February 26, 2014

up and at 'em

I'm tired and its only 11:15am! I was up early this morning to go to "moms n' muffins" at B's school, then went to the grocery store -finally! There was NO food in our house, it was past time to get that job done. Today I need to clean and get the house ready for a showing tomorrow! The house isn't technically on the market yet but this gal contacted me saying she was moving to Austin and she is a photographer and wanted to get together. I explained that I was moving to California about the time she would be moving to Waco, etc. anyhoo -she's going to stop by and check out the house! Wouldn't that just be too easy if it all worked out? I'm not too hopeful...things don't tend to work that way w/ us. :) We'll see!

Its COLD and yucky outside today, I have a lot of shooting coming up in the next couple days so I hope the weather cooperates!

We had mi casa last night and told our kiddos about the move...that was sad. The reality is they are almost all graduating and moving on themselves so it is a good time to make the "break" but still. Sniff.

Well, that's the haps around here, nothing too exciting. Hope everyone has a great Wednesday! xo

February 24, 2014

A New Chapter

I've often written and re-written this blog post over and over again in my mind over the past 8 years. I've wondered what I would title it, what words I would use to express the magnitude of my feelings so they would be portrayed accurately, etc. What it all boils down to is this:

HE GOT THE JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In typical Winn fashion you know there has to be a story! Adam had his cell with him all day Friday as we were told we would likely be hearing some news that day. I asked Adam if he wanted to come with me to pick up B from school (a literal 3 minute drive from our house), he said "sure" and off we went. As we were down the street I said "you have your phone with you, right?" To which he replied "Nah, I didn't want to just sit and wait by it, its fine." To which I replied "Do you care that your wife WANTS YOU TO SIT AND WAIT BY IT?!!" Ay yi yi. To be fair, picking B up from school is a process that takes just minutes but still -when you've been waiting EIGHT YEARS for a phone call that's never come, you think you'd just bring the phone incase -RIGHT?! Well, in typical Winn fashion, we get home 15 minutes from when we left the house to discover that not only has Adam missed a phone call on his cell but our land line as well...2 missed calls from APU. DOH!!! I explained to Adam that I was trying REALLY hard to not be mad at him right then and that he better call back ASAP! He called back....no answer. He emailed his friend who is also on the board who made the decision and just explained he'd missed 2 calls, did he happen to know if the calls were regarding the position to which his friend replied with one word: unanimous. And just.like.that. we had our answer. I didn't believe it though, I wanted the department chair to audibly say to Adam "It's yours." He checked his email and saw that the department chair and emailed him, explained she had tried to call twice and asked that he please call her as soon as he could. Adam called, I sat in our bedroom and waited. I could hear Adam on the phone and the words "This might be the best phone call I've ever received" came out of his mouth and then, tears streamed out of my eyes. I just sat on our bed and sobbed uncontrollably. The 8 years of trying, waiting, praying, hoping, finally came to fruition in one phone call. I honestly don't know if I've ever wanted something so badly in my life. 14 years ago my husband started on a journey that lead to this day, 2 years of a masters degree, 4 and a half years of a PhD, a year long post-doc in Ireland, teaching for 6 schools simultaneously just to pay the bills all the while never giving up on the goal. Editing, publishing, interviewing, being told no for 8 years, to finally receive 1 yes. I've often asked Adam over the years if he knew how hard and long and draining this process would be, if he would still do it all over again? His answer "I don't know what else I would do, this is what I'm supposed to do, so...yes." And there it is.

As much as I thought about what I would say if Adam got the job, I've thought about what I would say if he didn't, and it comes down to this: If he's not Lord of all, he's not Lord at all. As much as I have disdain for cheesy Christian-ese, if Jesus isn't who he says he is all the time, he's not any of the time. He either has it all under control or he has none of it under control. God would still be good if Adam didn't get the job, he would still have a plan for us, he would still be faithful and that is what I keep reminding myself. This process isn't a "done deal" - Adam still has to interview with the president, he still has a contract to sign, this journey is not technically over. If for some reason it doesn't come to fruition I need to be reminded of what I know to be true -He's Lord of all, all the time and he never changes. He still sees me, I am not ever forgotten. "I will not forget you, I have engraved you on the palm of my hands." [Isaiah 49:16]

Thank you to each one of you who has checked in over the years to watch this story unfold, thank you for each prayer, for each text, email, phone call, etc. to express your care and love for us, thank you for investing in this process and loving us through it, it has meant a lot. It's been quite a journey...no? :) I'm thankful for a new chapter, I'm ready to start the new journey..... back home in California. xo

