Love Is....

Love Is....

Friday, June 30, 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017


~ Psalm 23 ~

"The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.  He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake."

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Jesus and Bengal Spice Tea

Chocolate milk toast!

* Family Dinner *  Axis deer steak fajitas, pasta salad, Spring mix lettuce salad, grapefruit, and milk!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Safe Arrival!

Excitedly waiting for flight our guests to arrive.
Looking into God's beautiful creation!

Heath and I prayed all day and have been praying since we booked the flights for the kids' safe arrival.  God provided them with a safe and quick flight from Omaha to Dallas!  We are grateful and will continue to pray for an awesome time together as a family!

*Heath, Justin, Jaime, and Andrew*

Nothing like a little *Whataburger* for our Nebraska family!  Justin was texting all of his friend's, letting them know what he was having for supper!  ;)

Monday, June 26, 2017


So, I had the wonderful idea to run to my PT appointment this morning, you know, multitasking.  I made the mistake of thinking that it wasn't that hot.  By the time I got there (insert HIGH humidity), 2.25 miles later, I was drenched in sweat.  Oh well, they were super nice and totally didn't mind at all.  After my session, I started heading back across the road to head home when I saw a very familiar truck drive by.  Red.DodgeTruck.RamBoxes.  Yep, it shortly thereafter circled around and my Prince Charming came and rescued.  (I think he thinks I am crazy half the time for some of the things I do, but at least it makes him laugh!)  Honestly, his timing was perfect!  I was so happy to see him and I need to work my way into this humidity so that I don't get sick again like last year.  I was also on a bit of a time crunch as I was preparing to leave for work for the rest of the day.

Rough life at the office for Petey!
Yes, he put himself in this fort.
*3 beds*

After work, I met Heath over at Bill's as he was reorganizing his pickup for the kids' arrival tomorrow.  I had done all the prep work for dinner before I left for work.  I stopped by the house to pick it up and threw some quinoa and noodles on the stove.  We had deer with a thai fling...ginger and coconut milk over quinoa (me) and noodles (Heath).  Click *here* for the recipe, but I didn't really follow it.  Just used it as a guideline for spices and such.  Turned out pretty good for spur-of-the-moment idea!

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Heath and I had a leisurely morning as we took our time going down to eat breakfast at our hotel.  Funny story:  I was super excited to eat outside on the hotel veranda under the big ole' shade trees.  On the way out the door I held the door for a gentleman and his son.  Little did I know there was only one table left.   This was *such* a good reminder for me:  "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."  Thank you Lord for the subtle reminders each day!

We headed back out to the lake for a day in resting in God's beauty.  Big~beautiful clouds danced above us blocking out the heat of the sun yet letting just enough rays through to warm the water.

African basket in tow, snacks, beach towels!  We found a nice little
tree for some added protection from the sun!

Jesus Calling is a devotional book that I have been given as a gift many times.  Now, I know why.  I finally picked it up towards the beginning of the year and it is fantastic!  I cannot say enough about this book.  It speaks to my heart each day when I read.  It doesn't matter if I am behind or tracking right along, the words  Please find the following excerpt from June 20th.

God uses so many things in our lives to point us to Him.  The better we know Him, the more and more we notice these things (big or small), the more and more peace and joy we experience.  He LOVES US!

**Side note**  We found an awesome kolachi place in West, Texas.  On the way down to Austin we barely made it before close at 10, we made it in plenty of time with lots of fresh, hot choices!  Heath's particular favorites are the blueberry and cream cheese and the strawberry and cream cheese.  My favorite, the monkey bread/cinnamon roll with raisins!  They warm them up to amazing-ness!  This is a must see if ever you find yourselves anywhere close to West.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Day at the Lake

We arrived in a beautiful summer shower and left with the *sunshine.*  We set up our little spot under a tree for a bit of shelter from the rain and it was so peaceful.  We relaxed as we felt the raindrops gently falling and listened to the waves crashing upon the rocks below.  After the rain stopped, we got to try out our new floaty rafts which worked great!  It was a perfect day at the lake!  According to a local, they had a record breaking day yesterday at 104*!  So glad it was waaaay cooler and overcast today!

Photo shoot and fun dinner at a local Southwestern restaurant.

We even got to eat outside on the patio!

My man!

