Thursday, February 26, 2009


Husband had a good meeting today with a recruiter who seemed to think she would be able to secure him a job within the next month! Trying to stay positive despite the fact that is seems no firms are hiring right now. I am so thankful for all this time we get to spend together! Since I only work 3 days a week we are enjoying seeing each other much more! The weather is amazing in TX now! Like 70's and 80's! We kicked off our 1/2 marathon training tonight with a 3 mile run. Oh goodness I was hurting by the end of it though since we hadn't run since Valentine's Day since I had to work 4 nights straight after returning home from our trip. My face got so red and it almost felt like it was going to explode. We did it though, and our time was 32 minutes. Not too bad! We just need to get back into the routine of running. Especially with the 3 boxes of Girl Scout cookies that just arrived from work! Yum Samoas!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Guess who found his feet!

We went over to the "other Herrell's" and had some Dickey's barbeque last night. Mack impressed us by showing us his new talent...he found his feet! He is such a handsome baby and I swear he gets cuter and cuter everytime we see him! He is making all these fun laughing noises now too!

When we got home last night Andrew checked the mail. I had a handwritten letter from the Sr. VP and COO of Presbyterian Dallas hospital! I get letters from patients from time to time but have never gotten one from somebody so high up! I just have to share!


I conducted rounds on P4N on Feb 2, 2009. Your patient, K______ W________, was very complimentary of you. She said that you responded promptly to her needs, and she received everything she needed. You also took care of her family and friends. She felt like she was treated like a princess.

I want to extend my appreciation for your commitment to excellence and for providing compassionate, quality care. Thank you for making a difference and the great job you do.

                                                                                                     J_____ B______

Wow! It feels so good to get recognized like that for your hard work!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Angel Fire

We finally got around to planning our ski trip as Andrew's present for passing all 9 of his architecture registration exams!!!! We found a great deal at the Angel Fire Lodge and planned to drive up to save some money. We loaded up on the snacks and drinks and left our house at around 5 am Sunday morning.

we went all out on the snacks

plugging in our route on the iphone

It took us about 12 hours in all. We had fun on our little road trip!

Made it to New Mexico!

New Mexico visitors center

Once we reached New Mexico the scenery really started to get hilly! It was so nice to see some different scenery! We've got nothing but flatness in DFW. We stopped to take a few pictures of the awesome view. This was about the time all our snack bags we hadn't opened started popping with the altitude!

Andrew posing by some beautiful scenery in NM.

We planned to stay in an inexpensive hotel in Taos on Sunday night and then head over to the resort in Angel Fire Monday morning to check in. In Taos we got to see our first glimpse of the really high mountains with snow on the tops! We were exhausted and were asleep by 7 pm! The next morning we packed back up and took some pictures of the mountains. We stopped at a local coffee shop called Taos Java and got some lattes and croissants! YUM!

Mountains!!! We don't see these in TX!

Hitting up Taos Java!

We completed the 20 mile drive through windy mountainous roads and arrived at the lodge at around 9 am. We were able to check in early and did some exploring around the lodge. Our room was at a very convenient place in the hotel. We were close to the shops, restaurants, and lifts! We rented our equipment, skis for me and a snowboard for Andrew, and headed off for the slopes! Man do I hate walking in those boots though. I know its supposed to be uncomfortable but man, mine were painful!!!! 
View from our room

Those gorgeous slopes!

View from the mountain of the basin

Handsome husband getting ready to board
Who wouldn't want to ski through this gorgeous scenery?

Warming his feet after a big first day of boarding!

We had a great first day of skiing. The weather was absolutely perfect. Not too hot and not too cold. We ate at the cafe at the base of the mountain for lunch, and then went back out. I forgot how exhausted skiing is! We ordered some yummy quesadillas for dinner from the Lazy Lizard restaurant and watched The Bachelor in our room. I hope my girl Molly wins!!!! I can't wait until the finale! The next day was supposed to be a little questionable weather-wise. New Mexico was going to be getting all that crazy wind from California on Tuesday. That morning I ended up trading in my boots for new ones since I literally could not walk without crying!

Hitting the slopes on Day 2!

Andrew did a half day of skiing, but switched back to a board.

It feels so good to ski! It's almost like you're flying!

Fun photo shoot on the mountain.

We got hit with the wind in the afternoon that day. It was so bad they had to close the lifts on the front side of the mountain. Luckily we were able to take a bus over to the back side where they still had a lift open. We rode that up and skiied down a couple times. But man that wind was bad! Andrew almost lost his hat and at one point the wind was pushing me back right as I was trying to snow plow up to the red line to get on the lift. The attendant literally had to push me back up to the line the wind was so bad. So it was inevitable that they closed the lift on the backside of the mountin too. Boo! So we couldn't ski at all after 1 pm! We knew it was for safety though. They measured a wind gust of 90 mph at the top of the mountain!!! We ended up getting free tubing tickets b/c of the inconvenience. We ate lunch that day at the same little cafe on the base of the mountain and had delicious frito pie!

