Saturday, January 31, 2009

This random stuff is starting to grow on me.

Maybe because I feel too drained to type full paragraphs.

  • I decided a few days ago after learning a bit more about Kurt Warner that I am cheering for the Cardinals in the Super Bowl tomorrow. Plus, I love an underdog. Go, Arizona! I'm making a bunch of food for the game tomorrow. I'll post a new recipe on my kitchen blog tonight or tomorrow.
  • Jamie and I watched Juno last weekend. I haven't watched a full movie in quite a while. It was such a sweet movie. I loved it, and it hurt a little too. It's definitely worth seeing if you haven't already.
  • I made a birthday dinner for mom last night and we had our family party. It was really nice. :)
  • Jamie started baseball tryouts yesterday. So, we're officially in baseball season. He seems really pleased with his group so far this year, so that is good. Our varsity will start the season ranked 3rd in the state by the THSBCA (Texas High School Baseball Coaches' Association).
  • Jamie interviewed for a new job last week and will hopefully have an interview with another school in the near future. We know he's a long shot for one of the jobs, but it seems like he might have a decent shot at the other. We're praying that we end up wherever God can use Jamie's skills and abilities the best.
  • We are having family portraits taken tomorrow. Just a regular studio picture this time.
  • If you haven't checked out Ed Hardy's fragrance for women, you are missing out. Not the new one called Love & Luck, but the original one. I don't like the new one much - it's a little too "musky" for my taste. But OH.MY.GOSH...the other one is to die for. I just think Ed Hardy is plain cool to begin with, and this perfume is possibly the best I've ever bought. That is saying a lot, because I have a perfume fetish and I've tried nearly everything. It's cheaper than Romance (Ralph Lauren, my 2nd fav) and Allure (Chanel, my 3rd fav), and it's better. Jamie loves it too.
  • Mom and Jamie have both been telling me for weeks now that I need to get Elise's hair cut, so I finally broke down today and took her for a trim. I've waited so long for her to get a decent amount of hair that I hate the idea of cutting it! But I have to admit, it does look neater after the trim. Mom said I should have cut another 1/2 inch, but I am happy with it. Now she'll look extra sharp in our pictures tomorrow. :)
  • I'm looking for a new book to read now that I've completed the Twilight saga and taken a small break from reading. It's going to be a very tough series to follow. Any recommendations?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

More Random Stuff That Nobody Cares About

I know this stuff is not interesting to anyone. I write it purely for my own amusement.

  • I discovered perhaps the coolest thing ever created tonight at the grocery store. Okay, so you know how you buy applesauce in the little individual serving containers with the foil wrap junk on top? Well, get this...they now make pickles in these containers!!! Yes, that is right. Yummy, crunchy, delicious little baby dill pickles in the small, individual applesauce looking container. If that isn't the best thing ever, I don't know what is. I love pickles! I purchased 6 of them. Jamie thinks I am crazy. He's probably right.
  • I discovered that I have a new favorite wine - Riesling. I tried it for the first time, because I wanted the blue bottle that it came in. It was just a really pretty bottle, and I wanted to put some Christmas lights inside. As it turns out, the wine is not bad either! I've purchased some more, and I am enjoying a glass right now.
  • I'm so proud of myself for overcoming some of my anal tendencies. I have clean laundry folded and stacked all over our coffee table. And I am going to leave it there overnight and put it away tomorrow. This is truly an accomplishment! One step closer to not sweating the small stuff! Hooray!
  • I've gotten Jamie addicted to one of my favorite iPhone applications called Textropolis. He was looking over my shoulder as I played earlier today, and he's now downloaded it on his iPhone and is sitting next to me on the couch playing it. He cannot put it down. It's 11:44pm and we both have to work tomorrow, and he's playing Textropolis. And I'm blogging. What is wrong with us??
  • Speaking of iPhone apps, I am getting a kick out of a new one I got today called Chicktionary. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you must download this game. It's a total hoot! I am loving all the word games.
  • Jamie just put down his phone and announced that it's bedtime, so I guess I better shut it down! How is that for random?

Mom's Early Birthday Dinner

We took Mom to The Melting Pot last night for a wonderful fondue meal to celebrate her birthday a week early. It's not a child friendly place, so we needed to go while Elise was with her dad. We are having another party with Elise on her actual birthday this coming Friday. We did the full, 4 course meal and it was to die for! I think mom and dad both really enjoyed their first fondue experience. I was telling mom that when Elise gets older, it will be fun to do a girls' brunch of cheese and chocolate. So much to look forward to! :)


Jamie took the boys outside and hosed them down the other day. It cracked me up that he used an old loofa sponge to scrub them down. They are so big now - there's really no other way to do it! And yes, that is literally a trough. :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Peaceful Transition of Power - Inauguration 2009

I've always been in awe of inaugurations in the United States. Regardless of the new President and the party they represent, it's a day that every single American should view with great pride. The way our country has mastered a peaceful transition of power from one party to another is truly something we should all appreciate. These types of transitions spark war and violence in many other regions of the world.

