Friday, December 28, 2007

Heinrich Holidays

It’s never truly Christmas with the family unless someone gets pissed or cries. It’s a double bonus if you manage to get both. There were 11 of us this year at the house for Christmas festivities. When you put 11 people in a confined area who are all buzzed on sugar and caffeine, and had to endure both a family photo session at the local gold mine and 2 insane little boys (my nephews), you get a weekend to remember. We all haven’t been together in years, and my parents were so excited that they prepared for weeks before our arrival. Our favorite foods were made, the rooms were ready, and all the renovations to the house had been completed (mostly). Having become engaged only a week earlier, the ring was the first thing everyone wanted to see. The reactions were classic.

Mom: “That is obscene”

Dad (to my mom): “Don’t get any ideas”

Sister: “It’s bigger than the last one” (always tactful)

I think my favorite moment this Christmas was my dad getting his big present. After all these years of my dad getting the shaft at Christmas, as dad’s so often do, we made his gift the focal point of the weekend. My mom took him to breakfast and to run a few errands while the rest of us scrambled to set up his new 50” TV and cable. Yes, we got my parents cable TV and a DVR for Christmas. They have had a basic antenna and the same 5 channels since I was born. When they would visit, my mom in particular, they would marvel at all the things one could watch on cable TV, and they have even called me, in Texas mind you, on occasion over the past year to have me Tivo shows for them. We decided enough was enough, and they needed to enter this century.
We worked like crazy elves to get the job done, finishing just in time for their return home. My dad was shocked. He loved it, and didn’t move much the rest of the vacation. He did, of course, continually mess with all the cables, but that’s par for the course with him. My only fear now is that I will become “tech support”. The season pass feature, setting favorite channel lists, and recording multiple channels at once might be a little over their heads right now, but I guess we’ll see.

Mine Shaft Saloon

For most, going home for Christmas is usually about 4 things: family, church, food and gifts. For me however, it’s also about the chance to see old friends again at whichever of my hometown’s very few bars we decide to visit. My personal favorite is the Mine Shaft Saloon. While usually a hangout for the local alcoholics, the holidays transform the Mine Shaft each year into a high school reunion for anyone 30 and under. Being that I am now 30, this was clearly my last year. Chris joined me, Rob (my brother), and Allison (his wife) on this year’s late night adventure. Also enjoying the festivities this year was our youngest brother, Allen, who turned 21 in December, and made it his wish to join us for a round of drinks. Well, that round turned into several rounds, and our saint of a mother ended up being called well past her bedtime to come pick up her 3 drunken children, one fiancĂ©, and one daughter-in-law. It was a proud moment for her, but now I think she worries her children may have drinking problems. I simply refer to it during the holidays as “self medicating.”
(this is one of the many classic pieces of art on the walls of the mine shaft)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I wanted to make mention that Chris's granddad died on Sunday. Even if you can see it coming, it's never easy to lose someone. They were very close, and having been in the exact same situation 2 years ago with my grandmother I am painfully familiar with how he feels. I was lucky enough to spend time with Gaino regularly over the past 3 years. He, and Chris's Grandmother are very special to me. I adored him and already miss him. He hung on until he was sure Chris was going to propose...and we were all able to say goodbye. I will always be grateful to him for helping raise Chris into the man that he is.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Cupcakes and Diamonds

Chris and I have a standing date night on Fridays. This past week I had a work party earlier in the evening so I had to meet him for dinner, and he had decided that before the holiday madness he wanted a nice quiet date. We went to my favorite Dallas steakhouse, Rick Steins, and they took us to a special booth. At that point my interest was peaked because the staff was very attentive. Once dinner was over the waitress asked if we wanted to see the dessert menu. I of course said yes. Chris however had other plans. He had a long week, and wanted to go and told me we had dessert we could eat at home that he had picked up. I was a bit disappointed because I love a good creme brulee.

We headed home (in separate cars) and when I pulled into the driveway he was at the front door. I figured he had just pulled in and was waiting for me. I walked up, opened the door and there were roses and candles lit everywhere in the house. Apparently he had left work early, cleaned the house, gotten flowers and my sister in-law, and brother working behind the scenes. It looked amazing. When I walked in…I knew what was happening and of course I started to laugh and to cry.

There was a big box on the dining room table and he told me to open it. I could see the box was from my favorite bakery (Panini). Dessert!! I opened it up and written out in cupcakes were the words “I love you, will you….” I gasped, turned around and he was on one knee. He finished the question, and I said yes. It was just he and I…and it was perfect. We have some pictures but not many, and I have to add them later. The only picture I have is if the ring (see below). So be looking for bridezilla blogging over the next few months.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Type A as in Ass...

