Tuesday, December 23, 2008

4 Christmases

I’m not kidding. This year we have 4…just like the movie. I’m prepared to be both entertained and entertaining, and I’m fairly sure we will argue at least once. I was telling him we needed a video camera to capture the events but he didn’t see the humor.

Starting the show is Christmas Eve with his mom & John, Matt & Crystal.

Christmas night with his Nana, and Christmas day with his dad’s family, and Grandma Dorothy.

However, it is a sad year because it’s the first for Chris without his Grandpa. He died a year ago, the same weekend we were engaged. Everyone was in shock last year during the holidays, but this year we’re really feeling the loss. Chris was asked to give the blessing at the meal, and it will be the first time in his life that his Grandpa hasn’t been the one to do it.

The 4th and final Christmas is on the other end of the spectrum...Chris and I will be an Aunt and Uncle in 2009!!! I can finally tell everyone that Rob & Allison are having a baby!

So the last stop is in Ft Worth. The future parents and my parents who are flying in from CA will be rounding it out Heinrich style. I’ve been dying for everyone to know, and am so excited I can’t stand it. By now I have gotten over the fact that even though they live 45 min away, they told Chris & I via ichat (Mac video message) on Election night. I was unaware they were calling to tell us about different results. So now my reaction, complete with a curse word, is preserved forever. Classic. Baby Heinrich will arrive in July, and I can’t wait! Chris is equally as excited. He keeps trying to come up with a cool uncle name.

So from all our families to yours, have a safe and Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Chicken Soup for the Soul

In our case it was more like jager for the soul, but I digress. A few months back, Celeste and I thought it would be fun to meet in Austin for the weekend. It’s the same distance from Houston and Dallas, yet it seems a world away. When we actually tried to pick dates, the only one that worked was the weekend before Christmas. During the planning we also asked our friend Elizabeth if she wanted to join us.

So, this past weekend the 3 of us took Austin by storm, as if anything less would ever do. In the end, we left rejuvenated and ready to handle this week’s impending holiday stresses, our stomachs aching from laughing so hard and our livers praying for mercy.

Here are a few highlights:
- Drinking coffee and eating breakfast tacos at Joes…when I look up and see at the table behind us none other than COACH TAYLOR (aka Kyle Chandler) from Friday Night Lights. I love him, remember? Well, he is even hotter in person - so sexy. He was just sitting at a table, fitting in, non-famously drinking his coffee and reading the paper. Not one single person bothered him, but I had to get a picture.

- Celeste falling. I know she hates this story, but I love it because it just as easily could have been me, as we both have the gift of grace. We had closed down a bar and were trying to get a cab. Having no luck, we headed to the nearest busy looking corner. I'm booking it, since I’m in short sleeves and the temp had dropped about 20 degrees. Celeste is behind me, and Elizabeth is bringing up the rear. I should mention first that I think 6 jager bombs and 7 beers had been consumed by each of us - yes each – thus we were in prime form. We’re not sure if the jiggy sidewalk or the balance of Celeste was to blame, but all I heard was Elizabeth yell “Celeste, no!!” I turn around to see her completely laid out on the sidewalk, face first. Elizabeth and I, being the wonderful friends that we are, start laughing so hard we can’t even help her. Celeste calmly says “I’m just going to lay here until someone helps me up”. The picture below is of her and the 2 nice gentlemen that did just that.
- Vito. It’s 3:30 am, we closed the bar, and we are starving. Elizabeth needs to use the restroom, so on our way to eat we stop by our hotel so she can use the lobby bathroom. We tell her, “use the lobby bathroom, you don’t have a room key”. Celeste and I, not having to go as badly, drive down into the garage, take the elevator to the lobby and head to the bathroom to retrieve Elizabeth. She’s not there. We go back to the car, then pulled back around to the front figuring we missed her in the process. She wasn’t out front either. Apparently, she went up to our room, realized she didn’t have a key and was dancing around waiting for us…when this guy that was in the hall recognized her distress, and offered for her to use the restroom in his room. She had to go so badly that she did, and then she asked him if he wanted to go get food with us. When we pulled out front to pick her back up, there she was, with him and his name was Vito. We entertained him I'm sure.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The First Freeze

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Everyone loves the first major freeze of the year. A million car accidents, the 2 hour drive into work, the school closings, and in my case...every employee calling me to see if they can leave early or come in late. Well, those might be the negative aspects of the frozen roads.

I love that for just a day or two it feels like the Christmas season. I can see my breath in the morning, have hot chocolate to warm up my hands, and drive around to see the holiday lights at night.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tree Time

With Christmas around the corner it was time for a tree last weekend. We debated over fake vs. real for a while and eventually agreed that for our first “married” tree we wanted a real one. I was nervous about this little adventure because we all remember the last time we tried this (see #2). It almost ended a relationship. With only 3 married months under our belt I didn’t want this to be the beginning of a very long year.
I have to say, it was actually a great experience. We walked the tree lot for a while, and selected a few we liked, narrowed it to one and took the slip to the tree guy. In total it took about 30 min, no arguing, no crying….but that was only step one.

