Saturday, January 31, 2015

Blessing #30: Gilmore Girls

It was always coming.  Today I'm grateful for the show Gilmore Girls.

Another Friday night has passed in the company of Lorelai and Rory.  It also entailed 4 bowls of that Gorilla-fake-Captain Crunch cereal with raspberries for dinner, 2 liters of water, 3 loads of laundry.  Before I hit PLAY I had a wonderful sensation that felt akin to motivation to finish my Ireland scrapbook or clean the kitchen floor or even hang up the clothes on my bed, but when Netflix loaded, I took it as a sign and sat down.  Let the record reflect, however, that I did turn the TV off before midnight  (a 2.25 hour improvement over last week).  That's only 6 episodes.

This show is awesome!  I am fascinated by the relationships of the mothers and the daughters.  I love how UN-self-conscious Lorelai is.  I my imagination she accepts herself and doesn't try to be anybody else.  I love that she stands up for herself and is able to articulate her doubts when she has them, with the person involved.  In the room.  Out loud.  I find myself crying and laughing out loud in most episodes.  I think the Pope should bless it as a relic, because healing happens whilst watching Gilmore Girls.

The irony is that this is Friday and Fridays are historically, going all the way back to high school, kinda painful.  I often have this empty feeling like I'm missing out, like I'm that girl who wasn't invited to anything because she was so unpopular.  Actually, in high school that was me.  I know I'm in a grown up body now, but I still get that feeling sometimes when I don't have plans on a Friday.  And since I'm not using people anymore just to fill up the hole inside of me, it's been pretty frequently lately that I haven't had plans on a Friday and been visited by the lonely feeling.

Tonight we cancelled book club, so at 9 this morning I suddenly had space to fill after work.  Which is another way of saying I had space to fill inside myself.  And it was a BEAUTIFUL day, which always made it worse.  The anxiety demons in my head go nuts on weekends with gorgeous weather with helpful thoughts like, "you're really a loser now--it's pretty outside and you don't have anyone to play with," or "you're thinking of staying at work late?  Only people who don't have any friends do that".  I'm not claiming these aren't ridiculous assertions, just that the are persistent and the fear fueling them is powerful.

I always figure that if I ask or pray for something and I don't get it, I must have everything I need without it.  So after my several efforts to find an alternative activity for the evening did not materialize, I caught on.  I prayed for the courage to face my fear [which, by the way, is the fear that if I just go home and enjoy myself, I will never make friends or meet the man of my dreams, etc.], went home and made cookies, which I promptly gave away. 

When the cookies were gone, I didn't feel lonely any more.  I didn't mind staying at home on a Friday night;  I dove all in to my new favorite show, without shame.  The voices shut up and I was able to be fully present with myself.  The hole healed up for the night.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Day #29: Netflix won't load!

Netflix won't load on my TV tonight.  You must be joking!!  I watched 3 episodes of Gilmore Girls last night without incident, and my wireless router hasn't moved an inch.  I didn't even breathe in its general direction.  When I hit the Netflix button, I just get the infinite circle of death and no Gilmore Girls. 

 But I know better.  This is exactly what I need.  I've been to the gym; I've bitten off most of my fingernails;  I've watched 2 Big Bang Theory episodes (okay, it was 3); I've eaten a few bowls of cereal and quite a lot of chips.  There is nothing left to do but feel it.

See, I got my feelings hurt today and spent the moments in between "things that must be done" like work and the gym and dinner [see cereal comment above] feeling.  Feeling hurt, sad, angry.  Oh, and writing speeches in my head to the perpetrator. But mostly feeling.

Netflix was the last straw.  I have officially run out of things to do other than look at my part in this situation.  What have I done to set myself up for this hurt & anger?  I must write.  It is the only way that I ever get freedom from the anger and healing from the hurt.

I haven't been livid in a long time.  I used to live resentfully all the time, angry at God for giving me this life and at everyone else for living their lives.  How do the do that, and make it look so easy?  Turns out all my anger backfired:  I was the one that was miserable (though my ex-husband might disagree).

This cool thing happened today in the midst of all this feeling.  Under all the ick was a deep joy that I am present today for my feelings (for myself?).  Even bigger is that I feel them, and behave well while I have them.  I realize that many people have already mastered this skill before the age of 39, but I either missed that handout in my instruction manual for God, or I wasn't paying attention in class.  I used to just spew all over everybody when I was having "a day".  My life would come to a stand still, the pity party invitations were sent, and the wallowing began.  And the party went on and on and on.

