A decade of music

Made it through my concert week! I still can’t believe I’ve been teaching music for 10 years; I find that pretty crazy because it hasn’t felt like 10 years since I graduated college.



But my favorite part about being a music teacher is putting on programs. My students didn’t disappoint- but don’t get me wrong, we work hard to put these programs together because I like to be proud of the work that represents me. They always pull through & I’m always so proud of them!


We also got to honor my mom for being an amazing volunteer in helping me with our ukulele club. It was very special.

Memorial Day weekend was a good one; went on a couple of dates with my hubby & spent some pool time with my mom.


I also got to see the new Aladdin & I absolutely LOVED it! Definitely recommend it!


Only 2 more school days until summer break! I’ve already pretty much filled up my June calendar, but I like to keep busy!




Spring updates

Hello! It’s been about 5 months since I’ve updated here & I really mean it when I say I’m going to try to consistently update this summer. But I’ll try to do some catching up here real quick.

So the spring semester has flown by (as it usually does) and we’re on the countdown of 2 weeks until summer break!


I’ve had a few concerts with my kiddoes & this Thursday will be my final Spring concert with my ukulele club & choir. We’re singing and playing a few of my favorites including, “Brown-Eyed Girl”, “Livin’ On A Prayer”, and “Your Song”. It’s one of my favorite spring programs & I know the kids love it too.





In April we traveled to The Woodlands to watch our friend Bob complete his first Ironman. It was a blast & he did amazing!

Git m inspired to sign up for a tri, so I did; the Harlingen Tri in July. I did it last summer & enjoyed it (as much as one could in that heat). So now I’ve been getting myself to the pool twice a week for the past two weeks. It hasn’t been easy but I’ve been motivated to keep going so that it gets easier the more consistent I am.


I did get out on my my bike for a short ride, but I need to plan more rides in the next month. I’m happy to at least get out on the road once a week.

This past weekend the coaches of OTF took on the Dri Tri challenge as part of our ALS Fundraiser “Torture the Trainer”. I had done the full distance Dri Tri in March 2018 & let me tell you it was TOUGH- 2000m row, 300 body weight exercises, & 5k run on the treadmill. When I completed it I was a bit overwhelmed & had a pretty hard time because I put a lot of pressure on myself to try to place. This time, my strategy was to go comfortable & steady; just take my own time & my own pace & not focus on anyone around me. That’s exactly what I did & I felt GREAT when I was finished. Plus, I finished only like 10 seconds after the last two guy coaches (not bad)!


Celebrated afterwards with some live music & doggies.

This week my main focus is my concert & after that it’s pretty much smooth sailing until the last day of school! Summer, I see you!


A little Re-Vamp & Re-Brand

Oh blog…how I’ve missed you so….


It’s been almost 4 months since I last posted and I miss it! Life happens, things get hectic, but the whole reason I started this blog was to use it as a “diary” to document my goings-ons in life!

Originally I started “triwithjoy” to document my triathlon training, race reports, and life in between. I had a good 4-5 year run with triathlon and it was great. Now, don’t misunderstand, I haven’t hung my triathlon hat completely, and my fitness journey never stopped. I just have been training differently, and have no major triathlons on my race schedule this year (so far).

If you know me, you know that Orangetheory Fitness has been my main training/exercise program for the past year. My husband and I have been blessed with the opportunity to open 2 OTF studios and they have both been very successful (praise God)!


I started my training to become a certified OTF coach late last spring and began coaching 2 classes a week this past summer. Recently, I have added 2 more classes to my coaching schedule and have thoroughly enjoyed sharing my love for fitness with our members.


It may sound cliche, but we truly are a family at our studios; both with staff and members. It’s been amazing!


As far as “race schedules” go, I had high hopes to sign up for Ironman Texas 70.3 in Galveston. I was all pumped and fired up to start HIM training again, but it turns out the race won’t fit in with my life schedule. I still will try to get to the pool 2 times a week, and REALLY MISS riding my bike outdoors. However, I am going to participate in the Harlingen Half Marathon on February 10, and just began training for that race (one “long run” a week along with 5 OTF classes a week).

As you can see, I changed my Tagline and Blog title to “Beauty & Joy”. I thought that I might “re-brand” this blog to be more broad; a lifestyle blog if you will. I’d like to include fashion, beauty, fitness, and inspiration on this blog. And I do promise to update more consistently!



Back in the swing

Hello September! We’re three weeks back into the school year, and let me tell you, it was rough going back. I don’t even know why, but I was on the struggle bus the first week back with the students. I was absolutely exhausted every night when I would get home. But thankfully, that has passed & now I feel back in the swing of things.

