Time….would you slow down, because my GIRL IS ALMOST NINE!


This weekend (Sunday, actually) marks Dani’s ninth birthday. Are you kidding me? Last of the single digit years. It can’t be. But it is!

I lost my own mother back in 1997. Dani would have captured her heart just as she has mine. Now I can understand every emotion I saw my mom go through when I neglected to do what I was supposed to or didn’t come home when I was expected. All out of love. When I first became a parent to this little girl, I couldn’t even dream of the love I have for her. Life changing. She is absolutely the best thing I have ever done with my life. When her dad removed himself from first my life, and then hers, I couldn’t imagine what I was going to do. Many days I questioned, but then I saw her. It wasn’t about living for just me anymore. In the darkest times, she is why I keep going. More than anything she needs to learn that life will knock you down, but you keep standing back up. Keep trusting God. Keep praying.

This kid. More personality packed into one place than should be allowed. Enthusiastic, generous (well except with ice cream), compassionate, and intense. Makes you laugh even when you don’t want to. This year has been a big one for her…. baptized, elected to student council, taking her first year of ballet. I seriously cannot wait to see how God uses her and what is coming next.

Dani, I am so proud of you. I love you very much and we are going to have such a great weekend celebrating you! -m



At the starting line of 2014……


2013 was a big one….in terms of change for me. Topped 50 pounds in weight loss. Downsized to a size small in Nike shorts. Left a career in laboratory to become a personal trainer and fitness instructor at XTC Fitness and Sports in Tyler. Changes in husband’s job situation and retirement from the Guard. Endured some substantial financial hardship. Dani is in first grade. Ok, so maybe the size small shorts wouldn’t necessarily be so earth-shattering…

So far I don’t think 2014 will differ one bit. I’ve set huge goals personally and professionally. I’m striving to grow in every way possible. And it’s going to involve change, new territory, new things to learn. I’m taking on new clients at the gym after having great success with my top 5 placing 100 Lives in 100 Days team challenge. Striving to inspire more and more people that they don’t have to settle for life as is, that they can do more, be more, kick meds to the curb, chase their kids! My goal is to do this as much as possible, it’s my heart. It’s what I’ve been called to do. I have the goal of keeping small group training sessions full of people ready to change their lives. But that’s not all….this Sunday, I will achieve one of these goals….the marathon. I’m running the 2014 Houston Marathon. EEK! The training has involved so many hurdles…suffice to say if it can go wrong, it has during the last three months. I’m hoping just to drag my carcass across that finish line. For me, this puts the stamp on my lifestyle change, validates that I’ve really done it, I’m really a runner. Will this be the first of more? I don’t know….ask me Sunday afternoon! I’m also sad to be running without being accompanied by my husband, who is not a runner, but the greatest support system I’ve ever had. Instead I’m carpooling with another new runner friend and his better half (sorry, Kenneth…haha).

I can’t write any of this without being reminded that as big as any goal or achievement is or can be, don’t lose sight of or forget the value in the journey. Appreciate your ability to even work towards a goal even if you don’t succeed or you think you stink! There are those out there that maybe can’t dream of doing what you do or maybe physically just can’t perform the task. How they would relish being slow or allowed a chance at something! At the end of last year, I signed up with a organization called IR4. It matches runners with children and young adults that have some limitation on activity, and runners dedicate their miles to the person they are matched with as a form of support. I have yet to be matched, but already it has given me another sense of urgency and changed my attitude when I don’t want to run. Secondly, I have a friend and fellow trainer whose boyfriend of 8 years is currently in ICU with serious complications from the flu. Oh how they both would give for him to jog around the block right now! I pray every time they cross my mind for his healing and recovery. Don’t forget the people put into your life along the way either. I have been blessed with coworkers, clients, and new friends that remind me what it is to love each other more just as Jesus calls us to.

My list of goals is lengthy and industrious….so I refrain from listing them all right now….but I’m getting ready for change. Can’t wait to see what the year holds. So thankful.