Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Merry Christmas, Happy Anniversary, Happy New Year, You Have a Kidney Stone

Happy New Year Everyone! Sorry I didn't write a Christmas blog...I am getting pretty bad at this. Christmas was great though. We spent our first Christmas as husband and wife in White Deer with my family. It was cold and cuddly and it even snowed (you certainly don't get that in Austin). We actually opened our gifts to each other on Tuesday night. Jason was really excited about his table saw and his Art Monk signed football (BEST WIFE EVER!!!) to be placed on the new shelves that he is building with his saw in his man room. But that wasn't even comparable to the excitement of my Christmas gift. Wrapped up in a huge box under the tree were two COTTON BOWL tickets! "YOU ARE THE BEST HUSBAND EVER, I LOVE YOU! WE HAVE TO GET YOU A TECH T-SHIRT! YOU ARE THE BEST HUSBAND EVER!" You get the picture...I was really excited.

Wednesday we were off to White Deer where we pulled into town just in town to make the Christmas Eve service at the First Baptist Church. Luckily we were late enough to miss the handshaking part (I don't know why, but I have never liked the church meet and greet section). Later that evening, we had homemade stew and each opened one present. I got weights from my brother (is he trying to tell me something?). The next day was Christmas morning. I snuck down around 3:30 am to check out the present situation. I wasn't sure if Santa still visited you once you got married...but yes, in our family, he does. My brother, Jason and I opened gifts and then my mom and dad did. We still act very much like we are in elementary school on Christmas. We were off to my grandma's for Christmas Day dinner and gifts. Friday, we went to the other grandma's to meet up with my 13 cousins and open a huge pile of presents.

Saturday, Jason and I went to Amarillo with my mom and dad to do a little shopping and see Marley & Me which I loved. The most exciting part of this day was during the drive home. My mom was a little tired and cranky (no offense mom), and somehow the topic came up of how much the government spends on the little white stripes in the middle of the road. According to my dad is a dollar a foot. My mom kind of shrugged it off and said, "well that is pretty cheap." "Wrong," my dad replied. Each one of those stripes is 10 feet long. "Whatever, there is no way those stripes are 10 feet long. That is taller than the ceilings in our house. You don't know what you are talking about, Tam." And so on and so on. So thirty minutes later, we pull into Panhandle, Texas which is 14 miles from White Deer. My dad tells Jason (who was driving) to turn down this dark road. He did as he was told and took us three miles out of the way down a dark, but paved road. Not only was the road paved, but it had stripes. So dad tells Jason to pull over. Jason pulls over. Mom protests. Dad gets out of the car, tells Jason to lie down on the stripe in the middle of the road. Jason does as he is told. Mom reluctanltly gets out of the car to find my husband's 6 foot 3 body frame lying on the stripe with an extra four feet to go. Mom gets huffy because she is wrong. Dad laughs and says I told you so. Jason (who is from the city) is in total awe because he just laid down in the middle of road and wasn't run over.

On Sunday morning, we left, cats in tow and headed back to Austin. The next day I went to work and is our anniversary. Of course my husband had been thinking about it all day. That night we had a great dinner, and although we agreed not to buy presents, Jason showed up with a big bouquet of beautiful flowers. I didn't even get him a card (WORSE WIFE EVER!!!). The other great part about this day is that Jason got his LSAT score back. It was no surprise that he did amazing. I am so proud of you honey!

Now we are at Tuesday. The Cotton Bowl is only 3 days away. We decide we will spend New Year's Eve with friends in Austin since I have to work, wake up early on Thursday and drive to Dallas for the game on Saturday. That way we can spend time with Jason's family since we didn't see them on Christmas. I start to have back pains which get increasingly worse as the night goes on.

Here we are on Wednesday and I spend my morning at the Kyle Urgent Care Clinic because clearly I don'g have a doctor yet. I am there for two hours getting poked and prodded. Finally they take X-rays, and low and behold, there is a kidney stone. And not just a tiny kidney stone like the last one four years ago (remember that Ashlee). This kidney stone is 8 FREAKING MM. To give you some perspective, they usually surgically remove them at 5 mm. The doc tells me it is going to be a rough couple of days. Give me a prescription for Vicatin and Flomax (pain killer and muscle relaxer), tells me not to drive while taking these meds, drink lots and lots of water, and see if it will pass on its own over the weekend. In 5 days, if it hasn't, I will probably have surgery to remove it.

