Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Winning Weekend

This weekend was great, from start to finish. On Friday, Ryan got home from a dive job in Houston just in time to make it to his company Christmas party. They had reserved a room at Walnut Creek Country Club, which was really nice. I was just excited that there was a "no jeans" rule mostly because I couldn't wait to see some of these guys dressed up! Most divers aren't exactly blessed with, uh, let's say, "social graces." It was great to meet a lot of the people Ryan has been working with these past 4 months. They are so laid-back and nice...and they know how to party. When we got there, we were each given $250 in fake money to play blackjack. When they closed the tables, we went and turned our winnings in for tickets. Then, we took our tickets over to a table with a bunch of stockings laid out. On each stocking was the name of a prize...things as small as Chick-fil-a and Target gift cards to big prizes like IPods, GPS, and a Nintendo Wii. Ryan and I didn't exactly "hit it big" at the blackjack tables, so we put one lousy ticket in the Nintendo stocking, 2 in the IPod stocking, and crossed our fingers as everyone put their TONS of tickets in. Let me just say, it only takes 1 ticket to win because I got myself a new IPod thank you very much. I was super excited! At least, I think it's mine...Ryan hasn't exactly let go yet. Anyway, that wasn't the biggest winning of the night. At the end of the party, they started handing out annual awards for the company. Since Ryan has only been there 4 months, we didn't figure the awards pertained to him. But lo and behold he won the "Exceptional Performance for a Newcomer" award! The plaque is nice and all, but what it really means is that he got an awesome evaluation which equals (here's hoping) a big raise! WOO HOO!! I was so proud of him. They only gave it to 2 people, and the other guy has been there quite a bit longer than Ryan has. He's also become one of Ryan's really good friends, so they were pumped to win it together.

On Saturday morning, we slept in, and then headed to Dallas to pick up Ryan's packet for the White Rock 1/2 marathon. On our way back to Fort Worth, we passed through Arlington in perfect time to meet up with the Camps for lunch. It was so fun to see them (and Thompson's cute little pooch) for a little while. After that, we went furniture shopping because I've been looking and looking for a chair for the living room. I finally found one, so we bought it, drove home to get Ryan's truck, drove back to almost Dallas to pick it up (who wants to pay a delivery charge?!) and drove back home. When we got home, I absolutely hated it. I was SO bummed! So we returned it, and now I'm on the hunt (again) for a chair for our living room. Sigh...

On to Sunday...we woke up bright and early, bundled up, and headed to Dallas for Ryan to run the 1/2 marathon at White Rock. It was COLD and drizzly. We found Molly & Peter when we got there, and Molly and I sported our t-shirts in support of our hubbies. We couldn't show them off for too long though because it was freezing! The more layers the better. We sent the guys off and went to the starting line. Somehow, amidst the mob of people, we missed them taking off. So we hiked back to the car, grabbed us some much needed Starbucks, and headed to the 6 mile point. Luckily, Ryan & Peter had a pretty similar pace, so we were able to catch them both within about 5 minutes of each other. It was so fun to cheer them on as they passed by! I felt like they were going really fast...especially with 7 miles left! We attempted to see them one more time at around the 9 mile point, but we got nervous that we'd miss the finish, so we drove back to the AA Center. I'm glad we did too, because after we parked and walked/ran back to the finish line, Ryan came flying by (shirtless, in 38 degree cold) just a few minutes later! I was so proud of him!! He finished his 13.1 miles in 1 hr 38 minutes, which was better than his goal. I was definitely glad it was him out there and not me. I couldn't believe how many people were running...registration maxed out at 15,000 runners, which was a record. So crazy.

Here's Peter close to the 6 mile mark. I nearly missed Ryan and didn't get the camera ready in time.

Ryan about to cross the finish line.

Yeah, my husband is the naked one (from the top up) running in the freezing cold.
And here's Peter at the finish!!

We came home in time to catch most of the Cowboys game and relax a little. Then I went to church to play for the Children's Choir program. The little ones were SO cute, and we made it through the program with minimal catastrophes. All together, it was a successful weekend!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

If Only I Had Something to Say...

