Monday, April 30, 2007


i meant to post where the rest of my wedding pics are. they are unedited, uncut, and uncaptioned. but they are up! so, enjoy! i'll post more as i gather them from others (that's a big hint to those of you harboring pictures!) and hopefully the photographers pictures will be up soon also.

casey's wedding

well, the wedding whirlwind is over! i can hardly believe it came and went already. the last couple weeks have been so full of wedding and shower plans and now it's all over!

wednesday night began the weekend of partying. those that were in town met up at del pueblo for a dinner. nothing special, but we got to meet some of the groomsmen that had come in. thursday the guys went to play golf and then pick up their tuxes later in the day. i spent the day preparing food and gifts for casey's lingerie shower/bachlorette party. i had a blast hanging out with the girls and just pampering casey. she got some really pretty things. we also got to get to know a little more about casey and zac's relationship. earlier in the week, cassidy and i came up with some questions for zac and then we videotaped his answers. during the shower, we asked casey the same questions, let her answer, then played his answers. it was quite hilarious. especially since zac couldn't just answer the questions... he had to do costume changes for each one. that night we headed to a house owned by a family in our church. they were incredible and let us borrow their house for the weekend so that the girls could all stay in one place. it was so neat to be able to do that. on top of that, they totally pampered us. it was like staying in a hotel!

friday i had several errands to run and the girls worked on folding the wedding programs. that evening we got up to ashelynn manor for our rehearsal. the people at ashelynn manor were great. they were very helpful and had us through the rehearsal in no time. we headed to the bake shoppe for the rehearsal dinner. then, it was on to the rosenbaum's (zac's parents) house for a party. we got to meet some extended family and just hang out. we then headed back to the ikel's to find beds for all the girls (we had acquired a couple new girls that needed beds). i helped cassidy a bit with her toast, hung out a bit with some of the girls that hadn't gone to bed, and then ashley and i headed back to my house and bed ourselves. however, when we got home, chris and chad had just gotten home from the rosenbaum's. (chad and ashley are chris' cousins). so we hung out with them a bit and cleaned up some of the leftover shower food. by this time it was about 3:30 a.m., so we decided to head to bed.

saturday morning was really special. suellen plachy invited the bridesmaids over for a brunch. she and her daughter ellie served us a wonderful array of food and let us have some girl time. and of course, it was quite a teary girl time. casey shared with each of us why she chose us to stand with her on her wedding day. we also got to have a really neat prayer time with her. it was definitely a very incredible morning. and very emotional. it's a good thing i didn't bother with make up. it would've all been cried off if i had. after that, it was on to the showers and then to ashelynn manor. things just flew by after that. we did our hair and make up, barely got dressed, and then it was time for pictures. i can't wait to see the pictures from the photographer, he seemed pretty on top of things and i think he had some creative stuff going on.

the ceremony was one of the best i've experienced -- despite the fact it was 40 minutes long, my feet were dying, the sun was in my eyes, and bugs were crawling on me -- but truly it was incredible and i was so blessed to be standing up there. it was such a sweet time. casey and zac wrote their vows, they had a couple friends sing/play guitar, and they shared communion as their first thing as husband and wife. their pastor from austin did an incredible job with the ceremony.

the reception was one big party. i got to visit with several people, but there were several i missed talking to. i guess that's par for the course... casey and zac's first dance was something only casey and zac would do. they choreographed a really fun dance to a fast paced song (the name slips me) and kept it a secret from everyone until the music came on. it was simply amazing.

it was such an incredible weekend. i loved how God was woven into so much of everything that happened. i've watched casey grow up from a young girl to a Godly woman. her relationship with zac is nothing but Christ-centered. it has been so amazing to watch casey over the past years become the woman that she is and to now watch her and zac create this relationship. i admire casey deeply and praise God for what He has done in her life. after the rehearsal friday night, i took casey for one final wedding dress fitting (a whole other story completely) and on the way casey and i had a chance to talk about a certain subject. her words to me were so touching and so wise. i could hardly believe the truth that effortlessly came from her. she is so passionate about her relationship with Christ and it just pours out of her. i thank God for her and that relationship every day.

