Sunday, November 30, 2008

And for them I am thankful

Despite the Rau family fighting illness, we had a great Thanksgiving. We did miss Tammy though... 
Trey isn't supposed to be in this picture... that's why he is chillin down there in the bottom. 
Kara is due in February... yay! 
TJ broke his nose and thumb T-Day morning. Check out his face (he is hiding the thumb)
Grandparents and Grandchildren
Mama and her little man
I love both of them a lot.... I certainly love my little man

Ps. Every year we have to go around and say what we are thankful for. This year my little man said trains, of course. The best though was my dad who said he was thankful for Dr. Murphy, his heart surgeon. I am pretty sure that should have been all of ours. Mom is probably thankful that we have finally all learned the value in doing this little yearly activity. 
We finally stopped fighting her on it. 

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Rau Family Tradition

A Rau family Thanksgiving ends with a Rau family slumber party to usher in the holiday season. Thanksgiving 2008 ended with Stephanie and Dave sharing the best room in the house (as usual) while I snuggled up with Trey and Taylor in the extra bedroom. Froggie  (as we lovingly called Trey since he lost his voice) tapped me on the shoulder just as I was falling asleep, "Aunt Tatie... Let's make a fort!" So while Stephanie and Dave caught some zzz's in the queen size plush bed I struggled to first make, then fall asleep under a suffocating fort with Trey and Taylor in a full size bed. You be the judge of how fair that is. Trey continued to cry in his sleep and snore like an old man until the four am alarm sounded. I am pretty sure I got about two hours of sleep before I found myself blinking into the bathroom light while listening to Steph and Amy complain of their stomach woes from the overconsumption of T-Day goodness. Long story short, by five am we were at Walmart in Chesterfield with every other crazy person in St. Louis County. 
We didn't make it out the door without waking Lou Lou, so she joined. She didn't make it long before she was sound asleep, sucking her thumb, in the cart at Walmart. 
The crew of crazies waiting in line to check out at Walmart (about 5:30 am)
Stephanie and Amy calling to verify the legitimacy of a purchase. 
Let me prereq this picture with a story: Not an hour before this picture we were in Kirkland Home. I walked up to Stephanie holding fleece blankets and asked her how much they cost. 
S: "I think they are 2 for $7"
Me: "Why does it say $14?"
S: "There was a sign. Where did that sign go? I know there was a sign"
Me: "Steph. I think you are wrong... I don't see a sign"
S: {three minutes later} "Oh, here's the sign" 
She was carrying an 8 x 10 plastic sign around the store frantically trying to find that very sign. 
All this to say, the girl was tired. She absolutely fell out in the car before lunch. 
A little less shocking... Sharon slept too... WHILE twiddling her thumbs. 

See pictures above for reason number 626 why it is stupid to wake up at 4:00 am on Black Friday AND then continue to shop for ten hours... 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The results....

Dear blogger friends, 

You weren't very good at playing along with my game. 



Here are the reasons why those pictures were included: 

1. Station Plaza/Downtown Kirkwood
Although I fought it for many years of my life, I love Kirkwood. I don't see why so many Kirkwood graduates act like it's not a great place. It is. I especially love Station Plaza where I can't sit outside and eat sushi, drink at Bar Louie, and have coffee at Kaldis. In the summer I also get to enjoy live music with the fam. 

2. Imo's Pizza
I love it. Imo's lunch special with the house dressing and a pineapple pizza... delish. When I was in college they had Imo's in Cape, but it wasn't the same. St. Louis Imos is where it's at. 

3. Busch Stadium and the Cardinals. 
I love baseball season in St. Louis. I love free tickets. I love going with Abby. 

4. Castlewood State Park 
I have always loved Castlewood, but I adore it even more lately. Whenever it is nice out I sneak away from work and head to Castlewood. I hike around listening to worship music and singing by myself. I am sure I look crazy, but I really enjoy those afternoons. 

5. Forest Park
The greatest place ever. The zoo, art museum, sledding, boating, muny, history museum, running trails, balloon race... pretty much all things wonderful. I love Forest Park for many, many reasons. 

If you aren't from STL you should probably give all these things a go... they are the best. 

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Question on the Radio

I am not moving. I don't plan to any time soon. I love my job and could imagine staying here for another five years if all goes as planned. With that being said, I heard a great little radio show on my way to work this morning. The radio host posed the following question: 

If you were to leave St. Louis tomorrow, what five things would you want to do today? What five things would you miss the most in St. Louis? (this doesn't mean people... just St. Louis things)
Take a guess at the five photos below... I will elaborate tomorrow. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Let me make a list...

