Aspen, Colorado

30 X 30 goal #4 – Go snow skiing with friends.       Accomplished February 14-18th

We went skiing with great friends this winter.  Aspen was beautiful, breath taking, and entertaining.   I had never skied Aspen, so I was a bit anxious to see if I could handle the slopes!   It’s been 3 years since I skied, and by nature I know that I’m not a super athletic nor daring person.  My husband, on the other hand, well….I think he could do just about anything if he tries it.  He’s just great!  *sigh*    oh, sorry, yes…..back to skiing.    Everyone was extremely patient with me as I eased my way down the mountain.  Only 2 falls the entire time I was there!  Yippee!    The guys that were with us were so brave, speeding down the slopes, taking the jumps, and even going through the forested area!  *gasp* (That’s something I would NEVER EVER do, even if I did wear a helmet like they do.   Boys are so adventuresome.)

The group at the top!

The group at the top!

That little white jacket is me, slowly making my way down.

That little white jacket is me, slowly making my way down.

Robby and me!  brrrrr

Robby and me! brrrrr

I’m not afraid to admit when I need a break from the mountain.  I’ve learned that my body is NOT made for skiing all day, and that resting is good.  While the others kept going, I read a fantastic book at base camp and enjoyed a chai latte.   Sparkly Green Earrings, by Melanie Shankle (AKA Big Mama) is a funny and enjoyable read; a collection of memoirs for her daughter that tell the joys and challenge of marriage, pregnancy, being a mother, and learning to let God take control.  I laughed and giggled my way through this book!  YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!  And then, pass it on to your girlfriends.  I already passed it off last night and am considering buying more to give as presents for the college friends.  It’s just so good!

Sparkly Green Earrings, a must read!

Sparkly Green Earrings, a must read!

(Side note – I may have a serious girl crush on the author.  I’m pretty sure we’d be friends if we were to ever meet.  We’re both Texas A&M fans, love Texas, love Jesus, enjoy a good road trip, and so much more!  My husband says I may have a celebrity type obsession with her.  Not sure if I would know what to say to her if we were to meet at an Aggie Tail-gate…..I can only hope, though!)

We had a fantastic time in Colorado!  Glad that I got to mark that one of my 30X30 list!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

We are celebrating our 1st Valentines as a married couple by FLYING TO COLORADO!   WOOOHOOOO!  We will enjoy the weekend with friends snow skiing in Aspen.   (Pictures to come soon!)  I can’t tell you how excited I am that there’s another girl going on this trip!  I was the only lady on the New Years trip to the beach.  I love the guys, I really do!  And I can try and be ‘cool’ and ‘laid back’ with them.  BUT GOODNESS, I need some girl time!    So YAY for Claire going on this trip!

Last night we celebrated Valentine’s Day early with just the 2 of us by having dinner at Venezia’s in Midland.  This is one of my favorite places to east in Midland, though we save it for special occasions.  Thanks to our sweet family (Joe, Jenn, Sam, & Peter), Robby and I were able to use up a Christmas gift and go out.

Then, the gifts began.

The gifts and crafts I've been working on.

The gifts and crafts I’ve been working on.

I have been working like a little elf in the night for the last week to make some cute little gifts and cards to give to Robby for our trip.  I researched the internet (what would I do without Google and Pinterest?!?!) and found so many cute things to do.   ****Side note- I’m pretty cheesy at heart.  I love the 5th grade humor and Valentine’s Cards.  I realize not everyone likes that, so stick with me here.

When we got home, I had a game to play for us.  It’s like memory, but on the back of each card is a task.  (Ex.  Give your spouse your best pick up line.   OR  my favorite:  give your spouse a neck rub!)    I found the game on this FANTASTIC website, The Dating Divas.  They have many fun things to help strengthen and encourage your marriage.  Go check them out!

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Valentine’s Match Game

And cue the cheesy gifts/cards:

I 'mustache' you to be my valentine!  BAHAHAHA

I ‘mustache’ you to be my valentine! BAHAHAHA

A personal favorite, "I've taken a VIKING to you!"

A personal favorite, “I’ve taken a VIKING to you!”

...because he's my lifesaver!

…because he’s my lifesaver!

