/> SLO in Arkansas: June 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Journey of Faith

I had a little spare time on my hands the other evening and so I was reading back through some of my old blog posts from the past few years. I came across one in particular that has stayed on my mind, as I am having the strong feeling that God is doing some pretty neat things in my life right now. I think I wrote this one about a year after we had moved to Jonesboro, sometime in 2009. I was reflecting on our first year living here, and talking about how I thought God had a plan for me here, but I just couldn't see it or figure it out. I am not a very patient person, and tend to want things to be clear pretty quickly. As I look back over the past 3 years (can you believe we have lived here 3 years already!?) I can see plainly the stepping stones that were being laid in my life to get me to this place today. One of the biggest lessons I have learned in all of this is that God tends to do some pretty amazing things in our lives, DESPITE us! If I had had things my way, there is no way I would be in this place at all. I sure am glad he knows better than I do:)

Crazy thing number one happened back in 2009 when I was about 6 months pregnant with Jace. A guy I barely knew from work at the counseling center in town briefly mentions that the counseling center at church is looking to hire a new therapist part time since one of the other therapists was leaving. I submitted my resume. I thought about it, talked to Silas about it, and decided against it. I was due to have a baby in a few months, and didn't think adding a new job to the mix was good timing in my life. Plus I just didn't think I could offer them the hours, etc that they were looking for. Several weeks or a month went by and I got a phone call from the director asking to set up an interview with me. I politely declined, explaining all the reasons I was NOT a good fit for the position. Somehow I ended up going to the interview anyway. And then randomly got the job:) I didn't end up starting until October after Jace was born, and it was a slow process building up my caseload there. I got frustrated at times and thought of giving up, but something kept me hanging on. I was pretty confused too. I mean, who tells a potential employer they do not even want to interview, and then gets the job??! God has a way of working things out, doesn't he:)

I have cruised along and have been enjoying my work there for the past 2.5 years. I have to admit it has been tough though. Counseling is not an easy job. I know lots of jobs are hard, but this one is just hard on my heart. I am a very sensitive person, and I truly hurt when other people are hurting. And trust me, there are a lot of hurting people out there. Some days I don't think I am the one for the job, but I just keep trusting that I am right where I need to be. Several months ago my director asked me if I would be interested in developing a program for kids of divorce. Yeah, in all my spare time!! I wasn't really sure what direction this was going or what it was looking like, but I attended the meeting and we got some ideas going. Ideas started coming together the past few months, lots of collaboration with attorneys, schools, etc in town, and we finally got a proposal worked up to apply for a grant to fund our class. And lo and behold, we just found out last week that we got it!! So now I am in the process of developing my very own class/group curriculum so that we will be ready to launch our new group which starts in January 2012. I AM PUMPED! I have loved working with children in all my years of counseling, and have missed that aspect of it, as most of my clients are adults or older teens at the counseling center. I wish I had the research on hand to give specific statistics, but basically everyone knows that one out of every two marriages ends in divorce. Think of how many kids experience divorce, maybe even multiple times in their childhoods. And Arkansas has the second highest divorce rate in the country. That is a lot of hurting kids out there, right in our backyard. There are lots of divorce support groups/recovery groups out there for adults, but none for kids in our area. I am working to put together a group for kids (kindergarten through 6th grade) that will help them navigate this painful experience to the best of their abilities, and hopefully minimize as much of the damage as possible so they can have a chance at healthy relationships and marriages of their own.

I feel like things here are falling into place, and I am so excited about the professional opportunities I have been given. I am almost embarrassed at how reluctantly I proceed with things (like moving to Jonesboro), and am amazed at how God has patiently worked in my life to get me to this place. So many times I think we feel stalled, or stuck in life, but in reality it may just be a foundation being laid for greater things to come. I am so thankful to be in this place, and to be a part of something that will hopefully change the lives of children for the better. I would appreciate your prayers over the rest of this process and for the kids that will get to be a part of it!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Survival of the Fittest

I had to put a picture on here of me all cleaned up, since the one below is of me all nasty after my 40 mile bike ride last weekend:) Ok, I feel better. Anyway, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my bike. It is so much fun to ride, and I have to admit I just love the speed of it. I think I might be pretty good at riding too, which helps. I did my first 40 mile ride last Saturday morning with two of my friends, and we had a ball. About 25 miles in one of them got a flat tire, so I got to experience my first changing a flat out on a ride. Mostly I just stood around a watched. I called Silas for back up, and he brought us cold Gatorade and helped get things pumped back up once we got the new tube on. It was fun! We were all super impressed that 3 girls got that flat changed:) I am glad I saw how it was done, so I will be more confident if it is me next time!

