Monday, February 11, 2013

The Storm... 02/10/13

It was a regular Sunday… Patrick and I got up and went to Sunday school and church, had lunch at Olive Garden, and then we came home. I was ready for my Sunday afternoon nap, and Patrick was ready to watch TV. Little did we know what the afternoon and evening would hold. We knew there was potential for bad weather, but I guess you are always hoping it misses you. A little after 3, we found ourselves in the bathroom as we were under a tornado warning. It didn’t last long, and we thought we would be okay. At around 4:40 we got a text from my dad that said, “Keep an eye on the tornado around Columbia right now. Headed in our general direction.” Not exactly the words you want to see in a text message. We turn on WDAM to watch their coverage and head back to our hall bathroom. Nothing is scarier than seeing the tornado captured on the Petro camera with the reporters telling you to take cover it’s headed down 98. I admit I did have flashbacks from Katrina. Although the anticipation for Katrina was much worse and lasted a lot longer, the same feelings began to run over me. Earlier I had run to our bedroom to get our tennis shoes in case we needed to get out after it passed. I’ll never forget my dad telling my sister and me to get our shoes on during Katrina. And then I remember telling Patrick to just pray…..
F4 that passed through Hattiesburg

At about 5:20 it had passed us, and we soon realized that our house and neighborhood has been spared. The tornado had passed by, but far enough away from where we were. Little did we know how close it came to my parent’s and grandparent’s house. The tornado probably missed them by a block or so. Wow… It sill brings tears to my eyes and gives me chills to think how different the outcome could have been. When we got word that my parents and grandparents were okay we were relieved, although I’m not sure we understood at that point how destructive the tornado was. After hearing stories and seeing pictures come in, it became that more real. It’s very strange to see pictures of your hometown on the weather channel and news networks showing places that you know exactly where they are. My parent’s and grandparent’s house could have easily been destroyed or them injured. They are still without power, but they are okay. Talk about Praising God… I’m still in shock… Unfortunately, for many others they have extreme damage. My heart breaks for them, and I want to do what I can to help. A family from our church who lives very close to my parents had most of their windows busted out and tress on their house…. But, the Lord protected them. 
My first thought after the storm was to try and contact as many people as possible to check on them. Your mind starts going down a checklist. I am thankful for social media because people were posting so we could see if they were okay. It was a relief to find that people were generally fine, even if their homes or possessions were not.
My high school and The University suffered damage. They University worst of all. A school you grew up knowing and then attending and working at covered in debris and damaged buildings makes your heart heavy. But, another God Sent because the students were out for Mardi Gras so the campus was not full and everyone was okay. Truly a miracle… Buildings can be rebuilt, and cars restored, but lives cannot.
Picture Patrick took this morning on USM's campus

It’s really hard to describe how I am feeling. It is such a mix of emotions. I feel even different than I did during Katrina, maybe because we knew for a while Katrina was probably coming towards us, maybe because I was younger then, I’m not sure... I am relieved that my family and friends are safe, but heartbroken for those who have lost their homes, and our town for the damage sustained. But, thankful because I know God was watching over all of us. A tornado hitting around you like this makes you even wonder how it didn’t hit your home, so much loss all around. I think it’s also hard because I so badly want to help, but I know I have a job to do as well. I know I can help in different ways other than being on the front lines, but I want people to feel cared about and loved. I can’t begin to imagine what they are experiencing. I am again thankful for a wonderful church family and community who I know is helping those in need. It's hard to see life go back to "normal" when you know so many people are trying to even figure out what "normal" means. But, I guess that is what helps people move forward. 
Campus Bookmart

Nevertheless, as many towns before us have had to do, Hattiesburg will rebuild. My prayer is that we come together, helping those in need and appreciate each other. I know The University of Southern Mississippi will pick up the pieces no matter how hard and we will be stronger because of it. We will rebuild and stay strong, and will praise God through this storm….
After something like this, you really appreciate your life. It truly means something when you hear, “Live each day to the fullest.” But, how true it is because you never know when your time here will be over. I hope I hold this close and make each day count. Life is so precious, and I am reminded how blessed I am, and how thankful I am for all my families and friends. I love them dearly. 
Fallen Tree

The Lord is Near, and we will get through this. Praying for Hattiesburg…

*All pictures beside the first one were taken by Patrick this morning.
*I have every intention of doing a 3 year anniversary post, but my heart was heaving reflecting on yesterday. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What Will 2013 Bring?

