SP and I found ourselves asking this question to each other, very abruptly at 4 this morning!  The both of us practically froze stiff, scared out of our minds.  We were so asleep, and were woken so quickly to a sound in the kitchen!

See this cup...

When SP said, "What the hell was that?", I knew it was a plastic cup hitting the floor.  But, why now-who's there?!  He grabbed his maglite (b/c it works as both weapon & light!) and headed towards the kitchen, & me, still completely frozen in the bed, staring very intently into the kitchen.   At that hour of the night, a cup falling just doesn't seem right.  So he searched around and finally saw this cup had fallen off the bar!  But the tricky part is that it landed straight up!  So not only did it fall from bar height, in the middle of the night, but it landed STRAIGHT UP!  Like this...

Completely baffled and fully awake at this point (but still frozen in the bed of course!) I notice the heat was on.  The only thing I can think of, shy of a ghost or someone was in our house, is that the heat kicking on blew it in just the most inappropriate way to where it caused it to fall.  Of course, we played around with lightly tapping it off the counter this morning to see if we could make it stand up like this.  No such luck.  Why did we even try!

It took us FOREVER go to back to sleep.  By about 4:45am I began to hear the big FedEx planes flying over head and I started dreaming of all the Christmas presents they were delivering and where they all might have come from.

We will NEVER leave an empty plastic cup up there, that close to the edge again!!  Man it completely freaked us out!  And, it's not our cup!  I had it there to give back to my neighbor!  HOLLIE!!!!  Come get your haunted cup :))


Happy 63rd Birthday, Dad!

December 14th is my Dad's birthday!  This past week, my mom came up with the idea for the 3 of us to make a little video for my dad.  They were getting together at his favorite restaurant in Bentonville with their group of friends.  She had the idea for us to each record a video message to him as a surprise to play for him at their gathering.

Sean and I had a little, ok who am I kidding...A LOT of fun with this!  We have watched this 10 times and crack up at ourselves every time.

Oh, and please excuse my double chin, ha!

Happy Happy Birthday, Dad!  I love you so much and love that my husband does, too :)

It's Almost Christmas!

I can't believe this is the week before Christmas already!  Where does the time go?!  This I will never know.  I can remember being a little girl and thinking Christmas was never going to get here, and now...I can't slow it down enough!  By the time we actually get our tree up and gifts wrapped, it's practically time to take it down.  If only we could figure out a way to stop time, just sometimes :)

I haven't blogged in a while b/c we have been busy with getting news about my dad, holiday parties, shopping for gifts, and even relaxing a little :)

These past few weeks, we've...

1.  Hosted my parents for several nights as a pit stop to and from Houston.  We had lots of fun and one night they helped decorate our Christmas tree :)  My dad also decided SP and I needed a fire pit (I mentioned wanting one) so he got us one for Christmas.  It came to our house while they were still staying here, so they were able to put it together!

2.  Were guests at a holiday dinner party with a few couples that SP works with.  We had cocktails and appetizers at The Cotton's house first, then headed to Pappadeaux's for some yummy seafood!

3.  Attended a Christmas party with the Chicago Bears football watching crew.  Every Sunday during football season, SP, Jack and I head up to Dublin Square to cheer on the Bears.  One couple, Nick and Stephanie, always have a huge holiday party at their house.  It is one we typically have way.too.much. fun at.  Needless to say, this year was no different.  We didn't make it home until four a.m.  Yes.  You read that correctly, 4am.  We had a great time and even, somehow, made it to the Bears game at noon the next day!

