Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

ETA: If you're reading this through an RSS reader, I just found this post in draft status and wanted to publish it for posterity's sake. The Christmas mentioned was two months before our sweet Jack was born.

We had a wonderful Christmas with our families. I think part of the fun this year was thinking about what's to come next year since we'll have the first grandkiddo on both Brad's and my side.

Since we've gotten married, we celebrate Christmas with a dinner date and gifts just the two of us a few days before we leave to go to whichever hometown we're scheduled to be in. Even though our little family gift exchanging time will probably shift to Christmas eve or morning once our boy is here (as will our travel schedule), we've decided to keep Christmas date night a tradition for the two of us at least for now. That means this was the last Christmas dinner date without arranging for a babysitter beforehand! So fun. We'll see if this all plays out next year.

The weekend before Christmas we travelled to my hometown and had celebrated with my family.

Great packaging for some great giftcards!
My favorite baby brother.
I got my mom some Tom's for Christmas.
She calls them her magic shoes.
My dad is holding a motorized bird in that box.
Apparently it makes a great hunting decoy,
but I must admit this is beyond my area of expertise.
A little lip color and a nap would go a long way on this 7 months pregnant girl.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Week 28

I woke up last Friday and rolled over to look at my What to Expect... app (which I do every Friday morning), and it said something like, "Your baby will be here in 11 weeks and 5 days."


And that was three days ago!

So as you can imagine, I have new sense of urgency about having everything in my house done and in order by the time this tiny gentleman makes his appearance. Heaven forbid that on the day he comes home, he notices the dusty baseboards!

Just kidding, I would never have dusty baseboards ;)

So after that little wakeup call, we began a day of errands which all pretty much pertained to our little bundle. We conquered several tasks that were on THE LIST. Brad chauffeured me to Dallas to pick out fabric for his bed. We stopped by Home Depot on the way home and picked out paint for his room which will be painted over our Christmas holiday.

My doctor's visit went great last week. I passed my glucose screening but I'm a little low on iron, so I started a supplement. I read online (so clearly, it must be the gospel truth) that low iron can cause restless leg syndrome which I continue to have, so I'm praying the iron will give me some relief from that. In the meantime, I'm also eating more hamburgers. The doc thinks I am having Braxton-Hicks when I'm on the treadmill--however, she gave me no license to stop getting on said treadmill.

Jack has made his way north into my ribs, and at times I feel like I'm about to burst. I guess that is a normal sensation and unlikely to happen since I have never seen any news reports of bursting pregnant ladies. I'm still completely amazed that there is a person--my Jack--rooting around in there. We're headed in next Friday for another 4D sono. The last one he kept his arm directly over his face, even though we got some sweet pics anyway. He gets that from his dad!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Weeks 26 & 27

The weeks are passing so quickly, and all of a sudden according to What to Expect..., we have about 13 weeks until we meet Jack. In the meantime, we have a million things to do before he gets here.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at the farm with my family. I made Pioneer Woman homemade rolls which have twice now been a hit with them. The very last thing any of us wanted to do was get out and shop on Black Friday, so I spent my day shopping online for both Christmas gifts and decor for Jack's room. It's so fun to come home each evening and have Fed Ex and UPS boxes to open!

We got home from Thanksgiving on Saturday night and began trimming our house for Christmas. Brad has lights up on the house (every year he says he's going to put up colored lights, but so far he's stayed the course with the clear--my preference). It took me a little longer to get everything up inside because at this point I am really beginning to slow down.

In other news, work is incredibly busy, I take my glucose test on Wednesday, and we bought our first package of newborn diapers. All of a sudden when I saw 13 weeks on the calendar, I was stricken with the idea that we were completely unprepared to bring the little guy home, so I bought some. I'm sure that's the least of my unpreparedness.

Other than some shortness of breath and/or feeling like I'm going to burst at any moment, I feel great. The signs of the 3rd trimester are upon me, with restless leg stuff and having a hard time getting comfortable at night, but those seem to be minor in the grand scheme of things. God has blessed me so much with something I've wanted for so, so long. He will give me the strength to deal.

We're looking forward to a special Christmas season!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Week 25

This comes on the heels of a week 24 update that was a few days late. I hope you will forgive my ramblings during these weekly updates, but they have become my journal of sorts during this pregnancy.

