Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: Year in Review

This year was really great. I know I'm blessed and I definitely have no complaints on the year, but when I was looking back and finding photos I really realized all of the amazing moments of 2009. I hope you have wonderful memories of 2009 and much to look forward to in 2010.
Ringing in 2009!

Mom turned the big 5-0!

Dave and I at the Cotton Bowl for our 2 year anniversary
Girls trip to Chicago and New York! And OPRAH of course!

I spent my 28th birthday with Billy Joel and Elton John...AMAZING!

The last trip to New Orleans to see Taylor play at Tulane!

Converted Giants fans! Celebrating Taylor being drafted to the San Francisco Giants

Decade of Friendship! Mexico with my Besties...

Work trip/short getaway to Florida in June

July 4th at the Lake...some of the best times!

My 10 year high school reunion!! Oh my gosh....where have the years gone??
We had a blast on our trip to Tennessee in October to see Dave's granddad

And finally, the Komen 3-day! What an amazing experience that was! I will certainly never forget it!

One thing is for sure...God is good, all the time! 2010...let's do this!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tis the Season...

Christmas was great at our house and I hope it was wonderful at your house too! It was pretty crazy because we were missing some family and it just didn't feel the same. We have a very small family on my mom's side. My mom has one brother, Mike, and he is always a part of our Christmas festivities. On Tuesday the 22nd, we got a call that my uncle had a heart attack and was in surgery in Dallas. It sent us all for a loop and mom, my nana and papa headed straight for Dallas.

Unfortunately, he spent Christmas in ICU but I am happy to report that he is at home now and recovering! We spent the last 2 days in Dallas celebrating Christmas with him and we are so glad to see him moving around and feeling better. Praise the Lord he was in Dallas, near his doctors, and got help so quickly!

As for the rest of Christmas...we had a wonderful church service on Christmas Eve and I have to tell was SO darling to see all of the little ones in their fluffy dresses and patten leather shoes! The little boys had on their sweater vests and I could just eat them up! I love the Christmas service for many reasons, but one of the main reasons is because the families bring their children into the service instead of child care and hearing them ask questions and sing along is just precious to me.

After church we headed to my parent's house and had dinner and enjoyed some time together. Then we opened the gifts we had gotten each other. 2 of my favorite gifts I gave this year were the photo book I gave my mom, sister and Coleen for our 3-Day walk, and the video my brother, sister and I gave my dad. We got pictures from his mom of him as a child, and we looked through every single photo of his life that my mom had and we made a video for him of his photos set to music. He LOVED it!! My grandad passed away 10 years ago and I think he loved seeing all of the photos of him and his dad together. It was pretty fun to give that to him!

The funniest part of the night was my brother coming downstairs with his huge backpack filled to the brim. We wondered why he had it, but we soon learned it's purpose. As each person opened their gifts from my brother we realized he didn't have boxes for anything he bought, so he just wrapped random things from his room. My nana unwrapped his personalized/autographed baseball from Nolan Ryan only to have it snagged out of her hand and a wrinkled shirt to be pulled from his backpack. We had to laugh each time as golf shirts, running shorts and wine glasses appeared from his magical backpack. He never ceases to amaze us!!

On Christmas day we headed Southbound 35 to spend Christmas day with my in-laws. It was so fun, and Dave finally got his Turkey!! My MIL made a wonderful lunch right up Dave's alley, so he was a happy camper. We opened our presents and it was pretty uneventful this year because the presents were actually labeled!! Only one person opened a gift that didn't belong to them! ha! We spent the evening playing Yahtzee and decided we need to take my MIL to Vegas because she rolled FIVE Yahtzees!!! In only 3 games! She is an impressive individual.

In all, it was so wonderful and I can't believe it is over!! As I told you guys yesterday, I got a camera from Dave and I am so happy!! Several of you asked what kind I got, and it is a Nikon D5000. If any of you have any tips or tricks send them my way!! Here are like 2 pictures from Christmas at my in-laws. I didn't take any pictures this year because I was so busy charging my new camera! I'll have to get pics from my family and post later. XOXO

"It looks like you STOLE your gifts!" ~ My sister to my brother as he was pulling gifts out of his backpack

Monday, December 28, 2009

My New Toy...

