Sunday, December 30, 2007

Fort Worth Day

Yesterday, the family came over to Fort Worth and we spent it hanging out there. We started at the Modern art museum for lunch and the toured the exhibit. I love the architecture of the modern and the food is fabulous also. it's a really great price for such good food and atmosphere. Then we headed to the Kimball for the "picturing the Bible" exhibit. We got an audio tour there so you could go at your own pace and learn a lot about what you were seeing. They had some really amazing things and it was fun to see the items from so long ago. It really helped me to appreciate the bible stories more. Some of the things there were from the 5th century, possibly the 4th. Amazing. Then, we headed to the Amon Carter for the photography exhibit. My brother is a photographer so this was particular interest to him. Then we stopped by Central Market because that's always fun then headed to Sundance Square. There we wandered through the shops and ended up at Reata for dinner. That is probably the best restaurant in Fort Worth so if you ever have an opportunity, go there for dinner.

Okay, i'm tired of writing. More later!

An Afternoon in Dallas

As a fun Christmas activity, mom and I had the idea to take the family to downtown Neiman Marcus and play a little game. That store is famous for their Christmas decorations and in particular, their Christmas tree which is displayed in the front window. When we got there we divided up into teams (Caylin and Dad, Mike and Mom, and Me and Chris). We each got a list of questions and $30 to buy 2 gifts which we would exchange later. Chris and I started at the top floor because I knew there was an area up there that had the answers to some of the questions. I don't have them in front of me but they were something like: What year did the store burn? What was the name of the book written by Mr. Marcus? How old is the company? What is the most expensive thing in the store? We found several answers there and made our way down the 6 or so floors to search for the 2 gifts. We didn't find anything in Mens, womens, gifts, wedding, home or accessories. Well, we found a lot, just nothing under about $50. Finally we saw that there was a coffee bar in the store and knew that would be perfect. There were lots of treats there that were much less expensive. We found some spicy Neimans pecans and some chocolate covered cherries. For the most expensive thing in the store, we headed to the jewelry section. 2 things topped the list, one was some earrings that were about 15 total karat weight diamonds for 1 million dollars. To top that was a string of pearls, each pearl was about 1.5" diameter. It took them over 5 years to find enough pearls that were the same size. The clasp of this necklace was all diamonds. The price of this was 1.2 million and they let my sister try it on. When she sends me the photo I will post it. After that, we all went to the steakhouse in the Crescent Hotel- Capital Grille. We had a wonderful 4 course dinner and exchanged gifts- the way where you can steal if you like something better. I got some fancy tea and tea trays- I just enjoyed some and it's fabulous. I guess expensive tea does taste better :-) The photo is of us at dinner.

Party of the Year

My sister Caylin graduated from Baylor (sic 'em Bears) this December so instead of walking at graduation, she decided to have a party with all her friends instead. We had the party at a restaurant in downtown McKinney called Spoons. They catered some wonderful food: mini burgers, frito pie bar, mini grilled cheese and tomato soup, mini green and gold iced cupcakes, and ice cream sundae bar. I think everyone had a good time and see if you can count the number of drinking Chris's in the photos.

okay, what's next?

I don't have pictures of everything that went on this December but we were busy from Thanksgiving to This weekend. Here's the rundown:
Nov 22- thanksgiving with my family
23- Mikes parents came over for thanksgiving lunch
30- Work at church for mission project
Dec. 1- tea at my house with friends from work
work at church for mission project
6- sunday school teacher dinner
7- church for evening stars christmas party
9- church for childrens musical
11- our anniversary! (we ate at Texas de Brazil- yummy!)
15- friends over for game night
16- Caylins Graduation party (more later)
20- neighborhood Christmas party
21- Friends over for game night
22- cookie baking day at moms
23- family fun in Dallas
24- Christmas eve service at church then to Corsicana for Christmas with mikes family
25- Christmas brunch with my family
26- day after Christmas shopping- Target, Pottery Barn, Hobby Lobby, Pier One, Container store, Crate and Barrel, and Anthropologie. I didn't buy something at all of those places but i did go there- it was so much fun.
29- Family fun in Fort Worth

I think that brings us to today. See, I really have been busy, I couldn't possibly have kept up blogging! Man, I'm watching SoundPublish Post of Music and I have a tear in my eye, it's only 1/2 way through the movie. I'm pathetic. Time to get some tea and write some more.