How depressing is it that I really can't think of a single thing to blog about?! I love reading everyone else's, then I feel guilty when I don't post. It's kindof like going to a potluck dinner and not bringing a dish.

Things have been really good around here. I guess no drama is good news! Ryan has been home more this month than probably any point in our marriage. It's a little weird to be honest. Not that I don't absolutely love it, but it's just funny. When he's here, there's suddenly this battle over the TiVo (because he inevitably wants to watch some "guy" thing while I have 2 things already in the works). Then I have to make a rushed decision and decide which of my worthless shows to forego that night. Luckily, there have been lots of reruns lately, so I haven't missed much. I guess if TV is our only argument, then we're doing pretty well. It's also weird to come home from work and he's HERE. Lately, he's been beating me home, so we get to do the whole "Honey, I'm home!" thing. What I really want to say when I walk in is, "Where's my dinner?" but I guess I can let it slide. We're both new at this. So, with Ryan being home so much this month, I got a little sad to see him go out to the Gulf this week. He was only gone 5 days, but I kindof hated coming home to an empty house at the end of the day. Hmmm...I guess I love being married after all!

When I write sarcastic stuff like that, I kindof wonder who reads this that doesn't know me very well. You know there are lots of "blog-stalkers" out there. I think we should have a "Coming Out" party, and everyone should just admit that they read each other's.

Okay, so other than being happily married, and working (which I still LOVE), and staying busy playing the piano for tons of Christmas concerts (which are my FAV), and getting the house all decorated for the holidays, nothing much is going on. Just thought I'd update...

Monday, November 19, 2007


Well, it's about that time, so I'm making my "Top 20 What I'm Most Thankful For" list... some serious, some silly, some superficial, but all sincere. Here goes:

I'm thankful...

1. that Ryan has been safe and sound in the USA all year. And while I'm on the subject of my husband, I'm thankful that he is the rock of our marriage and has enough faith for the both of us.

2. for my family...ALL of included (and I'm not just saying that).

3. for my dog, Jack, who even though he growls a lot and his breath is less than desirable, is the most devoted pet I've ever known. I'm thankful that when Ryan is out of town, Jack won't go to sleep until I do.

4. for my other dog, Harley, who is the best cuddler and makes the sweetest puppy noises and will turn 3 on Thanksgiving (just thought I'd throw that in).

5. for the fact that Rosa's, Taco Bueno, Target and Starbucks are all less than 2 miles from my house.

6. for my driveway...I know it sounds silly, but after living in an apartment, I truly appreciate pulling up to my own driveway at the end of the day and not having to look for a parking spot.

7. That reminds me...I'm also thankful for my own mailbox.

8. that I have a job I actually enjoy going to every day and co-workers I enjoy spending the day with.

9. that the Dallas Cowboys are kicking ass this year. Yes, I said ass.

10. that I'm a TEXAN! I never appreciated Texas as much as I should have until it was a 24 hour drive state tax and genuinely nice people everywhere you go. Love it!

11. for Diet Cherry Cokes from Sonic every morning on my way to work.

12. for OLD friends, who even though we don't see each other as much as we'd like will always be the easiest people to pick up with because we know each other inside out.

13. for NEW friends, who make every place I've moved feel like "home".

14. that I've been given the opportunity to use my gifts as a way to provide for our family. I love that I can be productive and do what I love at the same time.

15. for my TiVo. I know, I know, but even though I waste a lot of time watching worthless shows, I'm at least saving time by skipping the commercials. Does that justify it?!?

16. that it's officially time to listen to Christmas music and decorate this coming weekend!!!

17. that the Rex Sox won the World Series.

18. for my freedom.

19. for the things God has blessed me with that I take for granted everyday...a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food to eat, family & friends.

20. for God's unconditional grace, love and forgiveness that I definitely don't deserve but absolutely thank Him for.

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

America's Heroes

"O beautiful for heroes proved

In liberating strife,

Who more than self their country loved,

And mercy more than life!

America! America!

May God thy gold refine,

Till all success be nobleness

And every gain divine."

