Sunday, December 6, 2009


So for the few of you who check and read our blog on a regular basis, this is for you-


It's been a crazy couple of months where Chris and I haven't had a real moment to get anything done. We're both pretty swamped at work and then we've been busy trying to get things done around the house. I promise when I get a free moment to get back to working on keeping everyone updated!!! Hope all is well!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

TX/OU Weekend

This past weekend, Ryan, Chris and my mom went to see the Texas Longhorns take on the Oklahoma Sooners at the Cotton Bowl here in Dallas. For those of you that aren't big college football fans, this is one of the biggest games of the season for UT (and OU, too), therefore the tickets are hard to come by.

Whataburger is a big UT sponsor and since Ryan is the Marketing Representative over the Austin area, she was able to snag us tickets to this year's game! When she gave me the news that week, I couldn't believe it- it took everything I had not to squeal with glee while sitting at my desk at work. I immediately called Chris to give him the great news! Ryan knew that she, Chris and I would be going, but she still had one ticket up for grabs. I threw out a few friends' names here in Dallas, but when my mom mentioned she wouldn't mind driving up to see it, Ryan and I were all for it (plus it helped so that none of my friends felt snubbed).

Both Ryan and my parents arrived in Dallas Friday night. Once everyone unloaded their belongings, we headed to Pappadeaux for dinner and then to a bar for some karaoke! Ryan, Chris and my dad all went up there and performed like pros (well, Chris was the showman and Ryan and my dad were great vocalists). I wish I would've thought to take pictures. :(

The next morning was the big game! We left the house at 8:45 AM so we could make sure we got into our seats by 11 AM. Thank goodness we left with plenty of time because we got to our seats with only ten minutes to spare before kickoff!

The game was an ugly one with both teams only scoring one touchdown each and the rest of the points being field goals. The first half felt like it was the longest in college football history, lasting a little over two hours (a typical college game lasts 3 hours for all four quarters). I can't complain, though, because we still had a great time. The weather was beautiful- sunny with cool breezes periodically. We all got a little burnt, but it was worth it. WE WON! Final score 16- 13! Like I said, it wasn't a pretty win, but I'll take it! :)

(Click to see the enlarged version)
I couldn't decide which pictures would best showcase what a great time we had at the game, so I decided to make a collage with some of our photos from both the game and the fair

Chris and I during the game

Ryan, mom, Chris and I celebrating right after the BIG WIN!!

After the game, it was time to hit the State Fair of Texas! It was so packed with all the people leaving the game. We had to fight our way out of the vicinity of the stadium to get some walking room, but once we did that, we were able to make our way to my favorite fair treats- funnel cakes and corny dogs!

Eating our Fletcher's corny dogs! :)

After having our taste of fair food, we took Ryan and my mom to see Big Tex because you can't go to the fair for the first time and not see him.

Me with the first time fair-goers, my mom and Ryan, in front of Big Tex

After that, we were ready to head home to keep my dad and Shamrock company. Later that evening we all went to Pappasitos for dinner and then called it a night. The next morning everyone left and we were off to our photo shoot of Cohen Jones (more on that in the next blog entry).

Ryan- thank you for thinking of and taking us along as your guests!!!! We had a fantastic time and it's all thanks to you! :)

Mom and Dad- So glad you could make the trip up to Dallas to watch the game and hang out with us! Love you!

Friday, October 16, 2009

We Bleed (and EAT!) Burnt Orange

In honor of the Red River Rivalry game (Texas vs. Oklahoma), Chris and I made Longhorn cakes! I found the cupcake and cake molds for the longhorn shape a few weeks ago and couldn't wait to see how they turned out. I was so worried about the cupcake horns breaking when I removed them from the mold, but it was all for not as they held their shape perfectly (as you can see below).

I decided to make them strawberry flavored since I couldn't use chocolate (for color purposes) and I don't like white cake. I then turned to food coloring (using the red and yellow) to give me the orange color I was seeking. I think, for my first attempt with these molds, these cakes turned out gr-r-r-reat! :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chris is the "Biggest Loser"!