Cotton Bowl is in 3 days.

Hurry up kidney stone! You may be the size of China, but in no way are you going to deter me from enjoying my first Tech game of 2009. I can take the pain, but I can't take missing out on the chance that Tech could beat Ol' Miss on Friday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Santa Baby

Here are pics from the Austin Trail of Lights 5K. Note the super sexy Santa costumes Meredith bought for us to wear over our running clothes (who new victoria's secret lingeria could look so good on the outside of your clothes!). Even though we took the 2 mile shortcut, it was a great event. We had so much fun at the run, at dinner and then at our "girls only" slumber party where Meredith and Nicole shared their singing talents with us. Merry Christmas! Love you girls!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


The past two and a half weeks have been crazy (hence the lack of blog entiries). This is the third week of my new job, and it is going really great. I am stealing the title of this blog from a good friend of mine back in D.C. who blogs about her life. She talks about affirmation, and the feeling you get when you know you are doing the right thing at the right time. For me, it is rare to have peace about major decisions, but today I have perfect peace about our decision to move back to Tejas and to take this new job.

I am the Director of Public Affairs for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. While I don't really know yet what the title "Director of Public Affairs" ensues, my main job is to bring more public awareness and raise the profile of the association. Basically, I am in charge of the media operation, which means I get to talk to reporters on a daily basis about what it is TSCRA is all about and why it is important. The Cattle Raisers have been around since 1877 so they are a pretty credible group of cowboys and cowgirls.

My dad and my brother are cowboys...and to some extent, I am a cowgirl. I grew up in White Deer, TX (population 1,060), and my family (the Terry's) have a ranch. On the ranch we work around 650 head of cattle. We are stewards of the land, keeper of the cows, and producers of American beef. But maybe most importantly we are a family with a deep heritage. My great great grandfather settled the ranch in the early 1900s. He had 14 (!) children and it was eventually passed down to my grandfather, Ernie Bill. Now, my baby brother is living on the ranch and working the land in the house that my great-grandfather built in 1912. What history!

It is such a privelege to work for an organization made up people that share the same history, work ethics and values as your family. You may not think that agriculture is important to your life until you stop to think about it. Most things you own or eat started on farm or ranch somewhere by a family like mine.

This job is hard. There is a lot to do and working with the press and getting them to write your story is never easy. The organization plays a huge role in the history of our great state; however, we have never sought much press coverage. Enter: Carmen Fenton. Lot's of late nights, early mornings and many miles on the highway are in my future...but that is ok. In fact, I kind of like it. It is really cool waking up in the morning and knowing you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

The pics above are from the Terry Ranch. The mysterious shadowy cowboy is my baby brother and those are his dogs.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Good Luck Fenton!

Today's your big day husband. No, it's not your birthday or your first day of work. It is LSAT day. You are the smartest man I have ever met and I love you so much. You will do awesome. I will be praying for you all day while I am Christmas shopping. Good Luck!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cowboy For A Day

Today OSU plays OU.  If OSU wins, Texas Tech goes to the Big 12 Championship.  So today I am cheering for the cowboys.

Go Pokes!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Homeward Bound Part I

So, I have made it to Texas. I fully intended to blog about our trip while we were actually on the trip, but I couldn't find the power cord to the computer the first night, and a major Texas Tech upset left me in no mood for conversing the next night.  And we have no Internet at the new house.  But now I am in Fort Worth with the Fentons celebrating Thanksgiving, and lucky for me, their neighbor has some powerful service.  So I am pirating at max potential (I do feel a little guilty) now and will have to write about our trip in the past tense.

We packed up the truck (with the help of 3 amazing movers) on Friday, spent the night in the hotel, and left before the sun came up on Saturday. I was too tired to be sad. We drove to Dickson, TN (west side of Nashville) before we finally stopped for the night just in time to see kickoff of the OU-TTU game. Mom, Dad, Jason and I made the drive just fine. It was the two cats (Jack and Jake) that had a problem. And who could blame them. The poor things were stuck in kitty cages the entire drive.

The last time the Fentons made the drive to Texas we let the cats roam around in the car freely. Not smart. So this time the good lady at Petsmart assured us that putting the kids in the cages would be safer for them and for the driver. She even talked Jason into buying this Kitty Calming Spray that you spray in their cages to calm them down. I am not convinced it worked, because our cats were super mad at us the entire time (until they finally wore themselves out). They cried and cried, and towards the end of the day...Jack somehow figured out how to open the cage and escaped David Copperfield style.  It was quite impressive for a cat.  

