Getting Comfortable

Hi!! My name is Murph! I’m super handsome (everyone tells me so anyway) and working on getting comfortable with my Mom. She’s only had me a few days so I’m still checking her out, making sure she’s not like my old people. They weren’t very nice to me. but I think she loves me.

I still need to work on my braves but Mom took me on some field trips this week which were way fun!!

I don’t like getting in the car – don’t you know that those big machines with wheels trap you inside and have doors?!? I don’t know why Mom gets all excited about them. But she does pick me up and insist I sit down while it’s moving. The insides are very comfortable and all I want to do is look out the window….and touch/lick/kiss/nudge Mom to make sure she’s still ok driving. You never know when the car could have a mind of its own! Mostly I stick my nose in the air for all the smells and try to feel the wind from the sun roof (Mom should really open that more than just an inch…) while grinning ear to ear. I have to make sure she knows I like it so she’ll keep taking me places.

Speaking of places – I made two new friends on Tuesday – Phoebe (5 month old wiener/terrier mix) and Mickey (small white mix). Mom really needs to get me my own fenced yard because Mickey’s fenced yard is so much fun! I get to roll around and wiggle and chase Phoebe and Mickey and roll around some more. I even got to lay down inside and watch wheel of fortune with Mickey’s grandma (Mom says she’s 80+ years old). I was super gentle even though her walker thing is scary. Mom kept telling me it was ok until I started licking it. Apparently it’s not edible.

I also got my first bath. I’m not real sure how I feel about it actually. Mom said I was a great dog for just sitting still and letting her and my Aunt Jan bathe me. I definitely smell better!! Baths mean bones too. I got two for being such a good boy. It was also funny to watch Phoebe trying to jump out of the tub during her bath. I don’t know what her problem was. She was getting all the attention from both humans…

Yesterday Mom took me to the Vet. I’m ok with the vet. Lots of other dogs to greet and everyone told me how beautiful I am. I weighed in at 46.5 pounds but their scale is really scary. I tried to spread my legs as far apart as possible so I would melt into the floor and they wouldn’t be able to put me on there but it didn’t work.

Dr. Saunders is a very nice man even though he cleaned my ear and that burned a little. He quit when I whined though. Mom is supposed to put some anti-fungal ointment on it to make sure I don’t have ringworm. I don’t want worm fungus on my ears! The doc said I was perfect in every other way! I don’t even have to come in to have him mess with my neuter stitches because they will dissolve by themselves. I’m just not allowed to nibble or lick them.

The weird air-sucking sounds I make that freak me out are apparently normal. I’d say anything that makes my whole body convulse shouldn’t be normal but all the youtube video research agrees, I just reverse sneeze. Mom said she’s never had a dog that does this – I’m special! Instead of blowing snot out of my nose, I suck it in. Doc says it’s gross but normal.

I was super brave about my heartworm preventative shot! Didn’t even flinch 🙂

Because I was so brave at the vet, Mom took me to Petco afterwards. I was supposed to pick out a “toy.” I’m not sure what a “toy” is yet. Mom said that was ok because I’m going to meet some of my other cousins in Houston next week and they play with “toys” all the time and they’ll teach me. She did buy this round blue spiky thing called a “ball.” She gets excited about it but I don’t get what the big deal is. It just rolls away and stays across the room…Now I was a little bit scared when we left Petco but that’s because there were big cars and it was dark outside. Mom carried me though and I even jumped out of the car when we got home!

I gulped water before bedtime which meant I had to wake Mom up at 1am to go outside. I kept russling around and she kept telling me quietly to go to sleep but I couldn’t. I even cried a little because Mom will pay attention to me when I do that but she didn’t turn on the light so finally I barked. It was the first time I had barked and the sound startled me. I tried to back up but was in my crate and couldn’t. Mom turned on the light real quick and took me outside. She was happy I let her know I needed to go outside even though she was kinda groggy and sleepy.

