Saturday, December 31, 2011

We had an absolutely lovely Christmas celebrating the Savior coming to bring true freedom to the world. It was everything I hoped my baby's first Christmas would be. No, I didn't get a picture of the three of us together. And no, Jack didn't sit sweetly through the candlelight service on Christmas Eve (As a matter of fact, he snagged a runner in my new Anthro tights in the process.) But overall, I really couldn't have asked for a better holiday. A healthy and joyful baby, a wonderful husband, and my entire extended family combined to make it one of the best for me--ever.

{You hear that, Family? I know you're reading. I said, "the best EV-ER."}

Jack in his red wagon from Sugar and Granddaddy on Christmas Eve.

How many adults does it take to get a toddler to smile when he wants to play with toys?

Chillaxing in his PBK Anywhere Chair from Santa on Christmas morning.

Hereby resolving to wear more lipstick in 2012.

Have a fabulous last day of 2011.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Oh what fun it is to...make memories!

I feel like without even being intentional, wonderful Christmas memories are made during this season we celebrate the birth of our Savior. Growing up, my family always celebrated Christmas eve worshipping the Lord at our church. We opened gifts from one another before we left for church, and afterward, we drove around to look at Christmas lights before heading off to sleep so Santa would come.

Some of this tradition has carried into my little immediate family. We love spending Christmas eve at church, focusing on the true meaning of the season and go to one of our families' churches if we are traveling. Since we are usually traveling, we pick a specific/special night before Christmas to drive around and look at lights.

Tonight, my guys before we left to look at lights.

There is a particular house we found a couple of years ago, and we'll probably go back every year. The first year, we had no children, the next year I was pregnant with Jack, and this year, he was asleep in his carseat. I love that progression. I can't wait for the year that Jack realizes how awesome it is. Check out last year's display:

2010 Wizards in Winter from chapel creek lights on Vimeo.

Their light display from last year. Pretty incredible!

Memories are free. Memories don't have to involve clever printables, perfect recipes, or picture perfect moments. (I have pictures that will never see the light of day right after Jack's arrival in this world to prove that wonderful memories are not picture perfect.)

What are your favorite Christmas memories?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oh what fun it is!

I'm linking up today (11/9) with Kelly's Korner about side dishes!
Below are two of my favorites posted last year. Thanks for stopping by!

I daresay that most everyone has wonderful Christmas memories of gathering with their families to exchange gifts, but also to eat. Good or bad, I have a feeling that it's not exclusively Texan to associate celebrating with food!

Like all families, we have staples at our family lunches, and I wanted to share just a couple today. In particular, these are hard to mess up, delicious, and always garner compliments when I carry them to potlucks or other friendly gatherings. They're also super quick, which is perfect if you are short on time. I am perpetually short on time. If you are like me, these dishes are right up your alley.

{But you may not be like me, which is cool too. I think you would still enjoy them.}

A total rarity: ready with precious time to spare for family photos before church this past Sunday.
This is especially a sweet season for us to celebrate the birth of our Savior.
The Lord has magnified my joy since this boy came along!

We do not do jello salad. (Not a fan.) Instead, we dig in to a super sweet version of a fruit salad. It's a great red color due to the strawberry juice that will perfectly match your holiday table or buffet and looks beautiful in a cut crystal bowl. Also, we love spicy food, but even though my family would totally have Mexican food for Christmas lunch and dinner, we are traditionalists, so Grannie makes turkey and dressing for holiday lunches. The corn dish below is a great spicy addition alongside her usual spread.

Fruit Salad

1 (21 oz.) can of peach pie filling
1 (20 oz.) can of pineapple chunks, juice drained
1 (15 oz.) can of mandarin oranges, juice drained
1 (24 oz.) carton of frozen strawberries in juice, or 2 (16 oz.) small cartons (I looooove strawberries.)
2 bananas, sliced (optional)

Allow the strawberries to defrost. Pour the peach pie filling into a large mixing bowl and add the other cans of fruit. Add the strawberries with their juice and stir gently to mix it all together. If you add bananas, I recommend slicing them and adding right before you serve the dish.

This is sweet enough to be a dessert on it's own and goes well served with angel food cake or pound cake. I also make it for ladies' lunches.

Out of this World Corn Casserole

3 (11 oz.) cans of shoepeg corn
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. cheddar cheese, grated
1 fresh jalapeno, diced
jalapeno juice, to taste (optional, from a jar of jalapenos)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Over low heat, melt together cream cheese, butter, and milk. Drain corn and stir into cream cheese mixture. Add jalapeno and mix well. Pour into a casserole dish and top with the grated cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

I included this one in our church cookbook. If it's church cookbook worthy, you know I'm not playing around here.

There are 1000 recipes in this book. I've made 3 of them so far.

