Tag Archives: surfing

My OCD ate my ADD’s homework

Trying to catch up here is like herding cats…..that just saw a dog.  They scatter in every direction, while you stand there trying to figure out how you can possibly round them all up again while the dog is still standing there.

That is my life.  At least that is how it is in my head.  I don’t do well with a full plate, and tend to just sit there with my fork, overwhelmed, pushing stuff around wondering where I should start.

Empty seat…Cory had to work and could not be home for Easter. Get used to it mom.


(Do you see what I just did there?  Stealth Easter insert)

We have 2 weeks of school left, a big surf contest, I have been sick, we have 3 trips planned  with everyone going in different directions within the same time frame and I don’t have any trash bags.


We have been out of them for 3  4  5 days and every morning Bill has a variation of passive aggressive reminder syndrome going on.

“We need trash bags.”  Ok, I will get them today.

“These grocery bags are little?”  Oops, no. Forgot trash bags again. Will get them today.

“Today is trash day”.  I actually went to the store and bought everything….except trash bags.

“Did you go to the store?” Expectant eyebrow raise.

And the not so subtle “Can you please remember to get trash bags today? Is that possible?”  Look! Something shiny.

Today is going to be the day!  Trash bags or bust.

I don’t think I had this much ADD when the kids were little.  I think they pretty much didn’t give me time to exercise my ADD properly, and I am making up for it now that they are mostly grown.


Cody is missing here. It may be Christmas before we are all together again……or next week.

Anyhow, my OCD is going to trump my ADD today and I am going to get some stuff done.  The bank, car wash, a run, groceries, TRASH BAGS and a post here are on the list.

Mia is on the Texas All Star surf team, and they took a trip to California this spring.

Image by Rob Henson

They got to surf some beautiful waves, compete in 2 contests, and work with the US Jr. National Team coach, Joey Buran.  That is a huge privilege, babies.  He is a Surfing Hall of Famer, Pipe Master Pro and an awesome man ta boot. Here is the Baby on a wave while working with him.

Image by Joey Buran
Image by Rob Henson
Image by Joey Buran
Image by Aransas

She came home with a wealth of knowledge and skill that she put to good use at the last contest in South Padre, bringing home 3 podium finishes (2nd, 3rd and 3rd).

Image by Rob Henson

I don’t know if you have noticed lately, but the Baby isn’t a baby anymore.  She turned 13 this spring people.


THIRTEEN!!  I seem to have lost all of my littles and don’t know where to find them anymore.  What a weird concept for a mother who has been parenting small children for 22 years.


Anyhow, where was I?  TRASHBAGS!!  No, wait!  Trips! This summer is the summer of crazy.  We are taking a trip in the Little Bitty House, one of us is going to Hawaii and 2 to….well, that is a surprise.

Here is a hint.


Can you guess?

*All the photographers whose wonderful images I posted on this blog can be found here, here and here.

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Dear Bill, have you gone Tico on us yet?

Water temperature 48.9F, air 41.

Cold is relative until you surf for 1.5 hours in water below 50F and can’t feel your hands, feet or face anymore.

IMG_0774A le

It is also relative when your husband is in Costa Rica, Face Timing you from a hammock after catching overheard barrels for breakfast.

Dear Bill,

The dogs are all sleeping in our bed…on your side. I did not tell them to do that. It was a natural instinct when they sensed the alpha male was gone and left for Costa Rica without his alpha female.  We are all fine here,  just very, very cold.  We are not using the outside hammock because the dogs ate it, so I will be face timing you from bed in my long johns and Christmas socks, covered in down blankets and 2 inches of fleece. 

The surf here has been awesome too….as long as you put on a wetsuit, hoodie, gloves, booties and crank the car heater to 90 degrees and have it blowing on you as you try to take off all your gear without any feeling in your hands.  Mia wanted no part of this, because she claims surfing should be fun.  I have no idea what she could mean by this.

Skye is feeling better after her hysterectomy. I can tell because she is jumping off the back of the couch again and flinging her head like a stallion, wagging her tail fiercely while skootie ootieing with her butt around the tile floors at full speed.  This is helpful because it spreads all the buckets of sand that they bring in, from the now grassless backyard, to the edges of the rooms and I only have to sweep 32,000 times vs 32,001.  The Christmas socks help me to ignore this.

