Monday, December 05, 2011

To the Zoo!

Last month we finally made it to the zoo. I had been wanting to go, but it was either too hot, we were too busy, or just too tired. But, this time, Owen, Grandma Holly and I made a plan and stuck with it.

We made our trek over to the Dallas Zoo, as I was excited to see the new Giants of the Savannah exhibit. I didn't really know what I was in for, because I had this line my dad said once upon a time running through my mind the whole time. He told me once, the best exhibit at the Dallas Zoo was the cockroaches when he was little. ICK!

I will be happy to tell you that that is NOT SO!  It was delightful! We had a great time. I think I probably enjoyed it the most. The Grandma was excited to be there with the grandson. The kiddo was excited about all the statue animals. Me? My animal loving self was in wart hog heaven!

Here's a few snap shots from the day. I can't wait to go back!
The elephants doing their tricks...see the trainer on the rocks on the left.
O says he approves of the Savannah. 
Well, hello there!
Parallel parking for giraffes!
Watching the lions from our lunch table.
Mom, these elephants are really my speed!
Teehee! Trunks are funny!
That guy's funny, Grandma!
One more time!
Of course, Grandma Holly had to take him on the Carousel! 

Yea! for the zoo!
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Trick-or-Treating We Will Go

I posted a little bit about O's first real trick or treat expedition over on the O'Baby Blog, but I wanted to share this little bit of video too!

I know he's my kid so that influences me on the cuteness factor, but seriously, this kid is cute. All dress up in his puppy-with-no-puppy-ears-because-I-won't-wear-them costume and his big blue eyes just make me melt!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Anniversary Trip to San Francisco!

This October I did two things I've never done before.
1. I visited California
2. Joe and I left the O'Bear!

Joe and I took a 3night/4day trip to San Francisco to celebrate our fifth year of marriage.

We had a great time. though I think this was the first vacation I can remember popping more pain pills than anything else. We walked EVERYWHERE!! And, little known fact, did you know there are hills in SF? They do, and not just small majestic hills. These are eat your lunch and kill your knees type of hills. But we walked them!!

The big city was kind of a shock for me since I haven't done that in a while (I know I live in Dallas, but it's the burbs!) But we had lots of fun. We rode the trolley, strolled the peirs...all 39+ of them, visited Alcatraz, walked the Golden Gate Bridge. We also visited a small town on the other side of the bay, Sausalito, and had a fun time just poking around there.

Alcatraz was neat, just because we've heard so much about it. It is crazy how close it feels to the main land, and as we learned on the tour, that was one of the hardest parts for prisoners. They said they could especially hear the laughter and partying by the yacht clubs on New Years and such. A lot of it has started to crumble, but it was neat and a little eerie to see that part of history.
On the home front, O stayed with his Grandparents' O'Brien and had a blast! I think the kid cried for 2 minutes and didn't slow down the whole time! Makes my heart happy knowing he's well taken care of and having fun. And wow, he's growing up!

So, not quite what I had thought of for my first trip to California, but it was special and fun a the same time! Thanks, Joe, for some great, though pain-filled, memories!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

pumpkins and potatoes

Today we took a trip to the Arboretum with friends to visit their pumpkins. Then later this evening we went to the local church pumpkin patch with the Colvins, which has turned into quite the fun tradition. We also enjoyed a nice bowl of potato soup before we left tonight, and thought I'd share a few pics and the recipe.

Hearty Potato Soup
1/4 c. Butter
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, grated
1 10-oz. Can chicken broth (you can add more to thin out)
2 10-oz. Cans cream of potato soup
2 potatoes, mashed
2 c. Shredded cheddar cheese (medium or sharp)
1 c. Sour cream
Salt & pepper to taste
Milk (optional - to thin out)

Melt the butter in a 3 quart sauce pan or Dutch oven. Add the green onions and carrots, and sauté until tender. Add the chicken broth and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

Throw in your baked potatoes and mash to desired consistency. Then stir in the potato soup, cheddar cheese, and sour cream. Cook low over heat until the cheese melts, stirring to mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Add milk if needed for the desired consistency. Serves six.
Happy Fall!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Hits and Misses ::edited::

I've fallen in with the cool crowd and joined Pinterest. Is it still cool if EVERYONE is doing it? (I digress.)

If you haven't joined this site you should. It is a visual bookmark for all the cool stuff you find on the web. Looking to redesign your house? Start a "dream home" board. Love to sew? Start a "craft and sewing" board...

Well, one of my pin boards is food. And with a few recent shindigs, I tried out a recipe or two. One a hit. One a miss.

Big, Fat Hit #1: Chicken Enchilada Pasta
It was fairly easy to make, though it did call for quite a few ingredients. I made this for a friend who recently had a baby (Hi, Emily!), and still had some left for our family too! You can also decide on your designated spice level depending on what sauces you use and if you want to throw anything else in the mix.
I will definitely make again.