That is my favorite verse of "America the Beautiful" because it captures the heroism of our nation's veterans. This weekend, we got to be part of Lewisville ISD's Veteran's Day ceremony. Ryan's Papaw came in for it also, so it was really neat that they got to be honored together. We went to breakfast at an elementary school where the students had decorated the tables with hand made patriotic placemats, and at each seat there was a thank you letter written to a veteran. The kids served us our coffee and treated these guys like rock stars. To see some of these men's faces light up when they realized that they are appreciated for their service brought tears to my eyes. The whole event was SO well done by everyone involved. I was really pleased to see that our schools are making a big deal about supporting the troops. I regret that we don't make every day Veteran's Day because every day we have is a day that we are free to work, to go to school, to pray, to speak our mind, and to enjoy the freedoms that these veterans fought for us to have. I don't know if many of us truly grasp the significance of that. I know I don't...and my husband is a vet! The Flower Mound band played the anthem for each branch of service, and when the Marine Corps Hymn was played and Ryan stood up, my heart swelled with pride. I make a much bigger deal out of it than Ryan ever will, and that's really how most of these vets are. Selfless. Speaking of selfless, the guest speaker for the ceremony was a Marine Staff Sergeant (and Lewisville H.S. graduate) that lost part of his arm in Iraq. Instead of being bitter, he uses his situation to serve as a mentor to fellow amputees at Walter Reed and the Naval Medical Center. He did a great job of reminding everyone of the importance of supporting our troops. So, next time you have a chance...thank a Vet!!

Two of my favorite Vets...Ryan & Papaw

Marine SSgt Mark H. Graunke, Jr. and his family. This Liberty Bell replica was brought over by the Daugters of the American Revolution. I was SO excited to see that on either side of the bell were tablets with the 10 commandments inscripted on them....YES, at a school function.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Coming Home, Homecoming, and 2 New Homes

It's been all about HOME lately. Ryan spent 3 weeks out in the Gulf of Mexico and FINALLY came home last Thursday. What was supposed to be a week long job turned into 3 weeks of waiting out tropical storms, so I was thrilled that he got home just in time to drive to Abilene for HSU Homecoming over the weekend. I know that I should be used to him being gone...after all, 3 weeks is nothing compared to the 7 month deployments from our Marine Corps days. Still, it just doesn't get easier. He is doing an amazing job as a diver though, so I couldn't be more proud. Here are some pics of my man in action! (For some reason, he doesn't feel the need to shave when he's out on a rig, so this is Ryan's "rugged" look.) :-)

A group of our friends got together at Jenn & Scott's for a 5 year reunion party. We had so much fun catching up and reminiscing about the "good ole days". Funny how most of the reminiscing involved MY husband pulling a prank on someone. I think that was his sole purpose in going to college.

And here's my name on the new Alumni Wall! (I'm the Sarah C....the Sarah E was my roommate...go figure!) It was so cool to go find the names of all my family members that have gone to HSU. They go all the way back to the graduating class of 1941! I love that HSU is a small enough campus that they could fit the names of every graduate from 1895 on. What a cool tradition they started!

When we got home, we decided that since Jack & Harley are the best dogs in the world, they deserve the best dog house. So, we went and found them a log cabin, complete with a front porch, which Ryan put together last night. This is more for me than for the dogs. Now I won't feel as guilty leaving them when I go to work knowing that they have a place to get out of the weather and cuddle up. Obviously, when the weather is really bad they stay inside, but this way a little rain won't keep them from spending the day in the yard. Jack went right in, but Harley didn't know what to think. She was not happy with us at all. Hopefully she'll learn to love her new home!

Last but not least, my brother and Kendall finally closed on their new home that just happens to be 1 minute and 28 seconds from my house...and that's including a red light. They are so excited to be first time homeowners, and it's really fun that we're practically neighbors. My parents are glad because it's "one stop shopping" for them to come visit! The only downside is that I think my weekend plans now consist of painting and unpacking boxes. I knew I'd have to return the favor soon enough!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Big 5-0

I LOVE surprise parties, so I was very excited to get to go to my Uncle Garry's (yes, it's Garry with two "R"s) 50th birthday party at Joe T Garcia's. YUM!! My Aunt Julie did an awesome job putting it all together, and he had no clue. There were at least 100 of his family, friends, and co-workers that all managed to keep things quiet for at least 3 weeks, so I was pretty impressed. A few of his friends took him skeet shooting for his birthday that afternoon to keep him from suspecting anything, so he was mad that he was still in his "shooting clothes" for the party. My cousin Rachel surprised him by coming home from college for the party, so that was cool. I love living close to my family. I never got to do stuff like this for the 4 years we spent on the East Coast. I know I've been in the metroplex for over 2 months now, but it never gets old! Here are some pics from the big event.