Back up the truck

It's been awhile since I have had a chance to update here so we are going to go back in time and catch up on some of Decembers events. On the 6th, we had the childrens sunday school teachers over for an appreciation dinner. I think over 40 were invited but only about 25 were expected. I had City Kitchen cater an Asian dinner and it was fabulous. Here is a picture of the house full of people. One of my friends even came over to help clean everything up which was a huge help! It was a lot of fun having everyone over so I hope we can do it more throughout the year!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Is Coming!

I love Christmas! I love the atmosphere, and the decorations, and the shopping, and the cold air (sometimes). I love singing carols in church and buying something special for someone, and all the sparkles. Most of all though, I love that we get to celebrate the reason we are here. Everywhere I look, I'm reminded that Jesus loves me enough to give me eternal life. Now that's the ultimate gift! If you don't know what i'm talking about, ask and i'll tell you more. I hope that everywhere you look, through all the hustle of the holidays, you are reminded that we have already been given the best gift we could ever get!

I've had so much fun decorating for Christmas this year, I thought I would share some photos with you. For the first time ever, i have 2 trees- the one in the kitchen is decorated all in blue to match my blue wall. Well, it's nothing major but it was fun for me. I can't wait until the day after Christmas sales!

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm finally finished!

I think i said that before but this time it's true. I refinished the bathroom floor, added a stripe to the other room, painted the mirror black, and finished with some cute plates I found at Target. And for Christmas added the mirrored mini tree. I'm so glad it's finished and I personally think it looks great. At some point in the distant future I will probably change out the cabinet knobs for black ones but that's later. I have much more to say about my crazy weekend but I'm too tired now so a short post will have to do!

Monday, November 19, 2007

And the Winner Is...

That's right, just one week ago this guy was having Chicago Pizza... in Chicago, and he still managed to win the competition, not by a few pounds, but by about 9% more than the next best. I think his total was about 43 pounds lost in 10 weeks. That's amazing will-power. The second place lost 20 something pounds (a girl) and the third lost 38. The percentage helped the second place win over the third place even thought third place lost more pounds. I came in 5th at 12.5 pounds and that's not bad. I don't win any money and I don't get to go to the spa, but i'm happy with finishing less 12.5 pounds. The minute the weigh in was over, we had Thanksgiving lunch at the office and now it's back to eating healthy. Well, maybe after one more piece of pumpkin crumble cake... :-)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Check This Out

I found this blog through a mutual friend and it's incredibly interesting. Suzanne and her husband just had quadruplets! The most recent posts are the amazing story of their birth. It blew me away! Check it out... The Steeces

Never Say Never

I have found that every time I say "I will never...." then it usually ends up happening. I remember saying long ago that I wouldn't be caught dead in capri pants. Currently, I don't even own any shorts, it's all capris for me. At this time, I'm not really sure why i was so against capri pants, but I'm glad I let that go. I don't think I'm the only one with this problem, I think there was a time when Mike said he would never marry a sorority girl from Baylor. I laugh every time I think about that. I'm glad he let that one go too, for obvious reasons.
Well this morning I broke another little promise to myself. I opened a Facebook account. Mostly, I was just curious. We had some friends over last night and I was looking at their pages and their hundreds of friends and I wanted to see if I could have hundreds of friends. I know that I can't, and if I did, I don't know what I would do with all of them. I think I have 10 friends right now and I have exhausted the list of people I can think of who might have accounts so I don't expect my friend count to go up that much. How do these people get 900 friends... I don't think I've met 900 people and I know I have not been nice enough to 900 people to call them friends. I thought I would gain cool points the minute I signed up but I'm still waiting for those... maybe they are in the mail. I did find some old friends from high school and asked them to be my friends. I'm waiting to see if they accepted. I have a feeling this is going to be more of a slam to my self esteem than a boost- when people I haven't talked to in 10 years don't accept me as a friend on a web site, I will be quite sad.
Wait! While I was watching Chris Brown on the AMA's (who was AMAZING by the way), I got another friend. Yea, that's 11. I had no idea I was so popular. I have a feeling I'm going to be in to this for a few weeks then I'll loose interest and give up. I don't see myself using it as my primary means of communication but you never know...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Oh No!!!!

