Time Marches On

It almost blows me away how quickly time passes. My last post was in 2013 – 2.5 years ago! I’m reading old posts and the “About Me” & “A Few of My Favorite Things” pages  (both temporarily taken down for editing), where I talked about college roommates, being a newly wed, the first stages of writing my thesis, and getting to move out of our first apartment!

Coop studying
I’m pretty sure he was supposed to be studying

Now 2.5 years later…

  • Cooper and I both have jobs (still in Lubbock – didn’t necessarily expect that one)
  • We both graduated with our master’s degree
  • We celebrated our TWO year anniversary last month
  • I get to be apart of IF:Lubbock and the amazing women who joined together despite different denominations, backgrounds & cultures to “gather, equip & unleash the next generation of women to live out their purpose.”
  • We have a wonderful community surrounding us
  • I truly believe we have a purpose here in this season (hopefully I’ll get around to expanding on that a little more someday).

So what does life in the fast lane of Lubbock, Texas look like?

A little bit of this..

Dinner with Friends
A group of friends came over for a cookout in September

And this..

Playing Cards
Playing cards on a Saturday night

And this..

2014 Carol of Lights 5K
I actually got Coop to run a 5K with me! 2014 Carol of Lights 5K

And this..

Summer Sausage
Pretty sure we lived off this right after we got married – summer sausage for an easy dinner

And just to prove I actually do cook..

Green Chili Chicken Soup
Green Chili Chicken Soup

Last week Coop  officially hit *one whole year* at The Bank! He has been extra busy lately – busy season – who knew!? So that means he stays late to wrap up loose ends, comes home mentally drained & answers my randomly awesome text messages with one word. Bummer. But I’m so very proud of him. He works his tail off.

He has also been roping a lot. Its fun working at Tech because there are still a few students who were students when I was a student (if that doesn’t jumble you up I don’t know what will) but anyway, they come by and see me! I get asked quite a bit if we’ve been to a show lately or if Coop has anything to show. By the way — when someone asks “you got anything to show” they mean a horse – duh. ;) But anyhow, so we don’t really have “anything” to show lately. Most of our horses are young and really when you have a 8-5 job and the sun sets at 6:30 p.m., you only have so much time to get home, change and ride. He does it though. All that to say, he has some friends around here who get together and rope a bit.

Personally, I have the best job. I work with great people. I’m on a beautiful university. And I get the opportunity to motivate and encourage students to see their full potential. Overall the people make this place home. The College of Ag Sciences & Natural Resources at Texas Tech is where it’s at! I’m thankful everyday for the healthy environment I get to be a part of.

I’ve been loosely training for the Cowtown Half Marathon this Sunday in Fort Worth. I’ve been pretty excited about it until the weather hit.

fortworthweather
Sunday weather forecast in Fort Worth

I’m still excited but getting nervous. We find out tomorrow if the race is still officially on. Number one perk of going to Fort Worth… getting to see some of my dearest friends! It will be so great to catch up with them. So thankful they opened their home to us this weekend. Number two perk of going to Fort Worth… going to the American Rodeo Finals! A sweet couple in our Hillside home group knew I was running and asked if we all wanted to go together. Rain or shine, it will be a fun trip.

On a different note – lets be real, this whole post has been scattered – I feel like something inside of me is fighting to get free. I don’t know what it is, I guess that’s part of why I want to start blogging again. I desire a little corner to express myself; I yearn to find my voice. I feel like I’m in the middle of a battle. I’m fighting for so much but honestly, even though I know this, I’m a pretty lazy warrior. I get distracted. I get tired. I lose the passion of yesterday. But I long for the good fight. There is purpose in it and freedom that comes from it. I guess I’m hoping I’m not the only one. I’m overwhelmed by ISIS beheading Christians, human trafficking, the hungry & the lonely. I tear up when I read someone hitting the nail on the head about owning our gifts – and piercing right to my heart in the process. I want to use my gifts! I want to live out my purpose! But then I get distracted, I get tired, I lose passion. But I tear up all over again when I’m reminded that when I wait, I do not wait alone (even if it feels like a battle to wait).

Battle [bat-l] noun

  1. a hostile encounter or engagement between opposing forces
  2. any conflict or struggle

verb

  1. to work very hard or struggle; strive
  2. to fight

Synonyms – contest, conflict, war.