Today's inauguration marks a historical moment in United States history, because we will be swearing in the first black President in our country's history. Again, whether you are a democrat or not this is a major milestone. Just one day after the celebration of Martin Luther King Day, we are another step closer to acheiving his dream.

I also think it is important to recognize President Bush as he moves out of the White House today. He has become a controversial figure, however I recognize that his actions have always been in what he considered to be the best interests of our country. He strived to keep us safe from another terrorist attack after 9/11 and was successful in that endeavor. I feel thankful for his service, even though he and I disagree on an issue here and there. ;) It is hard to imagine the range of emotions that he and Laura will experience as they make this huge transition. Many prayers to them.

So, whether you voted for Barack Obama or not, celebrate today. We are fortunate to have the right to do so.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Random Tidbits & Updates

  • Mom bought tickets for us to all take Elise to see Disney on Ice in April. She got the VIP tickets and we are apparently going to be on the 2nd row! Yay - something to look forward to! Elise keeps asking to go back to Disneyworld, so maybe this will be a decent consolation prize.
  • Dad and I saw Marley & Me yesterday - was so good, but sooo hard to watch at times. I loved how the life cycle of the dog mirrored the life cycle of the relationship. It was great, but I don't think it would be possible to watch it without crying. Marley reminded me a little bit of Bailey.
  • Elise has learned to sing Jesus Loves Me and Jesus Loves the Little Children. I will have to post a video soon. It is super cute.
  • We had such a fabulous meal at The Melting Pot for New Years Eve that mom has decided she wants to go try it out for her birthday. We are all taking her next Saturday as her gift.
  • Elise's favorite phrase lately is, "When I was 3..." Apparently everything happened back when she was 3. And she speaks like it was just ages ago. It's pretty funny.
  • We are thinking of planning a long weekend in San Antonio sometime around Spring Break. Jamie has been tempted by some cheap airfares to Vegas and a deal our timeshare is running for free room upgrades to Vegas, but I am trying to steer things more towards San Antonio. It's not that I don't love Vegas - but we were just there over the summer and it will be more fun to go back when we can take some friends along. Plus San Antonio will be much cheaper and Elise would get to join us.
  • Baseball tryouts are scheduled for January 30th, so it won't be long until the season is beginning. The break has been short but nice. I think Jamie is almost ready to get back on the field.
  • Jamie & I both got iPhones about a week ago and we are both totally in love with them. This is the best gadget I've ever owned, and I know Jamie loves his as well. I don't think I could ever go back to a regular cell phone again. It's worth every penny! I think mom wants one now too.
  • Mom is getting a huge promotion at work and moving to a new department. The pay raise is substantial to say the least, and she won't have a carry a pager and Blackberry anymore (which equals less stress). I'm so excited for her!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Meaningless vent about shampoo & conditioner

The bottles are exactly the same size. They contain exactly the same amount of product. Each time I wash my hair I use exactly 2 pumps of shampoo & exactly 2 pumps of conditioner.

So, why am I totally out of conditioner but still have 1/4 bottle of shampoo???

I love balance in every aspect of my life, and this situation is upsetting my entire shower environment.

I suppose if this is all I can find to complain about, I am doing pretty well in life. LOL

Saturday, January 3, 2009

45 Things About Life

My mom sent this to me in an email. I don't normally re-post this type of thing, but these are too good not to share. I bolded my favorites (they are all so good, I almost just bolded the whole thing - LOL).

Written by a guy named Brett who writes columns for The Plain Dealer, a newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 70 in August, so here goes:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God . He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness, except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch. (Thank you friends!)
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of whom God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative--dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.


My Wii Sports Fitness Age is now 29. Woot!

Just in case you were wondering...

This is what it looks like when you use an entire can of purple bath foam in the tub.

Melanie's Kitchen

I started another blog this morning! It is going to be a collection of my favorite recipes and anecdotes about cooking and mealtimes with our family. I've been meaning to gather all of my recipes into one location for a while now - originally I planned to do a more traditional recipe book. Then I decided, why not create a blog to keep everything together. It will be a neat way to track all the new things we try - I am really on a cooking kick and enjoying it a lot. Also, it will be a way to document things for Elise, and hopefully someday she will refer to it in her own kitchen.

I added it to my blog list, so head over and see what's cooking! :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Reflections and Predictions - Ready or not, it's 2009

First of all, Jamie & I had a lovely New Year's Eve last night. We celebrated with a relatively low key, late dinner at The Melting Pot with our friends, Matt & Nicole. Fabulous fondue feast, great conversation, and a champagne toast - and back home in time to ring in the New Year with the boys. It was absolutely perfect. I'm so glad we were joined by Matt & Nicole. Elise celebrated the New Year with Grandma & PaPa, who graciously babysat during our adult evening out. I think the only thing that could have made it any more perfect would have been if we had kissed Elise at midnight.

Who would think a fondue pot could create so much steam?