Patrick and I rang in the New Year in fine fashion. In our pajamas, in
bed, waiting for the clock to strike midnight, so we could toast with
our sparkling grape juice and fall fast asleep! Exciting right!?! Oh
well, we did not mind too much. We watched the ball drop at 11, and
then the countdown was on. I am pretty sure Patrick would have slept
through it if I had not insisted that he stay awake until 12. Soon
after, we were fast asleep! Pretty exciting, huh!?

What are the Lowery’s hoping for in 2013… Well, it depends on who you
ask. When Patrick and I had this conversation the other day, his top
answers: to have a hole in one and meet Tiger Woods! Love it, that’s
my husband. In all honesty, I really hope he does have a hole in one.
It would be really cool!

But, with all joking aside we hope to grow closer to God as we grow
closer to each other. This was talked about in our marriage counseling
(almost 3 years ago now), and we take it to heart. We really do strive
to do this every day, however, we know we fall short. But, it will
always be what we work towards. We also hope we are able to start a
family soon. If you know me, you know I have dreamed about being mom
for a very long time. Patrick and I are excited about the future, but
for now we pray and wait for God’s timing. We also want to be people
who make a difference, who live healthy lifestyles, and always
maintain integrity.  Life is not always easy, and things do not always
go our way, but we want to be people of character. As always, we have
high hopes for 2013. Sometimes I can get fearful wondering what the
year will hold, but then I remember I may not know what is in store
for us this year, but I know who holds our future. And with HIM all
things are possible, and we will get through the good and hard times.
It truly is a comforting thought and what Faith is all about.

We wish you and your family a very Happy New Year! We pray for His
greatest blessings this year!

(Can you believe it, two consecutive blog posts!!!, Don’t get too
excited, it might not happen again :-)!)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 Holiday Adventures/ 2013 Is Here!

Happy New Year!
2012 has gone, and 2013 is here.

Hard to believe it is already the start of a New Year. It really is
crazy how fast time goes. So, I definitely didn’t succeed in blog
writing in 2012. But, maybe I will get better in 2013. I figured if I
just tried to blog at least once a month that would be progress. I
will try and do better than that, but at least once a month is my goal
to start off with.

The Lowery’s had their ups and downs in 2012, but we are beyond
blessed. I survived my three trips to Wisconsin, learning a lot and
becoming certified in EPIC Prelude, and Patrick now has a new job.
Woohoo! It was hard to understand why other jobs had not worked out,
but God was setting up just the right place for him. He is now at
Forrest General Hospital as their social media and marketing
specialist. It really is a dream job. He loves, and it and we are
beyond thankful for this opportunity. The Lord has surely seen us
through this year.

We had a wonderful holiday season filled with lots of travel, family,
and friends. We celebrated in Birmingham, on the coast, and here in
Hattiesburg. It is so hard to find a time for everyone to be together,
but it makes those moments even sweeter. I know not everyone gets the
chance to spend time with their loved ones over the holidays, so I am
especially grateful for those opportunities.