I have several wonderful, smart, funny and oh yes KNOCKOUT GEORGOUS single girlfriends. I hear them speak of the pathetic Dallas dating scene, and being a supportive friend I mingle out some evenings to check out this scene. Tuesday was one such evening. I met one of the above motioned out for a cocktail and appetizer when up walks "Fred". "Fred" asks if he can take the only remaining open seat at the bar (next to us) and we agree. He casually interrupts to ask questions and find out our stories. He's not old, he's not ugly, he's not an idiot, and he's not poor...he might have potential.

As the evening progresses we move from the bar to the dining room at his invitation. This is where he begins his downward spiral of having a chance with anyone I know. He had a tantrum that we were placed at a table in the middle of the dining room and not a booth. He asked everyone to move us, and I mean everyone who came by for the entire 3 min we were at the table before moving to a booth. Strike 1.

"Fred" moves to the wine list...where he tells us about his undergrad experience in Italy and how he developed his fondness for certain wine while living there. Great, he's cultured...right? Well he also clearly wants us to know how much he is spending on wine, and for us to "experience" it because obviously we as women could never afford it on our own. Strike 2.

We move into dinner, and it was delicious and the wine was amazing. The only real issue is that he talked a lot about himself, and of course money. Usually in Dallas this is a clear sign of a is the land of men on overextended credit pretending to be things they are not. However I am very familiar with his company, and have connections to that family so I’m aware of the money he probably makes, and he wasn’t lying. He discussed private schools, charity events, hand made suits, college and graduate degrees, his triple Type A personality. We even heard the sad tale of how disappointed he was in moving from the 7 series to the Rover. Excellent. The plight of an upper class educated white guy. Let’s not even get into the fact that he told her she was well groomed, and checked to see if her hands/nails were well kept. Strike 3.

Unfortunately the final nail in the coffin was at the end of the evening...he helped my friend on with her jacket and also moved her hair. Warning to guys: NEVER touch a woman's hair that you are not involved with...ever. It's an intimate gesture and usually unwelcome.

We politely thanked him for dinner and wished him well. I'm sure his ego was not bruised, and told himself that clearly we don't recognize what an amazing catch he is.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Space Party

This past weekend we had a dinner party with some good friends and it was themed "a few favorite things". My Brother and his wife were actually the main hosts, we just supplied the house. We dined on Raclette (look it up) it's a cheese dish from Europe and has been a favorite tradition in our house for over 15 years. We decided to share the experience with some new friends in Dallas. It was a very big hit. I also have to give kudos to my baby bro for dessert. It was Paula Dean's Krispy Kreme Bread tasted like a churro on crack. It was amazing. Too bad that in the morning you feel like all your teeth are going to fall out from the sugar.

Another of our favorite things is a new one. It's a game called guitar hero. I'm no gamer, but I'm totally hooked. We set it up on one room, and the Big 12 championship game in the other and we all just moved around. If you haven't played this game I insist you come over to my house ASAP. SOS comes in here. The Police song "message in a bottle" must have been played 15 times that night and I still find myself singing it 3 days later. We were all rock stars.

Top 5 outbursts of the night:

1. "I'm so down for your space party, Britters is there!"
2. "Stop counting Bitch"
3. R" That red wine is going to ruin your palette for dinner"
B's response" Dude, this palette just wants to get drunk"
4. "I prefer mine semi-firm"...the cheese that is
5. "Can you not suck on your napkin at the table please?"

That party is now one of my favorite things.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tis the season of thanks so I thought I would post a few things I am thankful for and other Thanksgiving memories.

Growing up we lived about 3 hours from my grandparents and the rest of the family, so Thanksgiving morning we would all pack in the minivan and start the road trip. It was usually a 24 hour thing…sometimes less. I'm the oldest of 4 children and the younger 2 are more of a challenge. As you can imagine the ride was never dull, and required assigned seating. The younger 2 had to be within swatting distance of my parents and thus got the center seat. It also allowed the 2nd child (my brother Rob) to torture my sister from our safe place in the far back. I still have no idea how my parents made these drives while sober, other than its the law…this was during a time when there were no DVD players in the car, no separate headphone portals etc. We all had to ride…and talk.
Once arriving at our destination we would spend time with the rest of the family, eat and then pile back into the minivan for the ride home. My dad never liked for my mom to start playing Christmas music until AFTER Thanksgiving. So the entire ride home we were tortured with various sounds of the season and she would try to get us to sing along. One particular CD still haunts us. If we don’t make it home, they call us and play it into the phone…if we’re in Hawaii that week…they bring it along and play…it follows us. The song has turned into a long running family joke that I think will be 16 years old this week.
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I will not be with them for Thanksgiving this year as I now share holidays with the person and family I share my life with. I do however anticipate a phone call, with a certain song in the background and the familiar sound of family. I can honestly say I am looking forward to it.

