Shooter and Kellen

big jumpSung to the tune of We are We are youth of a nation– We are We aaaaare Stacia and Katelyn! Yes, our friendship has a theme song. Shooter came to visit last weekend, and it. was. wonderful.shooter and kellen 3On arriving to pick Stacia up from the DFW airport, I was quite possibly in the worst mood of my adult life. I’d sent Walker this text, “When I get home I am buying a new GPS. And I’m throwing this one out the window while driving on a highway. I will then search for its landing spot. Find it. Run over it, back up and run over it again. All while screaming, ‘How do you like that GPS? How do you like that?'”jump 2jump1jump 3As she got in my car and I declared my mood of epic proportions, she quickly said, “That’s ok. We can sit in silence.” Of course, I knew we wouldn’t, but knowing we really could sit in non-awkward silence after having not seen each other in months, man, that’s friendship. Soon enough my frustration turned into giggles and we merrily made our trek and kellen 2zombieStacia has got to be the most laid-back person I know. We spent our weekend eating too much, like a gross amount, followed by less showering and more napping/t.v. watching. Unashamedly. We always tell people to stay with us if  looking for a weekend of relaxation.  She got Walker way too invested in The Walking Dead, and we had fun doing even the silliest things. There was time for a little party, a soccer game with Opal, a town tour and a stop by the local coffee shop for 3 non-coffee drinkers.cuddleWith Shooter, you don’t always have to be doing something. You just have to be. She’ll keep you entertained, create laughter from the goofiest things and put you at ease with some random tidbit of information. She’ll even explain things about accounting that go way over your head, but say it’s confusing to her, too, just to make you feel somewhat less inferior. Deloitte forever! And she’s my moneymaker who will pay for Opal’s knee surgery if necessary. So, thanks for befriending me in 5th grade and for always making me feel special. You are very special to me. To us. Come back soon, please! But sorry, you still can’t be on my zombie fighting team. It’s for the elite only. feetStacia will be 95 and still wearing her Rainbows.


Juice me! But not in the steroid kind of way…

Being a real life juicer for 4 days has its highs and lows, PSYCHE, it only has lows. I’m sure if we went longer it would gradually get easier, but this was most definitely four days of stomach growls and shaky legs.

First I’d like to thank the bi-products of juicing like this one for keeping us going!pineapple headOn the first day there was pretty much no reason to go on living. I’m sure the devil himself invented juice cleanses, and if that’s true, salvation came in the form of adult gummy vitamins. We savored every bite and chew. They were our source of joy. We learned the social media rumor is true—every one loves to post what they’re eating. But that was nothing compared to our 3-hour torture chamber on Monday night as we headed up a fundraiser that had us sitting outside of Five Guys Burgers.

Oh what? You heard it’s teacher appreciation week? What idiot detoxes when your workplace has a different food event set up each day? Monday: candy, Tuesday: cookie bar, Wednesday-crawfish boil, Thursday-ice-cream truck…and on Friday, the day I could partake, I was out of town for the hot breakfast.

By the following day I was convinced my ribs were showing through my skin. I went home that afternoon hoping I had lost 5 pounds. I figured since I’m not doing this for weight loss in any way, if I had lost too much weight I would have to eat something. You know, for my own health. I was devastated to learn I was only down 1 pound, not enough for my stubborn self to justify solid cream truckThe final days had us dreaming about eating dinner the next night. I imagined us in a food-eating competition dunking cheeseburgers into water to increase our food intake per second.

Juicing took a lot of stress off of what to make for dinner, but surprisingly required more preparation and just as many dishes. While making our ‘meals’ we talked about weird things like if our septic tank backs up and poop comes out of our sinks, we are moving immediately. And we learned new things about each other such as when Walker informed me he wanted to see what a carrot tasted like. Yes, he tried his first raw carrot at 28 years of age.  Had I known, this would have been remedied 4 years ago. This was right before I caught him squeezing lemon juice into his mouth like a crack addict.

I hate to admit it, but I think it did get easier as time passed. When I felt full after my juice lunch Wednesday, part of me was relieved but part of me wanted to stay hangry.

Point of story—we are big babies, but babies with teeth who like to chew. I’m proud of us for sticking to what we said we would do but were overjoyed to dine with friends on Thursday night.

OH, and that first taste of raw carrot? He spit it out.