Big, Fat Hit #2: Sopapilla Cheesecake
I saw this on pinterest here, but the recipe I actually made was from my good buddy, Karen. This is a great recipe for a friendly gathering, nothing too fancy, nice, gooey and warm. A few things though: gotta watch out that the butter doesn't just pool on top. And, I mixed half the sugar and cinnamon with the butter to pour on top, then sprinkled the remaining over that. I feel that helped give it a little crunch on top.
Here's Karen's recipe:
Sopapilla Cheesecake...

2 cans crescent rolls
2 pkgs. cream cheese
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 stick butter

Layer the first can of crescent rolls out flat in a 9x13 greased baking pan. Mix together softened cream cheese, 1 c. sugar, and vanilla. Spread over crescent rolls and then add the next can of rolls as the second layer. Melt the butter and mix with 1/2 c. sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Drizzle over top. 
Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Enjoy!

Big. Sad Flop: Lemoncello Cake
Won't link up, due to dissapointment.
If you come across it, just say no. Now, barring I did not use the liquor they mentioned, the cake just turned out sad and heavy. I had such high hopes, but it got squashed.

Lesson: you just got to try! I look forward to more experiments and hopefully more success stories too! Sign up, start pinning and let me know if you come across something great!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Big Dig

Today, I had a meet-up with resident archaeologist, Tex O'Brien. He was in the area for the big dig at the historic Ft. O'Brien, which happens to be right out my back door. I did not want to miss this opportunity to see the legend in his element.
 He welcomed the crowd, and told us a little bit about how he goes about his explorations. Tex said a good pair of cargo pants is a must, as well as a trusty shovel and spatula. "I can't tell you enough how often a good spatula can get you out of a pretty nasty scrape," said Tex O'Brien.
 "You just feel it in your bones when you're onto something. Like today, I just knew I had to get out here and get a feel for the earth. In my second trip out today, I've already found a red rocket and a green fish! Do you know what this means in my field?"
Clearly, Tex was excited about what he had uncovered today at the dig site. I can't wait to see what he learns from these artifacts!
 Above, Tex O'Brien points out one of the dig spots that's yielded quite a bit of artifacts in this last outing. Tex was also quite willing to get his feet dirty. He said something about feeling the sand between his toes...or maybe that was me wishing for a beach vacation.
Tex also had his assistant, Ryker vonStryker out on the dig too. Tex likes to say Ryker works like an animal, whatever that's about...

Here Tex O'Brien said something about the way the building was constructed as well, but it was way over my head. I tell you, this guy is amazing!
It was an exciting day for sure. Tex said the site looked promising for more treasure, but he and vonStryker had a call from Mr. & Mrs. Cole to rescue a baby llama in Peru. Man, the life this guy leads...they should make a movie based on this guy - a handsome archaeologist with a goofy side kick off to save the world one adventure at a time. I bet it would make a killing! 

Tex O'Brien, safe travels and we look forward to your next adventure!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Owen and the Blueberries

No lie. The kid LOVES his blueberries. The other day, I said 'to heck with it,' washed the whole container and gave it to him. I don't know if the boy could have been happier.

He got to figure out how to open it. LOVE. He got to pick out the berries by himself. LOVE. He got to be his crazy, silly self. LOVE!

I got some stinkin' cute pictures of my O'Bear. Super dooper LOVE!

Wishing you all love and antioxidents!
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Christmas Oddity

Saw this on a fellow blogger's post today and I don't even know what to do with this!

Do I need to buy this? Is this just too much too, to weird? Is a Santa Yoda sacrilegious to Jesus and Santa? Help me know where to place this oddity!

One Nap a Day

Ugh, friends, I think we hit it. I think we are down to one nap a day. You know what this means, I bet you can already tell. A slowdown in the production of blogs.

With a kid that NEVER sits still. And I do mean never, this means a long day ahead for mama. He doesn't watch videos. He doesn't snuggle. He doesn't sit and read. We 'go-go-go.' (That's even O's favorite word!)

So, don't give up on me. We're here. I have ideas in my, if only time to get them 'on paper' per say!

Monday, August 15, 2011

$100, Really?

So, I like cute, slightly odd, but not too odd clothes. I guess like Fossil and Anthro feel. Of course you wouldn't realize this, as most days my wardrobe consists of a solid color top and jeans or shorts...but I digress.

I stumbled upon this gem today, and thought, "Wow, wouldn't that be super cute for Fall/Winter (if we even get those seasons anymore!?)!"

$100? Seriously people! It's a sweatshirt! Does it get me refills on my drink, or something??

Just my luck...another case of tastes outweighing the budget.

And on that note, the hubster goes tonight for his Grad School Orientation! Yep, that's right for the next two whole years Joe and bro-in-law Jamie will be slaving away together at UTA's Frisco campus to earn their MBAs. So...when Joe gets his next high-paying, world-dominating position, maybe I will just have to get my $100 sweatshirt.


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Summer Reading Obsession

So I think I found it.

I was going into withdrawals after the ending of all that is Harry Potter. But, after seeing someone's random facebook post about a book series, adding it to my library queue from my couch and picking up from the hold shelf, I found it.

The Game of Thrones

Intrigue, Family, Fantasy, Battle, Comedy, and best of all...Long and multiple books!

