Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm the new Jessica....


Look to your right friends...yes, you are not mistaken. That is the one and only Nick Lachey. And he's my new boyfriend.

Ok that last part is a lie. But it really is Nick Lachey. I met him. He met me. There was pictures and touching involved. And two hugs...not one, but two hugs. Yup. The classic sign of love...the hug. :) (Don't we look well together?)

Good thing that Nick is a Cincinnati boy and that he loves to come home as often as possible. As luck (or Cupid...) would have it, Nick was in town on Tuesday. The same day as our Celebrity Waiters luncheon benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. We got in touch with the right people and Nick came and spent the entire day with us. He was absolutely one of the most geunine people I have ever met. Very nice. Very sincere. He even dropped a couple grand at our event--all to help with cystic fibrosis research!

Ahh, I love brushes with fame. I love it even more when those brushes with fame include someone who is much better looking in person than on TV. My initial reaction about meeting Nick: #1. He's so little. Seriously. He's a shorty. #2. He's so little. Seriously. Through the waist and everything. Homeboy is little..ripped but little. #3. He's so handsome. Not cute. Not hot. Very very handsome. And finally #4. We look well standing beside each other. I mean, I'm blonde. We all know he likes blondes. I'm just saying....Newlyweds Take 2, coming to an MTV reality show near you.....


Monday, December 1, 2008

Christians, sex and our biased media


For those of you in Cincinnati, you will know what I'm talking about. For everyone this article first...

First things first, I know this man. I used to work with him during my time at Cincinnati Christian University. And when I saw this on TV this morning, my jaw hit the floor. No lie. Unbelievable. It truly is. Then reality sunk in, and the wheels in my head began to turn. As I read the story online and read posted comments, I began to feel anger. And that's when I decided that today would be the first (of many) of "Kelby's Soapbox Blog"....

Mr. Williams did something wrong. There is no denying that fact. Please understand that I'm not trying to downplay his actions. I'm not trying to justify what he did. He made a mistake and will pay dearly for his actions. But my anger is geared at our stupid, liberal media. If you read the story on Local 12 or any of the other Cincinnati news sites, you will read that two other men were arrested at the same place on the same day for the same thing. But it's Bob that gets the heat. It's Bob that gets his mugshot blasted on the news and all over the Internet. Why? Because he works at a Christian university. He's in a senior position at CCU and that's why it made news. That's it. That's the only reason why he is being attacked. Let's be honest, would this have made the headlines if the undercover cop had been a female? If Bob didn't work where he did? If CCU hadn't already had some horrible press earlier in the year?

Well holy crap, a Christian made a mistake. Should we disgrace them and their families because of it? Because that's essentially what the media is doing here. Yes, I understand that a person in a position of leadership is held to higher standard, as they should be. Believe me, I understand that. However, maybe the other two guys that were arrested are in a position of leadership at their work, or better their families? Doesn't that count? Apparently not.

I'm tired of being under a "Christian" label when it's convenient for the media to use it. I'm tired of the fact that because I'm a Christian, I'm somehow intolerant. I'm tired of people's reactions when a Christian does something wrong. We're not perfect. We don't claim to be. In fact, if you talk to some Christians, you will learn that we are some of the most broken people. We have issues. Struggles. Temptations. Perfect is the absolute last word that comes to mind.

Christians are accused of being judgmental and on holy high horses, but in fact, it's the other way around. I'm tired of not being able to say "Merry Christmas" at work because someone may find it offensive. I'm tired of not being able to say the Pledge of Allegiance in schools because someone may find it offensive. Well you know what, you stomping on my First Amendment rights is offensive to me. Maybe its you that's intolerant. Maybe its you that is completely judgmental. Did that thought ever cross your mind?

While I will not defend, stand up or ever support CCU nor will I defend the actions of its employees, as a Christian, I can be angry. And I am. As a Christian, I can pray. And I am. And as a Christian, I can love. And I am.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Day!


I love Thanksgiving! I mean, I’m one of those people that starts listening to Christmas music in October, but I don’t like to skip over Halloween and Thanksgiving. I just thoroughly enjoy this time of year. And, sure, I sometimes get caught up in the commercialism of it all, but I just LOVE that we have designated this time to really reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for and make it a celebration! I realize that we should be thankful all the time, and I really try to have a positive attitude that way, but it’s easy to just live life and not think about what, in my opinion, GOD has given us.

