Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ready To Resume

I sit here tonight and try to remember all the good things to write about since I last left off, December 6, 2011 - many happy occasions come to mind.

There was Christmas in Mississippi (BAD IDEA TO TRAVEL ALONE ON CHRISTMAS DAY WITH TWO KIDS)

My 34th Birthday (loaded myself up on wrinkle cream for this one - 1/2 way to social security...)


James-Ethan's Baptism


Jaiden's first dance recital (cutest thing ever)
 

a promotion at work (Program Manager :0)


and the continued blessing of a life everyday with two precious children
and all the blessings
that accompany being there mom
(my pride and joy)
James-Ethan and Jaiden Lee Harris


On the opposite side of the spectrum, and reasons that have contributed to my lack of "blogging" has been the diagnosis of Cancer to my family which later resulted in the loss of my step-mom, Paula
Paula was only part of my family for a short time but she brought much joy and happiness to all who were around her. She will forever be remembered and loved by all who knew her.

 and finally... the end of a chapter in my life.

I am so thankful for my family and friends. I can look back and understand the purpose of individuals placed in my life over the past 12 months. For those of you who have listened to me laugh or cry, and who have encouraged me to stay SANE  (and you know who you are)... Thank You.

I have a strong belief that life is about balance. I also believe that life presents challenges as opportunities...maybe that we may grow stronger with the obstacles to help make better decisions in the future, or just maybe - that we can assist someone in need as they struggle through a similar path. I believe everyone deserves happiness & that includes me.

As I resume my blog, to share all the stories & updates in my life, I hope you who are reading enjoy. I have missed updating you all & look forward to continuing my blog.

missiplaced mississippian
(Jess)


  


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Heavy Heart

Last Night, God Called another Angel Home. I am so sad and heartbroken of the tragedy of Amanda Cossey Price. Most of you who read my blog know the story but for anyone who does not, Amanda was shot and killed last night outside her home in New Albany, Mississippi. Amanda's husband Ron, NA High School Football Coach, was also shot and has injuries but is expected to be OK. They have a daughter, Molly Addison Price, who is 3 years old. The police have no suspects and are offering $20,000 reward for any information.

Amanda's father was my preacher at Glendale Baptist Church, in Glen MS from the time I was in 3rd grade until he retired around the late 1990's. Glendale was and is as most small town country churches are, very close knit and members who are not even related are considered extended family. Brother Bob, Ms. Cathy, Sherry, Jay, and Amanda are in most memories that I have as a child growing up. For years, my "seat" in church was right behind Ms. Cathy and Amanda. I remember years when she and Ron were dating and he was right beside them too. :) I remember vividly when Brother Bob prayed with me at VBS in the 5th grade the prayer of Salvation and later Baptized me. The Cossey's are good and faithful servants. One of my fondest and clearest memories of church activities with Amanda was when we were in a musical led by Ms. Mary Irvin. That was the very first time that I was going to sing a SOLO at church with the SONSHINE CHOIR. In that program, Amanda had a solo also. I still remember the words to the song she sang.

Here goes......
Smile, its good for your face – Smile it will brighten the Place – Nothing Can Cloud up and Uncloudy Day like a frown (like a frown)
Smile let sunshine come through, Smile it’s easy to do…. Just make sure the corners of your mouth
Turn Up and Not Down!





Amanda's solo was the following verse, I can still hear her sweet little voice echoing this:and clear.....
“The prettiest thing you can wear on your face is a smile
A diamond or pearl may shine like the twinkle in your eyes
BUT
A smile is never out of style and welcomed on the streets out of town
So be sure that the corners of your mouth turn up and not down”

I have fond memories of that program with all the gang from Glendale. In my memories, Amanda was always smiling like the song talks about. She and her sweet spirit will be missed by all who knew her. I know she is smiling in heaven today.

To Ron, Ms. Cathy, Brother Bob, Jay, Sherry, Molly Addison and all other members of this sweet family, you are in my sincerest thoughts and prayers. I pray for Amanda's sweet spirit to dwell on in your family forever until you are rejoicing with her in heaven.





He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving & Black Friday Shopping!



