Thursday, February 28, 2013

There's this pair of pants...

This post is about a pair of pants that I have.

(This was taken last summer.  Note the super blonde hair.)  

For the record, I don't normally front tuck.  I was simply pointing out the cute two button detail at the waist.  I like it.  It's very nautical, I think.

So, about the pants...

Summer 2011, we were at my sister Carrie's house.  Blake (her son) was napping, Trent went for a run, and Carrie was working from home.  Naturally, I decided to nap as well.

I noticed a box on the coffee table.  It was a large cardboard box with the lid (is it called a lid?) open.  My nosey nature curiosity got the best of me.  I got up and looked in it.  Clothes.  

I asked Carrie, "What are these for?"  She said, "Those are the clothes of Julie's that didn't sell in our neighborhood garage sale." 

(Julie is our other sister).

My cheap frugal mind started to turn.  "I could potentially find some free clothes here."   

I found a cute shirt that fit and I was excited.  Then I saw a pair of pants with the tags still on them.  The tags said '6 Long Maternity.'  Bummer.  They were so cute.  But, I was fine with my shirt find, so I went to the couch again.

*Insert inner-monologue*

"Hmmmm...I wonder if '6 Long Maternity' is like a regular 10 or 12 long?  I wonder if I should try them on just for fun?"  

Just for fun.

(I'm assuming you are beginning to see where this is going.)

Yep.  In case you were wondering, a '6 Long Maternity' is definitely like a regular 10 or 12 long.  Complete with elastic back of waist and all.  I liked the pants.  And, because I have no shame, I took those too.

They are so comfy.  Wide leg and low-rise, but not too low-rise.  (There's a fine line, ladies.)  Plus, they're made out of a stretchy chino material that, even after hours of wear, maintains structure and doesn't make you look like you #2'd your pants.  They can also be dressed up or down.  An important characteristic to me.

In conclusion...

I own and wear a pair of maternity pants and I'm not pregnant.  Don't judge.  You'd like them too.

Anyone out there have a similar story?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wesley Statewide 2013

The past weekend, we went to Pulaski, MS to Timbercreek Camp for the Mississippi Wesley Foundation's Statewide Retreat.  (Say that 3 times fast.)  Something like 16 MS colleges were represented.  And if you're in Mississippi, you should look into renting the camp.  It is BEAUTIFUL and the owners are super sweet with hearts for Jesus. 

This trip, we brought a bass player with us.  He asked if he could bring his wife, so of course we said YES!  Here's Matthew and Natalie Melton...fellow Texans living in Nashville.  Matthew has played bass for pretty much everyone in the business and he's amazing.  Natalie is so cute and sweet and she laughed at my attempts at puns.  We had a great time and look forward to hanging out with them! 

This is where all the worship services were held.  I want to live in it.  (Not really, I just like the look.)

Speaker Olu Brown got the college students fired up for sure!  

So did Bishop Stevens.  We loved him!  He got up to speak after Trent sang and he said "I can remember back when white folk didn't have that much rhythm."  Best. Quote. Ever.  And after he spoke, Trent went up to him and said, "Man, I really enjoyed your word!  I could listen to you read the phonebook."  The Bishop got a kick out of it.  And hearing him speak solidified my desire to go to a black church.  

This checkerboard was in the dining room made from wood, tiles, and plastic plates.  My inner PE teacher came out and all I could do was think about how this would've been SO FUN on Fun Fridays.  I also told Trent (since he's so handy) he'd be making one for our backyard one day.

We got on the elevator to leave one day and someone left us a stinky little present.  Barf.  

During some down time, Trent decided to work on a song he's been writing.  We went to the green room and he finished it!  He's a professional people.  (Spoiler alert:  the song makes me teary-eyed every time.  You've been warned.) 

Y'all?  This group was remarkable.  They sang loud and pretty and with purpose.  I had to really focus on my duties on stage so I wouldn't get caught up in it.  But mercy.  The Holy Spirit was in the house.  Way cool to witness.

