January 14, 2018

Weekend Recap

I love the weekends...they are so good to refresh us!

:: Friday evening, Chris had an off day for training!! Very rare! So, we went straight to dinner. We ate at Sharon's BBQ and had a nice time chatting. I love my man! Then we headed home to feed the puppers and relax.

:: Saturday was a good day! Chris had two workouts -- a run, and then later a trainer ride. We had a lazy morning and then I took him into town to Mimi and Aspen's townhouse. He did his run on the treadmill there, worked on unpacking his new custom bike, and did his trainer ride. While he was doing all of that, I went to Walmart and the Natural Food Store for groceries, and then home to put it all away. Then I spent a few hours getting the remainder of my scrapbook-for-hire completed. I watched movies while being creative and it was a fun afternoon! Then, I picked Chris up and we went to Hobby Lobby and dinner at Red Robin. Then we decided to start watching the Netflix series Ozark. We are two episodes in and we are enjoying it.

:: Sunday, we slept in a bit and then watched church online. The rest of the day has been laundry for me and a swim for Chris. A good day! Soon, my grandma Gene will be calling and that is always a highlight of every Sunday!!

:: Whole30 is going really well! I'm two weeks in, two weeks to go.

:: This coming Saturday is the January crop! I'm looking forward to that!! It will be at Kim's house and I need to figure out what I want to work on.

:: Monday, we are taking both puppers to the vet for their annual shots. We're also going to talk to the vet about Ocho -- two things. One, he has an odd spot on his side that doesn't seem to be getting better. Two, he is 11 now and seems to be losing weight, even though he is still eating the same amount and has a great appetite. So, just checking in on our boy's health.

I hope your week ahead will be lovely!

January 10, 2018

Mid Week Post!

Hello, blog world! Happy Wednesday!

The week is progressing nicely...it's the first full week of work in awhile. After having two 4-day weeks due to holidays, this definitely feels longer!

:: Tomorrow morning, we have a mini VIP presentation first thing.

:: Tomorrow afternoon, we should be getting our RV heater fixed! The repair guy finally figured out what was wrong, had the part delivered, and fixed it. Now he'll come and put it back into our RV. Perfect timing -- we've had glorious weather in the 70s the past few days, but another cold front is coming.

:: I'm reading the newest Harry Potter book...this one is outside of the main series and is a continuation of the characters as adults. It is also written in play format, which is very different. It is definitely not as good as the regular books, and I'm not sure how the story will end up. We shall see.

:: I did read Wonder, and that was so, so good. Such a feel-good story! Can't wait to go see the movie!

:: This weekend is wide open and I am looking forward to that big time.

:: I got a book today that I ordered, about essential oils for dogs. I'm curious to see what can be done with them. I've already started using some lavender oil on a spot Ocho has on his side...we'll see how that progresses!

:: Chris has a long swim workout this evening, followed by a run in the park. Then he'll be home to us!

:: Tonight is salmon and asparagus...mmm!! For this Whole30, I am going to cook all of our dinners from my new Whole30 Fast & Easy cookbook -- so far, everything has been very tasty!!

:: Hope you are all well!!

January 07, 2018

Weekend Recap

We are one week into the New Year and so far, so good...

:: Friday, we had the pleasure of a nice dinner with Jon and Nadene...we went to Copper Creek and laughed and talked and ate lots of good food! Time spent with them is always a blessing to us both.

:: Saturday, Chris had a long workout and I went into town to Hobby Lobby. I have five more pages to do in my scrapbook for hire, and needed to get more scrapbook supplies for them. The rest of the day was pretty relaxing! That evening, we went to The Mill for a going-away get-together for Vanessa and Caleb. They are now on their way to the Philippines to do mission work for a few years. We'll miss them! It was a fun evening with laughter and stories.

:: Sunday, we cleaned house and did laundry and grocery shopped. The rest of the day has been relaxing and we are planning to watch the Golden Globes this evening.

:: Week One of my Whole30 has been great! I'm officially over the awful headache detox day, so the coming three weeks should be good!!