while i'm on the subject of gushing about my sisters -- i have to say cassidy and i have had a blast planning this whole thing. cassidy and i have always had a wonderful relationship and i admire her on many levels also. she, once again, showed me her wise and beautiful spirit the past couple weeks. i absolutely love spending time with her despite the fact she is 10 years younger than me. yet, in so many ways, she is if not equal, but usually wiser than i am. i just can't even imagine what i have done to be blessed with these girls in my life. but, i am abundantly grateful! my cup runneth over!

okay -- one last gush -- i've only met a handful of casey's austin friends. this weekend i got to know them better and got to meet a few new ones. her bridesmaids were amazing girls and the way they have each affected casey's life is simply written by the hand of God. i love every single one of them and only wish they lived closer!
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Friday, April 27, 2007

the dog catcher, cassidy, and i. and bear.

so, it's been a very eventful day. and, you know, everything just can't go smoothly. i just had to share cass' and mine's experience with the dog catcher. yep. the dog catcher.

this morning, i head over to pick up the paper for the programs from scott and viv's. cassidy was there alone, so she decided to head to the printer's with me. we walk out of the house, get to the truck and realize the paper is inside. so, we walk back in, get the paper and try to leave. bear decided at that very moment to snake by our legs and run out the door. well, when bear does that and the gate is open... he's gone. we see him directly in front of the neighbor's house and are on our way to go call him in, when the animal control truck pulls up. at this point, we have no idea why he's even in the neighborhood. but, i'll get to that in a minute. so, jerk-face dog catcher says to me (because i'm closest to him) is this the same dog we picked up a couple weeks ago? (let me just say, that yes, bear did get picked up and was put in "jail" for the night until vivian drove downtown to rescue him) anyway -- i stall because i am not about to admit that. finally, i say i don't know. he very rudely says "you don't know if you own dog got picked up?" by this point, i'd had enough of his rudeness, so i said back in the same tone "i don't live here." cassidy tells him she does. she says "can we go get bear now?" he says "if you don't, i will." cass says "well, you're blocking the driveway." he doesn't understand the problem. so she says, "bear runs faster than i can, we need to take our truck." so, he asks for her drivers license and says he'll "wait for us." very sweet of him, hm? well, by this point, we have no freakin' clue where bear has gone. if the jerk hadn't grilled us we could have had bear back by then. 10 minutes of searching later, we found bear. we pull into the driveway, make a big show of shutting the gate, putting bear in the house, climbing in the truck again, open the gate, and pull out. then he grills us about the rabies tag, or rather lack of, on bear. which is why he is there. he was coming out to check up on that today and just happened to arrive when bear darted out. impeccable timing. then, he drags meshack into the ordeal. poor meshack is laying peacefully on the porch. but, he doesn't have a collar on, so jerk-face has to ask about him. he wants proof of rabies papers on the dogs. well, of course, cassidy has no clue where those are and says as much. he finally relents and says he's writing her a warning, not a citation since her "parents should have taken care of it." such a thoughtful guy, he is. he sits in his truck for what seems like 5 minutes to write his little "warning." gets back out and "explains" the warning to us. he wants to know "how do you spell meshack? m... e...?" cass says "whatever, it doesn't matter." he didn't like that much. good thing i didn't say what i wanted to -- "you know meshack? like in the Bible? meschack, shadrack, and abednego?" then he goes into "why" she is getting the warning, because "when we got home, our dog ran off." WHAT?! i'd had it at this point -- so i say "we hadn't left yet! we opened the gate so that we could leave! and he was right in front of the neighbor's yard! we would have had him back in if you hadn't blocked the driveway!" he looks at me and says "if you don't stop right now, i'm going to write you a ticket." WHAT?!?! the DOG CATCHER is going to write me a TICKET?! he can do that?! i literally bit my lip so as not to say the words i wanted to -- "go ahead, make it legible though, because i want to frame this one!" he finished his little bit, cass signed, and we got in the truck. and preceded to die laughing. if he only knew how much he's been mocked this evening. oh and he was parked behind me so i couldn't pull my truck out and i am convinced he would have sat there longer if a car hadn't needed to get by. so he inched forward and blocked 3/4 of the road so that i had to drive in the grass to get around him. he also checked out my plates as he pulled past me. what a loser! i'm sorry he can't get a real job, but it certainly was no reason to start the whole exchange with complete rudeness and accusations.

