Beach Bound!

Jeremy and I are headed out on our first real vacation in awhile. We are going to Panama City Beach to relax for a few days. We are actually leaving this afternoon to drive about halfway, because we are meeting some friends in PCB tomorrow and don't want to be rushed to get there. This is the first time we've been to the beach since our honeymoon (which was actually a cruise), so we are looking forward to some much-needed time away!


Today, a Victory

A Madison County jury rendered a verdict today in a criminal trial that has become close to my heart. Benito Albarran, a Mexican immigrant, was found guilty of capital murder in the 2005 shooting of Daniel Golden, a City of Huntsville police officer.

When people find out my husband is a police officer, the most common question I hear is "Do you worry about him when he's working?" The true answer is no, most of the time I don't. Jeremy loves his job, and he is so good at it. How can I not want him to do something that makes him so happy and gives him such an opportunity to serve our community? Now, of course, that's not to say that I don't occasionally worry when I hear stories of the fights he's been in or the knife he found in someone's pocket...but that's why he doesn't always tell me the worst of the stories (I'm pretty sure he thinks I don't know this, but I'm okay with it). And the fact that I don't worry doesn't mean that I don't pray every single day that God will keep my sweet husband out of harm's way. I always tell Jeremy I'm sure that he was meant to be an officer and I was meant to be an officer's wife. I can't explain why I have such an inner peace about his job, when I know he's literally out looking for trouble every day, in a sense. I wasn't sure how I would take it when he started, but from the beginning I have just felt that it is all a part of God's bigger plan and I have no reason to question that plan. Jeremy always says his main goal is to make sure he comes home at the end of the day, and I know he does everything in his power to make sure that happens. The other reason I am sure I was meant for this lifestyle is that I don't mind being home alone while he works nights. I actually enjoy some of the evenings I get to spend in a quiet house, just as Jeremy values the mornings he gets to sleep in alone....although sometimes I do wonder what it would be like to go to bed with my husband every night! That's the other question I am asked often: "Don't you get scared staying at home by yourself at night?" That question I can answer with a resounding "no"!

Despite my convictions that Jeremy is living the life and serving in the career God has laid out for him, I do experience a wave of fear when I hear of an officer's death. Daniel was killed before Jeremy transferred to this job, but when Eric Freeman was killed a few months ago, the situation hit me a little more personally. I will be following the trial of his killer closely as well. For now, I am elated at this small victory against those who think they can take a life and get away with it just because their own lives have been hard. Benito Albarran took the life of a wonderful officer, husband, and father when he murdered Officer Daniel Golden. I experienced his kindness firsthand when Officer Golden worked a traffic accident I had in December 2004. He was extremely gentle with me when I was upset, and I have never forgotten it. For his deed, Mr. Albarran's life will now be taken from him, one way or another.


My Favorite '80s Star

is back! At lucnch today, I saw an advertisement for a new series on ABC Family starring none other than...Molly Ringwald!! In case the excessive use of exclamation points doesn't give it away, I love me some Molly Ringwald. In middle school, my friend Sarah and I literally wore out our copy of The Breakfast Club. Our other favorite was For Keeps, one of Molly Ringwald's lesser-known films...which I am about to go add to my Netflix because I haven't seen it in about twelve years or so. I wonder if I will still think it's a good movie?

Anyway, our Pretty in Pink princess will be playing a mom in a show called The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I went to the show's website, and it looks like it could have some potential. It was created by Brenda Hampton, who also created 7th Heaven (a show which, according to the ABC Family site, "pretty much defined teen drama in the '90s"...I'm not sure I'd take it that far, but hey, the show lasted for ten years, so I will let that one slide!). Like most made-for-cable shows, The Secret Life of the American Teenager will probably be either fairly entertaining or really bad. I guess we'll have to wait until July 1 to find out, but I'm excited to see Molly back in action!

Speaking of cable shows, I'm kind of sad to admit it, but one I can't help watching is Tyler Perry's House of Payne. Jeremy started watching it last year, and I grudgingly found myself enjoying the new episodes on Wednesday nights. The show tackles some pretty tough topics with a lot of taste...and with a lot of humor, of course, in true Tyler Perry style. I can no longer say I only watch it with Jeremy though, since I found myself flipping it on last Wednesday when I was home alone. Oh well, if I had to add another show to my list at least it's a family show!


