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Monday. And it’s a GREAT day.

4 Oct

Its a beautiful Monday. I have spent all morning with two adorable munchkins and have constantly thanked God for this new opportunity he has given our family. I don’t actually begin work until tomorrow. I’m excited to get started, but am thankful to have a day off to recover from our fast and furious weekend to Austin. The girls just went down for a nap and I’m getting caught up on emails, FB, and laundry.

This weekend, we headed down to central Texas, one of our favorite places to be. Saturday after our last long run before this weekend’s half marathon, we drove into Georgetown. We had a relaxing evening hanging with my brother and his family as we chowed down on Cheryl’s chicken & dumplings. My girls LOVE their cousin Kendrick. It’s a bonus too, because when Kendrick is around, she plays with and watches the girls for us, so it gives Mommy & Daddy a break!

Sunday morning, we went to the 11:15 service of the Austin Stone and it was, as always, amazing. After church, we enjoyed a great lunch at a tasty pizza place with Ryan’s cousin, Aaron. We also went over the Ivey’s new house and recording studio. Ryan and Aaron spoke in audio language for a little while. You know…where to put this acoustic panel, how to position the monitors, how to trap bass, what sound absorption material should be on this wall, etc. All that stuff is way over my head! It’s so neat to see how God is using the Ivey’s as they intentionally live a life of mission there in Austin. Inspiring! We look forward to hanging out with them for a full week next month on our cruise…7 weeks and counting.

Sunday evening, we headed back to Georgetown. My brother Kelly is the Minister of Adults at his church there and was having an ordination service that night. It was a special service and I’m glad we were there. I am so very proud of Kelly and feel blessed to be his sister! My favorite part of the service was when he gave a high five to the sky from the stage. Dad will certainly be missed in everything we do, but never, ever forgotten. Love you Kelly!

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Glory

16 May

Today, I was very touched at church. I sat up in the sound booth with Ryan, as I sometimes do. As the worship band started to play, I began to gaze around the room at all the people.  I love to watch people. How they interact, their expressions, etc. Maybe I’m a weirdo?

As we sang together, “glory to God, glory to God, glory to God forever”, I couldn’t help but tear up. Such a joy to join with your brothers & sisters in Christ to worship. From the guy on the front row with down syndrome and his hands lifted high to the middle-aged, bald woman battling with cancer on the back row wearing a bandana on her head and looking so beautiful & peaceful as she smiled & sang to the Lord. I thought to myself, if I were in their shoes, could I still sing with all that I am, “glory to God forever?” Touching.

It was inspiring for me to people-watch this morning.  To see all shapes and sizes, old & young, married couples & singles – all different kinds of people with different things going on their lives coming together to worship our great God. To lay our struggles at His feet and to fully focus on Him in that moment. Touching. Then Pastor Doug brought it about God’s glory out of the book of John and how our goal in life should be to bring Him glory, not ourselves – following the example of Jesus. Good day @ Grace Community today. Good day!

Gratitude.

15 Apr

“Gratitude. More aware of what you have than what you don’t. Recognizing the treasure in the simple – a child’s hug, fertile soil, a golden sunset. Relishing in the comfort of the common – a warm bed, a hot meal, a clean shirt.” –Max Lucado

My coworker has a desk calendar with quotes like this printed on each day and she reads them to me almost every morning as we warm up & ease in to our day at the office, which I love. This one is the one from yesterday. Some days the quote will go in one ear and out the other…depending on how sleepy I still am, if I’ve had enough coffee, what’s bustling around the office, etc. But not this one. It touched me and has stuck with me since she read it. “More aware of what you have than what you don’t.” Wow. This is a challenge isn’t it? How often do we sit and think about everything that God has blessed us with as opposed to sit and thinking about everything we think we need, want, can’t change, or lack?

This thought, along with others revolved around servant-hood & helping those in need, is something Ryan & I have talked a lot about lately & are working on together. In fact, its been a recurring theme in our lives over the past several months. At church, at community group, in books we are reading, etc. Ryan even posted a string of posts on his blog about it too.

Being thankful & content in the simple. To be honest, this used to not be the case for us. When we were first married, all we wanted to do was to buy and own the latest & greatest, even though we didn’t have money for it. Keeping up with the Jones’, as they say. And because of that, we are STILL paying off credit cards from years back. And I’m certain paying ten times more for whatever it was we bought thanks to high card interest rates! Dave Ramsey would shudder at some of the stuff we charged.