February 21, 2014


Yesterday was nuts! I was running from one thing to the next and barely had time to think -which was great. :) It was a good day to be busy. My friend Jordan offered Adam and I 2 tickets to Baylor's "Sing" performance so we took her up on it! Ever since I moved to Waco I've heard about "Sing" but have never gone, and yesterday -we did! Basically its a 5 hour performance where all the sororities and fraternities put on these approx. 10 minute performances where they sing and dance. The choreography and props were pretty darn outstanding and I was blown away at what a great job everyone did! When I worked at Baylor last year I worked with some of the college students who were involved in Sing so it was awesome to see their hard work pay off! It was an impromptu date night which Adam and I really enjoyed! And B got a new babysitter (thanks again, Jordan!). All my kiddos were booked up so we tried a new gal and she was great (the perks of living in a college town).

HERE is the delicious recipe for the super easy Mongolian beef, ya'll must try this- so good!

Okay, well, that's all I got for now -I'll let ya'll know news when we know news, good or bad. Thanks for checking in! xo

February 19, 2014

better days

Yesterday was just plain r.o.u.g.h.  -things made the turn when my mi casa kiddos came over, man I love those guys. We heard the engagement story of the lovebirds who got engaged on valentines day, and celebrated sweet Andrew's birthday. I made the chocolate/peanut butter cake that I've blogged before, it was DELISH if I do say so myself! Yesterday was just a hard day for me, I allowed myself to get caught up in the uncertainty and I was miserable, but today is a better day and I woke up feeling much more optimistic. I'm going to get out today -yesterday I was home all day and I think I need a change of scenery, some fresh air, some perspective, etc..

I did try a new recipe yesterday and it was a HUGE hit, Adam told me a million times how it was a new favorite an I should make it all the time. :) Its a crockpot Mongolian beef and I have to admit, it was pretty darn good! I'm not typically a Mongolian beef fan b/c I hate how the texture of the meat is often too tough to chew -not this time! It was so tender from marinating in the crockpot all day, I'm sure it will become a regular around here. I'll hunt down the recipe and post it soon, I took a photo of it on my ipad so I don't have the link. I need to get going b/c I'm doing another crockpot recipe for tonight and I gotta get it going or we'll be eating at midnight! More to come! xo

February 18, 2014

life giving cupcakes

This weekend was busy, Saturday we were running from one thing to the next -all fun things, just a lot in one day. For over a week now I've been feeling like I'm getting sick, just when I think its going to come full on it goes away...so weird! I'm thankful to have been spared but I almost wish it would just come so it could go away versus this on again off again business. I've bailed out of a couple social commitments in the last couple days, I haven't physically felt too great but emotionally I'm feeling a LITTLE unbalanced. I hate that feeling when someone asks "how are you?" and you know if you answer you'll just start crying and you can't really even articulate why -that's where I'm at. I've been sleeping a lot too, I think my whole body/mind is just.plain.tired.

Since yesterday was presidents day B was home from school so we had a date. Our church play group rented out a gymnastics gym so we started our day off there playing with our friends, then we went to lunch at Panera (per her choice) -she ordered a salad for her entrée! It seemed like such a big girl thing to do, she's growing up! Then we went to Old Navy and got her some more work out/gymnastics gear, then saw the Lego movie -that was pretty funny. We had a good little date, just the two of us -but we were both wishing daddy could have gone to the movie with us (darn jobs!). 

Back to Valentines day, that was fun. B had a great time with her friend and Adam and I had a great time with our friends -double dates are the best! During the day I went to the Verizon store to buy Adam his first iphone (I know...we both were WAY slow in making that happen) and it was neat b/c the guy who was helping me was wearing a bracelet that said "God is big enough." It was such a sweet and gentle reminder and I felt like that bracelet was just for me in that moment. When I came home I had valentine cupcakes waiting for me on the porch from a dear friend. Again, it felt like this little gift of love that I wasn't expecting but just reminding me that I am cared for and known in this crazy time of unknowns. It was life giving to me and literally made my day (thank you, KP).

Tonight is mi casa, I'm thinking of baking a cake I haven't made before to celebrate a birthday and an engagement in our little family, we'll see if I can make it happen. :) Thanks for checking in and for your prayers for us as we wait with hope. xo

     *shower for sweet baby Mayer
*our friends had us over for homemade pizzas -so good!
 *Valentine's Day double date with our sweet friends -Chicago style pizza!

