Thursday, October 16, 2008

What's Next???

I know, I know...I never update my blog anymore! It just seems like there is so much other stuff going on. BUT, I do want to try to start it back up again...probably not on a daily basis, but maybe a weekly basis. Surely there's one fun/good/interesting thing to write about each week.

However, I do wonder what I should do about this particular blog address and name. While I'm still Liam's Aunt Lulu in Oxford, I am also an aunt to another little guy now, Ryder! For my few readers out there, what do you think...

Is it time to start over fresh with a new look, a new blog name, and a new post?? Any thoughts on what my new blog name should be???

Well, stay tuned for more...and a renewed commitment to blogging. For now, here's a few pictures of the new guy in my life (and updated ones of "Liam, the Big Boy")! By the way, Liam refers to himself as "Liam, the Big Boy" sometimes but told PopPop the other day, "Most people call me Liam." He calls Ryder, "Baby Ryder", and in case you are wondering his thoughts on the new addition to the family, he thinks "Baby Ryder is so cute."

Aunt Lulu meeting Ryder when he was 4 1/2 days old!
(I was at a conference in California when he was born, so there was a little delay in our meeting.)

Both of my boys just before I had to go back to Oxford.
Ryder is 2 weeks old in this picture.

Ryder's first trip to Oxford (and first time out of TN) at 9 weeks (?)
Aunt Lulu and Ryder snuggling on the couch...while Liam and PopPop eat "sherbit"
(and mommy takes pictures).

Finally, here's little Ryder Man hanging out in his pack'n play!


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Relay for Life - Coming up in April

You may or may not remember but 2007 was a tough year for my "family" in Oxford with the death of my good friend and brother in Christ, Brian Dahl. (See post below for stories about Brian.) Brian is the son of my "adopted" parents here, Eric and Melanie Dahl. Brian was a great friend, an avid cyclist, a loving person, and an awesome man of God. He was also quite funny and very clever. I got to spend a year with Brian before his life was taken in an accidental death in August. Before he died, Brian was a cancer survivor.

Several of us in the Rebels for Christ campus ministry have decided to get a team together to walk in the Oxford Relay for Life to raise money in memory of our friend and brother in Christ. We have set a goal to raise $1,000 and would love to have your prayers and support as we pursue this goal.

IF, and only if, you are in a position or feel called to financially support us, we would greatly appreciate any donations. The easiest way to contribute is to go to the following link and click either on contribute to a team or contribute to a participant. The name of our team is Rebels for Christ Ladies.

If you choose not to participate, please pray for our team and for the Dahl family between now and April 18th-19th as we honor Brian in our community.

Thank you so much for your consideration and for richly blessing my life!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Oh to be loved....

So, in case you didn't know... I am absolutely in love with my 1 year and 11 month old nephew. I've loved the kids I babysat for growing up but nothing could really prepare me for this love I have for Liam! That boy has stolen my heart for sure!

Anyway, this week I experienced something with Liam that I have been waiting to happen. He called me. On Monday, Liam asked his daddy to call Aunt Lulu, so Scott dialed the phone, my phone rang, I answered it...thinking it would by my sister on the phone, but instead of Carol's voice coming from the other end, it was Liam. "Hi" in a very excited sounding voice...he then continued to tell me what he had done that day. "I throwed a football...I throwed a football...we built a fire...we built a fire...built a fire." He was so excited! I asked him if he could sing me a song and be belted out his "ABCs". The people in the back yard burger line with me at the time were staring as I was happily joining in with the sweet song. I didn't care... Then as quickly as the conversation started, it ended. "Love you, Lulu. Bye Bye." Click...

YAY!!! I've been so jealous of all of those around me with kids, grandkids, nieces, and nephews who were old enough to talk to on the phone. I've been trying to talk to Liam on the phone since summer, but it never lasted long. Finally, he called his Aunt Lulu. What a joy! I know this doesn't seem like much, but it means days between visits with Liam can now have a little part of Liam in them. He can call me when he wants to chat and eventually will call me when exciting things happen in his little day. He's getting so big!