It was awesome to hear about your head high barrel.  Glad you are getting epic surf and are SO WARM while surfing it.  That makes me feel warm here, too.  Right?  Did you get the picture of me in the car after taking off my wetsuit?  The white balance was not off…..my entire face was indeed blue.   

But seriously…

I miss you so much and as much as I want you home, I want time to stand still for you there so you can rest, surf and soak up some of that Tico vibe. I am beyond stoked for you to be there.  You work so hard here and deserve some Pura Vida.  Bring it home with you to get us through the rest of winter.  Okay?

Love you!

Your freezing cold wife. 



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North meets South

This is what happens when a fierce Gulf of Mexico meets up with a Norther.




Right before the front the waves were chest high to overhead + and gnarly. All that water moving to the beach and then the Norther hit. Man, it was epic. Girls were surfing and I turned around to see that dark line moving toward us from the north. Mia had already paddled in, and I hoped her friend would see it and paddle to shore as well, which thankfully she did. It hit us as we were walking out of the water. Literally. So grateful, as the chaos that erupted was unreal. Waves got huge. We watched some monsters roll in from the Gulf. Someone got hit in the head with a SUP board and cut his head open. A SUP BOARD! Winds like that can pick up the heaviest of boards and fling them like matchsticks.

This morning I sat on Mia’s bed and we talked quietly as sleepy eyes adjusted to the morning. We talked about how mighty the ocean is, and how awesome our God is for making the fierce wind and waves. I am so thankful for little moments like these.

And for the big ones living here allows us to experience.

She got to see a clash of the Giants.

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Liquid Salt Magazine

I was so very honored and excited to have my writing featured on Liquid Salt Magazine back in December.

Father and daughter

Bill and I had gone surfing with Mia, and I just can’t describe how beautiful the day was.  When we came home, I sat down at the computer to write, and when I finished it Bill said “You need to publish that” and he got on the computer and brought up Liquid Salt and said “Send it to them now”.  And I did, along with this explanation of the text to the editor:

We had just bought a new longboard and hit the beach on Black Friday
to avoid the crowds and craziness.  Water was clear and the waves were clean and
glassy…thigh to waist high.  I watched from my board as my husband and
daughter rode tandem on the new 9’3″ long board.  Such joy!!  Later she paddled
out to the outside with us and surfed those waves on her own board…paddling in
fiercely, and not allowing any help from us. She’s a very small little girl,
just shy of 4 feet tall and 50 lbs dripping wet.  Waves were about chest high on
her and she had a blast. It was an amazing day and I can’t for the life of me
imagine a different life for my family….that salt life.   I  thought about it
and realized that the love of the ocean and the desire to be near it is, for
some of us, a yearning that goes beyond the love of the beach. It helps define
us and our life revolves around the ocean.  My husband and I were both born with
that strong, strong desire to be near the sea and  it seems my daughter feels
the same way.   We also have 3 other children…..3 boys ages 18, 15, and 12.
Only the 18 year old shares with us the love of surfing and the ocean.  These
differences in our family had me thinking, so I sat down and wrote a bit.

To my surprise and absolute stoke the editor replied that evening:

Thank you for writing to us.Today was sunny and warm and the waves were small, but once in the water, I was struck by the clarity of the ocean and the colors. Around me in the water and on the beach were families with kids learning to surf with their dads. I happened upon your email as I got into my car after drying off from a good paipo session. Needless to say it hit me with a lot of impact. I enjoyed every line of your ode and resonated with its meaning in a deep way.  I would love to run your piece on LS……

And he did.

Above anything I have published, this one makes me the most proud.  Not because of the writing…. but to be included among some of the most beautiful and soulful surfers and artists from around the globe.

I  hope you will enjoy my ode and if you’d like, leave a comment there and let me know if it resonates with you too.  Be sure to flip through the pages of Liquid Salt and soak up some of the beautiful Aloha sun, surf and soul found there.  You may look up and realize you have been reading for hours!

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Pura vida


We are home and trying to acclimate to being back in the mainstream. It is like going from 0-80mph in a heartbeat. The trip was just awesome.

Sunset in Costa

What an amazing, otherworldly place.