I have officially made friends with TUMS this week--they are my constant companion. As a side note, I read a pregnancy style book back before I even looked pregnant, and it recommended buying a big purse to balance out my growing midsection. I think really the best reason for the big purse is that I can carry an over-the-counter pharmacy in there, so at any given time I have almost every pregnancy safe med that a girl could need.

Last Thursday I headed out to a midnight showing of the new Harry Potter movie with Allison and Ashley. The last time I went to a midnight movie showing was the day after I found out that we were expecting (to see Eclipse!) Being out that late back in June required weeks of recovery because late night + first trimester were just too much for this girl. This time was much better although I did head to bed pretty early over the weekend. The movie was SO good, and I want to see it again.

This past weekend was very special as my husband was ordained as a deacon in our church. Our church family, along with our related family, gathered to be part of the ordination, and I am still processing what a humbling and sweet outpouring of love it was to be part of. Our church fam is an encouragement to us in many ways, but especially so since we don't live just right around the corner from our parents.

We also had a portrait session with the lovely and talented Hailey Erickson. They were combined Christmas and maternity (with a little bump!) pictures. I didn't want to wait until I was miserably swollen to take them. We posed in one of my favorite places for part of them. Any guesses?

Bring on the cold weather, a fire, and some good books to finish reading!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Week 24

This week we began getting a little more prepared, or a least organizing ourselves to get prepared for Jack's arrival.

My wonderful aunt has agreed to make his bedding, so I've picked up most of the stuff needed for it. I just need to pick the fabric, and I think we'll be ready to get moving on it. The theme of his room is, I suppose, vintage aviation, but I want it to give off a feel that the world is at his fingertips. That probably sounds weird. Oh well. We've got (what I hope will be) some cool things lined up for it with a lot of love, a bit of family history, the wonder of flight, and a tiny bit of math and science thrown in. This is a room for the son of two engineers, you know. In my head it is a masterpiece perfectly fit for a baby boy who will grow into a curious little boy very quickly. Right now it's a blank canvas. We shall see about the execution!

Last week we also registered at Babies 'R Us. When we got to the intimidating wall 'o bottles, I looked for about 5 minutes and moved on without registering for any. I figure once I decide I can get online and add them. A friend recommended not using Dr. Brown's due to the little filter parts unless he is colicky, and since we will be using bottles exclusively (aka A LOT of washing!) that sounded like excellent advice. For now I am thinking of sticking with plain, EvenFlo glass bottles. I don't like drinking out of plastic myself, so that's why we're considering glass. (Don't you love how I said "I don't like...that's why [we]..." Oh, marriage!)

These did NOT make it on the registry, but they sure made me hungry!

Jack is beginning to kick at night which is keeping me up a little bit. I could take something to knock me out, but I'm on call for work and typically I can't function in the middle of the night if I take what my doc has recommended. I'm beginning to have a couple of the less talked about unglamorous symptoms of pregnancy, but nothing unbearable. This past week I have had a couple of taco emergencies, but nothing that Taco Bell couldn't cure!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Baby Jack is bored.

Jack yawning at 24 weeks before turning away from the camera.

I've watched this video somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 million times.

I love that boy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Little More About Vegas

Since I was going somewhere super fun for the software conference and would have evenings free, I thought, "How boring to go by myself." Brad had been gone for over 2 weeks, and had work and other obligations back in Fort Worth as well. On a whim, I e-mailed my favorite pharmacist Alisia to see if she was free that weekend, and she was!

She flew in on Saturday and spent the day mapping our evening itinerary while I went conference functions. Saturday evening we shopped until our feet hurt. GAP was having a 40% off sale of everything in the store, so I cleaned up on long-sleeved maternity t's and tanks to get me through the winter.

Sunday night we dressed up and headed down to Treasure Island (currently trying to rebrand themselves with the more hip name t.i.--so weird) for the Cirque du Soleil show, Mystere. While we had a bit of a hard time following the storyline, the show was incredible! I had never been to one before, and I was just amazed at the flexibility and strength of the cast. After the show, we headed to Spago for dinner.

Alisia flew back to Texas the next day to work, and I had conference functions the rest of the time I was there.

