Thursday, February 19, 2009

Confusion and Disarray

I have been so focused on the problems we've had this week (well, actually I've talked about it so much I have to take a break from thinking about it!!!) but we are dealing with some things with Caleb and school - so if you happen to read this blog, just say a prayer for us. I don't really feel like explaining it all, let's just say that there are two sides to every story and we SO want our son to step up and live up to his potential.
Since I'm his mom, you know I feel like it's the world against us and this 10-year old kid. I know that's not accurate at all, it was just how I felt yesterday. Besides, even if the whole world IS against us, they couldn't stand against God with us!!
God gave us 3 beautiful kids, each with their own challenges. This week has been full of particularly hard ones! So keep us in your prayers - especially tonight and tomorrow, as we go meet with administrators at Caleb's school. Pray that we ALL do what's best for Caleb, and that egos and attitudes can be put aside to help Caleb be the best he can be.
In other news... MICHAEL SARVER IS THROUGH ON AMERICAN IDOL!!! I am SO SO excited for him!!! He's great and he deserved it!
Tatiana went home (rightly so) but is it just me, or did she appear to be drugged the last couple of shows?
Morgan is playing in the Hudson Softball Tournament this weekend. There are 50 teams coming for our little ol' tourney here in Lufkin! That's crazy!!!! Morgan's team has 2 games each day starting at 9 this morning - all 3 Hudson teams are playing all weekend. Today we have beautiful weather for it. It will be wild - GO LADY HORNETS!!!
Meggan, Emalyn and Jacob are home and doing well. My cell phone is on its way home :) Nonnie leaves Saturday for an extended visit with her family and then on to Washington D.C. so we will miss her! My Grannie's in a nursing home and not doing real well so keep her in your thoughts and prayers as well.
I'll post more later when I feel like writing :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Back to "Normal"...whatever that is

