October is around the corner and I find myself staring, mouth gaped open, at the Halloween decorations galore. Not that I care either way about the decorations, but it forces me to realize how fast time is passing. Four months since we set off, for what Tob deems as our “Texas Adventure”. Work started, for me, August 1st and hasn’t slowed down since. Boys started elementary school August 27th and they haven’t slowed down since. 🙂 Justin was working in Seattle, but, by the grace of God, was able to transfer down sooner than expected by September 1. His company put him right to work.

I started my CDA training today. I am ecstatic about it and look forward to taking that first step of my education; next is the associates degree . . . God willing. 🙂

Justin also was offered a new job, a dream job, for hyperbaric chamber/wound treatment. Better pay and he can still work, part time, driving ambulance. This company also pays for all the needed training and certifications.

We’ve plugged in to a great little church in Georgetown, where God has allowed me to be a part of the elementary sunday school stuff.

We put money down and filled out an app for an apartment here in the Brushy Creek area. We were hoping to buy, but decided we didn’t want to feel rushed to figure it all out. The boys stay in the same school district and I am happy happy happy about that!

I say all that to say this:

No matter how life turns out, I know who my God is. No matter the circumstances, He is still Lord. Whether stuff is going great and seeming to move right along or whether we feel stuck and unsure all the time . . . He is still constant and is faithful. I am beyond grateful, humbled and excited for the prospects of jobs and a great residence that has presented itself. I just want to keep in perspective Who matters. God is more important than my family, job and livelihood. Its just the way it is. Food, money and human acceptance can never fill the void that my Jesus does.

As soon as we are in our place, I expect visitors! 🙂



Down by Brushy Creek

At a Round Rock Express baseball game with Uncle Michael

Finishing our swimming for the day – Samuel

Bats coming out from under McNeil Bridge, Round Rock, TX


Birthday presents from Grandma.

Blowing out the candles – Samuel is 6 years old!

Another Texas sunrise

A Tarantula Encounter








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Fast Moving

I was hired nearly three weeks ago, for a preschool (that runs on the same schedule as the local school districts) and I was, initially, told that I’d be starting August 15th. Then the gal that hired  me decided she wanted to put me through teacher training, so I was told July 30th would be my start date. . . then she had a problem getting that signed off on, so it went back to August 15th; until this week . . . now the training bit has been signed off on (a tad more complicated than my simple rendition) and I’m to start Monday. Yikes . . . talk about puttin’ it into gear! But, I’m extremely grateful . . . I get to come in as a full time teacher, whilst earning my CDA, and benefit from the two week teacher training to boot.

Grateful, excited, nervous and scared . . .  all at the same time. And I’m learning to just hand it over to an ever-faithful God. 🙂 Amazing how he dolls out efficient amounts of grace for what we are handed to do each day. Look to Him and trust Him and the peace, understanding and love of God will be a mainstay in my life . . . Truth.

Today I go in to turn in some stuff and get the ball rolling for the payroll end of things . . . I take off here in a few minutes.

Whisper a prayer for me in my new endeavor . . . one I hope to make a lifetime career of influencing and teaching young children.


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Third Times a Charm

I have literally attempted this post twice before this and I’ve been having a hard time putting into words my experience thus far.

Salem, Oregon, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon; my home since I was 7 years old . . . between Cottage Grove and Salem, Oregon. Surrounded by mountains, spoiled with the Pacific ocean so close and beautiful temperate rain forests of large pine trees and dense undergrowth aplenty. Rivers abound and scenery not matched many places . . . with rain to sustain such.

But something in us (Justin and I) wanted to strike out into another chapter of our lives. Something new and completely different. We felt like the timing was right on when Justin was laid off in Portland and transferred to Seattle temporarily . . . a city we had decided we absolutely did not want to live in; being even more overcast and living expenses through the roof. We had talked about Austin, TX before. We have family down here, and Justin’s place of work has headquarters down here . . . I was off for the summer with my job (which also operates down here) . . . Justin’s family was welcoming us with open arms, in to their home at that. So we took the plunge.

I want to stop here and just insert that we absolutely wouldn’t of moved if we didn’t feel a certain peace and blessing of God on the whole thing. I feel that God coordinates everything in our lives, if we allow Him to rule. I keep giving this thing to Him, before we moved and I keep giving it to Him now, and He has blessed the whole venture . . .

Ok, that said . . . we did it. We put all our stuff into storage in Salem. Packed the Expedition out and drove cross country . . . sort of. Straight down I-5 to Los Angeles and over Arizona, New Mexico and West TX. I loved the trip!! The truck functioned perfectly, even in the 110 degree Arizona heat. Boys were amazing during that long haul; Sam slept half the time. Justin drove 90% of the time . . . which I felt guilty for, for about 5 seconds . . . the man would not let me drive! 🙂

Wonderful trip in . . . I have a ton of photos . . . I will share at another time of the trip itself.