I'm so glad to be home and have no where to go for a while. I've barely begun my Christmas shopping, and I've got to get moving on a room for this tiny boy to live in!

The one picture I have of us, at the show!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Week 23

This past week was pretty eventful in that Baby Jack went to Las Vegas, and his dad put his baby bed together!

Brad got home from a long work trip on Tuesday night (over a week ago.) While he was gone, Jack's crib came in, and being the impatient person that I am, I loaded up in his truck a few weeks ago and picked it up at the store. After unloading it in our garage, I spent the next TWO weeks thinking about how capable I am to put something like that together. But I guess it is a right of passage for a dad to have to figure it out. I sat on the daybed in Jack's room and took pictures and made "suggestions" while Brad constructed it on Wednesday.

Friday I headed out to Vegas for a software conference. I stayed at the MGM Grand and did quite a bit of walking back and forth to the conference center there at the resort. I discovered quickly that the heels I packed were not gonna work and spent the rest of my days in flats. My feet are still recovering today.

On Monday night, I don't know if I'd been on my feet too much that day or what (most of my days are spent at a desk, you see), but I nearly fell out on my colleagues and business associates. We were at a meet and greet at Lagasse's Stadium at the Palazzo, and all of a sudden I started feeling very faint. Someone grabbed me a chair while another told me to put my head between my legs (easier said than done when you have someone the size of youth league football in your midsection.) The entire time I'm imagining them calling an ambulance and otherwise having the situation being blown out of proportion if the pregnant girl passes out. After a few minutes of deep breathing, head down, and a Sprite, I was back to myself enough to grab a cab and head to bed. The next few days I took it much easier.

Other than the one passing spell, I feel great. I am beginning to get a little winded, and to pack my suitcase to come home, I finally had to just get down on my knees because it was too uncomfortable to keep bending over. Maybe one of these days I'll get a pic of my in my current state up on this old blog!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Weather Preparedness

I took this pic a few weekends ago whilst visiting my family. The light was so strange with dark low clouds, surrounded by sunshine highlighting the golden fall pasture. It was the day before the giant tornado in Rice, TX. My parents live not too far south of there.

Twenty minutes before I grabbed this photo, I was hunkered down in the laundry room because we were under a tornado warning. While I was gathering my dog into her crate and searching for pillows to pad me and my tiny, in-utero son, I had to laugh that my brother was doing the exact opposite--standing out on the back porch looking up to the sky as the weather blew into our area and launched my parents patio furniture into the pasture. We are so very different, but we come from the same place. Maybe that's the difference in boys and girls, or first-born to second?

Either way, I think it's a good thing.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Week 22

This week was another great one. I realized that I'm beginning to slow down a little bit, as in, I can't jump in and out of my car quite as fast as usual. I have to stop and take a deep breath on occasion, but from what I've read, all of this is quite normal.

One thing that has surprised me is that nesting has kicked in--BIG time. Maybe it's because I am always fluffing my little nest with one project or another, but all of a sudden I feel a greater sense of urgency to complete some of the stuff I just haven't gotten around to. So pretty much every closet in my house has been put on notice, and I finished one of them this weekend. I also finally ordered and had a portrait framed from our session with Hailey last fall. As in, one year ago. It's hung in our bedroom and will look fabulous for the makeover that room is getting this December. That's right--why paint one room (Jack's) when you could paint two?!? Poor B!

Coming up next week, I'm taking the baby to Vegas!

(Don't get too excited--I'm going to a software conference.)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Week 21

This week was another fun one as we began to prepare our home for Baby Jack. I have long considered his room "the baby's room" from the moment we finalized our house plans. It's cozy, closest to our room, and just perfect for a tiny one.

My parents graciously gifted us with his crib, and it came in this week! I decided I wanted a standard, classic baby bed rather than one that will convert into another size later. We already have a day bed that will stay in the room, so our plan is to eventually move him to that bed when he grows into to something larger. We'll see. My "plans" are always changing. Can anyone relate?

