Monthly Archives: April 2010

Frisky and Cookie

Standard

The day has finally come….yesterday, my dad had to make the painful decision of putting our cats down to sleep. They were 19 years old which means they have lived in three different states and something like 8 different homes. They have been around and been companions through incredible highs and lows. It’s crazy how I can pretend not to really care that much about animals, but I think it’s more of a protective thing. I remember after Kisha died I told myself I wasn’t going to love anybody else again in my life – there were already enough people that I loved that I would have to lose and I didn’t want to go through it any more than I had to. Why is is that loving and losing hurts so bad? Even when it is ‘just animals’. And especially since everything and everyone will die in His own timing…

They were a part of our family; my parents even jokingly ‘shared custody’ after their divorce. I don’t really know what to say to sum it all up. There have been a lot of tears shed by four people over the last two days, especially my poor dad who had to go by himself with the kitties to the vet. They both passed on at the same time and my dad left with tears streaming down his face.

Some memories I have:

-Picking them out from the farm’s litter in Indiana. I knew from the moment I saw Frisky that she was mine! However, she was a little, well, Frisky – and ran all over the farm (hence her name). Becca saw Cookie and immediately chose him as well – and he put up quite the chase too. The owners were a little concerned because Cookie had fallen off the 6′ rabbits’ cage when he was born and weren’t sure what the damage was.

-Anybody who knows Cookie knows that there was some sort of ‘damage’. That poor cat could never run at full speed without veering sideways. And over the past few years, poor thing couldn’t even shake himself off without falling over sideways. It was pretty endearing though. I believe it was my friend Clare who did a great impression of Cookie.

-I could dress Frisky up in clothes, jam a pacifier in her mouth, and stuff her in a high chair and she would just let me have a photo shoot. She was so patient. Frisky had to live with me through my highly imaginative childhood and I’d like to say she enjoyed every minute, but hey, we must have done something right – she made it 19 years!

-I also remember the first weekend we had them was the weekend of the Indy 500. My parents were gone all day at the race and we had a babysitter. A few hours in, we realized we couldn’t find the cats! We searched high and low – through the field in our backyard, scouring the streets, etc. My parents came home to two devasted kids and a distraught babysitter. Hours later, we found them stuck behind the refrigerator in the garage!

-At dinner one time, we were all enjoying our meal when we heard what sounded like lightning! We all looked at each other and wondered what it was and we ran upstairs to find that Cookie had fallen into the bathtub that was still full! Out ran a scared – and soaked – cat!

They really were some of the sweetest cats. They were great little cuddlers and were more ‘dog-like’ than cats. They had very unique personalities and were very well loved by our family, particularly my dad over the past five years. He’d have his morning ritual of eating breakfast out on the porch with them, petting them, talking to them. Then he’d come home to their meowing faces waiting not so patiently at the glass door for dinner where he’d enjoy a nighttime ritual of petting, brushing, and catching up with them.

They were definitely well loved. And now they are very much missed.

Advertisements

Weekend Festivities

Standard

And things just keep getting better!! Josiah had plans on coming in town this weekend to do some wedding prep stuff before he moved back in the middle of June….however, before getting on his boat, his boss called him in and asked if he would be interested in leaving a month early with some severance pay so that they can hire and train new cooks before summer camp! YES PLEASE!! I’ll take him back on the mainland!!

So, he was supposed to get in Wednesday evening into Dana Point, but the weather was questionable and they canceled all boats except for one to Long Beach. I hustled and got out of town – and made it up there with NO traffic! We swang by Jamie’s house in the LBC to pick up a bag she had left and had a great time chatting with her dad who we absolutely love! Then, it was back down to Oceanside to meet his parents and grandparents for dinner! We made it there in no time and had a WONDERFUL time at Jolly Roger’s by the fire eating good food and enjoying great company. Went home to enjoy dessert to celebrate our engagement and Grandpa Cerullo and Carol’s 2nd wedding anniversary! Sat around the table and played the ‘UnGame’ which basically just leaves room for conversation – I sat there amazed that this is my new family. With my hubs-to-be on my side and new in-laws and grandparent-in-laws (is there a term for this?!)…all who absolutely love the Lord and are absolutely precious!! I drove home smiling the whole way 🙂

