December 26, 2008

Dreams Come True at Christmas

Christmas was wonderful! We had a great day yesterday with my family--a day of good food, fun games and great conversation. Jeremy and Aja came over late morning and we enjoyed a nice day together of food, video games, dominoes, and cards!

And Christmas Allie had a great day too with her cousins! She and Sadie played hard all day long. And Maggie even joined in the fun some too! The puppies crashed last night after a day of playing hard.

And back in July I had written a post about baking (I'm Dreaming of a Kitchenaid Mixer) and my mom surprised me with one under the tree yesterday! I definitely was not expecting such an extravagant gift, but I was very delighted to open it up! It is a Kitchenaid Pro and I am so excited to use it!

Apparently my family wants me to learn to cook--my gifts yesterday included THREE cookbooks, a Mixer, and Skillets. I did ask for a lot of kitchen stuff because that's mostly what I need for my apartment and I am so excited to get started with all of it!

Now I am just enjoying some time off work with my mom and tomorrow we will have Christmas with my dad's side of the family! I hope your weekend is great

December 25, 2008

Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart and hand in hand.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Merry Christmas! I am sitting on the couch with my puppy curled up in my lap waiting for the rest of my family to get up/get here so we can Celebrate Christmas. Last night we all went to church together for the Service of Lessons and Carols. Then we came home and Nick and I opened a gift from each other. He gave me the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas. Unfortunately I was too tired to watch one last night, but am excited to find a chance to watch them both!

Today Jeremy and Aja are coming over this morning and we will eat breakfast (our traditional Christmas Breakfast of "Breakfast Before" Casserole!) And then we will open gifts. The rest of the day will be spent getting dinner ready for everyone to come over (some of my aunts and my mom's friends) and playing lots of games!

I'm excited to get to spend time with everyone today enjoying Christmas! I hope yours is great too.

December 23, 2008

A Time to Remember


Christmas is always such a great time of year. I love getting to spend time with my family baking and relaxing. I love getting to be off work for a few days just hanging out with everyone. I love the decorations that are up and the lights and the cold weather! But it's also a time to remember.

Even though this will be our 9th Christmas without my dad, I still find myself remembering all the times of Christmases past with him. This picture was taken during one of our family Christmases at my Grandparents' house (my brothers and I each got these big stuffed dogs and we had them around our house for a very long time!). Some of my best memories of my dad are from Christmases in the past. Every year on Christmas morning I would wake up early from the anticipation and go to the family room where he would already be waiting. I would look in my stocking and he would show me what was in his. And we would sit together, just the two of us, and spend time together until everyone else got up a few hours later.

I remember one Christmas morning in particular where my dad had bought my mom a nice diamond necklace. He was so excited to give it to her and was trying to find the perfect way to present it. He came up with this plan to hang the Zales bag on the tree and see if she noticed. He was just so excited plotting to see what she would notice and to try to make it special for her.

As time has gone on, Christmas has changed. We once again have 5 stockings on our fireplace since a sister was added to the family 4 years ago when my brother got married! And life is once again filled with laughter and love and games. Life goes on even when you think it never will, but it's times like these that I like to look back and remember. Remember special moments with my daddy when we were able to sit quietly and just enjoy each others company. And even though things are not the same, I know he is celebrating Christmas in a much better place and waiting for us to join him someday at the greatest celebration.

Until then I'll cherish these memories and enjoy the time I have with my mom and brothers and sister-in-law!

December 17, 2008

Christmas Allie

As my brother has appropriately nicknamed her--Allie is ready for Christmas! She has a jingle bell collar so we can always tell where she is! This is Allie's first Christmas with me, so I was interested to see how she would react to all the decorations. She doesn't go near the tree or the snowman that sits on my floor or the ornaments. The only decorations Allie has bothered with are the stockings. Our stockings hang above our couch since there is no fireplace. But the best part is she doesn't go near my stocking, only hers ever gets messed with--and it doesn't even have anything in it! But she takes it down off the wall and carries it around! At least she knows what is hers!

December 16, 2008

Santa!! I know him! I know him!

Even though I am growing up, some of my favorite recent Christmas Memories are of taking pictures with Santa! One year my mom asked for a picture of her kids, but we didn't get her list until 3 days before Christmas--so my brothers and I stood in line at the mall to take our picture with Santa! That picture is proudly displayed at my Grandpa's house now!

I have also had the opportunity to get a picture made with Santa and some of my best friends!

Nicki and I with the Santa in the Collins Cafeteria when we went to get lunch before class!

And this year Erin and I got to sit in Santa's lap at the ICE! Exhibit (yes this Santa is made entirely out of ice!)

December 14, 2008

Puppy Love

On nice evenings/nights, I will leave the door open to my balcony so Allie can go outside and come in as she pleases. She loves to sit on the balcony and watch as people and dogs go by. It had been a while since it was nice enough for her to be outside during the evening (it's been too cold lately!), but tonight she was able to!

She sits out there and will bark or get excited if another dog comes by, but then will quickly calm. But at least once each night I will hear her get really excited and start howling and barking like a crazy woman--that is when I know without a doubt that Buddy is walking by.

Buddy is another puggle who lives in the building next to us. He and Allie have met numerous times while both out for walks and they definitely both can hardly contain themselves when they see each other. Tonight Allie was sitting and howling like crazy and Buddy was downstairs looking at her and whining. Buddy's mom told me that everytime they walk by our building, he looks to see if Allie is there. And sweet Allie girl was running from the balcony inside to the door and back to try to find a way to get down to see her friend!

It it such a cute thing and I had forgotten about it since it had been awhile since Allie was outside--but tonight she got to see her Buddy and she was so excited he came walking by! Oh puppy love!

December 12, 2008

Christmas Goodies!


So one of my favorite things about Christmas is baking! I love to make Christmas goodies. We had our office Christmas Party tonight which was a great excuse to make something! My favorite Christmas Goodies are peanut butter balls (also known as buck-eyes, or my friend Jill's family calls them chocolate bon bons!). So this week I spent lots of time preparing my peanut butter balls and they were well worth it!

Here is the recipe if you're interested:
*5 and 5/8 cups of powdered sugar (1.5 boxes)
*3 Cups Peanut Butter
*2 Sticks Butter (softened)
*12 oz package of chocolate chips
*1/8 lb of parafin

Mix the first 3 ingredients by hand. Roll into balls. Shape and chill overnight.
Melt parafin and chocolate chips over boiling water (preferred method is using a double boiler). Dip chilled peanut butter balls into chocolate and place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Chill in the refrigerator.

*The recipe actually calls for 1/4 lb of parafin, but my mom says she only uses about half that amount if that. I used about 1/3 of the 1/4 lb bar when I made them.
*I definitely don't have a double boiler--so I used a sauce pan with about 1.5 cups of water and boiled that and then placed a glass bowl on top that sat right inside the rim of the pan (not touching the water) and that's how I melted the chocolate!

