Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Posted by Rachael at 5:24 PM
Sunday, July 13, 2008
(the title only works if you were at Lake Pointe church camp circa 1998)
Tomorrow morning I leave for church camp... Somehow I thought it would be a great idea to raise my hand when our youth pastor called for a woman volunteer. Hmmm..when will I stop being such a pushover?
So I prepared by doing what any high school girl camp counselor should do... I hit up Walmart for all the cool camp stuff and I'm ready to go: purple nail polish, extra-long but still cool shorts for rec time, hair dye, and lots of snacks. I'm all set...talk to ya in a week!
Posted by Rachael at 11:28 PM
Thursday, July 3, 2008
1. The new Olympic Coke cans
2. Reeces Peanut Butter Cups
3. "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson
4. My new diamond and aquamarine necklace that Aaron gave me for our two year anniversary
Ok so my very favorite item on the list is #4, but I really do like the new Coke cans a whole lot ;) I honestly cannot believe that Aaron and I have been married for two years. Some days it feels like we've been together our whole lives and other days it seems like our wedding and honeymoon was just the other day.
Aaron truly is my partner, my love, and the leader of our family. He literally is my best friend and I love spending every second with him. We don't have a lot of friends our age here in Waco, so Aaron and I spend a whole lot of time together - but I wouldn't have it any other way! He is an amazing father, pastor, and husband. He makes me laugh all the time, but he also knows exactly what to say when I need some comforting. Here are just a few things that make me crazy for Aaron.
-He is so good at accents and different voices. If you want to hear an Irishman, a cowboy, Spencer Pratt from the Hills, or Stewie from Family Guy, Aaron is your man. I've noticed that most people's favorite is when he talks like me...sometimes this annoys me but for the most part I enjoy it.
-He eats and drinks the quirkiest things: pimento cheese and chips, poptarts, vanilla diet coke with a splash of regular on top, any flavor doritos, and he loves snickers protien bars (everytime we go grocery shopping...he searches the entire store for his favorite flavor)
-He insists that we watch shows as a family. Currently he's loving Arrested Development on DVD and he'll make me and Chris watch two or three episodes at a time.
-He usually draws while he watches TV and/or movies. He's filled up notebook after notebook with his doodles. I love stealing them and looking at all his pretty pictures and cool designs.
-He wears the dorkiest but most endearing undershirts ever. He buys small undershirts from Walmat and cuts off the sleeves. They don't quite cover his belly, but he likes how they are tight around his neck. He often walks around the house in just his undershirt. Its so funny and weird, but I love him.
I know that I listed mostly silly things that I like about Aaron, but there are so many serious reasons that I love my husband.
Posted by Rachael at 9:51 AM
Friday, June 27, 2008
Yeah baby - A 2003 Cadillac CTS. Now I'm still not a huge fan of these cars. I'd really like for my man to drive a truck, but Aaron is dead set on his CTS. He's been driving all over Waco, scouring the Internet, and checking out car magazines like crazy. He's found a couple within our price range with low miles, so come Monday we might be proud owners of a new caddy!
Rollin wit tha homies...REJ
Posted by Rachael at 10:49 AM
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Yeah... check her out. Its all quite phenomenal!
I was listening to my daily dose of Yahoo Music and all the sudden a whimsical little fairy voice filled my computer speakers. I immidiately googled her and now I'm obessed. She's coming to Austin in February, so now all I've gotta do is convince Aaron that we have to go hear her.
Posted by Rachael at 2:02 PM
Friday, June 20, 2008
Ughhhhhh Its So Hot!
The air conditioner in my office broke yesterday afternoon. I currently have two oscillating fans blowing on me, but even they can't compete with the 100 degree temperature. I can't believe my boss is makeing us stay here...maybe he'll let us go home after lunch (I've got my fingers crossed). I'm tempted to claim that I'm having some sort of medical emergency, so that I can go relax in the cool AC of my wonderous little house.
I just found out that we get to go home at 2:00!!!!! Hooray!!!
In other news...I've only got 6 more days of full time work at my job. Then I move to working only 3 days a week for 3 hours a day - YES!!!! Who's excited about lots of time to lay by the pool, workout, and veg on the couch...I am!
We went to dinner last night at Logans Roadhouse with our best Waco friends, Chris and Robin Richardson. They just got back from Denver and it was so fun listening to the stories from their roadtrip.
Well its time for my lunch, so I'm going to go to Barnes and Noble to escape the unbearable heat. We are heading to Rockwall after Chris' baseball practice tonight, so hopefully I'll have tons of great boating pics when I get back on Monday.
Rach E. J.
Posted by Rachael at 11:43 AM
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
One quirky thing about me is that throughout high school and college I would date the most random people...and I mean WAY random. Here are a four that might make you smile:
Braids - Yes, this is what we called him on my Senior Trip to Cancun. I saw him from the top deck of the booze cruise (don't worry, I didn't drink a drop). He was waiting to get on the boat and he had these glorious braids with little beads at the end...you know the kind that little girls get in their hair when they go on vacation. He and I hung out non-stop that week and he even came to visit me one weekend in Rockwall. My parents were not impressed and I decided that he was not my type when he convinced me and my best friend Amelia to skip the amazing 4th of July Christian Concert and go to some screamo heavy metal one instead.
