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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I am sick.. My Bed, T.V., and Laptop= good medicine or overdose?

I have been sick, and I have spent the last two days in my bed watching t.v. Yesterday I caught up on all of the “Ellen” episodes which I have on my DVR… luckily, I also had my laptop in bed with me, which gave me easy access to “Google”... I found this very helpful, because I had no idea what has really been going on in the world outside of my own little bubble. And by “the world” I mean the entertainment world.

 I love “Ellen”…   My daughter, Lynnsay and I share the dream of one day being in the audience of her live show. We have even entered a couple of contests on the show in the hopes of winning a new car, or a home makeover.  My youngest son’s girlfriend, Allie, is also a fan, and we have been known to watch multiple episodes on lazy weekends while we work on various projects. Ellen is really funny, and seems genuinely kind. Every episode seems to have a surprise guest that she is giving some great surprise or gift, usually cars or cash.

During the last two days, I have spent a great deal of time with Ellen… I have laughed.  I have cried. (And I will admit, I have coveted…the show is in the middle of “Ellen’s 12 Days of Christmas Give Aways.”)

During my days of television overdose, I realized I have missed out on A LOT… First of all- Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake got married???  When? I did not have a clue! Then- shocker of shockers… Gerard Butler actually answers to the name of “Gerry Butler”?? I “googled” both of them and learned all sorts of facts and read all kinds of stories. (Really? Mostly, I just looked at pictures of them both. Gerry is pretty easy on the eyes)

Olivia Newton John and John Travolta were guests… did you know they have made a Christmas Album? And even though the last I heard of John Travolta was that his marriage was in trouble because he was doing things he should not be doing... none of that was mentioned…but his 2 year old son, (who is still breast feeding… he did mention that) his wife and older daughter are on a video for a song from the album. And whatever he is doing…. His hair and “patch” on his chin are jet black…it sort of reminded me of the old school G.I. Joe’s with the painted hair. I “googled” the ages of them both and while they both look amazing, John Travolt’s hair should not be that black. (just sayin’….google it for yourself.)

Lisa and Cheryl- two lucky guests from an episode in October who Ellen helped, returned for the “Twelve Days of Christmas” and received not only the “give aways” for that episode, but all of the other “give aways” as well!! 

By the time Cody came home from work, I was, sadly, still curled up in front of the t.v., and still watching Ellen.  He snuggled up with me, and asked me what I was thinking about for Christmas…unfortunately, after watching Ellen all day, I want EVERYTHING!!! I also want to donate $10,000 worth of toys from Walgreens to “Toys for Tots.” (Ellen’s pet project- I know what you are thinking, I did not realize Walgreens had the best selection for toys either- but Ellen is promoting it)

Fergie was a guest on Monday. Now, I have been out of the loop, however, she did not look like I remember. And after the help of Google, I am almost positive that she has had “some work done”. And thankfully, again, with the aid of Google I know her real name is Stacey Anne Ferguson, and that she is married to Josh Duhamel and since Ellen showed some clips of him being on her show, I knew what he looks like; but now, thanks to Google, I know that his acting career was launched on “All My Children”, as well as other roles he has played.

You can learn a great deal from internet research…I have googled all kinds of stuff- way too much stuff, and way too many people… Tony Goldwyn, who plays the president on “Scandal”, I know now that his grandfather is the “G” of MGM. I actually learned that from “Live with Kelly and Michael”- but I did google him.

I learned that Cloris Leachman once said, "I've been so relieved and so grateful to not have a god to believe in.” (I googled her because she was mentioned on an episode of Ellen.) That made me really sad for her- and I have to say that I did stop and say a prayer, and thank God that I do have Him to believe in…(otherwise, I possibly could just stay in my bed forever)

I learned that one of the stars of “Storage Wars” is suing the show, and making accusations that the “reality” show is in fact “staged.” Hold on- I will google it and see if I can figure out his name… Dave Hester… it appears that he is a real person who goes to storage auctions, and he is claiming that he was terminated because he accused the network and producers of committing fraud!  WHAT? A reality t.v. show that is not real?? Say it ain’t so!