Well, Meggan and Emalyn have made it home to NC safely. The trip to the airport was uneventful. Emalyn slept most of the way and we got to stop at the Super Target - YAY!!!!!
On to the airpot with PLENTY of time to check the bags.
That's where the fun began!
We arrived at the airport around 12:30, for a 2:35 flight (checkin at 2:05). Of course, Meggan had checked in online the night before. The flight showed to be on time to DFW. (To get a cheaper ticket, Meggan had booked a 1-stop through DFW, then on to Raleigh.)
We proceed to check her bags - pulling this 48 pound suitcase, juggling the car seat, Emalyn, a diaper bag, the baby sling and Meggan's carry on bag. (She's had her luggage lost before, so never flies without a carryon with the essentials and a change of clothing.).
We proceed through the maze to check the bags, where there is NO ONE but us in line. The man working the counter waited QUITE a few moments to call us forward - he seemed a bit more interested in chatting up his co-workers than waiting on customers. This is at the AMERICAN Airlines counter, if you want to know.
Meggan shows her military ID and boarding pass - and he makes her pay $15.00 to check her suitcase. She asks politely if she has to pay even with a military ID. He informs her that it only applies to the actual member of the military. Now I know that is their normal policy, but their website states that the fee does not apply to military personnel. And we all know that Jacob is the active military member of their family, but I firmly believe the families are just as "active" as the member!!! He informs us that the ACTIVE duty member is the only person it applies to - WELL, REALLY? Because she flew American to Houston and at the Raleigh airport, Meggan showed her military ID, which she always uses. The ticket agent there never asked a question - she did not charge them for the bag they checked and printed Jacob a security pass WITHOUT BEING ASKED so that he could assist Meg to the gate with the baby. That tells me it's obviously NOT American's policy!!
So I pay for her bag to be checked, and Meggan asks for a security pass for me to help her through security and to the gate. The agent (a man!) informed us that it was against the rules. Meggan pointed out that she had been allowed in Raleigh, and we were informed, quite rudely, that it just wasn't possible.
So we decide to sit out in the open area for awhile, then head to the security line. It wasn't too bad at this point, we move up fairly quickly. There is an older man checking boarding passes.
At this point we have Emalyn in the carry sling, and she's sound asleep. Meggan is carrying the diaper bag and I'm bringing up the rear (of course) with the carryon bag and blanket. As this security guard checks Meggan's pass, he asks if I'm going through. We tell him, no, they wouldn't give me a pass. WELL, he informs us, we need to go back and argue with the agent and GET one, because this lady needs HELP with this LITTLE baby! It was SO SO funny. So we head out and go back to the American counter.
This time we head up to the 2 ladies working the other side of the counter where First Class checks in. They see Emalyn and start ooohing and aahing over her, with all the remarks we are used to by now (how old is she? look at all that hair! she's so adorable!)
We explain to them that I would really like to help Meggan to the gate. No problem, they say, and ask for my id and print out my pass - VOILA! Airport policy my butt!
So we go back to the security line, and get the same security guard checking passes & id. He looks at Meg's military ID, sees my pass and says, Well, I guess that worked. It's a good thing.
Then he asks Meggan if she is the active military member - and when says, no my husband is, he says, "Well, then, you're active too! Thank you and your husband for your service, and take care of that little Marine baby!!!" Isn't that cool?
It was definitely a bright spot in a day of disregard, rude people and chaos!!
So we get through security with all the paraphernalia, walk down to the gate and see
on the board. By now it's about 1:35 or so. No counter agents in sight.
We sit, spread out with all the baby stuff, I'm playing with Emalyn while Meg gets something to eat. See, we know it's almost time to feed Em, so it's perfect, right? She'll get hungry, we'll feed her, then I'll put them on the plane and she'll sleep through the whole thing. RIGHT!
When Meggan comes back, the gate agents have appeared. Meggan goes over to ask about the delay and is informed there are mechanical problems (EEEK!) with the plane and the delay will be at least an hour. The funny part of this conversation is that she said the agent who CHECKED the BAGS should have known there was a delay and attempted to put her on a different flight then - unless we checked in SUPER early. Meggan had checked her first bag at 12:50 - SUPER early according to the gate agent. WHAT????? Have you seen your OWN airline's website recommending 2 hours to get through security? Give me a break!!! And the agent who checked our bags? Well, just scroll up and see what I think about THAT! But I digress...
So on top of not wanting to get on a plane with mechanical issues, that will cause them to miss their connection in Dallas. Which will mean arriving in Raleigh VERY late, where Jacob is waiting to pick them up. However, the gate agent was very friendly and helpful and found a NON-STOP (YAY!) flight to Raleigh leaving at 3:50. WONDERFUL! GREAT! Let's GO - WE'LL TAKE IT! Oh, but...
it's on Continental Airlines.
Well...okay. We're in Terminal A, the new flight leaves out of Terminal B - how hard could it be?
She says - All you have to do is go down and get your bags, then go over to the next terminal and check in. How hard could it be? (Did I say that already?)

