Thursday, July 31, 2014

Why Stop Now

OK...I will not lie....I am fried...Umph depleted for the day!

As of tomorrow....there are exactly 16 days left before Play It Forward-Rally To Serve-The Sequel! 

Again...I will not lie...I am nervous!  I am a hot mess! Worried that the event will not be successful....Worry...Worry...Worry!

But I do know this...we have some great auction items...we have a great facility....we will have some great food...ALL we need are GREAT People!

This event...its very possible because of all the great people who have supported and continue to support my personal Journey! 

This event was a complete walk in faith last year...we put in the time...used the talents we had and forged onward...I prayed ALL THE WAY!

Ultimately....having the faith...trusting our work and knowing that we must forge onward...praying all the key!

I, as the ring leader (so to speak), must lead by example...Walk in Faith and Pray instead of worry! 

Always seems appropriate to use this quote when I am struggling with worry...

"Worry does not empty today of its sorrow...but empties tomorrow of its strength" ~Corrie Ten Boom

I think the unintended theme for this week is about taking risks...stepping out in faith...stepping out of those deceptively comfortable places and into places where I may not have all the answers or be at my best. Stepping into or stretching through the discomfort of one more new dimension of this Journey!

This quote seemed fitting!

Truthfully....this entire Journey has been a walk in Faith....Why Stop Now!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Last night I posted about Dreaming Big...It was an exhausted attempt to describe how important it has become for me to do things that feel uncomfortable...that stretch the limitations I put on myself. 

I have shared before that I am a funny mix...I can be really extroverted and/or really introverted depending on my comfort level.  When I stretch through that introverted part...the part that doubts how and where I fit in...that is the "jackass" part for me.  Cause truth is...when I DO stretch through those parts of my personality and make an attempt to do things differently...assert myself in uncomfortable or new situations or meet/congregate with new people...I really do feel like a bit of a jackass!  A little foolish...A little worried that I am "doing it wrong"...and really clumsy...socially and otherwise!

The irony is that when I am comfortable or begin to get a feel for how and where I do "fit in" in social skills kick in and I am HAPPY!  I LOVE those kinds of social interactions and once comfortable...will talk a blue streak...and most likely still look like a jackass...but not really care so much!  LOL!

I really don't like to feel out of control of my environment!

So here is the complicated part...or at least it feels complicated for me!

I am having to learn how to interact with all of the changes in my world, my body, my heart and my spirit! 

I was "uncomfortably" comfortable (some might say "resigned") to being sick, fat and tired! I knew it...I knew how to function in it...My "It is What It IS" mentality.

As this Journey has progressed...I am living, breathing and seeing manifestations of dreams I have had and continue to have, come to fruition....Literally happening!!!  It is exhilarating and horrifying all at the same time.

I am growing a new skin and I am not always comfortable in it! And yes...I have been doing so for the past two years...AND...I see changes everyday that I did not see the day before.  Little nuances or big smacks up side my head...that startle me and thrill me...and sometimes...scare the hell out of me!

I was sharing with a friend last night about how uncomfortable I was this past weekend asking Kerri to take time to sign silent auction items.  For me...that is already a stretch...asking for autographs or inserting myself into the path of any celebrity is just NOT ME!  Secondly, if you could see the million different directions Kerri is pulled during one of these events...and particularly this would totally get it! Most importantly for me...I consider her a friend, someone that I care for and want to support in whatever way I can, so piling on by asking her to do ONE MORE THING...was actually painful for me...yes...I said painful! 

I think too...that despite the fact that I consider Kerri a friend, she is still what inspired this Journey for me and I am always in awe of that fact every time I have a chance to spend even a moment with her and the people she loves the most...her family!  It truly blows this old girl's mind. 

So this last weekend was one more big growth opportunity for me...a beautiful opportunity to feel like a "jackass" because I was breaking of all of the rules that live in my head that say..."There is no way this is your world"

Let me say this...Each time I do something that I could not "do" 2 years ago...I have to remind myself that this is NOT a dream...It is not a figment of my overactive imagination...IT is real...

