Houston Life List

I was searching Trip Advisor and took a look at Houston. It turns out, there are lots of things I haven’t explored here. So, I’m adding a section to my list for home. I can’t let the great things here get by me!

  • Buffalo Soldiers National Museum – not even a block from my house and I haven’t been!
  • Houston Bicycle Museum – I pass this on my runs!
  • Houston Fire Museum – I didn’t know this existed…
  • Holocaust Museum Houston – Again, just a few blocks away from me, but I’ve got to be prepared to deal with sadness.
  • Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden – never heard of this, but it sounds cool!
  • Art Car Museum

I went through and added a little section to the bottom of my life list. When the intense busyness passes, I will not be short on activities. 

Rio Dulce Adventure

Once upon a time in Guatemala Lauren and I took a little adventure. We travelled to Livingston, which is a little town that is only accessible by boat. We stayed the night in  a bungalow and waited on the end of this dock on Saturday morning. With our overnight bags we sat and watched boats go by. Eventually our boat arrived and we began our journey up the Rio Dulce.  

Riding up the Rio Dulce was part of a bigger journey to the rainforest. Along the river it looked like scenes from LOST, and it was hard to believe that we hadn’t already arrived in the rainforest.

The three hour boat ride was one of my favorite things we did in Guatemala. The scenery was spectacular and we only had four people on our lancha.

These little girls came up in their canoes to sell seashells, turtle shells, and jewelry.

I loved these lily pads. The water is my favorite.




Last month, after being in Guatemala for two days,  we hiked a volcano! A real live volcano. Julie, Lauren, and I woke up early and got picked up by a van. We rode for about 2 hours to the base. There are 30 volcanos in Guatemala, and there are currently only 3 that are active. Agua, Fuego, and Pacaya are active. Pacaya’s elevation is 8,373 feet. Seriously, it is very large.

The hike was incredibly difficult for me. It was similar to climbing that horrible stair machine where the stairs continually rotate and never stop. If perhaps, I had been to a volcano before, or I did not care about seeing the volcano, I would have quit. Julie and Lauren were ahead of me and a little boy with a horse was hanging out beside me. This little boy wants someone to pay to ride his horse, and on June 10th, he wanted me to be that someone. I thought this was funny for a time, and then I felt thoroughly annoyed that he had picked me out to be the weak link. “The horse would like to work today,” the young boy told me. Which made me feel like I would like to work that day. Drenched in sweat and breathing hard, I pushed on.

As we rounded a corner the scenery changed. We went from lush green to ashen rock. I could not believe how amazing it looked. I wanted to reach down and scoop up all of the rocks beneath my feet. The trail leveled out and we camped out for lunch. Our guide threw some sticks in a hole and a fire immediately ignited. He got a stick and roasted marshmallows.

I did bring back a couple lava rocks and I am very excited to put them on a shelf in my classroom. Pacaya was one of the most visually unique things I’ve ever laid my eyes on. It felt as though we were stalking through middle earth looking for the ring. I’m very pleased to cross off seeing a volcano from my list! 

The Path to the top


At the end of April, we went to Las Vegas for April’s wedding. It was a lot of fun and an absolutely uniquely fun wedding.
JMO and I went four years ago to Las Vegas, right after he graduated college. It was great to reflect upon all we have done and become over the last four years. I love this boy; he is pretty great.

Enchanted Rock

Most native Texans I know have been to Enchanted Rock. In college, I was interested in checking it out, but no on was ever interested in accompanying me. Mike and Tranee went three years ago while I was working, and I was jealous. Then, last Spring, Tranee and I went on a girls trip to Fredericksberg. We were so close! But we already had planned out our whole weekend. So, I added hiking Enchanted Rock to my life list. Yesterday, we did it! It wasn’t a very long hike, but fairly steep. It was great to spend the day with Mike and Tranee! And… I get to mark something on my list as completed, which just feels really good!

The Cow Gift

While in Honduras, we were able to give a family a cow. We were actually able to purchase 2 cows, but we delivered one. The special thing about this cow, is that it was pregnant! Which means, we not only gave this family a cow, but a cow they can pass on to their children. Maybe one day, that cow will have a baby and that cow will have a baby. This is money well spent people! The family is chosen by Mission Lazarus based on different criteria, one of course being need, but also on how they will distribute milk. A cow produces about 10 liters of milk a day, and this family will only need about 3 of those liters. The other 7 they have to share with their neighbors. Mission Lazarus chooses families to help which in turn will help other families. I was blown away by the organization, Mission Lazarus does good work well – what I mean by that is they have a lot of donors to keep happy. Because they need to keep people happy, they help people in an organized manner, a manner in which they can provide proof to donors, and they start a mentality of paying it forward. Clearly, I’m a fan of the organization.

The cow was the only one not so happy about the situation. After we delivered the cow, we got the van stuck on this hill. We tried many different ways, but finally we pushed it! It was exhilarating to push a stuck van out. There were many points during this trip when I thought about how strong we really are, and about how I don’t use my strength. Shoveling, hauling bricks, digging holes, and pushing vans aren’t normal activities for me. They are activities that I can do though, and I feel empowered by that. I’m strong.

Not only did I learn I was strong from this cow, I also learned a thing or two about money. This cow cost roughly $800, which sounds like a hefty sum, but I’m pretty sure I spent $800 on clothes last year that I didn’t really need. We do live in a different society, but we can still do a lot with our money. I am in no financial position to donate a cow, but I am in the position to think more consciously about where my money is going. So, with school kicking off, and the need to spend is getting at me, I’m going to live frugally in August. That is my happiness project goal.

You can truly learn a lot from a cow.