4.  Spent a week recovering from the above party.

5.  Made pepper jelly from the peppers out of our garden!

6.  Got ELFED!  It's a fun little neighborhood game.  Our neighbors elfed us, which means they leave you a small gift, a note, and an elf.  You are supposed to in return do the same for 2 new people, and also place your elf somewhere to be seen so you don't get elfed again!  So fun to figure out who might have elfed you :)

7.  Had SPs Ebby Halliday Christmas party at the Trophy Club Country Club.

8.  Made our Christmas cards and got them in the mail :)

9.  Made homemade pizza.

10.  Wrapped lots of gifts.  I chose to wrap my gifts in newspaper.  I can remember my grandmother always wrapping our gifts in the Sunday comics.  I have to say, other than the black getting all over your hands, I think she was on to something.  It wraps so well.  The corners and everything turn out perfect!  Well done, Maw-Maw.

11.  Had Fire-pit Friday with the neighbors this past weekend.  We have coined this phrase for our neighborhood Friday nights :)  We sit out front, watch the kids play, drink holiday beverages, and warm up by the fire!!  It has become one of my favorite evenings.  This past Friday, we used our new fire-pit!  It looks so pretty all lit up.  And we made the best red beans and rice ever, followed by a few vodka shots w/ pickles :)  It was a lot of fun, the only downside is that we all still smell like that fire-pit smoke!

12.  Ever heard the term "...hair of the dog that bit me"?  That's exactly what we did on Saturday.  It was a perfect day outside!  We cooked a yummy, proper Saturday breakfast of eggs over easy and hash browns.  Then, we refused to let those vodka shots keep us indoors, so...we grabbed a beer (hair of the dog!), some tunes, and enjoyed our afternoon in the sunshine planting plants and hanging out with a few neighbors again :)

13.  Sunday...you guessed it...BEARS GAME!  We woke up Sunday feeling great!  Had an amazing, lazy, Sunday morning.  Then made it to the bar for the game by noon!  We stayed until SEVEN!  Oh my!  It was another perfect day full of football, beer, friends, and corn-hole :)

14.  Today, is Monday.  Can I go back to bed :)

We leave for Arkansas on Friday.  Always look forward to another trip to the mountain :)  Hope you have a perfect holiday!



Bikram Yoga - Columbia, SC

My dear friend from grad school contacted me a few months ago about starting her own Bikram Yoga studio in Columbia, SC.  She asked if I could help design her logo for her new studio!  I jumped at the opportunity.  Lacy and I went back and forth no less than 10 million times over text and email to get her design exactly how she wanted it.  It was so much fun working with her!  I am so proud of her accomplishment and know she will go far doing what she loves best...sweaty, hot, Bikram Yoga!

This is her main logo

Business Card - front

Business Card - back

This was such a fun project.  She started showing me this design printed on all sorts of things from car decals, temporary tattoos, t-shirts.  Pretty cool to know my designs are being shown off all over my grad school town of Columbia :)  

Thanks Lacy for the support!
OH, and if you live in Columbia and want to try Bikram, go see Lacy!  She rocks!!!


I've Got a Feeling...

The reason I'm so happy?  There is a PLAN!  We have a plan!  My dad has a plan!

Surgery will not be this Monday, but there is a plan and all signs are good!
Now on to a good nutritional plan to get him ready for his major surgery to get that tumor OUT OF HIS BODY!

God is good!

A Sign from God

One evening while in Arkansas (I just spent 2 weeks there), my parents had both gone to bed.  I was left sitting downstairs in a quiet, dark, fire lit living room.  I thought I was going to watch more TV, but when I glanced to my right, nestled down in a pile Christmas magazines was a little, leather bound, One-Minute Devotional book.

I decided I'd glance inside to see what it was all about.  The bookmark was already on the devotion for that particular day.  It went something like this...

That second paragraph.  The one that starts with "If we trust in the Lord completely,"...it struck a chord in me.  Probably because of all my family is currently dealing with through my dad having Pancreatic Cancer.  It spoke to me in a powerful way.  Then, when I got to the end and noticed there was a prayer to follow...that was such a blessing to me at that moment.

After reading it, I decided I should follow suit and head off to bed :)  The next morning, I told my mom that I loved her devotional book.  She expressed to me how she loved it too and even bought one for my Uncle Jim as a gift.

