Jude Landry Store

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Football is here!

Alisha's currently in the living room sewing, so I (Jude) am hijacking the blog tonight. Sure, we can't sell our house and our credit will suffer for years, but none of that matters. Know why? Tomorrow the first game of the college football season starts when Mississippi State plays Memphis. You probably know that I'm nuts about football, especially when it comes to Mississippi State. If you didn't know, my office is about a one minute walk from Davis Wade Stadium. I have to drive past Davis Wade everyday to get to work - how could I not think about football all the time?

I thought I'd share a few things here on the blog, both past and present, about Mississippi State football from my point of view as a fan.

Tailgating last fall with the whole family.

One reason I love Mississippi State football is the game day atmosphere. I went to Louisiana Tech, where there wasn't much in terms of tailgating or rivalries. Here in Starkville, though, game day is a big deal. Did you know our stadium holds over 55,000 people, but only 25,000 people live in Starkville? It's crazy to think how many people travel to our little town every other weekend in the fall just for football. Before the game, we hang out, eat, drink, and play games. It's a great time to relax and spend time with good people. Once we get inside for the game, it's a great show, regardless if we win or lose. Planes fly overhead, the band plays, the team plays of course, and we have one of the largest high definition screens in the country. That sounds stupid as I write it but it really is cool. I live in a small town, and I'm getting old, there's not much to entertain me around here.

There are several interesting traditions that are important to Mississippi State fans. The first is that we call our school STATE for short. It's easier than yelling out all the syllables in Miss-iss-ipp-eee. Plus it's the word that differentiates us from our rival, the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). Another new tradition is that we never refer to our rival by their name, so we call them "The School Up North" (TSUN for short). Our mascot is the bulldog, our colors are Maroon and White, and we ring cowbells at the games. I won't spend time explaining it all, so if you're curious about these traditions, Click Here.

3. HIGHLIGHTS (If you don't want to watch videos, then just scroll down)
Below, you'll find a selection of my favorite STATE videos from YouTube. They are all from the last two years, from the time I've been an employee at Mississippi State. We didn't win all the games in these videos, but they're great to watch nonetheless.

This run is ridiculous. They couldn't tackle Dixon is because they were trying to strip the ball out instead of bringing him down, but I'm still amazed that he stayed on his feet. Look for my boy Sam Krusee at the 0:22 mark, the blonde guy with the L on his chest.

Why is this awesome? Well, Florida was ranked #1, our coach is their former offensive coordinator, and they were about to score before halftime until this pick-6 changed the momentum of the game. Plus, it was off of Tebow. We still lost the game, but we beat them the next year! My favorite part? The look on the Florida girl's face at 0:26!

Check out this clip from the Gator Bowl, especially the great block by Brandon Heavens that takes out two Michigan defenders. Too bad Perkins didn't get the TD.

This shows two great plays by our quarterback Chris Relf against Arkansas. Fun Fact: Chris Relf and I share the same birthday, May 26. Coincidence, or fate?

There's nothing I love more than a pick-6 (When a player intercepts the ball and returns it for a touchdown). Corey Broomfield has done this many times but I enjoy his swagger in this one against Houston.

No one likes Cam Newton, so it feels good to watch him get intercepted by Nickoe Whitley.

Vick Ballard transfered to Mississippi State from a Junior College last year, and he made quite an impact by breaking the school record for rushing touchdowns in a season. I love this guy.

Last year we went 8-4 in the regular season, plus a big bowl win over Michigan. I expect us to do better this year, so I'm going to go with a 9-3 season. If I had to guess where those 3 losses will come, I'd guess Georgia, Arkansas, and Alabama. If we go 9-3 in the SEC, that's an excellent season. We are currently ranked 20th in the country.

Chris Relf will throw for 2,300 yards, and Vick Ballard will break the 1,000 yard rushing mark.

Our defense will once again be a top 20 team in terms of points allowed.

Chad Bumphis will return a kickoff for a touchdown AGAINST an SEC team.


5. Everything Else
Last year, one of our defensive players, Nick Bell, passed away from cancer at the age of 20. I recently finished this illustration of him as a way to honor his memory and contributions to Mississippi State. Click on the image to see it larger.