Once the tree was loaded we headed home, got it in a stand and trimmed the bottom. Again…peace on earth at the Gaines house. I think the only, and very brief, issue of the day was colored vs. white lights. I told him he could have colored, even offered to run and get them at the store. I’m working on compromise because we all know I love the white lights. He thought about it and decided white would be alright.
We also decided we needed some shared ornaments, ones that were new for us both to add to the ones we brought along. So we did some searching and now have an Eiffel tower (Paris honeymoon), a golf ball (Chris), and a cowboy boot (me becoming Texan). So we mixed the old and the new, added the lights…and voila. Here is our beautiful tree.

Attention Jersey Nation

* Disclaimer: Some of you won’t like me after reading this, however, the following was not written about anyone I know, might have passed in the hall, am related to, or went to high school with. This is merely a general statement regarding my personal opinion on a certain item of clothing. That is all. I plead for people to relax and have a laugh.

This is a slight rant about a particular high-grade, polyester, ill-fitting item that I have an issue with: Sports Jerseys.

A jersey is very expensive, and generally unflattering. I understand at an actual game. I endorse it at an at an actual game. I don't feel the same about wearing it out as a general item of clothing. I saw one being worn in Target on a non-game day, and at church on Sunday. Someone was even wearing a Redskins jersey at the Cowboys/Seahawks game. What?

I love the teams I follow. I have ball caps, t-shirts, and a few sweatshirts. I feel that wearing one of those items is a little more age appropriate, not to mention cheaper. One has to admit it's kind of bizarre for grown adults to declare their love of an athlete in the form of embroydery. Let’s not even get into the personalized jerseys, or those worn tucked in.

Here is what I would consider a few exceptions:

1) Under 18 years old. Come on we all remember high school.
2) A hot chick. Even then let’s not forget the Jessica Simpson pink jersey issue.
3) Anyone Mentally challenged.
4) Mother of the actual player.

Go ahead, tell me I'm not a true fan, or that I don't understand the team spirit of a jersey wearing fan. You're probably right on both, but it's just my opinion so keep on keeping on.

Cowboy Thanksgiving

We shunned our families and had our first Thanksgiving solo this year, deciding to spend it at the Cowboys game. I have to say that having a very dear friend that works for the team occasionally has its perks. She gave us her season tickets because she needed to be on the sidelines (not fair).If you know her, you can see her below.

The game is a tradition, and with this being the last year at Texas Stadium, we didn’t want to miss it. The crowd was insane

We grabbed a Fletcher’s corny dog on our way into the stadium and settled in. We had great seats, and were able to get some fun pictures.

I think the question in many minds that day was: the Jonas Brothers for a halftime show? Really?

I think most of the fans would have been fine with just about anyone else, but not all the 12 year old girls! I don't even think they were at the game until the end of the 2nd qtr when they started to funnel into the sidelines.

In all the game was very exciting, and other than my boyfriend DeMarcus leaving the game with an injury.

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I love this holiday, and have so many things to be thankful for that the list would be way too long. So I’ll start with these (in no particular order):

Parents: Married 36 years this past weekend. 36 years!

A Job: Seriously, in this economy it is a blessing beyond words.

Family: I wouldn’t trade with anyone, even with all our unique qualities that make life so interesting at times.

Cheaper Gas: Enough said

Chris: I’m thankful that he married me, and gives me new reasons every day to want to do it again.

DVR: I would be lost without this wonderful invention.

Friends New and Old: Friends are family we choose in life. My cup runneth over with you all.

Starbucks: Everyone should know by now my love of the red cup season.

Kona: That ugly face that only a mother could love.

Happy Day of Thanks to all of you. Eat, Drink, Nap and watch the Cowboys of course!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wicked Weekend

I love Chicago. So when I needed to go for work I didn't mind at all. I even added on a few extra days for fun, and asked Colleen if she wanted meet me. She had never been! We stayed at the Conrad on Michigan Ave. It was beautiful, with huge rooms, fluffy robes and was connected to Nordstrom. Does it get any better? We decided we could get used to life at the Conrad.
I took her to Grant Park to see the ice skating rink, the shiny kidney bean and where Obama accepted the Presidency.

We walked the Magnificent Mile down to the old Marshall Field (now Macy’s) all decorated for Christmas. The cold and decor had me in the Holiday spirit.

Pizza is required in Chicago. Specifically Giordano’s (not Gino’s East or Pizzanos) but Giordano’s is the best. Sure the wait is always an hour, but it’s worth it. I mean look at it.

We also watched the snow flurries from the 96th floor lounge of the John Hancock Tower while having cocktails.

Putting the weekend over the top was going to see Wicked. We had both already seen it in our respective cities, but it was even better the second time. The cast was amazing, and other than the child behind us that KEPT TALKING and ASKING QUESTIONS…it was awesome. I blame that on the parent because she kept talking right back.