Yum! :)

December 10, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside...

Last week Erin and I went to the ICE! Exhibit at the Gaylord Texan. We had been talking about what to do for my birthday and I had heard about this exhibit and thought it sounded neat--so Erin took me on a date ;) to go see it!

It was very COLD (9 degrees inside the exhibit!) but also amazing. There were so many ice sculptures that they had made--bears, a bridge, a nativity, santa, a slide, ornaments, a forest--and much more. {To see more pictures you can check out Erin's blog} It was such a great experience and a fun night! The hotel was beautiful as well--we enjoyed looking around at all the Christmas lights and decorations! I highly recommend this if you are in the Dallas area for Christmas any year!It was a great birthday with a great friend! Thanks Erin!

December 6, 2008

Cousins

So there is a New Reed in town. The day before Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law, Aja adopted their second puppy from the SPCA. They got their first dog, Maggie about 6 weeks after they got married (which will be 4 years this New Years!) and it was time for Maggie to have a sister. So meet Sadie:
This is Allie's new cousin! They met on Sunday and absolutely LOVED playing. So this morning my brother text messaged me to say they were going to the dog park, so Allie and I of course had to join them! Because Sadie and Maggie were there, we went to the big dog park and Allie played hard with her new cousin! Allie has a hard time with the big dogs because they all gang up on her, but she is a fast runner and can usually get away! But she spent most of her time laying on my feet or running from my brother. But she did enjoy playtime with Sadie!

Sadie is a wonderful addition to the Reeds! She's beautiful and lots of fun and such a sweet girl. She definitely loved her first trip to the dog park and I'm sure we'll have to plan more outings for the cousins :)

December 1, 2008

December

I love December! It's a wonderful month that starts with my birthday and ends with a new year and has the fun of Christmas all month long! I feel as though I have had more people than usual ask me/comment about December birthdays and ask if I hated it or always felt like I got shorted.

I do have to admit that when I was younger I did not like having my birthday in December. For my birthday, it usually interferes more with Thanksgiving than Christmas, but it's just a crazy time of year. It was always very hard to have birthday parties because everyone is so busy and things are so crazy this time of year. And as my mom pointed out tonight we also always had the interference of school concerts and programs, and once J started football we had to wait to see what the playoffs looked like before we could ever plan anything. Not to mention that if something came out in January that I wanted I was told to "put it on my birthday or Christmas list" even though both were still 11 months away!

But I was thinking about it today and as I've gotten "older" I've really come to love having a December birthday. Granted, mine is not as close to Christmas as many other people's so it's different. But I absolutely love Christmastime and everything that comes with it! I love getting to celebrate my birthday by doing Christmas things like going to Christmas Tree lighting or Christmas in Salado or watching Christmas movies or this year I am going to Ice! At the Gaylord. I walked outside this morning to head to work and I was just thinking about how much I really do enjoy this time of year. And how grateful I am to get to celebrate my birthday surrounded by so many fun things!

And I am also very grateful to have so many great friends and a great family who always make it special!

November 28, 2008

Recent Obsessions

So I tend to find something and then not be able to get enough of it... so here are a list of some of my recent obsessions:

1. Panera Bread
The other day I took Allie in to Petsmart and there happens to be a Panera right by the Petsmart and I made the mistake of going in. I became absolutely hooked! I have gone at least 3 times in the last few weeks to get a bagel before work. I first fell in love with Panera while at Baylor when Nicki and I would make trips there for breakfast or studying. Unfortunately, it's an expensive habit to keep up!


2. Barnes and Noble (or Borders!)
I have always loved book stores and have enjoyed looking around, but recently I have spent hours on end looking through all the books and trying to find what I might like most. I love looking through fiction books, cookbooks, inspirational books, but my favorite to look at recently have been books about children with special needs--I have found quite a few good books on this topic and I love reading different perspectives on certain illnesses, diagnosis, and disorders so I can learn more about the kids I work with.


3. Coffee and Hot Chocolate
So for those of you who know me well, you know I am not a fan of coffee. I do like various drinks at Starbucks, but very rarely like coffee I make at home, even with added sugar or creamer. But on cold mornings in the last few weeks I have found my new favorite drink--it's half coffee and half hot chocolate. I am a big fan of hot chocolate, so I tried mixing the two and I absolutely love it!

4. Cookbooks
I have recently found many new cookbooks and love looking for recipes of new things to make. My favorite things are things I can bake like breads, muffins, and cookies. But I am trying to find more recipes for meals and recently have made homemade chili and cornbread! I hope to try out some new things soon.

These are just a few of my recent favorite. And speaking of favorites, I absolutely love this commercial for Macy's that has come out recently! I'm sure you've seen it, but if you haven't check it out!

Thanksgiving

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving! On Wednesday I spent the morning baking desserts with my mom and then we packed up and headed to my Grandpa's house in East Texas. It was Allie's first trip to grandpa's house and she loved and hated it. She hated the fact that she was surrounded by lots of new people--when Allie was inside she turned into shy Allie who would curl up in my lap or Nick's or my mom's and not go near anyone else. In fact, everytime my Grandpa got up, Allie started barking and growling! We had to remind her that it was HIS house, so she just needed to settle down. Allie did however love the backyard. There was nowhere to escape, so she was able to run free around the yard without us worrying--and she found her first leaves. Allie spent an hour in the morning running along the side of the fence and sliding through the leaves. She wore herself out!

I enjoyed getting to spend the time with my family that was there. We played games and caught up on life. Enjoyed lots of good food too! My plate yesterday consisted of Turkey, Ham, Stuffing, Corn Casserole, Carrots, Cheese, and Artichoke dip. I also dipped into a couple of desserts (we had five different kinds) and had Chocolate Eclair and Sopapilla Cheesecake!

I am very thankful for my wonderful family and all of our good conversations! We are spending the rest of the weekend cleaning, going to the movies and decorating my mom's house for Christmas!

November 23, 2008

Puppy Adventures

I am Officially on Vacation for the next week! Last year during the holidays, I wasn't able to take any PTO, so this year I decided I should take as much as I could! So I am taking off this whole week for Thanksgiving and I am excited about resting and relaxing!


Allie and I decided to head to Mama Reed's for the week while we are off--we will be going to Palestine to my Grandpa's house on Wednesday and Thursday, but for now we are just hanging out at my mom's. And Allie has already spent lots of time running around trying to figure it all out! We put a gate up at the top of the stairs to keep her with us so she doesn't have too much room to explore. But if we leave her upstairs and we go down, she whiles, howls, and tries to get under the gate! It's pathetic, but I find it hilarious when she tries to get under, so I thought I'd share a picture for you guys to see too!
Poor Baby... she is trying so hard...I'm sure there will be many more stories of her adventures this week!

November 19, 2008

I Love Fall!


I have been absolutely loving the cooler weather this week! Last week I was out shopping and since all of the Christmas stuff is out already, the fall stuff was all on sale!! So while I was at Mardel I picked up Gooseberry Patch's Flavors of Fall Cookbook and was excited to look through it.