Today, Liam went to visit Grammy and PopPop for Valentine's Day. Grammy wasn't there when he got there so Liam hung out with PopPop for a little while. When they got a call from Grammy to let them know she was on her way, PopPop asked, "Hey Liam, guess who's coming?" Liam's response was simple...."Lulu!" (Apparently this is the same response any time he is asked to guess who's coming.)

Oh, I'm so glad I'm making a trip to Nashville tomorrow! Oh, to be loved by that little boy! What a joy!!!

Friday, February 01, 2008

It's been way too long....

It's been way too long since I've blogged. Although I don' t really have a lot to say tonight, I felt I should enter the blogging world for a minute just to let anyone who reads this know that all is well. I'm thankful that it's 2008...and that a difficult year has past. I'm thankful that my last semester of classes has begun! I'll be taking comps in August and then it'll be dissertation time. I am thankful for wonderful friends, amazing family, and people who love me. I'm so glad to have the opportunity to be in graduate school, but I'm thankful it won't last forever.

I'm looking forward to a busy AND good 2008...a year of many changes and milestones. I feel like God is doing some wonderful things in my life and I'm excited to see how it's all going to play out! Hopefully I'll write soon with exciting and wonderful stories to tell. But until then, I'm sorry it's been way too long.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Friend, Brian, is celebrating with the angels

My friend and brother, Brian Dahl, would be turning 30 tomorrow...if we were blessed to still have him on this earth. Instead, my friend and brother Brian, is celebrating his 30th birthday with the angels while we remember an incredible friend, man, and brother in Christ here on earth. I wrote the following about Brian the week he died back in August of this year. At the time, I couldn't bring myself to post another blog about another loss in my life. However, for those of you who read my blog or check to see that it's never should have the opportunity to know a little about my friend Brian and remember him with me on this special day!

For only knowing Brian almost exactly one year, I have pages and pages of memories and stories I could write. I was introduced to Brian and James P. by Eric (Brian's dad) the first time I ever went to the student center, but the first time I really met Brian was a few weeks later at my condo. Deborah Bone and I had an Ole Miss football party for the 1st game of 2006. I provided the location and she invited all the people since I really didn’t know anyone in Oxford yet. Brian came and entertained us. I knew Brian was going to be a great friend. I also remember that day that he made sure he didn’t eat more of the party food than James P (they were both in training for bike races). I didn’t know of their competitive relationship until later but Brian really liked these cinnamon things that Lisa Beard made and ate almost the whole pan of them (it was really small). He just kept telling us…”Don’t let James know how many of these I have eaten.” Knowing what I know now about their relationship, this story is even funnier.

One of my favorite Brian memories is of Halloween 2006. It is a Williams family tradition to make a big pot of soup on Halloween and have friends over to eat it. So when I got to Oxford, the tradition continued. We told Brian that it was going to be a costume party…but really we hadn’t decided on whether or not it would be. Most of the guests came in their regular clothes from work or school and very few dressed up. Brian dressed up. He showed up at the door in full Russian Army regalia, stern face and all. It was awesome…everyone in the whole room thought it was hilarious. The funniest part about the whole outfit is that his shoes had started to dry rot, due to their age, and ended up crumbling all over my living room floor. The next little bit of the party was spent watching Brian crawl around the floor picking up pieces of his shoes.

I have many more memories of Brian – most of them are snippets of conversations or moments at the Dahl’s house with Deborah. I loved that Brian and I had a running argument over who was taller…we measured at least twice. Technically I think Brian was a little taller (even though I never admitted it) BUT I had the advantage of heels AND effectively manipulating my place in pictures to make sure I looked taller!

I loved playing tricks on Brian. Deborah and I loved changing his Facebook profile picture often to some of Brian’s “favorite people” – Jeff Probst and Patrick Dempsey! We even created a group from Brian’s profile and named it “I wish I was Patrick Dempsey so women would call me McDreamy.” He always returned the favor. At one point, pictures were posted of both Deborah and me complete with mustaches, devil horns and a spikey tails.

