Today, what was supposed to be a routine trip to the bank and the grocery store turned into a delightfully relaxing getaway. I picked up some lunch while I was out and decided to take it, and my book, to River Road Park for a quiet meal. Not only did I end up finishing my book, but I took a nice long stroll along the water’s edge where I met several overly enthusiastic geese. I’ve seen over 100 turtles today and one thing I’ve learned is that turtles are scaredy cats!

Life has been pretty stress-filled for the past few (year and a half) months and one thing Trey and I have truly come to appreciate is the afternoon getaway. They can be more refreshing than you know. And with the addition of our patio lights we installed last weekend, we’re looking forward to some back yard evening getaways as well.

Even more than that, we’re looking forward to our four day, three night getaway this weekend for our anniversary. Friday is our 5th wedding anniversary, and we’ve been through a lot in those five years: good, bad, and ugly. But we’ve grown so much, and we’re stronger and more solid than I ever thought was possible.

And we’ve never been on a proper vacation…excluding our honeymoon. Seriously, never.

So, from Friday through Monday, don’t call, don’t text, don’t even think of interrupting our much needed and anticipated mini-break. Because this couple is in desperate need of a getaway. :)



hopes and dreams, and skinny jeans

I want to be a mom. That should come as no surprise…come October, Trey and I will have been married for five years, it’s about time we started a family. But with two mortgages and two long-term house guests, we don’t have the financial or emotional stability to even consider it.  And some days it just feels like the whole world is having babies except me. And some days that’s more okay than others.  Yes, this is your polite hint to stop asking when we’re going to have children.


But while our lives are on hold, we know there are some things we can do to prepare ourselves for the eventual day when we get to think seriously about starting a family. One of those things is getting control of our health. In our two-plus years in Texas, I’ve gained over 15 pounds…10 of which were in 2013.  But since August 1st, I’ve lost 12 (woohoo!).  Trey and I are both watching what we eat (portion sizes and calorie counting more than a specific diet), and we’re both running.  In fact, I ran 6 miles on Saturday…and that’s pretty freakin’ awesome.


You know what else is awesome?  I was cleaning out some old Rubbermaid bins a couple of weeks ago and found a stash of clothes that I put away because they were too small and I got tired of feeling depressed every time I looked in the closet.  Just for fun, I pulled them out on Sunday to see if any of them fit.  I didn’t try all of them on (I know I’m still a long way from a size two), but I did try on my jeans.  I haven’t worn a good pair of jeans in a long, long time.  And if you know me at all, you know I’m a jeans girl to the core.  And, even though I’m going to make myself wait another week or so before wearing them out in public (that should give me another pound and a half of wiggle room), I now have three pairs of jeans (two size 4s and a 6) that are gonna look awesome on me now that fall boot weather is kicking up (FINALLY).


Maybe it’s that life has been really tough here lately, but fitting into those long lost skinny jeans was about the best thing since sliced bread.


Sunday night, around 10pm, Trey’s sister Lori rolled into town. We spend the next hour or so loading up her van with all the boxes of his mom’s that the movers didn’t take and finally made it to be around midnight (way, way, WAY past my bedtime). Then Lori and Deb left around 5am Monday morning for South Carolina so Deb could receive her shipment from the movers who packed up all her worldly belongings back in June. All this to say that for a full seven days Trey and I are taking care of Pop on our own. Sure, hospice will be in and out, but for the most part, it’s just us.

While the day to day tasks of caring for Pop aren’t difficult, we’ve discovered that the emotional stress is definitely…heavier. We’ve had a very difficult time waking up at a decent hour, and we’re even more zapped of our energy (something I didn’t think was possible).

But we’re trying. After sleeping in yesterday and today, we at least both got a run in (me around 9:30 this morning, Trey’s out running as I type). And I have to tell you, it was rough. But I felt immediately better afterward. But then I took a two hour nap.

I guess, what I mean to say is, we’d love your thoughts and prayers this week. For strength and energy, wisdom and peace. Thanks guys…it really means a lot.

i’m an introvert and i’m okay

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine posted a link to her Facebook page that caught my eye:  23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert. At first, I was just curious, but as I read down the list it slowly but surely dawned on me: Holy crap!  I’m an introvert!


It didn’t make any sense at first…I mean, I like people.  I’m not shy.  I’ve been on stage in front of hundreds of people in frilly panties and a corset for crying out loud!  How could I possibly an introvert???  Turns out, everything I thought I knew about introverts was wrong.  I had always thought of introverts as people who were painfully shy.  The awkward kid who always sat in the corner.  Introverts were people who didn’t have any friends.  Au contraire, mon frère!