Heath bought me vanilla ice cream
with frozen blueberries on top at
Amy's and then walked with me
through the beautiful streets
of downtown.  So good!
**Random face!**

Friday, June 23, 2017

~Mini Tri Morning~

"Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be."   
  -Dr. George Sheehan (1918-1993) cardiologist, runner, author

I got wild hair last night and decided to do a mini tri this morning, so I did.  I swam 1200 m (kick-only), biked 13.1 miles, and ran 3.1 miles.  Thank you Lord for my ability, desire, and drive!  I had the opportunity to try out my new seat and handlebar set up we worked so hard on yesterday.  Outcome:  front is excellent, seat - much better, just need to get some miles in the saddle and see if we need to make a few more small changes.

Sweat, sweat, and more sweat.
Sweat in eyes.

I was ssssssooooooo excited for breakfast when I got home!  I cooked some eggs with fresh kale and basil, S + P, and leftover jalapeƱo brat (with the casing removed).  I added more protein with a scoop of peanut butter and a swirl of my Wyoming honey from Morgan!  To get my fruit this morning, I made a smoothie.  It was pretty simple this morning....frozen blackberries from Sprout's, frozen banana, ice, and almond milk.  That's it.  Simple.Fresh.Delicious.

This is a picture of my new seat.  It was a good ride today...finally out on the roads.  Since I was solo, I just hung around Cooper neighborhoods for lower traffic and congestion.  I wore bright orange and my reflective vest for added safety.

One of the other pieces of advice from my seat fit yesterday was to use the wheel on my road bike (so graciously loaned to me by Kristin) and put my trainer tire (rubber part) on it.  This way, while on my trainer, I won't wear out my nice tire/wheel combination.  What a great way to use your resources!

Headed for a weekend with my hubby followed by our guests of honor arriving next week.  Justin, Andrew, and Jaime will flying in on Tuesday evening.  We are super excited and pray for a safe trip and a great week of fellowship, connection, and family.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Day Off

I knew today was going to be a really packed "day off" so I didn't get up before the sun.  It was nice!  I went for a quick 30 minute trainer ride this morning before it got hot, then went straight over to physical therapy.  I had an excellent 2 hour session on the pilates machines and worked with really nice people!

While I was in therapy, I received a text from my friend I was meeting for lunch at 1 pm.  She was getting hungry and wanted to meet earlier.  I love it!  She and I worked together remotely while I was living in Nebraska.  Today, was the first time to meet in person.  I hurried up and showered and headed her direction!  We ate at a place called Jason's Deli and had great conversation.

On my way home, I stopped by PlayTri McKinney to have my bike seat refitted.  It was a great session!  I learned so much about my bike and how to make it work for me.  Even though I just got it last summer, my body has changed and so now we make the appropriate adjustments to the bike to make it even more comfortable.  So great!

After the bike fitting, I met Heath over at Bill's to go for a relaxing swim in their beautiful pool!  Dinner and then a little Magnum PI reruns with my hubby!  Crazy to just relax, I like this!

Fresh dinner!  Watermelon, carrots, kale, asparagus,
homemade chicken salad with grapes, and feta.
Add a little S + P and you've got YUMMY!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Texas Heat

YAAAAYYAYAY!!  I made fried eggs this morning WITHOUT destroying the yolk.  They were good, but still not as good as Heath's.  He has these perfected!

Pictured:  MAH cup with my name on it (thank you MAH!), yellow swim cap (a favorite from a fellow swimming
friend), Speedo goggles (been swimming with this style for years, and my new Garmin VivoActive HR.
Combined with some sun and water created a great combination!

After a few appointments this morning, I did a brief kick-only session on a kick board on loan from my physical therapist at 11 am.  (Interesting concept....I had to call the office and ask how to use the!  She said I will learn more about the ergo-dynamics and proper body alignment tomorrow in my PT session.)  Looking forward to it!

It's been sooo long since I swam with the sun out that I totally had to adjust many times while on my back.  While kicking, the lane lines and I had several disagreements as I had to close my eyes due to the shiny, bright, blinding *sun,*  In the mornings, while still dark, it is a totally different experience!  Today, they had the aerator things on (you can see them on the right side of picture above) that sprinkle over the surface of the pool to help keep it cool and safe for swimming laps.  This pool is absolutely amazing and I am blessed to have the privilege of training here!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

RECAP: Monday

SOooo, on Sunday evening, I chose to take another day off swimming (I usually swim M, W, F or some combination of those days).  P.S.  I had also decided prior to this decision, that I would go to practice and just do kick sets.  I finally came to the realization that I would be better off in the long run to see the physical therapist prior to entrance back into the pool.  You know, get the go ahead and not be stubborn....anyone ever wrestled themselves with this question?!?!!  SOOOO....this is how I spent my morning before work......

