Saturday, June 30, 2007

CC - The Big Bang

Since D wanted to be on the road headed back to her home by about 1pm Sunday, we decided to meet for an early lunch. C had a flight home scheduled for late afternoon, and I was taking her to the airport. D and C were to check out of the hotel downtown, and then they wanted to take a tour of the old neighborhood again. Since I had already done that with C a couple days before, I opted to meet everyone at the rondevou point. A couple of the girls had never met the Kiddo, so I brought him with me to the local Panera Bread Co.

We arrived first (*cough*on time*cough*) and I thankfully was able to entertain Kiddo with a coloring book and crackers until D and C got there (*cough*45 minutes late*cough*). N was running late too, and R didn't even know if she was going to make it at all. By noon everyone managed to make it, and R even brought my favorite little niece in the whole, wide world, the fabulous Miss M!

Hasn't she grown sooooo much since we last saw her? I know!

We all had a wonderful lunch, Kiddo flirted and entertained and even asked me if he could go to the potty - such a big boy showing off for all his new girlie friends! ;) Just before it was time to go, Kiddo did something; I think he either scratched his eye rubbing it or he rubbed some allergen into it that he picked up from the high chair. Whatever the case, his eye instantly turned red and began to swell. We were on our way out anyway, so when we got to the car I washed it out the best I could (with a paper towel and water from his sippy no less - just call me MacGyver). Once we said our goodbyes C and I took him to the nearby grocery store so I could get some benadryll.

Pictures from lunch:

After a leisurely stop at Target so C could look at some hair supplies, we went back to G&H's for a little while before heading out to the airport. When it was time to go, Kiddo, C and I loaded up in my car and headed out. There was still so much I wanted to talk to C about. So many questions to ask, so many topics yet uncovered. I had just begun telling her about Hubby's motorcycle trip and all the adventure he had. We were about 5 minutes from G&H's, driving along, and we stopped at a yield sign to wait for oncoming traffic to pass so we could turn on to the feeder road of the freeway we needed. I was telling her about Hubby and his friends being stranded in the dessert with no way back to civilization when BAM!!! we were hit from behind.

*sigh* My new-to-me car.

We pulled off into the Starbucks parking lot (are they everywhere or what?) to further inspect the damage. The guy tried to offer me money to fix my car, but of course didn't have anything on him and could only give me his cell phone number. Ummm, yeah. So, I did what any smart girl would do, I called my Daddy - well, technically Hubby's Daddy, but at that moment he was the closest Dad I had. And I knew that if anyone could make some sense out of all this and get the guy talking, he could. See, Happy is a smooth talker, a salesman, and a true man of God that has a way of making people feel so comfortable around him that they tell him anything he asks; honestly. The guy told me he didn't have his insurance card on him, he told Happy that not only did he not have insurance, he had a suspended license as well. See the difference?

We decided to call the cops; the damage to my car seemed minimal at worst, but with things like that you just never know. Plus, both myself and C have back problems and I wanted to make sure we had a police report in case anything was aggravated because of the accident. While we were waiting for the cops to show up, Happy took C to the airport and Grammy stayed with me and the Kiddo. The guy got upset that we had called the police, and in turn called his brother. The brother and sister in law showed up a few minutes later. After a group huddle, the sister in law and the guy's wife cornered Grammy, Kiddo and I in the back of my car and tried to convince us to call off the cops. They were offering to give us a check and pay for any additional repairs not covered by it. They pleaded their case, and while I was a bit uncomfortable being basically trapped by these women in the back of my own car, I did really feel bad for the guy's situation. I knew he was quite possibly looking at jail time. He had a wife and a child about Kiddo's age - it was obvious that something like this could mean real trouble for him. I really didn't know what to do. I felt bad for their situation, knowing how easily one's life can go in the toilet because of a stupid mistake. But at the same time I had to take care of my family first. And what if one of us had really been hurt? What if I let the guy go, and he got behind the wheel again and killed somebody? I just didn't know what to do.

The cop finally showed and the sister in law asked me once again to call him off. I said ok and asked the officer if he would step away from the crowd and talk to me. I told him the situation, of what happened in the wreck and that the family was trying to convince me to settle the matter without involving the police. The officer asked me how I felt about all of that, I told him that I wasn't exactly comfortable with it, but that I didn't want to get anyone in trouble either, but I did want to make sure I was covered in case there were any unseen damages. He asked me to go get my information and he would talk to the other party. As I turned to walk away, he asked me who was driving the other car. I pointed out the guy, not even thinking that my doing so was basically incriminating him. Doh! I guess the decision was made.

The officer wrote the report and sent me on my way before dealing with the other party. I'm pretty sure the guy went to jail. I feel so bad for him and his family.

Drained from that whole situation and so very upset that I didn't get to give C a proper farewell, I took the long, twisty way back to G&H's house, picked up our things while Kiddo slept in the car, and hit the road for home. I just wanted to get home and crawl into my own bed and cry. It was such a glorious, fun, amazing weekend and I was so terribly sad it was over. It was the first time in a long time that I've felt like myself. I saw that girl in me that I miss so much. I laughed more than I have in ages. I talked more than I have in ages. Even the accident was a mere hiccup - I was more upset that I didn't get to take C to the airport than I was about my car.

I hope we do it again soon. I don't think I can wait another 8 1/2 years.

Thanks for hanging in with me. My readers are the best. I love you all! :)

D :)

Friday, June 29, 2007

CC - The Shower

I can't believe it is already Friday and I am still writing about last weekend. I promise the next two day's report will not be nearly as long. (I think) I will try not to bore you much more. Again, the endless details are really more for my memory (which seems to be fading fast) so I apologize if I am boring you with all of this. I will be back to normal posting soon.

