Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rest, Relaxation, and a Perfect Date Night

Well, I know I'm a little behind, but this past weekend was so nice...just what we were needing in the Fitzgerald house.  We started off with a cozy night in on Friday while cooking dinner and watching 'Moneyball' (very good movie).  Saturday, you guessed it...we slept in until 9:30!!  I had lunch with Julianna and Kyndall at Cheers and we had a great time catching up, just the Garner girls!!  Saturday night was date night!!  Matt and I went to dinner and enjoyed hibachi grill (something that we've never done together, which was funny to me).  After dinner, we went to see the AR Symphony Orchestra.  They were great and anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE this kind of thing.  In fact, I can't believe after living here for 8 years that I haven't experienced this before!  The pianist did a wonderful job playing in F Major and the entire orchestra was just amazing!! (This kid has played the piano since the age of 4, so I have a great appreciation for his talent.)  It was my idea of a perfect date night!!!!

We had a lazy Sunday full of a two-hour nap after church and then I watched the SAG awards on TBS that night.  This week is already flying by to me....  Today was my longest day on the road by far, I went to Nashville, Arkadelphia, Malvern and finished up close to home in Bryant.  This kid is ready to kick her feet up!  Matt's working at the hospital this weekend so it should be pretty 'lax for this girl. 

On a VERY HAPPY note, my beautiful friend Lindsay delivered their gorgeous baby girl today.  Avery Lynn was born @ 2:07 today weighing 6 lbs. 8 oz. and 19 inches long.  She has a full head of black hair!! 

That sweet little PatyInc. outfit and hat are from her "Aunt Kia" 
I cannot wait to meet this beautiful little lady!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Favorites

Hooray for Friday!!  It was nice to have a good, full week back to work.  I've just felt so out of it with two weeks off for Christmas break, a week in meetings at the first of the year, and then out last week for Papaw's burial and service.  However, I think I am finally getting back into my groove!!  We've got a fun weekend planned and I am ready for it to begin!!  But first, here are a couple of my favorite things today....

Our beach vacation is booked for April/May

I'm about to join the 21st century and buy one of these fantastic babies this weekend, even though I NEVER drink coffee!

Last night, we enjoyed a delicious dinner here with Mary and Jeff!!


Even though Brynlee got to celebrate with Matt on his birthday last week and eat lots of cookie cake, she still wanted to send him a bday card in the mail.  I thought it was absolutely precious and it's proudly on our fridge!! Oh how I love that girl!!

These are the beautiful flowers I came home to this afternoon...just because!!  Thanks to my wonderful husband!

Enjoy your weekend!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Whirlwind of a Week

WOW!!  I feel like so much has been going on and I haven't had two seconds to blog about it.  First things first, we spent most of last week with family celebrating Papaw Garner's life.  Lilly was great to give me four days off for bereavement and Matt was able to take PTO as well.  I can't explain how grateful I am for that because we were able to really spend some time with family through the week and truly celebrate a great man.  His visitation was Tuesday night (the funeral home director said he has NEVER seen so many people come through for a visitation before in his life...to me, that says a lot (although I'm not surprised!))  We had a private burial for him on Wednesday morning and then his memorial service was that afternoon.  The church provided a delicious lunch and there were flowers/plants EVERYWHERE.  So many people loved this man just as much as I did!!

Our Family

The 5 grandchildren with Mamaw

Mamaw with Dad and sister, Nancie


I thought this was pretty special...Dad put this up on the marquee @ the store.  A great tribute to an amazing man!! 

After an emotionally and physically exhausting week, Matt and I headed back to Little Rock on Friday afternoon.  We spent the morning with my two favorite munchkins and got home in time to grab some dinner and crash.  I was asleep in bed at 7:45!!  Our Saturday morning was spent in bed until 10:00, then I made a nice breakfast and we ran around town getting some errands done.  Saturday night, Matt and I went to Caper's (a FANTABULOUS restaurant on Hwy 10) to celebrate his birthday.  It was so good!!  (I haven't really been in the picture taking mood, so none to capture our romantic evening out.)

Sunday was full of our regular day...church, Bible class, brunch, fat nap, and then we ended it by curling up for the night to watch 'Courageous'.  What an absolutely amazing movie!!!  Every person should see it, especially if you're a father!

This week has started off with a bang!!  Matt's @ work and I had the boss man with me today.  It was a great day, full of good conversations with lots of my customers!  I came home to a very clean house (thank you Carmen) and dinner's in the oven.  Hope everyone's week is off to a great start!!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Handsome!!!