I went out for 20 miles this morning and it felt great. 20 miles is just a nice easy ride for me and I can tell the more times I do it the stronger I feel. I have also learned that I like hills quite a bit, and can get up them pretty fast. These soccer legs are turning out to be quite helpful in many different ways!! I have my running to thank for my endurance base too. I named this post survival of the fittest because of a little incident we had on our ride this morning. We came to an intersection in a neighborhood (rural area) and I was keeping my eyes peeled for a dog that had tried to eat me for lunch once before when I had last come this way. Well sure enough, I heard furious barking, but not from the yard I was watching! I turned and right across the street were two large dogs charging our way. And when I say dogs, I mean they were two Dobermans with ears back and snarling as they raced towards us. Thankfully the adrenaline kicked in and I pedaled like nobodies business! I was NOT going to be the first person they got to, that was for sure:) Luckily they didn't get either of us, but my heart pounded for a while after that. I am really not a fan of dogs, especially man eating ones that aren't tied up or in a fence. Mental note to skip that route next time we ride:)

Anyway, I have been having fun with my training. I am just tired! The heat today wore me out for sure. I did some yard work with Silas after lunch and am trying to just spend some time outside to help acclimate to the heat when I can. Thankfully a little nap and a cold Coke perked me right up:)
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Friday, June 24, 2011

My first BRICK

I did my first official BRICK workout earlier this week and it was AMAZING!! So we are all on the same page, a brick is a back to back workout in triathlon training. As in, I rode my bike and then went straight into my run. Apparently it is named a brick, because that is how your legs feel when you start running after riding:)

Anyway, I have been riding and then running for the past few weeks, but there is usually about a 20-45 minute time gap between them while I am waiting for my running buddy to be ready to go. Usually that is just enough time for me to cool down completely and my legs to get stiff before we head out to run:) At least it gives me a little break/rest though. Well this week I decided to just head out and get at least a mile in while I was waiting for her to call. I rode 19.1 miles in about an hour and 22 minutes (14 mph average), ran inside, threw off my helmet and gloves, put on my running shoes and garmin and headed back out the door. My garmin took forever to find the signal, so I had to run 2/3 of my mile without it. I felt pretty good starting out, and while my legs felt a little strange, it didn't take me long to find my running groove. And groove I did! I finished my mile in about 8:06 minutes. I really thought I would be slower than usual, but I felt good:) I walked home and my friend was ready to go, so off we went for another 2 miles. We slowed the pace waaaay down to 10:30 minute miles, but it felt fine. I actually felt amazing and could have run a lot longer, but I have read enough to know you are not supposed to over-do on your brick workouts. Just run 20-30 minutes to get used to the feeling of transitioning from the bike to the run. I felt great the next day, not sore or anything, which I was happy about.

I think that workout was a huge turning point for me mentally. I know without a doubt that I can do this! And now I am thinking I might actually do it pretty well too:) Icing on the cake:) I rested yesterday and then swam this morning. Every swim gets better as I am constantly improving something. I got some good goggles which helps, and a friend gave me a swim cap. I can tell my endurance is improving, but I still think I am swimming too fast/hard. I am very thankful I still have several weeks to train, because I need all the time in the water I can get. I am having fun with my training and actually looking forward to all my workouts. That has been the best part of tri training....you get to do so many activities you don't get bored with just one! Next up, another 40 mile bike ride:) Not sure if I have mentioned it, but I LOVE MY BIKE!! I will do a whole other post on that later:)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Everything Changes

What a week Jace has had! He has gone from my baby to a big boy in the past 4 days it seems, and it's killing me just a bit how fast everything is changing around our house. It all started with a hair cut on Saturday. After constantly pushing the mop out of his eyes and wondering what to do with the mullet/tail in the back, off to the barber shop we went. He sat perfectly still the whole time and was awesome:) And what a change it is. He looks all grown up now, and my baby is gone.