Something in me shifted in a good way. Just a small deviation to the right, but enough to give me that sense of chill again that I have been needing badly. Bill asked me if I had gone “Tico” on him.


Could be. Could be. ;*)

More pics to come.

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Preparation time for a surf trip


This weekend flew by in a flurry of preparation for an upcoming trip we are going on. It will involve surfing, warm sand, clear water and a few cold beers no doubt. Until then it is a scramble to get ready to head out of the country.

One aspect of prep for a surf trip involves packing the boards for the flight so they do not get damaged. Bill was head board packer. He’s done this a few times before.

Man of the day

The fins are removed (under the supervision of the littlest surf rat)

Little supervisor

And then the boards are placed in the plastic case with bubble wrap, towels etc to cushion them.


Got a problem in the nose of the case? No problem. Just send in the Gidget’s to do the repairs where no adult would ever fit.

Sending in the midget

Midget repair crew

Here, have some duct tape.

Reparis on the foam


Packed boards

So, now that boards are squared away, the rest of the week will be packing our clothes and getting the details done. Postings may be scarce for a bit, but keep your eyes peeled for some images from Central America!

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Physics lesson, or magic?

Gravity defied

There is a man who makes these balls and balances them all over the beach near the pier where we surf. Little architectural wonders for us to enjoy. He rides his bike to the beach, then sits in the sand and rolls balls and defies the laws of gravity with them.

I would be lying if I said that I knew how he did it. To be honest, I don’t really want to know. I want to believe that a round ball can perch on the tip of a stick and stay there in 20mph winds without falling.

I want to believe in magic.

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Sunday surf

It is funny how the week crawls by, but the weekend is like a flash in the pan.


We had a great weekend filled with surfing, running and lots of kids in and out. Saturday was spent at home doing this and that.  Cabinet doors opening and closing, lots of cups on the counter. Dried, winter grass tracked across the tile. Spend the nights, shrimp tacos, a 5 mile run through the trees.  Exhausted that evening, we watched Netflix while a little one fell asleep beside us.

Tired angel

Sunday was filled with sand and sea. Surfing with Bill and Mia is like escaping to another continent. It really is. A land of endless blues, greens, whites and shades of beige, melting into each other to form our world for a day…for a moment.

Sunday surf

And now we are back to the Land of Reality. School, drivers ed (another driver? oh em gheeeeee), work, chores. We get past Monday, and on to Tuesday for Bill’s half day (ahhhh)….then the countdown to Saturday begins.

3, 2, 1……..


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Best Ripcurl wetsuit evah!

We went surfing yesterday and met up with the man who wanted to give us a wetuit his son had outgrown. Here is Mia rocking her new Ripcurl E-bomb Pro wetsuit that a complete stranger gave to us.

Ripcurl wetsuit

The generosity of this just blew me away as these are top of the line wetsuits and very expensive. The best part of this is that now the stranger and his family are our friends. Surfers = Ohana. It’s as simple as that.

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Dedication, or more accurately…stoke.

Air temperature 43ºF. Water 56ºF. Wind 15mph with gusts to 20. Surf waist to chest high on them. Current running north to south. 8 and 11 years old, paddling next to the pier…..the tiny one following her friend like a little duck. This is what dedication looks like. Me? I stood on the beach shivering, with frozen, numb hands thrust in my fleece jacket, eyes on the girls; a sentinal. They paddled out into the ocean, boards running sideways to the current; Mia struggling to stay near the pier and finally allowing the current to take her away from her stronger friend to the breaking surf. She caught the first wave that came to her. I pumped my fist in the air so she could see that I was watching.

Remember this image the next time you worry about your child on the high slide, the monkey bars or licking a cake spoon with raw eggs in the batter. It’s all relative.


When Mia came out of the water and walked to the warm car on wooden feet, another surfer was grabbing his board to get in the water. He saw Mia and said “Hey, how old are you?” and she replied with numb lips “I’m 8 years old”. The man said “I have a $350 wetsuit that I bought in California for my son. It’s really nice. I want you to have it. My son outgrew it. I have been waiting to give it to someone who really has the stoke. You surfing in this proves you do. It’s yours!”

And so it is with surfers. They are like this. They give freely to pass the joy…the stoke…on to those who understand.

It is a family of strangers.

