Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Who Are You? (A Musical Bloggy Giveaway)

My Christmas recap happened to be my 200th post on this little blog. I, for one, can't believe I'm still going because I was sure this would go the way of myspace.

From what I can tell through my Google Analytics, there are quite a few people reading my rambles. Some of you are personal friends and family, and some of you are folks I have never met before. I would like to take this opportunity to say "Hi, my name is Emily, and I read blogs of people I don't know too, so please don't feel awkward leaving a comment."

If you would be so kind to humor me, I would like to take a survey of the reading population. To entice you to actually participate I will give away a $15 iTunes card* to one of you lucky commenters!

It's so easy! Just leave a comment saying hi and possibly how you got here (if you don't know me in real life). If you do know me, just say hi! No google account? No problem! Anonymous comments are accepted--just make sure you sign your name.

Everyone who comments is eligible to win, unless they live at Casa de Gentry. I will draw a winner next Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 to give those of you who read at work (I know you do!) a chance to weigh in.

Thanks for stopping by!

*If you're not an iTunes kinda person, and you win, we'll figure something out!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Celebrate the Child Who is the Light

I hope you've had a wonderful celebration of the birth of the Savior. We have gathered with both sides of our families, we have worshipped in candlelight, the gifts are unwrapped, and now we are almost home.

I have slept late every day. I have stayed up late almost every night. We've watched every Harry Potter movie released, and Brad's been hunting nearly everyday. It has been peaceful. Now I am just fighting off a cold that I picked up from someone who shall remain nameless.

These photos are from Christmas Eve.

Brad (after opening his new hybrid golf club)

Drew swapping out his old pick guard with the new.
Santa also brought him a winning lotto scratch off.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Monday night was our annual Gentry family Christmas gift exchange. I probably should give it some clever name rather than GFCGE, but that can wait for another year, I suppose. By Gentry family, I mean Brad and me.

Our tradition is to go out for dinner, then come home and open presents, but this year, we decided it was way too cold. We'd rather just stay home until it warms up a little bit (which yay, it has.) But this girl wasn't about to mess up her kitchen, so I brought home dinner from Celebration, one of our favorite restaurants over in Big D, and dessert from Tart, one of my fave-o bakeries.

Imagine my delight to see in the midst of our presents that Santa had heard my whining about my broken camera and seen fit to bring us a new one. And it's exactly what we/I wanted--imagine that! That Santa--he's good.

P.S. At some point between my childhood and now, it appears that Santa has begun having the elves wrap the presents. Does he (or did he) do that at your house? On Christmas mornings of yore, Drew's and mine were laid out, unwrapped.

Christmas Weekend No. 3

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been intermittently taking vacation on Friday to use up my remaining days. This year I received a third week of vacation, and after rationing only two weeks for the past five years, it seems like I just had a whole lot of vacation days this year. No complaints from me--it has been lovely to have a day here and there of no expectation from anyone. That being said, I took Friday as a "me" day.

Friday evening, we left for Texarkana to have Christmas with Brad's family. (And when I say we left for Texarkana, we left a sparkling, spotless house. All gifts were wrapped. The laundry was completely done--even the special care stuff. Even the pile of clothes in the bedroom was conquered. Can you tell I am a wee bit proud of myself and my "me" day?)

Saturday half of Brad's family came to town for gift exchanging and lunch. Even Penny Lane got a present (from Brad's cousin, the veterinarian!) One gift I received was the Martha Stewart Cooking School book. On first glance it looks great--it teaches you "how to" do all sorts of things, like how to carve a turkey, roast a tenderloin, make a white sauce, etc. When I added it to my wish list I had no idea it had all the good information I'm seeing inside.

While we had a nice trip, we did make a sad visit by the hospital to see his grandfather. Thursday night he was admitted due to some chest pain. He had an angiogram Monday morning, and the prognosis was not favorable. He will not be having surgery, and for now, he is comfortable and resting. We would be so blessed if you would pray with us for Mr. Gentry and the rest of our family during this time.

After church and a lot of Mexican food, we helped do some cleaning at the Gentry grandparents' home to help get it ready for Mr. Gentry to come home from the hospital (he and the Mrs. are nearing their 90s). We headed west around 4 to be back for the two day work week.

I could get used to the two day work week.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Just Like a Circus

You say I'm crazy?
I got your crazy.

--Britney Jean Spears, 2008

Britney has been on the pop music scene for 10 years, and for each of those 10 years I have been loving her music. Like everyone else, I watched with fascinated horror as her life began to fall apart, starting with the K-Fed nonsense and fast forwarding from there. At one point, I was sure that I would have to go to LA, somehow become her BFF, and help her get her life back on track. I'm thankful that her dad stepped in because how awkward would it have been to show up at her door and be like "I know you don't know me, but Girl, Adnan has got to go."