Other than moving a little slower than I used to and getting tired much faster than I did before, I still feel great. This blessing is not lost on me as I know several of my friends were sick for a full 9 months. Jack is moving around a lot still, and my belly is starting to expand a bit more. I read today that he probably weighs around 1 lb. Amazing. I started using Palmer's Cocoa whatever a few weeks ago to hopefully preempt any stretch marks, but it smells something like a boys' locker room. Gross. Thankfully, one of my incredibly thoughtful friends brought me some Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Balm as a gift. Not smelly!

I had a bit of a surreal moment this weekend. I went home to visit my parents, and my mom, Grannie, and I stopped by a local store where Mom had shopped for me as child and where I found a pair of airplane footie PJ's for Jack that I decided he needed. As I stood at the counter to pay, I could remember not being tall enough to even see over it as a little girl, and there I was buying clothes for my own precious one. It was one of those sweet times for me where life comes full circle, and I felt God's blessing washing over me again.

I'm so excited about this little boy and so overjoyed to be his mother. As much as I am treasuring this time preparing for his arrival, it's hard not to want to rush to have him in our arms!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Weeks 19 & 20

Last week we had the BIG sonogram to find out if Baby G was a boy or a girl. As I mentioned in the previous post, Baby G is indeed Baby Jack, who already has some clothes, bags, and a bed on the way. It's so much fun to refer to him by his name. His sonogram revealed that from what they can tell, he and his little organs are growing just as they should. Hearing the sonographer talk about how good his heart looked was my first proud moment as a parent. Who knew I would be so proud of a 4 chambered little heart!?! God has blessed me beyond measure, and I am so thankful for his health.

For some reason over the past week I have gotten tired again. I thought I had left that behind in the 1st trimester, but apparently I needed some rest this week. So that's exactly what I did. I was in my pajamas soon after I hit the door, and in the bed earlier than normal. I think a little bit more rest over the weekend with some balanced eating will help me out.

Other than that, clothes continue to fit less and less, and all maternity clothes look like huge sacks with polka dots which does not make me want to go shopping. Apparently all pregnant women are supposed to dress like Minnie Mouse. Seriously, maternity clothes manufacturers? Pregnant girl has some church/work/personal events that she needs a couple of dresses for. Oh well! There is nothing I love better than shopping with a mission.

But seriously, I am doing great and so is Jack. I can't believe we're about halfway to meeting him. Excited doesn't even begin to describe it!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Week 18

Not a whole lot of changes this week. Baby G is dancing around like crazy in my belly which makes for some of the funniest sensations. It's a constant reminder that there is a person growing inside of me, which is just miraculous. The baby is the size of a mango, but I'm not really sure how big that is, and I was too busy to go to the grocery store this weekend to check it out. (We'll be eating a lot of breakfast foods at our house for dinner this week. And Halloween candy.)

I'm still feeling great with occasional bouts of the blah, but that is to be expected I guess when your body is going through so many changes. I wake up multiple times a night and am about to start keeping a notepad on my nightstand so I can write down everything I think to add to my to-do list during those intervals. I have some major revelations about things I need to remember (especially regarding work) during those moments.

One big change that has seriously and officially happened is that my fall clothes do not fit. While this is a by-product of a blissful and wonderful event, outfitting oneself is not without expense, and clothes are required in my office (as I hope they are in yours.) Fortunately I have some wonderful friends who have walked this road before me and have blessed me with the great loan of their maternity clothes. It definitely takes a village.

Maternity clothes from Ashley, just waiting to be sorted!

We find out this week whether Baby G is a boy or a girl. I'm dying to know, so I hope he/she cooperates. Guess that means I'll be buying two wardrobes this week--one for me, and one for Baby G.

Sorry, B!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ladies' Luncheon 2010: Childhood Memories

A few weekends ago was the annual Fall Ladies' Luncheon organized by our church's Women's Ministry. This is my 3rd year to decorate a table, and I love doing it. Part of the fun is seeing what other ladies come up with as well. The theme this year was "Childhood Memories." I wanted to pick a fun, girly, and pink childhood memory so mine was "Playing Dress Up."

My table that morning was made up of some sweet friends. We enjoyed quiche, fruit parfaits, and lots of fun fellowship. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and so I have all of one pic from the day.

