Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mommy Monday

On Sunday, my mother called and informed me she might be in Dallas the next day. I'm sure you're wondering about that key word "might". Well, apparently she thought she was traveling later in the week and she wasn't positive about her destination, Dallas or Houston.

I got the call on Monday morning that she would, indeed, be visiting the Big D- what a surprise and a treat! And a convenient coincidence? My mom was landing in the afternoon and driving to a hotel less than ten minutes from my workplace. I couldn't have planned it any better. I suggested I pick her up from her hotel when I got off of work and we could go to dinner.

So our mother/daughter date was set. I picked her up, we made a quick mall stop (since Corpus doesn't have much to offer on that front) and then made our way to one of my mom's favorite stops, Pappadeaux. Chris, unfortunately, couldn't join us because he had class. To be honest, though, it worked out for the best because it gave my mom and I a rare opportunity to chat, laugh and connect, just the two of us.

After dinner, we headed back to my house because Mom couldn't come to Dallas without a little time with her furry grandson and "favorite" son-in law. Then we all watched the rough draft of our wedding video (yes, we still don't have the finished product). We managed to squeeze quite a bit in during those few, short hours, didn't we?

Well, we knew our time together would be brief. And so the following morning, my mom gave me a hug and kiss goodbye and she and my hubby hit the highway. Chris was so sweet; he offered to take my mom to her hotel in the morning on his way to work so she could stay the night with us and I could have more quality time.

I'm so glad my mom had a chance to drop in Dallas. A totally unexpected, but very welcome visit.

Love you, Mom!

Care to Riverdance, Anyone?

As an early birthday gift to Chris's mom, we treated her to a performance of Riverdance. If you're not familiar with the show, here is how Wikipedia describes it:
Riverdance is a theatrical show consisting of traditional Irish stepdancing, notable for its rapid leg movements while body and arms are kept largely stationary. Riverdance is, in essentials, the story of the Irish culture and of the Irish immigration to America.
Chris has been a huge fan of the production since it first started in the 90's. And when I say fan, I mean owns a video of the show, has the soundtrack and does the dances whenever the mood strikes him kind of fan. So when his mom mentioned it as something she would like as a gift, Chris was definitely on board with the idea.

So the three of us made our way to see the show on Saturday, January 15th. We had sweet seats- they were in a suite! The show was fun, touching at times and brought back many fond memories of our trip to Ireland, Scotland and even Spain (they had a flemenco dancer!). Everyone found the experience highly enjoyable, from what I could tell.

I know my hubby loved, after all this time, being able to see the show live and in person. I was delighted to finally see what Chris has been crazy about all these years. And of course, Chris and I were both very happy to give his mom a gift and experience she will remember for many years to come. Happy birthday, Mrs. Castillo! We love you!

Chris with the birthday girl
All of us after the show

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Adventures in Babysitting

Interesting fact: I have never babysat in my entire life. Yup. I'm 30 and I've never been alone with a baby OR a child. I did babysit my niece, Julianne, once, but I had my mom with me for backup (which means she did pretty much everything) so that doesn't count in my book.

Chris and I had talked about babysitting our little nephew, Jack, a few times, thinking it would be a great learning opportunity for the both of us. However, whenever we thought about actually doing it, fear would inevitably set in; fear of the unknown, fear of doing something wrong, leading to injury or permanant scars, fear of being horrible caregivers.

On January 16th, we had to put our fears aside as we were formally asked to babysit Mr. Jackson. The plan was for Chris' mom and sister to see a movie while Chris and I watched Jack. Just two hours. How hard could it be? This was it, no turning back. It was time to bite the bullet and just do it.

So mom and Mimi dropped off our sweet little nephew and they were off to their movie. And there we were. Jack, Chris, Shamrock and I, waiting to see how things turned out. We started out with a little bottle action and then it was play time. Apparently Jack had his nap before he came over, so he was ready to party it up over and Uncle Chris and Aunt Jocelyn's. To entertain him, we had tummy and tickle times as well as played with some of his toys.

Uncle Christopher changing his first diaper

Love that smile!
The only hiccup that night came from our own furry son. Apparently, our little man did not appreciate sharing the spotlight. Everything started off just fine, but the more we played with Jack, the more agitated Shamrock became, leading him to start lashing out by trying to bite poor Jack. We were able to keep them separated- one of us would care for Jack while the other focused on Shamrock- so Jackson remained bite-mark free.

In my opinion, this attempt at babysitting was a good one. No one was injured, no one freaked out, no one did anything wrong (well, Shamrock did, but we'll pretend that didn't happen) and Jack was returned in one perfect piece.