I haven't downloaded her entire new album yet, but "Womanizer" and "Circus" have been on my commute to work playlist for the past two-ish weeks almost on repeat. Loves it. And of course I watched Britney: For the Record. I thought the documentary was somewhat insightful, but kinda vague at times. In particular, I liked it when she balked at the interviewer calling her a victim of her fame. I got the impression that she thought it was a bit offensive to others to call herself a victim, when her trouble stemmed from being rich and famous. She's trying to turn things around, and I think she's going to do it.

(Another thought on the documentary--seriously, what is the deal with Madonna's face?)

The thinking part of my brain does not want to feel sorry for BJS, but I couldn't help but feel a slight twinge of sadness when I think about the fact that she can't go to the grocery store or walk through a mall without people mobbing her for a photo. Because of the fame, she can't ever just be. And how can she know if people are being genuine? I think that would get lonely. Without a doubt, there is definitely more to life than fame and fortune. She needs Jesus.

Perhaps I will pull a Bebo and write a song about it. Now you must confess--do you love Brit, too?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Weekend No. 2

Oh yes, it's time for another weekend wrap-up. It was another wonderful one in the flurry that is the holiday season. I think I've been coming down with something, but thankfully, I've been able to take some time and rest. Who wants to be sick over Christmas?

Friday, I took the afternoon off and fell asleep on the couch. The grand plans I had to accomplish anything took a back seat to being unproductive. I slept from 2 to 5:30. After I put myself back together, we headed out to finalize our Christmas shopping and hang out in the Starbucks at Barnes & Noble. Back at home, I finished Breaking Dawn again for the second time. Even after my long nap, I still slept all night long.

I woke up Saturday morning determined to be super productive. By 9:30 am I had baked 6 dozen cookies for a Sunday lunch family gathering, changed the sheets on the bed, and finished the other weekly laundry. I put the last batch of cookies in the oven just as my mom called to tell me not to bring any sweets because she bought two cakes at the bakery. Feel free to laugh--I did. Needless to say, I have been spreading Christmas cheer by forcefeeding cookies to my Co-Workers all day today.

Saturday evening we met up with friends for dinner at Galligaskins on Camp Bowie. It is a great, slow Saturday night place to catch up. We headed home after cheesecake and more laughs over at the Smiths' house.

Sunday found us daytripping down to the farm to meet up with my dad's side of the family. Drew is done with school for the semester, so I'm a bit jealous that we still have to work while everyone is at home hanging out. I personally feel that college winter break is wasted on the young. Or maybe not, since I would just sleep all day too. Work it while you got it, college students of America.

Hope you had a great weekend--only 9 shopping days left!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Surprise, Surprise

Wednesday, when I got home from a long day at the office, Brad mentioned that he wanted to take me out to dinner Thursday night downtown and to look at the city Christmas tree. Fun and romantic, right?

I got home from work (late again) Thursday evening, and we loaded up for P.F. Chang's. He had put Michael W. Smith's Christmastime album in the cd player, and we were singing along when he reminded me that it was the 5th anniversary of our first date. I thought that was incredibly sweet of him to remember. On that first "official" date, he took me to the Michael W. Smith Christmas concert over in Dallas. Such fun memories.

As we were talking over dinner, I made a joke about getting him a present, but that it was wrapped and under the tree. (I have been trying to get him to let me open this one package early, which is a scheme I try every year, and I thought this might work if I let him open one.) Well, to my surprise, he had something for me in his pocket: Celine Dion tickets!

Because I would never subject him to a Celine Dion concert, I am taking my mom with me on January 5th. (I think he is a little relieved.) I can't wait! I'm definitely going to see Celine!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Louisiana Saturday Night

Here are just a few pictures from Amanda's wedding. (My camera is on strike, therefore I am borrowing.) Amanda was one of my college roommates, and along with Alisia, we lived together for 4 years either in the same apartment or next door to one another in the dorms. We have had so many fun adventures together, and it was such fun and an honor to be part of her big day.

Getting our nails done, of course.

At the rehearsal dinner, on the bayou.

The beautiful bride and her girls, out in front of the reception site.

One more of many, many roommate pics!

The bride and groom, with the jazz band.

I can't wait to see the photographer's finished products!

Christmas Weekend No. 1

Reflecting on everything we did this weekend, I would say it was incredibly busy, but every event was something I was super excited about, therefore, it was relatively relaxing one. Does that even make any sense?

Friday evening we started out with our Sunday school department's Christmas party. It was a fun time to catch up with friends--it seemed like we hadn't seen anyone in forever since we were out for Thanksgiving and the wedding the week prior to it.