So Saturday morning was the baby shower. The hostess' house was about 45 minutes from G&H's B&B, so my plan was to give myself an hour to drive, just in case. Well, in my usual fashion I left 10 minutes late, but still felt confident I could make it on time. However, 30 minutes into the drive I realized I would be a hair late, so I called R to see how far away she was from the hostess' house (you know, I needed a partner in crime!). She was running late too, so I felt better, especially when she told me that she had talked to N and she was also running late (to her own shower). Ahh, some things never change!

The exit I needed to take off the freeway was under construction, the road had about 4 different names and the one on the sign was not one of the ones I was looking for. So, I missed my exit. I went two more exits before I got off the freeway and turned around. The sign for my exit going the other direction had all of the street names on it! Grrrr! I weaved my way through the construction and traffic and eventually found the neighborhood I was looking for. My Google Maps directions were all wrong, but I eventually found the house.

The shower was lovely. We played a couple of silly games and ate lots of good food. N received lots of fabulous prizes, er, gifts and each one evoked oohs and ahhs. The kicker for me was a beautiful hand made quilt with the baby's name stitched into blocks in the pattern. It was simply beautiful and made me cry. See N, you weren't the only emotional one! This was by far the most beautiful moment of the shower though. I boo-hooed when I saw this on my LCD screen.
She is already such a natural. :)

Just before things started wrapping up, Happy called me to tell me my car was ready and that the dealer closed at 3. That meant I had to leave pronto. The dealer was a good hour away and the weather was not looking favorable. My sweet, wonderful friend C insisted on riding with me, bless her, and so she kept me company on the drive over. My head was pounding when we got in the loaner car; so much so that I choked down some migraine meds with a hot, canned Dr. Pepper I had grabbed that morning and forgotten about. It was gross!

The drive was so nice with C with me. I swear I could talk to that girl forever and never run out of things to say. She was probably glad to be rid of my blabber mouth when she went home! It is just so refreshing to see eye to eye on so many things with someone. She really gets me, she understands our situation and the feelings I have, and I don't feel like I have to sugar coat or hide anything with her. Man, I miss her.

Back to the story. The city the dealer is in is lovingly referred to as Stinkadina by many. A refinery town, you can smell it as soon as you cross the city limits. Even with the intermittent rain and drizzle that afternoon was no different. The stink slapped us upside the heads as soon as the interstate curved in it's direction. Pew! We rolled in to the dealer at exactly 5 minutes to 3. The parking lot was crawling, literally shoulder to shoulder with people. They were closing in 5 minutes??? Yeah, right! There were two sales guys running around like crazy folk and people hanging out in every possible place waiting. A guy about my age was standing in front with the cutest little girl. She must have been about 1, with a head full of blond curls and the biggest blue eyes. I almost started digging for a business card, then I realized I was about 4 1/2 hours from my home town. The entire time we were there, I kept catching this guy staring at me - it was kind of creepy.

After hanging out for a good 10 minutes I finally caught the attention of one of the triplets that owns the lot. Yes, I said triplets. I think they are identical, and man are they HOT! Sorry Honey. Anyway, he asked me if I needed help and I told him why I was there. It took him a minute to find the keys to the car, but quickly enough he did and as he handed them to me he said that I owed them $125. Yikes! I wasn't prepared for that. "Do you take credit?" I asked. I didn't have that kind of cash on me. Of course, his reply was no; but then he smiled and said "You look like an honest person, just send me a check". I think I melted a little. ;) It was a good thing he let me go, because no one was going to let me drive that Infinity off the lot. As soon as C and I vacated it, a swarm of people jumped in and were drooling all over it and dreaming of owning it. When we got back in my car, I pointed out the owner to C and mentioned he was a triplet. She kind of got wide eyed and said "oh, I thought he was just really fast!". She had been watching "him" zoom all over the lot with different people and what she was really watching were 3 brothers running around! Then C told me that she saw him checking me out. Whatever. He was not. No he wasn't. Shut up.

So..... we made the 30 minute drive back to the hotel so C could change clothes and freshen up a bit. I wasn't about to valet the car again, so I drove around until she was ready. We headed back to G&H's (another 30-45 minutes drive) so I could change clothes and then drove out to N's house (yet another 45 minute drive). Do you see why I am calling this series Cruise Control? LOTS of driving going on here. We finally got to N's house in time to visit a little before we headed out to dinner. N's hubby A (or shall I call you G? *wink*) recently took up photography as a hobby, so we talked shop for a little bit. It was awesome! I love talking shop! It was really fun to see his eyes light up when he talked about it. He is such a laid back kind of guy; it was nice seeing him get excited about something. I really enjoyed our brief chat.

We went to dinner at a local Chili's and then walked over to Starbucks after for coffee and more talking. We made plans to meet for lunch the next day, I took everyone back to N's house and we parted ways for the night. Just as I was climbing into my car, N said to me "Hey Dawn I just wanted to let you know I noticed you are almost out of gas". Story of my weekend I guess! ;)

Last instalment tomorrow - stay tuned, things end with a bang. Literally.


D :)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

CC - The Dinner, Part Two

[Another side note: Did anyone notice how PALE I am in that last pic of C, K and I? Yikes! No sun and a flash at night are not a good combo for a fair skinned bottle red head. I will make a note and stay away from flashes from now on!]

Now where was I? Oh yes, we were at the Starbucks kiosk laughing and talking and talking and yawning and... wait, did I just say yawning? Oh dear, I think the night is coming to an end. I could tell that most of didn't want the night to end, but a few of the girls had long drives and flights that day and were starting to feel the pain of too much travel and too much fun in one day. We decided to head home; but first we had to walk back across the mall!

It's so funny to have a larger group of women together and everyone get along so well. As we walked, we strolled along in pairs, flowing easily from one to another, with pleasant conversations unfolding and no two alike.

(no, C and K are not holding hands. C just talks with her hands a lot and I caught her in an open-palmed gesture! lol!)