For 2 years I have asked for the same thing for Christmas....a nice camera. I know it's not just an everyday purchase, so I have been patient, but I have really, really, really wanted it. Dave completely spoiled me this Christmas! I am so excited to have my new toy!

I can't WAIT to really learn how to use it. Right now I only know how to take very standard photos but I'm hoping to take a few classes at a local college and really learn what my camera can do. For now it just does this....
I love, love, love it....who wants to come over and let me take your pictures for practice?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wrap, wrap, wrap, wrap it up...

I meant to post this on Wednesday but the time just got away from me. One of the things I love the most about Christmas is giving everyone presents that I have thought through and I know (or hope) they will love. I pick out a new style of paper each year and have fun tying bows and making everyone's packages look pretty.

This year I couldn't find paper that I was really crazy about so I decided on a red and white stripe pattern and red ribbon. When I started wrapping and tied the first bow I knew I loved it! I was so happy the way everything turned out. I ran out of tags and Hobby Lobby was completely sold out, so I just made my own initial tags on more than half of my presents. That's why you see a couple of different tags in the photos.

I have funny Christmas stay tuned!! I hope your Christmas was wonderful!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

An Uninvited Holiday Guest...

Y'all wouldn't even believe it if I hadn't taken pictures, so rest assured I have photographic evidence of the tale I am about to tell! (Those that follow me on Twitter already know what happened, but this is the full story!)

Friday night I woke up around 1:30 in the morning needing to go to the restroom. I don't even think I completely woke up, but I stumbled into the restroom to do my thing. I must insert here that we have a little potty room within our bathroom, so you go into a TINY little nook with just a toilet and it has it's own door. Usually when I have to get up in the night to use the restroom I go into the tiny room and close the door before I turn on the light so it won't wake Dave up. So, back to the I go into the tiny room, close the door, flip on the light, sit down on the toilet and I see something about 1 FOOT away from me staring straight at me with it's beady little honestly took me about 2 seconds to realize that it was in fact real and not a dream and that I was one-on-one with a SQUIRREL in my bathroom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I screamed bloody murder and FLEW out of that bathroom and started yelling for Dave that there was a squirrel in the bathroom!! Now let me interject another quick fact....I talk in my sleep. A lot. I tend to have CRAZY dreams that make me do crazy things. I have another story for another blog, but let's just say that a few weeks ago Dave and I both woke up very bruised after I dreamed we were almost hit by a semi. In my defense, we were bruised because I was saving our lives. thankyouverymuch. But anyhow, he literally didn't budge, he just casually opened his eyes and I was sitting on top of the bathroom counter. I promised him with every fiber of my being that there really was a squirrel in our bathroom and that he needed to save the day!

At that point, I really woke up. And I started hearing what I was saying and I started wondering if there really was a squirrel in the bathroom because let's be honest....what are the odds?? I tiptoed back over to the bathroom, looked behind the door and there she was....and she wasn't small people! At this point I looked for Rookie to make sure he didn't get in on the action, and he was just laying on the bed...hadn't moved a muscle. He was shooting us the death stare for waking him from his slumber. Some guard dog!

We put him outside and went into problem solving mode. There was a freaking squirrel in our bathroom! So we got Rookie's crate and were trying to figure out how on earth we were going to coerce a squirrel into a dog crate. I started Googleing how to catch a squirrel and all of the answers weren't comforting when it was telling us to put peanut butter in our trap and give it 4-5 days. But each commentary told us that squirrels could be aggressive, very quick, and many carry rabies. Noted.

In the end, we settled on Animal Control which opened at 8am on Saturday morning. By this time it was 2:30. We decided to secure the borders and go sleep in the guest bedroom. Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep knowing we had a huge squirrel probably chewing through our walls downstairs.
At 8am we called Animal Control and left a message that we had a guest in our home. Their first question to Dave was, "Did you bring it in?" WHAT?? Did we bring the squirrel in our home?? For what? A playmate for Rookie?? NO, we didn't bring a freaking squirrel in our house! After the silly questions we got to the nuts and bolts of the matter. We needed a squirrel removal ASAP. An hour later we had Deputy Dewey at the front door with his net. I tried to take a picture of the removal but he closed the doors "for our safety". About 30 seconds later he appeared with our little friend wrangling around in his net and he proceeded to walk out in our backyard and let her loose.