Later that afternoon, my mom and I found ourselves in the Christian bookstore.  We were looking for something special to give to my dad.  Something for a little extra spiritual guidance along his journey.

I found the devotional books and started looking for the exact copy of what my mom has.  She looked with me, and after quite a while, we decided they didn't have it.  We began walking away from the aisle, when my mom went in for one more grab on the shelf...only to find the ONLY copy left of this exact book!  It was a little ruffled, with a torn page.  It was not brand new looking.  We asked if they had another in the store.  They did not.  At that moment, my mom looked at me and said, "This is your copy.  You are meant to have it.  I think I have to buy this for you.  This book was left there for you."

It's these little moments that allow us to keep on believing, hoping, and trusting in Him through this unfortunate journey we are on with my dad's illness.

Keep on believing.  And always trust in Him.  He will carry my dad to good health, I just know it.


Kill That Bird!!!

This morning, I was quietly enjoying my cup of coffee, the fire, and a little design work. I was all cozy in my dad's recliner.

A bird starts to chirp. At first I thought it was nice. But, it kept going. Very consistent and very loud. So loud I kept thinking it was in the house.

I got to the point where I was saying to myself, "I want to kill that BIRD!!!". I am not real good at tuning things out.

An hour passes, and this bird is still going strong! My dad comes downstairs and starts cleaning up the kitchen. He soon hears the bird.

He asked me rather abruptly if that bird has been chirping like that for a while. I quickly respond, "YES! I'm about to kill it! Does he do this often?" (Thinking he must have experienced the feeling of wanting to kill it too!!). He looks at me and says, "oh that's just the fake bird in the plant behind you letting me know it needs water."

The plant needed water.
The. Plant. Needed. WATER!
That damn fake bird!!!


My Extended Thanksgiving

Hi you,

Happy belated Thanksgiving. Mine was as tasty as salted caramel sorbet, yours?

SP and I arrived at The Escarpment late Monday...DC bunch came on Tuesday...Adam came Wednesday...and other folks trickled in and out throughout the rest of the week. We had the best time eating, drinking, chatting, and just being cozy. By the fire!

We ate tortilla soup, marinated crab claws, the traditional holiday staples, turkey chili, venison, jalapenõ poppers, spinach artichoke dip, roasted chicken, dirty rice, and cracklins! Whew! Oh, and pecan pie, pumpkin butternut squash bread pudding, salted caramel sorbet, and apple pie.

LSU played Arkansas on Friday. An hour before kick-off, I looked outside and realized my Uncle Jim and Suzanne had just driven in from Shreveport to surprise us for the game! It was awesome to see them. Oh, and the Tigers won!!

Our favorite little buddy was just the cutest! He has a definite attachment to his mommy right now. If you come near him when she's around he will stick his hand out and tell you "No!", before you can even say the word hello! Ha!

I decided to stay on the mountain an extra week to lend a hand. My parents are packing up to head to Houston on Saturday. Well, to Ft. Worth on Sat then Houston on Tuesday. I sent Sean on his way yesterday, and I will catch a ride to TX with them. They are spending a few nights with us before Houston. I look forward to putting up our Christmas tree this weekend all together.

Below are some pictures of our time together in Arkansas. I am so thankful for this awesome group of people I am proud to call my family. We are all staying hopeful and praying hard that my dad will indeed get to have surgery on 12-10-12.

Table set for 15!


First Attempt at Vinyasa...O.M.G.

Yesterday morning, I was in my Yin yoga class.  This is a class where you hold each pose for 4-5 minutes.  It's not easy and I often think the instructor has completely forgotten about us yogis stretched out in some pigeon like pose on our mats.  It takes a lot of willpower to not internally shout profanities at her for keeping us here!  

Pigeon pose.  Real comfy ://

Anyway, that's neither here nor there.  It is what it is, and I just try my best to mentally stay focused and concentrate on my inhale and exhale, rather than the fact that my knee cap just might pop out of place!