The coming week looks to be normal and fairly quiet...we shall see how it turns out! Hope you have a great one!

January 01, 2018

2018 is Here!

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that 2018 is off to a great start for you!

We had a quiet New Year's Eve...Abilene is super cold (in the teens) and the roads were icy. The police department advised everyone to stay home if possible, so we did just that. We watched movies all day (some good and some not so good), Chris worked out on the trainer, I scrapbooked, and we watched the ball drop in New York. I did some reading in my new book, Wonder...I'm really enjoying the story and love the main character. Looking forward to seeing where the book goes.

I unfortunately didn't get my customary Wing Stop Last Hurrah dinner last night, due to the icy roads. But that's ok. The Whole30 has started this morning and I'm off to a good start!

We do have a bit of cabin fever...especially Chris, who was off all last week and spent a lot of time at home. He is itching to move. I hear the roads are okay now, so maybe we will get out a bit this afternoon.

My Kindle First book selections are out, and I need to go pick my new one! I also had a free selection at the Book of the Month site, so I picked that out, too. Yes, I am a book nerd :) I also bought the latest Harry Potter book with a gift card from Target. I had debated for a long time whether I wanted to read this one, since it is written in play format. Finally I think I do...we'll see how that goes!

I plan to enjoy my day off today! Then back to work tomorrow and also to a hair appointment. Much needed, those grays are really shining right now!

Hope you all enjoy your holiday!! And here's to a GOOD 2018 for us all!!

December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve

Happy New Year's Eve to you! I hope you are staying warm and safe...it is very, very cold here. 18 degrees and icy. The town has pretty much shut down, and everyone is staying snuggled up in their homes. I think it will put a damper on a lot of people's New Years Eve plans, but I am happy to ring in the New Year right where I am!

In our little home, our propane heater isn't working. Chris has had a few conversations with the dealership with troubleshooting, but nothing has been solved yet. We have our electric fireplace and two ceramic electric heaters. So we are quite cozy actually. For now, this is working fine.

In anticipation of the ice, we did the grocery shopping yesterday. So we are set for the week. I also did all of our laundry, so today has been a fun day with no chores. Chris did a 90 minute bike trainer ride and I've been scrapbooking. We've been watching movies and just relaxing. So, so nice.

I was hoping to eat some delicious Wing Stop tonight, as my "last hurrah" before starting the New Year and my next Whole 30. Butttttttt looks like this dang ice is going to prevent us from getting in to  town for that unfortunately. So I'll make some pasta that we've got here, and that will have to be it.

Tomorrow, I'll be getting back onto the wagon...wish me luck!

Not sure what else New Year's Day will hold...we shall see. Looking forward to the day off. And really hoping the ice is gone before we have to go back to work on Tuesday!!

Happy New Year's, everyone!!

December 28, 2017

Thoughts on 2018


I've been thinking a lot about the upcoming new year...and my mind is going in a lot of different directions. I want 2018 to be PEACEFUL. I want 2018 to be full of POSSIBILITY. I want 2018 to be FRESH. I want 2018 to be the year of FOOD FREEDOM and no more YO-YO. So, what kind of goals can I set in the midst of all that??? I'm not really sure. I've been thinking about it for awhile and I just can't focus or settle on anything.

I've decided to simply list out some of the things I am interested in this coming year...instead of stating big goals.

: I want to start 2018 with a Whole30 and then spend the remainder of the year solidifying my Food Freedom and MAINTAINING. No more back and forth. No more extremes at one end of the spectrum or the other.

: I want to read the New Testament entirely.

: I want to be open to anything new and fresh that comes my way.

: I want to get back to church, because I miss it. And need it.

: I want to work on being less black and white and embrace more gray.

: I want to spend a little more time on my looks...I've gotten lazy. Maybe a few less braids and a few more curls!

: I want to unplug a little more frequently...less social media and more real life.

Here's to 2018!

December 26, 2017

Christmas 2017

We had a very nice Christmas holiday here...I hope you did, as well!

