Apparently snow around Christmas is still a possible thing in Oklahoma. I don't know why I was surprised to wake to falling snow with a good covering all over the ground. We had all the signs for it yesterday. 60 degrees screams snow is on the way. Totally.
Of course we had to make good use of the little winter gift and so we did! For like 5 minutes before begging to come inside. :)
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Monday, November 03, 2014
For as long as I can remember I have been a dreamer. Not meaning the reach for great things dreamer, oh, no, no, I mean while you are sleeping vivid, emotion filled, gut wrenching, heart racing, dreams. These are the big time.
So, for whatever reason, this time I choose to blame daylight savings, I had one of these dreams just the other night.
Here’s the highlight reel.
All was right in the world. Brandon and I had been to some pretty sketchy areas around the South Side. By what we saw our hearts were simultaneously saddened by the extreme evil around, re-energized with a passion for our mission to love people while telling them about Jesus, and we felt great compassion.
Suddenly, you know how dreams are, we were running into some old friends and they wanted a group picture. (Random detail we were standing on the street corner at an intersection right across from a hospital.) I backed up several hundred feet to snap the picture. Out of nowhere a man walks up the group pulls out his gun and shoots Brandon who was standing on the edge right in the chest.
Enter awesome dream effect here where Brandon is suddenly collapsed on the ground at my feet and the others are running to our aid. The gunman acts like he’s going to shoot me but then leaves the area. I’m in medical save him mode, shouting orders for so and so to call 9-1-1. It was all in vain though and before the ambulance even arrived I had accepted the fact that Brandon was dead. I held him in my arms and wept from my innermost person over the loss. I could feel the physical pain my heart was experiencing deep inside.
It just so happens this all takes place on a Wednesday and after they take Brandon away, I’m still emotional but able to keep my composure somewhat as I now switch gears to my logistical self. My top priorities included calling Chris Brewster to let him know he was going to have to handle Flood class for students alone. Next up was Pastor Jerry, he was going to need to step up to get replacement help at the church. Of course, I needed to let the family know. And I couldn't forget the call to our insurance agent because I was going to get a killer life insurance check. I sighed a bit of relief thinking about the fact that I could also file for serious AFLAC money because this was an accident. Yay!
Next up was the funeral and the dream gods saw to it that I didn't experience the planning of the funeral but skipped straight to the day of.
It was a packed house. People who love our family and those whose lives had been touched in even some small way by Brandon’s life. I gave a heartfelt eulogy. “Although by many standards it seems this great life has been cut terribly short. We can say about Brandon’s life what many cannot say after many more years of living. Brandon made every day count for the advancement of the Kingdom. He looked up to many Godly men as role models and early in our marriage he said to me “Rachael, they are so kingdom minded! I want to be like that.” You were Kingdom minded My Love, You were!" "Brandon cared about you” I went on, “He was willing to tell you the truth even if it wasn’t always what you wanted to hear. He prayed for you even when you didn’t know. He cheered you on and pulled for you….especially some of you young men….” I shared with passion how Brandon’s greatest concern was for the condition of their souls and I pleaded with them to examine the condition of their heart. Even those who were already saved I gave the request for them to make the choice to live their life Kingdom minded.
I was incredibly, seriously, emotionally invested in this dream. It was hard core!
It was one of the best dreams I've ever had. To have the feeling of honor, and pleasure, and pride, and gratitude of being able to live life with someone as their teammate and you realize how passionately, indescribably, deeply you love and treasure your spouse and the void that would be left behind should death do you part. Then you wake up. It was all a dream and you get to keep living life with the one you so deeply love.
I rolled over, and snuggled closer letting my arm fall around him, well aware of how much I care for Brandon. Sometimes I forget. Life happens and we disagree or let each other down. I for one, was grateful for the reminder of truly how blessed I am!
And then, as a sign of my love I got out of bed and got ready for church and failed to bring Brandon the breakfast burrito he requested and I promised. :) Now I’m hoping he gets one of these reminder dreams about me! Ha!
As to why I had the dream in the first place I have no idea! But, Brandon celebrated another birthday on the 31st of October and my reminiscing of life with him has been good!
Posted by Brandon and Rachael at Monday, November 03, 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
I do this weird thing where I call myself a non-professional photographer but go ahead a charge people to take their pictures. Seems to be working out pretty well! Good news is you also get non-professional prices. J Student of photography is what I say in my bio. It's a learning hobby really. Maybe some day I'll take away the non from professional but with all there is to learn and the throngs on incredibly talented and knowledgeable real professionals it may be awhile!
Does is make you more professional to have a business name? Because if in fact that's what it takes it has been decided that I will work under the name Purple October Photography. Why that name? It's becaaaause I couldn't think of anything better. That's why! Well, that and the website was available for that name. Naming a nonprofessional hobby is hard, people. Trust me. I almost went with No Name Photography. Finally, I said "forget this!" Favorite color and month it is! (Which I also didn't come up with on my own. A friend recommended it.) So, anyways, name or no name, professional or non, I'm having a blast doing photo sessions and charging people and laughing with them and learning!So, if you’d like this non-professional to charge you for pics please take a look at my work and book your session today! It’s a gorgeous time of year!
Posted by Brandon and Rachael at Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
If I was toast I'd be burnt. If I was roast I'd be dry. If I was a firework I'd already be popped. I am SO done!
We just finished our last event of the summer and I can honestly say I was excited to have the event season coming and I'm excited to see it over. I ain't as young as I used to be!
My fun job is keeping the troops fed. I find it very enjoyable! For real! Also physically and emotionally draining when also having my three kiddos along. I'm never without a helping hand though. And sometimes my little guy gets some grandparent time which is huge. HUGE! I am SO-totally-100%- completely grateful!!
My favorite part about cooking for the crew is learning things they love. When I'm making my list and shopping I shop for individuals.
Cereal for an evening snack for Justin
Corn pops for Luke
No sesame seeds for Will
Fruit snacks for...too many to list!
Chicken Alfredo because everyone raves, which is crazy to me!
Hold the cilantro for Carl
Fruit smoothies for Anna
Frozen Frappes for Will
Apple Juice for Elliot
Lemon garlic salad for Joseph
Suzanna appreciates the organic stuff I hide in the kitchen for people that care.
And the list goes on.
Through it all
"I've learned there's a big difference between mostly dead and all the way dead." Said in my best voice from The Princess Bride. And I'm only mostly dead so a full recovery is expected!! Scrape off the burnt, add butter, and serve again!
Posted by Brandon and Rachael at Tuesday, July 15, 2014