Today, however, all it takes is a phone call to get me out of party mode and back on track.  There were no pleas for sympathy [read:  self-pity] at work; there were no breakdowns in the bathroom.  There was just feeling.  Then there was writing.  And now there will be healing.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blessing #28 - Surprise Flowers!!!!

Look what was waiting for me when I got home today!!

The card says: Joy, hope you are having a better week.
It's not signed.  

There are SO many things that are awesome about this!!

I LOVE flowers and I LOVE surprises.  That really is enough, but there's more!

I happen to have this fear (which I'm told is irrational but feels totally rational)  that if I just do my own little life, right here in Boise, then I'm going to be forgotten, especially by God, and not taken care of (forget that I can take care of myself--that, too, have been pointed out to me).  This fear is pervasive.  I've spent so much of my life trying to make people notice that I'm around because I haven't known that I'm enough just as I am.  Being "not-single" is a great way to avoid this fear, by the way, and because I've been single since the demise of my last relationship I've been walking straight into this fear.  The more time that passed, the greater the loneliness and despair grew.  Then I stopped my old behaviors of using people to feel okay and trying to prove myself important to others, and these feelings got even worse.  In the last few months, though, they've begun to subside. [hurrah!] 

Admittedly, it may be putting a tad too much weight on once single flower arrangement, but to be remembered spontaneously by this mysterious cheerleader, without promotion or manipulation by me, is like God telling me that I, 39-year-old-loves-her-job-teaching-likes-to-watch-Gilmore-Girls-says-stupid-things-allergic-to-most-yummy-foods-scared-to-drive-in-the-snow-afraid-I'll-never-be-enough-Joy, have a life worth living.  Exactly as it is.

Thank you to whoever gave me these flowers!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

#27 - Elizabeth Gilbert

Another TED talk!  A friend shared this with me a few years ago.  Elizabeth Gilbert wrote the memior Eat, Pray, Love.  The whole thing is awesome, but the part that has really stuck with me over the last couple of years is around 15 minutes where she tells the empty room that if this next book sucks it's not entirely her fault; furthermore  "Let the record reflect that I showed up for my part of the job."  She also talks about the "Divine Cockeyed Genius Assigned to Your Case"--a phrase for God I am borrowing.

After I heard this I changed the way I talk to God.  I sound more like the king's messenger reading a proclamation than a worshiper:
"Dear God, I am down here suffering (the most common verb I use, but interchangeable with hurting, depressed, confused, feeling disconnected etc.).  Let the record show that I am asking you for help.  You promise to help us when we ask, and I am asking.  You promise to never leave me, and I'm calling you out on that one.  I'm going into the world now but make note that I am here and asking for guidance!"

 I know theologically that God doesn't change, but it sure does seem like He kicked into action when started this.  I felt different.  Better different.  I noticed God around me more.  I felt better.  Whatever pain I was in seemed to be lifted.  At least a little sooner than before.

The other thing I love about this talk is that it gave me permission to let go of the entire responsibility for my own success.  I'm not saying I don't have to work hard.  I'm saying it gave me permission to accept that I can only do what I can do.  I can only cram so much into each day.  My kidneys are strained with all the stress I've had lately about work, and hearing this talk again reminds me that if I am absolutely showing up and doing my part, the inspiration and outcome must be up to God.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Blessing #26: SPARKLY SHOES!!

Need I say more?  I will:

Thank you, Mom for the DSW gift card!
And I had a 10 dollar coupon.
And I had a 5 dollar bonus card.
Woo Hoo!

If you need your own pair, here's the link.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Day #25: I can't stop smiling!!

I can't stop smiling!  I don't know when it happened, but I find myself smiling.  All the time.
Watching Gilmore Girls: smiling.
Alone on a Friday night: smiling.
Doing the dishes, I'm smiling.
The kitchen floor is filthy: smiling.
I'm late to my friend's house: I find myself smiling.
I step over dirty laundry to rummage through the pile on my bed to look for my phone: still smiling!

