📷:⬆️bluebonnet in San Antonio
Sunrise in Texas
We moved to Texas in 1985 before out first daughter, Rachel was born. We struggled along finding our way to make a living. Some couples do things the “right way”. They finish college, save money, get married, buy a house, have children and live happily ever after. We on the contrary met, fell in love, got married, and fought for every milestone along the way. I realize how much more we appreciated everything back then. When we bought our first washing machine we both watched the spin cycle so proud and excited we had our own machine and did not need to frequent the dreaded launder mat anymore. Each new achievement brought us such pride and I still try to remind myself of that feeling and appreciate all we have now. I know I am guilty of taking these small things for granted.
📷: Molly, Keith and Rachel 1994
Fast forward 6 years, we bought our first home in Plano, Texas and our second daughter, Molly was born there in 1991. Life was good with all the hustle and bustle of two working parents keeping up to provide for our girls. Along the way, Keith finished school classes during the days; working nights at Parkland Hospital in downtown Dallas. We still struggled financially to make ends meet, but never missed out on family fun.
Fun in the Sun
From the time Rachel was a baby, we spent many weekends camping at all the wonderful Texas State Parks. These weekends are still some of my favorite memories with our girls. We played hard all day; evening showers and a walk back to our campsite with wet hair and click clock of our flip flops. Before sunset we cooked our outdoor dinner and once darkness arrived, it was time for s’mores, followed by Keith’s ghost stories before bed. Fast forward four years we landed in Denton, Texas for his job and we spent 6 years there. After several years there we began to dream about having more space and started looking for land in the country. Keith found acreage 25 miles north of town perfect for a small ranchette in Era Texas. We designed and built a cute little farmhouse and loved this new lifestyle.
📷:Farmhouse in snow
Cowboy Life and Beautiful Sunrises
We settled in to our home in Era with the new life of being “country folk” and all that goes with it. Keith grew up on a farm so he naturally adapted and easily took on this new lifestyle. For us it was all a learning experience. We had horses, chickens, barn cats, wild animals, snakes, and it was no surprise to encounter a longhorn in the road leaving for work and school. We stayed here 11 years raising both daughters to their high school graduations and Rachel’s college graduation; along with our first precious granddaughter, Audree’s arrival. I fought and beat cancer twice in this home; which naturally brought us all closer. These years flew by like a blink of an eye. One day we received news that Keith lost his job. Sudden change can equal fear and I believe the fearfulness comes because of the unknown. Thankfully Keith found work but it required a move. The sunset on this chapter of our lives. Our girls were raised, both married and starting families of their own.
📷: our farmhouse in the fall
Keith’s job took us to Little Rock for 2 1/2 years. Everywhere Keith and I go is an adventure. When you keep your friendship strong in your marriage, you can be happy anywhere. My heart hurt being away from my girls and granddaughter; as well as my sister and parents we left in North Texas, but we enjoyed our new location in the beautiful mountains of Arkansas. We spent our weekends in the Ozarks on the Little Red River and enjoyed many days boating on Greers Ferry Lake. My mom in law lives in Little Rock and it was wonderful to be close to her for this time. In 2014 opportunity knocked on our door again. Keith was offered a position in San Antonio. We were both excited to get a little closer to our girls and now 3 granddaughters in North Texas and back to the Lone Star state.
📷: ⬆️ Little Rock
Deep in the Heart of Texas
We were not too sure about the Hill Country when we first arrived. San Antonio is the 7th largest city in the U.S., but does not feel like a big city. The culture and Texas roots are deeply embedded here. We soon learned to love this city. We bought a home closer to the hills and commuted to the city for our work. Some of my most beautiful runs and training for three of my Half Marathons were here. Many deer frequent the neighborhoods and the landscape is covered with wildflowers and Texas plant life. Still one thing missing is our sweet girls. So, here we are again…. another opportunity knocks. This time in East Texas in the Piney Woods. I know nothing about this area, but that it is rural, slower pace and less to do. It is another change and again, the unknown brings fear. I am scared but I know God has a plan and He will take care of us.
📷:hill country state natural area
📷: old oak at the Alamo
We have made this choice for change and I am having to talk myself out of fear many times a day. Telling myself, We will sell our house….we will find a house….we will find new friends…we will find a church….we will find new fun things to do. I am thankful that I have my best friend to make this new home with and know that he and I will make it the best because we always do. What is making me the happiest is that I can get to my girls, my five granddaughters, my parents, one of my sisters in two hours in this new location! My mom in law will be much closer too. We will be able to make more soccer games, dance recital, parties, and go for a day trip just because. Writing about all these twist and turns God has taken us through is already calming my spirit and a reminder that everything’s going to be just fine.
Change is Like Running a Long Race
Change is similar to running a long race. We train for stressful moments in life by staying strong in our faith just as we train for a race by strengthening our bodies. Stepping into change is like a race that takes us up and down hills similar to trials we can’t avoid to make it to the end. We get tired along the way during change and a race, but as we approach the finish line of a race is same as we feel when we settle in a new situation.
I approach next week with the feeling of anxiety not knowing how long we will live in a tiny corporate suite while waiting to sell our house. All our personal belongings will be in storage. Then I remind myself how blessed we are to have a place to stay and our belongings are temporarily stored away. So many people in our Lone Star State have lost everything in Hurricane Harvey. I have nothing to complain about and will count my blessings and take one day at a time.
I love to run and run to stay healthy. After cancer, I started running more and run a half marathon every year. My philosophy is “It is me vs. me.” I try to avoid getting caught up on how fast my time is, but do wish I was faster. Most importantly, just thankful I am healthy.