The only time I have ever watched this much t.v. in a 48 hour period was during the months of our lives when we were watching every season of “24” back to back…I learned today from the Jeff Probst Show that the term for that is “binge watching” – and Netflix is about to start producing their own series which will allow everyone easy access to “binge watching”… You mean I won’t have to wait a week for the next episode? Sign me up!!

I have to feel better tomorrow.  I can’t stay in this room and bed for very much longer. I am getting on the dogs’ nerves… I am getting on my own nerves.  I just googled J.R. Martinez who is a guest on Ellen today. I am watching it as I write this blog.  I.Am.Out.Of.Control…

I miss my “bubble”… I want to be back in my real world.  I miss my office.  I miss my job.  I miss working with my husband during the day. I miss my car.  I miss my grandbabies. I am ready to go back to my Kindle and read… I am ready to just watch my normal shows…Parenthood, The Voice, Go On, Up All Night, and Modern Family. I need a break from this bed and the television!!!

But before I close this blog out- I do have to tell one more story about today’s Ellen episode. If you don’t know who J.R. Martinez, you really should Google him, or buy his new memoir, “Full of Heart.” In March of 2003, Martinez, a soldier, was injured in Iraq when his humvee ran over a land-mine and he was trapped in the burning vehicle.  He sustained burns to 40% of his body. His story is pretty amazing as he earned a leading role on “All My Children” and has been the winner of “Dancing With the Stars.” He was on Ellen promoting his memoir. J.R.’s story, in and of itself is incredible, but Ellen also had the Faile family from Georgia as guests today. 

Long story short, Sgt. 1st Class Scott Faile’s family was surprised last month by Ellen in their home when she sent someone to “play a game” and in the end the Faile family won $25,000.00 and evidently tickets to one of the “12 Days of Give Aways” live shows because they were among the audience members today. Ellen had them come on the stage with J.R. Martinez, and she talked to them about how impressive it was that when they had won $25,000, almost immediately, Scott said that they were giving 10% to "Wounded Warriors Program." She pointed out that the Wounded Warriors Program was a program which J.R. Martinez would have benefited from.  She also talked about  another family’s first response after receiving help from her show was to go to their church and use the gifts they had been given to help others who were in need…Sorry Mrs. Leachman, but both of these actions prove to me that there is a God to believe in and I beleive He was glorified.

My heart was touched and I was reminded of some of the good reasons I watch television. There really are sweet, heartwarming stories on it about real people…stories that can change my life and the lives of others… But after 2 days of overdosing on talk shows and daytime t.v., and celebrity research- I realize once again, that too much of a good thing is not ever a good idea. Watching Ellen for an hour every day is ok, but watching her for 5 hours in a day is not.  Waiting a week for the next episode is actually emotionally healthy… binge watching is emotionally draining.  But that is just my opinion. And I have been sick...


Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Thanksgiving Post

So, starting sometime during the last few weeks, the “Status Trend” on Facebook has been the “Days of Thanksgiving.”  While I did not receive the memo that this was what we were supposed to do…I did notice somewhere around day 8 or 9 that many of my friends were complying…

I, however, made the conscience decision not to get involved in this latest online fad because I felt it would inevitably lead me into a sea of “false” guilt…and I have swam those rough waters many times. I knew that I would get busy in my real life and get behind on Facebook thankful status days and then I would feel horrible about myself. I would begin to tread water in the worry that all of my friends would think I was not thankful or not a “finisher” or just lagging in effort… Who needs that stress???

But I did decide that I would write a “Thankful” Thanksgiving Blog…

Now let me start by saying that Cody and I recently celebrated our 28th Anniversary.  My gift to this man I have been married to for 28 years was “28-ish” gifts accompanied by 28 notes telling him 28 things I love about him, as well as 28 memories. A really great, creative idea you say?  I respond with a whole hearted “I AGREE”…however, I should have begun to prepare for this gift way before the night before our anniversary…

Unfortunately, my preparation for the “Thankful” blog more or less mirrors the preparation for my anniversary gift to my husband… Thanksgiving was 4 days ago… and I have not even begun to work on my blog, until now…and it has taken several different shapes as I have re-started, re-directed and of course re-written!

