Believe in the sun, even when it's not shining

In love, even when you're alone

In God, even when He is silent.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Our first day of sunshine in what seems like, clear, gosh, it was a gorgeous day and I was in desperate need of one. After being housebound for two days with a daughter that had thick green gunk oozing from her nose and a chest cough that would rival most asthmatics and a husband that threw his back out...well, I felt like I had been set free!

I took Gracie to school for the first time in a week and once we got her out of bed, she was excited to go play with all her friends and, I'm sure, have a brag fest on what everyone got for Christmas. After I fed horses, I waited in line at the post office for 33 minutes to pick up some business mail for Jack. My heavens, I wish I could get those minutes of my life back. Someone is trying to teach me patience. After that, a brief run to Target for the Tarpley Zoo food, cat food, litter.

I came home to Jack meeting with the private insurance adjuster he hired about our damages from Ike. Our insurance company isn't cooperating, so we thought hopefully this guy could help us in arbitration. We'll see...

When he finished with that, we took some things we cleaned out from Grace's closet (to make room for her new loot - I did this a month or so ago, but we discovered more while putting her stuff away) to a local donation place here in Santa Fe.

From there, we went to our favorite Italian spot, Frenchies, by NASA. We split their Tortellini, which for both of us is like Heaven on a plate. Mercy me! That'll be at least an extra 105 miles on the treadmill, but how worth it!

Then, as far as my cowboy is concerned, we entered the Insanity Zone. I had given him a new watch for Christmas and it was nice, but I knew he wouldn't be crazy about it. The one I picked out for him the day I bought it was broke, so of course, they wouldn't sell it to me. This was the day after Thanksgiving, so they had already been picked over, as Mom and I didn't show up at 4 am or whatever crazy time they opened! So, I bought him one so that I would have something under the tree and I knew it would force him to come with me to pick out what he really wanted after Christmas. I was so wrong in thinking that it would be better today than this weekend and maybe it was - but it was still crazy. The nearest parking space might have as well been across the highway and it seemed like everybody in the store was at the watch counter. BUT, we were successful. After a half hour of waiting, he picked a watch out that we both liked and that hopefully, he will enjoy for a long time. In the part that you can see the mechanism, there is a red dot at the center - it's a birthstone. It was just meant to be!

Then, I drug him to The Body Shop (my favorite cranberry bubble bath that they only sell at this time of year was half price and, unfortunately, all gone - but there was no way I was fighting the crowds this weekend) and to Bath and Body Works (my second favorite bubble bath - wild honeysuckle...I bought three bottles and felt like I just scored a pot of gold!) and then, I thought I better not push my luck and got him outta there as fast as I could - so that maybe he'll visit the mall with me at least once more in the next decade!

We picked Grace up, fed horses, and picked up a truck that Jack was having work done on so that he could sell it. After all that, you'd think I would be more than ready to call it a day, but nope! I went and trimmed all of the dead stuff from my plants that either Lexie had eaten or the snow from earlier this month had burnt to a black crispy mess. I watered, cleaned Lady's stall, and watched my daughter frolic in the sunshine. Apparently, I wasn't the only one in need of some rays!

The photo on the sidebar is also from this afternoon - she loves feeding Lexie...even when Lex all but knocks her over. All in all, a great day if I may say so myself!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hope your day was merry and bright...

Hi all!

Well, besides losing May-November when switching over, I like my new blog.

It has been a busy and wonderful last few days...Santa sent me a new computer, so I'm loving typing this! From my hubby and daughter, I also got some new pearl jewelry - a bracelet and earrings of white freshwater pearls that match and a four-strand bracelet of black freshwater pearls that are wonderfully unique. They are all beautiful! I also got a clear star that you put a tealight in and hang - I had been eyeing it at Maas Nursery and, well, you know Santa is always watching...My Dad had given me a new printer last Sunday, so I'm all set up for some great future blogging and photo printing!

Gracie is in Heaven...she got a dollhouse that is as tall as she is, the Tag reading system from LeapFrog, a barbie with a horse that walks by itself, some jewelry from her great aunts that will be saved for when she's a little older, jewelry that she can wear now from her Marmie and Santa, a 25th anniversary edition cabbage patch doll that has red hair and blue eyes just like her, a fancy nancy doll, card games out the belly button (as this is her favorite pasttime besides reading), a Hannah Montana nightgown and Hannah/Mylie barbie dolls, a real acoustic guitar, a watch that she can change out the bands for...and more. And, Popi, she was still screaming around here on her wiggle racer today...that's a gift that keeps on giving!!!

