Will never take it for granted!

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When my girls were little, all I wanted to do was be able to work from home so that I could be with them more. I worked a typical corporate 8 to 5 cubicle style job for most of their babyhood and well past their toddlerhood. Sat at my desk most days always wishing there was something more. I worked hard but felt like I got no where. Financially…or in life. It always made me so sad to drop off two sweet baby girls at daycare in the morning and only have what seemed like a few minutes each night to really spend quality time with them. I struggled with this for years but thought that was just the way it was. We didn’t have another option. We had so much debt and way too many bills. I always prayed that God would somehow allow me that freedom. To open a door for my family. I love to work and always have, but just wanted something that would give me the freedom to do it from home. I prayed and prayed and searched and searched. Fast forward to today. I am overcome with joy and emotion as I think of all that God has done in our lives over the past several years. The things he has brought us through, both ups & downs. I am so incredibly grateful that I have found IT. To be able to work a job that I love from home or wherever I choose and set the hours I want. My kids can be with me when I work. I love this so much. I am also thankful that this job doesn’t feel like a job to me…I help people achieve goals and earn income doing it. It’s also allowed us to pay off debt and dream bigger than we’ve ever imagined. It really is my dream come true. To live more. Such freedom for which I will not take for granted and will count my blessings daily as I soak up making memories with my babies!

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#focused15

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I have a friend who read a book called One Word That Will Change Your Life and told me all about it! In a nutshell it encourages you to pick just one word and let it guide you the entire year to help you simplify and go after your goals in all areas of your life. I decided to do this. I am all about setting goals and love the start of a fresh new year to go after brand new ones. Instead of making overwhelming resolutions I could potentially fail at, I decided to choose a word and let that push me to succeed in several areas and goals! I prayed about it and decided Traci’s word would be FOCUSED. Past tense because the end goal is to be more focused. That’s my destination (and my new hashtag). Let me explain…

#focused15

  • I wanted to be more focused as a mom. I want to have time with my children where I fully focus on them and relish each moment with them as they are kids. Because as time has already proven, it speeds by. How are they already 7 & 8? I mean, really. Life is crazy and I love crazy. BUT. I want to slow down enough each day to have intentional focused time with my munchkins. It’s in those sweet moments where memories are made and hopefully impacts their hearts. I don’t want to miss it…at bedtime, reading a book, cuddling, playing a game of basketball, looking them in the eyes, holding their hand.
  • I want to be more focused as a wife. With Ryan & I both having our own businesses, we tend to be in “work mode” often. And we both enjoy working. However, I want to have even more time with my husband that is fully focused on us. Not our kids. Not our businesses. Not our long list of to do’s. Just us. Our friendship and our love. Date nights need to be just that. A night together to laugh, talk, look into each others eyes, and just be. Ryan deserves that from me. Our marriage deserves that. We do fairly well in this area but there is always room for improvement! I am blessed to have an amazing man who not only is my best friend but also business partner. I want to be able to fully focus on the most important part of our relationship as husband and wife first!
  • I want to be more focused in my business. Working from home is a total blessing of which I’ve dreamed about my whole life! I love what I do and the freedom it allows me. Wouldn’t trade it for anything! However, something I have learned about myself is that in order for me to truly focus and get more done, I have to do a few things. Which is my goal in this area for the year! That is to utilize my planner to help me plan out my weeks and months better. To make my list of things I need/want to accomplish and mark them off each day. If I don’t write it down, chances are, it’s not happening. I also have decided in order to focus fully on getting stuff done in my business, I work so much better from a coffee shop! When I’m at home, I sometimes get distracted by “home stuff”…i.e. laundry, dishes, my dog, the piles of toys, etc. But when I take my computer to the local coffee shop, I get a ton done and can intently focus on building my business. I love it. Plus the coffee is amazing and that’s always a perk! I have a big goals for my business in 2015, so being & staying FOCUSED is key.
  • I want to be more focused with my running. Last year, I ran. But honestly it was half-heartedly. I didn’t give it my all. I didn’t do it as much as I would have liked or pushed myself as hard as I could. The races I did were hard and I didn’t even really try. As I ran across the finish line of the Dallas Half in December, I determined then & there that I wouldn’t let another year pass like that. I know there will be a day when I’m older where running is a thing of the past….hopefully that day will be when I’m like 90! I want to relish in my runs all that I can. So this year, I am focused. Focused on getting better. Getting faster. Doing more. Running with purpose. It clears my mind, I get my best ideas while running, and have some of my best worship experiences. It’s my “Traci time.” I need this and it’s good for me! Dedicated to being more focused and the runner I know I can be.
  • Finally, but most importantly, I want to be more focused in my relationship with the Lord this year. I have started getting up early & I was not an early morning person! But slowly I’m becoming one. And loving it! I need to have more focused quiet times in the mornings to get my heart and focus where it needs to be each day. JESUS. When He is my focus, everything else falls as it should. I don’t let as many things affect me in a negative way, I’m a nicer and more patient momma when my girls wake up, I’m a better friend. I have determined that I can’t do this life thing by myself (duh) and God doesn’t expect me to. He’s there always and is continuously faithful. I need to let him guide my days instead of bringing him in on occasion when it’s convenient. He is bigger and greater than all things….I need him in ALL areas, not just a few.