RESNET - My senior year of high school some girlfriends and I roadtripped up to Baylor for a Dixie Chicks concert. We stayed with one of my friend's brothers who was a senior Phi Chi. We had a blast at the concert, but the most memorable part of the trip was when us 4 crazy senior girls wore our cutest outfits (I wore red pleather pants and a belly shirt - yikes) and headed over to the Phi Chi house on 9th street. We somehow ended up "modeling" on top of the fireplace. The Phi Chi guys probably laughed at us after we left, but for that one night we thought we were so cool. I ended up meeting a sweetie Phi Chi that came to Rockwall for Valentines Day. We didn't date seriously or anything...but when I got to Baylor I remember being a little embarrassed because he was the Collins Resnet guy and that is not the best title to have at good ol' BU.
Rock Climber - My freshman year at Baylor I was really into rock climbing. After track practice, I'd head over to the rock and hang out there for hours. I ended up meeting lots of people, but one stood out from the rest. He rarely wore shoes, almost never showered, and had the frizziest curly hair I've ever seen, but he was really nice and a great rock climber. He and I didn't have much in common, but hey...I was a freshman.
The Nose Brother - Yep...I dated a Nose Brother and I think thats pretty dang cool. Even though Nose Brothers are just regular guys, they do have a zany mystique that I've always found so captivating. My first date with this Nose Brother was to an actual Nose Brother Party. They were all in their masks and I had no idea who my date actually was...he'd just called me up and asked me to meet him at the party - so I did. I asked him tons of questions throughout the night trying to get my date to reveal himself, but nothing worked. Christmas break rolled around and I still had no idea who "my" Nose Bro was. Finally, right at the end of the break, I realized who my date had been. I came back to Baylor triumphant and became really good friends with this guy. He ended up graduating later that year (He was a senior and I was a freshman). We did end up dating later on when I was a junior in college and even though our relationship didn't last...our friendship did and thats what counts!
PS...Camille, I've always felt like Adam was a Nose Brother. Am I right?
Posted by Rachael at 11:08 AM
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Posted by Rachael at 1:20 PM
Monday, June 16, 2008
Here's a couple things about me that I feel like sharing...
1. I really like to drink my soda pop out of 32 oz Styrofoam cups. I know this is terrible for the environment, but it just tastes so good. I'm a big fan of Diet Coke with a splash of regular Coke on top.
2. I have a new favorite gas station - Valero (they're all over Waco these days)
3. I hate hate hate Coldplay and Radiohead. Ok, I actually like a couple Coldplay songs, but I don't get everyone's fascination with these bands. I'll take some old school OAR, Dave Matthews, or Matchbox 20 any day thank you very much!
4. I hate fractions, decimals, and subtracting - yep, pretty much all math. But I do really like multiplying and geometry. Weird huh?
5. I just started reading two new books and I really like them both so far: "The Last Summer (of you and me)" and "Three Cups of Tea."
6. We found a puppy the other day when we were exploring a creek by our house. He's a gold pitbull mix and he's so sweet. He's probably about a year old and gets along great with all our animals...even our fiesty cat Potter. We've named him River and he needs a home, so let me know if you want him.
7. Chris and I got in an argument last night and I was super rude to him...yeah, how uncool of me. But thankfully I have a wonderful husband that talked me through my anger and after some prayer I was able to apologize to my son. And good ol' Chris...he forgave me and even gave me a hug. Just another reason why I love this verse,
"He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces finds mercy."
8. We had a Father's Day Extravaganza at our house yesterday. After church we went to Pei Wei because its one of Aaron's favorite restaurants, then we went to Circuit City and bought a video camera, then we went bowling for a couple hours, then we went and saw The HULK. Yep, it was a pretty good 1st Father's Day.
9. We are hopefully heading to Rockwall this coming weekend to hangout with my family. I'm super excited and I can't wait to teach Chris to waterski!!!!
10. TFL went to the pool in West on Saturday...it was pretty cool, but maybe not worth $25 bucks in admission. It did have some cool stuff like a high dive, low dive, slide, and a zip line that set it apart from other pools around Waco. We probably won't be regulars there, but it was fun just for something new to do.
Posted by Rachael at 1:19 PM
Friday, June 13, 2008
Posted by Rachael at 4:12 PM
Can you believe it - 100 POSTS! Unfortunately I don't have anything monumental to blog about (bummer). I'm just sitting at work waiting for the weekend to start.
We are going to dinner tonight with a couple from church. I am super pumped about La Fiesta, but super un-pumped about having to refrain from ordering a margarita. The couple we are going with is not the "we don't care if the pastor's wife drinks alcohol" type...they are super cool and everything, but just not that type. And whats funny is that I really don't drink anything with alcohol in it all that often (maybe one drink every couple months), but of course I am absolutely craving a margarita just because I can't have one. Ahhh such is life.
Tomorrow team family love is heading out to the pool in West. I've heard great things about this pool, so we'll see if it lives up to the hype! (It better because admission is $9.00 each)
Hmmm..what else? I went to the Spa at Canyon Oaks the other day. It was fabulous...I worked from home all morning and then in the afternoon I had a massage and facial. Now thats the life! In fact...if you ever need a massage make sure you book it with Katie at Canyon Oaks. I think it was the best massage I've ever had!
And speaking of best things ever.... We booked our mini vacation to Barton Creek in Austin! Last year Aaron surprised me with two nights at the Barton Creek resort for our 1 year anniversary. I wasn't super excited before hand - In fact, I think I even complained a little about going to a "resort" in Austin. Ummm...lets just say that I was proven wrong - BIG TIME. It was oh so fabulous and now we are going again. This time we are just staying one night because its a tad on the expensive side, but we are going to milk the one day for all its worth. I plan on checking in early and checking out late. July 10th can't get here fast enough!
