World Series, here we come!

Well…technically, just Ryan & Uncle Jeff are going to the game on Sunday. But, the girls & I are tagging along for tailgating & a night away in a hotel in Dallas! Plus, it’s Jeff’s 21st birthday, so we wanted to be there to celebrate with him. Some friends of ours from Odessa {Lauren & Clay Hightower} are gonna be there too, so we plan to hang with them as well. Bonus! Most of you know how special the Rangers are to my brother but if not, you can read about it here. Our generous & very kind sis, Jen, wanted Jeff to be there. So she treated him & Ryan to tickets! How awesome is that?

Today, when I picked up the girls from their schools {separately}, I told each of them what we were doing on Sunday. Keep in mind, they have no clue what words like “tailgating” or “World Series” even mean. They do however LOVE to stay in hotels…I mean, who doesn’t? Thought their reactions were great! Another memory maker weekend coming right up. Go Rangers!

P.S. I heart my new iPhone 4s & its video capabilities amongst all of the other amazing features.

Inexpressible joy?

1st Peter 1:8-9

You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.  The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

Do I exhibit “inexpressible joy” was a question I posed to myself this morning. Do I?

Saturday night Traci and I attended another Switchfoot concert. Everytime I listen intently to their lyrics or attend one of their concerts, I can’t help but come away with a sense of urgency to truly live life. I know that might seem extreme but it really does. Every album since the beginning of their history is all about motivating people to live a life worth living. It is after all, very short. I left the concert Saturday night wanting to fight the world, save all the orphans and live life without the day to day funk.

I really want to have the joy that Peter mentions in this passage. I really, really do. I want my life to be more “half full”; heck… overflowing right? “My cup runs over” is how I really want it. Obviously life is a grind. Even the book of Ecclesiastes is all about life, the struggle of it and inevitable death.

In reflecting on this verse it spoke to me.

To me the answer to living a life full of inexpressible joy is in the preceding lines.

Peter, whom if you remember did life with Jesus for 3 years and even fellowshipped with Jesus after he rose from the dead says,

You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him;

Obviously he is speaking to those who have chosen to embrace the reality of Jesus. People who “see Him through faith”. He says that even though we are not an eye witness of Jesus, His miracles, His love and His realness as Peter did personally, our faith is what produces this “inexpressible joy”; this joy that cannot be robbed by circumstances.

I find it no coincidence that this passage comes from a man who took those steps out of the boat that one night. Peter saw Jesus with his own eyes and stepped out of the boat and began walking on the water toward Him. Then, he lost his focus and began to sink.

I guess my take away and something that I am planning to really focus on this week especially is, “Does my faith in my future life trump the funk in my present”? I want it too. I want my faith, love and trust in Him to pick me up off the floor and live the life worth living. I need to keep my eyes focused on him and my perspective, heavenly.

Don’t you?

Here is the bridge and chorus to “Afterlife” by Switchfoot.

Ryan’s Bday Weekend Celebrations.

Ryan turned 32 last week. I tell him all the time, he just keeps getting more & more handsome every year! I love my man and love sharing life with him. I’m certainly happy to celebrate the day he was birthed! And we don’t just do birthday celebrations around here. Oh no, we do birthWEEK celebrations. So since last week was Ryan’s birthday week, we did lots of fun stuff!

Starting on Thursday, his actual birthday, with blueberry pancakes for breakfast. {Yes, no shocker, a lot of our celebrating includes food!} He received some gifts in the mail, cards, and of course FB messages throughout the day. That evening for dinner, we went to one of his favorite Thursday night spots – BWW (a.k.a. Buffalo Wild Wings). Some Caribbean jerk wings, potato wedges and BlueMoon seasonal for celebration dinner #1. Followed by a pumpkin cake back at home…

Friday, Ryan took the day off in honor of himself and his birth. I think everyone should do this! After we took Addi to school {poor thing felt a bit left out hence one of the reasons we decided to do this}, Ryan, Kam & I went to Einstein’s for a pumpkin bagel & coffee. Kam calls it “Little Einstein’s” which is so cute, we obviously don’t correct her. Then, we went for a 5 mile run at the trails. It was a lovely, cool morning which resulted in a very enjoyable family run. Then, we took Addi her lunch at school and then went to do a little birthday shopping with birthday $ – fun! Lunch at McAlisters {shout out to our friend, Stephen!} for their awesome sandwiches & 99 cent kid’s meals. Then, back home for some chill time.