Simple Pleasures

This weekend, I am vowing to take time to notice and be thankful for the simple pleasures in my life. I have been reading some of the heart-wrenching stories of others in the blogging world this week, such as the one found here, and I can't help but wonder if I would be as strong if tragedy struck in my life. I have really been struck the past few days by how fortunate I am, and again, I have decided to take notice and be appreciative this weekend. Some of the good things from the past day or so have included:
---An unexpected weeknight dinner with my best friend Kelly, something that doesn't happen nearly often enough.
---Spending my lunch hour today just catching up on the week with my mom.
---A phone call from my sister yesterday afternoon...another rarity!
---The mandarin chicken salad I had from Wendy's yesterday. I have been wanting to try it for awhile, and it was every bit worth the $5.00 I grudgingly handed over at a fast-food restaurant.
---Sitting outside last night, on my freshly-painted patio furniture, watching the dogs play in the yard. I am especially thankful they were not hurt during Sunday's escapade, and that the fence provisions seem to be working to keep the little criminals inside the yard!

This is my first totally free weekend in awhile, and I plan to thoroughly enjoy it. Oh, and Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!


Weekend Happenings

This weekend was a pretty good one, as far as weekends go...at least until Sunday afternoon, but I'll get to that in a minute. Jeremy took off Friday night and we ventured into Huntsville to get my overdue birthday present (a brand-new laptop!) and had breakfast for dinner at Cracker Barrel. Saturday night was Kelly's birthday get-together, which I was a little unsure about all week. I was excited to see some people I hadn't seen in quite awhile, but also wondering if we'd have anything to talk about, since we are quickly moving way beyond the college sorority days. Kelly's circle of friends and mine began to diverge a little in college, and she is still in close contact with a lot more people than I am. I really shouldn't have worried though, it turned out to be a really enjoyable evening. I do miss seeing those girls sometimes, and though our conversations lean more toward the trials of sharing a marital checking account than which fraternity's formal is coming up next, I found I still had plenty in common with most of them. We grilled and just enjoyed being outside once the sun went down and it cooled down a little.

Sunday got off to a good start. Jeremy and I kept the nursery during church and we had 4 little boys to enjoy for an hour. I think Jeremy had a good time working puzzles and playing with the matchbox cars! It was our pastor's last Sunday with us, and it wasn't until after church was over that I realized I missed his last sermon. He has been with us for 4 years, which is a long time in the Methodist church, so we will miss him and his family a lot, I think. Having said that, we are all very excited about meeting our new pastor next week. He has three children, one of whom will be joining us in the youth group, and we have heard only good things about him so far. After church on Sunday, we went to dinner with my family, then headed for home. When we were around 30 minutes from home, Jeremy got a call from one of the county dispatchers, who asked if our dogs liked to escape from the backyard. (As a matter of fact, they do, which is something we are trying our hardest to fix, but we have some really smart dogs!) It seems our neighbor across the street had called the police because our dogs were in his yard. Needless to say, we made it home in record time. By the time we got there, the deputy had already caught our dogs and put them back inside the fence, and was out front talking to the complainer. They did not attack or bite anyone, and the neighbor even admitted the teenage boy in his yard had kicked one of my dogs when they wouldn't go away. The neighbor then went inside and got a shotgun and fired a shot in the ground to scare them. I was unbelievably upset at the way all of this transpired. I would completely understand some of this if my dogs had bitten or attacked someone, but I do not think our neighbor handled the situation well at all. I am really just thankful my dogs were not hurt, and I am glad they didn't hurt anyone either. Can you guess what Jeremy spent his day doing yesterday? If you said fixing the fence, you're a winner! We actually just got a privacy fence put up a couple of weeks ago, so we are just working out the kinks and blocking all the places they have been able to dig out underneath the fence (because we live on a hill, there are a few gaps where they can dig and squeeze out). We have tried a new method this time, and we are praying it takes care of the problem! So far, so good.


Birthday week!

Well, it's official: I am now closer to age 30 than to age 20. I have not ever been one to have a hard time with birthdays, or even to make a very big deal of them. However, it does feel a little different to be 26, rather than 25. More substantial, maybe, like I'm truly an adult now. Whatever it is, 26 is here, and I plan to enjoy it!

My actual birthday was Tuesday, and my sweet husband surprised me by inviting our parents and my best friend Kelly over for dinner. It's a good thing he told me only a few minutes before they got there, so I didn't have time to worry that the house was not as clean as I would have liked. We grilled and sat out back until it was too dark to see, then we came in and had homemade strawberry cupcakes, my one request for my birhtday this year. It was a great evening, and combined with the fact that we had already been to Olive Garden on Sunday night with Kelly and her husband, I had a couple of wonderful (if calorie-loaded!) birthday celebrations this year. Olive Garden was out of my favorite dish, eggplant parmesan, and my face must have shown my disappointment because they gave me a free dessert of my choice! (I had tiramisu, by the way, and it was fabulous.)

Kelly's birthday was yesterday, and since she has a slightly harder time with the "getting old" thing, she is having an all-out celebration this Saturday. I will get to see some college friends I haven't seen in quite awhile, and of course, good food will be involved. I am looking forward to relaxing and catching up with old friends this weekend...maybe it will help the time pass more quickly until the end of the month when we go to the beach!