Sunday, December 09, 2012

In a Funk.

As you can tell from the enormous amount of posts between this and the last...I've just had a ton to say. Sadly, I think I have. I just haven't wanted to share it. Or didn't know how. Or lost the time.

This season has been rough. long. done with.

I don't want to be here anymore. I'm trying to climb out, but some days are harder than others.

Also, have I mentioned that in 6 days I'll have an official 2.5 year old? I think 2.5yo's are here to confuse and  drive you mad. It is a constant battery of questions, melt-downs, tantrums, hurtful words, and slugs to the body (most in fun) coupled with the most wonderful sounds of singing, laughter, and I love you mom moments that leaves me quite at my wit's end. How can one soul bring so much stress and jubilation? What God must put up with us all.

We recently took a trip to the mountains. It was brown for the most part, then on our last night, it snowed. Wonderful blanketing snow. I was in love.

I woke up the next morning, snapped a few pictures, started a fire, got my book....then EVERYONE woke up, and the same-day-day started all over again.

I want more moments. I want more peace. I want to enjoy the things around me. So that's what I'll continue on. That's what I pray for.
In the meantime I've got my windows rolled down, blasting Christmas music in search of those moments.

Happy Christmas.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Long, long ago, in a bathroom filled with carpet, mirrors, and wallpaper, the people were not happy.They were not happy with it one bit.

So, they did what any other new homeowner would do, vow to change it "one day," and live with it for quite a while.

This dear reader, as you might have guessed, was our bathroom and our lives. BUT, last December we bit the bullet. We were going to change it!! So, Joe set to work, we picked out materials and we gutted that bad boy.
We took down the wallpaper after we moved in and and I textured the we didn't live with that "badness" for long at all thankfully!!!
Blah, sad, depressing white shower

We left everything pretty much the same layout wise, but updated the shower/tub, added beautiful tiles, and took out the stupid make-up counter that was warped. And like any good homeowner, we're still working on little things here and there...but, for the most part, here's our spruced-up master bath!
 Pie safe where make-up counter was.
 Fun, wood tiles and natural stone tiles for backsplash and shower.
Love my new, deep tub!!

Thank you Joe for all your hard work. I love it so much more. Happy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fear of Firsts

I'm feeling a little anxious.

And it's still just September.

See, my family and in-laws are going on a ski vacation at then end of November.

Did I mention yet that I've never gone skiing and have barely seen enough snow for someone to ski on even if they wanted.

I also have a problem with cold weather. I'm not really a fan. I'm more of a beach gal or cool 70 degrees weather gal.

BUT...I'm going to suck it up. I'm going to try, I think. Unless I get a better offer.

BUT...I'm super excited to see my men in their snow gear. How cute will O be. I bet he'll be sledding with the pros by the end of the weekend.
BUT...if all else fails, I'll be sitting cozy inside some coffee shop sipping some hot chocolate or whatnot watching the snow fall by a nice warm fire. Now that, I am not anxious at all about.

Anyone else have any weird fears of firsts?

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

A Day of Labor in the Kitchen

We had a great Labor Day holiday around Fort O'Brien. My parents came in, Jennifer and Jamie came over and we had a great time just hanging out.

For our festive meal, we prepared PW's Braised Brisket, homemade potato salad, baked beans, corn AND an awesome dessert.

And this is the dessert, I wanted to share with you today. It's another Pioneer Woman recipe, and it is sooo good. I love a good peach cobbler. Sometimes, it's a little too bland of a crust or seems to take too long. This is a perfect compromise! It has a great crisp on top, sweet peaches and a super surprise to go on top!

PW's Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce
Your cast of characters:
  • 5 whole To 6 Whole Fresh Peaches (best When Not Overly Ripe Or Soft)
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 stick Butter (1/2 Cup)
  • 1/2 whole Lemon
  • 7 Tablespoons Real Maple Syrup, Divided
  • 1-1/2 cup Whipping Cream
  • 3 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
Preparation Instructions:
In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt using a fork or pastry cutter. Cut butter into small pieces and gradually add to flour mixture until evenly mixed.  (I just use my hands here...seems to go a bit faster.) I actually accidently added a bit of maple syrup on this step the last time and I think it tasted pretty good too!