I am living proof that anyone can change the trajectory of their life...It is work...It may require feeling out of place...out of sorts and overwhelmed...but here is the truth...All of those seemingly cliché quotes out there about Dreams coming true...If you can Dream it ...You can do it thoughts...they really do have meaning...It requires taking risks and in my own not so eloquent words...looking (or maybe just feeling) like a jackass...

Just so you know...I chose the word "jackass" for a reason!  Not just for color...but because I loved the way it was used in the movie Serendipity...

Here is the clip...though out of context...may not have the meaning but at the very end Jeremy Piven uses the following quote...


That is the kind of Jackass I am talking about!!!  I want to continue to Dream Big...and for that matter...Dream Bigger!!! 

My sweet friend and inspiration Kerri often includes those very words...Dream she autographs items...Love that!  She means it too!!! I think I will!

Serendipity Clip

We are in Day 30 of the UMPH challenge...Let's Keep Rolling!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dream BIG!

First Day back in the daily grind is tough! It is crunch time for Play It Forward-Rally to Serve and oh yea....I have this other commitment called a J-O-B! OH and another 50lbs or so to lose...

But...again my UMPH level is elevated and I am shifting gears for the climb that will end with a SUCCESSFUL Year 2!

I have kind of ALWAYS been a dreamer... some might unrealistic one! But every day of this Journey is about living a dream...about being willing to be a bit of a jackass if need be and put myself out there...standing outside my comfort zone.  I spent a good portion of this last weekend standing outside my comfort zone!   It was SO worth it though...I make a good jackass!

So in keeping with the loosely developed theme above...Here is what  I think...

Dream Big! Every Day! Be a Jackass ( in a good way )!

Here is a pic sent by my cousin ...DREAM BIG!

Monday, July 28, 2014


I am HOME!

It has been an eventful, rewarding, inspiring and at times...a little stressful (procuring auction items from my favorite Olympian stresses me out...she handles it beautifully though).

I come back with a big dose of Sunshine...a booster shot of inspiration...and hopefully, the UMPH I am gonna need to finish this 2nd year of my Journey to Light and FINISH THIS THING!

Here is pictorial recap of my time in SoCal...along with my traditional Cali selfie!

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Good evening...It is my last night here in SoCal. was Golden!

Kerri and April masterfully won another FIVB event...GOLDEN!  My first time to see Kerri win live and in person! I cried! Still cry when I think about it!

Kerri took some of her very precious time to make sure we had some fantastic auction items for Play It Forward-Rally to Serve...Golden!

I leave here knowing that each time I am around Kerri and her family...I have learned a little more about the power of love...and how a team grounded in that love cannot be overcome!  Golden!

I leave here with a finish this! To live everyday doing something I love in a healthy, kick ass kind of way!

I know that I too, am surrounded by love...that I too, have a great team...It is just time for me to push through and do what I came here to do...

I want to be Golden!

Here some pics from today!

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Ok...Day 3 in word...AMAZING!

Amazing athletes....

Amazing setting...

Amazing people...

Amazing victories by Kerri Lee and April...

Amazing love and support....

Amazing messages from home...

And for me...another amazing blessing!

Each day I am here...I feel a growing desire and quite frankly...a growing responsibility to accomplish this goal. Not only that...I feel a growing desire to keep pushing through the self imposed boundaries that keep me from fully embracing this path that God is creating and guiding me along.

I am beginning to think that UMPH is all about LOVE...witnessing it...receiving it...Living it!

Here are a few reasons why for today! Great Day...

Tomorrow Kerri and April play for the Gold Medal! Can't Wait!

Scratch and Claw

Day 2 in SoCal has been many ways...I got to see some world class volleyball.

I got to spend a bit of time with Kerri and her family while watching Kerri's husband Casey play...