Christmas Eve
Our tradition on Christmas Eve is to have a bunch of yummy snacks and open gifts. I make all of the snacks...this year, I made them at our place and we took them all over to the townhouse, where we spent the day. I made: 7 layer dip with tortilla chips and Fritos; veggies and Ranch dip; rye bread dip; cheese and sausage tray; cream cheese dip with jalapeno jelly on top with crackers; cookies and sweets. We relaxed at the townhouse and Chris and Aspen put together a new wine rack that Chris bought. We have our 100s of bottles of wine stored over there, in boxes...so he wanted to try to get a lot of it put up. We were able to get 100 bottles in the rack, so we still have 5 boxes of wine. So much wine! They were successful in their project and it was fun to watch them work together! Later that evening, we ate our snacks and then opened up gifts. That was fun, and it was so good to have Aspen there to celebrate with us. We had two Christmases without her, and it definitely didn't feel quite right. We enjoyed our time together, and we all got lots of goodies! We went back to our home that night, and the puppers spent the night at the townhouse...it was just easier than carting all of their stuff back and forth!

Christmas Day
We headed back to the townhouse around 9:30 that morning and enjoyed another relaxing day together. We opened stockings, which is always fun...and Chris and I normally just do stockings with one another, so all our gifts together were opened here. Apparently my main gift from Chris hasn't arrived yet, so still waiting on that...should be here Thursday :) Mimi had a fun day, puttering around her own kitchen making our holiday meal. I brought the green bean casserole but otherwise she cooked everything else and it was delicious! Afterwards, we lazed around...some of us may have dozed a bit (food coma!!). Around 5:00, Aspen's boyfriend, Geordon, arrived and we did Christmas with him, as well. It was fun to watch him open our gifts and enjoy that time together. After a little more food, we headed home and the kids headed out to look at Christmas lights together.

It was good, relaxing family time...we are all very, very blessed! Way more than we deserve.

If you are interested in photos, hop on over to my Instagram or Facebook accounts -- I posted lots of goodies there! Happy Holidays!

Reflecting on 2017 & My Goals

2017...to be honest, I won't really be too sad to see this year come to an end in a few days. It was a good year overall, but it was pegged with some very sad moments for me. Life feels a lot different without my sweet Fonda and sweet grandma, Flo...I'm still adjusting to the thought of them both being gone. Grief is a weird thing, and has a way of stealing joy...especially when dealing with grief over more than one loved one in a very short amount of time. I'm working through it. One good thing, though, from 2017 is that Aspen has returned to our family, and for that we are all grateful!

A brief recap on how I did with my goal to SIMPLIFY this year...

1. Bible Reading -- carry on with this goal from 2016 and complete my chronological reading plan. I made it about halfway through the plan and will work my way through the second half to complete the entire Bible by the end of 2017. Sigh. I didn't make it much farther through my chronological plan this year. It seems like there is always something else to do or read and I never get around to making this a priority. I need to. I struggle with the language in the Bible, and get stuck in all the history and the kings, etc. So I have a hard time sticking with it. I may jump ahead to the New Testament and get that whole thing read, before delving back in to the Old Testament.

2. Simplify HOME -- many things fall under this category, including: mega decluttering in each area of the house; selling or donating items we no longer need; preparing our house for selling; selling our house and paying off ALL of our debt; downsizing our living space. This goal, I am happy to report, was accomplished in 2017 with gusto!! And it makes me super, super happy! We decluttered and sold so much of our stuff! We sold our 3,000 square foot house on an acre of land and moved into a 39' 5th wheel travel trailer! It feels sooooo good to not be drowning in STUFF. We paid off most of our debt! This has created such a freedom for us, and it is a lovely space to be in. GOAL SUCCESS!

3. Simplify PASSIONS -- determine what I really love to do, and where my God-given talents really reside. Then figure out ways to make those discoveries a bigger part of my life, everyday. Do what I love. Remove the rest. I am still working on this one...it's a tough goal for me. Why is it so hard to determine what I'm passionate about? My brain freezes up when I try to think about it. I'll figure it out one day!