But over the past few years (probably since we had our first child), God has been working on us – molding us in this area. Showing us that its not about what all you own in THIS life and its not about “living your best life now” in the world’s view. In fact – this life is not about ME at all! Its about God & the work he is doing through me. Its about loving Him & loving others. Putting others ahead of myself. Gosh, I still have a lot of work to do in this area – but I’m trying! And I’m thankful for a husband that is striving to do this as well. As Frances Chan so amazingly explains in the book Crazy Love- as Christians, our best life will come later. For that reason, we press toward the goal!

So I challenge you to “recognize the treasure in the simple” – bask in those moments & praise God for them. Each day is a gift and if we take time to count each blessing, we won’t have quite as much time to dwell in the negative. The next time your child hugs you – soak it up. When you kiss your spouse – relish it. When you lay down at night and cover up, snuggle in and say thank you. When you go out for your morning run, take in the fresh air and smile. And continuously seek out ways to help someone in need – believe me, you won’t have to look far.

Much love & gratitude for all my family & friends!

Traci

You registered, now finish!

22 Nov

I love my church. The people, the vision, the purpose, the mission, the worship…I love it. Today, Pastor Doug brought a great message about knowing Christ, one of which I could easily relate.

“…forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.”  – Philippians 3:13-14

He compared life to a marathon race. He’s actually done a few marathons in his life, which is admirable! I’ve only accomplished half’s…maybe, just maybe I’ll complete a full one day. Maybe. Something that he said stuck out to me the most…”When you register for a race, you run the course that is set out for you. You can’t circumvent the hard spots.” His point? Life is very similar to a race…there will be big hills to climb, it might be raining & cold, you might not be feeling well…but you still run it.  You signed up, you registered for the race…you have to press forward and finish. Set your eyes on the goal and just do it. Same can be said about life. We all know that life is hard…it just is. There will be ups and downs, hard times, struggles, etc. But the struggles help to transform us. Just like running hills & speed work makes a runner stronger. Also, another good point he made was that during a marathon, you don’t look back at the hill you just ran up and think that you should go back and run up it again. That would just be dumb! You have to forget the past – its done. If we keep reverting to our failures in the past, of course we will trip. Distractions along the route can be a hindrance as well, but you continue to stay focused on the finish line and push on, move forward one step at a time. I loved this message and the reminder to keep my focus on the true prize, the real finish line. And to finish strong! Rejoice along the way, and when the goin’ gets tough…again I say rejoice.

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with him.” – Philippians 3:8-9

updates that begin with ~

27 Sep

~ i love this time of year…change of seasons to the fall (YES!) and football season. i posted a blog a long time ago about reasons i love fall & winter.

~ both of our football teams lost this weekend. boo!

~ lots of birthdays coming up! my dad, jen, ryan, jeff – all over the next few weeks.

~ 1 of my cousin’s has a wedding in dallas, 1 of my other cousin’s has a wedding shower, and another cousin has a baby due all in october!

~ ryan & i are going camping in t-minus 12 days…we’ll be heading to beaver’s bend for a peaceful weekend alone!

~ a few of my very best friends have 5k’s this upcoming weekend. good luck danny, ashley, & rachel! let me know how it goes. i’m so proud of all of you.

~ ryan & i have started lifting weights at the gym at his work. its nice, not to mention free! trying to incorporate more cross-training in along side my running.

~ ryan made these chicken enchiladas the other day & they were absolutely amazing…you should definitely add this to your recipe book.

~ addi’s teeth & gums are healing nicely…it looks almost back to normal & she doesn’t seem to be in any more pain. whew!

~ ryan & i have officially joined grace community church this weekend. we love the values & vision of the church & are pumped to get more involved. ryan has been helping on occasion w/the audio. we also plan to join a small group in a couple of weeks…looking forward to being part of community again.

~ rumor has it that we may be enjoying this on saturday night in celebration of jen’s bday!

~ the office this season has been hilarious thus far…i love this show!

~ the girls love to watch videos in our bed while i’m getting ready. so i will end this post with a pic of my cutie pie punkins cuddled together in “momma & daddy’s bed.” have a great week friends! until next time…

cuddlebugs

i love sundays.

17 May

today has been a great day! the weather is beautiful. slept in. had coffee & breakfast w/my handsome hubby and two adorable girls. church was awesome today…great message. relaxing, lazy afternoon. cooking out tonight. here are a few updates for all you peeps out there…

– our trip to san francisco has been booked!!! airline & hotel reservations made. this year, the crew going will include: me, ryan, jen (my sis), ross (ryan’s bro), and cynthia (family friend). we are registered for the 1/2 marathon and can not wait! we have begun our training…13.1 miles is quite a feat to prepare for! we accomplished 7 yesterday. it was tough, but encouraging. we have approximately 2 months to get ready…go team awesome! 😉

– the season finale of 24 & american idol is this week. yikes! will jack bauer survive? will chris or adam win? i think i’m pulling for chris honestly.