Daddy's Girls

Officially "Over the Hill"

There are always margaritas when you party at Joe T' fav!!

My Aunt Julie & Me

My little cousins are suddenly all grown up!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Workin' Woman

Well, I went back for a second interview today and found out this afternoon that I got the job! Woo Hoo!! I start tomorrow, and I'm SO excited about it. I am especially excited about my schedule because it's going to allow me to still do all of the accompanying for schools that I want to do on the side. It couldn't be a more perfect situation for me right now. I would say that God opened a door, but it was more like he grabbed me by the collar and THREW me through the door. This opportunity literally landed right in my lap, and I'm so blessed. Wish me luck on my first day tomorrow!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Blind Dates, Broken Dates, Fire Trucks, and Starbucks

Let me explain...

No, I am not cheating on my husband, but I did have a "blind date" last night. We've been visiting churches, and a girl from FBC contacted me about a home Bible study she was going to be starting to see if Ryan and I were interested. We talked back and forth via email, and we realized that both of our husbands were out of town, so she asked if I'd want to meet up for dinner. I was so glad that she asked because I really haven't had many chances to meet people that live close to us. Since we haven't picked a church, and I'm still not working (more on that to come...) I have really been losing my sanity staying home! I'm out of money to shop with, I've decorated the house all that I can for the moment, and I've already learned my way around the area, so it's been a challenge lately. Not to mention, Ryan's job has been MUCH different than we thought it would be. So far, he has been out of town Monday through Friday every week since he started on August 1st. I see him on the weekends, and then he's off again. I shouldn't complain because at least he's not gone for 7 months and getting shot at, but it's still no fun. I was a little nervous about meeting a complete stranger for dinner. I didn't even know what she looked like! I felt like Meg Ryan in "You've Got Mail" when she sits at the table with a book and a rose on top of it...and then Tom Hanks sees that its her and stands her up. Yikes! Luckily, it wasn't like that in the least. We had a lot in common and conversation wasn't awkward at all. Whew!

So...I've been looking and looking and looking and looking for a job. I want something part time where I won't have to work weekends, and unfortunately that is ridiculously hard to find!! Anyway, my brother told me about a music secretary job opening at his church--30 hours per week, Monday through Thursday--PERFECT! So I got in touch with the music minister and sent my resume over. Well, last night on my "blind date", my new friend Chantel and I were talking about this job possibility and it turns out she and her husband are great friends with the music minister and his wife! So she was able to put in a good word for me. Small world, huh?!

Sorry, this story is so long and random, but anyway...I was getting ready to go meet Molly for lunch today when Andy, the music minister, called me to see if I could come interview at 2:00. Woo Hoo!! I was super excited...a little nervous...but mostly excited. I had to kindof rush lunch with Molly, but still managed to enjoy my tableside guacamole & tortilla soup...YUM!! So, I was driving to the interview, when I get a phone call...from Andy's wife. She called to tell me that Andy was stranded on I-20 waiting for a tow truck because his car had broken down. He didn't have my number because it was saved on his email up at the church, but luckily, his wife teaches with my new blind date friend Chantel. Chantel had my cell phone because we traded numbers last night, so she was able to call me and let me know that we had to reschedule. Crazy how things work out. If Chantel hadn't emailed me about this Bible study, and hadn't invited me to dinner, and we hadn't gotten each other's numbers, it would've been a big mess!