4. Simplify HEALTH -- stop stressing over eating; do what feels right and choose healthy as often as possible while continuing the learning process. Pare down my fitness routine to cardio, weights, and stretching -- create a simple sweat plan and stick to it. I did a few Whole30s (and even a Whole60!) in 2017...I always feel GREAT when I'm doing one and they get me in line and feeling good. But I always yo-yo back again and I am so tired of that. I am either 100% in or 100% out. I need to find a happy middle ground, but that is not my personality. Something to still work on for sure.

December 17, 2017

Week & Weekend Recap

:: Crazy Week is over...and I am sighing a big sigh of relief. This coming week should be fairly busy, and then hopefully, the week of Christmas will be really, really slow and I can catch up on some things. I am off on Friday the 22nd, and am looking forward to that four-day holiday weekend.

:: Our End-of-Year party was on Wednesday...it was at the Civic Center. We wore our colors that were associated with our word for 2018, and had about an hour for the cocktail hour. We had some professional photos taken and ate some appetizers. Then we all found our seats and the evening began. It was a Sabbatical wrap up, and there were some great videos of people talking about their experiences and their testimonies. There would be a few videos, then we'd break for the next course of the meal; then more videos and the next coarse; etc. The food was really good -- we had duck and lamb and Kobe steak, along with some veggie sides; and for dessert we had a chocolate cake and a berry cheesecake. It was all very delish! I only took one photo all evening -- crazy! When we get our professional photos back, I will post those on Instagram for you to see!

:: Thursday, we had our company-wide meeting -- we had three great speakers and a great workout session, too! It was a really good morning and we finished it up with lunch. Then it was back to work for the afternoon.

:: Friday, we had Santa Kris which is when our department gets to meet with Kris and recap the party and the meeting...and we also get our tenure bonuses from him, which is always a super nice thing!

:: Friday evening, Chris worked out and then I met him for dinner at Little Ninja...mmm!

:: Saturday, I went to the December crop at Kim's house and it was a lovely day! I was able to get a lot done on Kasi's scrapbook. I have 19 of 30 pages done, yay!!! We had great chats all day and watched Hallmark Christmas movies. And also ate cupcakes that Allison made, mmm mmmm!!!

:: Saturday evening, I met Chris and Mimi at Jojo's for dinner so we could see Aspen and Geordon (he was in town working there this weekend, to help them out while someone else was out). We had the yummy catfish!

:: Sunday was chores -- laundry and grocery shopping and cleaning. Mimi came out to visit us for a bit, too...

Hope you all have a super week!

December 12, 2017

Two Days Down - Three to Go

:: Two days down on Crazy Week...

:: Working on a bit of a headache this afternoon and evening...using my Panaway and hoping to keep it at bay.

:: Tonight we are having ranch fish, steamed carrots and wild rice with olives...mmmm!

:: Looking so forward to scrapbooking this coming Saturday! I'm hoping to make some great progress on my scrapbook for hire. I also want to get caught up in my Book journal...all the books I have read lately. I'm having trouble getting into my December book club pick...I need to buckle in and try to get far enough in that I find some interest. We are reading The Christmas Sweater...

:: I was finally able to get a strand of outdoor lights, so now our front door is decorated and all lit up!

:: Tomorrow evening is our Christmas party! It will be more of a show...there are going to be videos about our Sabbatical year. I'm hoping the food is yummy! We also have the option to pretty much wear whatever we want...there is no theme or dress code. We are supposed to pick one word that we want to focus on in 2018, and wear a color that symbolizes that word. Mine is going to be inner-peace, and I'm wearing very light pink. Will be interesting to see what others wear.

:: Hubby is home! Time to eat!

December 10, 2017

Weekend Recap

:: Friday, Chris worked out after work and I headed home to spend a little time with the puppers and feed them. Then I picked Chris up from the office and we went to dinner at Sharon's and had some yummy BBQ.