so that began our morning. and really i could go on, because that wasn't the only issue in this crazy day... but i just really had to share my dog catcher story. anyway, it's been a long day and tomorrow is going to be just as long. so i'm headed to bed!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

new picture and a busy week

so... i finally posted a picture. i'm pretty displeased with most of the pictures of just me or just chris and i right now, which is my own my fault because i try to stay out of pictures as much as possible. so, when i go to post pictures on facebook, myspace, or here i get annoyed at the selection. but i will remedy that this week! there will be many photo ops because tomorrow begins the wedding week whirlwind (say that three times fast!)...

the partying begins wednesday night and will last until saturday night. i may need a week to recover! and even before then, monday and tuesday will be busy as i wrap up last minute errands. i'm abandoning my little darlings at school to a sub on thursday and friday. that in itself is something to look forward to. now, i just have to structure my week so that they will have plenty to do rather than drive the sub mad.

anyway, probably won't be much new this week, but definitely check back after the wedding. i'm quite sure i will have plenty of stories and pictures to share!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

climbing down from my soapbox...

alright. let's move on to a much lighter subject! what's going on in my life?! many of you are probably reading this because i sent out an email saying that i've started a blog! skip down to my first post to read about the reasons. i'm going to use this post to update some of you that i've been out of touch with for far too long!

the most exciting upcoming event is one miss casey mcmullen's wedding. casey is chris' oldest, younger sister -- for those of you saying "who?!" the big day is april 28. we are in full wedding mode these last days before the wedding. the actual ceremony and reception is at a wedding facility called Ashelynn Manor. they have taken much of the work out of it for us! which is a totally new thing for me. i'm so used to be in control and having 25 dozen things to do at this point. a little strange for me. ha. but, despite that, i have found something to be in control of. cassidy and i are planning the lingerie shower/bachelorette party. we've got some great things cooked up and we are very much looking forward to it!

other than that -- it's the same old thing. chris is working mostly in mcallen these days. he heads down there for about a week to 2 weeks, depending on what's going on. he comes back to tomball for about 2 - 4 days -- again, depending on the work and what we have going on. he's also doing a lot of roping and still enjoying that.

i'm in my third year at hildebrandt teaching keyboarding. i take advantage of chris being gone during the week and try to catch dinner with friends or just have some "me" time. i'm all about that "me" time. ha.

we've still got the ranch in trinity with my parents. we have around 20 some head of mama cows and calves right now. and one bull. he's a happy bull. ;) we're up to 4 dogs these days. it's an absolute madhouse sometimes with all of them. 2 chocolate labs and a blue heeler/border collie mix -- which all live inside. and a black mouth cur that lives outside. 3 of the 4 are males -- so we have more dog testosterone than we need.

and that's really us in a nutshell right now. like i've said, i plan on just using this to keep everyone updated on my random thoughts and our more interesting activities. this post should catch everyone up on us for now. especially for those of you that haven't had an update in way too long. as usual -- ask questions, leave comments, tell me what you think!

virginia tech

well, i promised that i would be commenting on current events periodically. here's the first one.

i'm already seeing the first rumblings of

"we need better gun control laws!"
"guns should be outlawed!"

now, don't get me wrong. i'm very deeply saddened by what happened yesterday on the virginia tech campus. it was a horrible, heinous crime.

but, i do not believe that gun control laws could have helped much here. in fact, if the staff and faculty were allowed to conceal, maybe it would have been a much lower number than 32 (i refuse to count the gunman as a "victim").

