Monday, December 20, 2010

Toes in the water....

I realized recently that I have not written a single blog since Nov. 4th and that is completely and utterly unacceptable, I know... :( BUT! I have something to write about this time so maybe I can make it up to all our loyal fans out there (which is really Wheezy and big Rick aka "pops").. Anywho...

The winds of change are soooooo unexpected I have learned, and life is just a give and take with your plans. It's so funny how, the minute Rickey and I started dating, our "plans" honestly seemed to fly out of the window and what we wanted and desired for quickly flew the coop. But soon, we realized that what we initially "wanted and desired for" wasn't half as great and amazing as what God put behind door numbers 1, 2 and 3. You've read the blogs about Rick and baseball with the cardinals. You know how our little hearts were devastated when it was over, but how God blessed us with a coaching job at Delta State, a recent degree and graduation, and satisfaction in the fact that the first door closed but brought abouding opportunity. Recently, Rick seemed like he was just spinning in different directions with teaching, work, and baseball. He gave it so much of himself and seemed to be wearing thin, so his graduation was a day that I know he was READY for! On Saturday, December 11th, my precious Rickey Craig graduated with his Bachelors of Science in Education and he proudly walked across the stage while his even more proud family looked on :) It was a fabulous fabulous day and well deserved for him. It seemed that it was the final culmination of what started with seasons of baseball and stress in Johnson City, let downs and heartbreaks, coaching and learning how to be a student again, coaching and learning how to be a teacher which was new, overwhelming sense of "how can I accomplish all of this", and last- his feeling of "I just accomplished all that". I am pretty dang proud.

That being said, my Rick is a fellow that has skills he doesnt realize. Not only is he intelligent and creative, FARRRRRRRR beyond what he gives himself credit, but he is a go-getter and isnt one to stand around. A week before Rickey's graduation, we happened to stumble upon a job opportunity in a town that we honestly didnt know existed. So, being the investigative person I am, I was able to look a little more into it and find a phone number to call to get more details on the position itself.... And to make a VERY long story somewhat short- that one phone call with Rickey and Principal Twiggs led to two phone interviews two days later, and us traveling down to the coast after his graduation on Sunday to interview first thing Monday morning in person. I sat in the car during his interview for almost 2 hours and thought to myself, "man, what in the world is going on????" and I quickly realized that what was going on- was going to be something that would change our lives forever. Rickey walked out of the interview, feeling confident and saying the school would get back to him in the next few days. We decided to hit the downtown area for a little lunch and before we knew it, Principal Twiggs was at our table during lunch offering us a JOB. In a flash right before my eyes, I watched Rickey - my precious husband and my new little graduate- confidently shake this man's hand (whom we've just met TODAY and spoke with for a week) and ever so professionally nod his head and accept. And our whirlwind journey has officially begun....


It's exciting, a little scary, a bit more nervewracking, and more and more amazing every single second that I think about it. Its a change from our original plan- and our family and friends are on board so that helps- but we quickly realized, by looking at our history, that our plan IS NOT OUR OWN. This job, this journey, and this trip that we are about to take was planned out for Rickey and myself in our marriage way before we were ever Rickey or Lacey. And we have come to the realization that here on this earth, we are vessels, that are being used to follow His plan and God's will for us. With that acceptance, I think Rickey shook Mr. Twigs hand in confidence and knew that he was ready, I was ready, and WE were ready for such an exciting ride. :)