Posted by Rachael at 2:29 PM
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
inordinately or wrongly desirous of wealth or possessions; greedy.
As you all know, for the past several months I have been "covetous". Yes. Yes...I am talking about the absolutely fabulous William Rast jeans that I have been wanting ever since I went to New York in the fall. Well I am "covetous" no longer. Last night my parents came in town for my birthday and guess what they brought with them........ WILLIAM RAST!!! I am wearing them right now and I feel ever so stylish. Thank you mom and dad - I love em!
Posted by Rachael at 3:48 PM
After reading her blog I commented about how quick I am to forget to spiritually prepare for things as well. Anyways, I left my comment and then signed off so that I could actually start doing my job at the Network. Well all of the sudden...it hit me. God answered a HUGE prayer that Aaron and I had been praying about for months. Our church has been without a music minister for a very very long time. Aaron and I have been praying and believing that God would bring us just the right person - and he did!
On Sunday, Ryan Roberts said that he would be our music minister for the summer. He's a Baylor Football player (quarterback), so he's super busy during the school year but he has plenty of time this summer to lead worship for our little congregation at Hilltop Christian Fellowship. Thank you so much Lord for answering our prayer - we can't wait to see what great things your are going to do next!!
Posted by Rachael at 12:47 PM
This morning got off to a rough start...
After walking the dogs and talking to my best friend Amelia, I came inside to get Aaron and Chris up because today is our day to pick up food for the local food pantry. We were a little bit behind schedule, but we made it out the door just in time. All the sudden Aaron's car started lurching and we noticed that the huge trailer we were pulling was bouncing all over the road. My hero of a husband kept the car under control and made it over to the side of the highway. It turns out that Chris had forgotten to fasten the trailer to the hitch (oops). It could have been a really dangerous situation, but thankfully nobody was hurt. Aaron was a little shaken up and pretty upset with Chris. But, we all moved on and got to the pick up site without any further trouble.
Once there, we noticed all of our volunteers just standing around and there was no food in sight. My stomach just dropped and I started shaking with frustration. See...I'm the volunteer coordinator and I had called, begged, and pleaded to get all of the volunteers out there in the first place. And now there was NO FOOD to pick up. This is the 3rd time this has happened in the last three months and all of my volunteers were beginning to get a little fed up. So I got on the phone with the director of the CRISIS Center and asked what was going on. Turns out that he decided that he wanted to have food pick up on a different day and had neglected to let anyone know. Well, I couldn't hold my feelings in any longer...so I let him know just how I was feeling (and how all of the volunteers were feeling by this point). Needless to say, it was not a very pleasant conversation.
Aaron and I invited everyone to come have breakfast with us at a local mexican food place and everything ended up being okay...but I have a feeling that most of these volunteers won't be coming back to help anymore. Bummer!
Posted by Rachael at 12:12 PM
Friday, June 6, 2008
FOUR THINGS ABOUT ME
A) FOUR PLACES I GO OVER AND OVER:
To my luxuriously fabulous bed because I love sleeping, to Chris’ baseball games, on long walks with my two pups (sometimes the cat, or Chris, or Aaron come along), and to work at the Waco Regional Baptist Network.
B) FOUR PEOPLE WHO E-MAIL ME (during the day)Waco Church People, Chris’ Caseworkers, My roomies from Italia, and if I’m lucky…my sweet husband.
C) FOUR OF MY FAVORITE FOODS:Yummm.. Hummus and Pita Bread, Chipotle Burritos, Frosted Flakes and Chocolate Milk, and Spinach Salad with Olive Oil.
D) FOUR PLACES I WOULD RATHER BE RIGHT NOW:The beach (sipping a margarita and getting a tan), getting a massage, playing outside with the family, or hanging out on the lake.
E) FOUR PEOPLE I THINK WILL RESPOND:Amelia, Andrea, Sarah, and EJ
F) FOUR THINGS I DON'T LIKE:Gas prices (youch!), being at work, complainers, and people who aren’t friendly – Texas Style!
G) FOUR MOVIES/TV Series I WATCH OVER AND OVER: Aaron’s football highlight videos (he was so cute as a little kid), The Office, Lord of the Rings, The Holiday
H) FOUR FAVORITE SOUNDS:Praise songs from the heart, Moving Water (oceans, rivers, streams), Wind, The Baylor Bells
I) FOUR FAVORITE SMELLS: Summer Rain, New Shoes/Tennis Balls/New Cars, Chanel Chance Perfume, and Fresh Flowers. (I also like the way Aaron smells when he’s sleeping…its so good!)
Posted by Rachael at 3:51 PM
Posted by Rachael at 1:29 PM
(gotta love old school Britney!)
Sorry for being MIA for over a week...things have been moving fast and furious around these parts. Here's an overview of what's been going on with the Johnson Family:
We left last Wednesday night for my cousin's wedding up in Indiana. It was our first family roadtrip and I thought it was great! We stopped in Bowling Green, Kentucky the first night because Bowling Green is the home of the National Corvette Museum. I'd never been a huge corvette fan, but I wanted to keep the guys happy so of course we had to stop. Ummm...let me just say that I now LOVE corvettes! I don't think I'll be driving one anytime soon (I'm still happy with my little Acura), but they are SOOO COOL! The best part about the museum was the parking out front. They had a "Corvette Parking Only" area and the cars that were out there were even better than some of the ones inside the building.
