February 27th

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

You know when you spend time with people who lift you up, who give you a sense of belonging, how you just continue to radiate joy even after the time spent is done?

That’s me today.

After unpacking my bag this morning (I actually was able to do a checked bag!), I was taking time to page through the gifts Emily and Theresa sent me home with. Emily sent me home with the book American Cozy: Hygge-Inspired Ways to Create Comfort and Happiness. Theresa, on the other hand, brought the second book here to my attention while shopping on Monday. She walked it over to me and said “This book seems to emulate perfectly how you live your life.”

Curiosity obviously overtook me, and after reading the title, emotion filled my throat: Today, Tomorrow, & Everyday: Thoughts on Living A Brave and Real and Gorgeous Life.

As I paged through the book, phrases and statements like “She made room in every day for delight,” and “I saw myself like a stranger on the street. I saw what others loved in me – the substance and the spark that are mine alone. And I realized I owed it to myself to see these things often. So now I do.”

But my favorite was this line: “‘I see,’ she said, ‘that my life is a story of joy.'”

Theresa had given me the most heartfelt and touching compliment anyone ever could. The idea that these thoughts made someone think of me was truly amazing.

Emily’s gift was so similar to that – one aimed at cultivating comfort and happiness in my home. “It’s perfect for you, you’ll enjoy this,” she said to me.

I’m feeling incredibly loved and understood this morning, and that is such a treasure. I came home with so much more than with what I left.

February 25th

Monday, February 25th, 2019

Our last day here left me reeling.

Wandering the shops in the historic Heights District, enjoying a thunderstorm, and ending with box seats at opening night of the Houston Rodeo. It was perfect.


We also made macaroons. From scratch. And they actually turned out!! I take no credit – I only made the jam.


Now for the rodeo – it was the strangest rodeo I’d ever been to. No grand entry, the events didn’t happen in the traditional order, and they cruised through everything. The rodeo itself only lasted an hour and a half.

And can we address how ginormous the arena is? In my main photo today, there is a team roping team out in the arena completing their run. It’s hard to even see them. Come barrels, the third barrel for wasn’t even placed half way down the arena.

It’d sure be fun to ride in though!

Once the rodeo ended, then the mutton busting, calf scramble, and concert started. That is what people came for. Two hours worth of post-rodeo events. So weird. Super fun, but weird.

Kya’s favorite artist, Kacey Musgraves, was the performing artist, so we all had a blast. At the end of her concert she climbed on a horse and rode out of the arena. Pretty unique!

February 24th

Sunday, February 24th, 2019

I forgot to mention in previous posts that one of the first things I said after walking outside at the airport was “it smells alive here!”

Theresa may have thought I was a tad crazy, but I could smell the greenery. The air held moisture, so it smelled like things growing.

That became the running joke of the weekend, so to further my excitement about things being alive, Emily suggested that we go walk the arboretum.

Not only were things alive and growing, but trees and flowers were BLOOMING! Skies were blue, birds were singing, bees buzzing, turtles swimming.

It was simply wonderful.

As if things couldn’t get any better, Kya and I were able to sit by the pool this afternoon after our arboretum visit as Emily and Theresa got some of their own things done.

So so wonderful.

February 23rd

Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

Our day started out with a delicious breakfast of French toast, homemade whipped cream, and berries…

and ended with burgers made with all locally sourced ingredients. (And clever signage!)

So good, so good, so good.

Even with the amazing food, the company is even better. I’m always amazed at who God places in my life at what time. I didn’t walk into Kya’s wedding thinking I’d leave with such a deep connection with new people. Lifelong friends.

But I did.

So much laughing, so much vulnerability, transparency, and great discussions. Feeling so built up, so connected.

So amazing!


February 22nd

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

Kya and I were up at the wee hours of the morning today, and left for a warmer climate…

Houston, Texas for Girls Weekend 2019!

If you follow my blog, you’ve “met” Kya, and know that we’ve been best friends since we were eight and we were each other’s Maid of Honor.

