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The Grand Canyon State.

My list of reasons why I love Arizona is a little more personal than my Texas list. It’s not that I don’t like the state, it’s just that what makes it wonderful and special to me are the things that I have experienced and memories that have been created here, maybe instead of the state itself. I can’t believe I’ve almost lived here for two years now. Time certainly flies as you get a little older. Somehow that’s a little terrifying to me! Welcome to Arizona….

1. The awe moment at the Grand Canyon
2. Kathy’s Bible Study
3. Arizona family – Lossmans, Middles, Konrads, Stocks
4. Aztec Elementary and Intercessions during the holiday breaks
5. Lake days
6. The Redfield Road from 92nd to FLW and all the lovely ladies contained (or will be) inside
7. The railroad park at Christmas time
8. Lake Powell – I need to go back – might be one of the most beautiful places on earth
9. Sedona Red Rocks….magical
10. 10166 Aster Drive
11. Never ending sunshine
12. Old Town Bible Church
13. Postino Wine Café & LGO & Pita Jungle
14. Amazing hikes including: Camelback, Squaw Peak, Pinnacle Peak
15. Winter, Spring and Fall weather
16. Citrus Trees & the smell in the springtime
17. Spring Training games
18. Cutting down Christmas Trees in the National Forrest
19. FBR
20. People watching the Scottsdale crazies, gotta love the cougars & the bros
21. Incredible sushi without an ocean nearby
22. No humidity and great hair days
23. My other family away from home … my wonderful friends
24. Having Blake in AZ with me
25. The greenbelt bike paths through McCormick Ranch
26. The rubberized asphalt on the highways and lack of billboards
27. Being able to drive 2 hours and be in snow, at a lake, or up in the mountains
28. Proximity to so many fun roadtrips: San Diego, LA, Vegas…where to next friends?

Bonus Round!!!

29. Monsoon seasons
30. The way the mountains change color with the different times of day/weather
31. Incredible sunsets
32. Natural sun highlights in my hair from the intense AZ rays
33. Barret Jackson
34. Seeing hot air balloons all the time
35. Backyard BBQs without any mosquitos
36. Sundresses…it’s the only thing that really works in the heat
37. Mister systems
38. Pools in every backyard


The Lone Star State

I’m on the plane as we speak headed back from San Antonio, Texas – my usual work route. I’m lucky to go back to Texas (yes, like the song) so frequently because of my job. I can’t tell you how much I miss the Lone Star State. I know lots of people think Texans are just crazy when we talk about how much we love it, but there is something really quite special and one-of-a-kind about our state.

Don’t get me wrong, life in Arizona is wonderful. After all, it is my birthplace. I’m very blessed with wonderful friends, have family nearby, a great job and an awesome church….plus the state neckwear is the bolo tie. But, I get this crazy feeling of nostalgia whenever I’m in Texas. Sometimes it makes me want to move back, mostly because my family is there, but I’m content where life has me right now. Plus I can call myself a TexZoni.

There are about a thousand reasons why I love Texas, but since Texas is the 28th state (though we could be our own country at any point) I thought I would share 28 highlights in random order….

