Friday, July 18, 2014


We took a long weekend vacation to Chicago this summer!  We had a wonderful time, even if we did walk non-stop for four days.
 This "sculpture" is called The Bean.  We had never heard of it, in fact we did not even know what it was called.  But, while strolling through Grant Park we saw it and knew we needed a picture of it.  Later our tour guide on a boat tour mentioned "The Bean" and we immediately knew that he was talking about this.

Speaking of tour guides, we took an architectural boat ride through part of Lake Michigan and through the river passing through downtown Chicago.  Probably our favorite part of the trip!  It was a sunset cruise, and just before we left it got really foggy.  We were worried that they would cancel the trip or that it would be so foggy that you couldn't see anything.  The guide said that once we got into downtown the fog would lift and it would be really beautiful.  He was right!  It was awesome!  He told us all about the buildings we passed and about Chicago's history.  We learned so much, and it really helped the rest of the week because we knew what we were passing and had reference points for where we were and where we wanted to go.

Ok, ok, I probably should know the name of this fountain.  But, it's the one from the show "Married with Children."

We went to the Field Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry.  They were amazing!  Chicago has awesome museums and there are so many of them.  Above is a picture of the Shedd Aquarium.  We didn't see it this trip, but maybe next time.

Here is Bryan in front of Sue at the Field Museum.  Sue is the most intact, original T-Rex in the United States.  It was very cool.

Even though we are Cowboys fans, we thought we might as well take a peak at Soldier Field (home of the Chicago Bears).  It was pretty cool.

Of course, no trip to Chicago would be complete without some deep dish pizza.  I would also highly recommend a stop at the Donut Vault...amazing!

We caught a game at Wrigley Field.  It was such a cool stadium and there is so much history to the "friendly confines."  It was extra special since this year marks the 100 year anniversary of the stadium.
 We had a wonderful time in Chicago and would love to go back sometime.  June is a great time to go...the weather was beautiful.

Meet Lily

Yes, we have a new puppy!  Her name is Lily, and we think she is pretty cute.  We adopted her from a rescue group outside Petsmart back in March and she has brought a lot of joy and laughter back into our lives.

For her first couple of weeks with us, Lily was pretty shy.  She liked for us to pick her up and cuddle, but she did a lot of hiding under chairs and in corners.  But, she loved her toys and was quick to learn to play fetch.  Walking took a little longer because the leash was so scary!  But going to puppy class helped and after about a month there was no stopping her on walks!

Lily is a big napper, and loves to cuddle on the couch with either of us.

Family photo on Easter.  Lily is still working on posing for selfies...maybe one day.

Lily has webbed feet so we thought she might like to "swim" in a little wading pool.  It took a while, but she eventually jumped in and absolutely loved it!  She loves water in general...drinking from a water hose, splashing in muddy puddles after the rain, walking through the biggest puddles she can find when we are walking, you name it.  I love this picture of her after jumping out of her pool because she also has the cutest head tilts...I would love to know what she is thinking!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

We Miss You, Adi

Our beautiful girl relaxing in her yard.
It has taken me a week to be able to compose myself enough to write this post.  Our hearts are heavy and there are still tears, but last week we had to have our beloved Adi put to sleep.  It was an incredibly difficult decision.  Over the past 2-3 months her physical abilities had dramatically declined and we realized she was suffering from not being able to do the things she loved like going on walks, chasing her toys, and running around the yard.  Although we took her to specialists and had lots of tests run, we never got a clear diagnosis of her illness.  The specialist thinks what makes the most sense was a tumor on her spinal cord, but he was not sure of the exact location or type of tumor.  Although they were incredibly difficult, I am so grateful for the final few weeks we had with Adi.  It was a pleasure to care for her and have time to tell her how much we loved her.  I know she is chasing June bugs right now and scouting out the perfect area for us to go for walks in when we are all together again.  Adi, I love you and I am so proud to be your mommy.