As I strolled along with my companion of the moment I was amazed at the ease in which the group interacted. We all have different backgrounds, different professions and parenting styles, different types of families and religious beliefs. We live in different parts of the country, maintain totally different lifestyles and yet we could enjoy each other's company like we were all best friends. I really just blows me away. It's amazing how growing up together has essentially bonded us for life. We are like, well, a family! :)

I had volunteered that night to drive K back to her dad's house across town (where she and her hubby and kiddos were staying for the night) so her husband had dropped her off at the mall earlier that evening. And, since N drove D, C and myself to the mall, she had to drive us all back to the hotel to pick up my car (from the valet, *rolls eyes*). R drove herself in and asked us all to walk with her to her car in the parking garage. It was late (after mall hours) and safety was most definitely an issue so we obliged. R parked her car on level LL1 (remember our mental notes? we were on LL2. this is important) so when we got to that level we all stepped out of the stairwell and into the garage. The doors closed behind us. Someone made a comment about the smell. It was a pretty typical parking garage smell, but silly me, all caught up in the nostalgia of the night said "it smells like a memory." Ok, I know it was a dumb thing to say, but it really did! I am not often in parking garages and every time I am it seems there is a special reason, so, it smelled like a memory to me. pppppbbbbttt! Don't make fun of me. N (my dear, sweet, understanding, beautiful friend) agreed with me - "like bowling alley hot dogs!" she said; ok, maybe we are both a bit strange... Anyway, R announced she was in ZONE H and we easily found her car. Hugs, more hugs, well wishes and she was on her way.

We turned around and headed back to the stairwell, only to find several people standing at the doors waiting for something. A man was on a cell phone speaking to someone in a foreign language and suddenly I realized that we were locked out. The only way to the other levels was that stairwell, or walking up (or down) the car ramps to the various levels. Doh! Thankfully, just before angst or panic set in a friendly mall employee (the person on the other end of the cell phone) came down the stairs and opened the door for us. Shew! We ascended the flight of stairs and popped out on our level, LL2. Instantly we realized that we didn't make a mental note of what ZONE we parked in, and the hunt for the car began. Surely it wouldn't be too hard to find, right? I mean, it was only a silver SUV! Um, are you familiar with that Seinfeld episode where the gang is trying to find Kramer's car in a mall parking garage? Um, yeah. The fish are dying!!

We parked over here, right?

Or maybe it was... over.... there?

C taking initiative: I'm pretty sure it was this way!......wasn't it?

Or...maybe not...

Ok, you guys stay here. I am going that way.

K gave up looking after about 5 minutes and stood by the stairwell talking on her cell phone. She didn't know what she was looking for anyway, having never even see the car. After walking over what seemed like every inch of that silly garage, we eventually found it. When we got back to the hotel we decided to drive D and C over to the nearest quickie mart to pick up some essentials (who really pays $6 for bottled water at a hotel anyway?). This little place right up the road was, um, interesting to say the least. Situated beneath an acrylic nail salon, the look on C's face when she entered the premises left no doubt that it had an oh-so-foul odor. Not the memory I had in mind! They emerged a few minutes later, slightly green in the face, but stocked up on water, diet Coke and gum.

N dropped us all at the hotel, more hugs and well wishes, and D and C went up to their room. K and I were left out front to get the car and suddenly faced with about 200 conference goers all trying to retrieve their vehicles at the same time. The valet guys were seriously in the weeds; one running to the key storage with a stack of tickets 2 inches thick and another returning minutes later with what seemed like hundreds of keys. The standing area in front of the hotel was not equipped to hold so many, so politely shoving your way through was necessary. After standing in line for almost 5 minutes, dealing with people pushing past me and shoving me almost into the guy I was standing behind, the line moved forward and I was next to the valet stand. Just as I was about to hand my ticket over, two very well dressed, wrinkly, pointed nosed witches cut in front of me. Now, normally I am a very nice, very forgiving person, but come on - it was obvious there was a line, they couldn't have missed me (I stood a good foot taller than both of them. Of course, when one makes a habit of looking down one's nose, perhaps the taller population gets overlooked -but it's only speculation.). Politely and quite loudly saying "excuse me!", I attempted to reach over their heads and give the guy my ticket. He was already in process of taking their money, so I gritted my teeth and waited. Again. When it was my turn, again, I handed the guy my ticket and he looked at me like I just handed over an eel. "What group are you with?" he asked. "I'm not with a group" I replied. Everyone else's tickets were hot pink. Mine was much bigger and white. He seemed confused; looking at me, and then down at the ticket, then at me, then the ticket. Good grief. "I parked earlier today. My friend is staying here." At me, at the ticket, at me, at the ticket.... He was trying to figure out how much to charge me. "It's $8.00, right?" I asked with a smile. DING! A light bulb went off. I paid my fee.

At that point I realized I had left a great deal of clothing, my make up and hair supplies in C's room and so I called them and ran up while K waited for the car. By the time I got back down stairs it was pulling in. K had developed a serious ear infection during dinner and by then was in a world of pain. My goal was to get her across town, as quickly as possible so she could rest. We jumped on the freeway and I glanced down at my gages. We were out of gas.

Now, if you are from a major metropolitan area, you know how tricky it can be to get off a freeway and back on to it in a short amount of time, especially if you are near any sort of major freeway intersection. The area we were in was the intersection of a major city loop and two major freeways. Off and on ramps are not in logical places, many streets do not run the way you need them too, and one wrong turn could put you in the wrong part of town or get you completely lost. And, gas stations are not always readily available, especially at 10:30 at night. We drove surface streets for several blocks and when it got to the point that I was about to turn around (because we were past our last chance to get back on the loop). I turned under the freeway and there, finally, was a gas station. Thank goodness it was well lit, because the surrounding area left much to be desired.

By the time I got back in the car K's ear was beet red and she was developing heat in her cheek and jaw. Infection! Yikes. We drove to her Dad's house as quickly as possible. She promised to go to urgent care in the morning and I bid her good night. I got back to the B&B just in time to hear Happy tell Kiddo a beautiful story about a kitty cat. Of course, my arrival did nothing to help Kiddo fall asleep so we were up for a while after G&H went to bed. I finally passed out, even with the Kiddo kicking me in the back.