I have been going to yoga every morning at 9am (except Saturday and Sunday of course!).  I have done Gental yoga, Yin yoga, and Iyengar-Inspired yoga (not sure, something about really learning the poses in combination with breathing).

I have been lucky to get my same comfort zone spot in each class.  There is usually a much older man who practices right behind me.  We have talked a few times and he knows I am new to the practice.

Yesterday, after Yin, he asks if I'm going to be at Vinyasa tomorrow morning (i.e. Friday-today).  Let me preface this by saying Vinyasa is the practice that when talked about, people do one of those "ha! yea right!".  So needless to say, considering this is all so new to me, I've done the "ha, yea right!" about visiting this particular class.  This man convinced me to show up, saying that I will be fine and everyone goes at their own pace anyway.  And, I think he was secretly looking forward to someone else having to sit out of the head / hand stand portion of the class with him :)  So I went.  I think 10 minutes into it my arms were already shaking.  This is the move we did over and over and over and over....and over again!  For an hour and fifteen minutes!!

And this is supposed to be one fluid motion, each move comes with an inhale or exhale.  Ouch is all I have to say!  Obviously there were other poses involved, but this sun salutation was killer (and her favorite!)!!!

I survived.  And was thrilled when we were able to relax into Shavasana.  But it definitely took it out of me and I will probably have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, ha!


Actual Birthday

11.12 (i.e. yesterday) was my real birthday.  We celebrated so much over the weekend, I was pretty wiped and didn't want to do much on Monday.  With the party on Saturday, football watching on Sunday, I was one tired birthday girl!

It was a fabulous day, sleepy eyed and all :)  I woke up and headed straight to yoga which is exactly what I needed.  When I got home, my boss gave me the day off :)  I love that guy so much.  So, I cleaned a little and laid around a lot.  It was bliss!

Anything I wanted all day, SP got it for me.  A cup of hot tea, lunch, etc.  He prepared it for me.  Definitely took the wine and dine seriously, and that was OK by me!

SP and I have a problem with gifts.  Except for Christmas, we ALWAYS open things early!  It's very weird b/c normally I can wait and want to wait until the actual day, but something about his gifting anxieties abilities, just keep me from being able to wait!  He has the WORST gift anxiety out of anyone I've ever known.  Rather than make HIM suffer thinking he didn't get me something I am going to like, I always cave and decide to put him out of his misery early and open my gift!  So, Sunday afternoon he was stirring.  I could tell he was nervous.  So with that, he brought out my gift.  
Side note: When he proposed, the ring was placed in a silver Nordstroms shoe box to throw me off.  My birthday gift on Sunday was in a much larger Nordstroms silver box.  He made sure before I pulled the tissue back this time to let me know that it was NOT another diamond ring, ha!
Anyway!  He bought me this beauty!!!

And with a gift from SP, there is always more to tell.  He actually picked this one out, but then changed his mind at the last minute, to a black nylon bag.  I loved it...I did.  BUT, the bag I have carried for the last 4 years has been black nylon (the Longchamp Le Pliage).  So I just wanted something different.  So  we went back and got this choice instead.  I am so in love with it.  And to quote one of my bestest friends, Erin, "That looks yummy!".  And it is just that...yummy!!

At 7 o'clock we had dinner reservations at Truluck's in Southlake.  It was soooo delicious!

SP's cioppino

Pan-Seared SeaBass with Parmesan and Garlic Mashed Potatoes...YUM!

After dinner, we headed to my in-laws house for delicious turtle cheesecake SP surprised me with!  Yes, I realize there is a delicious dessert in the picture, but I only ate one bite.  So I was still able to indulge in the cheesecake SP bought for me :)

It was a perfect birthday!  I was ready to crawl in bed by 9:45 last night.  I thought I was watching TV, but when I woke up this morning, SP was quick to show me that my TV watching in bed didn't get very far...

