Monday, December 21, 2009

Sweet Daddy

Tonight my sweet Daddy is flying out to South Carolina to drive home to Texas with Finlay and me. He says it's because he doesn't want me on the road for two days by myself, but I think it's because he just wants some extra time with this guy. Here they are a few Christmases ago (circa 2006). What do you think? We can't wait to see you tonight Dad!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Nick's PRT on CNN

Hi everyone! I guess I'm making up for lost time with these posts. Barbara Starr has filed a report on about Nick's PRT. You can see the video here:
You can see Nick at 1:51 into the video. You won't see his face, but you can see his left arm with a black wristwatch holding his gun. Enjoy the video!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Nick's Visit

Here are a few pictures from Nick's visit to Indiana last month. In this one, he and Finlay are enjoying a cool beverage in our Indianapolis hotel room. We ate at a really cool microbrewery. Good beer and good food!
This is where the Colts play.

The first time we ate there, PF Chang's comp'd us this gigantic chocolate cake. Yummm!
Finlay didn't want Nick to wake up and have to go to work.
We had our own in-room tailgate for college football on Saturday morning!
We ate at the Rib Crib with Nick's replacement team.
Nick got to ride go-carts with the new team he was training.
We had a great time!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Armed Forces Network Story

Hello everyone this is Nick posting. Lindsay and I are enjoying our time here in Indiana as I help train our PRT replacements who are just beginning their pre-deployment training.

A few weeks ago, a reporter from the Armed Forces Network (AFN) came out the Laghman to do a story on our strategy for implementing governance and development in our province. Although you may be hearing conflicting messages in the news with regard to a decision on a way forward in Afghanistan, this report gives an overview of how we in Laghman have decided to implement the COIN (counter insurgency) principles on the ground in our AO (area of operation). AFN news stories play on AFN in theater (deployed locations) and on the Pentagon Channel which is played "inside the beltway."

If the inbed doesn't work try this link:

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I can finally tell you something very exciting. I get to see Nick this week! I'm still not certain about the exact dates, but I'll be driving up to Indiana tomorrow to meet him, whenever he arrives. Finlay even gets to join me on the trip! Nick will be spending some time training his replacements at Camp Atterbury, where he did his training, but when he's not in training he's all mine! Please pray for safe travel for both of us as he travels from Bagram to Qatar to England to the US and as I travel from South Carolina to Indiana in my car.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shout Out!

Today Nick and I got a shout out from one of our Baylor friends, Katie Evans Cox on her blog. She wrote the sweetest/most touching post for Veterans Day. I'd tell you to check it out, but their blog is private so Im just going to cut and paste (Katie - I hope that's okay!)

Katie writes:
And now, I have a sorority sister and friend who is fighting her own daily battle as her husband fights in the war in Afghanistan. I am amazed at her courage and blessed by her honesty. Each day as I sign onto my blog to read-up on my Blogger Buddies, I see her blog (Texas Ex-Pats) and I remember... I remember what battle she fights every day. I remember and I pray. Would you pray for her to?

To Katie and to everyone who remembered us today, and who remembers us every day, THANK YOU! I have felt incredible peace (with a few notable exceptions) every day of Nick's deployment. I have not been a basket case, at least most of the time, and I have not moped around with a heavy heart because I know that Nick and I are constantly prayed over by our loved ones, our friends, and even total strangers.

The question of what this peace really means sometimes weighs heavily on me because here's what I am not certain of: I am not certain that everything about this deployment will work out the way that I want it to. When people say things like "Oh, he'll be fine. I pray for him every day," it sometimes upsets me because that's not what prayer does. It does not a guarantee that our desired outcome will come to pass. Our prayers are just our pleas that God's will be done and that we have the grace to deal with it, no matter what happens. To pray for anything else is tempting, but it is also ultimately futile.

That grace is what I've been so blessed with these last five months while Nick's been in Afghanistan. That grace, that peace that truly surpasses all understanding is what sustains me every single day. I am reminded of Natalie Grant's song, "Held." She says "this it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive...that the promise was when everything fell, we'd be held."

I know that there are lots of people who today have said "thank you" to our military men and women and their families. Today, I'd also like to thank all of you who support us with kind words and with your prayers.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Big Update

There's lots to cover in this post! Yes, it's been a long time since I last posted, but life has been CRAZY! Since I blogged last, I've been home for Baylor Homecoming/my birthday. It was a great time!

Here's me with my birthday present from my brother and sister-in-law.
I also celebrated my 27th birthday. I celebrated with a party at my office, my girlfriends from church at bible study, and a surprise lunch bash at McCutchen House! Here's a picture from one of the parties - my friend Laura made the cake.