But . . . I do have photos of since we’ve been here downloaded from my phone.

I’ve decided I don’t take that great photos. I hardly ever have folks pose for photos . . . so my candid shots might or might not reveal much . . . but here we go.


My Aunt and Uncle’s lovely home . . . we’re heading out for a walk/bike ride. 🙂 The community pool is within walking distance and therefor we take full advantage.


Speaking of . . . not a whole lot to do in 95 + degree weather, outdoors, but swim.


A little (or a lot) sun worship . . . I figure I have a pretty good deficit of sun-exposure, so I’m ok laying out and playing in the sun for awhile. 😉


Getting ready for the fourth of July parade . . . 9:30 in the morning and it was already hot.


Tobias as he starts with his group . . . he didn’t stay with his group . . . both he and Sam decided it was not a parade at all, but a race.


The ladder truck was there to cool everyone off at the end . . . mainly kids and dogs. 🙂 Tobias loved it!


Sam was not into the penguin man. At all.


Gas in stunningly cheap . . . being from Oregon, I’m used to paying upwards of 4.10 a gallon.


And then there was the week of thunder storms. Justin also came back on the weekend these things started. Amazing, beautifully and absolutely terrifying.

We, Justin, myself and the boys, were out driving when the first one hit. It started raining so hard, shortly after this photo, that we had to pull off the road . . . about the same time that giant, ping pong ball sized hail started assaulting our car . . . that’s a very first for me. Man, it was so loud! Tornado weather, so I’m told . . . we, thankfully, didn’t get any tornados in the area that time.


This was right before we left the driveway that evening . . . I just love the brick contrasting with the clouds. 🙂


While the boys were in a day camp for a week  . . . I enjoyed some amazing walks, alone, along Brushy Creek, a short distance from where we’re living.


We also had the privilege of going to one of Round Rock’s minor league games. The boys enjoyed it mostly because Uncle Michael spoiled them rotten with the kid zone . . . bouncy houses, games and trampoline things. I’m not sure they watched any of the game . . . but I got to! 🙂 God bless Uncle Michael!


Storm watching . . . this boy was into it! I’d hang out until it was directly over us . . . then I’d wuss out and make us both go in. ha! Oh, and I’d go in if it started raining.

Just a handful of photos  . . .

I have been here on my own. Justin is working in Seattle still. Michael and Marilyn have been more than incredible through this and I couldn’t ask for more! Michael loves the boys and helps me out with them . . . Marilyn and I are addicted to Big Brother and the Young and the Restless. 🙂 I’m so blessed in the family department, ya’ll!! 🙂

I love it here. I want to put roots down in Georgetown, TX . . . just north of here.

Things that have happened since we’ve been here. I have been hired as a preschool teacher in Georgetown. Justin has a transfer approved for his job here in Austin, so he will be joining us soon! Yay! Boys start school in one month, here in Round Rock . . . I also start my job around then. We’ve gotten plugged in to a great church family.

God’s good . . .I’m learning to trust more and more each day and I’m excited for the future, for the first time in years!

Praying the right house comes along and we are able to finance our own place . . . the next big step. 🙂


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Set a Date

We had tentatively been throwing June 25th out there as our move date. It has, more or less, officially changed. We are now planning on pulling out June 15th. That, my friends, is exactly 2 weeks from now!!  And I thought 3 weeks was freakin’ me out!


Storage unit is to be secured, since we aren’t moving the bulk of our stuff down until Justin joins me near the end of the summer (God willing). Then pack, pack, pack . . . clean, clean, clean.

My last day of school is June 5th, then each day is devoted to very little else, but packing. 🙂

Never know what God has in store. It feels discombobulated at times and I feel like one of the those race horses  with blinders to keep from seeing anything peripherally. Frustrating but it’s demanded of us, in these times, to trust God and keep walking towards HIM. Can’t go wrong with God! His peace has been all over this decision since the moment we recognized it . . . now, to just not freak out at the loose ends, that seem should be attached to something but they’re not; just dangling, but I know my God has it all under control . . . all those loose ends are in HIS hands.

God brings death and God brings life, brings down to the grave and raises up. God brings poverty and God brings wealth; he lowers, he also lifts up. He puts poor people on their feet again; he rekindles burned-out lives with fresh hope, Restoring dignity and respect to their lives— a place in the sun! For the very structures of earth are God’s; he has laid out his operations on a firm foundation. He protectively cares for his faithful friends, step by step, but leaves the wicked to stumble in the dark. No one makes it in this life by sheer muscle!  1 Samuel 2:6-9

We like the mirage that we see, through the desert or our life . . . the mirage that we actually control of the fate of our lives. Honestly, you do the best you can with what is given to you and the rest is completely up to God. I have felt I deserved some bad repercussions in life, and there are times I’m distinctly aware that I do not deserve what I have and know God is the one to thank.