I'm linking up with the Duchess of Fork today, where everyone is posting about food at the holidays. Join the fun over there! And if you make either of these recipes, please let me know what you think!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Entertaining: Hosting a Cookie Exchange!

One of the "sweeter" parties that I've thrown involves dozens and dozens of cookies! Last year I hosted my first cookie exchange for the Senior girls in my Bible fellowship class, and I've decided to do it again this year because it was so much fun. Who doesn't love cookies?

Source: via Jodi on Pinterest

Mine probably won't look like those, but aren't they beautiful?

I created a Facebook event to invite the ladies to my house. That's a very appropriate channel, knowing my audience! They are always on FB. (I might be right there with them, but that is another post entirely.)

I've asked each girl to bring 4 dozen cookies of any kind. Decorated, bar, regular, whatever! I've seen several party "logistics" ideas online calling for 6 dozen and specifically only decorated Christmas cookies, but that seems like a lot of cookies and way too rigid rules for this lady. I am an equal-opportunity cookie exchanger. No cookie left behind!

This merry banner was first thing I bought on Etsy a long time ago. So fun!

For decor, hopefully I'll have all of my Christmas decorations up by then. (Then, in this case, would be only 4 days before Christmas Day.) I'll be using my Spode Christmas china. I have service for 24, which will be more than enough for a party of this size. I'm on the hunt for red and white polka dot napkins, so if you have any sources for those, I would absolutely love to hear them.

Santa watches me cook. He's one of my favorite decorations.

I'm serving mostly savory snacks, like finger sandwiches, sausage balls, and some chips and dips. I may add a few bite-sized sweets, but I imagine there will be enough cookie sampling to satisfy each sweet tooth. For drinks, I'm planning on hot chocolate, coffee, soft drinks, and water.

I've ordered these windowed bakery boxes from and will have ribbon for the girls to tie up their packages before they take them home. I might even spring for some of that ubiquitous red and white baker's twine. I'm not stressing over it though.

I think it's important to keep in mind that celebrating Christmas with our friends doesn't have to be a Pinterest-worthy event. More than anything, it should be a fun night celebrating the birth of our Savior with some laughter and cookies thrown in for good measure.

I'm linking up today with another new mom, Nina, at According to Nina! She and four others are hosting a blog link up for fun holiday ideas. Hop on over to see more!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

S. Claus Himself

This weekend was so fun and filled with Christmas activities. We determined earlier in the month that this past Friday would be the night we took Jack to see Santa at NorthPark. (NorthPark Center and the Galleria are the premier shopping locales in DFW, if you're not familiar. They are fancy.) I knew that they had a system set up to see Santa, whereby you go and get a number, then have your pic made in the order in which your number is called. (For Santa's hours, see here.)

Since I worked on Friday, I ran over to NP at lunch to shop for myself grab a number for Santa. At noon when I picked up our number, the college kid passing them out estimated that it would FIVE FORTY FIVE PM before that number was called. For us, that was fine since B wasn't meeting me at the office until that evening, but I felt bad for parents who thought they would just show up at lunch and wait in line.

He and Santa both did really well! At first, he looked at Santa like, "WHO are YOU?" Then he looked over at me like, "What is happening to me?" Then I convinced a couple of smiles from him. I was already walking to pick him up right around the time he started whimpering at the weirdness of it all.

{This is a picture of the picture, since I decided not to pay $60 for the digital copy.}

I love that little boy sooooo much!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Baby Boy's First Christmas

Baby Boy's First Christmas

This year brings a new experience - buying gifts for our little man's first Christmas! Above are a few of our potentials. One of my favorites is the tug boat. I found it in a toy store in Santa Fe a few weeks ago, and it caught my attention due to its great texture. It will definitely be under the tree. It's made of recycled plastic, and he'll have a blast with it in the tub. I think Santa may be bringing a Pottery Barn Kids Anywhere Chair (not included up there)--that is, if the elves at PBK get busy between now and December 19th. Backordered!

Mommies, what has been your tiny tot's favorite gift in years of yore?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Household Happenings

Well, another weekend has come and gone, and I've tucked my baby in for the night. It's time to prepare for another week off at work in coal mines. (Not really, my office is completely above ground, and I have a lovely window view. The biggest workout my muscles will get is walking to the Ladies in heels.) I think the hardest time to be a working mother is Sunday night. How do I leave this face on Monday morning?

My handsome son, after a riveting game of peekaboo on Saturday.

Jack is in one of the sweetest stages right now. Each day he learns just a little bit more. This morning as I was talking to my senior girls in Sunday school, one of them mentioned that her mom tears up when they talk about her leaving next year for school. I related that I've been pondering Jack's growing independence quite a bit lately--that every day for the next 18 years Jack will do something a little more on his own, and at some point, he'll leave our home. (At that point they were all, "Aww, baby Jack!) And then I added, "So go easy on your mamas! They've been watching this happen slowly for 18 years!" It is such a fulfilling, beautiful, yet heartbreaking experience to watch your child grow from helplessness to self-reliance.