To wrap up, I'm thrilled about this year for many reasons. We have season tickets, so we'll easily be able to see all the home games. Tailgating is a lot of fun, and we have to thank the Whatley family for inviting us to tailgate with them last year. Their love for Mississippi State has definitely influenced me and Alisha. The buzz around our program this year is infectious. The SEC is the best football conference in the country, and I'm glad to be a part of it. Let's wrap this up with the fight song:

Hail dear 'ole State!
Fight for that victory today.
Hit that line and tote that ball,
Cross the goal before you fall!
And then we'll yell, yell, yell, yell!
For dear 'ole State we'll yell like H-E-L-L!
Fight for Mis-sis-sip-pi State,
Win that game today!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

So this is the end, yet only the beginning.

I'm not really sure where this post will go, I'm kind of raw right now. So buckle up...

We're walking away from the house. The house in Bloomington that we've been trying to get rid of since February 2009. Technically, there's a year in there somewhere when we had a renter (you, know waiting for the market to "rebound.") but we all know how that ended. Either way, this burden has been pretty heavy for the last 2.5 years.

There's a dilemma within me - wanting to explain everything, analyze everything, re-do everything and at the same time forget everything and not think of it ever again. There's a part of me that wants to list all of the things we did to try to get it sold or all of the disasters that have happened since we've tried to sell it, as if having your sympathy or pat-on-the-back would make me feel better. But I'm striving to be a little more like St. Gerard this year... (I'm not that great at it...)

The hardest thing about walking away from it is that honestly, I thought it was going to sell before we moved to Starkville (August 2009). Then I thought we'd sell it by the time Charlotte was born (July 2010). Then I thought we'd sell it by the end of this summer (August 2011). I had real, authentic faith that God was going to take this from us in a very normal way, a closing date at a bank somewhere. I was even able to let go of the desire for profit, and trust that even having to pay at closing, God would find us a buyer. I'm not saying those years were void of blessings. God knows we still lived very well and learned a ton about prayers and petitions, suffering and redemption, patience and faith. But in the end, I thought the house would sell after we "got" it all.

I really have some issues to work out between me and God, because honestly, I'm a little heartbroken things didn't work out differently. I'm not sure how to process all of this disappointment for the past 2.5 years without a seemingly good resolution. I hope that in 5, 10, maybe 25 years, hindsight will be my best friend. But I've come to the understanding that even then, this whole mess might not make a load of sense and maybe never will in this lifetime. All I can hope for is that at the hour of my death, I won't have to suffer anymore and God'll say, "Remember that house? Yeah... come on in." (Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.)

And on top of the disappointment, I'm afraid. I'm afraid of the implications people will draw from our circumstances and push further from God. I'm afraid of the next possible steps - short sale, foreclosure, bankruptcy - and the effects on our lives years from now. I'm afraid that though this is the end, it's really only the beginning. And I'm kind of tired - I'm not ready for a whole new year's worth of struggle.

I just want someone to rip the band-aid off already. You know?

I'm not sure if I'll revisit this topic again, or if I'll keep you posted on how this really wraps up in the next few months or year. You might be just as tired of all of this as we are and would rather read Verbatims. I don't blame you. But please know that we have only made it through this somewhat sanely thanks to your prayers, concern, support, and encouragement. Thank you ever so much.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Just call me Dorothy.

(I know, Kaitlin. You think I should wait to put these up as a surprise in October, but how could someone have all of these cute photos on their computer and not share them...)

We seemed to have stumbled upon this year's Halloween ensemble for Joan, all from friends' hand-me-downs. Now we just need to find a little black dog costume, size 12-18 mos...
Just call me Dorothy.

My house just fell from the sky.

You say that Oz is this way?

And I just need to find the yellow-brick road?

But it doesn't quite look yellow to me...

Let me check again...

Oh, if I could only get the hang of this heel clicking.

Now, where did I leave Toto...?

Hmmm, the other side of that rainbow?

Well, if he's not here by the count of three...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Music to my ears

You have no idea (or maybe you do if you live in a city like Starkville, MS) how excited I am by the amazing shows we'll be attending in the very near future. In October we're going to Birmingham to see Fleet Foxes (Their song Helplessness Blues should be playing above right now...)! And in November, The Avett Brothers are doing a show in Starkville. Yes, in Starkville! Did I mention it's free?! (Play their video for I and Love and You when Fleet Foxes is done.)