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I am thankful for those hours in the car where my family grew close, and created memories I will always have. I am thankful for that ridiculous CD because it holds those memories. I am thankful that I have always been and will always be loved. I am grateful for friends, health, and finding happiness and joy in the journey, and of course…family. I love you all!

Monday, November 19, 2007

American Music Awards

Did anyone else see the award show last night??
Ok well it wasn't half bad, but I have one issue to address.

Question: Is it ever a good idea for a country artist to do a contemporary song?
* Think of Alabama singing the N'Sync song "God must have spent a little more time on you" TRAGIC. Or how about Jack Ingram doing "Lips of an angel" by Hinder? Again I find myself screaming at the radio if I can't change the station fast enough.

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So I had the feeling of a train wreck while watching Sugarland and Beyonce sing "Irreplaceable". All I could hear was the country twang singing "to the left, to the left". Critics this morning were saying it was a highlight of the show. Really? Are you kidding me? I love Sugarland, and anyone who's heard their song "Stay" knows they are talented. It's amazing. I also love country. I just don't like it when country goes a little too far in an effort to be hip or mainstream. STAY in your genre. I say this with love.

I also want to say to Jennifer Nettles: What did you do to your hair? Who keeps allowing you to wear these high waist pants and terrible accessories? Girl you know better than that!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Carolina Weekend

This past weekend I went to visit my best friend in Charlotte North Carolina. Seeing her is a highlight of mine that usually only happens once a year. I'm not a shy creature, but when my family moved the week before 8th grade I was terrified. I had to start at the new school and was worried to death that people wouldn’t want to be my friend. On the 1st day of school in the 1st class a very nice girl invited me to sit at her table. I was so relieved. That was 18 years ago, and her name was Colleen.

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She took me to an annual party hosted by one of her dear friends and I had no idea what I was in for. By the time we got to the party everyone else was long into the liquor and rather than having a name they all would just yell “Texas” when they were trying to get my attention. Yes folks…I was known as “Texas” for the evening. It was quite the crew and it was nice to finally meet some of the people that are a big part of her life out there.

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The road trip was to a place in NC called Blowing Rock up in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It reminds both her and me of our home town (Nevada City, CA). The kind of town with one main street, cute shops, a diner, and lots of locals and tourists just hanging out. Fall was in full swing with the trees in amazing colors, and cold crisp air. We had to get ice cream at Kilwin’s because it is hand made, along with all the chocolate and fudge.
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Our Rock Star weekend involved eating, drinking, karaoke, Carolina BBQ, a road trip, a head injury, and standing late night around a burn barrel in 35 degree weather. As usual it was filled with memories, lots of laughing, a little crying, and leaving with the notion that life would not be as fun without her.

Aggie Land

This post is from an experience a few weeks back actually. I kept waiting for pics from friends we went with, but I won’t see those anytime soon. Before we get started I must give a disclaimer. I LOVE UT; I have followed the Texas Longhorns since long before I moved to this state. Just keep that in mind.

I went to a Texas A&M game a few weeks back, against Kansas. Chris LOVES this team and our friends Kristy and Brandon invited us to join them. Brandon is a UT fan like me, but Kristy and Chris are A&M tried and true. Normally in Texas this can cause problems but being that only Kristy attended one of the schools mentioned…we can all manage to get along in spite of the differing opinions. A big THANK YOU to them for inviting us along, the day was a blast.

For me this trip was a lot of firsts that I never thought I would do. I never thought I would:
1. Go to College Station (People who know me, know why. I nearly got hives!)
2. Set foot at Texas A&M
3. Actually enjoy it.

I’ve never been to a game with that many people, there were 85 thousand plus in the stadium! Our seats were in an area called “the zone” and it was loud. This school has all kinds of secret stuff going on from grass you can’t walk on, to a dog you have to talk to a certain way, songs and cheers, and military stuff. That said I was very impressed by the Aggie marching band. People that love this school have been a facination of mine so it was an experience. I really enjoyed the entire day even though the Aggies put on a disgraceful display of athletic ability. I had more fun watching the people than anything else. From the yell leaders to the core and the enormous scoreboard it was a college game day experience that I will never forget.