Just another shot of before his hair cut. We have had so much fun this summer getting outside in the sun and water. The boys do great, and we are trying to make the rounds to all the fun activities we can think of. One of our favorites has been the splash zone at the park in town. Lots of water, dumping buckets, water guns and sprinklers, etc and hours of fun on these hot summer days:)

Not the best after picture of his hair, but you can tell it isn't in his eyes anymore. We went to a friend's house yesterday morning and spent the day playing outside. Jace and her son Cole were born on the same day just minutes apart, and we enjoy catching up with them in the summertime and hanging out. They live out in the country, and the 3 boys had a ball splashing in the kiddie pool, playing in the hose, doing the slip n slide, riding the little 4 wheeler and playing with the dog, or making mud puddles in the dirt. She grilled hot dogs and we had potato chips and baked beans for lunch. It was perfect! Not to mention the awesome long naps the boys took after all that fun in the sun:)

As if he was inspired by his grown up looks following his hair cut, Jace pulled a new one on me and went pee pee in the potty for the first time ever yesterday too! I clapped and danced and we all had smarties to celebrate his accomplishment:) It may have been a one time event, or the beginning of real potty training, but it was a big deal. The boys and I packed up and went swimming at the big pool this morning with several friends from church and had a blast. Both boys are swimming so well with their floaties and it makes for some much more relaxing times at the pool for me:) Jace jumps off the side like he has been doing it his whole life, and Tyson decided this morning he would start jumping in and swimming with his head under the water! We got home, and I decided to try and lay Jace down in his big boy twin bed for nap today after lunch. And that's where he is right now...snoozing away for the first time in a real bed. My heart hurts a little at how proud I am of all his accomplishments this week, and the fact that my little guy is growing up so fast on me. Children are so amazing and they change whether we are ready for them to or not.
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

The boys and I had fun celebrating Silas this weekend. We were very sneaky and ran several errands on Friday while he was at work, getting his gift ready. I was smart enough not to tell Tyson what we were doing, so he couldn't ruin the fun! We took him out to Longhorn Steakhouse on Friday night and he got some fried shrimp. Yum!

I had to do a home study on Saturday afternoon, so Silas held down the fort while I was gone. We decided to go ahead and surprise him with his gift Saturday night since Sunday mornings can be a little rushed getting ready for church. He had no idea we had gotten anything for him, so he was totally surprised:) We got him some gift cards to use around town to some of his favorite places, so he can have a treat any time he wants. He loved them!

He put one card to good use and got doughnuts for the whole family before church this morning. Thanks for sharing! We took him to eat pizza for lunch, and he is going to see a movie later this evening he has been wanting to see. We also got him some fun plaid cargo shorts that he loves. I sure hope he has enjoyed his weekend of special treats, but we really appreciate him each and every day.

Silas is such a special blessing to our family, and the head of our home. I really admire how hard he works to provide for us, to be our spiritual leader, and the importance he places on spending time with the family. I know the boys adore him as Daddy now, but I look forward to the day when they admire him for being such a good man, role model, and leader in their lives. They are truly blessed beyond measure in that department. Thank you Silas for all the ways you bring joy to our family and lives, just by being exactly who you are!! We love you so much!
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I made it back to the pool this morning for some sweet swimming redemption! Man it felt good. Having such a bad first swim really threw me and I have spent the past 2 days reading up on other's swimming experiences and thoughts, and doing lots of visualization of things my neighbor taught me in my head. Yes, I am that dorky, but it works:)

I was at the pool at 6am right when it opened this morning and ready to get down to business. My agenda was simple, don't have a repeat of Monday! I was slow to get my stuff ready and get in the water, as I studied very carefully the older man that swims laps non-stop for over an hour everyday that was in the lane next to me. He breathed every right armed stroke, so I decided I would too! I did a lap of breaststroke to warm up, and got ready to tackle my freestyle. One thing Silas and I had discussed after the bad swim was that I probably went out way too fast and just wore myself out too, so going slow was my other plan for today.

And guess what? I rocked it today:) It's amazing how much better you feel when you breathe more frequently, and when you aren't thrashing around like a floundering whale:) I took it slow and easy, strong strokes, breathing every right arm stroke, and practiced my sighting along the way. It felt great, and I was able to hammer out 2 more full laps than last time and was not panting like I was dying when I was done! I feel much better today and got the old confidence back, which is what I needed. The best part of swimming is that it doesn't take forever to get a good workout in. I was there at 6am and home by 6:30am. Eventually I will build my endurance, but for the sprint tri I don't plan to be in the water longer than 10 minutes, so I don't need that much training 9hopefully) at this point.