My prayer at the end of 2015, as we are celebrating another year with our amazing friends & dancing the night away at our annual New Year’s Eve party, is that I’ll look back over the past 12 months and know that I FOCUSED on what’s most important. In each moment of each day of each month of the whole year. I want to make it count and live it to the fullest.

I challenge you to pick a word and join me in striving to be the best version of YOU that you can be this year! And I would LOVE to hear about it if you would be willing to share!

Much love,

Traci

The skinny on what’s been going on…

I just wanted to update you all on our journey with It Works! Global. As you all know, I signed up as a distributor back in January. It has truly been an amazing ride! The opportunity to get in on the ground level of a Christian based company that is growing exponentially has been huge for our family. The company has grown over 400% since the beginning of the year. They set an annual goal of $100 million for 2012…it’s only July and we’ve already accomplished this mission! With our “first to market” product, the Ultimate Body Applicator, and our all-natural supplements, this company continues to grow & expand by leaps & bounds. The crazy part is, this is only the beginning of things to come! The market is not saturated by any means and there are still so many areas & people that have yet to hear about It Works!

Ryan & I have been thoroughly impressed with not only the products but the people in the company. The corporate leadership team truly cares about the distributors and strive to help us as much as they can achieve our goals. They provide all the tools you need to be successful in this business. They strive to help families get out of debt. They want to put cash in our pockets, not just reward distributors with cars or other gifts, which I like! The CEO & his wife are precious, Christian people (former teachers & coaches), that care & pray for us daily. They have a servant leadership perspective which is why I believe their company is so blessed. We just spent this last weekend in Florida at a corporate training event with all of these awesome people and are coming home pumped & inspired! We definitely feel we are in the right place at the right time.

I wanted to share this with you guys for two reasons. First, if any of you (or anyone you know) has an interest in joining my team & jumping on board this great opportunity, let me know! I would love to help you get started. I get excited to share about it and would be happy to call you or email info. It is changing our lives and the lives of several of our friends & family every day. We have been able to start multiple savings accounts, get out of debt, give more, and travel more! It all sort of feels surreal and we are so, so thankful. The thing I love is that you don’t have to be a salesperson to be successful- you just share & people want these amazing products! Second, please pray for Ryan & I as our business & team continues to grow. We want to be good stewards with what God has blessed us with. We cling to the verse in Luke, “to whom much is given, much is required” and want to honor God along this journey. We also want to be good leaders as we help others reach their goals in this company.

Thank you all so much for your support & prayers!

