Look at those naive young kids. OH wait, we are having computer issues so I can't show it to you. But picture a Christmas wedding, black and white photo. I am standing with my head held up high, with an exuberant look on my face. Brian looks terrified and is half smiling.

All we knew was that God was in control. Our first few years were dark but had moments of light. We were idealistic and were hopefully being helpful by mentoring kids.But, don't get me wrong,. In the midst of this Brian was the casualty  of my wounded -ness. Not that he was perfect. Trurst me. He was so gracious and never put expectations on me. He just let me be me.

When we moved here, we had only been married 3 years. At the time, to both of us-it had seemed much longer. You see we were friends for a few years before dating and we had experienced hell and glory together.

We are going towards eight years here which we both can't believe. I've gone from resenting it to recognizing its beauty and so thankful for all of the women God has put in my life. Those who get me..hey, they get it. Those who don't, I've lost but it's all good.,..nothing but love for ya. 

 Brian and I both tried to agan make a difference with kids. Brian was a youth pastor and we had many intimate moments menotring teens.  We are still friends with all of those kids and interact on Facebook. In the midst of this, there was still pain. I didnt  understand what was going on with me and Brian was intimidated by that. So he stayed silent.

Man, during these years, we have both transformed so much. I found myself still lost and was super immature.I put too many expectations of people b/c of my pride. I said words that hurt and I learned my lesson,.

But, I just know I feel more confident but only because I am learning so much about God's grace and how it really is an ocean we are daily swimming in it. What better truth is there? We are free!!

I"ve watched Brian continue to love and serve the church when I was fed up and losing my love for the church. But,  He is so faithful. He finally began tithing and this was a big trust issue of his heart. He is faithful to continue to give every week and loves tracking it. What can I say  he is an introvert and I am the crazy hormonal, prideful girl trying to follow God's path for our marriage. Or thats what all us ladies think, right?

We are in no way perfect. But, we are staying together, working it out....building and investing in our relationships. It has been sloooooow going. But God always intervened and kept us strong.

I can't wait to see where we continue to journey and discover God's daily purpose for our family. I think we will continue to grow, have some fights....but hold on. And our beautiful boys...what a blessing.

We are learning to finally communicate and understand one another better than we ever have. We joke that we just had it backwards. Most marriages are super intimate those first few years and then lose that interest and then divorce. We had very difficult.  first few years, but now-even though there's pain, we are still working and understand each other much better. Life is waaaay better.

Now each day, when we do it right by listening to God's voice, I see God's providence in every step we've taken. And there's is nothing more miraculous than I have experienced than where you look back and see how ALL of it was for His  glory. So we can continue to believe. Trust and obey. Favorite hymn ever.

We are sinners making it ONLY because of God's grace. There is nothing in us that has enabled us to have our anniversary today. 11 years on 11/11/11. We totally did that on purpose.


Ephesians 3:14-21 was a verse Brian used to read to me when we were dating off and on. That verse has become my life verse and I believe I will experience his love more than I can imagine. I pray it over each youth or adult I pray with and for all of my friends and former friends that just couldn't hold down. Of course, I and we have not always been so easy to be friends with...again that  seriousness we live with, expectations, insecurity, pride, you get the point. We miss our fellow journeyers but I guess we are always united in spirit and peace.

And of course there is always Facebook..

But I see myself maturing. And thats all we can do. 

But, its all about growing.

You should read it. Its one of the most beautiful prayers to pray for people in your life.

I am so proud of you babe for working part time, losing your dreams, but moving up in your company, working your butt off to provide for us.I know one day it will all make since.

 So, here's your gift. Since you never tell me what you want.
I know we will have a wonderful night.

Stay in his presence and walk in His spirit,

Oh and quit pissin me off,


Mrs. Mary Huddle Hayes

Mrs. Mary Huddle Hayes Bagley, 81, who cared so
  completely, gave so generously, taught so gently and loved so deeply went to be
  with the Lord Saturday, November 5, 2011. Mary was born on December 29, 1929 in
  Port Arthur, Texas, and married Bill Hayes in 1952. Following Bill's death in
  1979, Mary married B.G. Bagley, a long-time resident of Abilene, Texas, in
Mary had a servant's heart and was a generous supporter of many
charitable  causes including Meals-on-Wheels,   
St. Jude Children's Research
, Rescue the Animals, Love and
Care Ministries, and  her local church. She spent much of her time and energy
until the last two years  devoting herself to delivering Meals-on-Wheels. Mary
loved her family, her  animals, her friends, her church, and any and all babies.
She was a fantastic  cook and will be fondly remembered for her wonderful cakes
and her sweet,  uncomplaining spirit.
Mary was preceded in death by her
parents; her  husband, Bill Hayes; her husband, B.G. Bagley; and her brothers,
Cecil and  George Huddle.
She is survived by her children Scott Hayes,
Debbie Lashmett,  Laura Chamblee, and Randy Hayes; the daughters of her heart,
Charlotte Hayes and  Charlene Hayes; eleven grandchildren; and numerous
great-grandchildren who have  been forever changed by her love, prayers, and
Funeral services  honoring Mary's life will be held at 10:00
a.m., Tuesday morning, November 8,  2011, at Caps Baptist Church, Abilene,
Texas, with Pastor Larry Millican  officiating. Burial will follow in Clyde
Cemetery, directed by Elliott-Hamil  Funeral Home, 5701 Highway 277 South.
Visitation will be Monday, November 7,  2011, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the
funeral home.
Memorial contributions in  Mary's honor may be made to any of
Mary's favorite charities listed above.

