Candace's Photography Blog Has Moved... The Banks Bunch blog is still here....

I have decided that it would be best to move my photography blog to a new site...I will continue to post family updates at this blog.

Please visit my photography site at:


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pictures taken by Lindsey Cotton (Cotton Photography)

Lindsey gave me copy write permissions to post and print these (just so you don't think I'm doing anything illegal...)...anywho, they turned out marvelous!!! There's a bunch of them just to warn you!

Monday, July 30, 2007

HUGE blessings come in 4 year old packages...

Lifeteam was very hard for me last night... It was the 2nd time that "we" went as a "family" without Kelly. I wonder how long it will take before I stop feeling sad and lonely at small group???...???

To make things worse, I got my feelings hurt over something totally stupid that really wasn't a big deal (only to me it was a big deal--partially b/c my moods still aren't stabilized b/c my
meds aren't working and partially b/c I was sad and lonely for Kelly)...which caused me to start having a panic attack--which meant we needed to leave right now...this confused or maybe even concerned a few people in our group--mainly Gail & Calvin...but like I said, I had to leave right then or else have a total melt-down.

I cried the whole way home--wishing Kelly
were here to comfort me. When we got home, I got Brendan out of his car seat 1st and with tears in my eyes asked him, "Could you please give Mommy a hug??" which he responded "YES!!!"--all while jumping out of his seat. (On a side note, the unconditional love and acceptance and affection of a four year old is worth more money than this entire universe possesses...)

So I clung to my sweet, precious child and sobbed...and sobbed...and sobbed... Brendan's response??...He gently patted me on
the back and repeated "it's ok, Mommy...everytings gonna be aw-wite"...which made me sob some more.

I am convinced that that sacred moment was created by God and facilitated through the Holy Spirit.
I needed to be held and nurtured and little B wrapped his little arms around my neck and didn't' let go until I was ready (which wasn't for several minutes--and I might add that this is not typical behavior for the average impatient 4 year old--especially mine).

Now, normally, I wouldn't think it wise to break down like that in front of my children, but there was nothing else that I felt would work. I decided that it would be
ok for the boys to know that I'm sad--heck, I was them to know that it's ok for them to be sad or any other's how we handle ourselves in the midst of the emotion that matters.

The interesting thing is that I think Brendan enjoyed comforting me--I think it made him feel important and needed...he was and is very protective of his Mommy and he wanted to love me.

The end result??... I was able to release some pent-up anxiety and sadness and at the same time bond with my precious child. It reminds me of the times people have praised Kelly and I for adopting B--saying we "rescued him" from his abusive response has always been and it absolutely was yesterday "No,
he rescued me..." Praise be to our Heavenly Father who because of His boundless grace, mercy, and love delivers huge blessings in 4 year old packages...Candace

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Where I am t-o-d-a-y...

today i'm doing's so hard to answer the same questions over and over again....and every day i think "i need to write this down on my blog....", but then nighttime comes and i'm so exhausted i can't stand it and i go to bed without writing... i can tell you that i'm pretty depressed since kelly comes and goes but mainly comes and stays. i want to get better...i desire to be the woman god created me to just sucks right house is a total disaster...the inside anyway...i spend my days forcing the child who's not at school to help me keep my yard looking nice..i've been doing a lot of yard work lately--planting pretty flowers that i found on the clearance racks for next to nothing, digging up 5 trees and replacing it with one, laying sod...pretty much wearing myself out physically b/c it's therapy for me and b/c i can't sit hurts too bad to sit and think about the fact that kelly is so far away, that my boys don't have their daddy...i guess i'm just sad and in avoidance mode...back to my house, the inside of my house is a total wreck...tons of dirty dishes, laundry, it's pathetic that i'm letting it go so bad...kinda symbolic, actually...the "house" is all pretty on the outside, but is a wreck on the inside... it's so hard to be a big girl and put on your big girl panties when your depressed...the anxiety hasn't let up, either...i don't know why i said today was a good day...i guess b/c there really have been worse ones than this. it's almost 10pm and what i SHOULD be doing is going to sleep, but instead, i'm trying to cross another thing off my list of things to do and that is write down how i'm doing so that people will know...i hope i don't sound ungrateful for people being's just overwhelming and i don't really need people to call or email, i just need a big hug--that's all--a huge hug...and a clean house would help, too...ha, ha! guess i'll go since i've adequately depressed anyone who's been brave enough to read this. oh yeah...did i mention that i miss my husband?........candace

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Lion

Well I had an experience yesterday. For the first time in my short Air Force career as a jet engine mechanic I was right next to a running jet engine. For those of you who don't know, I'm deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom in the Middle East. At home I'm a jet engine mechanic but I work in what we call the "back shop." That means I do complete rebuilds of jet engines that are broken or have reached there flying time limits.
The other side of being a jet engine mechanic in the AF is being out on the flight line. That is more like being in a Nascar pit crew. They do preventive and repair maintenance on the engines installed on the aircraft. That is what I am doing on this deployment. So yesterday we replaced a part on an engine that was not functioning properly, and then had to run the engine to make sure that we fixed the problem. While the engine was running some one (I) had to leak check the part we installed.
The best way I can describe being that close to a running jet engine is like petting a lion. The trainer tells you," it's perfectly safe and he's never bitten anybody. Just move slow and don't put your hand near his mouth and you'll be fine." But you know that at any moment this beast could turn on you with no waring and decide you look like lunch!
It was scary and thrilling at the same time. I felt alive and blessed. When I finished the check and came back away from the engine I realized that my life was in God's hands the whole time. It always is, but I don't always realize it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bye Bye Daddy...

I am a little late posting this, but wanted to get it on our blog... Kelly's departure from us this past Friday was both very painful and also much easier than I thought it would be. I totally held it together until he went to give the kiddos a last kiss good-bye...and then I broke down...just a little in front of Kelly (still trying to be tough), but as soon as we drove off, I sobbed all the way home. I have cried on and off several times and at odd times...maybe they really aren't odd at at Small Group on Sunday...I just couldn't stop the flow of tears...I miss my best friend. Some husbands and dad aren't around much and so it's not as noticable when they're gone, but Kelly and I have been pretty inseperable since the day we were married. I always said I wanted to marry my best friend and I did just that....and it hurts that he's away from me. He is my love, my best rock and my safe haven. There are a lot of things that have changed over the past 5.5 years, but those things have not.

It pains me every time that Brendan says "let's go pick up Daddy"...and I have to explain to him that Daddy isn't coming home for a while, I remind him of Daddy's big trip and that he's working hard on big airplanes, etc... It hurts so bad to see my children (really, just Brendan) miss his Daddy and be sad...he's four and so there's some things that he gets and some things (like why Daddy can't just come home) that he doesn't get.

Now I say all this mainly to get it off my chest...there's a whole other side that is in my heart and soul (but, of course, right now, I can't get to it as easy b/c of all the newness of him being gone)... Like...I am sooooooooo proud of Kelly. I know he's a wonderful man who is going to represent the Banks family and extended families, the Donaghey small group family, the Highland family, Dyess AFB and Abilene, Texas, the US of A, and most importantly our precious Lord & Savior in such a profound way. I know that he will daily be Christ to others. I know that he will love the Lord with all his heart and soul and mind and strength and that everything that he says and does will make the Heavens smile.

I think that I just might be falling in love with my husband all over again...and maybe that's part of the reason for the deployment. God is so good!...!...!