Adi and Daddy playing on the floor.  Probably her favorite time of day.
Selfie of Mommy and Adi
Drying off after a bath
Adi loved to wake up early to play...even on weekends. Sometimes Daddy would get up with her and let her snuggle with him on the futon so Mommy could sleep a little longer.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Top 10 of Summer 2013

Today is the last official day of my summer for 2013.  Where has the time gone?  Since I didn't post summer happenings as they occurred, I thought it would be appropriate to post a "top 10" list to highlights some of the bigger events of the summer.  This is not a ranked list in order of significance, but just a general list of the most noteworthy or exciting events of the summer.

1.  Oklahoma City Trip
In June MeeMee and PaPa participated in the 42nd annual National Square Dancing convention in Oklahoma City.  Mom and Dad traveled with them for the festivities, and Bryan and I joined them for part of the weekend.  We also visited the Oklahoma City bombing Memorial.

 The memorial has an empty chair to represent each victim who died that day.  The children had little chairs.  The memorial was very well done and really made you think about what happened that day.
 Here's Dad and PaPa sitting by one of the walls near the reflecting pool.

 Here is MeeMee and PaPa dancing...can you see them in the middle in the teal outfits?  It was a wonderful event and was so much fun to see them dance.

2.  Bill and Lou (Bryan's aunt and uncle) and Grandmother came to visit us for a few days and see our new house.  We had a wonderful time and were grateful for the somewhat milder temperatures.
 Adi was a big fan of sitting on the couch with Aunt Lou.
 Here's Bill and Bryan enjoying the FC Dallas game on 4th of July.  The 0-0 tie was not too eventful, but the fireworks were fun.

3.  The Cactus.  Lou gave us a cactus as a house-warming gift.  She said it only blooms once a year and had already bloomed for this year.  I thought that was kind of a bummer, but it would be cool to see it next year.  Well, a couple of weeks after they left I noticed 3 little "growths" on it.  Less than a week later they grew more and finally bloomed!

 Here's the flower...isn't it beautiful?!  The blooms only last for a day, but 2 more little growths are starting so we may even get more flowers soon.  Very cool!

4.  Settling into the House.  Okay, so we've officially been in the house for a few months.  But moving and getting a house all set up is a long process.  We got a new fence on 2 sides this summer, Bryan built a shed in the backyard, we've been through 3 lawnmowers (long story), we got a new dishwasher, both bathrooms got new towels/bathmats/shower curtains (thanks to lots of money at Bed Bath and Beyond), and most of the rooms have curtains (again thanks to lots of money at Bed Bath and Beyond).  There is still a little bit to do and we are probably not winning any home decor awards, but we love the house and it definitely feels like home.
 Here's a photo of fence construction metal posts.
 Here is Adi peeking through the old fence to spy on the neighbors.  This side had lots of holes and the other side was falling down so we decided the time had come for a new fence.

5.  Summer School.  Okay, so we experienced a first as teachers...Leah taught summer school at the local college.  It was a class for future teachers (mostly elementary school teachers) so it was fun to work with future teachers and help them get ideas for what teaching will really be like.  Plus, the extra money was helpful (did you read #4 above?).  I'll be teaching the class again this fall so it was good to go through the whole course in the summer with another teacher before I do it by myself this fall.

6.  The Perot Museum.  I'm not a huge fan of H Ross Perot...but his new museum in Dallas was cool.  Several of my students and friends had mentioned that it was cool, so we took a trip to see it. 

 And of course we took a selfie.

7.  We are the Champions!  That's right, Bryan and I played in a mixed doubles tournament and we won!  Our new neighborhood was celebrating its 25th anniversary with a bunch of activities including a mixed doubles tournament so we entered.  We were in the 3rd flight, but it was fun and we had good matches.

 Bryan's first tennis trophy. 

8.  Lots of Sports.  In addition to the tennis tournament, Bryan was pretty busy with sports this summer.  Softball, bowling, and 2 soccer leagues.  Hey, I was busy teaching a couple of nights a week, so it kept him busy.

9.  San Antonio trip.  We made a weekend trip to San Antonio to visit Mom, Dad, Avery, and Christina.  We had a wonderful trip and even survived the heat and the crowds for no-tax weekend.
 Avery and Christina at dinner on the riverwalk.

