2.22.2011

Procrastination Wins Again

So we are approximately 36 hours from wheels up and our bags are packed, our house is clean and we are just idly twiddling our thumbs waiting to board the plane.

Um, not.

Have y'all met me?

The truth is I've got loads upon loads to do and I am sitting here typing a blog post.

Y'all do know me.

But at least I have one less thing to do now that I have put the finishing touches on Annelise's class art project for their auction. Whaddya think? (I really don't care to cut another circle for quite some time, thankyouverymuch.)
Now I have plenty of time to decide what shoes to pack, clean the house, gather Annelise's things (a hefty task I assure you) and fret about leaving our daughter for the first time ever and actually being miles and miles apart for five days.

Oh the guilt.

But oh the excitement too.

Are y'all early bird packers or procrastinator packers? Do you feel the unavoidable urge to clean the house before a trip too?

2.18.2011

Five for Friday

1. First of all, thank you all so much for commenting on my last post about our (pinch me, I'm dreaming) upcoming NYC trip. Our list of must-dos and would-be-nice-to-dos and let's feed our face here and then over there has grown thanks to your wonderful suggestions. We're still talking in circles (still mostly me) but your tips and advice have been most helpful and very much appreciated. Y'all are beyond fabulous!!

2. Since Scott and I had our trip planned for next week we agreed not to exchange valentines because, hello, you can't top NYC. So guess what was beside our back door when we came home from the Salad Express Monday night (which is so fancy-schmancy and schmoopsie romantical on Valentine's Day, I know)? A box of tulips. That little stinker. I felt like a chump because I actually listened to me when we said no gifts.
Aren't they purty?

3. Annelise and I got ourselves all gussied up in pink Sunday in honor of Valentine's Day.
And most of the time during church and then lunch I was distracted by the feeling my tights were slowly working their descent toward my ankles and I had to keep discreetly (I hope) tugging at them, which was fun. (These pics were for a What I Wore Wednesday post that never quite materialized.)

4. Annelise's class Valentine party went well and was low key (my favorite kind). The kids made ice cream sundaes, which was a hit. I took pictures of each boy and girl and guess which was the only one to come out blurry? Yep. My girl. Because she is such a mover and a shaker.
Then after their massive sugar consumption they opened their valentines and worked on their scrapbook, which consisted of gluing the card and writing down who it was from. They seemed to like doing it, it took the rest of the party time and they each had a valentine keepsake to take home. Over the past few days Annelise has enjoyed looking through it again and again, so that's good.
5. If you think this looks like a pot covered with yellow polka dots you would be right.
I am hopeful though that in a few short hours it will resemble a beautiful pot covered with colorful flowers created by 12 first-grade thumbs, paint, googly eyes, bright jewels and stones that will make proud parents greedily bid on it at the upcoming school auction.
Since paint, glue and don't forget those 12 first-grade thumbs will be involved, I'm a bit anxious. And twitchy.
Wish me luck.

Happy Friday, y'all!

2.15.2011

In a New York State of Mind {and plea for advice}

It's time to let the cat out of the bag (MEOW):

Scott and I are taking a little jaunt next week to the city that never sleeps, the Big Apple, the place I've only seen on TV or in my favorite movies...the one, the only...New York City!! (!!!!!)

In case you can't tell, I'm a wee bit excited.

We've been looking through our guide book, looking websites up, talking in circles (mostly me), I've been stalking a few blogs of those that have been to NYC and I've been making lists and sub-lists of the things we want to do and see (basically everything) (which is so realistic and attainable, I know).

We'll be there almost 5 days (Thursday - Monday) and we want to pack in as much of The City as we can.

So once again I am turning to y'all, my wise bloggy friends for some help.

What are your absolute must-dos and must-sees (as in don't bother going home if you miss it) in NYC?

and more importantly...

Where should we eat?

Oh, and also? We were thinking of taking the Gray Line double decker bus tour on our first full day to get an overview of the city, but we (mostly me) are worried about waiting for buses and sitting in traffic eating up all of our time. Have any of y'all ridden them before? Whaddya think?

Thanks bunches my friends! Y'all are the BEST!

2.12.2011

12 on the 12th {february}

For over a year now I have toyed with the idea of documenting a day in the life once a month as Jill, Amy, Michelle and others do, and of course toyed is all I ever did. My excuse was that Photoshop made me cry just doing simple actions so I was scared (to put it lightly) to attempt resizing and making a collage. Today, while poking around the free* editing program Picnik, I discovered how to do collages with an easy peasy click and drag. No tears. No pulling hair. No grumbles.

I wish I had a bullhorn because I want to shout to the world how happy I am about this discovery (even though our neighbors might not appreciate that).

So without further ado...I give you my very first 12 on the 12th photo collage:

1. I started my Saturday off on the right foot with a fresh cup of coffee. I big, glitter-crusted, puffy-heart l-o-v-e my Keurig. But I think you knew that already.