many people do not realize the extensive background checks, lectures, and laws that are in place for concealed handgun license holders. a couple years back, chris went through the CHL class and now lawfully carries a concealed handgun. well, not all the time. he certainly doesn't just strap it on for kicks. it's usually in his truck. though, being in mcallen a big part of the time, i think he does keep it on him more often. anyway -- the point is -- i've heard a bit from chris about the seriousness of these CHL classes. CHL holders are taught many different tactics to diffuse a violent situation without pulling their weapon. you may only, lawfully, pull your weapon if your life has been threatened. if a CHL holder even pulls their weapon on someone, they must call the local police and file a report. if someone is shot, there is an extensive investigation that ensues. i daresay it is even more extensive than a random shooting by an unlawful person. if the CHL holder is found at fault -- their punishment is just as harsh, if not more so, than a random gunman. there are no second chances. period. end of story.

i have to say, i am extremely glad that chris has his CHL. he was in jasper, texas a couple years back and pulled his gun on a group of guys. he had stopped at mcdonalds to buy a milkshake (his diesel truck is too big and loud for the drive thru -- though we have all told him the drive thru is the way to go, now! ha), when he walked back out 4 black men were sitting on his tailgate, which they had helped themselves to lowering. they preceded to call him a "redneck" and telling him they were going to kill him, among other things. he didn't have his gun on him, but it was in the truck. he managed to get his keys in the door and reached in to pull his gun out. he showed his gun to the men and after a few choice words the men disappeared. i truly believe the men were intent on causing harm that day. and there was definitely an outnumbering in their favor.

take a look at the following sentences from john lott. lott wrote this article april 9, obviously before yesterday's bloodbath. i admit i don't know lott or his philosophies any other subjects, but i found this article quite interesting and in my opinion, very true.

Gun free zones may be well intentioned, but good intentions that is not enough. It is an understandable desire to ban guns. After all, if you ban guns from an area, people can’t get shot, right? But time after time when these public shootings occur, they disproportionately take place in gun free zones.

It is the law-abiding good citizens who would only use a gun for protection who obey these bans. Violating a gun free zone at a place such as a public university may mean expulsion or firing and arrest, real penalties for law-abiding citizens. But for someone intent on killing others, adding on these penalties for violating a gun free zone means little to someone who, if still alive, faces life in prison.

to read the full article, which i fully recommend, by lott, go here:

i believe that if the faculty and staff of virginia tech had been allowed to conceal, things may have turned out differently. it would not have stopped cho seung-hui from beginning his rampage yesterday. it would not have saved every single victim's life. but, maybe, just maybe, some of the lives could have been spared.

well, i'm sure this is going to stir up some controversy. let me know what you think. i won't hold it against you, if you won't hold my opinion against me. ;) oh. by the way. yes, i do plan on getting my CHL in the near future. i've wanted to for several months, but the timing is always wrong. it's a full saturday class. actually, it might be two full saturdays in a row? can't recall right now...

if you're interested, i also recommend reading this post: it outlines several arguments and rebuttals to the claim that europe is "gun-free," another outcry that i've heard a few times today.


so, i've decided to start a blog. a little late in catching up with everyone else? maybe. but, i'm finally here.

why, you ask, do i start a blog? why do i think people actually care about my thoughts? why do i think you care about my life and all it's events? because you love me!!! haha...

no, seriously.

i'm pretty horrible about keeping in touch with people. it's a sad truth that even i recognize. it's made me feel very guilty in regards to many of my friendships. hmm. if i can call them friendships anymore! i've let the ball drop on so many emails that it was my return to respond to. ugh, it's just a maddening never-ending circle. i don't reply. i put it off. then, i'm embarrassed that's it taking so long to respond, so i put it off again. then it's so freakin' late i just give it up.

so... my mission with this blog? to keep my friends and family up to date with the goings on in my life. yes, i suppose, this puts the responsibility on you. now, you have to come to me to catch up on my life! ha. but, at least it's something.

i don't promise daily accounts of my life -- many of you are sighing with relief right now -- but, i do promise updates on me and some of the more important events. as well as my random thoughts on current and political events. i tend to get on a soap box sometimes. you can skim those or argue with me. whichever you prefer. and i'm sure chris' name will be mentioned a few times -- sometimes in good terms and maybe sometimes in bad... just kidding, just kidding.

okay -- enough of this introductory crap! enjoy! leave me comments! update me on you!