More to come,

D :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cruise Control, The Dinner

[Side Note: I know I am absolutely torturing my friends with these posts because as everyone can guess, I took a lot of pictures this weekend and they all want to see them. The thing is, I will get to the pictures, and there are a LOT, but, I am nervous because I think everyone is expecting these awesome images because I am the "professional" in the group. Truth be told, I did snap a lot of images with a fancy camera, but considering the light conditions and the fact that I was not directing a "shoot" per say, they are all more like snap shots and are not going to be anything spectacular. There I said it. Now back to the story... ]

So after N picked us up we headed 2 blocks over to the Kona Grill. It took us 10 minutes to drive those two blocks in the afternoon traffic - ahh how quickly I forgot how much I loathe driving in that mess. We parked in the garage and as we were walking to the stairwell someone spied a sign and read it out loud. "Ok girls, someone remember we are in LL2". Mental notes all around; and we began ascending the stairs.

Far too many flights later (poor pg N, she handled it like a pro, darn her! When I was pg, one flight would have knocked me out) we were on the floor we needed. Suddenly my cell phone became fixed to my head as I was trying to coordinate all 6 of us arriving around the same time. N, C, D and I got a table and K and R showed up a few minutes later. It was terribly surreal seeing all these women around the table; I bet the last time we all sat together was in 11th grade (12th for R) at the school lunch table. Remember those white, speckled cafeteria tables? Remember how they folded up really tall.... and um, anyway... ;)

Here is my beautiful friend C at the table. The lighting was horrible (think dark and candle lit, not good for photography) and the pics came out very yellow so I converted these to black and white.

I tried to take a pic of everyone; and here is K, showing C a picture of her sleeping babe and making that silly "awwww" face we mommies make. She might hurt me for that picture, but I think it's cute!

Miss D was right next to me, so I sort of got the top of her head while she checked out a menu. I'll have more pics of her later.

Here is Madame R, stunning in her new short 'do and dressed to the nines for a night out with the girls. I just love her glasses. They make me want to wear some just for fun!

And last but certainly not least is the very beautiful, very glowing pregnant Ms. N, who was desperately trying not to look at me while I took her picture. Her dress was about the most darling thing I've seen.

So there we were, gabbing away, with several conversations going on at once and not one of us missing a beat. We could not stop talking long enough to look at the menus and after being visited by our waiter several times we finally ordered some appetisers.
The pot stickers had pretty good flavor but were a bit dry. However the fried avocado slices were absolutely to-die-for! I want to take this opportunity to once again profusely thank Madame R for giving me the last bite. It was sheer heaven!

Out of the 6 of us, I think only 4 had actually ever had sushi and only 3 of us actually liked it. D, N and C all decided to order a "normal" entree and R ordered herself one small order of California Rolls. K and I decided to order several different kinds of sushi and split them. Well, somehow there was a miscommunication between K and the waiter, and when K thought she was ordering 4 pieces of something, she was actually ordering 4 units (each unit being 8 pieces). So, we, um, ended up with um, well, a TON of sushi at the table! It was hilarious! When K confronted the waiter he kind of brushed her off and told her to share with the whole table. Well, that was a great idea for him, but we really didn't feel like paying for enough sushi to feed a small army! I personally think the waiter knew there was confusion, because in his favor he plated the sushi on big platters - basically making it impossible for us to send much of it back. And, he combined R's order in to the middle of one of the big platters. He knew only 2 people were eating it; I heard K tell him that, and yet he thought we could consume that much??!? Come on! We sent back what we could, but still had far too much left. I was laughing so hard I couldn't take very good pictures, but here are a couple. That platter with the yellow wrapped sushi had about 24 pieces.

This one had 32 pieces as it contained 4 units of something plus R's order! And then, we had 4 plates of this here on the right. Because it was in a special sauce, I guess it couldn't be heaped together on a big platter. We sent two plates back, but honestly, it was the best of all of them and I kind of wish we hadn't. I ate a whole plate by myself!

Despite the hiccup in the ordering, dinner was wonderful. We talked and ate and ate and talked some more. Everyone took turns telling everyone else what they had been up to over the past 10+ years, and when we were all caught up and sufficiently full we decided to move on to some where else for coffee. K had bought us all a box of truffles, and more than one of us was ready to enjoy the special treat.

Being that we were in the Galleria, there was no shortage of Starbucks kiosks, but we really wanted to find a bigger "shop" that might be more quiet and less exposed to the general commotion of the mall. So, after talking to one of the kiosk workers who told us where a shop was, we headed to the other side of the mall. Now one thing you should know is that because most of us were "dressed up" we were not wearing the most comfortable shoes! My feet were starting to scream at me a bit, but it didn't bother me in the least because I was having so much fun. We trekked across the mall, past the ice skating rink, to the location the Starbucks Employee told us to go, only to find another kiosk! Ahh well, it afforded us a photo opportunity or two. Here are R and C carrying some of the left overs (sushi no doubt!).

And of course, we had to do the typical photo line up!
Then the nice young lady at the mattress store said she would take a picture of all of us, but she was scared of my camera, so I don't have a line up pic with me in it. It's ok though, I saw the one she took, and mercy, I look like some sort of giant freak woman. Just call me Amazon! Seriously, I am like a foot taller than all of these gorgeous ladies. I look very strange in comparison.

We decided to stay put and commandeered a table at the kiosk. PICTURES!!!
Don't worry, she was drinking decaf. :)

Wow, I actually was there! D took this pic for me. :)

Even with the coffee, it quickly became apparent that we had all had a long day. The yawns were becoming more frequent and laughs less. We were sleepy!

Still with me? Well, I think I will stop here because the night is not over yet and this post has now grown to epic proportions. The formatting alone will keep me up till midnight I'm sure.