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After school fun

Mia gets out an hour before the other kids, so we have some quiet time to do homework, listen to music, prepare dinner or get crafty.

She found an old box the other day and made a “car”. She decorated it with various surf logo and played while I made dinner.


Still a little girl and I hope she stays that way for a few more years.

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Bone cold

December chill

Winter blew in. Her cold air meeting with the Gulf’s warmth, forming fog in protest. It sends a chill down into our bones. We walk with bare feet on sand so cold. Wetsuits are stretched on and they still don’t keep out the icy waters. You wade out gradually, feet numbing, cold water seeping into the seams. Your body warms the salty sea trapped between neoprene and skin….for a bit. It is not really the cold that brings a surfer in, shivering. Okay, well, technically it is, but what truly brings us in is the numbness. Bone chilling numbness…when you can’t feel your hands, your face or your feet.

The waves are good so we stay out as long as possible; huddling down into the icy water to escape the wind and keep warm. We paddle to get the feeling back into our hands and have regret when it does; pain flashing. Finally, even with a nice set rolling in, there is a realization that the point of being “cold” has passed. The body is now frozen. You catch the next wave and ride it to the shore.

Running up the beach on ghost feet and reaching back with stone hands to try and grasp the zipper to undo a wetsuit is comical. Fingers are defiant to the grasp signal coming from the brain; they feel like chunks of wood. At the car the heater can not be turned on fast enough (if you can move your fingers to do it), and the struggle to remove a skin tight wetsuit, without the use of fingers, begins. When the shivering starts, you might as well give up.

Once the blood runs warm in your limbs again, you get that winter surfers glow…..flushed cheeks, salty skin, and hands that are a bit icy to the touch for hours. It makes a warm cup of anything that much tastier. After you are warm, you don’t regret it at all (emphasis on AFTER). You remember fun waves that were good enough to challenge you to get outside your comfort zone.

My threshold for cold is when the air temps dip below 50 and the water temp below 60. And the only way I will tolerate that is if the sun is out and shining bright. I am aware it is not really cold by some standards. I have surfed in much colder conditions, but I can’t say I liked it. I hate to admit it, but I am a fair weather surfer. There, I said it. I just can’t get out in the really cold stuff and enjoy myself. In my head, surfing should not be a sufferfest.

Today the water temperature is 58.8 degrees and the air hovers at 43. It is raining off and on. No sun at all. A cold wind is blowing.

We are home, warm and dry; dreaming of warmer days to come.

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Winter beach

A cold front marched through and cooled things off last weekend and instead of snuggling in the house we loaded up to go surfing. The temperature was not too bad, maybe in the 60’s? But with the water temp down into the 60’s combined with the wind, well, it was chilly.

I went out surfing and then spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get warm. The back of the truck made for a great wind break.

Warming up

When the fog rolled in, the boys got a fire started. A friend brought some yummy chili and after hours of surfing for the kids, it sure hit the spot. We also brought stuff to make s’mores.

Fire and 'smores

Here I am back in clothes and still feeling brrrrr. Once I get cold, I pretty much stay cold and it is pretty hard for me to warm back up. Huddling next to Bill helped…..oh, and the fire too.

Beach couple

The best part of the day was being with good friends. Friends who share like interests are worth more than gold.


I don’t think s’mores could ever taste better after having them over a campfire on a winter beach. Sand and all. The two girls spent the entire afternoon surfing and must have eaten 10 ‘smokes each in an effort to replenish the 10,000 calories they must have burnt surfing and shivering. I have no idea where they get the energy from. *cough*marshmallows*cough

Making 'smores and keeping warm.
Making ‘smores and keeping warm.

North winds are marching through and beach days will be fewer in the coming months. Cozy days at home will be the norm for January and Febuary but there will still be days here and there to freeze our butts off enjoy the beach and a cold surf on a sunny day.

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Tiny surfer

Don’t let her little size fool you. This weekend she paddled out to the outside with the big girls and competed in the 11yo and under division at a surf contest. She placed 3rd!!! It was her first time to paddle out in a contest without a parent in the water with her. The plan was that she would surf on the inside so we could get to her if she needed help. Apparently she had other plans. They all paddled out together, and instead of hanging on the inside break closer to shore, she kept going. I honestly wigged out and got in the water and tried to swim to her, calling her name and trying to get her to come back. It was super unnerving for me, especially since there were larger waves on the outside and if something happened I could not get to her! Everyone was on the pier watching her and cheering her on as she paddled, and the photographer talked her through where the waves were breaking and told her how to ride the rip out right next to the pier. I heard people saying “Go little girl!!!!!”.

