Monday, April 27, 2009

Catching you up

It seems like I encounter one of these just about every day now so I had to write about them. Horny Toads. They're sick. They are like little dinosaurs that scare me to death and somehow, every time I tell my mom about them being around our house she gets almost as excited about it as she would for the wedding. But all joking aside, these little devils live in our yard and I'm always on edge when I let Bridger out because they camouflage themselves so well I can't see them until they move.

I know what you're wondering, do they do anything to you? do they bite? Well, no. I honestly think they are more afraid of me than I am of them, and I'm not going to get close enough to one to try and see if it will bite me. I like a good distance of about 5-10 feet. I've tried to take a picture of one, but they always catch me off guard because I can't see them until they move, and then they just scurry off. I've told Brandon that our yard is infested with them, but since he hasn't seen one, I think he just thinks I'm over reacting.

Growing up in Houston, I heard about these things called horny toads only because my mom would tell us stories of how she used to catch them and play with them because they were everywhere. I also remember hearing that they were an endangered species. As I got older, I stopped hearing about them, so I guess I just concluded in my head that they were extinct. I learned otherwise about a year ago when one scurried out from under the basketball goal at Brandon's parents' house and Rilee almost ate it.

A couple of weeks ago one scurried in front of me when I was walking up the stairs to the apartment and I screamed as if someone was murdering me. (Bart remember that time you were in the shower and I screamed because of a cockroach and you came flying down the stairs barely holding your towel on because you thought someone was trying to kill me? yeah, it was like that). It just gives me the jitters to think about!

Lizards are one of the most frightening things in the world to me (Bart, I blame you--in fact, I blame at least one of my siblings for things that I don't like...) and horny toads are like lizards from Satan. I mean, they are supposedly something people in Texas are proud of.. you can get a license plate and everything. I don't understand, it's just gross. I found this website, you'll have to see it to believe it--and mom, please don't sign up. Click Here.

In other wildlife news, instead of housing a full-grown squirrel between the window and the screen of our kitchen apartment, we now have a big bird's nest. It belongs to Mr. and Mrs. Finch (I named them). I think if I would have cared about 3 weeks ago when they started their nest I would have had Brandon go up there and clean it out so they would move somewhere else, but now that they are so far along on their home, I can't just destroy all of their hard work. Besides, she should be laying eggs in the near future! :) We are all just one big happy family.. Bridger likes them too!

Brandon got this when he went out of town last week and he thinks it's hysterical. He put it on the fridge and wouldn't let me take it off..
Also, I have a new idea for all of our wedding pictures! I went to goodwill and bought all of this (besides the letters) for only $8. I know I only have one picture in them and I still need more, but you can get the idea! :)
Well, that's it for now.. Brandon and I are off to the West Texas Sports Hall of Fame induction this evening, and I need to get ready! (his boss, Ray, is getting inducted)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Making life more fun.. one weekend at a time

Last week, Brandon and I were both so busy that we wanted to have a date night on Friday. That date night started with a trip to the local James Avery to replace the wedding ring that Brandon already lost. That's right folks, we were married a whopping one month and 2 days before he lost it! ha! I knew it would happen at some point or another because he is just like a little boy (he was digging in the dirt at work) that I took the smart path and bought him a ring that he liked from James Avery instead of one that costs about $300 from a jewelry store. I laughed when we were going because I told him that we could just go to get him a new ring and then he could buy me something too! He just rolled his eyes and laughed at me!

After buying him a new ring (a half size smaller so it is too hard to get off) we went to the mall to do a little shopping. Once again, I managed to spend a good amount of time in the mall, yet still didn't end up spending any money! When I finally stretched Brandon to his limit of time to spend in the mall, we left in search of somewhere to eat for dinner. We decided on pizza, but not just any pizza... Mr. Gatti's! We may have had upset stomachs for the rest of the weekend, but those games totally made it worth it!

When we were eating we kept seeing all these little kids running around with 4 foot long inflatable bats that squeaked when you squeezed the end. I thought, oooo... this could be a fun toy to get and mess with Bridger! :) This wasn't the first time Brandon and I had gone to Mr. Gatti's on a date, but we usually just play a few games and then give our measly 10 tickets to some little kid because we were too cheap to spend more then about $1.50 per person and to old to care. All that changed when I saw those inflatable bats. The bats were 60 tickets each! What a rip-off! So I took it as a personal mission to get enough tickets for at least one bat with our $3 in tokens.

We started off just playing a few random games until we stumbled upon probably one of the most overlooked games in the entire arcade. You know those games where you drop the token in the top and the it lands on this deck that is moving in and out while you are hoping the that the one you dropped will push some off the top layer to the bottom where all the tokens are in hopes that you'll knock off some more from the lower level and get the tickets for all the coins? The ones that you see and look around hoping no one is looking so you can bump into it and get some tokens to fall off the edge (they have sensors). Well, I've only known one person in my life that loves this game and is actually really good at it, and no, it's not Brandon.