I battle against my flesh. I battle against my sin. Thank you Lord that You have already won the war.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 ESV

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rules, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-29 ESVLord.creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39 ESV

xoxo – Holly

Friday Favorites

Dreaming

Like I’ve mentioned before, for the past few years there have consistently been two or three blogs I read on occasion. I’ll be the first to admit I know very little about the blogging world (I go through a lot of trial & error), but I’m all for trying new things. A month ago I signed up for Bloglovin & well I really do ‘love’ it. It is so easy to keep up with some of the blogs I enjoy & has also exposed me to new bloggers. Today when I was skimming my Bloglovin feed this morning I noticed a lot of “Friday Favs”. So in the spirit of trying new things…

Home Sweet Holly’s first ever Friday Favorites!

1. Pearl!!!

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Sweet Pearl is growing up on us! Granted she is still crazy hyper at times, and likes to chew up paper just to string it all across the house…BUT she is making strides everyday! Plus, who couldn’t love that precious face :)

2. My mom sent me a letter this week but as you can see…seven months and she still hasn’t quite gotten used to the name change.

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3. The husband thinks its odd that I love feeding horses/being in the barn first thing in the morning. This is a photo is of the barn back on the ranch. Last weekend the hubs showed at the West Texas Futurity and we traveled back & forth between Amarillo & the ranch since the rest of the fam was out-of-town. This place is definitely a favorite, especially first thing in the morning! I can still smell the dirt, alfalfa & manure…

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Say hello to Clapper er’body!

4. This chicken salad recipe is WONDERFUL!

My chicken salad

I’ve made it twice in the past two weeks. It’s been the perfect, cool lunch and even dinner a few times. So easy & fairly health since it’s made with greek yogurt instead of mayo.

5. I love ranch rodeos! Two weekends ago we went to Earth, Texas to compete in one with the hubs, brother-in-law and several of their friends. Even though they didn’t do as well as they would have liked – we all had a good time cheering them on!

Cooper & Payte  On the run

5. Today I got to see one of my bestest friends in the entire world…Lisa!! She came down to see her sister who is going through recruitment at Texas Tech & I got to grab a quick cup of coffee with her today before she headed back to Wichita Falls. Lisa has had such an instrumental impact on my life & the lives of many who come in contact with her.

Lisa wedding
I was so blessed to have this girl as my MOH

5. One of the blogs I follow, Iowa Girl Eats, consistently posts great and easy recipes.

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I substituted the blueberries (they aren’t the hubs favorite) for dried cherries. So great! I love starting off the morning with a little greek yogurt, homemade bar/muffin and a hot cup of coffee.

6. It takes a special (AKA ridiculously smart) person to be an accountant. I mean that in the best possible way. But seriously. My mom, who is a CPA, came down Tuesday afternoon to hang out with me. We had a yummy lunch at Manna in Cactus Alley — I had the Cheesy Tortilla Soup, totally worth it — grabbed coffee, did a little shopping & basically had some much-needed girl time. Towards the end of the afternoon we sat down & she tried her best to explain how to do Quick Books. Whew talk about overwhelmed! Major kudos to all you accountants and wives who do the family books out there.

7. & last but not least… a little encouragement for your weekend!

XOXO

Holly

Running Flop – Literally

Scraped Knee

I sat down yesterday to write a post. Nothing too exciting, mostly about summer school wrapping up and how I still can’t believe its August! (where did the summer go?!) It was about 2:00 p.m. and I thought “hey, I’m tired of sitting all morning, why not go for a jog” and of course my response was “yes of course, exactly what I want to do in the middle of the day when its 150 degrees outside….” Ok so it may not have happened quite like that, but I really have missed working out and it seems like after work (in the hottest part of the day mind you) is the only free time I have. I used to be such a morning person.. :/ And at night, all I want to do is hang out with the husband. So that would leave me with..yes, death & sweat…

Each time I’ve tried to run during the past few months has been hard. Not just “hard” but near to excruciating. I’m slow, sore and just flat-out of shape. I day-dream about the days when it was “easy”. I’ve tossed around the idea of getting back into working out for about a month or so. I know kinda ridiculous, but I had to wrap my mind around making the effort and being committed. Because I don’t just want to do it half-heartedly.

Side note: The other day I actually got my ‘ol cowboy to run with me! And he even came up with the idea! I really did enjoy it. Until he beat me. It’s just not fair how he can not run for 4+ years and then go out and kick my butt. He rides horses everyday & has been in a few ranch rodeos lately so I guess that accounts for it (at least that’s what I’m telling myself).