Ever wonder what Nick's really up to over there? This video from Time will tell you a lot about it. The guys talking are in Nick's PRT, and the province they show is Nick's. Check it out here:

If the video doesn't work, go here:,32068,42188023001_1926394,00.html

Finally, we're moving again in May/June. This time to Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, New Mexico. Nick will be working for the 3rd Special Operations Squadron there. Yes, the location is strange, but Nick is very excited about the work he'll be doing.

I think that brings you up to speed! I'll try to post again soon.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sweet Picture

This past weekend some of the guys Nick is working with ran into an IED. Once again, Nick was supposed to have been on the mission, but sent a guy he's been working with instead at the last minute. No one was killed, but there were some who were injured. I hate hearing about these incidents and constantly worrying about them happening, but I continue to have faith that Nick was called to be on this deployment and that he will be protected while he's there. It also helps to remember exactly who Nick is over there helping. This sweet girl is harvesting corn all by herself - quite a feat!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Tale of Two Trips

Okay, okay, it's been more than a week since I last posted, but it's been a busy week or so! I traveled to the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Annual Conference in San Antonio last week. While I was there I got to see my friend Susan who is now working at UT in Austin. Mom also came down to stay with me on Thursday and Friday nights. I learned about some new ways to be a better advisor, spent some time with people I love, and ate some great Mexican food! What could be better?

Suze and me at dinner Friday night
Harriett, a fellow USC advisor, and me at The Alamo
Mom and me having margaritas on the Riverwalk Thursday night.

Meanwhile, Nick made a trip to the COP (Combat Outpost). In light of recent events in Nuristan province (next to Laghman province, Nick's province) I have cleared all of these pictures with him as okay for the blog.
Nick also has some big news - he was named CGO (company grade officer) of the month for September. Take a minute to send him a congratulatory e-mail when you get a chance.
Santana, the COP puppy
Nick's a big fan of the lamb and rice they ate. Really.
Playing golf at the COP. At least he got a little downtime!
Coach, the COP dog, says "come to the shura!"
Nick practicing with a sniper rifle. This one is actually a souped-up version of the Remington 308 Nick has at home. He was 5 for 5 at 500 meters!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

He's Back!

Nick is back from the COP safe and sound! Thanks for all your prayers. Check back soon for pictures of Nick's new friends - two Afghan dogs named Coach and Santana!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Extra Prayer Needed This Weekend!

I just talk to Nick, who is headed out tomorrow to the COP (Command Outpost). This is, as it sounds, a more remote area away from the base. He is flying out, so no worries about IED's, but in Nick's words, there are more "bad guys" around the COP than around the normal FOB. Please pray for Nick's safety while he is at the outpost, and pray that he will be able to accomplish the work he needs to do.

As I was looking for a verse that was appropriate for this latest challenge, I happened upon this passage from 2 Samuel: You can read the whole chapter on Bible Gateway, but if you don't want to take the time, it's about a time when God rescued David from his enemies, from "violent men." I'm sending it to Nick, and I will keep it close at hand until Nick returns from this mission.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Texas Trip Pics

One of my biggest strategies for staying happy while Nick is gone is to always have something to look forward to. Since he's been in Afghanistan I've had visits from Mark & Lauren and Bec & Michael. I also made a few trips over the past two weekends.
The pictures below are from my Labor Day trip to Texas. I had a great time hanging out with my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and Rocky the cat. I also got to see two big new things that I'd never seen before: Brooks, son of Josh and Julia Jurgensen. Isn't he absolutely precious? He even called me Aunt Lindsay - that's the first time anyone has ever called me Aunt! I am honored.
The next picture is of my Daddy and me outside the new Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center. Why do I have a picture outside a hospital? Lots of you who read this already know the answer, but for those who don't - this hospital is one of the most important things Daddy has ever been a part of. It represents years of hard work on his part and on the parts of so many other Waco leaders. This new campus provides the very best service possible to Wacoans, in a more accessible location, with top-of-the-line facilities. No detail was spared, and extra attention was paid to both environmentally friendly design, and the comfort of both patients and the family and friends who attend them in the hospital. As a member of the Hillcrest Board for almost my entire lifetime, and this past year as president of the board, Daddy was instrumental in making this happen. I am so proud of him!
Last weekend I went to the heart-breaking Georgia vs. South Carolina game. I didn't take my camera so I don't yet have pictures, but as soon as I get them, I'll post some. Have a great weekend everybody!