As a side note: I don’t do well with rules, especially ones that are like orders. I would never have survived all the rituals and traditions, and definitely not gold jewelry.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

It's here!!!

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It is officially my favorite time of the year...starting today. You see I can't really even begin to describe how the red starbucks cup affects me. Yes I know I can order peppermint mocha's anytime of the year, but I refuse. I only order this during the red cup season. I have pictures of myself with the red cup in Hawaii, Tahoe, San Diego, Texas...this marketing strategy completely hooked me. This year I already asked last week when it was coming. Well is the day. It's Red Cup time!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Baby on Board (not mine!!)

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Some of my dearest friends Kerri and Scott are having a baby...a baby boy. He is scheduled to arrive in early Feb. I have known them since college, in fact we were all roommates’ so it's almost like I am having a baby with them. Almost. When I heard the news I was so thrilled for them. Needless to say I have watched them throw themselves into every baby/parent/hospital/prenatal yoga/water aerobics, and scrabbooking class in order to prepare and document this life changing event. I also decided to host a couple’s baby shower. That took place this past weekend as well.

(Is anyone noticing the last weekend was INSANE?) Back to the shower.

It was a beautiful and fun afternoon at our place with Scott and Kerri's Dallas friends. I have to say a BIG thank you to Heather and Chris Shahan both for the games/art project contributions as well as comedic timing. I would have been lost without them.
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We had "mini" foods, and played dirty diaper and name games, and even managed some modern art! It was fun to see all us non-parents guess baby foods, or try to figure out some of these baby items. Who knew that you should clip a baby's nails while they are sleeping??
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In all I think Baby Butler has some great gifts to start his journey, and wonderful parents. I can't wait to meet your new addition Kerri and Scott!
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Ms Worley

Again another friend I met at the first and very short lived job here in Dallas. Jen was/is in HR and we bond over our tragic career choice of listening to whiners all day. We celebrated her birthday this past weekend as well.
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Last year we went big for Jen's 30 and headed to San Francisco for a weekend we still love talking about. This year she wanted something more low key. Jen is loved by all, so can we say reservations for 20 please??

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Jen actually celebrated all weekend, but Sunday morning brunch with us. The time change helped most people we know actually arrive on time! Matitos was voted the best brunch in Dallas and we now know why. From the bottomless mimosas to the chocolate fountain it was delicious.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket TRUE, Boot camp, champagne intolerant, Boo loving friend. I can't imagine the last 3 years without you. In true golden girl’s cheesiness..."thank you for being a friend"...sing a long now!

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Oh Emily

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket of my first friends here in Dallas. We started new jobs together, and were laid off together (along with 100+ others). Both of us had relocated to Texas for these jobs, and when they came to an abrupt end we decided to stay in this crazy state. That was over 3 years ago. Last week Emily turned 30, but we celebrated this past weekend. She chose dinner at Trader Vic's, and I had never been to the one in Dallas. It is the home of the originally created Mai Tai. I have to say the 3 page drink menu and fun glasses they come in should make you want to try it!!
*Warning the fruity deliciousness covers up the massive amounts of alcohol and they sneak up in you. Stick with 2, and you will thank me later.

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After dinner the single girls went out on the town and rumor has it didn't return home until 4am. I think it's safe to say Emily had a good birthday. Happy 30th Em. We love you.

Thank you

I have something to say to you to Chris. Seriously. I have to say…actually to steal a quote from Grey’s Anatomy: "I love you, in a really, really big pretend to like your taste in music, let you eat the last piece of cheese cake, hold a radio over my head outside your window kind of way."
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This past weekend I just wanted to hug him to death several times.
A few examples:
-I volunteered us to dog sit on our date night without telling him.

-He came with me to a friend’s birthday dinner…and was the only guy to show up.

-He was vacuuming our house at 7:45 in the morning for a party I was hosting.
That same morning he was up at 6:30 washing our dog’s ass because lets just say he was having “issues” and let me sleep in.

-I inadvertently planned a baby shower at the exact same time as the Pats/Colts game…at our house. At one point he was playing a dirty diaper game while Tom Brady was charging downfield in the 4th quarter…and never said a word about it.

-He ate dinner at 11pm at night because a group we were dining with was VERY late for a reservation…and he never eats after 8.

- At one point I looked over and his hands were covered in washable paint for an “art” project for our friend’s baby room.

-I used almost every dish in the house and instead of watching the above mentioned game on Tivo, he was hand washing all the dishes…yes washing them by hand.