So anyways…Wednesday afternoon I head out to a local park for a jog. I always have to make a “game plan” before I start because if not, the minute I get tired I have 0 self-motivation. I decided that ~30 minutes would be good, you know since I’m slow, sore & flat-out of shape.

About 1.3 miles in, I’m running over a small wooden bridge & all of a sudden I’m on the ground. Not just a little trip, an all out face plant, skidding to a stop, FLOP. I jump up, hoping nobody saw my tumble, but just my luck there is about three people right there. I know I’m scraped up but then I look down at my brand new phone (we just switched service providers because our previous provider didn’t have service at the ranch) and all I see are cracks. Whats a young, married, grad student on a budget to do? Call the husband in tears. Of course he thought I was actually hurt and after reassuring him I’m physically fine, but my pride is smashed in little tiny pieces…he reminded me that a phone is only a material thing and he is just glad I’m ok. (I know I’m a lucky lady) :)

Scraped KneeDirty Shorts

Honestly, I just wanted to quit right there. I wanted to pout and say “poor me” and walk my injured body to my car and go home. But then this verse popped into my mind. (dontcha just love the Holy Spirit) I’ve been reading this short devotional on The Bible app entitled “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer. She has been talking about how we have a choice to make – “to choose right thinking over wrong” – selflessness over selfishness, joy over self-pity, perseverance over giving up.

I hate to admit it but so often I crumble at the first sign of hardship. If I’m not good at something, I get frustrated, beat myself up, and give up. I let Satan play around with my thoughts until I’m so twisted up I don’t know which way to move. Ever feel like that?

The other day I got to catch up with one of my very best friends and I was telling her a little bit about what I’ve been feeling lately when it comes to my thought life. She made the comment that in my insecurities and doubts – I’m looking to myself instead of Christ. I’m so extremely self-focused that I’m turning my eyes to myself instead of to my Savior who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to HIS power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20 And when my focus is not on Him, I’ve let an idol creep into my life. The other day I was listening to a Hillside Christian Church sermon and the pastor said something like “An idol can’t be just taken away, it must be replaced. You can’t pray ‘Lord just take away this idol and I’ll be good to go’, He has to replace what has replaced Him in the first place.” (If you’re sitting there thinking, “what the heck does this chick mean about idols” check out my post on Idols of the Heart)

So…I started running again. Ok more like jogging but still I kept going. And you know what? It was still really hard. Just because I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit and was encouraged and motivated by Him to finish what I had set my mind to do before I got there, didn’t mean it was a piece of cake. But I did finish. It wasn’t very fast and I’m sure it wasn’t very pretty but I’m so glad I didn’t have to do it alone.

map

I know you may think this is such a small, silly thing. And it is. But you know what, I’m so thankful for a Father who cares about the little things. Who picks me up when I fall – from the little trip ups or the all out flops – He is there.

XOXO

Holly

P.S. Here is the screen shot from my phone of the “today choose life” verse that helped me finish my run. Funny how something random that speaks to you at one moment, can be instrumental the next.

Deut 30:15

Puppy Love

Pearl

WE GOT A PUPPY!!!

Talk about cutting to the chase but I can barely contain my excitement about our new little babe. This is the first picture I saw of her & instantly fell in !

Pearl from website

Her name is Pearl :)

We got her from a breeder in Cumbly, TX – Rockin C Quarter Horses.

One of Cooper’s friends who was on the Ranch Horse Team with him picked her up for us and met us at the Western Heritage Classic in Abilene. (Shout out to the ‘ol bro-in-law Blazer for doing so well in the RHAA Finals!!! Such a stud.) But really, there were quite a few TTU Ranch Horse Team members who qualified to go to Abilene and four who made it to the finals! Loved seeing those Double T shirts ;)

RHT Boys
Blaze, Parke, Gage & Luke made it to the RHAA Finals

But anyways back to the Pup… poor thing, I’m sure she was overwhelmed last weekend. Leaving her Mama, driving to Abilene, being handled and petted by EVERYONE, staying in a hotel, and then finally driving to Lubbock to her new home (apartment)! But she was a great sport! And has been so great! Besides potty training…thats been kinda rough…& crying all night…thats been rough too. But even for the mess and lack of sleep for me & Cooper – She is So CUTE!!