It's been noted... I hate winter. Seriously, it just isn't good for a girl who LOVES sunshine, being tan, spending time outdoors, sandals, athletic shorts... should I go on? Anyway, during these months o' misery I sometimes become quite a crab. I decided it would be good for me to make a list of the things I am o' so grateful for during my less than grateful months. 
Here's a few: 

*The sun still shines 
*Lots of warm fleeces 
*Warm drinks (hot tea, chocolate, and lattes) 
*People to snuggle up indoors and watch tv/movies with
*Time spent with my sisters 
*The snow that WILL fall 
*Christmas Lights 
*Thanksgiving Dinner with family 
*Black Friday shopping with my sisters 
*All the holiday festivities 
*People coming in town 
*Christmas break on the college campus 
*Off Season 

I could go on... see, a good activity for me. This helps me to remember that although my toes are always cold, my lips are chapped, and I can't wear what I want to, life really isn't that bad :) 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

OAKS!!!!.. and a touch of recruiting

I've been recruiting my butt off... or at least I am trying very hard. My goal is 12 athletes for next year. Truth be told, it's hard... absolutely not easy. Back in September I started talking to a player from Austin, TX and decided it would be a good idea to take a trip down for a tournament she would be playing in. Shortly after booking the plane ticket I was talking to a friend one night and discovered that unbeknownst to be she had up and moved to Austin. So, on this glorious trip to a fun city I got to see a friend I hadn't seen in a year and a half. It was incredible! We laughed a lot (mostly about Desoto) and had some good chats. I truly enjoyed my time there and am quite tempted to move there instead of Colorado :) I wish her husband, Josh, was in one of the pictures below... he is a great guy and they have the coolest relationship. Thanks for your hospitality, Amy and Josh, I can't wait to come back. (ps... sorry the pics are so small) 

All weekend I talked about how ridiculously proud Texans are of their state. I mean who else puts the flag and shape of state on everything? Then, I was given this shirt. Go figure. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A favorite activity with a favorite person!

In college I became involved with the Young Life ministry. I LOVED it. I made great friends and still have contact with many of the high school girls. During my student teaching experience I taught 8th grade english at Nipher Middle School. Shorftly after I became involved with Young Life Kirkwood. It wasn't a very difficult experience because many of the kids I taught had entered high school. One in particular: Abby Mac. When Abby ended up at tailgating it was an easy and natural connection. She knew me from the classroom and immediately learned I was way more weird than I ever acted there. We clicked and our relationship began. Abby is now a junior in high school. I adore her. I have been privileged to stay with her when her parents go out of town, go to KU basketball, enjoy Starbucks, and recently have been invited to dinner with Reg and Carol... so fun! Below are some pictures during our pumpkin carving and recent dinner. 
Abby and I collaborated on this! 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I think it's love...

He says it's not, but I just think he doesn't know any better. This is Solis. The only reasons he can give that she is not his girlfriend is that, "Solis is a baby" and "I only kiss her in the daytime". 

Look at this little cutie! I wonder where he learned that from. I think he needs a little sister!
I just think they're precious. Check out Trey's hand on her back. 
Love her... even with the drool. 

Conclusion: Trey's in love... with Solis. 

Monday, November 10, 2008

Right now...

this is where I am: 

* It's cold. I don't love it. I struggle with it. I am trying to make the best of the weather, but to be perfectly honest it is a daily decision to be positive... and will be til March. 

*I love red starbucks holiday cups and the white lights they hung on the buildings while I worked in my office today. They both make me very, very happy. 

* I have a cool family. I feel like daily God is saying, "Aren't you glad you didn't move?" The biggest way he says that is through time spent with Terry, Sharon, my siblings, and the kids. 

*Mission trip '09 is on. I am pumped. I will leave June 1st and go to Florida for training. From there I will go to Brazil, Thailand, Australia, and Africa. Mucho dinero people, but well worth every penny. 

*I'm being cheap... See previous post... it's not easy for me. 

*I have a rediscovered love for bible study and church. God's been teaching me a lot. It has been really cool. I hope it continues to grow until I leave for my trip in June. 

*Grace... this world is crazy and that's what we all need. Everyone needs grace. From a stranger, a loved one, a boss, a best friend, a student, a doctor, and ultimately God. We need to show each other a little more grace, so we all know it's okay to make mistakes.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

To be young...

... and small enough to fit in a suitcase. I took these with my phone while I should have been helping my sisters paint baby E's room. I don't do well with that, so I found a suitcase just Trey's size. We threw him inside and off we went. He loved it except when he thought I was going to wheel him on down the stairs.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Nothing Like a Dad!

Let me set the stage for this story with a few points of interest: 

1. I love field hockey. When it's nice out I go watch games even if I only know a couple girls playing. Tuesday I watched MICDS beat Lafayette, so today I went to watch the next round when MICDS would play undefeated Ursuline. 

2. I love people watching. My favorite people to watch interact are parents and children. I think it's the greatest or saddest depending on the circumstances. I especially love to watch dads in action. 

3. I used the wrong hair product this morning... so I had to wear a hat UNDER my helmet as I rode my bike to the game. If not I would have looked a mess when I took my helmet off. 

