This is not an unusual scene in my backyard:
You might get the idea that we are big campers.
Not that we aren’t, but we aren’t.
(I can’t tell you the last time we went camping, which is actually sort of sad.)
We aren’t opposed to camping, it just hasn’t happened recently. Life is busy, y’all.
If you have teenagers, especially teenagers who have older siblings who go to college or teenagers who have attended summer camps where college students work, you may look out your back door and see the very same thing.
(Actually, if you have college students, you are more likely to see this around their college campus. I see hammocks, occasionally, on the Baylor campus, and I know it’s happening on college campuses all over the nation.)
(I would have LOVED to have a hammock, at college, to lie in while studying!)
(That statement assumes I actually studied.)
(Admittedly, I DID have a hammock in my apartment bedroom during my Junior year at Baylor. It was just for looks, though; it held my stuffed animals and Beenie Babies.)
(Remember Beenie Babies?!)
The hammock is called an Eno, short for Eagles Nest Outfitters. They are fantastically light-weight, small and quite comfy. Both of our sons love theirs.
Obviously, our youngest loves his enough to use his around the house, during non-camping days and weeks.
Sometimes, it’s even strung up directly on the back porch…so he can see the tv.
(I wish I had a picture of it; pure laziness and comfort at its best.)
iPhone pic of our son and a couple of his good friends, last Spring:
The kids are even prone to stacking the hammocks, so they hang directly above and below each other!
My youngest and I recently had a conversation concerning Prom: he said he thinks it would be WAY more fun for his group of friends to get all dressed up, take pictures, go eat at a fancy restaurant, then, instead of going to the actual Prom, they should come back to our house, change clothes, go build a fire down by the river and spend the night in Enos.
(with adult chaperones, of course!)
Enos and S’mores! How fun is that?!
Doesn’t his “non-Prom” idea sound fantastic?!
So, if you are in need of an unusual and uber cool gift for your teenaged (or college-aged) son or daughter (yes, many of our sons’ girl friends own and love them!), you might look into getting them a hammock.
(I’m all for a gift that moves them outside and up into the trees!)
Happy Hammock-ing, y’all!
Has it been nearly two years??
A lot has happened in those two years…mainly adjusting to country life is what has happened.
And, loving on and serving with our neighbors.
And, watching a ton of Baylor football (and basketball).
And, purchasing some cows.
And a donkey.
And, planting a garden (or two).
And, watching our oldest change colleges and majors…and join the wake boarding team.
And, cheering on our youngest in high school football…and soon, soccer.
I’ve missed occasionally writing and photographing the happenings around our family, so I’m hoping 2015 will be the year I get back in the habit…if you’ll have me back in your email box and on your FB newsfeed, that is.
Because we are wrapping up the last little bit of 2014 (say it ain’t so!!), I thought I’d throw out a couple of pictures of what I mentioned above. A lot of the pictures were taken with my iphone…”the best camera you own is the one you are presently carrying…”and I carried my phone WAY more than my “big boy” Canon camera. (That’s another habit I hope to change in 2015.)
More to come!
(I’ve missed you.)
We were so wet behind the ears, weren’t we, Babe?
Young, and so very, very unprepared.
Sometimes I still feel that way. Unprepared. Naive.
Most of the time, though, I feel Secure.
Over the years, we’ve changed quite dramatically.
Our hairlines have grayed and thinned.
Our middles have expanded and contracted…and expanded again. (Well, okay, mine has expanded again. You quit drinking Dr. Peppers and you magically lost 1,000 pounds in 2 weeks. Yes, I still love you even though I’m desperately jealous.)
Our two boys have each reached well over 6 feet–we are now looking up to speak to them. They are no longer small enough to hoist onto our hips, nor do they take 2 hour afternoon naps. They look like you. And, yet, they look like me. Personality-wise, one is more like you, one my mini-me. And, yet, really, they are not carbon copies of either of us. They are their own, individual, strong, Godly persons.
We’ve survived your various church staff positions over the years and learned from each and every experience. In looking back, even the hurtful job changes can be viewed as good–stretching, growing, hopefully maturing seasons.
We’ve buried both of my parents in less than 5 years.
We’ve moved closer to yours.
Can you believe we are no longer in our 20s, our 30s? …We are nearing the age of “older parents,” maybe even grandparent age!
Even with the job changes and moves, etc., I think the last couple of years have been the most trying. Wouldn’t you say that? In a weird, tons-of-change-kind-of-way? And throughout all the years, we have never once discussed the idea of living separately, away from one another. Never.
Has the thought occurred to either of us? I’m sure, yes, but it never gained momentum, was never given life.
I can’t imagine that life; I don’t want to.
I thank God daily that He continues to share you with me, that He shares the boys with us.
You each are a gift, a treasure.
Thank you, ThrillCam, for 23 really great years.
I look forward to 23-plus more with you.
All my love,
P.S. Here’s a crazy and amazing must-read story of some of our family history, our destiny. Not only does it tell a little more of how ThrillCam and I met in college, but how 3 generations earlier, our families were oddly connected.
I often get asked, “Why ThrillCam?”
Okay, not often, but occasionally.
To be perfectly honest, rarely…
Rarely do they ask.
On that rare occasion, I must first ask them for clarification.