I love, love, love those girls, by the way.

But my baby is only 9 months right now, so I kind of need to just get a grip and enjoy his milestones. Waving bye, bye! Clapping! Baby proofing is imminent. He is all over the stuff I have on the coffee table, and for that matter, he's all over the living room. I let him tear up the junk mail we get each day to his great delight. And? Can we talk about him crying for "MAMA" when his grandmother picked him up out of his high chair at Sunday lunch?

I may or may not have thrown up my hands signaling a TD with a loud yell in the middle of the restaurant on that one. That's my boy.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

In Honor of December 1st

I give you what might be the creepiest/most awesome Christmas music video of all time. George Michael making moony eyes at his faux ex-girlfriend while they are on a ski trip with her new boyfriend? Awkward and totally 80s?

It's ALL in there.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Addressing Christmas Cards

I have Christmas cards on the brain, although I haven't ordered mine, or even picked out a picture for that matter. Here's one (by the wonderful Hailey Erickson that I don't think I'm using, although it delights me to no end.

No, this photo is not doctored. My tiny man is truly that charming.

{And my mouth is definitely that large.}

One thing that always plagues me while addressing my Christmas cards is how to write names properly on the front for my friends with families. Is it too informal to address it to "The Smith Family?" Should I say "Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Family" leaving their children anonymous? So many options, but which one is correct?

So being that I'm thinking about this pre-card order, I thought I would look up the rules so there would be no more guessing. Here's a summary I grabbed via Emily I know that is always right. Ahem.

Mr. John Smith
Ms. Jane Smith

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

Married, both Doctors or PhDs:
The Doctors Smith

Married, she outranks her husband:
Dr. Jane Smith and Mr. John Smith

If you have any other addressing relationships not listed below, most likely, they cover it there, with one major exception--the one thing I wanted to know.

So, I'm throwing this out to you, Internet Friends. How do you address an informal Christmas card to a family? If you send it to just Mr. and Mrs. Smith, then you are ignoring the children. That seems like a terrible idea. Here are the options:

a. Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Family
b. The Smith Family
c. Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
Sally and John Jr. Smith

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Bonus points with Internet citation.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mom and Dad Fly the Coop

Before we celebrated Thanksgiving, Mr. G and I headed off to the great Southwest for a long weekend with 2 other couples from our church, the Brantleys and the Cooks, to celebrate Chris's 30th birthday. It was the first time we left our little guy overnight for more than 24 hours and further than 60 miles away. Also, I'm a Very Nervous Flier which will go down as one of the greatest ironies of my life. I never let it stop me from going anywhere though.

{Said, with my feet firmly on the ground.}

Anywho, we arrived in ABQ Thursday evening and made the short drive into Santa Fe under the cover of darkness. There was a little movie premiere that night (Breaking Dawn, what of it?) which we bought tickets for um, like a month ago. Not gonna let a trip get in our way of seeing it! So after the boys were safely at the house, we headed into Santa Fe. The movie was gory, much more so than it played out in my head while reading the book.

Dinner at Tortilla Flats.
Check out those sopapillas.

Ignore those girls texting.

I did a lot of sleeping, reading (The Hunger Games), and Twilight movie watching, since it was on every station. It was so nice to sleep in! Sleep is so wonderful! I love sleep! Day 2 found us at Ten Thousand Waves, a spa built into a mountain (that is, after we saw Breaking Dawn for the second time. Oh yes, we did.) Let me tell you, it was faaaaaaabulous. One of my treatments was a head and neck massage where they treated my hair with this lavender hot oil conditioner. My hair was softer than it's ever been once I washed it out. By the time we left, I could've melted from the relaxation.

Official book of Santa Fe Trip 2011.

Another day we shopped around the square at Santa Fe. There is so much more to offer than just southwestern jewelry and Indian blankets. (My original expectations, my bad.) I found some cute Christmas decor at Doodlets, which is just across the way from the very delicious Cafe Pasqual's, and a fun toy for the boy at a toy store just around the corner. There's even a J.Crew.

So there were a few Southwestern artifacts, such as this shrine to the Gloved One.

By the third day, Mr. G and I were straight up missing our little guy. He's just so much fun right now. He has this hilarious little opinion about everything. I hope I never stop thinking it's funny. (Feel free to laugh at my naivete. I do.) My mom told me he was saying "mama" while we were gone, but he has yet to say it to my face, so I'm not too convinced.