SO we go back out (mind you, Meggan had paid for a bottle of water and a Diet Coke at McDonalds that we are now going to waste because we only have 2 hands apiece), go down 2 levels, get the suitcase and the car seat off of the luggage carousel, get on the tram and get over to Terminal B. All I can say is - this should be made into a comedy movie of some sort - or at least a skit on SNL.
There we are dragging all this stuff, sweating from trying to hurry and lug it all, and Emalyn decides she's hungry!!! Well it IS that time. So we get off the tram at Terminal B and head up to the Continental check in. In the midst of this, I make a bottle and Meggan tries to feed Emalyn, still in the sling, while pulling out boarding passes and ids. Needless to say, she was hot and sweaty and just a bit frustrated!
Since the gate agent at Terminal A had checked them in, so it was just a matter of checking the luggage.
We go to the far side of the Continental e-check in, and another sour-faced man points and says "That's self check-in - you can do it yourself". OK - again, we are the ONLY people in line. This is HIS job. We can NOT do self check-in because of the carseat and the change over from American. We point this out, he says OH, and comes over reluctantly to help.
We get the bag up on the scale, Meggan pulls out her military ID, and he says $15.00 please. Again, she asks politely, do I have to pay even with a military ID? Snottily he says "Yes you do - you are not the active member." Here I go again... So I pay to check the bag. Meggan is putting a nametag on the carseat, at which point this person says "It would be much easier for you to gate-check the carrier". To which Meggan replied (I LOVE IT!) "It might be easier for you, but it would NOT be easier for me."
You should've seen the look on his face! And he was about to argue with her, when I stepped over and said, "She is not carrying all of this. She has 2 bags and a baby, and on top of all of that a back condition". (Which is TRUE - at 15, Meggan had to have a spinal fusion to correct her scoliosis. She had a 54 degree curve in her lower back.) At this point, after observing that part of the conversation, a female employee comes over to help him. We are STILL the only people in this line, and I think she could see that we were getting frustrated.
So we're getting it all done, when I ask them for my security pass. They both say, "Oh that is against policy." I show them my pass issued less than 2 hours before, and explain that, if nothing else, she will need help getting through security, and they just shake their heads and say "We just can't let you. We don't even let husbands go back anymore." (HELLO? Yes you do! We know from actual experience that it could NOT be this airport's policy - we just did it!!!)

At this point, it was getting late. The security checkpoint on this terminal was very short, and though busy, they had a family/infant lane, which she was allowed through. I could also see that the gate was not too far down, so I told Meggan it was not worth arguing about. I couldn't have waited for their flight anyway, as I had to be at Morgan's ballgame close to 4:00.
So I walked her in to the security checkpoint, and from there watched them get through and head down out of sight.
It was sad, but I know she was ready to get home to her husband, and I know he was missing them. So I can handle it!

Once they were out of sight, I head out as fast as I can to the parking garage. On the way out, I'm going to call Wade to let him know they're off and I'm headed to Dallardsville. This is when I realize I DON'T HAVE MY PHONE! And I know exactly where it is - I had dropped it in Emalyn's diaper bag when I jumped up to help Meggan get her adjusted in her sling. GOOD GRIEF! Not that I can't live without my phone, but I thought - this will be the day I'll blow a tire or break down. Go figure...that's when I decided that my attitude was B-A-D, and asked God to get me to the ballgame and on to home safely (which He did!)

I blew out of that airport at 3:05! Then I blew through Pier 1 - they had this glass cloche for $20.00 and I just HAD to have it, but I was in and out of there in 5 minutes or less, thanks to competent and helpful Pier 1 employess (YES THEY DO EXIST!).

Then I blasted up Hwy 59 to Livingston. See, Morgan had a softball game against Big Sandy, in Dallardsville. Now, I don't know about you, but I had no clue where that was. I mapquested it, but just wrote down FM numbers, no mileage. So even though it's probably not 10 miles to the turnoff, then another 10 to the school, I felt like I'd been driving for hours!! But I made it to Morgan's game at 4:40 (OK, it started at 4:00, but I wasn't that late!!!)
Hudson was in the lead when I got there, but didn't have a good turnout at the end. My girl did a great job catching, though, and got a hit in the game. That Big Sandy team had quite a pitcher, and they slapped some hits right through the hole.

Then we headed home, where Wade was cooking deer meat (YUM YUM) for dinner. He had picked Caleb up from school and taken him to the river for some fishing and shooting fun. Mom & I watched HGTV's Design Challenge (from the night before) and then to bed.

Today has been back to work and school for everyone. It's a dreary, overcast day. Tonight is basketball practice and homework!

Back to "Normal"...whatever that is.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Weekend Update 2

Well, this weekend was Valentine's Day! Ours was a normal weekend - ball games and running errands! Plus it was our last weekend with Meggan & Emalyn for awhile, so we were trying to cram in enough time with them to give us a fix until they come back! Nonnie brought everyone a Valentine's gift - that was the extent of our celebration!