At times Chris does things completely outside his comfort zone because it makes someone else happy, and because he loves me. At the end of the day can anyone really ask for more than that?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

All treats no trick?

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Chris and I picked the neighborhood we wanted to live in for several things...location, schools, size. We chose an area of young families, a great elementary school and a bus stop literally in our driveway. I figured with all those factors the Trick or Treating crowd would be huge! I prepared for it, I decorated the entire front porch with ghosts, giant spider webs, glow in the dark spiders, and name it! I bought bags of candy, and invited my friends over to hang out and see the cute kids. So imagine my disappointment when for the entire evening I had 14 children knock on the door....14!!!
Hello, what is that about??? I get that the world is a dangerous place, and people want to protect kids. I am all about that. I just miss the days when groups of families would walk the neighborhood together and everyone would decorate and people would talk and meet each other. I miss neighborhoods. We don't have kids but I would love to know the ones that live near me. Trust me I would help make sure they were safe...if I knew who they were or what house they lived in.
I have decided that next year I'm going to have a driveway party, and move the candy and my friends outside. Have some wine, music etc and make sure to tell the neighborhood to come on by and say hello. Chris will hate it, but I think sometimes we make our own community. Even if it takes full size candy bars and some nice pinot for the parents next year has to be better.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Heidi- My New Niece

Well she’s a dog, but that is as close to a niece and I’m going to get for a while.

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Heidi, sweet thing. A German Boxer (hence the name) and the cutest thing I have ever seen. Heidi is a bossy, feisty, assertive little girl and I have a feeling will be the dominant one shortly. Poor Sophie, displaced by the new baby. They have another boxer; Sophie; who is 2 and felt it was time to get her some company, enter Heidi. All I can say is dog’s are a lot like people. Sophie was none too thrilled to have this little thing around. In fact she was downright upset, and on the rare occasion that she feels like playing with her, is spending the rest of the time trying to get away from her. I think in time she will adjust. I mean who couldn’t come to love that face?

Friday Night Lights

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I am obsessed with this show. When I thought they were going to cancel it last year I was ready to stage my own protest. Luckily for me…it returned and it’s even better than the first season! My mom feels the same way, but unfortunately for her she has been away with her Red Cross save the world from natural disaster response teams. Whatever. So she calls me one night this week to ask me for a verbal rundown of the last 2 Fridays. It went something like this

Mom: “I haven’t been able to watch it at all…I’m just going to have to fly out to Texas to watch it on your Tivo”.
Me: “Well this wouldn’t be the case if you and Dad entered the 20th century and not only got CABLE, but some sort of DVR device. You know it’s almost time to throw out those Beta tapes.”
Mom: “Shut up.”

So I launched into the description of the episodes about why everyone is falling apart without my sweet Coach Taylor and I hear my dad laughing in the background.

My dad: “You act like you guys know these people.”

HELLO We do!!! Men are cluless.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Think Pink

Operation Save Second Base
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This past weekend I am proud to say I was the Captain of the BEST team in Dallas for the Susan G Komen Walk. Our team was called “Operation Save Second Base” and we got a ton of compliments on our t-shirts (THANKS WENDY!!) They were pink camouflage with an army green dog tag on the back that said Operation Save Second Base. Adorable.

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All of Dallas turned out for this event and it was literally a sea of Pink. According to race results 25,500 people participated in the 5K event, and raised nearly 1 million dollars. I am happy to say our team hit our goal of $3,000! It was an experience for everyone. We were walking in Memory of our friend Julie’s mom who lost her battle 2 years ago. It was hard to see the faces of young kids walking in memory of their mom, and women not much older than me wearing “Survivor” shirts. Of course there were humorous moments as well. I nearly took a dive because I was talking (of course) and walked right into a cone. No surprise there!

This event also confirmed my thought that Target is the best store ever. They are the main sponsor of the race here in Dallas and had employees turn out by the hundreds to line the course of the race…all volunteering their time.

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I am proud of all my friends who walked or donated to this wonderful cause, and thank you for making it a special day.

The Boyd's

Our good friends Chris and Meg were married this month. I know strange that they have the SAME NAMES!!?? Even more strange is that we knew them separately before they knew each other. Chris Boyd went to grad school with my Chris, and Meg was friends with another student Sara. The wedding was a huge Dallas event, for those of you that are not familiar with Dallas society weddings, or Texas weddings in general all I have to say is you need to see it to believe it.