We stayed in a great house (found here) just outside of town, with heated floors (come to mama!), and lots of comfy couches and chairs to nap or read in. The gentlemen golfed, and we all met up to eat out a lot, laugh a lot, and just relax. So refreshing--exactly what a getaway should be.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Giving Thanks

Our Thanksgiving was just lovely. We ran down to my hometown for the holiday. It is wonderful to be so close! Everyone was kind of in and out throughout the weekend going to jobs, in-laws, football games, hunting, shopping, etc. I love my family. I am so, so thankful for each and every one of them. God has been so gracious to me in the area of family. Having one that plays well together and argues well together (because there is a right way and a wrong way, you know) is a blessing that is often overlooked. This year I was especially thankful for our sweet boy. He is just the best!

I made a chocolate pie for Thanksgiving, then left it at our house because Thanksgiving morning was a bit chaotic*. I made the Pioneer Woman's rolls for Thanksgiving lunch at my Grannie's. I promise you that Homesick Texan's Grandma's chocolate pie tastes just like my Meemaw's chocolate pie (which I don't have the recipe written down.) I mean, maybe our grandmothers were cousins and learned from the same grandma. It's that similar.

{Doubtful, but really close anyway.}

On Thanksgiving Day, Jack, Sugar, and Grannie (his great-grandma) fed the cows hamburger buns.
If I were a cow, I would be totally offended.


I have several hairstyles pinned on Pinterest
, but all of them require my mama to make them happen. I can't French braid my own hair in less than 3 hours. So I asked and begged and pleaded that she watch YouTube videos and put my hair up. She gave in pretty easily. This was my favorite. Yay, Mom!

Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

*I can't pack as quickly with a tiny man scooting about. We left 30 minutes late, and my hair was NOT done. We will not even discuss the smoke billowing through my parents' house as the rolls burned while I did my hair after we arrived. Being on vacation has knocked me off my game.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Best of Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale

Nine West Nobelman
Most comfy heel ever.

I've jetted off to beautiful Orlando, FL for my very fabulous job, however I would not know if Orlando was beautiful this trip or not since I've been locked away in conference sessions.

The past few months have seen me investing mostly in comfortable, flat mom shoes. As I've become more confident in my role as outside-of-the-home-working-mother (or whatever such label-nonsense society might place on me) the height of my heel has gone up. I'm figuring out that I can slip into flats on the way to get my baby or into heels as I climb back into my corporate role.

This heel height discovery might be symbolic in some way to my self-discovery and what not, etc., but really this post was to tell you about the fabulous heels above. They are my conference footwear of choice this week, currently on sale at Nordstrom. The wide but not clunky heel provides comfort, and the height provides some sassiness. The loafer style with tassels are completely in step with this year's runway obsession of men's-styled wear. I've been wearing them 3 full days with no terrible foot pain. The pic above is a little deceiving as the heel height is 3 1/4 in.

In short, I highly recommend.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Favorites: Too Much TV

Overall, I have less free time than ever before, yet I find myself watching more TV that I ever have in my entire life. (One major exception being the summer before 8th grade when I was laid up with a full cast on my leg, and my brother and I discovered that through the magic of syndication we could watch up to 3 hours straight of Saved By the Bell across 3 channels.)

The only reasonable explanations I have for this phenomenon are that 1. I have finally caught on to this 2004 technology called "DVR" and 2. I am busy rocking or feeding the baby and putting him to bed around 8, at which point it is too late to do any housework (at least, that's my story) and too early to go to bed. So bring on TV!

Here's what I'm "taping" on my DVR these days:

1. Parks and Recreation: This is hands down the funniest show on major network television right now. Every single character is hilarious. If you've never seen it, I'm going to need you to tell me why in the comments. You will find B and I rolling over it every Thursday night.

2. Revenge: I find myself strangely drawn to Revenge primarily because of Emily Van Camp's hair. It is simply beautiful, as is the gorgeous set where they are filming. Also, I can't wait to see how the whole "revenge" thing is resolved. There can't possibly be any winners at the end of the series.

3. Person of Interest: I'm watching this one with B also. As much as I didn't like Ben in LOST, I really like Michael Emerson in POI, and he seems like almost the same character! (For good, not evil though.) That being said, the show has a great premise, but we think it would do better on a Monday or Tuesday night rather than Thursday. If you've not watched it, each episode is a story unto its own, so you can jump right in at any time.

4. Once Upon a Time: I really wanted to dislike this show. I'm not a big fan of at least one of the actors in the show, and the premise reminded me too much of Enchanted. Honestly, I would not be able to handle that amount of sweetness as a series. That being said, I watched two hours of this and loved it. If you like fairy tales, I think you would like it too.

Honorable mentions: Body of Proof and Castle

What's filling up your DVR that I should be watching?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

So there I was, leaving the baby for the first time to watch the Rangers lose the World Series.

My dad texted me around noon last Tuesday, asking me what the odds were we could fly standby from Dallas to St. Louis to watch the Rangers win Game 6. First I laughed and ignored his text message. Then I actually looked up the flights and was all, "You're not going without me!"