That evening, it just so happened to be our Date Night Co-op night which was a bonus for us – perfect timing! So, Ryan & I got to go out on a date. We went to BJ’s Brewhouse for dinner & shared a delicious deep dish pizza. Then on to the mall to walk off some calories from our cheesy, meat-filled, greasy dinner. Ending at a bookstore to peruse before going to pick up the kids. It was a great, relaxing night. Here we are looking rather cool {ha!} on our way out.

When we arrived to pick up our kids at Date Night Co-op, little did Ryan know that me & my friend Robyn had planned a mini-surprise party for him! Some of our friends stuck around after “Date Night” to enjoy some cake &  celebrate with us. I know I’ve said it before, but I will say it again…we are so, so thankful for the friends the Lord has blessed us with here in Tyler!

Saturday, the celebration continued. We took our girls up to Quitman to stay the night with Grandma & headed to Longview for the Switchfoot/Anberlin concert! We love both of these bands and the fact they were going to be playing on the same night in the same venue was amazing. We left a bit early so we could stop for dinner before the concert. Chowed down on some yummy fajitas & then headed to the Belcher Center at LeTourneau University for a rockin’ good show. Our seats were perfect – not far from the front, in the center, right in front of the sound board. Awesome. After we left, we came home totally pumped & ready to go out & change the world…adrenaline & motivation after hearing Switchfoot is crazy. We sat out on our back patio with a glass of wine until well after midnight enjoying deep conversation & relishing in the Ranger’s victory!

You might be thinking, surely that’s it….but no! There’s more! Sunday, after a 10 mile run together, we headed back to Quitman for birthday lunch that my Mom made. For everyone’s bday, she asks what you want her to cook and you can put in your request. Here was Ryan’s request: chicken fried steak, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, and chocolate cake. And Mom’s cooking, as usual, did not disappoint! It was SOOO good. Gotta love homemade southern cooking, especially after a long run!

And that my friends is how you celebrate a birthday, don’t you think?! Such a great few days.

Happy birthday, Ryan Marc Dixon!

Note from Addi’s teacher.

Addi has been doing great in Kindergarten. Thank you for your prayers for our family as our baby girl embarks on this new school journey! She loves it and is chatty cathy every day when I pick her up, filling me in on every detail she can remember about the day {which I absolutely love!}. Ryan was off on Friday, so we took Addi a cheeseburger for lunch and sat with her class on the patio. They had won the opportunity to eat outside instead of the cafeteria as a reward for something they had done earlier that week. It was a gorgeous day out & it filled my heart to watch Addi with her friends. She is just so joyful!

We feel so blessed to have an awesome teacher this year for her too. She’s a Christian and that permeates through everything she does. About a week ago, I received this email from her & it brought tears to my eyes & totally made my day! I just had to “scrapbook” this & share it with you. I’m one proud mommy!

I just wanted you to know that Addison is such a joy! I listen to KVNE all the time! Even in class. She knows most of the songs and will just belt out a tune. :) Sometimes she sings without the radio.  Today I brought some sycamore leaves to extend our discussions about Fall. She said “I know a song about a sycamore tree.” Addison & I sang to our class about Zacheaus. (not sure of the spelling of his name)  Even as a kindergarten student, she is ministering to those around her. You are doing a great job with her! She is a blessing! Thank you for sharing her with me this year!


Last night’s simple “date” with Addi.

I tend to be a softy for cheesy daddy/daughter stuff.

I decided a couple years ago that I was going to keep a journal for both Addison and Kamryn that I would one day give them. I have been journaling life updates, messages to them about this and that and just my thoughts about them in general. With the speed of life increasing at the pace it does when you arrive in this phase, I figured it’d allow me to hold onto these precious moments longer. The pause button in a sense. A snapshot of the season of life. Sometimes months go by without me writing anything and I end up playing catchup with sketchy details. I really do need to do better at this.

I wanted to share todays entry; just a simple recap of a little journey to Lowes we had last night. My intent is to encourage other dads of precious girls to date their daughters. You do realize that the daddy is the most influential adult in their life right? You do want her to grow up and fall in love with a man better than you were when you met her mommy, right? We need to take them out, treat them tenderly, show them love, talk sincerely about life and let her know that she is worth our time and efforts. It has been a goal for me to try to do this daddy thing as best as possible. I really do need to do better at this.

10.12.11

You are a doll. The other day at school you were awarded a “prize” for being responsible. It was a card for a free sundae from Dairy Queen. You were thrilled about this award and I told you that I would take you to get your treat. You seemed very excited for another “daddy and Addi” event. I had some things that I needed to pickup from Lowes and figured that we could do that, then head to get your treat from DQ.

