Tuesday, December 23, 2008

BoSu Christmas

I thought some of you may enjoying seeing how much fun the people I work/ed with are when we abandon work for a few hours. This is the company Christmas party!
Above: Raj and Terra
Below: (from left to right) Raj, Terra and Jordan

Above: Shea and his girl, Stephanie
Below: The group listening to Dan

Monday, December 15, 2008

Annual Christmas at Stephanie's

On December 6, Stephanie hosted her annual Christmas party. We really appreciate her time and effort for the event. Her parties are always something we look forward to attending. We also have a gift exchange. Mark and I brought a Lowes and a TGIF gift certificate. He walked away with two DVDs and our own TGIF gift card. Here are some shots from the party.Greg, Lance and Mark.Greg and Natalie

Katie (proud new momma), Maxine (Steph's mom) and Alecia (who you can't really see).

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I haven't posting anything super interesting in a long time and it doesn't look like that will change anytime soon. Here's what I know:

  • I started my new job! I'm in my first week and I'm only shadowing. I don't think I'll actually start working for a few weeks. Bummer. It's not really challenging and I wouldn't call it 'rewarding' but when I come home from work, I'm DONE for the day. That feeling is amazing. My stress level has been reduced drastically. Plus the team seems really fun and I like the fact that I know what I have to get completed each day in order to consider it a 'job well done!' I expect it will only get better.
  • My birthday is in 10 days! Count them. I will be 2_? on the first day of winter. Mark said he is surprising me for my birthday/us for Christmas with something...I'll let you know what it is. He says that I will be really, really excited. My only guess is: a pair of tickets to the Brad Paisley concert (I don't think that's right). All I know is that the rendezvous will take place in March and it's north of Austin. AGH! I don't know if I can stand the anticipation.
  • It sleeted here on Tuesday night. That was cool, BUT it snowed at my parents house in League City on Wednesday which is much cooler.
  • There is a pretty big manhunt going on in our neighborhood. That's exciting. Apparently this guy applied for a job at a steak house (near our neighborhood) and instead of getting the job he wanted, he got a busboy position. I don't think he was too happy about that because he went in and shot the manager, killed him. I heard that one of the waitresses ducked behind a table and the gunman said, 'what? did you think I was going to shoot you?' Then he walked out. He's been on the run ever since. They have had dogs, cops and lake patrol searching the forest and lake around our neighborhood for the past four days. Today they said he is either dead or has disappeared from the area. It's kind of strange to have that going on so close to our house. It's sad for the family that lost their dad/brother/husband/son to this guy's temper. I hope they find the killer (dead or alive). It would be nice to know that he's not running around in our backyard.
That's all. In the words of Maximus, 'Are you not entertained?' Maybe I'll have some pictures for the next post. Sorry.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fabulous Five

So, Dez has tagged me to do this fabulous five post. It sounds like fun so I guess I'll oblige her. Thanks for the award, Dez. If I understand correctly, I have to post five things that I'm fabulously addicted to? (I'm probably screwing this whole thing up.) Then, I have to tag five people to do the same; although, I don't think I know five people with blogs.

Here goes:

  1. My Mark. He drives me crazy but I love him. I could probably live without him but it wouldn't be much fun. I have to say I'm fabulously addicted!
  2. Camping. I was born to camp. I don't think I can even remember my first camping trip; I was really young. I love it and poor Mark was suckered into it, thanks to me! WE are fabulously addicted!
  3. Diet Coke. I seriously need to stop. I'll thank Mrs. Ridgeway, formerly known as Kayla Cullers, for that addiction. I am fabulously addicted!
  4. Reading. I go in spurts but when I start, I just can't stop. At least I can argue that it's good for me. I am fabulously addicted!
  5. Popcorn. I'm not really sure where this one came from but lately I have to pop some good ole popcorn around 8 every night. I can't say that this is as good for me as the books and I'm pretty sure it's starting to show on my waistline. Oh well. I'm fabulously addicted...
As you can tell, I'm person of real substance...I wish I had more interesting addictions.