Unfortunately, my man had other commitments, but my brother was available to go too. And then my mom (a 1st grade teacher) was all, "The three of you aren't going without me!"

About 5 hours lapsed from decision time to go time. I left the office, ran home and packed a bag, ran across the street and smooched on my baby, then ran by Academy to buy some blue Ranger gear. We wanted to stand out in that sea of Cardinals Red. Back to Dallas I went.

Fountain dyed red to support the home team.

We took the Company Plane up north and waited out the rain delay. (There wasn't much rain to speak of.) During the delay, we shopped, ate, and did a little exploring in STL. My dad complained that I wanted to go to the mall on rain out night, but while we were there, we ran into this guy, and I do believe we were outside of Sephora. This is the most terrible pic of me to date, but it was Elvis Andrus, only hours before the Rangers lost the World Series.

So, so disappointing.

(As is my new habit to repeat the word 'so' twice, as if the first time it wasn't a sincere 'so.')

Some notes on STL:
  • We did not go up in the Arch while we were there.
  • We did eat Imo's Pizza, and it was good.
  • We also ate crepes at a place called Rooster, which I recommend.
  • We stayed at the airport Hilton, which I also recommend.
  • We took the MetroLink the entire time, rather than renting a car.
  • I paid $10 for hot chocolate during the game. It was worth it.
  • They have a beautiful new Nordstrom in their Galleria.
  • Drew had something else going on Thursday night and didn't get to stay for the game. Boo.
  • I would go back to STL for a long weekend and do more exploring, but I think it would need to include a sporting event to have enough to do.

It was the trip of a lifetime! As we got down to one strike left (twice), I will never forget how the cameras starting flashing all around the stadium, just like you've seen before on TV. I'm so glad I got to experience it with my dad, the one who taught me to love baseball and love the Rangers. More than anything, it was incredibly gratifying the entire week to see him having so much fun.

And one of these days, the Rangers are going to win it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Baby's First Halloween

My tiny man on our front porch hamming it up, sans mustache.
What are the odds that I will remember to take a picture of him in
the same place next year?

I found his costume on a Mexican import website. Who knew they made toddler panchos and sombreros? B grabbed a mustache on his way home from work last Friday before our church's Fall Festival (and the Rangers final meltdown of the year.) It only seemed natural to stick it on his favorite paci, and shockingly, he had no problem with either it or the sombrero on his head.

We had such a fun Halloween! This was the first time we've actually stayed in our home of 4 years and passed out candy to the neighborhood kids. I know, I know, but in our defense, it's because we usually were either out of town or with friends.

We had my BFF/college roommate (hi Alisia!) and her friend Brian over for supper, which ended up being Frito pie and chili dogs. Halloween seems like a Frito pie holiday, does it not? My mom informs me that I feel this way because she always fed us that before we went out trick or treating when we were little. Funny how things like that influence in adulthood.

Anyway! I had so much fun handing out candy. Jack fell asleep super early in Alisia's arms and not even the doorbell could wake him up. Some of the cutest kids and very few of questionable age to be trick or treating. How old is too old to do that anyway? And how young is old enough? Even if the boy is old enough to eat candy next year, obviously he doesn't need a whole bag of candy otherwise it will be clear that he's shilling for mommy's chocolate fix.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Few of Baby's Firsts

We were having such a wonderful weekend until the little guy came down with something and started running his very first fever Sunday morning. Poor little pumpkin! It kept him and me home from church yesterday and is keeping me home today. I have never seen my happy boy so sad. Breaks a mama's heart.

Speaking of pumpkins, Saturday we carried him to his very first pumpkin patch. As a matter of fact, I believe it was my very first pumpkin patch as well. We went to the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch, which had inexpensive admission, all activities for children included, AND...Fletcher's Corny Dogs and Funnel Cakes as well as Texas Roadhouse. So we got our fair food in without actually having to deal with the fair. Success.

The turn out was so huge that in subsequent years I will probably do this on a week day. Jack wanted to look anywhere but the camera, but who could blame him. The patch was ripe for people watching, with children and parents everywhere.

Here are a few pics where he was looking in the general direction of the camera:

My sweet, sweet little guy.

Who's big idea was this?

Mom and the J-Bird

I guess this is going in reverse order, but Friday night B and I were able to get away for a short date night. We ended up down in Sundance Square for supper while the boy stayed for the first time with my in-laws. It's funny. Before we had a child, we always said we would make time for date nights once we did have one, but in reality once we've worked all week, we're tired and missing our boy so it's much easier to stay home. It's good for us to steal away some though, and Friday night was refreshing for both of us.

How do you and your spouse set aside time for one another? Scheduled dates? Once a year getaway?

I hope you and yours are well, and that you enjoyed the beautiful fall weekend!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Favorites

I haven't done a Friday Faves post in quite a while, but this week I was inspired to journal a few here. It's the simple things that are truly my favorites.

