David has been on a cruise with Booster since wednesday so I have been flying solo. The only other time we've been apart during marriage was when I went to visit my grandma for a weekend. Needless to say, I have been missing him so much! I guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder. I am literally counting down the hours until he gets home. The Lord has been so faithful through this time and has really sustained me. I have only cried once which for me is really good. I'm just an emotional person. I am so blessed to have the sweet Bakers to take care of me and keep me company. I have even done some really fun things...drew and ellie holcomb concert (my favorite), dinners, walks, shopping, etc. So it hasn't been all bad. I am ready to have David back home...and that is today's sob story. :)
well, minus the child. I have taken today off of work and it has been the most glorious day. David and I realized that we are so busy doing stuff with small groups, work, etc and he have started to neglect time for just the two of us to hang out and have fun. He leaves to go on his "work cruise" to Cozumel on wednesday and I wanted to be able to soak in some time. I have made some cookies that he adores (thanks to Meagan Gibson) and just hung out. It's amazing. If I just didn't work I would be able to have cookies all the time! haha. Our holidays have kicked off to a busy start. It's good stuff to be busy with but still tiring. We had a "camp out" with our small group this weekend. It was so good. We did "Life Maps" which are basically an organized testimony and more in depth. People were so vunerable and it's amazing the stuff people go through. We get so caught up in the surface and don't take time to dig a little deeper. We are so blessed to be in such an amazing group of people to share life with. We helped to Bakers decorate their Christmas tree last night. It was so much fun to go back to childhood and see how much fun it is for kids. It's amazing how your idea of a Christmas tree goes from looking at every ornament in depth and in awe to trying to pick out just the right shade of red. wow. Got to go finish making cookies for my precious husband.. " Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need." Hebrews 4:16
There is nothing like the place where you grew up. Since David and I are from the same home town, all of our family is here. We have had an incredible time. We flew in for Emily and BJ Haisten's wedding where we were reunited with so many friends! It was so much fun. Now we've been hanging out at home, catching up with friends, eating at favorite restaurants and eating yummy homemade meals. Life is good for the Brannens right now. We will put up some pictures from the trip. We have already started our rounds of Thanksgiving meals but happy thanksgiving!! "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever."
I teach special ed children who are pretty low on the spectrum. Most of them have Down's Syndrome and our class is called "Life Skills". The goals that these children have are writing their name legibly, knowing their colors, being able to look at someone and say "Hi" and many more. Their life is so simple. They are the happiest people I have ever known. They have found such a joy in the simplicity. It is such a beautiful thing. They have no idea and that people around them are stressed to no end because they have dry cleaning to pick up. I find myself getting so caught up in the everyday activities that I "have" to do. Then, I come to school and have to change a fifth grader that can't do it for himself. Talk about humbling. People keep asking me when I'll change jobs but the fact is that I am attached to these kids. They can frustrate me to no end but when Macy looks at me and gives me that smile, I don't want to do anything else. One child constantly looks at me and says "Happy day Callie" and grins ear to ear. You just can't help but smile right back. I wish I could put up pictures but for some reason I feel like that's illegal in some way.
We have been reflecting a ton on how the Lord has been so faithful to us. He is so good even when we are not. We, as people, are so caught up in ourselves that we think that we have "earned" whatever is given to us. Before we got married (circa May), we had no idea where we were going to live, if we would have jobs, or how we would survive. We had a constant battle of giving these burdens over to the Lord. It was a really tough and trying time not knowing where we would be in 2 months. But of course, the Lord is faithful. ("Let us hold unswervingly to the hope that we profess for He who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23) In June He provided an amazing job for David that could not have been hand-picked better. David was stuck between wanting to do ministry and business. What does the Lord do? Give him a company to work for thats mission is to combine ministry and business. (Booster) Wow. Great example of how the Lord's plans are so above and better than our own. David realized that the Lord was shutting so many doors because He knew something better. Then we were nervous because we didn't know how we would afford an apartment in Dallas on one salary. (I didn't have a job) The Baker family tells us that we can live in their beautiful home. That is when the Lord just provides abundantly. We live in the nicest part of Dallas with the most amazing family. I still didn't have a job. After searching I get a job the first day of school at an awesome school doing something I didn't know I would enjoy so much. The Lord has constantly provided for us when we give it to Him. It's hard to give it over because human nature wants to hold on to it. But the Lord knows best, trust us. It's funny how the Lord makes us sort of uncomfortable sometimes wanting to see if we will trust Him. He is a good Father though and loves His children. ("If you then ,being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more then will your Father in Heaven give what is good to those who ask him?" Matthew 7:11) Thank you Lord for all You have done and are continuing to do!