Happy 35th Birthday to my hunk of a husband!!!  I am actually a little late on posting this, as his birthday was Wednesday, January 18.  But, oh how I love this man!!!  With every day that goes by, I feel more and more blessed that this amazing man chose me to spend his life with.  He is my best friend and soulmate and I thank the Lord daily for crossing our paths at that May 17th wedding :)  Last year, I listed 10 silly facts that I love about this guy...today, here are 10 reasons why I am so glad to call him mine.

1) He is so selfless!  Wednesday, on his actual birthday, he spent it with me at my Papaw's burial and memorial service.  He never even brought it up.  He was also supposed to go hunting with the guys last weekend, but instead told me he wanted to be in Rogers with family to support me and my Dad while Papaw was sick.

2) He has a love for the Lord that I see every day.  I love curling up in bed next to him while he studies in God's word.  There is something so very attractive about a man with such a strong faith wanting to learn more. 

3) One day, he will be the BEST FATHER IN THE WORLD!!

4) He supports me continuously in everything I want to do.  There is no one else I would rather spend my life with! 

5) When I'm having a bad day, NO ONE can make me smile like he does!! 

6) There is nothing in the world that makes me feel more secure than having those BIG, STRONG arms wrapped around me. 

7) His integrity and honesty are two of my favorite qualities!!  Matt always wants to be better, and that's an encouragement to me. 

8) He's still as handsome as ever!!!!!!

9) He makes me feel special all the time!!  I find cards on my nightstand, walk in the door to flowers on the table, or come home to plans for a date night.  He even tells me to go shopping and buy whatever I would like.  (Ladies, it doesn't get much better than that ;) )

10) The rock in our relationship is Christ and we center our marriage around Him.  Matt's spiritual leadership for our family is incredible.  I am so glad that I am married to a man that is helping me get to heaven every day that I'm on this earth. 


Monday, January 16, 2012

Papaw Garner...A Spiritual Giant

As so many of you know, Matt and I spent the weekend in Rogers.  We went to spend time with Papaw Garner in ICU.  Friday, he was not getting any better and the doctors offered us one more option.  We had them put in a swan catheter to take one last look at his heart and lungs.  The massive heart attack he had did major damage to his left ventricle and therefore his heart couldn't pump the blood away from his lungs fast enough, causing them to fill with fluid.  He was having his lungs suctioned out many times a day and Saturday morning, we began to see kidney failure.  He had been on the ventilator for 6 days and Saturday morning, Mamaw, my Dad and my Aunt Nancie, made the decision that we would turn off all the machines.  There are 5 grandchildren, and we had all been able to spend some time with Papaw at the hospital except for Jocelyn.  She was driving from TN and would be to Rogers by 3:30.  We waited until she could be there, then we all left his room while the nurses took him off of everything.

I personally have never spent time in an ICU.  I don't like all the tubes, machines, etc.  I didn't like seeing my Papaw like that and we all knew he didn't want to spend his time that way either.  We all love him too much to see his quality of life be so little.  My Papaw was one of the strongest Christian men I have ever known.  Even in the hospital, before he took a bad turn on January 7, he would have my Dad read him his Bible.  His heart was full of love for God and love for so many others.  He was so proud of his family and loved us so much.  I will never be able to say all the good things I want to say about him.  I have always and WILL ALWAYS be so proud to be a Garner!! 

I love this picture!!  It was taken at Thanksgiving in 2005.  Papaw has this picture on his nightstand :)

Christmas 2007

Christmas 2008

August 2009 - Our Wedding

October 2009

December 2010

September 2010

October 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011 - the last picture we all took with Papaw

After the nurse had removed all the machines from Papaw, our family went back into the room to be with him.  We all saw him breathe his last breath within 4 minutes.  It is amazing how peacefully he went and still heavily sedated with no pain.  He was surrounded by so many who love him, and although there were lots of tears, you could feel the peace and comfort of the Lord in that room.  I know that there were angels in there with us, I could truly feel them.  Papaw went so quickly, which tells me he was ready to go.  He has spent his entire life on this earth dreaming of this final journey he would take to be with our Lord.  To watch him breathe his last and then go home gives me such peace.  He is home, getting to see his parents, his brother, so many good friends, and most importantly Jesus. 