The best Brian memory I have is his SURPRISE graduation party! Eric, Melanie (Brian's mom), Deborah, and I schemed and planned a wonderful party for Brian’s graduation. Deborah and I invited Brian to a night at P.F. Changs, one of his favorite restaurants in Memphis. We made up some crazy story about not wanting to go to Memphis by ourselves and after hearing it was one of Brian’s favorites, we decided he should be the one to protect us and accompany us on our dinner. The funny thing about that is that I’m allergic to Chinese food and can’t really enjoy P.F.Changs if I do go but Brian didn’t know that. He took our bait, hook, line and sinker. It was too easy to get him to agree to go. Eric and Melanie even jumped in and asked if they could go…and Deborah and I made up some excuse about the three kids needing some time by ourselves, etc. My favorite Brian line of all times was said that night after we left. He told Eric, “Dad, when two pretty girls invite me to go to dinner, feel free not to invite yourself.” I thought that was so funny!

I had the most fun planning the party! The Student Center “eating room” was packed full of people, and I met a lot of Brian’s really close friends. After everything was ready, I had the task of picking Brian up. When I got there, by myself, I told him Deborah was in a meeting that was running late and we needed to go by and pick her up at the SC. Supposedly, this was the first time Brian was suspicious…To me, it’s a pretty successful surprise party when the person doesn’t get suspicious until on the way! When we got to the SC, Brian got a glimpse of his parents’ car and at that point, I wasn’t sure I was going to get him in the building. By this time, Brian knew something was up and was obviously not too excited about being a part of it. Luckily, he was a good sport and walked through the doors surprised to find a room packed full of people who loved him and were so proud of him. I’m so glad he knew how many people he had touched before he passed. By the end of the night, he seemed to have forgiven us for all the lies and deceit.

But....Brian had another trick up his sleeves. He was in charge of the devotional at small group on Sunday night and had brilliantly woven in a trick on me. In a devotional centered on how to deal with anger, Brian requested that I read Revelation 21:8. As a good little Christian girl, I recognized the verse…but not as a verse on anger. I questioned Brian and he said, “It’s the right one, I’m looking at it right here.” I started reading… “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, …” It wasn’t until I got to the part saying “liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur” that I realized it was all a trick on me because I had lied to him about going to P.F. Changs. I had been gotten and it was sweet for Brian!

There were many things I loved about Brian, my brother and my friend. He cared for others. I loved that Brian loved my family. He loved seeing Liam being introduced to Nelson (the cat) as Liam almost took off flying since he was flapping his arms so hard. When he heard Liam was coming to town, he always asked if he needed to get Nelson ready for another Liam visit. He loved my dad. If he told me once, he told me 1,000 times how much he really liked my dad and thought he was so funny. When my dad had his heart attack and surgery, it meant to so much to me that Brian was always checking in and even came to the hospital in Nashville bringing woodcarving magazines and some of his favorite Far Side cartoons. When my cousin, Erin, had her accident, Brian regularly wanted to know how she was doing and was concerned about her family after she lost her battle to the infections that plagued her body. More than once he sent me facebook messages asking about how they were doing. He joined us in volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and worked several hours this summer. He was also quick to take his lunch break while at Habitat to work on Shannon Baker’s car after the gate of my condo complex “attacked it” on the way to the build that morning.

My year of knowing and loving Brian was truly a gift from God. I will miss the laughs, smart comments, and occasional sweet comments from him. I will miss the man Brian was and will look forward to see him in heavenly glory for eternity.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My hilarious sister

Scott & Carol have the most hilarious sense of humor and wit. It amazes me. This video was taken over a year ago when Carol was in the early stages of labor with Liam. They've recently put it on You Tube because of the large number of people who have begged them to see it. I was lucky enough to see it in real life (as you'll see in the video) but it is equally as funny now! ENJOY!!!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

First Day of School

Classes started at Ole Miss today. It was a strange feelings as the three new PhD students, Russell, Alex & Miriam had their first statistics class and I didn't have to go. I start class tomorrow - both as a student and as an instructor. We took a few pictures around the graduate office today to document the momentous occasion!

1st years - Russell, Alex & Miriam

I'm the only 2nd year

Jacob - 4th year (the last year)