And then I was privileged to watch Kerri and April scratch and claw their way to a win to advance to the quarterfinals!  Truly amazing to behold! I thought I was going to puke from nervousness!  Lol!

Lastly, I ended the night in Hollywood with Donna, Bill and Emily! Interesting walk down Hollywood Blvd...followed by a lovely meal at  Angelinos in North Hollywood!

As I reflect on the brain is full of the experiences of the day...with one particular thought at the forefront of my mind.

As I approach the end of the 2nd year of this Journey....I know that I must scratch and claw in order to win this battle I am fighting...I must be willing to show the heart I saw in Kerri, April, and the German team they played!

Also, I must continue to reach for my goals with the knowledge that all the glory and blessings of this Journey are through God's Grace. 

It's funny....I watched Kerri play some amazing volleyball today....but much more moving and meaningful is her incredible kindness, heart, and patience in relationship to ALL the people who pull her in more directions than you can imagine!

She seems to have so much much appreciation for the blessings in her life...she is truly inspiring...I am truly blessed!

Today was a total UMPH boost if there ever was one! 

Here are a few pics!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

In Heaven

I am Sunny California! It has been a great 1st day!

Got to see Kerri and got to meet April and so did Emily! 

I was up at 3:00 AM...and am now officially exhausted!  I will post pics tonight...and provide thoughts tomorrow night!

My thoughts tonight are generally mono-syballic and generally incoherent! 

Just know this...I am in heaven!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dream Another Dream

It is 11:20 pm CDT.  At 3:00 AM I will be getting up...getting dressed and heading to the airport for a very early flight! But I don't think I'll mind...because by 8:00 AM PT....I will in LA...and heading to the beach...where I will see Kerri Lee Walsh Jennings play some serious volleyball and I will be surrounded by ALL THINGS UMPH!

This Journey seems quite unreal at times...Almost unbelievable....until I see the the words...and most wonderfully...FEEL the experience!  At times...It feels like a dream...and not to sound too cliche' Feels Like A Dream Come True...

I think I will keep dreaming!

I leave you with this quote by one of my all time favorite writers/screenwriter!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Good Tidings" to You

In less than 48 hours, I will be in Sunny California...getting a needed dose of inspiration from Six Feet of Sunshine! ;)

Today...I am struggling to stay on top of all that is going on...but gratefully am running on adrenaline like nobody's business!

The event is taking shape...but still a lot to do and lots of planning, fundraising and details to complete. 

I know you are probably tired of hearing about is link to how you can help and a link to register to join us for some really great family fun.

Play It Forward-WAYS TO HELP


Recently, I provided a little insight into one of our chosen charities...Cy Hope. 

Tonight...I would like to share with you a bit about The Good Tidings Foundation:

As most of you know, this Journey is inspired by Kerri Walsh Jennings, a native of the Greater San Francisco area.  She has been involved with Good Tidings for quite some time and I chose the charity to honor her and her amazing generosity. 

Good Tidings is a children's charity "that looks to equally support Arts, Education, Athletics and Dreams for you from communities of need".

They build youth athletic facilities and art studios in lower income communities and they grant over $100,000 in community service scholarships annually.

They have constructed over 100 athletic facilities including basketball, baseball and sand volleyball (Kerri's Courts) courts/fields.  Including:

47 Basketball Courts
24 Tennis Courts
34 Baseball Fields
3 Football Fields
3 Fitness Centers
3 Volleyball Courts

They opened the Leroy Neiman Art Center which provides free art instruction for low-income students.

In 2014, Good Tidings will be building additional art studios throughout the Bay Area.

Additionally, Good Tidings offers "Rock Star Road Trips" mentoring programs for the kids.  These programs allow kids to meet, talk and learn from "influential professionals and leaders in their respective fields on daylong outings to inspire and encourage them to dream big."

These are just a few of the great things done on behalf of kids that need hope, need support and that will flourish if given the chance to do so.