I choose, through this messy transition of life, to just rest in God, do what needs to be done to the best of my ability, and trust God . . . not my husband, not myself, not my friends or family . . . I know where my help comes from . . . God alone.

God, have your way and will in mine, and my family’s, life!


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Emotional State

Daily I have to come to terms with my emotions. Being a woman, I am driven mostly by emotion. Logic gets stuck in there by happenstance.

I am done being driven by emotions. I want to be driven and be hung up on one thing . . . one entity; God and God alone! So this morning I laid my selfish, self-absorbed, emotional puke down before God, again. And I’ll do it ten minutes from now and later today and tomorrow, and so on. Keep laying it down, keep letting God have control.

There is so much my soul wants to get anxious about right now; jobs, moving, aack hair color, etc . . . I say ‘NO’, look to God and allow HIS peace, beyond understanding, envelope me. I hide in the shadow of HIS wings, safe and content to let HIM handle my affairs. I walk through each day, doing the best I can at what is set before me and pray God handles the rest.

Off to work this morning . . . last week of work and then summer break, moving and lots of sunshine! 🙂

God bless!

Goldy Locks

I did it. I’ve been threatening for quite awhile. Dark red was getting dull and my natural color is light brown . . . longing to go closer to my natural color, with the idea of eventually growing it out, I took the plunge.

If you’ve dyed your hair red before, especially the darker varieties, you know how hard it is to get any other color without red in it. Red is not easy to get rid of, neither is it easy to cover up . . . unless you go jet black or something, then you have a whole other can of worms to deal with when you want to change it.

Oh, my sweet boy! 🙂 Ope, bad editing on this one, but you can tell its red and its dark red at that. We’ll ignore the extra 20 lbs I’m carrying around.

K, I’m not attempting a pouty face or any concoction thereof . . . Just snapped a photo and posted it. Gold. That is the color of my curly locks. Gold. I did this atrocity myself. Do I get an award?

Anyway, its so drastic and bright and . . . a drastic change from what I had before. People I know don’t even really know what to say. Which I don’t care because its not staying this color. I will give it a rest for a month or two and then highlight and dye it a softer color. Lots of red left in it. The underneath I left dark. Interesting is the only word I can conjure up. But not ugly . . . and people aren’t running from me screaming; which is what I was afraid of when I exited my house this morning to do the morning runs for school and such. 🙂

So that’s where we are people. There isn’t enough change and excitement happening in my little life, I just had to create more.

We are currently holding our collective breath, we should hear back regarding Justin’s dream job (which he had an interview for this past week) . . . if you think of us, shout out a prayer and send us Got-The-Job vibes! Much appreciated!

I have 3 weeks to pack and clean my home . . .

Getting a head start and getting it done. 🙂

Aaack! God is so good and I’m so excited for the near future! I had a call back about a job in Round Rock, TX. I’m hoping that goes through. All in God’s timing . . .



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May is Nearly OVER!

What?! Why didn’t anyone tell me? Holy crap!

Justin’s birthday is in 3 days . . . 3 DAYS! Mine is Thursday . . . I think . . . I haven’t been staring at a calendar today.

Most of all, we move in one month . . . like, 30 days! My panic button goes off around 2 – 4 AM and I ponder on all the packing and crap I have to get done before we move, for about 15 minutes, and then I wake up in the daylight and methodically go throughout my day. Today, because I don’t work, I have packed multiple boxes (thank you for the  boxes, Michaelle!) and paced my home, mentally making lists . . . which will work into written lists . . . which will then be misplaced and/or thrown away and then I’ll have to make another, more compiled list, then I will ignore it, it will also get forgotten . . . then Justin will get involved and have it all done (with my help, of course) in two days. The man is a think-on-his-feet packer extraordinaire! I have moved exactly 3 times with this man and I’m always impressed with his ability to pack and clean and paint the home we’re leaving. Yes, he fills holes and paints. We have always gotten our deposit back.

God is absolutely blowing me out of the water with HIS blessings . . . things are pulling together in a way that only God can do and coordinate . . . there is no doubt who gets the glory on this one! He has something for us down there and I’m excited to be serving HIM and walking with Him! Justin had a job interview for a very coveted position and it went very very well . . . we’ll hear back next Friday, so pray for us if you think of us!  I have been applying to RRISD and RHS and I’m hoping to hear back soon on those. God’s timing on it. I’m set up for Austin Community College . . . I’ll finalize enrollment and stuff when I get down there NEXT MONTH! :O

If I’ve learned anything in this life, its that we don’t deserve what we get . . . humble yourself to God, trust HIM and HE will see you through . . . in the valleys of life is where we grow up as we walk and trust HIM.

Philippians 4:7 MSG

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

. . . well said, Holy Bible!