The other girls turned around and saw that she had made it out to the lineup and they were like “Mia, what are you doing out here??” She paddled over and settled in next to her friend, who is an amazing surfer and one of Mia’s BFF’s. I realized there was nothing I could do in the water and that there were 50 people on the pier who would be in the water in a heartbeat if she got in peril, so I and went back to the beach to watch.

A set came through and her friend told her to turn around and paddle for it. We all watched as she paddled hard, caught a wave, stood up and made the drop that looked to be at least head high on her as far as we could tell from the beach. She turned and rode that thing like she owned it. People were screaming, clapping and hooting for her on the pier and on the beach. It was awesome and I will never forget it. I know she won’t either.

Afterwards, we went to the awards ceremony and when they called out that she got 3rd place…competing against 11 year olds…we were so jazzed. She earned it for sure. I have never been more proud of that child. She is headstrong and determined and it will get her far in life, even if she gives her old mom a heart attack here and there.

Earlier that day she had found a shell as we were walking down the sand to the water for her heat. She was holding her surfboard and said “Mom, see that? Get it for me please”. It is a perfect little orange striped shell and I slipped it in my pocket. Later at the awards, I reached in and found it still there. I pulled it out and peered down at this tiny shell that came from so far away to end up in my palm. I look at my tiny little girl and see the same thing. She came to me from the mystery of creation and the depths of love and heavenly mercy. I decided that I would make a necklace out of it. When I put it on, I will remember that day and I may never take it off again.

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She was initiated into one crazy club

The first real cold front has arrived, and with it we pulled out wetsuits. I take Mia and her friend surfing after school once or twice each week. We went yesterday and not only was the air temp around 58F and the water about 70F, but it was also raining and no sun at all. With the air so cold, the water felt like bath water, so the surfing was fine……it was the getting out that was freezing! Chattering teeth, blue lips and fumbling fingers that were too cold to work on wetsuit zippers and such. Brrrrr. Thank goodness for heaters and warm sheepskin UGG’s to slip our feet into.

There will be more warm days to come, so I dont think wetsuits are it from here on out, but yesterday they were certainly in order.


Don’t let that smile fool you. She wanted nothing to do with having her picture taken. All she was thinking of was the heater in the car. Her little legs were mottled blue and she could not stop laughing. It was her first cold front surf and in spite of the sufferfest that getting out of the water was, she had a blast surfing. We were laughing and laughing because my fingers would not work to snap the picture. She stomped her frozen foot and said “OMG Mom, just take the picture already. I’m frozen!!” After numerous tries and threatened mutiny from the little surfer girl, I finally got a picture.

I just had to have a picture because there is something magical and inclusive that a day like yesterday brings. There are not many people who will get out in the ocean on a day like that. Only a soul surfer will put up with that kind of discomfort to catch a wave. It’s like she became part of the tribe yesterday afternoon. I am so grateful to have been there to share it with her. As much as taking that picture aggravated her, one day she will see it and remember that afternoon at the cold beach.

And I would bet my life that she smiles and remembers that feeling. That stoke to be a part of something so special. That surfing life.

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Getting her first custom board

We spent the summer researching what kind of board to get for Mia so she could have her own board and surf consistently on it. One issue she was having was that she is so tiny, our boards were just too big for her to carry and making turns on a wave was hard for her because there was so much width for her tiny frame. Not to mention paddling. They were too wide for her to really get her arms into the water to dig in and paddle hard. She was also scared to fall on a wave because she was worried about the big boards hitting her in the face or head.

So in early September, with great anxiety, we pulled the trigger and bought her a board we thought would be the right size for her and the right shape to work well in the waves here in Texas. I say with great anxiety because we took a chance and ordered an older model board that has since been replace by new technology etc. It is a tried and true model that works well in Texas coast waves, big and small. The company talked with me about her size, and they scaled one down to her little frame and got started.