This week will be tough.  We will have his visitation on Tuesday and then a private burial for family on Wednesday and the Memorial service Wednesday afternoon.  The hardest thing for me right now is watching my Mamaw and my Dad.  Dad was so close to Papaw, and Mamaw was married to him for 59 years.  I can't imagine saying good-bye to the man you love after so long.  I know, however, that God will give all of us peace, comfort, and strength during this time.  Papaw led an incredible life and I am so very blessed to call myself his granddaughter.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


It is 5:20 and I just walked in the door, threw on some comfy clothes, started a fire, and I'm going to sit here on the couch for a little bit and relax.  For some reason, this week has seemed like the longest week and has been dragging by so slowly.  I think it's partially because it's my first full week back in the field, but mostly I think it's because I am anxiously waiting to get to NWA to spend the weekend with my Papaw in ICU.  It's been a rough week, and there really aren't any changes.  He's still on the ventilator and feeding tube and he could go either way right now.  I am trying to come to grips with what I will see tomorrow.  I don't like hospitals, therefore I especially don't like seeing someone I love and care for having to be treated in one...and in ICU at that.  I have prayed for strength all week!!  I want to be strong for Papaw and Mamaw and I hope God will help me do that.  

We've had a pretty uneventful "work" week.  I am loving our new Veeva computer system, which allows me more time away from work in the evenings.  Matt's only day at the hospital has been today, so he's enjoyed a couple of days off.  I have booked our first vacation in 2012.  We are going to Destin, FL for a week at the beginning of May.  It might not be extremely warm, but this girl is ready for a get-away!!! 

I walked in the door after a long day yesterday and found these gorgeous flowers on the kitchen table with a card that brought me to tears.  I swear, I'm married to the most AMAZING man!!!! 

I'm off work tomorrow and we're heading to Rogers, I'll have updates on Papaw after this weekend.  Please continue to keep him and my entire family in your prayers. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Back To The Grind...

Nothing like jumping back into work @ warp speed.  My first day back in the field, I was on a plane headed to meetings in Dallas.  We had a good week and I am gearing back up for a busy year and looking forward to it!!  Our team did fantastic in 2011 and we're going on a quota trip (paid for by Lilly) in May.  I think we finally decided on the Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay in CA...definitely something to look forward to!!!

 It will still be cool in May, so I'm looking forward to a fire pit

I was on a plane home @ 7:00 on Friday - not ideal for watching the Cotton Bowl, but was home by second quarter and enjoyed watching those piggies beat K-State!!  What a great game!!! 

This weekend has been rather relaxing and full of getting ready for another week.  Matt has been working at the hospital for the last four days and will finally have some time off tomorrow.  He'll be heading to the fields for some duck hunting next weekend and I know he is super excited.  :)  I'll be taking advantage of seeing my family and will head to Rogers.

I would also ask for prayers for my family right now.  My grandfather, Jack Garner, had a massive heart attack early Friday morning.  He is in ICU in Rogers.  We have no idea the extent of the damage to his heart yet, but the cardiologist told us that if he would have waited 30 more minutes to call the ambulance, he wouldn't be here today.  There are so many unanswered questions at this time, but I am so grateful that he is with us and in good care.  He is going to be 90 this year and has always been the perfect picture of health, so I know this is hard for him.  He is stable right now and I am looking forward to getting to NWA next weekend to hug his neck!!!

Hope y'all had a good weekend!!

Monday, January 2, 2012


I really can't believe I am writing another post about a year gone by.  It seems like I was just reflecting on 2010.  2011 has been a fantastic year for us!  Yes, just like everyone, we've had our ups and downs...but in the end, we have so many blessings to reflect on and be thankful for.  Matt graduated from nursing school and found a job, we enjoyed a LONG vacation in Hawaii, we celebrated birthdays with those we love, spent lots of weekends on the lake, loved going to football games, soaked up memorable moments with my grandparents, and enjoyed Christmas in NYC.  But what is most important to me this year?  The fact that my Dad has made a full recovery from having two strokes.  This to me is the highlight of my year!!  Family is the most important thing to me and the fact that he is doing well and we are continuing to enjoy time with him is all that matters to me!!! 

Matt and I are SO VERY BLESSED!!  Here are some pictures reflecting on the past year!!

Matt's Birthday - January 18

Valentine's Day

Kyndall's Birthday

My Birthday

Wonderful Friends

A lot of fun on the lake


Matt's Family

Olivia Kate and Matt

Sweet Jack Henry and Sam Wyatt


This little munchkin turned ONE!

Mom and Dad

Blessed with Incredible Friends


Razorback Games

Brynlee Claire turned THREE!


Pumpkin Patch

Race for the Cure


Christmas in NYC

Rockefellar Center

What a FANTASTIC year it has been!!!  I am so excited to embark on a new one and see what God has in store for us in 2012!!! 
Jeremiah 29:11

Happy New Year!!!!