It started with one token, then another, then another, and I was addicted. I even made Brandon go out to the car and get more cash so I could keep playing! I had 110 tickets, I couldn't stop there--only 10 more and we could both have a bat. He came back with more money and by the time I was done, we had something ridiculous like 260 tickets! Brandon was laughing at me the whole time because I was so "into" it. One time I even squealed with excitement and gave myself a fist pump for knocking a whole group off the edge.

What did our winnings get us, you're asking? Well, two bats (they only had purple left because seriously, every kid had one), a whoppie cushion, a pack of three mustaches, and a laffy taffy! Poor little bridger had no idea what she was in for when we got home.

We krept around the corner with our bats and started poking the kennel with them. Then we let her out to go potty and up the stairs she went to the batting cages.... hehehe!

We chased her around the apartment bonking her with our bats and she didn't know what to do. *no dogs were hurt in the taking of these pictures*

It was so funny that we had to document it all so I hope you all enjoy the pictures!

Here Bridger is using her manners and waiting until she can come out of her kennel.

Brandon and I are about to "attack"
she found protection under the coffee table
now she's fighting back!

After our "war" I wanted us to take a family picture with the mustaches on...
Bridger didn't really like hers, but the only thing she would do is try to lick it off, which would then adhere it even more to her face.
I knew this was a good idea!

Now it's make-up time..
Ok, so for some reason, Bridger finds the "m" above the couch intruiging and will at times stare at it for no reason.. I caught her this time, SO funny!
Then she had to go get her toy duck because she was excited

Saturday was the Young Life Rummage Sale (a fundraiser for Young Life kids to work off the cost of camp). Brandon and I went up there for a little bit to see what was going on, but we didn't want to leave Bridger, so we brought her with us. Check out her eye! haha! At the rummage sale, someone had donated a jet ski for them to sell. Brandon told them a ridiculously low price that he would give them if they hadn't sold it by the end of the day. Well, with 45 minutes left at the sale, the jet ski sold! This was unfortunate for us, good for young life, and good for us.. we definitely didn't need it!

What Brandon did need though was this shirt that he bought and wore proudly for the rest of the day.

I wont lie, I thought it was pretty funny.. who makes shirts like this anyways?

Later on in the afternoon, Brandon and Kirk went fishing. After spending hours on the lake, they caught only one fish in which Brandon said was a "MONSTER!" I told him that was great and then went back to laying on the couch and watching Candice Olsen. About an hour later, Brandon called me to come meet them at the boat ramp so I could see the "monster" and take a picture for him.

Here she is, all full of eggs and weighing in about 6 pounds, "the biggest bass [Kirk] has ever seen.."

That just about sums up our weekend, I hope yours was a good one too!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Antique Roses and Homecooked Meals

On Monday morning, Bill from my office (probably the sweetest, yet craziest old man) came around the office to all the girls and dropped huge vases filled with pink and red antique roses he cut off of his wife's rose bush. They are beautiful! I thought it was so nice for him to decorate the office with fresh roses! Well, with the roses came ants. All day Monday I was in a never ending war with about 5 ants. When I would see them crawling around my desk, I would flick them but they always seemed to find their way back.

Besides that, the flowers are so pretty and smell wonderful. My favorite part of them is the 4 or 5 buds I still had on mine. This morning I got to watch a full on bud open up to be a precious little dark pink flower. I've never really been that into plants, I always manage to kill them, or worse, leave them hanging on for dear life for months. Such is the case with the rest of the plants I have in my office. I started with one little aloe vera plant in a coffee cup that I inherited from my friend Rebecca who used to have my job. Well, that one little plant turned into 4.. all of which were in this measly little coffee cup. Last summer I was trying to personalize my office a little bit, so I found some primary colored plastic pots in the CEO's office that were empty. Now, these pots are nothing to get excited about, I mean, they are the plastic pots you are supposed to put inside a much prettier ceramic pot, but my little aloe vera plants didn't know any different and loved them just the same.

I separated them all into their own pots and even bought a new plant at wal-mart, I don't know what it's called but it is a little succulous plant that had little bitty yellow flowers all over it when I bought it. I seriously thought I was doing really well and maybe beginning to develop a slight green thumb, little did I know I have the most high maintenance aloe vera in the world! I should just be proud they are all still alive! When I looked up "how to take care of an aloe vera" everything I read said "lots of sun", and "a little but of water." I realized that this is exactly the opposite of what I had been doing--I had the little coffee cup on the farthest point of my desk from the window, and I watered it everyday. When I read this, I changed the location of the plants and placed them by the window, don't worry I closed the blinds in the afternoon, and I watered them about 2 or 3 times a week. All of my poor little plants turned grayish brown and wilted. I moved them back to where they were and began watering them again and the came back to life. My other mystery plant dropped every single one of its little bitty yellow flower (the reason I bought it) all over my desk and they never came back.