I began with the idea that I would write about 48 things I am thankful for. I decided to go with the number 48 things for a couple of reasons: First, I was going along with the same philosophy that I used with the idea of the 28 things I love about my husband as well as 28 memories… we were celebrating our 28th Anniversary; I have recently celebrated my 48th Thanksgiving. Second, I am not sure how many days of Thankfulness was being required for the Facebook status trend, and I did not want to appear to be not as grateful as all of my Facebook friends.  So I was hoping that 48 would be above and hopefully beyond.

ONE: I am thankful for the relationship I have with God, the Father, Jesus, the Savior and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.  I have no words to describe this relationship, other than it is the most important one I have.

TWO: I am so thankful for my husband of 28 years, Cody.  He is a wonderful man- generous to a fault, and loving beyond belief.  He always puts me first, takes care of me and continues to make my dreams come true.

THREE: I am thankful for my oldest son, Jacob. He has surprised us and delighted us since he was born.  He is a young man who does not realize how much love he has to give, nor how much is available to him to receive.  He has inherited his father’s generous spirit.  Watching him be a daddy to his daughter, Aubrey, has been a wonderful blessing.

FOUR: I am thankful for my daughter, Lynnsay.  She has always worked hard to achieve whatever she wants.  She is an incredible wife, mother, teacher and photographer.  I am always in awe of her beauty and her talent. She is my friend and she is as role model for me! Like Jacob, watching her take on the job of motherhood has been amazing.

FIVE: I am thankful for my youngest son, David.  He is a Godly young man who is trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life…  He inherited his dad’s self-confidence and dry wit along with my desire for life to always be a party surrounded by friends and family.

SIX: I am thankful for my son-in-law, H.B. Macey.  He adds laughter to our already loud family. He is a good husband and daddy.  He, Lynnsay and Hudson make a great family unit. Cody and I feel so blessed to be able to watch them grow! He is leading his family, and it is a role that he takes very seriously. He loves Lynnsay and Hudson completely and unconditionally. He likes to have a fun time, and he loves to aggravate.

SEVEN: I am thankful for my daughter-in-love, Katherine.  She is a woman full of love and grace.  Her faith has helped her make it through difficult situations while remaining positive. She is an incredible mother to Aubrey, and while Aubrey looks just like her daddy, she acts just like her mother!  It is fun to watch those two unmovable forces as Katherine trains Aubrey “in the way she should go.”  Katherine, Jacob and Aubrey are a delight to watch as a family unit that is always evolving.

EIGHT: I am thankful for my grands.  Aubrey and Hudson have added such happiness to our lives.  They have filled a void that I did not even know existed! They are the sweetest, cutest, smartest little munchkins ever!  Just seeing them makes me smile, and often makes me cry.  I am so thankful that God not only blessed us with children, but He also blessed us with grandchildren.  This blessing is truly humbling.

NINE: I am thankful for my parents, Reagan and Marilyn Cox.  They continue to be the best role models ever.  They have modeled to all of us what it means to be Godly, loving parents as well as what it means to have a Godly, loving marriage.

TEN: I am thankful for my incredible in-laws, Jean and Wayne Crittenden…they, too, have always modeled a Godly, loving marriage to us…and have always shown us what unconditional love and support looks like.


It is now, Nov. 30, and Thanksgiving was well over a week ago… Heck, I have already gotten all of my Christmas decorations out and put away my fall foliage…Thanksgiving is well over in this house, and I have already entered into the madness of “oh my gosh!! What.Are.We.Buying.Everyone.????”

But my Thanksgiving blog is still nagging my thoughts, my heart, and yes- my conscience…(I am feeling guilty…and like a “Facebook Days of Thanksgiving Failure”)

I have to say that I am thankful for all of the things I see on Facebook… my family- some of which are already detailed earlier… however, if I numbered each one of them separately, my number, I think, would completely exceed my “self allotted” number of 48… I stopped at the number “10”… so let’s see where this leads us…

ELEVEN: My brother and sister, Brandon and Stephanie (Which could actually make my total 12.) TWELVE: My sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws, Susan, Julie, Katie, Michelle, Kyle, Danny and Maarten… (Which could actually be 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19 as I have four sister-in-laws and three brother-in-laws)

THIRTEEN: My nieces, D’Nae, Danielle, Reagan, Preslee, Bella, Hadyn, and Zoe (My total could easily be 26)