One of the reasons we love Booster (the company David works with) is because they invest in our family. Their goal is to mold David into a better husband which will in turn make me a better wife (hopefully). They pay for us to go on one date night a month and give us a topic to discuss. The topic a couple of months ago was our family values. These are our values: Passion, Hope, Discipline, Integrity. Passion- We want to be passionate about pursuing life. We want to be adventurous and have passion for the Lord and life overflowing. Hope- The hope of our calling in Christ Jesus. Our hope we have in Him is that we know we put our faith and trust in Him and He will not disappoint. Discipline- We want to be disciplined in every area of our life, from our morning time with the Lord to exercise. It covers a lot. Integrity- If we our lose integrity we've lost. Integrity is everything.
David and I had the opportunity to house/dog sit for some friends of ours this weekend. It was so great. We were able to have a whole house to ourselves and a dog! I can't even explain how much we want a dog. Our thought is that we will wait about a year until we get one so we can have no responsibilties for a little while. But we just want one so bad! Bad news came this weekend... my allergies started acting up a little at the Lacy's house (who we were dog-sitting for). I am praying that it was not because of the sweet puppy. That would cause devastation. I am convinced that there has to be some kind of shot out there to make it better. There has to be! I was also inspired this weekend to get a little festive. I went to Target yesterday and purchased some fun fall-ish things. I was so happy. I LOVE holidays. They are just so fun, how could you not love them?
We have had a busy couple of weeks here in the big D. David's parents came in town last week. It was such a great visit. They were here for a good extended time. They drove from Dothan with their car packed down with stuff that we needed. Keep in mind, they had essentials like winter clothes. We were very excited for all of that. We were able to take them to some of our favorite restaurants and places in Dallas. We ate so much food that we had to all be rolled around after. At least that's what it felt like. It was great to have a big slice of family when we are so far away.
On other news, my best friend is pregnant!! My friend that I have known since I was in kindergarten (Amy Cochrane) is going to have a precious baby. I am beyond excited for them. I was shaking I was so excited after I talked to her. So during my free time at work I have been researching what she should be eating, doing, taking, etc. I then call her on the way home to report my findings for the day. It's been great. And yes, the child will call me Aunt Callie. I love it!!
We had a wonderful weekend! Our friends from A&M and Arkansas (some of them) came in town for their big game. It was great spending time with them. Everyone came over to our (well, the Bakers') home to watch the game. It was a little stressful trying to make sure everyone was happy at all times but it was a success. We ventured down town and ate at a local place called "Angry Dogs". They have possibly the greasiest hamburgers on the planet but hey, that's what a burger is all about. If you combine all of the food that is terrible for you, that was our menu for the day. Donuts for breakfast, burgers for lunch and pizza for dinner. Throw in some cheese dip and cookies along the way. Barf.
These are our friends Andrew & Bart. We worked at K-Kountry (yes, with a 'k') with them. We love these guys.
I took my first sick day yesterday, then had to take another one today. I came down with something and I felt like I'd been hit by a train. After 2 days at the doctore, they figured out what it was..I'll spare the details. I'm good now. I had to take a sick day today to rest. I felt so much better today so I went and walked around the mall...turns out taking sick days are pretty fun! I did miss my sweet kiddos a lot though. Is that lame? We have a great weekend ahead of us. Friends from A&M and Arkansas are coming in town because the teams are playing eachother in the nicest stadium ever...Dallas Stadium. We are so excited to see our friends! I've decided that I need to start taking more pictures, it's a personal goal. We'll see what actually happens. We have been through some hard times lately seeing a leader that we admired so much fall into sin. The Lord has taught us so much through it though. Do we put people up on a pedastal and make them our own personal gods? It's easy to do that because we can touch them and see them. But God is so much bigger than pastors, mentors, etc. It seems so simple but we've really been reminded that we are a fallen people. The only good that is in us in Jesus. He is much bigger and more powerful than we can begin to wrap our mind around. Praise Jesus we can't comprehend His power and might... that's what makes Him God and us people.