It was a long 2 months for a little girl to wait to get her first board. They had a page on their website, and she had a code that she would type in to follow the shaping process and see how far along her board was. Every day after school she logged in and checked her board.

I got the call on Halloween day from our surf shop that the board had come in. Obviously we were busy that day so I told them we would be there the next afternoon. We didn’t tell Mia as we wanted to surprise her.

The next day I told her we were going surfing after school. We do try and do that once a week or so. I pick up her best surfing buddy and we head over to the beach and hit some waves before sundown, so we told her that this was the plan that day. I also told her that I had to stop by the shop and get wax on the way in.

When we walked in, the shop had set the board up on a rack behind a display so she didn’t see it. The girls ran over and got some wax and when they came back over I said “Hey Mia come take a look at this” and she walked around the rack and got her first view of her new board. She stared at it and said “Oh my goodness, that’s mine isn’t it?!!!!” Haha!! Yes it is!!

Getting a new board is like no other feeling. The whole process is so fun and I had such a great time watching her experience it for the first time.

Fins go on! We got her some Flex Fins so if she gets hit with them they will bend and not cut her.

Then the stickers go on. She is a team rider for our local surf shop!

The girls waxed the board up and we hit the beach. See how she can carry her own board with no problem?

Checking out the waves and getting her leash ready.

And here she is surfing on it for the first time. I was worried that she would have a rough time at first because it is so narrow and small. The smaller a board is, the harder it is to ride. But as you can see, she got right up and had no problemo, even on the super small surf that day! All our worry was for nothing.

Big thanks go out to Channel Island Surfboards for making a beautiful and outstanding board for Mia. She LOVES it and it and is so stoked to surf it!!

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A big day for a little girl

Mia lives to surf these days. Its all she talks or thinks about it seems, and she is really getting good at it.

The waves in these pics were, on an adult, probably about thigh to waist high, but for her they were waist to neck high. Its all about perspective. When you are less than 4 feet and a Gidget (girl-midget), 3 foot waves are BIG.

Gidget and Goliath

It rears its mighty head,
a mammoth of the sea
And rises up before us
So wild, so fierce and free.

Fish stream across the glassy face
in harmony they flow
Aquariums of nature
A flash of silver glows

Water surges up and gathers
A steep wall with frothy crest
Eyes wide,  she turns and paddles
Strong willed to meet the test.

I smile,  she stands so quickly!
Glides down the smooth, strong wave
A tiny little surfer
So strong, so true and brave

See, it’s all about perspective
I see a wave so small
But it really is a giant
When you’re on only 4 feet tall

~ Jody

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Dawn patrol and surfing with the pro’s

What is dawn patrol? It is basically getting out of a warm bed before the sun rises, and heading to the beach to get some early waves.

For us it meant a 5 a.m. wake up and being on the way by 6.

Not everyone is a morning person.

We had to leave early, as Mia wanted a slot in the Hurley Rip My Shred Stick contest. She needed to be in line so she could be sure to get one of the limited spots.

It was so worth the early morning. Hurley did a fantastic job with the event. No charge, no booth selling anything. It was purely for the kids and those guys made a great day for everyone. The day was full of energy and fun. Mia was excited at the prospect that Rob Machado would be there. She wanted to surf with him, and he did not disappoint. He was there bright and early with his team mates and Mia spotted him right off the bat and asked for a picture.

Time for her heat!

A shot with her bros who came to cheer her on.

And then she was off to see if she could get Rob to help her in the water. She paddled over and he grabbed her board and walked her out.

She asked him if he could take her out with the big kids, so he did. He told her to be sure and bend her knees etc etc.

Here she is getting pushed into a wave by ROB MACHADO!!! You have no idea how epic this was to watch.

He pushed her into many waves and spent almost the whole heat with her. I was watching from the beach and thinking “Unreal. Rob Machado is pushing my girl into waves in the Gulf of Mexico. Once in a lifetime happening right now and I get to watch”.

I love how he is watching her in these pics. He applauded for her and cheered her on.

He took her out again and again and she had a blast with him.

She has always been a bit afraid to be out over her head in the water, but not this day. She asked him to take her way out and she did great.

They had tons of games and fun on the beach.  The kids played “corn dog” where they got themselves wet, then rolled around in the sand covering themselves head to toe in it!

