Monday, October 17, 2011

Run for a Reason

My friend Leslie and I have decided to run the Houston Chevron marathon together in January. We didn't want to just run it for ourselves, we wanted our efforts to go to a good cause as well. Originally I had been approached to run for St. Jude Children's Hospital but after talking to Leslie she wanted to do a charity that was close to her heart. I thought it would be better for us to work together towards one goal, so we decided Bo's Place was the best option for the both of us.
The goal for each runner is $2000. Beginning this journey I thought, "Well that should be fairly simple to raise." Needless to say, not exactly. It's always difficult asking people for money, especially for a charity most people have never even heard of. The first few weeks we got donations from friends and family which for the most part added up to about $600 for me and about $1100 for her. Our next step was hitting coworkers. For the month of September we brought breakfast for the company kitchen on Friday's with a donation jar for those who felt inclined to give a donation. This brought in about another $300 for each of us, including several donations from some of our bosses and partners.
The third effort was hosting a football square pool for our coworkers where half the money collected would go to the charity and the other half to the winner of the pool. This was a great success because it not only brought in money for Bo's Place but it also was exciting for those who participated because it gave them the chance to make a little extra money as well. The football pool brought in $300 for us to split, which brought my total to about $1300 and her's to $1850ish. We were almost there but running out of ideas and people to bug about donating.
Our last idea was a charity garage sale at my mom's house in Tyler. We began hitting people up for their unwanted junk to donate to the sale. The majority came from my mom's friends and people from her church. I went home this last weekend to get everything together with the hope that there would enough "unwanted junk" to make up for the difference in our goals. Once walking into the garage I quickly realized we had more than enough stuff and just hoped that people would be willing to buy!
The sale was a great success and we raised an addition $1045. Which put our totals over $2100 each along with a few other donations from friends over the weekend.
The journey of fundraising was fun and very fulfilling. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to raise not only money for a great cause but also raise awareness about a fairly unknown charity that could enhance the lives of those that it comes in contact with. I've realized that when you really want to meet a goal, if you put forth the time effort and brain power you can accomplish your goals in no time. Leslie and I are very proud to be supporting such a wonderful charity and hope to make them proud by successfully completing the marathon as well.
I would like to think the hardest part was raising the $2000 but I know I'm just fooling myself. Running 26.2 miles is a huge commitment and hopefully with just as much time and work we can meet that goal as well. Wish us luck!!!
Thanks to all those who supported us, financially and emotionally!!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Much needed change...

So after reading my last blog I've realized that it's definitely time for an update. I always say how much I love change and experiencing new things and these last few months are just a testament to that. If change is what I wanted I definitley got it!
You never really realize the reality of situations until you are on the outside. It took a shocking blow to realize how unperfect my life was. I was convincing myself that being content was good enough and overlooking the important things that mean so much to me.
I never thought it was possible to be as happy as I am right now. My life is in a place I never thought possible and it feels good to finally be in control.

I've "lost" about 210 pounds and it feels amazing not walking around with all the weight on my shoulders. I breathe so much easier. I have friendships that I've always wanted and my old ones are better than ever. I'm doing things I've always wanted to do, for example running a marathon in January. My job gets better everyday as I learn more. My relationships with my family have grown stronger and I realized how much I really do depend on them for support and love. I feel like I'm in control, not chasing someone's elses dream but building my life for myself for once. I've always prided myself on being an independent person but these past few months have given that a whole new meaning. I'm finding out WHO I really am and feeling like I'm getting back to my true self.

There's really only one word to perfectly describe my life: FREE!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Almost one year!!!

It's been almost one year since my last blog, so long overdue. So much has happened that it difficult to give an update on everything, so I'll just keep it short and sweet.