Today was a long day and my allergies are getting the best of me, so I was very tired when I got home--but one of my favorite ways to destress is baking. I don't do well with actually cooking, but give me bread, cookies, cakes, brownies to bake and I am a happy camper! So I decided to try out one of the recipes from this Flavors of Fall Cookbook and I'm glad I did!

Tonight I spent my evening making Apple Cinnamon Loaves. The bread turned out so well and warmed me up on this chilly night! It definitely hit the spot and is one of my new fall favorites!

November 15, 2008

A Day Off

Erin and I decided about a month ago that we should take a Friday off work and go enjoy the day when everyone else is working! We looked at our Calendars and decided that yesterday would be the best for both of our schedules.

We started the day with breakfast tacos at Taco Cabana. This might not sound like all that fun, but for us it brings back some memories! Our last year at Baylor, our schedules were so busy that we didn't have a whole lot of time to get together. So one of main times to meet up was for breakfast tacos at Taco C before classes started. We would get up and meet around 7:30 and enjoy tacos, Dr. Pepper and great conversation! So that's how we started our day off :)

Then we headed to a 10:05 movie, which was nice because 1. It was "cheap" only $5! and 2. No one was there! After the movie we headed to pick up Tonya for lunch and she introduced Erin and I to Plano's Central Market. We looked around the store and then went to the cafe and enjoyed some sushi for lunch. It was so great to get to catch up with Tonya!

After that we spent the afternoon shopping--more like looking because neither of us have a whole lot of money to spend! But I did finally get a Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook! I have been wanting one for a long time, and they had them on sale, so Erin and I both picked one up!

It was a great day of hanging out with one of my best friends and enjoying some time off! And I still have a whole weekend to get things done!

November 9, 2008

A Birthday Celebration

This picture is in honor of my brother, Jeremy's, 29th Birthday! His birthday was on Friday, but we spent this afternoon celebrating with him. This picture is one of my mom's favorites...she thinks it's so funny because apparently when I was baby I was scared of Jeremy and he just wanted to hold me all the time--and then I got a little older and I wanted to follow him everywhere and he wanted nothing to do with me by this point. So she likes to remind me that once upon a time I wasn't so sure about him! And then I turned 4 and we decided it was the most fun to gang up on the kid in the middle, so all of our games we teamed up against Nick!

Anyway, I spent this afternoon at my brother's house hanging out with our family and Aja's. We ate fajitas and Texas Cake that my mom made (which is J's favorite!). Then after Aja's family left, we played Dominoes and hung out. It was a very relaxing afternoon and I enjoyed getting to spend so much time with my family!

We found out this weekend that Nick (my other brother) is probably moving back to Austin in January or February. He has been back home with my mom since this past January and we have all started to take it for granted having him around! J & Aja's house is just 10 minutes from my apartment and having Nick at mom's house made it easy for us all to get together frequently. But it looks like come 2009, he will be back in Austin and rare visits will become the norm again--so it was good to have today, and it will be good to enjoy the upcoming Holiday Season before he heads South!

Anyway, I digressed a little bit--this post was supposed to be about Jeremy. Happy Birthday to the brother who teased and tormented, but always loved me unconditionally!

November 3, 2008

Short Lived Splendor...

I have to say, it was amazing to watch the sunrise on my 6:30 walk with Allie this morning! Usually it is pitch black, but today we got to watch the sun come up!

But I have to enjoy it while I can because I know it's short lived--in a week it'll be dark at that time again!

But it was definitely a great way to start my Monday--hope you have a wonderful one!

November 2, 2008

Homecoming

What a wonderful weekend! First of all--I have to tell you that after my crazy post about how worried I was about Allie, she did very well at Beth's house! She never once tried to escape, she spent most of her day sitting with Beth's husband (which if you know Allie--you know that's strange because she doesn't like new people!), she played hard and wore all the puppies out, and she didn't try to tear anything up! I was so glad she did well :)

And Homecoming was great--it felt SO good to be back at Baylor. I don't really realize how much I miss it until I come back! Erin and I got up very early and left for Waco a little before 6:00. Made 1 stop for caffeine and then headed into town. We got there very early for the parade, and were surprised, but very glad, to find that the bookstore was already open! So we looked around at all the Baylor stuff and got some new shirts!

Then Mathis and Nicki and her parents joined us for the parade. It was so great to see my best friend again! We enjoyed the parade and then Erin and I went to Bush's for sweet tea and rolls. Came back to campus to find Dr. Pepper hour going on so had our Dr Pepper floats! Then we walked around a little bit, took some pictures with Judge Baylor, then headed out to lunch with Nicki's family!

After lunch we headed to the game, where Erin and I were so [not] fortunate to be sitting right in the middle of Mizzou fans! And an added bonus we got to stare directly into the sun (which attributed to my now wonderful tan lines...). After the first half of Baylor being down 21-7 and being amidst the Missouri fans, Nicki invited us to come join them! So we were very fortunate to return to the Baylor side! Where the game then turned exciting--Baylor tied it up in the 3rd, then Missouri scored and we tied it up again in the 4th. Mizzou ended up winning by getting a field goal in the last 3 minutes. But it was a good game! And I got to spend a lot of time catching up with Jenny (Nicki's mom) and hearing about her new job! Very fun!

Then Erin and I drove through Katie's Custard so I could fill my craving for a Harvest Cyclone and Erin was able to get her dirt and worms! Then we got back on the road to head back to Dallas.

It was a very fun day--got to spend it with some of my favorite people, the weather was beautiful, I was back on campus, and I ate lots of Waco's finest foods :) Coming home felt nice...

October 31, 2008

A Weekend Apart...

So this weekend I am heading down to Waco for Baylor Homecoming!! I am so excited to get to spend tomorrow with my best friends and go back for all the Homecoming fun! Even though we are not staying a night, I figure tomorrow will be a long day away, so Allie is staying with my co-worker Beth for the weekend...

I am not worried about Allie not enjoying herself--next to Sasha, Beth's dogs are some of her favorite to play with! We went over once a week in May to babysit their son and then spent a weekend at their house in August dog sitting. They have 4 dogs and 2 of them love to play as much as Allie-girl does!

We went over this evening and I stayed for a while so she could get settled. I went with Beth to take her son trick or treating, and I decided to let Allie take her costume for a whirl--everyone LOVED the dog dressed up as a pumpkin! She did so well, even though she is very skittish, she managed herself pretty well!

I am just a little nervous about leaving Allie because of her escape habits! The only times I have left Allie were over the summer with my brothers (on 2 different occasions) and both times she got out [see Allie's Adventures for more details!] and one of those times she nearly got hit by a car. Now never in all the time that we've spent at Beth's house has Allie even tried to get out--she's so entertained by the other dogs! And there is nowhere around their fence where she can fit. So I have no reason to worry--I just am a little anxious. I'm just a nervous little mama this weekend, but I know she needs to learn to be left!