They gave away lots of stuff to the kids….each one getting a bag filled with Hurley goodies.

What a great bunch of people they are. Rob Machado signed the kids Hurley hats (they got those in the bags), and was just so gracious and kind to everyone. He has a calm and gentle spirit that was inspirational. All the pros (Rob, Pat O’Connell, Noah Snyder) went out in the water with the kids and stayed out for over 4 hours, pushing them into waves and surfing with them. I can wrap it up simply by saying “Hurley ROCKS“!! The Coastal Bend thanks you guys for putting on such a great event for our kids!

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Summer of surfing


Summer has been in full swing here. I have meant to get on here and post about all the fun we have been having, but honestly, the fun got in the way. Lots of surfing has been going on, trips to the ranch to hunt arrowheads, pool, beach, movies, cooking. Its been good and we still have 6 more weeks of it to go!!

In the next few days I am going to try and play catch-up here and post some of the highlights so far. This pic is from a long, fun day of surfing. After coming in from our session, Mia and I walked down the pier to watch Billy catch some waves. There is nothing like watching him surf. Be still my heart.

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And He walks to me across the Water

2011 was the year that we stopped going to church on Sundays.

It was not something that we schemed or thought out. It just happened. Bill was working very hard over the spring, baseball was going full speed ahead and Sunday became the only day where we had an opportunity to sleep in and catch up on some serious down time.

We did not stop altogether….there were days here and there where we went to our old church, and days we went to a new one. We love our home church and the people in it. Our pastor is wonderful and it was nothing in particular that had us wandering away. When we moved here, finding that church was a blessing to us. We walked in the doors and immediately felt comfort. The kids felt safe and loved getting to know everyone. They were pretty much the only children in the congregation, so the attention they got was a God send amid the chaos of newness.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately and as I sit here typing I have to compare it to the security of the small town we moved away from. It was like slipping out of the familiarity of the womb. That nice, soft, safe environment. To this day I am still discovering what God’s intentions were in leading us away. I think that sometimes when you are enveloped in contentment, it is hard to grow in Gods love.

Although why we left is important, I am writing about the journey afterward and the revelation I have had that God was calling us all to know Him deeper. Sometimes, coming off the mountaintop is the only way to fall deeper in love with our Creator. After all, we can’t make the journey to the top if we are constantly there.

I am not sure I have anyone that I would consider a close friend here. I have met people that I enjoy, but outside of Billy and the kids, I have resisted a bond. I don’t know why. I used to be a pretty social creature. I think maybe I was afraid to get hurt. I sort of gave up on people and what their motives are. I really, really lost myself for a great number of years and I needed to collapse into myself and focus on getting to know who I am…who God made me to be from the beginning. I needed to stop concentrating on the voices from all directions telling me who, what, where and how the spirit of God is in my life. I stopped going to bible studies, although I didn’t really know why I did that at the time. I sort of just fell off the grid. I had to get to know God and my relationship with Him in MY life. Not anyone else’s.

Spiritual growth is life long. I just had a conversation with a dear friend and she said basically “I always question people who say they have the answers already and are sure of what God is all about and how we are supposed to worship Him”. I agree. There was a time I felt sure of who God was and I felt that I knew Him……until I was isolated here, went through a challenging illness last spring, and had a month of surfing in September and October that grounded me and opened my eyes. Three days stick out as nothing short of Holy.

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)

It was one of those days that you know are special from the minute your feet sink into the warm sand. You squat, waxing your board, looking out at the water and can’t believe that there is not another soul out there. The air temperature is in the 70’s, water in the 80’s. It feels sensuous on your skin as you wade out, jump on your board and paddle out to the waves.

The water is like glass. Waves are rolling in around thigh to waist high and they are peeling off toward the pier just for you. There was this one wave I caught….a nice set came in and it was bigger than the others. It as probably waist high, and it was perfect. A long ride, and peeling off behind me. I looked down and saw clear water to the sandy bottom. Fish swimming fast along with the wave. It was surreal. I paddled out again and sat, just feeling ethereal. I put the palms of my hands on the surface of the water and really felt it. Pelicans landed all around me, floating in the water like angels. It was heavenly and I felt the presence of God hovering above the water….there since the beginning of time. He came swirling around me with the light breeze. A pelican flew by me and I got goose bumps and cried out to it at the top of my lungs “Do you have any idea at all how beautiful you are?!!!”