Here they are playing "Don't Forget the Lyrics."  (A game I desperately need in my life.)

Here's Matthew doing his thing.

I'm so focused.

Trent doing his thing.

There are lots more pics at the Statewide Wesley Mississippi Facebook page, if you wanna check them out.  (Thank you Phillip!)

The woman in the middle was sportin' her new Trent Monk shirt.  She had a matching beanie and was adorable!

Trent with some new fans...

The weekend was powerful.  It'll be one of those moments that we'll never forget.  We enjoyed every minute of it.

Thank you Mississippi!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Iowa: an ROTC Valor Retreat

This past weekend, we were in Eldora, IA to provide worship and music for an ROTC Valor Retreat.  It was at Pine Lake Camp and we had a great time.  (Even if it was super duper cold.)  My brother-in-law, Nathan Self, got us connected with the Valor ministry that put it on and we were pumped to be a part.

We decided to split up the 11 hour drive and stopped in Hannibal, MO on Valentine's night.  Random fact:  Hannibal is where Mark Twain is from and my mom knew this because she knows everything.  When we continued to Iowa the next day, we actually got to do something we NEVER do on the road.  We actually got out and ate lunch.  (And yes, I'm still wearing the fleece that won't quit.)

I realized I've become quite good at car activities:  eating, putting on makeup and changing clothes.  

We got to the camp and we set up everything and also ran our own sound.  Trent called this picture "almost butt-crack." 

I needed to enter worship lyrics into Power Point.  I hadn't used Power Point since about 2001, so I was a bit nervous, but I got it all figured out.  No problemo.  

Yep.  That's right folks.  We were table leaders.  I'd like to think we rocked it.

It was really cold.  Like whoa cold.  But oh so pretty.

Our room in our amazing cabin had twin beds.  The first night, we slept like this:

The second night, we slept like this:

It was the best of both worlds.  Closeness to my man but we got to have our own blanket situations.  Him with barely a sheet and me with lots.  Can I get an amen?

We sat on a marriage panel.  The blue arrow is us!

We got some Valor swag.  I love bags, hats and coffee mugs.  

The last morning (Sunday) all the cadets and leaders sat in a circle and shared, if they felt led, anything from the weekend.  I did not plan on sharing...

But then, the speaker (Don Bentley who works with my brother-in-law) talked briefly about Nathan's battle.  I cried, of course, then shared.

I simply told the group how thankful I was for people in Military Ministry because they played a huge role in helping Nathan and Julie during a very dark time in their life.

(Also, if you'd like to know their story, read Two Wars.  You won't be sorry.)

The weekend was powerful.  Hearing Don's story and his wife Ang's perspective of military life was huge.  There were a couple other married couples who shared their wisdom, too.  I can only imagine how those tales impacted the young cadets and midshipmen.  

We were moved by the fact that these ROTC cadets are young and willingly entering into the military in a post 9/11 world.  Hearing some of them tell why they have chosen that life was an honor.  

"I want to help people."  
"I want to give back."
"I want to be a part of a team." 

I am thankful and in awe.

We split up the drive back home as well.  We chose St. Louis as our stopping point and hung out downtown.  

Fun times.  We head to Mississippi this coming weekend for another retreat, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Just another day in paradise.

We call our car Chuck. Next to Trent's guitar, he's the closest thing we have to a child.  Chuck is tired. He works hard and needs a lot of maintenance due to the amount of driving he does.

Bless his heart.

(Yes, I realize Chuck doesn't have a heart.)

(I also realize it's probably a little weird that we've named our car.)

Monday, he got new tires. Yesterday, we had to take him to get brakes and shocks and struts and alignment and a partridge in a pear tree.

Ahhh, the joys of being road warriors.

Chuck is our only car, so we planned the trip to Midas accordingly. Instead of sitting in the waiting room for hours on end reading Sports Illustrated and Auto magazines and drinking burnt coffee, we decided to kill two birds with one stone. We wore our workout gear and chose to get our heart rate up while Chuck got worked on.  We zipped up our jackets and headed out...