:: Saturday, Chris had a long run and I did some laundry and grocery shopped. I also got quite a few scrapbook pages done in my scrapbook for hire! Yay! Then that evening, we headed into town to take care of some errands. We spent a good bit of time at Hobby Lobby, then stopped at the Natural Food Store, Academy, and Market Street...once we were done with those places, we ate dinner at Casa with a gift card -- love free dinners!!

:: Sunday, Chris had a long bike ride in beautiful 70 degree weather! We are enjoying gorgeous days, but the nights are getting down into the 30s. We had 19 degrees one night this week!! I did more scrapbooking, wrapped presents, and made a potluck dessert for our Marketing lunch tomorrow. Then we met the Halfmann family for our annual Christmas Card photo shoot! More on that in a minute. Afterwards, we picked up the dogs and then headed to the townhouse to help Mimi decorate for the holidays. We had a good time getting the place all festive, and then I picked up some Wing Stop for dinner. Then we headed on home.

:: The photo shoot -- I had scoped out a nice area to take the photos this year. It is on my daily from work to home, and it's right off the highway at the entrance of a subdivision. So, we met there and proceeded about the business of getting the photos we wanted. Well, we were almost done...we were just setting up the tripod to get our annual group photo. Then we notice a woman walking our way. She was very huffy and started telling us that we were on private property, that Kim's family shouldn't have parked their cars in front of her house, that she has kids! And that she didn't want her house in our photos! Ummmmm, ok? #1, we were right off the highway, outside of the subdivision fence. It wasn't her property. #2, we never saw her kids. What did they have to do with anything? #3, ok they could have parked somewhere else...but what was it harming? #4, you couldn't even see her house in the photos we were taking. She was being incredibly ugly for what the situation actually was. So we were all a bit taken aback. Then she spun around and stormed off, and said she was going to take pictures of our license plates and call the sheriff. Good grief!! So, we all start walking back to our cars. She spun off in her car, and we all drove off. Chris and I headed home, and the Halfmann headed into Abilene. Kim later told me that the woman FOLLOWED them!!!!! All the way into Abilene, which is about 10 minutes. Wowza. Merry freaking Christmas lady!!!!!!! In all these years (about 15 or so!!) we have never had anything like this happen to us. So, that was our adventure today! Luckily, we were able to get some good pictures I think! I'll get them tomorrow from Kim and work on our Christmas card tomorrow night!

:: Crazy week ahead -- the craziest week of the year. All of the sales team will be in the office for a week long meeting. We have our Christmas party Wednesday evening. We have our company-wide meeting on Thursday. Annual reviews are due and I have to finish up my six employees. I have our Marketing gift exchange tomorrow at lunch. Chris has a work dinner tomorrow evening. Busy busy busy and a tad too stressful for my liking. But, we will get through it.

Hope you all have a great week!

December 06, 2017

Hump Day

:: I have been thrown off all week, since I was off work on Monday! But, apparently today is Wednesday :) I got my allergy shot after work, so it must be!

:: Finally got a workout in after work...it seems to be more and more difficult to fit in for some reason. Felt good to move the legs and get the heart rate up. Watched Gilmore Girls and Grey's Anatomy while doing so. Chris is swimming.

:: Made delicious shrimp and sausage jambalaya this evening for dinner and oooh it was so tasty!

:: I received the metal straws that I ordered! I'm loving the flavor of water with essential oils -- especially peppermint or lemon. The thing with oils, though -- I have to drink them from a metal or glass cup, and a metal straw because the oils are so concentrated and they break down the chemicals in the plastic straws. Definitely don't want those chemicals in my water!

:: I'm waiting to receive the foundation I bought from Younique. Excited to try it because it is full coverage and will hopefully help me cover up the sun damage on my face. I'll keep you posted. The Rodan & Fields Reverse regimen I tried didn't work at reversing the sun damage, unfortunately.  So without going to the dermatologist, the only thing I'm left with is covering it up. We shall see!

:: This weekend, I need to do some Christmas shopping and I need to scrapbook for the album I'm working on for Kasi. Busy busy!