Pearl
Just look at that face!!

We’ve been trying to “crate train” Pearl but its hard! Especially in a one bedroom apartment & she is crying all night…so sometimes we cave and let her sleep with us.

Also, it probably wasn’t the best idea to pick up Pearl during finals. Thankfully I finished all of mine before the Heritage but poor Cooper…he had everything due Monday and Tuesday of this week! But now we are both completely done with the spring semester! In order to stay on track, I’ll be taking summer school but Cooper will have internship hours to complete because he changed his Masters degree to Agribusiness. The fall will be his last semester of school ever!!! Boy is he ready to be done with school.

In other news…

  • We are getting ready to move out of the apartment (Hallelujah!)
  • I started working in the nursery at church :)
  • I have several DIY projects for the new home! Which hopefully will turn into success stories & future blog posts!
  • It’s finally summer!!! Which means we are going to start going to cuttins! During Spring Break I showed for the very first time! So.much.fun! I was shaking and couldn’t breathe but it was exhilarating – and addicting. :) Can’t wait to compete again!

Was highly entertained on the drive back from Abilene…God was definitely showing off. ♥

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1
skyabilene
On our drive back from Abilene

Challenge for this weekend: Take a look at the sky. As your driving in your car, out for a walk, going to the grocery store, maybe your awake in time for the sunrise, or perhaps outside for the sunset – wherever you are, stop. Just for a moment and take it in. The glory that is our God. Maybe He’ll paint a picture just for you to see. :)

xoxo HMC

Not-so-mini life recap

mylove

Whoa… hello blog, long time no see.

Have you been lonely this past year?

Sorry for putting you on the VERY.BACK.BURNER – life kinda got away from me.

Hmmmm ok a mini recap of the past year.

Sept 15th

Cooper asked me to marry him on the ranch = perfect surprise. Every time I thought it was coming he would throw me a curve ball. I remember praying constantly, asking God to fill me with joy and the patience to wait on His timing. Little did I know that Cooper had a plan for that little canyon adventure.

sidering

Post-engagment

Oh yeah then he pushed me in the mud after I said yes ;)

mud

November

Wow this month I was showered with love by family & friends. I will never forget these parties and what a blessing each one of you are to me!

Gram & Mom
Gram & my mom at the shower in Silverton

Ladies at the shower

Lucchese
Lucchese!!


His fav girls The New Family

Kristi_party
Sweet Kristi was my right hand gal at the engagement party in Clovis – THANK YOU!

Dec. 1

One of my best friends & roommates got MARRIED to the man of her dreams – Nick Jones y’all!

Chlo

Dec. 15

I graduated college! It was honored to be asked to carry the flag for the Agriculture Department at Texas Tech. Get Your Guns Up!

graduation

Noone can replace your high school best friends – thank you girls for taking me out! Y’all are the best…love each of you so much.

hs_party

God is so good!!! In the span of a year I will go from having 1 awesome  brother to gaining 3 more siblings! Blaze is great but I’ve always always wished I had a sister. Now I will have 2! Over Christmas, Blaze proposed to Lottie! So thankful & blessed to call these girls family…

Sisters :)
Sisters :)

JANUARY 12, 2013 – BEST DAY EVER!!!

Cooper & I were married at 1st Baptist Church in Lubbock & the reception was at Stone Creek Events Center. I am going to have to dedicate an entire post to just our wedding but for now…here are a few of my favorite moments of our special day. I love you baby.

mylove
themeaningofmarriage

me & mom

lovesmiles

cross

Jamaica! 

Jamacia

January

I started graduate school at Tech, as well as my assistantship in the Student Success Center for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

We moved into our cute little apartment…

Boxes of Mess

Feb. 8

I was privileged to be apart of another one of my sweet friends & roomies wedding – Congratulations Beau & Sarah Tucker!!

Sarah&Beau

Feb. 16

Yay!! Lisa & Tobin tied the knot at the Hance Chapel on Tech campus & what a celebration! Lisa has the uncanny ability to bring out the best in everyone she knows – she truly blesses everyone she comes in contact with. I had soooo much fun dancing with her, Mal, Lauren, Jen, Natalie, Hannah, Ellie, Erika & Cathryn!! Cheers to being silly

Lisa

Lisa

Feb. 22-24

The first SHOT show of the season in Abilene, TX. To say the least it was a successful weekend for the Texas Tech Ranch Horse Team! Cooper had enough riders to make up two teams (6 riders per team) not only did the two teams receive 1st & 2nd, we had riders place in the top five in events across the board.