So the town- its absolutely precious. At work, my coworkers like to call me the "free spirit". I have a hard time watching scary movies, I hate seeing deer hunters kill animals on sunday morning delta television, and I am always feeling "creative" or care free. Others at work say I live in a "Polly Anna" kinda world and, honestly, that suits me just right. The town that we are moving to, reminds them of ME. :) Its a sleepy beach town, about 6 miles from Biloxi, MS just across the Biloxi Bridge and 20 Minutes to Gulfport, MS. It's got everything that we could possibly want as well. Rickey's job at Ocean Springs Middle School is to teach History to 6th and 8th grade students. His school is a Blue Ribbon American school, in a 6A school district, with unlimited resources and funding. The Baseball and Athletic programs are stellar and he looks forward to being able to learn new aspects of coaching at a large high school in MS. They have a wresting team (when was the last time you saw a high school with a wrestling team? Circa 1992 Saved By the Bell at Bayside High perhaps??) and a Lacrosse team, which Mr. Twiggs is already trying to coerce Rick into helping coach this.. Ocean Springs has many hospitals, universities, 100 restaurants (you know I love this), art galleries, famous Potters- which I am destined to live in since I am obsessed with pottery right now, 30 art galleries, and access to the MS Gulf Coast beaches and casinos. They love festivals- and seem to celebrate anything and everything they can, every month, and any available weekend. And the best part is we are 80 miles to New Orleans and 75 miles to Baton Rouge to see our family :) We can go have dinner on a WEEKDAY now!

I have some pics posted of our new little hometown for you to see. Rickey has gone to Ocean Springs today to sign his official contract and see his classroom, as well as scout out a few more places to live and meet with our realtor. Lots of fun and exciting blogs to come- get ready to read! :)

Lots of love,

Ocean Springs Park- Open Beach.. Hello Backyard.

This is the Marina where the boats like to dock.

This is the HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FIELD! how nuts is it?

Another Festival (antique cars- Rick is obsessed) and hanging out at Lovelace Drugs (like Turnages in WV)

I had to add this one- pic of the remains of the Biloxi bridge connecting OS to Biloxi after Hurricane Katrina hit. The Bridge has been rebuilt since then, but they left a large section of the old, damaged bridge as a reminder of how horrible Katrina really was to the MS Gulf Coast.

This is ONE building (I think science building maybe) for the OS High School. It's bigger than my entire high school and its ONE BUILDING.

Little more of the downtown area. I like the street signs :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, Catch!

I honestly have so many things that I am thankful for. I have a cute little roof over my head, a puppy who I adore endlessly, and family and friends who are my world. My blogs seem to always revolve around these three things. But an addendum to the "family" one is my husband, Rickey! I would not be who I am without my Rick. Although we have been married for 5 MONTHS already, I cannot remember what my life was like before Rickey walked into it. So today, I am so very very thankful that 25 years ago, Rickey Craig came into this world and has enriched my life more than I ever could imagine! :)

Now.. Since that sweet, sappy paragraph above has been said - I think that birthdays are awesome! EVERYONE deserves a day in the 365-day calendar we all use to just celebrate themselves. Birthdays are needed, it's deserved, and its special! Since Rickey and I became an item, we always discussed things that we wanted in the future- kids, living our "baseball life", a cute house, and celebrating any and every special day and occasion we could! I got to have the luxury of spending my birthday with our LA family and having a great cake (my favorite is vanilla cake with almond buttercream icing = traditional wedding cake) and party! As Rickey's birthday was following my explosive Halloween party and decor, he pulled me aside and made me swear I wouldnt go all out for his birthday though. He said that he wanted something "low key" since we werent going to be able to go to LA and with our friends wedding weekend starting tomorrow. Sadly, I also have to work tonight since I am taking the next two days off for Sarah and Clays wedding, so I agreed not to "go all out"... But in my mind, I knew that I was going to pull SOMEthing off and I wanted him to have a fabulous day!

Abner and I spent most of the day cleaning the house, baking Rickey's birthday cake (which I am so proud of I could scream) and decorating with a little "birthday banner" for the birthday boy! When he came home from school, he had a funny birthday card and indulged in his cake! I am also making a new recipe for his dinner tonight so he's a happy guy! We are going to continue to celebrate his 25th birthday with his parents and all our friends this weekend as we celebrate the marriage of Clay Sartain and Sarah Lewis!

I posted some pics of his birthday cake- he LOVES Red Velvet- and the banner I made. If you havent told my Mr. Wonderful HAPPY BIRTHDAY yet, get right on that! Will blog more after the weekend's wedding! So excited!

Avec tout mon couer,
Abner got tired of helping... Nap time.

Happy Birthday, Catch banner!