We took our recipes from here and here and liked/loved most of them!

Kale, Ginger, Celery, Oh My!


God help everyone who comes into contact with the McWilliams this week.

Take a look at our breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next four days. In an effort to detox our bodies and start anew with a healthy lifestyle, we are embarking on a 4 day juice cleanse.

We expect nothing less than growling stomachs, some headaches, lots of gas and marital squabbles due to being hangry (hunger anger) followed by a renewed dedication to eating right and exercising. And if you think we’re dumb, you might want to wait until next week to tell us.

And you better believe, if all I’m eating is juice, I’m going to dress it up as pretty as possible. So, as Walker just declared, we are real live juicers!

mason jar juice


I think I ate my last pomegranate of the season this week (considering I picked the best available and asked the cashier if I could return it if I found it to be rotten)!

i  L.O.V.E. pomegranates

I think, while I crave the taste, I mainly love poms for the way they make me feel even if just for a few bites of my day. For me, they trigger memories of runs in Retiro, racing to catch the closing metro doors, passing by pastry shops and repeating museums. They remind me of laughing with Brad, shopping with two special girls and worshipping with nations near and far. I can smell the baking bread. I can hear the lovely language. I can touch the ancient architecture.

I enjoyed my first fresh pomegranate in a country I think about every day. I plan secret adventures in my head of revealing my favorite places to Walker. Each day a new image of reunions with friends and prancing through undiscovered streets.

When I eat a pomegranate, I am back in this land for a few moments. I cross the sea and return to summers of adventure and freedom and photographs.

i miss you, S.P.A.I.N.

San Antonio

We’ve been taking these past few days to recuperate from our weekend getaway to San Antonio! One of us (cough cough, me…no really, i’m coughing with every click of the keyboard) went on our anniversary trip and came down with the flu/bad cold/something gross. Thanks to our beloved friends Dayquil and Nyquil, a sore throat and runny nose couldn’t keep us down! Although it did almost keep someone down. I would like to apologize to the man riding a motorized wheelchair that I almost ran over while riding our rented bikes in a Nyquil-induced coma. Ding, ding! Girl with the flu coming through!

We enjoyed biking through downtown, strolling the Riverwalk, visiting sketchy parks at night trying to sneak a peak at old missions, encountering history and culture, spotting mariachis at every turn, hearing lots of Spanish, eating eating eating, and most importantly visiting the Alamo! Walker may or may not have gotten a little choked up. He also made the decision that if he was a duck, he would want to live on the Riverwalk.

We weren’t sure if we’d be able to go to San Antonio like we’d planned, but thanks to an extra job that came up and the generous gifts of some church members and parents, we thrived on four days of adventure and quality time! We even got to put on some fancy clothes and eat at a fancy schmancy restaurant! To echo this post, what gracious and supportive people we have in our lives! Thank you!


Caaaaake! We’ve been waiting to eat our cake for a year, because it was just that good the night of. Although we were expecting lemon and were slightly disappointed to discover German chocolate, it was still that good! Besides that, we had a pretty laid back celebration tonight consisting of a favorite meal, an exchange of gifts, bow ties and denim, and our favorite bully.

And oh yeah, I put on my dress. It’s just the way I remember it–barbecue stain and all–but I can’t say I felt as pretty in it with my rain boots on. If we’ve discovered one thing, it’s that the rain loves us. Rained on our wedding day. Rained on our anniversary trip. Rained today. Rain on, mother nature!

We received so many texts, calls and cards today, and we are so appreciative. What thoughtful people we have in our lives! Thanks for remembering us!

Ps. One night while in San Antonio we decided to make a list of things we learned about each other during our first year of living together. We sat by the rooftop pool under the romantic moonlight (just kidding, there were about 20 kids splish splashing while another kid pulled the emergency alarm) and laughed about this list. Enjoy down below…


1. SHE is a minimalist when it comes to paper towels. 2. SHE really loves Opal. 3. SHE thinks there is difference between cleaning and straightening up. 4. SHE has a different idea of what it means to be healthy than he does. 5. SHE is a recently a fan of denim. 6. SHE loves morning talk. 7. SHE can produce smells worse than mine.