We also had to make a pit stop in Bowling Green so that I could go to the doctor....yep I had a horrible case of bug bites / poison ivy. Can you believe it....I literally had both bug bites and poison ivy covering my legs, booty, and stomach!!! How does this always happen to me??? But thankfully the doc gave me some medicine (that I'm still taking) and it made life so much easier.
After Bowling Green, we drove the rest of the way up to Indy and had a great time with family. Wedding stuff took up the most of our short time there (0nly three days), but we made sure to get in some fishing, football playing, and strawberry-rhubarb pie eating.
Here's a funny little story from the trip - Sweet ol' 8th grade Chris saw a cute little girl at the wedding who had also just finished the 8th grade. At one point in the night he come up to me and my dad and asked us if he should go talk to her. We of course told him yes and then said that he should even ask her to dance because she'd probably think he was really cool and brave for asking her. So, he worked up his nerve and headed over to her and proceeded to ask her to dance. Now I don't know exactly what was said, but she turned him down....CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT!!!!??? I felt horrible for Chris...8th grade is a rough time for guys and any girl that turns someone down for just a dance is terrible - What a little hussy!!!! In her defense she did seem really shy, but still...I'm on Chris' side!
Anyways..we made it back safe and sound by Tuesday afternoon because I had to be back at work by Wednesday - boo!!!
25th Birthday CELEBRATION!!!
Yep I turned the big 2-5 yesterday. I had to work, but my sweet co-workers took me out to lunch at Panera (yum!) so that made the day a little better. Because Chris had his last regular season baseball game last night, we decided to put off really celebrating until Saturday So after work, we all went to the game where our team unfortunately lost horribly, but Chris hit a triple so at least he had a little something to smile about.
Aaron and I drove separate, so I stopped at Sonic on the way home to pick up food for everyone. Well when I walked in the door...was I in for a surprise. My sweet husband and son had super deep cleaned the house (usually they just sorta pick things up and move them around), there were beautiful vases of flowers everywhere, and presents for me on the table!!! It was so wonderful to walk in the door and be surrounded by so much love...especially when I wasn't expecting anything until Saturday. Aaron and Chris both got me really special cards and some great gifts.
All in all it was a great night...family, flowers, presents, SONIC, and a little Lord Of The Rings (wer are in the middle of watching the trilogy because Chris hadn't ever seen it).
Anyways that about wraps it up...
Posted by Rachael at 10:13 AM
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Posted by Rachael at 1:33 PM
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Here are a few pictures of things that Aaron has been working on up at church. He and Randy (one of our trusty church members) put in a sand volleyball court and a new playground. I know that some of you may thinking, "Why in the world would they put in a sand volleyball court at church?" Well here's the answer:
1. Its Aaron Johnson we are talking about
2. Sand volleyball is really fun to play
Yep, and that's about it. We think that it will be a good outreach tool for our youth group, but we've noticed that the adults really like playing too. My only complaint is that we didn't build a pool to accompany our court. I hate being sweaty and sandy and not able to jump in some cool refreshing water. Which reminds me...I miss the days of just running around in my bathing suit and/or shorts and sports bra. Now that I'm a pastor's wife, I have to remain fully clothed. For those of you that know me well...my summertime attire used to be wearing as little as possible. Oh how things change!
Posted by Rachael at 10:18 AM
Monday, May 19, 2008
Welcome Hilton Bella Harbour
This past weekend was the grand opening of a new resort hotel in Rockwall, Texas. My parents built the hotel and have been slaving over this little project for the past 4 years. So it goes without saying that this weekend was something they had been looking forward to for a long time. Check out the resort at http://www.hotel-online.com/News/PR2008_2nd/May08_HiltonBella.html
Posted by Rachael at 2:29 PM
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Aaron and I spent the next day seeing the sights of Firenze. Even though he was exhausted, he didn't give in to the jet lag and he let me drag him all over the city. I won't outline every detail of our day, but it was great to show him where I'd been living. The next day we took a train to Rome and had a blast stumbling upon the Trevi Fountain. Aaron loved the coliseum and I loved introducing him to the sights of Rome. After we explored Rome, we caught a flight to the true city of love - Paris!!!!
Paris was more amazing than I can possibly explain... we stayed in a rural area of the city in a quaint little hotel. Our room (don't worry - we had double beds :) had a perfect balcony that we would hang out on every morning when we woke up. It was so much fun exploring the city together - I loved showing him around Florence, but it was oh so much better to discover Paris together. And Aaron was the best traveling partner ever! I would get out the guide book and detail all of the places that we should see and Aaron would figure out how to get us there. Now I'm a pretty good world traveler and I've never had trouble finding my way around a new city, but Paris was a whole different story. I'm pretty sure that God was loving the fact that I had to actually rely on Aaron to help me...and it felt so good to know that Aaron was great at it! He figured out the Parisian subway system in no time and we explored to our hearts content.
My favorite memory of our time in Paris would have to be the night we went to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It was absolutely freezing and so we bundled up and headed out to the Tower around 9:00 pm. On the way we grabbed two bottles of wine and a chocolate crepe. We ignored the sign that said "No Food or Drink" and hid everything under my jacket. When we got to the top we cracked open the bottles and drank to Paris, Love, and Adventure. Neither one of us drink now (well, okay I still have a margarita with the girls every once in a while), but the memory still makes me deliciously tipsy just thinking about it. It was the best night of my life and I'll never forget it.