Introverts just like to process things…well, internally.  We need downtime to balance out episodes of heightened social activity.  Of the “23 Signs” listed in the Huffinton Post article, number 14 is perhaps the most perfect example for me:


14. You screen all your calls — even from friends.

You may not pick up your phone even from people you like, but you’ll call them back as soon as you’re mentally prepared and have gathered the energy for the conversation.

“To me, a ringing phone is like having somebody jump out of a closet and go ‘BOO!,'” says Dembling. “I do like having a long, nice phone call with a friend — as long as it’s not jumping out of the sky at me.”


It’s not that I don’t love you!  It’s that you caught me off guard, that’s all!  And it’s this exact feeling that has made my weekly scheduled calls with my Mom, so much more pleasant.  Because, before we set that schedule, any time she called (or when anyone else calls for that matter) felt like an attack.  Not because of what she said, but because the phone rang.


IntrovertShyThis tiny self discovery has been quite the eye-opener for me!  All of the sudden, I no longer worry that I’m possibly suffering from some strange strain of non-suicidal depression.  It’s no longer a cause for concern that I just don’t feel like hanging out sometimes.  Life, all of a sudden, seems to make sense in a way it never has before (though, I don’t think I ever noticed that it didn’t make sense before).  So yeah, when the big neighboring push at church recommends that we just go knock on some doors and I think that’s a HORRIBLE idea, it’s not so much because I don’t want to go knock on some stranger’s door, it’s because the idea of a stranger knocking on my door is about the worst thing that can happen to me on any random day.


So there you have it.  I’m an introvert.  And by-gum, I think it suits me.

tramps like us

Baby, we were born to run.


Okay, maybe not born to…but we’re definitely growing into it. It’s been a banner year for me, athletically speaking. It seems like just a few weeks ago (holy cow, what happened to February???) I was really proud of myself for being able to run for 5 minutes straight without passing out, or throwing up. And now, I’ve already run 14.5 miles in a week – the longest stretch being four whole miles. FOUR MILES! And I didn’t pass out, or vomit, or even collapse in a heap at my front door when it was over. Holy crap, I think I can actually do this!


Last week, Trey and I buckled down and decided we’re really going to take control of our overall health and fitness. We’ve been counting calories via the myfitnesspal app since August 1st, but last Monday, we synchronized our watches, set our alarms, laid out our running shoes, and actually got up at 6am to hit the streets. Trey’s doing a Couch to 5K program and I’m doing a 10K in Under 65 Minutes program (since I completed my Cto5K in the spring). We take our 5 minute warm-up walk together and then we go our separate ways, following the instructions of our separate audio trainers on our separate running apps (I like Runkeeper cause it syncs with myfitnesspal which means my exercises log themselves).


In addition to this new burst of energy, we had a pretty awesome not super healthy but pretty athletic (for us) weekend-long date. Saturday (after my 4 mile run – WHAT?!? I will never stop being proud of that) we took Jack to the lake (whoever said Golden Retrievers all love to swim was lying), then went to see a movie. Sunday morning, we got up at the crack of dawn so I could sing on praise team at the early service, then we had brunch at Cracker Barrel (hence the “not super healthy” disclaimer), got changed and sun-screened up, and drove an hour through the country to Enchanted Rock for a pretty intense (for us) hike. And yes, we took our Sunday afternoon nap on a blanket on top of the rock. For you SC folks reading this, Enchanted rock is just like Bald Rock…except you have to start at the bottom. After our hike up/nap/hike down/drive home we went to my favorite local burger joint (again “not super healthy”) for a burger, tots, and a milkshake, and then we walked the Cibolo Creek bed – if you head away from the ducks in downtown Boerne, the creek dries out and you can walk where the water should be – lots of cool shells down there and some super awesome photo opp places (I’m talking to you Rochelle & Melissa [whenever you come back to visit with that sweet baby girl of yours!]). By the end of the day we were beyond exhausted but felt very blessed and were loving life more than we have in a while.


It’s amazing what a weekend outside can do for your overall happiness.


birthday bash

My birthday was Sunday. And it was fabulous.

We spent the weekend having an X-Men marathon before going to see The Wolverine. Trey made me cheese danish and pancakes and a from-scratch carrot cake that is still just as delicious and moist three days later. We also went to see Red 2 (go see it – you won’t be sorry!). Did I mention I love movies? Overall the weekend was incredibly low key and it was glorious.