I just read this article and I had to write about it.  Take the time to watch the short video.


Two women beat each other..a cashier and a customer in NYC. What do you think about that? I've worked in not such great places where I have envisioned doing something like this.

Women who work at McDonald's are overworked, underpaid and have to deal with angry and rude customers.

However, beating someone with a rod probably isn't the best answer.

How do you handle stress or confrontation? Do you let someone have it or do you hold it in until you explode?

I used to be a people pleaser, so worried about what others thought. But, my sister gave me a coaching book that talks about self authoring.

What does this have to do with this situation? Well, I've learned that no matter what is said to me or about me, doesn't matter. I am in a place now where I "self author"

I know this woman probably doesn't have the means to find a book like this so all we can do is pray for her. I am empathetic to her situation but my heart breaks for her situation.

I am merciful in nature and I feel so bad for how her life must be or will be.

I am surrounded by friends and family that force me to grow. I pray she finds the same.

So, what are your thougts? I realize not all would have sympathy and thats okay. I just wanna hear from you.
I know all of us come from different faiths and I respect that.

But, as I've told you, I have been in BSF for the the last 3 years, sometimes grudgingly loading the tot in the car in the freezing snow. Every year, I would say I wasn't sure I would come back b/c of the commitment.

Then something unusual happened. I received a call in August to be a leader. This is a huge honor and commitment. Now I would be loading the tot 2 days and I would be doing way more research in the bible.

But, I knew somehow that this was from God. Usually, the way God works with ME, is that if its from him, it falls in my lap. I recognized that, prayed about it with Brian and said yes.

I've been in leader training and learned so much. I've learned to do homiletics and I gain so much from our leadership meetings. The women in there that have been in Bible Study Fellowship for 20 years have such depth and reallly make my simple answers seem ....well simple.

The organization has a whole is amazing. They translate the bible into every language imaginable and are even martyred for their faith almost weekly. True heroes in my book.

So, I've made a commitment to go deeper.

And today was my first day to sub. I was a little nervous but excited. It couldn't have gone better. The group was all there and they all had such beautiful hearts and were super vulnerable.

If you have BSF in your area, which I am sure you do...they have women and men classes during the day and at night. It's more educational, not a social event. And thats what I love about it.

And my  little tot is learning so much just soaking up the word of God. Simply Amazing.

I have a feeling God gave me this opportunity not to necessarily help others but for others to help me. I told myself today that its not about me. Its about the Holy Spirit and I was just a facilitator.

Sometimes, we get so caught up in our little worlds, we really do forget that it is not about us.

If you love to learn like me, its the perfect thing for you. Its a lecture and then small group answer time. But, you don't socialize or have people who go on and on and drive you nuts.

Even, if you cant join something like this, take a moment and find an opportunity to serve. It could be downtown with the homeless, tutoring kids, Girls on the Run (Caitlin) It really will increase your overall sense of wholeness.

And isnt that what this blog is all about?
My hubby did the best thing ever. We not only went to the Arts Center downtown but it was for a benfit/auction/dinner to raise money for orphans all over the world. You may not know this but I am obsessed with orphans-since I was  like 8 and the Ethiopian famine -which is happening again.  I became passionate and watched and sang "We are the world" a million times a day.

When and before we were married we knew we would be the new Superwoman and Superman who go out to save the world. How would we do that, working in the inner city, fostering, becoming missionaries?

We've tried to adopt before but it just wasn't right. This time, with know there are more than 160 million orphans and only 1% of them get adopted???? Imagine your beautiful child lying on the floor with no diaper and no food. ALL DAY

So to us, this was a pretty time to go forward. Our teenager graduates next May and adoption takes that long. We can focus on him these next few years then when he moves to college, finally take that step we've always wanted to.

Maybe we aren't going to be missionaries, but we could do one thing. And that one thing will change a child's life forever. We can clothe them, feed them, love them and halfway parent them well:)

So there ya have it. The Perfect Date.

Out of the consistent 160 readers we have a day, i am not sure what type of faith you have-if any, My own teenage son is "agnostic" but woke up at 5 am to go to to Seminary with his Mormon girlfriend. I think faith is confusing and it is great to ask  questions. How else will you find the answers?

I myself am a believer and you can read my story here. This reassured me that there was no other reason I was redeemed and set on the right path. Healing was happening and at a fast rate. Not to say However, sometimes I question quite a bit but usually know when God is workiing my life.

Until just recently, when out of the blue, BSF called me and asked me to be on leadership team and lead a class. I've been atteding for 3 years. To say I was shocked is an understatement. It humbled me, excited me and terrified me all at the same time. I am most excited for my little tot  to get that discipleship two days in a row. Jesus, said "let the little children come"

I think this will be really good and help me figure out who Jesus is, God and the Holy Spirit. I just want to be close and intimate with them and not waste my time on this earth.