Saturday was a wonderful day for sleeping late. I made breakfast, did some of the never-ending laundry, and picked up in the house before heading out for shopping. Let me pause for a moment to say that considering how bad traffic was on Saturday, I absolutely will be finalizing my Christmas shopping on the weekdays or online. I don't see the downturn in the economy with the number of people out and about.

That evening we dressed up and headed to downtown Dallas for my office Christmas party. It was fabulous, and I even won a prize in the raffle!

Finally on Sunday we spent the day at church. I help with pre-school choir on Wednesday nights, and their Christmas Cookie Theater performance was last night. They are SO cute and keep me stitches. They sang two songs, and then dressed up and acted out the nativity scene during two other songs. I can't decide what was more entertaining--when "Mary" looked up at me and asked "Will you carry the baby Jesus in? I'm TOO tired," or when we noticed that the "donkey" (yes we had a donkey costume) had gotten tired and decided to rest on the manger. They are absolutely precious. The hour I spend with them each Wednesday is one of the most hectic yet rewarding times I have all week.

I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas season!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Now that it's December, I thought I would take a little time to tell you about our Thanksgiving. It was delightful.

This year my man's family decided to get together here in DFW. I have to say that there is something to waking up in your own bed on Thanksgiving morning. It's nice. But of course, there is nothing like being home with the fam either.

I'm not really sure how this occurred, but this is the very first Thanksgiving I spent away from my immediate family. And, not to give myself too big of a pat on the back here, but I think I handled it with much aplomb. I banned sadness from my day and didn't cry for my mama. Could it be that I have finally grown up?

That being said, Friday evening after taking in a showing of Twilight, we packed our bags and headed to the farm for the weekend. (Like I would not see my the fam at all over the holiday when we are only 90 minutes away!) We got in just in time for gathering at my grandparents' including but not limited to: watching Jeremiah Johnson (a Robert Redford classic), eating hot dogs, and talking really loud over one another. All in all--a good time.

Saturday, Brad rolled out of bed and into the deer stand at a very early hour. I went hunting too, but chose to do it at Northpark and the Galleria. (I had a bit more success than him. Sorry sweetie!) The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing and eating leftovers.

I hope your holiday was a good one too. Bring on the Christmas cheer!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Regarding Twilight

I would call this a book report, but it's probably closer to a commentary on the fact that I read a book (or really 4 books) about vampires, rather than a synopsis of the story itself.

I'm not sure what's more shocking to me: the fact that little conservative Baptist me read them or the fact that they were written by a Mormon housewife. But guess what? I liked it.

I had heard a murmuring about the series when they announced that the movie was coming out. I dismissed it immediately, but someone else gave me just the little encouragement I needed, so read them I did. I bought the book on the way out to New Orleans last weekend and finished it that night. By Monday I had purchased the last three books and finished Breaking Dawn Tuesday night. They are an easy read and really good. I don't think it's the best writing ever or that the characters are amazing, but I had just had to know how it ended, you know? Good story.

I kept thinking about Jane Eyre throughout it, so I was not surprised when I did some research and saw that the author was a fan of Bronte.

Was Bella a weak character? Yes. Girl needs to get a backbone and quit the whining. Would I recommend this for teenagers? I would say no, but I can think of several books that were accepted reading for me in high school that had much less wholesome story lines. (One author that sticks out in my head is D.H. Lawrence.) Are there some dark themes? Of course there are--it's about vampires. However, the whole book is about struggling to be good, even though you have a nature to be bad. And in the end, it's about the triumph of that good.

Have I seen the movie? How could I stay away? As I stood in the bathroom after the movie listening to three teenage girls remark (in so many words) how Kristen Stewart was a terrible Bella, I had a hard time restraining myself from jumping into their 15-year-old conversation. I agree, like, totally. But it was still really good.

And just in case there could be any question about it--I am totally Team Edward.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Big Easy

This past weekend we ventured to New Orleans to see this fun girl get married. The wedding was across Lake Ponchartrain in her hometown of Slidell, and as soon as I find some pictures from the event I will post them. (My camera went the way of my dishwasher, so I am pictureless on my own. Santa, did you hear that?)

New Orleans has always seemed haunted to me. Before it was those fascinating cemeteries, but now the ghost of Katrina lurks around every corner. Every street we travelled made me wonder what it was like during the storm. Thoughts of the Superdome make me shudder, and new construction everywhere is a reminder that things are not what they were. (Nevermind that I also started the Twilight series on the trip, so I was already in a vampire frame of mind--but that is another post for another time.)

After the beautiful wedding, we moved from our hotel in Slidell to spend Saturday night at the Ritz-Carlton in the French Quarter. It was lovely, beautiful, relaxing, fabulous, and a slow-paced way to kick off the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. That night we bundled up and walked around the Quarter, taking in the sights. There is no other place quite like it, you know? As we walked down Canal St., a jazz band was leading a just-married bride and groom, along with their wedding party and guests, to their reception. The guests were waving white streamers, while the bride and groom twirled parasols as they paraded down the street. It was fun and joyful. We ended the night listening to a talented woman crooning cool jazz standards in the hotel bar.

