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Friday the 15th

15 Oct

The last few day have been a lot of fun. Staring with Ryan’s birthday on Wednesday. I don’t know how most people do birthdays, but we celebrate birthday weeks! The full week is about celebrating that person. Much fun, especially when it’s your turn!

Wednesday afternoon, we headed to Dallas with three main things to accomplish. 1. Go to Apple Store and get Ryan’s iPhone fixed. It was recently cursed with the white screen of death. 2. Enjoy birthday dinner at Chuys…thanks to my Mom for the “gift card.” 3. Pick up Ross, Ryan’s little brother, from the airport! Mission accomplished.

Got home very late that evening and then stayed up talking to Ross until almost 2! He lives in Minnesota and we get to see him about once a year. The last time we saw him was in San Fran last July for the half marathon/Napa Valley trip. We are thrilled he is here!

Ryan took off work the rest of the week while Ross is here. Yay! So, Thursday, the girls went to school and we all headed out to the lake, so I could show off my new place of employment. I had some work to get done…have I told you lately how much I love my new job? Still praising God for it! Then we had lunch at BWW, a little shopping, and the night ended with Ryan & Ross making homemade pizza. Great day…almost. It was great until about 9 p.m. My stomach started killing me. I thought I was just overly full…ya know, with all of the creamy jalapeno dip, Caribbean jerk wings, and stuffed crust pizza I had inhaled the last couple of days. I was feeling miserable and thinking it was definitely time to go on a diet. I was hurting. Went to bed early trying to shake it…but apparently I had a little bug or something. Ugh. Feeling better today though, thankfully.

Tonight, we took Ross to another one of our fave places to eat here in Tyler, Villa Montez. Then, to have a cappuccino at Cafe Tazza – which, by the way, is amazing. Best cappuccino ever. Funny how much of our lives revolve around FOOD! Of course, that is one of the main reasons we run.

Tomorrow, we are heading to Beaver’s Bend for a camping trip! Ryan & I went last year and had a blast. We determined we wanted to make it an annual birthday tradition. Excited to spend some time in the peace & quiet of the woods down by the river.

Here are some pics from the last couple of days…



Days off are stellar.

30 Dec

Wake up around 8:30 to “Mommy! Daddy!” Roll out of bed & go get two cute little pink punkins out of their room and put in them back in bed with us. Cuddle for a few minutes all nice and cozy as a family. Stroll into the kitchen and make breakfast, turn on Noggin, and make a latte. Slowly get the girls ready for school, no rush. Drop them off by 9 or 9:30, then head to the trails to run. Run 5 miles with my hot husband. Take our time after the run, walking & stretcing – again, no rush. Stop by Einstein’s on our way home – go inside, not drive thru. Enjoy a toasted honey wheat bagel with blueberry schmear and a hot cup of coffee. Home to shower and get dressed for the day…yes, now its nearly noon. Shopping and Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch, then more shopping. Time for another latte at the house. Then, go pick up our adorable smiley kids at school early for more family time. Wow, I could get used to this! This is just an example of one day from our awesome week off….LOVE IT.

Beavers Bend Camping Trip

11 Oct

Ryan and I had a great weekend getaway,camping at Beavers Bend in Broken Bow, OK. We had such an awesome time! It was so nice to escape to a place where there is no schedules, no responsibilities, no TV, no stress…nothing but peaceful sounds of nature, the smell of campfire, beautiful scenery, good food, and the ability to just focus on each other. Seriously, its just good for the soul. Not to mention great for a marriage! We set some new goals for our marriage and for parenting…and have come back with a renewed vigor for life.

I had such a blast watching the little boy come out of Ryan as he put together our tent and built our fire each night & morning. He loves camping and everything about it…his smile the whole time, made the trip even more worth it. Friday afternoon, we got down there in time to set up camp and get the fire going before it got dark. Ryan cooked us sausages and beans on the fire…no girly food allowed here! For dessert, we were all pumped to cook some s’mores and then we had a creepy little visitor. Ricky raccoon seriously jumped up on our picnic table, stuck his nasty germ-infested head in our food box, took out the whole bag of marshmallows and ran off! Are you kidding me?! So, we did what any true campers “roughing it’ would do…we got in our car, found the nearest grocery store with our Garmin, and drove to town to purchase some more! And boy was it worth it…the s’mores were amazing. Nothing beats charred marshmallows. Saturday, we got up with the sunrise and made coffee and breakfast burritos. Mmmm, coffee in the woods on a brisk morning while you are overlooking a flowing river – heavenly. Then, we headed out to hike some trails. I’m not sure how we do it, but we always seem to get off track when we hike, it never fails. We ended up on a different trail from the one we started on and it took twice as long! But it was a ton of fun b/c we got to cross a really pretty brook and hike up some pretty steep hillsides that we would have missed otherwise. That afternoon, we took a canoe ride down the river, which was definitely the highlight of the trip. Basically, you just sit back and the river floats you along about 2.5 miles back to the place where you dock. Such a beautiful and very peaceful experience. That evening, Ryan cooked probably the best fajitas I’ve ever had. Peppers, onions, steak, black beans, grilled tortillas…all on the campfire.