What wasn't as impressive was the dismantling of my undergrad Alma matter, Texas Tech, by my grad school Alma matter, OU.  Even though I have an advanced degree from the University of Oklahoma, I am in no way a Sooner.  I really don't know if it is factual to say I even went to school their.  OU has a room in a strip mall (satellite campus) in Washington, D.C. (believe it or not) where I attended classes for a year to get my degree.  My parents bought me a plane ticket to Norman so they could come see their baby girl walk across the stage, but other than that one time, I have never stepped foot on campus.  I guess you could say I am the step-child of OU.   I am, however, a die hard Texas Tech Red Raider fan.  I love them with all my much to say that I will be disappointed if my kids decide to go to school somewhere else.  

My dad always tells me that Texas Tech will break your heart.  And that night he was right. Riding high off of our winning streak, Tech fans across the nation were slammed back down to earth when we were literally creamed by the Oklahoma Sooners...pretty much ruining our chances of winning the Big 12 South.  The only slim chance we have left is if Oklahoma State beats OU, knocking them out of the running and leaving it between Tech and Texas.  Since Tech beat Texas, we would go.  

But back to the road trip.  Day two of driving was a little easier because the west side of TN on into Texas is a lot flatter.  Jason and I spent most of the day in the Budget Rent-A-Truck, which was kind of fun.  Until we got to Arkansas, where the roads are just as rough as the people (no offense to Arkansas folks who may be reading this).  

Around 3:00 we finally rolled into Texas (I swear the sun shined brighter and their were angels singing).  We spent our last night on the road in Fort Worth with Jason's parents.  The next morning we woke up super early, borrowed Jason's little sister for slave labor, and headed South to Austin.  That was pretty much out trip, not to eventful, just really long.

But in the present I am in Texas enjoying the first holiday with my new extended family.  I am so thankful to be here, and thankful for all the friends I have both in Texas and in Washington, D.C.  I am thankful for my wonderful husband who gave up his career to follow mine all the way back to Texas.  I am thankful for my family, who is celebrating in White Deer today.  I am thankful for our new house and our huge kitchen.  I am thankful for Mike Leach, Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree (even if they did lose last weekend).   I am just thankful...thankful for all the blessings in my life and for the plans that God has in store for us here in Texas.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Washington D.C. - Senior Year

My desk is packed. My inbox is empty. My blackberry is no longer in use (this includes my cell phone and the ability to text), and I am sitting at my empty congressional desk at 2:05 p.m. with absolutely no responsibility.

I could get used to this.

Leaving Washington, D.C. after 4 and a half years is a lot like leaving college or even high school. Just like I did then, I really don't know what to expect now. Of course, now, at age 26 I have a devoted husband, a new job waiting for me, a new house and even a new blackberry, but the uncertaintly of "what will be" comes back strong, just as it did 4 and 8 years ago. I am so excited to be headed back to Texas, my home, my state, my resting place, but part of me is a little sad to be quitting my exciting life. And part of me wishes Jason and I were headed for one last adventure before we settle down.

But deep down I know that this move is what God wants for us, what he has planned for us, and since, after all these years, I still don't know exactly what he wants me to do, this move is a little scary.

In a few hours, I will walk out of the Carter office for the last time. I will say goodbye to all the co-workers I love like family, and will bid farewell to the halls of Congress. In a few hours, I will no longer be able to tell folks, "I work in Washington." In a few days, I will be in a U-haul with the three men in my life (Jason-husband, Jack-old cat, Jake-baby cat) and will be driving down 395 for the last time.


I will miss you Washington. All your prestige, all your power, even all your games. I have graduated from this time, this place between adolescence and adulthood and am headed for a new life in a familiar place.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jer 29:11)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It Is All My Fault!

I have a confession to make. It is my fault that Obama is President.

You see, the night before the Texas Tech, UT game I made a deal with God. I told him I would trade an Obama win for a UT loss. Of course at the time I wasn't really thinking clearly, and was more wrapped up in the Tech football season then the prosperity of our nation.

Well, if you ever think that God doesn't answer prayers...think again. Because not only did Texas Tech pull up the biggest upset in college football history, but Barack Obama did indeed win the presidency.