About 6 months ago, I moved offices to one in the very center of our building with no windows. The best light my mistreated plants get is from the awful fluorescent bulbs above me--who thought those were a good idea? They are the worst things in the world! Anyway, so all of my plants are holding on and for what I don't know. I've tried to give them away so many times because I feel bad just throwing them out. Well, I still have them and they all look sad, but now with the antique roses, I feel like everything in my office has livened up a little bit! That is a picture of my sweet little bloom I got today! I know you are all jealous of my view of a file cabinet! :)

So one of my goals as a wife, and eventually a mom, is to be able to plant flowers and actually have them survive. I want to make that a hobby.. I just don't think I've made it that far yet in my domestic wife transformation. I will say however, that I am very proud of myself for getting better at one of my other goals, cooking. You see, Brandon absolutely hates eating out, even on the weekends. I came from a family that lately we eat out for every meal--and yes, that includes breakfast most days--and I love it. If Brandon does this for an extended period of time it literally makes him sick, no joke.

So through the process of dating and marrying him, I've learned how cooking really is much healthier and remarkably cheaper. Cooking has always been one of those things that I know about, I mean if you consider having the ability to follow a recipe and have it come out edible as knowledge! What I have really been striving to do is be able to come up with my own dishes, or just know when to put a little more of this and little less of that to make the flavor just pop. Well, I'm getting there! I was so proud of myself last week for not eating out at all (seriously, the last time I ate out was a week and a half ago) that I thought I would come up with some other things to make for this week. I think the biggest learning curve comes from trying to come up with new things to make with only the things I have at home, rather than going to get 1 or 2 things at the grocery store.

Monday night, I made this amazing chicken basil pasta. I got the gist of the recipe from a website, but the special added touches came from yours truly. The boys LOVED it! (We had Bryan and Lauren come over for dinner). I think this is now my favorite dish that I've made so far! Last night I totally just came up with this on my own, and while it was a little on the spicy side, it was still good! I marinated some chicken over night in this Caribbean jerk marinade, then I pan seared the chicken, added more marinade and some steamed broccoli, mixed it all together and topped some rice with my Asian-looking concoction. It was pretty good for deciding how to make that chicken 30 minutes before Brandon got home.

Who knows what I will make for dinner tonight, or even if I will make anything, all I care about is if I get to eat! :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter in Graham

This past weekend we went to Graham to spend Easter with Mimi and Papa. It always amazes me that we can fit so many people in one little house. We had 17 people in a 3 bedroom, two bath house, and we made it to church on time... now that's just skill! A far improvement from the normal "on time" to church being 10 minutes late and walking, all 17 of us, to the very front!

The weekend started with everyone talking about the fires all around us. You could see them and smell them. The smell of burning mesquite was like sitting in the kitchen of an Abilene barbecue restaurant. Once everyone got there, we all hung out after we sent the kids to bed. The next morning (Saturday) we woke up to kids running around screaming and asking when the Easter Egg Hunt was going to be. Needless to say, it's hard to sleep past 7:00 when everyone is there. All the kids, and Brandon went down to the dock to do a little morning fishing while the rest of us laid around in our pajamas until about noon (this is a rule at the lake). The kids would come in at least every 30-45 minutes to ask when the Easter Egg Hunt was going to be, so we finally came up with 4:00pm. All the men went to go hide the eggs while we kept the kids in the front of the house. I got some pretty funny pictures of them finding the eggs: *you can click on the pictures and they'll get bigger*

Here are all the kiddos before we said "GO!" they were all anxious.. and we made Kirk stand in there :)

Abby and Carson are the youngest so they got to go first--check out his face!

Grant got to go 5 seconds later

Looking hard in the bushes

Papa found the "money egg" with a $100 in it. Jeff (the only Jameson male of the bunch) wanted it so bad he kept saying, "please, please, please, papa!! I'm carrying on the family name!" I thought it was a pretty good argument!

Our first family picture!

Beautiful bluebonnets!

Then we had confetti eggs and the kids all got Papa pretty good.

And the rest of these are from Sunday after church. I will say this though, it was one of those cloudy days where the sun is so bright still that it is just painful to keep your eyes open. We tried that whole close your eyes until they say 3 things and it still didn't work, but here they are.