Two weekends before Christmas we spent time in Birmingham with my
mom’s parents (Grandma and Poppa) and our good friends CT and Kara. We
had good food, and great fellowship. There is never a dull moment with
Grandma and Poppa! We also got to see Uncle Johnny, Nancy, and Anna on
our way out on Sunday. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and only
wish it could have been longer. 
The weekend before Christmas we spent on the coast with Patrick’s
family. We were sad that Uncle Tommy and his family could not be
there, but we had a good time with Nana and Doll. We even played Dirty
Santa with his family. I should have stolen a gift I was sure to love
instead of opening one, but I’m just too nice. But, all in all it was
good fun. We were also able to see Patrick’s great grandparents too.
They still amaze me; they are doing really well to be in their late
nineties. On Sunday before we traveled back to Hattiesburg we had
lunch with his dad’s side of the family. Steamed Shrimp, was on the
menu… yum! It was nice to be able to see everyone while we were there! 
After Christmas on the coast we were back home for Christmas in
Hattiesburg. We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Eve service with the
entire family, had a nice dinner together, and exchanged gifts. I must
say everyone was so generous (on both sides of the family).
Patrick and I did most of our presents from each other Christmas Eve
night because we knew we were getting up early Christmas morning to
see everyone before Mom, Dad, Lori, and James left for Birmingham, and
Adam, Amy, and Cameron went to her parents.
I knew that I was getting a MacBook Air, which I LOVE!!! And Patrick
added a polka-dot case to it as well! (He knows me well.) I’m so
excited to have a good computer, but Patrick was in great shock when
he opened his Timberton Membership. It was priceless, and I am so
thankful I was able to do that for him.  It is worth every penny. 
Christmas morning we woke up to storms. It was going to be a rainy
day. Patrick and I opened our stockings at home before we left to see
what “Santa” brought us at Mom’s and Dad’s. Once again Santa was very
generous. It was really wonderful for everyone to be together. Special
times and special memories. Cameron of course was the life of the
party. He is so sweet, and so fun to play with. He just melts our
heart. He loves his Uncle Pat-Pat, always calling him by name, and I
think for now I am Lola. As long he knows who I am, he can call me
whatever he would like (within reason of course).
The morning went by too fast and everyone was on their way to different places. Patrick
and I enjoyed some time together at our house, and then we went to one
of my dad’s brother’s house for Christmas dinner. Mimi even went with
us. It was GREAT food, and fellowship. The storms were rolling in, so
we dropped Mimi off at her house, and made it back to our house before
it was time to get into the bathroom. The threat of tornadoes was
strong. I am glad that we were all okay from the storms.

Patrick and I finished Christmas Day with the movie “The Holiday”. It
truly was a wonderful holiday season for us. Patrick and I are
tremendously blessed. The next day it was back to work for us!
(Welcome to the Real World)

However, Christmas was not quite over… on the 28th we had the Knight
Christmas and celebrated Mimi’s and Pop’s 60th Wedding Anniversary!
What a testimony and example to follow. There love is still as evident
as ever. I hope Patrick and I love each other that much after 60
years! It was a crazy, fun day. Everyone was there except Shanna’s
husband who had to work. That is a blessing by itself. I loved playing
with all the kids and catching up with the older ones. Everyone is
really growing up… I guess that happens… Just hard to believe.

And now here we are….2013….

What are your hopes for this year? Stay tuned, I promise to be back to
tell you how we rang in the near year, and what we hope for in 2013.

Our Christmas Tree

We got to see David Phelps in Concert!
It was wonderful!

Patrick with his Nana and Doll

The original Lowery Clan

Adam, Amy, and Cameron

Cameron loved opening presents

Cameron and I
(Love him)

Cameron loves his Uncle Pat-Pat

Christmas Day

Mimi and Pops on their 60th Wedding Anniversary!


Monday, August 20, 2012

All is Well!

Wow, it's been forever since I have posted. I probably wouldn't post now, but a FEW people have been asking me to blog again. You know who you are, and I capitalize few because those are the only people who probably read this blog. Oh well, it is good documentation as well.

Life has been happening. It has been CRAZY! I started a new job. I enjoyed what I did at USM, but the grant ended and we were not refunded. Talk about a low point, when you wonder how you will pay the bills because you have no
job. Those were some rough weeks, but I have to tell you God is good. My last day at USM I had an interview with Hattiesburg Clinic. Who knew, I would end up in healthcare. It really was God's hand in all of this. About a week and a half later I was offered the job and working at Hattiesburg Clinic as a Business Office Training Specialist. Basically, I will learn their software: Epic and then train other employees. Pretty cool huh?! So, I still get to train and help people. And ultimately helping people is what I want to do in life. It was hard leaving USM, but I'm so thankful for this new opportunity. I am
on a new adventure. God really showed us His plan, and we are so thankful.

What's Patrick been up to you ask?Well he has been the most understanding, supportive husband I could ask for. We went through some hard times, but he was always there. I am beyond thankful for him. He's been working hard, playing golf when he can, and saving the world in xBox! Ha!

We are counting down the days until football season!! My favorite time of the year! Go Eagles!! SMTTT!

And even though I'm late I want to wish my dad a very happy birthday! I am so thankful for him!

And today is Grandaddy Patterson's 99th birthday! How awesome! He has the sweetest spirit!

I'm on my own little adventure this week. I'll have to tell you about it next time.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, June 15, 2012

She's Married!!!