Hopefully she will have the time of her life this weekend and when I come back tomorrow night things will be great!

October 27, 2008

Guess Who's Ready for Halloween....


Allie was begging for a Halloween Costume...















And she even sat so pretty for pictures!

(Honestly, it doesn't even phase her--she walks around as if nothing has changed--like she's not dressed up as a giant pumpkin...)

October 25, 2008

Change of Scenery...

This weekend, Allie and I packed up to spend the weekend at my brothers' house (that's only about 10 miles away!) Jeremy and Aja are in San Antonio this weekend for a wedding, so we are here staying with their dog Maggie to keep her company! It has been a very interesting weekend, but has gone pretty well considering everything.

For those of you who don't know--Maggie is not particularly fond of Allie. Maggie's favorite thing is to just lay around and cuddle with people--Allie can't be around another dog without trying to play! So maggie tends to get annoyed with Allie pretty easily! And it has been hard for Allie because every time she realizes there is another dog there, she tries to go play.

But the girls have done very well and are handling things well! The only drama was figuring out where to sleep last night--they both wanted to be right next to me, but not next to each other so it was interesting! But this morning we went to the dog park (we spent half our time in the big dog park for Maggie and half in the little dog park for Allie!) and so they spent most of the day napping while I lounged and watched TV (which felt so good after a crazy week at work!)

Tonight my brother Nick came over to play Aja's new Wii! He was very patient to teach me how to work everything--and patient with me even though I am not very good at all! We had a good time playing Mario Kart! Now the "girls" and I are off to bed! Have a great weekend!

October 20, 2008

My Favorite Family to Catch Up On...

Thanks to the wonderful creation of DVR, I am able to watch many shows throughout the week. If you were to look through my series recordings you would find a variety of shows that I follow. Every Thursday I tune in to the laugh at the latest antics of the Dunder Mifflin Employees on The Office. And then I flip over to catch up on the lives of the doctors on Grey's Anatomy. And every Sunday I stay up "late" to watch the Walker family on Brothers & Sisters. But my favorite family to watch is the Gosselin Family on Jon and Kate Plus 8!

It's a reality show about the lives of Jon and Kate Gosselin and their 8 kids-- 8 year old twins and 4 year old sextuplets. This family quickly stole my heart after my mom introduced me to the show a little over a year ago. I was intrigued by their daily schedule and how this family held it all together! It probably doesn't hurt that 3 and 4 year olds are my absolute favorite and the little kids happen to be just around that age! Those of you who have heard me talk about this show know that I absolutely adore little Aaden-- I think it's a combination of his little glasses and all of the random facts he knows! (although Leah is giving him a run for his money as my favorite lately!) But all of their kids are so cute and funny. I have been captured by this show!

This past weekend I was at Walmart and saw the book that they recently wrote called Multiple Blessings. I decided to buy a copy--and I sat down and read it all! It's basically just a more in depth look at their story and how they got to where they are. It is a very powerful book and it brought me to tears many times! I really enjoyed it because they were able to go into much more detail about the role that faith has played in their lives. Basically the whole book is about how God has brought them to where they are--the many ways He has provided for them, the lessons He has taught them, and His perfect plan for their family. I highly suggest this book--it was a great read!

Now I am off to finally eat some dinner and tune in to watch Jon & Kate Plus 8!

October 18, 2008

State Fair!


Today Erin and I headed off to the state fair! We have been planning to go since this summer and have been saving our money to be able to enjoy it all! We went in with the plan to not worry about riding rides, but to try as much food as we could! We started off the day in the Chevy test drive area--they had it set up so you could test drive any of the Chevy vehicles around this parking lot and even do some "off-roading" on hills and dirt. So I hopped in and Erin drove us around in the Chevy Silverado! The best part was that this was free--by far one of the coolest things at the fair and it doesn't even cost anything!

Then we set off to get started on the food--we decided to start with something somewhat substantial, so we had a lunch of hot dogs and corny dogs! We were also determined to try some of the crazy fair food. There were many contenders for what fried food to try--fried coke, fried honey buns, fried cheese on a stick, fried banana, and of course this year's popular chicken fried bacon-- but we settled on trying fried cheesecake and fried oreos... and both were amazing and did not disappoint!

We also rode the Texas Star (the big ferris wheel) and spent times walking around all the exhibits. We ended the day watching a dog show where they had "doggie freestyle" and they brought out dogs that danced with their owners.

It was a very fun day and the weather was gorgeous for a trip to the fair!

October 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Allie!




Today is Allie's 1st birthday! I can't believe I have had her 7 1/2 months! Here's a glimpse of Allie on her first night home:

So last night we had a little party for Allie! Erin and Sasha came over to play and the girls enjoyed brownie sundaes (Aunt Aja made Allie some brownies last weekend!) and played hard! Here are just a few pictures of the evening!


Today Allie is spending her day playing at Doggie Day Camp at Petsmart--occasionally I take her there for the day and she absolutely loves it! So I figured what better way for her to spend her birthday. Oh she is just a little spoiled!

October 7, 2008

I love my job...

I love my job because I feel like everywhere I go I see something that relates to what I do...
Here are just a few examples!

*In my Bible Study last week it talked about how crucial and influential the first 3 years of life are! (which, just by the way is exactly why I work where I do--because we believe early is best!)
*I opened my email to find an article from Nicki about SIDS which is a very important issue for babies! (nicki and I both work every day with kids--even though they are different ages--we always end up sending each other things like this!)
*In the book I just finished last night, Sheila Walsh's Get Off Your Knees and Pray! she talks about a mom she knows who has a son with down syndrome and his precious spirit-- she discussed the struggles that this family faces, but she ends it by saying "I wish I could show you a picture of this young man's smile." And if you only knew how much I wished that for each of you too! Every day I work with kids who have varying degrees of disabilities, but they are some of the sweetest natured and most loving kids--kids who have smiles that can just make your day!

I also love my job because kids always come up with the cutest things...
*Today at an evaluation I had a little girl come and sit next to me and lean back on the couch just like I was and just look at me as if to say "are you watching me? I'm trying to be just like you!"
*At a visit today, one of my little boys just busted into a fit of giggles over nothing at all that was so contagious that his mom and I ended up laughing on the floor with him!
*Last week at a visit one of my little boys was pretending to take a bite of grapes from the book, and he refused to let the speech therapist turn the page until he had given a bite of grapes to mom, me, brother, and everyone else in the room!
...My job has been pretty stressful since the beginning of the summer--but those are the moments that make it worth it--the laughs and smiles and watching them grow and gain new skills!

September 28, 2008

Enjoying the last bits of summer weather...

So I as I have said before--I am VERY excited about fall and for fall weather to be here for good. But since I live in Texas, Summer always hangs around for a long time after it should! So Erin and I decided to take advantage of the end of summer weather and go to the waterpark yesterday!

