Archive for June, 2011

Across the Pond

June 25, 2011

Today we embark on our journey from Austin to London for the Rand Family Vacation, 2011 edition. On our potential* agenda:

– WIMBLEDON {woo hoo!}

– Henley Royal Regatta

– Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, more architecture, etc., etc.

– British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern

– Trafalgar Square

– Apple Store: Regent Street

* This is only a partial itinerary; in fact, we haven’t exactly planned much out…but hopefully we’ll get around to everything on this list!

Rowing Love

June 24, 2011

I finally did it. I took rowing lessons on Lady Bird Lake! My last class was this past Thursday and I have to say that it was the most fun and challenging sport I’ve ever experienced. When we first moved to Austin I remember seeing the rowers out on the lake during our downtown excursions and I always said to myself that I should try it out. Now {almost two years later} I decided it was time and signed myself up for the intro class at Austin Rowing Club.

Let me first start off by saying that ARC is great; their staff is friendly and helpful, their coaches are very experienced teachers and the environment is just perfect. In ITR {intro to rowing} we learned how to use the ergs for training, how to properly execute a rowing stroke, how to get the boats in and out of the water, tons of rowing terminology, boat safety and most importantly how to row together as a crew.

Our class started out in the 8 person boats where I quickly began to favor the 7 position just behind the stroke seat. One day there was a crew there for practice that was one man short; my coach volunteered me and I got to row with an experienced crew! It was refreshing to be challenged in something new and to struggle to keep up with the rest. I ended up with a few new friends, a few new scars and a growing love for crew rowing.

Eventually we tried sculling as well {two oars per person as opposed to just one}. My first experience with sculling was less than ideal because we went out in a quad and we had a terrible time staying together with our strokes. Luckily we were able to try the single scull during our last two classes and I have to admit, I think it’s my favorite. In the single scull you can go at your own pace, focus more intensely on your stroke and be completely alone on the water. I’m not much of a morning person but I’d be fully willing to wake up at 5am to row alone on the still waters. I can only imagine how relaxing and meditative the rhythmic clacking of oarlocks and the patter of blades skimming across the water must be at that time of day.

Though I most likely won’t be joining a crew or the club any time soon {for proximity to home reasons}, I know that I’ve found another hobby that I can enjoy in the future. Just one more reason to move closer to downtown someday!

Memorial Day 2011

June 24, 2011

Each year our Memorial Day weekend on Lake Conroe continues to get better and better; it’s become quite the family tradition. Mark and I were both able to take off on Friday, leaving us with a full 4 day weekend away!

Mark had a little shadow most of the time; Logan loves to do everything Uncle Chris does!

The majority of our time was spent on the lake tubing, wakeboarding, sunning or just riding in the boat. Mark is pretty good on the board and he’s entertaining to watch; I managed to get up a few times but I’m still learning.

We captured a few good videos of tubing wipeouts and enjoyed watching them over and over. The larger of the two tubes {the MONSTER, as seen above} was notorious for bouncing the other, smaller tube around the wake but in a series of battles the small tube claimed victory 99% of the time due to its lower center of gravity.

My good lookin’ hubby driving the boat :)

See? Just like Uncle and Grandpa!

Logan spent a lot of time fishing off of the boat dock; he got pretty good at casting the line out and reeling it in. It paid off because he caught his first fish!

And it wouldn’t be Memorial Day weekend if we didn’t boil some crawfish! Along with the main ingredient we threw in corn, red potatoes, onions, garlic, sausage, lemons and of course the crawfish boil seasoning. It turned out spicier than before but it was still absolutely delicious.

Another successful Rand/Kearning Memorial Day!

Summer Veggies

June 5, 2011

Thank you Sunfood Farm for this wonderful sample of your summer bounty…


I think I’ll make some fresh salsa and eggplant Parmesan today.

New Favorite Verses

June 4, 2011

Over the course of Lent I attempted to crack open my bible for a few minutes every day and for the most part I accomplished that {with the exception of a few days here and there}. I would jot down verses that caught my eye throughout the day and then study them a little more in depth in the evening. I really enjoyed venturing further into the bible and finding tons of passages that resonated with me. Here are a few of my favorites that I discovered:

“Above all, love each other deeplly, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:8-10

I LOVE this verse. Right now I’m not exactly using my God-given talents in my job and that’s something I’ve been struggling with. I want to find a way to use my talents in service to others in a way that is pleasing to God.

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment…Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quite spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” – 1 Peter 3:3-4

So many times I find myself standing in my closet pouting because I feel like I have nothing acceptable to wear and I hate it; I hate how much importance is placed on appearances. Thank goodness I have a husband who constantly brings me back to reality and reminds me that I look beautiful whether or not I’m dressed up or even have makeup on.

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11

This is a tough one but a very good one also. We discovered this verse thanks to Dave Ramsey.

“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive a inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going…For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” – Hebrews 11:8 & 10

I feel as if this is where I am in my life now…I’m at the beginning of a great journey, the destination of which is still unknown, and all I can do is trust that where I’m headed is a place built by God specifically for me. Thinking of God as the architect of my life is a cool concept that had never crossed my mind before.

“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” – James 2:26

Note to self: merely believing is not enough; serve, serve and serve some more.

“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven…But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:1, 3 & 4

It’s easy to be proud of yourself for doing good and to want to share that experience with others but serving in secret is true service because there is absolutely nothing in it for you.

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Pretty much sums it up.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” – Colossians 3:23-24

This is a big one for me; it completely changes the dynamics of why I’m working in the first place…work as if I’m working for the Lord, not for men.

“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-24

I had to break this one down to get the full meaning of it so I pulled out a thesaurus and got to work figuring out what each of these fruits meant to me…

Love: passionate affection, devotion, unconditional

Joy: great delight, elation, gladness

Peace: contentment, tranquility, freedom from distraction, anxiety and conflict

Patience: steady perseverance, even-tempered, diligence, fortitude, poise

Kindness: considerate, helpful, altruistic

Goodness: moral, virtuous, integrity

Faithfulness: true, loyal, constant, reliable, dutiful, devoted, obedient, trustworthy

Gentleness: pleasant, mellow, moderate

Self Control: will, balance, restraint, discipline

I find myself wanting to memorize these great verses so I can have them with me always but for now I’ll continue to write them in my little moleskine notebook. Hopefully someday it will be full of thoughts, verses, inspirations and ideas that I can read back through like a personalized book.