Also, about this time every year I like to read up on the first Thanksgiving, just to be reminded of where the holiday comes from, and what it was like on that first feast of thanks. It fascinates me that one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations occurred between the new colonists and the established Indians. The way I always heard the history stories of our country was that the pilgrims were taking over the new land, and the Indians were fighting to keep it as theirs. But a national holiday was established out of these two groups sitting down together to celebrate a successful harvest and be grateful for what they had! Another account of one of the first Thanksgivings recalls that as British colonists came to Virginia, their Captain knelt in prayer to thank GOD for a successful trans-oceanic voyage. These are events that kick-started the establishment of this country! And because of these pilgrims and the leaders that followed, we have the freedom to celebrate with turkey & gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, football and all kinds of other traditions. What’s not to love about this holiday?!?

So, here I go with what I’m thankful for right now:

--My little family. I love my son more than life itself. And my husband, because he chose me, and I chose him. We make a great team, and I can’t imagine life being any better than it is right now. Also, our extended family, sisters, brothers, parents, nieces, nephews…we have a great family!

--I am thankful for March. I am glad that Kelby, Wyatt & I were able to fly out to Virginia and see my Granddaddy. Wyatt was almost a year old before they met each other. I am grateful that that visit happened when it did.

--“Old” friends. And reunions with those friends, and sister Kelbs, since there’s physical distance between so many of us now. But we can always pick up where we left off!

--That I can stay home with Wyatt and have a flexible work schedule. I have the best of both worlds! I have my own identity and can work and be a part of something outside of mommyhood, and I can also be at home, with the greatest responsibility I’ve ever been given…"Big W".

--For having been born in this great country, having freedom to live the way we want to, worship the way we want to, and not live in fear of oppression based on my being a woman, having my own thoughts & beliefs (for now! Oh, that’s my little political jab coming out…).

--Most importantly of all, I am always in awe that so many thousands of years ago, God sacrificed His Son, in the most gruesome and excruciating of deaths, so that I, little ole me, could be completely forgiven of all of my sins. This overwhelms me sometimes. Centuries before I was even a thought to anyone on this earth, God thought of ME. And He thought enough of me to make the ultimate sacrifice. I couldn’t do what He did. If someone told me I would need to sacrifice my son in order to save someone else…just being honest here…I could not do it. And the sacrifice wasn’t just for me…it was for Wyatt and Adam and Kelby…and everyone! So, daily, I’m grateful.

So, we’ll be off to have lunch at the Hicks house, then back up here for dinner at the Browns. I love the spread we have at the Hicks’ and I love the chaos of the Browns’. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving...thru the years...


Kelby here....for those of you who do not know us personally, I think it is safe to say that Burgess and I are holiday-aholics. It's true. We love holidays. All holidays. Any holiday. I think it probably has something to do with our birthdays--Burg was born near Memorial Day and I was born near Labor we are used to days off to celebrate "us"!! But I believe that this time of year is our absolute favorite! With Thanksgiving just a day away, and Christmas right around the corner, the Hicks Girls are in holiday heaven!!

Given that Turkey Day is this week, I've been doing some reflecting, laughing, crying, just whatever at some of my favorite Thanksgiving memories. We've had some doozies in the Hicks fam, but they have all made some fantastic memories. So we're going to do this Dave Letterman style...TOP TEN (well actually 11) baby!!

11. Thanksgiving 2006. Surprise road trip to B-water, Virginia. Surprise meaning that Mom was in Virginia because my granddaddy had just had major lung surgery and was not doing well. Surprise meaning that two days before Thanksgiving, my pregnant sister and I decided to drive the 12 hours from Cincinnati to Virginia to surprise my mom...but that meant leaving Adam and Dad behind. It was definitely a difficult holiday...Thanksgiving dinner was thrown together. Granddaddy was not doing well. Our family was kind of a mess. But seeing the look on Mom's face when Burg and I rang the doorbell at our aunt and uncle's made it all worth it.

10. Dad's Holiday breakfast. Nothing beats waking up on any major holiday, but especially Thanksgiving, to the smell of coffee brewing, hot wassail, and seeing Dad in the kitchen making sausage pinwheels. It's definitely a Hicks family tradition. One that I cannot wait to start with my own family, and one that Burgess, Adam and Wyatt have started too.

9. Parade and Football. Oh gosh, just the idea of this makes me so happy. Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is definitely a Hicks family tradition. And then after dinner, curling up with my Dad on the love seat to watch football...nothing beats this!!

