Thursday, August 17, 2017


If you are following my Year of Firsts blog, you know that I injured my knee and am now hobbling around on crutches while wearing a giant knee brace. There was a moment this morning when I was tempted to give in to the "poor mes," but when I opened my eyes and looked around, all I could see was how much I have to be thankful for. In no particular order, here is what I'm thankful for today:

  • I live in a one-story house.
  • I have big kids that can get their own food, take their own baths, stay at the house while Jeff takes me to the doctor, work mostly independently or assist each other on school assignments, and help around the house in so many ways, plus one that is even able to drive.
  • Jeff has a flexible schedule and is home most of the time.
  • I do not have an out-of-home job I have to go to.
  • The master shower that I have had contempt for since we moved into the house has a built-in seat and a combo shower head, which can easily be used as a handheld sprayer. 
  • I have a network of extended family and friends who are willing to help out at a moment's notice and who are checking on me and praying for me.
  • My sweet, sweet husband and kiddos who are quick to anticipate, inquire about, and meet my needs and who care deeply about my well being.
  • An opportunity to practice patience and stillness, which are skills I definitely need to improve. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

First Day of School

It's hard to believe summer is over and it's time to get back into the routine of school, but here we are. Truthfully, though, the start of the school year is always very thrilling to me, and we are all very excited about what this year has in store for us. Following a few conversations about dressing for success, the kids voted to have "school uniforms" this year, which basically means they decided to adopt a business/business casual wardrobe for school days. For boys, we settled on collar shirts paired with slacks, dress shorts, or dark colored jeans, ties optional. For girls, those choices apply, as well as skirts and dresses. I've always believed there is a great deal of truth in the idea of dressing for success, and it seemed to prove out in our school day today, as everyone maintained an air of seriousness and seemed eager to perform at their highest level. Admittedly, this could be attributed to the fact that it was the first day of school and no one has gotten tired or burned out yet, but I'm choosing to believe that the clothes made at least some difference. I mean, one would seem to appear especially silly throwing a fit while wearing a tie, don't you think?! Either way, we had a great first day and look forward to accomplishing our goals and learning lots during this school year.

Watts Homeschool Students 

Clay ~ First Grade

Max ~ Fourth Grade

Weston ~ Sixth Grade

Ruth ~ Sophomore

Watts Homeschool Faculty

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Celebrating 40

I turned 40 on Friday, and I did it right! My sweet hubby surprised me with a trip to the new Palafitos (overwater bungalows) in the Mexican Riviera. (He also surprised himself by accidentally revealing the gift to me months before he intended to!) We arrived at the resort on Wednesday around noon and instantly began to be treated like royalty. We had some lunch in the overwater restaurant and then took a walk around the resort, before settling into our amazing palafito. We spent the next few days lounging on our patio, alternating between the large lounge chair and the private pool, and eating large quantities of delicious food. On my birthday, the staff went all out to make sure my day was special. They put a sign on the door, decorated the bed when they did the turn-down service, delivered a beautiful dessert to the room, and even filled up our jacuzzi. It was such a special trip and a wonderful way to enter a new decade!

El Dorado Maroma Resort

Our beautiful palafito

Everything we ate was beautiful as well as delicious!

I certainly did feel special on my birthday!

*I am celebrating turning 40 all year long with a Year of Firsts. I am keeping a separate blog for documenting that journey, if you want to check it out.*

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Transformation Tuesday

While our boys are away, Ruth and I are making the most of our girl time. Today we enjoyed a trip to the salon. We both knew we wanted drastic change, and we were pleasantly surprised to find out that our unwanted hair could be donated to an organization that provides wigs to cancer patients at no cost to them. That's definitely what I call a win-win!



Saturday, July 29, 2017

Delicate Arch

We made it over to Arches National Park this morning before it was too hot to be able to enjoy it. Our goal was to hike the Delicate Arch trail and see the famous arch that most people probably associate with the park. Round trip, it is a moderate three-mile hike. The terrain reminded us a bit of Enchanted Rock, if you're familiar with that well-known hunk of granite in central Texas. The hike was fun and the reward of seeing the gorgeous arch was well worth the effort to get there!

The Delicate Arch Trail begins at Wolfe Ranch

The creek at Wolfe Ranch

View along the trail

Tadpole pool 

Interesting formations at the top of the Slickrock area

Happy Hikers

Almost to the top of the trail

Our reward!

Proof that we made it

Max always finds the highest accessable point

We always find lots of rock stacks when we hike,
and Clay decided he wanted to try his hand at it today.

Ute Indian petroglyphs

All the Mexican food, after a strenuous morning

Sadly, this is the last day of our Epic Summer Road Trip, but ending it at Arches was a good way to go out. Ruth and I will get on a plane back to DFW tomorrow and jump back into sports practices and CC tutoring prep work. The boys will continue on in the RV and will have a couple of days of Man Trip, before they head out to west Texas for the family's annual gathering near Ft. Davis. Thank you for following along on our journey. It's been amazing in so many ways! Stay tuned for future adventures.

Friday, July 28, 2017


Let me start by saying, sometimes it's totally worth it to get up for the early run:


Good morning, sunshine!

They don't call this neighborhood
Rim Vista for nothing!

Sights and smells of the morning

Little Bunny Foo Foo

Later in the morning, we paid a visit to Arches National Park. Wow! What an amazing place! It is so incredibly beautiful and unlike any place we've ever been. We took a couple of short, easy hikes and saw Park Avenue, Double Arch, Turret Arch, and The Windows up close. We also drove down the main road of the park and viewed from there lots of other interesting formations, like Balanced Rock and The Petrified Sand Dunes. We can't wait to go back tomorrow and do a longer hike.

Park Avenue

Petrified Sand Dunes

Balanced Rock

Making arches under Double Arch

Double Arch

The Windows

Turret Arch

I don't know if this formation
had a particular name, but I called
it The Three Wise Men.

This one I called The Lion

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, July 27, 2017


We left Park City this morning and headed to Moab, the last stop of our Epic Summer Road Trip. We are breaking with our camping ways, sort of as a last hurrah, and are staying in a very nice condo here. The boys were quick to find the amenities and spent some time playing on the playground and swimming in the pool this afternoon. Later, we had dinner at Zax, before heading over to the Moab Backyard Theater for a magic show. Everyone got to participate in various tricks, and we all had a great time!

Cannonball King

Little bitty cannonball

Always adding his own style

View from the pool

The obvious thing to do at a restaurant
that gives you bandanas for napkins

Stunned cowboy at the
Backyard Theater

Crazy Cowboy

Funny. There wasn't a hole in
Clay's shirt before.

The Max Trick

Just after the magician sarcasticly said,
"Don't feel bad about messing up the trick.
It's really my fault since I asked you to come up here."

"Throw the cards in the air."

Even Dad got some stage time