All this good music at such close proximity makes Jude and I feel like we're in college again, or that we still live 2 hours from Chicago. Either way, I'll take it. It's good to feel cool again.

By the way, if you're my friend in town and want to carpool with us to Birmingham... you know my number...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Queen of Heaven

We put this crown on the picture of Mary to celebrate her Queenship today. It was easy as pie and Joan loved it. I just made an outline of a crown with a sharpie on contact paper, let her fill in the drawing with tissue paper and foil, sealed it with another piece of contact paper and cut it out.

We know her crown is kind of big, but being the Queen of Heaven is kind of a big deal.

Our Lady, Queen of Heaven,
Please pray for us.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

We have fun.

And here's how we do it.

Visiting the new chickens at our friends' houses.
Washing up in the sink.
Playing at the park.
Taking photos of friends.
Playing dress-up by ourselves.
Playing dress-up with friends.
Stealing pacifiers from unsuspecting Cabbage Patch Dolls.
Using the Learning Tower to make pigs in a blanket.
Using said tower to watch crazy screen savers in matching outfits.
Face painting.
Destroying boxes of kleenex.
Going to birthday pool-parties (i.e. crying in the pool).
Taking more photos of friends.
Giving "sweet eyes" and saying, "Papa."
Walking like babyzilla.

(Just so you know, there are more than 5 pages of slides, keep hitting the next arrow.)
Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Assumption of Mary

We celebrated Mary's assumption in to Heaven, both body and soul, today with colors, glue, and popcorn.

And for every kernel placed on the glued paper, two went into a small little mouth. She was also pretty emphatic about all of the cherub angles at Mary's feet having rusty brown hair.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

We heart games.

And we don't care if you think we're corny. Jude and I can pass the time by playing silly little games we've made up. We're not opposed to store bought board games (Except Monopoly. I hate Monopoly.), but sometimes you can't play with just two players and sometimes you just don't have a game handy.

So if you ever find yourself in that situation, play along with us:

The Sing-along:
The first player thinks of a song that the second player probably doesn't know. The first player begins to sing that song and the second singer tries to sing the same words in the same melody at the same time, and it helps to make dramatic faces while you sing - it's sure to bring many laughs. (Jill, we did a version of this in college, remember? Except I think you used to make up songs...)

The Sharpie Shift: (This doesn't have to be done with a sharpie, but that's how the game originated for us and so for tradition's sake, we use a sharpie.)
The first player takes the sharpie and writes a short statement - whatever comes to mind first and passes the sharpie to the second player. The second player responds to the statement and passes the sharpie back. A silent, but written conversation follows. The normal rules of writing (i.e. starting at the top left of the page and writing from left to right, up then down) do not apply in this game. (As I read the directions, it doesn't sound that fun, but we always end up cracking up at our conversation.)

The Button Game: (This game was actually made up by our friends Pete & Janet in IL and we don't take any credit for it. Jude, however, despises this game and hates when I try to play it with him - I think it's because I always win... I hope I can get these directions right. It starts to get kind of complicated.)
Within a normal conversation, one player has to say at least 3 words of a song (i.e. "I've got a feeling") and the goal is to make the unsuspecting person start singing that song or fill in the rest of the lyrics (i.e. "that tonight's gonna be a good night..."). If the second player accidentally starts singing it, the first player yells "Button!" and essentially wins. But if the second player realizes that they've been set up, they yell, "Reverse button!" and win. If however the first player thinks that they've been found out and will be exposed, they can say, "Deactivate" before "reverse button" is called and the game is neutralized. I like this game. Jude does not.

Pronounce it:
Go to dictionary.com and choose words to have the computer pronounce (you've all seen the little speaker icon that you can click on, right?). If you're in fifth grade like us, you'll stick with bathroom humor or just stick with the word of the day. Today's: holus bolus - to cleanse.

The Magazine Point:
This usually needs to be played with an art magazine, furniture magazine, or even a clothing magazine with several items on one page. Taking a few seconds to look the page over, count to three and at the same time, point to your favorite item on the page. This usually turns into either a sappy, "Ah... this is why we got married... (wha, wha)" or a short debate, "What! That? Why?!"