In preparation for the adventure you decided that you wanted to wear a dress. I asked why and you answered with sass, “Daddy! For our date!”. You even had mommy give you two braids. Such a beautiful little girl. We left the house, hopped in Poppy’s truck, I buckled you in your seat and we headed down the road. Your face displayed a slight shyness as I could tell you were excited for our “date“. The way your cute cheeks ball up when you smile makes me giddy. I adore these moments. They really do make me feel more complete as a daddy.

One of may favorite things we do when it’s just me and you is to talk about life. Life for you now is mostly school and friends and so that’s the focus of our conversations. We chatted about the test you had yesterday, how you ”oopsed“ an answer and what you did in class that day. I love it. You are quite the chitter chatterer when you get going. The only time this seems to be a problem is at dinner.

We pulled into the parking lot of Lowes, got out and held hands as we walked across the parking lot. We asked our questions to the helpers there, got what we needed and headed for the check out. On the way to the front we did find a few minutes to do some hand in hand twirls and play chase in the appliance section. You’ll never catch me!

We loaded back up and headed to our next destination. Your coupon was for Dairy Queen. I however had a better place in mind and I selfishly proceeded to Andy’s Frozen Custard. They have a pumpkin pie concrete that daddy loves. I showed the boy at the window the picture of the sundae on your DQ card and asked if they could make something that looked like that one.

We got our ”ice cream“ and sat outside on the gray concrete wall, right where you wanted us to. You were so excited as was I. We then enjoyed our frozen treat and chatted more. I asked about the lunch situation at school, who you sat with, do your friends bring their lunches to school, does the school food look tasty, etc. After you finished you asked if you could take off your shoes and run through the green grass patch there in front of the store. ”Sure baby”, I replied as you were already taking them off. You then ran around with abandon feeling the grass blades on your tiny toes, dancing and skipping with an occasional whirl to make your dress “spin”. We played “boo”behind the enormous sign base and giggled as the sky lost it’s light.

On the way home I couldn’t help but hold your tiny hand again. I love this. I am so proud to have you sitting beside me as we drive here and there. You said that you really wanted to play charades when we got home and were concerned that it was too dark outside. You wanted to play this silly guessing game outside like we’ve been doing some since it’s been cooling off in the evenings. As usual I said, “we’ll see”.

As we pulled in the driveway and you climbed across the seat to my side of the truck and I lifted you down. For me, the tall drop off from out of the truck is just another excuse for a hug really. I love spending time with you and told you this directly with, “I love spending time with you Addi“. I really do. As simple as running a couple errands with you is, I always enjoy the one on one company. Oh and by the way, we did play charades on the back porch after your bath.

I really hope that some of these simple moments like these will resonate in you as you grow older. You are precious and deserve the best. I love you. You are a doll.

Why we trot.

A few weeks ago, the YMCA Dallas Turkey Trot posted this contest on their Facebook page…

So, I entered. I sent in this story on the day of the deadline (which was my Dad’s birthday)…

Hello, my name is Traci. My family participates in the Turkey Trot each year. Why you ask? Well here goes.

My dad, my sister, my brother, my husband and I have ran it for many years. It’s truly a family affair! We live in East Texas about 2 hours from Dallas. We have made it a tradition to wake up very early on Thanksgiving morning, pack up the car with Gu packets, water bottles, iPods, etc. and head to the Big D in anticipation of the big race! This was initially my Dad’s idea and he LOVED it. His excitement was contagious. Anytime he could plan something for his kids to do with him to make a memory, he was all over it. We would go and run the 8 miler and then head back to feast on the awesome Thanksgiving meal my mom had stayed home to prepare. The 8 miles at the Trot always feels great with such awesome views of the city and an overall holiday joyfulness in the air. Plus, running that far leaves you guilt-free to pig out the rest of the day!

This race has become even more special since my Dad passed away suddenly in June of last year at the age of 62, after a run ironically. He inspired us in so many ways- to live life to the fullest, making the most of every opportunity, cherishing time with family and friends, and making memories. This race was a “memory maker” for our family, as he used to call it. So, my siblings, husband and myself continue to run this race every year in his honor. The tradition will continue for years to come, no doubt. We end each race now with a high five to the sky. We are thankful for the memories we have with my Dad at the Turkey Trot.

And this is why we trot.

And I won!!! Got an email this morning letting me know & they posted this on FB today…

WOOHOO! High five to the sky!

Yo Gabba Gabba says it best.