I completely forgot to share the great news with everyone! Christopher is his department's "Biggest Loser"! He and his co-workers began their weight loss competition in June and it ended on September 24th.

The winner was the contestant that had the greatest percentage of weight lost out of the group. There were ten people competing for, not only the title of Biggest Loser, but also to win the prize money. Every person participating had to put $20 into the pot, so the winner received most of the buy-in (second and third place got a small portion of it, too).

Chris ended up losing a total of 22.5 pounds for a result of 12.7% in total weight loss percentage. He managed to beat out second place by .8%, to earn his cash prize and bragging rights. The money definitely came in handy as we were able to put it to good use at ACL. :)

Congratulations, babe! Awesome job!

PS- Chris only worked out a handful of times. He gave up drinking sodas and cut back on eating out for lunch, subbing Lean Cuisines instead. Yup, you read that correctly- that’s all it took for him to lose 22.5 lbs. Let me hear it, ladies- SIGH. ;)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Austin City Limits Mud, I Mean, Music Festival

ACL's Music Festival was held this past weekend at Zilker Park in Austin. In case you haven't heard of it, ACL is a three-day outdoor music festival where great bands and up-and-comers alike perform. Chris and I were one of the lucky few (thousand) people in attendance for the big event.

We arrived on Friday afternoon just in time to catch one of the bands we've been wanting to see for quite some time- Phoenix! Even though they didn't play Christopher's favorite song, he still had a great time as evidenced below:

Yup that's him on the big screen taking the photo of himself! :)

Chris and I have been to quite a few ACLs. This was the first year they've held the festival in October and it made ALLLLL the difference on Friday- it was sunny, mild, with a cool breeze (as opposed the the usual sweltering heat). I read that Austin spent $2 million on putting new grass so that festivalgoers (and other visitors to Zilker Park) would have a more enjoyable experience. Chris loved the grass so much, he decided to walk in it barefoot. :)

More photos from Friday:

Val and I at the Phoenix show

Chris at the John Legend Show

Chris and Michelle enjoying their beverages at the Kings of Leon show

Now Saturday was a different story. Chris, Ryan, Michelle and I arrived to ACL and it was cloudy, muggy and had rained a little before our arrival. After being there for about twenty minutes it started to rain...and it kept raining for a couple of hours.

Chris and his Jack Johnson album cover impersonation.

It wasn't what I would call a downpour, but it was a steady rain that led the beautiful grass beneath our feet to slowly become mud. Not what I would describe as the ideal situation for an outdoor concert, but we tried to make the best of it:

Ryan, Me and Michelle in a pose from our Tigerette days
(PS- we were watching Mos Def perfom at this time. He was pretty boring so we had to entertain ourselves.)

So, the condition of the ground got worse as the day went on and one of my favorite bands, Dave Matthews Band (DMB), wasn't performing until 8 PM. Our legs were throbbing, we were muddy and tired, but once DMB came all went away. Dave had an awesome performance, reminding me why I love them so much. :)

Dave Matthews Band!

On Sunday, Ryan, Chris and I headed over to Hula Hut for lunch because it's not a real stop in Austin without a trip to my favorite restaurant. :)

Ryan and I leaving H.H.

After eating, Chris and I headed back to the festival. No rain, but the ground was MUCH worse. We watched the Arctic Monkeys (a band Chris was really excited to see), went to the tent to watch the Cowboys lose another game at the last second, and then The Dead Weather and Pearl Jam to end ACL.

Photos from Sunday:

View of part of the festival with the Austin skyline. Yup...all of the brown ground is mud.

While we were waiting for Pearl Jam to start.

The end of ACL '09! Time to head home...