February 14, 2014

Happy Day of Love

Happy Valentine's Day, all! I do love valentines day, and the older I get and watch how much B enjoys it -makes it even better. A couple days ago we were working on her valentine box for school and addressing her valentines to her classmates and she said "I just love Valentine's day" -I hope she always feels that way. :) Today is one of my mi casa darlings birthday -he is just the sweetest thing ever so it only makes sense he was born today! Another one of my mi casa kiddos texted me last night  -it was a photo of an engagement ring, he is proposing to his girlfriend (who has become part of our mi casa this past year) -I can't wait to hear all about it! Ah, sweet, young love. :)

Well, as promised here is the update on our life here in limbo land -we found out last week that our Texas option is no longer. Deep sigh. The job that was "available" due to someone retiring -the department has decided not to fill. Its so crazy how quickly Adam and I have had to adjust our thinking, our hopes, our desires, our "plans" (yeah right -like we have any say in those!), what our future might look like, etc. It was kinda interesting b/c I think for a while there we thought Texas might be the last place we called home, and then within seconds -it was quickly onto the "next thing." But its also interesting how the Lord changes our hearts and hopes, and not out of desperation but just his subtle way of saying "you think you know what you want...but you really don't." I've seen him do this in my life in many ways, and its always neat to see how he quietly moves within me and stirs me up, sometimes I don't even know its happening until way after the fact. So, here we are, at the end of the line, the 11th hour, with 1 option. I was saying to a friend the other day that I even though I thought I wanted Adam to have a choice, and for him to be able to tell some place "no" after all.this.time. that really, I wanted the choice to be clear. And now here we are, with no choice but with one option. As much as I hate this process (I rarely use the "h" word but I've gotten to the point over the last 8 years where there really is no other word) I do find the process to be that much more bearable when I am waiting with hope. On the flip side, the end result can be that much harder, that much more disappointing and devastating. It really is a double edged sword. I feel a bit emotional this go around, I haven't fallen apart yet but I also can feel how imminent it is this time. Even if things go "our way" I think I might still have that moment from shear exhaustion and built up emotions for the past 8 years of how truly hard and draining this process has been. I was telling Adam yesterday that I've been able to rally and "get back on the horse" so many times but I think I'm at the point where I don't think I can do it any more. I feel like I'm screaming "I'm tapping out, Lord -I'm out!!" Adam admitted, he's there too. Its a scary place to be in some regards and maybe a bit freeing in others? I'm not sure yet. We keep saying "we can table this conversation for another week or so" -b/c really, it might all be for not, but we're also realistic and jaded, and know this process is anything but fair so, living in reality is important here. I'm trying to live each day and not think too far ahead just yet, but this is a daunting time for us in a new way this year. I'm hopeful next week will be one of answers and new beginnings, praying hard for that.

Today is going to be a busy one, I haven't been to the store in ages so I need to do that. I'm hosting my friend's baby shower here tomorrow so need to do some cleaning and re-arranging of things to get ready, and we're going on a double date! Since we really celebrated Valentine's day last weekend, some friends asked if we wanted to join them for a night out and we said "Sure!" B is playing at a friend's house tonight (where our friend graciously offered to watch the kiddos) so it should be a fun night out! Tomorrow one of our mi casa kiddo's boyfriend will be in town so he gets to "meet the parents" -poor guy! ;) We gotta size him up and make sure he's worthy and all that! :) Then we have the shower, B has a birthday party, and then we're headed over to our friend's for pizza night! (my friend Anna makes the yummiest pizza and cooks it in her outdoor pizza oven -so fun!). Church on Sunday, and then the "Love Love" Feast (for V-day and all) at church Sunday night. That's all the haps around here! Hope you all have a great Valentine's Day and feel extra loved! Happy weekend! xo

February 10, 2014


Its COLD on this Monday morning here in Waco. BRRR. I was up and at 'em early this morning shooting a beautiful house for HGTV's new show "Fixer Upper" that will air in April. Its so fun seeing these dramatic transformations and getting inspired for my own home. Can't wait for the show to air!