In January, we had started a list of all the things we want to do around Dallas so we can think of things to do during the weekend! This summer we hit a lot of them: Six Flags, the Dallas Zoo, 6th Floor Museum, just to name a few. Also on our list is Hurricane Harbor. They are open all summer and then weekends through the end of September. Since it was supposed to be in the 90's yesterday we decided to go. And boy did we choose a good time!

We got there around 10:30 yesterday morning and had to take time to get used to the cold water! But by 12:00, we had been on every ride in the park. The longest line we waited in had 2 people in front of us! A couple of rides we even had to get the attendant's attention because no one had been on it in a while! It was a good way to tour the park!! We went and got lunch and then came back and laid out to get our last tans before it gets cool.

It was a very fun day--but as I told Erin yesterday now that we made it to the water park and that day is behind us, I am so ready for fall! And stay tuned for fall adventures including The State Fair, Pumpkin Carving, and Baylor Homecoming! I am very excited about this next season!

September 21, 2008

Best Friends

Here is a video from last weekend when we stayed inside because of the weather. Erin and Sasha came over to ride out the storm with us! Allie and Sasha were not allowed to play together for the first 4 months that we had them because we were scared of how it might go--but they love each other and manage to play pretty well together! So here's a glimpse of some puppy fun (sorry there's no sound, but camera doesn't have a sound recorder)


video

Our favorite part is when they play and play and then randomly stop and just lay down and stare at each other, then start playing again!

September 20, 2008

Happy Saturday!

I am so glad it is finally the weekend! This week was a very long one and I ended up having a late visit on Friday (which I never do!) so I didn't get home from work until 7:30 last night! And I was exhausted from my long week, Allie and I crashed early.

This morning we had our normal weekend ritual of going to the dog park. Allie did really well and even went up to a few new people today--which is a big improvement for her!

We also had a good week and took lots of long walks to make good use of the beautiful weather we have been having here. It has felt so good to go to the park each evening and go on a long walk and Allie has loved getting out after being locked up all day long! I only hope that the beautiful weather stays--I have been longing for fall, so now I will be sad when it gets hot again. But it made me very excited about making pumpkin muffins and I even lit my new Pumpkin and Harvest candle this week while I was home!

I started a new book last night. I absolutely love reading and I can get lost in a good book for hours at a time. So last night I headed to Borders to find a new book to read and I ended up getting Get off your knees and Pray by Sheila Walsh and so far I love it! It seems like it is going to be very good and I'm excited to get into it!

September 11, 2008

Updated Color

So I decided to redo my blog a little bit. I absolutely love the song that the new header comes from and I was listening to it in the car the other day I realized how much I cherish this thought: God loves me, and He picks up the pieces of my broken heart, but he doesn't just heal me, He lets me dance. I've been through seasons in my life where I cried out for healing--for just a glimpse of His grace and hope. And looking back over the last year I see how far He has brought me--things that probably aren't evident to anyone else, but the changes in my heart and my soul are like night and day. And I bask in the thought knowing that God has brought me here.

Knowing that out of the brokenness in my life He has made me whole. But He didn't just pick up the pieces and leave me to continue healing--He picked me up out of the pit and He lets me dance through this world. To me, it's just a beautiful picture of His grace...

September 6, 2008

Weekend Craziness

This weekend I am babysitting Simon & Noah 2 boys that I watched when they were much younger (along with their older brother Tyler and sister Liz). So Allie and I are staying over at their house for the weekend. Everything is going pretty well, except someone got hurt--not either of the boys, but my baby did...

They have a cat, Max, who is pretty used to dogs, but Allie is a whole different story. Because Allie may not like other people, but she loves any other animals. If she sees a dog, she is ready to play, so surely a cat is going to respond no differently, right? Last night Max was under the kitchen table and Allie kept running downstairs to look at him and he would hiss and she would bark and I would catch her and take her back upstairs. But one time I didn't get there soon enough and Allie went under the table to see Max and all the sudden I saw his paw come out and heard Allie yelp and run back. I picked her up and she was crying badly. And after a minute I realized she wasn't really opening her left eye. So last night, Allie got scratched in the eye by a cat. Now Allie has played with many other dogs-- one in particular that is 4 times her size (seriously) and has managed not to get hurt more than a little scrape--1 minute with a cat and she can barely see!

Since this happened at around 10:30 last night, I had no idea what to do exactly. So I decided to just go to bed and see how it was this morning. Well, this morning it wasn't any better, so I made an appointment at the vet. Good news is she has no scratches or cuts on her cornea--but she does have an infection in her eye and they think it's staph infection. So Allie is home and will be subjected to eye ointment 3x a day for the next week or so and has to go back to the doctor on Tuesday.

Now the boys and I are off to meet Erin for dinner and a movie at the dollar theater! More adventures from the weekend to come, I'm sure...

September 4, 2008

This is Adorable and Amazing

My supervisor at work sent me this video--it's the keynote speech at the convocation for Dallas ISD faculty and staff... by a 5th grade student. So cute and he is very inspirational!


http://www.dallasisd.org/keynote.htm

September 1, 2008

Labor Day...

I have very much enjoyed having today off! I didn't do much. Allie and I spent the morning at the dog park (which as I'm sure you can tell, has become a regular thing for us!). One thing I have done this weekend is spend a lot of time in the kitchen!

Tonight I am going to hang out with some people from my ABF and I decided to make a dessert to take. And I have really been wanting some Chocolate Eclaire Pie which is my mom's specialty. She makes it every Christmas and usually for at least 1 of our birthday's a year and any time she needs a dessert to take somewhere! So I whipped out the recipe and made a Chocolate Eclaire.

Then I was looking at all of my cookbooks and decided I really wanted to try to make a cheesecake from the book my mom gave me for my last birthday. It is a cheesecake book from Junior's which is a famous Cheesecake bakery in New York. I made my first cheesecake from there on Easter--a plain cheesecake with chocolate topping. Today I decided I would try to make the Strawberry Swirl Little Fellas--they just finished cooling and they are so good!

And of course I didn't want Allie to feel left out, so I also made her a treat for Labor Day--Frosty Paws!! I got the original recipe for frosty paws from my sister-in-law Aja who makes them for her sweet puppy Maggie. And they have traveled and are now made not only in my home, but also at Nicki's and Erin's! So it has been an eventful day in the kitchen--but I have loved it! Hope everyone enjoyed a day off!

August 29, 2008

Dog Park!


So today when I got off work Allie and I headed to the dog park (which I know I've talked about before--but it really is our favorite place!). She has been very neglected the last few weeks because I've been working lots of late nights, so I figured she was due for a special treat.

She played harder than usual today at the dog park and had a blast! Usually she runs around with dogs for about 15 minutes and then comes and sits by me and watches--she will occasionally join in, but usually just stays by my side. But today she ran for a full hour straight! There were not as many dogs there as usual and most of them are close to her size, so she had lots of fun playing! I even took a few pictures to show you all the fun she had!