Another funny memory of Paris was the day we got kicked out of the Palace of Versailles. We were just finishing up the tour and the final room we came to was the grand ballroom. I had the sudden urge to dance, so I convinced Aaron to waltz me around the room. We laughed and waltzed and waltzed and laughed. I thought we were pretty talented at it, but obviously the guard didn't have the same opinion of our dancing. When he asked us to step outside, we both cracked up laughing and headed outside to the gardens.
I tell Aaron that I fell in love with him in Paris. It was then and there that I realized that our relationship was something for me to cherish. Aaron was and still is the most amazing man I've ever met. Sure, he has his share of faults, but overall no one can compare with my husband. He traveled half way around the globe, toasted our love on top of the Eiffel Tower, and waltzed with me in the Palace of Versailles.... does it get any better than that?
Posted by Rachael at 3:21 PM
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Living in Italy was like nothing I have ever done before. I had the most wonderful roommates a girl could ask for. We did everything together: discovered the treasures of Firenze, ate enough pasta and gelato to feed an army, partied till dawn nearly every night, loved each other wholeheartedly despite our vast differences, and traveled to some of the most fabulous places in Europe. I always tell people that Italy was one of the best times in my life, but it was also one of the worst. I believe that it was in Italy that I truly found myself and began to understand my utter dependence on the Lord. My wild adventurous life style was everything that I had ever held myself back from. I experienced the best life the world could offer and every once in a while I would feel a twinge of regret and guilt because I knew I was drifting further and further from the Lord. But, I always figured that I could fix my relationship with my heavenly Father when I got back to Baylor - because, you know Baylor is the perfect place for that sort of thing.
Part of my "experiencing" Italy came in the form of dating more than a couple Italian men. I was enamored with the idea of dating someone foreign, sexy, and exciting. Looking back, I can now ashamedly say that I might have imagined the sexy and exciting part. I did have some legitimately wonderful times motorcycling through the Tuscan countryside to old Italian ruins, eating at deliciously expensive restaurants, laying out by the pool at Italian villas, and horseback riding to my hearts content through the countryside. Yes, life was good by the world's standards. But I was slowly giving in to sin and after a few months I didn't even realize how dangerously low I'd sunk. But, my good Christian girl charade never stopped.
I think that Aaron was the only person from home that realized how much I was changing. I would call him in the wee hours of the night and as we would talk I would accidentally give away little hints that my life in Italy was much different than the one I'd lived in the US. The one secret that I was able to withhold from Aaron was the fact that I was dating other guys (I did tell him that I was "hanging out" with Italian guys but nothing serious - I always left out the motorcycle riding ect.) Now I really did think that we were taking a break , but I didn't want Aaron to know just how much of a break we were taking. I selfishly wanted Aaron all to myself, but I wanted to be able to go out and have a good time too.
In October Aaron decided that he wanted to come visit me during fall break. Luckily our fall breaks lined up and I was going to be out of school at the exact same time. I was VERY apprehensive about him coming to Italy. After all, he had never really traveled outside of the US and I was worried that he would be a horrible travel partner (oh how wrong I was). I imagined him complaining about the food, the hostels, the foreign language, ect. I really didn't think he could handle it and I was nervous once again about the commitment level of our relationship. Its not every day that someone flies half way around the world just to spend time with you. But I lied through my teeth and told him that I was excited about him coming.
The day finally came for Aaron to arrive. All of my roommates had left for a fall break extravaganza - they were travelling to The Netherlands, Germany, and Hungary. So it was just me and Aaron and believe me, things got off to a horrible start. I took a taxi to the airport to pick him up and on the way there I got to know my hunky taxi cab driver Fabio (yes, that was seriously his name). He was really nice and offered to wait for me while I went inside and found Aaron. I took him up on his offer and headed into the small little Florence airport. Aaron's plane had just landed and I figured that he'd be walking through the gates any second. I waited and waited, but no Aaron. After about 20 minutes, good ol' Fabio came waltzing in because he'd been waiting for so long. I explained that I couldn't find Aaron, so he offered to go ask some of the airport officials if they knew of a lost little American guy. After a little bit more waiting, the two men in my life showed up at the same time. Fabio got back about 30 seconds before Aaron and I was thanking him for trying to find out what the hold up was. As I was conversing (and probably smiling) at Fabio, good ol Aaron came walking up. He was exhausted because of his long flight, frustrated because he'd been unable to find his luggage, and now his girl was talking to a hunky guy.
When I saw Aaron, I tried to give him a hug but he literally just stood there staring down Fabio. I was seriously confused, but I did what any sensible girl would do: I introduced Aaron to Fabio. Aaron said hello and all the sudden got really nice to Fabio and proceeded to ignore me the entire way back to my apartment. I was getting more confused my the minute because I had no idea what was wrong, but then came the moment of clarity. When we reached my apartment, I asked Fabio how much I owed him. He told me the price and I paid for our cab fair. Aaron just stood there dumbfounded and the moment Fabio drove off Aaron turned to me and said, "So you're not dating him?" Aaron thought that I liked the cab driver. Now in Aaron's defense...I never exactly introduced Fabio as our taxi driver and Fabio drove an unmarked taxi, so Aaron had no way of knowing. We both laughed and headed into my apartment to start our Italian adventure together.
More tomorrow.... Here are some pics of the roomies when they came to Texas for my wedding (We are missing one fabulous roomie though - Amo I love you!!!!)