This was our table before the event began. The centerpiece in the middle was made by Central Market, and it's arranged in a silver plated urn that I found at Salvation Army a couple of years ago for $10. I must tell you that the day I found it was one of my proudest thrift shopping days. The pink glassware was borrowed from my Grannie and anchored with some of my Spode Tower pink dinner plates. All the other fun "dress-up" stuff on the table came out of my own dress-up stuff. Makeup, pearls, a pink feather boa {of course!}, gloves, and crowns. (For some reason, my Co-Workers have supplied me with numerous crowns. Hmm.)

I handmade the place cards for each place setting. Starting with a doily, some pages from Pride & Prejudice (I have a copy for every room in my house, so this one won't be missed, I promise) and ending with a chipboard initial for each lady at the table. I am dangerous with a hot glue gun--just ask my index finger. After searching every craft store in FW I didn't find silver glittered chipboard letters, so I hand glittered these. I was pleased with how they turned out and now have mine blinging up my office space.

As much fun as it is to plan and execute something as fun as this, the best part is a morning of girl talk with friends!

Friday, October 1, 2010

FFF: My Favorite things about having every other Friday off.

I haven't done a FFF (that's Friday Fave Five) in forever, but I am off this Friday and was just pondering what a blessing that is. Here are my favorite things about it (in no certain order.)

1. Time for housework and house fluffing that I have no time for on the weekends. (Tell me you get what I'm saying by house fluffing?)

2. A chance to wake up with NO alarm clock. (I'm guessing that will change in approx. 22-ish weeks for at least 18 years.)

3. Spending time with the Lord without being on a schedule.

4. On Canton weekends, it allows me to shop and miss the Saturday crowd.

5. An opportunity to visit boutiques that are normally closed up by 5 PM on the weekdays.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Week 17

This past week I've begun to distinguish Baby G moving more consistently, which has been amazing and very real. I read that last week the baby could begin hearing which blew Brad and me away--we hopefully have little ears listening in on our conversations!

I had an appointment two Thursdays ago with my OB/GYN and everything looked great. I, being me, had a million questions for her ranging from the dumb to serious. She was patient and answered each one of them of course and really put my mind at ease over some rather small things I'd been worrying about. I will say it is just incredible how God designed our bodies.

During my appointment, per usual I got to hear the heartbeat on the doppler. I kept hearing a click and then static which she laughed and said was Baby G kicking. This does not shock me as the past two sonos I've had, Baby G did not stop moving. It probably was the sugar cookies I ate beforehand, but whatevs.

We headed to Babies R Us last night for a little baby recon, and we realized how little we know about caring for an infant. For instance, there are like 1 billion different types of bottles. How on earth do you pick one? I grew up babysitting a lot, but I never, you know, had to buy the bottles. I think we'll definitely be signing up for one of those newborn classes that the hospitals offer. And let's not kid ourselves--I'll be calling my mom a ton.

We find out whether we're having a boy or girl on October 6th. Then let the games begin!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New York State of Mind.

I'm finally taking the time to write about our trip to NYC from almost a month ago. This blog is the closest thing I have to a scrapbook, so it really doesn't bother me when I post out of order. I mean, if it were my real scrapbook, it wouldn't be done for another decade, so I figure a month isn't so bad.

For my BIG birthday, my husband let me pick where I wanted to go. The last trip I had been on with the ladies of my family was back in 2008 (I think) when we went to LA and were on the Dr. Phil show. (Not really on it, but there was a close up of me in the audience looking shocked and appalled at the subject matter. Another story, another day.)

On this trip I was to be the tour guide, which was a bit iffy since I've been to NYC twice before but had yet to figure out which way was up either of the other times. Because I am so wise now in my ripe old age, I actually took the time prior to leaving to study the map. (You may feel free to laugh at that. I do.) However, we only got lost once, and it was because of an unscheduled subway change up on Sunday morning. I call that victory, my friends.

Since the group was comprised mostly of first-timers, we stayed one block off of the iconic Times Square at the Millenium Broadway Hotel. It was a perfect location for the sites we were planning to see.

We saw two shows while we were there with tickets bought at the Times Square TKTS booth. The seats were FABULOUS for both of them. Here we are before West Side Story. Our first evening there we saw Promises, Promises with Sean Hayes and the cute-as-a-button Kristin Chenoweth.