This is wonderful!  The hole in my soul has been healed!  I find that I can walk by an attractive man and not study him to see if his measurements will fit inside the hole in my soul.  I can suddenly feel uncomfortable and not drive around aimlessly for 3 1/4 hours trying to run away from it.  I can refrain from exercise without feeling like my self-worth is circling the drain.

I can say hello to a stranger and the constant self-consciousness that used to accompany my everywhere does not surface.  I just say hello.  I just smile.  My worthiness is not on the line.

Let the record show [so that next week when the weather forecast is not so sunny I can look back on today]  that today I believe in God, and that that God is working in my favor.  There is no other explanation when I remember where I was even just a year ago and compare that woman to me now.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Blessing #24: Five hour naps.

Yes, really.  I was so exhausted this morning that when a fellow Mountain Host said hello this morning I burst into tears.  I had no idea I was that tired!

The thing about being tired is that its affects sneak up on me.  A few nights of 6 hours of sleep....a run in the cold...a graduation on a Thursday night....staying late at school a couple afternoons in a week.  Suddenly I'm crying when someone asks me how I am. 

And I don't realize my brain function has been affected until after my exhaustion as been rectified.

I came home early from skiing today and watched two Gilmore Girls episodes (taking full advantage of my free month on Netflix) then fell asleep at 2.  I opened my eyes briefly at four but quickly went back to sleep.  Next thing I know it's 7.  It's dark outside and practically every light in the house is on.  I feel like I'm in a fishbowl, but do I get up and close the blinds?  No way!  There's more episodes to watch!  I'm only on season 1!  I watched another.

Then my brain turned back on!  The sleep had restored neurological functioning and I suddenly realized I had to get out of the house.  I was still in my long underwear and turtleneck from skiing, hair still in braids.  I realized I had spend 16 of the past 36 hours on this very couch in this very position watching these same people. I went to a birthday party I had forgotten about then decided to skip in my sleep-deprived state.

Joy not tired.
The moral of the story is that sleep is super important for me.  Here's what I noticed today about why:
Joy tired. (note the time: that is A.M.)
  • The NIH says so.  See here.  [note the first section heading:  Healthy Brain Function and Emotional Well-Being]
  • When I have enough sleep I do not cry when someone asks me how I am.
  • I am friendlier when I have enough sleep.
  • When tired, I eat.  A lot.  Hunger is not a factor, I just keep eating.
  • When tired, I watch more tv.  And while good for Netflix, not so good for Joy's well-being.
  • When tired, I forget things, then miss out, thereby making my fear-of-missing-out come true.
  • The bags under my eyes are way, way smaller when I get enough sleep.
  • I don't exercise when I'm tired which makes me feel stagnant which makes me cranky which makes me eat which makes me gain weight which makes me feel icky.
  • I am a much, much better teacher and planner of teaching lessons when I am well-rested.
  • I don't get sick when I stay sleep-hydrated!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Blessing #23 for 2015: Date night...with myself!

I said NO!  Not to a man or a to sugar or to a job, but to the symphony.  I had planned to go to the Boise Philharmonic with my "cultural" friend (the one I go to the Shakespeare Festival & Broadway in Boise with) tonight.  We made these plans weeks ago.

And then this week started.
 The longest, most stressful, busiest week of the school year.

It's the first week of the 3rd quarter: new students, 2 new classes to teach, Robie meetings started this week, graduation on Thursday night....and the symphony on Friday.  There has been no time for the gym or a run or skiing; I volunteer at Bogus all day tomorrow and have an event at 1 on Sunday.  AND all week long I have had that sensation of overwhelm where I know my kidneys are constantly firing.  I was so tired all day at school today I felt like a zombie.

I'm becoming Besties with myself
I knew I should cancel some time yesterday, but I delayed until noon today.  12:31, truth be told.  I called [texting seemed like cheating].  I left a message, asking her to still be my friend.  I felt relieved immediately, which was further deepened when she called back and said she, too, felt let-off-the-hook, too.

Since then, I had the best day!  I stayed at school an extra 2 hours and feel awesome about getting stuff done for Monday.  I stopped at the grocery store and restocked, which felt surprisingly good.  Once home I put on my flannel pj bottoms (see previous post), made dinner and watched Gilmore Girls! hours now!  No, wait, it's six.  I need to go to bed.