That's what I was saying this morning when I was brushing my hair and I saw it. A big gray hair. While Taylor Hicks is able to pull it off, I don't think it will be quite as acceptable in a 27 yr. old female. Now this is not my first one, it's my third. The first two, though, I thought were caused by stress, I thought since it was a particularly stressful time at work, i had gotten a few gray hairs. Now, work is not stressful so it must be that I'm starting to go gray. This one was big, right in the middle of my head, and longer than the others I had found. I wonder how many there are that i can't see? It all makes sense now though. My skin has gotten terrible, wrinkles are showing up, and now I'm going gray. Mark this as the month where I figured out that I will have to dye my hair for the rest of my life! On top of that, I'm incredibly tired- i exercise, eat right, and drink lots of water so it has to be the aging thing. If this is what it's like to get old, sign me up for assisted living now. Do you think they send people to clean the house in assisted living? I'm in.

So You Think You Can Dance...

It's pretty much the best reality show ever... or at least that's what I think. Well, the top 10 contestants are on tour and they were at Nokia last night and I got to go! A sweet friend got a ticket for me and we headed out for the 8:00 show. We hiked up to our seats at the 2nd from the top row in the balcony (not complaining, i was just so happy to be there). As we start looking around we realize that we are the only people there our age. Everyone is younger, or a parent of someone younger. I was fortunate to sit by a young girl, probably 12 years old and her mother. This sweet girl had binoculars and was happy to give her mother the play by play throughout the show on who was dancing which routine, and she defiantly had her favorites. When one of these favorites appeared on the stage, she screamed an ear piercing scream, not once, but throughout the routine. After intermission, i thought i would give the girl a sample of what it was like to sit by a screamer. So every time she would scream, I would scream. Unfortunately, i think it made her scream more, and it made my throat hurt. I just learned to stick my finger in my ear at key times and I was able to enjoy the show.
It was an amazing show- 2-1/2 hours of dancing- solos, group numbers, and partners. Most of the best dances from the show were performed. I sat there most of the show in disbelief that their bodies could actually do those things in real life. This was the only picture i got. it's zoomed in as far as my camera will go and we were not allowed to flash so it's as good as it gets. I think MTV has reruns of the show so try and catch it if you can!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

10 down, more to go...

I'm down 10 pounds in the "CMA Biggest Loser". We have 2 weeks left and I don't know if it's enough to win but I'm at least aiming for top 3. Well, here are a few things that have helped along the way of this weight loss journey.
Weight Watchers - This is where I track everything i eat and get recipes and advice.
Eggroll Wrappers- These are surprisingly low in all the bad stuff and they taste good when you fill them with turkey and low fat cheese and mustard then bake. They also can be filled with bananas and serve with low fat cool whip. The possibilities are endless!
Wii Boxing- I do this every morning as my exercise. It's fun and a good workout, what more can you ask for?
Sweet Potatoes- chop and toss in olive oil a little salt and maybe some chili powder or cinnamon and roast in the oven for a delicious side dish.
100 Calorie Packs- I have a few that are better than others. If i want a 2 point snack, it's the Lorna Dune and if I want a one point it's the hostess snack cake things.
Dryers Free Ice cream- Only 1 point per 1/2 cup and it is very tasty. You know, sometimes you just need ice cream. Our second favorite is the Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches- also very good!
Subway- Eating out is nearly impossible on a strict diet. Before i go to any restaurant i have to look up their menu and see what is possible for me to eat. You wouldn't believe how bad some of the most healthy sounding things are for you. So, subway is a great place to go in a pinch because i know there is always something there i can eat and not blow the diet... excuse me, "lifestyle change"
Those water flavor things- The crystal light ones you put in your water bottles. Since i'm supposed to be drinking a TON of water, those really help add in an extra bottle just when i think i can't take any more.
Sugar Free Coffee Flavored Syrup- I know, I don't even drink coffee, but warm a glass of nonfat milk and add a shot of syrup and you have yourself a healthy steamer. Or take some carbonated water and add a shot of syrup and a splash of fat free 1/2 and 1/2 and you have a healthy Italian Soda.
New makup, hairstyles, clothes, and shoes- well, it can't be all about the food!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Guest Room

So this is the guest room. I intended to post these pictures yesterday but was busy trying to clean this room and closet. I think right now it actually looks worse than this. I guess it has to before it gets better. I'm giving myself until the end of Nov. to have this room clean and painted and ready for guests. We don't have many guests but it would be nice to have a room for them if we do.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I feel Stupid.