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Kleenex for the ski trip! Because he ‘blows me away’!

The inside reads, "Let's get knotty"     (great for newly weds)

The inside reads, “Let’s get knotty” (great for newly weds)

Ok, that’s enough for now.   These little cards and things were accompanied by little gifts and notes on the inside, packed inside of our luggage or in the carry on for the plane.  I hope Robby likes them, even if they are pretty corny!  hehe

At our house, I tried to decorate a little bit.  To be honest, I feel like we JUST put Christmas away, so I was in no mood to redecorate the whole house.  So I went simple.  In the entry way, there is normally a tapestry that hangs over a parsons’ table.  I’ve enjoyed using it to hang fun things for Christmas and now Valentines.  These are the wedding dates of Robby’s grandparents and us.  It’s such a sweet reminder when I walk in the door that there is a legacy of love and families that make their marriage work, 60+ years!

Valentine's in the hallway

Valentine’s in the hallway

And to end the post of a fun note, I love this little video of the kids being interviewed.  Aren’t they just precious?!?!


In the meantime….

Do you ever get the feeling that you are way too busy and just need a break, only to sit down and look at your schedule and realize there’s really not that much going on?    That’s where I’m at today.   I feel like I’ve been running a marathon, but really….it’s been pretty calm around here.

In the meantime, to keep up with my skills and joy of teaching, I tutor 3 days each week after school with a non-profit, Kaleidoscope Ministries.    I have seen major progress in each of my students!   Here’s a few pictures of our work.  The kids LOVE using dry-erase markers, so I let them write on the windows and glass table tops.  It’s the simple things that get them excited and ready to learn!

2012-11-12 16.37.54-1 2012-11-12 16.38.07 It’s been such a great change to go from teaching 29 kiddos in one room to tutoring one-on-one.  I think this non-profit has the right idea in providing not only help in academics but mentors to the kids at early ages.  I see character building and self confidence improving in all of my students throughout this year.   Tutoring them makes me reconsider going back to the classroom!  Hmmmm…..

In the meantime, I haven’t been able to cook very much.  How does life get in the way of that?!?!   I had such a great joy getting to cook last night.  It’s relaxing.  It’s rejuvinating.  It’s rewarding!   I’m sure you’re saying, “Yeah, right.  Cooking is NONE of those things to me!”  Trust me, my husband doesn’t understand it, but he let’s me do it anyway (plus he gets to enjoy the food!).   Last night’s menu, lemon dill salmon on a bed of sauteed spinach accompanied by a wild rice mushroom pilaf.  Amazingly, all of this was on the Advocare diet….which I didn’t mention until we were already in the middle of the meal.  Didn’t want to ruin the goodness of it with the fact that it was really healthy!

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In the meantime, it was FAT TUESDAY!   Now, you realize I live  in a desert….sort of.   MILES away from water, mudbugs/crawfish, shrimp, and all that wonderfully crazy Cajun mess.  Finding cajun food out here is like finding Lindsay Lohan in rehab:  unlikely these days….but it just might happen!    I was surprised to see just a few King’s Cakes at the grocery store, so I snagged one for desert.  Sadly enough, it didn’t taste anything like the real deal.  (I don’t think the grocery store bakery knows what a King’s Cake really is, but at least they tried!)   Robby wasn’t impressed, but I’ll eat just about anything if it’s got frosting on it!

Fat Tuesday Delight!

Fat Tuesday Delight!


In the meantime, I had a migraine the size of Alaska on Sunday morning.  Ugghhh, migraines are the WORST!  I haven’t had one in months, and thought I was doing pretty good with diet and exercise.  Then, bring on the whopper!   Jenny gave me this fantastic eye mask from Massage Envy for Christmas. You can freeze it or heat it up.  IT WAS WONDERFUL!   I am forever in debt to Jenny for getting me this. It really helped relieve the pain and help me relax during the 3 hours of misery.  If you suffer from migraines, GO GET THIS!

Massage Envy Eye mask

Massage Envy Eye mask


And now, back to work!  I would blog about how I’m tracking oil wells’ production and interest in West Texas, but I don’t think anyone is interested in that.  I’ll spare you this time.   You’re welcome.