I can tell you this, though.  I can't stop smiling!  I love this show.  I dare say healing happens whilst I watch this show.  But I'm still on season one....I'll keep you posted!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Blessing #22: Frank Church Winter Graduation

Today was yet another Frank Chuch graduation.  These are the days that make my job totally worth it.  Some of  these kids experience more in their young lives than many people experience in all their years.  Graduations always recalibrates my perspective!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Blessing # 21: Today I mind myself.

Thank you, Martha, for creating a delicious, quick and easy soup!  Here's the recipe for 15-minute lentil soup!

What this gratitude is really about, however, is what I heard an Aussie woman call "looking after" oneself.  The Irish call it "minding" oneself.  I call it taking care of myself, and it is they key to creating the life I want. 

It may seem obvious to all of you, but it has taken me a long time to discover that doing some of the following simple things every. single. day. really and truly does make me happier:
  • Brush my teeth in the morning and the evening.
  • Take a shower as close to every day as possible.  In my defense, we are obsessed with cleanliness and Europeans are not as fond of showers as we are.
  • Not eating a bag of popcorn from Costco for dinner.  This was a news flash. Really, it was.  Not that long ago, either.  I may or may not have had a popcorn relapse this past weekend on meltdown day.
  • Washing my clothes once a week.
  • Cleaning the used Kleenex out of my car the same day I use them.  Who knew this would feel so good?
  • Doing my hair in the morning.
  • Putting on makeup in the morning.  (I know this is controversial, but I really feel better when I know I have put some effort into looking nice.  I think it's the care thing, not the how-I-look part)
  • EXERCISE!!  This one cannot be overstated.  Movement of my body moves my brain.
  • Washing the dishes.  The same day I make them dirty.
  • Make my bed.
  • Go to bed by 9.  
  • Take out the trash on trash day.
  • Go to the doctor once a year.
  • Go to the dentist twice a year.
  • Rest.
So simple, but so profound.

A few months after I got divorced from my husband of 9 years I was standing in my kitchen in my pajamas, hair dirty, days of dishes piled in the sink, looking out the window at the jungle that had become my back yard.  The garbage hadn't been taken out in several weeks, there were piles of laundry and junk all over the house, the bathroom smelled...interesting and there was a layer of slime on most surfaces.

Suddenly I realized that I didn't have any idea what I had contributed to that marriage.  I called my ex and told him so.

About 6 years later I feel joyful every Friday when I roll my trash can out to the curb; when I check the mail, when I open the mail that same day, when I do the dishes before I leave for work.  The satisfaction I feel with myself was part of what I have been looking for all along, but never knew.

I am reminded of what I heard a man named Father Tom said one time [I paraphrase]:
Person #1:  Don't cheat, don't lie, don't murder, don't commit adultery, don't steal, don't judge others.
Person #2:  I don't want to believe in your god, that's so negative!   
Person #1:  Try it for a while.  See how negative your life becomes.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Blessing #20 - I was wrong.

I thought today was going to totally suck.

And it did, until 8:05 when school started.

Then it was AWESOME!
  •  my students were great
  • I felt awesome once I started teaching
  • I got to have coffee with a friend after work
  • I got to hang out with more friends at a fun meeting tonight
  • And now I will be in bed by 8:50.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Blessing for Day 19: This day is OVER!

My Day.
That's the best I've got today.  I'm so happy this day is over.


I've been in anxiety all day and I was more or less in survival mode all day.  My stomach burned with anxiousness no matter what I did.  My thoughts didn't really help.
Aside from the day being over, there were a few positive things I found to put on the "good" list for the day:
  • I used to have anxious days like this every day.  i.e. I used to count the days that weren't  anxious.
  • When these days used to come, the best I could do was stop crying, go home and go to bed.  Today I worked for 4 hours, met some friends, went to the gym and made myself dinner.  
  • I called a friend and talked to her about it.  I used to be too ashamed of myself to ask a friend for help on days like this.
  • I got 2 loads of laundry done.
  • I'm going to take a shower before bed.
  • I went to school and got my room prepped for tomorrow.
  • I didn't have to be around people today.  Even though I was really lonely, it wasn't the kind of lonely that can be fixed by being around's a God lonely.

This is what my insides felt like today.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Blessing #17 - My first run of 2015!!!