FOURTEEN: My Nephews, William, Andrew, and Jordan. (I am totally at 29)

FIFTEEN:  My “Temple Family” The Luckett’s… Bobby and Karen and their family- Bryan, Mandy and Benjamin; Katie, Jeremy and Jack, Ryleigh and Henry; Melissa, Kevin and James.. (My total is now 42)

SIXTEEN: My local “Nix” family…My Aunt Sandy and Uncle Mike and my cousins, Kaylenn and Ron, Blythe and Abby- (Amazingly… this total is 48)

SEVENTEEN: I AM THANKFUL THAT I HAVE MORE THAN 48 THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR!! (And I have still not once had to go to the “I am thankful for Coffee” moment)

The thing, for me, is that I have so many things to be thankful for…and really over the last year that heart of thanksgiving has become so much more inclined to be thankful for more situations and less possessions…in fact, as long as I perceive all of my belongings and possessions as, in reality, God’s property… it is much easier to take my focus off of what I “have” and onto what I have been “blessed” with…

FOURTH TRY AT FINISHING THIS UP: DEC. 6- THANKSGIVING IS TWO WEEKS BEHIND ME…I.AM.A.THANKFUL.FAILURE… (I think you can all see why I did not enter into the “Days of Thanksgiving Madness”…)

Over the last year I have realized that I am truly thankful for the hardships we have endured. And we have gone through many… the hard times have left me completely dependent upon God…and guess what? He has proven to be faithful!! Many things in our lives could appear to be “bad”- however, God has turned them all to “good”.

We have “lost” a great deal of “things” over the last few years… but what we have gained is unreal… I think we have all realized that our happiness is not contingent on what we “possess”- it is not contingent on our circumstances are… our happiness comes from the fact that our hope is in our Savior and our faith in what we are investing in..not the things that make us comfortable financially, but the things that will last eternally…




Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pre-Thanksgiving Chaos…
So…my however many “Days of Thanksgiving” Blog has been tabled for now, and I am replacing it with   “Oh my GOSH- tomorrow is Thanksgiving and our entire family is here to celebrate Cody’s birthday” blog… Hang with me, it should be entertaining.
Tuesday, November 20th,  was Cody’s birthday.  I am not going to go into WHAT birthday, however, I will tell you that last year was a big one…and we were limited on celebrating because we had just moved…and because I had a head injury…all that being said- I wanted this year to be special!!! So- we went to eat at Pignetti’s where we were joined by some of our closest friends, including the owners, Clinton and Ledia Harwell…now having Clinton and Ledia along for any event means there will be some good wine, and Tuesday was no exception.  We had a fun night…good food, good wine and great fellowship!  Not to mention an incredible slice of chocolate cake…
Then my plan was to have our kids over Wednesday night for homemade chicken strips and fries (one of Cody’s favs) while we all did some pre-Thanksgiving cooking together!  Karen and Bobby came over as well, so that Karen and I could make cornbread dressing together.
Because our Thanksgiving Day is going to be spent at home with our kids and no extras, I knew that I had to step up my baking this year.  For those of you who don’t know- I don’t like to bake. (Refer to my previous blog “Baking for My Boy” from December 2011) Something bad always happens when I bake…always.
I left work early.  Picked up GoGo Mini Cupcakes for Cody’s birthday dinner (delicious, but expensive…however, if I had to bake cupcakes all day long, mine would cost twice as much, not be as tasty, and I doubt I would deliver them over to my customers with a smile.); picked up the Thanksgiving food I had ordered from Schoepf’s (I cheated a little bit this year) and braved an afternoon before Thanksgiving shopping trip to H.E.B…I came home and did a rush clean up job around the house and by 3:30 I was in my kitchen cooking! 
Now, here is a problem I have, it is more like a huge flaw and my family and friends know it…and I really believe it is the root of the reason I hate to bake…I try to do too many things at once, and I plan to get way too many things done in the time allowed.  Let me tell you what I planned to get done yesterday, and I think you will agree.
Bake cornbread and prepare dressing. Bake sweet potatoes for sweet potato casserole. Bake 2 pumpkin pies, 2 coconut pies, and a brownie bottom cheesecake. Make one dozen deviled eggs. Boil chicken for giblet gravy and dressing. Fry chicken strips and homemade fries and sweet potato fries, make broccoli with cheese sauce and a salad to feed the 10-15 people who would be at my house for Cody’s birthday meal. (By the way, somewhere along the way, I gave up the plan to have salad.  A huge concession on my part, but a wise one, I think).
Things were really rocking along pretty nicely for awhile.  I had made the cornbread, and the brownie bottom of the cheesecake was in the oven baking.  Chicken was boiling and the eggs were done. I had enlisted the help of Aubrey and Katherine for the peeling of the potatoes and breading the chicken for frying and turned the deviled egg duties over to Allie.  Lynnsay and H.B. came in, and I put them to work frying.  First snag was not enough vegetable oil- so Dave went on a quick run.  Second snag- Allie uses real mayo and black olives and green chilis in her deviled eggs- Allie and Kat made a quick run.  I had added the cheese cake top to the brownie bottom and it was baking.  I was now preparing pumpkin pies and coconut pies.  Karen had come in and taken over the job of washing dishes as we worked, and helping Lynnsay keep an eye on the fries.  H.B. had taken over the chicken frying duties and had added aggravating everyone in the house to his list of responsibilities. The house was loud and chaotic. Just the way I like it- but not the best environment to try to follow directions while baking. (Clue as to why I am not good at baking) Something had to give…I was paying close attention to my baking, but I had not been paying the best attention to the dinner preparations…Cody had long since broken into his mini cupcakes…and Aubrey was in full hungry mode…but dinner was FINALLY ready… Everyone gathered in the kitchen and I began to put all of the food onto the island.  I picked up the Pyrex pan that was piled high with the yummy homemade fried chicken strips and turned to place it on the island when the whole pan exploded!!
Yes.  It literally EXPLODED in my hands. The chaos turned to a brief moment of silence and then Cody broke it, by saying, in a somewhat irritated voice, “Well what do y’all want to go pick up for dinner?” Everyone was immediately shocked into action… Glass was everywhere, and I mean everywhere.  All over the stove, all over the cabinets, down my shirt, all around bare (yes- bare)feet…As everyone began to jump into action and I was taking stock to make sure that I had only received small cuts and scooping chunks of glass from  my clothing, while being given orders by my children of where to go and how to get there-suddenly Jacob came and carried me out of the kitchen. Aubrey was crying (she hates messes). Cody was irritated and I was still in shock…
After being commanded to change clothes, I came into the kitchen to help as Cody gave Dave money to go pick up Bush’s Chicken and overheard Cody tell Bobby that I had dropped the pan of chicken… I defended myself by telling him that I had not dropped it, that it had exploded.  Thankfully, H.B. and Rory had witnessed the whole thing, and confirmed that it had indeed shattered in my hands…
I am thankful that there is a Bush’s close by.  I am thankful that all of the food I was preparing for today were either covered up or out of the range for taking on shrapnel. I am thankful that, once again, as I looked down at my feet and around me at the huge mess I had made, my family and friends were there to immediately start picking up the pieces. Everyone was fed…food was prepared…pies and cheesecake were baked…and it is Thanksgiving morning.
We are preparing to meet people from our church to deliver meals to shut ins in the community and we will come back here for our Thanksgiving meal…it might not be the best we have ever had; the pies and cakes could possibly be sub par…but it will be a blessed, happy event because at the end of the day we all love each other, we have food and we will have fun no matter what!
I am so thankful that I have a wild, fun, chaotic family that loves me no matter what mess I have dragged them into...which can be anything!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hello World!!