:: And then next week...ooooooo eeeeeeeee....the craziest, busiest week of my entire year. The sales managers will be in town for a week-long meeting, we have our Christmas party, and we have our company-wide meeting. I also have to finish up 6 annual reviews for my team, and meet with each of them to discuss. Lots and lots going on. I need to eat my Wheaties.

December 04, 2017

Weekend Recap

We had a great weekend!! AND I took today (Monday) off work, too!! Woo hoo! I was able to catch up on the laundry and grocery shopping, etc today, and that was nice. I also decided to hang some white Christmas lights inside our trailer, and now it feels festive! I tried to put some outside, around our front door -- but the ones I bought were a little too fragile and a few bulbs broke...and so only half my strand works. Blah. Will need to buy a new strand.

But, let's talk about the weekend!

Chris and I left after work on Friday, and arrived in Spicewood, TX, around 10:15. It was a fairly stressful drive, watching out for all the deer. We saw at least 15 deer, and also about 15 dead deer on the side of the road. We arrived at the barndominium Air BnB, and pretty much said hello to the owners and went to bed. We had an early morning the next day.

We got up at 5:45, and headed to the race site at 6:15. The race took place at Spicewood Vineyards, which was a nice winery in the area. Chris checked in and got his packet, and then we waited for the 8:30 start time. The course was extremely hilly, and was tough!! They all set off, and I relaxed at the winery until the runners started returning. Chris ended up getting third place overall, so that was super exciting!! He was thrilled with that result, and super tired from those hills! At the award ceremony, he also found out that he got first place in his age division!! So, he received a second medal, and also a bottle of the vineyard's wine! So fun!!

After the race, they had local beer for the runners. as well as wine from the winery. There was also a catered brunch, which was delicious!! We sat outside on the patio and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and weather...and then the guy who won the race showed up at our table. He sat and chatted with us for a bit, and that was fun! We discovered that he is Hal Hidgon's grandson! Hal Higdon is a big name in marathons, and has a lot of training plans, etc. So Chris was pretty stoked to meet his grandson! He was an interesting guy, and very smart -- he is getting his masters degree and plans to work somewhere like NASA. Wow!

After we got done with brunch, we decided to check out another of the wineries in town. Stone House Vineyard was quaint and had some yummy wine, too...we enjoyed a little time out on their patio. Then we headed to our barndominium to rest a bit and to meet the donkeys!!!

In the daylight, we were able to see more of the place itself, and it was so nice! The barndominium concept is interesting...looks like a metal barn on the outside, but inside it looks just like a normal house! They had it decorated so cute, and our room was up a flight of stairs on the second floor. We had a very nice bedroom and our own bathroom...the couple, Brandon and Jana, were very nice and we enjoyed getting to know them a bit! They opened a bottle of Champagne when we arrived, and we stood outside with the donkeys for awhile. Those two donks were so very sweet and friendly, I loved it!! After awhile, we decided that we would all go to dinner together...so we headed to The Grove for a delicious meal and we enjoyed our time with them. Afterwards, we sat around in their living room, chatting and playing with their three Schnauzers...very nice evening.

Sunday morning, Jana made us a delicious breakfast and we chatted some more...then we packed up and headed out. It was definitely a great Air Bnb experience! Photos are on my Instagram and Facebook pages!

From there, we headed to Fredericksburg...enjoyed a glass of wine at our favorite winery, Grape Creek, and then had such at the Brewery. It was a quick trip, but so glad we were able to stop through. Then, it was home for us! We picked up our sweet pups and settled back in at home.

We get to have so many fun experiences because of Chris' running! What a blessing! I am so proud of him and the great run he had in Spicewood!!! Now, he continues with his training until April, when he'll do a half Ironman and then a full Ironman!!!

November 29, 2017

Howdy

:: This week has been an interesting one...Monday was spent playing catch up at work, after being gone for a week. That is always a bit of a doozy! Back to the grind stone.