The weather there was chilly, but not too cold…just right for camping! The leaves are changing colors – beautiful oranges, reds, yellows, etc. It was fun taking pics here. We took most of them with our phones, since our camera battery died the first day! Bummer. I do have to add that it felt kind of weird to have my iPhone while camping…I still was able to check email, Facebook, and get online to check the Tech score. (By the way – GO RAIDERS!) While we were canoeing, I got an email & then later a text. That just seems so wrong! Hehe.

Thanks to Grandma, Jen, and Jeff for watching our girls so we could have this time away. And for those of you who haven’t been to Beavers Bend that live here in East Texas – you should definitely go! Only takes about 3 hours to get there and its such a neat place. Here are some pics for our weekend. We’re hoping to do this once or twice a year!















early morning thoughts

29 Apr

sitting here in the quiet, drinking coffee & listening to the birds chirp (and one random rooster cockadoodle-doo’n)…

yesterday was nanny’s graveside service. it went really well…she was a loved woman and it was obvious that we all felt loved by her through all the kind words that were spoken. i’m so blessed to be a part of such a great family. even though there is a ton of us, we are very close…and that is due to the way nanny & grandpa & memaw & papaw loved us all and taught us all how to be a family. very cool stuff. 

addi has been singing a lot recently. she’s learned some new songs at school. there is nothing sweeter than singing “open the eyes of my heart” with your two year old before bed and her belting out “holy, holy, holy.” she is a doll.

kamryn & addi both are doing awesome at school now. no tears, for the most part, when we leave them anymore. we figured out the trick was to actually give them to a teacher to hold while we were leaving…not to set them down standing alone. if they are being held, the are fine! in fact yesterday, the same teacher was holding both of them when we left and addi said, “bye mommy & daddy!” and kam waved…both smiling. 🙂

may 1st is approaching soon & that is when official training will begin for the 1/2 marathon…yikes, i better get ready! it is right at 3 months away now.

ok, time to wake up the girls & get them ready for school…happy wednesday!

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… 













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. 🙂

the office.

15 Apr


at the office, i am surrounded by coffee memorabilia. the owners of coffee city usa, collect antiques from all over the country…mostly coffee-related. everything from old tins to roasters to deco grinders to pictures or signs to country store bars to clocks to trains, etc. they even have a really old bumper car in the warehouse! the huge red object, to the left of the red filing cabinet, is an old school roaster…its sweet. pretty cool stuff. things at work are going really well & i am enjoying it! today, i got to participate in a “cupping” and taste testing of a new coffee blend they are working on. pretty interesting!

on my lunch break…

2 Apr

sipping a latte at caffe tazza while surfing and checking email….i LOVE this little place! i hope you all are having a great week…its almost FRIDAY – WOOHOO! 🙂


Momma got a job!

20 Mar

I just accepted an offer for a job with Coffee City USA in Tyler! How ironic is that? We used to get all of our supplies for Studio Java there. They are a roasting company that also sales wholesale coffee, supplies, equipment, and gifts to specialty mom & pop coffee shops around the country. How cool! I’ll be doing a variety of things for them including sales, marketing, customer service, etc. I’m pumped and excited to have this opportunity. I start on Monday. A few perks of this job (haha, pardon the pun but I had to do it)…

-I’ll be surrounded by the smell of coffee daily and endless access to all the coffee I want to drink…and I’m not talking Folgers! 🙂

-I get to wear whatever I want to work…jeans & a tee if I so choose.

-The people there seem really awesome & I look forward to getting to know & work with them.

-I get to help Mom & Pop coffee shops around the country better their business!!! I love that idea.

-I’ll get to learn more about the coffee industry from roasting to machinery to printing labels.

-I’ll get to commute daily with my handsome hubby & eat lunch w/him!

Also, I found a learning center that is literally right on the way to Tyler in Lindale…and it had openings for BOTH girls, which is rare! We are getting them signed up today. Its neat because they follow a curriculum to help the kids learn numbers, shapes, colors, letters etc. More than just a daycare & just babysitting…which I am thrilled about. Pray for my girls next week as they start here…I hope they love it! Pray for me too…it will be hard on me to leave them & adjust to that again.

Update on Ryan’s job…his first week has gone really well! He’s just learning the ropes and training. By next week, he’ll be running the show I’m sure! He’s going to do awesome in this new role and from what it sounds like, it will be an awesome mission field for him too. 

I am thankful for God’s provisions and for the opportunities he’s opened up for us. We greatly appreciate all of the prayers and support from our wonderful family & friends!

coffee recommendation

15 Mar

there is an adorable coffee shop in tyler that is really, very tasty. i highly recommend their lattes & mochas! its called caffe tazzo and its so good. check it out if you are in the tyler area! jen bought some beans from their shop this weekend and we’ve been enjoying them here at the house. if you’re missing studio java, you definitely need to go check this place out!