Rickey's Red Velvet four layer cake with cream cheese icing! Yes! I made that!
(and 25 candles with one to "grow on")

from the side- a big lopsided but Hey..

Blow em out!


YES. Thats right. I made it :) I am so proud.

Happy Birthday Catch! We love you! Lacey and Abner

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Great Flood....

Welcome to the Delta!!! I woke up this morning, walked out the door, and witnessed the Great Flood which I have always heard so much about. NO JOKE, people take canoes and boats and go to class in this mess...... This is our yard and the street we live on.. So needless to say, Abner and I are flooded in and having a lazy day inside today. Its hard taking a dog out in almost a foot of water outside your door.. and the rain just keeps on comin!

Avec tout mon couer,

Happy Pumpkin Day!!

Gosh, It has been so so so so so very long since I have blogged and honestly, not much has changed in the amazing lives of Rick and Lace other than the same ole same ole... School... Work... School... Work... Baseball... Work.. Sleep.. Rick has been on overdrive working on his portfolio for school, which I will admit is demanding and hectic and stressful as a whole. Basically, it becomes your teaching life in the classroom- this notebook filled of everything that you could imagine to create, think, dream, and teach to your students in hopes that they will reciprocate it and suceed. If you could imagine taking boards in the medical field, just reverse it and try to WRITE your own "testing boards" and put it into a notebook with over 200 pages... Stress-ful. I definately have so much respect for teachers and student teachers because they have a HARD JOB!  No wonder they get summers off- that is WELL DESERVED! So, other than working on school work, work, and life for us both, things have been somewhat boring...........

That being said, I decided I was going to spice things up a bit! After Rick and I got married we decided that we always wanted to make a special occasion out of EVERYTHING for our kids.. Easter, Halloween, Christmas, Birthdays... My sisters are the same way too, especially me and Candice. We like to create and be creative, we LOVE crafts, and we have fun just making parties FUN! This also stems to my special friend Tanya, who goes absolutely ABOVE AND BEYOND when it comes to creating a party or party-themed decor. Being bored in the Delta, I really needed something to do so I decided that I was going to have a Halloween party... For who you might ask? Brittany, my sister, was going to come and visit us and take a break from the Jackson life so she brought her dog Slugger. I thought this was a perfect opportunity to dress Abner up in a costume for sure! Rickey seems to just go with the flow when I get these crazy whims so he let me go to town with Decorating- just for the 5 of us... :)

I actually had a blast and loved getting into the SPOOOOKY spirit! Abner dressed as a Skeleton (I was determined to find him the Killer Whale costume I was obsessed with but since he's extremely large, I had trouble finding an XXXL- and this is no joke, thats the size his weight required). Sluggar dressed as a Bumblebee and was sooo cute. Rickey and Britt had a pumpkin carving contest and I made cupcakes that actually were quite tasty! Rick has eaten almost the entire batch of Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Vanilla Mint icing and I loved the Pumpkin Cupcakes myself. We even had 6 trick or treaters come and they were soooo cute! It made me miss all my little ones and my sweet baby nephews, Harrison and Ben, who were a Monkey and a Pirate. It really was a fun get together and I just love hanging out with people who I love. I MISSSSS seeing my sisters because we never get to spend a whole lot of time together. Here are some pics of the Decor and treats! :) Happy Halloween!

Avec tout mon couer, Lace

Monday, September 27, 2010

GO EAT AT CHILI'S!!! National Donation Day!! :)