I know that’s not much of a blog post, but I’m running out of juice (literally: the OJ is almost gone/figuratively: I am totally mentally and emotionally drained), so please excuse the tardiness (2 weeks in a row I’m posting a day late – for shame!) and the lack of delightful and witty insight. Instead, I hope you enjoy these pics of some of my awesome bday gifts:




obsessive canned-good disorder

Have you seen Sleeping With the Enemy?  Julia Roberts, 1991, creepiest canned goods scene of all time???  If you haven’t, stop reading right now and go rent the movie…NOW!  Cause I’m about to spoil it for you.


The premise is that she’s married to a psychopath who is very abusive and also crazy OCD, so Julia fakes her own death just to get away from him.  She spends the rest of the movie setting up her new life and reveling in the fact that she can toss towels haphazardly on the rod and keep her cupboards and absolute avalanche-impending wreck.  The final scene(s) of the movie show her with a really uneasy feeling walking through her house.  She turns on some music, and it happens to be the psycho ex-hubby’s creepy favorite song.  She looks at the towel rod and all the towels are folded equally and hanging completely level.  And the clincher – and this still sends chills down my spine – she opens the cupboard (which, earlier that evening was a complete mess) and all the canned goods are stacked evenly with the labels facing forward.  It’s TERRIFYING!  Don’t believe me?  Click here.


I know you’re wondering why I’m talking about a twenty year old movie.  No, I didn’t just see it recently…I lived it.  And (embarrassingly) not in the way you’d think.


As I get older, I’m becoming more and more of a neat freak.  Not in a Howie Mandel germaphobe sort of way, but in an “a place for everything and everything in its place” sort of way.  My house would never pass a white glove test – in fact, I don’t remember the last time I dusted or did the windows.  But 98% of the time, there is no clutter, no mess, no junk on the floor or piled on the counter.  And that other 2% of the time is starting to freak me out.  Seriously.  Clutter actually causes me anywhere from medium to severe anxiety.


my pantry

So, since we have doubled the number of people who live in our house this past month, we’ve also doubled the amount of food we keep on a regular basis.  Both the fridge and the pantry were overflowing.  And it was seriously freaking me out.  Every time I would walk in the pantry to get a breakfast bar or a Dr. Pepper, my heart rate would increase and I’d have to take a few deep breaths.


Yes.  I recognize that this is probably not normal.  I also feel it’s of the utmost importance to express that this seems to genuinely only bother me in my own home.  So don’t freak out – unless you’re a candidate for Hoarders, your house will not cause me to have a panic attack.


Anyway, the point of my little OCD confession here is this:  I spent just about 45 minutes yesterday totally reworking the pantry and now it makes my whole heart happy.  Seriously, I’m pretty proud of this.  And yes…all the labels are facing forward.


on the road again

Last Monday was the first time I’ve been running in 6 weeks.  That’s too long to go with no exercise whatsoever.  However, I was pleasantly surprised that I was still able to run a mile before totally giving up.


I had used excuses like “oh, we just got a dog, I shouldn’t leave him alone in the house,” or “if I just wait a few weeks, Jack will be able to go with me,” or “Trey’s parents just moved in, I need to make sure they’re comfortable,” or “Trey’s parents just moved in, I don’t want them to see me a hot sweaty mess.”  Excuse after excuse.  Until finally, I realized that I missed it.  I actually missed running.


In the movie What Women Want, Mel Gibson’s character has a freak accident resulting in the ability to read women’s minds.  He works for a marketing firm and is gunning for Helen Hunt’s character’s job.  Anyway, in the movie, they’re working on a Nike ad.  Basically, what they come up with is that when a women runs, it’s just her and the road, she doesn’t have to worry about other people, what they think or say…”No games, just sports.


And that’s what it’s like for me.  Maybe it’s like this for everyone, or maybe I’ve got some neural misfire that makes it this way, but when I run, I am absolutely incapable of thinking.  All I can do is move one foot in front of the other, breathe, look for traffic, and maybe sing along (internally) to whatever song is pumping into my ears from my phone.  I can’t think at all about what’s going on in my life, my to-do list, my worries or fears.


And it’s glorious.

new day

Okay, my last few posts have been weepy and melancholy and no fun at all.  I think the funk is finally behind me!  Thanks to the wisdom of my amazing husband, I’ve stopped taking my allergy meds (did you know one of the side effects of Zyrtec is weight gain???) and that was the start.