The Comment Copy:
Go to any website and read reviews on products, hotels, water parks, events, songs, movies - whatever - it doesn't matter. Just read them aloud and crack up because the people commenting about whatever it is are hilarious. Sometimes we can't even get through one review because people are so insane. And if you read them with different voices - even better... Here's just a little preview of what you'll find: "Well i rate geyser falls a 100 precent great water park. i have never been to geyser falls and planning on this summer and would really like for people to stop giving it a bad rep." 
Yep. Never been to it, but Vonda Kay Whitt gave this water park 5 stars. Also, she wanted to remind people to leave their personal belongings in the trunk. 

Happy playing.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy Feast Day St. Clare!

Since we weren't all together (and I didn't prepare anything to send with Joan) for St. Joan's feast day, I wanted to really celebrate St. Clare's with the girls the best we could.

It started with monstrance pancakes for breakfast, (St. Clare warded off soldiers trying to invade the convent by holding up the Eucharist in a monstrance (or something similar))

followed by a letter C shirt in her honor.

Then they colored St. Clare pictures (aka ate crayons)

and then we ate at Chili's for lunch (C for Clare + C for Coupon = C for Chili's, $9 to feed all four of us!). We'll finish up with Mass tonight and maybe something from youtube if I can find anything.

God of Mercy, you inspired St. Clare with the love of poverty.
By the help of her prayers, may we follow Christ in poverty
of spirit and come to the joyful vision of your glory in the kingdom of heaven.
We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

St. Clare, Pray for us.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I'm a little embarrassed

I had to youtube how to eat kiwi before I took these photos. Oh well.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Yes. This is Joan at her first birthday party.

Yes. This is Joan today, 2 years later.

Yes. It's the same shirt.

And while we're talking about 1st birthday party outfits, here's Charlotte's adorable cupcake dress that Nanny and Uncle Art bought for her. We didn't have any good photos of her at the party wearing it, so here's a record of the beautiful frock!

Friday, August 5, 2011

My soap box, or lack thereof

Have I mentioned that Jude and I practice Natural Family Planning and that Charlotte and Joan are breastfed babies?

Not recently? Well, oops. Apparently last week was NFP Awareness Week and this week is World Breasfeeding Week and I've neglected a good opportunity to share our experiences and offer our encouragement for any out there needing it.

But sorry, you won't find that here today. (If you've read my blog in the last few days, you should give me a break. Plus, we've been painting Jude's office everyday with two little girls, Elmo dvds, snacks, an exersaucer, water bottles, and toys in toe. The half-a-gallon of paint spilt on campus carpet should give you a good indication of what life's been like... Why does Louisiana have to be so far away?!) And even though many ladies are doing great jobs at promoting both of these things, I'm even too lazy to link to their blogs. (You ladies know who you are, anyway!)

Just because I'm not singing their praises from the roof tops, I hope you know that we have been very blessed by choosing both. Sure, at times they can be difficult, confusing, inconvenient, or just plain annoying. But our choices have brought so many benefits and rewards - physically, spiritually, and emotionally - these have always outweighed the sacrifices.

I encourage you to google, chat, and pray about both Natural Family Planning and Breastfeeding and if you want a candid perspective on them, let me know. There's lots of info out there, and I know that can be overwhelming. Good luck.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

This might have had something to do with it.

I know yesterday was kind of yucky. Today was a bit better. I'm thinking the taking of this picture had a lot to do with my funk. (Right, Lisa?)

It was no easy feat to get this picture. I had problems with almost every one that we took out at the president's house in the early morning. So by the afternoon, I begged Jude to give it one last try on our own couch and we finally scored a picture worth a frame.

I have to laugh when I look at this photo. Don't we all seem nice and happy, kind and loving? But behind the scenes - yikes! "You will smile for that camera or you won't get any M&Ms!" and "Charlotte! Stop touching the tripod!" It took a portable DVD player strategically placed below the tripod to get that little girl to even glance in the direction of the camera. So just know, she's not really photogenic, she just likes Elmo.

I do wish Jude and I looked a little more affectionate, but the rushing back to the couch after setting the timer put a kink in that plan. And Jude has emphatically stated, "NO!" to the idea of another shoot. At least for this week.

