Our Last Snowy Day

Unless we get some crazy snow this week (which is doubtful, considering Peoria set a record high today with 60 degrees), we may have just had our last “snow” this past weekend.

Great Oaks sign

the field

Poplar parking lot and road to the pond

the camp road

close up of trees lining the road


my "last day" in the snow


goofy picture

I actually am praying we don’t get anymore snow, especially on Saturday. They are predicting a 20% chance of snow, but that’s the day we are having our “Pack the Penske Party” at camp—so NO SNOW is allowed!!


Bound for the Brave

If you remember, I did a 5K while I was in Texas last weekend! I think I did pretty good on my time (30:58), considering I hadn’t run a full 5K distance since August. I still run about 3-4 times a week, but not 3.1 miles at a time-usually only 2.

Well, tonight I went on the Waco Striders Club website, just to see if they had any pictures up from the race (they didn’t). But, they did have results….

And, believe it or not, I won 1st PLACE in my age division….

Here’s the proof:

There were 8 women in my age group and the closest next time to me was 5 minutes!

It’s almost as if I’m a real runner (remember this post)!

I just couldn’t believe it….

Now I wish I would’ve put that I lived in Illinois, instead of Texas (that would’ve really impressed them). I put my parent’s address as my registration address b/c we’re only going to live here for 10 more days….

Well, here’s to my next 5K that will probably be in March!


Our Vacation in Texas

After our weekend in Giddings, we stayed in Texas for another 7 days….I spent most of my time in Waco with my parents and Paul spent most of his time in Temple with his dad and his sister.

On Monday I totally surprised my parents….it was great!

Here’s the link about that story….

On Monday night I was able to go over and visit with the Derrick’s, a sweet, sweet family that I have known since I was a senior in high school. I am really excited to be closer to them, as well as my parents.

It was really warm most of the week we were in Texas.

Do you see the temperature?

Most days it was around 75 degrees…on Thursday it even got up to 78! Definitely warmer than Illinois! I enjoyed running outside 4 times while I was there. I even ran a 5K while I was at my parent’s.

On Tuesday I did go weigh-in at Weight Watchers in Waco…I was pleased with the results-I had lost 1.4 pounds from January 10th.

On Wednesday Paul and I went back to Giddings to look at an apartment complex. There are no rent houses in Giddings (much to our dismay), so we had to settle on an apartment. We did get approval for the apartment yesterday (Tuesday) and we “got” our address today (Wednesday). The apartment is not ideal (it’s pretty small), but I think it will be sufficient for us until we can find someplace else (or we may learn to love the apartment and stay there)….

We also ate at Whataburger, which I LOVE!!




On Thursday, while I was there visiting my mom and I had lunch with my sweet friend, John Ray. I have been friends with John since 2002…I met them while I worked at CABC (in Waco). He and his wife, Shirley, were always so sweet to me—Shirley passed away this past July, but I still remain in close contact with John.

John Ray and me

As soon as I found out we were going to Waco I was determined I wanted to go to a Baylor basketball game. I didn’t really care if it was a boy’s game or a girl’s game, as long as I got to go. Well, tickets were sold out for the boy’s game (except for single seats), so I wasn’t very hopeful that I would get to go. But, one of dad’s law partners gave us his season tickets for the boy’s game, so I got to go!

Baylor Boys


Baylor Boys

But, I think I was bad luck because they lost!

On Sunday we made the trek back to Austin to fly out. We made it to Dallas (only about a 30 minute flight), but when we got to Dallas our flight from Dallas to Peoria was cancelled because of fog in Peoria. They didn’t have any other flights going out that night either (obviously b/c of the fog) so we were re-booked for the next day. So, we went to a hotel and enjoyed an “extra night of vacation.” We did finally fly out on Monday (re-routed to Chicago) and made it home on Monday night!

I thoroughly enjoyed our vacation and am excited that we will see family again soon! We even left stuff in Texas (at my parent’s house and Paul’s dad’s house), knowing we could get it in a month….