My mom and me taking in the sights.

A carriage ride through Central Park. First time for me!

Riding the Staten Island Ferry with the Statue of Liberty in the background.

Of course we would stop here. One must.

Other highlights were Magnolia Bakery, Canal Street (twice), Ground Zero, the Financial District, Rockefeller Center, Chinatown, Little Italy. Wow, thinking about the walking we did is making me tired.

While visiting Henri Bendel, I consulted with a makeup artist. As a gift to myself for turning 30, I was outfitted with a proper eye cream and concealer (and of course a ton of other stuff.)

I am convinced that at most, I now look 29.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Baby Fun

Thank you so much for your congratulations. Excited doesn't even begin to describe the anticipation we are feeling regarding this little one who will be joining us the first week in March!

The day I found out about Baby G I bought him/her The Jesus Storybook Bible. The tagline says "every story whispers His Name." That just gives me such comfort everytime I read it. I can't wait for us to read it to and teach Baby G how even his/her story whispers God's Name.

Uh-oh, pregnancy hormone moment. Let me grab a Kleenex.

OK, that's better.

That book is actually how I told Brad that we were having a baby. We had previously discussed gifting each other with new Bibles for our anniversary. As soon as I got home that afternoon I handed it to him and said, "I hope it's okay if I give you yours early. I think you'll be reading this one A LOT!"

{I then bought him another Bible sans pictures for our anniversary, in case you were wondering.}

We plan on finding out whether Baby G is a boy or girl. Everyone is allowed their own opinion on the matter so mine is this: I figure you can either be surprised at 20 weeks or 40 weeks, but either way it's still a surprise. And I like to know my surprises early as my husband will attest to how much enjoyment I get at Christmastime trying to guess what he bought me. {It's a very fun game to me--a bit of an irritant to him.} I'm 13 weeks along at this point, so we're not too far off from knowing.

With the exception of this past week, I have had no morning sickness. I'm praising God for meeting this need because I have no idea how morning sickness would've worked with a 100 mile roundtrip commute everyday. Mostly I have been tired, exhausted, worn out, spent, or laid to waste at the end of the day. However you want to put it, if you called my house after 7:30, I didn't answer because I was asleep. I feel like I'm turning a corner though, so now if I don't answer, I'm probably just screening my calls. ;)

Otherwise, we're doing really great and having fun telling everyone we know!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sometime in Early March

Blessed. Overjoyed. In Awe of our God.

Also, a little tired and hungry, but otherwise happy and healthy. :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sneak Peak: NYC

My man sent me to NYC on a girls' trip for my BIG birthday!
Aunt Julie, me, Mom, and Aunt Sheri on the Empire State Building Observation Deck.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Until the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard...

On the afternoon of July 16, 2005, my hometown experienced light rain showers as a product of Hurricane Emily. Ironic, as this was the day my husband would marry me those five years ago. The past five years have been full of wonderful highs and not-so-great lows, but no matter what, we're in all of it together. We know that our foundation is not in ourselves, but in Christ.

I would go on and write very flowery sentiments to my husband on this page, but he's not big on public declarations and such. I will say one thing--I'm glad he's all mine!

To celebrate, we took The Company Plane to sunny (at times) California for a nice long weekend. Our accommodations were in Santa Monica at the beautiful Fairmont Miramar, right across Ocean Dr. from the beach and about two blocks from the Santa Monica Pier.

We were surprised to find that the temps were right about 70 degrees. Definitely not what we expected, but a wonderful surprise nonetheless (and let's face it, a perfect excuse to shop as I had packed for warmer weather.) Luckily, we were also a block from the Third Street Promenade which had a ton of my favorites (H&M, Anthro, Zara, J. Crew, etc.)

In-N-Out = Not all that, but not bad.

I was pretty lame on the photography front. From the looks of what we're wearing, I took pics on exactly one day.

One evening we drove up Highway 1 a few miles to Malibu for seafood. A couple of days we toured around LA and visited the Kodak Theater, saw the Walk of Fame, and all the other tourist places. This was our ride!

So fun and relaxing. We had no agenda, just slept in late, took naps when we wanted to, and played when we wanted to. I highly recommend Santa Monica. It's located near so many things, but has a good night life when you want to park at your hotel and walk close by.