Posted by Rachael at 11:49 AM
Monday, May 5, 2008
Here's a little story that I haven't told you yet....
In the fall of 2004, I studied abroad in Florence, Italy. I made the decision to leave on a whim...literally. It was the last month of my junior year in college and I had finally left a long, sometimes wonderful, but emotionally damaging relationship and had just started quasi-dating Aaron. Because of the emotionally damaging relationship (and other slacker tendencies) my grades were terrible, I was having issues with my roommates, I was tired of cheerleading, and the only thing I could make a firm decision about was the fact that I had to get out of the country.
I went online and started looking at universities overseas...I saw a few that looked interesting, but the one that really caught my eye was the Lorenzo de Medici University in Firenze, Italy. And I actually had a good enough grade point average to get in. So, I immediately filled out the application and signed up for classes. Thankfully I have the most wonderful parents in the whole world...When I told them my plan of studying abroad - they were all for it. Looking back on it, I don't really think they bought my story about the wondrous learning experiences I was going to take part in during my time abroad... I think they just wanted me to get away from loser ex-boyfriend and get myself back on track. Most parents would have signed their child up for counseling or some other form of emotional support, but mine thought it would be better to just send me overseas. And guess what it worked! ( they also did a very similar thing to my sister when she was going through a rough time last year...except she went to Boston - ha ha I got the better deal!).
In addition to my plans to study in Florence, I had also signed up for a two month summer mission trip to a very remote village in China to teach English at a small university. Yep, so I was pretty much saying goodbye to life in the USA and hello to life abroad. I would finish my junior year, leave for China May 22, come back mid-July, and head to Italy mid-August. Oh and I didn't know a single person on either trip. The mission trip ended up being amazing (I'll save that story for later) and when I got back, I was all ready for Italy!
Except for one minute detail...while I was in China a handsome, loving, funny, intelligent, and athletic boy had been emailing me. Yep, you guessed it - A$. His emails were never super long or super passionate, but they always let me know that he was thinking about me and counting down the days until I got back. In fact, when I finally did come home, he was the one who picked me up from the airport. (He drove 6 hours from Amarillo just to pick me up) The one month I was at home that summer was like whirlwind. Aaron and I saw each other every second that we could. Finally it came time for me to leave for Italy....
Aaron and I had been make-out buddies all through college. I know that term might turn some of you off, but hey its the facts. We both really liked kissing and we were crazily attracted to each other (note: when I say "make out" I mean kissing only!). Even though we had such a great "buddy" relationship...I was always a little hesitant to make it anything more. I had several totally legit reasons for this: I had my emotionally damaging off/on again boyfriend, Aaron hung out with a party crowd, I was a little scared of how much he liked me, ect. Then I had my totally non legit reasons: Aaron was shorter than me.... and that's about it. When we finally started actually dating my junior year, I was more than a little scared about the whole situation. I mean I had my ex-boyfriend to think about, Aaron was shorter than me, I didn't really know any of Aaron's friends but I'd heard bad reports about ALL of them, and all sorts of other relationship damaging ideas floating through my head.
But that summer...EVERYTHING was different. We started to get to know each other without so much of the kissing (which we still did every now and then ;) So when it came time for me to leave, we had a lot to talk about. Were we going to do the whole long distance thing, or should we take a break and see how we felt when I came home in 5 months? Now the conversation we had that day is pretty hazy in my mind. I remember that I had driven up to Waco to see Aaron and we were laying on the couch in his apartment...But I am very unsure of what exactly was said. I think I'm so unsure because Aaron and I walked away from that conversation with very different opinions on our relationship status was going to be while I was in Italy. In my mind, we were going to be "apart", but sweet Aaron thought that we were still going to be "together."
Oh how those two little words "apart" and "together" can make all the difference in the world. I was sure that we'd agreed on apart...at least I'd agreed on it in my own mind. I wanted the freedom to explore Italia in all its glory. I wasn't sure what that meant for me exactly, but I knew I wanted it. Freedom has always been something that I've craved...and so of course I wanted it on my grand adventure overseas. Aaron, on the other hand, want us to stay together. He loved me (and had since nearly the beginning of our make-out buddy days). He was willing to wait for me during the 5 months I was gone and he even wanted to come visit me while I was there. Even though I'm sure that we talked and talked about all of these issues, we both walked away with totally separate ideas and.....
that is where the story ends for today folks. Tune in tomorrow for part two.
Posted by Rachael at 4:11 PM
Thursday, May 1, 2008
i am: listening to my teachers explain excel (didn't we all learn this in high school?)
i think: i need to get more sleep, so i'm not so grouchy.
i know: that my Lord loves me!
i want: a pair of william rast jeans.
i have: a full belly because i ate a mrs. baird's apple pie before class.
i wish: i could be outside playing around with my wonderful husband.
i hate: being bored at work.
i miss: my family in Rockwall.
i fear: not being able to go on vacation whenever I want to (I know its irrational and silly)
i feel: a little tired, but excited because we are getting out of class early tonight.
i hear: computer keys clicking.
i smell: nothing.
i crave: time outside.
i search: other people's blogs for interesting stories and pictures.
i wonder: what my little family will be doing a year from now?
i regret: not having more down time to spend with friends and family.
i love: reading to and snuggling up with aaron and a good book.
i ache: for people in the world who are hungry or suffering.
i care: about injustices in this world.
i always: do my hair so its not crazy frizzy.
i am not: passive, chill, relaxed, and/or calm.
i believe: there is hope for all of us.
i dance: always.
i sing: silly songs with aaron.
i don’t always: wear deodorant (sick me out!)
i fight: with aaron sometimes.
i write: blogs. checks. lots of to do lists.
i win: contests I make up in my head.
i lose: everything all the time.
i never: wear lip liner.
i confuse: directions to places in waco.
i listen: to aaron preach every sunday.
i can usually be found: at work or school - but i wish i could be at home with family.
i am scared: of being outside in the dark.
i need: lots of time with a$.
i am happy about: our vacation to indiana in less than a month!