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I felt like I walked into a weddings issue from In Style. There were at least 350-400 people, it was formal, and no detail was missed. Starting with the full choir, trumpets, organ and bells at the actual church, to the 12 piece band at the reception. Meg's mom even recreated her favorite old school soda fountain in one of the reception halls; Highland Park Pharmacy...complete with floats, shakes, grilled cheese and all. I can honestly say I have never seen anything like it.
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They were absolutely glowing. Because they had to say “hi” to everyone we had about 3 seconds with them…so Chris took a picture with the life size cut out pictures of them at the reception (see below).
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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Big Tex and Corny Dogs

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Who doesn't love a good State Fair?? Come on all the carney's and rides that might smell like someone else's lunch. It's so American. We go for the food. At the Texas State Fair you can literally get anything in the world fried. Fried latte, fried guacamole...fried mac and cheese balls. We've got it all. I usually go and eat until I am literally sick, but this year had a bit of restraint (my brother Rob got sick instead). We started with the Fletcher's Corney Dog, then onto a smoked turkey leg, and the piece de resistance...dippin dots. To clarify, Chris and I shared the turkey leg so in all we weren't half bad.

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Just the people watching alone at the fair is worth a trip and I promise you won't be dissappointed. If anyone happened to catch Ross the intern on Jay Leno, they sent him to the fair for the big TX-OU game. It was classic, and will tell you all you need to know about the Texas State Fair. I highly reccommend finding it in U-Tube.

Fall and Football

Hello Texas it's fall. Growing up in the mountains of Northern California means crisp cold fall air, hot chocolate at Friday night football games, and a Northface fleece. Here in the Lone Star State it is 85 degrees today! I guess at some point it will decide to go from hot to freezing in 24 hours, but who knows when that will be. I am ready for a change in season.

Not living with a guy has HUGE advantages sometimes ladies, and actually being able to watch must see TV is one of them. Football or baseball (playoffs) is on 5 nights a week at our place. I am forced to Tivo everything and try and sneak in my guilty fix of The Office and Gossip Girl (don't ask). I am a huge college football fan, a growing Cowboys fan...but I will never ever be a baseball fan. Hate it. I'm sorry, if that is America's pastime than I vote for a recall. So think of me if you are one of the lucky ones that have control of the remote at your house.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Donkey Balls

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Before you assume…please read on. While on many of the Hawaiian road trips that occurred when my dad swore he knew where we were going (only to be lost) we discovered Donkey Balls. We saw the sign at this little shop in the middle of nowhere and had to pull over to check it out. Unsure of what we were going to find...we were pleased to discover that they are in fact chocolate covered macadamia nuts! At that point we started to look around the balls store and that kindergarten laughter ensued when kids joke about farting…we could not stop laughing. It only got worse when we began to look more closely at the “types” of balls one could purchase.

Salty Balls: rolled in Hawaiian salt
Flaky Balls: Rolled in Coconut
Blue Balls: Dipped in white and dark chocolate

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I mean seriously…you probably needed to be there but the jokes were too easy. My poor dad, I think he wanted to be anywhere else but trapped in a car with his 26 year old son, daughter in law, 30 year old daughter and her live in sin boyfriend. Especially when the mentioned daughter in law had to rip open the bag of blue balls for a taste. Thank goodness he is such a good sport. People seriously thought we had turrets because at various points of conversation the rest of the entire vacation one of us would have to blurt out “donkey balls”. If you know my family you can only imagine…but it was a highlight. It truly is the little moments that make life a fun trip.
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Hurricane Vacation Anyone?

When planning a vacation to Hawaii I will now have to begin consulting Al Gore or Leonardo DeCaprio because I swear the gods of global trickery were messing with my only summer vacation. What originally started as a small family vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii turned into a much larger extended family trip. Low and behold there were 16 of us in the end.

I will of course blog separately about many of our adventures but this one is regarding the weather.

In the 8 days on the island I love so much we had 2 earthquakes, a hurricane (that ended up missing us at the last min), a Tsunami warning and a wild fire...HELLO? I think someone was telling us something. Some might have been frightened, but no we set up the lawn chairs on the lanai for a show, I mean really how "mandatory" is a "mandatory evacuation" after all right? I mean why not go golfing with 60 mile an hour winds...who doesn't? (see the trees in added pics for an idea on the wind)

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I just love the "Hawaiian time" for updating you on the conditions. We turn on the TV after an earthquake at 7pm, and can't find out the size until the next morning! It was a vacation that none of us are likely to forget anytime soon.

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Mai Tai anyone???


