Friday, June 20, 2008


We had another guest in our home! My niece, Madison, came to stay with us for a few days before attending a World View camp at the Wheaton College campus. (She belongs to my brother Jeff and his wife Karri. They live in Colorado Springs.)

We had a FABULOUS time with her here! We went to the pool, went shopping, went to soccer games, watched movies and ate lots of ice cream! It was great to get to know her as a young adult. I've never been around her one on one, and now I feel like I really know her!

Here is Madison with Halle at Macaroni Grill on Father's Day. The pic isn't very well focused, but I thought it was good anyway!

Here is Madison with the boys! It's great to have cousins!
Thanks for coming to see us Madison! I hope you can come visit again soon! We love you!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bella Update

We have officially been the owners of a dog for 3 months now. Whew! I'm the most thrilled to announce that Bella has mastered the art of doing her "business" outside (except for when it's raining. I shutter to thing what will happen when the white stuff comes back!) and she is also sleeping through the night (as long as she's on our bed. Johnny says, "grrrr" to a dog in his bed, but he lovingly gives in!)

Bella spends most of her day getting carried, poked at, messed with and chased by her new best friends: Parker, Halle and Grayson.

But if Halle ever lays down on the job, Bella gets her revenge! Watch out pony tails!

Do you see the family resemblence? She is a Harris afterall.

This is Bella's favorite spot in the evening when the kids have completely wiped her out!

And this is her favorite spot most other times--in her very own bed. Now, if I could only convince her to sleep there at night!

When we got Bella she weighed a mere 6 pounds. But I noticed that she's been feeling quite heavy lately, so I plopped her on the scale and realized that she now weighs 10 pounds! I know that may seem like a small dog, but she's HUGE compared to when we got her. I can't believe that she's almost doubled her size in 3 months. But, she's still cute as ever!

Looks like we need to go bed shopping. She's growing out of this one!

Look at that cute little face! She pretty much gets anything she wants!

*Lots of these photos are curtesy of Grayson and his Kodak EasyShare camera. Thanks Gray!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

One Year in Wheaton

Today marks our one year anniversary of moving to Wheaton. I can't believe how quickly the time passed. Most of you have been keeping up with our journey through the wonders of the internet, but I felt it important to commemorate the moment anyway.

Our pastor recently spoke about change and how it is very difficult. It's not the external part of change that's hard because change just happens....we moved and that changed things. It's the transition that gets us....once we moved we had to adapt. We moved from the familiar into the unfamiliar and that stirs something in us that makes us sentimental and sometimes scared of the unknown.

Pastor Bugh reminded us that when the Israelites were freed from the bondage that they were under in Egypt, a lot of them wanted to go back, for the fear of the unknown was scarier to them than living in Egypt as slaves. I applied this to my own life and can say that I look back on our move with no regrets. Do I miss Dallas? Of course! Do I miss my friends, family, church, kid's school, the soccer community, neighbors, etc, etc? Absolutely! But this is the nature of change.

More than ever, I realize that God's presence in our lives gave us the ability to stand tall, make arrangements to sell our home, move our children, and for my husband to step-up and accept a much more difficult and challenging role at work with grace. What if we had backed down like the Israelites? What if we had looked backwards instead of forwards? What if we refused to trust God and accept his blessings? I shutter to think of the possibilities. Maybe it would have taken us 40 years to feel at home in Wheaton instead of just a few days.

My point is, no matter what you're faced with, look for God's direction. He will not lead you astray. I am confident that our lives are complete, no matter where we are, when we are walking with God. And I'm thankful for the changes that moving to Wheaton have brought to all of our lives. We have all grown as a result of it.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Race for the Animals 10K-Wheaton

Today I ran my first 10K (6.2 miles). The route went through the streets of Wheaton--beginning on Main Street and winding through neighborhoods, around Northside Park and finishing near Memorial Park. It began at 7:30 a.m. and it was already pretty steamy outside. The humidity was high, so I was pretty heated. Luckily, lots of people turned their sprinklers on and pointed them towards the street so the runners could cool off. It felt great!

Overall, I was very please with my time. My official chip time was 58:35 which equates to an average of 9.26 minutes/mile. If you recall, I ran the 8K (4.97 miles) at the end of March and my official chip time was 48:21 which equates to an average of 9.42 minutes/mile. So, not only did I run farther, but I also improved my time. For me, this = success!

Here are my splits:

Mile 1: 8.56
Mile 2: 9.18
Mile 3: 9.07
Mile 4: 9.45
Mile 5: 9.32
Mile 6:9.55
Last .2: 2.0

Just think, in October I get to run a 10K plus 20 more miles! I'm glad I have lots of days to train between now and then!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I've taken a short haitus from blogging lately....have you noticed? I think there are several reasons, but the one I will discuss is the following: I was put on probation for discussing the weather.

If you look at the list on the right, the "Weather" category has BY FAR more entries than any other. I guess that's because the weather has given us the most change upon our move to Wheaton and I think I just wanted to share with everyone a little bit of what we were/are experiencing. And when I can't blog about the weather, well, maybe there's not anything more exciting going on. OK, so not true, but I have found that moods here are closely related to the weather. Anyway, due to inactivity on my blog, I have been released from probation, so I thought I'd get another plug in here before my blog is shut down completely (by Texas neighbor, Jeff!) AND, as we close in on the mark of ONE YEAR as Illinois residents, I thought it only fitting to give one more weather update as I have not shared with you my experience of my first Northern Spring.

Spring was awful. April, and May anyway. It was cold. Much too cold for Spring. I was not bitter about the winter. I was not even bitter about the snow in March....I expected it. But April? By April I was ready for a change, and it didn't seem to come. It was cold and rainy, and I felt very far away from Dallas and outdoor spring soccer practices in the 70's. So I thought, May will be better. Much better.

Here's were you can set yourself up for a fall! When you have expectations, and those expectations aren't met, you get discouraged, and grumpy. So when May hit and it was still all rainy and cold, and still no shorts? I have to say that I was borderline ticked. Seriously, I went for a run early one May morning and had to wear long pants, two shirts, a jacket AND my gloves. IN MAY! I thought that was just wrong and I admit, it made me a tad bitter. The smile was gone from my face and I started to wonder what on earth we were thinking when we moved to this cold, terrible place.

But although it took it's time, and it was painful getting here, Spring finally arrived in Wheaton. Very slowly the trees came to life and we were surrounded with the most beautiful blooming trees I have ever seen! They were incredible! And I was told that since the temp was a little chillier than normal, the blooms actually stuck around longer than usual before they gave way to the fabulous green leaves to follow.

Then I watched life spring forth from my flower beds. I've never had flower beds like these before, but green started popping up out of the barren ground and now lots of those plants are flowering. (See, I don't even know what they are since I am inexperienced with flowers!!) But whatever they are, they are lovely, and they smell fantastic! It seems as though all of Wheaton is covered with blooms and it is so fragrant everywhere you go. All I have to do is open my doors and my windows and the smell just drifts in. It's awesome!

Today as I sat on my back porch to read (in JUNE mind you) and felt the warm sun on my face and the nice breeze in the air full of the aroma of lilacs, the smile returned to my face. All is right with the world and Wheaton again is the place we are to be. And I have all but forgotten the cold and snow. I think I might even be ready for it when it returns in November, just maybe.