I think I have to tag:
  • My mom
  • My dad (you seriously need to put up another post)
  • Melissa Ferro (I know you have a professional blog. Maybe you can post your five favorite photos that you've ever taken...that's an interesting twist)
  • Rachel Bull (I'm not sure if you even read my blog, but I read yours...)
  • You, if not named above. If you read my blog and have your own, do this post and let me know about your blog so I can read it! PLEASE.
Thank you and goodnight.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving Challenge: Day 5

I didn't forget. I have been terribly busy. I guess I can say that I'm thankful for everything. We had a great Thanksgiving! My parents came up to spend the evening with Mark and me (happy, mom? I changed it!) and his family. Mark's mom and granny cooked the dinner. Mom and I made deviled eggs, she made pies and I made green bean casserole and cornbread.

I'm also thankful that my friend, Stephanie introduced me to the Twilight series. I'm reading the final book, Breaking Dawn. I'm trying to finish the series before I start my new job next week. That shouldn't be difficult, considering I have finished each book within a 24 hour period. (Sorry, Mark! I should be done soon :) )

Mark had a birthday on Saturday! He's the big 26 and for another 19 days he can refer to me as his younger wife...

On a more solemn note, I would like to ask for any of you who stumble upon my blog and read this to keep Mark's mom in your prayers. The family could really use the Lord's help right now.

I hope you all had a very fun, family-filled Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Challenge: Day 6

Hey, you have to be Thankful for the small things. My friend gave me this recipe. I'm thankful for it among many others. It's nice to be able to feed my husband well.

1 Package of frozen hash brown (see freezer section of the grocery store)
1 tub of sour cream (medium size works nice)
1 yellow onion diced
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 stick of melted butter

Mix all of the above together in a large bowl.

Next, crumble some potato chips (sourcream and onion works well but anything will do) on top and cover with foil.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 30 min (covered with foil) and 30 min without the foil. It's delicious but it makes a huge serving so I hope you: a) like leftovers or b) are having friends over for dinner!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Challenge: Day 5

I bet I can guess what you're most thankful for...the day this Thanksgiving Challenge ends.

Well, you've got three more days, counting today.

I started decorating for Christmas yesterday. This is something that is traditionally saved for Thanksgiving day but I couldn't wait. For the past three years, I have been unable to decorate for Christmas. Why? I was moving every single Christmas.

So this year, I was a little more anxious than normal. It is the first time we've had a chance to decorate our new home for the season. And that my friends, is something that I am thankful for: my new house and the chance to decorate it. I feel like Mark and I are finally getting a chance to create our traditions!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving Challenge: Day 4

My dogs. I know it's silly. They are only dogs but they are very special to me.

Pepper was gift from an ex. I was able to keep her after we broke up. She helped me overcome that break-up and a few bad dating experiences before I found Mark, who she immediately fell in love with. You can tell a lot by the way your dog reacts to a person. She was also there when my best friend moved away our senior year of college. She's seen me through about six moves and has been a trooper. She was an apartment dog when she needed to be and loves her new backyard (now that we own a home). I never thought I could be so attached to an animal.

Clyde was purchased by me for Mark. Mark fell in love with Clyde when he accompanied me to PetSmart to get the Pepper food. Clyde had to stay with me until Mark moved out of his parents house and into his friends' house. Therefore, I had the pleasure of housebreaking the wonder mutt. Clyde has a unique way of entertaining us. He is very intelligent but I swear he pretends that he doesn't have clue what is going on. It's funny to watch his act. He also has the most amazing Frisbee skills. He can jump incredibly high and makes the cutest squeaking noise when you don't throw the Frisbee fast enough. I'm not sure what we would do without Clyde. He's a sweetheart.

I'm thankful that both of these fleabags nuzzled their way into our lives. (P.S. If you want a hilarious account of what it's like to love your animal read Marley & Me. The movie comes out on Christmas Eve or Day...can't remember...but the book is laugh out loud hilarious.)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving Challenge: Day 3

I have to thank our friends, new and old. I'm not going to name you because it would take all day, but you know who you are.