Yesterday morning, I went out for an 8 miler. My last long run before the Tyler Half Marathon coming up this next Sunday. {Yay for Fall race season!} The weather was awesome – a fresh, long awaited crispness was in the air. I  was also well rested having slept nearly 10 hours the night before – that never happens! However when my feet hit the pavement, those first few miles were tough as always. These initial miles on a long run are usually the hardest for me. In fact, I’ve written a whole post on here before about the middle miles.

It seriously takes me a good few miles to find my groove and start to feel “into it”. This day was no exception. As I was approaching mile 3, I reached this level of happiness that running brings me. My steps and breathing have found a rhythm, my legs have worked out the soreness, my thoughts are becoming less clouded and more positive. Then it occurred to me…what if I gave up before then? What if I never allowed myself to get past the first few tough miles to get to these precious middle miles that I long for and that strengthen me in many ways on many levels? I would miss out on a lot. I would never be able to run a half marathon, much less a full! It’s because I push through the first few miles that are challenging mentally and physically that I’m able to enjoy the benefits and joy of running longer distances. And trust me, I’m not saying I have it down by any means. I’ve had my fair share of days of giving up, whether it be with running or other things.

But why do people generally give up on a goal or a dream? Because it gets tough, right? Whatever it might be – losing weight, working out, paying off debt, starting a business, bettering a relationship, traveling the world, walking a tight rope {anyone watch Modern Family last week?} And typically it’s at the very beginning stages of this attempt that giving up happens. What if we pushed through those hard times and with the Lord’s help & strength we pressed on? How much more often would goals be accomplished & dreams be reached if that were the case? If God impresses something on your heart to achieve, then He will give you exactly what you need to accomplish it. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. What is your goal? What do you dream of? What’s holding you back from taking the first step? Here’s my encouragement to you….start running towards that goal! The first few miles will most likely be tough and you will want to give up, but press on. Keep running. Don’t get discouraged. When you reach the middle miles, you will be glad you did & realize you are that much closer to reaching the finish line of accomplishing that dream. It’s within reach. Don’t just dream about it, DO IT.

In the words of the great & wise philosopher, Yo Gabba Gabba, “Keep trying, keep trying. Don’t give up, never give up.” ;)

Pink & Blue: Session 2 Notes

(This session was split up – guys & gals, so here’s the lesson for each)

Pink & Blue: Session 2

Guys

Ephesians 5:33 – “Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”

  • Recap of The Crazy Cycle – Without love she reacts without respect. Without repect he reacts without love.
  • The key to motivating a person is meeting their deepest felt need during conflict. Her need is LOVE. How do you show love to your wife?

COUPLE

Closeness

  • When you want to be with her Face to Face.

Genesis 2:24 – “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”

Song of Solomon 3:4 – “…when I found him whom my soul loves; I held onto him and would not let him go…”

*Example: Little girl grabs Daddy’s face to “look at me!” while she’s talking b/c she doesn’t think he’s listening otherwise.

  • Practical appications: hold her hand, hug her, physically touch nonsexually

Openness

When you aren’t secretly mad at her.

Colossians 3:19 – “Husbands love your wives and do not be embittered against them.”

  • Openness will help you learn a great insight about sex!
  • Practical applications: share your feelings, tell her something about your day, talk without harshness or grunting

Understanding

  • When you empathize with her.

1 Peter 3:7 – “You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she Is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”

  • LISTEN to her! Try to understand her and care for her concerns.
  • Ask her if she needs a listening ear or wants advice before responding.
  • Understanding your wife will flood her soul with your love.
  • Practical applications: listen to her, repeat back so she knows you are listening, express appreciation for her contribution

Peacemaking

  • When you resolve/reconcile with her.

1 Corinthians 7:28 – But if you marry, you will not have sinned…Yet such will have trouble in this life…”

1 Corinthians 7:4 – “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”

Matthew 19:6 – “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man separate.” – Who is the “man” in this phrase?

  • Unity is vital in marriage and peacemaking is a key to achieving it.
  • Practical applications: apologize when you are wrong with “I am sorry.”, keep the relationship up to date – resolve the unresolved, pray after a hurtful time

Loyalty

  • When you are completely committed to her.
  • Til death do us part.

Malachi 2:14 – “…the wife of your youth…she is your companion and your wife by covenant.”

Hebrews 13:4 – “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”

  • Pornography – make a covenant with your eyes.
  • Loyalty isn’t about your wife – its’ about your covenant with Jesus Christ.
  • Practical applications: don’t look at other women, speak positive things to her about others, do not bring the “D” word

Esteem

  • When you treasure her above all else.

*She is the Queen – make that known to your kids.