Total sidebar:  I have a confession to make.  I got duped.  I saw a tweet from what I thought was Women’s Health Magazine that suggested using raspberry ketone as a weight loss boost.  I really thought it was an article written by a health-conscious columnist…it wasn’t.  It was a crazy ad that hid itself amongst the great health advice that I’ve come to expect from WHM.  So I bought the brand mentioned in the article (Lichi Superfruit – never, never, NEVER take this!) and started taking 3 pills a day about a month ago.

Now we’re back:  I started doing some research about the stupid pills and found that other users were extremely disappointed and some had in fact GAINED weight!  So I thought, if this certainly isn’t helping me lose weight, why am I still taking it?  So I quit.  Threw the bottle away.  And guess what:  all of the sudden, my insane moodiness lifted, and I finally (FINALLY!) feel like myself again.  It took about six weeks of crying non-stop for me to learn my lesson – but now that that’s over with, I’ll never make that mistake again.  Whew!


 *          *          *

So, now that I’m back to my old self, here’s what I’ve been up to:  yard work.  It’s coming on summer super fast here and that means I get to play with shiny new toys.  I’m mowing and digging and edging and hauling rocks and it’s AWESOME!  I’ve missed this all winter.  I’m nowhere near a green thumb, but I love digging around in the dirt.  So, it’s a new day and a new (but really the old) me.  And I feel sooooooooo much better.


Let me tell you about the total emotional breakdown I experienced on Friday that resulted in a 5 hour nap.  I love naps, especially when they allow you to completely ignore your circumstances for a while.

WARNING:  This is a super weepy emotional girly rant, it is not for the faint of heart…and probably not for guys.

I’ve been struggling with my weight a lot lately.  I know what you’re thinking:  “who isn’t?”  But it’s really starting to get to me.  Let’s just say I wear yoga pants more often than not.  What’s really bothering me is that I’ve been running 3 times a week for several months now.  And I’ve been eating better in a frantic attempt to lower my cholesterol.  So the fact that I’ve gained 10 pounds since Christmas is really discouraging.

On top of that I’ve been extremely emotional lately.  Just bursting into tears at the drop of a hat.  Literally.  I dropped my hat the other day and it made me cry.  Poor Trey is doing a fantastic job navigating my insane moodiness.  And, being a guy, he really wanted to help fix things.  Cause he’s awesome like that.  And cause this was one of those occasions where I was seriously sick of feeling moody and fat and wanted a solution.  So Trey suggested I go to the doctor to have my thyroid checked out.  It would explain a lot.

So that’s what I did.  Last Wednesday I went to visit my doctor and explained my symptoms.  And she asked some questions.  And with every answer she shook her head.  And finally she said, “I know this is the obvious question, but do you think you could be pregnant? It really sounds like you’re pregnant.”

Now, let me pause to tell you in the mildest terms possible (so as not to frighten you away) the extent of my baby fever.  I feel like part of me is missing.  I get weepy not only looking at cute babies, but at children in general.  But it’s just not the right time for us to start a family.  We have two mortgages (anybody wanna by a house???), and we have some pretty heavy stuff going on with Trey’s family (health-wise) that just makes trying to start a family too complicated right now.  My brain knows all these things and accepts them.  My raging hormones, however, are having difficulty reconciling this.

So I tell the doc that I’ve taken several pregnancy tests in the past few months, because I realize that’s exactly what all my symptoms point to, and each time I peed on a stick, the stick said no.  So she decides to add a pregnancy test to the thyroid blood work, just in case I’m in the one percent of people who just doesn’t gel with the over-the-counter variety.  I leave her office and walk across the sidewalk and immediately have blood taken (yay for non-fasting blood work).  They tell me I should have the results by Thursday or Friday.

Longest two days ever.  Two days spent dreaming about baby names and how to tell our families and how to post our awesome news on Facebook.  Two days of praying that if I wasn’t pregnant that I wouldn’t get my hopes up and that we’d figure out something with this potential thyroid issue.

Friday morning, around 10:00, I get the call.

Not only am I not pregnant, there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with my thyroid.  Basically, I suffered through some of the worst anticipation of my life to find out that I’m just fat.  FYI:  that is not good for a girl’s self-esteem.  Especially a girl who’s already super emotional and moody.  I pretty much went straight upstairs and slept for the rest of the day.

On the plus side, Trey & I went to the symphony that night and it was the first time in years that I’ve been big enough to wear one of my absolute favorite dresses.  It’s funny how God can show you the silver lining in just about anything…