Until tomorrow,

D :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cruise Control, Part Two

Ok, so I forgot something yesterday. When we went to the dealer to drop off the car, I was nervous about exactly what they were going to give me as a loaner car. After all, this was a used car lot, not exactly the kind of place that typically does "loaners". Anyway, I was oh so pleasantly surprised when they put me in this...

It is a very well kept Infinity I 30 with all leather interior, the works as far as electronics and stereo system goes, and it had a sunroof! Whoot! I can't believe they actually let me drive it for a couple of days; it was a beautiful car.

But I digress...

Friday morning I left G&H's bed and breakfast (wink, wink) to pick up my dear friend, C, at the airport. I hadn't seen C in over 8 years, and it was just like coming home to see her again. There are few people in my life that I can honestly say I get that excited to see, and C is one of them. Of course, when you only get to see each other every 8 years or so it does make it that much more exciting. The airport has this thing now called a cell phone lot - people drive in and park and wait for "the call" from their friends or family once they have arrived. I suppose it saves that pesky merry-go-round of cars that happens when so many people refuse to pay to park and go through all the trouble of getting through security and whatnot. So, being one of those people I settled into the lot a bit early and enjoyed the Bose system and sunroof of the car. While waiting, I did have a bit of a scare when a fire engine and ambulance, sirens a-blazin' screamed down the street past the lot towards the airport. Slightly unnerved, I decided to call C instead of waiting and sure enough, she was ready for me to pick her up.

She looked amazing, much better than I would after an early morning and a long flight and soon enough we were on the road headed toward our old "hood". C wanted to see her old house and so we took the tour, talking easily as if not a day had passed without each other. I love having friends like that. We picked up right where we left off 15 years ago when we saw each other every day. The neighborhoods were older now, much worse for the wear, and eventually we headed out to the local mall to see if an old employer of hers still had a store there. The old dental office was there, but now it is about three times the size and moved a bit down the way from where it once was. C had a craving for "real" Mexican food, so we ate at the Casa Ole' in the mall. With nostalgia oozing out of our pores, we then headed over to G&H's house for a quick "stop and meet the Kiddo" before making the trip to the hotel so C could check in.

The hotel C and D decided to stay in was in the heart of the Galleria. Easily accessible from the freeway and only a block away form world class shopping, I guess the designers of the hotel thought it best to require valet parking. *sigh* Seriously? I could either valet the car at the hotel for the night (to the tune of $18 dollars added to my friend's room bill) or I could pay $8 and had to remove my car no later than midnight. The location of the hotel provided for no other alternative; no shop parking lots or public garages were anywhere near by. Grrr!

D was driving in from Dallas, and in the original plans were for C to check into the hotel and change and then I was supposed to hide her away until we all met for dinner. N wanted to pick up D at the hotel, so the rest of us were to meet early at the restaurant and surprise N with C and L. Confusing yet? Well, L didn't make her flight because her assistant was sent to the hospital, so the surprise turned out to just be C. At the last minute we decided to have N meet the 3 of us at the hotel instead of the restaurant.

N was shocked, of course, to see C walk out of the hotel. There was much squealing and hugging! Then we headed over to the restaurant to meet the rest of our party.

More tomorrow,
D :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Cruise Control, Part One

Ok, so I guess it helps to start from the very beginning. It's a very good place to start! (heh, sorry, that was bad.) [reference to The Sound of Music there] Just to warn you, there are going to be a lot of useless details in the next few posts, but I really want to remember the entire weekend, so I am feeling the need to be thorough. Sorry.

Anyway... so this past weekend has been marked in my calendar for quite some time now. A good friend from high school, N, is pregnant with her first child and was having a shower on Saturday. Several of our high school buddies, D, R, and K were expected to be in town, and a couple, C and L, were flying in to surprise her as well. I was so excited to see all these girls - some of them I hadn't seen in about 8-10 years.

In an effort to gear up for the festivities (and do a little self pampering) I decided to do some shopping for a shower outfit and have a nice, relaxing pedicure on Wednesday night. The shopping went fairly well (next time I will refrain from having an extremely salty meal before trying on clothes though - ick!) and the pedicure was just what I needed (well, except for the moments when I felt like Elaine in that Seinfeld episode when she goes to the nail salon and the women talk about her). Afterwards I met some fun mommy friends for coffee at the local Starbucks. It was a wonderful evening. I returned home shortly after 10 and Hubby had already put Kiddo to bed! woo hoo!

So the plan was for me to get up Thursday, pack and get the Kiddo and myself out of town sometime after noon. I had an "appointment" with my favorite hairstylist/mom in the world for 7:30 and figured that even if I left town at 3 I would still have plenty of time to get to her house for my cut and visit. Well, you know what they say about best laid plans...

A bit of backtracking here, as you may recall we just recently purchased a new-to-us vehicle, and after driving it for a mere 2 days, the check engine light came on. We had the code read at the local Auto place, and it was telling us that there was something wrong with something that could either be an easy/cheap fix or a rather difficult/costly fix. *sigh* Joy. Hubby's dad (Happy) decided to inform the dealer just to see how they would react and surprisingly, they asked us to bring it in so they could check it out. And while it was terribly convenient that I would actually be in town for the weekend the problem was that 1) the dealer was about 45 minutes away from my destination city and 2) I was supposed to be the chauffeur for everyone for the weekend. There was no way I could be without transportation and still be able to participate in all the festivities. After much hemming and hawing on my part and several phone calls, the dealer agreed to give me a loaner car while they diagnosed and ultimately fixed the problem. This really left me with only one issue - I needed to be in my destination city pronto!