Here it is Sunday night and we are facing the reality of the glorious weekend ending and another work week beginning. We had a fantastic weekend. We met up with Tommy and Val (The Dallas Brannens) and went to the lake. They have an awesome boat and they are just a ton of fun. I have not been able to get any good sun time since our honeymoon so we went from darkies to ghosts. It was great to relax and soak up the rays. The State Fair is in Dallas right now. Apparently it's a really big deal. The big thins year is fried butter..I can't think of anything that makes me want to gag more. Sick. Of course David will probably try it. We'll take some pictures and post them. David and I are also trying to plan a fun summer because we both have it off. Colorado, Montana, Kanakuk and a sailing trip are in the works. It's going to be great! The Lord is faithful. He is our Rock and Redeemer.
I guess reality has finally hit us..college was much more fun than working. I mean, we LOVE our jobs. We really do. We are so blessed to be doing things that bring us such joy. There is just a hard transition from an occasional class skip when you're just to tired, watching a lot of movies, and being constantly surrounded by your very best friends to having to work 7-4 every day. I guess the parents of the world are laughing now saying "I told you so" but it is still a transition none the less. We booked our first flight together (minus honeymoon) to go home! We are going to be home for Thanksgiving and we are so excited. Being so far away from family has made us really miss them. We love Dallas and are growing a lot by having to solely rely on eachother. There is something about being home though...the smell of home-cooking in the oven, pies, the bed you grew up in and the people that love you so much. It is going to be a great week. Teaching in a special ed class comes with a lot of perks. One of them being birthday parties! Friday will be my second one and they are so much fun. It's great to be able to live vicariously through a 9 yr old. Dora, princesses, crowns, pink, sparkles, Elmo..it makes you wish you could have the birthday party that a little girl gets to have. I got her a Hannah Montana microphone for her present and I am feeling so strong about it. God is good, all the time. "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other just as Christ forgave you. Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love just as Christ also loved you and gave himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma." ephesians 4:32- 5:2
The long weekend is definitely a much needed one for us after a long week. We are still both getting used to our new jobs (which we love). It's just a new sleep cycle, working, and getting used to things. We are still so thankful that the Lord has provided abundantly for His children. We are both doing something that we are loving. God is so good. We are looking foward to our family and friends visiting us in Dallas! There is an open invitation to anyone who would like to come!
These pictures are of David and his Booster team! The one of us is from Booster U in July.
We have not been able to update in a while because David & I have gotten so busy. I (Callie) got a job! To God be the glory for this. It was totally Him. Through interviewing with principals I found out that I would not be eligible to teach this year because my certification was not going to transfer from Alabama to Texas in time. I was so devastated. ButGod is still good and we know that. I got a job in a great school system working in a special ed classroom with some sweet children with Down's Syndrome. I do not really have any experience in this area but it's neat how God works. I think He is preparing me for something..we'll see. David is loving his job. He is learning a lot and gets to wear a sweet uniform get-up to work. His work gear consists of Under Armor and Nike Shox. We have been exploring Dallas. It's so different than anything that we're used to. It's fun being in a different element. I will post some pictures soon of our adventures. We got a new computer so we are still figuring out how things work. Last weekend we went to our friends' wedding. Tommy and Hannah Webb...we love them. Tommy was David's AU roommate. It was great to see our friends. It was a bittersweet weekend though. We made such amazing friends in college. That part of our life is now over. We must move on but it's so hard not to just live in memories and want to go back..especially to college. We will have these friends for a long time but we won't live with them, have lunch with them regularly, run with them, and all the things we're used to. These are the people we lived life with for four years. They became our family and the people that we cried to, sang with, and rejoiced with. We grew into adults with these people. How can we just say good-bye to them? I don't know what the answer is but it hurts our hearts to not be with them. We will see them soon. Needless to say, we miss them. Praise God from Whom ALL Blessing flow....
Today David and I were driving around looking for Goodwills and other thrift shops in Dallas for a bed side table. My heart was very sad as we were driving around. It took me awhile to figure out what was going on inside of me. One of the things that we started talking about were the homeless and searching. Coming from Dothan and Auburn we never see hunger, hurt, brokeness, loss and all of these other issues that are so painful as evident as in a larger city. Our eyes were really opened to what is really happening in the world. Of course we have just come off our parents' budgets and college allowances but we're doing fine. We keep hearing about the recession but the only way that it has effected us has been in the job market. Today it really affected our hearts. We saw man after man begging, starving, looking for somewhere to lay his head. It was a painful experience but made us realize how blessed we are. One of the things God is preparing us for is to not rely on material possesions. Everything that we have right now is a complete gift from God and nothing that we have done on our own. He is so faithful and good to His children.