Here's to many, many more years with the one I love!

Monday, August 2, 2010

July Celebration

I finally got around to downloading the pictures from the month of July off of my camera. To start the month off, my cousin got engaged right before the 4th! so of course we threw a family fiesta to celebrate.

For 20 years I was the only granddaughter on my mother's side of the family before my youngest cousin was born. We are so excited to welcome another girl into the family, especially this one. She's very sweet, and I hope they will be so happy together.

Cute couple!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Couch and Compromise

My beloved red floral couch broke at some point back in September of last year. That set of living room furniture was my first grown-up non-secondhand purchase of furniture. I shopped for approximately 1 minute for them as my mom had seen the set in a store window in my hometown and was convinced I would love them. She was correct.

During our engagement, when the time came to decide whose stuff would stay and whose would go, Brad begrudgingly agreed that we would keep my living room set and store his beige couch until such a time that we had room for it again. (I also talked him into giving up one of those poofy La-z-boy recliners. Thank goodness!) I heard more comments about my beautiful and girly floral couches in that first year of marriage--enough that I would not have been shocked had they mysteriously broken in that duration. But after a while, he conformed.

And since I loved them, I didn't really pay much attention.

When it broke, I was in the middle of a project at work and had little time to shop for a replacement. We would occasionally stop into a furniture store and look around, but I found nothing that did it for me. Also, I had something very specific in mind, so that didn't help matters much. (Picky? Me? Never!)

Finally life calmed down a little in April, and I picked a "New Couch or Bust" weekend for us to finally pick out a new one. We finally decided that since we couldn't find a ready-made one we'd just have one custom made (which I was surprised to find is close in price to a ready-made one.) We walked into a store with over 300 fabrics to choose from, which was a recipe for disaster with too many choices and none that were what either of us had in mind. We walked out of that place, calmed down a bit, and drove to the next place where they had exactly the fabric I wanted, and exactly the style I was looking for--houndstooth and a traditional camelback.

So while I still haven't gotten around to downloading our vacation pictures, I did find some pictures of our new couch on my hard drive. It really changed up the living area. I love them, and Brad is satisfied with their comfort.

In my book, that's a win-win.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Oh, Summer.

I know I'm not alone in feeling that with each passing year, the summertime flies just a little faster. I'm not entirely sure how it is already July, but I'm pretty confident that it has something to do with spending a week at camp with our students back in mid-June. We headed to Roach, Missouri on three charter buses to spend a week at Camp Windermere on the Lake of the Ozarks. It was a huge blessing to spend time with the Lord, hang out with high school students, be off work, and soak up some Vitamin D on the lake. {Although, I think I am still catching up on my sleep 4 weeks later.}

A few weekends ago, I was so happy to spend part of my weekend in College Station catching up with some college girlfriends and their babies. It was such a sweet time with lots and lots of little girls. It's so fun to visit College Station with them living there--it's such a different dynamic than when we were going to school. I love it.

This week I'm wiped out from a visit to Santa Monica celebrating our wedding anniversary, and hopefully at some point I will recover enough to upload pics. Pacific time always gets me that way.

When we haven't been traveling, we've been working quite a bit which has prolonged my updates. I'll leave you with one picture I snagged of my dear Mr. Gentry from Facebook. Someone had a good time at camp! His rec team was the Underdogs, and you should notice the precisely engineered duct tape "U" on his shirt. That's my man.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

More of Brad's 30th Birthday.

Our last couple of weeks have been so fun! As per my usual MO, we celebrated Brad's birthday for several weeks. Now it's June, and time to move on because seriously everyone in my family with very few exceptions has a June birthday--including my parents who are born on the same day, a few years apart.

But back to Brad! He's THIRTY!

When I started brainstorming a fun group activity for B's birthday, the first thing that came to mind was something I had remembered a couple of our friends mentioning a few months before--indoor rock climbing. There is a great place over in Arlington called Dyno Rock where they had climbed. The folks at Dyno Rock were wonderful to work with and let me set up the party wherever I wanted in their warehouse/rock climber's paradise.