Anyhoo, this weekend was great! Friday Adam and I headed up to Dallas for our early V-day getaway. We ate at the most fabulous Indian restaurant, cheered the Mavs onto victory, and spent the night in the coolest hotel! It was urban chic, concrete floors/ceilings with exposed duct work, European type bathrooms, cool décor, etc. It was great! Adam and I got dessert and ate it in bed while we watched some TV. It was a great 24 hours away just the two of us. Saturday we had movie night with the ninner, we introduced her to Mary Poppins. I used to watch it all.the.time. when I was young, she loved it! Sunday we went to church, and had some friends over late last night chatting and watching the Olympics. Monday came too soon today! :) I have a feeling the next 2ish weeks are going to crawl by, when we're waiting for such important news like a job it makes each day feel like an eternity. My mind keeps running through scenarios of timelines, etc. Sigh. This is always the hardest part/time of year for me. I'll keep ya posted when I have news! Thanks for checking in, all ~ hope you all had a relaxing weekend! xo

February 5, 2014

life in limbo (part I don't know 542?)

I feel like over the years I've had many "life in limbo" moments/posts, etc. I'm not sure what "part" we're in any more, like tv series that are broken into parts I, II, III, we're so beyond those digits I don't even know! But here we sit...in limbo....yet again. This month will likely feel very long to me as it will mostly be made up of wondering and waiting. Its always so hard this time of year b/c B's school starts talking about re-enrollment, paying deposits for the next year, etc. But we have no idea if we'll be living here so to plan for school year 2014-15 seems overwhelming. I started looking into schools in California if that's where we should land and that was overwhelming too. After doing some research yesterday I realized there were only 2 days left to apply for "open enrollment" if your kid has any chance of getting into a certain school in the fall -YIKES! But the kicker...you need a local address to apply (duh). So, a dear friend allowed me to use her address so I could TRY to get B in a decent school should we have to move. Talk about putting the cart before the horse but what else can I do?! It was all pretty daunting and stressful....and there is zero guarantee of anything so that's helpful. Sigh. This parenting stuff is no joke! Its also hard b/c I love B's current school so much so anything else in comparison feels like a step backward and that's hard. I know these are just details that find a way of working themselves out but for a parent, school is a huge "detail" and weighs heavy on my heart as I think of sending my only out into the big world. So, that's what occupied a lot of my day yesterday! We had mi casa last night and my sweet kiddos stayed pretty late, it was "question night" where we talk about theological things and we often go late on those nights. I had to get up early today to get B going b/c Adam had to get up early to drive to Temple to try and fight a citation for having expired emissions tags or something lame like that. Ay yi yi...always something!

Well anyhoo, that was a rambly post...life is just a lot of waiting these days, we're all pretty anxious to know what's next so stay tuned! Now, head on over HERE to check out this sweet newborn! xo

February 3, 2014

memory making stuff

To say my weekend plans didn't work out quite like I wanted would be an understatement. Adam left Wednesday afternoon for the west coast for his interview, B came home from school Wednesday afternoon sick. Poor girl stayed sick the.whole.time.Adam.was.gone. I had made our reservations at the American Girl doll store way in advance with the expectation we would have a mother/daughter bonding weekend in Dallas, and make some memories that she would tell her own kids about some day. Well, she might tell her kids but it will be more like "I was so sick, I laid around in the hotel room watching cartoons, I watched my mom eat lunch while I barely touched my milkshake b/c I had no appetite and really just wanted to get my doll's hair done so we could go home and I could lay on my couch again." Sigh. It was a big bummer and not at all what I had envisioned for our time. Poor B....poor me! It was a rough 5 days to say the least. Adam was supposed to get back on Saturday night but his first flight out was delayed 20 minutes so he missed his connecting flight from Dallas to Waco by 9 minutes, the next flight out wasn't until Sunday morning, oh yeah, that flight got cancelled, so then he got on the next flight (which ended up being delayed) and finally made it home yesterday around 3pm. Ay yi yi, was I glad to see him!!! We were home briefly before our babysitter arrived freeing us up to go to our friends house to watch the super bowl -GO SEAHAWKS!! B was better today so we sent her off to school, fingers crossed she's back to her usual self when she gets home, I'm ready to have my girl back!

I have a long list of errands today since I got virtually nothing done in the past week. The light at the end of the tunnel is this Friday! My sweet husband made plans (unbeknownst to me) for a sweet Valentine's weekend! I've wanted to go to a Mavs game ever since we moved to Texas, and since the Mavs aren't playing next weekend in Dallas Adam arranged for some folks to watch B this weekend and he's taking me to Dallas to go to a fancy dinner (he won't tell me where), go to the Mavs game, and spend the night at a cool hotel -fun! I was so surprised to hear he thought of all this, can't wait! Sweet Adam, he's just the best!

Okay all, I'm gonna get started on my day, thanks for checking in! Happy Monday! xo