Happy Birthday to me :)  

30 + 1

Monday was my birthday, 31!  Wow, can't believe I am now officially in my 30s!  So far it's been great and I have no complaints :)

SP and I had a few friends over Saturday night.  It was supposed to be an afternoon party in the yard playing washers, cooking, and drinking...but with too many cancelations the day before, we ended up with a smaller, more intimate group of really close friends :)

We woke up Saturday prepared to spend all day cooking jambalaya from Donald Link's cookbook, The Real Cajun.  Y'all, this cookbook is something serious.  My parents gifted us a signed copy a few years ago.  It has quickly become SP's favorite by far. That said, we have yet to perfect this so called jambalaya.  It was a fun day of cooking none the less.  We started with a bacon, egg, and cheese homemade sandwich, some Hawaiian coffee, and OJ.  Then we moved straight into the real cooking, with a bottle of champagne to accompany!  You see, when you are from Louisiana, you just can't cook...like I mean, realllllly cook, without having some sort of drink in your hand.  I'm telling you, it just doesn't fly where I'm from!  So, drinks flowing, music on, windows open, cast iron skillet hot and ready!  It.  was.  awesome :)

Roasted chicken, soon to be picked off the bone and added to the pot!
Friends showed up around 6 for some food, drinks, and the LSU kickoff!  SP and I love to entertain and don't get the opportunity to have friends over often b/c of everyones busy schedules.  So we really enjoyed it.  I made some artichoke balls for an appetizer that turned out awesome.  I knew they must be good when they come from a recipe page that looked this seasoned...

One of my mother's cookbooks - Cotton Country
Later on, with full bellies, we went to Bronson Rock in Keller for the remainder of the evening.  I was able to finish watching LSU (they WON! against Miss St) and enjoy time with friends :)

I had lots of fun and was so glad for the friends I have that came :)

Week on The Escarpment

This post is 2 weeks old, but better late than never!
I got to spend 7 whole nights under my parents roof :)  It was a great week followed by an even better weekend!  SP flew in early Friday morning and my brother Adam drove in late Friday night.  Our goal was to get as many members of our Tiger Team in one spot for the big Bama game on Saturday.

We started our weekend off with fried catfish for lunch, followed by some Bayou Magic red beans & rice with andouille and cole slaw.  I am unsure how many bowls of this magic I consumed, but enough :)  It was just so darn good!

SP browning the andouille 
LSU, hot sauce, cajun food.  Doesn't get much better!

Saturday morning my mom made us a yummy, country breakfast!  Peppered ham, biscuits, and a fried egg.

Please ignore the paper plate :)

We got the fire on my dad's Honcho (see picture of his Honcho pit below) ready to slow cook the brisket we had been marinating since Friday night.  The afternoon was spent in pure bliss.  Family, fall, fire pit, cooking, drinking, relaxing...with fear on the brain (typical on a Tiger game day).

An old hot water heater tank that my Uncle Larry helped my dad turn into a pit years ago.  So cool!
You can see the word Honch sautered across the top!
Whisky & Ginger and a fire :)
Loving the time on the mountain!
Dad moving coals.
Do you see the fear in our eyes?!
Our Scared to Death Faces!!!!
Beautiful views all around

He loves being my foot rest :)
Round 2
We were having a little too much fun!
Blow torch to the brisket, ha!
Enjoying our time together under the trees.

Sadly, the Tigers were defeated by Bama, but man it was a great game.  The best we had seem them play all year.  Les, thanks for your tricks that didn't work on the field b/c I'm pretty sure you are why we lost that game :(

Sunday started with a lazy morning, then we got dressed and went to the chapel in the woods.  The one where SP and I said I do! 2 years back :)  My parents have been going there on Sunday mornings for a quiet, prayerful moment.  I was happy to join them.

Sweet moment :)
My dad, brother Adam, mom, and me
Remembering our wedding day
My week on the mountain was awesome.  I look forward to being up there again next week when ALL of our family will be there to celebrate Thanksgiving.  I sure know I have a lot to be thankful for, don't you?