This year for Thanksgiving I went to Cloudcroft, NM with my friends, The Rystads, for Thanksgiving. It was a beautiful drive from El Paso up into the Mountains of NM. As I make the drive from the desert of El Paso I find myself in sheer amazement of how the difference in the terrain over a 150 stretch of miles. El Paso is brown, flat and very few trees. As you drive on Highway 54 into the mountains is a beautiful scenery change. It's the closest thing to the feeling of "HOME" that is in West. There is grass, trees, and in this season of the year, it was beautiful to see the leaves on the trees changing colors.
April's Grandmother and Grandfather along with her parents, Billie and Lacy, did a great job preparing a wonderful Thanksgiving Meal. The boys were all decked out in their Cowboy's Attire for the afternoon game. As the afternoon progressed April and I established our "Game Plan" for Black Friday shopping!
Later in the afternoon, after the Cowboys Won, we headed back to El Paso for shopping and I started not feeling well. What A Bummer. We went ahead and ventured out to Wal-Mart at 10 and it was MUCHO MADHOUSE! I couldn't believe it, I was actully a little scared. Border town Walmarts draw some people that are "SERIOUS" shoppers and make me feel a little leary. It's almost like a battlefield....
We walked around the store, once and left. We decided to head out to the Outlet Mall next. Similiar situation with the traffic as to Wal-Mart. What is unusual to me is that I have done Black Friday shopping for years, and can usually hang with the "best of them" when it comes to shoppers but this year, I had NO DESIRE once I got on site. The fact that I didn't feel well added to it. I ended up heading back home until Friday Morning and then went back out for a while. I picked up a few things, started feeling sick again, and went back home!
Although the shopping that I had planned did not meet my expectations, I did enjoy a peaceful, quite Thanksgiving with friends. The food was great, the scencery was beautiful, and I realize not just on Thanksgiving but every day how important good friends are to me.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

THANKFUL FOR




On the week of Thanksgiving what is more appropriate to write about than your blessings? My two greatest blessings are out of town this week with their dad. They are James-Ethan and Jaiden Harris. This year my family is especially grateful for the health of papaw Helton. Most of you know him as Mr. Bob. Papaw had a massive heart attack while at a rehab center with my Mamaw (Ms. Effie) in March. Had it not been for the fact that he was in a medical facility, we would have lost him. Our family is forever grateful for his life, his example, and the wonderful people at Iuka and Corinth Hospitals that encouraged us each step of the way. We are so blessed that papaw and mamaw are doing so well.


Although my productivity for the week is through the roof with the kids gone, I miss them TONS! They will be home on Friday and in time to get the house all decorated for Christmas! Other Blessings that I have are my wonderful family, my job, my home, my church, my friends and the ever enduring Mercy, Faith and Grace of God.

This year I put more effort into our Thanksgiving Meal at work than I usually do since I had the time available. I brought real "southern dressing", a pecan pie, and sweet tea. All of which were a hit! There is just something about southern cooking that is desirable in West Texas.

As we were about to eat our meal today, James Pleasant gave a very humbling speech about reflection. As I was sitting there listening to him speak he brought up obvious blessings that we all take for granted. He mentioned health, family, jobs in a tough economy, friendships and lastly he recognized the privilege that we all have in our organization at Fort Bliss, to "Make A Difference" in the lives of soldiers. About that time I noticed that in a room of 45 plus people I was only ONE of FIVE that is not a retired military veteran. What an awesome and humbling experience to work with so many people that were willing to lay down their life for our country!

This year, when you readers count your Blessings, remember to be thankful for the freedoms that we have in the USA. Also, be Thankful for the Veterans that have served and for their families who sacrifice by their service.



Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

God Bless our Serviceman and Women and forever Bless our Veterans.



Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! To My Family across the miles, love you all and wish I was there with you all. Much Love

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I am so proud...