I thought it would be fun to throw him a surprise party since it was a big birthday. Let me just mention here that I am terrible at keeping surprises. I have such a hard time at Christmas not just coming straight out with what I buy my people! The venue was not far from the Ballpark at Arlington, so I had high hopes I could have a friend faux-invite him to the Ranger game, but they were out of town. And I knew Brad would check out the schedule and figure out that something was up. So, I punted and just had them swing by the house and kidnap him a couple of hours after I left to go "shopping."

When my accomplices stopped by, they had him convinced we were going somewhere that he would need a swimsuit, so he had no idea what was going on. So awesome!

I ordered pizza delivered to the location to save some foot work and had cake along with trail mix as snacks/favors. It seemed appropriate for the night's activity.

Some of our awesome friends gathered with us to celebrate Brad's thirty years. One thing that is cool about Dyno Rock is that kiddos can climb with a parent (and a signed waiver, of course) so we had all ages.

I love that guy so much and am so thankful for the day he was born. He's my best and favorite.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mystery Date!

Golf is a day
spent in a round
of strenuous idleness.

--William Wordsworth

My man turns the big 3-0 next week. To celebrate, last weekend we went on a mystery date--at least, a mystery to him.

I told him to pack his golf clubs and leave the cutoffs at home. He didn't
find out the destination until we checked in at the airport. Off we went on
the Company Plane--to North Carolina!

We took a long weekend at Pinehurst, about 90 min.
from Raleigh. If you're a golf person--which I am not--you would
know it as the home of the 2014 US Open and a couple of past US Opens.

The No. 2 course was where Payne Stewart won in 1999, his last
Major win 4 months before his tragic death. This statue
commemorates the day of his big win.

Here was my posture the day Brad played No. 2. Most of the
pictures I have of us are from that day, because I spent a lot of
the my free time in the spa or by the pool. He also played No. 4
one of the days we were there.

All the pine trees--hence the name. We also met Ben Crenshaw
during this round. He was out with a group looking over the course and
deciding what changes should be made before 2014. He was incredibly nice.

We did a lot of eating too.
Very good food.

The goal was a milestone birthday to remember. And I think it was accomplished!
We spent plenty of time just relaxing and enjoying each others company.
A perfect weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What I Did at Work Today

I watched baseball...
and met Mark McLemore.

And the Rangers won in the 12th inning, 2-1.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lone Star Hero

Last Tuesday, my grandfather was awarded a Purple Heart from the Texas Department of Public Safety. He served as a State Trooper for many years before promoting into the service of the Texas Rangers.

Of course, the whole family roadtripped down to Austin for Pop's big day!

He received his award, then paused for a
moment and asked if he could say a few words.

No event is complete without cake. The Texas Rangers gave a reception in his honor, and some of his retired Ranger buddies were able to make it. So nice!

It was a special day, befitting a very special man.

One thing that people often don't stop to realize is the sacrifice involved in the law enforcement profession. Every day, good men and women patrolling for your interests and mine potentially put their lives at risk so that you and I can live in safety. And their families are sacrificing too.

{This was a good reminder for me, as I've been whining about being pulled over for not signaling a few weeks ago.}

Friday, May 7, 2010

Family Matters

Two weekends ago, we had strong storms come through our area. That night I checked, saw that there would be nothing but a thunderstorm warning along with some brilliant lightning, and went to bed to sleep peacefully. Little did I know that others in my family in Navarro County would soon be experiencing a hellish storm.

Around 1 AM that morning, my dad awoke to the windows in the house rattling. He went to the back glass door and watched as their entire patio (minus the grill and dog house) was blown completely off into the pasture some 50 yards away.

As day broke, they would find that much of their roof was destroyed. They live across the pasture from my grandparents whose home is nestled next to the woods. What is believed to be flat line winds felled many of the old, old trees surrounding their backyard.

After a text from my mom, we mobilized with some QuickTrip donuts and an ice chest full of diet cokes. And so the day became a family reunion of sorts as the self-proclaimed "Grape Creek Disaster Relief Team" converged on the farm.

I'm not often moved to tears, but when I went into my grandparents backyard, I was a little weepy praising God that He had protected my family.

The backyard.

This is a line of trees that were broken like twigs by the wind.

Big smile during break time.

An old oak completely uprooted on a house under construction.

Diet Coke Break.

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