Posted by Rachael at 5:45 PM
Aaron finally agreed to go on a ROAD TRIP with me. We've spent the last few days checking on flights, discussing the pros and cons of driving, and analyzing mapquest...and finally he said YES to driving! I know that some of ya'll are going to think this is crazy, but I absolutely love road trips.
When I was growing up my family would take 2 week long road trips nearly every summer. I think my favorite one would have to be when we drove from Texas, to North Dakota, over to Indiana, into Canada, and then back to Texas. Yep, 2 full weeks in the car with my entire family (thankfully we spent some time at Grandma's house along the way). I got to see so much on that trip: Mount Rushmore, The Badlands, Yellowstone National Park, and Niagara Falls. Plus, I really think that road trips are a great bonding experience. I mean how can a family not get closer when they are all smushed together in a car for 18 hours?
Now Aaron has kind of a negative take on road trips because he keeps equating it to the drive from Waco to Amarillo (which he's done a billion times). I keep trying to tell him that its totally different. Finally last night he just shrugged his shoulders and said that we could do it my way. I think he saw the light when I pointed out that we'd save about $400 because we wouldn't be paying for airfare.
Now we just have to figure out where we want to go - We have to be in Indiana for my cousin's wedding on May 31st, but other than that we are free! Let me know if you have any suggestions!
Posted by Rachael at 1:48 PM
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I'm about to head out to lunch with my great friend Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org). I think we are hittin up McAllisters today...I'm excited because she's going to tell me all about her trip to DC. I seriously LOVE vacations - Even when I don't even get to go! She went up there to visit our good friend Jennifer Baker who's a grad intern at the White House!!!
In other news... I GOT THE JOB! Yep, I'm officially going to be a 4th grade teacher at Connally Elementary next year. In fact, I already started filling out all the paper work. I serve an amazing God...this is the exact job I've been praying for. Its great pay, in the community we live in, Chris goes to school in the district, the grade I want, and the subject I want. Ummm can it get any better than that?? I actually found out I got hired the day after my interview last week...but I didn't want to post it on here until I had some pictures to post at the same time. I'm so lame!
Another cool thing happened lately...We got to meet Chris' brother last night. His name is Nick and he's 11 years old. He lives about an hour away in a group home for mentally retarded children. Even though he is MR...he's hilarious! We met up with him and his caseworker at Chic-Fil-A and then after eating headed over to a park to play some ball. Aaron would pitch, Nick would hit, and Chris would field. Everytime Nick hit the ball, he'd yell to Chris "Go Get The Ball FAT BOY!" Chris would just laugh and laugh... It was wonderful seeing the two of them together. They haven't seen each other in almost a year, so it was a huge blessing for God to bring them together again. I think the judge is going to let them start seeing each other once a month, so get ready for more funny Nick stories. Oh and PS...Nick farts ALL the time. Like I heard maybe 30 farts yesterday - sick, but hilarious!
Word to your mother,
Posted by Rachael at 11:07 AM
Posted by Rachael at 10:55 AM
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Hmmm... I guess I don't really have much going on right now.
Posted by Rachael at 9:42 AM
Friday, April 18, 2008
1. What is your occupation? What day of the week is it? Time of day? Ministry Assistant/Coordinator, Friday, 10:39 am
2. What color are your socks right now? White No Show Socks
3. What are you listening to right now? Travelin Soldier by the Dixie Chicks
4. What was the last thing that you ate? A yummy cheese and berry danish on the way to work
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Sorta
6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My Director – Dr. Paul Stripling
7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Heck Ya
8. How old are you today? 24
10. What is your favorite drink? Milk, Water (with lots of lemon), Capri Suns
11. Have you ever dyed your hair? All the time!
12. Favorite food? Fresh spinach leaves with olive oil, cole slaw, and sandwiches
13. What was the last movie you watched? Drillbit Taylor
14. Favorite day of the year? Any day that I can just hangout outside with my husband
15. How do you vent anger? Yell or read a book at Barnes and Noble
16. What was your favorite toy as a child? Hmmm..I like hanging out with my dog BINGO
17. What is your favorite season? Summer and Fall
18. Cherries or Blueberries? Blueberries
19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? Of course!
20. Who is the most likely to respond?
21. Who is least likely to respond? ????
22. Living arrangements? With Aaron, Chris, Grant (my bro moved in for a while), Obie, Vader, and Potter. We live in a cute little house out in the country surrounded by bluebonnets and cows
23. When was the last time you cried? I don’t know – By I cry about every 3 weeks or so
24. What is on the floor of your closet? Shoes and boxes
25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to? I don’t know which of
my friends check my blog, but it would have to be Amelia, Andrea, or my sister (but I don’t think she checks it unless I make her)
26. What did you do last night? I had class until 9:00, then went over to Chris and Robin’s house
to hangout, then back home and waited for Grant and Chris to get home from the Brian Regan Comedy Show in Dallas.