I had to work the rest of the week, but it was a great trip. I have a feeling I’ll go back again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Tree

I have a favorite tree. It’s in my home town, and I have loved this tree since childhood. I used to beg my parents to buy the house that had this tree in the yard. They never indulged that one, but we drove by it all the time. The reason I love this tree is because in fall the colors are amazing. When I was younger I knew when the tree changed to yellow, and then to orange it meant that Halloween was coming, and when it became fire red, Thanksgiving was coming.

When I went to college my mom would take a Polaroid of this tree every fall and send it to me with the usual police blotter/engagement announcements of people she thought I might know. All these years later I will call her in the fall, and ask her if she has gone by my tree. I love Texas, but this time of year I miss the colors of fall. Especially the colors against the small town I love with picket fences, bed & breakfasts, and white church steeples. So in this digital age she went to my tree and sent me this picture.

Biggest Loser

I love this show. Love it. I think it’s amazing, and watch every season. I often dream about what I would look like if I didn’t have to work, was able to exercise with a personal trainer for up to 7 hours a day, and was fed all healthy foods. Hey, I would rock some republic jeans with that regimen. Seriously though, these people are transformed and it is inspiring. It almost makes me want to stop drinking peppermint mocha twists from Starbucks…almost.

However this season I find myself screaming at the TV over one contestant in particular. Vicki. She is mean spirited, cruel, and so manipulative I want to reach thru the TV and punch her in the face. Bob is her trainer, and even he doesn’t like her. He calls her maniacal and said she was “Shakespearian Evil”. If you watch the show, and know Bob, that is the meanest thing he’s ever said about one of his own. When this girl gets voted off I will literally do a dance in my living room. Hey, it’s exercise right?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Today is also my mom's birthday. After 30 I don't list the age, but she likes to tell everyone she's my older sister. If anyone actually believes her, I might die.

She's actually one of my closest friends, and I know I'm lucky for that. She is why it's fun to be a part of our family. Our lives would be so boring without her, even if we might be laughing at her and not with her. Just last week I took her to a Tina Turner concert for her birthday, and some of my friends came along. After the show she and I were in one car, they were in another but we were all stuck in traffic. She decided to jump out of the car, and do a Proud Mary dance routine right there in traffic...IN FRONT OF PEOPLE. Do you think she was embarrassed?? She thought it was hilarious. So did everyone else. Try growing up with that.

She has a heart for kids that I never will, and deals with those that are dying or have a family member that has died, or if an adult has taken their innocence too soon..even in the schools when there is a suicide. I am in awe because it's nothing I could ever do, let alone do and love life and people the way she still does even after all she sees.

Miss Worley

Jen Worley has a birthday today. She decided to celebrate early and run the freaking New York Marathon. Sound fun to you? She has a list of things she wants to do in life, and she checks several off a year. The NYC Marathon was one of them, but I don't think it will be a repeat item. I decided to share some of my favorite things about Jen in honor of her day.
1. Best Laugh! You can't miss it. Sometimes she even falls down she's laughing so hard. When I hear it I smile, and it (like mine) gets louder with vodka...and you can't imagine it with champagne. Preferably peach.
2. Dedication. When Jen makes a goal or commits to something she always works toward it and finishes. I don't have that, and I find that so admirable in her.
3. Great Friend/Sister/Aunt/Daughter/Girlfriend. I can't think of any big event for anyone special that she has missed the entire time I've known her. And Jen has a LOT of friends. Not many friends would stalk my (then) boyfriend for me while dealing with car trouble.
4. TV Genius. Really she is. I seek her out when I want to know about the new fall lineup, or November sweeps, or spoiler alerts. I was a tivo virgin before I met Jen. Because of her I'm never going back :)
5. Generous. Generous of her time, home, money, even loaning out designer handbags on occasion. She is the first to offer a ride to the airport, chairs for a party, and a couch if anyone needs a place to stay.

Happy Birthday Jen. We all love you.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Who spilled the wine?

wine Pictures, Images and Photos

That is a question I am trying to answer…I might have had some ladies over last Saturday, and I might have cooked…and I think someone might have spilled some wine. A certain side of a velvet sofa revealed this to me the other night. Now all I have to do is figure out who will be getting a Sippy cup instead of a grown up glass next time they are over…anyone??

Simply the best!

My mom is turning 50 (something) in the next few days, and to celebrate her birthday she flew to Dallas and we went to see Tina Turner. She loves Tina Turner. I mean she even saw Ike and Tina back in the day. We had amazing seats, and with some help was even able to get tickets for Elizabeth and Celeste!

Celeste is also a huge fan, and regularly does her own version of Proud Mary at Karaoke bars all over Texas and Louisiana. It's not to be missed. I think both she and my mom got some new moves from Tina's set to add to a joint routine they will probably do sometime in the future.

We arrived a little early to have some food and drinks. With great weather we hung out on the patio of the platinum club for a while. It was great people watching, and not a bad view.

The Tina concert rivaled new Kids with the outfits. I know that Elizabeth managed to get some good photos of some of our favorites.

Tina put on quite a show, at a little over 2 hours that 70 year old is amazing. She is ageless when it comes to singing, dancing and those legs!