Have I mentioned I am contemplating an Olympic distance tri in September??! I will definitely need more endurance for that one:)
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Monday, June 13, 2011

Sink or Swim?

Soooo, I finally got myself to the pool at 6am this morning for my first official swimming workout of my training. I have to admit I have been fairly confident before this in regards to the swimming portion of this triathlon. I mean, I swim every summer. I go to the lake. I can swim, right? WRONG! Oh my goodness. Swimming. is. HARD! I definitely had a giant dose of humble pie this morning at the YMCA:)
I now realize that while I have grown up "swimming" I have never actually done any lap swimming of a real distance before. Apparently laying on a raft getting a tan does not count as real swimming:) Boy am I glad I still have 7 weeks to get some practice in. I guess I am starting from square one in this area and having to build from there. It was a great workout though, and now I know I stink so bad I can only get better from here! Let the real swimming begin:)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Weekly Training Recap

These pictures have nothing to do with the post. Just more pics from our Texas adventure:) This has been one of my better weeks of training and I feel like I am getting somewhere! I ended the week with only 8.5 miles of running, which is really low, but I was happy with the 3 workouts I did get in. I ran a nice easy 4 miler on Monday, and then hit the track on Tuesday evening for my first ever speed workout. It was about 96 degrees and I had just eaten a huge dinner (bacon, eggs, and pancakes!) so I wasn't going all out to say the least:) I did manage to get a good 1.5 miles in, with 3 quality 400's. I just needed a baseline time for my 400's so I know a time to improve on. It was fun too. The whole family went, and I ran my first warm-up 400 with Tyson:) The little guy ran the whole lap with me and did great. The boys had fun running around the track and "racing." Tyson kept asking where the speakers and finish line timer were! I ran 3 miles on Wednesday evening, following my bike ride, which made it pretty tough. It was a faster average pace than usual on my runs during the week, so I was really happy with that. At this point I am still adjusting to the heat and humidity, which have been really high lately.

I have had a great week biking. I rode 17.7 miles on Wednesday with a group of girls and then went 22.7 miles this morning with one other girl, for a total of over 40 miles out on the road this week. I also rode 30 minutes on the trainer last night, so I got 3 good bike rides in for the week. I am feeling much more comfortable on the bike, getting a good feel for where my gears need to be to do what I want them to do, and for clipping in and out. No more falling since that first time, thank goodness! My average pace has not been as high as I would like for my rides outside, but we do lots of crossing intersections and turning down streets, crossing train tracks, etc that I know really slows us down. I am sure I will be pleasantly surprised at what pace I can hold when it comes time to race:) That is the plan anyway:) One thing I have learned with riding with others is that my soccer legs are very useful tools when it comes to powering up hills on the bike. I have been very happy with my ability to get up the hills at a good pace, which I know will be huge during the tri.

I haven't had a full official swim workout yet, but I have finally gotten in the water and am ready to go! We took the boys swimming at the neighbors house this afternoon, and I got some good time in treading water and really tried to focus on using mostly my arms to keep me up. My neighbor also happens to be an awesome swimmer, so he gave me some good coaching and tips, and we practiced a bit on my form. He said I have a good powerful stroke, but lift my head to high out of the water for my breaths, so I need to work on that. I also only breathe on one side, so I have to practice both side:s) I got some good advice and some good things to practice when I start my official lap training next week. We finally joined the Y, so no more excuses on not getting my swims in.

Speaking of swims, Silas has been going and doing great! He got up early twice this past week and rode his bike to the Y, swam laps, and rode home. He loved it. I am really proud of him and think it is something he really enjoys. Since I do most of my running and biking in the day or evenings, that leaves early mornings to swim. The Y opens at 6 am during the week, so that is when we have to go in order to be back for Silas to get to work in the mornings. We are working out our schedules so we can both get at least 2 swims in each week and take turns. I will tell ya, it is tough to focus on 3 sports all at the same time! Luckily I feel great on the bike and run, so swimming will be my focus for a bit. I have been able to do two brick workouts, where you do two events back to back. I have been able to bike and then run twice. It is definitely exhausting, but I usually run better than I think I will after riding. I am having fun and enjoying incorporating other sports into my training for the summer. Swimming and biking are a bit more fun to do in the heat than just straight running! Only 7 weeks til the tri:) I will be ready!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Orbison Family Pictures

The Orbison cousins. Tristan, Danny, Kennedy, Hannah, Jace, Parker, Tyson, Ellen, Makena, Hayden and Kasey.