Okay, so bummer that I don't get to interview, but now I get to go shopping since I'm out anyway, right? So, I'm driving down 121, and I see something funny in the bed of the Dodge truck in front of me. I get a little closer and see that it's a flame. His truck is on fire and he doesn't know it!! I see the guy next to me speed up to flag this guy down and tell him to pull over, so while he does that, I call 9-1-1. I told them exactly what mile we were at and that the truck would be on the right shoulder. Anyway, the driver cut across 3 lanes of traffic, pulled off into the grass, and jumped out right as I see his truck go completely up in flames. It was engulfed with fire! I was so thankful that he jumped out in time! By the time I could pull over, it was too late to be much help, but I did hear sirens in the background, so I knew I had done what I could. SO SCARY!!

Well, I got safely home, and Andy called to reschedule the interview for 10:30 tomorrow (his day off) at Starbucks. Even better!! I'm praying SO hard that this is the job God had planned for me all along. It sounds almost too good to be true, so I'm trying not to get my hopes up. I'd appreciate your prayers, and I'll let ya know what happens. Thanks for putting up with my very long and random story.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My MAN!!!

Molly tagged me to do this, so here goes...

The Game of Tag about your MAN:

1. Who is your man? Jared Ryan Thornton

2. How long have you been together? Married for 5, but 8 years total

3. How long did you date? We dated "unofficially" for about 3 months, and then we were "official" for 2 years and 2 months, then were engaged for 7 months.

4. How old is your man? 28

5. Who eats more? Well, it used to be him 100%, but after his last tour to Iraq, he doesn't eat as much. What happened?!?!

6. Who said "I love you" first? He did...FINALLY. I wanted to for about a year before he ever told me, but was too stubborn to give in. Stupid, huh?

7. Who is taller? Ryan by almost an inch!

8. Who sings better? Not to toot my own horn, but I think we would both agree that I question. Ryan won't even let me hear him sing, but I think he can actually carry a tune.

9. Who is smarter? Both of us at different things. I'm smarter at English, spelling & random trivia kind of stuff, and Ryan's smarter at scientific things and real-life/practical stuff. We're a good balance.

10. Whose temper is worse? MINE...although I wouldn't want to be the one to make Ryan mad for the 1 in a million chance he does lose his temper.

11. Who does the laundry? Both of us, but usually me.

12. Who takes out the garbage? Usually me.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Harley & I do...Jack and Ryan sleep on the left, but when Ryan is gone (which is MOST of the time) the dogs and I sleep right in the middle. I learned in my military wife days that it's more depressing to have an empty half of the bed!

14. Who pays the bills? Me...always.

15. Who is better with the computer? Me...if our computer is messing up, I just ask Ryan to leave the room and it suddenly works. It's become a family joke that Ryan's presence makes computers crash. It's pretty hilarious.

16. Who mows the lawn? Lately it's been Ryan (praise the Lord!), but in North Carolina it was me or the yard guy I finally hired.

17. Who cooks dinner? Me. Geez...what's wrong with this picture?!?!

18. Who drives when you are together? Ryan...I think my driving terrifies him.

19. Who pays when you go out?'s all the same account though, so it doesn't really matter does it?

20. Who is most stubborn? I'll have to admit, we are both equally hard-headed in different circumstances. Our children don't have a prayer!

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Ryan

22. Whose parents do you see the most? Well, we see Ryan's more often for shorter periods of time since they live close, but we see mine for longer periods of time when we do see I don't really know.

23. Who kissed who first? Ryan kissed me...while watching Austin Powers on the couch at my duplex our Sophomore year. The collar of his shirt got caught in my mouth, so now we have to re-enact that moment often. He also didn't call me the next day, so I thought it was over and that I was a bad kisser!! Obviously not.

24. Who asked who out? He asked front of our entire speech class. I was mortified, but how could I say no?!? Smart guy.

25. Who proposed? He did.

26. Who is more sensitive? Me...absolutely 100%.

27. Who has more friends? I probably have more that I actually keep in touch with, but we're probably equal on that one.

28. Who has more siblings? Ryan...1 step-bro & 1 step-sis.

29. Who wears the pants in the family? Is it terrible for me to say that I think I might!?!?

I tag Robin, Natalie, Tiffani & Andrea

Monday, September 17, 2007

Friday Night Lights

WARNING COOPER COUGAR FANS!!! I was a traitor of the worst kind on Friday night. I went to the Flower Mound Marcus game for the 10 year reunion of the '97 State Champions. Does anyone remember what happened in '97??? The Marcus Marauders traveled to Shotwell Stadium in Abilene and pummelled the Cougars, knocking them out of the playoffs. I hated them for it because we were supposed to have another shot at state our Senior year! The Marauders went on to win state that year, and little did I know I would fall in love with and marry #32 five years later. It's funny the way things work out.

