Christmas in Lubbock...

This year (like the previous 2 years) we went to Lubbock to spend part of Christmas with Ryan's family before heading to NM to see my parents and brother. We have been SO blessed this year, and we have so many things to be thankful for: our health, my wonderful job, Ryan's acceptance into UT, a generous academic scholarship, selling our home in Lubbock the DAY before we moved, our parents who have been so incredibly supportive of us, our pugs, our brothers, the rest of our family, our special friends and so many other things. Christmas is the time for giving, and thankfully we were able to give much more this year- and boy was it fun! It truly is much more fun and rewarding to give than receive. But wow, did we receive some gifts this year! Ryan's family goes ALL OUT and it was a blast! Enjoy a few photos of the Wilcoxen, Johnson, Pena, and Collier (newly married) Christmas 2008~


ooooh Ben!

Ben is doing so well. He has left Lubbock, and is staying in Roswell with my parents as he heals. He has a walker and will probably continue with the walker until February or so. He had 35 staples which were removed by our dad last night. Thank you all so much for the kind words of encouragement and prayers- my family is very grateful. We are so thankful for Ben's progress thus far. I can't wait to see my family at Christmas... I'm so thankful for them.
On a lighter, funnier side... check out Ben's staples! He posted this picture on his Facebook, so I figured I could post it on my blog as well. My dad titled the email as, "Ben's Butt".


Turkey, I mean Chicken time!

Since UT was playing A&M here in Austin, Ryan wanted to stay for the game. It was the Johnson familys turn for Thanksgiving, and we were very excited that Ryan's brother, parents and grandmother came for the feast! We had such a great time and I was so thankful that they came- especially Grandmommy! It was rough not being with my parents and not being able to cook them a meal, but Dad insisted that it was no biggie. I'll make it up to him @ Christmas when we go to Alto. So, about that "Turkey, I mean Chicken time" thing... well, since Ryan's mom hasn't cooked a turkey (she is totally a Great cook- I guess she just never learned how to do a turkey...) a nice lady from Cisco (Where Ryan's parents are from) made great chicken with dressing and gravy and homemade (I think it's disgusting any way it's done- so I didn't look @ it) cranberry sauce. We made all the other sides and stuffed ourselves throughout day. It was a great time! I'd post a picture--- but I am forgetting to break out the camera these days. Whoops!


Last Sunday (Nov. 30th), Ben was snowboarding with friends at Wolfe Creek in Colorado. He was doing some sort of jump, and went off an edge. He landed directly on a lightly snow covered log and broke his acetabulum. The acetabulum is the socket in the hip bone that receive the head of the thigh bone. Ben was airlifted from Wolfe Creek to Lubbock, TX (where he lives). We are extremely thankful that this accident was not any worse than it already was. He could have easily been killed. I was talking with my Aunt Linda, who has been at his side from day one, and she was saying, "ya know, God isn't done with Ben." I reminded her that he has been hit by a car TWICE while on a bicycle. Once when he was 7 and once when he was 14. Ben had surgery Tuesday morning in Lubbock. The surgery lasted about 6-7 hours, and he has been given 7 units of blood (it's typical that a patient can loose a lot of blood during this surgery). Another time, God was in control. The doctor said his break looked like he feel off the top of a building or was in a terrible car accident- and that's scary to hear. He is up and moving around. He cannot put any weight on his hurt leg for 3 months. It's going to be a slow, painful healing process. But if anyone can do it- Ben sure can. He's a tough one. Dad has been able to break away from Roswell twice this week to go see him. Unfortunately, with me being 6 hours away now, it's difficult that I can't just jump in the car and be at his side. I am so thankful Aunt Linda is there with him. I also have a sweet friend that's in medical school and is located at UMC- where Ben is, so she is able to stop by daily. Ben also has a great friend , Ryan, that was with him during the accident and is still with him. We haven't really heard when he will be able to go home... it will probably be several more days at least. We appreciate everyone sweet comments and prayers. I am so thankful to have a brother, especially him.


Wedding in Wimberly, TX

These pictures were taken at the wedding of Ryan's cousin Melissa in Wimberly @ Old Glory Ranch, October 11th 2008.


Ryan's bringing home the bacon..... Sara fries it in the pan!

My sweet UT student with his Leon Maner scholarship check!!! Way to go Ryan! No student loans for us!!!


Yearbook pics!

So, my best friend Jamie turned me onto this HILARIOUS website called yearbookyourself.com.
You find a picture of yourself, upload it to this site and let the fun begin. It shows what you would look like from 1950 all the way to 2000. Check out how hot we are...

Ryan 1976!

Sara 1952


it's a pug life!

Let it be GREEN...