Peel peaches into a bowl. (Give skins to hungry kid that won't leave your side.) Add the zest from half a lemon. Squeeze juice from lemon half and stir in with peaches and zest. Add 2 tablespoons real maple syrup to peaches, stir well.

Pour peach mixture into a small pan (8” or 9” square) and cover evenly with crumb topping. Cover with foil and bake at 350ºF for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until crisp and brown on top. I also turned on the broiler to crisp up the top at the end of baking.
Maple Cream Sauce:

Pour whipping cream into a saucepan. Add 5 tablespoons real maple syrup, 3 tablespoons corn syrup and stir over moderate heat until thickened and reduced by about one-third, approximately 15 minutes. Refrigerate mixture until it is cold and thick, or set the saucepan into a small bowl of ice (the ice will melt and turn into ice water). Stirring your mixture, it will cool and thicken in about 15 minutes. Drizzle sauce over peach crisp. Serve warm. Then try to find everything and anything else to put sauce on. OMG! Also, if you have some on hand...a wee bit of rum in the sauce is aawwwwweeesooommmmee!!
Thanks PW, for some stellar recipes for a wonderful day with the family! Make, eat, enjoy!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Father's Day All Tied Up

I love Father's Day. I love celebrating my dad and Joe's dad. But it's made even more sweet getting to celebrate Owen's dad!!
Joe continues to be such a great dad! He teaches Owen the things men need to know, like how to fix a faucet, how the air compressor and nail gun work (while I hold the terrified child), how to mow the lawn, and the finer points of watching baseball and eating snacks on the couch.

Owen loves his daddy very much and it is a joy to watch their relationship grow every year. So, this year, I thought, why not let them be the "same, same" as Owen would say. I ran across this great site, Trendy Ties, with matching father/son ties and bow ties and said, yes, they need this... (we also got Owen's Poppops the same ties too!)

(The ones in the nice shirts were take 2 of our photo shoot before church, because someone forgot to put the card back in the camera...arg!!!!!!! - but of course, they're still cute!)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Today is a Great Day to be TWO!

Have you heard the news? There's a two-year-old (well in a few hours...) sleeping in the next room.

A TWO YEAR OLD! A child going on his third year of life now. In MY house!

Some days I feel like Peter Pan who plays games with his shadow. I have my own shadow who follows me around, sunny days or not, repeats what I say, usually is in a 5 foot radius from me. And has stolen my heart.

I love my shadow fiercely.
I think it is also those things which we love fiercely, that bring us the most anxiety, pain, sadness, and joy. All of these things can be said about my shadow. My son. My O'Bear.

He runs with abandon. He jabbers in sentences and stream of conscious (my favorite). He sings real words to real songs. He eats everything (when he wants to). He pulls me to come see something (really hard!). He steals my phone (and navigates) to play Angee Birds and Alien Buddys (thanks, Lyd!). He loves to swim. He loves his dad. He loves his family. He loves his dog (Ryker is thrilled).

He is everything I never knew I wanted and more. An amazement of life and God's love every day.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Owen!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fresh Look from Fresh Produce

Doesn't it seem like your social calender kicks into high gear when it starts warming up? We've had showers, birthdays, weddings, and plain 'ol good times the last few months. But what I was lacking was a fun new spring or summer dress.

Luckily, some friends at Fresh Produce Clothes, a maker of made-in-the-USA comfortable clothing known for its original prints, vibrant color and style, hooked me up. I was able to try out their Fiji Impromptu Dress in Cool Breeze (seen below in truffle).
And let me tell you, I really loved it. The dress is an unusual cut, with tapered sides longer than the front and back. It also had wide straps, so I didn't have to find any uncomfortable "fancy" undergarments. I got a large, and it fit perfectly in the bust (which I have plenty to go around, unfortunately), so it was a bit fuller in the body. But, with the style, I think it still worked out quite well. I went out on the town to celebrate Joe's sister's b-day at the hoity-toity Galleria here in Dallas, and I felt perfectly cool and at ease in my comfy, funky cotton dress.

So if you're searching for something new and different for your next occasion, vacation or just around town, check out Fresh Produce!