My very dear friend's mother made Jack's trick or treat bag. (She also made the pillow to match his baby bedding here.) Hopefully soon she'll be opening an Etsy store. Stay tuned here for breaking updates, ye lovers of monogrammed goods.

Does Jack have a costume yet? No.

Does Jack have an awesome bag to collect candy for his parents to eat? Yes.

{Feel free to leave baby costume websites in the comments. I've checked Chasing Fireflies.}

This week held and holds quite a few things that make me happy:
  • first professional pic as a family of three by the lovely Hailey Erickson
  • lunch dates with other young working mamas in my office
  • date night with my man tonight
  • the prospect of no scheduled activities (church excluded) the rest of the weekend. Yesss.

Have a lovely weekend yourself!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Seven Months!

Seven months is getting away from me!

It goes without saying that we just love, love, love this boy. He is cracking me up so much these days. My dad made the discovery this past weekend that if you hold any iPhone up in front of him, he will smile. Even one of our distant family members (who he did not know) held her phone up, and that kiddo of mine flashed his big gummy grin. Perhaps his mama takes too many pics? Is that even possible?

Speaking of gummy grins, there are no teeth yet although he is really working his gums. I'm expecting one any day now. He was 20 lbs 1 oz at his last doctor appointment, and crawling is imminent. Last weekend he was a little mama-clingy (kinda flattering, ok very flattering), but I'm fairly certain it was because we were in different territory around so many new faces. His favorite toy these days is a ball with holes that he can put his fingers in and throw. Typical boy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I like pretty paper.

Back in August, our local Anthropologie had an event demonstrating the art of letterpress. Lauren, of Blue Eye Brown Eye, brought her printing press and explained the process of creating beautiful letterpressed cards and even let us press a couple on our own. And of course, it was followed by brunch foods, which is my favorite meal of the day.

Brunch at Anthropologie? Why yes, thank you, I will.

Fast forward several weekends later, and Jack and I found ourselves at the Dallas Flea. If you've never been, it's a fair of Etsy-style vendors: paper, vintage clothing, handmade jewelry, etc. There were all kinds of beautiful items, although it was a bit crowded.

I found Lauren (who's also an Aggie!) again there where she was selling her beautiful letterpressed cards. Below are just a few of my favorites. I picked up some sets to give as gifts, but those are being kept as a surprise for some people who read this on occasion. I honestly could've bought one of everything!

Aren't these so fun? I never can find a good, minimum cheese baby card, until now.
And the deer card birthday card is perfection for a certain Mr. Gentry.

One more thing to love about cards from Blue Eye Brown Eye.
They are printed right here in good 'ol Cowtown.

You can also find Lauren's cards being sold nationwide at Anthropologie, although you'll find a larger selection in her Etsy shop here!

Monday, October 10, 2011

He called me Emmy.

This past weekend I expected to be in NYC. My brother's band was playing a showcase on Friday night for a record company, and my parents and I were planning to be there to support him. It was going to be my first more than 24 hour time away from my little guy from Thursday to Sunday. We had tickets to the 9-11 Memorial, plans to see Phantom on Broadway, plans to eat pizza in Brooklyn, and {of course} plans to shop.

What I did not plan on was my grandfather passing away on Tuesday night.

I am so blessed to have had him for 31 years. Many memories stick out in my mind about him, but I will share just a few here. He had land out in the country that my cousins, brother, and I played at all summer long when we were young. When our parents would come to pick us up, my grandparents would convince them to let us stay just a little longer. One summer, he fixed up an old riding lawnmower without the blade and built a trailer to drag behind it. We drove that thing all over the place, taking turns steering the tractor and riding on the trailer. We would break it somehow and call him out to come and fix it. He would act irritated that we had messed something up, but we all knew really he loved it.

Also, he loved to read. He always had a book going. I like to think we were kindred spirits where that was concerned. The worst thing about aging for him was macular degeneration, which clouded his eyesight. Books on tape are just not the same, you know.

I have never lost a loved one until now. {I know I am incredibly blessed to be able to say that.} Coming face to face with mortality last week made me realize how thankful I am for the hope I have in Jesus Christ--that this life is not all that we have to look forward to. I have wonderful memories of growing up as his granddaughter, and the picture below is a treasure to me.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Jack says, "I can't stand First Monday Weekend."

Friday we had new tile installed in our kitchen, breakfast, and laundry area, so while B hung out at home, Jack and I escaped to Canton. To readers not familiar with East Texas life, the weekend of the first Monday of the month, the small town of Canton, Texas is filled with all kinds of vendors: vintage, antiques, junk, and mass-produced decor purchased from market. It's a great place to go to decorate your home, and they especially have fun holiday decor.