In October I was hired as a two week accountant contractor for Limerock Resources. The opportunity was such a blessing and I was ecstatic! After the first week I was asked to stay for an undisclosed amount of time to continue working until they no longer needed me. Fortunately six months later I was offered a full time position as General Accountant and accepted the job. I love working here! It's a friendly, hardworking company that is growing faster than we can keep up. I have made several friends while working here and have enjoyed the type of work I've been doing. I saw a great quote the other day that described my job pretty well. "Not every day is good, but there's something good in everyday." Let's not forget it's a job and there are going to be good things and bad things but I am 100% happy here and am grateful that such a wonderful opportunity came along.

Brandon finished his clinical rotations in May and graduated the first weekend in June. His rotations led him all over Texas including, San Antonio, Ft. Worth, and Houston. The Ft. Worth location was too far for me to visit so we went four weeks without seeing each other but it flew by so it wasn’t too bad. San Antonio was a great location because it was only a 2 hour drive for me from Houston so I went to visit half way between his 4 week rotation. While there we relaxed in his hotel room and spent the other days hanging out and eating on the Riverwalk. We also took a short trip to New Braunfels where we shopped and had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, The Gristmill. His last rotation was completed in Houston, thankfully. The best part was I finally had a person to car pool with so I could take the HOV lane! It’s the little things like that, that make me happy. Hahaha! It was nice for us to finally be back in the same city and living together again.

The last week in May, Brandon and I as well as his parents and mine, traveled back to St. Maarten for the graduation ceremony. The trip started off with a few glitches (delayed flights, cancelled flights, plane malfunctions, and lost luggage) but all in all the vacation and ceremony were fabulous! We had a wonderful time vacationing with our families and then relaxing just the two of us once they left. It was great to see the island again and tell stories about all the fun things we did while living there. Not much had changed, mainly roads and a few restaurants but the school looked just like we remembered and so did our old home. We spent a total of 8 days there and needless to say it was plenty. While I’m extremely grateful that we had the opportunity to live there for two years, I’m glad that chapter of my life is over.

I’ve become attached to the city of Houston and thoroughly enjoy living here. I have tons of family to see any day of the week I want. There are unlimited shopping, restaurant and entertainment places to keep me occupied and best of all, warm weather basically year round. For the past several months I’ve tried to make a point to go back to Tyler at least once or twice a month. Recently though I’ve decided it’s a little bit uneconomical to be making so many trips and it isn’t really giving me the opportunity to enjoy the city I love so much. I’ve made a few friends here and there in Houston but nothing compared to the one’s I have in Tyler so that’s what keeps me going back so often. Being able to see my sisters everyday has been one of the highlights of living back in Texas again. They have changed so much in the last 3 years that we have been traveling. Lura is a teenager now and every bit of a brat! LOL J/K. I love her to death. She is one of the sweetest most thoughtful people I know but she’s turning into a teenager now and things are changing. It’s difficult to see your little sisters change so much. I want her to stay little and cute and sweet. She’s growing up, flirting with boys, getting involved in cheerleading, talking about taking college level classes, etc.! AHHH it’s all too much.

Cameron is changing as well. We’ve become good friends since living in the same city. I wouldn’t trade our sisterly talks for anything in the world. She’s fun and crazy and gives some of the best advice.

Whitney started back to school this summer. She’s planning on going to nursing school in the future. I’m so proud of her! She texts me all the time telling me about her test grades. I know she’s proud and so am I! Coy and Cooper are getting so big. Coy is in school now. He has lost his four front teeth, on top and bottom. I saw him last weekend for the first time since they’ve all fallen out and he looked so cute. He looks more and more like MaKenzie every day. Cooper is my sweetheart. He’s so rough and has such a funny personality. He’s really getting big and sometimes even beating up his own brother. They both are the sweetest little nephews anyone could ask for and Whit is doing such a great job as a mother!
I always talk about how lucky I am and how grateful I am to have my life but it’s honestly the truth. I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone’s. While there are still many things I want in my future, I am totally content with where I am now. I look forward to more upcoming changes.
Until then…

Hopefully I can keep up with my updates more often now.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Everyday is a lifetime without you...

It's been almost 9 weeks since Brandon left for three of his clinical rotations in New York. I was able to see him for the first time last weekend and it was wonderful!! I have missed him so much but I think it made it even worse seeing him and then him leaving again.
When planning for this time Brandon and I agreed that I would stay in Houston to look for a job and he would go to NY without me for three months. I really believed that it would be easy and that we would both be so busy that we wouldn't have time to miss each other so much. Boy was I dead wrong!!!
It has really taken this time apart to realize how much we need each other and how much we really do make each other's lives so much better.
We really haven't spent more than a few weeks apart since we started dating in April 2005. This extended time apart has really made us grow stronger and appreciate those few moments together that we get to talk or see each other through the webcam. But if I could go back and do it again, I wouldn't. I would have gone to NY with Brandon and just waited to get a job once we settled somewhere together.
This whole experience is all about perspective. I appreciate him so much more and want to make every moment count between us because you never know what the future holds. I never really realized how much I could truly love someone and depend on them.
I have always thrived on being an independent person but have learned over the past few years and even months that although independent I still need Brandon in many ways. I have become content and happy in knowing that I have found this person that needs me just as much as I need them.
I miss him so much and I hope that these final 6 weeks will fly by! I hope to be able to go visit him by the end of October but until then I just have to miss him and be content with seeing him through webcam.

Monday, July 12, 2010

So far behind

So it's been about 3 months since I last blogged. So much has happened since then.
At the end of April I decided to make an impromptu trip back to Texas to have a little break from the cold weather in London. I spent about 6 weeks back in Texas before I decided to come back to England.
While in Texas I spent one full week at my sister's house with her and my nephews, two or so weeks in Tyler with Mom and my girlfriends, and two weeks in Houston spending time with my Dad and sisters. It made me even more ready and excited to move back home in July.
Once I made it back to London the weather was finally nice and we were able to walk outside without jackets. Brandon and I decided to spend a few days in Spain since he was off work for one extra week. We went to Costa Blanca for 5 days. It was a nice relaxing vacation from everything and a great way to spend a few romantic days together, just the two of us.

A few weeks after returning from Spain, Mom and Dave came for a visit. While they were here we spent 3 days visiting Germany. We rented a car and spent the time driving the Romantic Road visiting several of the cute little cities along the way. The highlight of the trip was the last stop, Neushwanstein, to see the Cinderella Castle. It was absolutely breathtaking and something I will never forget.

After Mom and Dave left for their two week cruise around the UK and France, we left for Rome, Italy. The trip had it's sweet and sour moments. The history and the city were absolutely unforgettable and something that we both have dreamed about seeing our entire lives. The sour part was the people. For the most part many of the Italians were extremely rude and unwilling to help in any way. Through all that though we still managed to have a great time. We ate some amazing food and saw some amazing history.

Four days after returning from Rome, Jessica and Stefani flew in for a visit. We spent two weeks jumping from city to city. We started our adventure in Dublin, Ireland were we did several tours of the city and the coast. We even did a ghost tour one night that was not scary at all but we managed to make it extremely fun!
The second city on our tour was Venice. We didn't arrive until midnight only to have no clue where our hotel was. We walked around in the rain for about 30 minutes until we decided to stop at a restaurant to have a little dinner and try to figure out where we were. The owner of the restaurant luckily spoke very good English and was willing to cook us a quick meal even though he was getting ready to close for the night. He not only cooked for us but he also called our hotel to get directions and check on our reservation. After realizing that our hotel was another 30 minute walk from where we were he suggested canceling that reservation and allowing him to find us a closer hotel. We were of course extremely grateful and agreed that that was the best option. After finishing our dinner he even walked with us to the hotel across the street where we met the hotel owner who set us up with a great room for the same price as our previous reservation. This whole experience gave me a whole new outlook on the attitudes of Italians. The rest of our trip in Italy was absolutely amazing. Venice is a mesmerizing city with so much romance and beauty. It is a place I will definitely go back to one day. We also were able to take a short train down to Rome to spend two nights touring the city.
After Italy our last destination was Paris. Thankfully we choose this as our last destination because the city is not cheap! We spent the first day doing touristy things such as going to the top of the Eiffel Tower and exploring the Catacombs. That night we took an illuminations tour to see the rest of the city on bus. The second day we went to a few museums and after lunch spent the rest of the day shopping. Some how we got sucked into the excitement and luxury of the city and spent WAY too much money buying designer shoes, dresses, and handbags. Needless to say I don't regret any purchase I made! I love it all! I can't wait to go back and do it all over again.
By the end of our trip we were out of money and out of energy. It was an amazing trip! We made many memories that I will cherish for a lifetime. It was amazing to me that three girls could spend two weeks together and not argue, fight or get on each other's nerves. We had a great time together and I am so glad that we chose to do this trip together. I think we'll make it a tradition to get together and travel every 4 or 5 years.
Today marks 5 days till we move back to Texas. We both are exhausted and have no motivation to pack our entire house to move half way back across the world but the good news is this is our last international move. It is bitter sweet because this is a close to a very adventurous chapter in our lives but it's an opening to chapter were we can spend more time with family and friends as well as move on with the real world. I really look forward to this next chapter, so much will change in the next year and I'm very excited about it.

Monday, April 19, 2010


My entire life I've dreamed about going to Paris. It has  been a place that I've been mesmerized by since I was little. Well, we I finally got the opportunity to go! Brandon and I thought the best time to go would be our 5 year anniversary in April. We actually thought it would be warmer if we went in the Spring but that definitely was not the case. Even through the cold and rain we had an absolutely amazing and romantic time.
The first day we were there it was beautiful outside, no clouds and just a little bit chilly, so no coat needed. We spent the day just walking around the city, enjoying all the sites and things we could recognize on our own. Seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time was unforgettable. Brandon and I were just in aww of how beautiful and amazing it was. It really felt like we were in a movie. We continued the day just enjoying everything we could see and find on our own.
The next few days were spent doing a bus tour, touring Notre Dame, walking the Siene River, shopping down Champs-Elyeese, touring the Louvre Musee, and biking through Montmartre. There was so much amazing art and architecture to see, it was almost overwhelming. The pastries were to die for! We could not stop ourselves from stopping in a pastry shop everyday and buying two or three to share. We also bought the most amazing bread we've ever had in our lives. It was some kind of praline bread the we purchased from a booth inside Gallaries Lafayette. It's a good thing we walked everywhere or I'm sure we would have put on a few unwanted pounds. :) We did enjoy food other than the pastries, such as escargot, quiche, and some of the best sandwiches ever.
Brandon is such a great person to go on vacations with because he loves taking pictures as much as I do. We had such a blast together. He made our vacation so romantic and so much more enjoyable. The city was truly amazing. Brandon and I have decided this is definitely a place we want to go back to over and over again. Next time I think we'll go during summer to ensure the weather will be warm. It was a great way to celebrate 5 wonderful years together. I can't wait to go back!! Maybe we should make it a tradition to celebrate our anniversary every 5 years in Paris!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Daddy and LuLu visit London!

My Dad and Lura came to visit this past week. The week speed by so quickly but we had a blast! Everyday we were out and about doing or seeing something new and interesting. It was a great for us to be able to experience all this together. I think they both really enjoyed seeing all the history and excitement that London has to offer. It was great for me to get to see this side of London as well. It made me have a refreshed appreciation of this wonderful city! I really look forward to the next few months, including the changing weather, the upcoming wonderful trips, and all our new visitors!
Here are a few pictures from this week.
A stroll through the park near our house on Day 1. Hoping to see more deer! 

Day 2: London Zoo, London Eye, and River Cruise

Day 3: Bus Tour, Lunch at Texas Embassy, and Bowling with Brandon that night.

Day 4: Tour of the Tower of London and the Queen's Crown Jewels, A visit to the scary London Dungeons, and the play Wicked! All Amazing!


Day 5: Trip to Windsor to tour the Windsor Palace and then home to finally relax. 

The entire week was great. I had such a fun week and I look forward to more visits from family and friends! Thanks Dad and Lura for coming to visit! Love you guys tons!!