As much as I disagree with President-Elect Obama on just about everything, I have made a promise to myself that I will not call him names in public or on my blog. I don't agree with his policies and I truly think he is bad for the country, but he will be the President, and I will respect that.

But enough about politics, let's talk football. More specifically let's talk Texas Tech football. The UT game was huge and the OSU game was equally as satisfying. For the first time, since I can remember, Texas Tech has a 10-0 record. Does anyone know how awesome this is! I am sure those UT, OU and all the other schools who expect their teams to march to greatness every year know what it feels like, but for those of us who have consistently rallied behind a team that has a history of breaking hearts, it is clearly a major thing.

So, for all the Texas Tech fans out there, take the weekend off. Concentrate on the next big challenge (the OU game in two weeks), and let's pray for another Texas Tech victory.

It has certainly been a bad year for Republicans, but I have a feeling it will be a great year for Texas Tech. Wreck 'Em!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We Should Set an Example

I am really upset. I have a television at my desk, and occasionally, when things aren't crazy around Capitol Hill, I will tune in to the View. I don't know why I watch. Within 15 minutes I have to turn it off. 1 reason why...

Joy Behar

Some of the things she says are mean. She said this about VP candidate Palin: "she overuses her power and underuses her brain." Correct me if I am wrong here, but did she just call the Republican VP candidate stupid?

Maybe you don't like or agree with Sarah all means, the beauty of this country is that we don't have to all agree. But have we gotten to the point where it is acceptable to call a governor of our state with an 80 percent approval rating stupid? Or is it just ok for celebrities to say awful things about our elected officials? I may not agree with Biden or Obama, but I would never call them stupid on national television...never. It isn't right, and it doesn't set a good example for our children, especially young women, who, some for the first time, are seeing a woman on the national ticket. Shouldn't we as woman (Joy is a woman) be setting a better example for the next generation of female leaders and rising above the caddiness?

I am not giving Sarah Palin a free pass either. She should also be setting an example.

And while I am on my soap box, I really think people should stop personally attacking President Bush. Maybe he is not perfect. Maybe he has made some mistakes, but like it or not, he is still the leader of our country. There is a reason why God put Bush in the position he is, and while maybe we, as humans, don't realize that now...God doesn't just make mistakes.

When we were little, our Sunday school teachers had us memorize Luke 6:31, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." As adults we tend to forget these life lessons. But maybe we should work to remember them. I hereby pledge that if I ever become a celebrity, I will never personally attack the President, Republican or Democrat, on national television.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bona Fide "Nature Girl"

You will often hear me talk about the bears. A year ago, I went on my first true camping trip with my then fiance, JFent. We went up to the Blue Ridge mountains on two different weekends. I was pretty excited about the opportunity to prove to myself and my future husband that I was indeed one of those outdoorsy types. I did a lot of things like this early on in our relationship... rock climbing, hiking, I bought a bicycle and rode it to the grocery store. I was one with the earth and nature.

But no matter how "one with nature" I tell myself I am, all of that courage comes to a standstill when I run into a bear. Now, you may be asking yourself... who runs into a bear? Well my friends, in the two weekends that I went camping, I came face to face with not one, not two, but EIGHT bears.

Folks come from hundreds of miles around for a chance to spot the rare black bear. Many of them never see one. Oh to be so lucky...

The first encounter happened during an early morning hike. Jason and I were about 2 miles from the campsite, completely alone in the wilderness, when all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I see these two black bears take off. I expected myself to freak out, but I actually stayed pretty calm, probably because I was in total shock and completely convinced that this was the end for me. Instead of screaming (which is never smart) or dropping to the ground and playing dead, I quickly turned around and began walking ever so quickly in the opposite direction. Jason followed. Eventually we turned around and headed back towards camp but we would have to cross the same spot where we saw the bears. I was so scared that I cried uncontrollably but never said a word.

Obviously I survived, but that would not be the end of the bears for me. During that trip we saw more bears... one roaming around our campsite and the other while we were in the car.

After the "encounter" I had some pretty bad dreams about being dragged to my death by a group of hungry black bears (which is silly, because black bears are really not that dangerous).
I was done with camping... until Jason came home one day with a shiny bell "a bear bell" that you wear on your belt loop to let the bears know you are coming. This way, you won't startle them and they won't eat you. I was less than thrilled, but put on a brave face. I love this man, and if camping is what he loves, than camping is what I will do. So we went on another camping weekend, and another long hike, where we came within feet of even more bears. This time, I had the safety of the bell and I was frantically ringing it.