Friday, September 18, 2009

I had dinner in Orangeburg last night with my cousin Matt, who gently reminded me that aside from my frantic blogging in early September, I've been a delinquent blogger. This past spring I promised to bring you the good, the bad, and the ugly of deployment life, but that promise has gone unfulfilled. I apologize.
Believe it or not, since Nick has been gone I have regularly asked myself why I haven't been compelled to share more of my life with those of you out there in the blogosphere. I haven't yet been able to answer my own question. I think that a big part of my strategy for maintaining my sanity during Nick's absence is to not dwell on the negatives: he's far away, facing dangerous situations every day, while I'm lonely at home trying to do everything by myself. To give voice to these thoughts, I fear, might yank away the curtain I've so carefully drawn across all those thoughts.
However, I've come to the conclusion that to not get these thoughts and emotions and experiences out is an injustice to those of you who genuinely wonder how Nick and I are handling the deployment, to my future self, who will undoubtedly look back on whatever I write here someday with nostalgia, and most of all to all those people who have ministered to Nick and to me during this present challenge. You all deserve some recognition!
Today I commit to post a minimum of one post each week. Even if I feel I have nothing to say, I can at least write about Nicholas.
So there you have it. I pledge to be a delinquent blogger no more! Thanks to all of you who really do read my little blog. I will strive to do better by you. I promise.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Daily Light

Today, in the grand scheme of Nick's deployment, was an incredibly stressful day. If you haven't seen the news today and/or didn't see my previous post, there was a really big suicide bombing attack in Nick's province of Afghanistan today. It was carried out against several Afghan government officials as they were leaving a mosque following a Ramadan service. If all this wasn't enough, I happen to know that Nick was meeting, personally, with a high-ranking official today (doesn't seem wise to include a lot of details here).

I was relieved, then, when I received an e-mail from him around lunchtime today entitled "I'm Okay." It turns out that while dozens of people were killed or injured, Nick and his US team members are all okay.

Tonight as I was getting ready for bedtime I opened up my Daily Light devotional book. I was bowled over as I read the scriptures for today, and was so humbled, feeling as though when this book was compiled, they were placed for today, September 2nd with my situation in mind. Here's an excerpt:
"Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart. Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might he increases strength. Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God. I uphold you with my righteous right hand. You have been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; for a blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. The testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest. There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked. I sat down in his shade with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me is love." If you want chapter and verse on these, let me know.

In a day wherein I had to call each member of my family (Hall, Edwards, Bradford, and Reitmeier alike) to tell them that there had been an attack in Nick's province, but that he was okay (subtext here being that he very likely could have not been okay) the reassurance I found in these scriptures has been incredible. Even better is the fact that they were all packaged up neatly for me, today, in my little devotional book.

Last night during my women's Bible study group we were talking about areas of our lives in which we are challenged to have faith. I mentioned the stress of Nick's deployment, and all that entails, and I said that each day I pray for enough peace to make it through that day, and I pray the same thing all over again the next day. Today, when I was in need of extra peace, to say the least, the Lord provided for me through these scriptures, and I am so thankful.

I appreciate all of your continued prayers for Nick as the situation over there seems to continue devolving. I also appreciate your prayers for myself and our family as we muddle through back at home.

Nick is OK!

Yes, there was a major suicide attack in Nick's province today. Yes, Nick is fine as are all of the American troops he works with. Several of their Afghan counterparts were injured in the attack. I'll post more when I hear more from Nicholas. Thanks for your prayers!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

More Afghanistan Pics

Nick has sent more pictures from Afghanistan. I hope y'all enjoy them. Just like last time, I'm including his captions.
Walking to the Shura
The audience
Swimming in the Alingar
Talking strategy with the Deputy Governor
Ready to Talk
Ready to move
Not easy
On patrol night before elections
Just a GIB
Deputy Governor
A Crowd
Thanks for all your prayers this week. Nick and his team made it safely through the national elections and will now enjoy a little downtime. Please continue to pray for their safety!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Afghanistan Pics

I don't think these pictures need much explanation. I'll just give you the captions that Nick sent with them. There are a lot, but I thought everyone would enjoy them!
Watching us pass
Village at base of mountain

View from Nick's barracks
View as truck commander
The hardball
Shura tent
Perspective - yes that's Nick's foot
Passing through
Nick in truck
Nick and friend - this guy works closely with Nick
Nick and another friend
Magic Trick
Landscape as seen from Chinook
Really big helicopter (my caption - not Nick's)
Hanging Out
Give me a pen
Command Outpost
For more info about Nick's deployment, check out these articles, written by a reporter who was embedded with Nick's FOB:
Please pray for Nick and his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan this week. With the national elections coming up, violence will certainly increase. Pray for safety, wisdom, and perseverance.