Thursday I went to work and then headed out to meet up with Josiah at his friends’ house in Escondido. It was awesome getting to meet and hang out with Bree, Luke and their baby Logan in person! I’ve heard all about them and it was nice to put a face with a name. We enjoyed some intense time of UNO, lots of laugh, and we got to hear one of Luke’s new songs. Fabulous!! Then, Josiah and I headed off to get some couple time! We grabbed a bite to eat and headed to the movies – Clash of the Titans it was (which is ironic because I remember seeing a trailer and thinking, it’s a good thing Josiah doesn’t live here right now or I’d be in that movie….); however, I actually enjoyed it. Maybe it was just the company I got to sit next to – but the movie was also decent.

Friday we got up and were ready to knock out some wedding errands! We putzed around in Oceanside and then headed down to San Diego to go to the mall to register. Well, this lasted all of about an hour before we were overwhelmed, over it, and hungry! So we opted to take a lunch break and decided heading over to USD to watch the end of swim practice in the sun (and one of Jamie’s swimmer’s worked with Josiah last year on the island…small world, big God!) sounded much more enticing than finishing our registry! So, on we went! We got to see Sarah and then enjoyed some WONDERFUL time on the BOUNCY trampoline that the divers use for practice. It was quite dangerous, but thoroughly enjoyable! We spent Friday evening taking engagement pictures out at the Harbor and hanging out downtown with our friend, Jo, who is our wedding photographer! It was a blast! Although a little awkward to be on the receiving end of pictures all the time…might be surprising to hear me say that, but it was!

Saturday morning, Josiah headed back over for round 2! We picked up Jo and headed to La Jolla Cove – Josiah’s idea – and it was PERFECT! I can’t wait to see how all of those pictures turn out! After dropping Jo back off, we headed up to Oceanside to go to church at Healing Streams and it was INCREDIBLE. We all got to share our sides of the ‘first encounter’ and we were incredibly blessed to have the church pray for us. Josiah got to teach, his grandpa spoke about his trip to Africa, and another member, Matt, blessed us with some words as well. A very blessed evening up there….I continue to stand in awe. After meeting lots of new faces and mingling, we headed to Cold Stone and to rent a movie, ‘Gamers’. Don’t watch it. We’d heard the warnings, but wanted to decide ourselves. Should have taken heed to what was spoken.

Sunday, we headed down to church at Horizon Park Chapel so he could meet the youth group. Afterwards, it was up to pick up my mom in Solana Beach and meet his mom for lunch in Del Mar. We had a LOVELY time at Milton’s and then headed over to the Bridal Expo. Josiah was such a trooper, and despite verbal complaints, we have photographic evidence he enjoyed himself as well. So nice to have the love, support, and encouragement of the moms on this journey! Once we wrapped things up there, it was off to Dana Point – or so we thought! Lynn accidentally locked her keys in the car, but thankfully my car was parked about a mile down the street so we were able to awkwardly solicit a ride and jam in the back of a Neon and had a sweet couple drop us off at my car so we could get Josiah to the boat in time!

He headed out at 5…and it’s so exciting to think that he’ll be back so soon so we can start doing all the daily stuff together!! Be praying for this time of transition…for Josiah – that the Lord would provide the right job and the right place to live for now. And, for us, that we would continue to be transformed into His image as a couple!!

Husband Hunt Complete…We’re ENGAGED!!!

Standard

As most of you are well aware, WE ARE ENGAGED!!! So for those of you ‘big picture’ people, you can be done reading now. For those of you who love the details (like myself!) – Read on, my little readers!!

As most of you are also well aware of, this has been a ‘fast and furious’ (as one friend described it) romance…one that has clearly been led by our sovereign Lord and one in which He remains the center! It has been a beautiful thing to delight in the Lord and watch Him give me the desires of my heart. To live in such a way that I was able to approach His throne boldly and lay my request down at His feet. What an answer he has given me!! The husband hunt is over. And successful. Above and beyond what my heart could have imagined.