East Coast Tour Stop 2: Asheville, NC

After leaving the beautiful state of Alabama, we headed north to Asheville, North Carolina for the weekend. Oh my goodness, was this a beautiful drive! This is pretty much what it looked like the entire way…

Wow, what a great drive – just gorgeous. These views never got old! Minus the traffic we got stuck in Atlanta, it was smooth sailing. We got to Asheville Friday evening, checked in to our hotel and headed to dinner. We went downtown to the Mellow Mushroom and devoured some amazing pizza. This was our first experience at Mellow – glad to know there is one in the DFW area. We will be visiting it! The girls thought it was pretty fun to be out passed their bedtime eating pizza! Took our leftovers and headed back to hotel to crash out after a long day of traveling.

The next day, I worked a bit that morning. Can I just say that I love being on the ground floor of a company that is growing exponentially – the opportunity, everywhere is HUGE! Makes it much fun. Anyways, after I got done talking with salons and spas…we swam, walked around downtown to see the sites, toured some breweries, saw some really cool art, ate more good food and just enjoyed our time in this beautiful city. Asheville really is a neat place!

Next stop: Virginia & Washington D.C.!

Mini Vacay, My Amazing Team, First Tooth & Teacher Appreciation Gift

Wow! I’m a blog slacker! Seriously. I apologize for my lack of attendance here in blogland. Heck, no one probably even looks at this thing anymore. Is anyone even out there? Hello? Can you hear me? Anyone? Bueller? Attention: I’m finally posting a blog!

Mini Vacay

This past weekend, we headed down to San Antonio with friends for some time away. We had a blast! San Antonio is a great place for family vacations. It’s just close enough where driving is not terrible. There are plenty of options of things to do for both children & adults. We did Sea World and Schlitterbahn. We headed to the Mercado & had delicious mexican cuisine & margaritas at Mi Tierra. We rode a “Cinderalla” carriage ride. We laughed. We got up hastily at 12:30 a.m. & carried our sleeping children down 6 flights of stairs when the fire alarm at the hotel was going off. OK, so that part wasn’t fun. At all. Nor was it very funny to find out that someone decided to pull it for a dirty joke. I was sort of impressed by the fact that I followed all the rules of a fire drill: touching the door before opening it, taking the stairs, putting on a hat to cover nasty bed head, etc. It was a great weekend with friends!

My Amazing Team

My It Works! team is blowing it up. I’m quickly figuring out that “ground level” is an understatement. Thankful I jumped on board with my friend Ashley called me in January! I have a great group of ladies & a few men that are seriously killing it. I love this company. I love helping people get healthy. I love making new friends. And I won’t lie, making extra money is a perk too! We paid off our last credit card this month…woohoo! If you haven’t checked out our great products, click here. Good stuff!

First Tooth

Is it weird to get teary eyed when your first born child loses her first tooth? I mean really, enough is enough. First we did this thing called Kindergarten and now this? I can’t take it! She’s growing up way too fast for my liking. She was such a big girl about the whole pulling of the tooth deal. It has been loose for a while, but when she came home from school yesterday after consuming an apple for snack, it was hanging by a thread. So big girl went and got some floss and yanked that thing out like it was nothing at all! She was so proud. We were so proud. Tooth fairy came and left four quarters. Addi was way pumped by that (which thankfully she wasn’t disappointed since she made mention of “maybe the toof fairy will leave like one hundred dollars or something” the night before).

Teacher Appreciation Gift

My friend Amy was kind enough to share this crafty idea with me. I am lacking in the area of crafty, I’m just saying. So glad I saw Amy while in San Antonio and she gifted me with some of her craftiness. We have truly been blessed this year with fabulous teachers! As you recall, I was pretty worried/upset/depressive/anxious about Addi starting Kindergarten. Ryan & I prayed for her teacher months and months in advance. And boom, God provided an amazing person to us for Addi’s first year. Seriously couldn’t have asked for a better lady to teach and lead my daughter each day. And Kamryn’s preschool teacher has been awesome as well. Both ladies are super caring and give 110% every day. We are so so thankful for both of them. With it being Teacher Appreciate Week, I wanted to give them a little something to shower them with appreciation. Cue Amy’s crafty idea. How cute is this poem? I loved it! And I hope Mrs. Jeanes & Mrs. Kelley know that we mean every word!