Sunday morning we slept in, then got up and walked to Jackson Square where we dined al fresco at Cafe du Monde. Yum. We explored the narrow streets of the French Quarter a bit more, taking in the street performers and beautiful architecture before ending up at the Shops on Canal Street (yay!). After a late jazz brunch at the Palace Cafe, we left the hotel and headed for the plane to take us home to Dallas.

It was a wonderful last half of the weekend after a fast-paced, but super fun beginning!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dish Pan Hands

We pretty much sit at the table for dinner every night. The only exception is a pizza night (which was made for eating in front of the tv, right?) I think it's a good habit to get into to sit down and visit with one another, and I'm glad we're making it a priority in our home even now before we have children. To that point, I enjoy setting the table, and every night we eat off of the real stuff--no paper plates. And, I take some housewife-ly pride in that fact because my husband can't say we don't use all those dishes we (um, I) registered for.

But yesterday, it was all I could do to keep from picking up some paper plates.

You see, my dishwasher bit the big one on Saturday.

It was only 16 months old. Seriously. And seriously out of warranty.

And after washing all the dishes sitting in the washer at the time of death, along with the others that had piled up since then, my hands can't take it anymore.

So we hied ourselves to Sears yesterday and ordered a new one. It will be here Wednesday, which can't get here fast enough. I had no idea it was so critical to the orderliness of my household until I was dishwashing deficient. If I had to make a list of my favorite kitchen gadgets, I would say this is a kitchen gadget my hands cannot live without.

What's your fave kitchen gadget? I'm always looking for suggestions. A close second to the dishwasher for me would have to be my pineapple corer that I picked up in Boone, NC, and I can't remember the store name now. It rocks only slightly less than a working dishwasher.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Love A Rainy Night

If you were anywhere in our area last Monday night, you know that it downpoured all night long. It started when I got home from work and didn't let up until around 4 am or so. Don't ask why I know that or why I am so tired this week. (It will sound like pager blah blah batch job blah blah. It's a boring story.)

Due to the weather, we decided to tuck ourselves in at home for a cozy MNDN. It was my night to plan, so I decided to bring back an oldie, but a goodie--taco soup.

Taco Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 envelope of Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing dry mix
1 envelope of taco seasoning
2 cans of hominy
2 cans of Rotel
2 cans of Ranch Style Beans

Brown the ground beef and drain. Grab a large pot and add the beef, all the canned ingredients (without draining the liquids), the ranch dressing mix, and the taco seasoning. Add a couple of cans of water and heat the whole thing up to your desired soup temperature.

Easy as can be and incredibly delicious, and a great excuse to pull out my favorite soup bowls! I also mixed together a box of Jiffy cornbread muffins. They are the perfect complement.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To Do: Make To Do List

Another weekend has come and gone, and we are only 7 weekends away from 2009. I need someone to explain to me how time passes so much faster with age (or should I say maturity? That sounds better.) It seems like when I was younger, it took for-ev-er for Christmas to come, but now, I blink and I'm already packing the decorations up again, hoping that I will remember where I put what for next year. (I won't even begin to talk about how the season itself is so rushed by retailers.)

This past weekend was low key and wonderful. I had grand plans (check list in hand) to deep clean the house in preparation for the holiday season's guests and events, but it just didn't happen. And that's okay. I cleaned out at least one closet and a junk drawer, plus I did most of our laundry. As of Sunday night, I'm more than halfway done with my Christmas shopping. I also spent a therapeutic hour and a half aimlessly wandering an antique mall Saturday afternoon. My husband treated me out for dinner two nights in a row, and I spent Sunday afternoon lunching and exploring the square in Denton with Drew. These are good times.

Maybe next weekend I will make a to do list and stick with it. Then again, maybe not.

Friday, November 7, 2008


On my windshield Wednesday night after church. I love him so much.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Family Photo Shoot

It's funny the things we submit to for love. I don't like camping, but I've done it a couple of times. Brad has learned to fold towels as they are meant to be folded. I'd rather be reading a book on Sunday afternoon, but occasionally I watch football next to him on the couch. For Brad, this weekend was one of those weekends of something we do for love--a family photo session.

Our friends from church, Leslie and Brian Lane, have been doing photography for years prior to moving to Fort Worth, both professionally and for their own personal fun. They are starting their professional photography business up in Fort Worth, and we (or more accurately--I) jumped at the chance to have some portraits made by them. Saving one terrible, blue-background Olan Mills church directory photo, we haven't had real photos made since our wedding.