Well, I’m going to go back to sleep now. Mom is watching me from the security camera to make sure I’m ok while she’s at work. I sleep most days while she’s gone. She told me she’s taking me to group doggie classes tonight but I don’t know what that is. Hopefully it involves a car ride…


Introducing Murphy

When I decided to quit my job in Kansas City and accept my current job in Baton Rouge, I would often answer the inevitable question of why I was quitting and moving across the country with a half truth – because I wanted a dog. It was only a half truth because I was truly miserable at my old job and was looking for any escape route but also because I wanted to be home enough to have relationships, including one with a dog.

I love block-headed dogs. Our family Labrador was block-headed and gorgeous. I also like unusual coloring like orange or blue or brindle. I was exposed to a wonderful lady who fosters dogs in Kansas City. You can read her blog at Our Waldo Bungie. She had an amazing pit bull named Moby who I adored. The timing wasn’t right for me and he ended up with his forever Mom – read their blog here. But I was hooked. I wanted a pit bull.

Insert new life in Baton Rouge – house, steady hours at the new job, and the pit stop rescue group. I’ve been looking at their adoptable dogs for several months now and decided to fill out the application last Friday. I was thinking this process would take a little while (read: a month or more) but it came back approved the same day! It was also good timing because they were having an adoption event on Sunday so my friend and I decided to go.

The original dog I was thinking of adopting wasn’t able to make the event which turned out to be quite alright. He is a little more high energy that what I really wanted. When we walked up, Murph was laying very still in a kennel and taking in the whole scene. He alternated raising his eyebrows are me when I would make eye contact – our old Lab used to do this and we called it the railroad crossing eyebrows because they look like the alternating blinking lights of a train crossing. We looked and played with several other dogs but I came back to Murphy.

I don’t know a lot about his past and maybe I never will but he is shy. In fact he is named after Audie Murphy, a famous WW2 army soldier because he army crawls to get around. I think I’m going to call him Murph – also after a heroic solider – this time Navy SEAL Michael Murphy. He must have had some terrible experiences on a leash in the past to be like this. He’s submissive, not aggressive and actually gets along with toddlers and other dogs quite well (both were at this event and he was giving kisses).

I was hooked.

murphy 2

We had the home visit yesterday afternoon and he is now on his 7 day sleepover with me! If all goes well (and I think it will), I will sign official adoption papers next week 🙂

murphy 3murphy

The House

Once I was thinking about transferring jobs (read March/April of this year) and that the likelihood was growing that I would be moving to Baton Rouge, I started looking online at houses for sale. Everything I loved was out of my price range and everything in my price range needed a tremendous amount of updating. After a couple of weeks of frustration, I realized that this was becoming consuming to me. All I wanted to do was look at houses that I couldn’t afford and be upset by it. When I finally prayed about it, God made it abundantly clear that I needed to look for a place to rent.

After I interviewed, I would search online for places while in Kansas City and then drive around after hours looking at neighborhoods when I was in Baton Rouge for work. Place after place would get marked off the list. I did find a couple of apartment complexes that would be ok but they were expensive and didn’t have good availability. Plus I really wanted to live in a house.

On my last trip to Baton Rouge, I found around four houses to drive by that were for rent and in my price range. This was one of my quickest trips to BR – I left KC at 8am Wednesday morning, landed in New Orleans around noon, drove to Port Allen and had meetings until 6pm then had meetings from 6am to 11:30am, drove back to the airport to catch a 3:30pm flight back to KC, landing at 10pm. Only one house that I drove by that Wednesday night was one I would want to live in so I called the listed realtor at 9:30pm and asked to tour the next morning on my way to the airport. She agreed to meet me at the house.

The house was new – 5 years old – in a gated one street subdivision. Two car garage. One story. 3 bedrooms. 2 bathrooms. Builder grade everything. Not bad to rent. I called my mom on the way to the real estate office to put in an application and she suggested I ask the realtor about running some numbers to purchase the house since it was also for sale.

By the next Monday I was pre-approved for the list price on the home and had submitted an offer on the house since the mortgage payment would be several hundred dollars cheaper per month than the rent payment. The sellers did not really want to negotiate and after several counter offers, we had agreed on the purchase price but not on the closing costs and status of who was getting the refrigerator. I was frustrated and called my mom for some advice.