Green is for the inspiration you give me each day.

Blue is for your patience in showing me the way.

Orange is for your warmth and caring style.

Yellow is for the way you always make me smile.

Red is for my life that you have touched this year.

You’re a very special teacher just like this jar, that’s clear.

You place knowledge In children’s hands

and melt into their hearts and lives forever.

You’re a “Magnificent” & “Marvelous” teacher

Thank you for being my M&M.

It Works!

Above is a pic of one my best friends. Yes, these pics are real & yes that is a real person that I know! She sang at my wedding and her husband was our best man. These are her before & after pics while using It Works! Ultimate Body Applicator. CRAZY!

I am excited to announce that I’ve started distributing It Works! all natural products & body wraps. I am usually a huge skeptic when it comes to this sort of stuff but after talking with my friend (above) from Lubbock who started selling it & seeing her before/after pics, I was convinced. Plus, I’m always looking for ways to promote a healthy lifestyle!

The Ultimate Body Applicator is a non-woven cloth wrap that has been infused with a powerful, botanically-based formula to deliver maximum tightening, toning, and firming results where applied to the skin. It helps reduce stretch marks and is perfect for people who have lost a bunch of weight and have excess skin. Even after running my tush off for this long, I still have a small pooch left from having kids that I’m ready to get rid of! You can seriously wrap for 45 minutes & see instant results! Most people lose an inch after the first wrap. As you can imagine, these “skinny wraps” are quite the popular product, but it is in no way supposed to be a “quick fix” but rather a jump start on a new, healthier you. Results from the wrap stay off anywhere from 2-6 months depending on your lifestyle. Obviously if you eat healthy and work out, they will stay off longer or remain off! 

I’d love for you to take a sec and look at my website here.

Also, I’ve set up a Facebook page you can follow here.

You can also read all about the all-natural products and other supplements available on my website. As a runner, I’m really excited about the “Relief” supplement that contains glucosamine & chondroitin and promotes joint health. Also, the product called “Greens” which is a powder that you can simply add to smoothies to get 8 servings of fruits & veggies. They contain 38 herbs & nutrient-rich “superfoods.” 

OK, I’m done w/my sales pitch! Just wanted to let you all know what I’m up to. If you would like to try a wrap or want more info on the supplements, please let me know! 

My New Life.

I am about to begin a whole new life. One that I’ve only really imagined possible up to this point.

God moves in great ways. I am actually humbled and taken-back that He finds me valuable enough to bless me with the life He has. Seriously. It’s recently brought me to tears when I look back at His ever powerful, ever guiding hand in my life. This change for us is no exception.

I am thrilled to announce that I have accepted a new career with Pearson Education as a Multimedia Course Developer. I will be developing video tutorials and learning resources for the #1 educational eBook publisher in the World. This career will bring about many positives for the Dixon family. I begin on the 19th and am ecstatic about the changes.

Here are just a few of the changes…

My new commute.
My new office space.
My new cafeteria.
My new office building.

I found out about this opportunity about a month ago from my sis-in-law Jen, applied and was granted the opportunity to do some sample work as part of a “test” to check out the candidates. I was asked to build a presentation based on this graphic/script.

Here is my video submission. Click it!

Later I received a call requesting a “get to know you” interview, interviewed and was later offered the position.

I am amazed and once again humbled to be able to take on this role and am so excited about not only the changes for the Dixon family but being able to really utilize my trade skills to a higher level.

  • Audio experience, check.
  • Graphics experience, check.
  • Teaching experience, check.

This is my new life.

Surprise, we’re going to see the dancing girls!