I've discovered that while Canton may not be the best place for babies, his stroller is perfect for hauling all my stuff and has a much better turning radius than the carts everyone uses to carry their purchases. So there's that.

We spent the rest of the weekend putting our house back in order. I sent this tweet once I got home and surveyed my kitchen stuff redeposited all over the house. Everything was shoved into the living room and study, and since we don't have a tv in our bedroom (by choice,) we ended up eating pizza and watching hulu in our bedroom floor Friday night.

Speaking of hulu, my word there are so many tv series that I like this season! I haven't watched this much tv in years. So ridiculous. We're watching Castle, Pan Am, Person of Interest, Parks and Rec, The Office, Two Broke Girls, The New Girl, How I Met Your Mother.... Seriously, too much.

The rest of the weekend was housekeeping. Hair appt, laundry (once all my appliances were hooked back up), church, and spending time with the boys I love. Oh, and of course, hand scrubbing the new tile so that at some point it will be acceptable to let Jack crawl on it.

I am so my mother's daughter.

Monday, September 26, 2011


The boy has discovered the dog, and he finds her hilarious.

While the Aggies may have lost it during the 3rd quarter of the game this weekend, I can't keep from posting a picture of this dashing young gentleman sporting his maroon. That is the face of the class of 2033 right there. I can't even imagine how many SEC Championships A&M will have won by then.

Glass half-full, you say?

So we spent the weekend hanging out. Friday night we met up with B's parents and grandfather for supper. I made a lovely chocolate chip bundt cake--you know the kind with the extra boxes of pudding that make it just super delicious and the batter just even more super delicious? Yep, it was one of those. And it is no longer. Because we ate it all.

Saturday saw the boy and me at The Dallas Flea while B played in the church golf tournament. It was an Etsy-style/vintage clothing flea market I suppose. While they had a ton of fun things, I think the venue was a bit cramped, especially with a stroller. However, I'll be back here later this week with some way cool paper that I bought there from a Fort Worth artisan. I pink puffy heart stationery so, yay is what I say.

The rest of the weekend we spent with family and church commitments. Our church is celebrating its 100th Anniversary, and there was a neat collection of wedding dresses from brides who had been married in our church sanctuary over the past 100 years. I can't remember how old the oldest one was (for sure pre-1950s), but I was amazed at how perfect it would still be by today's standards. Classy never goes out of style.

I hope you had a delightful weekend. Next weekend I'm breaking out the pumpkin bread recipes and shining up my boots. It's time to get serious about fall, people!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

One Day, Reviewed

So of course I was inspired to read this book after seeing the previews for the latest Anne Hathaway movie. British accent? I am there! One Day was written by David Nicholls who I know nothing about other than he wrote One Day. Except now I just googled him, and it looks like he is a screenwriter and has adapted Tess of the D'Urbervilles and is working on Far From the Madding Crowd for the BBC. Fancy that.

Anyway, this novel centers on a couple who become entangled with one another on their last day of college and follows their friendship throughout their twenties and thirties. It's one of those geeky-girl-likes-popular-boy but they are friends, but then more, but then not. Until ONE DAY. Sort of.

It was an easy read, but I have to say it wasn't my favorite. I wasn't okay with the ending, although I don't know how I would've rewritten it myself. But, you know, Mr. Nicholls did not consult me so there is that. Additionally, it has some language and situations that Jane Austen {and therefore, I} simply would not approve of.

If you're interested in my copy (because of course, one woman's "meh" is another woman's "ohmygoodnessmyfaveever!"--feel free to crosstitch that on a pillow), leave me a comment. I will not judge you if you love it. Otherwise, this one's got a one way ticket to Half Price Books.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I am not a clipper of the coupons. I enjoy using coupons and codes that fall in my lap, but I rarely seek them out. This will sound overly dramatic, but I really just do not have it in me by the time I drive 2 hours round trip and work a 9 hour day. But that's just me.
And lo, there was Amazon Mom. Amazing, wonderful, schedule my orders, deliver to my doorstep, give me a discount, don't make me dig for it, clouds parting, birds singing Amazon Mom.

By implementing their Subscribe & Save feature, I receive 30% off of the little mister's unmentionables. That means I have a standing order for 156 size 3 Huggies Snug & Dry diapers each month. I no longer schlep a big 'ol box of disposable tightie whities from the Big Box Discount Store in addition to my other groceries.

And really? I am too tired to load that much stuff into the car + baby.

Instead, diapers automatically ship on the 18th of every month. Amazon sends an e-mail informing me that order ship time has come 'round again and allows the option of canceling. Within that communication comes notification in case of a price increase. I have canceled before (when we moved from size 2 to 3) without penalty. If I need an extra shipment, I can request an off cycle. So far, it's been a free and flexible subscription service.

