Monday, May 16, 2011

Graduation Weekend

This was one of the best weekends that I have had in a long time! We had so much going on that we didn't stop moving from Wednesday night through late last night when we passed out at 10:00. I guess that we should start at the beginning...

I went home this weekend for my graduation from the University of North Texas. After four long years, I finally finished my Master's program and was ready to celebrate! Much to my surprise, Dr. Phil was our commencement speaker at the ceremony. He earned his MA and PhD at UNT and received an award on Friday that I swear the university president made up an hour before. I figured that the ceremony would only last about an hour and a half since it was only for advanced degrees, but I was sadly mistaken! I began receiving texts from Nick about two hours in to sneak out, and finally caved after two and a half hours when I realized that they were only half way done with the doctoral students! I was one of the first to walk across the stage, so I had no problem sneaking back out the middle aisle to find my happy family. I felt so lucky that Nicholas, my dad, and all three of my grandparents were in attendance to watch me receive my (temporary) diploma!

After the ceremony, we were off to Chimy's in Fort Worth to celebrate with my wonderful friends. I am not sure how I got so lucky, but I can honestly say that I have the best friends in the world! Traffic was terrible on Friday, but so many came out and helped me drink a few too many beer-rita's. We had an absolute blast and only got mildly out of control!

The fun continued on Saturday when Nicholas and I took our favorite two year old to Lone Star Park to see the horses. Jackson is such a sweet and funny boy that Nick and I were cracking up the whole day. As soon as he realized that we were going to see horses, he dragged Nick to his room to get his boots because what cowboy doesn't wear boots? The weather was perfect and Jackson was in a great mood. The track was not crowded at all, so he got to run around, push his own stroller, and stare in amazement at every horse that passed. He is talking so much now, and while we couldn't understand everything he said, he was great at repeating and would clap every time the horses ran by.

Speaking of beautiful Smart kids, I also got to finally meet Miss Braylee, Jackson's new sister. I cannot get over how pretty she is! She has dark hair and olive skin, which makes me wonder who her parents are considering Brooke and DeWayne are the blondest fairest people you will ever meet! In all sincerity, I am so blessed to call this great family our friends.

Nick's birthday was on Tuesday, but we were finally able to celebrate Saturday night with a delicious dinner at Carrabba's. This is one of our top three all time places to eat, and we are very sad that there are none in the OKC area. After dinner, we were off to Billy Bob's to see Pat Green with a large part of my dad's family. There had to be at least twenty of us there, so it was great to see everyone while we were in town. I was a little disappointed in Pat Green... He is so different from how he was while we were in college, and it almost seems like he thinks that he is way cooler than he really is. What Texas Country band has a costume change during a concert?!? Really, Pat Green? Do you think that you are Britney Spears? I do believe that my friend Matt's term of Nash-Vegas is applicable here. :-)

Sunday was more of the same: visiting friends, seeing my cousin's new house, but topped off with a McMacken Family celebration dinner. We had dinner with Nick's family and Lisa even made me my favorite cake in UNT colors! It was the perfect way to end a perfect weekend.

I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. This past weekend was a great way to finish a chapter in my life, and I am really looking forward to all of the free time that I will have now that I am not reading and writing papers each week. I wonder how I will keep myself busy? Oh yeah... now I can actually plan that wedding that we have been talking about for almost 6 months!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Nicholas!!

Happy Birthday! There are no words to describe what you mean to me. You stood by my side in the hardest time of my life. Without you, I would be a mess. You encouraged me to go back to school. You supported me when I suggested uprooting our lives with this new job and the move to Oklahoma. You asked me to share the right of my life with you. You are the person that I am meant to be with. You make me a better person. We may have a crazy and nontraditional life, but it is our life and we are facing it together. I love you!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Scout, the Perpetual Patient

My poor Scout has had a rough month! Four weeks ago she was jumping off the bed at my grandparents' house and banged her back paw on the footboard. She spent the rest of the day limping, and her paw started to swell up. We thought that she has just bruised it because she would let us feel all the way down her leg and would only whimper when we got to the bottom of her pad. I drove home Monday and realized that it might be worse than we thought because she would cry if she put too much weight on it, even while laying down. I took her to the vet and found out that she had broken a bone in her foot. Essentially, her pinkie toe was snapped in half. Luckily, it was a clean break and she did not need surgery. The vet placed a soft cast on her foot and away we went.

She quickly got used to the cast, and was running around like the crazy girl she is. We had to take her in two weeks later so that the vet could make sure that the bone was healing, and then she is scheduled to get her cast off tomorrow.
This past Saturday, we invited our Oklahoma friends over for dinner. (That's right, we have exactly two friends up here and half of the couple went to high school with Nick.) They had not been here more than five minutes when Scout starting acting weird and could not stand. Her eyes were bugged out and she looked terrified. We didn't know if she had re-injured her toe because she was so unbalanced but let me feel her foot without crying. She was staggering around, threw up, and then had an unmistakable seizure in the backyard. I have never been more scared and was running around trying to find my phone and the vet's number. We lucked out when they told us that they would stay open for us and to bring her up NOW!

Our sweet friends piled into the car with us as we took off for the vet's office. The vet did some blood work and found that her phosphorous levels were a little high, which could cause a seizure. She recommended that we bring Scout to the animal hospital so that they could monitor her overnight and give her an IV with some seizure meds and something else to keep her hydrated. The second vet didn't think that her phosphorous levels were too high to be overly concerned about (meaning that we wouldn't need long term meds), and instead thought that she might have somehow ingested a toxin which could cause a seizure. Low and behold, we just had a new cleaning lady come that afternoon. I think she went a little overboard with the pinesol when cleaning the floors, and we fear that she might have used that to clean the dog bowls which are kept in the kitchen. Scout is obsessed with food and licks her bowl and Waylon's bowl after they eat (and sometimes even the floor if we drop some food), so I think we might have found the culprit. We came home and mopped the floor with plain water and cleaned their bowls with hot water. I am not taking any chances, and will definitely talk with the cleaning lady before she comes back. Of course, we cannot know for sure that this is what caused her seizure, but I am not willing to take the risk and assume it was something else.

We got to pick up Scout around noon on Sunday, and I have never been more relieved in my life to see my sweet girl. She has another bandaged foot where they had her IV, so the poor baby looks like a little invalid with her two bandaged paws. She is back to normal and we are just praying that we don't ever have another episode like that again. Nick and I were terrified, and I almost lost it once we got to the vet's office and had to wait for results. We don't have children yet, but these dogs are our babies and we love them like they were our own biological children. Just the thought of something happening to them brings me to tears. I just love my sweet beagles!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day

Days like today are so hard when you have lost your mom. I used to spend Mother's Day shopping with my mom, one of our shared favorite activities, or getting pedicures, a close second. Now today is a stark reminder that my mom is gone, and we will never have another opportunity to gossip over mimosas or lounge in the pool and discuss life, love, and the future. I have a wonderful future mother-in-law and some great aunts that help to fill that void, but nothing compares to my mom. I give myself today to be sad, but I know that she is always with me.

I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my mommy you'll be.