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Tomorrow we fly to Boston.

4 Nov

Tomorrow morning, we are getting up early to take the girls to Grandma’s and then Ryan and I will head to DFW to hop on a plane to Boston! This upcoming weekend is one that is sure to be special. A memory maker.

We are going to Manchester, NH to run in a half marathon. But not just any half marathon. My Dad was registered to run in this race…the last race he had registered for and one none of us could have ever imagined that he wouldn’t be here to run in. He & my sister did this race last year and both had registered to do it again. Here’s a pic of them last year that I absolutely love. It captures so much.

So we are all headed North to run it in his honor. In fact, my brother Kelly is going to pick up my Dad’s bib at the expo and run as Kip Clark. Knowing my Dad – he would love this and think its neat.

My Aunt Debbie (Dad’s sister) and her family live there and we will get to stay with them for the weekend. I look forward to spending time with them. My Dad loved visiting Boston and New Hampshire – he along with my sister Jen have told me all about it there and I can’t wait to see the sites and experience it for myself.

Its going to be a special weekend and one of celebration of my Dad’s life. I will post pics and details about the weekend and race day soon. But, in the mean time, we certainly appreciate your prayers…for my siblings, Ryan, and myself as we travel and as we run – no doubt, it will be the most emotional race we’ve done.

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!

Our trip to Lubbock.

7 Sep

We went to the good ole L-B-K for Labor Day weekend and had such a great time! Its been a while since we’ve been back to visit friends, so it was time. We also felt it would be good as part of our healing process, to see people who knew and loved my Dad. He loved Lubbock and the people there.

We got in late Thursday night or actually, extremely early Friday morning. A 7 1/2 hour drive turned into a 9 hour drive somehow. I’m guessing a 2 and 4 year old had something to do with that. Oh and as a side note, never exit off the Interstate in Abilene…just saying. It was so neat driving in late because we got to see a lightning storm in the huge skies of West Texas. It was beautiful. There may not be trees and it may be flat, but the skies are abundant and the stars are gorgeous!

The first two nights, we stayed with our friends Tim & Christy. We love these two dearly and appreciate their friendship. Addi & Kam love them too! It was adorable because they would choose to hold their hands, instead of mine & Ryan’s when we would go out places. I think it gave Tim & Christy a taste of having their own kids!

Friday, we went by to say hi to some people around town – old places of work, church, drove by Tech (wreck ’em!), etc. Stopped by for lunch at West Crust Pizza, which was quite tasty I must say. We also stopped by the Veterans Memorial, so I could see my Dad’s brick. Just when I thought I could not be any prouder of him, I am reminded of yet another reason to add to the list that is still growing, even though he’s gone. Special. Then, Friday evening we met up with our old youth group for dinner & had a fabulous time. We are so very proud of our Fusion kids & the grown-ups they have become! This night was good for my soul. And Julie Patterson – YOU impacted MY life dear.

Saturday, after yummy homemade blueberry muffins made by Christy herself, we met up with my friend/college roommate Amanda for coffee. So great seeing her & catching up! Come run the Turkey Trot in Dallas with us Amanda!

Then, we headed out to Levelland for lunch with the Pace’s (Christy’s parents). These people mean so much to us and my family. When my Dad passed away, they loaded up their car, along with their son Jason and Tim & Christy and drove all the way to Quitman just to be there for us and hug us. It meant the world to me. I love all of you guys so much!

Saturday afternoon, we headed over to Danny & Ashley’s for the remainder of the weekend. Oh my word, we laughed so much! We had so much fun just doing absolutely nothing but hanging out. Their daughter Grace is so adorable, Addi & Kam had a great time with her. Baths, dress up time, watching movies, swimming, etc.When we got in the car to drive home, Kam said, “That was so fun!” and Addi has been saying, “I’m sad…I want to go back to Grace’s house.” One night while we were there, Ashley arranged for a babysitter so we could go out for some adult time. We went up to Stella’s, where she sings on occassion and got to hear her sing a set.  I got to meet Alison, a friend I have gotten to know through blogs and Facebook. She’s a runner too & is actually coming to Tyler next month to run the Tyler Rose Marathon. Fun night!

Monday morning, we loaded up, drove through & got a Josie’s burrito and headed back East. The girls were sooooo good and well behaved. Thank you Lord! It was a fun trip and a great Labor Day weekend. We miss all of our West Texas friends already. Now its your turn to come to Tyler!