I hope you will take a minute to check out Good Tidings at the below link:

Good Tidings

I am proud that I have the chance to contribute to both Good Tidings and Cy Hope.  I believe that when we invest in our kids, that we in fact, invest in our Future!

Blessings and Good Tidings to YOU!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Feeling Fortunate I leave for California in 2 brain is in overdrive!!

I could not be busier at work....we are in super high gear with planning the event and I am of course, thrilled that I will have the opportunity to see Kerri and her precious family!

Oh...and to make it more fun...Emily, Donna and Bill will get to meet Kerri as well!

No problem locating any Umph if I could sleep...that would be good!!!

You might say...I am a wound rather tightly! 

It could also be said that I need to slow down, breathe,  and proceed with some caution! :)

Tonight...I am attempting to shut down this hyperactive,  hypervigilant brain of mine...say a prayer...keep things in perspective and remember how utterly unbelievable this Journey is and how Blessed I am to be traveling this road!

Having said marvelous friend Brigette shared some of my favorite kind of wisdom with me tonight...


See the below pic...both of these statements are profoundly true...Deep Faith does in fact, eliminate fear (and worry) and dessert absolutely makes me pretty freakin HAPPY! 

But since I am shying away from the kind of happiness dessert provides...I will rely on the kind of Strength Faith provides!!

Tonight I am feeling "Fortunate"

Here's to a good night's sleep! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The "Me" That God Created

Happy Sunday...or early Monday it were! 

I have had a full day! and getting ready for my trip next week, and some bonus time with my Emily...who just returned from a mission trip. 

This week...I will be getting on a plane, flying to California and once again, have the honor of watching some amazing professional beach volleyball and seeing my original inspiration in action!  What a blessing...No need for searching for my UMPH this will flow freely!

I find myself still amazed at the twists and turns of this Journey.  As I head into this week...I am cognizant of the fact that I am responsible for living with intention...fighting for this out loud...and pursuing the dream of being the best person I can be...Maximizing the Gifts God has given me...and sharing those gifts with other.

My incredibly wise friend Camille sent me these words this weekend.  She and I share a great love of words...and I often find hers a great source of inspiration, encouragement and UMPH!!! 

Here is what she said:

"Focus on what you can do better...Not what you can do better than someone else"

I loved this for a few reasons...but mostly because it reminded me that I am on a mission to a better me...Not a contrived me...Not a me that stacks up well when compared to others...But a better, true, authentic me...that lives fully as a child of God and strives daily to live by example.

My purpose lives in God Promise. 

The better I take care of my body, my mind and my spirit, the better I am at being Me...the Me that God Created and blesses daily.

I Gotta Be ME!!! :)

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Today, the Play It Forward-Rally to Serve Team gathered together and conquered our 1st Charity Garage sale! 

Lindsey, Ashley, Kristen and Brigette...You Guys Rock!

We had donations from whole team + donations from friends and family!

We got up at the crack of damn dawn...set up and the crowds came! It was a great success and I am whipped!

But I was again reminded of the power of a great team!

As I approach the end of Year Two...I know that the rest of this Journey will be possible because of the strength, courage and UMPH of the Team of people that surround me!

I am blessed to be surrounded by people who buy into my dreams!

Here are a few pics of today!

I so hope you will join us for Play It Forward-Rally to Serve 2014

You can register here:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Living in the I Can

Happy late Friday!

  It has been a busy day...a very long day and I am tired! But in this tiredness...I am grateful!  Grateful for the Umph builders in my life.  Those that have invested their time, energy, heart and gusto into...what seems never ending Journey to be less fluffy...more healthy!

There are days when I think I CAN'T....but the Umph builders...the cheerleaders and the motivators say I CAN.

Tomorrow we are having a garage sale fundraiser for our will be an early morning and a hot day...but I will be surrounded by a  team of my UMPH builders...and WE will be working together for a great cause! Teamwork....nothing like it!

