Meet the Newest Little Member of Our Family

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Yesterday we embarked on a 19 hour journey to pick up this adorable, energetic ball of JOY puppy!  Our newest member of the family, “Super Dog!”

We all woke up around 3:30AM, had everything already packed and ready to go, jumped in the car and head off at 4AM to beat the traffic in our surrounding cities.

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We made a stop in Round Rock to eat some awesome breakfast tacos.  If you’ve never had a Texas breakfast taco, you are missing out on something amazing!

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It was one of my husband’s favorite restaurants that he went to growing up.

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The baby had his own toy dalmatian to play with…  happy baby!

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Donut stop!

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Everything really IS bigger in Texas….  The famous Round Rock donuts (Texas-sized) are great to share with friends.

Do Not Eat Alone.

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We passed miles and miles of country farms and fields… Texas country is so beautiful.  We were supposed to sleep during the drive, and the baby actually did – for almost the entire trip that baby slept beautifully!  But my son and I were too excited to get any real sleep –  everything was just gorgeous!

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There is nothing quite like small town living.  If you’ve never grown up in a small town, you might not understand what I mean, but having a community of people who know you – when you know you can’t go anywhere without running into someone that you know, its just a sweet existence that city living cannot replace.  Growing up, I couldn’t go anywhere without seeing someone we knew, friends, family, parents of friends, teachers from school (lol try to explaining why you aren’t studying for a Chemistry test to your Chem teacher who sees you out at a fair with friends!).  You’d see coaches while you were trying to eat pizza and drink sodas… church folk, and even your pastor!

Talk about accountability.

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We finally got there!  The puppy was so sweet and took to our son immediately.

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The drive back took almost 10 hours because of stops and visiting with some family (Great Grandparents) along the way.  I had no idea traveling with kids would have so many potty breaks – it was hilarious!

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The puppy was so cuddly I couldn’t believe it – so different from a cat!  It slept most of the way, when he wasn’t cuddling with us… only threw up once in the car (at the beginning of the trip back), and didn’t have ANY accidents!  He knew to wait until a rest stop to go in the grass smart pup!

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And the baby still had his own puppy to hold….

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The sunset on the way back was so peaceful and a perfect ending to a long long long trip in the car with 3 littles.

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When we finally got home around 10:30PM, this is what the puppy ended up looking like – asleep on the floor board and hard to wake up (traveling is hard you know?).  LOL  So cute.

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And now… we’re officially a DOG family!  ❤

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The Art of Relaxation

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The other day I bought some dark chocolate, an iced vanilla coffee, and a Sweet Sangria candle.  I was excited to again have a candle to light in the mornings when I wake up.  Simple things like that mean so much to me, especially during this busy life phase of raising small children.  Someone always needs something, it’s a never-ending job until they’re asleep around 8pm ❤ but it’s beautiful.

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Whenever I’m stressed or tempted to let the busyness get the best of me, I find myself going to God with my complaints and issues, and come away with the peace and fullness of a heart of Gratitude.  I’m reminded of my blessings in this beautiful life.  I’m so grateful for them, grateful for a house to clean and keep up with, grateful that we have so many dishes… grateful for a husband who adores me!  But with the loudness and craziness of a busy and full life, comes the necessity of knowing when to light that candle in the evening, have a dessert or a glass of wine, and just slow down a bit.

I found a treasure of a book a couple of weekends ago that was in a bulk of books being given away for free.  Free books!  Love ❤ !  Here is another excerpt from the Art of Living, this is The Art of Relaxation… welcome to my living room, sit down, stay awhile, put on some beautiful music, and relax.

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Modern man must learn to break the tensions of daily living or the tensions will break him.

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He must learn to bend with the stresses and strains like a tree in the wind.  He must develop the resiliency of spirit to spring erect again after the storm has passed.

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He first relaxes his mind by thinking thoughts of peace, quietness and tranquility.  He mentally pictures the placid pool amidst whispering pines and puts himself in tune with nature’s calming mood.

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He strives to carry an inner serenity with him so that even amidst a whirl of activity he will not lose his poise.  He learns “to cooperate with the inevitable” and he accepts life with faith in the ultimate triumph of right and good.

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He relaxes his body by imitating a lazy person – a boy on the beach in the sun – a man in a boat fishing.  He takes a tip from the circus clown who says that the way he avoids being injured in his tumbles is by making his body become “like an old rag doll.”

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He exercises – walks, stretches, works in the garden, plays golf – knowing that physical tiredness invites relaxation and sleep.

He knows that confusion is one of the chief causes of tension so he

organizes his work,

puts first things first,

does one thing at a time,

avoids hurry

and develops a spaciousness of mind.

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He uses the soothing beauty of great music to calm his nerves.

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He observes that the face with a frown marks the tense person, and that the face with a smile is a symbol of relaxation, so he strives to meet life with a sense of humor.  He learns not to take himself too seriously and to laugh at himself now and then.

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He takes time for meditation.  He accepts the wise counsel of Emerson, who wrote: “Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to truth, to right and a perfect contentment.”

With our firstborn, almost 5 years ago!

With our firstborn, almost 5 years ago!

He recognizes that relaxed living is a way of life and strives to manage body, mind, heart, and spirit as efficiently as he manages his business.

The Art of Travel

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I have a friend that is incredibly and amazingly the most adventurous girl I know.  Her love, her passion?  Travel.  I came across an essay in the book, The Art of Living, that drew images in my head of her and her journeys around the world.  She doesn’t just take time off a busy schedule to go on some two-week vacation, this girl orchestrates complex legs of her journey of life where she is working in a different country as a nurse (Nepal), or on an extended stay in Bali, Indonesia.  She’s been to several places in Europe, Asia, and America, while she grew up and lives in the arctic circle.  Allow me to present my friend, a beautiful woman who inspires me, challenges me with her capacity for bravery, and truly embodies the poetic essay, The Art of Travel.  I adore her… enjoy her pictures of her journeys!

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When you pack your bags to explore the beauties of your own country or to travel around the world, consider these keys to a happy journey.

Travel lightly.  You are not traveling for people to see you!

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Travel slowly. Jet planes are for getting places not seeing places; take time to absorb the beauty and inspiration of a mountain or a cathedral.

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Travel expectantly.  Every place you visit is like a surprise package to be opened.  Untie the strings with an expectation of adventure.

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Travel hopefully.  “To travel hopefully,” wrote Robert Louis Stevenson, “is better than to arrive.”

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Travel humbly.  Visit people and places with reverence and respect for their traditions and ways of life.

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Travel courteously.  Consideration for your fellow travelers and your hosts will smooth the way through the most difficult days.

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Travel gratefully.  Show appreciation for the many things that are being done by others for your enjoyment and comfort.

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Travel with an open mind.  Leave your prejudices at home.

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Travel with curiosity.  It is not how far you go, but how deeply you go that mines the gold of experience.  Thoreau wrote a big book about tiny Walden Pond.

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Travel with imagination.  As the Old Spanish proverb puts it:  “He who would bring home the wealth of the Indies must carry the wealth of the Indies with him.”

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Travel fearlessly.  Banish worry and timidity; the world and its people belong to you just as you belong to the world.

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Travel relaxed.  Make up your mind to have a good time.  Let go and let God.

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Travel patiently.  It takes time to understand others, especially when there are barriers of language and custom; keep flexible and adaptable to all situations.

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Travel with the spirit of a world citizen.  You’ll discover that people are basically much the same the world around.  Be an ambassador of good will to all people.  ❤

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