Bonus: SHE is against the idea of midnight snacks. What?!KATELYN LEARNED THESE THINGS ABOUT WALKER:

1. HE will milk being sick for all it’s worth. 2. HE believes in using four paper towels every time he washes his hands. 3. HE can always justify spending money. 4. HE thinks all of his jokes are funny. She thinks some are severely offensive. 5. HE loves night time pillow talk. 6. HE douses himself in Axe body spray after he showers. Yes, for real. 7. HE has the realization that we are best friends on a near daily basis.

Bonus: When HE enters the bathroom to do some serious business, you will most definitely hear Journey playing from his phone every. single. time! 

sushi & rain boots

Since we are about to spend the next 48 hours with youth at water parks, we decided we deserved a date night. Plus it gave me a great excuse to wear my new Paizlee shirt!

Little did we know Lufkin was about to receive torrential rains. I promise I saw animals marching two by two and asking directions to the ark. Walker was so hungry he resorted to eating raisins, but we patiently waited until the rain eased up just enough as to not tear our umbrella in half.

We dropped our baby girl off at her home for the weekend (I really miss her) and finally made our way to restaurant row only to find dark windows from power outages. Terrified that Saki might be closed, we rejoiced as we saw the ‘open’ sign shining bright as the Vegas strip.

Good food. Good company. Great rain boots.


Blueberry Festival

Dear East Texas,

You have really delivered lately. First, the Blue Hole and now the Blueberry Festival!

Walker and I woke up early Saturday morning and headed to the oldest town in TX to celebrate a fruit that neither of us consider a favorite, but I think we both have a newfound fondness. We waited in a 45 min line for blueberry pancakes, which I now believe to be the best I’ve ever had! Street vendors lined the downtown square selling everything from homemade ice cream to homemade wooden guns.

Dogs paraded their way down the street to their costume contest in the nearby park. When you see a bulldog in a tutu, a tiny dog in a tiny sombrero, and a 2-week-old baby goat, you just know you are in the right place.

We left with 4 pints of blueberries, a little less money and a little more appreciation for the deep east.

See you next year, The McWilliams

Katelyn tries recipes. What?

Never did I think I would post anything like this on our blog. I’m not a cook. Never have been and certainly am not currently. One day, maybe. Recently I tried three recipes that I was attracted to for one reason…they required no more than two steps each. Now that’s what I’m talking about. I just thought I would share in case some of our friends and fam are anything like me and appreciate an easy recipe. The best part is that each of these is healthy! Walker LOVED all three, which made me love these even more.

This one is incredible! Cookie dough balls! They taste like cookie dough, and for two nut-haters, this almond and walnut based snack is delicious! Such a healthy treat. Find photo and recipe here.

Number 2: Dried strawberries. Cut strawberries into fourths and lay on baking sheet. (Make sure inside of strawberry is facing up.) Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and bake at 210 degrees F for 3 hours. I made these for a 2nd time this week and asked Walker to take them out of the oven while I was at work. I came home and 75% of the strawberries had already been eaten. Photo here.

Finally, sour grapes. The blogger said they taste like Sour Patch Kids. While I have to disagree in that they are nowhere near that sour, they are delicious! Wash your grapes and de-stem. Do not dry them. Put in gallon plastic baggie and pour in lime Jello powder. Mix, shake and dance. Refrigerate for a few hours and eat. They did seem to get more sour overnight. Walker liked to pretend he was a Greek God eating grapes on the couch. Yes, he literally ate them like he was royalty.

China and Korea in the Same Week!

I’m currently home in Tucson for a few days. I came home to go on a mission trip to Douglas, AZ near the Mexican border with people from all over the Western U.S. But I’ll write an entire post on that later! Upon our return to Tucson, we had two guests stay at our house…one from McAllen and one from Boise (originally S. Korea). To show her appreciation, Okhee cooked us an authentic Korean meal Saturday night! Maybe, just maybe, it was quite a bit better than my endeavor with American-Chinese food.

Okhee Chang! She owned a restaurant for 11 years.



Good dinner with good friends (Diane, from McAllen on left) and family.

The meal was incredible! We wrapped the meat in pieces of lettuce, reminiscent of PF Chang’s lettuce wraps, except way better. I’m going to attempt to make this sometime in Lufkin, just in effort to get Walker to eat lettuce. We missed you at the table! And I especially missed you when I had to windex the table instead of you. Well, I’m off to eat pounds of leftovers! Here’s to international cooking endeavors!