March 2-9

Part of what I do in the SSC is recruiting, so the past week I was in Houston for the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. I showed steers in high school but never on the level that the kids do at HLSR. CASNR has a booth each year to talk with perspective students, parents, alumni and current students. I really enjoyed talking with all the kids and parents about the college and Tech, playing the WII and lots & lots of booth shopping!

In love with this bag!
In love with this bag!
Oh yeah thats Kliff Kingsbury...
Oh yeah thats Kliff Kingsbury…

Right when I got back from Houston, Cooper left for Austin for a ranch horse show. But it was worth it because TTU took home first place! Good job team! Y’all rock.

So now its spring break & I was able to come down to Clovis for a few days….

Homemade cookies
Homemade cookies
Homemade pillows!
Homemade pillows!

I’d say it has been a pretty successful few days.

So thats a long but small recap of the craziness that has been my life. But I didn’t even touch on the day to day – learning how to be a wife of noble character, seeking and finding my Savior hour after hour, adapting to a new position in school, and learning how to ride & cut (show cutting horses) to name a few.

Thank you sweet friends & family for reading about my life – not super exciting by this world’s standards but its me. Hope this is a way we can keep in touch and encourage one another. But don’t be a stranger – I would love to hear from you, so thankful for each of you.

My prayer for you:

Ephesians 3:17-18

“Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love & keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.”

Xoxo

HMC aka Holly Marie Cogdell (never gets old…)

Signature

Rodeo Regulars

cloudsdark

To say the least – it has been quite a summer! I can’t believe it’s already almost the end of July! Its been great though, full of traveling, family & friends. It’s also been full of new experiences for me, like ranch rodeos & NCHA cutting shows. But thats probably been the best part :)

Just a quick update what I’ve been up to during the past several weeks…

1. Working at Texas Corn Producers & Peanut Producers. I’m the communications intern & really love it. I’ve definitely learned I’m in the right major and so thankful for my (almost…December graduation here I come!) Agricultural Communications degree! Not exactly sure what I’m going to do after these short five months pass but I do have faith in my God & what He is doing in my life & everything around me.

2. Went to Waurika, Oklahoma for a ranch rodeo two weekends ago. It was only a quick trip because we had to be back in Ft. Worth for the Summer Spectacular that Sunday but it turned out to be a lot of fun!

OK sign

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clouds_blue

I loved that the arena was outside of town, you felt like you were in the middle of nowhere and the sky was so beautiful.

chutes

I missed Cooper riding in during the grand entry but I caught ‘ol Blaze.. looking all studly on Bunny ;)

blaze1

3. Ironically, the NCHA Summer Spectacular was the same weekend as Waurika, so Saturday night we left right after the rodeo finished up & drove back to Ft. Worth. I have been to a few weekend cuttings but this was my first experience in Ft. Worth. Thank goodness Cooper’s mom sits and explains what to watch for when someone is cutting a cow because it’s still so foreign to me.

Here are a few things I have learned though…

  • “Cutting” a cow, means separating them from the herd. At first I was so confused because everyone would just say ‘he cut that Black Baldy’ … wait what does that mean? So…just in case you were like me & just a tiny bit confused – when you ‘cut’ a cow, you ride into the herd and slowing draw the calf you picked out towards the open arena. Once you have seclude the calf from the head, it will usually do its best to try to get back to the rest. This is when the rider and horse will do their best to keep the calf from getting back. (kinda getting a mental picture? ..I’ll work on getting a real pic so its easier to understand)
  • Before a new bunch begins, someone (usually a trainer but there is an ‘approved list’ of who can settle cattle) will ‘settle’ the cattle. The cattle are brought into the arena and a rider will basically ride around them. The cattle are supposed to never have been cut before because “*once cut, a cow will never be the same.” The cattle are in a new place, around all these people, horses, an announcer & lights – I’m sure its overwhelming! So the rider goes through them, giving them time to get used to their surroundings, as well as get used to a horse running back and forth in front of them.

cattle1

  • While this is going on, you must be warming up your horse. Granted, this seems pretty self-explanatory but I guess I never realized JUST HOW MUCH you have to warm up a horse in order for them not to be jumpy when showing. It makes more sense now because you got to think about how hyped up they are in that setting. The rider is also pretty pumped and the horse can feel that too. Usually the competitor will have someone else warm up their horse because at the same time…
  • You have to watch the cattle. There are good cattle & bad cattle. Still not sure how to tell which ones are good or not but I just know that some you want to stay away from. Especially if you are towards the end of bunch (like Cooper was) you have to be paying attention to which cattle have already been cut (*see above…”never be the same!”)