This past Tuesday, all of my out-to-eat meals and lack of fruits/veggies caught up with me….I will NOT publish what I weighed but it was not pretty. Operation lose 5 pounds by next Tuesday is in the works!!


TEXAS, Don’t Mess with Us!

If you haven’t already heard, we are moving! Back to Texas….

Texas don't mess with us!

This sign was on my desk when I went back to work today…..a lovely gift from Bob, my boss and our pastor. He is definitely sad to see us go!

Here’s another momento from him…

Every work day at CCC (church) I have a “to-do” list for myself of stuff that has to be done for that particular day (and I check them off as I complete them)…

Do you see it?

Bob wrote on there: “Inform TX we will not be coming, going to stay in Chillicothe instead.” (and beside the ___ he wrote, “insert check here.”)

I’m really going to miss that job….

But, nonetheless, yes, we are moving! In two weeks! Paul has accepted the call to be the Minister of Youth and Worship at FBC Giddings. Giddings is on Highway 290 b/w Austin and Houston. The “big cities” close by are Austin, College Station, and Houston (all within an hour/hour and a half from Giddings)….

the city sign....

the outside of the church

Paul is very excited to be back in the ministry of a church and be on a church staff. The church (for the most part) is excited for him to come. It was a 94% vote to call him–you’re always going to have people who say no, no matter who it is or what they are going to do.

We left on Friday, January 13th to fly to Austin (from Peoria). When we left, it looked like this.

outside of our hotel window on Thursday, the 12th


the hotel parking lot


snow covered ground outside of the plane window

When we landed in Dallas (for our layover), it looked like this:

flying into Dallas-no snow!


no snow on the ground

Here we are in the plane, waiting to land

On Friday night we met some of the youth (the regulars), just to have a time to hang out and have pizza (you know pizza is a staple at most youth fellowships).

the FBC sign off of 290

Then, on Saturday morning, we met with the choir and the worship committee (I think–I don’t remember everybody that was there)….

After that meeting we met the search committee for lunch….sadly my lunch wasn’t very good, but hopefully I just ordered the wrong thing…

Over the entire weekend we stayed with a family from the church. They have a B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L home out in the country, right past Camp Tejas (if you know where that is)….This picture does not do their house justice….

I loved staying with them….they were so nice and so down-to-earth….(we joked with them that if we couldn’t find a place to live, that we could just move in with them)!

On Sunday we went to church, so Paul could teach Youth Sunday School and play a special in church.

Paul in front of the church sign

the sanctuary

We enjoyed meeting the people in the church (very few of which I remember their names)….

It was crazy how many connections we had:

  • Paul grew up in Hamilton, so a lot of people “knew” Hamilton and knew of people that had lived there
  • We met the athletic director, who grew up in Hewitt and went to Midway Middle School (where I went to school), and also his dad coached in Moody with Paul’s dad
  • Another guy grew up with my brother-in-law, Jeff
  • Another lady knew a law partner of my dad’s
  • An older couple were the grandparents of a girl that is married to Paul’s best friend growing up

Such a small world!! (And I think there were a few other connections, but I can’t remember them all)!

On Sunday night was the vote….we had a question and answer time and then they voted!  And, our world changed….

Here’s our new church home!

We don’t have a place to live…yet, but we’re getting closer! We are probably going to “roll out of” Lacon on February 5th….keep us in your prayers! (Our last day of work is February 3rd)…

I’ll do another post on our actual vacation….we stayed in Texas for another 7 days after visiting Giddings!

Woodway 5K

My parents live in a little community called Woodway, outside of Waco. On Thursday I was running (around the community) and noticed they were having a 5K this past Saturday, the 21st, to benefit the police department. I decided on Thursday I wanted to do it. Even though I have not fully run 3.1 miles since my last 5K in August (when I stress fractured my heel), I decided to do it anyway.

Let me tell you….all week the weather was gorgeous–mid 70’s! In January! It was perfect. But, on Saturday morning, it was COLD!! 40 degrees! But, I did it anyway.

I had no idea how I would do, but I did it. Here’s the before pics….

my mom's neighbor, Debbie, and me


me before the race

They didn’t have mile markers along the route, so I don’t know what my mile times were each mile, but here’s my total time:


Not too bad considering I haven’t run a full 5K since August! That time is only 10 seconds slower than my very 1st 5K race in Wenona!

I had a good time; I’m glad I did it!


Paul and I came to Texas for vacation and I completely surprised my parents!! 🙂

My mom’s best friend, Judy, was in on the secret and helped me put together a lunch with my mom on Monday and then Monday afternoon I went and surprised my dad!


Surprising my mom!

This is a picture of my dad and I that my mom took today!

my dad and me

It was a little harder to surprise my dad b/c I wasn’t sure how to get him to come down to the main receptionist desk at his law firm. The receptionist finally decided to call my dad and tell him that one of his tenants was at the front desk (my dad is real estate agent) and was giving her a really hard time and being irrate. So, dad came down to “deal with the tenant!”  IT WAS ME!!  🙂

I’m having a good time hanging out with my parents!



We have some friends who have a 4-yr old. Everyday at preschool Faith sings the “weather song”….today they would be singing the “SnowyToday” song (Each song ends with the word today, so she thinks today is actually a letter, not a word). If you ask her how to spell snowy, she’ll say S-N-O-W-Y-Today!

Today was definitely a “Snowy” day….it started snowing about 6AM this morning–and hasn’t stopped. The wind is what is bad….it just blows the snow around and around….the weather guy on the news said Peoria had gotten about 2.8 inches, which really isn’t that much, but some areas are deeper than others b/c of where the snow is being blown.

I made it back and forth to work today (at church). It was slow going but I made it!

our front yard

my feet



camp road

our driveway

In other news, unrelated to snow this past Tuesday, the 10th was my dad’s birthday!  Happy Birthday, Dad! (Sorry this picture is tiny!)

my mom and dad

And, related to Weight Watchers, I lost a pound this past week!!

Now we’re snuggled up and staying warm!



Weight Watchers Update

I haven’t done a Weight Watchers Update since November 29th. It’s not that I haven’t been going, I just haven’t blogged about it.

I’ve had little bit of struggles through the past month, but overall, it’s been fine. I think the one things that bothers me the most is my attitude towards it all. Now that I know that I did (and can) succeed with this program, it’s like I quit trying when it comes to eating and counting points. I completely stopped “tracking” back in October. Sometimes I think we (society) see success and think that we are now immune to failure. (Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know). Or maybe it’s because I now know it’s OK to gain something (unlike the time, in July, when I gained .6 (point 6) and just sobbed uncontrollably in the Weight Watchers meeting room). I think I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s OK to gain, so maybe I’m not trying as hard. (Either way, I do wish my attitude was a little bit better).

Nonetheless, I’m steady at the weight that I’ve lost, so I guess, overall, it’s OK.

Since November 29th, I’ve gained .6 pounds. My “consistency” is to lose, gain, lose, gain, lose, gain…so it’s a vicious cycle I struggle with.

I’m still well within my goal weight (of my Lifetime Membership). (I’m a little worried about this coming Tuesday b/c I’ve eaten out a lot this past week)….we shall see!

But, I just thought I would do a little comparison. I’ve been doing Weight Watchers since June 1st, so for 7 months and 7 days. I’ve lost a total of 24.6 pounds.

Here’s a comparison:

Maybe you can’t tell a huge difference, but looking back at pictures, almost a year later (or even 6 months later) I can see a difference, especially in my face….so I guess that’s what counts! (And I must feel somewhat confident in myself because I voluntarily told a male friend tonight what I weighed–like the actual number)! When I said it out loud, I couldn’t believe it I just admitted that….to a guy! So, I guess I am more confident in myself than I thought….

(Sorry the pictures are so tiny; I don’t know how to do side-by-side pictures that are big)!