Well last summer as I was planning Kya’s bachelorette party, I was introduced (via email as they lived in Houston) to Theresa and Emily, the other two ladies in Kya’s bridal party. We officially met face to face in July, come Kya’s actual bachelorette party.

We all hit it off, and by the end of bachelorette party weekend I found myself even more excited for the wedding knowing we’d all be spending time together again.

So sure enough, come wedding weekend (late September) we all had a complete blast, and we vowed we’d try to all get together again soon.

Late December Kya texted asking about a girls trip to Houston, and the planning began!

We laid pretty low today, but that won’t last long. Sounds like Theresa has a lot planned for us this weekend!

Picture of the hallway leading to Jonathon and Theresa’s study because their house has pretty light.

February 21st

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

If you ask me to critter-sit for you, expect photographs.

This is sweet Peppy, our neighbor’s gelding. They’re out of town for the World Show with their other furry babe, Peanut. Last I heard she made it to finals, so that’s exciting!

This guy has been around for forever. A trusty, competitive show horse for years, he’s now over 20 and enjoying retirement. Did I already mention that he’s sweet sweet sweet to his core? He also is my ideal coloring for a horse – he is one of the most beautiful horses I’ve met. Mocha brown with pretty, rich light brown highlights, and a sweet, swirly snip on his top lip.


Earlier this week when Paul and I stopped over he greeted us with a nicker, but wasn’t into snuggles. He was intrigued, but wasn’t sure who we were, so he stayed reserved.

Each time I’ve stopped out this week, he’s been more and more excited to see me. Each time I get a nicker, and today he even met me at the gate. After I checked his hay and water, I ran back to my car to grab my camera.

Evidently, having the camera over my eyes triggered his play button, because he “chased” me around the paddock, head bobbing, while rotating between curiously nuzzling, firmly nudging, and lightly nipping at my hat and jacket. I’d tease him, and he’d tease me. I actually didn’t get many photos of him because he was quick to stick his nose all the way up to my lens.


I’ve said this before, but if you’ve never played with a horse, you’re missing out. Smart, social, and curious, these gentle giants have so much love and joy in their hearts; it’s humbling when they share it with you.



February 20th

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

Seven and one half inches later, the system has officially moved through.

I love a good snowstorm, especially when I can plan for it and not have to leave my house. Today’s storm was nearly perfect; little wind, large fluffy flakes, and even amounts throughout the day. I was able to go out and shovel out the chicken’s run periodically throughout the day and keep up on it which is always helpful.

Even still, having a driveway a third of a mile long is close to impossible to shovel.

Luckily, I have a super neat dad that brings his tractor over to plow us out. With the amount of snow over the past few weeks, dad loaded the blower on the back of the tractor to try and throw the snow out into the fields surrounding our house (and theirs) to help keep our snow piles at a manageable size.

Thanks, dad!

February 19th

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

Large shadowy blobs in trees always make me stop for  a better look.

More often than not, they’re large birds. To me, a bird worth photographing.

Sitting in my office this morning, I saw a blob in one of our trees out front. It’s a tree that doesn’t often have birds that sit in it, so my interest was more peaked than normal.

This blob shifted in the tree, and the light hit it – a rooster pheasant!

I should’ve known – the pheasants always come out before a big snowstorm. Time to buckle down!

February 18th

Monday, February 18th, 2019

Paul and I took a walk out to the woods tonight, and there is no where more peaceful.

With as much snow as we have, tracking critters is fairly easy. However, we didn’t find many. We saw rabbit tracks, squirrel tracks, one or two deer trails, and either fox or coyote.

Not nearly as many as we see when we have lesser amounts of snow, though.

We did see our Barred Owl lady friend, and that is always exhilarating. However, today was a great example that although we spotted her, that doesn’t always mean I get good photographs. Sometimes you strike out, and today was that day.

The first image is when we first spotted her, the second was after we moved in and shifted our position a bit. She wasn’t interested in sticking around for us.


Although our sighting was brief, we always love to see her.