She made lots of new friends and we can't wait to go back! I am feeling very blessed that it is a 3 day weekend and I will be able to relax. And I'm very excited about dinner tomorrow with Erin, Nicki and Mathis! Should be a great weekend.

August 24, 2008

Weekend...

I had a hectic (but good!) weekend! I took off on Friday because I had some stuff to take care of. I started by dropping Allie off at the vet for her appointment and shots. Then I came home and did lots of cleaning in my apartment which felt SO good! I took my car to the Mazda Service Center for it's 30,000 mile maintenance (which by the way, the guy was shocked that I had an 08 that already had 30,000 miles on it-- I have had my car 16 months and it has 31,500 miles already...oh the joys of driving for work!). It was a long and frustrating ordeal (I'll spare you the details here!) but it took so long my mom and I were late for our first night of the Women of Faith Conference!

But we got to the conference on Friday night and were able to hear some music and some talks before we had to leave to pick my aunt up at the airport (but we left right as Sheila Walsh was starting and I was sad because she is my favorite!) We went to get my Aunt and then went home to rest up for a busy Saturday!!

On Saturday, we headed back to the conference and were able to hear Patsy talk and then Natalie Grant sang which was amazing! We had to leave for the middle of the day, but came back in time for the last 2 talks. It was a great conference and just what I needed right now!

Saturday we also attended A Service of Home Going for my Pastor Russ Noland (which is why we left during the middle of the day for the conference). It was a very beautiful service of remembering his life and his ministry. People spoke so well of his love for Starbucks, Playing the Guitar, Preaching, Ministering to People, and having vision. It was a wonderful celebration of his life and ministry and remembering that he is much better off than any of us right now, because he is "drinking Starbucks at the Heavenly 19th Hole" as his wife has said. He will be deeply missed.

Then Allie and I stayed at my mom's house the rest of the weekend and went to lunch with my family today. Now she is passed out on my bed from a long weekend and I am about to join her!

August 20, 2008

Longing for Fall...

The weather this week has been very rainy and cool, and it has made me want fall to get here! Last night I was at home and I just wanted to curl up under a blanket and it made me think of fall time and I got really excited about it coming. I know that we still have a long time left of Texas heat, but this week has given me a reminder of cooler weather in store for us and all that comes along with that--jackets and pumpkin muffins and walks with allie where we're not dying of heat!
Not to mention that this summer has not been very good at all and I'm ready for a new season! So here's to hoping for fall, with the way the months are flying by it will be here before I know it!

August 16, 2008

still breaking...

It's been a rough week to say the least

Today I went to a memorial service for my Pastor--Russ Noland-- who passed away on Thursday evening. A man who was so full of life and laughter. Who always challenged people to ask questions and think beyond their comfort level. Who loved so deeply and never failed to tell people how much he cared about them. I sat in the church I grew up in that I have watched go through many changes and various trials, surrounded by so many people that I love and my heart broke. Because now this group is without their shepherd that they had grown to love so much. His wife spoke of how he always said that this is where he wanted to be in the end, and my heart broke. Our associate pastor spoke beautifully of Russ' spirit and he challenged us to press on--to remember that our work is not through. And my heart broke.

I stood at the back of the church holding a woman who has touched my life on countless occassions--a mother of 4 who lost her husband about a month ago. And my heart broke. For all her questions, for her precious children who are hurting so much.

And yet, in the midst of all the heart ache, there is hope. My mom and I were talking earlier and I made a comment that it just seems like there is so much that has happened lately to people I know and love. And she said "but there were babies born this week too." And this is so true--I have a new cousin! My cousin Kiersten welcomed her 4th little girl, Kailey Ann on Tuesday night!

So as Brady encouraged me to do, I press on. With hope that Russ is with our precious Lord playing his guitar. With hope that God will heal each broken heart and will answer each question in His time. With hope that He will carry me through tomorrow even though I have no idea what to do, how to keep going after everything that has happened this week. With hope that He holds every tear in His hands. Knowing that He is faithful. He is no less faithful today than he was on Tuesday when I wrote of all that is good.

August 14, 2008

and the moments when your heart breaks...

I wrote on Tuesday about the little reminders of reasons to smile. Of things that just make my heart happy. Who knew that only 24 hours later my heart would be breaking? I can't go into much detail here--but last night was rough and so was today. It just makes me realize how quickly life changes. How much we should not take each moment for granted. As my heart was aching last night, I also saw God working. In the details of encounters. In the way that certain things did not happen as planned which ended up being so much better than if they had. And once again I was reminded of God's faithfulness, of His promises--in the moments when everything is wonderful and in the moments when everything you know is shaken.

Great is thy faithfulness Oh God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with Thee. Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not; As Thou has been Thou forever will be.

August 12, 2008

little reminders...

I love those moments during the day when there are little reminders of how wonderful life really is. The simple things that happen that just make you smile. That melt your heart or remind you of all that is good. Today I was lucky enough to have a few of those moments.

I spent my afternoon at work doing an evaluation on twins that are in the foster care system. They are less than 1 month old and were so precious! And despite everything that these little lives have already been through--they are both doing so well. Such precious little girls that just made my heart a little lighter!

Then tonight I went to CVS to pick up a few things. And there was a little boy (about 10 year old) in front of me in line. And he turned around and was like "do you want to go in front of me?" which I just thought was so sweet--what a little gentleman (even though I didn't take him up on it!) and then I was checking out and the lady asked if I had a CVS card and I didn't so the same little boy was like "here use mine." I don't know why--it just made me smile. He was such a cute little boy!

I felt so blessed today to have those little reminders of all the reasons to smile.

August 9, 2008

Here's to my Fabulous Friend

Oh what a week it's been! Things at work are still very crazy, but I was able to take a day off this week which was such a nice (and much needed!) break! The best thing about this week is that one of my very best friends, Lara, is home from Germany! She had been gone for almost a year and just got back last weekend, so I took off Wednesday to spend some fun time with her!!

We started the day by spending time with Allie-girl at the dog park. Then we headed back to my place and got ready for lunch and a movie. We went to see Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, which we really enjoyed--and we especially enjoyed seeing it together!

Last night I went to her "Lara's back in America Party" at her friends' apartment and then she came to stay the night with me. Our time has been filled with lots of conversation and laughter and I realized how much I have missed this beautiful girl!

Sadly, she is leaving next Monday to go back to school--but at least she will be in Texas, just not in Dallas. But all that means is that I have even more reasons to take Road Trips out to West Texas. So I'll definitely have to plan some trips to see both The Kenningtons (in Abilene) and Lara (in San Angelo)

August 2, 2008

A Day at the Dog Park

One of Allie and my favorite weekend activities is going to White Rock Lake Dog Park. It is an off the leash dog park, that is separated into a park for little dogs, a park for big dogs, and a park where the dogs can play in the lake. Allie absolutely loves being able to run free in the field and chase other dogs around. Though she is scared around new people, Allie LOVES new dogs so she always plays hard at the park.