For all of you first time campers out there... bears are not afraid of bells. In fact, the bears looked at me like I was the dumbest person in the world. Who is this girl, and isn't her arm tired of ringing that bell? Hence another sleepless night in the wilderness... but at least camping season was over. Over the past year, I have prayed and prayed for God to make me a good camper and to keep the bears away.

This was a year ago, and this past weekend the Fentons embarked on their first camping trip as a married couple. And guess what... there were no bears. I even asked a park ranger if they had seen bears lately, and she told me there had been none in sight since August. I was even bell free by the end of the trip. It has taken a year, and although I gave up rock climbing after the first shot, I will say that I am indeed a camper... which makes me a bona fide "nature girl".

And the best news of all... there are no bears in Texas.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


i don't have much to say right now, other than welcome to our spot in the ether of the interwebs. as i have more to say, i'll say it :) you'll probably hear a lot about the redskins, my attempt to become an "elite" tri-athlete and the random thoughts that enter my head...most of those won't make sense, though. so...hello to all of you and i'll be back soon.


The Book Challenge

So JFent and I are having this little contest to see who could read the most pages (not necessarily books) before December 31st, 2008. The winner gets to pick where we go on our next big vaca...a prize I take very serious since my hubby's idea of vacationing is hiking to the top of a mountain and sleeping with the bears (not that I mind the occasionaly camping weekend). The rules are pretty serious too:

Rule 1: The spouse that has read the most pages by mindnight of December 31, 2008 wins.

Rule 2: If you have read 50% of a book at the deadline and finish the books by January 10, 2009, those pages count. If you have completed less than 50% by the deadline or do not finish the book by January 10, none of the pages count.

Rule 3: Winner chooses the destination of the next Fenton vaca.

Rule 4: All books must be acknowledged as "reasonable" by the spouse.

Rule 5: At least 50 % of the books counted towards the challenge must be non-fiction. If more than 50% are fiction, 20% of the pages are lost.

Rule 6: Three books read during the course of the competition will be chosen by the spouse.

This whole contest started because my husband thinks the cheesy girly books I read are total crap, which most of the time they are. But I say, so what if I want to fill my weekends with mindless wonderfulness. Afterall, I read and watch the news all day, every day at my job, so a little R&R for my brain is nice. Anyways, it's not like I don't read non-fiction books...i just don't enjoy them quite as much.

So the contest has been going on now for a couple of months and so far the book count is wife's 5 books (3 Fiction and 2 Non-Fiction..I would highly recommend the Mermaid Chair, and no, I haven't seen the lifetime movie.) to husband's 2 books (1 Fiction and 1 Non-Fiction). Clearly I have the lead right? Well I am bragging all week about my heavy lead, when the husband whips out this huge 1,000 page book that he has been reading called The Prize (Something to do with the oil boom). So he could totally whipe out my significant lead with the reading of this one book.

Damn it husband.

If I lose, I will never hear the end of it, not to mention I will be spending my hard-earned vacation in a tent with a bunch of bears.


Welcome to our spot in internet history.

Ok with me here. This is my first blog, so it is still a work in progress. As most of you know, Jason and I were married last December and are currently living in the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C. Without a doubt, our lives have been very exciting, and we have had the opportunity as young adults to achieve things in our careers that most people only dream about...but enough is enough, and after five years in the city, it is time for us to head back to where we belong.

I wish I would have started this blog (No time like the present thought) my first day in D.C. I was bright eyed and ready to change the world, even as an intern. Washington was what I always imagined it would be, and I would become famous here...working my way to the top, credited mostly to my sharp wit and West Texas charm. That was four years ago, and while the flame of democracy still burns bright in my heart, I am afraid if I stay much longer, I will no longer be fond of our Capitol City. Thus the longing in my heart and the big opened door leading me back to Texas. Thank you God for answering this prayer so obviously.

Many of you will not always love reading this because I will surely talk about politics, (This IS the most historic election of our time) but hey, that is what a blog is for journal your comments and observations and let the rest of the world read what you are saying (or thinking). So to all of you who will stumble upon this space in internet history, I welcome you and wish you happy reading!