So, on Friday night, the '97 State Champs were recognized at halftime of the Marcus vs. Mansfield game and were hailed by the announcer as "The best football team in Flower Mound Marcus history". Even though I'm a Cougar at heart, it was pretty cool to see Ryan reunite with his old football buddies and relive all those memories from their Senior year. I even refrained from wearing a Cooper shirt...mainly because I couldn't find one. There was a dinner before the game where they showed parts of the highlight video. Then all of the players and their wives had sideline passes and reserved seats in the end zone during the game. All of the current players came out at halftime and lined up for the '97 team to come shake their hands. Then the announcer called out each player's name. The stands were packed, and the guys received a huge standing ovation. After the game, they reserved a room for us at Life's a Beach in F-Mound where we ate, drank, and hung out telling old stories. It was so much fun!!

Here's Ryan scoring a touchdown in the State game 10 years ago, which set a record for the most TD's scored in a 5A state championship game in Texas! I think the record has been broken since then, but I can still brag on him if I want to.

Here's a few from the ceremony at Friday night's game:

Friday, September 07, 2007

5 Years of Wedded Bliss

5 years ago today I married the man of my dreams and became Mrs. Jared Ryan Thornton. In ways it seems like we've been together our entire lives, but it also seems like just yesterday I was saying "I do." In five years we've been through more than some couples go through in a lifetime, and I'm incredibly blessed to have an amazing man to go through it with. We've lived in 5 different cities & 3 different states, bought 2 houses, 2 cars & 1 puppy, endured 3 military deployments totaling 26 months apart from each other, made it through 8 months of dive school in Houston, and now here we are. With all that we've been through, I feel like our life is just beginning!!

Last weekend (a weekend early), we "got away" for our anniversary even though it wasn't very far. We went to the Embassy Suites Outdoor World in Grapevine, which was the hotel we stayed at before flying to Mexico for our honeymoon. The first time we stayed there, we didn't get to relax much because we checked in at 11:00 pm after driving from Abilene after the wedding, and then we had to leave at 4:30 a.m. to catch our 5:45 a.m. flight. What were we thinking?!? Anyway, this time was much more relaxing, and we had NO schedule which was the best part. I must be the coolest wife ever to voluntarily book a hotel that is directly attached to Bass Pro Shop. There was definitely a magnetic force pulling Ryan to that store all weekend, and I patiently waited while he bought a new fishing pole, some tackle, and got his hunting license. How romantic! We went to a few wine tastings, ate good food, shopped, and just laid around being "us". That's my favorite thing to do!

Friday, August 31, 2007

More House Pictures

For those of you who read my last post, I told you that I broke my camera in the process of taking pictures. To be honest, I was actually getting in the shower to take a picture of the master bathroom when I dropped it. Oops! BUT, I have to brag on myself and tell you that I performed "camera surgery" and got it working again! It isn't in 100% tip-top shape, but it takes pictures, so it'll do for now! Anyway, here are more pictures of the changes we've made to the house.

Here's the dining room before...

And here it is now. We've probably done the most in here. Thanks to Ryan and the guys for putting in our new floors, baseboards and light fixture!

This was the study...the dark maroon was so morbid and creepy! It made me claustrophobic. My mom was waiting here as soon as we closed on the house and helped me paint this room first!

Now it's Ryan's "man room" complete with Marine Corps, Dallas Cowboy, and cigar paraphernalia. The pictures didn't really get the color's kindof a dark olive green, which turned out pretty cool.

The kitchen before...

And now...

The living room before...

We actually didn't change anything in the living room except for putting our own stuff in.

The master bathroom...

And the guest bathroom...

So that's what we've been up to the past month. Our door is always open for anyone who wants to come visit!