You know...I really struggle some days with an I Can't Attitude...but I am encircled by those that believe I Can! I am surrounded by those that live in the I Can...everyday!

For that I am Grateful!  

I saw the below and loved it...It speaks to who I strive to be!

Living in the I Can!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Guided, Guarded and Galvanized

I am a believer that everything happens for a reason...and I am a believer that some things don't happen for a reason.

It may be the same thing...just semantics!  Not sure...but here is what I know...

I have had an idea or a hope or wish in my head before...a perfect picture of how I think something is going to happen...and then it doesn' just doesn't happen and I am left with the residue of disappointment, sadness...maybe a little anger mixed in...I may even toss a little self doubt in there for good measure.

But almost some point...I am able to see and get know...GET IT...that there was a real bona fide reason that the idea or hope or wish that had once occupied my thoughts did not make it to reality status!

And furthermore, I can grasp the reality that some things  DON'T happen for a reason and that's a good thing!

So as I continue to work at embracing the pace of my personal I truly work to accept that all things DO happen for a reason and that some don't, I am confident that I am guided, guarded and galvanized by God's Love!

Forging On!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ambassadors of Umph

In the last few days or so...I have raced up and down my old friend the Emotional Rollercoaster. 

I am daily finding myself outside my comfort zone...stretching beyond those comfortable limits that feel safe or at the very minimum, familiar.

I feel a strong responsibility to make this charity event as successful as possible, to work hard everyday to lose this stubborn weight, to do my job well, to be a good friend/family member and to faithfully follow where this Journey (God's Path) leads.

Some days though....not so much! :)

Some days feel like a week!

Some days I feel a little weak!

And just when I think I am going to fall flat on my arse...I get a boost...a little extra umph!

In the last couple of days, I have received some amazing support.  It has come in the form of a joke, a laugh, a dinner conversation with an old friend, some much needed help on the event, a sweet text message from a certain 13 year old who snuck her phone to camp, AND the sweet gifts pictured below from 2 wonderful friends who both, in their own special way, have been Rock Stars on this Journey of mine.

Tonight, I spent an hour or so talking to a lifelong friend who lost her husband to Cancer a little over 6 months ago. Her strength and vulnerability...her resolve and her courage...all reminded me that inspiration, hope and the power of God's love can overcome any circumstance...any stress or sorrow.

God's Love is automatic Umph!

Thank you to those that take the time, energy and effort to be Ambassadors of Umph for me along this Journey!  Invaluable!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

From Crappy to Happy

Today was another dicey day! Rough, draining and completely umphless...until I sent my sweet friend Brigette a text that said...

Having a really crappy (ok...I used a different word) day...know any jokes?

And so it began:

I dieted for a month and all I lost was 30 days.

I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house.~ Zsa Zsa Gabor

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them, and you have their shoes.

I've got all the money I'll ever need if I die by four o'clock this afternoon.

Where there’s a will…..I want to be in it.

Oh...and it continued...and continued...and continued!  I went from "crappy" to "happy" in record time!!!

Oh...and the day got better! We got to spend the evening with Brigette and her fabulous family celebrating her Mom's birthday!

The UMPH was unleashed and the transformation from Crappy to Happy was complete!

Someone reminded me today that focusing on the Gratitude...Keeping my eyes on the the best remedy for getting through a bad day!

I am surrounded by love...even on crappy days.  Any day can be salvaged by  great people, a great meal and unlimited laughter!

I am Blessed by the Best!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

So I won't has been a really lousy day...really lousy!

And I have committed to 45 days of daily seeking inspiration, hope...the good in each day...hmmm...that is a stretch for me today!

So far...I can only hope this day ends soon!!! So I can put it behind me for good!

As I was driving home...I looked down at the gear shift and saw the below.

I found this little broken bracelet at a car wash in Crockett, TX.  I was unceremoniously trying rid my windshield of layers of East Texas bug guts gathered during our to and fro trips to Crockett after Clint's accident.