The cupcake craze of Hollywood hit Dallas about 6 months ago in the form of a place called Sprinkles. Every kind of cupcake you can imagine, even one for your dog! If you only need a quick sugar fix you can order a shot of icing, and don’t forget the milk. I have been more times than I like to admit, but knew it would be a huge hit with my 2 favorite visitors from California. These ladies are spoiled and hard to please...but they are also 2 of the favorite things in my entire life. They have made me smile since birth, and the older they get the older I feel.

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These little beauties are 9 and 12 years old and came for a special visit to Dallas in July. In total they were here 4 days and we went for cupcakes 2x. I thought this sweet (crack) factory would keep them visiting me for years to come...until they gleefully reported to me the other day a new Sprinkles was going to be coming to their home town of Palo Alto. Now all I have to offer is humidity and a million mosquitoes, and of course me.

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Making memories of us

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Sentimental title I know, but it's actually a song my other boyfriend Keith Urban wrote for his wife Nicole. He's lucky I'm not the jealous type! I personally like to say there is a Keith Urban song for anything.

Bad Break up: Tonight I wanna cry
Happy Mood in the car: Somebody like you
Cheesy wedding song: I wanna be your everything
Get it on tune: Raining on Sunday
The bad guy anthem: Stupid Boy

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See I can go on and on...I am a true fan. So in 2006 when tickets went on sale for his tour I of course registered for his fan club to get the best possible seats. He was coming the weekend of Valentine's Day 2007 and Dallas was going to be his 1st stop! Being that was also my 30th birthday weekend...I thought it couldn't be more perfect. Ha...I failed to anticipate his apparent fall off the wagon and subsequent trip to rehab. So the concert that was to be in Feb didn't occur until July!

Well it was worth the wait. He played for over 2 hours strait, 4 different instruments and was even more gracious than he is talented. The seats I had were amazing as the photos here demonstrate. (Gretchen I will miss you being at the AAC) No Nicole Kidman sighting, but she probably heard I was going to be there. I think even Chris developed a bit of a man crush he was that good.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Airline Manners

I have been traveling a lot for work lately and on my last flight I had the trifecta of in flight entertainment.

*Fact: I am a very easy traveler…my luggage has been lost, flights cancelled and delayed, been with screaming children, had middle seats, and I don’t mind security checks.

The non-flyer: The teenage girl next to me…sweet child, dressed totally inappropriately so she of course was freezing and upset that there were no blankets. Well Miss Daisy Duke’s and spaghetti tank with flip flops…if you aren’t the last person (literally) to board, and sitting all the way in the back against the window perhaps you would be one of the few to acquire one of those covered with germs blankets. Add to that she actually talked on her cell phone DURING THE FLIGHT! Yes she kept her phone on, and used it during flight. Of course because she was by the engine we could all hear her conversation. I prefer not to mess with air traffic control, but she was new to flying.

The super sizer: The woman in front of me….god love the ACLU or whoever it is that fights for the rights of those who will give them press…I mean we all need someone to help us out once in a while. I am not a small girl, nor is my family tiny…but we do fit in the seats. Does anyone really like the comfort of airline seating? No, but I’m sorry I am a frequent flyer and if you can’t buckle a seat belt and are taking up half my seat…I have an ISSUE. I didn’t pay $1100 for my flight to be squished and completely uncomfortable. No platinum or gold status can save you from someone who refuses to acknowledge that seating might be an issue. I really truly believe that 2 seats need to be purchased, or drive.

The over sharer: The guy across the isle that for some reason thinks I love to talk, about where I’m from, where I am going, what for…you know the usually get to know a total stranger chat. I must have that face where I look interested because it happens to me all the time. While I am friendly and don’t mind chatter…at 7am on a 4 hour flight we have a lot of time to get to know one another. I prefer you wait until after my nap. Is he friendly, or bored, or is he one of those people on a plane dying to tell me; a total stranger; all about their personal life.

I love to travel, and I love people but sometimes traveling makes me wonder if I am a nice person at all. I feel evil that I find myself getting irritated by people’s personal phone conversations, or dealing with their screaming or ill behaved children, or that I just don’t feel like talking about myself. I just want to get from point A to B.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Summer Tivo

I love TV...I'm sorry but I do. My old roomate Jen got me addicted and now I just can't stop. Thank goodness for Tivo. I just don't have time to be home to see all the things I want to. Even in the summer when shows typically suck I have several that I can't miss. Here are my top 5.

1. Rescue Me- This is hands down other than Greys my favorite show on tv. It is completely messed up, hilarious, and touching. How they have mastered all of that I will never know but it is genius. It makes me feel like my own family is somewhat normal.