So my lazy morning of packing and getting ready to go turned into a mad-rush-throw-it-in-the-car-and-get-outta-here kind of thing and shortly after noon we were off. Pressed for time, I stopped for a hasty refuel of the car and we were on our way. Neither Kiddo nor I had eaten lunch, so I decided to go to the quickest fast food place I could think of and pick up something to eat. Wendy's has always been the fastest in the area I was in so I pulled in, only to find a line of cars there that wrapped around the entire place. I decided to stick it out anyway. I paid extra for a large Dr. Pepper with my meal, because the reality was that the drink was what I really wanted - I couldn't have cared less about the greasy fast food that accompanied it. I got about 5 miles from the food place when I finally took my first long drag on the straw... only to realize that not only was the drink not Dr. Pepper, but it was diet! Ack! I couldn't even choke down the diet and there was no way I would be able to make the 3 1/2 hour drive without a drink, much less finish my meal without one, so I was forced to make yet one more stop to the nearest Sonic. I knew they would get my drink order right, and of course they did. The car hop did however give me a funny look when I set the freshly iced, barely touched diet yuck on the little tray for her to take away.

The rest of the drive was pleasantly uneventful, and once we arrived, Happy and I jumped right back into the car and drove to the dealer. What should have been a 45 minute trip took us about an hour and a half. Granted, there was some traffic, but Happy was driving and well, um, sometimes he can get a bit, um... distracted. So, we got a lovely tour of the neighboring city before finding the dealer lot. It took us about 35 minutes to get home! (I was driving) ;)

After a quick dinner I raced over to my hair appointment, had a nice little visit and then headed back to the G&H's house for the night. I fell into bed at a far later time than I had hoped for and slept rather well despite my Kiddo kicking me in the ribs for most of the night.

More later,
D :)

Closer to Fine

Happy Monday everyone! I am so sorry I haven't posted in such a long time. Last week was a crazy week - I was preparing for an extended weekend visiting with some of my life long friends; included were several dinners, a baby shower, surprises and car issues. I had such an amazing 4 days that I don't even know where to begin. I am in the process of sorting it all out in my head, processing pictures and trying to get things back to some sense of normalcy. I hope you all stick with me while I get it figured out.

Meanwhile, I will get you started with some music. I was telling my friend, R, about this wonderful video called Animusic. My Kiddo absolutely loves it; he calls it the Robot show. Anyway, she thought it might be something she could entertain her junior high band students with, so I thought I would share a couple of my favorites from the video. Thank goodness for YouTube! This one is from the 2nd Animusic video and is called Resonant Chamber.

And this one is, I think, called Pogo Sticks

More later.
D :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

And It Stoned Me

I really hate discipline days. You know, those days when everything upsets the child and nothing goes right. No matter what I do or say it doesn't make a difference and empty threats do absolutely no good. I have to be the parent. I have to be stern. I have to follow through. *sigh*

We took a trip to the mall so I could exchange a shirt and Kiddo did remarkably well. He sat (sort of) in the little umbrella stroller through all my looking and when we got into the dressing room I let him out of it. After I finished trying on some clothes, he followed me around the store while he pushed the empty stroller. He did so well, and I made sure to compliment him and tell him how good he was staying with me and being somewhat quiet (even though he just had to mimic every move another little boy in the store was making). We walked out of the store and Kiddo suddenly decided pushing the stroller was for losers and that Build-a-Bear was only a quick dash away from me. I put the kibosh on that action and promptly strapped him back in the stroller. Mommy don't play that game.

So, since there wasn't anything else I needed at the mall, we headed to the car. Kiddo started protesting and fussing a bit on the way. We got in the car all right and started to head home. Aside from the brief lapse in judgement at the end of our mall trip, he really had been good for me and so when he asked if we could go to another store, I figured a quick trip to Target would be ok.

He did great all through Target. After only cruising through the women's clothing and accessories departments, I was ready to go. I guess Kiddo had other plans because when I headed for the doors he began to try to direct me "this way". (his new favorite game) I told him we were done and we needed to go to the car and the wailing began. He did not want me to take him out of the cart and started yelling. Fellow Target shoppers turned and looked as my son screamed "No! Not Yet! This is DANGEROUS! YOU are DANGEROUS!!!"

Oh yes he did.

The walk to the car had him pushing away from me the way a child does with a stranger. For a moment I though someone might stop me from taking him. I got him in the car and he yelled at me pretty much all the way home. I finally had enough and told him that when we got home he was going into time out and we were not going swimming today. He wailed and cried, and then about 5 minutes before we returned home he basically forgot all about it.

So when we got home I was faced with the problem of follow through. He had forgotten. He was being his sweet self. I felt awful as I banished him to his room, even worse when I had to remind him we weren't getting in the pool. He cried the cry I rarely see, the one of truly hurt feelings and sadness. When it was over he approached me with a quiet, sad little voice and told me he was sorry. It took everything I had not to cry myself. I felt like I broke his heart.

But, he has been the perfect angel ever since. I just hate being the Mommy sometimes.

D :)

Friday, June 15, 2007

One More

I know, I know. 3 posts in one day?? What's up with that?

Heh, more randomness than I can handle today I guess.

Question of the day:
Why is it that the day after I declare we are no longer going to buy sweets, the grocery store puts Oreos on sale?

Kiddo Speak of the Day:
Mommy: (on the way out to the pool) Come on out here, let me put some sunscreen on you.

Kiddo: Mommy, Aaaahhhhhhh!

Mommy: What was that?

Kiddo: Mommy, dere's a sun Scream!

:) :)

They Have a Gift

You have got to listen to this guy!

Ahh, I am all weepy now!

ETA: Eeed Gads! I just HAD to add this one too!

(thanks to Jade over at bbc for finding these!)

I Feel Too Much

Good morning everyone. I guess I am not doing so well this month in keeping up with this blog. I just haven't had it in me I guess. I can think of things to talk about, but that blogger's doubt is kicking in hard again. Will I be funny? Do people care? I guess it doesn't really matter. Of course, I want you all to be entertained, but it is after all, my blog, I should be able to put whatever I want in it right?

I am very thankful for my regular readers though, all 20 of you. I love your comments and just the fact that you stop by on a regular basis means the world to me. In case you haven't noticed, I have added a few more blogs to my blogroll. If you have the time, hop on over and say hi to them too. And for all of you just tuning in, I have a "favorite post" list going as well in my side bar that you might want to check out.