4. There was one black girl between the last four teams I've seen play... this is an important fact. 

Here's the story: The other day during the MICDS/Lafayette game there was a day cheering the whole time. He was yelling, "Go Janelle! Nice job, baby!"  over and over again. I looked up to see a black man and then made the connection... the MICDS goalie was his daughter. When MICDS won the game he cheered ecstatically... so proud of his girl. 

Fast forward... 

Game start 3:15
Ursuline scored two goals in the first fifteen minutes of the half. The MICDS goalie had a save on a penalty stroke. However, when MICDS called a time out the goalie, Janelle, was replaced. Not but a few minutes later I looked over to see the black man from the day before walking up. He had his camera bag in his hand and was looking frantically around the field. Then, his eyes stopped at his daughter, helmet off, on the sidelines. He hurried up to one of the mom's and heard "the story". To which I heard him say, "That's bullshit". 

I continued to watch this dad throughout the game. Most of the time he was just staring at Janelle on the sidelines. His camera never left the bag. My heart just kept breaking more and more. I kept thinking... "I can't believe I am a coach...I would be the one making the decision to pull that goalie". Sometimes it's hard for me to watch sports games for this reason... I hate to be the coach causing that disappointment. Janelle cheered for her team all game. At halftime she wasn't put in and I saw the disappointment grow in her father's face. With ten minutes left in the game MICDS called a time out. Janelle's dad watched anxiously as the team gathered, and then stared disappointedly when they went back to the field... Janelle still on the sidelines. I looked up MICDS's roster on my phone and found that Janelle was a senior and the other GK was a junior. This was her very last field hockey game. 

At the blow of the whistle Ursuline (3-0) went crazy. Despite the fact that I was freezing, I couldn't pull myself from the field. I stared as Janelle ran and congratulated the other goalie on her game. I watched as Janelle's dad, proudly wearing the MICDS Field Hockey hat with her number, crossed the field and pulled her into his arms. I thanked God I was wearing a hat so no one could see the tears streaming down my face... I mean I didn't even know these people. At that point I turned away and left the field. When I looked back they were still hugging. I got on my bike and sped home, tears still streaming down my face. I just listened to worship music amazed at how great is a dad's (heavenly and earthly) love. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The people we spent the weekend with!

Part of the weekend was spent with Lara Holley. It was so fun to see her and check out the place she lives, works, and where she spends her time. We may or may not have used her roommate's ingredients to make some chocolate chip cookies. He didn't take it too well, but at least the cookies were good and he handedly beat all of us in boggle. Hopefully I will make it ou there for another trip. I love Boulder, and it was so much fun to see Holla. 
Halloween was spent in Estes Park staying at Bob Smallwood's house. This is no joke! That is Rachel and Bob hiking near his house. He is an older gentleman who worked out at Rachel's gym during a two year stay in Cape Girardeau. He and Rach became friends during his daily visits to Healthpoint. We stayed in his house last year when we went out, but he wasn't there. This time he was there and spoiled us. He made us breakfast, took us to coffee, made dinner, and bought breakfast the next morning. His house is in an area with no cell service, so we maybe should have been a bit more weary. However, Rach and I have luck with random generous people, and this one didn't go south either... so I guess in the future we will continue to trust :) 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Beauty that is the Place I Should Live!

The pictures say enough, so I will spare you many words. These are five reasons why I belong two states west of where God is keeping me.
Wind energy in Kansas
Just another beautiful Colorado sunrise

Entering Estes Park

Colorado: I heart You!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


20 years ago... I was five years old hanging out with Sharona during the day. We watched a lot of Winnie the Pooh and ate a lot of Kirkwood Bakery Smiley Face Cookies. It was good times.

10 years ago... I was fifteen years old. I had just finished my freshman year of field hockey. I still couldn't run a mile. I had never touched a lacrosse stick in my life. None of my siblings were married.

5 years ago.... I was twenty years old in my sophomore year of college. I stayed home for this semester. I was working at Bread Co and volunteering with the youth at church. I was kinda, sorta, really, terribly, bored.

3 years ago... I was twenty two years old in my senior year of college. I was living with Rachel, Mindy, and Leslie in Cape. We were usually doing something ridiculous. I had probably just received my placement for Ladue Middle School and Nipher to student teach. I was pursuing the possibility of seeing if they may need assistance with Kirkwood Lacrosse.

So far this year... I decided to move to Colorado. I received a job in St. Louis and decided to stay. I was in a good friend's wedding. My sister, Tammy, got married. My sister, Kara, got pregnant. My brother, TJ, got engaged. I moved into an apartment with Annie, a new friend. Started my new job at Kirkwood. ....wooo... big year.

Yesterday... I hung out in Boulder with Lara Holley. AND MOLLY! I saw one of my lacrosse girls off at college (which makes me feel really old). She is doing great, her dorm room is darling, and lunch was fun! Love you Mols!

Tomorrow... Recruit coming to campus, dinner with an old roomie, allergy shots... the norm.