Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Turn To Spill

Over the last two days I have been trying to process my feelings. I haven't had a whole lot of luck. I keep hearing the words of the people around me: congratulations, it's over, you must be so relieved, I bet it's a huge weight lifted off your shoulders. While I believe that is how I should feel,it isn't what I am feeling at all.

My dad won. That is a huge victory. It is a completely good thing. It is also a huge sigh of relief to know that the media part of this is almost over.

I am sure there will be more after the hearing in February, but as far as the public battle, the worst is over. No more wondering what half truths will be published the next morning in the paper.

However how can I feel relieved? I certainly am not feeling the congratulations. I don't know what I expected,but it wasn't this. This feeling of disappointment. Of mistrust. Of heartache. I think while getting ready for the trial, I felt a sense of righting a wrong. Almost fighting for what was right. Now that it is over I realize that the wrong is still wrong. A trail, a judge and a jury can't make bad people good.

Mayor Greg Hines testified, under oath, that he didn't know or follow the ordinances in his own city. That he believed it was perfectly acceptable to ruin another persons name by releasing slanderous material to the media. Now obviously the judge and jury ruled that he ( Mayor Hines) was wrong in his actions, but his disregard for human kindness is baffling to me. I truly believed that people were genuinely good. That we were made to be uplifting to other people. It makes me so sad to learn how wrong I am about that. To some people, selfishness is much more important.

Just a tidbit that you may or may not know, because our local media only reports the side of the story they want to, Mayor Greg Hines, along with the city attorney Ben Lipscomb, went duck hunting together in January 2012. Now Mr. Lipscomb got a cash advance from the city of Rogers to attend a three day conference. During that three day conference he received a total of 2 hours of training credit ( 2 hours for 3 days). He returned from the conference and turned in zero receipts. He did however document his duck hunting success for those three days on his Facebook page. Now, being the treasure of the city and a morally driven person, my dad report his suspension of misuse of city funds. That report was made on April 26, 2012. My dad was fired May 14, 2012. I'll let you do the math on that one. These are all facts recorded during the trial by the way. I understand that I am putting this out on the internet where anyone can find it with a google search on names. I also would argue with you that even though the law states whistle blower only applies for significant sums of money, any misuse of city funds seems wrong to me. I don't know about you, but I would prefer to think city officials were being good stewards of my tax dollars down to the penny.

While I am throwing out names, let me throw out two more. Marge Wolf, who is currently running for state legislature, and Betsy Reithemeyer. Friends one day and stab you in the back the next. It shocks me and I would actually love for you to answer this one. I have always been taught to respect and look up to people older than me. Is that what friendship is all about at your age? I wonder if time will heal this for me? You have made me want to keep friends at arms length. How can I trust friends with the example you have provided?

I know that isn't what friendship is about. Thank goodness. If it were I would give up on people altogether. God showed me friendship are those people that sat day in and day out in the courtroom supporting us.Those that sat by us, held our hand, and hugged us when we need it. Those text messages and calls checking on us. That is friendship. I honestly could not have made it without them. Words cannot begin to describe how hard that all was. I thought I was going to have to choose between vomiting in my purse or in the floor multiple times. My body was in physical pain. Every nerve in my body was tensed to the max and I had to constantly move to hide the fact I was shaking nonstop. I kept thinking the judge was going to kick me out each time my tears started to fall. I can't even imagine how I would have done that by myself. For those that came to the courtroom and those that sent prayers because they couldn't be there in person; I will be forever grateful.

I know this post is all over the place. My random thoughts are hard to record. I am going to leave you with this. In part of my dad's testimony he testified that he was thankful he had a girl instead of a boy. A girl so that she didn't have his last name. A last name that for the last 18 months has been surround in negativity. I may be married. I may love having the last name Watson, but I always have and will be proud of the name Hudlow. I am Andrea Michelle Hudlow Watson. I have never been more proud of being Jerry Hudlow's daughter than I am now.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Baby is ( I can't even say it)

I am having a hard time admitting that Jaxton is turning four. He is still very much my baby. Yesterday we had his birthday party, but lucky for me he isn't actually turning four until Tuesday so I am still enjoying my three year old.

This past spring one of the neighbors had rented a bouncy house for their child's birthday party. Since then Jaxton has been telling me that's what he wanted for his birthday. I kept trying to explain he was born in November and the weather is usually not that great for outdoor parties, but I decided to risk it and just go for it. It turned out to be absolutely perfect! I could not have asked for a nicer day. Not too hot, not too cold, just right.

Jaxton really likes Jake and the Neverland Pirates so we had a pirate themed party. He was such a happy boy all day, which made for one happy momma.

The details:

The party:

And let's not forget the after party:


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Well That Was Fun

Last week Marshal's grandmother passed away. She suffered with Alzheimer's for years and had been asking to go home to The Lord for quiet some time. We all rejoice with her that she is finally there.

Marshal and I took the kids down to Helena for the weekend to be with his family and attend the services. I have heard many stories about Helena over the years, but have somehow managed to never make it down there myself, until now.

A couple of weeks ago we had an officer come talk to us about the different levels of alertness. To say I was on level orange (specific alert, something is not quiet right, something is wrong, I may have to shoot that person) during much of the visit is probably an understatement. There were even moments of level red ( fight tigger, if that person does _____ I will shoot them.) I am simply not use to people pulling out knifes in the parking lot of the funeral home. Or driving through to get a coke ( at the place labeled as the Best Coke in town ) and having a man walk out from behind the building with a gun in plain sight. Or having a man walk down the middle of the street straight for your car with his arms out like he's going to shoot you.

Maybe you get use to that if you go there often enough. Like anywhere, there were parts of town that felt safer than others. I would have liked to have gotten some pictures, but didn't really want to draw any more attention to myself.

The funeral was very nice. Marshal's grandmother was from Germany. They had Silent Night in German played. It was very neat. It was nice to see family we haven't seen in years. We also had a nice homemade meal served by Judy's ( the daughter that lives there) church. I am so old fashion when it comes to that. I love love homemade meals and think it's a shame nobody really does that anymore.

After the funeral and meal, I talked Marshal into driving the kids and I to Memphis. We were a little over an hour away and I thought it would be fun to take the kids to see the highlights.

It was a really nice little afternoon trip; even if when driving through Tunica Marshal wouldn't let me stop at any of the 50 casinos along the road. I just knew I only needed ten minutes to win millions. Oh well who needs more money, right? Marshal and I did bless the kids by singing every single song we could think of that mentioned Memphis. They loved it! Ha!

We went to Graceland first.

It was closed for the day, but we had fun stopping for a few pictures anyway.

Next we went to Beale Street, the pyramid, The Peabody ( where we missed the ducks by minutes, sad face) and last but not least Rendezvous. I am not a huge BBQ fan, but you wouldn't be able to tell from looking at my plate.

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