  • Practical applications: verbally support and honor her in front of her children, praise her, value her opinion

Gals

Ephesians 5:33 – “Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”

  • Recap of The Crazy Cycle – Without love she reacts without respect. Without repect he reacts without love.
  • When you honor and respect a man, he wants to serve and love.

CHAIRS

Conquest

  • Appreciating his desire to work and achieve.

Genesis 2:15 – “The Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it.” – God instilled the desire to work into their being from the beginning of time w/Adam.

*Men view their career as a call. Thank your husband for working! Watch your negative comments related to his work or career – they could be construed as disrespect in his blue hearing aids.

  • Practical applications: tell him thanks for going to work today, cheer his successes, ask about his dreams

Hierarchy

  • Appreciating his desire to protect, provide, and even die.

1 Timothy 5:8 – “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he is denied the faith and is worth than an unbeliever.”

Nehemiah 4:14 – “…Fight for…your wives and your houses.”

*If someone were to break into your house, who would protect? Who would fight to the death?

*On the Titantic, women and children were ordered to go on the life boats first. Men stay behind – they are prepared to die to protect.

Ephesians 5:23, 24 “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.” – This is a huge responsibility for men!

  • Submission means to respect the spirit of your husband. It’s an attitude.
  • Respect his desire to be an umbrella of protection over you, his desire to provide for you and his willingness to die for you – this will motivate his love.
  • Practical applications: admire his heavy role, tell him you are deeply touched that he would die for you, praise his commitment to bring home the bacon

Authority

  • Appreciating his desire to be strong, to lead, and make decisions.
  • Husbands see themselves as strong and feel called to be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13 – “…act like men, be strong…”

1 Kings 2:2 – “Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man.” – Naturally men are taller, bigger, stronger, and have authority

1 Timothy 3:5 – “If a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” – Give him authority or you are setting yourself up for failure.

  • Practical applications: tell him he is strong and squeeze his muscles, praise the good decisions and minimize the criticism of the poor ones, honor his authority in front of the kids – if you differ, do that in private

Insight

  • Appreciating his desire to analyze and counsel.
  • Men are solution oriented – they want to solve the problem.

*Sometimes when you are telling your husband what’s the matter, you just want a listening ear, but because of how he’s wired he gives advice. If you get mad at him for providing advice, he can feel judged or belittled which feels like disrespect.

  • Practical applications: tell him thanks for your advice and knowledge, let him fix things, applaud his solutions, tell him upfront you need a listening ear

Relationship

  • Appreciating his desire for a shoulder to shoulder friendship.

Song of Solomon 5:1, 16 – “…friends…O lovers…This is my beloved and this is my friend.”

  • During courtship, you were best friends. Hold on to that!
  • Men like you to just be there – not talking, just there.

* Take a walk and talk, shoulder to shoulder. They will open up more this way. Or, sit with him as he works on a hobby.

  • Practical applications: tell him you like him, do recreational activities with him or watch him do them, don’t always talk about the kids, encourage time alone for him

Sexuality

  • Appreciating his desire for sexual intimacy.
  • Act of worship, not perverted.

Proverbs 5:19 – “Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be exhilarated always with her love.”

  • Respond to his desire for sex and see if this man of honor does not soften and reach out to serve and love you in many ways.
  • Devil does everything he can to get us together before marriage and everything he can to keep us apart after.
  • Practical applications: initiate periodically, respond positively more often, let him acknowledge his sexual temptations w/out shaming him, dress up for your man like when you were dating

Upcoming.

I love Fall for many, many reasons. You may remember…I’ve posted many a blog about why Fall is dear to my heart. But mainly in a nutshell it’s this: cooler temps, pumpkin spice candles, additional coffee, scarves, races we run, camping, holidays, and all the time off Ryan has which equals more memory making for our family!

Here are some things that are upcoming that I am super excited about.

  • In a week & a half, we’ll be running in the Tyler Rose Half Marathon. The starting line is about a mile from our house. I always love doing races right here in our beautiful city.
  • In two & a half weeks, Ryan, Jeff & I will be heading to Longview to see Switchfoot AND Anberlin in concert. What?!!! Seriously, two of our all time favorite bands. Together. On the SAME NIGHT. We are stoked!
  • Five weeks from tonight, we’ll be packing to leave for New Hampshire & Boston! We are registered to run in the Manchester Half Marathon. I can not wait for this trip. We had such a great time last year. You can read all about it here and here.
  • In eight weeks and a day, it will be Thanksgiving. In 12 & a half weeks, Christmas. Wow! Another year, flown by. Also, Ryan’s parents are coming in from Virginia for Christmas, we are looking forward to seeing them!
  • In eleven & a half weeks, my baby girl Kam turns FOUR! We will celebrate with a “hot chocolate” party as per her request.
  • In fifteen & half weeks, Ryan & I will be running our very first FULL marathon in Houston.