Last night, we had big plans for our girls. The Apache Belles, a dance team at the college where Ryan works, are putting on their Spring Show this week. The Belles are pretty well-known across the country and do performances and productions all over. Last year, Ryan did the audio for the Spring Show. That was a beast of a two weeks for me err, I mean for him. I took the girls one night with a friend to watch and they were in awe – they loved it! They called them “the dancing girls” and even proudly told people that their daddy went to work with “the dancing girls.” Lovely. I’m sure some people were thinking what the heck? This year, even though Ryan isn’t doing the sound, he was able to score some free tickets for the fam. So we decided to keep it a surprise…what fun!

We made a night of out. To start, we went to eat dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings – 60 cent boneless wings – with Uncle Jeff. The girls love to eat here because it’s one of the rare times we eat fried foods! We asked them while at dinner where they thought we were going for our surprise and we received answers like, “the park? ice cream shop? Grandma’s? Starbucks? Bealls?” Got to love their sweet, simple pleasures! After some delicious BWW, we stopped by for some ice cream. I mean, what better way to cool off your burning mouth (thanks to Caribbean Jerk & Mango Habanero sauces) than a scoop of chocolate peanut butter cup! They thought this was their surprise at first. So they were pumped to find out that this was just our final stop before THE surprise. After we got back in the car, I asked again where they thought we were going. “water park? the mall? and then finally and randomly Addi yelled, “to Daddy’s work to see the dancing girls?!” When we responded with a big YES, shrieks filled our van. It was priceless.

We got to the auditorium and headed as close to the front as possible. From the moment the show started until the final kick, their eyes were glued. Although Ryan was ready to leave at intermission (ha!), we stayed the entire time which was a good two hours. Sparkles, high kicks, music, singing, dancing, twirly dresses…our prissy girls were in heaven. And although I enjoy this show too, it’s the smiles on their faces that make it awesome for us. It’s the little things in life, you know? With a small amount of effort, a random night in Spring became a special night for us. Another memory maker for the books!

Weekend Madness

This past weekend was crazy busy. Felt like we had one thing after the other after the other! Last weekend was like that too. This coming weekend appears it will be much of the same. I’m starting to see a pattern developing! Life is just busy, but it’s good stuff.

Brown’s Landing had a booth at the Home Products Show which started Friday night, so I worked that all weekend while the girls had some extra Daddy time. It was a fun and successful event! I LOVE my job and the people I work with. We made a lot of great contacts and spread the word about our beautiful development. Here is a pic of our booth. Ryan designed all of our printed materials, doesn’t it looks great?! Handy having your graphic designer live with you!

Saturday night, after working the Home Show all day, we went to a “Mystery Dinner” that a couple in our Community Group hosted. We had no idea what to expect! I love this kind of stuff. We received an email Saturday morning telling us the location where we were all supposed to meet. In front of Walmart at 6:30 and bring $10 per couple. Once everyone was there, we were given the rules. We had 12 minutes to plan something to cook and go shopping for all the ingredients. We could only spend $10 on it. Fun! People at Walmart probably thought we were crazy. Ryan and I decided to cook green chile cheeseburger sliders. Then, we all went back to our friends’ house and they had appetizers waiting for us to eat while we all cooked our dishes together. We laughed a lot and enjoyed some tasty food!

After the Mystery Dinner, we headed to Starbucks to meet up with one of our old youth group (Fusion) kids who was in town for the evening…who is now a man and is getting married this summer, gosh I feel old! It was great catching up with Keith and meeting his woman. I love our Fusion kids and am so thankful they still desire for us to be a part of their lives, even though we live miles and miles away! They are a big part of our lives – such great memories and awesome experiences we had with them. They are all very special to us. Also, note to self: never allow your 3 year old to drink frappuccino at 9 pm at night!

Sunday, we had church, then a meeting about a partnership our church has with a group in Haiti over the next five years, and then more Home Show! By Sunday night, we were all whooped. Ryan and I watched a movie and BOTH fell asleep, which is rare. :) Thankful to have a few calm days this week!