Closed off summer with the Tri Girl Sprint in Harlingen, and my first bike crash! Thankfully, it wasn’t serious, but I did scrape my arm up pretty bad. The roads were wet from rain and even though I really slowed down I still wiped out at the turn around. It held me back a bit because my chain dropped & I was a bit shaken up, but I still came through with an AG 1st place, so no complaints.




The last weekend before heading back to work Cristina & I attended the Younique convention, which was a blast. We learned a lot, met some wonderful people and got new makeup! Win-win-win!



Recently I was asked if I’d like to do a photo shoot for a photographer who is trying to branch out into more fashion-style shoots. Sounded like fun, so I agreed. She was really sweet and I LOVE how the pics came out; I’ll be working with her again for sure m.facebook.com/isscelav




My babies are doing well (doggies) and Blakey has made himself at home. He’s a sweetie who doesn’t realize how big he is, haha.


Just landed in Colorado Springs for the Orangetheory convention. Excited to explore! That’ll be my next blog post 😊.

So long sweet summer…

Why does summer ALWAYS fly by so quickly?! It’s been a good one, though, filled with sunny days, time with friends and family, and a wonderful trip we called “Friendcation”. I have officially one more week of summer break before heading back to campus, and I’m going to make the most of it!

We tri’d at the Harlingen Triathlon Festival in mid-July and took “sweeps” (meaning: everyone in my crew placed!) it was HOT but a lot of fun!


A week after that we took our “Friendcation” which was one of my most favorite trips to date! We started off with one night in San Antonio where we went to lunch at the Pearl Brewery, Top Golf (my first time), then a night out on the Riverwalk.



Next morning, we drove into Gruene and went tubing (such a blast) and then had lunch at The Gristmill (my fave) where we got to meet up with Lexie, Kash, and Korben <3. I was so happy to get to see them.








That afternoon we checked into this AMAZING house we rented (totally felt like I was on The Real World when we got there) and we hung out at the house that night. The guys grilled and we started up a game of beer pong (I have definitely lost my skills since college). Overall, a chill but very fun night.

Next morning we all got our workouts in; some went bike riding, some went to Orangetheory, and some went on a very hilly run.

After that we all met back up, cleaned up, then headed to Gruene shopping area for lunch at Mozie’s and some shopping. Turns out it was like 107 degrees out so we didn’t last too long!



Back to the house to rest, clean up, and get ready for the Roger Creager concert that night. We caught the beautiful sunset off our balcony and had to take a photo op!



Went to the concert in Gruene Hall and had a blast! Such a fun way to wrap up an amazing trip.

The weekend after was my BIRTHDAY! It was a wonderful day that started off with me COACHING my Orangetheory class. Yup, I’m finally an official OTF coach!

The theme that day was “Slogan tees” so it was fun to see what everyone showed up in.



Afterwards I headed out to the beach with Gracie and her son Adrian and we went paddleboarding and floated around on a huge unicorn float.


Finally, finished off the day with dinner at Dodici’s Pizza & Wine with all my loved ones. Definitely a birthday to remember.


Tomorrow is the Tri Girl Sprint in Harlingen. I’ve always enjoyed it and am looking forward to having some fun out there. Hopefully we won’t melt! Next week Cris and I go on an exciting trip to SA for a convention we’ve been looking forward to since January (stay tuned for that).




Summer 2018 Kickoff

Sweet summertime…my favorite time of the year! Wanted to take the time to update on the goings-ons within the past month.

Finished off my 9th year of teaching with our choir musical and 5th grade talent show.



Then Mike & I flew out to Boulder, CO to watch the Ironman with our Big Sexy Racing team. It was a blast, just as I expected it would be.


I do have to say, there are so many amazing people who participate in this sport! Got to meet new friends along with two pro triathletes Rachel Joyce and a Craig “Crowie” Alexander!





I also loved spending time with Chris & Erika McDonald and their adorable kiddoes…


After the Boulder trip I hopped right into swim lessons, which I’ve enjoyed teaching for the past 14 years (I can’t believe it’s been that long?!!).


I’ve also been living up the freedom of summer break spending time with my girlfriends hanging at the pool and the beach of course!






Also have been trying to get back into triathlon training. I have signed up for 2 sprint tri’s this summer, the first being the Harlingen Triathlon Festival in mid July, the second Tri Girl Sprint also in Harlingen in August.



In other exciting news, I’m SUPER close to being an official Orangetheory coach! I’ve been practicing shadowing and coaching small blocks, and Mike has also let me coach a couple of entire classes myself (with his supervision, of course). It’s a bit overwhelming but I know that with more practice it’ll get easier.