Today we decided to brave the heat and head to the dog park for a little while. While we were there we met lots of new dogs that Allie got to play with, but our favorites were the 2 pugs that we met! Allie has never really had a chance to play with other pugs (she is 1/2 pug) and she enjoyed checking these 2 out.

Now my sweet girl is passed out after her afternoon of playing. She came in and crawled under my bed (her favorite nap spot) and is out. Now I am just getting ready for the Brad Paisley concert tonight!! Erin and I are going with our friend Lauren and I am so excited to see it!

July 26, 2008

Allie's Adventures

For those of you who have not met Allie, this is my puggle puppy:

I have wanted a dog for pretty much my entire life, but my mom never wanted one. So when I moved into my own apartment I knew I wanted a dog of my own soon. I have had Allie for almost 6 months now (since the end of January). I bought her from a breeder in Cooper, Texas and brought her home with me. She is very sweet and loves to curl up with people. She is also extremely skittish and has a hard time warming up to people she does not know. It takes her a while to warm up, but once she does you are part of the family!

Allie has recently gotten into a phase where she likes to explore everything which includes wanting to run away. The first time she ever got away was during our weekend in Abilene when we came outside to find her sitting on the wrong side of the gate just watching Sasha in the backyard! Ever since I got back from Florida, Allie has learned that she can get out of my mom's backyard and anytime she is left alone for more than 10 seconds she will run out (yes, seriously, she was out there for less than 30 seconds one day and got out!). And Allie will not come when you call her, not even if you offer her an entire bag of treats. Needless to say this has been a very stressful month and has led to some stressful nights at my mom's when Allie has gotten away and scared me that she might not come back!

I went to a conference this week in Austin, so Allie got to spend the week with Uncle Jeremy, Aunt Aja and cousin Maggie. I warned them before I left about Allie's new fascination with escaping and how hard it is to catch her once she gets out because she really does run so fast! Well I got a call on Wednesday night to tell me that Allie had dug her way out of their fence (even though she has never tried to dig outside any other time) and spent 45 minutes out in their neighborhood before they could get her. I felt so terrible that she had caused so much trouble, but she had her adventure for the night.

Well now she is home safe and we are working on more training so she will listen better--we have been to training classes and work on things all the time, but she needs a lot more practice! I did decide to make Allie a new bed today though! I have been wanting to get her a bed for a while but have not found one I liked/I could afford. So I found a simple pattern and bought some cheap material and set to work. It was not hard to make at all and she LOVES it!

Her favorite thing to do right now is pick it up and carry it everywhere. She might be small but she is strong and carries lots of things around! Earlier I was heading to the bedroom and called her to come and she turned around to get the bed and brought it with her!

Now we just got back in from our walk a little while ago and she is passed out from being so tired--It's a hard life being a puppy!

July 20, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a Kitchenaid Mixer...

So I decided tonight that I wanted to do some baking! Lately I have been browsing through many baking and cooking blogs to see what I can find. I have come across many different recipes that look amazing. But tonight I decided to go with some Chocolate Chip Cookies (you can't go wrong with those!) recipe courtesy of Bake or Break--Adventures of an amateur baker.

I gathered up all the ingredients (which I happened to have all in my kitchen--I was so excited not to have to buy anything!) and got started (and of course documented with pictures!)

After making a mess in my kitchen--which I always do whenever I am baking, it's just a way of life for me--I got the cookies in the oven and they baked up. I just had one and they are SO good. They have the right amount of chocolate and wow, I just love them!

The only thing that would have made my night of baking better is if I had a lovely Kitchenaid Mixer to help with the process. Seriously, I am obsessed with these mixers and dream of owning one some day! (sadly enough, I really have had a dream about buying one--I had a dream that they were on sale and I got so excited and got one... yes, I do realize that's pathetic!). One day I will have a Kitchenaid in my kitchen, but until then, I will have to make do with what I've got.

July 16, 2008

I love Wednesday Walks

So I just got back from taking Allie-girl for a nice long walk! She has been missing her walks a lot lately. The week she stayed with Uncle Nick, they did not take walks because he just let her run in the backyard. And I was so busy at work last week we didn't go on many. And this week it has rained in the evenings when I wanted to take her. So I got home from work and we headed out. We went to the park and walked around the pond and it felt so good to get out (even though it is VERY hot!). Now she is passed out on my bed, but we are about to get up and find some dinner!

This week has been going pretty well. Work has been crazy for pretty much the last 2 months, and I think I am finally learning to adjust to all the changes! I had 2 visits cancel yesterday, which was bad, but also a blessing because I had office time to actually get stuff done! So when I left yesterday I felt very good about where I'm at with work. Things are crazy and there is still a lot to get done, but I have hope that things might actually get done :)

And now I am off to enjoy a relaxing evening of T.V. and cuddling with my puppy! Hope yours is great too...

July 13, 2008

Weekend full of walks, weddings, and work...

So my 4 day week back at work was very crazy and busy! It was hard to come back from vacation into all the craziness again, but I was very glad when the weekend arrived!

Friday night I stayed at home with my Allie-girl and we watched TV and hung out. I rented the 1st disc of Season One of Ugly Betty. My family loves this show and I decided to check it out. I really liked it, so now I need to go get the next disc!

Saturday I "slept in"--Allie woke up WAY too early, but we managed to go back to sleep and dozed off and on until about 9:30. Then I worked on cleaning my apartment. Things have been so crazy that I haven't had a chance to do a real deep cleaning in a while, so it felt good to clean everything up and get things in order! Then I decided Allie needed her fun morning out, so we went for a walk and then went to the dog park! I forgot to take my camera, so I don't have any pictures, but Allie had a blast playing with the other dogs--she especially loved a little bulldog puppy that was there. She loves to just follow everyone around and run to have other dogs chase her.

After a good hour of play time, we came back home so I could get ready to go to Tonya and Charlie's wedding in Tyler. Allie crashed as soon as we got home, so I was able to get ready pretty easily. Scott came over and we headed out to Tyler. It was a beautiful ceremony and reception--and it represented the two of them and their passions very well! And I of course loved getting some time with one of my best friends, the beautiful Erin who was an amazing bridesmaid!
This morning, I went to church and then lunch with some friends. Now I am home in my pajamas and unfortunately I have to do some work. Luckily, my friend lent me her work computer so I can get things done pretty quickly. Then hopefully I can get some rest before another crazy week begins!

Hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing Sunday!

July 8, 2008

back to reality...

So I'm am back to real life now! We got back home around 2:00 on Monday morning and luckily I had the day off to rest and get settled. But now I am back to work and back to reality.

To welcome me back to my real life, my puppy decided she wanted to be extra difficult yesterday! She ran away 5 (yes, FIVE) times yesterday...a couple times she ran out the door as we were carrying stuff and trying to hold her back. Then last night we were at my mom's and she decided she wanted to get out of the gate. She was in the yard and I went inside to get my shoes and 30 seconds later she was gone, so my brother and I had to go corner her so we could catch her, because to her us coming towards her is a game so she runs further away and started running toward the street!! But now she is safe at home, and is doing better now that we are at our house and not my mom's!