Here's a quick link to their super cute sun dresses where I found mine - Sun Dresses.  I am also in love with this Natcho Dress - just screams summer to me.

Or if you just want something a bit more "caj," check out these styles here - Casual Clothes. Super cute tank, anyone?

Thanks again, Fresh Produce, for setting my summer off in style!

::Note::  I saw two retail stores for Fresh Produce during my recent vacation to South Carolina! Maybe they'll make it to Texas soon!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Is Your Computer a Tool?

Do you view your computer as a tool? Is it just something you use for fun?

I've been paying a lot more bills online lately. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

Everyone always talks about the ease of online bill pay. On one hand, I totally get this. One click and your giant credit card is paid in full. On the other hand, ohhhhh the passwords. On the other foot, the dilemma of privacy and hijacked accounts.I have a system to keep all my passwords in check. This is a great help, except for when I forget to write them down, or I forget how to access my help, or I enter it in and the system locks me out. I have also FORGOTTEN to pay bills because I signed up for the 'environmentally friendly' no paper statements and I get one, it gets lost in my emails, I forget to pay, and then I get a late fee.

So, do you view your computer as a tool to help organize your financial matters, or just another THING that makes life complicated?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Vacationing we will go.

In the next few week our family will be taking a well deserved vacation to Kiawah Island outside of Charleston, SC. I cannot wait.

Being a mom to a little one is stressful. Being a dad to a little one is stressful. Working is stressful. School is stressful. Driving in DFW is super stressful. Being stressed is stressful.

So guess what? I am ready to be stress-free. Me, the sun, some sand, lots of laughs, a little history.


If you have ever been to the Charleston area and have any ideas or thoughts on where to go and what to see and eat, let's hear them!

Happy Summer!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Owen and I are lucky to have friends to share our lives with. 

We were introduced to Kathleen and Asher through a mutual friend when the boys were just wee little things a few weeks old (they are 4 days apart). Over the last almost two years now, we've gotten to cultivate a friendship on many levels. Owen and Asher get to learn valuable lessons about sharing toys, taking turns, and being silly together. Some days it is so fun to watch, others, well, I'm sure you can imagine. I am so glad we get to count Asher and his mommy and daddy as some of our great friends now.

Today we took the boys to the Grapevine Botanical Gardens to get a few pictures. Little known fact: When kids get mobile, they're harder to photograph. And it turns out neither of us had any great photos of the boys at their current age.

So, here's a little bit of Frick and Frack...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Did I mention...

Did I mention we bought a new car? Oh, well, we bought a new car.

We were at a sad little crossroads in our car life. Joe's truck was old. My trusty black Civic from college, Rufus, was getting there. So, we made the decision and sold off Joe's beloved truck.

We are lucky enough that we get to borrow Joe's grandma's SUV, so we had that and Rufus. We have come to dislike Rufus. Not that he was a bad car, but it was awful getting Owen in and out. Joe would hit his head, I would hit Owen's head, I'd wrench my wasn't good.

After taking Rufus to get an oil change and other things, we were told he needed about $1300 worth of work for a busted rod and pinion. What? Well, when work needed amounts to as much as the car, it's time to go in my book. I loved you Rufus, but our journey together ends here.

So, we sent to looking and looking and looking. I decided I wanted a third row vehicle if we were going to keep adding to our family and carting our kid's friends around. We went to car max one dark, cold night and test drove at least 9 different models of third row. Joe and I decided we liked the GMC Acadia or Chevy Traverse in what we wanted to spend.

A few days later, we lucked into finding a pretty good deal on a purple Acadia. We drove across town to check it out, only to discover we were not the VIPs that requested a test drive and were in the midst of buying it. So, being me and not having driven the Acadia myself yet, asked if we could still take it out on a spin. While driving through Richardson, we got the call that it was sold. And, back to the dealership we went.

Boo. Guess we'll keep looking...

But wait...on the ride home we got a call from the sales guy we talked to. The other couple balked. It was ours for the taking if we wanted it. Well, as we were 5 minutes away from home at this point and had a baby boy needing to go to bed, we said we'd be back tomorrow.