Everyone holds something near and dear to their heart... I can name lots of things: My 2006 World Series game ball signed by Albert Pujols himself, my husband, precious family members and friends, hearing my nephew Harrison laugh, pics of sweet Betty, Abner when he cuddles with me, my 2 shiny state championship medals..... And MOST of those things  are uncomparable to my charity of choice, the one that has touched my heart in ways I cannot express, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital... TODAY (Monday, Sept. 27th) is National Donation Day at Chili's Bar and Grill all over the country and I invite you to get out and eat there for Lunch, Dinner, and afternoon snacks BECAUSE 100% percent of profits go directly to St. Jude!!! Chili's is one of the largest donating sponsers to St. Jude and they so graciously do this once a year to help fund the Chili's Care Center wing of the hospital- which is amazing! If you have never toured the Campus and you are in Memphis, TN for some odd reason, make a POINT to visit it :) The most amazing thing that was inducted into the St. Jude goal by founder Danny Thomas, was to leave NO CHILD behind in thier fight against pediatric cancer or life threatening illnesses due to a family's inability to pay.. NO MATTER where a child or family is from- background, city, state, country- St. Jude COVERS healthcare costs, travel, and living expenses that cannot be afforded by each and every family. So for each patient, family member who has to stop work or move, medical treatment costs, salary funds to pay the worker "angels", and just day to day runnings of electricity and bills- the hospital PAYS OUT over ONE MILLION DOLLARS A DAY! So let's help them out by heading to Chili's :)

Having worked there for a brief stent, I am LUCKY to say that I got to stand in the presence of Doctors, Nurses, and staff- all of these people are angels walking on earth. These people are on the forefront of hopefully curing pediatric cancer and they save life after life after life every single day. I got to work alongside these amazing people and my mind and heart are forever changed because of thier souls, minds, and good works. Not only that, I am also LUCKY to say that I got to be hugged by, loved by, and embraced the strength that each of these precious little patients possess. There are no words to decribe the fight in these little bodies and the hearts that they have. There are not even any words to describe the love they give when THEY are fighting a battle we cannot imagine fighting ourselves... On the days that I feel I dont wanna get out of bed because I'm tired or stressed, overwhelmed or overworked, frustrated, upset, confused, or just plain ole BLAH- I think of them and what they go through on a day-to-day basis and I am instantly motivated to give each day my ALL. Rickey and I are official St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Partners in Hope and donate monthly to the cause. I encourage everyone to become a Partner in Hope because your monthly donation is the best feeling! Today we are gonna push the cause further and salute you ST. JUDE!!! Cheers to the best charity and cause in the world and one that is soooo near and dear to my heart! DONATE to the Littles at St. Jude :) NOW GO EAT SOME QUESO AND SIZZLIN FAJITAS!!!!!!! GO GO GO! :)

Avec tout mon couer,

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ok I am officially the worst.blogger.ever.... That is for sure. Although I wont promise to get better at blogging until my schedule frees up just a bit more time, I will say that I will try harder to keep all our fans in "the know". And honestly, there isnt much to know! The Nolands are just on the same daily grind as usual. Rickey is still working hard with Delta State Baseball and fall ball is upon us. It's always a nice time when it hits because the weather is cooler and we are past the summer that wore us out with games. You have a nice break and its back on the field, and Rickey loves this. I really think that his past time is spent on the grass because it relaxes him. Me? That would never happen but he seems to love just being there. The other coaches call the home plate at Delta State "Rickey's Office". :) Anywho, with ball being back in swing we are back to him having a random and busy schedule. Some nights he is at the office doing scouting calls or cutting grass til 9 or 10 at night, then he comes home to work on more lesson plans and his teaching portfolio. His teacher seems to have cut "some" slack on him, being that he can leave right after school now and not have to stay an additional thirty minutes for "reflection time" (yes, thats right reflection time- and its absolutely stupid). Just a few more months and he's home free! So with lessons, work, baseball, and school hes a busy man. This weekend we did have a little bit of free time to run some wedding errands for our friends Sarah and Clay who are getting married in November. We headed to Memphis to get Rick fitted and purchase his groomsman's tuxedo and it made me smile to see him wear the tux jacket - brought back SO MANY fun memories of us trying on his tux for our wedding! Awww.. We got to do a little bit of shopping in which Rickey had the pleasure of buying a pet hair vacuum for our house. If you havent heard me tell the stories of Rickey and his latest obsession - and I am not kidding when I say this- with vacumm-ing products, well you are missing out. Anyone who knows us knows that our monster child, Abner, sheds furiously two times a year. Rickey and I have been seriously contemplating what we will do if the shedding does not STOP. And soon. We have Abs groomed constantly and we sweep multiple times a day, but no matter what, the hair continues to be EVERYWHERE. That being said, Rickey (and being a man) has turned his attention to recent infomercials and what not in search of the perfect Pet-Hair-Grabber- machine. First he bought a dirt devil vacuum thing and although this worked a little, it annoyed me because the cord was so dang short and it was hand held. So we ended up never using it on the floor or anywhere actually, placing it in early retirement. We then branched to the Swiffer range of products, which do work but we needed something a bit more "heavy duty". Next came his obsession with something called the G2 Swivel Vacuum, which looked to me like a broom on steroids. He ordered it and swore to me that "if Billy Mays endorses it, well you know it MUST work". Yep, not so much.... Actually not at ALL. I mean, this vacuum is running on two double AA batteries, we should've known better.. Last but not least, this weekend while we were in Bed Bath and Beyond, Rickey seemed to be amazed at this new vacuum that he swore would cure our ailments and was specifically designed for Pet Hair... All I can really do is look at him and smile because he looks so cute with excitement but in my heart I know I was thinking- Grreaaattt, another crap machine. This time I am admitting that this vacuum works pretty dang well and although it doesnt get most of the hair off the hardwood floor (which encompasses our ENTIRE house), it does get ALL of the hair off our 8x10 area rug... Words cannot express Rickey's excitement and I watched him vacuum at midnight just to show me that this choice "worked". Bless his heart, hes so cute. So I guess that Eighty bucks is worth having a great, clean area rug....