So anyway, life here has been busy, and in all that business little Kiddo had been terribly bored. It is just so HOT right now. And what sucks is that it is only going to get worse. I would love to take kiddo to the playground, but the equipment is scorching and it would mean I would have to sit there in the heat watching him. Same deal with the sprinkler park. He would have fun there, but man, I would be miserable. We don't really have a "sprinkler" kind of yard, so I am not really inclined to set anything up here. I guess that only leaves indoor play centers, and I just don't have the money or the energy for that kind of thing. So, we've been fighting boredom here at home.

My back has gone out again. It is really bad this time. I can move around, but every time I bend over I have to say a prayer or two or five to get back up again. The last time this happened, I told myself I would do something about strengthening it as soon as it was healed. Because, you see, it is darn near impossible to do any sort of exercise when it is this way. So then it heals and feels better, and I totally forget about doing any sort of exercise because, well, I feel better. See the cycle? So here I am, in serious, constant pain, and I desperately want to do some sort of exercise but I can't. Hopefully it will heal soon and I will remember to do something about it this time. I need to get in better shape anyway. I hate exercise. Part of the problem now is that because I haven't done any serious singing in years, my hard-as-a-rock core muscles have deteriorated into mush. If I could get those strong again I think my back would be much better. I guess if anything I could find humor in all of this. I look like a total dork trying to get out of bed or up off the floor!

So, I've been meaning to ask, is this a normal kid thing or the early signs of OCD?
Yeah, I thought so. :)

Oh yes, I also got my first tomato off of my plants the other day. Isn't it beautiful?! The "Fruit of No Labor".

Isn't it purty? Oh wait, I already asked you that.

Well, I just wanted to say hi. I will be here more often soon. I promise. Right after I down some more ibuprofen.

D :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Story of Us

Today is my 8th anniversary! I can't believe it has already been 8 years since we said "I do". My, my, how time flies.

In honor of this special day I thought I would tell you a bit about our "story". Aren't you excited??! lol!

Anyway, it all started back in high school. Hubby was the hot new guy and I was the shy tall girl. Though we knew of each other (because we were in the same graduating class) we never officially met. I will spare you high school pictures, because well, they are so not flattering (for me anyway)! We graduated and went our separate ways.

Freshman year of college, a friend of mine came over to my apartment one day and told me she had seen Hubby at a party and he looked HOT. I was thinking "Hubby who?" and didn't give it another thought after that. I had no clue who she was talking about. If I had known she was talking about this -
I probably would have payed more attention! ;)

Then, a couple of years later, my best friend and I were living in a different apartment complex and new people moved in across the walk from us in the next building. Our doors faced each other. The new tenants were Hubby and his roommate! The first time we encountered the duo, Hubby said something along the lines of "didn't we go to high school together?" and that was the start of our friendship. Over the next several months, we hung out a lot, and after a while, when Hubby would tell me his girlfriend woes (and I dutifully listened) I was beginning to think I couldn't take it much more. I enjoyed being his friend and all, but listening to the stories about the girls he dated was killing me.

Then one night (shortly after accepting an invite for a date with his roommate) Hubby and I went out (as friends). We spent the evening talking about all sorts of things, and even played a game where we described our perfect boyfriend/girlfriend. Bonehead that I was, while I was describing some mythical man, he was describing me! Doh! (sorry Babe, I was a little dense at the time) I never thought he'd be interested in me. Then at the end of the evening, we were driving back to our apartments and he asked me who I would rather go out with, himself or his roommate. I got brave and said him, and he liked that idea. :)

Oh yes, this we me at the time. Gotta add this in you know! Man, I looked good in college! lol!

I broke off the date with the roommate and Hubby and I started dating. Sort of. It was rocky at best at first, but eventually we ironed the kinks out and the next thing I knew we had been together for almost 4 years.

We took a trip to Colorado to visit some friends and see the sights. The snow was amazing, my friend's house was amazing, everything about the trip was great.

One morning we decided to take a drive up to a scenic outlook up the mountain. We got in the van, and after missing it the first time, found the road and headed up. We stopped several times along the way so Hubby could take pictures, and I was upset with myself because I had forgotten to put on my gloves. It was super cold, and being a skinny Texas girl, I was not enjoying the impending frostbite on my glove-less digits. We made a stop at this beautiful overlook, and decided to walk down to a flat area just below the road. It was a beautiful spot, with a thick layer of fresh powder and gorgeous trees. Hubby sat the video camera up on a rock and we played for a while, making snow angels and writing love messages in the snow. As we were playing I was complaining that my hands were cold. Hubby took me in his arms and pulled a pair of gloves out from under his sweater. They were beautiful black leather with cashmere lining. I was shocked at the gift and sooooo thankful because I was freezing! He told me to put them on and as I did, something caught on my finger in the left hand glove. I pulled it out and it was a beautiful platinum band with a trillion cut diamond. Hubby had designed it himself and it was the most amazing ring I had ever seen. I was a bit stunned at first, because in all honesty I had no clue what was happening (we had never even talked about getting married) and as Hubby stumbled over his words it hit me.

Here we are back at my friend's house.

Of course, I said yes, and we were married 6 months later. Here is one of our official engagement photos:We had a beautiful ceremony on the college campus in what is affectionately called "The Pit". haha! It was HOT - I think the official temp was over 100 degrees! But it was a wonderful day regardless.
As soon as we kissed and were announced, the rain started. It drizzled during group photos and then as soon as we got in the cars to head to the reception, the bottom fell out! A torrential downpour followed us all the way to the reception and cleared up just as we were getting out of the car.
I wish I had a better shot of my dress. It was sooo beautiful! If I could still fit into it I would take it out and have Hubby photograph it for me. *sigh*

Um, can you say, YUMMY?!? Mercy! ;)

So, it has been 8 years of marriage, but 12 years of togetherness. I am so thankful for my Hubby and all he has been to me. He is my best friend, a wonderful husband and father and my saving grace in this world. I thank God for him every day.