So I was in Target shopping yesterday for fruit and vegetables. Target doesn't have the best selection to begin with unless you are looking for apples but I was tired of apples so I was looking for something new. I come upon a package of 4 apple looking things but they have a label on them that says Grapple. Hmmmm.... this is new. It says- looks like an apple, tastes like a grape. I thought, "this must be an aggie experiment of cross breeding fruit... like a pluot, I wonder if it's good?" So I grab my package of Grapples and head for checkout. It wasn't until I got home that I read the fine print "Real apple & Artificial grape flavor". What!? I would never have gotten it if I thought it was some apple injected with fake grape flavor. I don't like grape flavor. By the evening, my entire kitchen smelled like a cheep grape scented marker. The logical thing would be to take them back or throw them out, but because I'm lazy and cheep (they cost $2.50- i can't waste that money) I took one to work today to try. It didn't taste bad, but it wasn't good either. Apparently they are made by soaking the apples in grape flavor, not injecting. I went to the web site and filled out a survey. I left a less than glowing report- I hope they don't send me a coupon. One of the questions was "What other flavors would you like to see?" How 'bout none. The apple sat in my plastic lunch bag all morning and I swear I've been smelling grape flavor on my clothes. Unfortunatly if you are looking for some new fruit, I do not recommend this one. I need some new fall fruits, any ideas?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Crazy Weekend

It's been a crazy weekend so I thought I would catch you up at once. Friday night was my office Halloween carnival. We decorate the office and put out games for the kids and have a costume contest and eat good food. It was a lot of fun but very tiring, there's always a lot of cleaning up to do after a big party.

Saturday I got up and my friend Lori came over and we made Christmas cards. I had someone order some of my cards so I almost finished making those for her. Then I started cleaning the guest room (yes, I know that wasn't scheduled until next month but look at it... I'll need the extra time), we went to Lowes to look at fireplace screens and found nothing, did you know it was impossible to find a contemporary fireplace screen for under $400. When I got back I attempted to organize our schedule on a chalkboard in the office. I'm pretty sure this won't help at all to keep us on schedule and stress free but I thought I would try. Then we watched Transformers on DVD and it was still greatness.

Sunday morning we went to church, I left early to go to another church to help present a design for their new buildings. Then I came home, ate lunch, put away the laundry, cleaned in the guest room, worked out, and put the dishes away. I headed back up to the church for the Trunk or Treat carnival for a few hours and then headed to the grocery store.
All was going well until I headed to get my last item at Target. I was standing in front of the Hostess snacks and didn't see my chocolate 100 calorie Hostess snacks. I searched and they were defiantly not there. I felt myself start to melt down. If you are thinking that seems silly, then you must not be counting every calorie. These Hostess snacks are only 1 point not the typical 2 of other 100 calorie snacks. Also, they taste pretty decent- for artificially sweetened cardboard. It's pretty much the only thing that gets me through a sugar craving in the middle of the workday. So back to the meltdown- I saw the snacks were missing and could feel myself rocking the cart back and forth as i swayed while screaming NOOOOO in my head. Just as I felt my knees start to bend so that I could curl up on the floor in front of the Hostess shelf, I thought, "It's not worth making a scene." So I dragged myself to the checkout and home. I think I'm tired. Fortunately, I made it home in time to eat dinner and get in front of the TV for my shows. I hope you are also watching TV like all good americans should be. I hope to be in bed soon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A New Blog

I started a new blog so check it out!

Cat's Design Blog

The Hallway is Done

I finally finished the hallway. Another small area that took forever. The left side is painted the orange that you see in the pic but the other side is painted a neutral tan. I was a little nervous about painting the hallway 2 different colors and one being orange (yes, even i get nervous about design decisions) but it looks great. Aaron Brothers had a big sale so we stocked up on frames but I didn't have photos until after our vacation to California. I wanted to frame pictures that I had taken because I knew they would be special. Well, I'm off to bed in my very average painted bedroom.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It's time for new clothes.