Then I headed back to work today and was back to the overwhelming feeling of all that needs to get done! Which was not helped by the fact that one of my co-workers decided to keep repeating that next week will be the middle of July!! Today was my first day at work in July and I have a long way to go to get in all my contacts with my families ;) But it was a manageable day and I was able to have some time to get organized and plan out what all needs to be done (lots of lists were made today!!)

There was one thing that made today more bearable... I finally broke down and decided to bid on this purse on ebay. I have been wanting this purse since last summer and look for it all the time, and I found it today and decided to go for it! And I managed to get out without spending too much on it, even with shipping. So in the next week, this purse will be mine!!

Now I'm off to give my sweet girl some attention before we crash. Thank God it's a short week for me!

July 6, 2008

last day in florida

So we are all packing up to head out today, but I of course needed to write about the rest of our trip! We had a wonderful day on the 4th. We spent the morning down at the beach jumping in the waves and floating on our new rafts! Then we all got cleaned up and headed to Joe's Crab Shack (our 2nd meal there this week!) for lunch because my cousin Noah really wanted a bucket of crabs! We had a great time, and I spent most of lunch playing all the games on the kiddie menu with my cousin Emily. We played tic tac toe, the box game, sudoku, and the word search. She was blue and I was red and we switched off finding words... it was a very fun lunch!

Then we headed back to our hotel to get ready for fireworks. We went down to the pool so the kiddos could swim and we all hung out and talked while we waited. After the fireworks, my cousin Christy left to go back to her house (about an hour away from Destin). It was a sad goodbye for us, because she will be leaving in a month go to to Japan for 4 years. She and her husband are both stationed there for the Air Force, so we will not be seeing her much in the next few years, but I am definitely planning a trip to go over!

Yesterday we spent about an hour down by the beach before we could tell that everyone was absolutely exhausted. Wendy was asleep in a chair, Noah and Emily were laying on the floats behind the chairs and Mason was half heartedly digging in the sand. So we decided to call it a day and go see WALL-E! I love having excuses to go see kid movies (even though I see them without excuses!!).

We headed back for dinner and dessert, then curled up on the couch to watch some Nick at Nite before bed!



My cousin Rick LOVES Krispy Kremes...
we have had 5 boxes at our condo this week!




On the couch with Miss Emmy, curled up under
her blanket and watching Family Matters!



It has been a wonderful week of relaxing and spending time with my family. I am sad to go home, but know I need to get back to the real world--and to my sweet Allie-girl!!

P.S. Nicki and Erin--My cousin Christy went on a cruise with her best friends this week, made me think we should plan one of those some day...

July 3, 2008

beach, books, and buckets

Today was our first full day at the beach and it was absolutely wonderful! I started my morning at the beach "jumping waves" with my little cousin Emily. She was scared to go out in the water because the waves were getting her, so we decided to jump over them... she had a blast and it wore us both out! The rest of my morning and afternoon at the beach was spent sitting in a lounge chair, sipping on a drink and reading. I finished my book that I had brought with me, and am very excited to start on a Nicholas Sparks' book that is at our condo! There is nothing better than spending a day reading by the water!

In the middle of the afternoon we came in and watched TV and ate lunch and rested up for an evening at the beach! When we went back out in the evening, we watched my little cousins play, which was very fun. The girls got out their nets and went to catch things in the ocean. They caught a bunch of snails (or crabs as they call them)--and filled a bucket! The boys (Noah and Mason) tried out their new skim boards. They both spent a lot of time trying to get it right and had a lot of fun!

Now we all just finished eating pizza and are curled up under the blankets watching TV. My cousin had to take my aunt to the doctor, so the rest of us are just resting tonight!

Here are a few pictures from today:



The girls checking out their bucket of snails

One of the boys trying out his skim board

We are very excited for the 4th tomorrow. We are planning to go do some shopping and go see Wall-E before enjoying some fireworks on the beach!

And one last thing: Emily and Wendy are sitting here helping me write up our day and they say hi too!

The books I am reading:

July 1, 2008

Vacation Adventures

So my mom and I are on our way to Florida for a week at the beach with some of my family. Tonight we are stopped in Biloxi, Mississippi on the way and I thought I'd write a little about my vacation so far...

We left this morning after saying goodbye to my sweet puppy and leaving her at home for Uncle Nick to take care of. We made it to Louisiana with no problems. Then we went to get on I-10 and traffic was stopped. We see the wreck and then a guy standing in the middle of the interstate directing traffic. While that doesn't sound like any big news, this was not an officer, it was just a random man who had been sitting in traffic, standing in the middle of the road directing all of the lanes. My mom tried to convince me that he was official, he just didn't look it--but then the police showed up and took over...

Then we continued down to I-12 where we came across the exit sign for "Baptist Pumpkin Center" yes, you read that right--we found the Baptist Pumpkin Center in Louisiana. My mom said it must be that someone's name is "Pumpkin" and they funded the center. But I maintained my thoughts that it is a haven for the Baptist pumpkins. So we finally get internet access and look it up, only to find that we are not the only ones to be amused by this sign. However, we did find out that they are town names--Baptist and Pumpkin Center are 2 towns in Louisiana. Which I must admist is kind of disappointing, but still added some humor to our day!

Then we arrived at our Hotel tonight only to find that there is Biker Fest going on! We pulled into the parking lot and it was full of motorcycles. It would not be as big of a deal, except this is not the first time my mom and I have encountered this. We have stayed in a hotel in Austin when there was a biker convention going on!

So that has been my fun-filled day of driving! Tomorrow we will finish our drive to Florida--I am so ready to lay by the beach and enjoy the week with my family!

June 30, 2008

Hello Blog :)

So my best friend told me this weekend that I had to get a blog, so here I am! Hopefully I'll find a way to keep this going and think of interesting things to say!

We'll start by saying how glad I am that it is summer! This past weekend, my puppy (Allie) and I packed up and went to Abilene for a fun weekend with my best friends. It was such a wonderful time with Nicki and Erin. We were able to just spend time together and talk and enjoy being together. We had lots of fun--from accessory shopping and happy hour at sonic, to pedicures and eating out, to watching chick flicks and making brownies--it was a wonderful weekend. So relaxing, it just went by too quickly.

It was especially nice to get away from work for a weekend. I love my job, but working with people can be draining. I've had a lot happen with my families in the last month that has been emotionally hard and I've just been working a lot of hours.

But now I am finally on VACATION!!! I have been at my job for 11 months now and I have not taken off more than 1 day at a time, so I am very excited for my week off. I am off to the beach to lay in the sun and just relax! I am going to miss my sweet Allie girl who is staying with Uncle Nick this week, but I know she will have lots of fun!

Today's blessing: Time off from work