If you like Lord of the Rings, Eragon and such, I think you'll like this series...I'm only 200+ pages in on the first book, so don't hate me too bad if you don't!

Monday, July 18, 2011

16 Super Cute Invites

There are some days you just want to do something special for a party or shower, and lacking the creativity or budget...
Well, HGTV has an offering of 16 super cute invitations by different designers to download for free. From girly to modern, to just plain cute, check it out and find something fun for your next event!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fourth Fun

The Fourth of July was so much fun this year.

So, this is parental supervision?
Last year...I was stuck inside with a brand new baby trying to keep my sanity.

This year, we were in a field eating out of the back of a truck and enjoying the plane show and fire works! All with a smiley, bubbly one-year-old!

The plane, boss! The plane!!

 So much fun!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Yes, I Have...

The instructions with this are to bold the ones you’ve done, leave the others in normal type. So here goes. (I got it here.)

1. Started your own blog (um, yes…)
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower (though I never see them!!!)
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables (we had a garden as a child)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill (teehee!)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29 Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33 Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (indoors!)
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41 Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45 Walked on a beach by moonlight (one of my favorite things ever!)
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60 Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64 Donated blood, platelets, or plasma (well, I did try)
65. Gone sky diving
66 Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67 Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt (a very, very, very small one)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle 
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican 
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House (outside it)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life (I have a kid under 2, every day I do this!!)
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
Your turn!

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Game of Chase

You see this guy?
Yeah, you...
This guy, has become the favorite go-to playmate of a certain one-year-old around our house. Every night before bed this week, Ryker and Owen have played Chase up and down the hall. Sometimes Ryker is into it and gets down into a 'play bow' and makes funny barks. Sometimes he looks to us for help, like "are you really going to let that kid hang on me?"

It has been fun to watch their relationship grow...our first born and our fur born! =) Just think, one day, Ryker and Owen are going to be running up to me asking if they can go on a walk by themselves. I'll say yes, and I'll follow behind stealthly in the Cozy Coup! 
Ryker, you have your quirks, but we're so glad you're our puppy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Owen's Rookie Year

Last weekend, we had a great time celebrating Owen's Rookie Year! It is hard to believe this little guy is one already. But sometimes it's hard to believe he's only one!

Here's a few (i.e. a lot) of pics of the big festivities. It was so great to have Owen's grandparents and aunts and uncles, as well as several of our friends, and Owen's very special one-yr-old friend, Asher to help us celebrate!

Happy Birthday, Big Boy!! You are a crazy, fun, silly, challenging joy we're so proud to call ours!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

A Vacation for Three!

This past five days, our little family of three has gotten to enjoy our first vacation together! Joe had a business opportunity that brought him to the North Carolina coast, and with the help of AA airmiles Owen and I got to join in the fun!

To say I was terrified flying with an 11 mo was an understatement. There are just too many things going on and going wrong with air travel these days. But O showed me! He was a trooper, and I even got to snuggle with my little guy for two whole hours while he slept on me!

Let's see... We visited the Great Dismal Swamp, saw a blimp and ransacked a hotel room on our first few days! O loved being able to wander all around the room.
Blimp and blimp hanger....doesn't it look like a loaded down milk cow?
After Joe finished his business obligations, we headed to the Outter Banks, or the OBX as all the cool kids call it. We stopped in Kitty Hawk/Kill Devil Hills to see the Wright Bros Museum only to have missed it by 30 mins. Then we headed to the beach. Owen LOVED IT!!
O on the OBX
He loved the water. He loved the sand. He loved the birds. He loved the people. It was soo much fun getting to see him smile and enjoy something we love too! After unloading a diaper full of sand, we enjoyed a great dinner on the beach and a stroll on the pier.
Daddy and son making waves!
To continue our adventure, we headed down the road a bit to visit Joe's college buddy, Dave and his wife and kiddos. I have to take a second and rant here. On what should have been about a 2-hr trip in Texas turned into a 3.5 hr trip in NC. PEOPLE!!! It is OK TO GO FASTER than 55mph on a straight road with NOTHING ON IT!!!!! For the love of families with young kiddos, boost the dang speed limit!!!

So, when we finally arrived in New Bern, we had a blast! Dave and Bekah and Jonathan and Miss Abby were the perfect hosts. We played hard, visited an aquarium, checked out a fort, played on the beach and even went to church!

On our Fort Macon visit, we changed Owen's diaper right where a civil war canon used to sit. Now, do you think that guy all those years ago in the throws of battle was thinking, "You know, some day some dippy tourists are going to be stomping all over here and even changing diapers where I'm fighting so hard?" Kinda puts things into perspective a bit -- everything changes, even the things that change history.
Notice the sign says "Fort Macon was made for war, not safety. Please be careful. " Kinda interesting!
The Atlantic Ocean at our backs!
To wrap up our visit, we "pushed" the speed limit on our way back to VA, and got to visit with my cousin Merritt and her boys. It was so fun to catch up with family that we don't get to see as often as we like!

Wow, a great trip! Lots of memories, lots of sand in our shorts! Can't wait to do it again...after a bit!