This was a Wednesday morning and I was meeting her and my Dad on Friday in Boston for a fun weekend prior to speaking at an annual conference held in Boston starting the following Monday. Mom asked me what my plan B was if I wasn’t going to buy this house? I told her that God must have one but it’d be nice if He would share it with me because I didn’t know when I was going to be available to go back to Baton Rouge to look for a place to live. She started asking me about our plans for the weekend – I was supposed to be planning our activities for Boston since we were leaving in two days. Meanwhile, she’s google-ing houses for sale in the same zip code as this house.

After a few minutes, Mom asked if I had seen this house on Barrett Lane – it was 200 more square feet and $25k less than the house I was negotiating and way cuter. I hadn’t looked at any other houses for sale in the area because God had taken that from my heart months before. She told me that I should buy this house she had just found. I hung up with her and called my realtor.

I’m sure my realtor thought I was nuts but she agreed to find out more information about this house on Barrett Lane. A few hours later, she was facetiming me from the front door and taking me on a walking tour of this house. It was adorable. Terrible paint colors but adorable.

She asked if I was going to try to fly down the next day on my way to Boston for a tour. Her face fell when I told her no. She thought that I had loved it. I told her I was going to buy it without touring it in person. I think she dropped the phone at this point. First time homebuyer who isn’t going to tour the house and lives 900+ miles away.

When she called me back later to work out the numbers, she told me that there were two other offers on the house but the sellers were willing to accept my offer before making a decision the next day. Apparently the house had been under contract before but the previous seller’s financing fell thru so they had re-listed 5 days prior. This house wouldn’t have even been listed when I was searching for housing (for rent or sale)!

I came in over asking price and asked for them to leave all the appliances. They accepted my offer and by the time I was in Boston, I was calling for home insurance, set up the appraisal, and waived the home inspection (one had been conducted 30 days prior with the previous buyers which I accepted).

August was a blur – I’m sure I’ll post about it in the coming days/weeks but suffice it to say I only spent 4 days in Kansas City and two of those days were to pack the Uhaul I was driving across the country.

We had to close after my first day of work (apparently the bank wants you to be employed when they write a big check on your behalf). The sellers were less than helpful in providing me with access to the house prior to closing and in setting up when closing even was. In fact, when I started driving on Thursday August 27th, I didn’t know if I would have to live out of the Uhaul truck until Monday August 31st. But God is a good provider – the sellers moved out of the house Saturday morning and I was able to get the truck unloaded that afternoon. Grass was high, house was dirty, sellers took stuff they weren’t supposed to (the flag pole that was one of the big motivators of me buying the house in the first place) but I was in.

Closing was chaotic. I am very thankful my Mom was able to come with me. The sellers brought their twin 18 month olds would screamed and ran around the entire time. I write and execute contracts for a living so I read every line of every page in the entire process – much to the seller’s dismay. By the time we were done, I had bought a house and was ready to celebrate with a margarita!!

Here’s a glimpse of my new home. More to come.


The Interview

Kansas City was a season of God withholding what my heart desired and granting what my heart needed. It was a season of intense struggle for me but was a season of intense glory to Him when He led me out of the valley. This is the story of climbing up to the next rise to see a glimpse of His promised land.

My job had been deteriorating for a year, or maybe even two. I was traveling almost continuously to Baton Rouge Louisiana or Freeport/Houston Texas and the people I was working with and for were becoming less and less appropriate. The gore-y details don’t add enough to this story so I’m not going to share them here but by the time I left, 4 hours didn’t pass at work without someone cussing me out or telling me I wasn’t good enough (as a person, as a female, as someone who is under 30 years old, as an engineer) to be in the position I was in or getting blamed for something I didn’t do.

God provided me a new job. He orchestrated long ago, for my Dad to be in the same industry as me, and for him to have mentors and friends. Those mentors and friends caught wind of my situation and offered an interview.

The night before my interview, I was driving around Baton Rouge trying to figure out a part of town that I could see myself living in if I liked the job the next day. I was balling – tears streaming down my face – as I cried out to God that I didn’t have any friends in Baton Rouge and I have wonderful community (finally!) in Kansas City so why would I want to leave? And why don’t I quit construction all together because I didn’t believe that men in construction could be inclusive of a woman like me.