At the time I found it...I decided it was a welcomed reminder that God was with us...all of we faced a painful situation. 

I placed it in my car that day because it made me smile with hope.

Today, that same little broken bracelet reminded me that God is with us...AND reminded me of how I found it...and then this thought popped into my overwhelmed,  "umphless" mind...

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff!

Though nothing felt small today...

Big Picture...

Small Stuff...

Nothing a little sleep and a lot of prayer won't cure!

Goodnight...Sweet Dreams!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Taking Another Step In God's Direction.

I hope this Sunday was filled with great moments of inspiration, love and all things UMPH! 

I, along with some of my favorite inspirations, worked hard on preparing for a Play It Forward-Rally to Serve garage sale to be held in Baytown on July 19th!!! 

We cleaned out, sorted through, loaded, hauled and unloaded a virtual cornucopia of items from our garages, closets, attics, lake houses...etc....All in the name of raising money for our event. 

Truth is...I don't have to look very far on any given day for inspiration....for providers of UMPH and for motivators when my UMPH is depleted. 

Today was filled with sweat, physical labor (of which I am not that fond of), laughter and a great feeling of accomplishment.  Today was one more reminder for me of how much my life has changed in the past 2 years and offered the promise of taking another step in God's Direction...Another step towards a healthier me...and a happier me!

For tonight...the healthier, happier also the sleepier me!  Must Go!  Have a great, blessings filled week!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rejuvenate, Motivate, Elevate

Hello and Happy Saturday....what's left of it!  I have had Umph today...Used my Umph and am now Umph depleted!!! Or just plain ole tired!

As a part of our fundraising efforts for Play It Forward-Rally to Serve, we are having a garage sale NEXT weekend...which makes this weekend...PREP weekend.

Ahhh....nothing like spending a day in a hot garage in mid July in Houston, TX!  Here is the upside...I am thinking that I was able sweat off 8-10lbs...wishful thinking!!!

So 12 days into the Umph Challenge...I am finding that though I certainly am not doing it perfectly, my efforts to find daily inspiration, hope and encouragement are aiding my will power with food as least, it feels that way! 

So the challenge continues and tomorrow the garage sale prep continues...I am going to need all the UMPH I can get!!! 

Tomorrow, as I sweat profusely in the garage...I will remind myself that I am doing this for a cause I really love and I will dream I am in these places instead of a hot, musty garage!!! These are places that inspire, rejuvenate, motivate and elevate this Fluffy Girl!!

The Frio River---LOVE IT
London-LOVE IT

Laguna Beach, CA

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park....
Have a great Sunday...


Friday, July 11, 2014

Living with a Light Heart

Today in and of itself, is a day that provides instantaneous UMPH...FRIDAY!!!  Ahhh...almost anything feels doable on Friday!.

I might just be one of those people that just might, lose sight of the joy in a moment...when I have a million things to do...and only 24 hours to work know what I am saying???

So Fridays seem to always ease some stress in my life...I guess because not having to be at work...means I only have 1/2 million things to do in a 24 hour period AND on the weekends I can spend a larger portion of my day in my PJs if I want to...THAT is a bonus!

My heart always seems a little lighter on Friday...which is always welcomed. 

Living with a Light Heart is kind of a bucket list item for me..LOL! 

I love those moments when I feel inspired, happy, goofy, and carefree.  I would just like to string an entire group of those single moments into consecutive moments over a long period of time!!!

So...if you have not figured it out...I am exhausted...goofy, and quite incapable of really writing anything of real value this evening...but I will leave you with a few of the things that made me feel Light Hearted this week...things that gave some great moments of UMPH!!!

From my friend Brig:

Emily has been at camp all week and everyday, I can go on the camp website and see if I can "see" her in pics!  Here are a couple.

Don't FORGET...(I will not let you...hehehe)

PLAY IT FORWARD-RALLY TO SERVE is just around the corner!!!