The person usually responds, “No, Elizabeth, I understand why you married him. What I mean is, why the NAME ThrillCam?”
I know I’ve explained this before in various blog posts, but it finally dawned on me to add some video footage to back my story.
You see, I’ve called ThrillCam, ThrillCam, since the 1980’s when we met and fell in love in college.
(Baylor University, by the way–Sic ’em!!!)
IT WAS THE EIGHTIES, PEOPLE!!!!
We were young, skinny, had more hair, and gosh, I want those legs back…
Anyway, during that time, The David Letterman Show was doing an reoccurring segment on his show called, Late Night Thrill-Cam!
(Oh, and my husband’s name is Cameron.)
Scroll forward to the time 7:10 to watch the segment:
The ThrillCam was such a roaring success, the David Letterman Show added new versions of the ThrillCam:
(Audio is not great, sorry.)
If I remember correctly, David Letterman also had the Late Night CowCam. (I’m thinking the whole Late Night ________Cam fizzled out after the CowCam. Can’t imagine why…)
Anyway, my husband’s nickname has stuck, at least, for me. Surely no one else would want to call him ThrillCam, which, I believe I’m safe in saying, he greatly appreciates.
No matter what you call him, he’ll always be my beloved.
I’m looking back at some of the highlights of the past few months, especially because I did so little blogging during that time, and a lot happened.
I didn’t carry my DSLR around as much as usual, so I relied on my phone to document our family’s events. (Of course, if you follow me on Instagram, these photos are repeats, for the most part. Sorry.)
So, in Part One, I took you through the summer, culminating with our move from the Houston area to the Waco area.
One of the first things we did was move our oldest into his dorm at college.
(There are no words to describe how much I miss this punk being around on a daily basis.)
After we got him moved into the dorm, we headed back out to the middle of nowhere to hang out for the next 6 weeks with my sister, who lives in the same house where I grew up.
We weren’t able to move into our new house, immediately, so in order to get our youngest started in school we had to live with my sister. We drove him 45 minutes, both ways, every day, to and from school. I wouldn’t have wanted to do that for much longer, but it was fine while it lasted.
While living out in the boonies, ThrillCam took our youngest dove hunting one weekend. In the shot above, he’s showing our son how to clean the dove he shot.
(I know I took pictures of the bacon-wrapped doves we grilled after their hunt, but I can’t find them. Probably a good thing. It would make us all hungry, and I’m trying to lose weight, so no need putting you or me through that agony.)
Of course, one of the many benefits of moving to Central Texas is the close proximity to ThrillCam’s and my alma mater, Baylor University.
You know, if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, I bleed green and gold. And, during this particular time in the university’s life, it is very, very exciting to be a Baylor Bear! I have ALWAYS, ALWAYS supported my Bears, through thick and thin, but I must say, it is quite fun, especially when it comes to athletics.
(Here’s one of the many reasons being a Baylor Bear is so fun! Our Heisman Trophy winner, RGIII:)
But, Baylor football wasn’t the only scene in town.
Our youngest put on the pads and played hard.
Last year, in 7th grade, the kid was an offensive lineman. He was tall and sort of on the chunky side. (Aren’t we all? …No? …We’re not? …It’s just me? …Shoot.)
After that football season, though, his entire body went through a complete metamorphosis. He dropped a ton of weight and slimmed up so much.
I think he grew 35 feet, too. …Give or take a few.
He could no longer play on the line.
Instead, he played Tight End on offense and Outside Linebacker on defense.
Below was one of my favorite shots during football season. I just loved the lights on either side and the team in the middle. And the sky’s colors…dreamy.
In the meantime, our oldest son discovered a local wake boarding cable park. I’d never heard of such a thing, but leave it to my thrill-seeking boy to find it.
You grab hold of a handle and the cable pulls you around the lake, while you
hang on for dear life wakeboard. There are jumps and ramps and such all the way around the lake. It’s honestly way cool!
I’ll try to remember to blog about it more, soon.
At the end of September, our family made its way back down to League City to have one last celebration with our church family. They held a lovely reception for us.
Oh, how my heart aches for these folks.
In October, we had some of our first visitors! Our youngest’s best buddy and his mom (one of my best buddies) made the 4-hour trek to hang out for a while.
November brought a number of visitors. Which meant I had to scramble to unpack most everything and finally get the house in order!
First, I hosted a small reunion for my childhood summer camp friends. (Which tribe do you think I belong to?) (Answer: the winningest tribe, of course!) (I’ve now made my Huaco friends angry…again.)
Then, the very next week was Thanksgiving and we hosted ThrillCam’s family for a few days.
ThrillCam and the boys went deer hunting in December, right before Christmas, and they got 2 deer each.
(I should take a picture of our freezer, right now. It is packed!–we eat all that my boys/husband hunts. We are eating the healthiest we’ve probably ever eaten, thanks to all the venison; it’s lean and hormone-free.)
I was going to end there, but for those of you who might get a little squeamish at the sight of blood (sorry), I figured I should end with something else.
Something festive and pretty.
There. No one gets squeamish over Christmas presents, right?
After I rushed to get everything into its place, in the new house, I turned right around and moved it all to decorate for Christmas. I felt like I was in a perpetual move.
Our December was busy and fun, so I’ll save that for tomorrow or the next day.
Then, for the most part, we’ll be caught up on the past 6 months or so.