I went on my first run of the year today in the Boise foothills, and it was awesome!  I thought I would feel terrible and I felt great!  Thanks to my friend Barb for showing up with me.

I had a minor collision with a muddy trail, but other than being covered in mud and looking like I had an accident of sorts, no harm done.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

#17: Brene Brown

It snowed last night at Bogus, so I, owning a beautiful 4x4 Jeep Grand Cherokee, naturally arranged to catch a ride up the hill this morning with a friend. 

I am from Texas!!!  We don't have snow!!!!  Shut! Up!!

I got all the way to the meeting spot when I realized I didn't have my boots.  My friend offered to wait for me, but the ridiculousness [shame?] of owning this vehicle and never driving it in the snow overwhelmed me and I sent him off alone.

I listened to Brene Brown's The Power of Vulnerability on the way up, a shame and vulnerability researcher whose TED Talk went viral a few years back.  She was going to be my gratitude for the day until the drive home!

I waited in the bar over an hour after I got done working.  I ate a massive amount of popcorn avoiding the anxiety of driving down in the snow/freezing rain/slush.

It was dark when I finally left.  I was going approximately 6 miles an hour.  I didn't brake, I just shifted between 1,2,3, usually freaking out in 3rd gear.  I lost depth perception a few times and relied on the white lines to follow me down. I felt the pressure of drivers behind me encouraging [read: tailgating] me to pull over and get out of their way.  Brene Brown was still playing on the way down. 

As I'm listening to this woman talk about shame belonging I realize that I used to not even go skiing, much less drive myself up there, because I was so fearful of feeling ashamed of myself if I made a mistake, or of looking bad, or of being laughed at, or of feeling awkward, or of getting hurt, or having to go by myself because "I don't have any friends" (as I used to tell myself). 

Brene says in this CD set that the #1 barrier to "belonging" is "fitting in".  This has changed my life.  Realizing that I can be myself and THAT is who and what is appreciated about me has been one of the top 3 greatest gifts I have received in life.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Blessing 16 of 2015: the running girls

Today my running girls and I had our annual Christmas party--the one time a year we are all together (although one was absent and it's just not the same without her!).

I met these ladies nine years ago a week after the Table Rock Challenge, a run to the top of Table Rock at which point you get your picture taken with Smokey Bear  (I still have the picture).

These women have seen me [read: run me] through everything in Boise: depression, divorce, elation, break ups and now, joyfulness.  They have loved me during the good and the bad, at my worst and at my best. We have been competitive yet supportive; we've traveled together, been on the same team together, all slept in one room with 2 double beds.  One played music at my Irish going-away party.  I went to Disney World with one, New York with another, McCall with another few.  We are rarely in the same place at the same time, but the love is always there.

No matter what, we still run.  Everyone is always invited.  No. Matter. What.  It doesn't matter if you're late- they'll love you but they'll leave you!- it doesn't matter if you have to stop to cry in the middle of Rocky Canyon Road because your heart is broken.
Just. Keep. Running.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Day 15! Happy Surprises!

When I got home today, this greeted my on my front door!!!  Surprise!!

You can't see in the pictures but each heart says:
Joy-I Love You-Just-As-You-Are

I have no idea who did this [I have a few suspicions] and it absolutely made my day!!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Day 14 - Being sick

I feel sick, my skin is radiating heat while I am shivering, I have hives, and a headache.
I have adorned myself in my old-lady-fluffy-pink robe (yes, my mother DID give it to me), Zsa Zsa Gabor-esque fuzzy slippers, old Robie Creek socks, and my hair up in a towel-turban.  (yes, I am aware that may be affecting the shivering.  I'll blow it dry in a minute!)

What I'm grateful for today is that I am sick.

I found out accepted that I have become allergic to several foods (gluten, eggs, dairy and, worst of all, garlic) back around October, thanks to a violent reaction from a "harmless" chocolate chip cookie dough truffle which culminated in a trip to the emergency room and was resolved with probiotics.  Since then I have diligently avoided the four main allergies.

Then there was Christmas.
In Texas.
With my aunt.
The Italian cook.

She graciously cooked around my issues, but I in no way limited my sugar intake.  I made my favorite cookies ever (dairy, gluten, egg free, recipe below
) and ate them all.  About a week after I got home, which was last week, I got sick.  And now I'm sick again.

I'm so grateful that there IS a solution to my sickness.  My body is telling me it doesn't like how I've been doing things, and I a finally listening.  There IS a solution to my ailments.  So many others don't have one. (CDC Stats)  I'd be doing them a disservice if I didn't pay attention now and make the changes I can to live my life without getting sick once a week!

Enjoy Life has a great selection of allergen-free products and lots of recipes on the their web page.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Blessing #13 of 2015

To be able to go ski after work and still be back in town for a meeting at 7!

Today the inversion finally lifted! I was a little disappointed when I saw the sun out the window at work b/c I had been so excited to go ski specifically to get OUT of the inversion, but I soon got over it.  Truth be told, the blue sky awoke the "should-y" committee in my head.  Suddenly they were all awake, telling me super helpful things like:
  • You have to go on a run now, because your excuse that the inversion is hard to run in has just evaporated.
  • You are wasting this beautiful day if you go up skiing.  Skiing should be reserved for escape only.  [I didn't say the committee makes sense, just that it is chatty & persistent]
  •  Once you get up there, Bogus will be in the clouds.
  • You are such a loser that you want to go ski by yourself.  [I sometimes forget that I am around needy teenagers All. Day. Long.]
  • Ad infinitum...

Once I got up there I did feel just a tad insecure.  I was expecting two or three cars but instead there were like 15!  People were everywhere! [considering this is the Nordic lodge, I mean].  I had that same sense of "all-these-people-are-bad-assess-and-I'm-not"-ness that I used to get when I went to mountain bike races and still get when I go into any bike store (with the exception of East Side Cycles).

I was caught off guard after the sun set and my hands, nose and cheeks were absolutely freezing.  I still had a half hour to go!  But it was absolutely worth it.  Just getting a different perspective is worth the drive up there!

At the turn off to Shafer Butte.
It looked like the winter wonderland in a few places.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

#11 - January 11

Football in the background of great conversation. Hanging out with a girlfriend on a Saturday night!  This is not something I've really done in my life: hang out with women, and hang out with women in my house.


Seattle Seahawks
NFL Second Round Playoffs
Saturday, January 10, 6:15 PM
CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington



Final 17 - 31

Sunday, January 11, 2015


A 4WD vehicle that gets me all the way up the mountain by myself! Not bad for a girl from TX!

Nevermind that it hasn't snowed in a week.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Blessing #9

I got Netflix for the first time ever!

I may never leave the house again.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


I just sat and read for an hour.
With the tv off.
In my house.
On the couch.
For the first time ever.

And loved it!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Blessing for January 6

Sick leave and flannel pajamas!

Today I woke up feeling like death warmed over.  I endured the day at work but was so grateful to come home, don my sexy flannel pj bottoms that I thought when they were given to me would never, ever fit b/c the giver is skinnier than me and used herself as a test model,  and took a nap.  A good two hour one.  I even had the bright idea to plan for a sub for tomorrow, just in case I wake up feeling even worse tomorrow.  That's a first, for sure.  I'm usually the person that assumes I'll be fine and it will be no big deal to whip out something for students to do at 5 a.m. when I have snot dripping out of my nose, a headache and can barely see b/c my eyes are so poofy.

Yes, then have Christmas penguins on them.  So what?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Blessing #5

Today I go back to work, so I'm grateful that I have a job that has given me 2 weeks off at the holidays.  I tried not being a teacher and it was more or less an emotional disaster.  How do people endure going to work every day?  I'm willing to take the pay cut to have the schedule. 

I'm also so glad to have a job to go back to!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Blessing #4 - January 4

Today is my mom's birthday!  Thanks, mom, for all you've done for me.  I love you tons and tons!

This Christmas with my parents at Campisi's in Dallas.

My mom and I on my cousin's boat near Austin.

In the unforgiving heat of Austin, at a Blue Angel's air show.

My parents and me at my baptism.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Blessing #3, January 3rd

Lunch at the Pioneer Lodge and a beautiful view!!  Not to mention, popcorn afterwards with good friends. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Blessing #1 of 2015

Skiing at Bogus Basin with the Mountain Hosts, ABOVE the inversion.
What a great way to start the new year!  The air was refresing and to see the blue sky after so many days in the dreary clouds of inversion was awesome!  As an added bonus, ski patrol used us a lot today--we did a lot of good PR when things closed down.