We met the Lanes at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens last Sunday afternoon. They are quite a team. We brought a couple of outfits (disclaimer: shirts for Brad, outfits for me) to let Leslie direct us into the best colors as we worked our way around different sites. They scouted out sites all over the Gardens. I ♥ the way our pics turned out! Here are just a few of my favorites.

If you are in the DFW area and need photos made, please check them out! Their sitting fee includes a cd with all of your photos in high-res. The pictures are all yours to order whenever you want from whatever vendor you choose (snapfish, shutterfly, etc.) for whatever reason (as in, one of these will probably be our Christmas card pic.) It's a great deal, so please let me know if you'd like their contact info.

Thanks Leslie and Brian! They are great!

MNDN: Episode 4

Oh yes, we've made it four weeks in a row for a Monday Night Date Night. It's definitely in the tradition category at this point. Sunday, we had a little "discussion" over whether or not the previous Monday night counted as the night I planned. We both finally "agreed" that it did. He's a good man.

I have been running a bit late getting home from work because of, well, work. It's busy, and that's a good thing. By the time I got home, it was dark. Am I the only one that thinks the only thing good about fall back is that you get one extra hour of sleep? That is hardly enough to outweigh the other 6 months (or whathaveyou) that it's dark when you pull in the driveway each night. No thank you.

Anyway, moving on. We went to Razzoo's. Now before you say, "What kind of date is that?" I probably should state that our goal for MNDN is to try something we've not had before. Razzoo's falls in this category somewhat since I had it only once a long, long time ago.

So we got there and ordered some fried pickles to start our fabulous date on the pseudo-bayou. The food was okay (Brad definitely out-ordered me with shrimp wrapped with bacon and jalapeno--I had a salad). But the company was fantastic, and our waiter was one of the best we've ever had. (Shout out to D @ Razzoo's.)

It was nice to slow down, take our time, and talk about things not political. (Amen?) Thanks for a great night, BWG.

Here's one of my favorite old pics of us, since I didn't take one at Razzoo's.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


HALLELUJAH, originally uploaded by emgentry02.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

MNDN Update

We've made it three in a row. This week it was my turn to plan MNDN, and I lucked out in that my Company was having a big party, so no cooking or real planning on my part was involved. And we got to hang with the McElroys who we don't get to see very often, so it was a fun time.

The guys drove over from FW to Big D for the night, and we ate dinner and enjoyed the music of Asleep at the Wheel. It was hard not to start two-stepping right there. They played some of my favorites: San Antonio Rose, Boogie Back to Texas, Route 66, and tons more. We loved it!

Here was our souvenir for the evening...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Class of '98

My 10 year high school reunion was this past weekend.  Initially, I was only going to the Saturday night event, but last minute I changed my mind because more people were showing up Friday than Saturday. It turned out to be a great decision. After I visited with quite a few people, we ended up around the corner at a local coffee shop with several of my classmates and played games until about 11 PM. I also found out that I really enjoy the game Mad Gab. Beware party people!

Saturday, Brad played golf with my dad, and my mom and I went shopping in downtown Corsicana. There are a couple of antique stores I love to dig through, and I found something beautiful that I can't wait to put up in the house. We also talked Christmas lists, and that, my friends, is always a good time.

Saturday night was not quite as fun as Friday, but there were a few people there that I had not laid eyes on since May of 1998, so it was good to catch up with them. I learned what people do, who they married, how many kids, where they live, etc. It's hard to summarize 10 years of living in a 5 minute conversation. It has made me reflect on life in a small town, which is not bad at all, despite the fact that everyone tries to escape! There is no traffic, and there is a greater sense of community, in my opinion. And, we have a really good bakery, plus they are getting a Denny's.

I guess we'll do it again in 10 years. Three cheers for the gold and the blue!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ladies' Night Out

Last night was Ladies' Night Out at my church. I ended up at a table with girls from my Sunday school class along with a couple of the leaders from our Department. There are so many beautiful and talented ladies in my church, and it's such a sweet time to get to be in the same room with them from so many different walks of life, different ages, and different callings on their lives.

And now for the part where I borrow pics from Ashley's blog.

Our theme for the year is celebrate, so here we are doing exactly that.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Night Date Night

You know, we are Aggies, so pretty much anytime we do something more than once, we like to call it a tradition. That being said, tonight was our traditional Monday night date night (MNDN). What can I say, my husband loves me more than football. And I him.

Tonight we ventured down into the refurbished Montgomery Ward building (now Montgomery Plaza) for dinner at Brad's pick for MNDN, Mac's on 7th. In a word--delicious!!! For my meal, I ordered from the appetizer list the tamale with shrimp topped with some ridiculously tasty sauce, and Bradley had CFS with their macaroni and 7 heart attacks--I mean cheeses--on the side. Somehow we ended up with an order of onion rings. We cannot help but try onion rings wherever we go. I think we've eaten them on every anniversary at nearly every nice steak place in DFW. It's our "thing" I suppose. (FYI, we think Smith & Wollensky's are best, but they are closed in DFW, so Reata has taken the top spot for best ORs.)