Mimi and Pap-pa with the grandchildren. Yes, Tyson was fed up with pictures by this point!

The Orbison family 2011. Martin was missing, but everyone else was there.

The original Orbison family! I love this picture so much:) They sure have grown over the years and added lots of members to the family. We are so blessed:)
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Texas fun

Just a few cute pictures from the Texas weekend. The Orbison boys:)

We LOVE pap-pa's corn!! It is the best ever, and we ate a ton of it while we were there:) He was nice enough to let us bring some back home too:) Tyson had fun helping Pap-pa pick corn and okra out of the garden.

Aunt Marcene loving on Jace during cousin camp. He loved her and went over to climb up and sit in her lap for a bit:)

Danny and Jace hanging out.
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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Ellen's Graduation

One of the highlights of our Texas trip was getting to see Ellen graduate on Friday night. We had a wonderful dinner with tons of family and friends, and then headed to the high school for the graduation. We had a huge group, and the kids did pretty good considering it started at their usual bedtime!

My camera did something weird to this picture! Anyway, I still can't believe that we are old enough to have nieces already graduating from high school!! I feel like it was me just a few years ago:)

We all enjoyed getting together to celebrate this big milestone in Ellen's life. It has been so much fun watching her grow up over the years, and I am excited to see where she goes from here, and what all she will accomplish:)

Proud mom Sherrie watching the ceremony. I did pretty good myself until they played the Kenny Chesney song "Don't Blink" at the very end!! It was a good reminder of how absolutely fast life goes when you are raising your children. I know mine are still in diapers today, but their graduation will be here before I know it, and that really gets to me when I think about it. I have had lots of reminders lately that time marches on, and am working hard to enjoy the little things in the moment. I am so thankful for time we got to spend with family too:)
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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Cousin Camp 2011

We headed to Texas on Thursday last week to get some time in with our Orbison side of the family. Our schedule was packed full from the minute we got there, and it was awesome! We spent all day Saturday doing Cousin Camp, which the boys just loved. Tyson adores all his cousins, and had so much fun playing with everyone. He keeps asking to go back to Texas every day!

We started off with breakfast and a devotional, then did some fun arts and crafts, and lots of time playing. After lunch everyone headed to ride go-carts and play mini-bowling, but we took our kids home for a much needed nap! We met back up with the group after naps, and went swimming:) Then we made mini pizzas for dinner and spent the rest of the evening visiting and playing. We ended with a family time of singing. It was a full and wonderful day for everyone involved!

Tyson loved cowboy hats and wore one around constantly while we were there:)

Here are the boys with cousin Danny. Danny is wonderful with the kids and took such good care of them for me! This was our first year to make it to cousin camp. It was so much fun creating these memories with the kids, and so special to be part of such a fun family:) We are already looking forward to next year!!
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Thursday, June 02, 2011

Mini Tri

I had a little impromtu mini triathlon training yesterday. I started off the day taking the boys to the pool. No official lap swimming, but I did have to tread water quite a bit as Jace decided he only wanted to jump in the deep end:)

After dinner I headed out with my girls I ran the relay with, and we got in a great 16.5 mile bike ride around town. It was super hot, but lots of fun to be out with them again.

I got home from the ride, changed into my running shoes, and about 30 minutes later hit the pavement with my friend down the street for a 4 mile run. We topped it off with a mile walk for a cool down. I was soaked from the heat and humidity. I was definitely not ready for the temps to jump up in the upper 90's overnight like they did!

I have been drinking water and Gatorade like crazy, which I know my body needs to stay hydrated in this heat. I can tell my appetite is down a little as well, which is good. I feel like I eat all the time! Yesterday was fun getting a little workout in all 3 events. Today I am tired but not too sore. I need to get serious with my training since this tri is next month!!