I am thankful that our friends do not add to the drama in our life. They are there to support us through it. I never doubt that we can call on you in an emergency (or even a non-emergency) and I hope you know you can do the same.

There is never a shortage of good times when you have friends like Mark and I. We love you. Thank you.

Here are some pics of some of our friends. To those of you not included, a lot of my pictures got wiped out when my CPU crashed a year ago. I'm sorry but I hold you in my heart not on a website.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving Challenge: Day 2

My family! I thank God and I thank you.
I can honestly say that there has never been a day when I didn't feel loved. From the time I was born, I was showered with hugs, kisses and encouragement. My parents and brother have always supported me. They were there when I needed them and there when I didn't think I needed them ;). My parents have always guided me well, but they allowed me to be myself. My brother has been my best friend for close to 23 years.

I was also blessed to have an extremely close relationship with my grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins. Shout out now, to the newest member of the family! My cousin and her husband just had a son. We have shared vacations, laughter, tears of joy and sorrow and we are each stronger individuals because of each other.

I am lucky to say that I now have in-laws that are wonderful. They have welcomed me into their lives with enthusiasm. Marks mom, dad, siblings, grandparents and aunts and uncles have treated me as no less than family since the first time I met each of them (when Mark and I were ONLY dating).
I love you all! Thank you!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanksgiving Challenge: Day 1

Do you give thanks everyday? I'll be the first to admit that there are days that drag me down, days that I can't do anything but complain, but I like to think that I do a pretty good job of appreciating the people, things, opportunities, etc. that are in my life. That being said, I am challenging myself to a week of thanksgiving. I encourage you to do the same. We can thank God or we can thank other people but I think it is important to acknowledge reasons for giving thanks every single day (even if it's the waitress that serves your meal at Chili's). Thanks is free so you can give it out as often as you like!

Day 1:

I am thankful for my husband, Mark. As my best friend and partner in crime life, he has made me exceptionally happy and proud to be his wife. I swear the man never gets mad. He's a great listener, chef, housekeeper, launderer, bread winner, grocery shopper (b/c I get severe anxiety in the grocery store), friend, secret keeper and antagonist (to name a few). Yes, he has learned how to push my buttons. I have finally met my match! It is so nice to have a partner and not just a husband. I hope we continue to share our responsibilities and life together with such enthusiasm and honesty. Funky Bunch, you da man! I love you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Some things are too good to not share...

As I write this blog, I'm sitting on our new sectional sofa! I'm excited because this is the first piece of furniture that Mark and I have purchased as a married couple. I'm thankful that every piece of furniture that we own was a gift or a hand-me-down from our parents, friends and/or other family. Mark and I did not buy a home and rush to fill it up with 'things.' Instead, we took my parents advice and are slowly acquiring furniture and decorations as we move through our life together. In the meantime, we have an empty bedroom, bare walls and curtain-less windows. It does force us to take our time and purchase things that we know we will enjoy for years to come and it helps us to appreciate working for those things.

Why did we get the couch? Mark and I made a deal with one another. I quit my job last Thursday (or rather put in my notice) and Mark said if I could get another job before December 1st then we could get the awesome sofa we found on sale at Rooms2Go. Well, yesterday I went to a job interview and got the job! I will be working at Wells Fargo! This was a record setting job search. I have never been able to get a job in a matter of days. I think the average time it takes to get a new job is 3 months (don't quote me on that). So, here I sit working on my transition tasks for my current employer (yes, I took this break to blog) on our beautiful and comfy new sofa.

I would also like to share that Mark was promoted this week and will now be responsible for leading his own sales team of two. To top it off, he has obtained the head JV lacrosse coaching job at his high school alma mater, Anderson High. Congratulations, baby! I'm proud of you. Go Trojans!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chicago Part Four: The Grand Finale (October 25, 2008)

I've kept you in suspense long enough...

Day 4 in Chicago was a somewhat relaxing day. We didn't plan too much; we just finished seeing the things we hadn't seen yet. First up, the Chicago Art Institute.  Most of the exhibits were closed so we only saw Early European Art, Impressionists, some Asian sculptures and one Georgia O'Keefe (who I love). I was disappointed that we didn't get to see much American art but it was interesting nonetheless. 