Blogging…back burner past time for me since my 2nd grandchild joined forces with the first and took custody of my free time…
Actually, in all honesty… summer freedom, Bible study, Bible reading, my family and all sorts of other events/issues/situations have loomed largest in my “spare” time robbing me of any free time to sit and write coherently, much less creatively. (And, as long as I am being honest- the time spent watching “our” t.v. shows with my hubby have definitely crept into my “creative writing” time…)
So…highlights since my blog for Mother’s Day…
My husband, with the help of my son, David, made me a garden for the summer… I have grown herbs, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, okra, squash and tomatoes.  I have also helped raise a generation of rabbits with this garden, and according to my father-in-law, one large snake was spotted enjoying it. 
We spent a weekend in Lubbock enjoying much needed family time with my in-laws. 
We spent a week in Lubbock/Muleshoe celebrating my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends.
We spent a fun-filled weekend in Austin and at the Lake house with Bobby and Karen Luckett…we also got to go to San Antonio with them to celebrate Kevin’s (Luckett’s son-in-law) 30th birthday…as well as enjoyed some R&R alone time.
I facilitated a Beth Moore Bible Study with some of my favorite women- Karen Luckett, Katie Schindler, Kaylenn Henderson, Katherine Stewart, Lynnsay Macey and Haley Brent.
I have been reading through the Bible with Prof. Horner’s Bible Reading System (I am on Day 175 of 250!!!) I have read three or four books on my Kindle! I have gotten more involved in our church. I have started a “cooking group” with my daughter and 2 others.
And work.And work.And work… Summer months are always our busiest; and God has really blessed our business which has been struggling for a while now…so as I told my employee this week, when we received an order and he made a face, “Do you not like money?  You don’t enjoy your paycheck? You do?  Then when I tell you we got an order, you say to me, ‘Thank you Jesus!’ That is all, just, ‘Thank you Jesus!’” And every time I create a new bid, or start a new job folder, I say, “Thank you Jesus!”
Summer turned to fall, and my life has continued to race at an amazing speed…We had an overnight visit from my Aunt Debbie and Uncle Paul, who is fresh out of cancer treatment, and looking very well, I might add! We have waited anxiously for football score updates every Friday night from the Shallowater Mustangs…and I am happy to say that we are still waiting for them as the Mustangs secured the District Champ titled and have now earned the Bi-District Champ one as well. We are so proud of our brother-in-law, Kyle Maxfield and his team of coaches and football players!
 A tragedy struck our family, when our 25 year old nephew, William van Zielst, died suddenly of heart failure last month.  Watching my incredible sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Katy and Maarten, live out their faith has been heart-wrenching and heartwarming all at the same time. They are an amazing family.  And the community they live in, Seminole, TX, has proven to come together and be the body of Christ for them.
I am now looking up and it is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving!!!! YIKES! 

Today marks the one year anniversary of when we moved into our new home…a major change for us that has proven over and over to have been a major blessing.  Our lives look a little different today than they did on November 19, 2011…a little calmer, a little easier, and little less stressful. I have learned to trust more in my faith and less in my “gut feeling”.  I have learned to seek God first and depend upon my husband’s strength less- a lesson which I believe has taken pressure off of my husband’s shoulders while strengthening my faith.

The days are shorter, the weather cooler and the smell of the heater being turned on in the back of the shop all lead me to the conclusion that ready or not…the holiday season is here!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Motherhood- The Best Job Ever

