"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."


My, how time flies....

when you're living life and having fun! I can't believe it's been so long since our last update. But here is a short and sweet one.

Life is good.

We rang in the new year at home, with the neighborhood kids singing around our fire. Valerie turned 4, Nicholas just turned 5, Seth is turning 8 next week and I turn 36! Holy cow! Gabe got me my own computer for my birthday, with a sweet 22" screen....yippee!!! We also just got rid of the flu. It seems everyone got it, and boy am I glad to see it gone. It wiped us out, but we're on the road to recovery. Olivia and Seth got glasses, too. Poor kids couldn't see right, so they look even cuter than before in their spectacles. :)

I'll post pics soon. I just wanted to say we are all good, growing and enjoying each day.

Blessings to all.

Much love,



Yes, you read that right...we just experienced s n o w - holy moly! It's been about 4 years since the last time it snowed here. That was really magical, Christmas Eve and snow in Texas. So here are some pics of us getting back from church and having some fun. Enjoy!!

Can you believe this white stuff is falling down??? Beautiful....

Valerie is super excited, can you tell???

The entire city is giddy over this...LOL!

Seth collecting snow to make a mini-snowball...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Me and Nicholas, who was smart enough to stay in the car!

Seth got his wish, he wished for snow the other day!

Me relishing in the snow!

Real snow here on Adrienne's sweater....

Nicholas admiring the snow from the car!

Olivia loved the snow!

Having some fun in the snow...
Dreaming of snowflakes and snowmen in Texas....


Here she is!!

So, I finally picked out my bike and I am so giddy and totally in love with it! I've taken it around the block a few times with the kids, but I can't wait to really take off and log some serious miles on it. :) Yippee!!!

In bike heaven...


Life is good...

Despite all the drama, stress and b.s. at work...Life is good. I caught this on the way into work a few weeks ago.

Here are some Halloween photos, better late than never is a motto I live by. :)

I also am *finally* getting my bike tomorrow! I've decided on the Electra Townie. Don't ask me what color just yet. I've learned that this bike buying process has been a much longer one than I anticiapted. I thought I could just walk in to a bike shop and get the Townie. Nope. And then I found out if I blink, the price jumps up like 20%! I'll post a pic of it when I get it home. Wouldn't you know it though that the day I decide to buy a bike the forecast calls for rain. And we haven't had rain for a few weeks. LOL!

Oh, please continue to pray for my sister. She just had surgery this past Thursday and had a bone graft using someone else's bone. Who knew this was possible? We're hoping she gets out Sunday, but she still has a long road ahead of her. The doctors said maybe within a couple of months she'll be able to stand on it for the first time in 6 months since the accident. Just keep her in your prayers.

I also wanted to add Bekah, Jake, Jessica, Matt, Marsha, and the many, many others out there who continue to battle against the hodge. I think of them every day but wanted to get some worldwide presence for them as well.

Thanksgiving is next week, then Christmas and then another round of birthdays to get through. I love this time of year!

I'll end with a painting Olivia recently did on a piece of cardboard. Just about anything is a canvas to this little artsy girl. :)

Sweet dreams to all,


Olivia turns 9 and I get to feel 10 again!

What a weekend! Olivia celebrated her 9th birthday at the roller rink. Do you know how long it's been since I've been on roller skates?!? I found it ironic the first song to play as I enter the rink was "Micky"! A flash came over me and I was 10 years old skating to this song on the rink! But then I was snapped back to reality when I about wiped out. My mind may been thinking 10, but my body said otherwise. We all had a great time and I am happy to report that I did NOT fall once, although I came close several times! That's even skating with a 7, 4 and 3 year old on my arm (well, not all at once). Not bad for a momma of four. Look out Roller Derby Girls, I just might make a run for it!

This Friday marks 10 years when Gabriel and I met, and tomorrow Olivia turns 9. Just typing that makes me feel old. But I have been blessed with a youthful heart and mind. Not to mention these curls on my head tend to erase some years. Wanna hear something wonderful? I was mistaken to be 25 years old by someone at the hospital and then the checker at a grocery store actually asked if I was old enough to buy beer! You can only imagine how big of a grin I had on my face as I whipped out my ID card.

I've been researching bikes lately and I'm torn between two of them - a Trek Cruiser Wasabi or an Electra Townie. I'm going to one more bike shop this week to touch and feel them again to be sure I'm happy with the one I choose. I'm excited about the purchase, but I didn't know there was so much to a bike! And one that is just for an enjoyment ride, it's not like I'm going to be in the Tour de France or anything. So stayed tuned for my final choice. I should have pictures of it this weekend.

Here's the Trek...

Here's the Townie...

So, here are some pics from the birthday party Saturday. With Olivia's birthday tomorrow, our Halloween anniversary and Trick-or-Treating this Friday, look out for more posts and photos. I might actually blog more than twice this month! gasp!

You knew I had to throw in there a photo of the sky or cloud, right? I saw this on the way home and loved the light coming through the perfrectly formed circle.

Olivia's rockin' birthday cake!

I had to be quick to catch Seth, poor guy was on the floor more than on his wheels! But by the end of the party he had it down!

The kids taking a break from skating to enjoy some pizza.

Nicholas LOVED the skates! He did awesome for a 4.5 year old!

Ok, now we're going to make some cupcakes for Olivia's class tomorrow.