The dogs have been good too! Blake has literally grown like a horse and he’s learning to get along with his brothers and sisters.



So there’s some updates for now! Looking forward to the 4th of July next week (one of my fav holidays). Will prob try to make my way out to the beach that week and of course enjoy some delicious grilled goods. Anybody doing anything special for the fourth?



Spa Girl Tri 2018

Last weekend my mom and I participated in the Spa Girl Tri in San Antonio. This was my second time participating in this race (I first did it back in 2013), and my mom’s first time. It was held at the beautiful JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. I was excited that we were actually staying at the resort, so we would be able to fully enjoy it.

hill country spa

We made the 4.5 hour drive up to San Antonio and got all checked in. The race check in actually had a very nice expo, and my mom and I got matching Pura Vida bracelets. We got all our swag, which included a t-shirt, lunch box, and stemless wine glass. Not to mention we got a peek at the GORGEOUS medal!


spa girl 1

Once we had dropped our bikes off we made our way up to the hotel room and wasted no time changing into our swimsuits to go enjoy the pool for a little while. It was a gorgeous late afternoon and we just took in the beautiful resort as we laid out by the pool with our drinks.

That evening we had dinner at a sports bar-type restaurant at the resort, then turned in for an early wake up call.


Since we were staying at the resort and our bikes were already racked, we really didn’t have to get up at such an ungodly hour. I think we were down at transition about 6:00am.

spa girl morning

Got all the gear set up, then headed to our start meeting point. We were herded together by our approximate 100m swim times. I had picked the same as my mom because we were going to try our best to swim together, but with the 100’s of ladies participating, we weren’t sure if it would work out. I figured I’d have her start before me and then I’d come up and swim beside her as much of the way as I could.

spa girl start

Once we started lining up and walking to the lazy river, we seemed to be moving pretty quickly. Whereas, 5 years ago I remember waiting almost an hour in line before I got in for the swim!


The swim portion was “supposed” to be 400m, but I honestly think it was at least 150 short. Which was fine by me! The current was going so strong because of all of the swimmers before I got in, that I really didn’t even need to kick at all, I pretty much just rode the wave! It was fun! I wasn’t able to stay right with my mom because of swimmer traffic, so I figured I’d just wait for her when I got out. She did awesome! So proud of her!


Transition was so far away from the swim, and we walked the whole way with my dad next to us. Once I got into transition, I enjoyed taking my time getting my bike gear on. This race was so laid back and chill; there was no sense of rushing and urgency because it was just a race to complete.

The bike was actually a little hilly and also a little congested with all the participants, but I made it through okay. When I got clear road, I took advantage of riding as fast as I could; it felt so great! I miss riding my bike!

spa girl bike

Before I knew it, I was done and headed back into transition.


spa girl run

The run was a 2 mile out-and-back and I was interested to see how I’d do since I’ve only been running at Orangetheory and not outdoors. DANG, the run was hilly! I hadn’t remembered how challenging the run course was from the last time! I even had to walk a little bit up a steep one, but that was only because I felt like I was running and landing weird with one of my feet.

spa girl finish line

And then there it was, the finish line! I was super excited to get that gorgeous medal around my neck! My mom and I went through the finish together & I can’t wait to see our official finisher pics.

spa girl finish

spa girl medal

We enjoyed the delicious fruits, quiche, chocolates, and mimosas out on the yard. It had been such a gorgeous overcast morning; ideal racing weather.

spa girl after

The rest of the afternoon was spent around the pool and tubing the lazy river. So much fun, and I’m so grateful to spend time with my parents.

by the pool

That evening we went to an outdoor dinner with live music and the band was so good! They played covers of John Mayer and Amy Winehouse in “easy listening” style. I loved it.


Overall, a very fun and relaxing weekend. I would totally do this race again, and I think it’d be more fun with a big group of girlfriends.

In other news, the school year is winding down and I am up to my elbows in preparing for my Spring Concert (appropriately titled, “I Need A Vacation”) which is next week. After that, it’ll be smooth sailing until summer break starts!



BISD “Anyone Can Tri” 2018


As I was running the end of this race I realized this is the 6th time I’ve competed in the BISD Tri! This race is always dear to me because it was my first ever triathlon back in 2011. Another great thing about this event is that it is rookie-friendly and allows kids to compete as well.

This year we had some special kiddoes complete their first triathlons and tri-relays!


Cristina & Jeremy’s kids Mia, Isa, and Roberto


And Laura’s son Luke!

We were all SO PROUD of them and I know they have the “triathlon bug” too ;).