Then we were off to the Chicago History Museum. It was one of the best museums we saw. We played a lot (see pictures). We saw the bed Lincoln died in, the history of the Chicago fire and some history of cultural mix in Chicago. I was surprised that there was very little information on the gang history of Chicago.

Below is the bed Lincoln passed away in after being shot. He was too tall to fit in the bed so he was placed diagonally. Depressing. Sorry. But, it's our history.
The 'hotdog' is a Chicago dog (remember, the one Mark hated).

As you can see, I got to travel back in time ;) .

Last on our list, was Wrigley field. We walked miles to get a picture with this stadium...not sure why but those of you who know me, know I LOVE ME SOME BASEBALL (so it was worth it). On the way to Wrigley we stopped at a restaurant to eat a pizza pot pie... weird I know but delicious!

After Wrigley Field, we went back to the hotel to rest for a few minutes. Then we were off to Navy Pier which was nice but uneventful. For dinner, we ate at the famous Billy Goat Tavern (from Saturday Night Live). Don't worry...nobody but but my mom seems to know what I'm talking about.  

After dinner, we went back to Wrigelyville for happy hour. Around 2 a.m. (yes we stayed up that late), we went to Wiener Circle (per Mark's friends Jordan's demand) and had some fries. Weiner Circle was strange. They encourage you to yell at them to 'Make me some food *insert explicative*.' To which they reply, 'Tip me you *insert explicative*.' It was both funny and crude.

I hated to leave (as you can see below). That's me on the train on the way to the airport (yay for $2 rides to the airport)!
 Mark and I both agree that we could live in Chicago. It was an awesome city!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Texas Tech 39-University of Texas 33

I hope you watched the game yesterday. If not, you can catch some great highlights on ESPN. How 'bout them Raiders?!? Yesterday's game was the epitome of what it means to Wreck 'em Tech. I hope we keep it up for the next three games. (P.S. That guy from Walgreens ate his words.)

Who's up next?
  • OSU
  • OU
  • Baylor

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tech vs. UT

Okay. I'm all for a little friendly rivalry but the problem with living in Austin on days like today is the non-alumni fans that run their mouths to total strangers. Mind you, I have some friends that did not attend UT that like to talk friendly trash to me but they do it with good intentions to 'get my goat.'

I went to Walgreens to pick up some diet coke and potato chips and some random guy (that by my best assessment, did not attend UT) decided to tell me: "It's going to be a long night for you." And, "At least you wore your hat." Note: by hat he meant my Tech Alumni shirt.

I paid good money to be able to, in his words, 'wear my hat.' I wear it proudly because I love Tech! I don't know if the Raiders will win today but I know that Leach and the boys have worked hard to get here and we are finally getting some well-deserved recognition for that work. If we lose, they have properly ranked the teams this year. If we win, that jack-ass will have to eat his smug words!

My reaction to this guy. Nothing but a smile because I know something he doesn't know...given he attended neither school. WRECK 'EM TECH!!!!

In the words of Bob Knight, "I deeply hope we beat their asses today!" Thank you, General. I hope we do too!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chicago Part Three: Architectural Review (October 24, 2008)

On to Friday. Mark and I set up the perfect architectural tour day. Although the plan deviated a bit, we really enjoyed the day.

We ate breakfast at the Artist's Cafe which is on S. Michigan. It was delicious! I had a mad craving for pancakes and I got my fix. We hustled a bit because we had to catch the boat for our architectural river tour. On the tour, we learned a little bit about the buildings and the city's history. For example, this building has it's own zip code:Al Capone used to dine in the restaurant on the spire of this building:
Did you know: They reversed the flow of the river in Chicago? The river was the sewage system for the city at the time but it flowed into Lake Michigan, which was their source of drinking water. Some 30% of the population died from drinking tainted drinking water so Chicago dug the river deeper and wider causing the river to flow the opposite direction and into St. Louis. St. Louis sued Chicago in federal court but lost.