Check out the pugs new hi-tech fieldturf! It was leftover from a workout facility... so Ryan took it and thought he'd see if it would fit and it was perfect! Hilarious! Instant GREEN! No water needed!

To really appreciate it... you HAVE to be reminded of what the pugs were dealing with before... what parent wouldn't want the best for their children?


This is just outside the door to the pugs "yard"

Looking back @ the house/side door.

We don't think the pugs can remember their backyard in Luboock, and that's good thing... b/c Lola already has issues! he he he.

There's Sydney enjoying her little yard! Our house is on the left and the garage apartment thing is in the back.



our little home in Austin...

Moving to Austin!!!

As most of you already know... Ryan got into graduate school @ UT Austin. He will be studying Clinical Exercise Physiology (a two year program). I was blessed to be able to transfer within the bank that I've been working @ for two years and have a wonderful job working as a Lending Assistant to two great loan officers. Ryan received an extremely generous gift (a scholarship out of Cisco) that will pay for his entire education @ UT. We are blessed beyond words. All of the pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place @ the right times. We sold our home in Lubbock THE DAY before we moved (July 29th & 30th) and closed on it August 13th. We couldn't have done any of this without our family, friends and the Savior. It's not easy being so far from family, but the fact that everything else has been taken care of makes the road a little smoother.

Now the fun begins...

Ryan enjoyed driving the 26foot U-Haul! If you can imagine how BIG this thing is... we FILLED IT UP... plus our cars! Good thing we got Pugs and not Labs or Boxers, b/c they wouldn't have fit!

On the first leg of our trip, we left Lubbock Tuesday, July 29th and stayed the night @ Ryan's parents home in Cisco... then left bright & early for Austin on July 30th.

Our little 1955 (rental) home in Austin! Only 5-10 minutes from UT and my bank... can't get much better than that!

Our living room as you enter the front door. That doorway on the left is Ryan's office. We think it was a porch @ one time... but now is cedar lined and a great place for an office w/o taking up a bedroom!

Another view of the living room. The red room in the backgroud is the dining room.

Looking @ the front door.

Looking from the living room through the dining room and into the kitchen.

Our stuff looks great with the red walls. All walls were painted by the owner.

Back to Ryan's office... @ the time of this picture it was a work in progress, however it is 90% finished now... so I will post some pics later.

Ryan's office again.

The pugs got to have a place too....

The pug bed! And they wanted to show you their basket of toys!

Our vintage kitchen-- yet with new appliances which is always a plus! Cooking on a gas stove is interesting... I think I am liking it though! Instant heat! However, I sure do miss my amazing kitchen in Lubbock terribly.

That door on the right leads to a "hallway" laundry room then the garage and the "backyard" on the right.... notice the lack of cabinets- and if you saw my house in Lubbock, this REALLY is a lack of cabinet space!

The back side of the kitchen... I had to buy the white bookshelf @ Ikea and use baskets for my pantry.

My little washroom & that door in the back goes to the one-car garage which smells like an old leaky basement. Blah.

Poor pugs... they went from a great backyard to this... haha. Actually there is a house built directly behind us- so we don't have a backyard, so we made due with what we had and Ryan bought a white picket fence on a roll that's only 2 feet tall, so the pugs have a little dog run. Since I took this picture we have expanded the pug yard... more pics to come later!

The hall bath that we use daily. Super cute with white subway and blue glass tiles and blue paint.

Ryan's favorite area... the toliet.

For Christmas last year, I had a lady do a pencil sketch of the pugs for Ryan... we hang it proudly... in the bathroom! haha...

Our bedroom... surprisingly, our KING sized bed fits here as well as our dressers and nightstands!

Pug corner.

Guest bedroom.

Guest bath that is attached... super cute.

Love the blue walls...

LOVE this corner sink... one of a kind!

Finally..... this is where I work everyday! I am going on my second year with PlainsCapital Bank (yes, it's written like that, I didn't forget the space) and we are so thankful for my job and how everything has fallen into place. I am a Lending Assistant for two loan officers. I work in Downtown Austin literally ONE block from the State Capitol Building! The building that I work in is called the Capitol Building & I work on the 6th floor. I park in the attached parking garage, so I don't have to walk through wind or rain storms anymore! I walk to lunch almost everyday with co-workers to restaurants on Congress Avenue (where the bank and Capitol are located)... it's pretty awesome... such a huge difference from ole' Lubbock, Texas---- but I sure do miss that place and the people in it. Austin is a melting pot for so many different kinds of people. It's a great place!

As you walk out of my building above and turn right... BAM! There's the Capitol! On Monday of this week, I actually went to the Capitol & ate lunch w/ a co-worker! They have a cafeteria in the basement. Such a neat place! Welcome to Austin!!!