A big thank you to our dear friend, Ryan, for allowing us to stay with her for the weekend! And another big thank you to Chris' mommy for taking care of Shamrock while we were away. :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Longhorn Legend

Tonight Chris and I met Earl Campbell! In case you don't know about him or his legacy at The University of Texas at Austin, here's a brief history lesson:
Earl Campbell is one of the most notable running backs to ever play college football. In 1977, Campbell won the Heisman Trophy and led the nation in rushing with 1,744 yards. He also graduated from UT in 1977, the same year he was the number 1 draft pick by the Houston Oilers and was voted Rookie of the Year as well as Most Valuable Player. By the end of his professional football career he had amassed 9,407 yards rushing, 806 yards receiving, 74 total touchdowns, and 10,213 total yards. He ranks tenth on the all-time rushing yards in the NFL and has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated six times.
So now that you've been schooled on "The Tyler Rose", hopefully you can appreciate our excitement meeting him. :)

I stumbled upon the event when I was scrolling through the Dallas Texas Exes Chapter events a few weeks ago. I had no idea they were opening a UT Co-op here in Dallas! When I saw they were having a grand opening with a guest appearance from Mr. Campbell, I immediately told Chris and he quickly agreed we should attend.

The grand opening event included dinner at Blue Mesa and an autograph by Campbell on anything we purchased from the Co-op. Chris and I decided on a couple of UT pennants to have Campbell sign. The  plan is to have them framed and placed in our game room. Below are photos proving this story is true. ;)

Chris giddy about meeting Earl

Getting my pennant signed!

So excited! It's not everyday you meet a Texas Longhorn legend! :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sleep Over!

Chris had a business trip in Utah from Sunday through Wednesday night. Now, most of you know that I'm quite the paranoid, scaredy-cat under normal circumstances. Add me being alone in a new, oversized house and you've got a completely irrational chicken on your hands. Not good.

So Sunday I attempted my first night alone in our house. Needless to say, it did not go well. I think I slept a combined two hours. I kept hearing little noises here and there and then Shamrock would want to go outside just as I was finally falling asleep.

I was so worried I was going to have to deal with this for the next two nights on my own, when my friend, Patricia, came to the rescue. She offered to stay at my house with me! I didn't want to inconvenience her, but, at the same time, I really wanted the company. I told her she didn't have to come over, but she insisted she was fine with it, so I happily accepted her offer.

Thankfully, she spent Monday and Tuesday night with me and Shamrock. We ate, watched TV and chatted until bedtime. It reminded me of being in college when I used to do the same with my roommates. Fun times. :)

I can't tell you how grateful I am Patricia came out to McKinney to keep Shamrock and I company...and calm our fears about being alone. Thanks, Patty!!! :)

Patricia and I at the AMX Halloween Party last year

Sunday, September 27, 2009

More Rooms, More Problems

So, I knew going into it that furnishing our house would be a daunting task. What I didn't know was
  1. how much furniture actually costs
  2. how many pieces are really needed to fill a room
  3. how many different styles there are
  4. how none of them are exactly what I'm looking for... :(
I've been driving Chris nuts with the decorating (or lack thereof) of our house. I can't seem to make up my mind about what to do in each of the rooms! I'm totally overwhelmed and not sure where to really begin. Poor Chris is ready to get moving and I'm dragging my feet because I'm so indecisive.

Christopher asked if we could please try and make some progress this past weekend and I begrudgingly agreed. So furniture shopping we went...

Surprisingly, we made a few decisions! We purchased a console table for our hallway and we selected our dining chairs and bedroom furniture. Now we're just waiting to see fabric samples for the chairs and then, once that's done, we'll place our order for both.

Even though we have SO much more to do, I feel like some of the weight has been lifted. My next move is to pick the fabric for the drapes and the paint color for our bedroom so we can have at least one room done. Wish us luck!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Silly Shamrock

Shamrock woke Chris up around 2:30 AM this morning with his "scared" whimper. I, of course, didn't hear it (I was sound asleep). When Chris started to move the blankets around, I finally woke up. He said he thought Shamrock was having a hard time finding his way out from under the covers, so he kept moving the sheets and duvet around. Keep in mind it's completely dark in our room, so we weren't exactly sure where he was located.