Mother’s Day- I realize the whole day is really just a marketing scheme, honestly probably supported by the flower/greeting card folks…but seriously- we have all been touched by at least one mom!  Our experiences with the women who fall into the group of “Mothers” can be as diverse as the women themselves. So, regardless of where you are in life or of whom you are- I know that Mother’s Day has some sort of effect on you. This day may be full of happiness and joy, sorrow and pain or simply just a bittersweet day as you reflect on memories, enjoy time with those you love, or just take a break from it all. 
I, personally, have been blessed to be surrounded by the best mother’s I know… my grandmothers, my aunts, my sister, my sister-in-laws, my nieces, my cousins, my friends…they have all touched my life as I have watched them care for their families and for me.
My own mother is an amazing woman.  As I write this, she is preparing to teach a Sunday School class at her church.  This is a job that she does not take lightly and I know that.  I have woken up in prayer for her today, as I know that she is probably nervous and begging the Holy Spirit to speak through her.  My mom has the heart of a servant and the strength of a soldier.  She is wise and compassionate.  She has always modeled a Godly wife, mother and grandmother for me, my brother, my sister and our spouses… our kids and now my grandchildren. I can laugh with her until we cry.  I can talk to her about any mistake I have made, and she will love me through it. I can vent out my own problems to her and she will give me good, solid advice. When I think about being a mother, I think about wanting to be like her. And now, as I watch my own children parent their babies, I want to be the type of grandmother that she has always been…I love you Mom!  You are a beautiful woman and an incredible gift to our family.
My mother-in-law is also an amazing woman.  She raised the most incredible boy to become the man that I have loved for 28 years. She seeks God and is a woman who models praying without ceasing.  As my own boys have become men, I have grown to love and respect her even more.  I have always known that she was a wonderful mother and mother-in-law- but now that I am dealing with significant others in my own son’s lives- I can see just how much she has always loved me unconditionally.  She listens to me when I cry and complain.  She sympathizes with me and shares in my pain.  She laughs with me over the smallest things. The love we have for her son has never been a threat to either of us…that love has always been a bond that has molded my heart to hers. And she too, has shown me by her actions how to be an incredible grandmother.  I love you Jean!  You are so special to all of us, and the best mother-in-law ever!
I also have the privilege of watching the mothers of my grandbabies…
Katherine, my daughter-in-love, and the mother of the most incredible little girl, Aubrey Blayce Crittenden, she came into my life and into my heart and has never ceased to amaze me.  She loves Aubrey without question and without ceasing.  She always puts Aubrey first.  Katherine has overcome many trials on her journey as a Mother- and she has overcome them with grace that can only come from the Lord. She works hard and has to be the most positive person I have ever been blessed to know. She is beautiful, inside and out.  I love you Katherine.  I am thankful God blessed our lives with you and with the wonderful life of our Noodle.
Lynnsay, my daughter and the mother of the most adorable baby boy, Hudson Brent Macey, she, like her brothers, are my heart and my joy.  Watching her carry the load of bearing Hudson has been a treat.  She has been the most incredible and beautiful pregnant woman I have ever seen.  Watching her grow into the role of “Mother” has been an indescribable blessing.  She fought to give birth to that 8 lb. 7oz. boy and over the last week she has learned to trust her instincts and fallen into the role of motherhood with style, grace and wisdom.  She and HB were at church with him when he was less than 72 hours old. I am so proud of her and of HB.  Lynnsay, I love you!  Happy FIRST Mother’s Day- you really are, as Katie said, a rock star! Thanks for working so hard to give us our Pistol!
Many years ago, I wrote the following in a scrap book:
A Wife and Mother
A wife and a mother- that is all I have ever really wanted to be
I became a wife on November 9th, 1984, when Cody Crittenden stood with me before God and our family so that we could commit our lives to each other. 
I was still two months away from my 20th birthday, and Cody was eleven days shy of being 23.  We have grown up together.  Cody became a wonderful husband and I began to learn what being a wife really means.
I know God sent Cody to me.  I have had the joy of watching my husband give his life to Christ, and grow in a daily walk with the Lord.
I became a Mother for the first time on July 8, 1987 when Dr. Macey handed me the most beautiful baby boy I had ever seen Jacob Matt Crittenden.  I loved him more than I ever thought possible.  Over the next few months I watched my wonderful husband become a great Daddy, and I began to learn what being a wife and mother really means!
I became a mother again on Jan. 31, 1989, when Dr. Baylor handed me the tiniest, most beautiful baby girl I had ever seen Lynnsay Raegan Crittenden.  Cody and I went home with an 18 month old, and a newborn and two fish- I began to learn what being a wife and a mother really means.
On December 16, 1991, I suffered a miscarriage.  The loss was heavy in my heart and left me with a longing to hold a child I never will be able to this side of heaven.  The pain taught me a new lesson about what being a Mother really means.
On December 18, 1992, I became a Mother for the third time when Dr. Hagen handed me the smallest, most beautiful baby boyDavid Glenn Crittenden.  Cody and I celebrated the birth of our Savior by praising Him for the safe arrival of our third child.
Three children and a wonderful husband! I am blessed by God! The four of them fill my life with joy, pride and tears.  I receive so much from each of them. I hurt when they hurt, laugh when they laugh and pray that God will protect them.  They are teaching me everyday what being a wife and mother really means!
            A wife and mother- that’s all I ever wanted to be!
                                                Marleea Crittenden 1994
Well, now, 18 years later, I am still learning what being a wife and a mother really means… and I have had the best moms in the world to show me the way…and now, I realize that being a wife, mother and grandmother…that is all I ever wanted to be!