Hubby, I love you and I look forward to many, many more years of adventure and love. Thank you for warming my hands that day, and for the rest of my life.


D :)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ave Maria

Wow, is it really only Thursday? I feel like it should be the end of a very busy week. Hmm, well I guess it is really just the Thursday of a very busy week.

I have been busy, busy. As I stated in my previous post, one of our cars is yet again out of commission and even though Hubby has been able to ride the bike most days this week, only having one working vehicle just makes things all the more difficult. We somewhat hastily decided that maybe now was the time to look for a new-to-us car to replace one of our ailing modes and in true Hubby fashion he focused on nothing else for the past few days. To make matters more interesting, he elicited the help of Happy, and between the two of them they had found the vehicle for us in a matter of days. So, by weekend's end we should have our new-to-us vehicle sitting proudly in the driveway.

I had two photo shoots this week. Thankfully the one scheduled for Tuesday happened as planned and was absolutely wonderful! The little girl I had the pleasure of photographing was a dream; full of smiles and just a joy to be around. She had the most awesome attitude about the whole thing, and never once got upset at the heat or the constant clicking of that annoying black box in her face. My neighbor watched the Kiddo for me while on the shoot, and in return I watched her Kiddos for the rest of the day. Now THAT makes for a long, long day my friends. I don't know how you mommies of 3 or more do it. I bow down to your awesomeness.

Wednesday was a day of running errands and rest, and ended with a girl's night out complete with Kiddo and my friend's 4 year old daughter. Isn't GNO supposed to be kid free??? Ah well, it was still the highlight of my day. The kids behaved well and I got to eat out and enjoy adult conversation for an hour. Thank you K, for treating me to a nice dinner out.

And today was photo shoot number two. This one was like no other. My aforementioned dear friend K is now gainfully employed at what I consider to be a truly God given blessing of an organization, the Annunciation Maternity Home. K had asked me a few weeks ago if I would be interested in donating my talents (aww shucks) to AMH to update their photographs for their website and information brochures. I wasn't exactly sure what would be involved, or really even exactly what the home was, but agreed to do it and headed out there this morning bright and early.

I have to say I am so amazed with this place. It is just a wonderful organization and after meeting the girls and the staff my heart warms at the thought of all the good they do.

I don't know what it is about photographing people. In day to day encounters I don't often recognize the beauty in the individuals I meet. But if I get them in front of my lens, I am consistently blown away at the beauty I see. Each one of the young women I photographed today was truly stunning, and they simply came alive with each click of the shutter. I saw the love they received at the home, the sense of knowing they had a warm bed and a safe haven. And in their eyes I could also see the wisdom that comes with being forced to grow up so young, the heartache and fear they once experienced, and my heart ached for them. But I left there with the knowledge that if there ever was a chance for them to be set back into the world with the tools and confidence they needed to really make it, they were going to be just fine. I knew that being in that facility was the absolute best thing for them, and they would be better, more productive individuals for it.

I couldn't wait to look at the images when I got home, and have been pouring over them again and again ever since. I hope my friend K is happy with my work, as I am so very thankful for hers.

D :)

Monday, June 04, 2007


Ahem. Well, I have been specifically told by certain people (who shall remain nameless) that I absolutely must update my blog today, because, as they said, it's been 4 whole days. So here I am. How've you been?

I am a bit at a loss today. I have no transportation today and lots to do this week. Our stupid car is out of commission yet again, and though it is an easy repair (to the tune of about $100 bucks) it still requires stopping all driving of the vehicle until the part comes in and Hubby gets around to fixing it. And, because of the weather being so iffy today, Hubby took my car to work instead of risking getting caught in a downpour while riding the motorcycle. And while I understand, appreciate and encourage his concern for safety, it still puts a kink in my plans.

I also have a photo shoot scheduled for tomorrow, and even though we had a beautiful morning, the sky is now quickly going dark and the rain is coming in big-ol'-Texas sized drops. The thunder is rumbling in the distance. The ground will be wet tomorrow. I suppose I should bump the shoot. crud.

On the potty training front, Kiddo has pretty much abruptly stopped all potty related activity. I can still get him to go after a shower, but I can forget asking him any other time of day. That question is consistently responded to with "NO!". One step forward, two steps...

I was forced to use a suppository on the Kiddo on Saturday. What a wild ride that was. He was not a happy camper. He spent all morning crying and straining and trying to poop without pooping (meaning his body was telling him to do it, but he didn't want to) and by that afternoon I'd had enough. 15 minutes later it was all over with and we all felt much better. I have to say though, even though I felt really bad for him [warning: bad mommy moment coming] it really was quite hysterical watching him trying to get away from his own hiney after I put the suppository in! Bless his heart, he didn't know what was going on. How do you explain that kind of thing to a 2 year old?

I am really liking the pool on our back deck. Yesterday I needed something to occupy Kiddo for a bit while I chilled out and I put him in it. The mosquitoes were a nightmare, but setting up the oscillating fan on the deck seemed to help matters. Hubby even joined Kiddo in the pool after he did some yard work and they had great fun together. I was going to take some pictures to share with you all, but, um, it seems that um, Hubby didn't bother with a, um, swimsuit - so I, uh, didn't think it would be appropriate to photograph that rather revealing event! You'll thank me for that one, I assure you.

Heh, I was just telling Hubby last night how it seems we haven't gotten many hail storms this year. Normally by now we've seen quite a few. I hear the pop pop on the skylights as I type. The balls are about golf ball size or bigger. Oh CRAP!

Um, yeah. That piece on the left was 1 1/2 inches in diameter and that was after melting for a few minutes on the hot deck out back. Oh YEAH!

Well, hopefully this random, ping pong of a post was enough to satisfy above mentioned nameless reader. I will try to have more interesting material tomorrow.

Until then,
D :)

Bloggy Bling!

Important Stuff

Business 2 Blogger

Swidget 1.0

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP