Smithville 10K


This morning I drove over to Smithville (about 30 minutes away) and did the BunRun for the Cure. It’s a “fun run” that was created 3 years ago by a girl who lives in Smithville. She started it as a way to give money to Komen Austin. It’s not affiliated with Komen, but all the proceeds go towards Komen, which is nice.

This is the 1st year they’ve had the option of doing a 10K (the past two years, they’ve just done a 5K walk/run). So, if you wanted to do the 10K, you just ran the course twice.

It was a very humbling experience for me….

The last 10K I did I completed it in 1:05:33. You can read about that one here.

This one I did in 1:08:56. Three minutes doesn’t seem like that much, but in running, it’s HUGE!

I told Paul there was a choice: you could do the 5K or the 10K….so most of the “slower” runners stopped after the 5K….so the 10K was really stacked with the “good runners” I was at the bottom of the barrel when it came to running the 10K–it was humbling because I was 5th from last…..definitely different from the 1st 10K I did. But, I finished without stopping, so I guess I did what I set out to do (although I did want to be beat my time from last month)….

Oh, well… The course was also a little difficult b/c it was not “straight”–it was a lot of “run one block, turn, run two blocks, turn, run one block, turn, run straight, turn” so it was a lot of “block running” which made me almost nauseous… I was listening to a podcast while I was running and they were talking about Easter candy and all their favorite kinds of candy…I finally had to stop listening to that podcast b/c it was making my stomach hurt listening to them talk about chocolate and peanut butter (my favorite)!! 🙂

Here’s me “in action”

Here’s me at the end! (Please excuse the tornado that went through my hair)!!


a really cute sign the girl made (she had her daughter's picture blown up next to it)

And, here’s my celebration drink!

A slurpee from 7-Eleven!

Now, excuse me, but I have to go wash the sand and the grit off–it was SUPER WINDY today and I have dirt everywhere…..

Going Home

When we moved back to Texas in February, I knew my parents were excited. They love having us closer to home…

My home. My hometown. Where I’m from.

So, we have come to know Highway 77 very well. We have met in Cameron three times in the last 2 months–Paul drops me off, my parents pick me up, and then we meet again in the next couple of days.

This past Tuesday we met again at Texas Burger to do the exchange…

Mom and I went shopping, went out to eat, went to a movie, and then this morning we went to Homestead Heritage.

We went to the Fiber Craft building

wool straight from the sheep

worker "combing" the wool

ladies spinning the wool to make yarn

hand-spun yarn

a worker weaving on the loom

We also went to the Potter’s House

a worker making a lid for a ceramic pot

We also ate at the Homestead Cafe’–they were super busy but the food was pretty good….


mom and me

It was very windy!!

Overall, a very good visit….


“Doing Church”

I want to try to blog about this while it’s fresh on my mind….

What does it mean to “do church?” What does it look like and how does it play out in the real world?

Throughout our history the “purpose” of church has changed significantly and can certainly mean different things to different people.

  • For some, the church is viewed as a hospital–a place to “fix me” from my sin (to make me feel better)….
  • For some, the church is a social gathering, similar to Facebook, but face-to-face. (Although, isn’t it funny we put stuff out on Facebook that we would NEVER say out loud to people in real life)….and the art of “vaguebooking” is genius–it automatically makes people say “Oh, what’s wrong?” But, in real life (and especially in the church) people ask you, “How are you?” but they really don’t want to know the answer. A-N-Y-W-A-Y….
  • For some, the church is a place to find entertainment. Put me in the front of the stage, I want to be “entertained.”
  • For some, the church is a home base for their own mission and outreach, beyond the church walls.
  • For some, the church is just another event on the calendar, right there beside kids soccer, men’s fishing trip, women’s luncheons, and couples therapy.
  • For some, the church has no place in their life at all.
  • For some, they attend church just on the basis of, “What value does this experience add to my life?” This question is even more important in our culture today because it can easily be replaced in some other way, depending on your calendar….

So, what does it mean to “do church?”

To “do church” means:

  • Cooking hamburgers on the grill

  • The men all standing around while Cole cooks hamburgers on the grill

To “do church” means:

  • Hadley and Hayden playing with the neighborhood dog

  • Daylin, Bailey, and Aislynn playing with the neighborhood dog

To “do church” means:

  • Terry, Laci, Callie, Reina, and Adara sitting around the table talking and eating

To “do church” means:

  • Walker and Paul hanging out together

To “do church” means:

  • Sitting around the table, playing games

  • playing a silly game of Scattegories

To “do church” means:

  • spending time with your family…no matter how goofy they are!

To “do church” means….

To love, to laugh, to talk, to commune, to bless, to play, and to be.

It’s not about committee meetings, agendas, voting, bible study, or even praying….it is about a community of believers sitting around doing life….together….and that’s what we did tonight.

Tonight we “did church.” And, I invite you anytime to come “do church” with me.

Beyond the clothes, the stereotypes, the age discrimination, the boundaries…we simply lived, laughed, and loved…..we were simply “doing church.”



I know the song “Homesick” by *Mercy Me* was written by a band member to express his deep and profound feeling of loss for a family member that had passed.

I know that being homesick is not the same as having someone you love die. I know the difference, and I’m not trying to connect the two.

But, nonetheless, I’m homesick.

“If home’s where the heart is, then I’m out of place.”

In February of 2009 we moved to Illinois. This is what I wrote in May of 2009.

Today is Monday, May 25th.  It is Memorial Day and I am laying in bed, relaxing…we have the day off and we are taking advantage of it…

Today is Monday, May 25th.  Three months ago, today, we rolled into Great Oaks with a 14 foot trailer and a car in tow, knowing that our lives were about to change, but not knowing what to expect.  And, three months later, our lives are still changing and I still don’t know what to expect…

Some days it feels like it’s so natural to live here.  Like we’ve been here forever.  Other days I feel like a stranger, like I’m a guest in someone else’s house.  I think Paul and I do a pretty good job of at least “pretending” like we know what we’re doing (even if we really don’t).  There are days that I know exactly what I need to do and everything just “flows.”  And then there are other days when I feel completely lost, like a sheep looking for his shepherd, some direction or guidance to help me along the way.

Today is Monday, May 25th.  Three months and three days ago I left my comfort zone to move here to central Illinois.  I left my friends, my family, my familiarity to move somewhere 16 hours away, to an apartment I had never seen, to a place I had only visited for less than 48 hours, and to be with new friends whom we hardly knew.  And yet, here we are.  I enjoy our little apartment, cozy and quaint as it might be (it’s easy to clean b/c it’s so small), I enjoy our new friends and I love having neighbors so close by.

Today is Monday, May 25th.  Today I am sad.  I enjoy my new life (please don’t read into this and think I am miserable b/c I am not) but I do miss my life in Texas.  I think I still have that right to be a little homesick.  This is my home now, but I think my heart is still in Texas.  Our license plates still say Texas, our driver’s license still have the Texas seal, and my heart still longs for the familiar.  Maybe soon all of those will change.


I can’t even read those words without crying….that’s where I am now. What a weird place to be? I wrote that when we moved to Illinois–away from Texas, away from the familiar, away from our friends. And now, here I am….expressing the SAME feelings and yet it’s because we moved away from Illinois, away from the familiar, away from our friends.

My heart hurts for Illinois. My heart hurts for our friends. My heart hurts for our church.

It just hurts….

So yes, Lord, I’m asking, please…

“Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow

I’ve never been more homesick than now

Help me, Lord, cause I don’t understand your ways

The reason why I wonder if I’ll ever know

But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same

Cause I’m still here so far away from home”

Lord, please, help my heart move here. I’m afraid it’s still 2,000 miles away.

Just Some Words….

I’ve decided my life is pretty boring….now that I stay at home all day, nothing much happens. And, I can’t really take pictures of myself–that would be weird. Besides, what I do is not that interesting….

Laundry on Mondays

Go to Brenham on Tuesdays

Clean on Wednesdays

Clean the bathrooms on Thursday (Paul shaves on Wednesday for church, so it’s pointless for me to clean before he shaves)

Paul is off on Fridays, so depending on the Friday, we usually do something….

So, that’s my week(s) in a nutshell….

We did have some “new” things last week, I guess….

I have started a Beth Moore bible study on Tuesday nights at our church: Esther. I’ve never done a Beth Moore bible study, so we’ll see how it goes. When the idea came up to do the bible study, it was just 4 or 5 ladies in the church that thought about doing it. Well, last Tuesday night we had 14 and this Tuesday night we will probably have around 20! And, the best thing is….probably half of the people don’t go to our church!! What an awesome community outreach! 🙂 I was certainly blessed to see all those women there that I didn’t know….I can only do 4 bible studies before I have to go to Hawaii, but I’ll enjoy them while I can….

(The homework, though, is KILLER!! I felt like I was in Christian History all over again-YIKES)!!!

This past Thursday night we went to a Matthew West/Casting Crowns concert in Austin. There is a couple in our church that was going (with their two teenage boys and their friends) and they invited us, too. So, thank you, Chris and Sandra, for a fun night out!

Friday and Saturday I participated at the Food Pantry again. You can read more about that here. I really do enjoy it and have come to really love going there! This past Friday and Saturday each person got to take home around 43 pounds of food!  🙂

On Saturday night we went over to a friend’s house for dinner! Gene and Julia have been super sweet to us, and we really enjoy visiting with them and getting to know them more! And, their son, Josh, is really fun, too! Josh volunteers at the Food Pantry as well and two or three people got him confused with Paul and I thought I was married to Josh!! (They both have the same body build and both have facial hair)….I tried to correct them, but they got confused….so I just let it be….

Today was an absolute perfect weather day! It was cool and rainy all day….I bet it never reached 75 degrees!! PERFECT!! I ran this morning and it was 60 degrees outside!! Wonderful….

Well, I guess it’s back to my exciting life. Paul is playing on the computer and I’m watching Netflix….



Sweet Surprise

Today I got the sweetest gift in the mail! 🙂

It was a card from my friend, Ember, and a few pictures that we took together before we moved! It brought tears to my eyes….

Ember and me

Paul, me, and Shannon

me, Hannah, and Paul

Shannon, me, Ember, and Nikki

I miss all of these girls more than you know….

I love you girls!!  🙂

Good Friday Fish Fry

On Friday afternoon, after our Good Friday service at church, we had a Fish Fry with some of our friends from church….

Mike frying up the fish for us....fresh caught out of Lake Somerville

Hadley stopping to get a drink...the kids played HARD.

Bayley or Daylin (I'm not sure which one) riding her "off-road" tricycle

The other one (Bayley or Daylin)--and the ladies chatting in the background

Warren playing on JB's scooter

Jennifer, Riley, Zayden, and Gina talking

Ricardo, his wife, and Amy talking

Henlee taking a "drink break"

Zayden wanting to ride the "big bike"

Hadley decorating his cupcake

Hanna decorating her cupcake

Henlee hitting the pinata (I love her expression and Matt's)

the big kids watching the little ones

Abraham taking a swing at it....

And the diving for candy begins....

And, just because….here are the tulips my mom sent us for Easter….

pretty flowers

Independence, Texas

Since living here, I’ve tried to go to Brenham every Tuesday (that’s when Weight Watchers meets)….so, I go to Weight Watchers to weigh-in and then I usually go shopping at Wal-Mart….

Today, after weighing in, I drove over to Independence, Texas….

Independence is the home of Baylor University…

I should’ve worn my Baylor shirt….

I wonder if, 167 years ago, they imagined that the Baylor Lady Bears would be in the running for their 2nd NCAA National Championship title….

Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana--"For Church, For State"

And, might I add, “For NCAA National Championship 2012” 🙂

They had a really nice gravel path around the area and also beautiful flowers…

Right next to the Baylor University landmark is Antique Rose Emporium….

Should be called Antique Rose Nursery….it was really pretty….

A pretty pond (The "Water Gardens")

an abstract picture of the windmill

beautiful flowers

Of course, the idea is that you can walk around and buy flowers–either annuals or perennials…I don’t have a garden (or even a yard, for that matter) so I just walked around the looked…

beautiful canopy of trees....

They also had a chapel on site, as well…I’m not sure it was open or “usable” but it would be pretty for wedding pictures….

proof I was there (since I was by myself)

they had weird trees made out of glass bottles....

After going to Independence, I went back to Brenham to walk around downtown for a bit…

I went to their locally owned christian bookstore….I saw this Bible and just rolled my eyes….Really?

this made me go, "What?!"

I don’t mind the Berenstain Bears at all…but for a Bible….?

After the bookstore I went to Must Be Heaven, a local deli and ice cream shop.

It was SUPER YUMMY and SUPER crowded! I went at 1:30 and the line was almost to the door….

Check out their website: Must Be Heaven

Then, of course, I did the trip to Wal-Mart….always fun!


Jr. High District Track Meet

On Monday afternoon Paul and I went over to Caldwell to watch a little bit of the Jr. High Track Meet. We knew 4-5 kids who were participating…

Right when we got there we saw Colton do the pole vault (but I didn’t get my camera out in time)….

We immediately walked over to triple jump and saw Kyle

(We obviously timed it just right)….

Kyle in mid-jump....

He ended up placing 5th

good shot, except I cut off his head....

After watching Kyle we walked over and watched discus….Jasmine was throwing right as we got there.


Jasmine got 1st place in shot put and discus, as a 7th grader….

We also watched Kyle run the relay…

the pass off (Kyle ran the 2nd leg)

Kyle running

I think Giddings placed 2nd in the 8th grade 400M relay

We had a good time…