8. Washington D.C. Thanksgiving. Oh gosh. This is just one of my favorite memories. I cannot remember the year, but I think I was still in elementary school. Dad was going to be in D.C. working over Thanksgiving, so Mom, Burg and I drove out there to be with him. We drove through the night in Haans, our old Volkswagon Gulf. And we got lost. In downtown Washington D.C. Mom and two young girls got lost. Good news--I got to see the Iwo Jima statue all light up at 2:00am. The even funnier news--Dad was sitting on his hotel balcony waiting for us to arrive, and saw us driving back in forth on the highway in front of his hotel. But it was a great Thanksgiving. I remember watching the parade in Dad's really nice hotel room, going to the White House with my Mom and Grandma, and Thanksgiving dinner with a bunch of my Mom's relatives...some of whom I still forget who they are every time I see them!

7. Mom's Feast. Ok. There are six people in my family. Dad, Mom, me, Burg, Adam and Wyatt (who is still a "baby"). Seriously. Six people. I think though that Mom has trouble with this number. Because every year, it never fails...she makes enough food for 50. We have soooo much food, it's ridiculous. Here is a sample menu...and I'm not making this up: deep-fried turkeys (mulitple), ham, shrimp cocktail, salads, noodles (for Adam), mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, cheeseballs (again, mulitple), stuffing...seriously, the list goes on and on. And again, there are 6 people in my family.

6. Christmas Spode. This means nothing to anyone besides me and Burg. But Christmas Spode comes out after Thanksgiving dinner. And nothing says "Merry Christmas" than Christmas Spode.

5. Quality friend time. This holiday, more than any other one, is the best for spending time with friends. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, in Indy, is the busiest bar night of the year...and my friends and I contribute to that. Going to Broad Ripple, going to Classified Concerts at 8 Seconds, whatever. Everyone's home for Thanksgiving. Everyone's in town. Everyone's in a good mood. This is the time of year for quality friend time!

4. Thanksgiving 2003. Another tough holiday. And, if I remember correctly, the only holiday without Burgess and Adam (but I could be wrong). We lost my great-grandma, my beloved G.G., the day before. Mom and Dad were already in Nashville, Tennessee to be with G.G. I was at home in New Pal. I got the call that she had died very very early in the morning. Couldn't sleep, so I packed up what I could and hit the road for Tennessee. It was kind of surreal actually. We all knew this was going to happen, but it doesn't make it any easier. G.G. was 96 when she died. She had buried two husbands and her only child, my Poppie, just months earlier. But I don't remember the loss so much as I remember the family. No one was prepared for Thanksgiving or had much motivation to do anything about it. But my Aunt Becky's family came all the way up from Mississippi just to make our families Thanksgiving. It wasn't the traditional food that I was used to, but it was fantastic. And it was such a selfless sacrifice for them to do that. They literally kicked us out of the kitchen while they cooked. It was so nice. And even though we were in the midst of grieving, it was such a great time to be around family.

3. Black Friday. Going shopping the day after Thanksgiving is a recent tradition. I remember one year, Mom and I went to the four major malls in Indy all in one day: I believe we started in Castleton, hit Keystone soon after, headed downtown to Circle Centre and then ended the day in Greenwood. Even when Burg and I were in Virginia two years ago for Thanksgiving, we made sure to get up extra early to be at WalMart at 5:00am. It was complete insanity, but you honestly do find the best deals!

2. Decorating for Christmas. After the early morning shopping and the nap mid-morning to make up for some sleep, the Christmas decorations come out the day after Thanksgiving. I love this day!! I love helping my Mom decorate our house for Christmas. From hanging the garland and the big red bows along the balcony, to putting up our 9 foot Christmas tree, to putting out the candles on the front porch...this is one of my favorite days of the year.

1. My family around Thanksgiving. I know this is probably everyone's favorite memory or what they are most likely to be thankful for, but I am truly blessed to have the family that I have. Last year was Wyatt's first Thanksgiving, and I honestly do not remember what holidays were like without him. I love coming to my Mom and Dad's house from Cincinnati, because the minute I pull into the driveway, I feel at home. I feel comfort and peace. I love hearing Dad pray before Thanksgiving dinner. I love that we are always too stuffed to actually eat Thanksgiving dinner because we have been eating appetizers all day. I love seeing Adam and Burgess pull up in the driveway. I love the constant banter back and forth between Burg, Dad and I. I love that even though there are only 6 of us, it never feels empty or lonely.

I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving. Eat your weight in delicious goodness. I will.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dad and Wyatt building a Blog


Dad here:

Wyatt and I were finishing setting up the blog this morning and just had to stop and say "hi" to mom.