I met my dear friend Nancy for our weekly fellowship.  We finished up making earrings for the rest of the folks at my clinic.  Earrings are so fun and just show so much personality.  It is a JOY to do crafts with Nancy and chat about just about anything and everything!  She is such an inspiration to all who have the pleasure of meeting her!

From Nancy's, I headed to meet my new physical therapist.  The one with 25+ years of experience.  First, I called to be sure I knew where I was going, but I had the wrong name of the place.  After several phone calls including one to the ortho doctor who recommended this place, I finally got her number and arrived and my destination early!  This is literally so close to my house, I could walk!  ....this mini-confusion was a bit stressful, but once I arrived....I was wowed!

The moment I walked in, I was greeted with smiles, happiness, and joy!  Later, I learned that Mrs. practices PT with her husband.  Their daughter has a spa at the same location which has tons of different services.  It's the whole package for healing!  So awesome!

They spent over 2 hours with me for my initial evaluation.  She took me into a room and listened to my concerns and did a physical exam.  Immediately she identified my scoliosis and started working from there on her treatment plan for me.  She is the first person to ever treat my WHOLE body and not just the symptomatic body part.  Several of the small things that I have going on, we discussed and she explained scientifically the how and why they were happening.  The best part is when she told me that we would correct them.

She then sent me out into the "gym."  This had such a cool feel.  I stepped into the "gym" just in awe.  It was full of joyful patients and equipment that looked like it was from the olden days.  See photo below that I borrowed off of their website.  (Stonebridge Physical Therapy  I have never seen anything like this.  Fascinating!

 Stonebridge Physical Therapy
The Gym - photo credit:  Stonebridge Physical Therapy

I was greeted by a nice gentleman that I soon learned was my physical therapist's husband.  He taught me the first 5 important parts of pilates including breathing and posture.  It was soooo much information.  He worked through it all with me step - by - step.  While I was learning, we were talking about Moses and the Bible.  After the pilates session, they hooked my shoulder up to electrode thingys and put an ice pack over the top.  I sat there while it did it's work and talked to Mr. about diet and food and being as clean as possible.  So much was packed into this 2 hours, that I am just thankful, so very thankful and very hopeful for a full body recovery!

I stayed so long at PT, I had to hurry home to change, eat, and head to work for the afternoon shift.  I made it just in time!  I got off work at 7:30 pm and my wonderful Prince Charming was outside waiting for me.  My good friend Kristin was in town from Nebraska, staying at the Gaylord Texan for a work conference.  Heath drove me down to Grapevine so that I didn't have to worry about traffic after a long day at work.  Also, so that I didn't have to drive after dark.  He knows how tired I get at night.

He dropped me off at the front door and just waited while Kristin and I had a great visit.  He is truly amazing!

Big atrium surrounding beautiful indoor gardens and water features.

Giant/Texas-sized cowboy boot statue.

Kristin and I got our chai tea at a Starbucks and walked on all the paths inside and outside of the Gaylord.  It was so fun to catch up and walk together.  We used to catch up 1-2 times each week on the Y trail in Scottsbluff.  I miss our times together, but know she is doing well!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sunday, June 18, 2017

It's Race Day!

In the Spirit of JOY ~ what a great way to spend the Lord's day.  The whole day was blessed by our good Lord.  It was just unbridled pure joy to be with these special people today!

First thing this morning, Heath took me to a Krispy Kreme doughnut store to make a purchase to surprise his Aunt Tiny.  (She really enjoys these donuts and has a hard time finding them.  Heath is always so good at surprises and remembering people's preferences.)  Usually, I would probably stay in the car, but Heath suggested I go in with him this morning.  Much to my surprise, I quickly learned on days their "Hot Now" sign is illuminated out front, go on in for a fresh, hot FREE doughnut right off the line!  What a neat tradition they have to share the joy!

We took the fresh doughnuts over to Bill's house and ate them on their beautiful veranda as the waterfalls splashed in the the background.  It was lovely, sitting with Tiny and Barb just chatting.  Shortly after our nice visit, it was time to head to Justin, Texas.  TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY.  Last July for Heath's birthday, my mom, his mom, and I all went together to get him a race car driving package through Team Texas (  His dad and brother had both done it and thought he would really enjoy it.