Another day I sat in similar conditions, smaller waves. A mama dolphin and her baby swam around me. I sat up when I spotted them about 15 feet away and after they dove under, I could feel the water swirl around my feet in little, watery tornadoes…..evidence that they swam under me. They stayed close to me for a bit, then swam off to feed. I would like to imagine she was saying to her baby “The ones sitting on those long things and playing in the waves on them? They are okay. They won’t hurt you.”

The third day the waves were small and fun. What a beautiful day it was. I surfed some fun little waves and at one point I watched as a dolphin came right up to me while I was sitting on my board waiting for a wave. It spy hopped with it’s mouth open them swam by and I reached my hand out and it passed 2 inches from my fingers.

I think sometimes, euphoria is God bursting forth from us in a rush of exaltation. I just could not contain it any longer. I was slapped hard with beauty and divinity.

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you….the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (Corinthians 3: 16-17)

I personally could not imagine feeling the spirit of God like that in a brick and mortar building. We have made structures and try to define God in a tangible way because it is our human way of trying to understand and be aware of His presence. We worship together inside and sing beautiful songs of hallelujah directed heavenward. We commune and remember Christ’s sacrifice for us and it is GOOD.

But……truly, He can’t be contained inside!

“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands” (Acts 17:24)

The Lord of all the earth is all around us. Every day. We just have to hold our hand out and touch someone else who is hurting and, just like that, we are in Church. We can forgive someone for a wrong and we are worshipping. You can’t define God. Our rules of worship and rituals are beautiful, but they do not make us Holy. It is God who makes us Holy. It is the blood of Christ. I don’t know what worship is right for you. How you commune with Him is a VERY personal journey that leads through the mountains and valleys….but you can’t hear Him speaking to you until you hush the voices around you.

I want to scream His name over the roar of the ocean. I want to be bathed in the water He created and be surrounded by His creatures. Without the voices of humankind whispering what they think is discernment into my ears and drowning out the voice of God, I want to be acutely aware that he has placed his hand deep in my heart and is stirring my soul to Holiness. Once again.

I sit on my board and I sing hallelujahs that walk on water out to sea, passing over whales and dolphin….to the ears of God. I hear Him answer me in the wind that curls around the tip of a breaking wave. He whispers: “All of this is mine and I give it to you all to enjoy. No matter where you are in your journey to be one with Me, you are always Mine, forever.”


**someone asked me if I felt going to church was important. Oh my gosh, yes, I do. I grew up in the Episcopal church and I find great comfort in the traditions and service. My Catholic roots go back to Rome, Italy with my grandmother Balducci, extending back since the beginning. My mother and her family were Roman Catholics, so it doesn’t get much more Catholic than that guys. BUT!! I don’t think that going to church means you find salvation. Salvation comes from Christ’s death on the cross. Period. No strings attached. When you take Him into your heart, and truly live life with Him inside you, acts of mercy and love become natural to you. You want to walk in His steps. Faith without deeds is dead. You can’t love Christ and not try to be His hands and feet. It is a natural extension to loving Him. Loving Him and ignoring suffering is rejecting Him. You can’t have one without the other. Having said that, you cannot earn Gods Grace by doing deeds and attending church. Savvy?? Church should not be your focus. God should be. Christ should be. Christ died on the cross and that justified the grace God gives to you freely. A Catholic priest once told me “Don’t be like a dog that when I point at something, looks at my hand instead of where I am pointing.” Church is not the means. It is a place where people gather in His name and worship Him. Many broken people come to know Christ in church. But many come to know Him through talking with individuals who are His hands and feet. THAT is Christ’s Church. Not a building. Not the rituals. Christ’s church is you. It is me. Every day. It is all of us acting and moving to bring an end to suffering and pain. It is called mercy. It is empathy and patience. It is LOVE. I hope this makes sense.

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Wax on

 Water and air temperature the same. Sun bright above. A bikini. The cool breeze on your skin. A fresh bar of wax…..the tropical smell it gives off as you rub it in circles across your board.  This act, and the promise of salt water and the euphoria it brings, is why, IMHO, it’s called Sex Wax.

свети георги

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