2. The Closer- a great show, I have to say Kiera is perfect for this role, and the cast is great.

3. Entourage- Ari....need I say more?

4. Flight of the Concords- New and makes me laugh my ass off. Love the accents, and they they break into song at random.

5. Big Love- Strange and awkward but enduring. I can't help but like this family, even though I don't agree with the plural marriage thing.

A Ring or flooring?

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Yes folks the dilemma for me was a ring or hardwoods. What did I choose? The correct answer would be floors! Better for resale should this not work out, and I don't negotiate on a ring. Talk to me when you have an actual stone in play, capish? But do you know how much new hardwood flooring is? Good Lord is all I'm going to say, but I simply could not live with what was in the house we bought. So before we moved in, we had new flooring installed. In addition my girlfriends and I painted nearly all the rooms in the house as well. I have to say, the place looks completely different. I love it.

One can't really label my decorating style, it's unique. I know many of you are laughing thinking that of course means bad, but I'm sorry to tell you that’s not the case. Unlike most Texans I don't believe in wallpaper, gold fixtures, or floral prints of any kind. I also don't collect knick knacks, or any rustic collection of items that have flag motif. I like muted solid colors, and what I call simple elegance.

I thought I had escaped all Texan decor until I found 2 items that I had to have. I surprised myself actually but when I have an idea, I just do it. I was at this insane antique fair that was 5 miles long and found these huge longhorns that I couldn't forget. I also found a cowhide that even had a brand on it. Sounds terrible I know but truly I fell in love. When I got these items home they went over about as well as a turd in a punch bowl, but I stood my ground. They are now both a part of the master bedroom and believe it or not he loves the look. I also drove 200 miles for a sofa. Yep, it was pouring rain and he thought I was nuts. We almost had a Christmas Tree situation on our hands. After compromising (or what I like to call winning) we rented the U-Haul trailer and went to get this sofa I found online. I am a bargin hunter and even with the rental and gas was about $2,000 less than if we had gotten it in the store.

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Almost every item in the house was a negotiation, and I am happy to say we made it thru without breaking up! The house is almost finished and we still like each other. I think that is huge. Most of you are blessed with a guy that has no opinions on this type of thing. The conversation probably goes "honey, do you prefer mauve, or lavender for our bedroom?" The typical response would be "I don't care, whatever you think looks best". Our conversations were more like this.
M "would you prefer mauve or lavender for the bedroom"
C "You won't catch me dead in a pink/purple bedroom, what about plaid?"
M "Plaid? Are you high, absolutely not on the plaid that went out when little house on the prairie did"
C "Well you're going to have to pick another color because it’s not going to be girly"
M "fine"

Welcome to the month of June.

He is Finally 30

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May was also Chris's 30th birthday. Now I can finally stop hearing about how I'm the older woman. I like to plan parties, love it actually. So of course I wanted to throw a big bash for his big day. He was having none of that and slashed the guest list like it was his job! You practically had to have security clearance to get the evite. So to all of you who made the cut...feel special. I felt like a lobbyist for people on the B team. After that I think I have a future in Washington. So we had a bowling party at a very fun place in Dallas (called 300). A great group of close friends attended, and we both were happy. I got a party and he got a small gathering.

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Shackin Up

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Yep, its official...we decided to live in sin. After much discussion we decided to buy a place and move in together. To all you judging Judy’s...let me start by telling you I don't really care what you think.

Moving on. This is a huge step for us, and took careful consideration. If you don't know us and are reading this let me break it down for you. We are commitment phobic, in a huge way. He because he is predisposed to think things never work out (the pessimist in him). Well that and he had a bad experience in the past where someone ran over his golf clubs when it ended badly. I have my own suitcase of stuff...if you call having married a gay man and being abandoned and issue. (I swear I didn't know!) All that is another story for another day.

We decided, and broke it to the families. His was thrilled, mine being of the more biblical persuasion was disappointed that we weren't "engaged" but agreed that we needed to make sure this one is really strait.
*Random side note...does being engaged and living together reduce the chance of breakup? I'm inclined to think no, but hey I am wrong all the time.

My family loves him, and his loves me so I think we all are at a point where this is a good thing. Even though we are nervous about 24 hours a day in the same space, I think we’re in a good place for this next step. We will either kill one another, or end up deciding to take the plunge.

Now onto the house hunt...this is supposed to be fun right? Well it was, let's say "challenging", but not nearly as deciding on the furniture and style. Hello you're a guy do you truly care if the color is toasted marshmallow or taupe? Apparently this one does, but we did find a home we both loved, made an offer and here it is.

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Casa de...Gainrich? Or should it be Heingain? Either way we have a fully furnished guestroon and friends are always welcome.