– i have been absolutely digging the sanctus real: we need each other album. great lyrics, rockin’ music. i highly recommend it!

– i heeded the advice of my lovely friends & bought mary kay’s timewise face wash & moisturizer. i have to say, i am loving it! my skin feels so soft & smooth. 

– my little brother, jeff is graduating from high school in a few weeks & i can not believe it! he took senior pics the other day…i have to give props to corie for taking such awesome pics! they turned out so good…i’m sure some of you will be receiving a pic & invitation in the mail.

– we went car shopping yesterday. that is SO exhausting! we are thinking of trading in our minivan for something smaller…like a crossover or small suv. we did not have any luck yesterday at all. stuff like that takes forever and both ryan & i hate it. anyone ever drive a honda crv or a subaru forester?

– here are a few pics of the girls playing in their new sprinkler whale….it barely sprays any water, but you would have thought they were at hurricane harbor!!! they are just too much fun.

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le sigh. (as ross would say)

24 Apr

TGIF!  whew, what a busy week! starting last weekend, we have been SO crazy busy. ryan had a guy come in last friday for a cram recording session that night & all day saturday. then, sunday was the rangers game outing (which i hope we can do again sometime this season…hint, hint dad). this week was super busy….seems like every night we had something going on, tons of stuff happening at work, and absolutely no free time. so as i sit here, chilling & enjoying the peace…i am thankful its the weekend! some things i truly look forward to when weekends arrive nowadays…

-pancakes & coffee on saturday morning

-playing outside with my girls

-watching movies with ryan

-running OUTSIDE in the mornings, instead of the treamill at 9 or 10 at night!

-cooking new recipes and enjoying a glass of wine w/it

-going to church on sundays & then eating lunch at my mom & dad’s

-having time to just sit & watch food network

-getting extra sleep!

-having lattes throughout the day

the weather here has been beautiful the last few days. this evening, we spent some time outside. here are a few pics of my favorite people in the world… 

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i wish you all a happy weekend! hopefully next week won’t be so crazy and i will have time to post more on the blog…i feel as though i’ve been slacking. 🙂

2007 to 2009

12 Apr

below is the dixon clan on easter of 2007. we were in austin for the weekend spending time w/my brother & his fam. it was addi’s very first easter…what a cutie pie. funny thing is, i was pregnant in this pic w/kamryn & didn’t even know it! we found out just a couple of weeks later that we were expecting again…and man, were we shocked! 

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now, here we are in 2009…a family of four! life has changed a lot for us over the past two years! its been crazy at times, but we are truly thankful. today, we enjoyed a feast for lunch at my parent’s house after an awesome worship service at church. the girls had an indoor easter egg hunt since its raining here today…it is just too cute how exciting & entertaining small things, like hiding a few eggs around the living room, can be for toddlers!

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we have a lot to celebrate because of this day & what Jesus has done for us! chris tomlin wrote a song that we sang this morning at church. i just love the lyrics to it & i think its such a perfect song for easter sunday…

“Jesus has overcome and the grave is overwhelmed. The victory is won, He is risen from the dead. And I will rise when He calls my name. No more sorrow, no more pain. I will rise on eagle’s wings. Before my God, I fall on my knees and rise. I will rise.”

HAPPY EASTER!!!

Who is my neighbor?… by Ryan

10 Feb

If you ever make it to Austin you must go check out The Austin Stone. With only attending a few times while in the area visiting friends and family, I have been thoroughly blessed by the worship, vision and the messages delivered by Matt Carter. Recently on my long runs I have been listenting to his past messages via their pod cast. The one I heard today was so great. You MUST listen. The title of it is “A Church For The City: The Cost Of Following Jesus.” 09/28/08

austin day 2 & 3

2 Feb

yesterday was a great day. we went to church at the austin stone & it was, as usual, amazing. this church is the real deal. plus, its always neat to see ryan’s cuz, aaron, lead worship…he & his band are so talented & super cool guys. we also went to a super bowl party at the ivey’s house, which was a blast! too bad the cardinals lost…but the chili at the party was good! today was very tiring and kind of crazy. ryan had a couple of meetings and we looked at a few rent houses, so it was productive…we were just literally in the car ALL day. the girls are still doing so well, i’m so proud! we seriously left the house at 8:30 this morning and didn’t get home until after 5 today…they were champs. during one of ryan’s meetings, i took the girls for pizza.

what a smile!

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addi is singing into her mic…

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getting impatient waiting for our cheese pizza…

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i cooked dinner tonight for my brother and now we are chilling.  about to watch the office (from last night) and 24, my 2 favorite shows! then, its off to bed and another busy day tomorrow. we appreciate everyone’s prayers this week for sure!