Anywho.. While in Memphis I was craving some Crab legs for some reason and so we decided that we would go to Red Lobster. Although not my favorite place for seafood, it would do the trick because I do love the cheddar bay biscuits.. I came to find out that Rick was not a pro as I was at the Crab Legs so we spent about 2 Hours devoring those crabbies and having a ball. In the midst of our hectic lives and crazy schedules, its so nice to be able to sit down and laugh with Rickey because he really, really IS my best friend..

So other than our weekend that consisted of vacuums and seafood, we havent been doing a whole heck of a lot other than working, eating, sleeping, and studying. Which reminds me that I need to stop blogging and get back to doing that.. I promise I will update later when there is something more substantial for me to chat about!! :)

Avec tout mon couer,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere- and None That I Wanna Drink.... Yuck

Im usually a positive person................ But I have been more than frustrated with the City of Cleveland Water Department and Maintenence.. Anywho- about 3 weeks ago, (yes thats right-3 weeks) in our terribly dead grass that is thirsting so much for rain and crunches when you walk on it I found a patch of grass about the size of a quarter that was awfully green by the mailbox. Abner and I investigated this little patch and immedately called the ole faithful hubby-who said we probably had a water pipe leaking. To make a very long story shortened: calling Rickey turned into calling our landlord David (who is so awesome and helps like non other), which turned into the City making a stop to our house to dig a mini-hole, flag, and spraypaint all kinds of arrows and lines across trees and in our yard... They told us that it was a main city pipe that was leaking and although it wouldnt effect our water line or system, "It might effect some others on down the road".. Well that didnt sound good... Anywho.. THREE WEEKS LATER the little mini-hole was leaking profusely and becoming not only an eyesore in my yard, but made me (the worrier) worry about my neighbors water lines.. So after many calls, filings some kind of report and work order a couple times and finally begging them to come fix it for THREE WEEKS.. I came home to this sight this morning......

Needless to say, Abner really enjoyed watching the men work and especially the bulldozer that was (and still is) parked in the yard. The "mini hole" turned into a gigantic 7 foot deep, 10x10 massive crater that looks like we have started our own "Noland National Geographic Excavaction Project". I think the most exciting part of the day was when someone came to the door and said "Ma'am, if this here thing might blow, there could be a waterfall going in the air and the whole dang street'll flood-as well as your house. So I'mite have to ask you and your little dog to be escorted somewhere, only if that happens"....... Little dog, eh? COMFORTING....... Sometimes you can only laugh, I know, but if I dont blog for a few weeks from here on out- just know I fell into the new large swimming pool thats next to my mailbox. Thank you city of Cleveland! :)

Avec tout mon couer,