Fast forward to a breakfast meeting that lasted almost 6 hours where I struggled to comprehend that men in power in the construction industry were patiently listening to my opinion on the current state of affairs in our business. They wanted to know what I thought about how to run a project, how to leverage technology to produce faster results, how I could teach others my leadership skills, if I would be alright moving across the country for a job in a different culture, if they would be able to afford my salary to even hire me in the first place.

Lunchtime meant introducing me to another female engineer – the lead process engineer on the largest company project, also under 30 years old, and from Texas with a family full of Aggies (she’s a LSU grad but I won’t hold that against her). She and I were able to talk like we’d been friends for years. God was showing me to trust Him and He will provide me with new community.

I wanted to work for a company affiliated with CII (construction industry institute) because I hold a couple of leadership positions within this volunteer organization to help further the construction industry and didn’t want to walk away quite yet. I also felt obligated to finish the project I was currently working on at my old job regardless of how I was being treated, I was speaking at a national convention on behalf of my previous company, and one of my best friends was getting married in Jamaica in August so I needed a little time to finish everything up from Kansas City. In His generosity, God provided a slow down in the project at the new company so my timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I was able to “finish” everything prior to turning in my two weeks notice.

Months later – I look back at my time in Kansas City and I still miss my community and church family. I wish it was colder here in Baton Rouge. but my job has already afforded me tremendous opportunity both for my career and for space in my personal life. I am still excited to see what God is doing with me here.

CrossFit: October 12, 2015

It’s my birthday and I still went to CrossFIt at 5am. Definitely struggled to get out of my bed at 4:10am but I made it because I really believe that a half-ass workout is better than sleeping…

Warm-Up: 2000m row – 8:10 which is pretty dang good since I haven’t really rowed like that in over a year. it kinda makes me want to switch my individual program from weight lifting to rowing…

Skill: front squats – 10 reps x 3 sets at 65% (85#) – felt beyond heavy and ended up breaking into sets of 5 (#notmotivating)

WOD: 7min AMRAP of 12-15-9 chest to bar pull-ups (I did ring rows) and hand stand push-ups (I did 15# DB strict presses) – finished 72 reps which means I didn’t make it all the way thru the first round. apparently I need to do strict presses with dumb bells waaayy more often since those were a quick shoulder burn out.

CrossFit: September 30, 2015

Workout of the Day



10 pull-ups
15 kettlebell swings (53/35)
20 box jumps (24/20)
Canadian 1st Class Constable Jennifer Kovach of Guelph, Canada, died March 14, 2013, when her squad car was involved in a motor-vehicle accident while she was responding to a call for service. The 26-year-old fulfilled her dream of becoming a police officer serving her community and the Guelph Police Service for four years before her death. Kovach is survived by her mother, Gloria; father, Bill; brother, Brian; grandparents, Chester and Elvira Janicki; boyfriend, Kyle Schlosser; and many other friends and family.

I got thru 6 rounds Rx except for the pull-ups. I did ring rows. One of these days I’m going to be strong enough to do pull-ups #crossfitgoals

CrossFit: September 29, 2015

Day late…

Skill: Shoulder press with 10 @ 50#, 10 @ 55#, and 10 @ 60# – the last set ended up being a combo with push press since they got heavy fast!


10 Minute AMRAP
15 Wall Balls (20/14)
30 Double Unders

I got thru 6 rounds RX on the wall balls but working on the DU’s. I had them before I moved but new rope and it’s been awhile, I couldn’t get the rhythm yesterday. Definitely need to buy a new rope…

CrossFit: September 28, 2015

Back to this – my box in KC switched to Wodify which kept up with all my workout and strength information (amazing!) but now that I moved to Baton Rouge, my new box does not. So this is my whiteboard:

Strength: Front Squat

10 @ 60% – 55#

10 @ 65% – 60#

10 @ 70% – 65#


3 rounds of 9 bar burpees, 7 hang cleans (55#), 5 shoulder to overhead (55# push jerk) with 2 min rest between rounds – 7:05! The prescribed weight for women was 105 but was supposed to feel comfortable and quick so I dropped it significantly. I’m also trying to listen to my body (shoulder) more since I don’t have a chiropractor set up here yet