2. Since I've recently become infatuated with all things Mrs. Meyer's (particularly the Lemon Verbena) I thought I'd wrap some up for Annelise's sweet teacher for Valentine's Day. Mrs. Meyer's yummy smelling products make me actually want to clean. Mostly.

3. Worked on my list and sub-list and sub-sub list for a little trip we're taking soon.

4. Coerced Annelise into sitting through torture a photo session for her Valentine cards And yes, she was sitting in a tree.

5. Cleaned our bathroom sinks, because...EWWW.

6. We have a darling new yarn shop in our area, which is wonderful but also dangerous. The last two times I popped in I left with these irresistible multi-colored yarns. I have big plans to knit a hat and a scarf for our little trip, but of course I haven't started yet.

7. Photo documenting the awesomeness of Picnik and the birth of this collage.

8. Listened to Mumford & Sons while I fiddled around. They, along with The Avett Brothers are my siren song bands right now. I can't help myself.

9. I'm finally almost finished with The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. Such a good read, love her books.

10. My big salad for lunch. That's a whole lot of chewing, my friends.

11. Working on Annelise's valentines. Exact-O knives always scare me, but thankfully no one was maimed in the making of her valentines this year.

12. Annelise wrote her friends' names & stuffed the envelopes. And ate one Tootsie Pop when she finished.

At first it seemed overwhelming to try and snap 12 photos of different daily (i.e. mundane) happenings on the same day, but as it turned out, it wasn't bad at all. It was actually kind of refreshing to use my camera throughout the day. Doing this once a month is totally doable and a nice substitute for a 365 type project (I've always fizzled out on those), I'm looking forward to doing this again.

*Picnik is free and I've used the free parts for the last few years. Today though I bit the bullet and upgraded to the Premium Picnik, but since Picnik is easy (as in doesn't make me cry) and our Photoshop Elements won't work on our Mac, I decided it was totally worth it.

Have you ever made a photo collage? Have you documented a day in your life like this? Ever done a 365 or 52 type photo challenge?
(Oy vey!)

2.10.2011

Reflections of an Almost Six Week Vegetarian(ish)

Don't you like how precise and clear I am?

Imagine being inside my head.

Moving right along. It's hard to believe that I am almost six weeks into this whole vegetarian(ish) thing. It's also hard to believe, based on the pattern of the last oh, say 42 years, that I actually like eating this way. I do. Really.

Whooda thunkit?

Here are a few of my reflections/revelations about this new journey, in my favorite form of a list:
*I feel better and have more energy.
*I don't feel deprived in any way.
*I don't get as hungry as often, and when I do it's not that desperate kind of hunger.
*Fruit totally trumps sugary treats. Really. Yes, really.
*I look forward to eating salads every day.
*I (think) I'm not as much of a moody crankypants as I was.
*Spinach smoothies are amazing. Really. Yes, really.
*I'm much more aware of how fast food smells, and not in a good way.
*I don't miss meat that much. If I do eat some it's an occasional thing, not an every meal thing.

And some confessions:
*I did not break up with coffee, so I'm not as completely de-toxed as I should be. I do put a splash of whipping cream and/or almond milk in my coffee, but no sugar.
*I probably don't get close to my daily goal of 1lb. raw veggies & definitely not 1lb. cooked veggies, but still feel full and satisfied.
*I've eaten Tex-Mex about once a week and feel absolutely no guilt about that.
*I also ate a hamburger and sweet potato fries (which were truly dee-lish) at the hospital cafeteria twice. With Diet Coke, oh yeah. I did feel kind of ick after and a little guilty. I just tried to eat clean the next few days.
*I recently had a brief moment with some M&Ms and some red velvet cake (not together) and felt ick after. But no other sugary sweet treats these last six weeks, and I haven't been craving sugar like I thought I might.

And the really, really, really fabulous news is:
*My clothes fit better and I'm wearing jeans I haven't been able to wear in over a year.

And that my friends, is awesome.

So I think this vegetarian(ish) trend will continue.

I know switching to an eating plan like this can seem overwhelming, believe me I would have laughed in your face or hit you if you had told me I'd be a vegetarian(ish) one day. If I can do it, anyone can. Feel free to ask me questions in the comments or in email if you have any.

2.09.2011

What I Wore Wednesday (Vol.12)

It's that time again y'all, time to share how we are fighting the schlumpidinka syndrome by making an effort most days to get dressed in something other than sweatpants and hoodies. Here's how I tried to fight the frumpies last week:
Black t-shirt & grey drape-y sweater: Target
Jeans: TJ Maxx
My favorite-I-could-wear-them-every-day-boots: Cavender's
I had to show y'all a close up of my eclectic necklace because I recently found these silver James Avery charms I had from back in the day (circa mid-late 70s). I was tickled pink to be able to wear them again! My mom and I went to JA trunk shows at local churches because there weren't JA stores yet.
And yes, I like owls.
Grey drape-y cardigan & yellow tank: Forever 21
Grey tank: Old Navy
Jeans: Target
Boyfriend watch: Dillard's
Favorite grey rosette necklace: Allora Handmade
Purple-y pink sweater, grey tank and white t-shirt: Target
Jeans: TJ Maxx
And my favorite boots. Again.
And in the spirit of full disclosure I did wear a hoodie this week. Some days are just hoodie days. I hope we're all still friends.
Thanks for stopping by today for WIWW. Be sure to visit Lyndsey at The Pleated Poppy for tons more WIWW posts.

