Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Road Tripin' - 2009 Blizzard

As most of you know, I went down to SC for Christmas. I was going to blog about the whole adventure but my sister Amy already did, so I'll let you read her recap of our dangerously memorable Road Trip! Unfortunately, the cameras were smashed in the back and as you'll read we couldn't stop to get them out and snap a few pics of the madness! Enjoy!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

You didn't think I'd let the day go by without telling the whole blogging world that it's your special day today did you?!
To the biggest Husker fan I know,
We may not have always been the tidiest kids on the block,
but we sure did have a lot of fun.....
.... who is that young lady, looking oh so cute below?!
....yep you guessed it...

Happy Birthday, Mom!!! I Love you! :D

Monday, December 14, 2009

1000 gifts - A heart of gratitude

Gratitude - a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.
"Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them." -- Psalms 107:15
Today my heart is full of gratitude because.....
0037 - .... You have given me amazing family and friends with tremendous wisdom
0038 - .... You have given me so so so much. Way more than I will ever deserve
0039 - .... Megan will be here at this time next week!!!!!!!!!!!
0040 - .... I live close family (some) and get to love on my little nephew whenever I want to!
0041 - .... You are the redeemer and reconciler of all types of relationships
0042 - .... I know You don't need me, Lord. But even more humbling than that, You amazingly, choose me. again. and again. and again!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

1000 Gifts - God's handy work :D

(I know the plan is to do this every Monday but for some reason, I always have too much to do to sit down and put pen to paper, or fingers to keys.... so I'm doing it on Sunday night to start my week off giving gratitude and praise to our God, who is oh so worthy!)

"We give thanks to you, O God,
we give thanks, for your Name is near;
men tell of your wonderful deeds." -- Pslam 75:1

This week I am full of thankfulness - Here's why:
0027 - Spending Thanksgiving on a most beautiful day.....

0028 - ...With some of my favorite people (and missing some too)

0029 - Being on the road for work but getting to see the Candetos and the encouragement they bring JUST at the right moment.

0030 - Community inspiring worship through the season and Christmas Carols being played in every Mall across our country!! (When else does that happen other than CHRISTmas time?!?)

0031 - A fearful, nervous heart made calm when God used the littlest and most peculiar of things, like a Nebraska sweatshirt, to move someone to reach out and give me the words God knew I needed to hear.

0032 - Traveling mercies and LITTLE turbulence!

0033 - The beauty and peacefulness of a first snow as the earth rests and underneath it all is preparing to bring new life....

0034 - Reconnecting with my friends in northern va after traveling for 6 out of the last 8 weeks.... SO FUN (Have you ever played ROCK BAND? I think I know what I want for Christmas!) ;)

0035 - Getting to help Mom with one of her favorite things, decorating for Christmas.

0036 - Being reminded of God's goodness and faithfulness with the sweet, captivating smile of a newborn.... my new nephew of course!

holy experience

Monday, November 2, 2009

1000 Gifts - Provision

0021 - A job that God uses to provide for me... over and over.
0022 - Getting to see the fruits of my labor in the end and enjoy some nature in the process.
0023 - Dear sweet friends that call at just the right time!

0024 - Technology that gives me the ability to do my job on the road so I'm not completely overwhelmed when I get back to the office.

0025 - Having a job that gets me out of the office sometimes... and takes me to new places!

0026 - .... and be outside!
holy experience

Monday, October 26, 2009

Seasons - A Fall Breeze

I know I missed blogging last week's 1000 gifts, but I couldn't get to a computer to do it. I thought about it though. I love this time of year. After being in Iraq for six months and seeing more brown than I'll ever care to see again in my life, I have noticed this fall especially, how I have been amazed at the beauty God displays throughout his creation. There are days like this weekend that a group of trees will literally take my breath away for a second. Fall seems to be a season, for me, that I can not escape God's presence no matter where I go. It's like He's showing off all over the place! Everywhere I turn I see His handiwork and I can't help but thank Him for being present in this broken world we live in.

0009 - God's revealing His presence through nature....

"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there." - Psalm 139:7-8

0010 - A call from my sister saying she's coming home from China for the holidays! :D

0011 - Witnessing a blind double amputee competing in the Marine Corps Marathon with the help of four friends (self sacrifice and service).... "uncommon valor is a common virtue" stood to be the resounding theme that day.