So that was my holiday, I hope yours was just as fun as mine! Love you all!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Day Lubbock Rolled Through

Living in West Texas you get pretty used to the wind, although if you are human, you begin to hate it. You spend time to do your hair every morning just to find that the very moment you step outside it blows your part the wrong way, all your hair goes across your face in a tangled mess and you better hope you forgot your lip gloss that morning--yet, we do this every morning? Of course we do! I don't know why, but I think it comes from deep down within us always secretly hoping that today, of all days, maybe the wind will blow with my part. It's a far stretch, but thankfully it's windy for everyone so when you walk into wal-mart, everyone looks slightly disheveled.

I don't think even a full bottle of the strongest hairspray could have done the trick yesterday. Most days, the wind averages about 15-20mph, but on windy days, the wind gets around 60-70 mph and you better hope you have some fashionable eye protection. That's borderline tropical storm, just without the rain! One of the great things about west Texas is the cotton fields. I bet you didn't know it, but Texas is the one of the biggest suppliers of cotton to the world. What happens every fall when the farmers harvest their crop? The fields are left covered in loose red dirt. So put the two together, wind and dirt, and now we have a dust storm! It's such a weird feeling to look to the horizon and see this massive red, hazy cloud headed your direction, and within 30 minutes, you're standing in it.

I think the worst thing about the dust storm is the fact that if you open your mouth even the slightest bit while you're outside, you better believe you will be feeling the grit in your teeth for hours. Another thing that gets me is the dirt that finds it's home in your hair. It makes you look like you haven't washed or brushed you hair in 2 days. Very professional looking! I will say this however, I don't think I will ever understand the people who have been here for years that are still asking if this is a dust storm. I say let's throw them outside and let them figure it out for themselves!

The dust really began to settle down about 6:30 or so last night and Brandon and Kirk began working on the boat. They got the motor running around 8:00 so of course we had to take it for a ride in the lake! At about 8:30 we were putting it in and getting it going. It runs pretty well and is decently fast for a 1975 bass boat! We drove it around the lake for about 20-30 minutes watching C-130s fly over us to land at the airport until we almost couldn't see anything anymore. A good way to close a hectic day--a nice, smooth, quiet ride on an empty lake. Oh yeah, and Bridger liked it too!

This weekend we're headed to Graham to see the Jameson family, maybe I'll post some pictures after that!

Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day 2

well, well, well...

I will say this, I never thought I would make it this far, and yet, I did! So here we are.

Yesterday after work, I indulged myself and did a little shopping. Shocked? I will say however, that I have become very skilled at the art of getting in and getting out of the mall in about 30 minutes--AND I went to 4 stores! What could be better, you ask? Managing to do all that and not spend a dime! Brandon was proud!

I did however have the responsibility of stopping by the grocery store on the way home from my adventure to pick up a few items and be home around the same time as Brandon so we could make and eat pancakes! I also managed to slip a quick car wash in there too! Ever since I got my car, I've been obsessed with keeping it clean. This is a really good thing if you ever saw the inside (or outside) of my last car. So, with a clean car, a handful of grocery bags, and a smile only shopping can slap on my face, I made it home and we had dinner.

I've become pretty good at "domesticating" myself, as my dad calls it. I've gotten into the routine of doing the dishes basically everyday, and then again at night, cleaning up Brandon's dirty clothes as he leaves them, instead of them piling up, and making the bed--well, that's been slacking this week.. but still, I'm proud! I've even been taking Bridger on walks! Come to think of it... Brandon and I haven't eaten out once this week, even for lunch! Once the craziness of the constant flood of gifts slowed down, I was really able to catch up. The only thing now? Thank you notes.. my goodness, you have no idea.. I find myself staring down at the list on the coffee table and trying to come up with an excuse NOT to do them. Here's Brandon's agreement: "I'll think of what to say, it you write them." He said he's embarrassed to send any one anything with his handwriting on it because he said they wouldn't have a clue what he wrote.

My goal for next week: thank you notes. Who knows if it will get accomplished though, I know I have at least one paper for next week, graduation announcements to send out, and my portfolio to work on for my final review the following week, so we'll see! Only 3 more weeks of school for me forever!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Just Getting Started

Well, I've succumb to the trend and have started a blog for Brandon and I--although I can assure you, Brandon will most likely never post anything. So basically this is for our friends and family in this crazy, fast-paced world that maybe we'll all be able to keep up with what's going on with each other. You might be thinking.. " well, why not just stick to facebook? Everyone is one there, aren't they?" Yes! They are! and that is precisely the reason for me to branch out! Once the "coolness" of facebook wore off around freshman year, I basically stopped getting on it. Now, my mom and both of my in-laws are on it.. whatever happened to the days when it was just college students? So life goes on, and I move on to blogging.

more for another day..