David and I have been so busy this past week, I feel like I have to make an effort to sit down and catch my breath. Our loves have just been so full lately, but full of fun things, mostly. I have been very busy on the job front. I am looking for a teaching position. Anytime I tell someone they say, "Wow, you should definitely be able to find a job so easily." Well, I'd like to find all of those schools. It's just been hard being a first year teaching begging people to give me chance. I just have to keep promising I'll be a good teacher...something will open up. God is still good. He has something that will end up being the desire of my heart even if I don't understand the process of getting there. My back is finally healed! Woo hoo! I was getting so anxious in bed all of the time. David was just the most wonderful husband through it all. I mean, he basically had to carry me to the bathroom when I had to use it. He's the best. David is getting really excited for Booster to start. He is going to be so incredible at his job. Our family that we have been living with in Highland Park has blessed us so much. They are an incredible group. Wonderful, loving parents that love the Lord, 9 and 6 year old boys who are hilarious and LOVE David and a precious 13 year old daughter. They are amazing. God is so good to us.
here we are in the humongous state of texas. it's going to be weird being texans. our trip here was exciting to say the least. we started our journey with full intention of driving the whole 12 hours..well, the Lord had something else planned for the two of us. we got to ozark,al and then a battery/brake light came on in my car. i frantically called david and three hours later we pulled out of ozark with a new alternator and a lot poorer than we started. woo hoo... our journey took us through some neat back roads full of construction, tractors, and the beautiful smell of fresh cut grass. we stopped in monroe, louisiana, the "armpit of the world" as my dad gracefully said. we finally arrived at our new, amazing, unexplainable, fantastic home. our jaws just hung open as we were driving through our new neighborhood. all i could think is that God has such a sense of humor. His plans for me always totally trump mine..everytime. why do i even continue to try and run my life? maybe that's what He's teaching me.. So that was yesterday. full of excitement, unpacking, adventures to fnd somewhere to eat that we could afford to step in to. (we ended up at Chick-Fil-A, a personal fave) today however was when we hit a wall. i apparently have thrown out my back while moving a three pound chair. wow. so today has consisted of movies, cuddling (sort of), reading, etc. maybe this is a harsh reminder to take things slow and don't try to do too much at once. However, we are trusting and clinging to the truth that the Lord is STILL good. He has to be, always. He will take care of me. He is my healer and He is our strength. We serve a mighty God who heals the blind, deaf, and mute. He raises people from the dead. a little back pain is just that..little. but still He cares and loves me.
david and i just got back from our trip to atlanta. it was such a blessing and great experience to meet the people that we will be with in dallas. they are amazing people and we are looking foward to spending time with them. God is so good to us and just blessed us so much these past couple of days meeting new friends. we are very excited about david's new job. it fits him so perfectly and he is going to love it. we were also able to meet pete and katie newman for lunch on saturday. they are such great friends and have both had huge impacts on our lives. we had the best time hanging out with them. we made our first "public appearance" as our friends were saying. we went to scott and lele frasier's wedding. it was just beautiful. completely amazing. they were such an example of the love of Christ. so here we are back in dothan. we are currently at david's house. we will leave for dallas on tuesday so we will be soaking in the time with our families.
hello blog world... i am very new to blogging. i have decided to start a blog since we're moving so far away and it will be a great way for family and friends to know what we're up to on our exciting adventure. married life has been wonderful so far. our wedding was everything that we could have hoped for. when else will we be surrounded by all of our friends and family and the sole purpose is to celebrate love and glorify the Lord? it's an amazing feeling knowing that everyone is in one place to share in the joy of your love. we could not ask for better friends or family. we love yall...alot. our honeymoon was wonderful too, we have just been floating on clouds for the last week. we went to negril, jamaica and stayed at couples negril. david did a great job planning it. we had the most fun. we just sat and read, sat and read. it was so relaxing and such a neat experience to be on a vacation just david and i. just me and my husband. since the honeymoon, we've been in dothan preparing for our move to dallas. there has been a ton to do! name changes, joint banking, packing, insurance, you name it. but all so much fun. my name is now officially callie clemons brannen. i love it. i still find my self hesitating when i sign my name for something so my signature usually turns out: callie c brannen. it makes sense too. well off to atlanta today for booster university! there is a day for wives tomorrow and since i am one of those now, i get to go. i'm very excited to hang out with the people we will be spending a lot of time with in dallas. thank you so much to everyone for all of the prayers these last couple of months. the Lord is so good to us and is constantly providing our every need. thanks.