We passed by the Zoo and contemplated going.  We've heard it's a good one.  

The first stop was Gojo Ethiopian for lunch.  They have a fabulous buffet!

Then, the heavens opened and I'm pretty sure I heard the angels singing the Hallelujah Chorus as we stumbled upon this:

Not many bargains, although this was quite tempting:

We had to stop at a dollar store because my lips? They were getting chapped and I needed some gum.  I went old school and got some Big League Chew.

I really wanted to ask the workers, "Excuse me, do you know where I can find a Valentine's Day balloon?" 

Because seriously...

All in all it was a fun 5 mile outing.  And, I have to say, I felt so urban and like a city girl.  (Even though we all know I'm from the country and grew up saying things like "Are we going to town today?")

PS. We got to Midas at 12:30 and left at 6:00.  Lawd have mercy.  They were super nice, though.  And Chuck runs way more smoothly. And they gave us a free oil change!  Score.

(And for the rest of the day I was singing both "Nobody beats Midas" and "Trust the Midas Touch.")

Excellent marketing.

Monday, February 11, 2013

M - I - crooked letter - crooked letter - I (and so on)

The first weekend in February we went to Oxford, MS (home of Ole Miss) for guest worship/special music at Oxford University UMC.

Luckily, it wasn't a long drive (like 5 hours maybe).  Because the day we needed to leave we woke up to this:

Thank goodness we were able to wait for the roads to clear up.

For those of you that don't know, I used to live in Southaven, MS (which is basically Memphis).  We drove through there on our way to Oxford.  I had to document.  Crazy how I was able to recall where things were.  For example, I pointed out the Wal-Mart, Target and Starbucks.  You know, the important spots.  

We got to our destination (a guest house close to the church) and found some snacks and a sweet note!  I just love the people we meet.  See that pink box?

It was filled with these.  You may know that I've been gluten-free since September.  I'll cheat occasionally, but when I do I can tell a significant difference in the way I feel.  But, like I told Trent, sometimes you just have to say yes to gluten and deal with it in the morning.  And y'all?  I'm so glad I did.  Best. Pastries. Ever.  

The sweet couple that brought us to Oxford, Allyson and Eddie, took us to dinner that night for some GREAT sushi at Toyo.  Here we are posing with their four adorable kids.  Well behaved, quiet, polite, home-schooled, considerate, smart, helpful, loving children.  AND they eat sushi rolls and black olives and drink water.  I mean, HELLO!!! Sign me up!  (Aren't they precious?) 

We loved meeting everyone at OU-UMC!  Such sweet people.  Here's Eddie and Trent taking about stuff and things and whatnot.

Allyson, me, Trent and Eddie.  We also get to be with them later in the month when we go back to Mississippi for a Wesley Foundation College Retreat.  We're super excited!

After church they took us to South Depot Taco Shop, where we ate our faces off.  I stuffed mine with Korean Pork and Memphis Pork.  What can I say?  I like the pig.  So, you can say, I pigged out.    

And I got some more baby time.

I could eat her up.  

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Day He Almost Surprised Me...

Let me tell you how it all went down...

We woke up this morning, like usual.  We poured the coffee, got settled on the couch and got the red blanket situated how we like it.  During this time, while we watch The Today Show, is when I grab the laptop and get caught up on all things social media.  We had decided tonight would be our Valentine's day since we'll be gone next Thursday.  

Then I remembered I had two bills to pay.  I paid the first one and then went to pay the second:  Trent's student loan from that semester of culinary school.  I could not, for the life of me, remember the name of the company!  (Early AM brain fart for sure.)  So, I logged on to our bank's site to search transactions from last month, hoping the name would be there.  

I should have waited.  I should have waited until later, when I could search through my file cabinet.  But I didn't.  And there it was.  I saw it.  

Right there on the home screen were our balances.  Checking, savings and a credit card WE NEVER USE.  It had a balance on it.  I immediately said, "what in the world is this?"  