He is SOOOO incredibly H*A*N*D*S*O*M*E and all mine!!

We had originally scheduled a date for this driving school back last year, but it got weathered out.  How perfect was it that Barb chose to come down and share in the joy.  When we booked this date in June, we had no idea it was Father's Day.  It was meant to be because Barb got to spend her Father's Day with both of her boys!

They had classroom/garage training then on-course training!

Barb had really been wanting to take her boys out to eat somewhere and we got to do that today too!  She took us all to Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen (  I know Heath and Bill both like this place because Bill took Heath here last year for his birthday.  It is phenomenal food and an awesome environment.  It is always packed which is an excellent sign!

This couldn't describe my man better!

We ended this wonderful day poolside at Bill's house.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


A busy Saturday morning at the clinic this morning and then ahhhhhhhh....

A beautiful afternoon in a beautiful place with my beautiful family!

Friday, June 16, 2017

When Adversity Comes

This is posted on our bathroom mirror!**

After my shoulder popped last Saturday at work, so I did some research and found a new orthopedic doctor.  Our Friday morning started with Dr. Nickson and team at Next Step Orthopedics  (Sport Medicine) (  Dr. Nickson and his nurse were awesome and I would recommend to anyone!  He reviewed my previous MRI, took shoulder x-rays, and scoliosis x-rays.  I am so happy he took the scoliosis x-rays because I haven't had that done in a while to see if my curve has progressed.  He definitely could see the curve causing some of my shoulder pain.  It is at 25* currently and he said that it can progress to up to 1* per year.  When I told Mom the curvature, she was happy and said that it hasn't changed much....I don't remember what it was after I got out of wearing my back brace in high school.

Outcome:  Dr. Nickson said that I have pain in the front of the shoulder because of tendonitis of my bicep where it connects to my shoulder and pain in the back of the shoulder due to weakness of muscles around my scapula from scoliosis.  He gave a cortisone shot to bathe the tendon to get reduction of inflammation and hopefully some pain relief.  He also set me up with a physical therapist who he said if anyone can fix it, she can with her 25 years of experience.  Followup with him in 1 month.  Good news, I start PT on Monday!

Next Step:  pulling out of Buffalo Springs Ironman 70.3 on Sunday June 25th.  We are blessed to have searched and found another willing soul to swim the 1.2 miles, wet suit legal, leg of our 70.3 in Lubbock next weekend.  Today, I got final word from the race director that I had been officially removed from the team and he has been added!  This was a blessing, a tough but easy call.  It's hard to let go of a goal, but I have learned that listening to my body is most important.  Longevity of that shoulder is what I'm after, not just one more race to put in the books.  If I have longevity, there will be many more races throughout my lifetime, Lord willing.  :)

What was awesome about this appointment this morning is that Heath was able to attend with me.  This meant the absolute world to me.  There is always so much information given at these types of appointments and honestly, he can describe the diagnosis better than I can.

After the appointment, I got to be with him all day on his jobsites because I had the day off!  God is good!  He knew that I needed that added support after pulling out of that relay so he gave me blessed, valued time with my hubby.  Instead of sitting around all next weekend wondering how my team is doing, Heath planned a weekend getaway for us.  I'm excited now for next weekend and not as bummed about pulling from race.

God's plan is always the best!

**So the above is a picture of our bathroom mirror.  The top yellow sticky note is a love note from my husband that I found one day in my gym bag.  The next picture is a picture of my dog Briggs with the word Chairein.  This is the greek word meaning "consider it pure joy."  This is part of a very influential Bible study I did back in Nebraska on James.  James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."  Attached with Briggs just loving life and smiling.  Just like I need to remember all the time, God's got this!  Then, as soon as I was asked to swim in the 70.3 relay, I started looking at the course and praying about it.  I posted the course and reminded myself to keep my eyes focused on the Lord and not my own strength.