My “race report” for this tri will be short and sweet, as this race was a sprint distance- 400m swim, 13 mile bike, and 5k run.

I was one of the first people to arrive at the Aquatic Center to set up my bike and transition area. I was excited because this is the first triathlon I’ve done since the Harlingen Tri Girl Sprint back in August; I wanted to see how my body would feel and do. I was also happy to debut my TriWithJoy kit finally!


I forgot to pack my watch for this race, so I don’t know my times for any of the three sports. But this year there were no age group winners, it was just a “compete to finish” race. My swim felt good and helped get me energized and warmed up for the rest of the race. I will say that I passed about 5 people and never got passed by anyone, so I was happy with that :).



My mom also competed in the race as a swimmer in a relay and I was so proud of her, she did awesome!


Out of the water and onto the bike!


The bike route for this race is a little sketchy; only because there are several businesses and stop lights where drivers are coming out in front of us, so we have to be very aware of the traffic around us. It was a little bit windy, but nothing I haven’t dealt with before. I actually felt pretty strong on the bike and was running it back into T2 before I knew it!



I was VERY happy that it was a cloudy and overcast day. It really helped stave off the heat. Yes, it was humid, but since I was wet from my swim, I still kept cool. And I MUST SAY that my Orangetheory training made a BIG difference in how I felt on my run! Seriously, I felt like I could have run a 10k at this point and felt fine!


So that’s it! Another enjoyable race and I’m happy to kick of triathlon season 2018. Next one is Spa Girl in San Antonio, then Mike and I plan on signing up for Buffalo Springs 70.3 in June! Ahh!



Spring Forward!


Hey friends! Can you believe March is OVER already?! To me, it always seems that springtime flies by. Which is a good thing, because I am SO READY for summer break.

I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of tri training. After not having trained for one for about 7 months, I almost feel like I’m starting all over again. Although I have been religiously attending Orangetheory Fitness about 5x a week, I haven’t ridden my bike (outdoors or on the trainer) and am JUST getting back into my swimming. So yes, like a restart.


Next weekend is my first tri of the season! It’s our local BISD Sprint tri and I’m excited about it. It was the first tri I ever did back in 2011, and it’s always fun. Plus, this year there are no “places”, it’s just a race to get a finisher medal; which takes a little pressure off. I’m still going to try to do my best though 😉.

The next tri I’m signed up for will be special because my mom & I are doing it together. It’s the Spa Girl Tri in San Antonio & it falls on Mother’s Day weekend. Of all the sprint triathlons I’ve done, this one is my favorite. Not to mention the mimosas waiting at the finish line!

In other news, Mike & I added a new member to the family! We adopted little Blake over Spring Break & had quite a scare. He tested positive for Parvo virus, & needed to be hospitalized for 3 days.


He’s a fighter & he healed right up! Now he keeps us (& the other pups) on our toes. He’s quite a rascal but we’re in love with him!


I’m looking forward to Easter weekend. We have Good Friday off & I plan to take my bike out for a short ride. Then spend some girl time catching some rays at the pool. Anyone else have any plans for Easter weekend?



My life is my perception

as happy quote

Happy TGIFriday!

I can’t believe we only have 12 more days of this month. I’m actually really enjoying the chillier weather we’ve been getting this winter. After a rather extremely warm fall, it’s a welcome change (to me, at least).

winter selfie

Things are moving and shaking in my life, but I like keeping busy. Orangetheory Brownsville has been doing well, and Mike is working hard. I’m very proud of him and all of his team. It’s a welcoming environment and a GREAT workout. In fact, I’ll be joining the 8 week Transformation Challenge starting at the end of this month, so we’ll see what happens with that!


I’ve also signed on to be a presenter with Younique makeup, and I’ve been having so much fun with it. Before joining, I always enjoyed watching Youtube beauty gurus transforming their faces with makeup, and always wished I knew how to do that and have the tools to try. Well, I’m no pro, but I’m trying to learn, and I’m having a blast. From filming short “tutorials” in my bathroom, to going “LIVE” on Facebook with Cristina during our “Mask Me Anything/Wine Not Wednesday”…it’s hilarious and a fun new journey.

fb live mask

I know the title of my post seems a little deep, but it only comes from these couple of quotes I came across that made me think, and really inspired me:

“The dream you’re living is your creation. It’s your perception of reality that you can change at any time. You have the power to create ‘hell’ and you have the power to create ‘heaven’. Why not dream a different dream? Why not use your mind, your imagination, and your emotions to dream ‘heaven’?”

Profound thoughts! Everyone have a JOYOUS weekend!