Happy (rainy) Wednesday y'all!

2.08.2011

Wanted: Sledgehammer

Pardon me while I take a moment to blog in the hopes it will distract me from my desire to scrounge around for a sledgehammer.

Why, you might wonder, do I need a sledgehammer?

To whack the ever-living-daylights out of our alarm keyboard thingie that is beeping, quite mercilessly, every. ten. seconds.

Don't get me wrong, I adore all of the newfangled technological thingies around here to pieces and know they can make our lives easier/faster/safer, etc. But when they're on the fritz and obviously possessed by evil high-pitched beeping fairies, they make me kind of crazy.

Speaking of techie things, Scott and I have had two recent revelations:

1.) You can cancel your DSL in a moment of haste (and misunderstanding, more on that in a minute) but you will have to wait almost a week to get your DSL back. Sweet.
And b.) You can think you and your hubby are sharing a texting plan that seems perfect for your minimal texting needs (i.e. cheap) but once the veil is lifted you realize you were duped.

In a nutshell, after having problems with our DSL service we made a hasty decision to get one of those new-fangled MiFi devices and a data plan. Everything was bright and shiny with our cute MiFi thingie, so we canceled our DSL. Then we, and when I say we I mean Scott, figured out how many gigabytes(?) we'd most likely be burning through every month we realized the MiFi, while cute and handy and bright and shiny would send us to the poor house rather quickly. Oops. So we swallowed some crow and called Verizon back. As for the texting nutshell, we signed up for 200 texts for $5.00 a month, thinking it covered both our phones. Um, nope. They, and when I say they I mean AT&T, don't offer that perfect (i.e. cheap) plan any more. Now it's $10.00 for 1000 texts a month, and really, who I am I to send anywhere near 1000 texts a month? I'm 42, not 14, you know. So now I have to decide if this plan is better than just paying per text. And just how much texting is worth to me.

I think I'm back to looking for that sledgehammer.

2.07.2011

Weekending

In case anyone has been waiting with bated breath these last few days due to the impending blizzard that was predicted to fall on our heads, you can all exhale and carry on with your merry lives.

Because nothing happened.

Except it was bitterly cold and there were rumors of ice.

Annelise was crushed (and rightly so).

In other news, my sweet daddy celebrated his 70th birthday on Saturday. At home!!
He and Peggy came home from the hospital Thursday afternoon (cue happy dance) and it's such a happy sight to see him back where he belongs.

Saturday also brought with it much missed sunshine and Annelise of course felt it her duty to get out there and revel in it. Whether riding her bike, digging in the dirt, swinging from a rope, climbing trees...
or honing her killer basketball skills.
Because the silly faces?
She's definitely got those nailed.
We finished up Saturday with fajitas at Lupe Tortilla. And after being cooped up for 2 days for the no-show snow, everyone in our area apparently had the same idea because packed? That's what it was. Thank goodness for their giant sandbox play area and the patio torches. Scott and I watched The Social Network later that night on PPV and kept kicking ourselves for not thinking of The Facebook first.

As if.

How was your weekend?

2.04.2011

Like a Snow Day. But Not.


So um... yeah. This pretty much sums up how Houston overreacts to the possibility of snow. Annelise is going to be highly disappointed when she wakes up (think Sally leaving the pumpkin patch after the Great Pumpkin was a no-show).

Stay warm y'all!

2.02.2011

Waiting. And Rejoicing.

Last Friday morning family and friends gathered around to wait while my sweet daddy underwent surgery. There were so many loved ones rallied around Peggy that we eventually took over one side of the waiting room and had to sit in shifts. Stories swapped, memories shared, styrofoam coffee cups refilled at appropriate intervals, newspapers and books read, both heartfelt concerns and laughter expressed in turn.

Soon we heard the name we had been waiting to hear called and we collectively turned to see Daddy's surgeon standing in the doorway. Peggy and I made our way over to hear the news, hearts in our throats.

They got it all.

All of it. Gone.

Relief followed by cautious joy quickly set in.

He will need to follow up with his oncologist and have tests every six months, but in the whole scheme of things, that seems like a party compared to what we feared. The first two days following the surgery were pretty rough for him because of the incision, but he's made amazing strides since then. As soon as, well, um...to put it delicately, nature takes its course he'll be able to come home.

And we're all quite excited about that.

Thank y'all so much for your prayers, sweet comments, e-mails and tweets on behalf of my big, tough-guy daddy! They made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside while I was trying to sit on my nest of pins and needles. Maybe I can hop off that prickly nest now.

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." 1 Peter 1: 6-7 (NIV)

"I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears."
Psalm 34:1-4 (NIV)
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