My sister had been planning on coming down to San Diego for a friend’s wedding this weekend. She arrived on Friday so we could enjoy some sister time (including lots of catching up, laughter, shopping, and sushi!!). She called my dad and said he should fly over to help celebrate her birthday early on Sunday (my mom and Jim already had plans of coming down to spend Sunday with us). Well, pops jumped on it and made a reservation to fly over on Sunday morning. How fun!! I dropped Becca off at the wedding in La Jolla on Saturday and spent the day writings lists, organizing, and hanging out with roommates.

Saturday night, Josiah and I were enjoying a phone conversation when he mentioned that he found out he had Sunday off. I immediately started shrieking and stating that he just HAD to come over to the mainland in order to meet my dad and sister in person. However, it was 10:00 at night and in order to catch the Catalina Express, he had to have already made reservations to get a boat over to Avalon (island life is no easy thing, my friends). He told me not to get my hopes up, but that he’d attempt to contact the office to figure out details. Well, guess what?! There WAS somebody in the office and they said that it was doable! I just checked with my mom to see if she could pick him up Sunday on their way down and drop him off EARLY Monday morning – to which, of course, she had no problems with! We decided not to tell my dad and sister. After getting it all confirmed, I went straight into the family room and did a little dance in front of my roommates declaring that Josiah was coming in town!!

Sunday, I picked my dad up at the airport and we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and nap. I was in communication with my mom regarding arrival times. We were planning on meeting at Marina Village (which is where we’re planning on getting married) so that my dad and sister could see the place (and unbeknownst to them, Josiah too!). I got confirmation that they had successfully picked up Josiah and were on the way to La Jolla to pick up my sister and surprise her. After they got Bec, they let me know and dad and I started preparing to leave. This is where all the tricks began. Mom sent a text stating they were stuck in traffic and at a standstill (you can ask them about specifics – but it went something along the lines of Josiah asking Becca if she wanted a brother and then suggesting they go pick out a ring! So, it was not traffic that was the hold up – Josiah had decided on the boat ride over that today might be the day! My family concurred.) So, there my dad and I are at the wedding location just hanging out and getting updates on the Master’s that we had left behind. What seemed like hours later, the rest of the family finally arrived!! Dad was surprised and happy to meet Josiah – and I was THRILLED to see him!! My mom attempted to distract me so that Josiah and my dad could have ‘a talk’ but she is not a very good liar or distracter, and so her attempts in conversation just made me more nervous. Oh well! Valiant effort

We ate at a deli next to Marina Village and enjoyed our time there – I just loved having everyone together! And, of course, there was a wedding going on and we loved the dresses, so we had to talk to the bridesmaids for details. Then, Josiah and I had to stand in front of the arch to make sure that we could even fit there!! We could! We spent the afternoon wandering around and then back at the house watching the end of the Master’s (for my dad’s benefit) and then playing Liverpool. Around 5pm, Becca and I started getting ready to head to dinner.

By this point, a few things had happened that had raised my suspicions. I was looking through Josiah’s camera and did run across a picture of the ring. However, it was still in the case and I didn’t get a close up view – and I didn’t know if he had actually bought it. I was just glad it appeared to be like everything I loved and wanted. Later, while in the car, I put my hand on his lap which happened to be RIGHT where the box was in his pocket. He quickly grabbed my hand to hold it/reposition it away from the aforementioned ring box. Still, I was not thinking proposal. I thought he had probably brought the ring to show my family and would ask at a later point.