Anyway, two very enthusiastic thumbs up for Mac's on 7th. Since it was his date night, Brad blew me away by topping it off with dessert--Halloween cupcakes from Bluebonnet Bakery. He's the sweetest!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Finally, a Weekend at Home!

This weekend has been wonderful! It was slow and laid back and perfect.

Friday at noon I had the occasion to get away from work a little early. Brad and I ended up on our way to Southlake Town Square for a little shopping (a sacrifice on his part) and stopped on our way back home at Joe T. Garcia's. It was a perfect afternoon and evening. We sat in a section of Joe T's that was so beautiful, we hardly wanted to leave.

Yesterday I did the most luxurious thing--I slept in! Brad got up and went golfing at dark-thirty. Apparently they were the first people on the golf course. No thank you. I spent the rest of the day doing laundry. If it was fabric, washable, and in my house, I think it went through my washing machine. My kitchen is sparkling, and I even finished a book I had been reading, The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenerger. I'll have to give you a book report on it when I have more time because there is a movie coming out based on it. We finished the evening at a friends' kiddo's birthday party and had a great time catching up with friends we hadn't seen in a while.

I have to pause here to say that as we were coming home at 8:30 Saturday night, we were both commenting on how we were tired and would be ready for bed soon. Almost immediately, the radio deejay came on and said he was playing music for people getting ready to go out. We just had to laugh--we are getting old.

Today was church and a nap. Now we're playing with Penny Lane. She has some new tricks (however she has not learned to stop biting. Any ideas--leave them in the comments.)

I know this is a boring update, but to me, it was a beautiful fall weekend. At home!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Date Night

Over the past month we have been incredibly busy--both of us have been going in different directions, 90 miles an hour. Last weekend we were in Texarkana for Brad's high school reunion, which was busy, but really fun. We decided we needed one more night to put off cleaning the house and unpacking, so tonight was declared a date night. It was a wonderful time to hang out just the two of us. (We spent 8 hours in the car this weekend, and we still wanted to spend time together. I think that's a good thing!)

I saw a mention in the Dallas Morning News a few weeks ago for an Italian restaurant in Fort Worth that was listed as one of the top 5 places this particular reviewer would recommend to visitors to the area. That's all we needed to decide to check out Brix Pizza located near Hulen and Vickery.

We both had a salad to start and split a pizza. It was more than enough food for the two of us, and we will definitely go back. The crowd was a little sparse (everyone but us was on the patio), but the atmosphere was perfectly romantic for us. Here's my hot date! (Pardon the dark pics--my camera is under the weather.)

We rounded out the night with a trip to the Apple store and a lap through Williams-Sonoma. For dessert, we sampled their pumpkin spice waffles and the apple cinnamon cider. Yum-o! We just finished laughing at Penny trying to capture a frog (unsuccessfully.) She cracks us up.

Here's to a trillion more date nights with the love of my life.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Where I've Been, What I've Been Up To

I am finally home from my recent work trips for good. Last week was Atlanta, and when I left on Monday morning, my suitcase from San Francisco was still sitting in the middle of the bedroom floor. As a general rule, I don't like unpacking because it means that some really fun trip is over with, but in this case I was extremely glad to be home and both of my suitcases are now put away. Of course, in place of those is a big giant pile of dress clothes that either need to be dry cleaned or laundered, and I just can't bring myself to take care of it. No fun.

I was in Atlanta for approximately 4 days and saw about 45 minutes of a mall where I ate Chick-fil-a and picked up some makeup that I had run out of (at Bloomingdale's though, so that was a little fun, and I got a 'little brown bag'.) Otherwise, I saw zero of the city outside of the airport and a classroom where I sat for 8 hours a day. I'll have to go back someday.

One thing in my travels over the last 2 weeks that I have come to appreciate immensely is free WiFi. Other cities have free hot spots everywhere. I was even able to video iChat with Drew from the PHX airport. What's the deal, DFW? Other than Panera and the Toyota dealership, we have no free WiFi love around here.

While I was gone, my husband went on a mission trip with some men from our church to help victims of Hurricane Ike down in the Beaumont area. From what I understand, it was quite a trip. The devastation down there is wild, and it seems to me the news media has barely reported on it. I don't get it. The trip definitely opened our eyes, and we are praying so much for those affected.