Recently as I was exploring, I came to the (overly excited) realization that I can Subscribe & Save other items as well. Every time I turn around I find some other staple to eliminate from my grocery list. First, it was laundry detergent (Tide HE, FYI), next TP. That's right, our Charmin Ultra is delivered directly to the doorstep. By "subscribing," I received 15% off of those products, plus they ship for free.

An additional household benefit is that by joining and ordering, you qualify for a free Amazon Prime membership by spending a certain amount on baby products. My standing diaper order alone qualifies us each month, which means any item stocked by Amazon ships for free. No more trying to finagle a $25 order just to qualify for free shipping. (Am I the only who does this?) And if you live in Texas, you don't pay sales tax on items off of Amazon since they don't have a storefront here.

{So to those of you keeping count at home, yes, that's one more reason to live in the Lone Star State.}

Amazon is not compensating me for this fabulous review. I simply got tired of having all that stuff in my grocery buggy + I enjoy tracking shipped items on the internet.

My guess is you feel the same way.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Family Ties

Serious post ahead. I'll be back to my light and fluffy, sunshine and rainbows tomorrow.

I got a call last week that my grandfather (my dad's dad) had been taken the emergency room after exhibiting some strange behavior. An MRI showed a mass in his brain and further x-rays of his lungs showed a mass there too. I went home for a super quick visit on Saturday afternoon to hug his neck (and my dad's.) He still knew who I was, which was a great relief.

The next few months are going to be difficult for my family. How do you go on with life as usual while also traversing this road? I really would be so honored if you would pray for us through this season, as the family navigates my grandfather's and grandmother's care.

Everyone experiences a situation like this at some point in time. That is a sad reality of life here on earth, you know? It should make us long for the day when there is death, pain, and tears are gone forever (Revelation 21:4.) For the Follower of Christ, this is the reality, that our Savior has conquered these things. I am clinging to this promise today.

{If you read the above and have no clue what I'm talking about, please contact me because I would love to tell you all about it. Triple exclamation points. (!!!)}

While we were there Saturday, we went out for supper with my parents. There is a little boy at my house who can cheer the frown off of anyone's face, especially his Granddaddy's. He is just good medicine. And because my mom couldn't let us leave without a pic for her Facebook, here we are in front of the local Mexican food restaurant in town.

The sound you hear is me lacing up my running shoes to run this baby weight off of my face. Yikes.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Royal Souvenir: A Review of the Modalu Bristol/Pippa handbag

Back in mid-May, I saw this picture of Pippa Middleton and knew that I must have that understated grey handbag. It is by an English company called Modalu, which I had heard nothing about. Of course everyone else in the world wanted Pippa's bag too, which actually resulted in Modalu renaming the bag from "Bristol" to "Pippa." And ultimately, they've produced it in other colors as well, and sent a bunch of them to Pippa. That lucky duck. Not only is she Prince William's sis-in-law, she gets free handbags.


As I mentioned, everyone and their mom ordered the "Pippa" so the wait time became long. Like several months long. I ordered this bag in the color shark in Medium Grab size back on the 19th of May, I believe.

It came in the week of my birthday.

{August 23rd, feel free to take a moment to mark your calendar.}

I thought I would do a review as I had difficulty finding any about the quality of the bag online.

And hey! You might be wondering the same thing.

My bag came wrapped and stuffed with paper. In addition to the outer paper wrap, it also had a plastic bag around it. It looked to be well protected as it made its journey across the pond.

All of the metal details on the bag, like the label shown here,
and the zipper pulls were either plastic covered or paper wrapped.

You can see the cute shell detail on the zipper pulls.
They are a good, hefty weight, in my opinion.

Pippa (the bag) has 3 compartments.
I fit my very large paper planner in the middle one,
and my working mom survival kit in the top one where you see an
internal zipper pocket. There is also a cell phone pocket and
one other easy access pocket up in there.

The bottom compartment (as shown in this pic) is just a plain zippered section. In my bag, there are usually baby accoutrements, like diapers and wipes.

Front shot of the bag, and the accompanying leather strap,
which so far I have not used.

It really is a beautiful bag. The leather is "like butter" as one of my friends described it the other day. Just really, really beautiful. I might compare this to a classic Coach bag, perhaps? You can't tell from my pics, but unlike Pippa's (first photo), mine has metal feet on the bottom, which I think is a really nice detail on a handbag.

As far as a mom bag goes, I have to say that this one works great from 9-to-5 for me. I think most mothers will agree that a shoulder bag works best with wee ones, which this is not that, and I'm not terribly fond of it with the strap added. So I'm loving carrying it to work each day and swapping it out for the weekend when I am out and about with my little.

I took a bit of a risk for myself (I research a handbag relentlessly before I make a purchase) and bought this one. I love it! It is likely to be in style for years to come as long as the leather wears well, and I take care of it. I would buy another one.

Well done, Modalu!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...