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(but I think I’ll just leave that to the pros)

4. This weekend I went to the ranch again…

ranch_road

Cooper’s mom & sis were at cheerleading camp so it was all the boys, Lottie & I.

5. Saturday night the guys (Cooper, Blaze, their dad, their uncle & their friend Landon) were in the Tulia Ranch Rodeo. Lottie & I had a lot of fun together sitting with their grandparents – I’m not going to lie we probably didn’t pay as much attention as we should have ;) but we had a really good time chatting! I did get a few photos but I’m still experimenting with settings, so if you have any tips or tricks that would help please let me know! I’m really trying to learn how to shoot on manual but its been pretty rough.

Grand Entry

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coop2

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6. On Sunday after church, Cooper and I went to pick sweet corn in one of his grandfathers fields. I didn’t think we picked as much as we did but we definitely went overkill. I have picked corn before but never on this scale…

Shucking sweet corn

(Does shucking sweet corn count as a date night??) :)

Sadly the weekend came to an end again but I’m looking forward to this week – lots of fun activities coming up this weekend…can’t wait to tell you about them! Will I see anyone at Border Town Days???

Holly

A few of my favorites from the past two weeks…

ranch_mares

Strawberry

Sky

Baseball, trampolines & family

Rangers Ballpark

I just love summer baseball!

Rangers Ballpark

This past weekend the family (parents, Mitch, the Perrys) & Cooper went to Arlington to watch a few Rangers games. :)

Bri & I

Rangers game

After a GREAT game on Saturday, Cruz hit a double in the 10th inning to send Beltre in winning 4 – 3 against the Twins. We all went to frozen yogurt at Pinksberry.. so yummy! I devoured it so fast I didn’t even consider getting a picture.

Sunday we all went to Urban Air , Trampolinewhich is basically a huge trampoline park. We stayed for about 1.5 hours & the whole family jumped, even our parents! (Mom might have gotten stuck in the foam pit…) hahaha I would post the video but I’m pretty sure I might be disowned.

After we had dinner at Chuys..Wow huge fan! & Lubbock is getting one in September – new favorite date place? Think so ;)

It was such a fun, relaxing weekend with a lot of laughs. I love spending time with my family & am so thankful we make an effort to do things like that together.

The cousins

So on a more random note..

I’m really wanting to start a new book! During the school year I have absolutely no time for reading so I’d really like to utilize the little bit of free time I have. Does anybody have any good book recommendations??

I’m open to any kind of genre, just want an easy read that holds my attention!

& I’ll leave you with a few sky pictures – just because they are my favorite :)

Sky 1Sky 3

Sky 2Sky 4

Holly

A Heart That Can Break

So Living Proof Ministries does this really neat thing in the summer – a Siesta Summer Bible Study! Basically Beth Moore and her entire team goes through someone else’s study, having webinars every other week for the six week study. Meanwhile, a group of women will each have their own member book and go through the study as well. If you are able, the group can get the entire study’s DVDs and meet every week, but all that is required to participate in the Siesta Summer bible study is doing the study on your own each day, meeting with your group and watching the webinars every two weeks to discuss the homework.

I just love the flexibility and comfortableness with this setup. As some of you know, in Pi Phi this past semester we went through Beth Moore’s Esther study. Wow was it fabulous! Beside the fact that the Lord brought tears to my eyes basically every week because of His goodness and trustworthy plan, I got to see some of my best friends and fellow sisters grow. There will always be a special bond between those woman – we went through life together, laughed together, cried together and learned about our ever powerful Savior TOGETHER.

As Beth (yes I call her by her first name…I like to think we are friends ;) ) puts it “Scripture tells us to stir one another up in the faith and to call one another to love and good works and to bear one another’s burdens and pray for one another and remind one another of God’s faithfulness. 1 Corinthians 12:21 says “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’, nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’” The Word says WE NEED EACH OTHER.” & we do!