Since he left on Wednesday for that trip, and I got home on Thursday, that left me with some time on my hands. I stayed with Alisia on Thursday night, took a vacation day Friday just because I could, hosted a Girls' Night In at my house on Friday night (husband away = chick flick movie madness) with some friends, and my brother came to spend the rest of the weekend with me. (I should insert a note here for myself that in the future, when I make chicken salad, I should half my recipe. I forgot, so when I made it for Friday evening, and it made enough to feed the neighborhood. For several days. )

I was so glad when Brad got home Saturday night! We have just about readjusted to sharing a bathroom again, the dog recognizes both of us, and the laundry is piled up in the usual locations.

In the words of Dorothy, "there's no place like home!"

Monday, September 29, 2008

Visit to the Motherland

Some may boast of prowess bold
of the school they think so grand.
But there's a Spirit can ne'er be told.
It's the Spirit of Aggieland!

(I think I take this exact same picture every time I go to an Aggie football game. Here is 2008's.)

Last weekend, Brad drove half the night to pick me up at Houston Hobby around 12:40 AM Saturday, then on to College Station where we got in around 2:45 AM. It was nuts. He is so awesome! We stayed with our gracious friends, the Buckners, whose hospitality is unmatched, especially since they let us have their house while they were out of town. Thank you Jen!

Our crazy Friday night/Saturday morning was made possible by our friend Hurricane Ike, whose gifts just keep coming. While our situation was not nearly so desperate as many in the Houston area, Ike put the Marriott where I had a Friday reservation out of commission until November. Too bad I didn't find that out until Wednesday, which explains our crazy nocturnal journey. Oh well!

The sun was out in full force at the top of the Zone.
My legs are still stinging today.

It was Military Appreciation Day at Kyle Field. It was only appropriate since
both Army and A&M have such deep military tradition. On the field is the flag
they displayed while the Singing Cadets sang 'God Bless America.'

And here are some of my wonderful friends where we met up after the game!
Amber, Mikalah, Rachel, and me

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Texas on My Mind

I'm sitting here in my hotel room getting ready to fly home to Texas tomorrow night. I have to be honest--I'm missing a tall, dark, and handsome fella. No place is quite as much fun without him. But of course, I still had a little fun!

Tonight's adventure took us to Ghirardelli Square, as in the chocolate maker. YUM. After walking around this area a bit, seeing where the trolley cars begin their route (that will be saved for another trip west with my man), and checking out the beautiful view around the bay, we ate at McCormick & Kuleto's, part of the McCormick & Schmick's group. Wow. The main dining room had floor to ceiling windows overlooking the bay where I observed the most beautiful sunset and watched the city lights spring to life. It was a fine evening.

I found the most odd/interesting fact about San Francisco printed along the bottom of my menu this evening. Apparently, the city has passed its own universal health care plan for uninsured residents (I looked it up--it started in '06), and they fund it by adding an additional 3.5% tax onto your bill. I have my own opinions about universal health care, but I like to keep it light and fluffy on the blog, so my comment is this--it speaks volumes about the political climate and mindset of this city, doesn't it?

Onto the good stuff. Here is the bonus for being the Gentry in Texas--an 'I Missed You' souvenir! I channelled my missing Bradley into shopping for him. I hope chocolate does the trick.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sittin' by the Dock of the Bay

I am loving San Francisco. The weather--perfect. My hair--behaving in a way that I enjoy. The only negative is that I think they import their Diet Coke from Mexico because it tastes like Coca Cola Light. That es no bueno.

Last night we went to dinner and then came back to the hotel, but tonight, we ventured into the city. Part of our exploration led us to the sea lions. I was talking to Brad on the phone while we were walking past there, and he asked what the deal was with the dogs barking. It was the sea lions being incredibly loud.

We also made a quick run through Chinatown. Proof that I'm not grabbing these pics off of Flickr.

Here's a shot of Alcatraz. It is one of the sites I will visit someday when I come back with my man, so for now, that is as close as I'm getting. We dined at a place called The Fog something or other not far from where I snapped this shot. It was pretty good and had a beautiful view of the bay.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Golden Gate City

If you're going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
--Scott McKenzie

This evening we went out for dinner over the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito at The Spinnaker, over the water in San Francisco Bay. These pics were taken with my iphone as we went over the bridge.

With the Band

Saturday night, Brad and I ventured north to Denton to hear the band my brother is playing in, Kimbrell, in their first gig. We clearly were at the top end of the age group there listening, but we had a great time. I wish I had better recording equipment! Drew is on the far right in this very dark video footage I took. Please pardon the guy in front of me who obviously had spent more time on his hair than I had on mine. You can see the light reflecting off of the white bass guitar, and with the occasional camera flash, you can see he's wearing a blue shirt. Lead vocals are Ryan, lead guitar is Hunter, and Matt is on drums.

Good times in Denton.

Dinner for 6 & Bowling

Friday night, we met up with our Bible Fellowship class for dinner for 6 & bowling. Before the entire class met for bowling at Main Event, we met as smaller groups for dinner. Here's our group, ready for some bowling action!