Fall-tastic

1 Sep

As I ran at the trails this past Sunday morning, I noticed that a few leaves had already fallen off the trees. It made me smile…Fall is just around the corner people and I can not wait! I heart Fall. I do believe its my favorite time of year. The smells, the colors, the temperatures, the holidays, football, food, races…I love it all! The changing of the seasons always reminds me of how big God is – and how extremely creative He is. The ultimate artist, for sure!

We have a lot of stuff going on this upcoming season. Good stuff. The Dixon iCal is getting filled up! The next few months emotionally will be tough for my family – with Dad’s birthday coming up, my parent’s anniversary, the holidays without him, and running without him in races we’ve all done together in the past. Everything that is a “first without him” is tough. Definitely will be a hard season, as it has been a hard year. Incredibly grateful to have so many wonderful memories with him. And I am thankful we have some good stuff going on – and things to look forward to. Dad would want us to make the most of this beautiful season (he loved Fall too) and live life to the fullest – so I will try to do just that!

Some things coming up that I’m excited about are…

1. Going to Lubbock Labor Weekend to see old friends (leaving tomorrow actually – yay)

2. Joining a new downtown Women’s Bible study group

3. Attending a friends wedding in Dallas – a night away for me & Ryan!

4. Celebrating both of my brother’s, my sister’s, Ryan’s, and Kam’s birthdays

5. Running in 3 half marathons in 3 consecutive months & the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day

6. Ryan’s brother Ross coming to Texas and our camping trip to Beaver’s Bend

7. Trip to Boston & New Hampshire

8. Thanksgiving & Christmas

9. CRUISE

10. Several baby showers for dear friends

Vacation through pictures.

18 Jul

We’re outta here.

13 Jul

This week, we will be heading to the mountains to go on vacation & I COULD NOT BE MORE READY. Ryan’s parents graciously booked us a resort a few months back. Little did we know what was going to be taking place with my Dad & how badly we would NEED this time away.

Our plan is this. To not have any schedules or obligations, love on our kids as much as possible, read, lay by the pool, hike, run, sleep, cook some new recipes, and rest. Truly rest. Hoping and praying for continued healing during this time away and maybe even some restoration.

Addi and Kamryn are SO excited…this is their first official vacation. Up until now, Ryan and I have left them with Grandma and gone places alone…which is also very important and we will do this later on in the year on our cruise (yay!). So, we’ve been talking to the girls about “our family vacation” for months now and being that its just a few days away, they are pumped! Addi has been telling her teacher every day, “In _ days we will be going on vacation!” Of course she also feels the need to tell her sweet teacher and her friends, “YOU are not going…just me, Mommy, Daddy, and Kamryn.” Side note: We are working on our manners and the way we talk to people right now with this one especially. But needless to say, they are excited! And so are we. Happy to have time away, alone together – just our little family.

Headed to ATX

8 Apr

I’m so excited about this weekend! Tomorrow, we will take a road trip to Austin. Looking forward to seeing my brother & his family, catching up with the Ivey’s, eating Amy’s icecream, running in the Capitol 10k, attending The Stone & TXT3, and hopefully squeezing in a dinner at Chuy’s!

I’m personally pretty pumped about this 10k. This is one of the races I’ve always wanted to participate in, but for one reason or another, it just hasn’t worked out in the past. But this year…it. is. on. Check out this route! The race begins running up Congress Avenue straight towards the State Capital & ends running along side Lady Bird Lake. Awesome. Plus, this will be the first race that our kids will get to be there waiting for us at the finish line – yippee! My dad, a.k.a. Poppy, and my little brother are watching the girls while we run. Fun!

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!

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nature’s beauty.

30 Jul

i captured this as we stood under redwoods on diamond mountain, california…

redwoods

napa valley: day 3 & 4

29 Jul

we had a great time in napa! we visited some really neat & unique wineries this year: v. sattui, frank family vineyards, reverie, august briggs, and cakebread cellars. at reverie, we were able to go in some wine caves (very james bondish) & also have a tasting amongst the huge redwoods. at august briggs, we got to taste wine straight from the oak barrels.  at v. sattui, we had a private cellar club tasting since jen is a member there. so neat! one day for lunch, we ate at taylor’s automatic refresher, a yummy hamburger joint that has been featured on food network. this area of california is gorgeous – rolling hills, beautiful landscaping, and awesome weather. relaxing few days! sad that our vacation is coming to an end, but SO ready to get home to my girls. i miss them like crazy!

Napa Valley 2009