 Mom and I in front of the Alamo.
 Christina and I outside the Natural Bridge Caverns (a great summer activity by the way because the temperature is always a balmy 70 degrees in the caverns regardless of outside temperatures).

 A couple of pics in the caverns.  Sorry the one of mom and dad is blurry.

10.  Relaxation.  For teachers, the grind of the school year can be really tough.  You never really get caught up on sleep and there is always a mental list of stuff you have to do.  Summer is a time to catch up on sleep, exercise, and relax with friends and family.  We were so thrilled to get to see family and to just hang out and play with Adi more than we get to in the school year.  I got quite a few miles of running in and some pool time in the new neighborhood.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Update of the Year

Ok, so I realize it has been almost a year since my last bad.  I promised myself that I would keep up with the blog so family and friends could see what we were up to and we would have it as a record for ourselves later.  But, there really has a been a LOT going on "back at the Beck's" over the last school year.  New house, new car, new jobs, training for a half marathon...whew...I'm tired just thinking about it and I've already lived it once.  There were quite a few nights with very little sleep.

 We spent Thanksgiving at home this year, and were thrilled that all of Bryan's family made the trip to spend the holiday in McKinney!  Bryan begged Grandmother to make one of her delicious apple pies...and it did not disappoint!  Here Bryan and Janet are sneaking in to check the progress of the pie while she makes it.
 No post would be complete without at least one picture of Adi.  She discovered toilet paper a couple of months ago.  At first she just snuck into the pantry to pull out a roll and tear it up.  Eventually she realized she could carefully grab the end of the roll in the bathroom and pull it all through the house!
 I spent the winter and early spring training for the Dallas Rock n' Roll half marathon with Team in Training.  They are a wonderful organization that raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and train participants to run marathons/half marathons.  It was a wonderful experience and I would love to do it again.  After the craziness of moving finally settled I got back on track with training and am still running 2-3 times a week.  I'd love to do another half marathon or even train for a full...we'll see what happens.
 I didn't quite make my goal time, but I was still thrilled to complete the race and was pleased with my results.
 In April I traveled to Abilene for the ACU tennis reunion.  Here is Hutton performing at the dinner that Saturday night.  It was a lot of fun to see some old teammates and catch up with everyone.  I also got to stay with Andi, Matt, and Ryan which is always fun.
 Here is one of the last pictures of our old house while it was still "ours."  We loved that house...and we spent a wonderful 7 years there.  It was kind of sad to leave it, but we are excited about the next chapter of our lives in our "new" house.
 Between moves (out of one house and into the other) we went to the Kenny Chesney/Eric Church concert at Cowboy stadium.  Bryan gave me the tickets for Christmas.  At the time we didn't realize the concert would be in the midst of moving...but it was a great break from all the moving craziness and a really fun night.  I have to say that Eric Church was my favorite part (no offense Kenny).

And here is our new house!  It looks a little different now that we've been in it a few weeks...more flowers, new fence, our "stuff" mostly unpacked, and most of the rooms have curtains now.  We are loving it!  Adi and Val like it too, although Adi is less than thrilled with the floors...she has a hard time getting enough traction to run as fast as she would like.

In the midst of the house shopping/moving process, I had to say goodbye to my car of 12 years.  She and I had been through a lot, but I am loving my new car.  Also, I had a few crazy days of interviews and meetings for a part-time job teaching at the local college.  I still have my regular teaching job, but working with college students this summer has been fun too.

I will do my best to stay more up to date on the blog.  I'm already organizing a post for "Top 10 Events of Summer 2013" so stay tuned.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Relaxing Weekend

After a couple of busy weeks back at school and a big vacation last weekend, this weekend was a much slower pace.  We cleaned the house, took care of grocery shopping, and caught up on sleep.  Sunday afternoon we were happy for football to return and even grilled out some burgers.
Adi and Daddy relaxing and watching football.

Love the fire pit!

First time I've ever seen a praying mantis "in the wild".  It was hanging out in our backyard.

We were washing out Adi's doghouse and saw another praying mantis hiding in it.

The best part of the fire pit...Smores!  Don't feel too sorry for Adi...she got a marshmallow.

We call this one "Senior Portrait."