head in awe and wonder at my friends that I may never meet in person this side of Heaven. sigh.
If you have just met me in the past six months--I'm talking about you. And I want to tell you "Thanks for blessing my life!"

Now, I'm off to get ready for the Buddy Walk. . .which includes making Caroline's and my shirts, making concession stand signs, cooking 300 hot dogs, designing name badges for the DSAG Board, and lots of other fun things!

Pictures, frivolity, and lots of fun stories will make up tomorrow's blog entry!

Have a gorgeous Saturday!!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

3 Signs You Know you are a Bad Blogger

. . . does it really take THREE signs? I think the lack of a post for six (6) whole days should be a sign enough. But for those of you with attention to details, and a hunger for paltry humor, I'll see what I can do.

#3 - You keep telling yourself that there's nothing in the world to blog about--and you refuse to watch the news, or read the newspaper, because you know it might trigger a blog entry, and you're just too tired to type.

#2 - You refuse to pick up your digital camera, because you know you might capture something worth blogging about


#1 - You are named Angie and you've avoided the computer (and your own blog) out of fear, guilt, and initimidation.

Okay, that's done. Now I can move onto bigger and better things.

We are just 72 hours away from the annual Buddy Walk. We are very excited in the Aubrey household because of all the festivities awaiting us. As I type this, I realized that I left Caroline's Buddy Walk shirt(s) in the choir room at church. At least, I HOPE I left them there. Can you tell it's been one of those weeks?!

We are anticipating a great day on Sunday. Good weather is on the horizon, and our church team will be over 130 people! That's just amazing to us. It's a little humbling (okay REALLY humbling) to have that many people walking in Caroline's honor. She is a blessed little girl - and we are a blessed family to be supported by so many dear, sweet friends.

Well, I probably should get this posted soon, and get further along with my day. The "princess" is watching "Max & Ruby" on TV, and eating cheerios. I did a layout about 3 months ago celebrating Cheerios. . .the 6th food group. I think I'll post it here, since I've had NO time whatsoever to do any new layouts.

There will be plenty, though, after Sunday. I guarantee it!

Enjoy! Eat some Cheerios. . .they're good for your heart!!!