This weekend…

Busy weekend coming up! Tonight is our Date Night Co-op. On Ryan & I’s agenda for a date tonight? Run 5 miles at the trails, cook chicken lettuce wraps, then end the night at Andy’s for a pumpkin pie concrete…delish! Sounds like a perfect night to me.

Tomorrow is the Grand Opening event at Brown’s Landing, so I’ll be working there. Excited about this new venture! It’s been a great first week, by the way. Loving my new job and the girls are loving their new school! Back to Saturday…Ryan has a studio mix session that afternoon with a band he recorded live recently. Tomorrow night, we are looking forward to hanging out with the Blalock’s! Alison is coming all the way from Lubbock to run in the FULL marathon this weekend. We are going to Joe’s to get carb-loaded before the race with them.

Sunday is race day! This will be the first of three half marathons Ryan & I are registered this Fall. We went this afternoon to pick up our race packets. So exciting. Have I told you how much I love running?!

Big changes taking place!

God is amazing. He has truly blown us away over the past few weeks, as we have seen pure evidence of His hand at work in our lives regarding a very specific situation. For those of you who haven’t heard this story, here you go…

About a month ago, I started praying for clarity regarding my job situation. (That is a long story in and of itself, I won’t bore you with details.) That very same week that we began to pray that God would reveal whether I should stay or go, He made it extremely clear to me that it was time to look for something else.

So, Ryan and I started talking about the possibilities of what’s next. We weren’t sure what was going to happen or how it was going to work – but we knew full well that God would provide. One of the options we discussed included me staying home with the girls and maybe working part-time or something. The more we discussed this particular option, the more excited we got! Addi starts school next year and the thought of spending more time with her, and with sweet Kam, before that happens thrilled my heart. They are at such a fun age! This is something we have always wanted, but its never worked out or been feasible. So, we started praying specifically for God to open just the right door in order to allow that to happen. He knows our financial needs and the debt we are working hard to payoff. We decided I would stay at my current job until that something else came along.

I started to keep my eyes open and talk to some people, trying to be proactive. Then one day last week, one of my favorite clients that I’ve been working with for over a year now, called up to the office to talk about a billboard design we were working on for him. He then proceeds to tell me all about this new marketing job he would like to hire for at his company. Someone who would do all marketing, public relations, event planning, etc. for him and mostly…(are you ready for this?)…WORK FROM HOME. What? Are you kidding me? He was telling me about it in case we knew of anyone interested, not knowing that I would be! So, I went straight home during lunch that day and emailed him expressing my interest. One thing led to another – I met with him and his wife to discuss and that next Monday, he called and offered me the job! I start October 5th as the Director of Marketing at Brown’s Landing and am super pumped. It’s more than I expected on so many levels. What a blessing, straight from the Lord.

Next step was finding a 2 day preschool to transfer the girls to. Um, can you say HUGE savings? Going from full-time daycare to a 2 day preschool makes a major, positive impact on the budget. Even though I’ll mostly be working from home, there will be a couple of days that I’ll need to be out and about, meetings, luncheons, etc – stuff that would be easier…well, kid-less. Plus, we want to keep them in a structured learning environment. Wouldn’t you know that one of our friends in our community group – his mom owns one of the best preschools in town! And sure enough, she had spots for BOTH girls. Ryan and I went and toured the place, got the paperwork, met the teachers, and enrolled them. Couldn’t have been any easier. Again, another blessing straight from the Lord.

We are very humbled and amazed at how God orchestrated all of this down to every single detail. We also appreciate the prayers that were lifted up on our behalf. He has once again, blown us away! He always provides and we are thankful. I don’t know why I ever doubt – EVERYTHING is in His hands.

And I am stoked to spend even more time with these two cuties!!!

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” — Matthew 6:26

“Now to him 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

On the news!!!

Studio Java & Dixon Productions made the news!!!  Watch the story on KLTV…

http://www.kltv.com/global/story.asp?s=8449191