And we were...and now that purple Acadia is mine - in all it's parent/adult car glory!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lessons in Bad Parenting #247

We all strive to be the best parents we can be. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes in these failures, we must step back and laugh. Because heaven knows, God is.

Lesson #247 - When repeatedly asking your child and your dog to mind you and neither could give a flip. Calmly find video-recording phone, press play and record blackmail for later when your child actually might care that what he is doing is GROSS!!!

Please come back often for more enlightening lessons in bad parenting, I can assure you there is bound to be at least one more...

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A Surprise for my Birthday

If you hadn't noticed by my blog post, FB posts, or my constant whining, I turned 30 this January. It's been a slightly hard mind transition checking the next age bracket box on things and just thinking how 30-year-olds always seemed so much more learned and far away from where ever I was in life. Seems as though I'm here now...humph. I'll be looking forward to gaining some company in March from my hubby and my pal, Lyd.

But this is about me!

My hubby knew what I needed.

A little bit of away time.

He planned it so that Grandma Holly and PopPop (as Owen now calls Jim) would watch O, and we'd go enjoy a weekend away. He surprised me after a family lunch and told me to get ready for a drive. After trying to get the directions to work, Joe be grudgingly asked me to help with directions, and really without meaning to I spied it and figured out one half!

We were off to Fossil Rim Wildlife Park in Glen Rose. I was sooo excited. I have wanted to go here for a long time. It is a animal park where you actually get to drive through and feed and see the animals from your car. Don't worry, they have the cheetahs's mostly different species of deer, antelope or rams. Well, unfortunately we left a little late to make it in for the last drive of the day. BUT, we headed up to the observatory and got to pet the goats. Gosh, I love me some goats. These however were huge! Not like the little ones I'm used to seeing.

So, after that little side trip, we were on to our second leg of the journey. A hotel and night out on the town in Granbury about 20 minutes away. We stayed in a lovely Hilton beside the lake and dined downtown at one of the local restaurants. It was a quaint little adventure. The town was a bit smaller than we thought, so there was not a lot of options. But we ate at a fabulous restaurant on the Sqaure in their back patio and had a great evening talking with one another.

On Sunday, we woke up and had breakfast at the local cafe and did a little antiquing. We then loaded up and went to find the animals.

We had a great time!!! If you go to Fossil Rim, you have to get a bag of feed -- it makes the adventure. After a while it kinda seemed like we were seeing the same animals, but part of the fun was deciding whether or not they were going to attack you or ram your car if you didn't give them food. No one died in the enjoyment of this adventure, but it was touch and go there a few times for the car! =)

Beware the ostriches. These birds do NOT mess around. This guy stuck his head into all the cars and came about an inch from Joe's eyeball. We didn't stop for the others.

Visiting the car behind us. Yikes, not the time to be in a convertible.
These guys I felt like could never be trusted, especially with a head of horns like that. Also, please note their too-short bell bottom hairy legs. Cracked me up!

Gentle giant. We liked this guy.

My little buddy. He was so light and pretty.

Till he made this face! =)

Beautiful giraffes - they weren't in the hand-feeding mood.

We returned home to be greeted by a happy baby boy, some tired grandparents and a plate loaded with cupcakes.
I'd have to say this was a great birthday weekend. I'll overlook the 30 part for such a great time with my husband and fun celebrating with my family.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

One of those days?

Do you ever have one of those days where nothing seems to go right?

Well, it seems I've been having one of those days for the last month or two solid. I just can't get it together. O just won't listen and mind (thanks, terrible two's). House is, we'll just say, less than stellar. Car problems. Dog problems. Hubby frustrated about something or other that just makes your day that much more of a fail.

I'm tired of it. I'm tired of being weighed down by the things of this world. I wish I knew how to fix it, but I don't.

I'm praying and trying.

I'm hoping this is just a season. A short, piddly season like Fall in Texas.

I'm almost certain you won't find me with my head buried in the back yard, but I make no guarantees.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

2012...So, seems you're here.

To be honest, I'm not that excited about the new year.

**I'll tell you a secret.

2012 brings death to my 20s.**

(I'm not overjoyed by this factoid!)

However, I am resolved to make a resolution, none the less.

I resolve to get my passport!

If I'm going to be old, I'm going to travel! So there!