The Randels, The Gentrys, & The Guesses

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fall into 2009

It's been rather quiet on the homefront this week. Hurricane Ike brought cooler weather, and that cooler weather has reminded me that fall is going to be busy.

Next month we're doing the high school reunion tour. We both have our 10 year class reunions on different weekends (thankfully, I guess?), so that should be entertaining at the very least. My friends who've gone to their 10 years have said they were glad they went, so I am looking forward to it. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Then in November, we'll be going to New Orleans for Amanda's wedding! The week after the wedding starts the family/holiday travel. And then that will be that for 2008. Where did the year go?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Starlight Ball

Last night Brad and I joined others from our church in attending the Starlight Ball to benefit the Fort Worth Pregnancy Center. The Center exists to minister to young pregnant women, helping them to make an informed decision to honor the life of their unborn baby. Many women come to know Christ through this organization. It was an absolute joy to participate in this event. There was dinner and dancing, and the event was emceed by Jody Dean of the 98.7 KLUV morning show (I KLUV my oldies, so that was really cool to me!) The entertainment for the evening was Christian comedian Ken Davis.

Here some fun pics, most courtesy of Ashley because my camera is on strike. Or broken.

Look! It's my long lost husband! I'm so thankful he's home!

We went with the Smiths.

Ladies mingling before dinner is served.

Leigh and I at dinner!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Home Sweet Home

BWG has been out of town on business for almost two weeks. It's been a challenging few days, but I feel like I've done a million things while he was gone to pass the time more quickly. I have missed him and can't wait to pick him up at the airport this evening!

It is no secret to anyone that knows me that I'm a big chicken and can't stand to stay by myself. I hear every noise in the house like I never have before. I had made up my mind to be a big girl and stay alone the whole time, but I quickly persuaded myself otherwise. By 10:15 the first night, I chickened out and called Alisia. Almost every night she came and stayed in my guest room. If that's not a wonderful friend, then I don't know what one looks like. And it was so much fun to see her almost everyday! Thank you, girl! I owe you big time!

Saturday after the Ladies' Brunch, I went home and visited my parents. That also means I saw my grandparents (since they live right across the pasture), and for lunch on Sunday, one set of aunts, uncles, and cousins were there. I can't tell you how much I love Sunday lunch at my grandparents.

Of course, I have had little Penny Lane with me the entire time. Taking care of a puppy alone is some hard work! I think ours might be what is considered a "strong-willed" dog. Also, I can't be certain, but I think she thinks her name is "NO" or "STOP IT". I see obedience training in her future. But she has been a great little companion, especially when she is tired and will lay in my lap. (This occurs only about 5 minutes a day, but it is really cute nonetheless.)

Drew drove down Monday to babysit me while the installer put in my window stuff, and then we went to dinner. Thanks Drewdy! So many others have called and checked on me, and I have appreciated it so much. I am blessed with a great group of friends and family and friends that are like family. Love that!

Other than working, I've been busy shopping, meeting up for dinner or sewing, shopping (Amanda, I have my bridesmaid shoes!), doing church stuff, and shopping.

But my honey comes home today! Yay!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Before & After

Back in May, I ordered window treatments and a window seat cushion for our dining area. All of it was finally installed this week. It definitely made over that part of the house, and I'm so pleased with how they turned out!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

So bring your good times, and your laughter too.

We're gonna celebrate and party with you.

The Women's Ministry at our church put on a Ladies' Brunch this morning, and the theme was celebrate! The idea was to celebrate all the events in our lives, to pull out the china on a "normal" day, and live life to the fullest.

All of the tables were decorated by different ladies in our church with different celebration themes, and I got to help out and decorate one of them. Some of the themes were holidays, like Christmas, Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving, and some were life events like First Birthday, 50th Wedding Anniversary, and Menopause. That one was pretty funny. Mine was just a good excuse to throw a party--a pink garden party!

I used my Spode Tower Pink dishes on the table. They are my absolute favorites. My formal china is pretty, but these plates make me happy just looking at them.

For my table dressing, my friend Leigh sewed me up a wide table runner to go with my pink garden theme. Thank you Leigh! We layered another pink table runner over it, which happened to have been made for my wedding cake table. I ♥ my pink table runner. When I had it made, I expected that I would get to use it for all sorts of events, and I have. It's also been broken out for baby girl showers and another fun brunch.

I had several people come by and ask me if I made the cupcakes. Wouldn't that have been a disaster if I had!? No, I definitely bought them at Central Market. They are my go-to bakery. My centerpiece came from there as well.

Here are some of my lovely friends who were assigned to my table!

A Sweet Lady we just met today, Alisia, and Bethany

Leigh, me, and Kylene

And we had a big door prize winner at our table. Kylene won a free ticket to the Ladies' Retreat in the spring!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...