Chris and I are so glad we were Jack's first babysitters. He did amazingly well. Like I've said before, he is one very good baby. Only one peep to let us know he was hungry again, but that was it. Oh, and we only had to change his diaper once...for a #1 (whew!). :) Thanks, Misty, for trusting us with your son!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snowy Sunday

This past Sunday was one of those lazy days where you can enjoy just being. It started with my sweet hubby placing a mocha from Starbucks on my nightstand. I guess Shamrock moved around when he was to leaving because something woke me up right as he was trying to slip out unnoticed. Since we were both awake, we popped in a movie and enjoyed our coffee together.When the movie ended, I looked out our window and discovered snow! Large flakes had created a blanket of white on the rooftops and lawns. Chris then made us breakfast and a fire for us to enjoy. After relaxing for a bit longer and watching football, we decided to go out and play. We bundled ourselves up and made our way outdoors. Here are a few shots from our terrific time-

Snow slam!
You really can't tell how deep I'm into the snow unless you look at my legs...
Father and son
Chris and I may have loved the snow, but Shamrock was not a fan- that's too bad because he looks oh-so-cute covered in it!
Our family photo in front of our house. :)
When we got back inside, Chris and Shamrock took a warm bath while I warmed up by the fire. We spent the rest of the day cuddled up on the couch. Wait. Let me clarify that last sentence. I spent the rest of the day nice and cozy on the couch. Chris got up a couple of times to make us dinner (yummy fajitas) and, for dessert, Mexican hot chocolate with whipped cream.

To sum everything up, it was the perfect day. Beautiful scenery both outside and in (we still have all of our indoor Christmas lights and decor up) and quality time with my amazing husband and son made me beyond happy. I never wanted the day to end, to be honest; I even stayed up late so I could draw it out a little more. ;) So if this weekend is any indication as to how 2011 will be...I'm ready! :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Direction

I have been thinking of switching things up on our blog for a few months and now I've finally decided to go for it. So far, I've been using this blog as a way to keep friends and family updated on my little family's activities. While I enjoy using this blog for that purpose, I have found myself wanting to branch out. I contemplated starting a new blog just for me, but I fear I might neglect this one (more so than I already have). So, in the spirit of a new year and trying new things, I am going to explore new topics. Be prepared, my friends, for some random thoughts because I'm full of them. ;) And even though I'll be rambling on about things that may not really pertain to us, I have every intention to keep all of you up-to-date on the latest and greatest happenings in our lives. Here's to more postings in 2011! :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Oh, Heaven- It's 2011!

2011 is upon us, my friends! I know it's been almost a year since our last post (well, not quite that long, but it certainly feels like it) and for good reason- it was go-go-go all year! 2010 was a remarkable year for our little family. We shared a few of those great moments with you in our earlier posts, but some happened after the hiatus began.

First, we welcomed a new nephew, Jackson Lance, to our family in August. Jack is such a cute, calm, sweet little baby. Shamrock even likes him (and he's not a fan of many kids) so that's saying a lot right there... Misty and J.D. made one adorable little boy and we're overjoyed to have him in our lives.

The following month was our big trip to France and Italy. Chris had never been to either country, so it was another chance for me to share some of my favorite places with him. Turns out, he loves Paris just as much as I do! From Paris, we took a train to Marseille where we were able to see the prison made famous on The Count of Monte Cristo (one of Chris' favorite books), picked up a car and drove through the French Riviera. After touring the charming towns for a few days (our choice spots being Saint-Tropez and Eze ), we set off to Lake Como, which ended up being Chris' best-loved stop (because it was a nice, little break from my fast-paced schedule. ;) ). Then it was off to Venice, Pisa, Sienna, Florence, and we ended our trip in Rome. It was an amazing adventure- one that will be hard to top, for sure.

And lastly, as far as big events go, Chris and I both officially became adults in the last two months of 2010. I turned the big 3-0 in November and Chris, two weeks later, joined me. For our birthdays, we decided at the last minute to go to Boston, a city we'd never visited, to celebrate. Beantown was so cute! We only spent three full days there, but, like any Jocelyn-style trip, we made the most of it. We did almost everything on the Freedom Trail, went whale-watching (sadly, without a sighting), visited Salem, and also made a trip to the Cape towns of Chatham and Provincetown. It was an exciting, fun-filled weekend and a wonderful way to celebrate our milestone birthdays together.

Oh! I would also like to mention two other standout events that occurred at the tail end of the year. First, our fabulous friend, Ryan, got engaged to a great guy, Rusty. Ryan used to argue with us all the time that there weren't any good men left out there for her. I'm glad to report that Chris and I were right (of course) and now she's getting married to one this coming October. Congrats, Ryan and Rusty! And, my best friend, Jamie, is now a married woman. On December 27th, Chris and I were honored to be included in Jamie and Andy's nuptials and hear them say, "I do!" The ceremony was intimate and very touching (there wasn't a dry eye in the house). We couldn't be happier for the newlyweds and wish them nothing but the best! Congratulations, Jamie and Andy!

Of course, there were other great times had this year, but there was also sadness. In 2010, we lost a wonderful person who, although wasn't technically family, was thought of as such. Chris' sister's husband's brother, Daniel, was a sweet, caring person and an incredible uncle to our nieces and nephew. This tragic and unexpected loss is something that will forever leave us asking why this had to happen to such a great person...

So as you can see, 2010 was definitely a year to remember. Obviously, like everyone, there are times when we wish we could freeze or go back in time; however, if we did or could, we would never know what we might be missing in the future. I'm excited to see what's in store for this year and am hopeful that it's close to, just as or even better than 2010.

Happy new year, all!