Friday afternoon I ran out of work a little early for Morgan's ballgame in Zavalla. She is the catcher, did a great job! and scored a run in the game. Then we grabbed pizza and stayed in the rest of the night.

Saturday Caleb had a ballgame - he hit 3-pointer! Congrats Blue Devils! We are in 2nd place!
His friend Colton came home with him and they headed to Academy with Wade, then to Colton's house for the night. The girls and I hit Hobby Lobby & Old Navy - WOOHOO!!! I scored the CUTEST little bird for $2 at HL, and we picked up some cute ladybug stuff for Emalyn's room.

Then we had to go home, unload groceries with Nonnie, and take a nap!

Then Morgan went to a movie with Kayla and Meggan and I got our Target fix!!

Today I again was a heathen (I promise, I do go to church, and I believe it is vitally important!). I have had a really hard time since the first of the year. We were in NC, then I went back, then while the girls have been here every spare moment is spent with them, and that seems to be the only day I have to get caught up on housework and laundry. So today in my inbox was a message from my Daily Bread that I get. It said "What's Important to YOU?" OKAY I get the message. Priorities are being rearranged.
The girls did go with Nonnie, and Boyd went along with them. This afternoon was all laundry, lunch and helping Meg get all of her and Emalyn's stuff together :(. Throw in a couple of feedings and a nap, and that was our day! (Well I did wash my car - which I'm sure all the people in Hudson will appreciate after watching dirt accumulate for the past 3 months.)

Caleb & Colton went out to the ball field and started hitting and fielding with Colton's parents. From one sport right into another... It's already time for baseball signups - can you believe it?

This evening Robin & Boyd came back over to spend a couple of hours with Meggan & Emalyn. Robin took this "Four Generations" picture for us. Our fifth generation, my Grannie, is in Tennessee. Hopefully we'll get that "5 Generations" picture before long! But this is Nonnie, Meme, Mommy and Emalyn. (you can tell we glammed up for this pic LOL NOT!)

Tomorrow I'm taking the girls to the airport, then will stop in Dallardsville on the way home for Morgan's ballgame. GO LADY HORNETS!

Now I'm headed to bed - tomorrow will be a long day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Emalyn's Modeling Session

Angela Marcotte took some great portraits of Emalyn today! She cooperated for the most part. There were a few moments in there when hunger won out over curiosity, but for the most part she really seemed to like the feather boas and the lights. That's our girl! Already loving the camera. Can you believe she's only a month old? This baby is so amazing and strong - thank you Jesus! She's been holding her head up for awhile, but gets steadier by the day. And she is trying so hard to wiggle her way around. It's so sweet!
Angela was so good with her - and she has the cutest props! This one is one of my favorites - Meggan used to have this exact same look on her face as a baby!!!

SLAH Spring 2009

Items from the Spring '09 Southern Living at HOME catalog!

What are the American Idol judges thinking?

