Anthony's last 3 months

Hey guys, Anthony here. I have always thought having a blog was a little strange and self-indulgent, but as our lives get more hectic and with us living furtheraway from family and friends I figured this would be a good way to keep everyone updated with our lives. That is of course, if you care. I figured I would start my first post off with the past three months from my perspective, as it has been quite the journey. So grab a cup of coffee or a beer and enjoy.

As you all know I took a job in The Woodlands, TX with a company called Talisman Energy USA. This was a tough decision as I was moving away from my family and friends, but ultimately knew that the opportunity has great potential and could propel my career in the future and maybe one day put my back home.

Thursday April 7th I loaded up the Volvo with my clothes, bikes, and some famous for the road snacks that Amy had prepared for me. I, of course, had to see my mother before I left town. I went by and saw her at her office. We were both very sad, but knew that everything would be okay. After a few tears and long hugs I headed south and left Oklahoma in rear view. It was a time of mixed emotions for me. I was happy to start a new adventure with Amy and Maddie, but sad to leave everything I was used to. After stopping in Dallas for a late lunch, beer, and great words of wisdom with my father-in-law I made it to my temporary housing in The Woodlands, TX.

In typical Anthony fashion I had triathlon planned to fit perfectly into my moving plans. My first weekend away from home would be spent in Galveston, TX with Casey Jobe, Adam Gospodarek, and Mike Franklin doing an Ironman 70.3. This was great to do as I got to see my best bud, Casey and hang out with the guys for the weekend, oh and race. The weekend was great and the race was better. As we packed up our cars we kept it positive. Casey, Mike and I were going to be seeing each other in Hawaii in less than two months for another race and a long relaxing vacation on the Big Island, so it wasn't "goodbye" it was "see ya in Hawaii!"

Pre-race ride
Setting up Transition

I made it back to my apartment on Sunday afternoon and prepared for my first day of work at my new job. I was excited/nervous/anxious to start. The first week went great and I have really enjoyed working there so far. There are a handful of growing pains, but nothing that wasn't expected. I am working directly with a veteran Landman that is teaching me more than I could ever imagine. I leave work most days feeling like my brain is mush, but it's great.

The next few weeks flew by, we had a lot of things planned so that made it nice. Amy went on a girls weekend to Fredricksburg, I looked at potential homes to buy, we spent Easter in Dallas together, I did a smaller race in Dallas another weekend, I looked at more houses, Amy came to visit and look at the houses I had narrowed down our search to. We finally made an offer on a great house and are hoping to close soon! As you can tell we have had lots and lots of stuff going on in a small amount of time, but we made it through.

I hosted a professional triathlete from Switzerland and her mother for the week of Ironman Texas. Yeah that's right The Woodlands won a 5 year bid to host Ironman Texas. Of course, I was all about this. I learned of a good friend from OSU named Josh Vaughn that resides in Colorado was coming in town with his wife Katherine to do the race. As some of you know I have committed to doing a full Ironman distance triathlon this year (my plan has changed stay posted for more on that later), so this was right up my alley. I volunteered as a "body marker." This required being at the swim start at 4:15 am. I didn't care. It was awesome to be in that kind of atmosphere. I spent the whole day out there cheering on Josh with Katherine. It was a long, but exciting day. Josh raced really well and since he's fast (he's a beast) we were able to eat dinner after he was done and make it back to the finish around 10 p.m.

Josh finishing IMTX 2011

For those of you that don't know an Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run. The cut off time for the whole race is midnight, you have 17 hours to complete the race. Being at the finish from 10-12pm was one of the greatest things I've ever seen. Training for an Ironman requires a lot of discipline and support from friends and family. To see each person come across the finish line flooded with emotion and the loud cheers from the spectators (a couple thousand friends and family of racers) was so cool. This experience made me change my mind on doing the Redman full Ironman distance race in Oklahoma City, OK and do Ironman Texas 2012. After talking to Amy we decided that this would be a better option. So, if you care to see me push through mental, physical, and emotional stress for about 13 hours in one day come to south Texas on May 19, 2012.