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Livin’ It Up

My life is pretty exciting. I mean, just in the past week, I’ve went to work everyday, the kids made it to school on time everyday and the weekend has come with no surprises or upheavals.

I’ll take that kind of excitement at this point in my life. 🙂


I was zapped by a Trio building block, um . . . thingy.


Had an exciting game of Frisbee with Byron. Lovely, lovely day for hanging at the park! Weirdly there weren’t many people there at all. Huh.

Went to Silver Creek Falls with my bro, Bill, last weekend. I packed a picnic and when we decided to break for lunch . . . we found the largest Dogwood tree I have ever seen. Dogwoods are one of my favorite types of flowering trees . . . and this one still had mass flowers all over it!



The binoculars were the coveted item of the day . . .

River is like, ‘hey, what’s with this guy . . . tell’em to give my binoculars back, NOW!’

Bill and his babe, River. You wanna make a kid look tiny, put him next to my 6’6″ brother. 🙂 We had a great day of it! 🙂

I got a giant serving of family time last weekend, and I’m so grateful! I have one amazing family!



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All Better . . . Mostly

Except for a lingering cough and snotty nose, I’m feeling much much better. It took through Sunday to start feeling like myself though. Which meant I spent the weekend admiring my new nephew from  distance; no holding him, or smelling his newborn head. But I was there, suppressing a serious cough, when Xander William Graves was born Friday afternoon. He is a beautiful and healthy baby boy and I’m so happy for my sister and her longtime boyfriend!!

Justin came home last Friday, the 4th, and left yesterday, the 9th. It was a busy but fun weekend, with the fam together and the sunshine shining. Lots of outdoor stuff; dog parks, playgrounds, and long walks while the boys rode their bikes.


My mom came up from Alabama to help Kell with the baby. So it was, of course awesome to see and catch up with her! She’s also coming over this evening and taking the boys and I out for dinner . . . I’m pretty happy about that!! 🙂

Now onto my thoughts, now that you’re caught up.

I do fine on my own. I tend to be better at some things, like working out, praying and generally being more responsible. I am more than happy that I have a job to keep my days structured and full though.

But the day that Justin leaves to head back north, I am a sloppy, sad, pathetic little mess.

He left yesterday afternoon . . . 5 minutes later, my mom calls and I spend a half hour choking back sobs while we talk plans and question everything. Then I call my little sis to pray with me cuz I’m a wreck and she prays for me . . . I instantaneously get inspired, reminded why Justin and I are doing this. We’re not moving to find our fortune (though, uh, don’t get me wrong . . . I wouldn’t mind), we’re not moving to escape any kind of reality we can’t handle here, in loverly Oregon, we’re not moving to “disappear” from friend’s and family’s lives. We’re moving because, we believe, God has laid it on our hearts to move to Austin, Texas . . . as cliche as that might sound. Justin and I both come to the same conclusion around the same time and with near identical ideas on how to make it happen. All of that was confirmed by his Aunt and Uncle stepping up (unprovoked) and offering us a place to stay . . . allowing us time to get our crap together to buy a house.  Same city, same spiritual confirmation. Somehow, in this hair-brained scheme, God is in this thang. And I am so excited!  I am grateful to my mom that listens and cries with me . . . my sis that prays for me, even is she had to step out of Pier One Imports, at the time, to do so. I feel so loved and supported! God knows our hearts, he knows our weaknesses, he knows us . . . the number of hairs on our head, the tears, the cheer, the grueling hard work and time spent. Our strength is renewed by one source and one source only . . . waiting in our Lord, our God!

I’m enjoying my job. I think. The kids can be challenging, but I find myself really loving the kids. I want to go to school, get myself educated, so I’m more prepared to deal with issues that come up . . . but all in all, I’m really liking it.

That’s my thoughts on this loverly Thursday evening. I work tomorrow morning for a few hours . . . normally I have Fridays off, but I’m looking forward to it.


Sick as a Dog

I am now on my second day of missed work. I came down with a fever on Tuesday but went to work anyway; I downplayed it into just being under the weather, but by 4pm I was downing the ibuprofin and falling asleep involuntarily. Yesterday I called in and my supervisor assured me I wasn’t the first in the class to get it, that several teachers had been out, at different times, with the same junk and not to worry about coming in today either. Which is good because I still have a fever.

I have not been sick all winter and spring. So I chalk it up to it just being my turn and I’ll take it with a good attitude. This too shall pass . . . and hopefully by tomorrow, because I’m suppose to be there for the birth of my new nephew! Also Justin rolls in tomorrow. I’ve got a busy weekend . . . I don’t wanna be sick.

What was that about a good attitude?

I was kinda grumpy about having to go to work this week and now I’m stunned how much I miss being there! I can’t wait to go back on Monday!

So that’s my week in a nutshell.



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