Marathon Training

Our official marathon training is in full swing. It’s going well thus far! Really, the last few weeks haven’t been all that different than normal with about the same mileage as any other week. I did go 10 last weekend & 13.1 this weekend in preparation for the upcoming Tyler Half on October 9th. That’s the farthest I’ve run in months. Felt great! OK, so the first 10 felt great…the last 3, not so much. Ryan went 13 the weekend before last w/his buddy Mike. They were only planning for 10, but decided to throw in the extra 3 to make for a half marathon. Their pace is quite a bit faster than mine. Like over two minutes per mile faster. Punks!

I feel pretty ready for the Tyler Half and mostly ready for the Manchester Half. The Tyler one is hilly, yes. But the Manchester one is ridiculous! The elevation is a lot higher and the hills are steeper. It’s a tough course. But I’m pumped to go back and conquer it again! Plus, the trip as a whole makes the race part totally worth it. After we get through those 2 half marathons, our mileage will start to ramp up quite a bit in late November and December. Gonna get interesting! Working a 9-10 miler into an already busy week day will be a challenge, but it must be done. Thankfully the temperature will be cooler by then, so running during the day is possible again. We won’t even talk about the 18 plus milers that are on the schedule…ugh!

This morning, I came across this quote from Ryan Hall, Olympic marathoner. I know I’ve shared this quote on this blog before, but I reread it again this morning and love it. Worthy to share again and timely while training for a marathon. Maybe I’ll post this on our bathroom mirror to read every morning over the next few months.

“I don’t think about the miles that are coming down the road, I don’t think about the mile I’m on right now, I don’t think about the miles I’ve already covered. I think about what I’m doing right now, just being lost in the moment.” Ryan Hall

This will be my goal during the marathon and while running these long runs during training. To not focus on the distance I have to go, but relish in the moment. Breathe in the fresh air, thank God for the ability to run, enjoy the tunes blaring in my iPod, appreciate the “me” time, cherish the beauty of the surrounding nature.

Heck, that’s really my goal in life as well! Don’t think about the past or worry about the future (this is incredibly hard for me and against my nature), but truly dwell in the moment. Be fully present in whatever you are doing, wherever you are. If you are looking back or look forward all the time, you miss out what God has right in front of you. Today. Now. THIS moment. I for one, don’t want to miss that!

Us at the finish of the High 5 to the Sky 5K

Dixon Dance Parties.

What goes on when the sun goes down in the Dixon household? You guessed it. At least 2-3 times a week, we’ll all go upstairs to “Daddy’s studio” for epic dance parties. From the robot to what we like to call the sprinkler, our girlz got mad dancin skillz! And as an added bonus, all the jumping around and booty shaking helps release a lot of energy resulting in instant falling asleep and more quiet time for Mommy & Daddy later. Such fun!

Pink & Blue: Session 1

We LOVE our community group. We have made some really great friends – truly awesome people. We feel blessed to have each one of them in our lives. They have helped us, prayed for us, encouraged us, and challenged us. The leaders of the group, Justin & Kate, are taking the semester off from teaching because they are welcoming their 4th child into the world next month! So, Ryan and I felt led to teach on marriage and are excited about what the Fall has in store for our group & pray that God strengthens our marriages in a mighty way.

We started this new study last night and I thought I would share each Monday following each Sunday that our group meets, 1st & 3rd Sunday of each month, a summary of our lesson via bullet points. We basically are working through a compilation of several marriage studies (and/or conferences) including Love & Respect, 5 Love Languages, & Love & Laughter. We broke it down into 6 sessions & dubbed it “Pink & Blue.” (In true Dixon way, we had to make it our own.)

Session 1: Pink vs. Blue

  • Marriage is obviously difficult. Primarily because we are selfish.
  • Communication is #1 problem in most marriages. Also known as the key to success.
  • Often we hear but don’t listen. Often we are thinking of what to say next when someone else is speaking, rather than listening.
  • Girls hear with pink ears, talk with pink mouths and see with pink eyes. Guys hear with blue ears, talk with blue mouths and see with blue eyes. Not wrong, just different. (see illustrations below)
  • This poses communication issue.  We aren’t speaking the same language.