We figured out that she came in through the vent above our stove. When I had gotten home from work on Friday the cabinet was open and I had wondered why Dave had left it open. I'm not tall enough to see inside of it, so I just shut it and went on. On Saturday I asked him what he needed out of that cabinet and he said, "I wasn't in that cabinet." At that point I had an "A-Ha!" moment and we figured that must have been how our friend got in. When we opened the door and got a stool this is what we found....

Long story short, we called pest control and they said that she didn't chew through our roof and there was no damage. They simply think she was on the roof and somehow managed to fall into the vent for our stove. They said she went into survival mode and was going towards light...the light just happened to be our HOME!! She chewed through that portion of our vent, but Dave fixed it yesterday afternoon and we should be good to go.

It was pretty crazy and I honestly don't know when I'll get the image of flipping on the light and having a SQUIRREL staring me straight in the eyes out of my head. I had to take some pictures so you guys would believe me! I hope you enjoy your holiday guests and I hope they are all there by invitation!!

Me: "Some guard dog you are! There was a squirrel 20 feet away and you were sleeping like a baby!"
Dave: "Yeah Bear! Are you just eye candy?"

PS...that picture of the squirrel was taken at about 7:30am on Saturday before Animal Control came. When I first saw her, she was in another corner of the bathroom facing me with her tail up behind her. Literally about 1 foot away from me. I can only imagine that that is what it must feel like when you hallucinate something. Because since I was half asleep, it took me a minute to realize that it really was real. It looked so real, but I was thinking, "Is that a squirrel?" But yep, it was real!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fabulous Find Friday!

You probably have a wish list from your family and friends. And I'm sure you're all way ahead of the game and your presents are all bought and wrapped and under the tree! No?? I have to brag and tell you that outside of my brother and one more gift for Dave...I'm DONE!! Now I just need to light the fire, burn my candy cane candle, put in Christmas Vacation and have a little wrapping party for one in my living room!

Now that the main gifts are purchased I get to think about fun stocking stuffers. And that can be hard!! Here are a few suggestion for him and her! (Click the bold green links for more info)

A subscription to "O" The Oprah Magazine for only $5!!

Lottery Tickets
Head Lamp- So your hubby can look super cool too....They claim it is super helpful and necessary...
PS...if you're still stumped on the perfect gift for him take a look at this fabulous watch Timex has made just for JCrew this year! The band comes in tons of fun colors!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It doesn't belong to me...It's always belonged to her.

With Christmas fast approaching and a bit of cooler weather creeping into my Texas days I have been longing for New York City. I have been itching for a ride on the subway. Yearning for an unnecessary and unsuccessful trip through Macy's because it's my mother's mothership. Craving a Magnolia cupcake for breakfast...just because we can! Pushing through crowds of people because you have to. Longing for a slice of pizza and a glass of wine in a tiny little apartment on the upper West Side. (My sister's old apartment to be exact...)

I love New York. I love it for all of the reasons mentioned above and for many more. But I think one thing I love the most about New York is that it doesn't belong to me. For as long as I can remember, New York City has been my sister's city. It has always reminded me of her and it has always been hers. You see, for her 16th birthday my mom took her on a girls' trip to NYC. It was her first time in the City and the love affair began. She came home saying, "I want to live in New York!" She went to college and spent any spring break, Christmas break and any extra dime she had in the Big Apple. We always knew it would take her away when she graduated from college.

Just like she had planned, she graduated from college, talked a few friends into her corner, and she headed off to the city that never sleeps. She worked hard, prayed harder, and she landed a true dream job with Hearst Publications working for "O" the Oprah Magazine. The day she called home from her first day and she had had a meeting with Gayle King we knew all was right with the world! :)

It was so fun to listen to her tales of her time in the city. She truly soaked up every minute of it and took nothing for granted. She saw plays, spent weekends in the Hampton's, sat courtside (or in the lights...) at the US Open, spent lazy weekends in Central Park, made a trip or two (or TEN!) to the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty with weekend visitors and so many, many other amazing memories. And although I love the city, I am only a visitor. It was her home.

*All of these images are my sisters

This was the view from her office! Floor to ceiling windows looking out over Central Park...

I threw this in for good measure...this was ALSO the view from her office. :) George, filming a commercial in her building. Swoon.

And if you're interested in a few of my sister's stories from the City you can read them here, here and here!

I love you, New York. I'm longing for you New York. It's up to you New You, New York!