Matt & Nicole

My personal reflections on 2008:

For me, 2008 was a very average year. Jamie would tell you it was an *awesome* year, but he's thinking of things from a professional standpoint. And I have to agree - the year was amazing for us in that respect. From my perspective, it was a trying year in many ways, but not a terrible year by any means. I remain concerned about the economy and what 2009 may bring. Also, another year has passed without any success in expanding our family...and honestly, no real progress in that direction either. I guess that is the most disheartening part for me. Nonetheless, when we woke up this morning, Jamie said that he hopes 2009 will be just as good as 2008 and pointed out all the ways in which we are blessed. We were all healthy all year long, we have a nice home, we have each other. So truly, it was not a bad year after all.

So here are some of my more non-personal reflections on 2008:

*We experienced both a hurricane and snow in 2008. That is pretty remarkable!

*It was a good year for girl power in the music industry. A few of my favorites - Take A Bow by Rihanna, So What by Pink, and I Kissed A Girl by Katy Perry. They are all iPod worthy.

*The year's biggest and most shocking entertainment story (in my opinion, of course) - Heath Ledger's tragic death.

*This reminds me of my favorite movies of 2008 - The Dark Knight, Mamma Mia, Wanted, and Iron Man.

*Polar Bears were designated as a threatened species and are now protected by the Endangered Species Act.

*The Summer Olympic Games in Beijing - The sports highlight of 2008 (as far as I am concerned) was Michael Phelps winning 8 gold medals. The conflict in Georgia somewhat overshadowed the Olympic Games, especially for the Russian athletes. The head US mens' volleyball coach suffered tragedy during the games as well when his father in law was murdered in China. May & Walsh won the Gold - Walsh went on to get pregnant (a dream of hers), and May tore her Achilles tendon while competing on Dancing With The Stars.

*Hurricane Ike ravaged the Gulf Coast.

*Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300, becoming the first female to win an IndyCar race.

*2008 was one of the most heated election years that I can remember. We elected Barack Obama as our first black President.

*California began performing same sex marriages in June, only to vote for a proposition later in November that would ban same sex marriage. California also banned trans fats in restaurants. What the heck are they doing over there anyway???

*It wasn't only an election year in the US. Pakistan's Parliament approved a new Prime Minister, Ireland elected a new Prime Minister, and Taiwan, Russia & Zimbabwe elected new Presidents.

*The war in Iraq & Afghanistan continued, and violence continued to escalate in the Middle East. President Bush nominated General David Petraeus to take over Central Command. Of particular concern to me at the moment is the recent escalation of violence in Gaza. I've been reading a lot about what is going on over there lately, and it is all very disturbing to say the least.

*The bailouts...where to even begin. We've seen the US banking industry virtually collapse before our eyes. It's something I never thought I'd witness in my lifetime. Other industries have followed (most prominently, the auto companies), and everyone is looking for a bailout. We fired up the printing presses, and I'm keeping my eye out for some potentially HUGE inflation numbers in 2009. It's scary stuff. I feel like we are living in troubled times, and it makes me angry that Elise and her children will still be working to pay off the debts we are incurring now.

I really don't know what to expect in 2009. I don't think I've ever been this uncertain at the beginning of a year. I hope & pray for the best and try to prepare for the worst.

Elise will celebrate a milestone birthday in July when she turns 5. She will also begin Kindergarten in the fall of 2009 - I can't believe my baby is going off to school this year. Jamie is busy applying for new jobs (promotions), so we will wait and see if anything comes of that. I am not sure what to expect in my own professional life. I really want to find a new job and eliminate my commute, but with recent developments in the economy, I am almost afraid to make any changes now. I do have one thing in the works, but I will probably postpone any major moves for the near future. I am a bit disappointed about that, but I know everything will work out for the best.

We've committed to skipping our annual vacation this year in lieu of doing some minor home improvement projects. I want to get some color on our walls. I am not sure about our ability to paint our living room/bedroom due to the high, vaulted ceilings. Unfortunately those are the 2 rooms I want to paint the most! I may try to hire someone, depending on the cost. We're also strongly considering re-carpeting the upstairs. We really need to do that and have been putting it off for quite some time. Jamie wants to do some landscaping in the yard.

I have some scrapbook projects in mind for 2009. I have all the materials to do our Hawaii book, so I am determined to do that this year. I need to get Elise's book caught up, but I think I will most likely convert exclusively to digital scrapbooking for her books. I never seem to have the time to spread out all my supplies and create pages the traditional way anymore, and some of the books you can create online are very nice. I would love to look into purchasing some scrapbooking software eventually. I would really love to get Photoshop, but I am intimidated by how difficult I hear it is to use. I am not the most technologically savvy person!

So, I actually have a resolution this year! I never make them, because it seems silly to decide to begin losing weight, working out, ect just because it is January 1st. I generally believe that we should do that type of stuff year round. But I feel like having a resolution can be a good thing, because it makes you accountable to actually follow through with the things that you say you are going to do. So, here it is...the things I WILL do in 2009:

  1. Paint at least 2 rooms in the house.
  2. Complete our Hawaii scrapbook and have Elise's books totally caught up by the end of the year.

I'm interested to see what 2009 will bring. Jamie, Elise, and I wish all of our family and friends love & prosperity in the New Year.