1. The Texas Longhorns
2. Floating the river
3. Boys with manners! (well really anyone with manners )
4. It’s appropriate to wear cowboy boots with anything, including your favorite dress
5. “Yes ma’ams” and “no sirs” – though when I first moved there we thought that people were joking!
6. The diverse landscape from end to end of the state….desert to piney woods; hill country to the gulf it’s all beautiful!
7. The fact that you are forced to take Texas History for an entire year in 7th grade
8. Austin Stone Community Church
9. The insanely beautiful state capitol building (did you know that the building is taller than the nation’s capital building and it’s the only state where the flag can fly at the same height as the US flag?) + the view from the UT tower to the Capitol building…nice city planning!
10. Football insanity starting in middle school
11. The San Marcos outlet malls….Texas’ most popular tourist attraction behind the Alamo
12. The gorgeous hill country oak trees – that’s why I fell in love with the UT campus
13. Shiner Beer
14. Texas country music, yes there is a difference
15. People’s willingness to just strum up a conversation or just be friendly in line at the grocery store
16. Yard signs for high school sports
17. The Whole Foods headquarters- a culinary heaven on earth
18. The phrase: “Don’t Mess with Texas”
19. The fact that Blake is from Texas too
20. Austin City Limits
21. Continental Airlines
22. Mums at homecoming (I’m not talking about the flower)
23. The Astros
24. The Red River Shootout/Lone Star Cup
25. HEB- I know I might be a little biased, I really just wish I could shop there in AZ!
26. TexMex & BBQ….Trudys , Rudys, Salt Lick
27. Massive Texas high school drill teams
28. 21017 Williams Creek Drive

I was on a roll and couldn’t stop at just 28….here are 10 more bonus reasons!

30. Keeping Austin Wierd
31. Mumus are not just for Cinco de Mayo
32. The simple pride of everyone who is from/or has lived there
33. The repeated drive from Austin to Houston – sometimes filled with tears, stress, anxiousness (good or bad), excitement, nerves and plenty of great catch- up phone conversations!
34. How Texans outside of the state instantly have a bond just because they are from Texas – Mandy, Jordan, The Kerseys, Julia….
35. Pearl earrings and Nike running shorts
36. Bluebonnets in the springtime
37. Breakfast tacos – seems to be the only place where they get it right. I have yet to find a yummy alternative in the valley
38. The familiar sound of, “yall” rolling off someone’s lips (I’m not a fan of the phrase “fixin” though!)

Just so Arizona doesn’t feel left out….there might just be a sequel for the Grand Canyon State. Stay tuned and Hook ‘em Horns.

Dr. Barclay would not approve.

I strongly dislike headphones where you can still hear the music when they are in your ears….even on a plane. Please Mr. Headphone Man, sitting across the aisle from me, for the sake of your ears and my sanity, get some new headphones or simply just turn it down. Thank you.


REM. (Mom, this one is for you)

There are very few things I would say I’m obsessed with. Some of my friends would say I’m obsessed with Sunscreen, Anthropologie or Texas. While they are probably right, the thing I have a near-obsession with is a good night’s sleep. This all goes back to my drug-dealing mom....

OK, my mom really isn’t a drug dealer, she used to sell pharmaceuticals. That would be my running joke all through school when my friends would ask what my mom did for a living. One of the many drugs she has worked with have involved sleep. Therefore, my mom knows quite a bit about sleep and always was willing to share her findings with our family. Maybe the medical news she told me scared me to the point that I have become obsessed with sleep, but I also remember her telling me that I was very difficult to get up in the morning as a young child. I don’t like to sleep all day or even sleep-in on weekends that often. I actually really love to get up early and enjoy mornings. I just simply love getting a full 8 hour night of sleep. In college I never pulled an all nighter and sometimes would actually go to bed early, just to wake up at 4 or 5am to study in the mornings. Maybe I cut my studying short – but it seemed to work for me! (Your brain needs to sleep to regenerate cells for memory and recall during the REM cycle – right mom?) Now my friends give me a hard time (all in good fun) about always being the first to go home on a Saturday night or if I make it past midnight I practically get a standing ovation! During a girls weekend in San Diego, my sweet friend Shey even took my picture and a picture of her watch to prove that I stayed up almost until 2am! (I'll see if I can find it and post it to prove it!) It’s not that I’m anti-social -I think my body just needs it more than most, I can really feel the benefits that it creates for me. As soon as I shortchange myself I seem to get sick or just feel icky. I know it helps me feel so much more productive at work and just a feeling of being healthier overall. On days that I don’t get enough – working out or being productive is the last thing I want to do. Feel free to contact Linda for even more reasons why you should sleep. :) I’ve even started to influence of a few of my girl friends in to changing their sleep schedules from being late night owls to early to bed early to rise gals! I guess I’m rubbing off on them.