I finally found him and noticed something peculiar. I felt Shamrock, felt his little face and tiny body, but I couldn't tell which sheet he was trapped in. Granted, I was still in a fog from just waking up, but it took me a while to figure it out.

I couldn't believe it! He was IN the duvet! I thought I was dreaming because, in my mind, there was no way he could possibly be inside the cover. There's only one way to get in and it was buttoned shut and it's usually touching the ground at the foot of the bed. Shamrock is much too small to jump onto the bed from the floor and definitely unable to do so while being confined inside a blanket. I don't know how he accomplished this strange feat, but he did it!

Chris had to unbutton the duvet and dive in to rescue him. The ordeal was over...thank goodness. Shamrock was safe and happy to be out and able to run around the bed. He hopped all over the top of the duvet like a little billy goat for about five minutes solid. We played with him, gave him kisses and then we all went back to sleep. :)

Our reenactment of Shamrock in the sheets
 (although, we didn't put him back in the duvet...that would be mean)

Awwww. I never get tired of looking at that little face...even if it is a tad crusty right now. ;)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Wheeling Away Down the Road of Life..."

Chris and I did something wild and crazy yesterday. We purchased bikes! Not those kind of bikes, silly...bicycles!

Since moving to the 'burbs, I've noticed lots of people spending their mornings and afternoons gliding by our house in their bikes. And now that we actually have a garage to put them in, I mentioned the possibility of getting some to Chris. My caring husband quickly obliged and found us the perfect pair!

Introducing the newest additions to our family, please welcome...

Aren't they cute?! I love the vintage look they have! I'll feel like Audrey Hepburn as I zip down my street. ;) And those are the actual Schwinn style names of the bikes (throwing that out there so you don't think Chris and I just named them ourselves...we're cheesy but we're not that bad).

I can't wait to try out my new wheels! Thanks for buying them, babe! :)

PS- The title is indeed from the song, "Daisy Bell" case you were wondering.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Remembering My Rock...

Today marks the one year anniversary of my grandmother's passing.
Although she is no longer with us, she is still in my thoughts. It has been kind of rough coping without her. I realize that I took her being a phone call away for granted. How convenient it was to call and talk about my stressful day, or that one time way back when, or about my tire and cavity dilemma (and how I couldn't afford to take care of both). Grandma's solution for the latter issue (with a chuckle): just fill the cavity with bubble gum and spend the money to fix your tire. That is the grandma I remember. She wasn't the elder that slowly lost her wits. Lucky for all of us, it was quite the opposite. Seemed like the older she got, the funnier she became. Sure she got around a little slower than before, but that just gave her more time to keep us up to date on community happenings or the latest Maxine saying. So I just wanted to take a little time to look back on the special woman she was and all the fun times we shared together.
I miss you dearly, grandma. Thank you for the wonderful memories. Love you always.


Visiting Grandma for the weekend at her place in Houston.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

29 & Totally Fabulous

So, after much anticipation, Ryan's birthday extravaganza has finally come and gone. Everything turned out fantastic! Her room looked super cute (as shown below), the food was delicious (I'm serious, I can't get over how yummy it was), the guests were awesome and everyone had an amazing time! It was a huge treat to see Ryan so radiant and happy, surrounded by all those she loves and who love her. Chris and I had a blast chatting with her family (I can't believe I hadn't seen her mom, dad and sister in TEN YEARS) and catching up with April and Michelle, some of my old Tigerette (drill team) buddies who were unable to make the reunion. We couldn't have hoped  for a better turnout for our beautiful friend, whom we lovingly call Ray-Anne.

                               The cake!                                     

Everyone enjoying Ryan's signature drink, Ryanmopolitans!
                   The beautiful table decor                           
Laughing at the slideshow her sis, Summer, made
Laughing with Ryan and enjoying my tasty drink!   
The birthday gal making her wish...I hope it comes true!