Not in an accusing - what did you buy without telling me - oh no you didn't tone.  But in an I'm concerned - someone stole our card infotone.

Bless his heart.  

You see, we spend LITERALLY 24/7 together.  It is virtually impossible to surprise one another.  And he almost did.  He was going to tell me tonight when we celebrated.  Ugh.  It broke my heart.  

But, I had no idea what it could be!  I honestly was hoping for a bacon press, but the amount on the card did not equal a kitchen purchase.  So, I told him I wouldn't even think about it because I would still be surprised.

We laughed.  Then, he went to the store to get some eggs.  When he came back, he surprised me with a card.  Which made us both cry.  (It's even hard to surprise each other with cards since we do everything together.)

But he managed.

He told me to wait until we ate to open it.  I complied, scarfing down my scrambled eggs, barely drinking any water.

In addition to a sweet message, there was a PS:

"It's almost impossible to surprise you and I almost pulled it off.  So close!!  Check the trentmonktour email."

As instructed, I went to gmail and opened an email with ticket information.

He remembered something I said one time, WEEKS ago just in a normal conversation.  He remembered.  

And there it was.  Our confirmation of tickets to see P!NK in March in Nashville!!!

We cried.  We hugged.  We pecked.  

I am the luckiest girl.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

:: Amarillo By Morning ::

After the lovely Christmas with mi familia, we made the trip back up to Canada Amarillo for a little more family time up there.  

Meet Harley.  He's the Man Cat.  His sister, the Hoobie-doo, is Davidson.  She's a bit anti-social/snobby, so only Harley was photographed.  I don't know why, but this picture cracks me up. 

Some South Dakota family (whom we had never met) came down for the festivities.  They are amazing people and I'm glad I know them.  Ginny's "sister-cousins" (it's a long story...but don't worry, there's no incest) and their hubs.  Shirley, Rex, Delores and Mike.  

We all went to see Bill (Ginny's dad) at the Vet home.  We got Popeye's Chicken (I dare you not to sing "love that chicken from popeye's") and ate in the dining room.  This man, Bill's friend, decided to play some music for us.  It was precious.  He was very good!  We all clapped when he finished.  Then he offered us pie and we all declined and I felt bad because he's old and obviously wanted to share his spoils but, really, who takes pie from people they don't know?  Bless him.  I'm sure he recovered.

We had a little gift-giving sesh.  We gave Travis and Amy some wine and a dish mat.  I love my dish mat.  Not only does it have turquoise and red and yellow roosters on it, it helps me be lazy and not dry dishes.  You just put them there and let them sit and you put them up later.  Maybe the next day even!  It's a gift that keeps on giving the whole year.  (Name that movie.)

We got Ginny and Tim a canvas of a family pic. It was hilarious because they got us THE SAME picture matted and framed!  It was kind of like gift of the magi but not really.  

T and I don't exchange gifts, but I broke all the rules and surprised him with this super awesome, comfy, $7.99 lumbar support pillow.  He actually loved it.  And he needs it.  (I'm sure my  'Wife of the Year' award will be here next week.)

I need to point out my new obsession.  This fleece.  It's my MIL's and I kind of stole it.  Not really, though.  I adopted it while we were in town and she ended up giving it to me.  I CAN'T STOP THIS FLEECE.  Trent said I look very Santa Fe.  I asked if that was like mountain people fashion and he said "well, stylish mountain people."  I'll take it.

Trent cooked a brisket for New Year's and it was scrumptious.

We had a Secret Santa and Oh. My. Word.  It was funny.  Mostly because of Trent's gem....

See?  Told ya.  Antonio Banderas cologne. 

Oh, and if you were wondering, this is how a Monk starts a stubborn fire.  Blow Torch.


On New Year's Day, we went to Trent's mom's house for our Christmas/New Year get-together.  She gave me an antique tin filled with nail polish.  So, naturally, I told her she "nailed it!"

Happy 2013!

(About a month late.)