God's Got This!!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thankful for Time

After I got off work this afternoon, I stopped by the Bonnie Wenk Dog Park and took myself for a lovely walk along several trails (concrete, but still surrounded by big trees).  It was nice and hot.  I started out walking, but then had the strong urge to run.  Soon, I realized that the shoulder still plays a very important role in running.  Due to limitations, I would run short intervals which worked as my interval training.  Whenever my heart rate would drop below 100 bpm, I would settle into a little run, then walk again until my heart rate dropped to around that 100 bpm range and then run again.  It was fun and it took care of my need to run for the moment.  You get to see more trail that way much faster.  :)
I took full advantage of my half day at work and visited a farmer's market after my walk!  This is one I'd been wanting to experience for a long time, so I stopped!  This farmer's market is located in  the beautiful Adriatica area.  I purchased some fresh, locally grown, perfectly imperfect kale, arugula, peaches, and asparagus.  The arugula had been attached by some beetle and the peaches had little dimples in them.  Embrace the imperfections of nature in it's natural form.  YUMMY!  I look forward to creating something fun with these  stunning ingredients!
Heath was home when I got home, so that was an awesome surprise.  We didn't have any oblications, so both had the opportunity to relax.  (I worked on our new scrapbook.)  I had NO idea what time it was, but I was getting hungry so I made us some nachos.  After we were finished, I asked Heath, "So what do you want for supper?"  He laughed and just shook his head.  I eat ALL the time!  Apparently, this was supper since it was 6:30 pm.  I happily went back to scrapbooking after we ate.

Suddenly, I got up from the table and walked into the bedroom.  I came back out wearing my bike clothes.  I sort of surprised myself as well as Heath.  He was very curious as to what I was doing until I informed him that I was getting antsy and need to go for a bike.  It was getting dark, so it would be on trainer, of course.  He addressed this thought with a better idea, something easier on the shoulder...."How about a walk instead?"  he offered.

I knew he was probably right, so I went ahead and changed clothes again.  I quickly texted Raquel to see if she was up for a quick night run (no sunlight, a bit cooler).  (Run/walk, same thing right?!)  She wasn't able to run, but said I could swing by.  She lives about 1.5 miles from me, so I headed that direction after putting on my reflective vest, blue blinking light, and filling my water bottle.

It was truly my intention to just briefly stop and say hi and head back to Heath.  Upon arrival, she invited me in and  soon her son told me all about his most recent visit to Cooper Aerobic Center and about riding bikes with a stellar athlete/friend while his mom worked out.  Raquel and Gilbert set the best example for their kids, teaching them and showing them the importance of actively seeking to be healthy!

Heath and I had agreed that I didn't have to take my phone since I was just going for a short run. When I left Raquel's, I asked her text my phone so that Heath would know I was on my way home.  Somehow, all my adventures this week have turned into social ones.  I learned my lesson tonight = c-o-m-m-u-n-i-c-a-t-i-o-n.  Also, when going for a run by myself at night, take phone and tell my husband when I will be stopping by a friend's house....that way he can assume that I *accidentally* started talking again instead of getting worried or sending out a search team!  Lesson learned.  Let's just say that I am a slow learner and I have a very patient husband!  I am blessed!

Fun * Fellowship * Friends

**Insert random side note:  Have you ever wondered why we use soap?  On Monday after my bike in the am - I showered with soap and after my swim in the pm - I showered again.....and I'm not going to lie, I didn't use soap.  I figured I was clean enough from my previous shower, just needed to wash that chlorine I did!  What are your thoughts when you shower 1, 2, 3, or SOMETIMES 4 times per day (Texas summer heat + activities = lots of showering)?  Comment below!


On a totally other note, on Tuesday evening, we had another craft night.  My friend Nancy, whom I regularly hang out with on Monday's has been sharing her passion of crafts with our church.  Every second Tuesday of the month for the past several months, we have been having a Craft Night at church.  Come one, come all!  Nancy's fun-loving spirit and passion for Jesus has brought her to share with others.  I am blessed to be able to attend these nights as a way to meet other women and just down right have a fun evening!

We are working on increasing the number of attendees so we can share the *joy* of crafting and fellowship.  Nancy has a table each Sunday to show the up and coming craft.  She has people sign up so we know how many to expect.  She also is diligent in sending out emails to those who have signed up.  This month we decided to try a different way to address the group.  We created a fun, photo and link filled email through a free service called MailChimp.  Nancy has a Pinterest account with several boards to browse.  Check it out:

This month's craft was decorating flip-flops and painting canvas shoes.  Below are a few of the samples Nancy made.

See what I mean when I say she is awesome at crafts!?  These are all created and completed by Nancy!

My creation:  Bright and Summer-y

Our goal is to have enough crafts created to go to a craft show and donate the proceeds.  We are really excited as we begin to brainstorm, plan, and execute this idea!  Feel free to let us know if you have some how-to's and what not to do's for us!  :)