Ryan- you looked gorgeous and so happy. We were honored to be included in your soiree. Everything was perfect and we hope you enjoyed your special night as much as we did! :) We love you!


Chris and I made our regular Austin stop to Hula Hut. I can't rave about that place enough- I absolutely love it! For those of you who haven't heard of it, H.H. is a Tex-Mex restaurant with a little Hawaiian thrown in the mix. The restaurant is located on the lake and has a nice, relaxed vibe. The salsa is probably what I look forward to the most when I visit, but if you don't like things with a touch of sweetness to it, you may not be a Hula Hut fan.

             The entrance to Hula Hut                                         
                                                                      Chris in front of the NEW covered patio
Chris getting ready to dig into his Tubular Taco!
                                                                      I am a member of the "clean plate club" :)
After that, we headed to The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. This is a West Coast coffee chain that has the best blended mocha! Ryan informed me a couple months ago that one would be opening in Austin, so I couldn't resist making a pit stop there.

After getting our caffeine fix, Chris and I headed over to Ryan's place to watch her open her gifts and visit with her family a little more. I wish we could've stayed longer, but we headed home at 6:30 PM.

Ryan holding one of her gifts- one of her favorite comedians, Kathy Griffin's, new book! :)
So a fun weekend with our terrifc twenty-nine-year-old, Ryan. :)

PS- So, you should all know by now that I love cupcakes. Here's a cupcake stand we found on South Congress~

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Recommended Read

So I just finished reading The Time Traveler's Wife earlier this week. If you enjoy reading love stories that have a sense of humor and heart but aren't over-the-top sappy...this is a good pick. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I hope it stays true to the book (unlike some other films...). Just know, when you first begin reading this novel, the story is a little far-fetched but it's FICTION so just go with it. ;)

Warning: you WILL cry while reading this...but it's a good cry. :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Happy Bithday, Ryan! :)

Just wanted to wish our friend, Ryan, a happy birthday!!! :) Hope you're 29th year is your best yet!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Long Weekend That Was Too Short

So if you read the novel post below, you know that Chris and I made the drive to Corpus Christi and the Valley this past weekend. Man that drive is a beating! I can't tell you how much I'll appreciate the day when we can teleport like they do in Star Trek. :)

We made it to Corpus close to 3 AM on Friday night, slept in a little and then headed to one of my favorite seafood restaurants, King's Inn, in Baffin Bay, Texas (about an hour outside of Corpus). The funny thing about King's Inn is Chris and I have both been going there since we were kids. I wonder if our paths ever crossed...

After stuffing ourselves silly, we continued our drive to Harlingen. We arrived at Barbara and Lee's house earlier than expected, leaving us with plenty of time to just sit and catch up with them. :) We got the grand  tour of the house they built. They really thought of everything! It is such a beautiful home with so many neat features!

Then it was time to head out to South Padre Island for the reunion. The event was held at Louies Backyard, which is right on the water. The reunion committee really did a great job as far as getting you into the spirit of things. They had a slideshow with old class photos, banners for Harlingen South hung everywhere and just fun decor with their school colors. My favorite part was the video they had playing on the TVs around the room- I was able to see footage of Chris playing baseball and I even saw him walking at his commencement! :) 

Christopher's classmate, Sterling, and Chris after dancing to "Thriller"...just the two of them while the rest of his class and I watched. :)

The Harlingen South Class of 1999
Overall, it was nice to meet some of Chris' classmates and hear stories about their high school days. We ate, drank, laughed and chatted the evening away. As much as I would like to say I can't wait for our next reunions, I can...because that means we'll be OLD by then. ;)

Sunday was awesome! We started with going to lunch with Barbara, Lee and Brian Guerra and Barbara's mom at a Mexican restaurant in Harlingen. The food was great and the company even better. :) After saying our goodbyes, it was time to head back to Corpus.