Illustrations:

1. In a disagreement, if he goes silent & withdraws this can feel like an act of hostility & lack of care to her. In actuality, he’s trying to calm down – protect her. In a disagreement, if she complains or wants to talk it out, this can feel like contempt to her husband. In actuality, she’s trying to connect with him.

2. The wife talks about wanting to lose weight and eat healthier foods. So, the husband sees a book about dieting and in an attempt to show her love buys it for her as a gift. She gets upset at him because with her pink eyes, she sees it as he’s calling her fat.

This communication issue & language barrier leads to the Crazy Cycle…

  • Crazy Cycle: Without Love > She Reacts > Without Respect > He Reacts > cont’d
  • Just as when a husband feels disrespected, it’s natural for him to be unloving, so too when a wife feels unloved, it’s natural for her to be disrespectful.
  • Deepest need for a man is respect and the deepest need for woman is love.
  • Men serve and die for honor- warriors. Women are born as nurturers – loving is easy for them.
  • Wife needs to show unconditional respect, just as husband needs to show unconditional love.

Verses

1 Peter 3:1,2- “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and RESPECTFUL behavior.”

Ephesians 5:33- “Each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

We adopted another Apache!

Last night, we went to the “Adopt an Apache” Mixer at Tyler Junior College (a.k.a. “Daddy’s work”) to meet our new tennis player for the year. Our friends, Dash & Shae, started this program last year – you can read about it here. Such an awesome ministry opportunity! We enjoyed participating in this last year and really enjoyed getting to know our player. She has since moved to Colorado & is attending a different college. So this year, we got a new player & we are pumped to be her family while she is here in Tyler. She is from Ecuador originally and then moved w/her family to Canada. So coming to Tyler, Texas is a rather huge change for her! Very sweet girl & we are excited to get to know her more & watch her kick some tail in tennis. We found out she is a runner and loves barbecue – she was totally meant for us. :) The girls had fun at the Mixer last night learning how to hit the ball & seeing how far they could throw it in the air. Plus the ice cream sundaes to top off the evening were a huge hit!

And the winner is…

Thanks to all who entered the bracelet contest! I hope to do more giveaways in the future, they are so much fun. :)

Kam & I just drew a winner…

Congrats to Cathy Baker!

I’ll mail you your brand new, super cute Ivey Expressions 3 wrap fabric bracelet this week. Email me your address! Thanks again everyone for playing. Have a great week!

Mediterranean Pizza Recipe

Ryan & I love to go to Newk’s & order their Mediterranean pizza….oh my word, it’s delish. But what we love even more is when we can recreate a recipe at home! Well, last night – we did it. We made a bomb version of Mediterranean pizza! We may or may not have eaten the entire thing between the two of us.

Mediterranean Pizza a la Dixon

1 premade whole wheat crust (I bought one in the deli section at Brookshires for $2)

basil pesto (I used Buitoni)

handful of cherry tomatoes cut in halves

handful of kalamata olives cut in halves

1/2 onion sliced thin

feta cheese crumbled

mozzarella cheese shredded

basil leaves shredded

grilled chicken cut in thin strips

pepper

extra virgin olive oil

garlic powder

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread a thin layer of pesto on the pizza crust. Layer on (to your taste) tomatoes, olives, onion, cheeses, basil leaves, and chicken. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper. Drizzle EVOO on the outer portion of the crust and then sprinkle that with a small amount of garlic power. Bake for 15-20 minutes until crust is browned & cheese is melted. Drizzle entire pizza with a little EVOO and serve. Enjoy!

While we cooked, the girls were making their own pizzas with play dough. Cuties!


3 Wrap Fabric Bracelet Giveaway!

Happy Friday, friends!

You’ve probably heard me talk about how much I love my wristlets from Ivey Expressions (my cousin-in-law’s business). Not only are they super cute, but they are very convenient for busy mommas! Just big enough to hold your phone & wallet, but small enough to throw around your wrist leaving your hands free to do whatever you need to do (hold a hand, pick up groceries, break up a fight, wipe a butt, etc). Also, good for a night out on the town with your man! Plus, it’s handmade with beautiful, quality fabric. Here are my two…

Ivey Expressions also makes a variety of other things including: scarves, larger purses (I have one of these too!), earrings, iPad covers, wallets, and these adorable 3 wrap braided fabric bracelets! They also customize & you can pick your own fabric.

I recently purchased one of these bracelets and have loved it. You simply wrap it around your arm & button it. So much fun to wear & unique! I love this fabric too, great colors.

So, I’m excited to give one 3 wrap fabric bracelet away to a friend on our blog!