I just put up my summer clothes and got out my winter clothes. That is the pile of summer clothes. I have about 10 sweaters for winter to replace all those summer things. Get used to seeing me wear the same thing every day. I think at the end of last winter I pulled out all my old clothes and ebayed them thinking that I could just buy new clothes at the beginning of this winter. I probably should have thought ahead- if I couldn't afford the clothes then, it's possible I won't be able to afford them later. The lady at Banana today tried to tell me that if I spend $800 before the end of the year I could get their "deluxe" membership card for life instead of just year by year. Was she kidding? Has she ever heard of a guy named Dave (See Amish Swinneys)? I can't imagine having $800 to spend on clothes in the next 2 months, that would be nice though. The weatherman is saying it's going to be cold tomorrow. Looks like I pulled out the sweaters just in time. Let me know if you find any good sales so I can stock up on some winter clothes!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My new favorite room

I worked so hard on this tiny room i can't believe it. The stripes took a very long time- because of the texture of the walls, i drew the lines on the wall in pencil then painted them in by hand. FOREVER. But, now i love it. there's a great new light fixture, floating towel holder, a new terrycloth shower curtain, it's just really cool. I've divided my home projects into months. A couple of different reasons for this, one- we can't afford to do it all at once, two- it's overwhelming to think about everything i want to do in the house, and three- i don't have time to do it all at once. So, last month was the guest bathroom, this month is the office, Nov. is the guest bedroom, Dec is a free month because I will have too much else to do, Jan. is the den, Feb. is the kitchen, and March we will start working on the yard again. At the end of the month i'll post a before and after of the office. I probably won't get it painted by the end of the month but organization is the goal and i'm already 1/2 way there.
Hope you like the bathroom. If you want stripes on your wall, i'll tell you how to do it but i probably won't help... sorry but i'm tired of stripes for awhile :-)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Our Love Tree...

If you have ever seen "How to loose a guy" I hope you snickered a little at the title. If not, rent it, it's great and no, we don't actually call this our "love tree". We did plant the baby tree this weekend, and by we, I mean Mike. I didn't do much of anything. If it looks like the ropes holding the tree up are just as large as the tree trunk, it's not an optical illusion- it's true. I think it's a little excessive but we know nothing about trees so we just bought the kit and that's what came in it. I think it's really fun to watch things grow. There's something about planting something and taking care of it and seeing it get bigger and bigger. I planted herbs last spring from seeds and they all grew so big and I used them in my cooking. Then they all died. I have no idea why but now I have pots of black herbs, like they died instantly one night and just turned black right in place. I hope we have better luck with the tree. I figure if we can grow a tree, then we might be ready for kids. I said that about the dog but we have been pretty successful with the dog and I'm still not ready for kids so we are going to try something a little more challenging. Once our little love tree is twice it's size, then we will be ready for kids. Man, I hope it's a slow grower!


I posted about the tree yesterday and this morning I read this in Psalms 1:
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

So, this isn't out love tree, it's our prosper tree. :-) Just kidding. But that verse did really pop out to me because of all my "tree" talk. Whatever it takes to make the Word stick in your head. What a great verse!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wasting Time...

Do you ever catch a movie you like on TV? That happened to me today... twice. I think it's so funny because I have seen this movie a million times, have it memorized, OWN IT, and still i stop everything i'm doing to watch it on TV with the commercials. What's wrong with me? First it was Bring it On (try to get past the fact that I own this movie- it's quite funny) and then it was Italian Job. I think the saddest part is that I actually stop doing something else to watch them. If I had nothing else to do then that's one thing but when you set aside life to watch a movie you have memorized- that's a problem. Don't worry, I still made a healthy dinner and now i'm watching Legally Blonde the musical on MTV (which is actually quite cute) in preparation for Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters. Don't feel sorry for Mike, he's been watching football all afternoon. If you don't watch Brothers and Sisters, rent the DVD's of last season- it's an excellent show!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I love fall!

I love fall, I really do. I know it's fall when Starbucks brings back their pumpkin spice flavor. That single thing makes my whole day happy. I also love premiere week on TV. I have that week marked on my calandar for months and then i'm so happy when it's finally here. Judge me all you want but I love TV. I think I have at least one show every night. I love DVR almost as much as i love my husband because it frees up my evening and i can watch my shows whenever i want. And then there's pumpkins. I think i'm happier going to the grocery store in the fall because there's pumpkin and squash everywhere. If i were in charge of america, everyone would eat one pumpkin thing a day... and i personally would have many meals of all pumpkin products. The weathers great, the food is great, the tv is great, what's not to love?

In honor of the great fall, i made a centerpiece for my kitchen table. I was inspired by pottery barn but added my own twist. it was really easy and suprisingly cheep and i'm really happy with how it turned out! Hopefully this will inspire you to create your own fall centerpiece. Notice i stuck a scented candle on top of the candy corn so that i won't be temped to eat any. Whatever works right? :-)
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