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!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekending in September

Ladies' Luncheon centerpiece

Baby in a bowling alley

The Man playing whirlyball*

Baby sleeping during whirlyball

Church cookbook sales
There are 1000 recipes in this book!

We spent the weekend with church activities, from the Saturday morning Ladies' Lunch, to Sunday afternoon cookbook sales after church. Sandwiched between those rather grown-up ladylike events was a retreat with our high school seniors. The youngster was up rather late Saturday night but was still his smiling self the entire time. I can't even say that about myself half the time. He has just a wonderful disposition, and I am so thankful! We stayed at a nearby hotel for the retreat, and he had no problem adjusting to another bed, being fed sitting on a sidewalk while waiting for our tables to be ready, etc. He had fun playing with the girls and came home just talking up a storm about them.

{At least, that's what I think he was talking about.}

So this has me thinking, this parenting on the go thing. What is the weirdest place you've ever had to feed your kid?

*Whirlyball is a combination of lacrosse, bumpercars, and basketball, kinda. We do it as a teambuilder at work on occasion. It completely levels the playing field between those with athletic ability and those without. I will let you guess which of those categories I fall into.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Kickoff I Will Not Soon Forget

Jack watching his first Aggie football game

As most everyone in the great state of Texas knows, we have been in an incredible drought this summer, the heat index notwithstanding. I gave up watering my flowers at least a month ago, and we're barely keeping the yard alive at this point.

I've mentioned this before, but my parents and grandparents live out in the country on the farm my grandfather grew up on. If you've read any Little House on the Prairie books, you know that there are many dangers of living in the country: pestilence, distance from help, and of course, prairie fire.

My mom called me around 5 PM to say that a wild fire was burning out of control heading towards their place. While we were talking, my dad beeped in to tell her to start gathering things up in the house to evacuate. That is the most stricken I've ever heard my mom, when she called me back to ask if there was anything in the house I wanted to hang on to. Providentially, my brother had gone home last minute for the weekend, so they had an extra set of hands and wheels to load up the more irreplaceable things in the house. They grabbed all photos off of the walls, portable family heirlooms, and then took the time to photograph everything they would leave behind. She told me that as she closed the door on the the bare-walled house, she prayed that God would send a miracle.

Then she got on the phone and called me to pray before heading over to my grandparents' to help them pack up and photograph too.

I tweeted and texted asking anyone who could, would pray for my family. Brad and I got on our knees in the living room, and in tears, I begged God to deliver the farm, no, to deliver TEXAS from becoming a scorched earth. I prayed for protection for my family, protection for the fire responders, and ultimately, that an end to the fire would come, in such a manner that anyone who witnessed it could only say that the Lord had intervened and saved. Specifically, we prayed that no matter what, God would be glorified in the situation, whether in prevention or recovery.

About 20 minutes after we got up from our living room floor, my mom called to report (quite fanatically) that IT WAS RAINING. Downpouring!

We spent the rest of the afternoon monitoring the situation. By late evening, the rain had slowed the fire such, that the fire department had it contained. Yesterday, my hometown newspaper reported that the rainstorm directly followed the path of the fire until it was controlled.

In short, it was a miracle.

Only God could have intervened. The fire had consumed more than 1500 acres and was quickly burning through more directly on its way to my parents' place. Glory to God alone for His protection and His mercy.

I will never get over it.

If you would be so kind, please continue to pray for my hometown. While I am praising God for delivering my family from the devastation, many were not spared. Whether they are replacing homes, livestock, or other buildings which are used for their livelihoods, much is left to be done to recover, outside of the emotional trauma itself. Please pray for comfort, for peace, for recovery efforts, and of course...more rain!
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