We had reservations at a restaurant downtown called OceanAire. Absolutely FANTASTIC!! We were there to celebrate Becca’s birthday a week early and the menus even had a little ‘Happy Birthday’ at the top for her. Things were going along just merrily. Everyone got along great, Josiah is already an extension of this family – we were all laughing and talking and giving each other a hard time (okay, mainly Josiah, poor guy. He is such a trooper but do note that I stood up for him and really he was laughing just as hard with everything!) and conversation was easy. So, the evening progressed. Food was delicious! Company was amazing! And, really, I can’t stress enough how delicious the food was. Or how amazing the company was

So, after the main meals had been served, the waiter came over with additional oysters and placed them in front of my sister. Looking back, I did notice her make eye contact with my dad like ‘uh-oh, this is not mine!’ and Josiah quickly intercepted them and placed them in front of me stating he thought they were for me. At this point I kinda knew. I opened the beautiful shell in the middle, and there my ring sat! I looked over and he was on one knee and ready to recite his little spiel (my dad lectured me on interrupting, but there is always so much to say!). I don’t remember the specifics, but it was somewhere along the lines of having prayed for two years for a woman like me and God answering all of His prayers and meeting his needs and wanting to spend the rest of his life with me…and would I be his wife? To this, I replied ‘I will! I do! I don’t know how to answer this!’ But YES!!!! We hugged and we had our first kiss! Rated G, of course, as all the family was surrounding us  Everyone was quite shocked that I didn’t scream or squeal or cry. But, I did start shaking I was so excited and I couldn’t even eat anymore, I was so thrilled! I just kept replaying the whole day and was just in shock from how incredible the past few months have been! We enjoyed the rest of the dinner and I kept staring at my ring and wanting to announce to everyone passing, ‘We are engaged!’

After arriving back home, we got some downtime and Josiah and I went on our first little outing as an engaged couple. Right up to the 5th floor where there are some lounge chairs, open air and a view of the city. It was wonderful reliving the evening, praying, talking, laughing, and of course kissing! We returned later and I announced the news to the security guard basically soliciting a ‘congratulations!’ and then did several engagement dances – all of which I’m told are better off not being performed in public! I don’t know, I think they’re pretty great and an accurate representation about how I feel about all of this – my fiancé, Josiah, my Savior, Jesus Christ, my family and their love and support – EVERYTHING. I am amazed. Inspired. Speechless (okay, that was a stretch there…). And, most importantly, we are ENGAGED!!!

We will keep you posted on all of the details…thank you for your prayers, support, and encouragement!

Another Year Gone By….

Standard

And in some ways it feels like yesterday…and in other ways, it seems like the six years it has been. People have said you never truly get over death, you just learn how to cope, how to change your life, how to assimilate to a life without people who have taken a part of your heart with them. Over the past six years, there has been a lot of change in my life. After losing Kisha, I was devastated. Distraught. It was a pain I would never wish upon anyone, although I have way too many people in my life who can empathize with the untimely loss of loved one. In spite of all of this, God is good. He is faithful, He is merciful, He is true. The Bible says that, ‘in this, you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith – being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.’ I cannot say I have always rejoiced – meaning chosen joy over and over again in spite of all of this. But, the Lord has brought me to a place where I can be grateful for the friendship I had the opportunity to share with Kisha and where I can be grateful for all I learned from her through her life and her devastating death.

I heard a song the other day that rang true and brought tears to my eyes:

Matthew Gray’s ‘Save a Place For Me’

As her anniversary has drawn closer, the Lord has done an incredible job in encouraging me. A few noteworthy things:

1. From Beth Moore’s ‘So Long, Insecurity’:

“God has promised that His grace will be given according to our need and that not only will we survive by the skin of our teeth, if we trust Him and hang on to Him for dear life – grieving, yes, but as those who have hope – we will also thrive again. We can give ourselves to something greater than painlessness. We can give ourselves to purpose. If we cooperate, good will indeed to come to us and others around us, and glory will most assuredly come to God. Otherwise, He would have forbidden the tragedy. Those of us who are in Christ will also spend eternity with the loved ones who have shared our faith, and this life will seem like a vapor in comparison.

Romans 8:18 promises that the future we ahve coming is so glorious that nothing we’ve suffered will compare to the magnitude and splendor of it.’