James-Ethan has been playing soccer in an afterschool program at his school, Lujan Chavez. We signed up in August, paid our $25.00, and went to the first practice. On that practice, Coach Raul handed out a practice schedule for the remainder of the season. I COULD NOT believe my eyes. We had just committed ourselves for not 1, not 2 but 3 NIGHTS A WEEK SOCCER engagement. Immediately I'm thinking thoughts such as: "This must be a mistake", "Seriously, he is in 1st grade", "How will I ever get to go to the gym again", "Should we quit", etc. I realized quickly that I had become face to face with the sacrifices of parenthood and decided to stick it out.
I remember at the first practice being so annoyed at the other parents corresponding to the coach in a language that I could not comprehend. I just knew that I was going to be the black sheep and dreaded the duration of what seemed to be an endless season. Our team was a combination of 22 players (K and 1st Grade). James-Ethan towered above most and as usual, stuck out like a sore thumb with that pretty blond hair. Feeling somewhat like an outsider I found myself with my chair closer to the playground to supervise Jaiden than with the other families. There were evenings of practice that it almost felt like soccer practice was a mini-college tailgate. There were tents, tables, chairs, food, etc. Realizing the culture of the majority of El Paso I have confirmed that Soccer is THE sport that is taken serious.
Our first game rolled around and I was surprised that Coach had chosen James-Ethan to play goalie. From across the park (nearby the playground), I heard coach say: "James, you are gonna be our goalie. I need someone who is fearless to play this position, and I believe you are the perfect choice." Coach threw him a pair of gloves and sent him on his way down field. Now, I have to admit, I was not really up on soccer. I understand the objective but that was about it. I quickly began to see James-Ethan transform from the child who had been rolling on the ground from distraction at soccer practice, become very focused and agressive during each game. His role was important and he was good at it. As the season went on, he became perfected and the team had zero losses. I was so proud to see him kick the ball in and go flying the air midway down the field. I often time thought about how if the family could see him kick that ball, a conversation would begin about SEC football in his future! :)
From August until October the season grew on me. This group of people whom I had found myself distant from at the early season had became like a family. I eventually moved my Royal Blue (team color) chair over with the other parents and began to interact other mom's and dad's and would watch Jaiden from the sidelines while she played on the playground. Soccer was THE SOCIAL event that she needed and looked forward to with her friends.
By early November the weather was cooling down and The Stars were still undefeated. I began to wonder, how long can this really go on? Around the 8th of November The Stars placed first in area. Next was district tournaments BUT the time changed. It was getting dark earlier and cold earlier. What did coach do? ... We moved practice up and practiced MORE days a week. Annoyed as I was, I couldn't break the commitment after our team had worked so HARD.
Finally the district calendar was out. The stars were slated to play Oschee Elementary School on Thursday November 17 at 4:30. I requested off work and had my plan ready for the tournament game. But wait, on Wednesday November 16, the night I was going to see Lady Antebellum with my friend Hollye, coach sent a message that the game had been changed until that day. My first thought was, I am gonna miss the concert but quickly realized that was not the most important thing at the time. The game was to start at 4:30 and it was 3:45. Can you say "PANIC". I ran out of my office at work like a manic to head home to get James-Ethan. On the way there I learned that his dad was already on his way to pick him up. Thank Goodness - He was still gonna be late but not AS LATE! All I could think about is the traffic that I was going to face as I was trying to leave post with the soldiers at PT and later the traffic at the concert. I put on my flashers and proceeded with caution. I was annoyed with coach! How do you mess up the game schedule for the most important game of the season?
So, we got to the game a little late and were down by 2. As soon as coach saw James-Ethan, he started screaming, "James hurry up" "James hurry up". There were 2 moms putting gloves on him as fast as they could and he took the field. He was all over the place. The other team had a great offense. James-Ethan was running, diving, catching and any other movement to keep the team from scoring. We eventually tied the game after being behind. He had an AWESOME game. There was one play where he jumped and caught the soccer ball and the look on his face was priceless. Everyone was cheering so loud for him, especially all the sideline coaches (mom's). At the end of the second quarter, we were tied again. Everyone was stressing! All of a sudden, the other team kicked the ball and it went right in between James-Ethan's feet. Score for the other team. We were down by one and not much time to go. Our boys got so upset that our offense couldn't make it happen. At the end of the game, we were down by 1.
There were kids crying - parents crying and the thought of wishing we would have been there ON TIME haunting me. If only Coach would have called a little sooner, we would have been on time, maybe we would have won district. Then, it occurred to me, I can't change what has happened and its best to accept it and move on.
Funny thing is, James-Ethan thinks they won the game. He doesn't even realize they got beat by 1 which rolled through his little feet! Our stars played with heart, discipline, and they had FUN which was Coach's number 1 rule. You know, many life lessons can be learned as parents through kids. I wouldn't trade the memories that we have had and made in the past few months for anything in the world. Ok, I will admit, if I could have change the time of that game, I would! The Lujan Chavez "Stars" will all be returning with Coach in January for Spring Season & Lady Antebellum Concert was wonderful!

A reason to blog!

Over the past few years I have been following blogs of my friends and family. Recently I have realized, that I have a lot to say and not so many people to say it too. I have tried to keep in touch with friends and family through facebook but lately have developed an opinion that facebook is sometimes shallow. I live about 1200 miles away from most of my dearest friends and family so I hope to use this blog to bridge the gap! I hope you enjoy my blog as it is in developmental stages and morphs into dialogues of special memories of my life.