0012 - A day off to catch up on "house stuff," relax, workout, and see some loved ones before I leave on a work trip!

0013 - Pumpkin Seeds... Yummo!

0014 - A stroll through the city on the perfect day to enjoy the history and crisp fall weather

0015 - An unexpected reunion with friends made in Iraq.... in my old neighborhood!

0016 - Baby's first night out with little to no crying! Success!!! :D

0017 - Dad healing well and getting back to his old self slowly but surely.

0018 - The comfort of knowing Mom is willing and able to give Dad the TLC he needs and be his outstanding nurse!

0019 - Friends who are willing to come rescue me when my car breaks down (or I run out of hem)!!

0020 - A chance to take the said friends out to dinner to thank them for their superhero-ness!!!

"Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say REJOICE!" -- Phil 4:4

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Did you see her?

....Did you see the girl that ran out of gas and got stuck in the MIDDLE of the road because there were cement barricades on both sides of the road and no shoulder to pull over to safety?... at rush hour no less. What an idiot. Who pushes their car to the limit, thinking they can make it home when the gas light is CLEARLY on BEFORE they start their drive home for work because judging on how far the last tank of gas, they should have another 50 miles before needing to fill up?

Oops. That idiot was me. I was on my way home last night and I as pulled out of my work parking lot I thought to myself... "My gas light is on. But on my last tank of gas I got at least 50 more miles so I should make it home easy... hope I don't run into traffic." And so the story begins. Traffic was actually great until I hit 495 after the exit for 66. It was backed up all the way from the toll road. I did what every normal person would do and since I knew somebody flying into Dulles (one of my marathoners for the weekend), I decided I had a completely justifiable reason to get on the access road, right? right. I'm feeling good about this decision because I am flying (obeying the laws of the road, mom) past all the cars sitting on 267 because of an accident up about 4 miles towards my house. As I'm talking through my blutooth stereo to Melissa I all of the sudden feel my car do this weird kind of gentle jolt. I thought it was kind of strange but kept talking... my other line rings. It was my marathoner saying he had arrived. My car jolts again. I click back over to Melissa.

"Melissa, I think I just ran out of gas."
In an octave higher than my previous statement..."OMGosh, Melissa, I can't make it to the shoulder... I'm gonna get hit I'm in the middle of the road!!! I gotta call you ba....." click.

I hang up the phone and think about who can I call to bring me gas so I'm not stuck in the middle of the road. Did I mention it was rush hour?! Wait, forget the gas... I realize I need to call 911 to get a cop car behind me and keep me from getting rear ended... do I get out and THEN call the police or do I call them from in the car?!! Oh Lord Help me!!!!

911.... "Hi... um, I ran out of gas and I'm on the toll road where there's no shoulder to pull over to. If I stay here much longer I'm sure I will get hit."
Apparently my voice reaches extreme octaves when I get a little (or a lot) nervous because the dispatcher was having a little trouble understanding me "Ma'am....Ma'am!! I cannot hear you... Do NOT get out of your car and please tell me again, where you are and what's going on."

I took a breath and repeated what I had just said. As I was doing this a cop with his lights on pulled up behind me. Never have I ever felt relieved when looking those flashing blue and red lights in my rear view mirror. Oh but I was. He got out of his car, came up to my window as I was telling the dispatcher that there was a cop there now. I told him I ran out of gas and that I was such an idiot and how sorry I was. The dispatcher heard me and tried to comfort me "You're not an idiot. That just happened to me yesterday."
"You ran out of gas and your a cop?"
"I'm not a cop, Ma'am."
"oh. right." Ok, yes I realize that dispatchers are NOT cops but all of the adrenalin must had gone to my brain and for a second I forgot.

The DISPATCHER got off the phone with me as the, now 4 cops were pushing my little blue car up the hill to get past the barricades and onto the shoulder. Ok, so I know at this moment as these older, a little overweight (being gracious in that statement) cops is not most appropriate time to find humor in a situation but again all of the adrenalin in my body had to go somewhere now that I wasn't scared for my life. I looked again in my rear view mirror only to see these sweet cops giving everything they had to push my car to safety. and. it. was. funny. I put my hand over my mouth to cover my massively uncalled for smile. But I could not control the giggles. They finally got me to the shoulder after about 50 meters of pushing up hill and I put the car in park (but didn't turn it off) and got out to thank them... I must say they looked like they had just gotten done with a preseason work out. Bent over, hands on knees or over their head, breathing heavy, face red, and foreheads sweating.... and of course they couldn't even mutter the words your welcome as they gasped for air intermittently......