Which leads to a challenge…

This summer Living Proof is going through Kelly Minters study Nehemiah: A Heart That Breaks 

Nehemiah Study

“Nehemiah’s heart was so broken for those in need that he left the comfort of his Persian palace to help them. This study challenges women to let God break their hearts for a hurting, lost world and move them in compassion to lead people to Jesus.”

A few girls have agreed to accompany me in going through this study. We are going to go through the member books and meet every two weeks to watch the webinar from Beth. Ladies – we need each other. Do you feel broken? Frustrated? Lonely? Discouraged? We are told summer is the time to ‘unwind’ & ‘relax’ but isn’t it true –  life rarely plays out that easily.

If your anything like me, you start out in April – craving for school to be out & summer to begin. Its so close you can taste it! Then its here and well not quite as exciting as expected. You never quite have as much fun as you planned..those relaxing, lazy days become pretty, well, boring. All those nights you thought you’d spend catching up with those old friends – never happens as much as you wished it would. In the moment it seems like the world is your oyster & the days are endless – but before you know it…August is here & school is about to begin. Last year during the first weekend after school had started I remember sitting in my room astonished I was in school again and a Junior in college – I looked back at my summer and although a few great memories stood out that I will hold dear to my heart forever, for the most part I felt like I had just coasted. I don’t want it to be August 27, 2012 and be thinking I wasted my summer again. Come on girls, lets spend six weeks in His Word – growing, learning to better love those in our lives, surrendering our own ambitions/desires to something greater, growing closer as friends & siestas – creating a bond where we can truly count on each other, through the good times & the not so great.

Ecclesiastes says “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” Amen!

So what do you say? 

Are you willing to give it a try? We are starting quickly (yes it technically starts tomorrow but since its a webinar we have the freedom to start a little late) So go get your Nehemiah book (Lifeway sells them for $12.95), give me a call or FB me and lets get started!!

If you’ve ever thought that bible study just isn’t your thing but your curious what all the hypes about, or maybe you really have wanted to participate in an in-depth bible study it just was never the right time, too many things going on – well remember it is summer & maybe, just maybe nows the time to give it a shot. I can promise with full confidence in my Savior who redeemed me from a life in a self-made pit – you won’t be disappointed.

xoxo, Holly

Thank goodness I hate unpacking…

River Walk

Well to say the least this past weekend was full of new experiences.

Cooper & I traveled to Boerne, TX for a SHOT (Stock Horse of Texas) show. He shows in them, as do several of the students on the TTU Ranch Horse team. “The Stock Horse of Texas Association (SHOT) was created to promote and support the concept of the versatile stock horse. The strength in this concept lies in the skills developed by horse and rider in four disciplines: Reining, Pleasure, Trail, and Working Cow Horse. An all-around stock horse can handle a variety of situations with ease and athleticism, using a natural movement attitude.” (source)

The first time I was around a SHOT show was when I helped Cooper in Lubbock in April. I was a ‘runner’. I ran the judges score sheets between the various events and Mary Ann (the secretary who puts everything into the computer and figures out all the scores.) Mary Ann would then print out all the data and then I would fold and tape everything together and post the results for everyone to see.

This weekend I got a crash course on the most intense, mind boggling & magical excel spreadsheet I have ever seen in my life. It was the best program I’v ever seen. The man who created it, Brett, is a genius!! I must be a complete nerd for being so obsessed but it was that cool. I had a blast helping put on an event like that, especially since it was an event that Cooper was involved in too. & he won second overall :D !

Actually, Tech kids placed 1st, 2nd & 3rd overall in the non-pro division! They are pretty much awesome ;)

Because we were so close to San Antonio we made two trips down to the River Walk. Friday night we went down there for dinner and the place was packed! But so so pretty with all the lights along the walkways.

River Walk at night

We also went back on Sunday morning to go to the Alamo with a few of our friends who were at the SHOT show with us. The Alamo was really cool! I guess because I’m a New Mexican at heart I wasn’t super excited about going but once I got there I’m glad we went. Of the four girls who were there with us, only one was actually from Texas (the other two were originally from Colorado) I finally ended up just having to ask her what the story of the Alamo was – which made it so much better!

The Alamo

After the Alamo, Cooper and I decided to go ahead and head back (things have been pretty hectic lately and we just wanted to get back to Lubbock – plus he was going back to Silverton this week and still had a few things to get done in Lubbock on Monday) But I did talk him into making a quick stop on the River Walk again so I could get a picture in the daylight ;)

River Walk

When we got back to the truck Cooper noticed his door was unlocked… someone had broken in. & took all of our luggage & Cooper’s check book. (don’t worry everything with that got settled and numbers changed etc.)