The only downside of this near-obsession is that I tend to get a little anxious if I think I’m not going to get enough sleep. Any time someone suggests going on a road-trip or get away weekend, one of my first thoughts is, “ will I get some rest?”. I know…I’m a mess. I’m working on holding this with an open hand and in the spirit of remembering promises, I know that God will give me rest and restore me.

I can’t wait for my head to hit the pillow again tonight. There is nothing like a day of hardwork or fun finished off with a great night of sleep. Cheers to 8 hours of the REM cycle!

12 Stones

I wouldn’t say one of my biggest strengths is taking time to stop and reflect during my week. The busyness of the week, jumping from the office to one activity after another usually keeps my brain on the “now” instead of reflecting on the past. My mom usually laughs at me when I give her a rundown of my schedule for the week, giving me a hard time for my go-go-go lifestyle when I’m usually telling her how I am need of downtime. :)

Timely enough, Heath, my pastor at Old Town Bible Church, stopped to touch on remembrance on Sunday. Fitting that this was Memorial Day weekend, It seemed appropriate to remember and reflect. Heath’s focus was on remembering what God has done for us and how his promises are true, pertinent and lasting though time. I loved the humanness of Moses and the Israelites in the story in Joshua 4. After just witnessing and be involved in something incredibly miraculous, only caused by God, in the parting of the Red sea, their fleshliness creeps in and they seem to lose sight of what God promised to them and what He has done for them in the past. I love the visual reminder of the 12 stones and what they mean, "so that peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God."

You would think that after seeing something so life-changing that you might not forget - but doesn't seem to be our humanly way. Even the disciples who were physically there with Jesus still seemed to forget and just not always get it. I so relate to this as I tend to not remember that God has my best interests at hand and how he knows and deeply understands every detail of my life despite what I remember to be true. He’s brought me though some amazing things…changed my family, continued to provide in times of need, yet I somehow play mind games with myself and with God and think He doesn’t hear me or maybe that I’ve already met my ‘quota’ of goodness that He offers. I forget the power of God in my life as the worries of the world seem to dull me. Yet again, His Word is so refreshing. The generations of promises are overwhelming to me. They show me how HUGE God is and how his plan is so strategic, so thoughtfully crafted, so intricate, so perfect. What a great day to sit and remember God’s faithfulness to me - even when I’m not faithful. It’s a true discipline to stop and remember – but how awesome it is to look back and see ALL God has done for me and listen to his promises that He can do it all again. I need to see those 12 stones daily.

Thank you Lord, for your overflowing goodness in my life. You are there when I forget you are present or can’t see you at work. You promise to never leave or forsake me. Those words are so sweet to my ears. Today I praise you for your steadfastness. You are a God of integrity. Thank you for remembering what you say and for loving me enough to continue to draw my eyes and heart back to you.



Today I start a new journey as I enter into the blogging world. For some reason I'm very nervous about it. I sit here with a lot of white on the page, not really sure how I will fill it up. Lots of ideas come to mind, but somehow I'm feeling confined by expectations. What will people think of what I write? Will it be clever enough, cute enough or even worth reading? As you will quickly learn about me, I am a perfectionist at heart. I'm not sure how to just halfway do things and tend to care more about what other people think than I truly need to. (I'm sure we will get to that later). How do I put something out there for everyone to see that's real and authentic and doesn't have to be polished? Is there even a "perfect" in blogging?

Instead, I'm going to do my best to let all of that go and just let this be a real representation of me. I hope that this will serve as a real, genuine way for me to communicate what's going on in my life during the 5 to 9 - or all of the hours I'm not at work. While my work is something meaningful and important to me, I hope this can be an outlet where I focus on the rest of my day where I enjoy spending time with the people I care about deeply and do the things I love. I'm excited to share my journey with you. Welcome to my life: perfectly....imperfect.
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