2. A few months ago, I wrote a post on the plant I got from her mom from her funeral (read it here). During that time that day when He was so clearly using the plant to speak to me, I remember vividly hearing God promise that He would bring a bloom by her birthday. Now, let me tell you, this plant has not bloomed in almost two years. And I was a little skeptical. After the rabbit attack, the plant just wasn’t the same. UNTIL TWO DAYS AGO!!! As I went to water the plant, there it was. Still hidden to the untrained eye. But, upon closer inspection, very clearly a BLOOM!!! This was a promise I received in January!! And, I’m so grateful that I wrote it in a journal to go back and be reminded. God is so faithful.

3. For more information surrounding the details of her death and how intimately the Lord was involved in each detail – not that it was His heart to have this happen, but for whatever reason, it was allowed to happen – you can read the post from last year here and the one from the previous year here. Through all that happened, He offered His protection and extended His love and mercy to me, her family, and friends that were all left broken after losing her.

If you did know Kisha personally, please post your favorite memory. Maybe you didn’t know her, but have somehow been impacted by her life and what God did through that…please post that too. If you are on facebook, please join the group ‘In Memory of LaKisha Gentry’.

Spring Break ’10

Standard

Friday: Napped after work. Can’t remember what else…
Saturday: Early morning breakfast with Holly. Boot camp work out with Susan. Helped at Job Fair and ate lunch with Cindy. Jewelry party with Susan, Cindy, and co. Got Ra take out and came home to rest.
Sunday: Church. Lunch with Jen and her fabulous family. Prayer meeting for Maria. Drove to Orange County late.
Monday: Breakfast and time with mom. Errands. Jumped on boat to Catalina. Arrived at 1:15pm to be embraced by my love. Walked. Ate. Laughed. Fell in love even more. Played putt-putt. Lost. Forgave him. Walked more. Ate on the sea. Returned to camp. Watched movie. Slept.
Tuesday: Read. Got to see Josiah almost first thing in the morning. Ate breakfast. Hung out. Took a hike. Saw a rattlesnake and some buffalo. Was fearless. Took lots of pictures. Laughed. Talked. Loved. Ate. Drank. Was merry. Got boat back to camp. Hung out.
Wednesday: Up early. To work a triple split shift with my man. Made almost 300 sandwiches. Read by beach. Worked til 7:30. The Truth Project. Loved time with ‘my future’.
Thursday: Woke up without alarm. Read. Relaxed. Ate. Helped a little bit in the kitchen. Watched Josiah work. Loved it. Got on boat to catch another boat. Napped. Met mom and Jim for dinner. Saw ‘The Last Song’ with mom. Irene picked me up. Yogurtland. Talked. Met Jen, Sam, Jamie, and Robyn at Disneyland Hotel. Left late.
Friday: Slept in. Ate. Packed. Drove to AZ. Dinner with dad. TV time. Bed.
Saturday: Slept in. Ate breakfast with dad. Worked at the office. Looked for houses for him. Yardwork. Got ready. Lindsay over for dinner. Great conversation. Laughed. Cried. Love that girl. TV time with dad. Read. Passed out.
Sunday: Breakfast with pops. Happy Easter. Church. Cried. Sang. Amazed by Christ. Daily. But particularly today. Saw Lyndsey, Kevin and Grace. Was loved by Gracie. Lunch. More work at office. Watched bball game and golf. Hung out with pops. Went to Kevin and Lyndsey’s for dinner. Talked. Love that family. Bedtime.
Monday: Breakfast with pops (same thing – cinnamon toast). Packed. Shopped. Office with intentions of working. Talked about Josiah. Showed pictures. Shared stories. Worked minimally. Lunch with dad at Chipotle. Departed. Dairy Queen stop. Talked to Josiah – love him. Have I mentioned that? Talked to Alisha. Jenn McCormick. Listened to ‘Cross’ by James Patterson. Got flat tire near Alpine. Border patrol helped me. So did highway patrol. Home around 8. Unpacked. Talked to Mr. Dicken. Chatted with roommates and Mistie. Bedtime.
Tuesday: Back to work. Another new employee – such a blessing. Kids were great. Love my job.