Here’s how you can enter to win…

1. Go here to find the Ivey Expressions’ Facebook & “Like” their page! Then, leave me a comment letting me know you’ve done so. If you already like their page, just leave me a comment letting me know what your favorite item is that they make!

2. Share this giveaway with your friends on Facebook (and on your blog for an additional entry) and leave me a comment letting me know you’ve done so.

Deadline is Tuesday, Sept. 13th at noon! I’ll announce the winner that afternoon. Good luck!

Sporadic Updates

  • We went to White Rock Lake on Labor Day and intended to run 3 miles while pushing the girls, then head on to do a little shopping & eat some lunch in the big D. Due to the beautiful day that we were given with cool temps & nice breeze, Ryan says, right after we took off, “I say we just go all the way around.” So…9 miles later, we did just that. All the way around the lake & it was great! It was a good run. The girls enjoyed the relaxing ride. We followed it up with a trip to Central Market, World Market, the Gap Outlet & In & Out Burger. Fun family day! Thank goodness Ryan can push this 100 pound beast…

  • Kam started back to Pre-K this week. She moved up to the 3 year old class, even though she’s closer to 4. Easy to forget she’s still only 3 years old since she keeps up with her big sis and is SO tall! Since she has a late birthday, she will always be one of the oldest in her class. Unlike Addi who will always be one of the youngest (but still bossing everyone around, I’m sure!). We feel blessed to have such great teachers for both our girls this year. Here’s Kam’s first day of school pic…she was so excited. I think she was getting a bit bored since Addi’s been at school & was so ready to go! “Mommy, what can I do?” was becoming a frequent question over the past couple of weeks.

  • Official marathon training has begun for us. We are closing in on the 4 month count down. Yikes! January 15th is the big day! Training won’t be too bad or different for the first couple of months…about the same as what we typically do. Just trying to watch what we eat a bit more. November & December will be cuh-razy though! Here’s an example of what one week in December looks like this….

Mon: 5 miles, Tues: speed work at track, Wed: 10 miles, Thurs: rest, Fri: 4 miles, Sat: 20 miles (WHAT?!)

  • We LOVE to cook. One of our favorite ways to spend the weekend evenings is whipping up a good meal together. We have some great friends who also share this passion for food. So we plan cooking nights with them and have such a great time! We pick a style of food (Italian, Mexican, etc) and then each pick a recipe or two to fix together. This past weekend, we decided to do an Asian night. Ryan & I brought the ingredients & recipes for pork & spinach pot stickers & napa cabbage fried rice. Jen & Stephen prepared beef with broccoli & veggie egg rolls. Um yes, it was AMAZING! Makes my mouth water just thinking about how good it was. Our kids play, while we cook, enjoy a glass of wine & loads of laughter. Awesome way to fellowship with sweet friends!

  • Things here in East Texas are finally cooling off a bit and becoming bearable to be outside again. Yay! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I love Fall. I couldn’t be more excited for the upcoming season and all it brings. We took the girls to ride their bikes for the first time in months at the trails. Very enjoyable. Summer has been tough…super hot, humid, and down right miserable outside. I’m pumped to get out of the house more and enjoy the great outdoors over the next several months. So good to be able to breathe again!

  • Hypothetically speaking…if Kam was an outstanding singer & guitar player & recording her debut hit album & designing artwork for the album cover, I would insist she use this photo. What do you think? I mean really.

  • Ryan & I will begin teaching a marriage study at our Community Group this Fall. We are using a compilation of books & material from conferences we’ve attended. We’re calling it “Pink & Blue.” We are excited about it & pray that God will do great things in our group…beginning with our marriages!

In the studio with Cody Whittington.


I have had the privilege of working with Cody Whittington for a few years now. Back in our Quitman days, he and I worked countless hours on his recording projects while sipping on countless lattes at our StudioJava.

Recently he has moved off to the wonderland of Austin to pursue a more adventurous life with his beautiful bride. Since that time he has been songwriting and recording new material from his home. About once a month he drives up to spend time with me here in Tyler to work on his soon to release record.

We are about 90% finished with recording, edits and mixing. After that is complete we will work on artwork and duplication.

I am so blessed to get to work with this guy and truly admire his dedication to pursuing his passion for music. Here is a snippet of a song we recorded this summer. Enjoy.

Need You To Notice [Sample] – Cody Whittington 2011

Happy 5th birthday, Addison Kate!

August 31, 2006

August 31, 2011

Our lives were forever changed five years ago when God blessed us with this girl. What a joy she has been to our family! She has a heart of gold and a smile that lights up the room.

We love you Addi Kate & are SO proud of you! Happy 5th birthday, big girl.