:: Tuesday, I woke up with a migraine, and it got worse and worse as the day went on. Finally, at 4:30 pm, I couldn't take it any longer and had to go home. I was in bed by 5:00 with my two puppers, and that is pretty much where we stayed until 11:00 am Wednesday. This was definitely the worst migraine I've ever had...not sure why it was so intense, but I was not a fan! I tried every trick I know, and nothing helped. Finally went to sleep. I woke up this morning and thought it had gone away, but once I sat up I quickly realized that it was still there and not better. I ended up taking the morning off as well. Nicole, the girl who introduced me to essential oils, texted me -- I work with her hubby and he told her that I had a migraine. She told me to use the Panaway oil on my forehead and neck, and that actually helped quite a bit. Definitely took the edge off and made me able to function. Glorious!! I went in to work for the afternoon and then got my allergy shot and headed home.

:: This evening, I am diffusing my first oils in my new diffuser and it smells sooo good in here! And on top of that, the oils I chose are good for migraines and allergies. I did a mixture of peppermint, lemon, and lavender. Mmmm!

:: This weekend, Chris has a half marathon race!! He's a little nervous, since he hasn't done a race in awhile. He's also been splitting his focus between swimming and biking too, so we'll see how it goes. I think he is going to do great!! It is taking place in Spicewood, TX at a winery there. We are excited to get away and see what he can do!

November 24, 2017

Annual Trip to STL

We have had such a great week in my hometown, St. Louis...we always really enjoy our time here. It is full of friends and family and relaxation...

We thankfully had an uneventful drive in...we made it to Joplin Friday night, and had breakfast at Cracker Barrel with our friends Jordan and Lauren on Saturday morning. It's always good to spend a little time with them, they are such a sweet couple! Lauren even shared some of her new t-shirt designs with us, and I am excited because there is a V-neck triathlon support t-shirt coming soon! Yay! They have a great little company called Energy Lab Apparel, and Chris owns one of each of their designs.

We arrived at my mom's house around 3:00, and after Chris got in a long workout, we ate the delicious dinner that Mom had made for us -- her famous roast beef sandwiches and her even more famous chocolate cherry cake!!! Mmmm! She spoils us. We enjoyed the evening together, chatting and laughing and playing rummy!

Sunday, 11.19.17
On Sunday, we met the Repps at Mimi's Cafe for dinner...it was so good to see them all! It was definitely a bittersweet event, because it was our first get-together without our Fonda. I definitely felt her absence, very strongly...but it was so good to see that everyone seems to be doing ok as they move forward. We talked about how Dronda and Maisie were going to cook Thanksgiving dinner together, using the notes they had made with Fonda the Thanksgiving before. More than anything, I pray blessings of sweet peace over this amazing family...they are so special to me.

Monday, 11.20.17
On Monday at 6:30 am, Mom and I left to make our way to my grandparents house. Mom took my grandpa to an eye doctor appointment, and I stayed at their condo with my grandma to visit. We had such a nice chat, and she looked through a few of my new digital scrapbooks. It was fun to share those with her! It was special time together, and I am grateful for it. After Mom and Grandpa returned, Mom and I went and had lunch at Goodcents and did some quick shopping. I needed to find something to wear to our upcoming Christmas party, and I was able to find something! That evening, Chris and I met my cousin, Shelly, and her beautiful family for dinner at The Fox and The Hound. We had a great visit -- they are a group of very funny people! We love laughing with them, and getting to know their great kiddos better!

Tuesday, 11.21.17
On Tuesday, we met my friend, Amy, and her hubby, Dukes, for a sushi dinner at Wasabi. Amy and I have been friends since fifth grade, and I am so thankful to have this sweet friend in my life for so long! We ate a lot of delicious sushi and had lovely conversation with them...there was a lot to catch up on!