May 27, 2011 AMY FINALLY MOVED TO THE WOODLANDS. This was a great day, but the only thing missing was Maddie, our dog. Since I am staying in a corporate apartment we left Maddie in Dallas with Connors. We think she has forgotten about us as Julie takes her to "doodle romps," long non-leash walks/lake swims with Cole (their black lab), and gives her yummy treats from the table when noone is looking. I digress. Amy was here for a few days then we set off for Hawaii.

Landing in Kona was great. We were greeted by Casey, Molly, and lil Jobe tucked away in Molly's little belly. They had leis for us and helped get our luggage. Casey and I headed to Kailua to hit up the bike shop so we could grab my rental bike and the ladies headed to the beach house for the real reason they came to Hawaii, the sun!

After eating a crappy lunch, accidently getting into the wrong minivan, and grabbing a cup of Kona Coffee we headed to Puako a little later than we had originally anticipated (some things never change). The next couple of days would consist of a couple light workouts, beach time, preparing for the race, and waiting on our friends Kyle Coldiron, Shannon and Michael Renes to arrive. They made it on Friday and it was very good to have them there.

Saturday June 4, 2011 Casey, Mike, Kento and I did the Honu Ironman 70.3. This was the hardest/coolest race I have ever done. Of course, Casey and Mike tore the course up and I took in the sights of the Big Island as I settled into to more of a "comfortable pain mode" and made it a goal to finish the race and not pass out because of all of the heat and hills. We might have had the best/biggest cheering crew in the whole race. Having everyone there was great and made the race that much better.

Swim start w/1600+ other people!
The finish!
Now that the race was over we can focus on the vacation part of Hawaii. The highlights of the rest of the week were; playing cards with Brad (Kent's brother) while drinking and smoking Casey's pipe, Carl and Gigit's, beach time, early morning swims, snorkeling, kayaking, The Four Season's dinner, "Tex's Malasada's", Hawaii Botanical Gardens, the going on girl's shopping trips, afternoon overindulgence of alcohol on the beach, Kona Brewing Co., hiking down to a volcano, jumping off a 40 ft. cliff into the Pacific Ocean at the southernmost point in the USA, and simply being with amazing friends and my wife.

Akaka Falls w/snow capped Mauna Kea in the background
At the Botanical Gardens
Dinner at The Four Seasons
Cliff Jumping!
Hawaii Sunset
A wave smashing the rocks
Now back to life in South Texas. Amy spent last week in Victoria, TX training for her new Home Health job and will start seeing patients in this area Tuesday. We are supposed to close on our house next Friday June 24, 2011, but we will believe it when we sign the papers. At which time we will post pictures of the house. Next week we plan to stay at Nate and Lauren King's house as they will be in Hawaii. They have been so kind to let us stay at their place while we wait to close on our house.

Thanks for reading and I promise this will be the longest post we ever make.

My first blog

After a lot of procrastination I have decided to start a blog! I have always thought that I wasn't interesting enough to blog about my life but maybe that doesn't matter. Anthony and I are in the process of moving to The Woodlands, TX and I figured this was as good of time as any.

Anthony was offered a great job with Talisman Energy and moved to The Woodlands about a month ago and I will be joining him in June after our trip to Hawaii. We sold our house in Edmond after only 12 days on the market and have a contract on a new house in the Woodlands. I already have a job in place as a home health physical therapist and will start mid-June. We are very sad to be leaving all our great friends and family in Oklahoma City but are excited about the adventure of moving to a whole new BIG city! (Who knew Houston was the 4th largest city in the US?!?!) I am looking forward to all the new restaurants, amazing grocery stores, shopping and cultural activities in Houston.

So far Anthony is LOVING his new job and has spent most weekends exploring the city, training for his 70.3 Ironman triathlon and house hunting. This week he is hosting a professional triathlete from Switzerland, who is in town for the full Ironman triathlon this weekend, at his apartment. In true Anthony style he is making friends everywhere he goes including the lap pool at the YMCA where he met Cecile, his new swimming buddy from South Africa.

I hope that this blog will let our friends and family keep up with us as we explore Houston and live as TEXANS! (I have always been a Texan at heart despite the last 10 years I spent as an Okie).