Saturday, January 22, 2011

Rev Boudreaux Hays

I admit, I'm prepared for the flack/making fun of me for writing this post (especially when it's my longest one yet! Ha!). I promised myself I'd never become one of "those" dog owners, but it's different when you actually have one, especially like the one we have. I know not everyone is an animal lover, and I wouldn't even put myself into that category. But I know for sure that Brandon and I have one special dog. I firmly believe that the Lord puts anything and anyone in your life right when you need it as a gentle reminder of His love and care. You may think I'm over-spiritualizing things, but I don't care. Rev is a straight. up. blessing. I can only IMAGINE what it's like to have a baby! I wanted to write this post more so to read in the future and possibly share with our kids about Mom & Dad's first dog.

The way we got him isn't the typical go-to-the-animal-shelter type story. In the fall of 2009, one of my best friends Megan Boudreaux called to tell me that she was visiting a friends' house when this beautiful black lab walked up. She asked the friends about the dog, and they told her he had been let out of a van to wander around the neighborhood. The friends took him in but couldn't keep him, so they offered him to Megan. After some thought, she decided to take him home to her apartment (even though it was against the apt. rules), which happened to be right across the street from where Brandon and I were living at the time. She named him Rev, after one of her favorite worship songs, "Revelation Song", and he has a little white spot on his neck that kinda looks like a priest. Megan soon found out that Rev needed to be treated for heart worms, which is probably the reason he was dropped off in the first place. She started the treatment, and meanwhile she got a job at Our Lady of the Lake. I remember one of the first times Brandon and I played with Rev. We brought my Dad over to Megan's apartment one Saturday before we headed down to an LSU game. He had a different demeanor than a typical "puppy" (no one was sure how old he was, so we guessed about a year). He was gentle and sweet, but also a little skiddish, and Megan mentioned that he cried and barked a lot when she left. We guessed it was some sort of separation anxiety because he had been bounced around so many times. We experienced his anxiety when we dog-sat Rev for a couple weeks in December while Megan was out of town. We came home one evening to this. Rev decided he wanted to celebrate Christmas early and opened up one of my presents and tore apart one of our throw pillows. We were angry, but still couldn't really blame him because he was scared to be by himself because he thought we'd never come back.

Fast forward a couple months. On our way back from making Smoky Mountain memories in Maggie Valley, NC with the family, Megan called and asked if she could give Rev to us. With her new job, she'd be traveling a lot and really felt bad leaving him, especially with his separation anxiety. Brandon was all for it, but I was still a little hesitant. We had been talking about getting a dog, but we weren't sure if we would be too busy, and I worried about the added expenses. After discussing it on our way home (we had 13 hours to mull it over!), we decided we couldn't pass up on a FREE, beautiful, full-bred black lab. We picked him up on January 1 (that's when we celebrate his birthday), and he officially became Rev Boudreaux Hays.

Over the next month or so, we slowly got into a routine with Rev. Thankfully, we never had to go through the whining, potty training, puppy days. However, he continued to make his mark around the house. Three sets of blinds later (see pic below), we realized that we needed to pull up the blinds every morning so he wouldn't try to get to us while we were at work.

Even now, he randomly chews things up while we're gone (anywhere from cardboard pizza boxes to my students' test papers). But if that's the worst thing we have to deal with, then I'm not complaining! Everyone who meets Rev falls in love with him. He is the snuggliest dog, which is a nice way of saying that he doesn't acknowledge your own personal space. I'll have to save another post for the things we love most about Rev because I doubt you even made it this far! :) But know this: Rev has been an amazing source of joy and all-around feeling of home and loyalty. The Lord's timing is impeccable, and I'm so very thankful that we had him particularly in those dark times during the first couple months of moving to Nashville. Megan, we could never thank you enough for giving Rev to us.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Always.

These snow days have been great for my blog...2 in one week! Don't get used to it though...soon enough it'll be once every couple of months :)

Anyway, I started listening to Kristian Stanfill's new album "Mountains Move" this afternoon while grading papers, and I came across the song, "Always." We actually sang it just this past Sunday in church. (Speaking of, please continue to pray for our church search. We went to a church plant on Sunday and really liked it, but we just want to be where God wants us.) I really love the hope and peace in the words, based off of one of my favorite psalms: 121. Although we're not currently going through any huge "storm," I pray these words might speak to you or someone you know. Here are the lyrics, but you should get the entire album soon.

Always by Kristian Stanfill
My foes are many, they rise against me
But I will hold my ground
I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way, my help is on the way

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always

Troubles surround me, chaos abounding
My soul will rest in You
I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way, my help is on the way

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always

I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord
From You Lord, from You Lord

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear, His promise is true
My God will come through always, always

Oh, my God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength always, always

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day 2011!!

This morning, we woke up to 3-4" of white wonder! I don't care how much I see snow in my life, it will always make me feel like a kid again. Enjoy our pics and videos :)
That snowflake makes it look like I have a fang!
video video
video video

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Holiday Highlights

Well, we're back from our 2-week visit to Louisiana for Christmas and New Year's. It's bittersweet to be back in Nashville because it was quite possibly one of the best holidays Brandon and I have spent together since we've been married (I know that's a lot). We were blessed to spend good quality time with our closest family and friends...if only the Owens family could've been there too! I honestly wasn't sure how we were going to make it all work at first, but it turned out to not be as hectic as expected, and I just relished in every moment I got to spend with the ones we love the most. On our 9 hour drive yesterday, Brandon and I recapped the 2 weeks into the following highlights. I hope you had a great holiday as well!
  • Surprising everyone at The Ring
  • Brandon getting to play at church
  • Dee-lish-us Louisiana food, including (but not limited to) Cane's, New York Bagel, Chimes, Ichiban, boiled crawfish, Counter Culture, beignets, Judice Inn, Squeal BBQ, and of course Momma & Mrs. Pam's good home cookin'! You people should be ashamed of yourselves if you're not taking advantage of this LA food :)
  • Visiting my old school, Oak Grove Primary
  • Brandon's reunion lunch with the Fat Rocker guys
  • Girls shopping day with Amber and Mrs. Pam
  • One-on-one time with my closest girlfriends
  • Celebrating birthdays with Kendyl, baby Matthew, and baby Sullivan
  • Hays family Christmas
  • Brandon having a classic G & J milkshake
  • Mini road trip to Lafayette to surprise my mom at Trinity on Christmas Eve
  • Low key Christmas Day, including a double date with Mr. and Mrs. Viper to see "Tangled"
  • Quality time with my mom in Lafayette cooking and playing Bananagrams
  • Elite girls night while B and my mom went on a date to see "True Grit"
  • Seeing my brother's newly renovated house and hanging out with him, Lindsay, and my dad
  • Brother/sister impromptu bike ride in Charles's neighborhood
  • Taking a classic trolley ride along St. Charles to dinner
  • Not sleeping that night because of the "drama" outside
  • New Year's Eve tradition at Cody & Brittany's with our closest friends, complete with an amazing remote controlled detonated fireworks show!