Wednesday, 11.22.17
On Wednesday, Chris had an appointment at a bike shop called Swim Bike Run...he did a Guru Fit test, which measures a lot of different components in order to assemble the "perfect" custom bike just for him. He's been doing a lot of research and knew exactly what he wanted to buy...the neat thing about getting it here in STL is that he didn't have to pay sales tax. They ordered the parts and they will assemble the bike for him...and then they will mail it to our house in Texas! He is a very excited boy! This bike, and especially the wheels, will take valuable time off his race time, and he wants every advantage he can get!! While he was doing the three hour test, I did some shopping at The Rack, Kohl's, and Target. I realized just how much I really do not enjoy shopping anymore. It's a little overwhelming to me. But it was some good Me time, for sure. That evening, we met my cousin, Katie, and her new boyfriend, Scott, for dinner at TGI Fridays...it was fun to get to know Scott a little better (we really liked him!) and to laugh with them. Katie always tells the best stories! :) While in that neck of the woods, we also stopped at a little French bakery to buy a box of macaron cookies, mmm!

Thursday, 11.23.17
Thursday was Thanksgiving! Chris decided to not run in the Turkey Trot this year, so it was a slower paced morning. Mom actually let me help quite a bit with the cooking and prep this year, so I enjoyed that! It's a big job for just one person, so I hope I was helpful to her! Everyone arrived around 12:00 and we ate around 12:30...this was one of the best meals I can remember! Everything tasted sooo good! It was nice to chat with my Olender side of the family and hug on my grandparents a little more! We all have so much to be thankful for!

Friday, 11.24.17
On Friday, Chris and I slept in a bit and then watched The Walking Dead...we are finally caught up on the two episodes we missed. Then he got started on yet another long workout and here I am, documenting our great week! It's Black Friday and I think we are going to avoid all the madness. We will probably meet my mom somewhere for our final dinner, before we start getting packed up to leave in the morning. Not looking forward to the 13 hour drive (we always do the drive back all in one day)...but, it will also be good to get home to our two, sweet puppers! We miss those little four-leggers!

If you would like to see photos, there are many posted on my Instagram and Facebook accounts!

November 12, 2017

Ode to a Deer

In my last post, I mentioned that we had a bit of an adventure on our trip from Texas to Missouri for my grandma's funeral. Here's the scoop!

We left work on Friday and got on the road around 4:30. Our plan was to make it to Joplin, MO that night, and then finish up the rest of it the next day. Our plan got a bit waylaid.

Around 11:00 pm, on a fairly deserted tollway, we hit a deer that was in the middle of the highway. Going around 75 MPH. He was suddenly just there, and we couldn't avoid him. Chris didn't even have time to put his foot on the brake. We hit and the impact was on the front and hood...he ended up hitting the windshield and landing in the middle of the road. All of the lights on the car's electrical system started going haywire, and the car just shut completely down.

After checking to make sure we were both uninjured, we got out of the car and frantically tried to figure out what to do. We were on a long road trip, in an unfamiliar city. Late at night on a road with minimal cars. Oi. First, Chris called 911...he was told that since our accident didn't involve another vehicle, they were unable to help. So they transferred us to a tow truck company. After talking with them, Chris hung up and we stood there waiting.

In the meantime, about 6 additional cars ran over the deer that we had hit, since it was in the middle of the road. The first one ended up circling back around to see what she had hit, and then she pulled over to make sure we were ok. Her name was Sherri, and she was a very nice woman...she decided she would wait there with us until the tow truck arrived, because our flashers weren't working (the electrical system had shut down). About twenty minutes later, the tow truck arrived and he got us loaded onto his truck. He offered to deliver us to a motel nearby, which was also near the tow lot he was taking our car to. We took him up on that offer and luckily got a room at the hotel.

Once we got settled in, I called the insurance company and documented our claim...then we tried to get some sleep.

The next morning, I called the rental car company and they picked us up. They put us in a Jeep Cherokee and we continued on our journey to St. Louis. The insurance company took care of towing our car over to a Ford dealership so that the insurance adjuster could estimate the damage.

Turns out they decided to total the car...so now we are dealing with getting the claim finalized and paying off the Fusion. In the meantime, yesterday we went and purchased a new car. We decided to go back to a small SUV, and I am excited -- we got a Ford Edge, in white. It drives so nice, I love it!!

If you'd like to see photos of our wrecked Fusion, or the new Edge, click on my Facebook or Instagram links on the right to go see!