More to come....

Friday, October 16, 2009

You asked for it....

So you will get it... In all my non-MJ-dancing glory... Here is the much awaited Michael Jackson dance off in Mosul, Iraq. But just so you know. I DID NOT VOLUNTEER TO GET UP THERE... I was drug up there like a child being carried into a doctors office who know she's about to get shots. Unbelievably, it only took two of the band members to wrestle me up there...

Monday, October 12, 2009

1000 Gifts

Gratitude. It's something I don't verbalize enough. One of my blogging friends starts every Monday off with a post of things she's thankful for and I love following it. I've wanted to start doing the same thing because I think it's a great way to start my week off.... Expressing things that I'm thankful for and starting my week off with a heart full of gratitude. So here goes.

Things I'm thankful for this week:

0001- Reds, oranges, yellows, greens and browns all around letting me know that a new season is HERE!!

0002- The mystery of how God can make something dying more beautiful each and every day.

0003- The cool crisp air of fall while on a morning job during my day off.


0005- Having two parents that love and support each other through the ups and downs that life brings their way... coming out stronger and closer when those tough times come.

0006- A humble Dad who's picture and team is in the Navy Lax Hall of Fame... and getting to enjoy that moment with him and Mom.

0007- Football games, fresh air, found memories and more....

0008- New parents starting a new season in their life... and all the adventures he will bring!

Thank you Lord, for all these gifts.

holy experience

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lesson learned - #2 from the delivery room...again.

I must say, I never thought I would stay in the delivery room when Amy was giving birth. There is just too much "extra" going on that I never thought I wanted to be a part of until I was the actual person giving birth. I'm not sure, maybe I assumed it would scare me to death and my poor husband (figuratively speaking right now) would never be able to convince me to have one of my own.

I decided to use some of my comp time (or call in sick, whichever makes you feel better) to be with Amy and David on Matthew's grand debut. It was my FULL intention to snap pictures of this special day so they would remember every moment. every. single. moment. Well that is except the actual "pushing time." I would simply give the camera to David and he could snap away until his little heart was content. As the time got closer, my heart picked up pace as I heard the dr say now david you're going to stand here and hold her leg to help her push... "hold her leg??? how will he do that AND take pictures?" I thought for no longer than a split second.... Answer - he won't.

But guess who wasn't holding anything and more than able to take pictures?? Yep, you got it... yours truly. I asked Amy if she wanted me to leave and she gave me about as definitive answer as a woman in labor could give.... "sure, if you want to. I don't care." right. If I want to? Is this a trick question? Of course I don't want to, but then who would capture the moment? ugh. no one. Poor little Matthew's arrival would be undocumented.....

So guess what, I strapped up, hid behind my camera, the IV's and Amy's round belly and started recording the moment. Matthew's moment. The day that the Campbell's life changed and will never be quite the same.

We cheered, encouraged, shouted and waited for a couple hours. At one point (I'm not sure what I was saying), the doctor looked up at me and said "you guys must come from an athletic family. I can tell by the way you're cheering." LOL. Then one of the nurses says, "who do you think will cry first??" I answered quite confidently almost in unison with Amy, "I'm not really a crier." Well, another hour went by and that little guy finally decided to make his grand entrance into this world.