Love to all,


One Year Scans Are CLEAN!!!!!

I had my regularly scheduled scans, but this time around it marked my 1 year anniversary of getting back into remission for a second time. This was a really special moment, since I hadn't been clean for a whole year since being diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma back in 2006. It's also a time to exhale a bit more. Hitting the one year mark is a special milestone, it means you really might have a chance to beat this thing. Did I think I would be here, still in remission, back in January? No. I did not. I remember telling Gabriel that I didn't think I would make it to Christmas. But a lot has changed between January and today, the most important change would be my relationship with God. That has made all the difference in the world for me. I think had I not been able to embrace the Lord I would be suffering from anxiety, depression and fear. That's not to say I don't feel any of those still, of course I do. But I don't let it control my life like it so easily can when you are staring death in the face. The difference between now and then. I'm not scared to look death right back in the face. My soul is at peace. What a difference a year makes.

We've been having the most beautiful sunsets recently, so you can imagine me with my camera out just about every night. I wish I could carry my DSLR around with me as it takes much better pictures, but it's just too bulky. Which is why I bought a point and shoot for Christmas last year. I can pull this sucker out at a whims notice when I happen to see images like this driving home.


Last year I was carried through my treatments by wonderful angels around me, friends, family, co-workers. I want to post a special song one of my sorority sisters sent to me called Sheltering Tree. It really sums up my journey through cancer and back again and it's become one of my favorite songs!

Sheltering Tree by Newsong

it's been said a friend is like a mighty sheltering tree
a place of refuge we can run when trouble comes for you and me
someone we can count on through the thick and thin
when the storms of life are blowing, there's
just nothing like a friend (there's just nothing like a friend)

we all need sheltering trees
friends in our lives who'll get down on their knees
and lift us up before the king of kings
we all need sheltering trees

there've been days that i was sure that i couldn't make it through
clouds of doubt came rolling in and i didn't know what i would do
i would've given in and said i just can't go on
if it hadn't been for a friend that helped me to be strong
(helped me to be strong)

chorus :
we all need sheltering trees
friends in our lives who'll get down on their knees
and lift us up before the king of kings
we all need sheltering trees

you can face the highest mountain and
the climb won't feel so high
or cross the darkest valley and it won't seem so wide
nothing is impossible when a friend is by your side

we all need sheltering trees
friends in our lives who'll get down on their knees
and lift us up before the king of kings
we all need sheltering trees

Love to all my sheltering trees,


6 days and 12 hours after Ike - We finally have power!

Hurricane Ike blew in and we haven't been the same since. We lost power early Saturday morning and had been without it until this past Friday night. My mom's house and neighborhood is still without power as I type. The storm wasn't as bad as it could have been. Our 30 year old oak tree is still standing, as is our house! The only damage we incurred was the fence, but that can be easily fixed. Neighboring houses weren't so lucky. There were lots of overturned trees and houses with significant roof damage. Saturday was hot and rainy. Sunday night a cold front blew through, which is exactly what we needed sans AC. But that didn't last long. Luckily, my dad had his power restored the day after the storm, so we slept there at night. The kids have been out of school since the 12th. I was back at work this past Monday, so it was nice to be reconnected to the world after living off the radio for a few days. Here are some photos pre and post Ike. It was an interesting week, the kids actually learned that life can be lived "unplugged". We were lucky, we always found gas without waiting for hours, we always found ice without having to make a mad dash for it and we always had a nice home cooked meal thanks to our old smokey! Gabriel even attempted to wash clothes mid-week. Crunchy clothes makes you grateful for fabric softener! :)

Well, life is getting back to normal. Of course, that's for us on the west side of Houston. Those closer in town and in Galveston still have so much to do and rebuild before life is even close to what is was before Ike. Ike proved to be a stronger storm than it's Category 2 strength. I have so many fond memories of life on Bolivar at a friend's beach house. I still can't imagine that it's just not there anymore. I really will just have memories now to cling to.

Here are the photos from Ike:

On the way home Thursday before the storm, this is the parking lot of a high school football stadium getting filled with coach buses for people needing evacuation help.

Thursday night going home from work, the sky looked gloomy...

Friday night, 8pm and hours before Ike makes landfall, the sky looks beautiful...

What do you do while waiting for a Hurricane to hit? Grab some beers and hang out with the neighbors...

The kids in their shelter room aka the closet under the stairs!
I've never seen them so excited for bed before!

8am Saturday, this is the only damage to my mom's house...Not bad!
Front of mom's house...
Street sign wasn't so lucky...
Trying to get to our house would not be so easy...
Big tree in middle of road = reverse...
You saw this throughout all the neighborhoods...
Gotta love the local bar!
This used to be the awning on the gas station across the street from the Whataburger!
Finally get home and this is the extent of our damage....phew!
We had a little surprise on our porch, a newborn squirrel!
Life without power wasn't so bad....businesses were nice to those without power at home...
Mid-week we were desperate for clean clothes...gotta love Gabriel's ingenuity!
Mom's house already looking good and ready for a new fence!
The kids at my dad's house (one of the few with power most of the time!)
Kung Fu Olivia...
Grandma and Valerie...
Jedi Seth...
Doing some gymnastics in the yard...
Valerie thinks she did a cartwheel...shhh...it's our little secret!
Little Miss V!
What a week! Let's hope we can go another 25 years before a hurricane decides to hit us again...
Love to all,