Anyway, family members, let me know if you want any prints of these photos for your house, because I can't promise anymore good whole-family portraits for the rest of the year...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Is it just me?

Or is everyone aggravated?
Stressed, irritable, impatient and exhausted?

Is everyone's fuse about 2 centimeters long, like mine?
Anyone else letting their children watch way too many Elmo dvds to pass the endless day in peace?
How about feeling the need to go to confession everyday, like me?
Who else is having to apologize profusely to their husband or children for the mini tantrums you're throwing?
Am I the only one thinking, what's wrong with me?

Someone - tell me it's not just me. But if you get on here and tell me you're fine and actually quite pleasant - be careful. I might just tell you to shut up.

So, in the hopes of relinquishing all personal responsibility for my emotions and actions, I've created a list of possible explanations for their depreciation:

Satan (everything bad is probably his fault, right?)
This crazy 100+ degree summer (hmm, that also sounds a bit like Hell)
The Law of Gravity (What goes up must come down, i.e. a great vacation is surely followed by a less than ideal daily life)
The purchase of new concrete floors poured into the garage of a house we can't sell
That last bit of baby-weight that refuses to leave your side
A three year old girl who's discovered the meaning of sass
A day void of Cherry Coke because you've basically given it up altogether
Paying utilities for a house you don't even live in

Surely these have at least a little to do with my rising blood pressure, right? Or is it just me?

Stop by tomorrow. Maybe my post will be a little less dramatic.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Our weekday get-a-away

After Charlotte's birthday party, Jude and I left the girls with Tootsie & Big Poppa and Gigi & Papa John for four days while we visited Galveston and Houston four our 5 year anniversary. We were blessed to have your help - we really needed the time away and enjoyed every second of it (minus the times I was vacationing at 'Moody' Gardens, right Jude?).

Anyway. Here's what we did.

Day 1:
We drove from Sulphur straight to Schlitterbahn water park in Galveston. It was small and manageable, but really nice and fun - except for when we waited in line for 45 minutes to boogie board and the waves scooped us up in 2.5 seconds - watch the video. We ate lunchables for lunch and Schlitterbahn pizza for dinner.  That night we walked from our hotel to Brick House Tavern and listened to a country singer play the steel drums. Yeah, I don't know... And we walked back along the shore, holding each other's hand in one, and sandals in the other. (Say it with me, "Aww.").

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Day 2:
We ate granola bars for breakfast and headed out for shopping in downtown Galveston. It was pretty quaint. We ate lunch at a little cafe, The Lunchbox, and enjoyed freshly cut taffy at the candy store. In the afternoon, we went to the beach which is right across the street from our hotel (shown in the photos). We went to Gaidos for our fancy anniversary dinner - and let me tell you, the enormous crab and crazy logo outside couldn't be more disconnected from the inside atmosphere of this fine dining establishment. They were celebrating their 100th year of family owned service and we loved our mahi mahi and shrimp dishes. After dinner we drove to the Kemah boardwalk about 25 minutes away to ride roller coasters and walk along the boardwalk.

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Day 3:
Granola again. We packed up and drove to Houston for our museum tour. We saw 7 different art museums in their Museum District - all free, mind you - including a Byzantine Fresco that was so beautifully preserved in a specially built chapel, as well as contemporary photography, craft, and fine art museums. And since Jude wasn't allowed to take photos inside the museum, he resorted to taking lots of photos of me. I'm only vain enough to put up a few... We also made it to an awesome backpacking store to buy the girls new Klean Kanteens (thanks for the coupons, Mandi!). We had Chinese for lunch and in the evening we walked around The Galleria. I know it's silly, but we had dinner at the Rainforest Cafe there because I've never eaten at one. There. Scratch it off my list.
Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Day 4:
Granola (although we debated room service... maybe for our 20th.). We packed up and headed to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston because they were having a free general admission day and we also checked out the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston right next door. For lunch we split a $5 Footlong at Subway and munched on home-brought snacks and water. Vacation was clearly over. We drove back to Sulphur, just in time for dinner with the girls and to watch Charlotte do this:

Re-watching this, I can tell Joan seems a bit bothered by the attention Charlotte's getting...