We spent Christmas Eve with Jack's side of the family. Jack's Mom wasn't feeling well, so we kept things short with lunch being ordered from Kelley's and gift opening for Grace and Brooke.
That evening we attended a Christmas party of some good friends of Jack's and Gracie had a hard time falling asleep when we arrived home...she had the beginnings of a cold plus the anticipation of Santa...I didn't think she was ever going to fall asleep, but finally around 11:30, she drifted off. Santa came by around 1:30 after some hurried construction and by 2:30 Gracie was up crying. The poor baby couldn't breathe. She continued waking about every 30 minutes until about 5 when she finally got comfortable or tired enough to sleep until about 9.

the construction part...

We had a wonderful Christmas day with my Dad's sisters, Mom and Dad. We let Grace open her gifts from Santa when she woke up, but saved the rest from us until everyone else arrived. We had Beef Burgundy with a salad and rolls, plus a couple of desserts. We kept it simple since I was gone almost the entire day before, but everyone seemed to enjoy the meal. It was better than Thanksgiving since everyone arrived earlier and we had more time to visit.

an Irish hat from Popi...
Mom, Grace and I tried to go shopping on Friday, but the places were trying to get to were either closed or didn't have what we were looking for. Mom found a couple of treasures, but the trip was more of a bust than not.
Since then, I've been washing china and glassware by hand and trying to find a new home for all of Grace's goodies, but it has been so worth it.
Today has been rainy and yuck. Gracie still has an awful cough, but has been good all day, playing with her new toys and games and making the best of it.
We're awaiting 2009 with open arms...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fun with Daddy

While Mommy was away, Daddy and daughter played...

This was at preschool for her Polar Express Christmas party...they dressed in their pjs, had lots of hot cocoa, exchanged books, and finally had a party with the parents at 3. This smile tells me she had a good day -

Daddy's loading her up on ham and cheese because after this party, they headed to the Swim Academy for cookie decorating...supper of champions!
This is Gracie with one of her teachers, Ms. Liz. You can't tell they like one another much, can ya?!
...and on to the cookie decorating party...they had a surprise when they arrived, as Justin, Karen & Brooke were there, too.
looks like big fun -

How would y'all like some cookie with that icing?!

The joy of accomplishment -
Gracie with her swim coach, Ms. Tobey.
We had a great time Sunday unwrapping gifts with my family, but Jack forgot to bring the camera, so all we had was my Mom's'll have to wait until we shoot the rest on Christmas day and I can get them put on a CD. However, we're having Christmas with Jack's family tomorrow and have a Christmas party that evening, so some more pics soon!!!

The funky weather is back, although it isn't quite as warm, but you guys try and have a good day anyway!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

This weather has me in a funk...

I'm with Happy...this weather stinks! Everything is sticky, wet and generally funky!
Luckily for us, not so lucky for some of our four-legged babies, they're the ones with the snotty noses this time...we've been dosing them with penicillin, but in this weather, I don't think it really makes a difference. We need some sunshine!!!
...and I've been wrapping until I can't feel the tips of my fingers...
I'm sorry about not providing more entertainment for you guys (my three-maybe four loyal readers :)) this week, but we've been sticking around the hacienda, trying to stay out of the shopping traffic and out of the doctor's office...
I'm headed to Orange tomorrow to help Mom prepare for the family getting together on Sunday when Grace and Jack will join me. We'll all come home Sunday evening, but after this post, it will probably be Monday before you hear from me again.
Grace has a big day tomorrow...they're having a Polar Express Day for their Christmas party at preschool. They get to wear their pjs, watch the movie, drink hot cocoa, have a book exchange, and then at 3, Jack will join her for munchies. From there, they'll head to her swim academy, where they're having their Christmas party and she'll get to decorate cookies, and best of all, eat them! Either she'll crash in the truck on the way home or she'll be up forever on a sugar high! I hope it's the former for Daddy's sake!
See you guys on the flip side!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's just like you were there...

...except without the margaritas and lobster bisque...

I look forward to the annual Kemah Boat Parade every year. It's one of those events that has difficult parking and never starts on time, so your patience has to be in check, but I love it every time! We arrived at the Chart House's upper deck at about 5:30 and the boats didn't arrive to our part of the channel until about 7:30, but once they arrived, the party ensued! Enjoy the parade...oh, and don't watch the videos, push the pause (ll) button on the My Tunes (right sidebar)...

This is one of the big party boats that folks can rent out and it looked like someone was having a floating Christmas was packed to the gills and looked like tons of fun! a boat from TAMU... This is always my favorite of the show...a sailboat with a huge Christmas tree...the video shows how cool it really is.

The little boat up front that is lit like Santa's sleigh with the reindeer suspended in the air in front is probably my second favorite this year... This one got a standing ovation!!!
These guys had no shirts with santa shorts on and the sign on the side said "Brian is back from Iran" - they were having a gooooooood time :) simple, but very cute... more people rowing... Hope you enjoyed the ride! We had a great time!