I know, it's hard to believe, but my baby sister is married! I am so happy for her and James. They were married on June 9, 2012. It was a beautiful ceremony, and a wonderful day. I am so proud of Lori. She is a wonderful sister, and friend. I am so thankful that God brought her and James together. Goodness knows it takes someone special! :-) Just kidding Lo. But, in all seriousness, I am so happy your dream came true and you married your best friend. It truly was a special day, and I wish you all the best.

Everything about the rehearsal and wedding was really great. It was a long weekend. I think I am still tired from all the fesitivities, but it was well worth it. I now understand why wedding planners make a lot of money. I was more stressed about everything going right for Lori's wedding than my own. Oh well, it all turned out great.

It really has been a long time since I have posted. As always, I have good intentions, I just do not carry them out.

What else has been going on besides the wedding... not too much. :-) Just work and wedding stuff. Now that the wedding is over, I'm not sure what we will do with our free time. There are lots of things that need to be done, so hopefully we will get to some of our projects. Speaking of projects, June 13th made it one year since we have closed on our house. It is crazy to think it has already been a year! We still love our house, and are very thankful for our home.

On June 7th, we celebrated Mom's Birthday, and Adam's and Amy's wedding anniversary. The day was filled with wedding decorating, but we all got to enjoy a nice dinner together. It was nice to be together.

As you can see, it's been a little crazy around here lately, but I'm not sure we would know what to do if it wasn't.

I'll leave you with a few pictures that I took on my phone from the rehearsal dinner and wedding. Maybe soon I can get the ones uploaded from my camera. But, for now you can enjoy these!

Rehearsal Dinner Decorations

Pictures of Lori and James at the Rehearsal Dinner

Beautiful Couple

Lori and I on her wedding day

Lori, James, and Cameron
How precious!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Patrick!!!

Well, I had every intention of posting this on Patrick's actual birthday, which was Tuesday, May 8th.
But, as you see I didn't get it done.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY PATRICK! I hope you had a wonderful day!!! I believe he did, just ask him what he got!

We celebrated with cards, balloons, streamers, breakfast together, and a nice meal at Chesterfield's with my parents. This weekend we will head to the coast to continue the celebration.

We also made a "skinny" dessert, complete with candles. I must say it was very good!!!

Patrick, I hope year 26 is the best one yet! May all your wishes come true.

I love you!!!!

Patrick and his cake

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It's Been Awhile...

Well, I guess you could say I have been on a blogging strike. It's just hard to find the time to write everything that I want to, so then I do not end up writing anything. I know crazy way of thinking. I always promise I will do better, but I never seem to. Anyways, a lot has been going on, great things, and (hard) life lessons. But, we are trying to live life to the fullest, and embrace everyday. And are thankful everyday for a gracious, loving, all-knowing God.

So what's been going on:

-We had a great time at Cameron's first birthday party. It is so hard to believe our little man is one. He is turning into a little boy, and growing out of the baby stage. Bittersweet.. But, he is so loved and the sweetest little man!

-The Lion King was AWESOME!!! We had a great time in New Orleans seeing the show. Patrick sat on the edge of his seat the entire time. Can't wait to go back to see another show.

-Mom, and I spent a weekend in Jackson with Lori. It was a girl's trip, and we had a great time. My baby sister will be getting married in a month. Crazy!

-Mrs. Tammy, and I spent an entire day Saturday working in the flower beds. Who knew it was so much work! But, I have to say they look so good. I am so pleased with them. Patrick is doing a great job keeping the yard looking great. The house thing, is definately a work in progress!

-We also made a trip to Birmingham to see Grandma and Poppa, and CT and Kara. We had a great time. Grandma and Poppa provided us with many laughs, and the love of family. And as always we really enjoyed hanging out with great friends.

-This past weekend, Lori started her wedding showers. Amy and I hosted a shower at my house for Lori. It was a special time. I'm not going to lie it was a lot of work for this OCD person, but it turned out great. Good food, and great people. She also had her church shower. I guess this means she is really getting married! It was a speical weekend, and I'm glad I got to share it with her. She also celebrated her 24th birthday last week. Happy Birthday Lo!

-And my most precious friend Emily, and her husband Dave had their second child on Friday: Josiah Michael Cook. Welcome to the world little man! And, I can't forget big sister Sarah, who I've heard loves her baby brother very much. I am so happy for the Cook family, and can't wait to meet the newest addition! Prayers for your family of 4!

-Lastly, today is someone's birthday!!!!