27. Favorite smells? Summer rain, Chlorine..weird I know, but it holds so many memories, Aaron’s cologne
28. What inspires you? God’s love for me and every person on the earth, my parents and their wonderful encouragement and support, my husband’s wisdom and humor, my friend Kim and her guidance.
29. What are you most afraid of? Not much, but I am afraid of the dark sometimes
30.. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Cheese
31. Favorite dog breed? I like them all, but I’m partial to Border Collie Mixes (shout out to Obie and Vader)
32. Favorite day of the week? Saturday and Sunday
33. How many states have you lived in? Just Texas
34. How many states have you been to? Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, New York, Maryland, New Jersey, and Hawaii.
35. How many countries have you been to? Poland, Trinidad, Mexico, Canada, China, Russia, Italy, Greece, England, Sudan, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal…. Umm obviously I love to travel!
Posted by Rachael at 10:57 AM
My sister-in-law Haylie is turning 23 tomorrow ~~~Happy Birthday Haylie~~~ When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she surprised me with the most wonderful answer ever. She wants BOOKS!
Some of you may be surprised that I am a passionate reader. In fact I was up until 2:00 a.m. last night reading "The Other Bolelyn Girl" (not a favorite at all). I also collected over 1,000 books to send to my friends in Sudan because I felt called to start a library at the English Language School in Khartoum <---I'll give ya'll all the details of that adventure later.
Anyways....my cute little sister in law is going to try to develop a love for reading. Here are the books I'm sending her: Blessed Child, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Cheaper By The Dozen, and The Wedding. I discovered a used bookstore yesterday and it was as good as walking into a room filled with gold. So many book...I mean they were literally everywhere! Anyways, I got four books for the grand total of $18.00...Not bad huh?!
Here's a list of some of my top books...if you haven't read them yet, let me know and I'll let ya borrow!
Gone With The Wind
Cheaper By The Dozen
The Mark of the Lion (series)
The Davinci Code
Angels and Demons
The Chronicles of Narnia (series)
Alanna: The First Adventure
Captain Ahabs Wife
Harry Potter (series)
Posted by Rachael at 10:07 AM
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Men, Women, Boys, and Girls...
Today is a day to CeLebRate!!! The WRBN website is officially up and running. I have been "working" on this website for 6 months or so and I'm so excited that its nearing completion. I know absolutely nothing about technology and so I hired the amazing Internet Imagineering to create the site and it is turning out great. The really cool thing is that I now know how to manage the site: you know, like edit text, add pictures and links...all the fun stuff.
Hip Hip Hooray for http://www.wacoregionalbaptistnetwork.org/
Check it out and see what ya think!
Posted by Rachael at 3:24 PM
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Posted by Rachael at 5:50 AM
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Hey gang, Hey gang, Hey gang…
(if you’re from the Rock, then you’ll know the rest of the cheer)
I don’t have much to report on – Oh but here’s a little funny thing that happened to me today. I went to the music ministers lunch fellowship this afternoon … just to say hi to everyone and kind of represent the WRBN and Hilltop Christian Fellowship. They were all talking about a huge event that Columbus Avenue Baptist Church is hosting this Sunday evening: The 2008 Community Hymn Sing. There are going to be about 30 churches participating, a 300 person choir, and a 50 person orchestra…So yeah, this is going to be a pretty big deal.
So, I am the only non-music minister in the group and everyone is going around the table talking about which hymn they are going to conduct. Well it comes to me and I just smile and assume that they’ll just move on to the next person. Nope, the leader of the group enthusiastically encourages ME to direct a HUGE CHIOR and a HUGE ORCHESTRA in front of 1,000 PEOPLE! I can just imagine the chaos now…me waving my little arms around, trying to tap out the beat with my foot, and 300 voices singing out trying desperately to follow along. Nope, no thank you…but it was a hilariously sweet suggestion!
Posted by Rachael at 3:43 PM
Monday, April 14, 2008
Still no official word on a teaching position. I had a GREAT interview last week in the Connally School District and I was told that I'll be getting a phone call sometime this week for a second interview...so I'm just wishing and hoping and thinking and praying. I'll let ya'll know when I hear something!
Posted by Rachael at 10:33 AM
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Yep, you read correctly. My pretty little momma headed over to Cuba this morning at 6:00 a.m. She's going on a 7 day mission trip with her church, Lake Pointe. They are leading 3 leadership conferences for a few different Baptist churches in Cuba. My mom is leading two seminars: the first one is about the importance of small community groups within the church and the second seminar is about the role of women's ministries.... Cool huh?
Posted by Rachael at 2:51 PM
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Some of my best memories are associated with snow cones... like the time I Aaron and I were riding on the motorcycle and we decided to go get snow cones and then head back to the apartment to watch a movie. Of course, I convinced him that I could hold both the snow cones all the way back and that I could just "hang on" to the motorcycle using my leg strength?! After about 5 minutes of that nonsense I threw his snow cone onto the pavement, wrapped my free arm around his waist, and we traveled all the way back home laughing about how I selfishly saved only my snow cone.
Yesterday I was on my way to class (ughh) and I decided to make a pit stop at Mr. Snow for the first snow cone of the season. Thankfully I had just enough change (I only pay for snow cones using change...even if its pennies). I showed up at class with blue teeth, sticky hands, and a giant grin on my face: SNOW CONE SEASON HAS BEGUN!
Posted by Rachael at 11:59 AM
Monday, April 7, 2008
Hi everyone...sorry it has been SO long since my last post!
Posted by Rachael at 10:22 AM