Monday Ramblings

No clear thoughts tonight or one topic for a post.   So I will do what I do best: make a list!

1.)  Robby’s gone for the week on business to Painted Post, New York.   That’s 1,811 miles away from me.  Ugghhh!!   I know he will do great things on his business trip, but it doesn’t mean I won’t miss him being gone.   I hope he enjoys the snow, though, while I enjoy the 70 degree weather out here in Texas.

The weather for this week in Painted Post, NY.

The weather for this week in Painted Post, NY.

2.)  Our family said goodbye to my grandmother, Nana, this past weekend.  She was a strong spirited woman who loved God, her family, and others around her (in that order).  I love the legacy she left for my family.  There has never been a doubt in my mind about if I would see her again one day in Heaven; her faith was solid like a rock.  Her funeral honored her life and her family.  And the weather couldn’t have been better in February.  What a lovely weekend of celebrating her life!

Mom, Nana, and me

Mom, Nana, and me


3.)  The circumstances were not the happiest, but I got to see my family!  The ENTIRE family!  Cousins from out of state that I haven’t had the opportunity to visit with in years.  They all got to meet Robby, we laughed and looked through REALLY old photos of our family (circa 1950’s), and laughed a LOT!  I am so glad that I enjoy my family.  They’re wonderful!  OH!  And that also accomplishes one of my 30X30’s – invest time with family!  Check!

Cousins together laughing at photos

Cousins together laughing at photos


4.)  Did I mention to y’all that the dermatologist found skin cancer on my husband?!?  True story.  He had this small bump on his face that we discovered when he shaved that bushy, terribly scratchy beard off of his face (I will spare you the pictures.) so we went to the doctor just to see what was going on.  Yup.  Just like that: skin cancer!  CRAZY!?!??!?!!   I imagined the day would come when one, or both of us, would discover cancer and we would boldly make those life decisions later on down the road.  Nope, it happened in the 1st year of marriage.  This told me 3 things:  #1 – Sunscreen REALLY is a serious thing.  #2 – We really are that old.  #3 – My time is coming.     The stitches came out today and the scar is healing very nicely.  The pathology reports showed that the doctor removed all of the cancer and we’re in the clear!  Praise God!!!


5.)   Pets.   We are in limbo with getting a pet.  I really want to get a dog, but don’t know what to get just yet.  My heart leans towards getting a rescue dog, but I want to be picky with what type and the temperament of the dog.  Plus, I have a pet already.  My cat that I’ve had for 17 years.  That’s right.  My cat is 17 years old!   She lives with my parents right now, but I LOVE my time with her when I’m home.

oh, Anton!

oh, Anton!

And then….there’s our grandfather’s dog.  Little Bit.   For a long time I’ve been thinking about writing an entire blog post about this quirky and head strong dog.   She’s about 5 years old and is anything but little!   Though she has lost weight since I started taking her for walks and trying my best to train her, she is still big.  I really don’t know anything about bull dogs, but I’m finding out how stubborn they can be.  She’s a hoot!   Here’s a picture of Little Bit after she realized she’s strong enough to crawl up on the couch.  She pushed me off and began to watch TV with Robby!

oh, Little Bit

oh, Little Bit

6.)   Is anyone else watching The Bachelor this season?  I’m half way ashamed to say that I am, but not really.  It started when a friend invited me over to her house.  I could have cared less about the show, but really wanted to start making new friends in my home.  What I found was not only a new group of friends, but fun conversation and witty banter that spurs from each episode!  Monday’s are busy days for me, but I look forward to my time to hang out with the girls, catch up on life, and laugh.  We’ll spend so long talking that we don’t start watching until much later in the night!  But when we start watching, the comments begin to fly.  “How does Sean NOT see how crazy she is?!?!”  is typically on all of our minds.  Oh, ABC – you have us hooked once again.  17 seasons in and it’s just as ridiculous as all those before.  Where do you find all of these crazy women?!


7.)  I’m starting a new Bible Study/devotional tonight!  (It’s one of my 30X30’s).   A Woman of Love, by Dee Brestin, goes through the book of Ruth.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

new devotional book





That’s all for tonight.  Thanks for reading all the way through my ramblings.