While I was busy making sure to get this all on film (wait, what is it called now, digital, digits?), a bunch of thoughts whipped through my mind about Amy before David... and then her meeting David, and then marrying David and then when they told us they were pregnant... and now this beautiful, perfect boy is here waiting to be cleaned so he can be put in his mother's arms. My eyes felt hot. WHAT IS THAT?!?! Wait, am I... I turned to look at Amy and she had a tear running down her cheek. So I did what all normal (I mean what is normal anyway) sisters would do... I pointed at Amy and shouted "She's crying first!!"

eh-hem. I'm sorry, was that inappropriate? I'm gonna have to plead ignorance. I've never been in a delivery room while a mother is delivering a child. Plus, they wouldn't have known that I won if I hadn't pointed it out, right? :) Ok at this point, Mom's eyes should be about to pop out of their sockets because she can't believe how insensitive I'm being. Obviously, I realized that my comment was completely unsuitable for that moment, hence the whole point of this bl0g. I really didn't mean to say it, it was a knee-JERK reaction as I felt myself starting to cry (see, I do have a heart). So my lesson learned #2: Witnessing the birth of a child is almost an indescribeable thing that words really can not do justice. 2b: don't point at the new mom just after the child is born and shout that she's crying... it's just not nice. :) Sorry Ames! Love you!!! Congratulations Campbell fam, is what I meant to shout!!

(isn't he beautiful??)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lesson learned - #1 from the delivery room

There are certain questions that one might not want to ask the delivery nurse if you or the parents-to-be aren't expecting blunt honesty.

Example numero uno:

Me: wow, I just can't believe all these contraptions you guys have for delivering babies.
Said nurse: Yeah, they really are great.
Me: So what did people do back in the pioneer days when they didn't have all this stuff?
Said nurse: A lot of women died (with a sympathetic shake of her head). Giving birth was very dangerous, that's why if you go to a cemetery and look at the head stones, you'll see a lot of men had 3 or 4 wives.
Me: Awkward silence... (thinking) not quite the answer I was looking for but for some reason I feel like I should've known that she was going to say that, doh!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

No Place Like Home

I. Am. Back. I don't know where to start about how good it feels to be back in the U.S. of A, but some how the grass seems greener, the water cleaner and the air fresher. Maybe it's because 1. there is actual grass, 2. the water really IS cleaner and 3. well, I'm not breathing 30% sand when I take a breath of air deep into my lungs! I missed so many things about home while I was in Iraq but honestly after a while of living out there, you just kind of forget about the little things (or you make yourself forget about them so you aren't constantly thinking about what you're missing out on back home). So now that I'm home, I get to revel in all the little things that I missed.

And yes, I did just completely ignore the fact that I haven't written on this blog in almost two months in my intro paragraph. I really have no excuse other than the fact that I was tired. Any time I was laying in my bed (which is normally when I write), I was either sleeping, about to fall asleep, or trying desperately to fall asleep because I knew I needed the sleep. So there was no writing go on. But now that I'm back, I plan to catch all my readers (if I still have any lol) up on my trip. I figure I'll start with my trip home on my next entry and go from there as I see fit! :D

Thank you for all the prayers and support while I was gone. I had an amazing experience out in Iraq and met so many wonderful people whom I am hoping to keep in touch with! Iraq, as strange as it sounds, will always have a special place in my heart after my six month journey to the sand. It was eye opening and heart warming to daily walk along side of these Soldiers who sacrifice and defend our country whenever duty calls! Some of them are still kids, but they man (or woman) up and do what is asked of them to serve our great Nation!

Here are some pics of the Soldiers I worked with while I was there... I miss them already!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July from Iraq!!!

This song says it all. You can't let the 4th of July pass without listening to it at least once!!! :D
Thank you to all who have gone before us, are serving now and will serve after. Happy Independence Day, America!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Iraq in all it's glory....

A sand storm. There's really no describing it, especially if you're caught outside in the middle of one. So I will post pictures of the aftermath.... Enjoy.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson...


...died today.  It's one of those things that I think I'll probably remember every moment of the minute I found out.  Not that I was a fanatic until the day he died but he was such an icon of my generations history.  I loved his music that he produced.  He was a showman like no other.  Sure he was weird and misunderstood, and no one quite knows what went on in his private life.   Do you think you wouldn't get driven to crazy if a BILLION people knew your name and felt like it was their right to disect your life and point out every flaw you had?  My guess is we all might be a little "crazy" if we were in Michael's shoes.  I'm not defending or supporting anything about his private life.  Honestly I don't know what he did behind closed doors.  But I do know his music brings so many fond memories to my mind and today I am sad that he is no longer here.  This entry won't be long, I just wanted to jot a little something down to remember the day we lost the King of Pop.  There will never be another quite like him.... he has left some big patent leather shoes to fill.