Lee, Chris, Brian and Barbara

Me, Chris, Brian and Barbara

One of the many fruit/veggie stands on the way out of the Valley

Chris and I went straight to my Aunt Cookie and Uncle Manuel's house for a family BBQ. My little cousin, Allison, came into town from San Antonio, so we were all there- Me, Chris, Mom, Dad, Jason, Alex and Dustin, Allison and my aunt and uncle. We ate, watched a movie, looked at photos from our trip, talked and just had our usual fun time when we're all together. Love it!

Monday Chris went to see his sister, Jamie and his nieces and nephew while I helped my dad run a couple errands. Then it was off to see my Wela (what I call my Grandma on my Dad's side). She's the last grandparent I have left so it's always nice to see her, catch up and lecture her to take it easy. Everyone tells her to let her kids and grandkids do all the "heavy lifting" around the house, but she never listens. I guess that's where I get my stubbornness from... ;)

Me, Shamrock, Wela and Dad

That was it! Chris, Shamrock and I made our way back to Dallas. Like I said, it was a long weekend, but it sure did zoom by...

Friday, September 4, 2009

On the Road Again...

So Chris had been going back and forth on whether he wanted to attend his high school reunion this weekend. Many of his good friends won't be attending, so that made him question if the drive was really worth our time.

To add to the "no, let's not worry about it" column, Chris got sick this week. I guess all the late nights, early mornings and spending a day or two in wet clothes from the couple big downpours we encountered on our trip led to him not feeling so well.

So on Wednesday Chris went to the doctor and luckily found it wasn't anything serious. He was prescribed two medications to help with the symptoms from the virus. One of the prescriptions caused dizziness and drowsiness, so he opted to stay and work from home on Thursday to 1) not spread the virus to his coworkers and 2) make sure he was able to rest when he needed to in order to get well. It was at that point he made the decision that it would be best for us to skip out on this year's reunion (or so I thought).

Thankfully Chris was feeling much better when I arrived from work last night. We ate hotdogs and I watched two NCAA games marking the kickoff to the college football season (YIPPIE!!!!) while Chris nodded off at around 9 PM. I asked him quite a few times before he went to sleep if he was sure he didn't want to go this weekend. I even made him send messages to his old classmates to see if others had changed their minds and were now attending.

I guess him feeling well, coupled with the thought of missing out on what could be a lot of fun with old friends, made him change his mind because this morning I was awakened by Chris with, "So, I changed my mind...we're going." So there you have it, folks! Chris and I are off to South Padre Island for the weekend.

We'll be stopping in CC tonight to sleep and drop off Shamrock and continuing our drive to Harlingen on Saturday (and also making a pit stop to King's Inn- WOO! HOO!). Barbara and Lee Guerra, Christopher's close family friends (and now mine, too), are nice enough to allow us to stay at their house in Harlingen on Saturday night, so we're making a stop there, getting ready and then heading out to South Padre for the main event! Sunday we'll be heading back to Corpus and having dinner with my family and seeing my cousin, Alex, and her husband, Dustin's, new house and then it's back to Dallas on Monday.

Whew! I'm tired just writing about this weekend! I hope all of you have a fun Labor Day weekend! Since we'll be driving a zillion miles and visiting with friends and family, I highly doubt I'll have time to fill all of you in about our vacation so ignore the previous post from earlier this morning- I promise I'll get to it when I have a spare second! Have a great one! :)

Trip Update Status

So several of you (the whole two that read this thing) have asked when I was planning on updating the blog with info about our big trip. The answer= this weekend! Be prepared, my friends, for a post on each major location. We took over a 1000 photos so it's going to be a challenge for me to narrow it down to a select few. :/ I've skimmed through the pictures and, as much as I love them, nothing can truly capture all the beauty that surrounded us. I can't wait to share them with you!

Okay, so I couldn't wait. Here are three:

Chris on the world famous Old Course at St. Andrews. This is the "birthplace of golf" so Chris was SO happy we made the detour to visit. :)

In West Princes Street Gardens. Edinburgh Castle sitting atop the rock behind me.
Tower Bridge in London