Riding "the magic carpet" up the tubing hill.

Those little black patches were designed to help stop you. It went so fast!!!

After we tubed we headed to The Sunset Grill for some dinner. It was great! Andrew had lemon pasta and I had tortilla soup with some of my beloved sweet potato fries. We planned out our 3rd day of skiing to ski all morning and then do a snowmobile tour in the afternoon. We were hurting by then so I think a half day is all we could handle!

One of the rail parks had this really pretty school bus that was painted.

That's me down there!

Emily H

After we turned in our skis we headed over to this amazing chinese restaurant called Yu Garden. We got to partake in an all you can eat buffet. It was seriously one of the best Chinese buffets I've ever had! Then we headed over to the meeting place for our snowmobiling tour. 

Walking up to the line of snowmobiles waiting for us.

I let Andrew drive first! I am not the best at driving things like this!

Our vehicle for 2 hours!

They took us up to an awesome scenic view.


We got to play around in this big open field. This is where I wanted to "learn how to drive it" It was so hard!

We had heard of an awesome pizza place called Angel Fired Pizza. So we went and picked some up! It was delish! We packed up our room and were off to bed to get ready for the big drive in the a.m.

You can see it was 6 degrees as we headed out Thursday morning! Brrrr!!!

We had a fun drive home. We even saw a massive coyote trotting along the side of the road. It was beautiful! I always carry a book with me so I offered to read it aloud to help keep Andrew awake and alert as he was driving. He agreed which actually surprised me since he is not much of a reader. He was very grateful it "wasn't one of those weird vampire books" though. Since I finished the Twilight series last fall I talked quite alot about how good the books were, and was sad they were over. A friend recommended the Sookie Stackhouse series which I devoured in about 5 weeks(and there is 8 books!). Ever since I finished those a week or so ago I haven't been able to stop talking about those too! So I read about half of Change of Heart by Jodi Piccoult aloud. He was really liking it and we may have a new emerging reader in our household! He can't wait to finish it!

So all in all it was a very fun and much needed trip! This was our first ski experience together! I'm looking forward to many more!

I watched my DVR'ed American Idol this morning as I was unpacking and am so glad Alexis Grace and Danny are in the top 12!!!!! We are off to grocery shop. We desperately need food and I'm working 4 nights straight starting tomorrow. Yuck!

Valentine's 2009

This was our first Valentine's as a married couple and our 3rd together. Our first V-day we went to The Kegg and had one of the best steak/crab dinners. Last year I had to work Valentine's night, but ended up getting the best phone call ever while at work: Aaron and Worth Anne were pregnant and baby Herrell was on the way. This year we kept it pretty low key especially since we had the unexpected news of Andrew getting laid off that week. But I wouldn't have had in any other way! We started the day off with a nice Valentine's run. It also ended up being our last day of the 9 week program. It was kinda neat that it fell on Valentine's Day. For each of our 3 run days that week we did a 5K. It felt so exhilarating each time we finished. Now we are onto our 1/2 marathon training! (That scares me a little honestly!) We spent the rest of the day running errands and getting ready for the ski trip we were leaving on the next day! We were debating on not going after what had happened earlier in the week but after much talk we decided to go for it. We had already paid for most of it and we really needed a little vacation at this point! We ended the day by picking up some Joe's to go and having a nice little dinner at home. Finished it off with a frozen cheesecake. Finally finished packing and went to bed early since we had to be on the road by the crack of dawn!

Yummy crab dinner

My favorite 3 boys.

What I have been praying lately...

These thoughts have been on the forefront of my mind since Tuesday February 10...

1. That his gifts and talents will be revealed.

2. That he will know the calling of God in his life.

3. He will have doors opened for him.

4. He will become all he is created to be.

Whenever we have a tough situation we are trying to work through, I sometimes don't know the right words to say to God. Ever since my dear friend April gifted me with an amazing book (The Power of a Praying Wife), I have been turning to it to help me verbalize my prayers. It has really helped me to specifically pray for what I feel Andrew needs. for the reason I have turned to my wonderful book for help.

Drove home from work in the morning,
talked to husband on the way home,
got ready for bed,
ate some breakfast and watched my DVR'ed Bachelor,
phone rings around 9 a.m. and this is what I hear...

"Babe, I just got laid off."

My stomach just dropped as I knew his already had. So many thoughts went through my mind. 

They told him his job wouldn't be affected by the economy...

He has worked so hard for them the past 2 years...

We have this new house to pay for...

We are supposed to go on vacation next week...

What are we going to do!!!!