Next we went to the John Hancock building (we heard it had a better view of the city and it was true). Here is the view. They even let me wash the windows for them! As you can imagine, it was quite nerve wrecking to be that high in the air...
On our way to catch the train for what was supposed to be our next adventure (Frank Lloyd Wright's home), we stopped to eat a Chicago Hot Dog. What makes a Chicago dog different from another? A bun covered in poppy seeds, mustard (NEVER ketchup), neon green relish, a tomato slice, a dill pickle (inside the bun)...I think that's it. Anyway, I liked it. Mark hated it. What can you do?

We didn't get to go to Mr. Wright's house. The last tour started at 3 p.m. and we didn't get to the train until 2:30. Ooops! No worries. We went to the Sears Tower instead.

Interesting history but overall rather anti-climactic. Here are the pictures.

The rest of the evening was spent wandering around the city and stopping into interesting bars/restaurants which consisted of mainly Irish Pubs. We did happened to find a place where they played beerpong at the bar! I think TABC would have fit if we did that here but it was pretty fun to watch.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chicago Part Two: Museums Galore (October 23, 2008)

We woke up at 7 a.m. on Thursday. Again, not sure why. Our timing was off the whole trip. I guess we were just really excited to do EVERYTHING! My plan was to go purchase our Chicago GoCards which allow us access to most of the museums, tours and give discounts to restaurants and gift shops. I wasn't thinking about the fact that the store that sold them didn't open until 10 a.m. After this discovery, we spent 8 - 10 a.m. wondering around Grant Park. I'm glad we did; we saw some interesting artwork.

Let's back track for a second to breakfast (we'll discuss artwork next). Mark and I made a stop at Dunkin Donuts before starting our big adventure for the day. After picking up our donuts, we decided to walk across the street to some park benches to eat. There was barely room to stand in Dunkin, so eating inside was out of the question. As we approached the crosswalk, a bum walked right up to Mark. This is the 'conversation' they had:

Bum: 'Gimme that bag.'
Mark: 'Excuse me.'
Bum: ' I said, Gimme that bag.'
Mark: 'I'm afraid I can't do that.'
Bum: 'Hahahahahahahahahaha'

Can you say crazy?!? I would have gladly bought him a donut but the thing is...he knew we were tourists and he was just seeing how far he could push Mark. Jokes on him. He didn't know how much Mark likes his donuts. The bum never stood a chance.

Back to the artwork in Grant Park. I can't remember who commissioned the series, but the artists were asked to produce art from used car parts and other mechanical pieces. The first picture is Mark sitting on a park bench made of car windows and the second is a jumble of car exhaust pipes.
After picking up our GoCards (I highly recommend these...you can get them in most major cities), we went to the Natural History Museum. There were a lot of really cool exhibits but they are famous for having the most complete T-Rex Skeleton. It is over 90% complete. Its head is so heavy (600lbs...i think) that they had to make a replica for the skeleton and display the real skull in a glass box.
Mark had to start a fight with the statue in the museum.
Next up was Shedd Aquarium. Mark and I agreed that this was the worst aquarium we had ever seen but the Dolphin and Shark exhibits were closed and we all know the only reason you go to an aquarium is to see sharks, whales, dolphins or seals (of which, they had none). LAME.

So we left the aquarium in a record 30 minutes and hopped a cab to the Science and Industry Museum. This was one of the coolest museums we saw. Mark played Godzilla in the replica of Chicago (can you see him?) and I drove a submarine!

When we were finished playing (yes, playing. we are both kids at heart and we aim to stay that way) at the Science and Industry museum, we took a cab back to our hotel, rested for a few minutes and took off to find a restaurant. Let me be clear that we did not plan our dining experiences in advance so we simply wandered around the city until we found something that looked interesting. What we found was Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse. It was neat (everyone loves Harry Caray) but the dinner was overpriced, the atmosphere was touristy and Mark's steak was far from being Texas quality. Still, we enjoyed it.

We were much too tired to take on anything else...we walked ALOT! We were back at the hotel by 8 p.m. to call it a night.

I know, I know. Who's LAME now?

Click here to look at more pictures from Thursday of our trip.