Today's blog is going to be more of a rant.
I had to calm down from last night before I could even write this.
I am a HUGE American Idol fan, and the last 3 seasons my favorites have won. But after last night's show it will be all I can do to watch it again!!!! (Who am I kidding? You know I'm gonna watch it again!)
We all know "reality TV" isn't reality, and I know there are hours and hours of footage we do NOT see, but when the footage we DO see is so bad, and contestants stay on anyway, you have to wonder why anyone would audition for this show to begin with!
ATTENTION: AI Judges: You are sending home people with actual talent, and you keep drama queens and idiots who will NEVER make Top 12!! Which just takes a spot away from someone who can actually sing!
How could you keep Tatiana? What are you thinking? I had so hoped that reason and sanity would win out over the drama effect, but I was wrong, so wrong!!!! Seriously, how could you? She is either crazy or abusing a controlled substance! And now I have to listen to that crazy laughter one more week. AAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHH!
And you send home Jamar? I swear, I almost turned off the TV right then!!!!! How could you make him face off against his BEST FRIEND? I mean, at first I thought it was just for the dramatic effect, and that they were going to say "You've both made it through!" Again, I was wrong!! And you know what? To see the two of them work through to the top 12 would have been WAY better for your ratings than keeping these crazy people on who are so self-absorbed and irritating.
I mean, HELLO, remember Season 7? Nice guys really CAN win!
To even consider keeping Tatiana, or Norman/Nick (WTH?) who, in my opinion, waited a little too late to take things seriously! Or people who couldn't finish their songs, forgot the words, walked off stage??? We all know nerves happen, and I of all people sympathize with that, but as the judges always say, if they can't handle the stress at this stage of the game, what will happen when the stress REALLY ramps up?
And then, you face off my FAVORITE Michael Sarver with Matt!!!???!!! Again, time spent on drama rather than time spent on the people with talent! I mean, Nathaniel Marshall's story is sad, and he can sing OK, but like Tatiana, is SO not worth all the drama with him. And the outfits? Do we really think that is AI material?
I just hope the drama kinda settles down now. I actually enjoy watching to see how the contestants react to the pressure, how they choose their songs, how they change up old classics, how well they just SING! I'm ready to get to that!
I think some early favorites are going to be Adam Lambert and Jasmine Murray. Of course, Michael Sarver (JASPER TX hometown boy!) is great, and I'm rooting for him to go all the way!
Kendall Beard from Lufkin is still in there, too.
And you know I'll be watching all the way to the end...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Weekend update...

Yesterday was such a busy day! Caleb had two ballgames. They lost the first game (barely) and he had a really good game, until he fouled out in the 4th quarter :(. The second game went into double overtime but we pulled it out! Good job, Blue Devils!!!!

Then Nana and Garlon came over to meet Emalyn. Nana fed her and held her the whole time she was over. They had been to Lufkin to visit Uncle Aleck and come over to see Emalyn.
Then we all took naps! Well, we ARE grandparents, I suppose it was inevitable that we'd start doing the afternoon nap thing eventually!
Morgan was off to a movie last night with a friend, and Meggan and I hit Target for diapers for Emalyn. Well, we said it was for diapers, but in reality we both have an addiction to Target. We have withdrawals if we're not there every day or so!

I got up with Emalyn last night and again about 6 am today. BOY am I glad I am not doing that all the time! Needless to say, while everyone else got up and headed off to church I was useless! In between doing forty-eight loads of laundry, I had to take ANOTHER quick nap.

Caleb & Wade headed out fishing, and they caught the biggest catfish I've ever seen! And if you've seen a bigger one, I don't want to hear about it!! I said it was the biggest one I had ever seen!

Meggan's friend Kristen came by to see Emalyn - it's been forever since we've seen her! I miss our friends from Douglass!!! One of my goals this year is to try to make more time to get together with friends!

Then the girls and I headed out to Robin's house to see her kitchen renovation progress. It looks really good - I know she's been working hard! Boyd's room is done up in dinosaurs and it is SO SO cute!

This evening, Grandpa and Pat Bridwell came over to meet Emalyn. They were impressed that she had so much hair!

The rest of the evening was "Extreme Makeover, Home Edition" and HGTV! That is our Sunday night routine!!!! Such a sad story on EMHE tonight - but a beautiful castle of a home for that family. I love that show! Emalyn slept through it all on Nonnie's lap. So sweet!

So - not too much excitement - but this is a typical weekend for us!

Friday, February 6, 2009


May I just say, MarTeres Tea Room is the most wonderful place in the world! I could eat there every single day of my life!!! Their almond tea is just divine, the spinach quiche is to die for, and the chocolate cake and bread pudding...OMG!!!!!!!!!!
The atmosphere only adds to it - love the china, all mismatched on the tables with the beautiful linens and wonderful service.
Plus, I enjoyed the company - thanks Leah, Angela, Nan, Meggan and Emalyn for having lunch with me today!!!!

Now, for family news, Morgan played her first high school softball game last night. Granted, it was only a scrimmage, but I thought she did just fine! She caught the whole game, and had the first on-base hit of the game. Good job, baby - keep up the good work!

Wade is working over in DeQuincy, LA today, so he'll be out late tonight. I'm so glad it's Friday - we can all relax for a change this evening!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bridwell blogs

You know, all this time, I thought we were the only Bridwells on the planet. Yes, I realize how self-involved that sounded. If the shoe fits...
Anyway, when creating my new blog on blogspot, I entered bridwellfamily as my blog name. Not available! Not available? What?
So I tried thebridwells - not available. bridwell - not available. What? So I started looking through all of the blogs - there are quite a few Bridwell families out there. Some even in Texas! I wonder if we're all related...
The one that really threw me was where every one was posted by Holly. OMG - another Holly Bridwell in the world! Be afraid, people, be VERY afraid.
And to you other Bridwells out there - drop us a line. Let's plan a reunion!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Feb Southern Living at HOME news

I really do love my SLAH business so I thought I'd share a little bit about it!
So many people love the products, but don't think they can afford them. YOU CAN!
You really can get free products for hosting parties. Most people make this harder than it should be. You just have a few friends over, throw out cookies (from the store is fine!) and a pot of coffee or tea, and have fun! If you're too busy for that, you just take a catalog everywhere you go - people will ASK you if they can look at it.
Our Monthly Specials are really great - the savings are so good, and these are truly quality products. When I first started, Wade & I unpacked my starter kit (back in 2003!) and he was testing out all of the iron pieces!!! If he's convinced, you know it's good!

For February, SLAH is offering a "Mini-Starter Kit" that is only $99 to get you started
. It has over $300 worth of product plus business supplies to get you started.
Then the new Consultant Incentives start. You can earn all kinds of free stuff for sales and sponsoring when you first start out.
I have Spring Catalogs available - call me for your own copy, or just click on the link and see the virtual catalog online.
Happy Decorating!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Getting Started

I've never blogged before so here goes. Even with Facebook and all the great sites out there, it's hard to keep up with family these days. I've created this for all of our family and friends who want to keep in touch!

It's only Feb. 3 and it's been a crazy year so far!

Our family started the year in North Carolina with Meg & Jacob - hoping Emalyn would arrive while we were there, but she did not :( We got to stop over in Atlanta on our way back to Texas and visit with Aunt Jama, Tilly and KitKat - that was a lot of fun! Since then it's been back to the routine - work and shuttling the kids to various activities.

Wade is working at Temple - North Boggy Slough. It's the perfect job for him!

I'm doing accounts at Lufkin Electric, and still a Southern Living at HOME consultant. LE is a good job that pays the bills, but SLAH is what I LOVE to do!!

Morgan just celebrated her 15th birthday on Jan. 28. We had a family dinner at Olive Garden. She is a freshman and playing softball for the Hudson High School Lady Hornets. Season kicks off with scrimmages this week. She loves it and has been working hard to get ready for the season.

Caleb is a 5th grader at Hudson Middle School. He's making straight A's and playing Little Dribbler's Basketball. His team, the Blue Devils, are 4-2 so far and doing great!

Meggan and Jacob welcomed Emalyn Rae Gonzalez into the world on January 7 at 4:18 in the morning! She weighed 9 lbs 12 oz and was 20 inches long. They are currently stationed at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina.

Meggan and Emalyn are visiting with us for a couple of weeks, as Jacob is doing field training, preparing to deploy to the Middle East in the Spring. We are all having so much fun with the baby! They arrived on Morgan's birthday, and surprised Morgan when she walked in the door!

That should bring you up to date for now! I'll post more later...