I squelched the panic that was trying to set in and told him to come right home and we were going to be fine!!! He is so talented and I know he will find something that will be just right for him. I knew it was time for me to step up to the plate in my role as a "Praying Wife".

We talked all morning and into the afternoon. He got to work right away with his resume, unemployment etc. I can't say the same for myself. I probably would have gotten in bed and stayed there for about 2 days. I'm so proud of him! He was the most upset about not being able to "provide" for me for a little while. I explained to him that my definition of "providing" for me isn't monetary but being someone I can count on, depend on, trust, and rely on and he is all those things with or without a job. We are going to be just fine. Just a little bump in the road that we will look back on as a crazy thing that happened during our first year of marriage.

My Uncle Kevin told my mom to tell him this "ancient Chinese proverb"...

When door shut, window open.

I couldn't agree more. If anyone reads this please pray with me those first 4 thoughts.

I eventually dozed off only to wake up and watch the massive Oklahoma tornado coverage all afternoon on TWC. (I so would have been a meteorologist if I hadn't gone into nursing).

Later that night, Andrew went to his brother's to work on his resume and I was at home with the boys. Turns out the storms were continuing into the night and were headed right through Dallas and the surrounding suburbs! Andrew had to stay put or he would have been driving right with it. I didn't take any chances and loaded up the cats, ferret, and myself into the guest bathroom. We were doing ok until we lost power and then the tornado sirens went off. I had the laptop in there to look at the weather, but then we lost internet too. I even thought to bring our weather radio in, but once the lights were out I broke it after mistaking the antenna for the windy-up thingy that is supposed to power it so you don't have to plug it in or use batteries. So there I am in complete dark with 2 angry cats and a ferret who is puking in her carrier listening to the tornado sirens go off. Eventually everything calmed down and I ventured out to find a flashlight. Andrew came home as soon as it passed through and it was safe for him to drive. We couldn't cook anything for dinner since the power was still out so we went and got Taco Bell and ate dinner by lantern light and talked about all the changes that were to come with his career. We went to bed and the electricity was still off! Thank goodness when we woke up everything was back on. What a day! 

Of course I took some pictures of the chaos... I even managed to bring the guest room mattress in our tiny guest bath!

Our little set up

Jack has grown so much since we got him! We need a bigger carrier for them!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Running Thoughts

We officially have 2 runners in the house. And I still can't believe it! We are on our 8th (next to last) week of the program! On Wednesday night we had our best run yet. It's been harder and harder to run in our neighborhood since our neighborhood consists of one single circle of houses. There's only so far you can go without hitting highway or shopping center. It can get quite monotonous to run the same circle over and over. Since our distance is steadily increasing, Andrew has been scoping out some new run sites. He found a fancy neighborhood about 5 min from our house. So we ran that on Wednesday night. It was nice to enjoy some new scenery and oogle at all the fancy houses. We did 2.6 miles without stopping in 28 minutes!!! I have felt the elusive 'runner's high' a few times, but I think Andrew really felt it for the first time ever. It was a perfect night for running too. The last .75 miles or so he picked up his pace and was really flying through the night! I was so proud of him! We both felt almost as though we were looking down at ourselves running. Such a great feeling. It feels so good to finish a run! We high-five each other the whole walk home! 

I have been weighing myself at work on a fancy hospital-grade scale. I recently purchased one for the house so we could both keep track. It's not like we needed it though, b/c I can definitly feel the weightloss in how my clothes are fitting! But it's always fun to keep a tally of your progress! As of this week I am up to 8 pounds lost!

I'm so glad I had that epiphany that cold day in December. I was driving home from work one morning and it just so happened to be the morning of the White Rock Marathon in Dallas. They had one of the chairmen on the radio talking about the race and I literally had a lightbulb go off in my head that said "I want to be a runner!" Running has always been something I never thought I could do. It always seemed pretty torturous as well! I knew I needed to get with Latrice and she would get me started on the right foot (haha). Fast forward a few hours and Latrice had helped me pick out my running shoes at Run On and we were running down my street in 30 degree weather in sleet! A fond memory I will always have!!! I couldn't even run for 60 seconds without wanting to die! I told Latrice that this was a stupid idea of mine and I should just go take my new shoes back! She did nothing but encourage me and urge me to stick with it. And now 8 weeks later I can run for 2.6 miles without stopping! Thanks Latrice! I told my mom this week and she just couldn't believe it! I was planning on doing this program alone, but then Andrew joined me the 2nd week and neither of us has stopped since! I'm so thankful for this activity that has gotten me off my butt, given me this new self image, and given me countless hours of special time with my husband.

Co-workers have started to notice at work! It's such a fun feeling to get to say "Why yes! As a matter of fact I have lost weight! Thanks for noticing!" My scrubs are starting to get really loose!

I'm off to wake up Husband so we can go for a run on this glorious Saturday morning!