So what faith are you? Have you attended BSF? Do you have any questions I could attempt to help you answer?
The tot turned 3 this weekend and every since he was an infant, he would try to sing to music. We thought it would fade but it never did,. He has a drum set, recorder, keyboard, several guitars, ukelele, tambourines, microphones.....okay you get the point.
He literally performs a concert several times a day to a DVD and can't get in the car without drumsticks.

I think he might be the next Justin Bieber,

So, we did lots of cute stuff like spray painting an old record from Gooodwill gold and framed it for people to sign. Parents and kids alike were playing Rockband, dance around, and sing lyrics from the karaoke machine we got him. We even had a photo booth minus the booth-a big vintage red chair with some artwork from Tayler's friend behind it.

Hey, girls just wanna have fun.

The cake was soooo good and it was so cute seeing him play with all of his friends. So, without further ado, here is a gallery of craziness. Rock on!
You know what's greater than running?

Making friends while running.

That's right. Most of the girls in this pic, I met through the sport of running. Not all of them. But some.

When I got the invite for a Murder Mystery party from my friend/former co-worker Julia,  I was so excited! I love trying to figure out things like this.

Julia was the detective, I was Anita Parr-a professional golfer, Summer was Cher Kolate (check out the jewelry she made-cracks me up every time and Danielle was the murderer.

I thought I had it figured out, but I was wrong.

Gasp! Chills!

Of course there was a ton of food, laughter and putting our minds together to figure out who done it.

I think one person got it right.

So, have you ever done one of these? When did you do it and what was your take on it?

My first one was with my now hubs at a older hotel. I thought it was a really cool idea.

Hello friends! Its a scorcher here in sunny Florida ......I mean Indiana! It is 100 degrees here today. But next week it will drop and will continue to drop until we are freezing our little running legs off.

Sorry for the delay in posts this week, Freeing Sisyphus has been in NY all week for work(what a boring life) and Karin has been spent as she is dealing with some personal issues this past week that require a lot of emotion. I love it when I talk about myself in third person....let's get imaginative!

Oh and Katie is caught up in Middle School and Rachel is all busy seeing patients and delivering meals to the homeless downtown.

I know...... she always has to outshine everyone.

Moving on, so what have I been up to? Well physically I am on day 5 of the AdvoCare cleanse and down 3.6 lbs.

Sarah is down over a few pounds and Tina is down over 5!  What what!

It's been somewhat of a different workout week after my 68 miles last week + me trying to learn from my past mistakes = a rest week. But that doesn't mean no sweating, because that just wouldn't be right! I got 7 girls in training people!!

We ran our scheduled runs and I am so impressed with these ladies! They are really determined and it just makes my heart melt to see a row of SUV's and Vans lined up outside of my house. I also love seeing the girls all pooped out and stretching in my driveway. One day I will secretly take a picture and share it with you.

The morning crew completed their longest run/walk of 11.3 miles this past Saturday.

My night time time crew is up to 90 seconds running and 2 min walking and are about to graduate from week 2 of the couch potato to 5k plan.

I got new shoes and scored an awesome deal on them. Oh and I taught a few friends how to make homemade salad dressing.

Hey, that's an achievement!

My toddler also moved into a big boy bed. It's scary and exciting at the same time.

It's kind of like a roller coaster ride.

We hit up a few of the teenager's soccer games and the tot was "hillbilly drummin'" as my friend, Summer says at Walmart. He sees drums everywhere and apparently the toilet seats work a well as his set.

I went in to get a few things.

We were there an hour and a half.

So, enjoy the slideshow and let me know what you have been up to and what your plans are for Labor Day.

I am doing a long run tomorrow and hope to do a 10k race with my girlfriends on Sunday.

Originally posted on 6/1/11

Yesterday was my birthday and it began beautifully! My hubby woke me up and asked me what I wanted for breatkfast. I promptly told him blueberry pancakes and off he went to make them. What a guy!When breakfast was ready, he called me down. I went downstairs only to find the house decorated banners and streamers. This is a family tradition he started years ago.

I had an appointment but when I got home, I found some creative gifts on the dining room table. I had no idea what they could be! I opened them up and found a Mumford and Sons CD from the teenager and a shadow box with all of my racing bibs, medals and pictures in it. Best.gift.ever.

For dinner, we headed out to one of our favorite places-Rick's Boatyard. We sat outside and enjoyed music and breezy/sunny temps. We decided to do a little shopping afterwards and ended up visiting his new favorite bakery to pick up cupcakes. The small business owner was closed but he let us in and even gave us 3 free cupcakes! Although I told myself last night that they would be off limits today, I'm even eating one now! Curse and love you Vanilla Bean!

We came home and I coaxed Brian into putting the bike seat on my 15 year old mountain bike. He obliged and we ended the day taking turns riding the tot on the back. Falling into bed last night, we both declared that this was one of the least expensive yet most fun birthdays we have celebrated together in the last 11 years!