Coopers door

Honestly I didn’t take it as good as Cooper did. I was really upset and frustrated and hurt and just felt violated that someone took all that was special to me. My journal from October until now was in my bag, along with my Bible and notes. Looking at it now I can see just how lucky we were. That it could have been so so much worse. We are safe and most of everything that was taken can be replaced & that which can’t is still just stuff. It was probably one of the best lessons we could have learned. We didn’t think about our luggage being visible, we didn’t take necessary precautions in a huge city – I’m just glad it wasn’t any worse than it was. Definitely a bonding moment to say the least & part of growing up. (& I didn’t have to unpack when I got home!)

Cooper & I at River Walk

Now I’m home & have no plans this weekend (finally!) its so so nice to relax! Chlo, Sarah & I made this awesome salad with lettuce, chicken, mandarin oranges, pineapple, walnuts, avocado & feta! So great & we made sweet potato chips! Now we are watching the first season of 24 (Chlos already obsessed)

Hope you all have a wonderful week & if you feel stressed – look at this adorable puppy! Can’t help but make you smile :)

Labradoodle

Trip Across the Pond (recap)

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So I know its been ages since I have updated (sorry guys I haven’t quit – note to self the new goal: post once a week)

But some of you may still know that I went on a study abroad trip through the Ag college to England and Scotland! It was a 14 day trip which consisted of 2 full days in airports, lots and lots of cheese on food :/ , very cool tours of things like farm publications and stud farms, hundreds of “mini-naps” on bus rides, incredibly beautiful countryside, and wonderful friendships – old & new.

I guess when I thought about England I just assumed it wouldn’t be too extremely different than America. I know some of you are shaking your head like “Holly, come on seriously” but my naive self didn’t put much thought into the fact that it was an entirely different country with their own set of social norms, culture and food. I figured that our ancestors are English and we both speak the same language so no big deal. Boy was I in for a rude awakening.

Throughout the entire trip the thing that kept blowing my mind was how large of a communication barrier there was within the same language.

Random things that stuck out to me:

  • Everything closes by like 6 p.m. I mean everything – shops, coffee shops, restaurants. The only thing open was the pub (aka bar)
  • When you see signs on buildings everywhere that say “Let it” that really means its for rent.
  • You how at fast food restaurants we have ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise. Well in England they have mayonnaise, tartar sauce and vinegar. (& when you ask for mustard they give you an odd look)
  • The drink of choice in the morning is hot tea, not coffee.
  • They like cheese on everything & I mean everything and lots of it. We are talking cheese and tomato sandwiches, or just plain cheese and bread sandwiches – depending on your mood.
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  • It seemed they were pretty big on pre-made food. There were entire stores for grab and go dinners. But not just PB&J but things like a duck, mayonnaise, cheese and basil sandwich.
  • Canola oil is called “Oil Seed Rape” and it is the brightest yellow, so pretty!

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I guess you could probably tell the food was a stretch for me. I’m just not that brave. I did try a Shepards Pie with lamb but thats as bold as I got. If y’all have any questions about food, ask Skylar or Loni, they went to town & loved it!

Most of the educational tours we went on were very interesting. We visited several farms and I really enjoyed hearing the difference in how they approached farming versus farmers here. One thing I realized was a farmer is a farmer no matter what country your in. Their purpose is to provide for their family in the most efficient way possible, while at the same time take care of the land. It was easy to see how much love he had for his land and what he grew, which made me think of home.

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Although there was so much to see in London touristy, my favorite tourist spot had to be Stonehenge. It was just so unique and incredible!

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Looking back there is so much to be grateful for when thinking about this trip. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see another country, experience a taste of another culture and broaden my own small world that I’ve become quite comfortable in. There were so many memories made and sweet friendships formed that I wouldn’t change for anything! Karaoke, Pub Crawl, late night chats with roomies, Zumi games, great conversations on the bus, and lots & lots of laughs. We really could not have had a better group to go on this trip together. Everyone got a long and really enjoyed being together (which got tricky when most placed didn’t seat for more than 4 or 5). Thank you to everyone who went and made this trip completely worth it!

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xoxo, Holly